Spoilers ahead for the midseason premiere of Chicago P.D. in 2022, called “Home Safe.”
Chicago P.D. kicked off 2022 on a pretty sweet note with Ruzek picking Makayla up from school for Burgess, but things got a whole lot more sour for the Intelligence Unit with the abduction of a young girl. Burgess and Ruzek were a bit at odds over how involved he should be in Makayla’s life until they came to an agreement that was positively heartwarming… for a few moments, anyway, before the reveal that could lead to more heartbreak for Burgess. But there’s still hope that this storyline won’t end quite as tragically for her as some others have!
What Happened For Burgess, Ruzek, And Makayla
Just after Burzek came to the conclusion that they want to try out the same platonic co-parenting situation that had been the plan when she was pregnant, Ruzek made a terrifying discovery from Makayla: somebody who he had assumed was a friend her own age was actually an adult man who keeps stickers in his car to give to her. Not knowing just how much she was scaring Ruzek, she described her friend “Teddy” like this:
Burgess and Ruzek of course raced to the school to check out the security footage, which showed a man giving Makayla something over the fence, with Burgess looking deeply shaken while Ruzek immediately started tracing the man’s license plate to get his identity. The good news was that he wasn’t visiting Makayla to try and kidnap her, or do anything worse. The bad news is that his appearance could mean that Burgess has to say goodbye to Makayla.
After running his plates, Burgess learned that the man is named Theo Morris, and he’s Makayla’s uncle on her paternal side. He filed a petition for full custody of his niece. Burgess was all but hyperventilating when she got the news, which honestly isn’t too surprising considering what she went through first with her pregnancy and then being shot and left for dead. Makayla has been a bright spot in her life, and even led to a closer relationship with Ruzek.
If Chicago P.D. follows through (and follows in the footsteps of Chicago Fire with a similar storyline for Dawson and Casey years ago), then Burgess might have to say goodbye to her little girl, and Ruzek will lose her just after declaring that she’s basically his daughter. Plus, considering that P.D. followed the One Chicago standard when it came to Burgess’ pregnancy, it’s easy to be pessimistic that Burgess losing Makayla is inevitable at this point. But fans shouldn’t panic just yet!
Why There's Still Hope To Avoid Heartbreak
I can’t help but feel that Theo Morris didn’t exactly prove that he should be Makayla’s sole guardian when he decided to approach her and give her stickers from the other side of a fence while she’s at school. There were right ways that he could have gone about reaching out to communicate with his niece, and he chose just about the sketchiest and most alarming way possible. To contrast, Burgess and Ruzek rushed to the school as soon as they suspected something was off. That should count for something, right?
Plus, Makayla clearly doesn’t know Theo, or she would have recognized him. She’s also old enough to know who she would want to stay with, even though the decision ultimately may not be up to her. This could still be a factor that sets Burzek’s situation with Makayla apart from what Dawsey went through with Louie back in the day on Chicago Fire, as he was significantly younger. She’s happy in her home with Burgess and Ruzek, and clearly healthy and doing well enough in school.
And it’s hard to ignore the fact that Chicago P.D. proved that it really could give one of its cops a kid without fundamentally changing the show. Burgess, and then Ruzek once she decided to bring him into Makayla’s life, have evidently been doing just fine off-screen while all of the Upton/Voight/Halstead drama was going down in the first half of Season 9.
P.D. isn’t character-driven to the extent that Chicago Fire is, and it can get away with making major characters into parents without needing to explain where the child is on a weekly basis. Makayla turning up in Burgess-centric episodes and then disappearing for Atwater, Voight, and Upstead episodes has worked, and Burgess really deserves to catch a break.
Of course, there is the issue that Theo Morris is a blood relation of Makayla’s, and Burgess has a dangerous job that already led to her nearly dying while she was Makayla’s guardian. She and Ruzek aren’t married. There are factors that could work against Burgess, but I’m choosing to hold out hope that she and Ruzek get to continue parenting her.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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