Chicago P.D.: Halstead Has A Mustache And More Takeaways From Season 8 Premiere Images

Chicago P.D. wrapped Season 7 prematurely back in April on an eerie Atwater cliffhanger, and the Season 8 premiere is finally only a couple of weeks away. Now, NBC has released images of what to expect from the first new episode of P.D. of the fall. Called "Fighting Ghosts," the Season 8 premiere will introduce a pivotal new character, explore the workings of CPD in the era of COVID, and show how the questionable Intelligence Unit functions during demands for police reform.

Also, Halstead has different facial hair, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Keep on reading to check out some images from the "Fighting Ghosts" premiere of Chicago P.D. Season 8 and what they could mean for the new episodes.

Jay Halstead Has A Mustache

Yes, Halstead apparently has a mustache. While Jay didn't go for the full Ron Swanson look, this is definitely a change. It's possible that this look won't last beyond the premiere or is simply a trick of the camera angle, and Chicago P.D. could just be using Halstead's face to show the passage of time. If Drew Carey can have a quarantine beard, why can't Halstead have a COVID 'stache? Masks would cover it! In all seriousness, we at least know that the change isn't a reaction to still missing Upton after she headed to New York in Season 7, because there's good news on that front, if not the facial hair front.

Upton Is Back

Hailey Upton is back in Chicago! Voight sent Upton to New York back in Season 7 to get her head on straight after she crossed one too many lines, and the result was the first-ever crossover between One Chicago on NBC and the FBI/FBI: Most Wanted universe over on CBS. Tracy Spiridakos previously revealed to CinemaBlend that she was intended to appear in more than one episode of FBI Season 2 before production had to shut down and had even begun filming a second, but she's back in Chicago for the Season 8 premiere.

Intelligence Is All Masked Up

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting One Chicago in the new season, but that won't keep the cops of Intelligence from doing their jobs on the streets of Chicago. Another image from the Chicago P.D. Season 8 premiere shows Atwater, Halstead, and Ruzek all masked up and ready for action. Other images show the cops in close proximity to each other without the masks, so they're seemingly not going to even try to maintain social distancing within the unit. That does make sense considering the close quarters they have to keep. Somehow I don't see CPD finding a way to keep cops six feet apart during stakeouts!

Samantha Miller Has Words For Voight

Chicago P.D. recruited Empire alum Nicole Ari Parker to play the new recurring role of Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller, who is a big proponent of police reform and will see Voight and Intelligence as integral to her goals of making change. The question is whether Voight can change, and that's a very big question after seven seasons and counting of Voight crossing lines. Miller and Voight will evidently share at least one scene in the Season 8 premiere, and I think it's already clear that Milller isn't going to be pushed around even by Voight.

No New Member Of Intelligence

Arguably the biggest news out of Chicago P.D. during the long hiatus ahead of Season 8 is that Lisseth Chavez will no longer be part of the cast. Chavez debuted as Vanessa Rojas in early Season 7 following the departure of Jon Seda's Antonio Dawson, and she quickly became part of the team. It's not clear at this point how Chicago P.D. will explain her absence (or if Atwater will ever get any love), but it looks like Intelligence hasn't replaced her as of the Season 8 premiere. Of course, Antonio wasn't replaced in the Season 7 premiere, so a new member of Intelligence could debut sooner rather than later.

The First Case Will Be Ugly

Well, in case you thought that Chicago P.D. would get off to a gentle start after the long hiatus, then this image proves otherwise, and not just because Ruzek and Atwater are looking tense. The board for the case of the week over Atwater's shoulder reads "AGGRAVATED BATTERY WITH A FIREARM" on a "TENDER AGED" victim, and the photos suggest that fans should prepare themselves for as much darkness as ever out of P.D.

In fact, the episode description for the Season 8 premiere reveals that Intelligence will respond to the shooting of a 5-year-old girl, which is definitely not going to make for a lighthearted return to Chicago P.D. The first episode of Season 8 will also force the team to work the case while encountering new obstacles and heightened scrutiny. Meanwhile, Atwater will have to deal with the blue wall of racist cops who united against him at the end of Season 7. Can we just go back to laughing at Halstead's mustache?

The good news is that the wait for more Chicago P.D. is almost at an end, along with Chicago Fire and Chicago Med despite what could have been a major setback. One Chicago is back on NBC starting November 11 with Med Season 6 at 8 p.m. ET, Fire Season 9 at 9 p.m. ET, and finally P.D. Season 8 at 10 p.m. ET. The annual three-show crossover is presumably out of the question any time soon, but hopefully the characters on the various shows will still find ways to connect.

If you want the full Dick Wolf shared universe experience this fall, you can also see Law & Order: SVU's Season 22 premiere on Thursday, November 12 at 10 p.m. ET. Then, head on over to CBS on Tuesday, November 17 at 9 p.m. ET for the beginning of FBI Season 3 and then FBI: Most Wanted Season 2 at 10 p.m. ET. If you're in the market for some shows outside of the Dick Wolf umbrella, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for more of what to watch and when to watch it.

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).