Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 7 Review: Instinct

The only thing more dangerous than a drug dealer taking out other drug dealers is an unstable CI. 

And that’s just what Intelligence encountered on Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 7.

Man, that was one hell of an episode. It was messy, emotional, heartbreaking, and, at times, frustrating. 

It’s been a while since an episode focused solely on Adam Ruzek kept me on the edge of my seat, but Patrick Flueger brought his all to this episode. I felt every single one of his emotions. 

The cast has been stepping it up this season despite the choppy storytelling!

Props must also be given to Michael Drayer, who nailed the role of Tommy, and painted a harrowing and painful reality of drug addiction. 

While Intelligence really wanted to nab Monahan, a new player in town who was taking out other dealers in the game to eliminate the competition, Tommy should’ve been pulled as a CI the moment he used again. 

He informed Ruzek that he was clean, but didn’t hold up his end of the bargain during the introduction. 

It was the first sign that Tommy wasn’t in the right headspace for any of this. And though he followed through till the very end, it came at a price. 

Ruzek: I screwed up. Hesitated. I just had all these voices in my head, you know rules, not right or wrong, the perception of right or wrong, and all that crap and I don’t have my piece. Carrying a rifle that’s used to murder four people. This guy’s not pointing the gun at me, he’s pointing a gun at Tommy. And so what the hell do I know? What do I know? Can’t trust my instincts anymore. And I think I had a lawful shoot out there.
Voight: You did.
Ruzek: I know. I know. Yet I hesitated and I… didn’t pull the trigger until after he shot my friend.
Voight: Look, Adam. I mean, we’re running point on a whole new thing here. You’re taking all these new rules they’re writing in here, and we’re bringing it to the chaos out there. It’s not gonna be easy. Not when you got, what, half a second to decide whether to take one guy’s life in order to save another? Tell you one thing, right, I mean, right is still right, Adam. I think we’re all gonna be groping around in the dark for awhile.
Ruzek: Yeah.
Voight: At least we’ll be doing it together, man.

His withdrawals were brutal, and the only way he was able to deliver on his promise was to use more. That should’ve never happened. 

Ruzek trusted, believed in, and cared about Tommy. He was his friend and he should’ve pulled Tommy out at the first sign of trouble, or at the very least, when he saw him on the bathroom floor. 

Instead of taking him to a buy, Tommy should’ve been taken to rehab and gotten the help he needed. 

And if Ruzek didn’t have it in him, Voight should’ve made the call. 

At any point, they could’ve turned Logan and used him instead. There were other options to get to Monohan, but Ruzek chose to make questionable decisions that ruined Tommy’s life and destroyed his family. 

Not to mention that Tommy was a loose-cannon, which put Ruzek in danger. He walked in to make a deal with a violent drug dealer completely unarmed with a guy who was too high to be there in the first place. 

We know Ruzek can handle himself, but why tempt fate when there are already so many unknown variables going into this situation in the first place?

And after all was said and done, we never actually saw what happened to Tommy. 

Did he survive getting shot? Since Ruzek kept repeating that he allowed his friend to “get shot,” I’m assuming he did, but it was never clarified. Audiences became so invested in Tommy’s story and rooted for him, but we never saw the conclusion.

Did he get clean? Did he go downstate? And what happened to Logan?

Once again, it feels like an incomplete episode, which seems to be kind of a trend for Chicago PD this season.

There’s also the issue of police brutality in what the series refers to as the “New World Order.” 

There’s a chance I get better. And however that turns out, you’ll still be an unattractive, Irish prick from Canaryville.


Police brutality is very real and an important topic for a police procedural to tackle, but this was not well-executed. 

The goal of the episode seemed to showcase the point of view, reactions, and adjustments to the new rules in a moment of complete chaos, but the situation itself was a complete miss. 

Let’s be real — calling Ruzek’s altercation with Logan police brutality was a stretch. 

Voight basically scolded Ruzek for doing his job because some shady liquor store owner had a video of the alleyway incident. 

First off, Logan pointed a gun at Ruzek’s head. That, in itself, tells you that Ruzek was in danger. 

He was dealing with a drug dealer that’s capable of anything. He had no clue if the guy was going to pull the trigger or not, but why would he want to find out?

Secondly, Atwater and Burgess were standing by watching it all play out on a camera. Anyone who would have watched the video back would see that Ruzek’s actions were warranted.

Ruzek wasn’t just protecting himself, he was also protecting Tommy, who again, was in really bad shape. 

Voight: I know you didn’t do anything wrong. That’s just not the math anymore, you understand? Bro, in this new world order, what matters is that some jerk is shopping around the perception that you did something wrong. That alone is enough to ruin your career, you understand?
Ruzek: Yeah.

There have been times where members of Intelligence have acted out of line and broken the rules, but this was not one of those times regardless of what the “perception” was.

Even Voight admitted “I know you didn’t do anything wrong,” which just contradicted his point. 

By bringing it up, Voight threw Ruzek off of his game. When he was in a life-or-death situation, he couldn’t trust his gut or his instinct, which has been pretty spot-on up until this point.

Deep-down inside, Ruzek knew that the right thing to do was shoot Monahan before he shot Tommy, but he hesitated because he saw the cameras pointed at him and didn’t want to make the “wrong move.”

Ruzek: Boss. Look, I know Tommy’s a mess. He’s a liar, he’s a cheat, he’s a junkie.
Voight: That’s a hell of a sales pitch.
Ruzek: He’s also the best CI I ever had and I think we can work through this. At this point, I don’t know if we got a lot of choice in the matter.

And Monahan knew that. What message is that sending to criminals? 

I’m not surprised Ruzek was conflicted — Voight was sending some mixed messages by first telling Ruzek that perception is key before informing him that “right is still right.” Which one is it?

Every cop and detective should absolutely re-examine their behaviors and how they handle situations (looking at you, Halstead).

It would benefit most of them as they all have a tendency of getting worked up sometimes, but when you have a split-second to make a life-saving choice, you have to follow your gut. 

Also, these rules aren’t exactly new; they’ve been in place for a while except now, cops are being held accountable for their actions. 

If a shot is justified and lawful, there’s no issue. It’s only a problem if you’re used to bending the rules and don’t want to change your ways.

The lack of continuity continues to be an issue, but it doesn’t seem like the series is aiming to shape up in that regard, which is frustrating for longtime fans. As one of those longtime fans, I get it.

With Ruzek taking the wheel for most of the episode, the other characters were mostly sidelined. Upstead was nowhere to be found. 

Voight: Turns out the owner of that store’s got a camera in the alley. Says he’s got you on film. “Police brutality” are the words being tossed around.
Ruzek: You got to be kidding me. I pinned the guy’s carotid. I’d do the exact same thing next time. Boss, I know the new rules. I know the limitations when we’re out there. But if I say that my life was in danger, which it was, I mean, we’re good.

There were some brief moments that allowed Burgess to interact with other members of the team, including Atwater where they — gasp — mentioned Makayla. 

Burgess acknowledged that raising a child is hard work and told Atwater that she considered asking Ruzek for help. But aside from that little tidbit, there was no other mention of it nor have we seen the girl since Burgess took her home.

Who is she with this whole time while Burgess is working a high-risk job? No one knows.

We also saw Upton and Burgess working together for the first time in ages, which reminds me, why don’t the only two women on the team ever team up? That would be such a welcome change of pace.

And we’re seven episodes in and there hasn’t been mention of Rojas or what happened to her. At this point, we should probably just forget she ever existed. It’s easier that way. 

What did you think of the episode?

As always, you can watch Chicago PD online and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.


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