Chicago P.D.fans have been waiting for months for (now-former) partners Erin Lindsay and Jay Halstead to take their relationship to the next level. And they weren't alone.
"The stage direction was 'There's heat between these two,' which we have teased our creators and writers mercilessly about for almost two years," Sophia Bush tells TVGuide.com about making the pilot. "It was our instruction from the beginning. The chemistry has always been there."
Instead of keeping the two frozen in will-they-or-won't-they purgatory, the NBC drama (Wednesdays, 10/9c) gave into fan demand last week when the two shared a passionate kiss and then some at the end of the episode. "I think it just felt to everybody like, well, what are we going to keep putting it off for?" Bush says. "Eventually adults that love and care about each other are going to start loving on each other."
It helps that Bush and Jesse Lee Soffer, along with their co-star Patrick John Flueger (aka Ruzek), had already established a connection when they worked on the failed NBC pilot Hatfields & McCoys months before being cast on P.D. "It was easy for us to create that energy because there was already such familiarity among all of us," she says. "It's been crackling for a long time now."
However, Lindsay and Halstead's personal gain is the Intelligence Unit's loss. The only reason Halstead was able to make a move was because Lindsay is now working for the Feds. "There's always, I think, a goal of what more can I do? What more can I achieve? What more can I explore?" Bush said of Lindsay's recent exit from the Intelligence Unit. "It's also flattering and exciting to be offered what looks at least on paper to be a big step up and then what we got to see is that things aren't always what they seem."
The move wasn't only surprising on-screen for Lindsay's colleagues, but also off-screen for viewers who never thought Lindsay would actually leave. Bush has been an integral part of Chicago P.D. since the show launched, thanks to her character's heart-wrenching back story, her ability to connect with victims much like SVU's Benson and her ability to bring out the softer side of her pseudo-father figure, the normally tough-as-nails Voight (Jason Beghe). "I always knew that she would add a heart because that's how she was explained to me from Day One," Bush says. "Each of our characters feels like a puzzle piece. I don't think our show would be what it is without any of us and I think what works is that I'm kind of like the mama bear for everyone on our set and I think in her own way, Lindsay is for her unit."
Fortunately, it sounds like P.D. might get back their missing piece soon, since Lindsay is having a tough time adjusting to her new job. "They're kind of steamrolling over all of the things that she likes to take her time with and she likes to be specific with," Bush says. "It will be ultimately a question of how does she deal with the conflict and does she actually want this?"
The biggest question that remains is whether Lindsay and Halstead will continue to date even if they start working together again. "They clearly are, romance aside, great partners, so home and work have to stay separate in that universe and I think the fans will really enjoy seeing that," Bush says. "When they're home, there gets to be a very different energy and a very different side to the two of them."
Suffice it to say, certain other aspects of their burgeoning relationship won't be so easy. "It's something that they're figuring out how to hide from Voight because Voight is basically Lindsay's dad and they're both afraid of him," Bush says with a laugh. "What's great is there is so much action on our show, but at the end of the day, there are so many relationships, but it's less sugar-coated. It is real. It is messy. It is complicated."
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC. Do you think Linstead can make it work?