Chicago P.D. Stars Break Down Voight's 'Confounding' Decisions And The Team's Priorities After The Explosive Cliffhanger Before The Finale

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: 

For Ruzek, I think for the most part, he doesn't question Voight. I think since Voight handed him back his badge years ago, really the first and the only time that he's really pushed back on the guy that I can think of, in any real way, is when Makayla was missing this year, and Ruzek was ready to burn everything down to find her. I think that, for the most part, from my perspective, from Ruzek's perspective, it's just about like, 'How do I support this guy?'

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:

It's a little confounding to watch this guy that is consistently in control, that consistently has all the answers, be kind of turned upside down by both a case and by his care for a specific C.I. I think for all of us, it's a little confounding. Even though we've all had our own moments where we really cared for a C.I. here or there, he doesn't ever show his cards, you know. He keeps them pretty close to the vest. And so I think we're all just doing our best to support him as best we can.

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:

Voight doesn't usually show his cards, so for us to kind of see his cards at face value, I think it encourages us to stay tapped in, and to have his back, continue to support him, because we know that we're going to come out on the other end of this in the pocket that we should be. Also, what I love about these moments that we have on the show is that it puts us back into that paradigm that asked the question, what's most important? Is it to solve the case? Or is it to save lives? And I think for some of us, saving lives is a priority. For some of us, solving the case because we take it so personally is the priority.

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:

That changes definitely from case to case, episode to episode. Everybody's intentions sometimes are a little bit different depending on what's most important to them. And so the way that we support each other and still continue to have each other's back, I think is what makes the show interesting to watch.

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. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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).