Chicago PD interview: EP Rick Eid on Atwater’s big story, Burgess & Ruzek

Chicago PD season 5 episode 4Wednesday night’s Chicago PD season 7 finale is going to be one to remember. Without it being the planned season finale, we did see a storyline for Atwater that was both powerful, and a little bit scary. He told the truth about a fellow cop’s racially-motivated actions, ones that led to gunfire and unneeded death. Because of that, the late cop’s relatives and friends lashed out over the so-called tarnishing of a legacy.

In the closing minutes, Atwater found himself at odds with others in the department, and the scene with police cars surrounding him as he walked was one of the most powerful we’ve seen all season long. It serves a reminder that sometimes, even doing the right thing comes with harsh consequences.

For more video thoughts on the finale, watch our reaction at the bottom of this article. Once you do that, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more news.

Following the finale, CarterMatt spoke with executive producer/showrunner Rick Eid about the future of this story, plus also Upton’s eventual return to the team and also what could be coming next for Ruzek and Burgess.

CarterMatt – The closing scene with Atwater and the police cars has to be one of my favorites in all One Chicago this year. What was the thought process that went into that particular image?

In the first draft, there was only one cop there. But Eriq La Salle suggested we amp that up – add lots of cars there and see the swirl of blue lights swarming around Atwater. I think it was a great idea; created a very powerful ending.

Obviously when this was written, the intention was for it to not be a finale. Yet, it works as an interesting conclusion for now. Would you have picked up Atwater’s story in the remaining season 7 episodes, had they filmed?

Yes, we were planning to address the consequences of his “brave decision” in episodes 22 and 23. But, given what’s happened, we’ll now address all this in the early part of season 8.

Did Atwater take the Ray Price conversation almost as a challenge, that he wanted to show that he could take a movement like this on?

In a way, yes. I think Price was trying to be very honest. It’s not easy to take a stand – especially when you’re an African American cop in Chicago. So, he was trying to lay out the brutal truth, so Atwater could make his own decision.

Looking ahead to season 8, I would assume Upton would be back at that point. Will her time in New York have changed her to some extent?

Yes, Upton has changed, but just a little. We had planned bigger changes, but since the schedule got screwed up, and she wasn’t with the FBI for that long, I don’t think we’ll make that big of a deal out of it.  She just wasn’t there long enough to make it feel credible.

Ruzek and Burgess went through so much pain in season 7. Will there be happier times on the horizon?

Yes, there will definitely be happier times ahead. But they’ll come with  different challenges. These two have strong feelings for each other and their relationship is always evolving – for the better.

Related News Be sure to get some more Chicago PD updates, including more on what the series’ future will be

What did you think about the Chicago PD season 7 finale?

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