Hiatuses suck.

But you know what makes them worthwhile? Teases about what’s to come!

They’re a perfect way of holding us over until the newest installment.

And there’s much to look forward to with Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5.

While the character-centric formulas continue to irk our spirits on occasion, it goes without a shadow of a doubt that the series never misses with Kevin Atwater episodes.

And thankfully, we’re gearing up for his first character-centric installment of the season.

The LaRoyce Hawkins fans like myself can rejoice over an hour that centers on his character, as it has been a while since we’ve gotten to check in with him on a more personal front.

And there’s so much left to explore with his character, especially during this season, which takes a personal approach in style, peeling back layers to the characters and introducing us to different aspects of their lives we didn’t previously have access to.

When we last checked in with Kevin, it was during Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 19.

And that particular case was something he picked up after a shooting took place at the apartment building that he owned.

It was another case that brought him closer to his estranged father, Lew, and they continued to work through some of their issues and cultivate a relationship that Atwater had been lacking for most of his life.

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This time, we can expect another case to hit close to home for him. Fortunately, it won’t affect his home or any of the property he owns.

The synopsis teases that he’ll get involved in a case that consists of a violent string of jewelry heists.

The Intelligence Unit is on high alert regarding these cases, especially since the perpetrators use sledgehammers and don’t seem to hold back.

Unfortunately for Atwater, the case will have a more personal turn for him when his confidence in his abilities as a cop and a person who can read others well is shaken because of his interaction with someone involved with the case.

From the promo for the hour, Atwater will encounter a woman whom he feels is a witness to the events and even a possible victim.

Given that Atwater leads with his Sympathetic Reflex and compassion when he takes on cases, it’s unsurprising that he’ll have a favorable and tender approach to how he treats this woman.

However, what may rattle him to his core is the prospect that this person he felt was a victim turns out to be a perpetrator or potentially involved.

The installment is titled “Split Second,” which could be in reference to a quick decision that may cost him or the case in the long run.

It also could be a reference to a “split second” thought or assessment he made that completely changes the case.

While it’s not uncommon for the title of the hour to nod at the theme, and it often is a theme that plays through on more than one front, the best prediction is that it’s an allusion to Atwater’s read on this one lady involved in the jewelry heist case.

Atwater prides himself on having good instincts and being one of the few unit members who doesn’t jump to conclusions about people.

He’s known for giving others the benefit of the doubt and sussing things out before assessing.

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But his blind spot may be in seeing victims where there aren’t any; in this case, he may have to confront that.

It’ll be interesting to see how he wrestles with that.

He wants to keep his approach the same; it sets him apart from his peers.

And we need more cops like Kevin.

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But naturally, he could be perturbed by the concept of him getting something so important completely wrong.

The synopsis also says that he’ll turn to someone unexpected as he tries to work through his shaken confidence in light of these events.

The possibilities are endless with this. It could be a reference to someone new into the fold or a blast from the past like his father, Lew.

After all, we’ve witnessed Atwater’s discernment regarding his father and how they rebuilt their relationship despite the snap judgments he made about his father’s motivations, which affected his perception of him for most of his life.

But given that much of Chicago PD Season 10‘s arcs pertaining to Atwater centered on his relationship with his father, it could be someone different.

If we had to hedge our bets on this, we’d guess that the unlikely source of support throughout this is Hank Voight.

There’s a general sense that Atwater and Voight are becoming closer or feeling more locked in on a professional front.

Atwater has been shining well as a cop and leader and tends to hold his own well.

He and Kim Burgess have had significant and subtle opportunities that have showcased how well they’ve evolved as cops and proven how much they’re ripe for a promotion.

The Voight and Atwater moments have been subtle, but it’s a prime moment for it to come to the forefront more.

Voight has also taken a more paternal approach to checking in with his unit members.

While he’s not at the pinnacle of mental health and self-care himself, he appears more cognizant when it comes to his unit members.

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This will be another opportunity for him to have a moment with one of his unit members whom he considers family.

Given that Atwater will be struggling with a professional issue and possibly second-guessing himself and how he reads people and scenes, Voight would be the person to put him at ease.

A vote of confidence from his superior, who recognizes his strengths and weaknesses and knows that Atwater generally has his head on right, could do Atwater some good.

And if that’s not enough, Voight is great for tough love, too.

We get a bit of that alluded to in the prom when he tells Atwater to prove this mysterious woman’s involvement in the case.

Even though it’s an Atwater-focused hour, one has to wonder if we’ll get even a passing reference to Dante Torres’ bitter cold but sexy interlude with a cartel wife on a rooftop during Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 4.

He and Atwater partner up often and are generally close; it may get brought up.

Or we’ll get a nice little joke about him standing in as Adam Ruzek’s Best Man, as we haven’t gotten any references to the Burzek engagement in an episode or two.

Regardless, we cannot wait for this all-new episode! How about you?

What are you looking forward to most?

Do you have any speculation or theories? Sound off below!

Chicago PD returns with an all-new episode on NBC on February 21 at 10/9c.

In the meantime, you can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic or stream it on Peacock.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.


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