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The Worst Things The Halstead Brothers Ever Did In The One Chicago Franchise

Longtime viewers of the three "One Chicago" series would likely agree that each show features a distinctive ensemble cast of characters who, in the broadest sense, consider themselves to be family. It's the close-knit nature of working as first responders, in fact, that binds them together as they face the dangers, triumphs, and challenges of their daily lives. That said, there are two central characters in the shared "One Chicago" universe whose bond goes beyond professional camaraderie. 

The Halstead brothers Will (Nick Gehlfuss) and Jay (Jesse Lee Soffer) bring a uniquely familial dynamic to their respective roles in "Chicago Med" and "Chicago P.D." And while the two men have earned millions of loyal fans for all their positive contributions to both shows, both brothers have on occasion engaged in, shall we say, less than admirable behavior. But as most veteran TV watchers will readily admit, how a character goes bad often says more about them than when they do good. So, what then are the worst things the Halstead brothers did in the One Chicago franchise?

Will ignored a patient's directive and got the hospital sued

Something of a hard-partying, even reckless kid during his ill-spent youth, Dr. Will Halstead's past can sometimes seem to echo into his present-day persona when it comes to judgment calls. The truth is, for a time the term 'Halsteading' was actually used as a verb indicating rash behavior over at One Chicago Center. While it must be noted that Will's general nature is considerate and well-meaning, his impetuousness and conviction that he always knows best can land him in trouble. 

That was apparently the case in the "Chicago Med" Season 1 episode "Choices," when a patient who has signed a Do Not Resuscitate order has a cardiac arrest. Reacting impulsively, Will makes the decision to go ahead and resuscitate the woman against her specific, documented wishes. This action not only disrespects a patient's formal health care directive, but it's also illegal. In the end, the hospital gets sued, and Will does pay a hefty price in the form of his malpractice insurance premiums going through the roof.

Jay followed his heart into a potentially disastrous situation

In some ways the polar opposite of his brother Will, Jay Halstead's modus operandi has always involved duty, loyalty and a commitment to doing what's right, no matter what it costs him. In that regard, however, his single-minded pursuit of justice in some situations can lead him into an ethically questionable gray zone. And even as he tries to convince himself the end may justify his means, Jay is often conflicted about his own behavior. 

For instance, in the "Chicago P.D." Season 5 episode "Care Under Fire," Jay finds himself attracted to the sister of a suspect he's surveilling, continuing to see her after the case is supposedly finished. But when she's implicated in the murder of an undercover federal investigator, her involvement in drug dealing comes to light, and Jay is placed in a seriously compromising position. Naturally, when Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) discovers the truth of the situation, it doesn't reflect well on Jay. While the repercussions turn out to be less than terminal, it could have resulted in Jay being booted from the Intel Unit or even dismissed from the force.

Will's impulsive action at the hospital puts his career in jeopardy

One personality trait "Chicago Med" fans are likely to ascribe to Dr. Will Halstead is his commitment to prioritizing patient welfare above all else. Similarly, the same fans will also admit he's a doctor willing to bend or even break protocol if he views the results for a patient as positive. It was just this sort of willingness to skirt the rules that put the doctor in a bind in the "Guilty" episode of the series' 1st season. 

After surreptitiously accessing the data regarding an ongoing hospital drug trial, Will found that a certain seriously ill patient was being given a placebo instead of the active trial drug –- one that could help her condition. Will then set out to inform the patient that she's on the placebo, which would negate the entire trial and — if Will's action was discovered — almost certainly result in him losing his medical license. Fortunately, another doctor corners Will in the elevator and, after physically restraining him, makes him see sense. Nonetheless, this is simply one more incident that reveals how Will's rash decision-making can cause severe complications for both his hospital and his own career.

Jay's action in the heat of a firefight results in a bystander's death

Profoundly affected by his time on active duty in the military, Jay Halstead carries a burden that many battlefield veterans share in feeling guilt at his own survival while others perished. This sense of remorse is evoked in an unexpected manner for Jay during the "Chicago P.D." Season 5 episode "Reform." During a heavy firefight that erupts when the squad is attempting a bust, bullets fly wildly in all directions. Unfortunately, a stray shot hits a young girl nearby. Rushing to the hospital afterward, Jay is told it's possible the victim will pull through. 

Praying for a miracle, he waits to learn how she's doing, only to be told that the child's wound proved to be fatal. Before long, an investigation reveals it's a bullet from Jay's service weapon that hit and killed the innocent girl. Even though a subsequent report clears Jay's name in the incident, he's shattered that he was responsible for the girl's death. And while this particular incident was purely accidental, it nonetheless stands as one of the more dire acts committed by the detective.

Will gets fired when a good, but unethical, deed goes bad

The saying that no good deed goes unpunished certainly applies to this next instance of a Halstead behaving badly while attempting to achieve something good. A cascade of dramatic events is set in motion when Carol Conte (Margaret Colin) is admitted to Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. Carol is the mother of Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto), and she's in the hospital for a rapidly failing heart. As it turns out, Will is currently involved in the clinical trial of a new drug that, coincidentally, could help alleviate Carol's heart problem. Due to the drug trial enrollment period having formally closed, however, Carol is ineligible to participate in the trial and receive the drug that could save her. 

Taking drastic action, Dr. Manning steals some of the drug for her mom. But when she's caught, Will claims he's responsible for the theft. This, not surprisingly, finally gets him fired with the added downside of a huge black mark on his career going forward. And while fans may beg to differ, if you're chief hospital administrator Dr. Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson), Will's fraudulently covering up a drug theft at the hospital clearly counts as one of the worst things either of the Halstead brothers did in the One Chicago franchise.