‘Chicago PD’ Boss on Atwater’s ‘Serious Challenge’ & Upton and Halstead in Season 8
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 7 finale of Chicago P.D., “Silence of the Night.”]
Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) had to work with Doyle in the Chicago P.D. Season 7 finale (which came earlier than planned), but the real trouble came after they’d made a significant bust — and two men, including Doyle, ended up dead. That left the Intelligence officer with a major decision to make.
“There was no probable cause,” Atwater confided in Voight (Jason Beghe). “Doyle saw a black man walking down the street and started profiling. … He wasn’t doing anything suspicious. He was just a black man in a bad neighborhood holding a duffel bag and Doyle started following him.” It turns out that man wasn’t even part of a gang; he’d just been bringing a pair of shoes to his cousin.
Atwater had to tell the truth, and after he did, Voight and Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) assured him that they, and the rest of Intelligence, had his back. But as the finale ended, Doyle’s friends paid Atwater a visit on his street — in their police vehicles.
Here, showrunner Rick Eid reveals just how worried we should be about Atwater and discusses Intelligence’s relationships.
Atwater makes the right decision despite knowing the potential consequences he’d face. How worried should he be about Doyle’s friends and family? Can Voight and Intelligence have his back or might they be in a situation where there’s only so much they can do?
Rick Eid: Atwater should definitely be worried. Doyle’s friends and family are taking this very seriously. They’re also well-connected in CPD and the Mayor’s Office. So, this crew will present a serious challenge to Atwater … and Intelligence.
Voight shipped Upton off to the FBI in New York, and we saw her briefly there in the finale. Will she return sooner than she would have with production shutting down early? How will her time with the FBI change her when she returns to Chicago?
Upton was scheduled to return to CPD for Episodes 21 through 23, but the premature shutdown obviously changed all that. As for how much her FBI experience changed her … We might have to rethink all that since she ended up only working on one case with the FBI. Our original plan was to see a significant change in Hailey, but I’m not sure that makes sense anymore in light of recent events.
Burgess and Ruzek have struggled to get back on track after beginning to plan to be a family (albeit not together romantically) and then losing the baby. What did you want to do with their relationship in these last episodes and what comes next?
We were hoping to see their relationship continue to evolve in a positive way. These two will always be close friends. No matter what. There’s also a chance they might reunite romantically at some point in the future. Whether that would happen in Season 8 or not is still unclear.
What did you want to do with Upton and Halstead’s relationship this season and what are your plans — romantic or platonic — moving forward?
The Upton/Halstead relationship is simmering. We were hoping to bring it to a boil at the end of the season. But, obviously, that won’t happen now. As for Season 8, we’ll see what feels organic and credible, but I’m pretty sure we’ll see these two open up about their true feelings for one another. Question is: Will they act on it? Will they risk jeopardizing their fantastic working relationship to pursue a romantic relationship?
Something that has remained constant is how protective Voight is of his people; we see it in this episode with Atwater.
Voight is the patriarch of the family. He’ll do whatever he can to protect his people. He’s not political, he’s not ambitious, he’s not overly introspective. He cares about the City of Chicago and Intelligence. And he’ll protect both with passion — and vengeance — ’til the day he dies.
We’ve seen the past come back in various ways this season, from Darius and Upton’s CI (and then Upton’s move against Darius) to even just seeing Roman return. Are there any storylines we might see revisited next season?
It’s always possible. We don’t have anything specific planned right now, but there’s a good chance we will once again pluck an interesting character or storyline from the past.
Is the plan to keep Intelligence pretty much the same next season, or might we see some shake-ups or new faces joining the unit?
It’s possible we might some sort of shakeup, but I don’t anticipate any major changes.
What can you share about storylines that weren’t produced — like the original plan for the finale — and how they might play out next season?
Luckily, the episodes we’d been working on prior to the shutdown will be usable next season. We had a totally different finale in mind, obviously, but we’ll probably be able to film that early next season. The season now ends with Atwater in a serious predicament, so we will need to pick up next season with that storyline in mind.