The following contains major spoilers for Wednesday’s episode of Chicago P.D. Proceed accordingly.
After a year in denial, Chicago P.D.‘s Kim Burgess was finally honest with herself about how the shooting and kidnapping at the end of Season 8 has impacted her — at least professionally.
Wednesday’s episode, which was also the landmark 200th episode for the Dick Wolf drama, forced the Chicago cop to confront her trauma while being trapped on a train with a young man who’d been shot. Burgess experienced several panic attacks throughout the tense hour, eventually opening up to her therapist about her PTSD and how she’s terrified of losing her identity as a police officer.
But what does this mean for her personally? Marina Squerciati tells TVLine that the reveal of Burgess’ trauma response explains why she’s been so reluctant to take things beyond this murky life partnership with Ruzek.
“Ruzek has had his hand extended this whole time, and I’ve just kept smacking it away,” the actress says of her character. “Because we don’t get the script ahead of time, the last couple of years have been like, ‘How long can he stay?’ They have a great relationship, but she’s not exactly tender or loving with him. Then they told me it’s because I have PTSD, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that makes sense.’”
As we saw with Episode 8, in which Burgess forgot her gun while working a case, Ruzek is well aware of her PTSD. Although the panic attack at the start of the hour was a scary ordeal for him and their adoptive daughter Makayla, Patrick John Flueger notes that the experience won’t deter him from sticking by her side.
“This is probably the most dramatic thing that’s happened, other than her forgetting her gun,” Flueger says. “I think there’s other stuff that hasn’t happened on screen for the audience — just little moments where maybe she’s not herself, where maybe he catches her hand shaking. He understands what’s going on [and] tries to let her deal with it as best she can.”
Now that Burgess has begun to deal with her issues, Squerciati hopes that it will allow “the dam to break between them because he’s been a really steady rock and she has just not been able to reciprocate for him.”
But before Ruzek and Burgess can get to that next step, she says Burgess is going to have to “confront that [her PTSD] affected her personal life.”
That’s not to say she won’t get there, eventually. “I’m pretty excited for the end of the season,” Squerciati adds, “to see what would happen if she gets there.”
What did you think of Chicago P.D.’s 200th episode? Do you think Ruzek and Burgess are ready for that next step? Sound off below!