RECAP: Chicago P.D. ‘Signs of Violence’

Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton, Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Chicago P.D. Signs of Violence aired on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 and centered on Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) as she was triggered by a missing persons case which forced her to address her childhood traumas as she tries to navigate her relationship with her partner/boyfriend Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer).

Chicago P.D. opens with Hailey and Jay canoodling in bed. While the two are snuggling, Jay says he loves Hailey, which inexplicably ruins the mood. Instead of saying it back, she runs into the bathroom and splashes some water on her face before coming out with an obviously made up story about a last-minute appointment to get her car serviced.

Halstead is left behind dumbfounded. 

As soon as she gets into her car, Upton turns on her radio and overhears a missing persons call that she decides to take. She drives up to a home where there are already a few uniformed police officers. The Clarton family haven’t been seen by their neighbor for a few days. Upton takes a look around the house and discovers that the house smells like bleach. Hailey then searches the bedrooms. In the daughters room Hailey follows a hunch and turns down the bedspread which revealed there was a stain on her mattress. She searches the other rooms and notices that the bed in the master bedroom had been moved. She asks one of the officers to help her move the bed back to where the carpet indicated and they discovered there was blood under the bed and someone replaced a piece of carpet in an attempt to hide it. 


Jay Halstead arrived on scene and was a little surprised to see Upton after she JUST said she had to get work done on her car. She awkwardly admits she never made it to the auto shop but he doesn’t push the issue so she can brief the rest of Intelligence. Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) interrupts to tell them that Ray Clarton is not the father’s real name. The actual Ray died years earlier. Unfortunately, Burgess can’t find any information about his wife Helen or their daughter Becca. 

The neighbor and her daughter go to the station so Upton and Halstead can interview the neighbor, who admits she doesn’t know much about the people in the house next door. She mentions that the family is “old-fashioned”. Hailey asks the daughter if she knows Becca and she says that Becca didn’t go to school and that she kept to herself. The neighbor says that Becca is “shy”.

Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) has found out Ray’s real identity. He’s a con artist named Ray Aimes who’s lived in over a dozen different states. Upton suggests Ray abused his family, injured Helen and left town.

Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) has found footage of Ray withdrawing money from an ATM with his daughter. Mom is nowhere in sight, but there is an unidentified third person on the tape. Upton is visibly stunned to discover that she was wrong.

The team wonders if it’s someone Ray wronged in his past, with Upton talking about how you learn how to “shut people out” and “be invisible.” 

Once Jay and Hailey have a moment alone, She admits that she was “overwhelmed” by him saying he loves her. Halstead reminds her that they are investigating a missing child and that they really should be focusing on their jobs and that they can talk about their personal life later. 

Upton finds herself alone in Becca’s bedroom and notices a flashlight. The window lines up with the neighbor’s daughter Annie’s window and she decides to go over and ask her a few more questions. Once she gets to Annie’s bedroom, she comments on how prettily it’s decorated and how Becca’s room looked nothing like Annie’s. She confides to Annie that “something was wrong” in her childhood and that her best friend kept her window open in case a young Hailey needed somewhere to hide. The story convinces Annie to admit that she knows more than she originally stated. 

At the district, Annie confirms that Ray is indeed abusive. She explained that Becca would shine her flashlight into Annie’s room and Annie would go downstairs and open the door so Becca could stay with her. On the night the family disappeared, she saw a mystery man taking the Clartons out of their house and into a station wagon.

Chicago P.D. quickly finds the car on various traffic cams and realizes it’s a stolen vehicle. Upton and Halstead go to the station wagon’s last known location and they begin searching the area. Upton discovers the sheets from the Clarton’s house sticking out in the snow and finds Helen Clarton’s body underneath. The kidnapper and now murderer killed Helen at that location, burned off her fingerprints, and pulled out all of her teeth, making it practically impossible to identify the body. 

The suspect is identified as Alejandro Hermanez who apparently has ties to organized crime. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) puts the pieces together, deducing that Ray had a bunch of money he’d stolen from the Albanian mafia and Alejandro came to get it back. Upton insists that as long as Alejandro is looking for the rest of the money, Becca and Ray are still alive.

Chicago P.D.
Chicago P.D. Jason Beghe as Hank Voight, Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Chicago P.D. Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

Chicago P.D. sends everyone out to search for Alejandro. Upton and Halstead start by interviewing a woman named Zara working at a brothel. Upton threatens to arrest her and shut down the whole brothel unless Zara tells them where Alejandro lives. She tells them the address and the duo get there to find a trailer, a shed and an armed Alejandro. Hailey is told to wait to engage until backup arrives, but she defies Voight’s direct order and chases him down. She is disappointed to discover that the dad and daughter are nowhere to be found. 

When they get back to the district Voight scolds Upton and Halstead asks what she would’ve done if they hadn’t seen a gun. Hailey insists she would have done the same thing and that the Assistant State’s Attorney will cover her actions because the crime involves a child. Jay looks unconvinced and disappointed. 

Unfortunately for Upton, Annie can’t identify Alejandro as the perpetrator. Upton has gotten herself so emotionally involved in this case that she makes a shady move and asks Annie to do it again, only this time Upton leaves her finger on the picture of Alejandro, indicating to Annie which photo she should pick..

Everyone in Intelligence tries to interrogate Alejandro. He tells Upton and Halstead he doesn’t even know who the Clartons are, yet gives a sketchy grin. The team needs more evidence or they will have to release Alejandro. 

As the team discusses the case, Ruzek talks about him emptying out a post office box belonging to Ray. They discover that Alejandro is making regular payments to a long term care facility. Upton shares a thoery of Alejandro having undocumented family. She wants to use them for leverage, which Voight points out is illegal. Upton continues to insist claiming “this is all we got”, adding “it could work and we’ve crossed worse lines before.” 

“Did you not hear me say no?” Voight firmly reiterates before Upton stares at a still of Ray and Becca taken from the ATM video.  

Halstead follows her out of the district, knowing that she’s going to disobey Voight AGAIN and go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He wants to know what’s going on with her and says she’s “spinning out.” She is actually “spinning out” and throws a verbal tantrum at him about why she’s behaving the way she’s behaving. Jay wants her to talk so he can help her and he knows this is what she does. Upton snarkily responds by asking “At what point do you cut your losses and run?” before they go their separate ways.

Upton changes her mind and reenters the district, walking in to talk with Burgess about her attachment to Becca. She suddenly recalls that Alejandro was walking to his shed and asks Kim to pull up blueprints of Alejandro’s property. Upton then tells Voight that she’s convinced he has Ray and Becca “buried” underground. Intelligence mobilizes a whole sounder of cops to search again. They line up to search “every inch of this property”. Upton, of course, finds the way into the underground tank after she stepped on a piece of wood hiding a manhole cover, and descends inside to find a dead Ray and Becca still alive. Hailey wraps the girl up in her coat and tells the girl that it’s okay.

Back in his office, she informs Voight that Becca identified Alejandro as her abductor. The two of them go to get coffee and talk about their choices in the case. Upton confirms that she never went to ICE and that it would have been a mistake if she did. She talks about her childhood traumas and questions her fitness to be a police officer. She asks Voight, “Every monster I see is my dad? Every hurt little kid is me? 

“If you’re unfit, I’m unfit,” Voight replies. He tells her she’s good at her job for the same reasons she’s bad at it, and that she controls herself “miraculously well” until something touches the “bruised” part of her and she loses all control. Upton says that she doesn’t want to be that way, he says he knows, but she can find a way not to, because continuing to be this way is going to cost her.

Upton finds Halstead waiting patiently for her at her door. Once they’re inside, she admits that she “never really learned” how to do relationships properly because “you couldn’t do that in my house.” She goes on to explain that she ran away after he said that he loved her because it was triggering for her and it made her remember when she would hear the words “I love you” they were along with empty apologies after her abuse. Jay listens to her whole monologue about her past and her saying that she wants to be with him and “learn to do this” before assuring her that they’ll figure it out and he wants to be with her too. He promises Upton that he’s not going anywhere, and Hailey finally says the words everyone has been waiting to hear, “I love you so much” as they share a hug.

In addition to Dick Wolf, executive producers include Rick Eid, Peter Jankowski, Arthur W. Forney, Derek Haas and Eriq La Salle.

Chicago P.D. produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

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