Chicago P.D.‘s Kevin Atwater has been unlucky in love thus far, but that may soon change.
The Intelligence detective’s only romantic storyline in the series occurred in the Season 6 episode “Black and Blue,” in which he encountered a wholly likable woman named Laila (Milauna Jemai Jackson). Despite a palpable chemistry, their love affair was cut short after her deal with the District Attorney fell through and she was sentenced to prison for murder.
P.D. showrunner Rich Eid confirms to TVLine that Atwater will, indeed, have a girlfriend in Season 9 (premiering this Wednesday at 10/9c on NBC). “He meets a dynamic young woman, and their bond is fun and really unique. For Atwater, it’s a welcome, needed respite,” Eid says. “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.”
However, not everyone will find themselves smitten this season. Voight and Miller share a mutual respect despite their different approaches to policing, and that platonic relationship will continue in the coming episodes.
“Voight and Miller have a strong bond, but it isn’t necessarily romantic. They understand each other in a way that’s rare,” Eid explains. “Because of their jobs, their responsibilities, and their sacrifices, they’re able to connect on a deeper level.”
Last season offered no easy solutions for the pair, who disagreed over how to approach police reform. Miller’s efforts to go by the book during an investigation into a human trafficking ring ended with her son being murdered. Meanwhile, Voight went off the books during his investigation into Burgess’ kidnapping, and that also ended badly: Upton was forced to kill their main suspect during a scuffle, and Voight burned the body to cover their tracks.
“It puts both of these characters in an interesting place at the start of this season,” Eid teases. “Does the knowledge of that change their principles? Should it? Miller’s also dealing with the grief and shock of losing her son. She has a lot on her plate emotionally in the premiere.”
“The events of the season finale showed how hard that change has been for [Voight], especially when circumstances test him to the extreme,” the Chicago P.D. boss adds. “It’s something Voight will continue to grapple with. How does he fit into 2021? It’s a constant question.”
According to Eid, Season 9 will continue to explore “what it means to be a police officer in 2021.” As Intelligence delves into different Chicago neighborhoods, the series will explore what it means for each member of the team to “find a ‘home’: within work, within relationships, within each other.”