That was a heavy episode of Chicago PD—and it was a heavy case for the Intelligence unit, one that has been building to this point all season.
Chicago PD Season 10 Episode 22 did not play out as I thought it would, but I think it’s safe to say that it didn’t pan out the way any of the officers thought it would, including Adam Ruzek.
Ruzek was working this undercover case for months—and it was grueling, taking a toll on his mental health and wellbeing.
He dedicated so much of his time, spending day in and day out with Richard, Sam and her son, Callum, and away from his own family, only to have absolutely no new information or details about this “plan.”
All he really knew was that Richard was a white supremacist who was trying to push his views onto his grandson, and he was orchestrating some kind of massive plan that would include multiple targets and casualties—it was later revealed the targets were Black elementary school children.
And it was all going to be set into motion one morning when Sam frantically called to tell him she was skipping town because her father moved up the date to that morning. I think Ruzek should’ve realized that it was strange that Richard didn’t call him since he was supposed to be running point on the plan, but he was also so invested that he was desperate to get any information. He knew that this man was dangerous and he needed to stop him at any cost.
So, when Sam threatened to go rogue, he jumped in and blew his cover, which wasn’t ideal, but it was the only option he had at that moment. If he let Sam go, so would his shot at getting any information.
The unfortunate thing is that Ruzek wasn’t paying attention to Callum, or, rather, he underestimated him because he was just a child. He knew Richard was trying to influence Callum, but he didn’t realize the hold he had or how deeply manipulative Richard actually was. Richard also seemingly didn’t trust Ruzek as much as Ruzek thought he did, so there were a lot of hiccups that may have been eliminated if he just kept a closer eye on them. That being said, I can’t imagine living two lives and trying to make sense of all of it in the limited downtime you have left. Ruzek was pulling double duty and he was feeling the pressure of it all.
The only thing that convinced Sam to talk was immunity for her and her son, but again, she was also naive to what was going on with her son when it came to her father. She wanted to protect Callum and do what was best for him, but she didn’t realize that her father had already dug his claws into that boy in a way that was not going to end well.
Sam was suspicious of everyone except her own child, who was the easiest target for Richard as he had his undivided attention and trust and could brainwash him without even lifting a finger.
When they proposed going away for a trip, it was my first thought to follow Callum upstairs to make sure he wasn’t making contact with his grandfather. Why did that not occur to Ruzek? Again, I think he just underestimated that boy because he’s a child, but as Sam mentioned, hate is a thing that’s taught. Callum was taught all these ideologies that his grandfather truly believed, and he didn’t know any better, so he believed them as well.
And when confronted by Ruzek, he sensed danger and took the shot. It was the hardest thing to watch because Ruzek was genuinely trying to help that boy.
He believed in them, he believed in Sam—he stood up for her when everyone suggested that she needs to be punished for her role the plan—and when it came down to it, not only did her son shoot him, but she turned her back on Ruzek and left him there to die.
I was convinced that maybe there was a redemption arc here for Sam, but while she knew what her father was doing was wrong, there was no hope for her. She was already a monster. Her intentions were to protect her kid, but she went about it the wrong way. She made an enemy out of the people that were doing her a huge favor.
It’s true that Adam lied to her, but if she put those feelings of betrayal aside, she’d realize that leaving him there to potentially bleed out would not end well for her, nor was it the way to keep her son safe.
And the real enemy, her father, was out there and on his way to claim her son, the son that Ruzek vowed to protect above anything else. Why in the world would she ever think she could outrun the truth and that it would somehow make this already terrible situation better?
Thankfully, Adam was able to wipe the blood off of his fingers and reach Kim, though it was tense there for a second and I was, admittedly, very worried about him.
Ruzek went into surgery immediately, and while there’s no word on his condition, I’m of the mindset that if Burgess survived her near-death experience, he will too. And now, they’ll be able to bond over this as I’m sure the trauma of what happened will stick around with him for a while. Kim has already done all the work, so she’ll be able to be a source of support.
Before losing consciousness, Ruzek made Burgess promise that she’d get to Callum before Richard, and she made sure to do right by that promise.
Ruzek has a big heart, and honestly, it’s his Achilles Heel sometimes. That being said, it’s also the reason we love him—Ruzek extends so much care and concern for the children in his life. He bonded with Callum, he saw how special he was, and he couldn’t let anything happen to him.
Unfortunately, the situation got messy rather quickly as Sam took way too long to surrender, and by that time, Richard already found them. Again, I don’t know what lead to such poor decision-making on her part and why she wasted so much time when her father was a constant imminent threat.
Voight arrived in the knick of time to stop Richard from escaping with Callum, but it was clear that this wouldn’t be an easy win for the cops. Usually, when someone is being held hostage, they don’t actually want to go with the person, but Callum did want to go with his grandfather. We saw the extent of how effective Richard’s brainwashing was as Callum agreed that he was ready to die for the cause and had pure hatred in his eyes while staring down the cops who were threatening his grandfather.
And then it happened—the final blow, a shot taken by Atwater. It was a necessary and valid shot, but unfortunately, it also cemented all of Richard’s beliefs right in front of Callum’s eyes.
His grandfather was shot, with no remorse, by a Black police officer. It reinforced everything he’s been taught because all he saw was race. It lit a hatred inside Callum unlike any other. And it was eerie because you could see all of it happening through sheer glances. If looks could kill, Callum’s would burn a hole through Atwater.
It’s going to be hard to reset Callum’s way of thinking now, which is unfortunate. I could see him restarting his grandfather’s operation and finishing what he started, and that’s a terrifying thought.
It’s unclear if this is the last we’ve seen of them, but I hope it isn’t. I hope we see what happens to Sam. Will they walk back the immunity deal? And how will they handle Callum since he did shoot a cop intentionally? The “he’s a child” excuse can only go so far, but it’s evident that this might not be a one-off behavior. Will therapy be able to reverse the damage? I doubt Ruzek would ever press charges, but it’s also a security issue if Callum is simply let go to let all that hatred fester. And where will he go if his mom is arrested? There are a lot of lingering questions.
As for Ruzek, well, I genuinely hope he pulls through. This is not the way to go out, especially after he just made things official with Burgess.
I do, however, think this moment will inspire Burgess to get married to Ruzek when he finally gets better. It’s not only the “life is short” realization (though that surely comes into play), but since she wasn’t his wife, she wasn’t given any information nor was she allowed to go any further. You could see that really took a toll on her considering the strength of their bond.
What did you think of the episode? Are you surprised with how things ended with Richard? Do you think Ruzek will survive?