Spoilers ahead for the sixth episode of Chicago P.D. Season 9, called “End of Watch.”
It was Ruzek’s turn for a big episode on Chicago P.D. with “End of Watch,” which saw him face the new realities of working as a cop in 2021 when teaming up with a formerly trusted colleague cut from the same cloth who more or less broke bad to benefit from criminals. Ruzek has struggled with the changes in the CPD over recent seasons, and “End of Watch” seemed to deliver a breakthrough, with no small amount of help from Burgess. But despite that breakthrough and a surprisingly peaceful end to the episode, the pieces are falling into place in the Intelligence Unit for what could be an epic confrontation between… well, pretty much any and all of them.
The promo for the next episode reveals that the tension within the unit has been palpable enough for Platt to mention it to Voight, which isn’t all that surprising. There are a lot of secrets being kept by the Intelligence cops this season, and some of those secrets are absolutely massive. It’s not confirmed that any secrets will be coming out in the next episode, but tension is brewing for whatever happens and whenever those secrets do come out. So, let’s take a look at all the ways that things could get ugly in the next episode, or until the secrets are all out in the open. Since this was Ruzek’s episode, we’ll start with him!
“End of Watch” was quite a ride for Ruzek as he worked with his old cop friend Sal, whose behavior was sketchy enough that Burgess caught on, but Ruzek couldn’t believe that a good cop like Sal could have let people die to make shady deals for money. And it was a sign of how far Ruzek has come that he ultimately wasn’t willing to cover up what Sal did and let him walk, acknowledging that “the job” got “harder to do” for cops like them.
Sal crossed the line; Ruzek did not. Considering that the biggest secret in Intelligence concerns Upton and Voight crossing the line (or Voight shoving Upton across the line, depending on your perspective), his reaction to a reveal might not be the best. Then again, perhaps he’s protective enough of Burgess to look the other way about Roy’s death if he finds out. Ruzek is kind of a wild card at this point, and I could see him basically going along with whatever Burgess thinks.
While Burgess seems to be doing well now that she has physically recovered from her ordeal at the end of Season 8 and beginning of Season 9, there is the question of whether or not she has moved on emotionally and mentally from being shot by Roy. It’s hard to imagine that she’d shed any tears to learn that Roy is dead, but as far as she currently knows, Roy is in the wind. Plus, Upton lied to her face while she was still in the hospital, only just out of the woods from dying due to her wounds.
If Burgess finds out that Upton killed Roy and Voight disposed of the body without telling anybody and getting some degree of justice for Roy's victims, she’ll have plenty of reasons to be mad. She has no closure thanks to them keeping Roy’s death a secret, especially as one of the Intelligence cops who stays closest to the straight and narrow. She could certainly have words for Upton and Voight if the truth comes out.
Atwater is probably the Intelligence cop who is the most consistent about staying on the straight and narrow, and his insistence on doing things the right way after Burgess was taken at the end of Season 8 helped them get to her in time without relying on trying to get the information out of Roy. He was firm about not wanting to give special treatment even for people with connections last season; finding out that Voight, Upton, and maybe even Halstead were keeping this terrible secret probably wouldn’t go over well.
That said, Atwater is no saint, and he does bend the rules. In his big episode of Season 9 so far, he tried to manipulate a case to prevent a young boy from going to prison, but that’s a far cry from killing a man and/or disposing of the body. And sure, Atwater is lying to Celeste, but that’s not exactly illegal! While Atwater would have some reasons to be angry that all his efforts at doing the right thing in Intelligence have been undermined, I can also imagine him as the most level-headed of the group if the truth comes out.
For as much as Upton is at the center of the biggest secret of Intelligence, she may be as much of a wildcard as Ruzek at this point, if not more. Just a couple episodes ago, she was so wracked by guilt for killing Roy and keeping the secret that she wasn’t eating, wasn’t sleeping, and was scratching herself bloody when not having panic attacks. Chicago P.D. didn’t reveal what happened after Halstead found out and they talked all night about it, but they’ve still been partners on the job, and she certainly looks better than she did, so she seems to be eating and sleeping again.
Is this because she no longer has to lie to Halstead, or is it temporary and she’ll be a wreck again by the time we get the next Upton-centric episode? She has seemed torn between confessing and hiding the secret at all costs, not at all helped by Voight. If confrontation does happen within Intelligence, I can imagine Upton not actually doing much of anything to defend herself because of how much she blames herself. But she seemingly has been getting better, so it’s hard to say exactly what she’ll do.
Halstead may typically be one of the more level-headed members of Intelligence, but the promo for the next episode coming after he flipped out on Voight and punched him in the jaw indicates that he’s still more than a little upset about what Voight did to Upton. In the footage released for what comes next, Halstead explicitly tells Voight that he doesn’t trust him. When Voight responds that he can’t have Halstead in his unit if Halstead doesn’t trust him – which really might have worked to cool Halstead down a couple of seasons ago before the good ship Upstead – Halstead just tells Voight to “kick him off it.”
Confrontation is clearly on the way at least between Halstead and Voight when the tension finally comes to a head. In fact, Halstead shooting the occasional death glare at Voight over the past couple episodes has been the closest thing to continuity regarding that storyline. Voight really may not be able to talk Halstead down in a way he could have before. Plus, there’s still the question of what’s up with Upstead. Halstead is clearly furious at Voight, but that doesn’t mean he’s not upset with Upton as well. Basically, Halstead seems to be the one guaranteed to go off in the next episode. Bad news for Voight!
Halstead is the one who looks about ready to blow in the promo for the next episode, but Voight isn’t exactly sitting back and letting Halstead rage at him, and Voight has to be in an uncomfortable position. Another person knowing the secret just makes it that much less secure, and Halstead clearly isn’t going to be able to just push down his emotions the way Upton tried to. If looks could kill, Voight would have died several times already courtesy of Halstead’s death glares, even before the next episode, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be pretty.
Halstead’s anger could also put Voight on edge about Halstead accidentally (or deliberately) bringing others in on the secret. I doubt that Halstead will spread the news, since he seemingly still wants to protect Upton, but confrontation between Halstead and Voight probably wouldn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the unit, most of whom aren’t in on why things are so tense. Voight has a fine line to tread moving forward, and it should be interesting to see if he’ll be able to shut down dissent as easily as usual.
There are a whole lot of variables in play when it comes to who knows what about what in the Intelligence Unit at this point in Season 9, and it certainly looks like confrontation is now inevitable at least between Halstead and Voight as soon as the episode that airs on November 3. Upton would presumably be involved somehow if Halstead’s anger ties back to what Voight did to her, which seems like a pretty safe guess. But what of the others?
As much as I’ve been Team Upton ever since Voight set up a scenario where she had to kill Roy, I’m really hoping to see Burgess find out the truth at least in the first half of Season 9, and not just because I’m always hoping for Burgess/Upton scenes. She deserves closure, and it would be interesting to see what she would do with that information. Only time will tell. Catch the next new episode of Chicago P.D., somewhat ironically called “Trust Me,” on Wednesday, November 3 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, closing out another night of One Chicago action.
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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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