Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD to Episode 12 of Chicago Police. The 10th season is titled “I can Let You Go”.
In the latest episode of Chicago Police. showed that Upton sending Sean O’Neill to jail wasn’t the end of their twisted dynamic. He volunteered to be her informant about other prisoners in custody… while she visited him every week. It was the last thing she needed, especially after her fruitless attempts to reach her husband. “I can let you go” brought a long-awaited update to Upstead, but not the one she was hoping for. Director Gia-Rain Harris told CinemaBlend about what happened and about the performance of Tracy Spiridakos.
Gia-Rain Harris came to the Chicago police. as part of NBCUniversal’s “Women Forwards” program, which gives female directors the opportunity to follow the script and then direct a TV show based on the script in the same season. Having already worked in several short films, Harris directed one of the emotional episodes of season 10, when Upton had to face the painful new reality associated with her separation from Halstead. Having failed to contact him, she finally called the major, who could give some idea of whether he was okay and when he would return home.
Although she had heard that Halstead was fine, she also found out that he had decided to extend his watch… without even telling her, let alone asking her. She had to hold back tears while trying to speak normally on the phone. When I talked to the director about the episode, she talked about Tracy Spiridakos performing a phone call scene without dialogue with a stage partner. Harris said:
I can’t speak more highly of Tracy and her character, and only of her as an actress. The only thing you really need to do with her is give her space. The only thing you need to do is make sure that you both clearly understand the goal, and give her a place to get to it. He’s been right under the surface all day. To tell the truth, it was my very first shooting day when we were shooting this. Talk about coming in hot! But she just handed it out from all sides, and I cried behind the monitor.
Gia-Rain Harris also revealed that she watched every episode of Chicago Police. this was available to her before she shot “I can Let You Go,” so she saw what Spiridakos was capable of in emotional scenes. It was a real scene to shoot on the first day, and I think it’s safe to say that there are fans who can relate to the director crying at the sight of Upton’s performance, so openly missing Halstead, and receiving bad news. She came:
I didn’t want to do it again. I didn’t want to go in and ask her to repeat it because it was just amazing. But we were able to do it a couple more times and get other levels. She knocked it out every time because the emotions are real. I’m sure she misses her friend in real life.
Tracy Spyridakos and Jesse Lee Soffer shared a lot of screen time between when she joined P.D. as a series regular in season 5 and his departure at the beginning of season 10, when their characters were partners for many years before becoming romantic. His absence caused a huge shift in any Upton-themed episodes. When I asked if the second half of the phone conversation was really planned so that Spiridakos would react to it, Gia-Rain Harris replied:
It was just a statement. It’s the wildest thing, and I didn’t really think about it until post-production, because suddenly I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a voice that answers?” But there was something about the silence on the phone that was so spectacular, and you just have to be in her experience. You can’t get ahead of yourself or decide how you feel about it. You have to see how it affected her, and I think it was much more effective.
Just hearing half of Upton’s conversation, all the attention was focused on her, which meant that Tracy Spiridakos played a key role without a stage partner. When I noticed that she was one of those actresses whose emotions can make the audience experience themselves, the director replied:
I get goosebumps when I think about it. This is absolutely [true], because she is very sensitive herself, and she is one of the most open people I have ever had to work with. I sincerely do not understand how she chose this particular profession. Obviously because she’s incredible at it, but she has such a huge heart. I just hope she stays protected, both on and off this show, because she’s special.
Upton’s empathy came out in full force in the first half of the season, when she did everything she could to get justice for Sean O’Neill’s victims, even when it meant pulling all night and letting him get too close for comfort. Of course, she began to plunge into work with her head mainly because after Halstead left, it was hard for her to return home to an empty apartment.
Halstead’s departure meant the absence of what may have been a central romantic relationship in the series. When it came time for Gia-Rain Harris to get ready for her episode to present the biggest update on what’s going on with Upstead since the start of season 10, the director shared that she “followed the fan accounts” and “viewed every TikTok of every Upstead union. ” and explained:
I wanted to see what the fans thought of this couple and how I could honor it. And I also sympathized with this couple. I absolutely fell in love with them and fell in love with their special love. Even the simple scene when she was drinking wine alone in the kitchen, I remember the episodes where they stood together, something like summing up. So when I talked to her, I said: “Think about the times when he was behind your counter.” Now he’s gone. I think now this little simple understanding of this emptiness has been helpful. I am grateful that I was able to dig up and fall in love with them, and also be heartbroken because of her. I was reading the script and thought: “Come on, man!” I knew this was going to happen because I read the sketches, but secretly I wanted him to come back.
Chicago PD doesn’t always have time to showcase intelligence department cops in their homes, even in episodes dedicated to specific characters, so quiet moments when Upton is alone in her apartment stood out from the norm. Further, Gia-Rain Harris explained that showing all the personal touches in the apartment while Halstead was simply not there was the goal to set the tone for the episode.:
We all know what it’s like to go through a breakup or to lose someone we love, and I suddenly thought that the space you shared just seems like their ghost is there. I wanted to make sure that the empty space was something that was presented repeatedly, and we couldn’t get away from it either. Because she goes out into the world. She kicks ass. She takes names. But she’s going home, and it’s just her. She’s beautiful, but she’s in pain.
Although Upton and Halstead are still married and have not separated, she has definitely lost him as a permanent partner by her side at this point. It remains to be seen if Sean O’Neill’s latest taunt in “I Can Let You Go” about Upton giving her speech to the wrong person affects her progress; the positive for Upton is that this episode at least seems to have convinced her to end Sean for good. As for Upstead, there is no indication that Jesse Lee Soffer is returning to the Chicago police department. in front of the camera, although he will return as a director later this season.
As for “I can Let You Go,” you’ll be able to re-stream the Gia-Rain Harris episode with a Peacock Premium subscription. The director has several short films that have hit the festival network, including “Oh, Spare Me,” “Cairn” and “Before You,” the latter of which is based on and inspired by her mother’s experience as a black rookie cop in Southern Mississippi and turned into a feature film. She was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her short film Pens and Pencils, which will premiere on HBO.
You can also find new episodes of Chicago Police. Wednesdays at 22:00 ET on NBC, after the Chicago fire at 21:00. and Chicago Med at 20:00. in the program of TV shows for 2023.