Spoilers ahead for Episode 13 of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “Still Water.”
Chicago P.D. is officially back after several weeks off for the Olympics, and the show didn’t hold back from delivering a doozy of an episode with the return. Upton’s effort to set a routine for herself after all of the struggle of the first half of Season 9 was ruined in “Still Water” when her jog was interrupted by a car crashing into the Chicago River. The result was Hailey taking a February jump into some very cold water, and it was only one of two dangerous dips before the end of the hour. Actress Tracy Spiridakos opened up about the underwater sequences, and shared something that viewers couldn’t have seen from home.
I spoke with Tracy Spiridakos about “Still Water,” which featured some stunts unlike any others that Chicago P.D. has delivered before, and the show used practical effects to pull it off. Upton going into the water in February was a very bold move considering the cold, and the actress shared her reaction to finding out and how she prepared with stunt double Kelli Scarangello:
As a look behind the scenes of “Still Water” confirmed, the scene of Upton going into the Chicago River wasn’t just TV magic making a tank look like a body of water. Kelli Scarangello really did jump into the river in January, and there was even ice on the river that the P.D. team had to use barges to push away. As viewers have now seen, the scene that showed Scarangello’s jump into the river was quite impressive, and Tracy Spiridakos joined her double in a tank to prepare for the close-up shots of underwater Upton. The actress continued:
Figuring out diving and wearing a mask to not only film underwater, but actually perform underwater, was a big task. Upton went through an emotional journey underwater while deciding to save the man (who turned out to be one of the worst kinds of criminals to appear on the show) and having to let the woman drown when help couldn’t arrive quickly enough. Where’s Chicago Fire‘s Squad 3 on time when you need them?
Upton was back in the water by the end of the episode, when she jumped into a pool to save the life of the bad guy. While saving him when she could have just let him drown was a sign that she has really moved away from the Voight-inspired darkness of the end of Season 8 and even early Season 9, it did mean she had to jump fully-clothed into water all over again, complete with a winter coat.
When I asked Tracy Spiridakos how filming in the tank for the river sequence compared to filming in the pool, she explained the process as well as what viewers undoubtedly missed:
While it certainly looked like Upton jumped in the pool wearing her normal Chicago winter gear – although she’s probably running out of winter coats after this episode, unless they dry well – viewers couldn’t see that the costume team removed some stuffing to make filming easier for Tracy Spiridakos. It was easy to miss while watching the intense scene, but certainly kind of the costumers! That didn’t mean that the whole pool sequence was easy to pull off, however, as she continued:
Who would have guessed that filming the harrowing sequence of the river rescue in the tank would be more relaxed than the quicker scene of Upton and the bad guy in the pool? Luckily, Upton only had one person who needed saving the second time, and Halstead – who may be inclined to try and pad her clothes with floatation devices if his wife keeps jumping fully-dressed into bodies of water – turned up in time to help her get the man out. All things considered, it was an action-packed episode, and Tracy Spiridakos weighed in on whether she’d want to do it again:
It might be bad news for Upton and the Intelligence Unit if cases keep coming up that involve daring underwater rescues, but Tracy Spiridakos is up for it! Even though there were no crossover appearances from Chicago Fire‘s Severide or other members of Squad 3 who are usually the One Chicago heroes doing the water rescues, it would be fun if Spiridakos someday got to put her underwater experience to use again with the Fire crew.
For now, fans can look forward to new episodes of Chicago P.D. on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. Be sure to check back with CinemaBlend for more from Tracy Spiridakos, and check out our 2022 TV schedule for more viewing options.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.