Warning: spoilers lie ahead for the tenth episode of Chicago P.D. Season 8, called "The Radical Truth."
Ruzek and Burgess are by this point the Chicago P.D. pairing with the most history, and the door never really feels fully closed on their relationship despite all the tragedies and trials that have come between them over the years. Season 8 threw a new complication in their way with Burgess' decision to take in young Makayla. Just when it was beginning to look like Ruzek and Burgess still had a shot this season despite the big change in circumstances, "The Radical Truth" struck a blow on the good ship Burzek that leaves me convinced that Chicago P.D. needs to take a break on them for the rest of Season 8.
Burzek were paired for a lot of "The Radical Truth" as Ruzek investigated the mess his father made that resulted in his kidnapping and most likely the ruin of the Ruzek name within CPD, so it really said something when her first question was "What did you do?" when she learned that Ruzek shot and killed the man who could have destroyed the Ruzek family reputation. I think it's probably safe to say that there were plenty of viewers – and can guarantee that there was at least one – who thought there was a chance that Ruzek might have murdered the man in the heat of the moment out of his own self-interest, but Ruzek did not appreciate getting that doubt from Burgess.
Security footage proved that it was indeed a good shoot and Ruzek hadn't crossed any lines, but the damage to the Burzek dynamic was already done. Ruzek was upset that her gut instinct wasn't to ask if he was okay, but rather what he did, and it was pretty clear that she thought it was at least possible that he murdered the man. Ruzek said that he never would have made that assumption about her because he knows her heart, and she should have known his to know that he would never do such a thing. Ruzek feels that Burgess no longer believes in him or knows his heart, despite her attempts to tell him otherwise.
It was an emotional and intense scene that Patrick John Flueger and Marina Squerciati nailed, as they generally do in scenes together, and it also sets Chicago P.D. up to potentially explore some arcs for these characters that don't involve their relationship. Ruzek has been struggling throughout Season 8 with the new status quo at CPD, and it wasn't that long ago that Atwater was questioning his ability to see clearly and always do the right thing.
He lost Burgess in a way when she took in Makayla and could no longer spend all her free time with him, and it's evident that he and his dad aren't exactly palling around all the time. Ruzek might need to focus on himself for the time being rather than anybody else, to get himself out of his rut. Of course, focusing on himself might result in more drinking alone in his apartment, but it would be interesting to watch either way!
As for Burgess, she is still a pretty new mom with Makayla in her life, even if Makayla has remained off-screen. She can't take the same risks with Ruzek that she might have before she had a little girl to take care of, both physically and emotionally. And honestly, I'm dying to see more of Burgess the mom, and I'm still hoping for Burgess to share some scenes with Upton. There is plenty on both Burgess and Ruzek's plates at this point in Season 8, and Chicago P.D. should take a break from the Burzek to focus on the lives of Burgess and Ruzek separately.
Plus, the promo for the next episode indicates that something big is up with Upstead, and too much romance within the Intelligence Unit could be a bad thing. There's no saying how Upton and Halstead will be doing with each other after the events of the episode, but for now, Chicago P.D. seems to turning up the heat with them, and that may mean Burzek simmering down. Chicago P.D. is already guaranteed at least two more seasons after the end of the current Season 8; if the show takes some time off from Burzek and lets them heal separately before coming back together, they could be all the stronger for it.
Chicago P.D. is back on Wednesday, April 7 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC to round out a night of One Chicago action following Chicago Fire and Chicago Med.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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