One Chicago’s top 5 new character moments of 2019

CHICAGO MED -- "I Can't Imagine the Future" Episode 509 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- "I Can't Imagine the Future" Episode 509 -- Pictured: Dominic Rains as Crockett Marcel -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC) /
4 of 5

2. Rojas’s first day

If you thought Vanessa Rojas’s debut on Chicago PD was insane, that was nothing compared to her first day in Intelligence. “Familia” jumped right off with Atwater and Rojas in pursuit of a suspect and Vanessa, being the type to go with her first instinct, chased the guy down without calling for backup. Oops—talk about a rookie mistake.

Her new boss, Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), was less than thrilled about the mess his most recent detective had created, and told her exactly that. He then surprised everyone—and all the One Chicago viewers watching at home—by switching up the rest of Intelligence’s partnerships because of Rojas’ actions. This paired Rojas with Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), which left her partner Halstead to ride with Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati).

When Upton asked Voight for his reasoning behind the changing assignments, he responded by telling her point blank that they “need to see if Rojas can work with this team.” He also knew that Upton would shoot him straight as to whether or not Rojas could hack it in Intelligence. And well, things didn’t necessarily improve from there.

Chicago PD had Rojas try to redeem herself while undercover again, this time with Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger), but she went too far off script. When Ruzek and Rojas’ fake argument didn’t secure the deal they needed, Upton was annoyed and Rojas was left holding the bag for Plan B.

She was sent back in to talk to their prime suspect, Alexa Rivera (Lisa Vidal), and got Alexa to take pity on her by preying on her weakness: sympathy for troubled young women. Rojas was finally able to secure a meeting with Alexa, but then had another mishap when it wasn’t the boss who showed up to the rendezvous.

Vanessa hauled the girl that Alexa had sent in her place in for questioning, and used her own foster-home past to get the girl to open up. They used the information to take down Alexa, which meant that Vanessa Rojas had finally proven herself as an asset to the 21st District after the most back and forth One Chicago debut ever.

Rojas’ display of learning on the job wasn’t the only reason her first outing made our list. Fans saw a vulnerable side of the character, too, when she confessed to Upton that she did not have a place to live—because joining Intelligence meant being kicked out of the apartment she had used while undercover as Nina Rodriguez.

Upton offered her place for her new partner to crash at, which Rojas gratefully accepted. Seeing Vanessa be vulnerable with one of her new team members so early on was surprising, but also believable, thanks to Lisseth Chavez’s fantastic performance. How much more will we learn about her, and will she learn, when One Chicago returns?