'Chicago P.D.' Boss Teases Romance for Atwater in Season 9

Chicago P.D. star LaRoyce Hawkins might finally get to play romantic scenes again. Series showrunner Rich Eid confirmed that a new girlfriend will be introduced for Hawkins' character, Officer Kevin Atwater. Although the character has been on the show since Season 1, he only had one romantic storyline, and that was back in a Season 6 episode when he met Milauna Jemai Jackson's Laila.

Although Atwater and Laila had chemistry in the episode "Black and Blue," the storyline was cut short when Laula was sentenced to prison for murder. In a new interview with TVLine, published before Season 9 kicked off last week, Eid said Atwater will finally meet a new woman. He was careful not to share any details of the mysterious new character.

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"He meets a dynamic young woman, and their bond is fun and really unique. For Atwater, it's a welcome, needed respite," Eid explained. "It also becomes this safe space for the pair to be their true selves. But of course, things will be complicated, as any relationship on this show tends to be. It'll be a great ride for his character."

The new season will also explore the differences between Nicole Ari Parker's Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller, who was introduced last season, and Jason Beghe's Det. Sgt. Hank Voight. Miller came in to straighten out the Intelligence Unit, and hoped Voight would start following modern police guidelines. The two characters have a "strong bond," although it is not "necessarily" romantic, Eid told TVLine. "hey understand each other in a way that's rare," the executive producer explained. "Because of their jobs, their responsibilities, and their sacrifices, they're able to connect on a deeper level."

The season premiere episode, "Closure," did have a major romantic moment. Det. Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) proposed to Det. Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). Their wedding might be a ways off though, as Upton deals with the guilt from her actions in the premiere. While the team rushed to save Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati), Upton and Voight killed the suspect, although they didn't tell the rest of the team what happens.


In other episodes this season, Chicago P.D. will look at "what it means to be a police officer in 2021," Eid told TVLine. Each character will "find a 'home': within work, within relationships, within each other," as the season goes on. New episodes of Chicago P.D. air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Med and Chicago Fire.