Det. Jay Halstead has turned in his badge.
Just weeks after “Chicago P.D.” star Jesse Lee Soffer announced he would exit the long-running police procedural series, his final episode aired Wednesday, Oct. 5 — leaving fans heartbroken over Halstead’s fate and the actor grateful for the viewers who watched him play the beloved character for more than nine seasons.
"I left it all out there for this one," Soffer said of his performance in the episode, titled "A Good Man," in a post he shared to Instagram shortly before showtime.
And once the episode aired, the 38-year-old switched over to Twitter to share the emotional experience with fans, who watched the drama unfold as Halstead covered up for a criminal (for the best of reasons) and stabbed a man (in self-defense).
After turning himself in to Chief Patrick O’Neal, Halstead left the CPD Intelligence Unit (and his wife, Hailey, played by Tracy Spiridakos) behind.
As fans tweeted their virtual tears upon his exit, Soffer responded with a sentimental message of his own.
"For anyone that’s ever been a Halstead fan, I just want you to know that I’m grateful," he wrote. "Thank you for going on this journey with me. I’m just grateful."
In September, Soffer shared a similar message to fans, as well as to everyone who worked on the Dick Wolf-created series, in a statement he gave TODAY.
“I want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support during the past 10 years and want to express my deepest gratitude to Dick Wolf and everyone at Wolf Entertainment, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Rick Eid, Gwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates and our incredible crew,” Soffer wrote. “To create this hour drama week after week has been a labor of love by everyone who touches the show. I will always be proud of my time as Det. Jay Halstead.”
After "A Good Man" aired, Soffer's co-star LaRoyce Hawkins (who plays Ofc. Kevin Atwater), took to social media and wrote of his friend's exit, "To make a long story short, it will never be the same."
But while that may be true, never say never about Soffer's character.
After all, Halstead left Intelligence for an army job tracking down cartel leaders in Bolivia, not the grave. He told his wife that they would get through the eight-month separation.
“You’re the love of my life,” he said, “and if I’m yours, then you’ll know that you have to let me go.”
Halstead also said goodbye to Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) at the airport, telling the sergeant, “I do want to be you. But it’s like you’ve always told me: I’m not, and I shouldn’t try.”
Maybe goodbye really is temporary, as Halstead told Hailey. And as viewers have seen in the past, familiar faces often come and go in the "One Chicago" universe.