Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17 Review: Adrift

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We got another one of those intense, emotional hours that served as a character-centric, and this time around, Ruzek was the primary focus.

Much of Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17 had us diving into the seedy underworld of the drug epidemic plaguing the city as Ruzek's connection to Olivia brought about a takedown of a paranoid dope dealer who had the college market on lock.

And by the end of the hour, Ruzek and Burgess spoke about the tension between them since Makayla's kidnapping. It seems they resolved matters, but it's far from desirable.

Guns Raised  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

The hour didn't reveal anything particularly new about Ruzek, but it rounded out what we've already known. He's a loyal guy who has this strong allegiance to his brothers in blue and still spends some nights in a cop bar.

He's a neighborhood guy who never seems to forget his roots or the people who mattered to him in his life. However unfavorable that reads on a grander scale, particularly in a career that garners much criticism and scrutiny, Ruzek will bend some rules to help out his people.

Ruzek: Kim, we have to communicate with each other. The therapist said we have to talk about what happened to us when Mak was taken.
Burgess: I know that. I know, come on, I'm just tired.

But Olivia's observation about Ruzek when she was high out of her mind was a small tidbit, but it confirmed so much of what we already know to be true about him.

He's always been the guy who will do bad things or break the rules for a good reason to help those in need. He got into some trouble in high school, not because he was a bad kid, but because he defended another poor, misfortunate soul who needed it.

A Connection to a Case  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

And that's a leading quality in Ruzek and has been forever. For better and worse, it's who he is. And the case was another example of that on full display.

His high school English teacher knew he could reach out to Ruzek for help finding his daughter. And to his credit, it sounds like the man went through all the proper channels for at least two months before reaching out to Ruz.

At six bucks a cup don't chug it like a 40.


And no questions asked, Ruzek jumped right into the situation, suspecting some of the dangers that could come, and he didn't give anyone any warning. Although, it did lead to some great moments between him and Trudy, as she offered some six-dollar coffee, assistance, and sheer brilliance.

It felt reminiscent of how they utilized her to help Hailey in a case during Still Water. And these are all the little moments that we desire when we talk about the criminally underused Platt.

Platt Offers Assistance -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

We're not asking for much! It was so good to see her working with Ruzek, and they have this history that made the scene stronger since she's always had an affection for him that's grown over the years.

Trudy's Den Mom moments with the younger members of the unit are always precious.

The moment Ruzek came across the multiple overdoses on that college campus, it was evident that he stumbled onto something bigger, and he'd be doing more than getting Olivia home to her parents.

We know how much the Intelligence Unit likes to take over situations, but it was one of those cases where it probably would've been nice if they got to work alongside Narcotics for a change.

Breaking Up a Drug Ring - tall - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

In such a brief moment, that Narc detective was interesting, and it could've been intriguing to see him and Ruzek work together and potentially bump heads as Ruzek did everything he could to keep Olivia out of it, and the detective used her to get right to Wade.

It sounded like the Narc U were on the Wade case for some time, but they fell back at Voight's say so, and Ruzek's undercover assignment that could've taken months seeingly only lasted days to maybe weeks with the team blowing the whole case wide open in no time at all.

Voight: You hit the streets alone, don't notify me, so now we got ODs and a narco case. I miss anything? Ruzek: No.
Voight: We'll take it. I'll handle Narcotics.

Olivia wasn't a particularly compelling character other than Ruzek's fondness for her because of her relation to his teacher and a general paternal vibe that he's carried since Makayla entered their lives.

Despite her passing out the drugs, Ruzek got her out of any legal trouble in exchange for her working as his informant with a paranoid Wade.

Drawn Weapon -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

And there was an unresolved aura around Oliva. There was no nod at her getting clean, and we didn't even get the emotional payoff of her reuniting with her father.

Oliva's most interesting, standout moments were when she exuded genuine concern for Ruzek after taking those drugs, and she did everything in her power and risked her life to get him the Narcan, even when he blew his cover and got her shot.

We saw a glimpse of the girl that Olivia probably used to be before she became strung out in those moments.

And there were a few times when it didn't seem as if she'd make it out of the ordeal alive. If she wasn't on the brink of an overdose twice, it was those scary few moments when she got shot.

On the Scene -tall - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

Of course, the more harrowing moment was Ruzek going to extreme lengths to save Olivia from the gun shoved down her throat. It was jawdropping.

Criminals operate under the assumption that undercover officers won't partake in illegal substances, and they love to use that as a way for someone to prove themselves.

But with the Ruzek and Olivia situation, what other alternatives were there? He avoided it as long as possible, and he had an answer for everything.

Ruzek is one of the best when he gets undercover because of how quick he is on his feet and how he can spin some stories. He's one of the best to watch undercover for that reason.

Finding Ruzek -tall - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

The terrifying thing about Wade was that he was dealing counterfeit oxy and cutting it with all sorts of things with no consistency or regard for the effects on others.

From a strictly (criminal) business perspective, it seemed reckless and maybe was a nod to his also breaking one of the cardinal rules of dealing by getting high off his own supply.

You want to build a clientele, not kill them off. It's no wonder Wade was hard up to make a deal with Ruzek to expand into other areas. He was wiping out addicts in his own hood.

We saw multiple times how dangerous and unpredictable his drugs were. By the time Ruzek snorted them, your heart had dropped to your stomach because you knew that things could only be infinitely worse for this man with no experience with taking drugs in the first place.

Ruzek on the Hunt -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

One can't imagine how terrifying it was for him, lying in that dingy, dirty warehouse overdosing and wondering if he'd die before Burzek and Kev got to him in time.

It laid him flat on his ass. Some confusion still surrounded why he didn't alert any of them to his whereabouts sooner since he could with the chip or whatever.

Some of it seemed like quintessential Ruzek cowboy antics, but other parts felt like oversights with the writing and some weird editing choices.

But in what Ruzek thought were his final moments, all he could think about was Kim telling Makayla that he loved her.

Searching for His Girl -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 15

Did anyone find the reaction to Ruzek almost dying understated? Kim had an urgency but no real passion or emotion about the ordeal, which carried over into her not even being at the hospital or knowing that he was coming home early.

Kevin mainly was in the background, and given that Ruzek is like his brother, there was a lack of emotion.

By now, it's not that surprising when we don't get much reaction from the Halstead duo to the other characters, and Voight mostly disappeared for most of the hour.

And then we were back to that weirdness with Burgess and Ruzek. What exactly is the plan for these two and their family?

Lady Halstead in Red -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

The conversation they had didn't feel like any progress. Burgess and Ruzek both sat there and said that they didn't know what to do to get their family back, and honestly, it's still a bit of a mystery as to where things went wrong in the first place.

What do they both mean when they say "back?" Were they ever really the family they thought they were in the first place?

Tell Makayla that I love her, and she's lucky to have you as a mom.


They centered their conversation around the aftermath of Mack's kidnapping as if there weren't other issues cropping up well before that even happened. And still, they've gone unaddressed.

It was infuriating a the top of the hour when Ruzek returned home, and he found out that Mack was in bed early despite their dinner plans because of some miscommunication about her new bedtime.

Adapting to Motherhood -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17

And while it shouldn't result in one of those things where one takes sides, frankly, it's believable that Burgess miscommunicated or simply didn't inform Ruzek about Mack's new bedtime. She repeatedly does things without telling him about them because she operates as the sole parent.

For example, it's glaring that Burgess didn't send a text message or make a phone call reminding him of the new dinner time before she and Mack sat down to dinner. Isn't that what you typically do when someone is late for dinner?

And by the end of the hour, the onus was on Ruzek again to broach the conversation of their poor communication, what's not working, and even to apologize.

I'm not saying that Ruzek's behavior when Mack got kidnapped was perfectly acceptable the entire time, but this is getting exhausting. When exactly does Burgess make some amends?

Work/Life Balance -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 14

The constant implications that Makayla isn't their kid shutting him down and out, and so forth -- when will any of that get addressed?

They had the time to address it during those final moments, yet it was radio silence, and it's confusing as to why that is. What's the game plan here?

Right now, it feels like Ruzek has poured everything into this concept of their family, and whenever he does something that bothers Burgess, she jerks it away from him.

She dangles it in front of him as his north star, actively encourages him to consider their family when he's doing things, and as this fueling point to give him purpose.

Modus Operandi  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 14

But then she snatches it away just as quickly. Since it's new to her, she has the space to stumble through parenthood, but Ruzek doesn't get that same courtesy.

And she may think it's in Makayla's best interest, but honestly, it reads as purely selfish and harmful to both Ruzek and Makayla. It would be nice if we knew the purpose and thought process behind all of this happening with Ruzek, Burgess, and Makayla.

Maybe if we did, it wouldn't be such a frustrating, stagnant arc that feels like a disservice to the characters and this relationship.

Even though we've had this ship longer, and they can be the more tolerable of the workplace romances depending on your taste, whether these two become romantically linked again or not doesn't matter.

The idea of Burzek as best friends who formed a family, even if it's platonic, is compelling enough even if the romance never factors in again.

Custody of Makyala-tall - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 14

But by now, it's one of those "crap or get off the pot" types of things with these two. They've pushed and pulled, jerked the chain of this relationship way too long without something concrete or a definitive answer, and it's become too much.

For a moment, before Mack's kidnapping, it looked as if the two of them would again make a go of it romantically and as a family when they kissed.

They've since blown that to smithereens for no conceivable reason. Between breaks and storytelling and continuity, it makes whatever is happening between these two characters hard to follow because we only check back in with this storyline once every blue moon.

Even the ending was weirdly open-ended. Neither of them knew what to do about their family. They don't discuss their relationship at all.

Congratulatory Kiss - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 14

And, presumably decided that the best thing for Makayla, a child who has endured more change and trauma than most in such a short time, is for Adam to move out, I guess?

And he was at the undercover apartment, so does that mean he no longer has his own since their original plan was for them to move into a new place together?

And how will Kim function as a working parent to a child who requires extensive therapy and other things when she's relied so heavily on Adam's presence, but he's no longer there because of her doing?

We already saw she was apologizing profusely and enlisting help from others via phone calls to pick up Mack or whatever else. Will it take her struggling before seeing how much she relied on Adam?

Anxious Burgess -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 14

All you can say is that Ruzek deserves better than this. It's like he's a childless father. Fatherhood shaped so much of his life and his growth now, and he's always been family-oriented -- it aligns with how he views loyalty to his team and fellow officers.

But somehow, he's all alone without this family, he would fight and die for, and I don't even know why. My heart broke for the guy, and by the end of the hour, all I wanted to do was hug him.

Ruzek: I don't really know where to start, here, I just. Look, I'm sorry, Kim. I know that things have been hard. I know that we're, you know.
Burgess: We're not us right now.
Ruzek: I'm lying there dying and I'm thinking to myself, my God, this is how I'm going to go out. With everything broken. No, uh-uh, never again.I want to fix it. I want our family back to the way that it was. Burgess: Me too.
Ruzek: I know I disappointed you when she was taken. Maybe we start with a schedule that works better for us. We keep talking, you know?
Burgess: The thing is it's been working. This week, Makayla, she seemed better with me. I don't know what to do here, Adam. I don't know how to fix it.
Ruzek: Me neither. So we do what's best for her. We do what's best for our family.

Would it even be satisfying if they pulled some sort of reconciliation and romance for Burzek out of the blue? Personally, it wouldn't, but we'll have to see how it plays out.

Other Thoughts:

  • No, but seriously, why didn't we get that reunion between Olivia and her father? I would've loved a scene wrapping that up with them and Ruzek after he kept his promise.
Looking Into a Drug Ring -tall - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17
  • Trudy Platt is the Best. That's it. That's the sentence.
  • It was one of those episodes that felt like classic filming during a pandemic episode because all the scenes were so tight and involved so few people, and everyone was seemingly in their "pods." But it was so glaring.
  • It speaks to the consistency of the attire in this series that Hailey caught my eye because of the red she was wearing. She should wear pops of color more often. It looked good on her.
  • Burgwater will always be elite.
  • One thing Paddy Flueger will do is act his ass off, especially during his centrics.
Ruzek on the Hunt -tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17
  • It feels like Ruzek has become more immersed in this world outside of the unit with other cops. The poker scene was cute, but it also makes you miss the closeness with the other characters.
  • Why won't they let Adam Ruzek be happy? He's actively trying to be, but they won't let him live!
  • Following that, at this point, I wouldn't even be surprised if they did an addiction storyline for him since they keep kicking this man when he's down.
  • I genuinely feel bad for the diehard Burzek fans because this back and forth contrived but not fleshed-out drama between them is so unsatisfying.

Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics.

Did you enjoy this Ruzek-centric? What are your thoughts on the Burzek and Makayla situation? Hit the comments!

You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.

Adrift Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

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.

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Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 17 Quotes

At six bucks a cup don't chug it like a 40.


Ruzek: Kim, we have to communicate with each other. The therapist said we have to talk about what happened to us when Mak was taken.
Burgess: I know that. I know, come on, I'm just tired.