Going Back to Chicago
Stars of Dick Wolf's Chicago series serve up the dish on the new season.
Tonight the mid-season premieres of all three Chicago shows, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D., will begin on NBC.
Let's refresh your memory on where each show left off.
Chicago Med left fans wondering what happened to Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) after getting five minutes with the fiancé he left at the altar, Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) before being taken away to protective custody, leaving Natalie stranded alone in her wedding dress.
While Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) and April Sexton (Yaya DaCosta) are officially broken up, Dr. Connor Rhodes (Colin Donnell) and Dr. Ava Bekker (Norma Kuhling) rekindle their love.
Meanwhile, on Chicago Fire the show ended with Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) hooking up with Naomi Graham (Kate Villanova) while waking up to a deadly fire in his apartment. Relationship-wise Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) seem to be on different pages.
Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) seems to be warming up to the new chaplain while her partner, Emily Foster (Annie IIonzeh) decided to stay at Ambulance 61 and not go back to medical school.
Then one of the biggest shocks of them all came from Chicago P.D. We left off finding out that Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) has a major drug problem with causes a change of events that leads to the death of a man leaving Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) and Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) at a loss for what to do.
To help fill in some of the gaps, IIonzeh, DeVitto, and Flueger spoke exclusively with TelevisionAcademy.com on where their respective shows pick up and what fans can expect moving forward with the rest of the season.
Annie, how did it feel coming on as a newbie to Chicago Fire and what will we learn about Foster for the second half of the season?
IIonzeh: When I got the news that I was going to be on the show I was so excited because I am actually a fan of the shows, especially [Chicago] P.D. I watch that a lot. My boys are on there.
I worked with some of them in the past. I did a pilot with Patrick, but I have always been a fan of Dick Wolf (creator of the Chicago franchise). I knew it was going to be like Foster was stepping into shoes that had already been established by Gabby [Dawson] (played by Monica Raymond who left last season).
There is no such thing as filling shoes or a void. I liked that they really established her as her own separate character and gave her a lot of mystery so the audience and fans could really get engaged and want to know more about her.
Were you excited how they introduced you in the show?
IIonzeh: Yes. It's a nice challenge. You want to win people over. The fans had a choice if they wanted to like her or not. Nothing was forced. So it was nice.
What can we expect going into this half because we left with her officially staying at the firehouse and a huge fire at Casey's apartment?
IIonzeh: I think the department really has her back. There is no "I" in team and she has a great team. I think she is thankful she gets to be apart of this family and continue to learn more about everyone that works there.
As far as the fire, that's when you see everyone come together right, when there is a lot of obstacles or heartache like that. It's going to be hard to recover from that and losing almost everything.
I think for Foster, she learns the depth this family is willing to go for each other and the department. You learn really fast that this is not all about one person; this is a selfless team and we attack that cliffhanger head on.
Well, that leads me to Torrey and your cliffhanger on Chicago Med. I felt so bad seeing that wide shot of you along with blood on your wedding dress with no idea where Will is going.
DeVitto: I know it's really sad. You know I have to just say that I feel that Natalie gets the short end of the stick when it comes to relationships. I mean her husband died while she was pregnant and now her new fiancé just got kidnapped and tortured, and taken away from her on her wedding day. I mean the girl can't catch a break [laughs].
I am always in tears all the time. Its fun though because we start this week with Will coming back. They haven't spoken to each other in months so it's going to be fun to see how they react to each other. We are going to explore him being gone and her being left on her wedding day and how that affects their relationship. Can they persevere or is it going to ruin them? It's a really good episode.
Do we get to see how if affected the entire hospital with Will being gone?
DeVitto: So it is going to be interesting how the hospital handles Will being gone, but I can tell you on the plus side we have a new recurring guest star that comes in that is one of my Pretty Little Liars cast mates, Ian Harding. So that's a fun thing that fans can look forward to during all of this drama and tragedy.
He will start in the first episode back so that's a lot of fun as well.
Well, we saved the most dramatic for last, Chicago P.D. Patrick, were you shocked when you read the script that they were going to make Antonio have a drug problem?
Flueger: We didn't see it coming at all. In the table read you just heard a loud noise when we read that script. I don't think anyone saw it coming that he was going to be dealing with a drug problem. I went WHAT with that tone of voice; I hit a very high note when I read that like I had incredibly tight pants on [laughs]. But I was shocked too.
Well the cliffhanger literally has Antonio push a guy out the window, killing him, and it ends. Can you talk about your character and what he will go through morally as he and Voight try to figure out how to navigate this?
Flueger: Well I mean friends and family are Ruzek's bread and butter. He is incredibly loyal to both of them. The intelligence unit is made up of his friends and basically his family. So I think he is always willing to stick his neck out. If there was a bus on its way he is willing to toss himself under it.
We come back and Voight is trying to take the blame and tells Ruzek to implicate him. Ruzek has to make a choice. But I think people have to remember if Voight goes down that's cutting the head off the snake and the intelligence unit as it stands right now would no longer exist.
So, Ruzek in choosing to protect Voight would be choosing to protect his entire team, his whole family. But it's Antonio. So he has some tough choices he has to make.
Do we find out what happens with Antonio and his drug problem? Will that play out during the rest of the season?
Flueger: Absolutely. It's going to be an ongoing thing for sure.
Then I have to ask for the Burzek fans that love you and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) together, will we see them reconcile this season?
Flueger: I know everyone wants to see us together. Right now, we are on the Hailey train. Here's the thing, nobody wants to see Ross and Rachel together the entire way through. I mean I know people love it. I love working with Marina, she is one of my best friends.
So on some level I would love to see it come back too, but right now we are on the Upton and Ruzek train and I think that's going to be going in that direction for a little while. So, it might be best to settle in [laughs].