How Chicago P.D.'s Atwater Is A Different Kind Of Mentor Than Halstead For Torres

Chicago P.D. made some huge changes in the first several weeks of Season 10, bringing in Officer Torres full-time, saying goodbye to Detective Halstead, and then showcasing Torres in an episode that revealed more about his past and set him on a new course for his future. Benjamin Levy Aguilar – who opened up about his character’s “transformation” in his big episode – spoke with CinemaBlend about how Atwater compares to Halstead as a mentor for Torres. 

Halstead was Torres’ first mentor in the Intelligence Unit after they were partnered up in Benjamin Levy Aguilar’s guest appearance in Season 9, and Jesse Lee Soffer’s character brought Torres back into the fold in Season 10. His abrupt departure meant that Torres lost Halstead as a guiding force, but LaRoyce Hawkins’ Atwater wasted no time in stepping up for the rookie cop. When asked how the two longtime members of Intelligence compare, Aguilar shared:

First of all, they're two equally different and beautiful actors, and the same way in characters. Halstead was so steady. He was very – this is who he is – and 'I'm just trying to trust you, because I trust you already. I trust your instincts, and I trust who you are. So let's just be on the same page.' There's this respect, because he saw something beyond.

Halstead didn’t exactly take it easy on Torres when they first teamed up, but as Benjamin Levy Aguilar said, he was a very steady character when it came to working with the rookie cop. (Halstead wasn’t entirely steady in his own storyline leading to his departure in Season 10, whether it makes sense or not!) Without Halstead, Torres wouldn’t have been brought back to Intelligence, and the episode that aired on October 12 (which you can rewatch streaming with a Peacock subscription) proved that he’ll be an asset to the unit even if he comes with his own backstory and baggage. 

And it’s that backstory and baggage that could make Atwater a great fit as Torres’ next mentor in Season 10. Even though he handled himself in a case that became very personal for him, he was better off for getting some support from Atwater (whether he wanted it or not). Aguilar went on to explain the Torres/Atwater dynamic:

With Atwater, there's a commonality in the way we grew up. He knows that life, and he is able to guide me in that sense of how it's going to be. I think he's had the growing pains that Torres is having. So they're equal. They're so different and equally beautiful. I had such a good time with Atwater on this episode. We really clicked, and off screen, we would talk and then we're like, 'Okay, this is that moment!' Like, ‘Torres and Atwater have had the moment that me and LaRoyce are having right now.' You know, eating and talking about life and sharing stories. So it was a very beautiful experience.

It sounds like LaRoyce Hawkins has been a mentor of sorts to Benjamin Levy Aguilar as he settles into his role as a series regular on Chicago P.D., just as Atwater stepped up on screen for Torres. The chemistry between the characters was already showing in the Torres-centric episode, which was also the first episode without Jesse Lee Soffer as a regular. So, will fans see more of Torres and Atwater after they bonded? The actor weighed in:

Absolutely. Yeah, there's a lot of Torres/Atwater action. Like LaRoyce says, 'OceanWater.' [laughs] Yeah, there's definitely a lot there, and I have so much fun sharing the screen with him.

LaRoyce Hawkins coined the term “OceanWater” for them – referring to Torres’ radio code of “5021-Ocean” and his own character’s name – so it sounds like fans have a lot to look forward to with their dynamic moving forward. It should also be interesting to see if they are made official partners. 

One of P.D.’s longest-running partnerships already came to an end in Season 10, with Halstead’s departure splitting up the Upstead duo professionally as well as personally. There’s an odd number of cops working under Voight in the Intelligence Unit, so only time will tell if the show will just shift the pairings from episode to episode or create some new post-Halstead partnerships. 

See what’s next for Torres and Atwater (and if we get any updates on Halstead) with new episodes of Chicago P.D. on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. Season 10 has “quite of bit” – to quote showrunner Gwen Sigan – of two new characters on the way, and the rest of One Chicago is delivering plenty of twists as well. Chicago Med will lose a character before the end of 2022, whereas Chicago Fire only just found a way for Violet to move on in the aftermath of Chief Hawkins’ death.

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).