Chicago P.D.'s LaRoyce Hawkins Talks Atwater's 'Double Life' And Choices In His Big Episode

Chicago P.D. has gone in some new directions with Kevin Atwater in Season 9, with the character getting a love interest who wasn’t gone by the end of her first hour and him exploring a new kind of investment in his community. Now, Atwater is poised to be front and center in the next episode, and it’ll be a complicated time for him as he navigates his double life and faces some big choices about which life he wants to live. Actor LaRoyce Hawkins chatted with CinemaBlend about what’s on the way. 

The January 12 episode of Chicago P.D. is called “Lies,” and that doesn’t necessarily bode well for Atwater considering where fans last saw him in his relationship with Celeste. Atwater will have to once again try to find a balance between his personal life and professional life as a cop, and he won’t be able to put off making a decision forever. When I spoke with LaRoyce Hawkins about “Lies,” he shared his perspective on playing the storyline with his love interest and Burnside arcs:

To be honest with you, what I'm grateful for, is [Chicago P.D. writer] Ike Smith, who kind of accepted these ideas, grateful for Gwen Sigan for allowing us to really take Atwater's journey into an element that it feels good to really play with. The double life, so to speak, of being a cop during the day and like... a man by night is interesting. So as a storyteller, I'm excited about what we can learn from it.

Atwater originally passed up his chance to tell Celeste the truth that he’s actually a cop after he heard some of what she had to say about the police force. If the relationship has been going strong off-screen while P.D. handled the Upton/Voight/Halstead storyline, then Atwater has seemingly been handling the double life just fine. Will the show (now under the guidance of new showrunner Gwen Sigan) let Atwater keep balancing his work life with his personal life?

laroyce hawkins kevin atwater chicago pd nbc

(Image credit: NBC)

Well, if history is any indication, the characters trying to maintain lies for long periods of time tends to not work, although it’s probably safe to say that Atwater won’t spiral quite like Upton did with her secret earlier in Season 9. Sadly, Atwater has experienced time and time again that finding a balance is going to be hard for him. The actor shared his thoughts on whether there’s a chance that it could work out for him this time around:

Do I think there's a chance? I do, but I think it's really up to Atwater and the choices that he makes. You know what I'm saying? And I think that's what makes it interesting, is the fact that he does have a chance. I think we all kind of see it in him. I think we all kind of want it for him, but Atwater's got to make the right decisions. Atwater has to navigate it a certain way in order for us to get what we want for him. You know, I think one of the things that I'm learning through Atwater, what I learned through these cases – and, you know, we always misdirect the case, when we take the case from where we want it to be, or where it was, and we have to meet it where it is.

Atwater finding the balance that has eluded him for so long isn’t impossible; there are simply choices that have to be made, and it remains to be seen how Celeste will (or won’t) be affected by whatever he decides in “Lies.”  He may run the risk of ruining everything if the truth comes out in the wrong way. Hawkins continued:

So it's like, Atwater's starting to ask himself the question, you know, 'Where are we?' And if you live from where you are, and not from where you want to be, from where you thought you were, you live from an authentic place. I think he's just being authentic to himself and doing his best, like we all are. It's weird, man, it's weird. But I can't wait for the people to see ‘Lies.’ You know what I'm saying? Because we're gonna see Atwater telling a very complicated story, and through the vision of Eif Rivera, who was a great director to work with. His vision and his style, I think, is going to add an element to the episode that everybody should truly enjoy.

Atwater is arguably the most morally upright cop in the Intelligence Unit, after Halstead crossed his biggest line yet in blackmailing an FBI agent into dropping the murder case against Upton and Voight. At the same time, his authenticity and morality are tempered by his skills of deception as an undercover cop, which have helped him in living his double life in Season 9. 

See what happens for Atwater in the “Lies” episode of Chicago P.D. on Wednesday, January 12 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. The previous episode delivered a major twist for Burgess; the focus on Atwater in “Lies” may mean that the Makayla issue might not be resolved for another couple of episodes. Only time will tell, however, and you can find some TV options for the coming weeks in our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule

After the fall half of the 2021-2022 TV season, Chicago P.D. stands as one of the biggest ratings hits on network television, along with the other two One Chicago shows and others set in the same Dick Wolf TV universe. It is also soundly beating the new CBS show anchored by former P.D. leading lady Sophia Bush, although only time will tell if Good Sam narrows the gap or – like CSI: Vegas before it – settles into the #2 spot at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).