How Chicago P.D. Will Change After Upton And Ruzek's Relationship Reveal, According To Tracy Spiridakos

chicago pd hailey upton tracy spiridakos nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the February 13 episode of Chicago P.D., called "Ties That Bind."

Chicago P.D. took the action out of Chicago in "Ties That Bind" when the unit traveled to a Wisconsin gun show to try and take down a supplier whose weapons are proven cop killers. It was an all-hands on deck situation once Hailey Upton and Kim Burgess were captured while undercover, and they had to work together to survive and take down the bad guys. Complicating matters was the fact that in the beginning of the episode, Burgess walked in on Upton having a romantic moment with Ruzek.

The focus of the episode was definitely not on relationship drama, and both women handled the accidental reveal well when they had a minute to talk in the locker room. Upton and Burgess will need to work with each other and Ruzek moving forward, the question is how the relationship reveal will change the show. Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Upton on Chicago P.D., spoke with CinemaBlend about the episode, and she said this about how things will be different:

At the very end of the episode, Upton shares with Burgess a personal story. Part of it is about why she was secretive about her and Ruzek. It allows the two of them to really, really bond even further than they have getting out of the situation that they're in. So I think their dynamic is very much different, just having shared a really deep secret with Burgess. They're on a different level now, which is really cool.

Over a couple mugs of whiskey, Upton shared a story that really explained why keeping her relationship secret was so important to her. She didn't want to deceive Burgess and she wasn't ashamed; rather, she had been burned by a somewhat similar situation in the past, when she'd dated a sergeant in her previous unit. After an undercover operation, Upton earned a promotion for herself, although the case was never closed.

Due to the fact that the case wasn't closed, other cops assumed that Upton only got her promotion because her boyfriend pulled some strings for her. Her work as a cop was undermined by her romantic relationship. Who can blame her for not wanting to risk something similar going down again?

Burgess clearly understood the conflict Upton faced, and she ended the episode on good terms with Upton. The women handled the situation maturely, and even Voight would have been proud of them, as he had delivered a speech about the importance of keeping home life and work life separate. Like the rest of the unit, Voight was shaken up by what happened to the two women when they were captured. Neither escaped wholly unscathed.

Chicago P.D. isn't just going to reset to the status quo with Upton and Burgess after this episode. Although Ruzek may continue to be a sticky subject between them -- understandably -- they bonded during their life-and-death situation. As much as the cops of P.D. regularly face life-and-death situations, the women were immersed and without backup other than each other.

While they were temporarily separated, Upton fought back against one of the captors, but she wound up bloody, bruised, and chained to a pole in the cabin where they were being held. Burgess was only zip-tied in the basement, and she had the opportunity to escape after they broke her zip tie. Still, she didn't want to abandon Upton. Instead of running, she lit a shed on fire to catch the attention of their fellow cops, who were searching the woods for them.

There was one final fight before backup could arrive, as their captor descended on Upton before Burgess could return from lighting the fire. After finally figuring out that they were cops, he attacked. Fortunately, Burgess returned. Although he choked her with enough force to leave some serious bruises, he was defeated, and backup arrived. Burgess and Upton survived.

Their experience together seemed like enough to bring them closer. Now that Upton has shared a unique look into her past, their relationship on P.D. will change, and it doesn't sound like it'll be a change for the worse. Tracy Spiridakos elaborated on what the events of "Ties That Bind" mean for Upton and Burgess moving forward:

I think it allows their friendship and their dynamic to really grow. Not only being in this life-threatening situation that they need to work together and come together to get out of, we're also then sitting down and just talking about the situation. Coming from different sides of it is really great.

The whole Upton/Ruzek/Burgess situation may get complicated moving forward, but could there be enough differences between the characters and their relationships with each other that they can proceed without awkwardness? After all, Burgess and Upton aren't friends and didn't bond because of Ruzek, so he certainly wasn't the glue that held them together. They exist outside of him. The Upton/Ruzek romance is also different from the Ruzek/Burgess relationship.

Not all shows would allow two women in a pseudo-love triangle remain friends; Chicago P.D.'s take on Upton/Ruzek/Burgess could be quite refreshing for primetime. Only time will tell how the dynamics are altered in the long run or if we'll see Upton continue to open up, to Burgess or Ruzek or even any others.

Tracy Spiridakos didn't drop any details to spoil what's coming, but she did promise that there's more on the way regarding what makes Upton tick. Here's what she had to say about fan reactions to recent developments and what's in store:

Loads and loads of people have come around. Everyone wants to know a little bit more about her and get to know a little bit more of her backstory, which is coming. As the seasons go on, we share a little bit more about her. Which I think is great. Even in this episode, we get to find out a little bit more about her backstory. People have been interested in her and wanting to see a little bit more about who she is.

New episodes of Chicago P.D. air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Med and Chicago Fire. The next episode will actually be the second half of a Chicago Fire/Chicago P.D. crossover, so be sure to tune in to NBC on February 20 starting at 9 p.m. ET to catch the full two-hour event. Chicago franchise crossovers always make for must-see TV.

If you're still in the marked for some new shows in 2019, be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.

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).