(Image credit: NBC)
The tenth season of Chicago P.D. is still a couple of months away, but the hit NBC drama has some big news about what’s on the way for the Intelligence Unit. More than two seasons after P.D. said goodbye to Lisseth Chavez’s Rojas as the sixth cop of the unit under Voight, the show has added a new series regular, and the promotion could mean some key changes for Season 10. P.D. fans, prepare to see a lot more of Officer Dante Torres!
Benjamin Levy Aguilar debuted as Officer Dante Torres in the second half of Season 9 when the rookie cop was partnered temporarily with Detective Halstead, who wasn’t thrilled about the assignment. Now, Deadline reports that Aguilar has been promoted to series regular status for Season 10, which will premiere on September 21 in its usual Wednesday night time slot. Torres is actually his second character on Chicago P.D., making him another one of many actors (including Law & Order’s Camryn Manheim) to play more than one character within the same show.
So, what does Chicago P.D. bumping Aguilar up to series regular status mean for Season 10? Well, it’s hard to speculate too much about his character, since he only appeared for one episode (which you can revisit along with the rest of Season 9 via a Peacock subscription) and no new details have been revealed about what Torres will bring to the new batch of episodes, but there is one important way that his addition will presumably cause some changes: Torres makes an even number of cops in Intelligence.
Ever since the departure of Lisseth Chavez as Vanessa Rojas (whose absence still hasn’t been explained in the two seasons since she was cut from the show), the number of Intelligence cops under Voight has been five: Halstead, Upton, Atwater, Burgess, and Ruzek. That has meant that there’s often an odd cop out when it comes to the partnerships, and that odd cop out is usually Atwater.
Halstead and Upton have been consistently paired going back to almost the very beginning of Tracy Spiridakos’ time on Chicago P.D., and that’s certainly not going to 100% change since they tied the knot. Burgess and Ruzek are often partnered whenever the show focuses on their on-again/off-again love story and/or Makayla, which happened a lot in the second half of Season 9.
LaRoyce Hawkins’ character hasn’t gotten as much focus aside from the occasional Atwater-centric episode, so I’m wondering if the addition of a sixth cop means that he’ll get some more time in the spotlight. A sixth cop can mean three pairs of partners, which really could be a good thing for the show. Torres coming on board doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d be partnered with Atwater, however.
His first episode focused on his dynamic with Halstead, and Halstead is the highest-ranking member of Intelligence other than Voight himself. Could P.D. split the Upstead partnership to pair Halstead and newcomer Torres on the job, just like P.D. temporarily split them to pair Upton and newcomer Rojas in Season 7?
At the end of the day, we can only speculate until the show returns for Season 10. I’m hoping that the addition of a sixth cop means three partnerships and more even distribution of screen time, but I can see P.D. handling it in a few different ways.
Could Torres be Halstead’s new partner, and Upton is partnered with one of the others? Could Torres be Burgess’ partner, and Ruzek and Atwater will be together again more often? Will P.D. stick with Upstead and Burzek, and parter Atwater with Torres? Or just mix up the partners from week to week, depending on what the case of the week requires? And what has happened to Rojas?!?
Okay, I may be the only one still wondering about what happened with Rojas between Seasons 7 and 8 that she was suddenly gone from the Intelligence Unit, but I’m still holding out hope for the answer. For now, fans can count on seeing more of Benjamin Levy Aguilar as Officer Torres, and count down the weeks until we find out how his presence changes up the dynamic of the unit.
Chicago P.D. returns to NBC for Season 10 on Wednesday, September 21 at 10 p.m. ET in the 2022 TV premiere schedule. All nine shows of the Dick Wolf TV universe (including the One Chicago, FBI, and Law & Order series) will be back in that same week, so fans have a lot to look forward to.