One Chicago questions of the week: Week of April 9

Photo Credit: Chicago Fire/NBC
Photo Credit: Chicago Fire/NBC /
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Photo Credit: Chicago P.D./NBC
Photo Credit: Chicago P.D./NBC /

1) Is Ruzek headed for a meltdown?

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“Payback” was a tough episode for Detective Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger).

After a young boy was murdered when he was hit in the head with a stray bullet from a crime committed in the apartment next door, Ruzek was hit hard by the death of the innocent victim and came close to crossing the line when questioning a suspect who was later exonerated.

The suspect ID came from Ruzek’s confidential informant Ray Denza (guest star Demetrius Grosse), a former police officer recently released from prison after being convicted for an unjustified shooting.

Ruzek had not witnessed the shooting and had refused to alter his testimony to back up Denza’s claims at trial. It was obvious from the start that Denza was not to be trusted, but Ruzek continued to trust him out of a sense of guilt, ignoring or unable to see red flags. Even when Denza put a gun to his head in an attempt to maintain his cover, Ruzek was unable to pick up on the hints that Denza was giving him to play along.

Ruzek seemed to spend most of the episode, indeed several episodes now, in a state of mild confusion and disarray so when Denza was finally identified as the man behind the stash house hits, using his connections to the CPD to locate the houses before they were raided.

Unwilling to go back to prison, Denza goaded Ruzek into killing him even though he was potentially unarmed, thus putting Ruzek in a similar situation to Denza’s in the shooting that sent him to prison. Fortunately for Ruzek, Detective Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) tackled and subdued Denza before Ruzek had to act.

Since Ruzek’s return from his as yet unexplained undercover assignment and the resolution of his “mole” dilemma he has been lacking in confidence and in a constant state of seeking guidance and approval from Voight (Jason Beghe).

While a sense of indebtedness to Voight is understandable, his current state is not good for anyone’s safety on the job, least of all his. Does the undercover assignment have something to do with that? Will we ever get an explanation for his lost time or is Ruzek going to continue a slow, unexplained spiral?