Chicago P.D. 9×17 “Adrift” is about Adam Ruzek and how far he’s come from the man we met all those years ago. It’s also about Burzek, and what the path forward is. But above all things, it’s about growth and about priorities …and as much as that hurts right now, this hour makes it clear that Adam is now a parent, first and foremost.
There’s a funny thing that happens when you have a kid, a sudden shift in priorities. You are things, and you want things; but when you have a child, all that you are, all that you desire, takes a backseat to your kid’s wellbeing. And though I’m not sure Adam and Kim are making the right decision for Makayla at the end of this episode, the fact that Adam loves Makayla enough to walk away means a lot.
Did he have anything to prove? Not to me, as a viewer, but perhaps to Kim — even though, from the outside, it feels like he’s already proven himself time and time again. Feelings, however, are not rational. Kim isn’t acting on common sense; she’s acting out of fear. She’s trying to protect herself and her kid. And though I believe she’s being unfair, and she shouldn’t be protecting herself from Adam, I also believe this journey can’t end any other way than with Burzek as a family.
But boy, we’re apparently going to suffer to get there.
ADAM RUZEK IS A FATHER NOW
The episode takes us through all the stages of Adam Ruzek, only to end up with him alone. It’s heartbreaking for many reasons, perhaps the most important one being that he didn’t think he’d need to be alone again. He had a family, after all. He’d finally found his home. But it’s even more devastating when we consider it’s Adam that makes the decision of putting Makayla first.
I’m not sure it’s the right decision, but that doesn’t matter to Adam. He’s being the grown up because that’s what you do when you’re a parent. You put your kid first, even when you just want to argue. Even when you think you deserve better. You put your kid first.
Makayla has been through a lot, and it’s not just good, it’s great to see she’s both Adam and Kim’s main priority. They are her parents, after all. The bigger picture of who they are together, who they can be – that’s not a Makayla thing, even though it affects her. That’s an Adam and Kim thing, and boy, do they have to figure it out. Not just for themselves, but for their kid. Because yes, you put your kid first, but you can’t live life just for your kid. That’s a surefire way to make everyone, including the person you’re trying to protect, miserable.
IS WANTING NOT ENOUGH?
The most frustrating part of this episode might just be seeing Adam and Kim both state that they want to fix things and yet having them unable to figure out how. The words are a step forward, of course. They are a family, and that’s what they want to be. That’s on the table. But, in a way, hasn’t that been on the table for a while? Haven’t they always wanted …and just never figured out how to have?
So many other issues are keeping them apart, issues they haven’t discussed, traumas they have yet to address (and yes, illogical plot decisions). But this episode puts them on even ground on the wanting, so the rest of it just feels …absurd. You want, you try. Otherwise, at some point, it’s on you for not trying. It would be very different if they didn’t want to fix things or if one of them didn’t.
This is it for Adam and Kim. Romantically, as part of a family unit, this is it. There’s never going to be another love interest, and Makayla is now an intrinsic part of the show and their family. So, what we need is to have forward movement in this storyline. Consistent forward movement. This entire season has been three steps forward, two steps back, and though that’s still some advancement, it’s not nearly enough.
Chicago P.D. does a lot of things I don’t agree with, and though the Voight of it all usually frustrates me more than anything, this episode just reminded me of all the times, all the couples, all the shows that have just …made me wait for something I knew was meant to be from day one. Pushing this storyline to next season would be a mistake. Pushing this storyline this far has been a mistake. How many other mistakes will the show make in this regard?
AS A SHIPPER, IT’S DISAPPOINTING, TO SAY THE LEAST
We don’t have to go into the why people watch things, and/or get into the argument of whether people should watch only for one ship. I’m a proponent of watching a show for whatever reason you want — one ship, two, a character, an actor, a set. It doesn’t really matter why you’re a fan, if you’re a fan. Every fan is important to a show, and though shows cannot cater to fans, they should strive to give every part of the show some coherency and consistency.
I’m not sure if we can say Burzek has gotten that. No, wait, I’m pretty sure we can be categorical in saying they haven’t. Their whole storyline has been dragged and dragged, and it’s been seasons since it’s made sense to me why they aren’t together. Whether you like them as a couple or not, I’m pretty sure we’re all one in not understanding why the show just won’t commit to them — or just end them once and for all.
Then, there’s the Kim of it all, and this always happens: Characters keep suffering to serve the plot. Because what does Kim want from Adam? I’m not sure she knows at this point, because he has literally become the man she’s been waiting for him to be — minus that thing where he lost it when Makayla was kidnapped, but truly, can anyone blame him for that? — and it hasn’t made any difference.
And sure, this episode, which is a step back, is at least a step, and it’s possible that in the end, it will end up being a good thing for them. There’s no bigger proof of how serious Adam is, how much this family means to him, than what he did at the end of Chicago P.D. 9×17 “Adrift.” But this only works if the show remembers to consistently advance this plot, and considering how many episodes there are until the end of the season, I just don’t know that this is going to get fixed this season.
Would that be so bad? Yes, and no. It truly wouldn’t be if the payoff was good — except it’s been so damn long, it’s hard to expect payoff. It’s hard to have faith. And it’s really, really hard to wait when this is the thing you’re most invested in. I thought this was going to be the season of Burzek getting back together. It should have been, and now I’m just …. what are we waiting for? What?
Things I think I think:
- Jay and Hailey having tiny married couple moments is always a joy. The definitive “Imma listen to my wife” moment from Jay we get in this hour is a special treat.
- More Kim and Kevin scenes, please.
- Also, Kevin Atwater. That’s it, that’s all I want to say.
- Everyone seems to forget that, yes, Adam wasn’t exactly being rational when his daughter was kidnapped (who would be?), but Adam was also RIGHT. REMEMBER THAT? HE WAS RIGHT.