Chicago PD’s Rick Eid on season 7 finale: ‘It wasn’t just an ending’

CHICAGO PD -- "Silence Of The Night" Episode 719 -- Pictured: LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO PD -- "Silence Of The Night" Episode 719 -- Pictured: LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Chicago PD executive producer Rick Eid breaks down the jaw-dropping Chicago PD season 7 finale, and tells how much fans should worry for Atwater.

The Chicago PD season 7 finale left One Chicago fans on the edge of their seats—and Kevin Atwater in a potential world of hurt. But how much trouble is Atwater truly in, and what went into this racially-charged last episode?

One Chicago Center went directly to executive producer and showrunner Rick Eid to get all the answers about “Silence of the Night,” and find out if the episode’s ominous ending will have any effect on the upcoming season 8.

SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the Chicago PD season 7 finale, “Silence of the Night.”

If you missed any of the Chicago PD season finale, you can catch up with our recap before diving into this interview.

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One Chicago Center: How did you come to the idea of bringing back Tom Doyle? Did you have that in mind when “Night in Chicago” happened, or was it something you arrived at this season organically?

Rick Eid: It’s something we talked about this season. We knew we wanted to bring him back, we just weren’t sure what the story would be.

OCC: Doyle changes in some ways in “Silence of the Night” and in other ways, he doesn’t; Atwater has some pretty strong words about his racially profiling the young man that ultimately leads to Doyle’s death. Did you have any thoughts about doing a story that evolved his character beyond what we saw?

RE: We talked about a bunch of different ideas. In the end, we wanted to make this about Atwater and his unique perspective on racism within the Chicago Police Department.

As for Doyle, in many ways, I feel he did redeem himself. He saved Atwater’s life [and] tried to be friends with him—but ultimately, it was a doomed relationship from the very start.

OCC: The best part of the Chicago PD season 7 finale is the return of Wendell Pierce as Ray Price. Not only the character coming back, but how he holds the mirror up for Atwater. Can you discuss what went into that scene?

RE: We tried really hard to get that right. Wendell, [producer/director] Eriq La Salle and I talked a lot about that scene, and what Ray was really trying to convey to Atwater. We didn’t want Ray to make the decision for Atwater; we wanted him to outline the choices with brutal honesty and force Atwater to decide for himself.

OCC: It’s a huge decision to make. The show has given us other episodes where a character has had to decide to tell the truth or not—and sometimes they don’t. Why did you choose to have Atwater tell the truth?

RE: We went back and forth on this, but at the end of the day, Atwater telling the truth about what happened felt the most honest—and the most dramatic.

OCC: Which leads to that fantastic final scene. Was that just an awesome way to end season 7, or should we take that as a hint about what’s to come in Chicago PD season 8?

RE: It wasn’t just an ending. Doyle’s cop friends and family are out for revenge. That means Atwater will to have to face the consequences of his “noble” decision. Like Ray Price said, “Being a hero—being brave. It’s hard.” In season 8, we’ll see the cost of Atwater’s bravery.

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For the latest Chicago PD season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.