Chicago P.D. Finally Gave Atwater Some Closure, But Is That The End Of The Story?

Chicago PD Atwater Season 9
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 19 of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “Fool’s Gold.”

Chicago P.D. shifted the focus to Atwater with “Fool’s Gold,” and he had to rely on his instincts as to whether or not a woman was responsible for the worst of the worst in the case of the week. Those instincts paid off (and I for one am ready for him to get that promotion to detective), and he also came to an important realization about his relationship with Celeste. The show has seemingly closed the door on that dynamic, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. 

Atwater finally got a love interest who lasted more than one episode earlier in Season 9 (which you can revisit with a Peacock subscription), with the unfortunate wrinkle of her not knowing that he was a cop. Everything was going well for them for a while, until the truth finally came out, and Celeste felt too betrayed by him to keep the relationship going. “Fool’s Gold” proved that he hadn’t given up on her, even as he attempted to go home with another woman. 

A few minutes into the hour, he placed a call to his ex with a message that he had evidently left many times before, saying:

Hey, Celeste. It’s Kevin, again. Just giving you my weekly call, trying to see if you’re ready to talk. You know, whenever you are, I’m right here. Miss you.

Depending on your perspective, Atwater making weekly calls to check in on her and try to talk to her is either very romantic or very unnecessary. It certainly seemed like he hadn’t heard back from her for a very long time, and that wasn’t stopping him from making the calls. 

Still, over the course of the case, he had to reflect on the very big lie that he’d told her. Although he tried to cover at the end by saying that he lied all the time as an undercover cop, he came to the conclusion that he was approaching the Celeste situation the wrong way, and he called again to leave a very different kind of message:

Hey, it’s me again. You don’t have to call back, it’s okay. It’s just me calling to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. All of it. I’m not gonna call again.

Growth! Painful growth, but Atwater making the call to apologize to Celeste and decide that it would be his last message could give him the closure that he needs to move on. At the same time, Atwater coming to the conclusion that he needed to stop with the weekly messages in the hopes that she’d want to talk to him might be a sign that he’s ready for a second try at a relationship with her. 

She didn’t end things between them because she didn’t care about him, and it’s not inconceivable that she’d be willing to let the man who left that second message back into her life. Chicago P.D. hasn’t exactly given Atwater a lot of love interests, so all the screen time invested into Celeste could mean that the show would want to bring her back. 

That said, actress Amanda Payton has landed a new role, as she was cast for the Unbroken pilot that features NCIS: New Orleans’ alum Scott Bakula and former Black Lightning star Cress Williams. That project hasn’t yet received a series order, and it is technically in the works at NBC and would therefore presumably air on the same network as P.D., but fans shouldn’t start counting on seeing Celeste back just yet. 

But I’m not going to give up hope that she at least returns, even if not as a love interest for Atwater. Unfortunately, fans won’t be seeing any of Atwater or the rest of the Intelligence Unit for the next couple of weeks, as Chicago P.D. is heading into a break until Wednesday, May 11. Only three episodes of the 22-episode count for Season 9 are left, and the finale is fast-approaching in May

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).