Chicago P.D. has been packed with developments on the relationship front for the cops of Intelligence in 2021, but Atwater hasn't gotten any love even as the good ship Upstead sets sail and the Burzek romance hits new complications. In fact, LaRoyce Hawkins' Atwater hasn't been involved in much romance at all over the eight seasons of P.D. so far, and the sparks flying with Lisseth Chavez's Rojas never caught flame before her mysterious departure. Now, Hawkins and his fellow P.D. stars have weighed in on the important question: does Atwater need a love interest?
LaRoyce Hawkins along with Patrick John Flueger (Ruzek) and Amy Morton (Platt) spoke with CinemaBlend and others for the One Chicago Day celebrating Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med. With the rest of Intelligence (other than Voight) involved in relationship stories to some extent, and even desk sergeant Platt happily married to Chicago Fire's Mouch, Atwater is the last man standing without a serious love interest to his name. I took the opportunity to ask Hawkins if he thinks Atwater needs a love interest, and Flueger and Morton chimed in as well. Hawkins shared his perspective, saying:
I mean, I would say so. But you know, Atwater, he's thoroughly immersed in really making differences in his community, and preserving black boy joy and protecting black women. Not necessarily, you know... He just protects them. He doesn't do anything else with them much, you know.
The longtime Atwater actor is on board with his character getting a love interest, but LaRoyce Hawkins raised the point that Atwater also focuses on his community, which Chicago P.D. showed in the first couple episodes of Season 8 when Atwater was still being targeted by racist cops within the CPD. He has also had members of his family as part of that community. Still, I think he has earned a little bit of love coming his way!
Of course, it might be for the best that Chicago P.D. hasn't built a workplace romance within CPD for Atwater at this point in Season 8, considering four of the five cops under Voight in Intelligence have already become entangled with each other. Rojas' departure presumably means an Intelligence relationship is out for the foreseeable future, and the new cop joining the unit doesn't exactly sound like Atwater's type.
That said, Patrick John Flueger has thoughts of his own on Atwater's lack of an on-screen love interest that present some interesting possibilities:
No, no, we just got done talking about this. Atwater has a whole life that exists outside of this show that is way more interesting than the monogamous characters on the show. There's a lot of things that are NSFW, if you will.
Hey, just because we don't see Atwater in a relationship on Chicago P.D. doesn't mean he's not getting a little love off-screen, right? Chicago P.D. has actually brought characters together off-screen only to reveal the love connection later on, with one particularly memorable example being Upzek between Tracy Spiridakos' Upton and Patrick John Flueger's Ruzek.
It's not hard to believe that Atwater has an interesting life outside of the job, and it honestly might be kind of entertaining if Atwater reveals at some point that's he's been in a serious relationship for some time, but nobody knew because he doesn't bring his love life drama to work like the rest of Intelligence. Still, I can't help but imagine what might have been if Rojas was still around.
Amy Morton chimed in to comment on Patrick John Flueger's take on the "monogamous" characters of Chicago P.D.:
Monogamous? You mean celibate.
Only time will tell if Atwater does get a love interest in Season 8. Chicago P.D. seems to have hit the brakes on Burzek for now, with Marina Squerciati sharing that Burgess' "calculus" will have to be different now that she has taken in Makayla. Upton and Halstead seem to be the big Intelligence relationship of the season, and there's no saying that Upstead came out of nowhere after three seasons and one big catalyst. I'm not the only one who still thinks there's room for an Atwater love interest though, right?
Let us know in the poll below if you think Atwater needs a love interest on Chicago P.D., and check out NBC on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET to see new episodes of P.D. following Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET. You can relive Atwater's journey so far with Chicago P.D. streaming on Peacock, along with Fire and Med.