One Chicago took a week off to leave fans wondering what could possibly happen next, and some new images prove that Chicago P.D. could have a doozy of an episode in the stretch leading up to the crossover with Chicago Fire. In the February 12 installment of P.D., called "Center Mass," Rojas takes center stage, but the biggest question to come out of the first batch of episode photos is: where are Burgess and Ruzek?
Here's what we know. Based on the episode description, "Center Mass" will be a Rojas-centric installment. Here's the official summary, courtesy of NBC:
A homeless man's murder leads Intelligence to a criminal who has evaded capture for years. Rojas has a troubling experience with a young mentally ill man.
Chicago P.D. isn't always the most forthcoming with details in its episode descriptions, which led to some speculation earlier in Season 7 that Halstead was falling into old habits with a woman, so it's not altogether shocking that Rojas is the only Intelligence cop mentioned by name. But what about the pictures?
Chicago P.D. is generally pretty great about releasing episode images that reveal the characters involved without giving away any spoilers about what happens. In the batch of photos already released for "Center Mass," there are some conspicuous absences. Since this is seemingly Rojas' episode, let's start with her:
This image doesn't give away a whole lot other than Rojas and Voight will both be at a crime scene, they will have a conversation, and it was a cold day in Chicago when Lisseth Chavez and Jason Beghe filmed this scene. But it's confirmation of two Intelligence cops who will be in the episode. Who else?
Another image shows Rojas teaming up with a different member of Intelligence, and while it's possible "Center Mass" could deliver some development on their relationship, it also doesn't show Burgess and Ruzek. Take a look:
Atwater is also working with Rojas in "Center Mass," and it looks like this is the same crime scene Rojas was approaching with Voight. Is this another step forward for RoWater, or just two cops 100% professionally evaluating what is probably a body?
Another dynamic duo will be on the case in this episode, also looking both serious and cold. Check them out:
Based on the lighting, I'm guessing this scene with Upton and Halstead is separate from the crime scene where Voight, Rojas, and Atwater were all gathered. All the photos released for "Center Mass" so far show variations of these six characters working a case, with Burgess and Ruzek nowhere to be seen. Why? I can't help but feel that their absences are conspicuous here.
Admittedly, the reason could simply be that these were the best pics to release for the Rojas-centric episode and they just didn't happen to feature Burgess and/or Ruzek. Since this is Chicago P.D. and I still remember the lack of Halstead images after the bloody fall finale cliffhanger, I have to wonder if their absence has a larger reason. Could they have a key plot that couldn't even be teased in promo photos without spoiling?
There are plenty of directions the episode could go, and fans have plenty to speculate about. For instance, Burgess seemingly accepted her future on light duty due to her pregnancy, as she's seen working as a 911 operator in early footage for the February 5 episode, although she will venture out into the field. She may be out of the action working a desk somewhere in "Center Mass," and Ruzek could... be with her?
His absence is a little harder to reason away, but he's also not part of either the Upton/Halstead or Atwater/Rojas pairings teased for Season 7. Maybe "Center Mass" will advance those relationships and, with Burgess on light duty, mean a lighter episode for Ruzek.
Who knows? Maybe Burgess and/or Ruzek want Ruzek to be safe leading up to the birth of his child, so he's riding a desk as well. None of the six characters who are pictured look particularly panicked, so I'm guessing we can rule out a kidnapping or serious injury.
We can only speculate at this point. I've been more and more nervous about Burgess' pregnancy impacting the show lately, so I can'y help but wonder if there's something more serious to their absence. Chicago P.D. isn't famous for delivering happily-ever-afters, even if Lindsay left for a job opportunity (and because Sophia Bush wanted to leave) and Antonio survived his departure.
See what happens and what may or may not be happening with Burgess and Ruzek with Chicago P.D.'s "Center Mass" on NBC Wednesday, February 12 at 10 p.m. ET. A character from P.D. days gone by is returning for the February 26 crossover with Chicago Fire in what one star has described as a "seedy, backhanded way," so there's a lot to look forward to.