Spoilers ahead for Episode 21 of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “House of Cards.”
Chicago P.D. is just one week away from the hiatus that will leave fans hanging until Season 10 in the fall, and true to form, the penultimate episode of Season 9 was action-packed in the lead up to a cliffhanger that was quite literally explosive. With C.I. Anna spiraling as Intelligence got closer than ever to closing the case on Escano and Los Temidos, and Voight not keeping as cool and calm as usual, disaster seemed all but guaranteed. Stars Patrick John Flueger and LaRoyce Hawkins, who play Ruzek and Atwater, opened up about Voight’s “confounding” behavior and the different priorities of the Intelligence cops heading into the finale.
Voight has been a little too invested in Anna as a C.I. throughout Season 9, and that backfired in “House of Cards” when she started unraveling and losing trust that what she was doing was going to work. Showrunner Gwen Sigan had previously shared that Anna has a tendency to get “under Voight’s skin,” and that was never more clear than in this penultimate episode when the others in Intelligence took issue with some of how their sergeant was handling the case.
By the end of the hour, Ruzek nearly took a bullet, and Halstead and Upton were caught in an explosion, with Upton down and not moving before the “TO BE CONTINUED” and fade to black. Of course, Ruzek tends to be loyal to Voight in ways that the others aren’t always, and Patrick John Flueger broke down Ruzek’s reactions:
Voight has gone above and beyond for Ruzek in the past, which made Ruzek one of the most loyal cops of the unit when it comes to following Voight’s example. He wasn’t really listening to anybody back when Makayla was kidnapped – including Burgess – so Voight wasn’t exactly an exception in that episode (which you can rewatch with a Peacock subscription). Voight may need support after “House of Cards” in Ruzek's eyes, but he’s not the only one. Flueger continued:
Considering that Voight has the strongest tie to Anna, he truly might need all the support he can get if she fully stops trusting him before they nail Escano. They still need to close the case, and based on the explosive cliffhanger, they may be short a member of the team if Upton is seriously injured. And if Upton is seriously injured, then that could certainly throw Halstead off his game as her husband, her partner, and the guy who seemed more or less unscathed by the explosion that at the very least knocked her out.
Only the finale will reveal the full aftermath, but LaRoyce Hawkins shared his own thoughts on the situation with Voight, and how the cops of Intelligence may need to decide on their priorities moving ahead:
After the events of “House of Cards,” it’s looking like solving the case might be the only way to save lives, and they may not be able to be in that "pocket that we should be" unless things start going right for them with Voight and Anna. It should be interesting to see what everybody’s priorities are in the season finale next week compared to the penultimate episode.
By the end of "House of Cards," Anna has spiraled out of control and is threatening the case, while Intelligence was more or less caught in a trap. Patrick John Flueger weighed in, saying that the priority for cops in Intelligence “changes from case to case,” and LaRoyce Hawkins concurred, saying:
Halstead tends to be the cop on the team who stays closest to the straight and narrow (especially compared to Voight), although he had to stray pretty significantly earlier in the season to guarantee that Upton would escape a prison sentence. Their marriage could mean that her fate is more important to him in the aftermath of the explosion than chasing down Los Temidos, depending on how seriously she is (or is not) injured.
At this point, it seems safe to say that the stakes are higher than ever when it comes to what’s up with Upstead in the final arc of the season, and that bullet came a little too close to Ruzek for comfort at the end of the episode. Atwater and Burgess avoided any brushes with death in the cliffhanger, but will that remain the case in the finale?
Find out with the Season 9 finale of Chicago P.D. on Wednesday, May 25 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following the “nonstop” Season 10 finale of Chicago Fire that brings back Jesse Spencer as Matt Casey at 9 p.m., and the Season 7 finale of Chicago Med at 8 p.m. following Ethan's powerful realization. All three shows have already been renewed for the 2022-2023 season, so even if they end on cliffhangers, they’ll all be coming back.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).