Chicago P.D. Season 11 Finale Confirms How Tracy Spiridakos' Hailey Upton Leaves

Television TV Dramas

chicago p.d. season 11 finale confirms how tracy spiridakos' hailey upton leaves
Lori Allen/NBC

Contains spoilers for "Chicago P.D." Season 11, Episode 13 — "More"

Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) is officially leaving Chicago now that "Chicago P.D." Season 11 is done  — and while it's an ending that makes sense for her, one can't help but feel a bit disappointed. But it's an ending that was chosen by the "Chicago P.D." showrunners with purpose and determination.

Having risked her life to save Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) from serial killer Frank Matson (Dennis Flanagan), the pair find themselves in a gun battle with the murderer. Hailey suffers an abdominal wound and Hank is bleeding out from a chest wound. Hank ends up pounding Matson to death, then Hailey and Hank are spirited off to the hospital. Once the two are patched up, they have a deep talk. Hailey recalls that, in his daze, Hank called her his daughter. Though Hank doesn't remember saying that, the exchange causes a revelation for Hailey. She realizes every case she's done has just been her relitigating her mother's abusiveness over and over again. Deciding to live her own life, she looks over websites listing qualifications for DEA and FBI positions. Then she closes up her apartment and heads to O'Hare Airport.

It's a very open, if hopeful, ending. Per "Chicago P.D." showrunners, that was just what they were shooting for.

Gwen Sigan says Hailey's ending is open-ended for a reason

chicago p.d. season 11 finale confirms how tracy spiridakos' hailey upton leaves
NBC

If you were wondering why Hailey Upton's ending didn't feel like ... an ending ... there's a reason for that. Showrunner Gwen Sigan explained to TVLine that closure and positivity were the main goals here.

"I wanted this idea that the world is hers now, and that she's finally in a headspace where she can see that there's a lot out there and there's a lot you can choose. Leaving it that open-ended gave that feeling of possibility." Sigan notes that there's plenty of room for Tracy Spiridakos to return to the show for a guest spot. "I love the idea that a lot of these characters are still out there and could come back to the show. They're all in the world and so, maybe someday," she said.

On top of that, no direction for Hailey's future has been decided yet. Sigan says that everyone has a theory as to where Hailey's ended up, but nothing is set in stone. "The audience can also fill in a little bit of, 'Where is she going?' because that's the idea. She could go so many places."

It's worth noting that Hailey's ultimate victory here is foreshadowed by a lot of suffering. Perhaps someday in the future, fans will find out where Hailey's gone. But until then, they can be happy knowing that she's safe, happy, and ready to move on to the next stage of her life.

Check out why Tracy Spiridakos left "Chicago P.D." to learn more about the actor's departure from the show.

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