More than friends? It’s definitely leaning that way. Chicago P.D. fans have been hopeful for Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Hailey Upton’s (Tracy Spiridakos) working relationship to turn into something more — and it sounds like that could happen in season 8.
“There are lots of conversations about taking Upton and Halstead’s relationship to the next level,” showrunner Rick Eid told Us Weekly exclusively in a new interview. “I’m pretty sure we’ll see that happen in some form or fashion next season.”
Season 7 of Chicago P.D. was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, “the episodes we’d been working on prior to the shutdown will be usable for next season,” Eid added. “We had lots of interesting story lines involving Burgess, Halstead/Upton and Voight, but we never got a chance to shoot those episodes. Luckily, the last episode we finished turned out to be a really strong finale – in my opinion, anyway.”
For those of you who’ve been staring at Chicago P.D.’s Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) and Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) all season long while fighting the urge to smoosh their faces together, I’ve got some great news: Upstead is finally happening! When the NBC drama returns for Season 8, your favorite “when will they finally get together” couple will actually get together, according to showrunner Rick Eid.
“We’re excited about digging deeper into Halstead and Upton’s relationship and exploring whether these two can carry on a professional and romantic relationship at the same time,” Eid told TV Guide. So, call your friends on Zoom and break out the celebratory champagne because the thing we’ve been waiting for since Season 6 is finally happening!
This news couldn’t come at a better time given that Upton is poised to return from her short stint with the FBI team in New York City. Halstead even admitted to missing his partner after some gentle teasing from Platt (Amy Morton). Upton’s comeback was originally planned for Episode 21, but with a shortened Season 7 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it looks like her return will have to wait until Season 8.
The new season will also find Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) going up against the friends and family of Tom Doyle (Mickey O’Sullivan), the racist cop who put a gun to his head last season. Doyle resurfaced in the Season 7 finale working undercover on the same case as Atwater, forcing the two to work together. Though Atwater wanted nothing to do with the former patrol officer who’d been promoted to detective, Doyle tried to make amends with Atwater for what went down in “Night in Chicago.”
“We tried to write Doyle as someone who is more ignorant than hateful; someone who doesn’t really identify as a racist; he just says and does things that are insensitive and hurtful. The reason Doyle tries to make things right is because he genuinely feels badly about what happened last year,” Eid explained.
Still, Atwater couldn’t ignore Doyle’s actions, like racially profiling a black man with a duffle bag and instigating a shootout which resulted in Doyle’s death and two black men arrested for his murder. Rather than let those men go down for a crime they didn’t commit, however, Atwater spoke up to the authorities and, in turn, earned the ire of Doyle’s cop friends and family. The episode ended on an ominous note with Atwater confronted by a street lined with police cars flashing their blue lights, signaling just how deeply connected Doyle was.
“Atwater is definitely going to have to deal with the consequences of his decision to tell the truth about Doyle,” Eid said.
But Atwater won’t be facing this conflict alone. He’ll have the full support of his Intelligence cohorts, including Voight (Jason Beghe), who urged Atwater to weigh his options before speaking out against Doyle. But Eid insists that Voight wasn’t necessarily trying to influence Atwater’s decision, but rather ensure that Atwater was making the best choice for himself.
“Voight’s only concern is doing what’s best for Atwater. He doesn’t care about politics in the least. In other words, his choices are guided by pragmatism, not emotion,” Eid explained. “In this particular situation, he wanted Atwater to know the consequences of making the decision he wanted to make. The pros and the cons. He wasn’t trying to persuade him, or manipulate him. He just wanted Atwater to have all the facts, so he could make the right decision.”
It’s unclear what that brave act may cost Atwater but no matter what happens, he’ll always have the peace of mind of knowing that he did the right thing.
Chicago P.D., which has been renewed through Season 10, is currently streaming on Hulu.
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