CHICAGO P.D. Post-Mortem: LaRoyce Hawkins on Drawing on His Real History for the Emotional 'Sympathetic Reflex' Ending - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHICAGO P.D. Post-Mortem: LaRoyce Hawkins on Drawing on His Real History for the Emotional ‘Sympathetic Reflex’ Ending

November 2, 2022 by  

chicago pd sympathetic reflex

CHICAGO P.D. — “Sympathetic Reflex” Episode 1006 — Pictured: (l-r) Thomas Beeker as Johnny Chaffey, LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Wednesday, November 2 episode of CHICAGO P.D., “Sympathetic Reflex.”]

A fatal carjacking spun out of control on the Wednesday, November 2 episode of CHICAGO P.D.

After following lead to track down the suspects in “Sympathetic Reflex,” Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) cornered two men (with a third getting away), trying to de-escalate the situation. While the younger man, Johnny (Thomas Beeker), was clearly panicked by the situation, the older one tried to push things to a breaking point, filming the encounter while pushing Johnny to act out. Johnny ultimately charged Atwater, and the two tussled; Atwater tried to move his gun, while the kid accidentally pulled the trigger…leading to Johnny being fatally shot.

With the other witness MIA, all Atwater had was his word about what went down. With Johnny’s family well-off, and the kid having no record, CPD wanted Atwater to claim the shooting was caused by “sympathetic reflex.” Atwater refused, knowing the truth of what went down, and set out to find the MIA man who could clear his name.

“I don’t think Atwater was surprised at all,” Hawkins tells Give Me My Remote in the video below. “My mama told me this once upon a time: dark information is meant to enlighten you. And so with every dark circumstance that Atwater finds himself in within his blue system, it only enlightens his path…he knows how he has to move, in order to accomplish his goal of serving and protecting at the highest level…It’s a constant chess game at the end of the day. And he’s going to be careful, and he’s going to be successful, because of his chess technique. Which starts with empathy; empathy and truth. Not because of his tactics, and playing defense and just reacting, but because of how he responds.”

Atwater realized that the missing man was likely the ringleader, looping in kids to help with carjacking and paying them off with gifts. Following his instinct, he got a name: Oscar.

Oscar, knowing he had something CPD needed, refused to turn over his phone until they gave into his list of demands. After Intelligence hit a dead end in trying to find the phone, and Atwater refused to let them cut Oscar a deal, Torres () went undercover to see if he could get any information from Oscar.

Johnny’s parents confronted Atwater over their son’s death, with the father threatening to destroy him; Johnny’s mother just wanted to know what her son’s final words were.

“That video didn’t change a thing—you killed my son,” Johnny’s father insisted. But Johnny’s mother came out, wanting to know why Atwater was there.

Atwater told her that Oscar had recruited Johnny’s friend, and Johnny was trying to save his friend from a bad situation. “Ma’am. you raised a good man,” he said. “Your son’s last words were, ‘I was just,’ and I think what he was trying to say was, he was just trying to help.”

Johnny’s mother broke down, and Atwater stayed with her, giving her space to grieve, but not leaving her alone in the aftermath.

chicago pd sympathetic reflex

CHICAGO P.D. — “Sympathetic Reflex” Episode 1006 — Pictured: LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

For Hawkins, he drew on personal experience in filming the emotional moment: Hawkins was wrongfully detained in his neighborhood as a teen. When he asked the officer to explain the situation to his mother, the man agreed…and then abandoned Hawkins to deal with the fallout alone.

“That’s what was on my mind during that scene—just really trying to be the officer for the parent, to provide closure and filling in gaps,” Hawkins says. “The officer that me and my parents didn’t get, once upon a time. It was important for me to approach it with a sensitivity that reflected nobility, integrity, compassion, respect. We’re all human. Everybody makes mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, you know?”

“And that officer could have easily said that or said something to that nature in my life. And he didn’t,” he continues. “Those are the real references from my neighborhood that I take [in during those moments]…if it’s happened to me—and me and Atwater are from the same community of Harvey, Illinois—then it’s probably happened to Atwater, too. I use that and infuse that in scenes like that moment. So I was grateful. I was really grateful to be able to reflect that. It was a great scene; [writer] Ike Smith did a great job.”

Watch the video for more from Hawkins…

CHICAGO P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC


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