Chicago PD’s Burgess pregnancy may be major, or a major bust

CHICAGO P.D. -- "Absolution" Episode 709 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Absolution" Episode 709 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Chicago PD’s Kim Burgess is pregnant, and this Chicago PD season 7 storyline could be massive if the writers are willing to completely explore it.

This week’s Chicago PD surprised fans by revealing that Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) was four weeks pregnant. So what happens next?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers from this week’s episode of Chicago PD.

“No Regrets” confirmed Burgess was expecting ex-fiance Adam Ruzek’s (Patrick John Flueger) baby, after the two had rekindled their relationship—again—four episodes earlier.

Although Burgess originally made an appointment implied to be for an abortion, she told Ruzek at the end of the episode that she had cancelled the appointment, as she was no longer sure what to do with the pregnancy.

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This has the potential to be a huge storyline for Chicago PD, but it also has the potential to come off as melodrama, depending on how the producers go forward in Wednesday’s midseason finale and when the show returns in 2020.

It poses a genuine question. Career vs. family has long been a debate, and not just for women; many people get to a point in their lives where they have to decide between devoting themselves to their jobs or stepping back to start a family.

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Burgess’s dilemma is a way to directly address that topic.

It’s also a way to develop an aspect that’s all but disappeared from Chicago PD: the literal family. There’s the metaphorical family of the Intelligence Unit but the majority of characters’ actual family members have either been killed off, turned into victims of crime, or both. No one in the current team is a parent—Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) son is long dead, and Kevin Atwater’s (LaRoyce Hawkins) siblings got sent away and largely forgotten.

Burgess could represent the working parent, and bring a perspective where someone has a major interest outside of the Intelligence Unit. For most of these characters, their professional lives and their personal loyalties begin and end with that team. But if Burgess has a child, she automatically has something—someone—that trumps that.

However, the Chicago PD writers have to be willing to go there with that storyline. Or will they pull this back, whether it’s now or in the spring? Because it’s not that easy.

There is, of course, a massive logistical hurdle. Chicago PD is possibly the least appropriate show on TV to insert a baby into. Every episode has a shootout, a car chase, or sometimes both. As Kim worried about in “No Regrets,” working in Intelligence isn’t like working in any other job, or even in any other police role—it exists in a different place where violence is part of the modus operandi.

It’s hard to imagine the writers taking screen time away from that to show Burgess, or Burgess and Ruzek, having a cute child-rearing moment. Tonally, and in terms of plot, it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the show.

And if the series is going to have Burgess keep the baby, only to shuffle it off-screen and forget about it, that’s not doing it justice. Neither is having some accident that causes her to miscarry the kid in an episode or two. Burgess could go back to having the abortion, or give the child up for an adoption, but that decision has to be played out and given its space.

In some ways, Kim Burgess’s story is very similar to that of April Sexton on Chicago Med: pregnancy is a sensitive subject, and the writers absolutely shouldn’t treat this baby merely as a Burzek plot device/dramatic object and push it aside as soon as it no longer suits them. If they introduced this idea just to throw in extra Burzek drama, it will come off as being lazy writing and emotionally manipulative besides.

Burgess being pregnant could be the start of an impactful story about a working parent, or Kim having to make a very difficult and life-changing decision. But that’s if the producers are willing to commit to this, and everything it entails, and don’t just look at their latest plot twist for short-term ship or shock value. We’ll find out when Chicago PD season 7 returns Wednesday.

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