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Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 6 Sympathetic Reflex Chicago PD Recap Season 10 Episode 6 Sympathetic Reflex

Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – Sympathetic Reflex (1006)

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)



Chicago PD has over-delivered with every single episode this season, but there’s something particularly special about the Atwater-centric episodes, including Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 6. 

Atwater episodes may be few and far in between, but the writers go the extra mile for LaRoyce Hawkins… and he never drops the ball, always giving a performance filled with so much heart, soul, integrity, and most importantly, empathy.

Anytime the storyline focuses on Hawkins’ character, I know we’re in for an exceptional ride from start to finish. 

I don’t even care that the series pushed aside Upton’s takedown of the chief’s son for trafficking underage girls because this episode was so solid.

It all started when Atwater and Torres responded to a carjacking. You would think it’s a run-of-the-mill case, particularly in Chicago these days, but that couldn’t be further from the truth as the man was dragged by the carjackers for miles and ended up dying in Atwater’s arms. 

Remember Atwater’s powerful speech about empathy he gave at the kickstart of the episode? This is where it comes into play.

While Intelligence didn’t know much about the offenders, they were able to pinpoint the car that they drove to a wealthy man’s home in Lakeview, where, upon arrival, they witnessed a tussle between three men. 

One of the men got away, while the other two ran into an alley with a dead end, which is where Atwater cornered them. And here’s where it got really problematic—Atwater tried to de-escalate the situation but neither one of the men was receptive, with the older Black male whipping out a camera to document the cop who was willing to shoot and use the “fearing for his life defense. Eventually, the white teen, visibly shaken, lunged at Atwater as a shot was fired off. The teen was hit in the stomach as the Black male fled.

It was clear that the teen, who we later find out was Johnny Chaffey, the son of a prominent and wealthy man in Chicago, was innocent and manipulated by the other male, who remained unknown for a good chunk of the episode. 

Unfortunately, Johnny wasn’t able to fill in the blanks for CPD or corroborate Atwater’s story because he died after being rushed to the ER. And it was a death Kevin did not take lightly. 

Atwater is a good cop, so being there while two men took their final breaths and not being able to do anything about it was devastating to him. Moreso, he was even more upset by how quickly the situation escalated, for absolutely no reason, when all he wanted to do was hear their side of the story. Atwater did his best to avoid this outcome, later informing IRT that he kept his finger off the trigger, which Johnny pressed when he lunged at him.

It may have been his gun, but it wasn’t his fault. He even tried to point it away from Johnny. 

Of course, none of that mattered because it was his word against a rich, notable, white man, so it didn’t look good for the “crooked cop.”

One of my issues with Atwater storylines, no matter how solid they are, is that they always revolve around the same race issue, but this time, it was reversed as a white teen was slain by a Black cop, which put Atwater in a new headspace where he was confident in himself and not shaken by the public scrutiny or perception of a situation they knew nothing about.

Johnny’s father, who couldn’t fathom that his son could do any wrong, asked the public to support him now in holding a Black cop accountable the way they do white cops, but honestly, it would’ve been nice if he tried to get the facts or even showed any remorse for losing his son; it all seemed to be this huge publicity stunt and takedown that, quite frankly, was racially motivated. He wanted to play the card so badly, but Atwater wasn’t interested in going down that road because he knew what happened.

There was one point where I considered Andrew to be the man who was responsible for manipulating these kids/teens into carjackings. Johnny’s poor mother was the only one who actually looked heartbroken and simply wanted to know what her son’s last words were. 

Naturally, CPD wanted to avoid the legal circus that Andrew was threatening, so the chief advised Atwater to simply say that it was a synthetic reflex—he accidentally shot Johnny, but honestly, the nerve of them to even ask him to lie. 

Atwater trusted the process, and most importantly, he trusted the police work. He’s not a sellout, so he definitely wasn’t going to go down for something he didn’t do, no matter how much everyone around him wanted that version of the story to be true. Truth is, he wanted the version where Johnny survived to be true, but that wasn’t the reality. And god, I love that Atwater stood his ground and maintained his innocence as he rightfully should. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. 

Instead of allowing the situation to throw him off his game, Atwater was more motivated than ever to find the unidentified Black male who instigated and captured the video because that was the actual person responsible for his death.

Obtaining the information required a lot of patience. When they tried to get answers from Cam, he escaped in the stolen BMW and eventually drove his car off of a bridge. He didn’t survive. And it was likely the guilt of killing a man and not being able to free himself from Oscar’s grasp that sent him over the edge.

Eventually, Torress went undercover—some of his best work to date—to subtly coax Oscar into talking while they were in lockup. It was a masterfully played operation as they knew Oscar wouldn’t resist talking about his big “get,” entrusting Torres with the location of the phone—the key to Atwater’s freedom. 

I actually don’t buy that Oscar would fall for that plan. He was smart and knew how to evade police and stay off the radar, so I don’t think he’d ever trust a dude in lockup that easily, but it is what it is.

The juicy twist was that Carlita, the unenthusiastic gas station worker, was Oscar’s “girl” and had the phone in her possession the whole time. She seemed remorseful, but only after Atwater made it clear that Oscar did not care if she went to jail so there was no point in protecting him anymore. 

Once they had the footage, there was no denying that Atwater’s recollection of the incident matched up to the video play-by-play.

It cleared him in the eyes of CPD, but it didn’t make him feel better. 

The truth is that Atwater was deeply affected by Johnny’s death as he would’ve done anything to prevent it. 

Though he didn’t have to, he felt a personal obligation to pay his parents a visit, and while the father pretty much told him the video doesn’t change anything and slammed the door in his face (kind of to be expected based on his previous behavior), the mother was much more receptive as all she wanted was some closure. She never once blamed Atwater or tried to bring up the issue of race—she simply wanted him to connect on a human level and “fill in the blanks,” as Atwater put it. 

It was that final scene that brought the whole episode together in a beautiful way as Atwater informed her of her son’s last words, emphasizing that she raised a good boy who was just trying to help and got caught up in a mess that cost him his life. 

It’s all a reminder that just because something seems like one thing on the surface doesn’t always mean that’s the case. We could all use a little more empathy when it comes to each other.

And I hope the chief remembers all of this when Intelligence ropes him in on his creep of a son!

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Chicago P.D

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. 

CHICAGO P.D. — “A Better Place” Episode 1022 — Pictured: Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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.

CHICAGO P.D. — “A Better Place” Episode 1022 — Pictured: (l-r) Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek, Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Season Finale Review – A Better Place (1022)



Chicago PD Season 10 Finale Review Episode 22 Better Place

That was a heavy episode of Chicago PD—and it was a heavy case for the Intelligence unit, one that has been building to this point all season. 

Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 22 did not play out as I thought it would, but I think it’s safe to say that it didn’t pan out the way any of the officers thought it would, including Adam Ruzek.

Ruzek was working this undercover case for months—and it was grueling, taking a toll on his mental health and wellbeing.

He dedicated so much of his time, spending day in and day out with Richard, Sam and her son, Callum, and away from his own family, only to have absolutely no new information or details about this “plan.” 

All he really knew was that Richard was a white supremacist who was trying to push his views onto his grandson, and he was orchestrating some kind of massive plan that would include multiple targets and casualties—it was later revealed the targets were Black elementary school children. 

And it was all going to be set into motion one morning when Sam frantically called to tell him she was skipping town because her father moved up the date to that morning. I think Ruzek should’ve realized that it was strange that Richard didn’t call him since he was supposed to be running point on the plan, but he was also so invested that he was desperate to get any information. He knew that this man was dangerous and he needed to stop him at any cost. 

So, when Sam threatened to go rogue, he jumped in and blew his cover, which wasn’t ideal, but it was the only option he had at that moment. If he let Sam go, so would his shot at getting any information. 

The unfortunate thing is that Ruzek wasn’t paying attention to Callum, or, rather, he underestimated him because he was just a child. He knew Richard was trying to influence Callum, but he didn’t realize the hold he had or how deeply manipulative Richard actually was. Richard also seemingly didn’t trust Ruzek as much as Ruzek thought he did, so there were a lot of hiccups that may have been eliminated if he just kept a closer eye on them. That being said, I can’t imagine living two lives and trying to make sense of all of it in the limited downtime you have left. Ruzek was pulling double duty and he was feeling the pressure of it all.

The only thing that convinced Sam to talk was immunity for her and her son, but again, she was also naive to what was going on with her son when it came to her father. She wanted to protect Callum and do what was best for him, but she didn’t realize that her father had already dug his claws into that boy in a way that was not going to end well. 

Sam was suspicious of everyone except her own child, who was the easiest target for Richard as he had his undivided attention and trust and could brainwash him without even lifting a finger.

When they proposed going away for a trip, it was my first thought to follow Callum upstairs to make sure he wasn’t making contact with his grandfather. Why did that not occur to Ruzek? Again, I think he just underestimated that boy because he’s a child, but as Sam mentioned, hate is a thing that’s taught. Callum was taught all these ideologies that his grandfather truly believed, and he didn’t know any better, so he believed them as well. 

And when confronted by Ruzek, he sensed danger and took the shot. It was the hardest thing to watch because Ruzek was genuinely trying to help that boy. 

He believed in them, he believed in Sam—he stood up for her when everyone suggested that she needs to be punished for her role the plan—and when it came down to it, not only did her son shoot him, but she turned her back on Ruzek and left him there to die. 

I was convinced that maybe there was a redemption arc here for Sam, but while she knew what her father was doing was wrong, there was no hope for her. She was already a monster. Her intentions were to protect her kid, but she went about it the wrong way. She made an enemy out of the people that were doing her a huge favor. 

Chicago PD Season 10 Finale Review Episode 22 Better Place

CHICAGO P.D. — “A Better Place” Episode 1022 — Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

It’s true that Adam lied to her, but if she put those feelings of betrayal aside, she’d realize that leaving him there to potentially bleed out would not end well for her, nor was it the way to keep her son safe. 

And the real enemy, her father, was out there and on his way to claim her son, the son that Ruzek vowed to protect above anything else. Why in the world would she ever think she could outrun the truth and that it would somehow make this already terrible situation better?

Thankfully, Adam was able to wipe the blood off of his fingers and reach Kim, though it was tense there for a second and I was, admittedly, very worried about him. 

Ruzek went into surgery immediately, and while there’s no word on his condition, I’m of the mindset that if Burgess survived her near-death experience, he will too. And now, they’ll be able to bond over this as I’m sure the trauma of what happened will stick around with him for a while. Kim has already done all the work, so she’ll be able to be a source of support. 

Before losing consciousness, Ruzek made Burgess promise that she’d get to Callum before Richard, and she made sure to do right by that promise. 

Ruzek has a big heart, and honestly, it’s his Achilles Heel sometimes. That being said, it’s also the reason we love him—Ruzek extends so much care and concern for the children in his life. He bonded with Callum, he saw how special he was, and he couldn’t let anything happen to him. 

Unfortunately, the situation got messy rather quickly as Sam took way too long to surrender, and by that time, Richard already found them. Again, I don’t know what lead to such poor decision-making on her part and why she wasted so much time when her father was a constant imminent threat. 

Voight arrived in the knick of time to stop Richard from escaping with Callum, but it was clear that this wouldn’t be an easy win for the cops. Usually, when someone is being held hostage, they don’t actually want to go with the person, but Callum did want to go with his grandfather. We saw the extent of how effective Richard’s brainwashing was as Callum agreed that he was ready to die for the cause and had pure hatred in his eyes while staring down the cops who were threatening his grandfather. 

And then it happened—the final blow, a shot taken by Atwater. It was a necessary and valid shot, but unfortunately, it also cemented all of Richard’s beliefs right in front of Callum’s eyes. 

His grandfather was shot, with no remorse, by a Black police officer. It reinforced everything he’s been taught because all he saw was race. It lit a hatred inside Callum unlike any other. And it was eerie because you could see all of it happening through sheer glances. If looks could kill, Callum’s would burn a hole through Atwater. 

It’s going to be hard to reset Callum’s way of thinking now, which is unfortunate. I could see him restarting his grandfather’s operation and finishing what he started, and that’s a terrifying thought. 

It’s unclear if this is the last we’ve seen of them, but I hope it isn’t. I hope we see what happens to Sam. Will they walk back the immunity deal? And how will they handle Callum since he did shoot a cop intentionally? The “he’s a child” excuse can only go so far, but it’s evident that this might not be a one-off behavior. Will therapy be able to reverse the damage? I doubt Ruzek would ever press charges, but it’s also a security issue if Callum is simply let go to let all that hatred fester. And where will he go if his mom is arrested? There are a lot of lingering questions. 

As for Ruzek, well, I genuinely hope he pulls through. This is not the way to go out, especially after he just made things official with Burgess. 

I do, however, think this moment will inspire Burgess to get married to Ruzek when he finally gets better. It’s not only the “life is short” realization (though that surely comes into play), but since she wasn’t his wife, she wasn’t given any information nor was she allowed to go any further. You could see that really took a toll on her considering the strength of their bond. 

What did you think of the episode? Are you surprised with how things ended with Richard? Do you think Ruzek will survive?

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Review – New Life (1021)



Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 21 New Life

Dante Torres (played by Benjamin Levy Aguilar) had a lot of important decisions to make when his old life of crime bled in with his new life as an Intelligence officer. 

On Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 21, things got personal for Torres, and it allowed audiences to get to know him on a deeper level.

We might feel like he’s been around for a while, but the truth is, he’s still very much the new guy so there’s a lot to explore with his storylines and background. 

This one was particularly interesting because it lifted the veil on his past life working for Aritza, a well-known dealer in the neighborhood. 

People change, they grow up, and they get their priorities straight—the man that Torres is now and the young man he was back then are not the same. However, the reason he’s a cop is still very much the same as why he agreed to work for Aritza in the first place: to protect his people. 

When Torres got the note on his car, he acted immediately and called for backup to help Aritza even if it threatened his new gig. He tried to keep his connection and relationship with Aritza a secret, but he still pursued the case because it was the right thing to do. 

Again, Torres is new, so there isn’t that established trust between him and Voight just yet. Torres was sure that he would be fired once they found out about his past—he never considered that Voight would understand and help him keep it in the past. 

Voight also wasn’t sure if he could completely trust Torres. When Torres was threatening Vega, Voight stood back and watched to see how he would handle it or if he’d cross a line. It was all new territory for them, but the one thing that was evident is that Voight wanted to believe in Torres. He also saw himself in Torres’ tactics as it felt like something right out of the Voight-playbook. 

The moment, tense and nerve-wracking as it may have been for everyone (including Torres, who didn’t know if it would be enough to get Vega to crack), established an understanding between them. Voight realized that Torres was a man he could rely on, who never actually killed anyone and only understood how waterboarding works because he endured the trauma to get out from under Aritza’s grasp. And, in turn, Torres realized that Voight would always have his back when it mattered. 

Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 21 New Life

CHICAGO P.D. — “New Life” Episode 1021 — Pictured: Benjamin Levy Aguilar as Dante Torres — (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

The episode also explored Torres’ fractured relationship with Mia. If you’ll recall, Torres was previously responsible for putting her brother, Quico, behind bars, which meant that they were no longer on speaking terms despite knowing each other all of their lives. It underlined just how much Torres has sacrificed to pursue a career with the Chicago police department. His neighborhood and the people in it have all basically turned their backs on him, though he explains that there are some people who respect and trust him; he’s either the hero or the enemy— there is no in-between.  

Torres is basically going through the same situation that Atwater faces time and time again with his community thinking of him as a traitor rather than someone who simply wants to serve and protect and prove that not all cops are bad cops. 

Mia ended up being the one who sent Torres the note as she felt guilty for inadvertently causing Aritza’s death. She explained that she needed money so she took a job for a rival leader, Sergio Navarro, and thought that all she had to do was flirt with Aritza. Instead, she ended up luring him to his death. 

Thankfully, by cooperating with the cops, she was able to avoid any charges, which was honestly kind of surprising since she still played a role in the murder.

While Torres vowed to protect her and keep her safe, she made the smart decision to leave Illinois as she was staring down a life of crime. There was nothing good waiting for her here and she would likely benefit from a fresh start. And though Torres didn’t want to let go, it was for the best. Sometimes, you can’t reconcile two parts of your life—and that’s why so many people date their co-workers on this show!

We’re learning so much more about Torres, and though I liked him from the get-go, I appreciate him even more now. He’s also a welcome shake-up to the team and someone that offers a different perspective on things. 

He was the reason that they found out that Upton was missing in the previous episode, and she made sure that he understood that she was there for him if he ever needed it. Everyone on that team has gone through it in some way or another, so they understand what this job can do to a person if they don’t have the proper support. I’m glad that there’s a team camaraderie here that extends to the new guy!

The upcoming episode is the season finale, and we’ll finally get closure on the undercover gig that Ruzek has been working! How do you think it will all go down?

Did you enjoy the Torres-centric episode? 

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