Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 6 Review: End Of WatchJasmine Blu at .
Our heroes have a way of letting us down.
Ruzek learned that lesson for the umpteenth time during Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 6. He started the hour eager to work with family friend Sal Ortiz and ended it arresting the man and wondering if he'll ever reach a similar place.
And Paddy Flueger and guest-star Ricardo Chavira killed it during this installment.
While the case was interesting, it was one of those hours when most of the focus was on the personal elements and how their latest investigation affected one of the unit members. In this instance, it was a Ruzek-centric and a solid effort to show how much he's grown.
It seems to be a pattern that some of Ruzek's mentors and father figures are at best complex individuals and worse, downright awful ones. If he hasn't learned anything by now, it's that the men he's placed on pedestals in some way or another fall off and nothing more than fellow humans.
Ortiz is another in a long line of them for Ruzek, and it often leaves him wondering what kind of man he is and what he's capable of being when those who have influenced him the most have checkered pasts.
The found family he's formed with Kim and Makayla plays into this all so well, too. While it's not a spoken, official thing, they are his family. He's shifted to this new point in his life without even realizing it -- one of a life partner and father. And nothing makes a man reevaluate what he stands for and the impact he has, like that of family.
It's funny that Ruzek hasn't explicitly acknowledged how much his priorities have changed, but they have, and it bleeds through in everything that he does now. It's such a fascinating place to put him, especially when it's indefinable and exists between the spaces of definitions.
He left his poker night to get a stuffed animal for Makayla. Did you ever envision a world when Adam Ruzek would do such a thing?
You were willing to let me die, Sal. Me. So what happens to the next cop, the next civilian?Ruzek
But what an action-packed way of kicking off the case. One thing the season has done a marvelous job upping the ante on are those action sequences!
The robbery and Ruzek's pursuit of the suspects had a distinct Die Hard vibe that suited his character well. It had you on the edge of your seat minutes into the installment.
And when a superior officer reamed him out for his dogged pursuit of a fleeing suspect, citing a new directive, you could feel Ruzek's frustration along with him.
All of these elements from the family angle with Burgess and Makayla to the IAD hearing partly because Ruzek failed to comply with a recent protocol merged well with Ruzek's relationship with Ortiz and what happened with the case.
You have me and you have Makayla.Burgess
For Ruzek, Ortiz represented what he imagined he could be, and on the one hand, Ortiz inspired him as the picture-perfect example of good police. But on the other hand, it terrified Ruzek that he could become like Oritz and never even see it happening one day.
The series has planted these seeds along the way for Ruzek. Because of everything we've witnessed in him over the years, it's reasonable that one of his greatest fears is ending up like Ortiz.
He's had a growing frustration with how people don't respect police anymore, lamenting the old days when they were deemed heroes and revered. He's a legacy kid whose entire family was in law enforcement, and for him, the job isn't the same as it was for those before him.
Ruzek often expresses frustrations with all of the changes that he feels make their job harder, and it annoys him that he feels helpless and limited in what he can do.
He's one of the unit's hotheads. Ruzek's policing style is similar to Voight and Olinsky. While that worked for them in their heyday, everything is shifting now.
So many changes are implemented to police policing, and it's no secret that something needs to change, but they're in this trial period of trying to figure out what works best, and some things are failures.
The idea behind the "No Chase" directive makes some sense, but it also requires modification and specificity rather than some unilateral rule for all occasions. It's unfathomable that Ruzek faced an official reprimand because he attempted to capture a suspect he witnessed kill someone.
And he faced a similar issue when Ortiz stopped him from chasing after a suspect who shot and killed an innocent bystander and father in front of his eyes.
The hour focused on the other effects of police scrutiny and the negative ramifications of new directives.
Criminals benefit, innocent people are still harmed or killed, and good cops like Ortiz have broken beyond repair because of some of these things. And ironically blossom into the problematic police that people are griping about in the first place.
Ortiz's wife is dying and needs treatment he can't afford. His finances are a mess because of some effects from a case that left him paying a convicted killer a large portion of his paycheck every month. Ortiz was a good guy once, but his desperation and frustration with a system that screwed him over changed everything.
And yet, as much as Ruzek could sympathize with him, it didn't change that Ortiz was beyond helping or covering up.
He almost let Ruzek die as he was under fire while Ortiz stood back and lied about it. Ortiz stole the only evidence that wasn't circumstantial for their case, knowing that innocent people died along the way when they could've had the Quinns in custody.
I don't care about how desperate, how broke he is, he's not a thief. He's a cop.Ruzek
If Ortiz kept going down that road, he'd remain a liability and dangerous to other cops and the people they're supposed to protect.
Once upon a time, Ruzek would've allowed his personal feelings to cloud his judgment and do whatever he could to protect Ortiz. It's a sign of Ruzek's growth that he reported and turned his friend over after thinking about the big picture.
It also helps that he has someone like Burgess by his side who manages to serve as a voice of reason and sets his head on straight when needed. And Burgess is right; as long as Ruzek has someone or something to do that, namely her and now Makayla, Ruzek can walk the path he needs and never falter beyond repair as Ortiz did.
He has his struggles, and the job won't get any easier, nor will it be a piece of cake, navigating his career when he feels hamstrung at every turn. But for now, Ruzek understands why things have to be this way, and he hasn't grown so disillusioned that he's no longer cut out for the job.
It's understandable why it scares him how much it could sneak up on him, though.
It even speaks volumes that he opted for a drunken night at what must've been a local watering hole his family went to rather than something like Molly's. Ruzek always finds himself grappling with the policing he grew up with and understood from his experience with family members versus what it looks and feels like for him now.
But the cuteness of Burzek at the bar was too much.
You have me and you have Makayla.Burgess
Drunken Ruzek was cute, and Burgess reminded him of what's at stake for him -- that it includes her and Makayla; this family they've formed is enough to make you smile.
The Burzek elements of this series feel right these days. Many people may lament that they haven't explicitly defined themselves.
They're not as in your face with this pairing, the status of their relationship, or anything like that. But it's actually what makes their moments so unique and what they currently have compelling. It's an effective sweet spot for them.
We've had these back-to-back centric hours, and they've been great. It's always lovely when the series fleshes out some of the characters.
But, of course, it has also made the lack of attention on the Voight, Hailey, and Jay situation weird.
Other than Halstead shooting daggers at Voight, we haven't seen a shift in their interactions. We don't feel tension spilling into the rest of the team either.
Hailey seems well-rested and fine, and for whatever reason, Jay must not be upset with her any further, or they're finding a way to work things out, but we don't know if they've talked much about anything else.
The downside to the pacing of the centric installments is how they disrupt the flow of the more significant story arcs. It's rarely a seamless transition and feels jarring.
Even the lack of follow-up or mention of Atwater's new relationship with Celeste left one scratching their head a bit.
By the next installment, we won't have any follow-up with Ruzek or Burgess, and dammit, did Makayla ever get her stuffy?
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. Did you enjoy this Ruzek centric installment? Did you feel bad for Ortiz? How enjoyable were those Burzek moments?
Hit the comments below.
You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.