Why Chicago P.D. Needs To Make A Change After Ruzek's Latest Undercover Case
Ruzek was deep undercover in Chicago P.D.'s latest episode, and it reminded me of a change that the show really needs to make.
Spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of Chicago P.D. Season 10, called "Blood and Honor."
Chicago P.D. brought back a few characters from an episode earlier in Season 10 that put Tracy Spiridakos' Hailey Upton through the wringer, but it was Patrick John Flueger's Adam Ruzek who had to try to make sense of the case this time. With Intelligence on the case of Richard Beck and daughter Samantha, Ruzek went undercover as the member of the team who hadn't interacted with either of them the first time around. He found himself sympathizing with Samantha as a parent, even knowing that the Becks were deep in the deadly meth game. And by the end of "Blood and Honor," P.D. reminded me of a super specific issue that needs to change: the cops using their real names while undercover.
Once upon a time in P.D., the cops of Intelligence didn't always use their real names while going undercover. For example, Halstead was frequently "Ryan" while under, and Upton went for a full episode as "Kelly" back in Season 5. The characters have taken to using their real first names in recent seasons, which has stuck out to me but never enough to... well, write about it on a Wednesday night before now! What pushed me over the edge in "Blood and Honor" was that not only did Ruzek go by "Adam" to Samantha and her son, but told her that his daughter is named Makayla.
Call me crazy, but I would have expected more caution less than a year after she was kidnapped! At least he didn't say he needed to go home to Kim after hanging out with Kevin, Hank, Hailey, and Dante. Now, I know that this isn't the biggest plot point in Chicago P.D., although I did think that Samantha did a tiny bit of a double take when Ruzek mentioned Makayla. And I'll admit that I was convinced that P.D. had already revealed Makayla's kidnapper in Season 9, only for the show to then go in another direction entirely in the next episode. (I stand by the argument that Theo Morris secretly befriending Makayla over the fence of her school was a massive red flag!)
Still, I think it's a reasonable nit to pick, especially after I revisited the Season 7 episode "Familia" with my Peacock subscription to fact-check a conversation that I remembered between Rojas (whose departure has yet to be explained) and Platt, and I wasn't wrong. After Rojas complained that Platt had given her the most stereotypical undercover name for a Latina despite the fact that she's Afro Latina, Platt said:
Season 7 Trudy Platt would totally see my point! I know that anybody googling "Adam" or "Adam and Makayla" probably wouldn't immediately find Ruzek and his daughter, but that "probably" could be avoided if P.D. started going with fake undercover names again. Does this affect my enjoyment of the show? Not really, but it is one more thing for me to have to suspend my disbelief about, as is always necessary to some degree with scripted TV.
"Blood and Honor" was a solid episode of P.D. overall, not least because of the fun scene of Jordan teaching Makayla some hockey moves while Ruzek and Atwater looked on, along with the continuity of Burgess continuing to meet with a therapist after her ordeal in the 200th episode. The story with Samantha Beck and her family seemingly still isn't finished either, so hopefully we'll get to see more of Ruzek in this storyline as Season 10 continues. As for what comes next, check out the promo:
Chicago P.D. will return with the next new episode on Wednesday, March 22 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, which will be Jesse Lee Soffer's directing debut. His former co-stars were hyping his work behind the camera back when his episode was filming. For some viewing options during the wait for the return of P.D. (as well as Chicago Med after deepening the season's "emotional triangle" and Chicago Fire after explaining Severide's absence), check out our 2023 TV premiere schedule.
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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.