Burzek is FINALLY back on track.
While it was a compelling hour with a case highlighting the pitfalls of how victims fall through the cracks and could end up on the other side of the law, the most buzzworthy aspect of Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 17 came in those final five moments.
After an eternity of back and forth and then a stall, Ruzek and Burgess broke through a huge barrier, had an honest conversation about their relationship and Kim’s feelings, and made steamy, hot love.
But we can’t get into the treats without knocking out the bulk of the hour and the case.
The series tends to make Kim’s centrics related to female victims and children, and in that regard, this was no exception.
She pulled a series of violent robberies in this instance, but things turned out unexpectedly when she encountered Ruby.
If this case felt like something ripped from an installment of Law & Order: SVU, then Kim stepped up big time as the unit’s Olivia Benson, advocating on Ruby’s behalf despite the woman’s circumstances.
On the surface, it was hard to get past the bloodied, violent mess that Ruby and Ethan left behind whenever they hit up convenience stores.
I assume if there’s anything I need to know about how you’re doing, you’ll tell me.
They weren’t even getting much money out of the deal, and it seemed Ethan was in for the violence and nothing more. But once we learned who and what he was, that tracked.
Under most circumstances, it’s hard to sympathize with the woman holding the gun when a man dies as you’re administering chest compressions.
Initially, the victims were clear-cut and concrete, the dead people who had the misfortune of going to work and expecting to make it back home or those who stopped in to go shopping.
But cases like life aren’t as linear or neat. Instead, we got a complex case that raises ethical questions and other challenges.
Initially, the team could assume that this was some Bonnie & Clyde situation with two armed robbers who got off on the thrill of their actions, especially when they saw video footage of sexual acts after the robbery.
But a different picture shaped once Kim came face to face with Ruby. The woman was so out of it, reciting numbers that we would later discover was mileage based on a sign where she was raped as a grounding technique as she sat in her trauma.
It took a bit for Kim to break through to her, and Ruby was spared the outcomes that happen when there are cops who don’t take that type of time or precaution.
Kim saw something in Ruby that the others were reluctant to see, a trauma victim. The beauty of this situation was that she was the one to bring up projection. No one, especially Ruzek, immediately concluded that that was the only reason she was advocating for Ruby.
An interesting dilemma arose when an insensitive lab cop gave them Ruby’s DNA from her rape kit to confirm her involvement with the case.
It was something covered on other series in the Dick Wolf universe, and it was based on a real case of a woman who sued a police department for doing something similar.
Technically, it wasn’t illegal for the police to do this, but it sure as hell was unethical.
When you consider that thousands of rape kits are collecting dust because there’s often a backlog, and sexual assault victims can rarely get the justice they deserve, it’s enraging.
It shows that there’s a chance that a rape survivor could have their rape kit DNA used against them if they commit an offense sooner and quicker than that same evidence would be used to get them justice.
It speaks to how much Burgess has evolved, not just the growth she’s made since attending therapy, but over the seasons in general, that she stood her ground firmly against Voight.
She was adamant about her stance and how wrong it was, even if she had to stand alone against the others. Fortunately, and in a small moment that deeply captured female solidarity and that type of camaraderie on the job experienced by women in a male-dominated field, Hailey agreed with her 100%.
Ruby: It wasn’t rape, and I told the cops that.
Burgess: Why would you lie about something like that? I think it did happen, and I think you told the truth. I don’t know if the cops didn’t believe you or Ethan threatened you with something, and that’s why you recanted —
Ruby: No, no. It didn’t happen.
As a side note, I miss that Torres wasn’t in this installment. Based on how well he treated their last rape victim, he would’ve backed Kim and done well interacting with Ruby.
Voight respects Kim immensely, and they could move on from there. It was just impressive to see her holding her own against him and having the space to do so.
We came to learn that Ruby’s rapist and abuser was also her partner, and that made the case a bit more twisted and complicated.
Technically, Ruby was guilty of the robberies and subsequent assaults and deaths that came with it. But she was a victim too. The deep trauma associated with the dynamics between Ethan and Ruby is still hard for many people to understand.
There’s a lot to unpack there. Fortunately for Ruby, Kim was there to do that labor. The good thing is that Ruby has a strong case to make for herself in court, and her situation will be considered.
She also led Kim and the others to Ethan, eventually.
It could’ve easily been a triggering case for Kim. But we saw multiple times where she used the tools she learned in therapy over the past couple of months to help her through everyday life, and they’re working.
At the top of the hour, Kim expressed a sense of uncertainty because she had all these measures, from exposure therapy and exercise to grounding and breathing techniques, but she still didn’t think she felt better about anything.
But the proof is how she gets along with her day-to-day and her ability to respond well and function better on the job. Her hands weren’t shaking, and she didn’t freeze up when she was under fire.
Maybe my whole life doesn’t have to be colored by something that happened over a year ago.
She could chase after suspects with no issue. And she took the shot and put Ethan down with a steeliness that was on the money.
We also saw how easily she used breathing techniques to calm down a victim at the store, and she connected to Ruby via them as well.
She could also figure out that Ruby reciting the mileage centered her.
Some may think this was a slow-moving arc, but it’s honestly refreshing to see a character struggle with PTSD and a series actually dedicate time to them working through it.
They didn’t just handwave it away or make it one of those things for the aesthetic in a one-off episode that they don’t revisit again.
It’s a compelling arc for Kim that allows her character to grow and allows Marina Squerciati to showcase her range and stretch her abilities a bit more.
It took some time, but we got a Voight and Burgess one-on-one scene where he checked in with her and told her he’ll always have her back.
Voight isn’t the type of person you go to with those types of problems or conversations; he knows that too. So it’s significant that he tossed that out there.
And the timing isn’t lost that he could be reflecting on the things Chapman brought up, and he’s trying to make more of an effort.
Kim showed via this case how much she now has a handle on the job. Her therapy has done wonders and helped with that, even if Kim couldn’t see it for herself until now.
She was more reluctant to address how her PTSD could have affected her relationship with Adam or her general relationships.
Despite the teases, we didn’t get nearly as much Burgwater content as one would’ve hoped. They kicked butt teaming up together like the good old days, but we didn’t get any persona elements.
But it was worth it for the Burzek moments leading up to that sizzling ending.
Adam was checking on Kim and wanted updates about her therapy session as soon as she was out.
He also spent the entire case telling her how proud he was of her, noting her progress, and generally being a loving, supportive partner.
It was due for the series to revisit Burzek openly and honestly, and you could sense that this would be the moment, that this time is unlike others, when we knew that Ruzek would most likely be attending a couples therapy session.
Kim: My therapist thinks it will be a good idea if you came in for a session.
Kim: I don’t know.
Kim was terrified to ask Adam to join her in therapy, and she seemed both shocked and relieved when he agreed to it without batting an eye.
Sometimes it’s like Kim is still stuck on who Adam may have been a few years back, even when he constantly shows her the man he is now.
The Adam from some years ago would’ve likely made more of a stink about a therapy session, but the man he is now was all-in.
Adam will literally do anything for Kim, especially when he knows it’s for her benefit.
You could tell he felt a bit uncomfortable in the hot seat, and he, too, was in some form of denial that Kim’s PTSD was affecting their relationship.
If it wasn’t apparent how much this man loves this woman, it is when he acknowledges that Kim’s PTSD isn’t the blame for anything — he’ll never let her take any form of blame or carry the weight of feeling like her PTSD is a burden on him or their family.
Instead, he acknowledged that they had to pivot and readjust their relationship to something else. This says that Adam loves Kim enough that he’ll have her in his life in whatever capacity he can.
Kim: I haven’t ever not felt, it’s not that I didn’t feel the same way that he did. I did, I always have. I just couldn’t, I couldn’t, I was just to…
Therapist: OK, we don’t have to keep pushing that tonight, but that’s a good start.
He simply doesn’t envision a world where he doesn’t have his person, even if that meant he didn’t have all of her the way he desired most.
And that’s real love, genuine, pure love that falls in that delicious undefinable place because words don’t encapsulate it or do it justice.
Through this therapy session, Adam and Kim could broach a conversation they hadn’t had in a while but needed, even with so few words.
Adam put himself out there again, admitting how there were times that he wanted more with Kim, but when he felt she didn’t desire the same from him, he let their relationship naturally shift to something more platonic.
But what Adam needed to hear was that there wasn’t a time when Kim didn’t feel the same as he did or wanted what he wanted, too.
Interestingly, Kim was shocked to learn that Adam doubted her love for him.
Bless Kim’s heart; it’s unfathomable that she didn’t figure out his feelings or have the self-awareness to know that she pushed him away and shut down on him enough to make him doubt everything.
But she couldn’t get the words out when she attempted to express why she shut down on him. And it felt like they were shutting the door on things yet again.
Even when they broached the topic at home, and Kim finally admitted that she was simply scared, it seemed like the conversation would end there, and we’d be left in limbo about their relationship yet again.
Fortunately, Kim pushed past her fears after her breakthroughs, and she initiated that kiss, and everything fell into place as it should.
Because Adam needed the green light, he’s been ready and waiting for the possibility for more while simultaneously accepting that there may never have been a shot again.
We’ve had a long, winding path to this particular Burzek reunion, but this felt well-earned.
Kim has been on a slow path toward healing, not just from what happened to her from Roy but whatever other things have held her back over her life.
Therapy has a way of unearthing all the dark nooks and crannies that way. And through her healing journey is the type of growth that puts her in the best place she needs to be and showcases her progress.
And we know Ruzek has grown over time. We can see his difference and how he’s become the family man.
It only feels right and natural that they’ve gravitated to each other again on a romantic and sexual level after both of them have put in some serious work and worked on themselves.
And now, because of that, Burzek feels untouchable and permanent.
Adam: You were to what?
Adam: I was too scared and numb
They’re a seasoned, mature, grounded, raw, deeper version of what they were before, which feels right. It’s the feel of an endgame, and we needed that, as did they.
Over to you, Chicago PD Fanatics.
Are you excited about the Burzek reunion? What did you think about the complexities of the case? Sound off below.
You can watch Chicago PD online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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