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Chicago PD Season 11 Premiere Review – Adam Ruzek’s Fate Revealed

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Unpacking" Episode 11001 -- Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)

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Chicago PD Season 11’s premiere picked up six months after Adam Ruzek’s shooting, with much of Intelligence struggling to move on from what happened. 

It also revealed Ruzek’s fate—and everyone can let out a huge sigh of relief because he survived and is on the mend, though the side effects of nearly bleeding out to death after getting shot have put his job in jeopardy.  If Ruzek can’t pass his power test (and it seems he’s failed it on a few occasions already), he won’t be cleared to return to the unit, hence why he’s training so hard with Atwater’s help. For someone who thrives on being a cop and seeks the adrenaline, this has likely been the longest six months for him, but I hope that’s also helped him reframe and reprioritize some things. He loves the job and it’s important, but there’s so much more to life as well—and he’s blessed to have this second chance; sometimes, being forced to slow down is a blessing in disguise. 

Meanwhile, Voight was doing everything in his power to reserve a spot for Ruzek because “it’s his spot,” despite Trudy’s insistence that she needs a name of a replacement.

The one thing that remains true is that Voight believes in his people—he protects them and stands by them wholeheartedly. He’s not giving up on Adam, and the vote of confidence is hopefully one that will help him power through his test. 

I was hoping that the the premiere episode would tackle more of the aftermath of Ruzek’s shooting—specifically what happened to Samantha and her son, and how Burgess and Makayla are coping, but they decided to ease viewers in with an Upton-focused episode instead, saving the heavy Burgess stuff for the upcoming week.

And that brings us to Hailey, who remains a mess following Halstead’s exit. It’s now been a year since he’s been gone, but she’s still trying to pick up the pieces while pretending that everything is okay when it’s not. 

Those feelings of anger bleed into her work, which is never ideal, and after a pretty intense case where absolutely nothing goes as planned, Hailey finally breaks down and shows a little vulnerability to Voight, whose little check-in continues to prove just how much love he has for his team. 

Voight knows when something is wrong, and while he’s understanding, he also can’t let it fester. One of his best being off her game isn’t good for anyone, especially when she’s in denial about it. Hailey likes to isolate herself and push away everyone who cares about her, including her team. After Halstead’s betrayal, it isn’t surprising, but it’s also not a path to success. She begs Voight to tell her how to stop being so angry and broken, and the truth is, he really should’ve suggested that she take up therapy to work through everything that’s been festering in there. She says she’s not mad at Jay anymore, but her throwing the picture and breaking the lamp says otherwise. 

Seeing more vulnerability from Hailey will be a nice change of pace this season, but it’s also the beginning of the end as her character arc is structured to help bring closure and write her out of the series. And with those divorce papers, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a Jay and Hailey reunion. However, it is clear that her time in Chicago is limited as this gig has simply taken too much from her and she needs a reset.

The case at hand was an interesting one—and not entirely clear cut from the getgo so Hailey really shouldn’t be so hard on herself for getting it wrong initially, though she probably should use it as a reminder to take a beat before jumping to conclusions and insisting that there’s no other possible outcome. 

Hailey wanted justice so badly, she couldn’t consider any other options other than Cam being the culprit. It was also the perfect case to underscore the importance of protecting mental health patients; if the issue was simply bad cops, it would be as complex as it is. But even the best cops can make a bad decision in the heat of the moment. 

Eventually, Hailey pieced together that Cam was as much a victim as Aaron and Jess, the former who died in the house fire following a brutal beating by Cam’s older brother Derrick, who had anger issues and was just trying to “protect” his brother. The situation escalated with Hailey making the wrong call to trust Cam and put him into play (something Voight shouldn’t have allowed in the first place considering Cam wasn’t fit), who then locked himself in a shed with his brother. When the negotiator was finally able to get through to Cam and get him to come out, Derrick killed himself. Hailey wasn’t able to save him despite her best efforts, and she blamed herself thinking that if she got it right the first time, the outcome might have been different (though, by now, she should know that you can’t play the “what if” game in this field of work). 

Hailey gave an outstanding performance, per usual, but it does feel like we’re going in circles with her character since last season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if fans are ready to move on and see her in a different light. The cracks have been showing for too long—and it seems like even she’s fed up with it now. 

Hopefully, this is also the start of getting Hailey back to herself.

What did you think of the premiere? What are you most excited to see this season of Chicago PD? And was the wait for new episodes worth it?

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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

Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5 Review – Split-Second

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Is 'Chicago PD' New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 11 Episode 5

Atwater does it again, but that’s really no surprise. Kevin Atwater episodes of Chicago PD are consistently the strongest—delivering complex issues, a riveting performance, and making us all question why LaRoyce Hawkins isn’t allowed to take the wheel more often. 

And would it kill them to give him a love interest so he doesn’t have to carry this burden all on his own?

On Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5, Atwater responded to a robbery in progress on Jeweler’s Row, but the situation quickly escalated as the robbers proved to be dangerous and careless, firing shots that killed the store owner and hit an innocent bystander, who ended up bleeding out to death.

The moment was one that haunted Atwater for much of the episode, as the wife of Corey, who was trapped between the safety door, blamed Atwater for making a conscious choice to try to save the owner over her husband. 

And she’s not wrong—Atwater went to check on the other man, allowing the impenetrable doors to close, preventing him from rendering life-saving aid to Corey. 

He was filled with instant regret knowing that his choices could’ve made a difference, and while we know that it’s simply Atwater’s personality to want to take accountability, the case showed that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t change the outcome. And we can’t save everyone. 

It wasn’t stated in the episode—and Atwater said time and time again that he didn’t know why he chose to check on the owner instead of Corey—but my guess is that he didn’t imagine that the doors would be impossible to break through. He likely also felt that the injuries of the owner may have been more extensive than Corey’s, and felt the need to prioritize helping him. 

At the end of the day, he followed his gut in a split-second, trying to make the best decisions for everyone, and there’s not much more you can ask for when it comes to the person responding to a critical situation. 

He went back to the scene of the crime, retracing his steps an replaying the situation over and over in his brain, making himself feel guiltier, particularly when he found the keys under the shattered glass, which could have bought Corey the necessary time until the paramedics arrived, but that’s all hindsight and doesn’t change what happened. Atwater can learn from it, but he needs to let himself move on for his mental health, especially as Voight pointed out that there is no handbook on who you should save first. 

Atwater’s regret aside, the episode was action-packed as they tried to identify the two robbers, who were leaving behind a trail of victims during their heists. The key person to helping them make a break in the case was Teresa. They knew she saw one of the suspects as there was video footage of her looking him in the face before he put his mask on, but when confronted, Teresa insisted that there was a “glare” and she saw nothing.

Considering the suspects took off with every victim’s driver’s license, I’m not surprised Teresa chose to stay quiet as she feared retaliation against her family. She already lost her husband, and she didn’t want to put her husband in harm’s way. 

While Voight’s tactics of pushing her to talk or charging her with obstruction of justice may have seemed harsh, it was necessary to motivate her to help them make a break in the case. (I’ll be honest, I first thought that Teresa was keeping the suspect’s identity a secret because it was someone she knew/someone connected to her son, so I was glad that wasn’t the case.) 

But the sad reality is that even if she hadn’t identified the suspect, they could’ve still come for her to silence her since they knew that she saw one of their faces, which is exactly what happened. They didn’t care if she sold them out—if she could, she needed to be taken care of. Working with the police and giving them what they needed sooner may have ensured her safety as they could’ve caught the bad guys, but I’m also not surprised that there’s a distrust of police, in general, but also specifically for Teresa.

Teresa felt betrayed by Atwater since he didn’t save her husband—it’s all she could focus on. Not to mention that even though Atwater told her that they would have units watching her house until the bad guys were caught, he couldn’t guarantee her safety as the moment one of the suspects broke into her home, no one was stationed outside of her home because they were switching shifts. They dropped the ball, and if it wasn’t for Atwater’s quick thinking, it could’ve cost her and her son their lives. 

Atwater went above and beyond on the case, as he felt a sense of responsibility to the family, but he also found himself with conflicting emotions after he shot Aiden and asked Teresa for assistance with putting pressure on the wound, which she refused to do because “he didn’t deserve to live while her husband died.”

And, quite honestly, as a victim who is grieving a major loss and feels betrayed, I totally get where she’s coming from. This is a man who killed her husband and who broke into her home to kill her and her child without a second thought. If Atwater wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have shown her any mercy, so why did she have to take the high road in this case? 

On the other hand, Atwater is not in a position to pick and choose who he saves. He has sworn to serve and protect—so while he stopped the suspect from hurting someone else, he also has to render aid and do everything to prevent the suspect from dying. Atwater did his job, even if the outcome wasn’t fair. And honestly, when is life ever fair? 

As we’ve seen time and time again on Chicago PD, there are many inner struggles that come with being a cop, and no one feels guilter, harbors more regret, or is harder on themselves than the cops that find themselves in those tricky situations, toeing the line between right, wrong, and necessary. 

Thankfully for all of us, Atwater has always excelled in those storylines, rising to the occasion every single time. 

What did you think of the episode? 

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Chicago P.D

Is ‘Chicago PD’ New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 11 Episode 5

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Is 'Chicago PD' New Tonight? Everything We Know About Season 11 Episode 5

Chicago PD fans, you’re going to have to wait an additional week until new episodes return to NBC.

The police drama will not air a brand new episode tonight (February 14, 2024) as the show is skipping a week before airing a new episode, likely due to Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday cutting into potential live audiences. In its place, the network will be airing a rerun of the season 11 premiere episode

Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 5 will return to your TV on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. 

Thankfully, a synopsis for the next episode has already been revealed, along with a teaser, so fans can know what to expect. The wait will be worth it as the episode, titled “Split Second,” will be the first of the season to focus on Det. Kevin Atwater (played by LaRoyce Hawkins), who always delivers an outstanding performance!

Here’s the official episode tease: “Atwater turns to an unlikely source of support when a string of jewellery store robberies shakes his confidence.”

For now, check out the trailer for the next episode below:

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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Chicago P.D

Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 4 Review – Things Get Messy for Torres

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Chicago PD Season 11 Episode 4 Review - Things Get Messy for Torres

Chicago PD Chicago 11 Episode 4 brought back Dante Torres (Benjamin Levy Aguilar) after a brief hiatus—where he was seemingly taking care of his sick mother, based on all the concerning comments from his team. 

And they wasted no time thrusting him back into the actions taking hold of the Windy City as he and Atwater pursued a speeding vehicle whose driver ended up DOA with bricks of high-grade heroine in his car. 

From there, they unearthed a connection to Rafael Perez, a notorious dealer that narcotics has been struggling to build up a case against. Torres knows he can infiltrate Perez’s operation because “I know these people, I am them,” and he dives headfirst into the operation, where he pinpoints Perez’s wife Gloria (Yara Martinez) as the person that he can turn. Torress witnesses Gloria skimming during the car switches and observes her husband’s abusive nature toward her, piecing it together and realizing that she’s plotting her great escape. The money she’s stealing is her rainy-day cash fund—but he promises to help her get out in exchange for her helping them get intel on Perez. 

Gloria is shocked upon learning that Torres is a cop, which obviously he played the part well, but it doesn’t give her any peace of mind considering how dangerous Perez actually is—three of his former wives have been injured in some shape or form, and fans get to see firsthand what he does to people he believes are snitches. 

But when she’s presented with no other choice, she agrees to let him help her. Of course, as we’ve learned from experience, sometimes, these things don’t go as planned. Perez’s behavior is unpredictable, so when he fails to show up at the scheduled meet-up, it gives everyone some pause, especially because he didn’t realize he was being tailed and Gloria didn’t tip him off. 

Turns out, Perez thought one of his men sold him out, so he skipped the meeting but let his wife walk right into it, confirming her fears and worries that he’s absolutely content with her dying. 

Gloria is in a pretty rough place now as she’s fearful for her life with a husband who believes that someone in his inner circle isn’t playing by his rules. Torres promises that he’ll keep her safe and won’t let Perez harm her, but honestly, no one should be making promises they can’t keep, especially because when she has to go back to live with her husband, she’s on her own. And now, his guards are going to be up and he’s going to be that much more suspicious. 

If I’m being quite honest, I’m surprised Torres’ arrival the day after one of Perez’s men was killed and cops too the drugs wasn’t more of a red flag. One would think the timing would just be too coincidental, but Torres passed all of Eddie’s tests with flying colors. 

And, in the final moments of the episode, Torres’ decision to hook up with Gloria is what I’ll call one of the biggest lapses in judgment. You should never sleep with a CI—that has to be in the 101 handbook of being a cop.

The case became too personal for Torres (we’ve seen everyone get in too deep before, so I guess this it’s his turn), and he got swept up in the emotions, likely confusing his concern and fear (along with his desire to protect her because of his mother’s similar situation) for Gloria with something a bit more romantic. But when you end up crossing the line, you can’t uncross it—it casts a shadow over the whole operation because he can no longer operate objectively. Will they both try to keep this a secret or will Voight figure it out immediately?

And finally, not to take away from the heat of the moment and all that, but anyone who lives in or has visited Chicago in the dead of winter when it’s snowing outside knows how brutally cold it is. There is no chance that anyone is going to strip down and expose themselves in such frigid weather for a little rendezvous—I don’t believe it. And for that, I couldn’t take the moment seriously at all. 

The Perez operation provides this season’s fresh multi-episode storyline, and for now, it’s promising plenty of dramatic moments. It’s also nice that Torres is getting to be the focus of it as Upton is going to be exiting the series and the new blood will be what carries the show.

As for the fans waiting for more insight on Ruzek and Burgess’ engagement, everyone in Intelligence knows for now, so I’m sure celebrations are soon to follow! 

What did you think of the episode? Are you disappointed in Torres for his misstep considering he’s always putting his job before anything else?

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