Chicago P.D.’s Marina Squerciati, Patrick Flueger: Why Burzek Stands Out
Back home. During the Wednesday, March 9, episode of Chicago P.D., Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and Ruzek (Patrick Flueger) find their adopted daughter, Makayla (Ramona Edith Williams), safe and sound after being drugged and kidnapped for ransom.
Last week, Burgess pleaded her case in court to stay Makayla’s legal guardian — and won — after her biological uncle applied for full custody. Amid her emotional battle, Burgess revealed her concerns to Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) about being a white woman raising a Black child in Chicago after she had trouble braiding Makayla’s hair.
“It was lovely. I think what’s cool about the show is it’s a small, big moment,” Squerciati exclusively told Us Weekly. “There’s a moment where a real struggle is how does this white woman who’s adopted a Black child braid her hair like her friends have it? And it’s a big emotional moment, but it’s small. It’s the stakes to all of it. So it was a wonderful, sad moment.”
On Wednesday’s episode, tensions ran high as Burgess and Ruzek disagreed on their strategy to find Makayla, with Burgess making the final call after saying Makayla was “my” daughter, which rattled Ruzek. Despite ignoring Voight’s (Jason Beghe) initial orders to stand down from a suspect, Ruzek and Burgess finally find her.
“I think they both go into mama bear and papa bear alert. It’s sort of full scale. I think there’s a nice balance on the show of character’s personal lives and the way they work. But in this it’s like, there’s no working. It’s just sort of myopic vision of finding Makayla,” Squerciati told Us of how the story line unfolded. “The team [was] flanked up by a door in tactical position and [Ruzek] and I just walk in ignoring all the rules. And I think that that’s sort of like where we are.”
For Ruzek, Burgess and Makayla will always be his top priority. “At the end of the day, I think she and Makayla, as far as I’m concerned with Ruzek, they’re everything to him,” Flueger explained. “That’s the be all, end all. When I go and I read a script, when I read these stories, that’s all it is. It’s just them.”
Burgess and Ruzek might still be exes, but it’s their unusual living arrangement and intricate dynamic that the costars find the most compelling.
“I think it’s great. I was confused by it, because you don’t really see things like this on TV. And so in the beginning I remember being like, ‘Wait, they’re living together, but not sleeping together? What’s happening?’ It just doesn’t [happen], that sort of platonic love,” Squerciati said. “But there is a sexuality to it. It’s not represented that much. And I love it. It’s really interesting to play.”
Flueger couldn’t agree more. “My favorite thing about this relationship is, I think it’s one of the most realistic relationships on screen as far as adults are concerned. It’s complicated. It’s not easy. And they lean on each other and they hurt each other and they beat each other up,” he chimed in. “It’s so different. When have you seen that before? I don’t know if we worked it into that groove or if the writers did, or if people even are aware that that’s where our characters live. All I know is that it is really interesting to play.”
The actors believe Burzek will ultimately be endgame, but like their unique relationship now, it’ll be on their own terms. “Will they? Won’t they? Well, they will, but not going to in the way that you think they’re going to,” Flueger added. “I think at the end of the day, they’ll end up together, but I don’t think it’s an easy road to get there.”
Chicago P.D. airs on NBC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.