I’ve said this before, but after Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 11, it deserves to be said again—LaRoyce Hawkins never disappoints.
I knew that “Long Lost” would be a stellar episode before I even knew the plot solely because it was going to focus on Atwater. The man has emotional range for days—he feels things so deeply, but he never shows it until the right moment where he can wear his heart on his sleeve… and pull at our heartstrings.
This episode was particularly exciting because it allowed fans to get a rare look at Atwater’s personal life. We know he’s been raising his siblings Jordan and Vanessa, but we never got the full story of how it came to be. Turns out, no one in Intelligence really knew as he never talked about it, but when their latest case unearthed his father’s early release from prison, there was no going around it, especially when his father became a witness.
Atwater recognized his dad at a funeral of a top gang member mere moments before a shooting broke out that left two dead.
They didn’t have much to go on until Burgess found footage that revealed Atwater’s dad, Lew, saw the shooter after he left the event.
And thus, Atwater had no choice but to confront his father, who didn’t even tell him he was out of prison. Okay, that’s not entirely true as Voight offered to go in his place, but Atwater decided to go through with it, and I’m glad. If it wasn’t for the case, Atwater likely would’ve never been reunited with his estranged father—nor would he ever get the closure he so desperately needed for 20 years. Their paths might not have crossed otherwise, and it would’ve been a shame.
Atwater didn’t want to let it get personal, but there was no denying that it was deeply personal. I’m surprised that Voight didn’t pull him off the case after they decided to use Lew as a lead to get to Reed, the suspected shooter, but I imagine he thought that Atwater could handle himself considering he was the one who argued that they shouldn’t cut Lew loose simply because he was his dad. Atwater is a good cop, and he knew that justice needed to be served, especially after seeing the cold-blooded murder of Reed’s associate, which is where they also found a sweet little child left behind literally covered in his father’s blood.
Atwater knew what needed to be done, and he knew that his dad was the only way to get it. Unfortunately, when Reed’s men pulled a switcheroo with vehicles and they lost eyes, he let his emotions take hold. You could see how disappointed Burgess was that Atwater decided to breach without knowing the facts as there was always the possibility that the deal was still on, but it was understandable. He already lost his dad once, and he wouldn’t forgive himself if he was the reason that he died.
By calling it too early, however, they didn’t have enough to pin down Reed, and it almost exposed Lew.
The writers succeeded in making us question Lew’s motives for much of the episode. It wasn’t clear whose side he was on and if he was sincere about wanting to get start over and make a new life for himself of if he was involved in something shady.
Thankfully, it was the former.
And then, audiences were hit in the feels with Atwater and Lew’s long overdue talk.
Atwater didn’t allow his anger to take over and get the best of him during the case, but he couldn’t just let his dad walk away after all these years without asking for some kind of explanation as to what happened.
Atwater remembered his dad as a good man, so his arrest never made much sense to him, which is exactly how Lew wanted it to play out. And it turns out, he simply made the wrong choice to protect his family, and he paid a dire price.
The reason he went away for so long is because he didn’t give up anyone he was working with, which some might say is noble since he’s not a snitch. Unfortunately, he lost out on so much time with his children, though, it seems like they might make up for it as Atwater offered his dad one of the spare units in his building.
I hope Lew is impressed with how Atwater turned out despite everything. He’s dedicated his life to raising his siblings while taking on a dangerous job to protect the city of Chicago and be a voice for his people. Not everyone agrees with what he does, but he’s a solid human being who made the best with the hand he was dealt.
Hopefully, we’ll see Atwater’s relationship progress in future seasons as it would be a shame if this was a one and done storyline.
What did you think of the episode?
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates
It’s finally happening—our favorite One Chicago shows are coming home to us!
Chihards, mark your calendars and get ready to sit down in front of the TV on January 17 because that’s when Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD will make their highly-anticipated and long-awaited premieres!
It’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… though I hope that turning around new episodes doesn’t mean that the actors will have to work through the holidays.
— Top 1% of Burzek shippers (@NBCOneChicago) November 20, 2023
Chicago Med returns for season 9, Fire for season 12, and Med for season 11.
Of course, the full NBC 2024 lineup will kick off on Jan 1 with America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League, which means they are wasting no time getting back into the swing of things following the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike delays.
Law & Order franchises will have their moment on Thursday, Jan 18 with Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Part 1 of The Voice returns on Feb. 26, along with BC’s new Deal or No Deal spinoff, Deal or No Deal Island.
Quantum Leap and Magnum P.I., Lopez vs. Lopez, The Weakest Link, Password, That’s My Jam and The Wall currently don’t have a premiere date.
‘Chicago PD’ Shakeup: Tracy Spiridakos Leaving After Season 11
Chicago PD fans—we’ve got some bad news coming your way.
As you await new episodes of the crime procedural, the cast is getting yet another shakeup (we’re still not over Jesse Lee Soffer’s exit in the first half of season 10, to be honest).
Variety announced that Tracy Spiridakos, who has portrayed Detective Hailey Upton since season 4, will be leaving the series. She is set to exit after season 11, though it remains unclear if she’ll be around for the entirety of the season or pull a move from Soffer’s playbook and exit a few episodes in.
The outlet notes that the decision to leave the show was entirely her own; Spiridakos has yet to confirm or release a statement of her own.
Spiridakos joined the Dick Wolf Entertainment drama in 2016 as a recurring character and was quickly upped to series regular starting in season 5. Since then she’s become an integral part of Intelligence, getting her hands dirty with Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and sparking a romantic relationship with Soffer’s Det. Jay Halstead.
While it’s a bummer, her departure does kind of make sense when you look at her overall story. Since Halstead left the city to fulfill an Army task in Bolivia and basically broke her heart, she’s had trouble picking up the pieces and finding her place. Hitting refresh—which ultimately means leaving the show—is a logical next step as there’s nothing holding her back anymore. The writers could find a way to mend Upstead with her joining Jay wherever his duties take him or she can look for a fresh start in a place that no longer reminds her of her broken marriage.
Spiridakos’ character was also involved in a rather intense case that spanned several episodes last season, so they could use that as an excuse to write her off, noting that the case took a toll on her.
The 10th season has been delayed by the writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strikes, and while writers are able to get back into the rooms and craft storylines, production remains halted. No premiere dates have been announced yet, so it’s unclear how long we’ll wait for the upcoming highly-anticipated season… and Spiridakos’ last.
Without her, there are only 4 originals left standing; In addition to Beghe, the series stars LaRoyce Hawkins (Kevin Atwater), Patrick J. Flueger (Adam Ruzek), and Marina Squerciati (Kim Burgess). In 2022, newcomer Benjamin Levy Aguilar (Torres) was upped to series regular, rounding out the squad.
The One Chicago franchise has endured plenty of loss as of late, with many notable stars exiting their respective shows, including a total of 5 characters leaving Chicago Med.
Is Adam Ruzek Leaving ‘Chicago PD’?
Following Chicago PD Season 5’s finale, it’s understandable that fans are worried about Adam Ruzek’s fate as it hangs in the balance.
Questions and concerns immediately began popping up, with many wondering if Patrick Flueger is leaving the series.
For now, it’s unclear as the episode that ended the season left things on a bit of a cliffhanger in terms of Ruzek’s health.
During the episode, Ruzek, who was working undercover for months to thwart Richard’s, a white supremacist’s deadly terrorist plan, blew his own cover to Richard’s daughter, Sam, who was trying to skip town after her dad moved up the date for his attack.
Ruzek and the Intelligence team then convinced Sam to inform on her dad and his crew in exchange for immunity for herself and her son, Callum, which she did.
He then advised them to pack up their things and head over to a safe house, which she proposed as a little getaway to Callum. Unfortunately, Cal was so brainwashed by his grandfather that he immediately called him to let him know that his mom was trying to leave.
When Ruzek approached him and saw him on the phone, Cal pulled out a gun. Ruzek tried to diffuse the situation but Cal pulled the trigger, hitting Ruzek in the abdomen. He immediately started bleeding out and collapsed to the ground. Once Sam realized what was happening, she grabbed her son and made a run for it, leaving Ruzek alone to die. Thankfully, he was able to reach Kim Burgess and within minutes, he was in an ambo on his way to Med.
Unfortunately, once he went into surgery, the doctors provided no additional updates, though Platt assured a very concerned Burgess that they got to him quickly.
It’s tough to say if Ruzek will survive, especially with so many Chicago PD and Chicago Med exits happening this year, however, Ruzek is one of the fan-favorite characters, so I can’t see him leaving the series anytime soon. He’s strong and he’s a fighter, and he has a lot to live for—he just made things official with Burgess, he’s a father to Makayla, and he’s an integral part of Intelligence.
My guess is that he will survive the surgery, but he’ll be sidelined for a bit and will likely have to go through some rehab and therapy in the same way Burgess did after her near-death experience.
This seems to be a still from an upcoming episode that shows Ruzek still alive post-surgery—though unconscious—with Burgess by his side, which is promising.
While I can’t say anything definitively, I firmly believe that Adam Ruzek is not leaving Chicago PD just yet. And we likely won’t know more until Chicago PD Season 9 returns in the fall.
You can read our Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 22 review right here.
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