Chicago P.D. 10×14 “Trapped” is a great episode of television that finally gets to the heart of Kim Burgess’ trauma, a trauma that this show has treated as a storytelling device for the past season and a half — as other characters got to deal with their own, and even with the root of Kim’s recent issues, without her ever being made aware of what happened to the man who almost killed her.
A part of me wanted this episode to be about the team — a celebration of something this show hasn’t really been for ages, and perhaps I am just nostalgic for — but the hour works very well to celebrate the kind of stories this show has always excelled at, and the character work that has gotten this show to season 10. This isn’t Voight’s show, it never has been.
Instead, it’s Kim’s show, and Adam’s — Kevin and Hailey’s, and yes, now Dante’s. It was Jay’s show before, and Olinsky’s, and even Vanessa’s. We invested in them. We cared about them. And they are the reason we are still watching. As such, it is perhaps fitting that, if this show was going to give us character-centric, if that is all the show is capable of these days, it would be Kim who gets to shine this hour. Kim, who has been there from the beginning. Kim, who has been knocked down over and over and has never fully gotten the storyline she needs to heal. Kim, who deserves so much more than the writing has given her.
So let us go into how the show finally allows Kim a voice in her own trauma, and what healing means for Burzek as we review Chicago P.D. 10×14 “Trapped”:
I CAN’T BE TRAPPED
Perhaps the worst thing about the way the show has dealt with Kim’s trauma, particularly recently — though also historically — is how her trauma has rarely been about her. Instead, her trauma has been used to set up storylines about other characters and pushed to the background to be pulled out every once in a while, only during Kim episodes, and only if it’s “convenient.” And though there is no real timeline to the way trauma presents itself, there’s something inherently fake about the way this story has been told.
At least, until now, because Chicago P.D. 10×14 “Trapped” centers Kim’s feelings, Kim’s reactions and Kim’s ways of coping — without letting anything, even her relationship with Adam, overshadow her. This isn’t a Burzek episode, though there’s no way to do an episode about Kim without Adam being a large presence because Adam and Kim are an entity now. Instead, this is an episode about Kim, and one without answers or quick fixes, which is a good thing. There’s no on/off switch to PTSD.
Instead, this episode sees Kim struggle, get up, try, ask for help, stumble and then get up again. Not because she’s suddenly okay, she clearly isn’t. But because she is a trained professional who can reach for strength in places normal mortals can’t. And though the idea that trauma is a thing you can just get over if you want it hard enough is problematic, that isn’t really what’s going on here. Kim isn’t cured at the end of the hour. She isn’t even good. But he is better for having faced what she’s feeling. And she can now finally get started on the journey of healing.
NOT FOR ADAM
Chicago P.D. 10×14 “Trapped” does a great job of conceptualizing Kim’s issues with intimacy around her trauma, something that always felt obvious but that needed more than leaps of logic. And the episode also does something even better, it establishes that Kim wants the same Adam wants, the same fans have been wanting. She just doesn’t know how to get there. She doesn’t know how to be the person who can.
For a while, it has felt like there was nothing else Adam could do to convince Kim, and this episode firmly establishes that what comes next in the journey toward these two getting back together is …healing, on Kim’s part. That works needs to be done in therapy, but it also needs to involve the truth Kim has been owed for a while, the one Voight has been holding hostage. How much farther ahead could she be on the journey to healing if she knew that Roy was dead? We will never know, and we should not have to continue wondering.
But when it comes to Burzek, there’s no greater hope than that moment, in the train — forehead against forehead, with Adam being Kim’s anchor, the one thing holding her together. Love isn’t about fixing each other, but sometimes, love is about holding onto the boat while the other person figures out how to steer. That is what Adam is for Kim. A safe port in a storm. And, when she’s finally on the other side, well …then it will be time for our payoff. At least now it feels more like a journey we’re on than a hope for the future.
Things I think I think:
- Domestic Burzek is ADORABLE.
- Makayla should be in every episode, I said what I said.
- Adam being so soft with Kim, but also attentive to Makayla? I have EMOTIONS.
- Partner, you say?
- Everyone on this team needs therapy, but Kim especially needs therapy and I’m glad she’s getting it.
- “Pushing away people you love!!”
- The whole metaphor of trauma traping you is very well developed in this hour — and the way it connects to Kim being literally trapped at the end of the hour? A+
- Perfect Burzek teamwork hour.
- That Burzek scene in the train was probably the best scene of the two of them in …a year?
- Kim’s pretending HARD and I don’t get how this has become the show where everyone’s buying it.
- It should not just be Adam checking on Kim and worrying about her.
- AT LEAST KEV. AT LEAST KEV.
- “Not for my daughter, and not for Adam.”
- “Then we work on getting you free.”
- At last.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Chicago P.D. 10×14 “Trapped”? Share with us in the comments below!
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.