What happened to Antonio Dawson on Chicago PD?

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Jon Seda as Dr. Samuel Valez -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)
LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Jon Seda as Dr. Samuel Valez -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC) /

Jon Seda has been an integral part of the One Chicago family. He’s appeared on nearly all of the shows in the franchise, bringing a charm and tenacity that always electrified the screen. Given his sterling reputation, it makes sense that there are still some fans who wonder if Seda will make a return to the franchise, whether in a starring or limited role.

The debate over Seda’s return has recently been kicked into high gear, as the actor has joined the cast of the new NBC drama La Brea. Seda plays a doctor who must contend with the aftermath of a massive sinkhole in Los Angeles.

As Chicago PD season 9 gets underway, here’s a brief rundown on Seda’s Antonio Dawson, and whether the character is still a part of the show.

When did Jon Seda leave Chicago PD?

Seda officially left Chicago PD after season 6, and has no plans to return to the One Chicago universe. The actor has his hands full with his role in La Brea, especially if the show takes off and becomes a hit. That said, he has spoken highly about his time with the franchise, calling it an “honor” and an experience he will always “treasure”.

Seda made his debut as Detective Antonio Dawson in Chicago Fire, before transitioning to a starring role on the spinoff Chicago PD. He departed Chicago PD during season 4 to lead yet another spinoff, Chicago Justice, but he returned to PD once the former was cancelled.

The main reason for Dawson’s departure is that Seda and the producers felt the character had hit a creative dead end. Deadline reported that the phrase “played out” had been used in relation to Dawson, and that the character was sidelined in order to progress the core of the show.

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The timing of this decision struck some fans as odd, given that the Chicago PD writers had given the character a subplot involving his painkiller addiction in season 6. The subplot was rushed to a conclusion, and several crucial plot points played out offscreen to account for Seda’s absence.

In season 7, it’s revealed that Voight (Jason Beghe) took Dawson to a rehabilitation center. In a later episode, “Familia”, it’s mentioned that Dawson moved to Puerto Rico to be closer to his family.

Luckily, showrunner Rick Eid told CinemaBlend that Seda is welcome to return for a cameo in the future. “I think the door’s always open for someone like Jon”, he stated. “Everybody here loves him, thinks he’s a great actor.”

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