Chicago PD celebrated its milestone 200th episode, and while it was an exceptional installment that put Burgess (Marina Squerciati) at the forefront to deal with her lingering trauma and PTSD, I felt like it should’ve been more of a team effort.
The standalone episodes are fine for any other day, but when you’re celebrating 200 episodes on television, the moment deserves to be a celebration between the cast that made it happen and continues to do so every single day.
This would’ve been the perfect opportunity to deliver a case where everyone played a part, and where their camaraderie as a team lent itself to their success.
Instead, everyone pretty much took a backseat, with only Ruzek serving as support for Burgess throughout the case and as she dealt with all the fears from being shot bubbling up to the surface.
This isn’t the time for #Burzek, so while it would’ve been sweet to get a moment between them to commemorate the momentous achievement, this episode made it clear that Burgess really needs to work on coming out on the other side before she can be the kind of mom, partner, and cop she wants to be.
Burgess is trapped. She never really faced her near-death experience head-on, burying it deep inside in hopes that it would just go away so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. She also never wanted to burden Ruzek with it despite all of his pleas to just let him in so he can help her.
But as the therapist wisely pointed out, this kind of post-traumatic stress has a way of creeping up on you. It’s always there, impacting your life in little ways that you don’t notice. Burgess was in denial about it, but it affected her life by preventing her from having a real relationship with Ruzek. She made her life small, her decisions were fear-based, and she pushed people away as self-preservation. It’s truly no way to live, and it was bound to catch up to her.
While it’s difficult to face that kind of trauma purposefully, it’s essential to move past it so that it no longer takes hold.
When Burgess heard a car backfiring, all those emotions and fears rushed back in as she was transported to the moment when she was shot. The PTSD took hold a handful of other times, including as she dealt with a shooting incident on the “L” train. It impaired Burgess’ ability to do her job, which not only put her in more danger, but it prevents her from being the kind of cop that she needs to be. It made her a liability. And it took these several scenarios where she was so panic-stricken that she couldn’t move to realize that she needed help. It’s a huge and necessary step.
The good news is that Ruzek has made it clear he’ll be there for her every step of the way. He may have done some terrible things in the past, but he’s proven time and time again that he’s willing to do anything for her. He’s her rock whenever she needs him.
Despite everything, Burgess still did some damn good police work. Burgess has a huge heart—it’s one of her best qualities, so even while dealing with plenty of personal issues, she still came through for the victims that were counting on her. She may have been dealing with anxiety, but she didn’t let it cripple her.
On the CTA train, Burgess stayed with Jamie the whole time, keeping him calm and assuring him that he was not alone. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it, but Burgess paid attention to all the things he told her in his final moments, and when they tracked down the assailant, Aaron, Jamie’s cousin, she realized that the Minnesota native was begging her to save his younger cousin, who was being abused by Aaron and his wife, Marlene.
Burgess found evidence of the abuse when she tore up the garage, unveiling a nook behind the wall where they kept the boy, along with some blood. Thankfully, they were able to locate Aaron’s pickup truck at a nearby Forest Preserve, and she was able to find the child before anything serious happened to him.
My biggest concern—and this happens a lot with Burgess-centric episodes—is that she went in there without barely any backup. Where was everyone?
Almost immediately after making her way down to the well to save Lucas, Aaron fired shots—which could’ve ended really badly—and then closed the opening off, trapping them inside.
Lucas was honestly the sweetest little thing, and I’m a bit bummed that we never got any insight as to why Aaron and Marlene were abusing him. There were some mentions of him “leaving to live with his family in California” after another baby was born, but no actual reason was provided as to why the father wanted to leave him for dead at the bottom of the well. Either way, Aaron was a heartless and cruel monster because who could ever do such a thing?! Burgess, an adult and cop who has seen some things, was terrified, so just imagine how a young boy must have felt after being betrayed by the very people who are supposed to love and care for him.
Thankfully, both Burgess and Lucas were brought to safety.
It was a genuinely emotional episode, with Squerciati doing a phenomenal job translating all those emotions on screen.
Again, I only wish that the team was more involved and integrated into the storyline! Torres wasn’t even there because of mandatory training, which was poor timing. And the typical heart-to-heart between characters also wasn’t present, though the ending could’ve really used it. It would also just be nice to see Kim getting some support from anyone other than Ruzek. She’s good friends with Tracy Spiridakos in real life, so why aren’t the only two women in Intelligence there for each other and lifting each other up as they deal with really difficult personal matters?
What did you think of the episode?
One Chicago Shows Announce 2024 Premiere Dates
It’s finally happening—our favorite One Chicago shows are coming home to us!
Chihards, mark your calendars and get ready to sit down in front of the TV on January 17 because that’s when Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD will make their highly-anticipated and long-awaited premieres!
It’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… though I hope that turning around new episodes doesn’t mean that the actors will have to work through the holidays.
— Top 1% of Burzek shippers (@NBCOneChicago) November 20, 2023
Chicago Med returns for season 9, Fire for season 12, and Med for season 11.
Of course, the full NBC 2024 lineup will kick off on Jan 1 with America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League, which means they are wasting no time getting back into the swing of things following the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike delays.
Law & Order franchises will have their moment on Thursday, Jan 18 with Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Part 1 of The Voice returns on Feb. 26, along with BC’s new Deal or No Deal spinoff, Deal or No Deal Island.
Quantum Leap and Magnum P.I., Lopez vs. Lopez, The Weakest Link, Password, That’s My Jam and The Wall currently don’t have a premiere date.
‘Chicago PD’ Shakeup: Tracy Spiridakos Leaving After Season 11
Chicago PD fans—we’ve got some bad news coming your way.
As you await new episodes of the crime procedural, the cast is getting yet another shakeup (we’re still not over Jesse Lee Soffer’s exit in the first half of season 10, to be honest).
Variety announced that Tracy Spiridakos, who has portrayed Detective Hailey Upton since season 4, will be leaving the series. She is set to exit after season 11, though it remains unclear if she’ll be around for the entirety of the season or pull a move from Soffer’s playbook and exit a few episodes in.
The outlet notes that the decision to leave the show was entirely her own; Spiridakos has yet to confirm or release a statement of her own.
Spiridakos joined the Dick Wolf Entertainment drama in 2016 as a recurring character and was quickly upped to series regular starting in season 5. Since then she’s become an integral part of Intelligence, getting her hands dirty with Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and sparking a romantic relationship with Soffer’s Det. Jay Halstead.
While it’s a bummer, her departure does kind of make sense when you look at her overall story. Since Halstead left the city to fulfill an Army task in Bolivia and basically broke her heart, she’s had trouble picking up the pieces and finding her place. Hitting refresh—which ultimately means leaving the show—is a logical next step as there’s nothing holding her back anymore. The writers could find a way to mend Upstead with her joining Jay wherever his duties take him or she can look for a fresh start in a place that no longer reminds her of her broken marriage.
Spiridakos’ character was also involved in a rather intense case that spanned several episodes last season, so they could use that as an excuse to write her off, noting that the case took a toll on her.
The 10th season has been delayed by the writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strikes, and while writers are able to get back into the rooms and craft storylines, production remains halted. No premiere dates have been announced yet, so it’s unclear how long we’ll wait for the upcoming highly-anticipated season… and Spiridakos’ last.
Without her, there are only 4 originals left standing; In addition to Beghe, the series stars LaRoyce Hawkins (Kevin Atwater), Patrick J. Flueger (Adam Ruzek), and Marina Squerciati (Kim Burgess). In 2022, newcomer Benjamin Levy Aguilar (Torres) was upped to series regular, rounding out the squad.
The One Chicago franchise has endured plenty of loss as of late, with many notable stars exiting their respective shows, including a total of 5 characters leaving Chicago Med.
Is Adam Ruzek Leaving ‘Chicago PD’?
Following Chicago PD Season 5’s finale, it’s understandable that fans are worried about Adam Ruzek’s fate as it hangs in the balance.
Questions and concerns immediately began popping up, with many wondering if Patrick Flueger is leaving the series.
For now, it’s unclear as the episode that ended the season left things on a bit of a cliffhanger in terms of Ruzek’s health.
During the episode, Ruzek, who was working undercover for months to thwart Richard’s, a white supremacist’s deadly terrorist plan, blew his own cover to Richard’s daughter, Sam, who was trying to skip town after her dad moved up the date for his attack.
Ruzek and the Intelligence team then convinced Sam to inform on her dad and his crew in exchange for immunity for herself and her son, Callum, which she did.
He then advised them to pack up their things and head over to a safe house, which she proposed as a little getaway to Callum. Unfortunately, Cal was so brainwashed by his grandfather that he immediately called him to let him know that his mom was trying to leave.
When Ruzek approached him and saw him on the phone, Cal pulled out a gun. Ruzek tried to diffuse the situation but Cal pulled the trigger, hitting Ruzek in the abdomen. He immediately started bleeding out and collapsed to the ground. Once Sam realized what was happening, she grabbed her son and made a run for it, leaving Ruzek alone to die. Thankfully, he was able to reach Kim Burgess and within minutes, he was in an ambo on his way to Med.
Unfortunately, once he went into surgery, the doctors provided no additional updates, though Platt assured a very concerned Burgess that they got to him quickly.
It’s tough to say if Ruzek will survive, especially with so many Chicago PD and Chicago Med exits happening this year, however, Ruzek is one of the fan-favorite characters, so I can’t see him leaving the series anytime soon. He’s strong and he’s a fighter, and he has a lot to live for—he just made things official with Burgess, he’s a father to Makayla, and he’s an integral part of Intelligence.
My guess is that he will survive the surgery, but he’ll be sidelined for a bit and will likely have to go through some rehab and therapy in the same way Burgess did after her near-death experience.
This seems to be a still from an upcoming episode that shows Ruzek still alive post-surgery—though unconscious—with Burgess by his side, which is promising.
While I can’t say anything definitively, I firmly believe that Adam Ruzek is not leaving Chicago PD just yet. And we likely won’t know more until Chicago PD Season 9 returns in the fall.
You can read our Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 22 review right here.
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