Season 10 of Chicago P.D. has already delivered a whole lot of game-changers, and it’s still several episodes shy of the midseason finale! The timely arrival of Dante Torres (played by new series regular Benjamin Levy Aguilar) meant that the Intelligence Unit wasn’t too short handed after the abrupt departure of Halstead, but Torres settling into the team left me thinking about the last series regular who had joined Intelligence: Lisseth Chavez as Officer Vanessa Rojas. When I spoke with P.D. showrunner Gwen Sigan earlier this fall, she weighed in on whether Rojas could ever return.
As fans likely remember, Lisseth Chavez was the series regular who joined the NBC drama back in Season 7 and seemed settled in to stay, forming a strong bond with coworker-turned-roommate Upton and sparks flying with Atwater. The seventh season was cut short due to COVID production shutdowns, and Rojas was absent when Season 8 premiered with no explanation of where she was or why she left.
I’ve wondered ever since about what happened to Rojas and whether she could return, so when I spoke with Gwen Sigan about everything ranging from the “messy” start to Season 10 to how much we’d see of the two O’Neal men in the first nine episodes, I asked for her thoughts on whether fans could ever get an update on the character or see her again. The showrunner responded:
Is this a guarantee that Chicago P.D. will ever revisit whatever happened to Rojas between the end of Season 7 and beginning of Season 8? Definitely not, but as somebody who came up with no fewer than four different ways that P.D. could say goodbye to her ahead of the eighth season, I’ll take “the door’s always open” as good news.
Plus, it’s not like Lisseth Chavez hasn’t kept busy over the years since leaving Chicago P.D. She immediately landed a role on The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow as a tough new character for Season 6, and she remained as part of the cast until the series ended earlier in 2022. She then returned to her TV cop roots for a hit drama over on ABC, as part of the cast of The Rookie Season 5 opposite Nathan Fillion.
Chicago P.D. has also made a lot of changes since viewers last saw Rojas, and she probably would have enjoyed seeing Upton and Halstead get together after she tried to nudge Upton along into admitting that she loved him. We can only wonder how the show would be different if she was still around, and I’m at least hoping that she gets a mention.
Of course, Benjamin Levy Aguilar has been a great addition to Chicago P.D. in his return after his guest appearance in Season 9. The actor has already carried his own emotional episode, and formed a bond with Atwater after losing Halstead as his original mentor. The focus will shift over to Atwater in the next episode on November 2 for what sounds like an incredibly stressful case, even by P.D. standards.
A lot is still happening on Chicago P.D. (and Upton’s investigation into Sean O’Neal seems bound to continue in the build to the midseason finale), so keep tuning in on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC whether or not Rojas gets a mention. If you want to revisit her season of the long-running drama, you can do so streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription now.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
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).