Vanessa Rojas (Lisseth Chavez) was a firecracker presence from the moment she debuted on Chicago PD. The character made such an impression on Voight (Jason Beghe) and the rest of the team that she was asked to become a part of the IU in season 7.
Rojas seem poised to become a centerpiece character on the show moving forward, but a combo of bad timing, scheduling, and external factors led to her seemingly being axed offscreen. Here’s what you need to know about Rojas and whether she will return.
Why did Vanessa Rojas leave Chicago PD?
In short, Rojas’ story was cut short by the COVID pandemic. The writing staff for the team had plans to incorporate her into the plot for season 8, but Deadline confirmed that the character would be departing the series in December 2020.
While the article assured fans that Rojas would be given a proper sendoff in the season that followed, the aforementioned season came and went with no additional word of the character. From a storytelling perspective, this bodes well for Rojas as a candidate to return to Chicago PD.
The franchise doesn’t bother bringing characters back who have already resolved their arcs, and there’s still plenty that can be done with Rojas within the grand scheme of the show. It helps that Rojas’ departure from PD wasn’t so long ago that current fans would be confused or taken aback by her return.
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Conversely, there hasn’t been any mention of Rojas since she left. There’s also the fact that the writers and showrunners were so quick to write the character off without a proper goodbye. They usually go out of their way to wrap up arcs, leaving Rojas as a rare example of an outlier.
Former PD showrunner Rick Eid told TV Line that the decision was tough, given how much the cast and crew liked the character. “It’s always hard to say goodbye to a character”, he noted. “We tried to address it in the premiere, but it felt forced. In other words, we’re still working on it.”
Unless otherwise stated, the door remains open for Rojas to return. Still, the chances are slim that she will be a priority in the upcoming season, given all of the subplots that have been set up for the current cast.
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