Chicago PD season 1, episode 1 rewatch: Stepping Stone

Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda)'s partner Julia Willhite (Melissa Sagemiller) is wounded in the Chicago PD series premiere. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda)'s partner Julia Willhite (Melissa Sagemiller) is wounded in the Chicago PD series premiere. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

Look back at where Chicago PD began this summer. Read our retrospective on the series premiere as we rewatch Chicago PD season 1, episode 1.

Over the One Chicago summer break, we’re looking back at where it all began by rewatching the first seasons of our shows—and today we’re revisiting Chicago PD season 1, episode 1.

If you want to rewatch this episode along with us, you can find Chicago PD season 1 on iTunes and DVD.

“Stepping Stone” wasn’t only the series premiere, but it also picked up at the relative beginning of the Intelligence Unit. At the time of this episode, Intelligence had only been a unit for a month! It didn’t feel like that, though.

That’s because this episode contained everything that we’ve come to expect from the series. Aside from the different cast, you could take this script and air it today and it would fit right in with what the show is doing now.

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There’s Intelligence fighting drug dealers, Intelligence having to battle with other cops, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) doing something shady, and plenty of action with guns.

In other words, “Stepping Stone” is business as usual for Chicago PD.

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Looking back on it, it’s no surprise that the plot centers on Voight and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), because those are the two characters that viewers already know from their appearances on Chicago Fire.

That creates a natural entry point for viewers of Fire to come over to PD, which is the entire point of a spin-off—getting the audience from one show to watch two shows.

There’s not that much difference between the characters we see here and the ones that we know now; in fact, the biggest changes are mostly in characters who aren’t here anymore. Then there’s the obvious:

Just like Chicago Fire killed Andy Darden in its first episode, Chicago PD kills Julia Willhite. It’s not a huge shocker if you kept up on TV news (it had already been revealed that Melissa Sagemiller had been dropped from the cast), but Willhite’s death is easily the biggest part of the premiere.

Then there’s the fact that Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) is still in the academy and not even a full-fledged cop yet, and it seems like a whole other world when we see Laura Dawson (America Olivo) still married to Antonio and clearly in love with him compared to the enmity that exists for them now.

Aside from Ruzek, neither of the other two characters have a presence on PD anymore. Willhite’s dead, and Laura hasn’t been seen for awhile on this show; when she turned up for one episode in last season, it was on Fire.

But other than those three things, this first episode is pretty much the same as the other 100 and counting that have come after it. It proves how consistent this show has been over the years—it clearly knows what it’s good at and sticks with it, right from the start. Revisit this first case when you rewatch “Stepping Stone” on iTunes and DVD.

Next: Where is Chicago PD's Melissa Sagemiller now?

Join us every Wednesday this summer for our Chicago PD season 1 review. For more Chicago PD related news, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.