Chicago P.D. picked up Season 8 with Ruzek and Burgess settled into a comfortable dynamic (or rut, depending on the point of view) that was about as close to an "old married couple" relationship as is possible without two people actually being married. That changed with the introduction of young Makayla, who formed a bond with Burgess that ultimately resulted in Burgess taking the little girl in to form a little family unit. Does this mean the end of Burzek, or just another chapter in their complicated ongoing history as a couple?
Fortunately, Patrick John Flueger spoke with CinemaBlend and more press outlets for the recent One Chicago Day celebrating Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med, and he shed some light on the Burzek dynamic between him as Ruzek and Marina Squerciati as Burgess. While Flueger acknowledged the complications in the Ruzek/Burgess relationship, he broke down the dynamic in a way that definitely isn't discouraging:
I feel like they have an incredibly adult relationship. I think that adult relationships are not what you see in movies. It's not what you see reading storybooks. It's a little more complicated than that. You got to give and then you got to take and you got to push and you got to pull. And I kind of love that they're telling that storyline for us. But you know, it's not going to get any less complicated. They have very complicated lives, because of their jobs. And because they work together in those very complicated and dangerous jobs.
The story of Ruzek and Burgess has never been as simple as "boy meets girl" leading to a happily-ever-after, and they were in a pretty rough position with each other in Season 7 after the brutal attack on Burgess resulted in a miscarriage. Ruzek seemed more than ready to advance their "old married couple" relationship in Season 8 to actual dating, but things will inevitably have to change now that Burgess is a mom to a little girl who has already gone through an incredible amount of trauma. As Patrick Flueger says, they live very complicated lives!
For her part, Marina Squerciati previously shared that Burgess needs to make "different calculations" in her life now, and that includes changes from what she shared with Ruzek earlier in the season. Poor Ruzek has gone from seemingly spending all his free time with Burgess and envisioning a future together to seeing Burgess choose a very different path pretty suddenly. Patrick Flueger elaborated on the strengths of both characters and what their differences mean for their future, saying:
I think Burgess' strength is in her heart, you know. She feels things very deeply. And that's where she comes from, whereas Ruzek's strength is in his conviction. And those things don't necessarily always match up. I think 'til the day they die, if they end up together, if they have a million children together, it is going to be constantly... at the end of the day, they'll end up you know, butt-butt-butt[ing heads] and then, you know, come together at the end of the day. That's how I see it.
At this point, Ruzek and Burgess do have the longest-running will-they/won't-they relationship of the series, and it's hard not to hope that they eventually get a stable status quo with each other on Chicago P.D.. This may not be the One Chicago show known for characters getting to be happy for too long without running into some obstacles (see: Upstead over the course of a single episode this season), but Burgess and Ruzek got to be excited about co-parenting together for a stretch of Season 7, and that's encouraging for how they could manage coming back together again some day.
Or so Burzek fans can hope, anyway! The next episode of Chicago P.D., called "Instinct" and airing on February 17 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, promises to be heavy on Patrick John Flueger as Ruzek, as Ruzek's informant will prove to be a loose canon when the team goes undercover to try and bring down a dangerous and deadly new drug dealer.
You can find more episodes of Chicago P.D. (as well as Fire and Med) streaming on Peacock now. The shared universe of Dick Wolf shows that includes Chicago P.D. is only getting bigger as well, so be sure to check out our breakdown of how One Chicago, Law & Order: SVU, CBS' FBI shows, and the upcoming SVU spinoff are all connected.