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?
Chicago PD Review – Deadlocked (1016)
Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 16 took it back to the basics—the dark and gritty vibe, the cage, and Voight going rogue for all the right reasons.
And that was all part of the plan—Jesse Lee Soffer’s plan, that is. The actor, who played Jay Halstead for 10 seasons, jumped into the director’s seat, told Hello that he wanted the episode to have an “old school PD vibe.” And that it did. There’s honestly no one who knows the show better than the man who has been on set making the magic happen in front of the screen for a decade.
It’s safe to say, Halstead’s first time directing was impressive, delivering yet another compelling hour of television—and cementing my belief that this truly is one of Chicago PD’s strongest seasons to date.
There was also something so poetic about putting Voight at the center of it all and giving him his own badass moment that involved him taking down two of Arturo Morales’ henchmen singlehandedly, bringing Julia back home, and ensuring that he sought the case through from beginning to end—with Morales finally getting what was coming to him and seeing a life sentence.
Once the jury verdict was announced, you could tell Morales was frazzled as he was sure that he had it in the bag. Little did he know, Voight was on the case, and unlike ASA Chapman, he was willing to bend the rules to get the right outcome.
It’s why Hank Voight has withstood the test of time—despite some questionable approaches over the years—as the hero that Chicago not only wants but needs. For the most part, he makes the city a better and safer place. He gets the bad guys any way that he can. The reputation that he has is there for a reason, and while many might not agree with his decisions and tactics, he’s also respected for a reason. He’s resourceful and provides results, and isn’t that what you want from the men protecting you?
Some of the best episodes of PD are when they go off-book. It might not always be what’s right in the eyes of the law, but it is what allows them to do the job that they are so good at. Why would he want to blow his own operation before he even had a shot at proving himself? If he went by the book, he would’ve cemented Julia’s fate and Morales’ case would’ve been rescheduled, allowing for the possibility that justice would never be served and that a dangerous and violent man with zero regard for other human beings would walk away.
Voight couldn’t just stand around and allow Morales to get away with killing yet another person.
I’d think Chapman would be grateful that someone is willing to do the dirty work considering how much this case meant to her personally, but I’m not surprised she’s weary and feels complicit. She wants the verdict and the charges to stick, and if anyone found out what Voight did, that might not happen.
I’m a little bummed that the end result wasn’t a bonding night of drinking and letting loose between Voight and Chapman because, let’s face it, they both need it. And they complement each other so well, even if we veer away from making any romantic connections and keep them strictly as peers who see eye-to-eye. Chapman can stand her own against Voight, which can’t be said for many people, plus he respects the hell out of her.
There’s a good vibe there, so hopefully, they can find their way back to being supportive colleagues who can depend on each other when the pressures of the job get too much. Voight needs someone outside of his own unit—and who is a little closer to his age and mindset—to decompress with! Chapman isn’t Al Olinksy or Antonio Dawson, but she’s gone through her fair share of hardships, and she’s a good person to have in your corner.
Torress and Hailey definitely played a role in helping bring down Morales and find Julia, but it was very much Voight’s show, as he even went dark before going into the safe house, which is something that others would have gotten in trouble for in the past, and that could’ve ended terribly. The decision seemed to stem from his desire not to drag anyone else into a situation that may be held against them in the future, but I do hope he realizes that he can always count on his team—whenever and wherever. They all try to do their best, but if there’s one thing they—and the audience—know all too well is that when it comes to the law, things are never really black and white; we always operate in that gray area, and they’ve gone above and beyond to navigate it the best they can while making decisions that they can live with.
The case was a bit of a race against the clock—not just because of the jury deliberations but also because of Julia’s condition. Morales’ men never planned to return her in one piece, so they didn’t care that she suffered blunt trauma to the head and lost too much blood, which meant that Voight needed to act quickly if he wanted a positive outcome. He was looking for any way in, and he found it when they stumbled upon Ochoa’s cancer-stricken brother at the stash house filled with copious amounts of cocaine. Voight knew he found Ochoa’s weak spot, and he was eager to exploit it at any cost, though, it’s important to note that this was all just a front—Voight never intended to hurt Felipe, they simply used him as a bargaining chip. Voight may take shots, but he never drags down an innocent person to get what he needs.
As a longtime fan of the show, I truly enjoyed seeing Voight kick some ass. It proves that there are still plenty of stories left to tell where his character is concerned—and even though he’s an ever-evolving human, he won’t apologize for being his authentic self. Also, Voight policing in a dress shirt? Chef’s kiss!
Is ‘Chicago PD’ New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 10 Episode 16
Chicago PD fans, there’s a bit of a wait until new episodes return to NBC.
The police drama will not air a brand new episode tonight (March 8, 2023) as the show goes on a several-week hiatus yet again.
The last episode, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 15, also the drama’s milestone 100th episode, aired on March 1, 2023, but the next installment, Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 16 won’t premiere until Wednesday, March 22.
There’s no official title or synopsis for the episode, but it is going to be a special as it marks Jesse Lee Soffer’s directorial debut. Soffer exited PD earlier this season in hopes of getting some time behind the camera, and it seems to be paying off as the teaser reveals that fans are in for a wildly good episode.
It kicks off with a jury member informing Voight that he’s been threatened by the suspect’s men, and unless he delivers a “not guilty” verdict, they are going to kill his loved one.
“We’re here to help,” Voight assures him before going to Hailey Upton and revealing, “the second that trial is over, they will have that woman killed.”
Intelligence urgently races against the clock to find the missing woman and save her life—we even see Voight kick in some doors and shout “where is she” as he interrogates someone.
How will it all pan out? We’ll have to wait until later in the month to find out!
For now, check out the trailer for the next episode below:
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
WATCH: Nick Gehlfuss Sings Touching Song to ‘Fake Brother’ Jesse Lee Soffer
Chicago PD Review – Blood and Honor (1015)
Chicago PD kicked off yet another multi-arc episode, this time bringing back Samantha Beck, a prior kidnapping victim, and her father, Richard, back into the fold.
A quick refresher—we met the Becks on Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 12 after Sam was kidnapped and her father refused to pay the ransom to get her out of the bind out of fear of incriminating himself and his criminal activity.
It’s a case deserving of a follow-up since it was very intriguing, so I’m glad that we’re looping back to it to dig deeper into the fractured father-daughter relationship and their shady involvements.
Ruzek, who was spending the day with Makayla, Atwater, and Jordan, responded to a crime scene that was initially assumed to be a murder-suicide. Immediately upon entering the premise, he knew something was off, and it wasn’t long before he realized the family was poisoned by someone making meth in the “abandoned” building next door.
Surveillance footage from the street connected the crime back to Samantha, who was seen near the unit on several occasions. But since they didn’t have any actual proof of her stepping foot inside, Ruzek decided to go undercover to get something they could charge her with.
Honestly, if I was Samantha, I’d be a little more skeptical of a random guy who just showed up, saved me from a potential rip, and asked for a job, but it’s clear that she’s also desperate for someone to talk to and rely on.
Right off the bat, Ruzek picks up on the fact that things between Samantha and Richard are not exactly on good terms. Samantha doesn’t fit into the drug world. She’s a good mother, so her involvement in dealing meth is questionable. Eventually, Ruzek realizes that she doesn’t have much of a choice as her whole life is connected to her father. He owns her—and everything she has, including her income stream. She has no way to free herself from his grip no matter how much she might want to.
And that’s why she’s so eager to bring Ruzek into the fold because he seems like someone she can trust and rely on. He’s there for her, constantly making sure she’s okay and offering a shoulder to cry on if she needs it.
When Ruzek went undercover, he never thought it would get this personal or that he’d feel compelled to save Samantha, but he knows that none of this is of her own making. He sees through what’s going on and wants to help her, but unfortunately, it’s not possible without burning himself.
The line between personal and professional bleeds, even more, when Richard invites Adam for a little chat to underscore that he’s a white supremacist (Adam agrees that they’re on the same team though we know that couldn’t be further from the truth) as Ruzek promises to keep tabs on Samantha and update Richard on everything she does. It’s extremely weird, but if Adam wants to earn his trust and not raise any flags, he has no choice.
And unfortunately, he’s going to be in it for the long haul. On the day of the deal, Adam is pulled away when Sam runs into a problem with her son Callum, who is being brainwashed by his racist grandfather. Once again, we see the personal and professional lines blend as Adam has no choice but to stick by Samantha and help her, which means he’s unable to provide any insight into the deal going down.
Their only hope of getting anything is through Samantha, so Adam must stay undercover a bit longer and get closer, working her in any way possible.
It’s also the exact reason why they tell you not to let it become personal when you’re undercover because it’s going to pain Ruzek to turn her in. He knows he can’t save her since she’s dealing meth—especially meth that killed a whole family—but he’s become quite fond of her and truly feels sorry for the predicament she’s been put in.
How will Ruzek handle it?
Will he find a way to tie Richard to the drugs or does he have to bring down Samantha since she spearheads the whole operation? And even then, would she ever turn on her father? My gut tells me she’d take the fall simply so that Callum would have some family around.
Then again, despite the loyalty, she also hates him enough at this point that she might be willing to put him away to save herself and her little boy.
Of course, Ruzek, being a father, also has a soft spot for Callum, the young boy who is so impressionable and caught up in the dangers and darkness of a situation that life has dealt him, much like Makayla. These are two kids who don’t deserve the cards that were dealt.
The episode ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, and with a hiatus until March 22, it’ll be a while before we see how things resolve, especially since the upcoming episode doesn’t feature Samantha at all. I guess this is what it must feel like to be undercover for a lengthy time.
There was a brief mention of Burgess’ mental health between Ruzek and Atwater, and it’s nice to know that she’s finally being open about her struggles and trusting her partners enough to confide in them and seek out their support. We all know she and Atwater go way back, so he deserves to know what’s been going on.
What did you think of the Ruzek-centric case? It’s kind of nice to see him get the spotlight without Burgess.
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