Chicago P.D. Stars Reveal The 200th Episode Easter Egg That Fans Might Have Missed, Plus Big Filming Challenges

Warning: spoilers ahead for the 200th episode of Chicago P.D., called “Trapped.”

Chicago P.D. has officially hit a milestone that few network TV shows last long enough to reach, but that doesn’t mean that the Intelligence Unit was celebrating in the 200th episode. “Trapped” shifted the focus over to Burgess and Ruzek after she was triggered by what sounded like a gunshot outside of her home with him and Makayla. The case of the week was elevated beyond what fans usually see from P.D., and actors Marina Squerciati and Patrick John Flueger opened up to CinemaBlend about the case, plus the Easter egg that fans might have missed. 

It was clear from very early in the episode that Burgess needed to take a break and open up to somebody more than she needed a case involving a gruesome death and a missing child. Despite Ruzek’s support, there were some close calls when her unresolved trauma from being shot affected her on the job to the point that she was nearly immobilized. The episode ended with Burgess realizing that she needs to actively work on her recovery to prevent any further issues on the job, if she wants to stay with CPD. 

While “Trapped” wasn’t a milestone episode that focused on the larger ensemble of cops in the Intelligence Unit, it did involve some truly cinematic scenes, including Burgess and Ruzek on an "L" subway train, Ruzek on a chase in a train tunnel, and Burgess trapped in a well with a freezing little boy. When the stars spoke with CinemaBlend about Episode 200, Marina Squerciati weighed in on whether the well sequence was as cramped as it looked:

Yeah, it was! The camera does tricks to make it look even more cramped, but it was pretty small. In fact, I think [director] Chad [Saxton] was a little nervous [it would be] too small to fit myself and the cameraman and the grip. It was tight, and you're in water in a uniform, trying to act, and you can't really leave the well, and there's a lot of people there. So I'm just glad I wasn't claustrophobic. That would have added a whole other level.

Executive producer Chad Saxton directed “Trapped,” and evidently took a risk in whether or not Squerciati and the necessary crew members could all fit down into the well set. Plus, Burgess had to go through a whole emotional journey while stuck down in that well with no clear way out, so it wasn’t as simple as simply squishing them all down into a small space. Fortunately, the actress isn’t claustrophobic, and I think fans can agree that Squerciati delivered a standout performance as Burgess. 

Of course, the well scene wasn’t the only one in the 200th episode that meant Marina Squerciati acting in a very tight spot. When Patrick John Flueger asked his co-star if the well was as tight as the train, she set him straight and then went on to describe the challenges of filming on the L:

[It was] tighter than the train... There's a thing sticking out of the train that I ripped my pants on every time! Not like a little rip, and they tried to pad it but you could tell because I'm in that little space. So every time I completely tore the pocket off my pants. Neither was comfortable. Let's just say neither was comfortable… I would take off my clothes every night and I would just have blossoming bruises. I'd be like 'I don't know what that's from! It looks like it hurt!'

Frantically trying to save the victim’s life in a small area of a real L train meant that Squerciati didn’t have a lot of room to do much movement, and the end result was some bruising and some ripped pants! Filming on a train also meant that the P.D. team couldn’t just remove walls or make changes to give the star more room, as might have been possible on a more traditional set. 

One of the results of the tight quarters with a bleeding young man in Burgess’ arms was that she was covered in blood by the time he died. The blood stood out on Burgess' clothes, and when I noted that the character may have chosen a bad day to wear a white sweater, Squerciati explained that the white shirt was an Easter egg for fans:

If you will recall, which I don't know if anyone will, that's exactly the shirt I was wearing essentially when I got shot. We were supposed to have a crane shot that actually went up like the time I was shot, but the ceiling on the train drops down exactly at that point that I am, so we weren't able to get the shot that Chad wanted. I mean, it still worked out beautifully, but he wasn't able to get that shot. But it was supposed to sort of bring me back in a way as well. It was supposed to sort of help the journey, but those are little golden eggs that only true fans will get.

Given that Burgess’ kidnapping and then near-death experience from being shot were some of the biggest personal blows to the Intelligence Unit in recent seasons, fans may have made the connection with the white sweaters, even though the director didn’t have the room to get the shot he wanted for a callback. Fortunately, Burgess seems to be on the emotional mend as of the end of “Trapped,” but the 200th episode was harrowing for Ruzek as well. 

On top of his concern for Burgess that started when she cut her hand at home and didn’t stop all through the rest of the hour, Ruzek had a high-stakes sequence of his own on the train and then out in the tunnel. Although he said that Squerciati “had it a lot tougher on the train,” Patrick John Flueger shared what his experience was like playing Ruzek for that sequence, saying: 

That day, actually when we were on the train, I was fairly sick. I was not sick when we were filming in the tunnel, so my whole experience changed... dramatically. So it was great. It was interesting. It was kind of fun to see how the sausage is made, as far as the CTA is concerned. Not quite as fun, I think, for the crew who had to push all of their equipment, about a quarter to a half a mile down the tracks, over gravel, over train tracks, and there's a lot of safety regulations. The CTA obviously has to make sure that everybody's doing their due diligence. There's the third rail which is, you know, you look at the third rail and you're gonna get shocked to death.

Even though Ruzek was far from safe when searching for a suspect through the L subway tunnels, the Chicago P.D. team made sure that filming was safe for the cast and crew who made the sequence happen. And it’s good to know that Patrick John Flueger no longer felt sick out in those tunnels! The actor continued:

It was an intense day for the crew, the poor background [actors]. God bless you, if you're watching this and you did background that day, for any of those days. Thank you! Because not only did they work really hard and kill it, there was no bathroom. [laughs] It was crazy. It was more logistical. The shooting was fun and interesting and you could see how beautiful and dramatic it was going to look on camera. It was more the logistics of it that were difficult for everybody around me. For me, I had it pretty easy other than having a jog to the bathroom a couple of times, a million miles away. But they let me go. [laughs] The other people, they're looking at corners and bottles.

Apparently, being a series regular on a TV show can mean bathroom privileges even under conditions that are more intense than usual! Now that “Trapped” has aired, fans can see just how “beautiful and dramatic” the finished product is. I know that I can appreciate that the Chicago P.D. team worked out all the logistical issues to film the train sequence both in tight quarters and in the tunnels. 

The finished product was certainly a standout episode, so was it what fans expected of the 200th? That’s up to each of us to decide for ourselves, and it should be interesting to see if Burgess really does pursue therapy moving forward and we see the effects on her character, but at least it’s safe to say that Burzek are going strong as a unit.

Keep tuning in to NBC on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET for new episodes of Chicago P.D., starting with #201 on March 1. The 10 p.m. slot on network TV is about to get even more competitive with the upcoming premiere of True Lies over on CBS, but it’s no coincidence that Chicago P.D. has been dominating the last hour of primetime on Wednesdays for years. You can also revisit past episodes of the series streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).