Home Shows Chicago PD Season 11 Wishlist Including More Balance and Levity and Fewer Dark, Gritty Plots

Chicago PD Season 11 Wishlist Including More Balance and Levity and Fewer Dark, Gritty Plots

We’ll be reuniting with the Intelligence Unit soon.

Thankfully, the strikes are over, and we have a premiere date in sight for One Chicago’s big return. And we’re excited to think of what’s in store for Chicago PD Season 11.

With a truncated season, there’s some curiosity regarding what we can expect when the series returns.

And there’s also a matter of coming to grips with more cast changes thanks to the news that Tracy Spiridakos will be exiting the series sometime within the season.

Chicago PD Season 10 took us for one hell of a ride with a series of ups and downs, some action, and a great deal of character-centric installments. We also got to know newbie Dante Torres better.

The romantic relationships during the season were a bit of a merry-go-round, as Burgess and Ruzek finally got it together and forged a happy family unit with Makayla. This hard-fought, arduous battle put the ‘shippers through it.

Upstead took an unexpected and downright puzzling turn with Halstead’s shocking departure, leading to the slow death of the Upstead marriage.

The dissolution of that led to some complex, dark, and downright depressing times for Hailey.

Meanwhile, there was a challenging path for Burgess as she slowly worked her way through some of her trauma after the shooting and eventually came out stronger.

Atwater served as Torres’ mentor while he was reacquainted with his father and grew as a leader.

And that’s before we got to that gutwrenching cliffhanger that left Ruzek’s life hanging in the balance!

It’s safe to say that there’s a tall order for what Chicago PD Season 11 can accomplish, especially with a shortened season, and we have some ideas for what we’d like to see when the series returns.

Ruzek Has an Easy Recovery (With the Support of Kim and Mack)

We can’t afford to lose any more characters, so Ruzek should be on the mend from the shooting and not have many issues outside of that.

While it would be realistic to show how gradual his recovery process is, we hope they’ll move past things and he won’t have too many lasting emotional or physical ramifications.

We already went through Burgess’ recovery process from her shooting, and it would not only be redundant to show that again, but it would be such a drag to subject the Burzek family to another difficult time or traumatize poor Makayla any further.

Burgess, Atwater, and/or Ruzek Need a Promotion to Detective

It’s been over a decade of this series, and we’ve lost detectives, but we haven’t gained any new ones that have remained.

With Halstead gone and Upton on her way out, the unit won’t have any more detectives.

It’s past time for one of the core three of Ruzek, Atwater, or Burgess to make detective if not all of them.

The Intelligence Unit has been incredibly successful over the years, and they’ve managed to survive some of the negative stigmas the unit has carried because of Voight’s reputation, as well as some controversial mishaps and other things.

Some of their accomplishments have included making one of the biggest drug busts in the city’s history and thwarting a massive attack on urban elementary schools.

They’ve done serious work with some significant cases and are worthy of recognition and promotions.

Related: Can One Chicago Survive Its Own Cast Shifts, Budget Cuts, and Shortened Seasons?

All three characters would make detective in the perfect world for various reasons. But if we had to pick one person to get promoted, it would be Kevin.

Throughout Chicago PD Season 10, it seemed one of his most enduring but subtle storylines was how he’s taken on more of a leadership role and served well as a mentor.

He’s come into his own as a cop and has been successful in his professional life as of late.

We’ve seen him helming a few raids, taking the reins more on cases, and other such things, and it would be an excellent step for him to take and a natural progression to what we’ve seen thus far.

We definitely should be living in the Detective Kevin Atwater era, baby!

More Team Camaraderie and Diverse Pairups

Chicago PD’s strength has always been its cast.

It’s genuinely a strong cast of individuals, and the characters are always great when they interact with one another.

Related: FBI: Most Wanted’s Ever-Changing Cast Conundrum, How and Anthology Approach Could’ve Saved the Series

It’s hard to say if this is something that the series can pull off when measures have been taken to accommodate the newer measures that may call for seeing fewer of our favorites throughout the season as a budget measure.

Nevertheless, the unit is often at its best when operating together as a team. They improved on things last season, but overall, the more recent seasons have lacked that team camaraderie and unity.

It hasn’t been uncommon to see characters resigned to only interacting with the same two or three people regularly.

While staple pairings are always great (shoutout to Ruzwater), it’s still refreshing and fun when the series mixes, matches, and explores different dynamics.

It’s lovely on those rare occasions when Hailey and Kim work together. It’s equally as intriguing when we have the rare Hailey/Atwater partnership explored.

Ruzek and Voight always feel like a nice nod to throwback Voight and Olinsky, and anyone getting to take Torres under their wing is a refreshing sight to see.

Hopefully, the new season will be mindful of exploring more dynamics and having the unit come together as a team more instead of characters isolating from the group.

More Long-arching Cases and Undercover Work

As we’ve seen, cases are interesting when solving them takes more than one episode. It also feels more realistic.

Ongoing storylines and cases keep things interesting when we get to check in on the progress of a case while solving the typical case of the week.

It’s always a blast when we get some undercover action. It adds the suspense and thrill of the job and opens up interesting possibilities for the characters as they juggle their undercover personas with the job.

Trudy Needs More Screentime or a Storyline

Seriously, where in Chicago is Trudy Platt?

She’s become the most underused character of the series, and it’s a crying shame, as she’s always a delight when she’s onscreen.

The series could always return to its roots and showcase the patrol cop angle for the mere concept of giving her something else to do.

However, the likelihood of that is doubtful.

Related: Chicago PD: How Hailey Upton’s Impending Departure Changes the Landscape of the Series

But there must be other ways to utilize Trudy in the new season, and we hope they get to work doing that more.

More Balance and Levity and Fewer Dark, Gritty Plots

Our wishlist includes the series bringing back some lighthearted moments, like the team casually hanging out at a bar together or cracking jokes and having fun.

The occasional dark case with a Criminal Minds feel can be great, but it would be better if they balanced the darkness out sometimes. Sometimes, the series’ tone has gotten far too bleak.

Voight Needs a Compelling New Storyline

Last season, Voight mostly fell into the background when he wasn’t taking point on cases.

The dynamic he developed with Chapman was underbaked and mostly underwhelming, and constantly putting him at odds with characters like Halstead and Hailey got repetitive.

Voight is due for a fresh new storyline, whether on a more personal front, as we haven’t gotten to indulge in his life outside of work in some time, or it’s something from a professional standpoint.

Kevin Atwater Deserves a Happy, Healthy, Consistent Love Interest

Atwater’s love life is downright disastrous, and unlike the other characters in the series, save Voight, he hasn’t found any success in the history of the series.

He’s a hot, loyal, smart, kickass, loyal man who makes the city a better place; there’s no reason for him not to find someone who appreciates him for all that.

Can this finally be the season of love for Atwater? Hopefully so!

Keep Up the Dante Torres Character Development and Exploration

Torres is one of the best things to happen to this series in a while, and he’s a fantastic addition to the unit.

The angles to explore for the character are mostly interesting and different than we’ve typically seen, setting him apart from other characters in the past.

He’s a whipsmart and streetsmart character who brings something different but equally as effective to the table, and we get to see him thrive in the Intelligence Unit while still learning the ropes.

At this rate, there’s never too much of Torres. Our wishlist definitely includes learning more about the character and seeing him in action.

No More Subjecting the Female Characters to Exhaustive Levels of Trauma

Chicago PD likes to put Kim and Hailey through it every single season.

It’s almost disturbing how much trauma is unleashed onto both characters in one way or another.

While it often produces some of the best performances out of Marina Squerciati and Tracy Spiridakos, it’s surreal how much emotional and physical trauma they put the women through.

Related: Chicago PD Season 11: Plots, Cast, and Everything We Know

We’ve had multiple near-death incidents, shootings, near-drownings, abductions, physical attacks, abandonments, and miscarriages, just to name a few.

It would be great if they can spare Kim and Hailey for a season.

 We Need Upstead Closure

It remains puzzling how they opted to write out Halstead, effectively ruin his character, and dismantle the Upstead relationship in one go.

Jesse Lee Soffer doesn’t have to return to the series or make any type of cameo, although many viewers would probably love that.

However, Upstead does require some level of closure.

We need to know if their marriage is officially over or not or if there is some unforeseeable way that they can salvage it or redeem the memory of Halstead.

Now that Hailey is leaving, there may be an avenue for them to have a happy ever after.

Hailey Upton Gets a Worthwhile Departure

It’s no secret that Chicago PD doesn’t have the best track record for writing out its characters.

Most character exits have ranged from disappointing and frustrating to upsetting and offensive.

And that’s why we’re adding “Decent sendoff” to our wishlist for the season.

Related: Chicago Fire Season 12: Four Things We Want and One Thing We Don’t

They can find many ways to write Hailey out that serve the character well and honor her memory and the Impact she’s had on the series.

Perhaps she will get a job opportunity or opt to do some self-reflection and head somewhere else for a fresh start after everything she’s been through. We hope the season gets it right.

Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics.

What’s on your wishlist for the new season? Do you agree with us? Do you disagree? Hit the comments below.

Chicago PD returns on January 17 at 10/9c on NBC. You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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