My goodness, that was intense!
Given the subject matter, we could've predicted that they'd hit the ground running with Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 15. But there was no way of preparing for how emotionally exhaustive the hour would get in the best possible way. It was a rollercoaster ride in emotions from the opening moments to the ending credits.
Fortunately, we had a somewhat happy ending with Makayla home and safe, even though her parents have some things to work out.
It was another one of those hours where visually, it was striking. The camera work was some of the best of the season, and this series is no stranger to some fantastic trick shots and notable scenes and moments. Rather than going off on a tangent about those, you can ask in the comments if you want elaboration.
The work they did to capture Kim's out-of-body feeling while the team went over the crime scene, i.e., her apartment, was effective at capturing how out of sorts she was. The action shots with her and Adam at varying points in the hour running through junkyards or more were fantastic.
She's our kid. She's our family, but you and me, we're the police. We'll get her back. We'll get her back.Kim
The shot with Halstead with his long gun at the drop was action-movie levels of badass.
And even the tender moments conveyed through softer angles from Kim comforting Adam at the top of the hour, to the little zoom-in on shoulder touches and so forth from Voight, Atwater, and Trudy to either half of Burzek struck the right emotional chord.
And the performances, yet again, were top-notch. Squerciati freaking killed, Morton ate up her screentime like a pro, evoking serious feelings with her moments with Burgess. And then there's Flueger, who arguably stole the hour.
You knew it would be all hands on deck when the word got out that Makayla was missing. It brought out their entire unit family, and everyone acted accordingly.
Jay and Hailey were their typical badass selves on this one, and Halstead certainly worked as the level-headed one out of the bunch who could hold Ruzek back and make sure they could work the case while keeping a hyper-emotional Adam and Kim at bay. They always kill it as the action duo for this series.
They're just going to disappear.Burgess
But to nitpick, it takes little moments like these when it's something that significantly affects unit members where that constant fuss about how detached they feel from the others rears its head.
Atwater was visibly shaken and had these moments comforting both Kim and Adam because they're his best friends, and his "niece" or "goddaughter" was missing.
Voight's paternal energy was strong as he got to work, checked both of them for their emotions, but also gave them moments of comfort and reacted from that place of a father who lost a child.
Trudy left the front damn desk, showed up for Kim, and made a beeline because she knew Kim needed her. But in comparison, with Jay and Hailey, that level of emotional investment is lacking because neither of them has the sibling-like bond with the other two. Nothing indicates that they have their own "Uncle Jay" and "Aunt Hailey" rapport with Makayla.
Oddly enough, they didn't even slip in a moment where Hailey served as a calming force for Ruzek in the way that she used to be at times when he got hot-headed. It wasn't bad or anything, just weirdly noticeable.
Voight: You need to work with us.
Theo: They said that they would kill her if I even talk to you. Do you understand?
But the second half of the season is improving by leaps and bounds on giving us the team dynamic we've needed, and this installment was no exception in that.
Halstead and Hailey's level-headedness was necessary when Burgess and Ruzek were emotional wrecks in their quest to find Makayla. Other than her busting into the interrogation room with Ruzek beside her, she kept her head better than one could've envisioned. It worked out well.
Ruzek, on the other hand, was more feral than I could've envisioned, and hell, I knew the man would go batsh*t crazy! Let it never be said that Adam Ruzek won't scorch the earth for those he loves!
From injuring his arm knocking down Theo's door to going rogue when they tracked down one of the kidnappers, Ruzek was a hot-blooded terminator for the entire hour. You couldn't expect anything less of him. Surprisingly, Voight never got around to benching him.
Ruzek has a way of thinking that he knows better at any given time, and he also manages to convince you that he may be in the right, too. At some point, as frantic as he was when he argued why the dropoff was all wrong, he made sense.
But Ruzek shouting his opinion when everyone else had a plan in motion, confusing the hell out of Theo, and then tipping of Lenny didn't help anyone in the end. It made things worse when he had no choice but to kill the man, and it's sheer luck that they managed to get pings on that junkyard to find Makayla.
It could've gone a hell of a lot worse.
I'm happy that Theo wasn't the bad guy in all of this, but it's also a relief that there was no way that this could fall on Kim either. It was bad enough that she had to justify herself when she was fighting for custody of Makayla.
Makayla's father wasn't the person behind kidnapping Mak, Nia was, and a part of that was to get back at Kim for lying to her about cutting a deal to avoid significant jail time.
But we know the woman is certifiable, and the messed up thing is that if Theo didn't pursue custody of Mack in the first place, Nia probably wouldn't have known where Mac was at all.
It was frustrating that Theo even considered a point where he wouldn't work with the police. No way on earth he would've gotten Mak back without them, but it's also insane that he didn't consider he'd be the first person they would come to when she went missing.
For Theo, working with the police when he was the one they contacted for ransom money was unavoidable whether he liked it or not. He still had some petty grievances and bitterness when all of this went down, and it was irritating when Mak's well-being was at stake, and he still wanted to make digs at Kim.
But fortunately, they all were able to work together to solve this case and rescue her before it was too late. Despite how much of an ass Theo was, you could tell that he genuinely cared about his niece, and Kim is a good enough person to allow him to have a relationship with her.
Maybe she squeezes in some visits with her Uncle Theo when she isn't going to some extensive therapy. Seriously, how much more can they put that sweet girl through here?
How does it feel to have your child stolen by someone you white savior bitch!Nia
It's probably a good thing that she spent most of the time drugged and probably doesn't remember most of what happened to her. But she will remember that her mother fought like hell to get to her.
It was the first time that Makayla called Kim "mom," that we've heard, and it's sad that a moment like that happened after such a traumatic ordeal, but their reunion was sweet. You felt like you could breathe easier when she woke up, and the two of them had their moment.
Mak was a bright girl, too. You can't convince me she didn't leave that piece of sea glass in that other location on purpose. The connection of the sea glass was a nice touch, and it brought together the two installments well. It was gut-wrenching when Kim held onto hers so hard that she cut open her hand.
But now we have to address the irritating aspect of the hour, and that's the Burzek stuff.
Kim: We're doing the drop. She's my daughter. We're doing the drop.
Adam: What did you say?
Kim: We're doing the drop.
Burgess did an excellent job at keeping Ruzek's head on straight for at least half the hour when they both were losing their minds. But as the stress of everything intensified and they feared they wouldn't get to Mak in time, the tension between them switched.
We had tender moments of them reassuring each other -- Burgess pressing her head to his and confidently stating they'd get their daughter back and him comforting her when she splayed across a dingy mattress in anguish, to them bickering about how best to handle something and Kim pulling the "My Daughter" card.
It's like they take two steps forward after what feels like a lifetime of stagnancy, and then they catapult them backward again for no discernible reason. What's the point of that?
They also keep circling the same issues, and it's frustratingly redundant. In the middle of trying to get Mak back, they break down into this argument about these petty grievances they have with one another from one of them never listening to the other, and so forth, and it felt ridiculous.
Why are they still in that place? When does it end?
The most irritating thing about Burgess right now is how she keeps jerking Ruzek's chain about who he is to her and Mak.
She can't cherry-pick when they're a family and when they aren't. She keeps giving the lip service, but then in the most heated moments when you expect how she really feels to come out, she kicks him to the curb, reminding him that he doesn't have any place in her or Mak's life, at least not on paper.
Absolutely no one deserves to live in that state of uncertainty. Burgess can reassure him all she wants that he's part of their family, but it means nothing if she can pull a trump card on him whenever it suits her and weaponizes the fact that he doesn't have any rights to her. It's bullcrap.
It's not fair to Ruzek at all, and it's not fair to Makayla either.
At this rate, whether or not Burzek is on or off isn't the problem. They can never reunite romantically again, but at the very least, there needs to be something definitive regarding Ruzek's status as Mak's father.
Ruzek held Mak's captor at gunpoint for precious minutes while Burgess reunited with her daughter and took her time telling him that Mak was okay.
You can imagine how excruciating it was for him waiting on a confirmation. He couldn't even properly enjoy that Mak was back home and safe because it was a reminder that he doesn't have an actual place everywhere he looks.
If I'm not mistaken, they're still in Kim's apartment, and Makayla has Burgess' last name.
No amount of Burgess squeezing his hand in an apology will make up for what is routinely an issue for them. The only way this works right now is if he also gets legal rights over Makayla, too.
At this rate, she's literally not even his in name only, and the only way they can be equal partners and parents is if it's applicable on paper, too.
The final moments made the happy ending bittersweet. Because Adam isn't content right now, and it's understandable. He's still in a place where he could lose his daughter, and Burgess doesn't understand how that's tearing him up inside.
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics. Were you surprised by the culprit? What's your take on this Burzek parenthood situation? Hit the comments!
If you need to see that intense hour all over again, 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.