'Chicago P.D.' Boss & Brian Geraghty on Roman's Dark Turn & Burzek's Future
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 7, Episode 16 of Chicago P.D., "Burden of Truth."]
Sean Roman (Brian Geraghty) returned for one of the darkest stories yet in One Chicago. His sister, Sarah, was missing amidst a series of teen opioid overdoses, and while Chicago Fire's 51 and P.D.'s Intelligence joined forces, this didn't have a happy ending.
As Roman learned, his sister had been gone nine days and his family assumed she ran off with her boyfriend (and the person responsible for selling the drugs), Logan Peters. "We felt there had to be a compelling reason for him to return to Chicago and to the Intelligence family," showrunner Rick Eid told TV Insider. "We wanted it to be an emotional return for Roman. We wanted him to connect with Burgess again at a time when she's going through something emotional."
While Roman spend the Fire hour with Taylor Kinney's Severide, it was his former partner and ex-girlfriend Burgess (Marina Squerciati) who was with him on P.D. "Jumping back into Roman was really fun and easy," Geraghty said. "I had a feeling when they pitched me the idea that Marina and I were going to have some fun stuff to do together."
"Roman's the kind of guy that he wants to do everything on his own, but in this particular episode, they leaned on each other to a certain degree," the actor continued. "It was absolutely imperative that they had each other during this."
Burgess was the one by Roman's side when he eventually found Sarah — dead in the ice and snow behind a lake house where she and her friends partied. She'd died a week earlier; she'd been strangled and beaten, but she froze to death. That took Roman to an even darker place, and Burgess is already in one after losing her and Ruzek's (Patrick John Flueger) baby after sustaining injuries on the job.
"We wanted [Burgess and Roman] to, in a way, bond through the difficult places they're both in and through that difficulty and emotional headspace to repair their relationship and help get clarity on their own situations," Eid explained.
It was Burgess who realized that Roman was the one to shoot and kill Peters and have one of his former informants come forward with a "tip" to steer the investigation. "Thing are starting to break in a certain way in Logan's murder ... that points to you," she told him.
Voight (Jason Beghe), too, knew what had really happened by the time everyone attended Sarah's funeral, and he was there as Roman delivered the eulogy. "I can only imagine how scared [Sarah] was, how alone she was. Growing up, my sister was never alone," he said. "She was a fighter. When they found her, my sister had scratches on her hands and knees from crawling, from fighting, but there was no one there to save her. She screamed for help, but no one heard her. She was screaming weeks before. Sarah needed help. But I wasn't there for her."
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy," he continued with Proverbs 28:13, but he considered that "a lie" because he didn't think people should be able to just "wash away" their sins. "We should be required to carry around our sins for the rest of our years, all the pain and guilt too. We need to feel them so we can do better next time, so that we can be there the next time someone screams for help."
That eulogy was as much for Burgess and Voight as it was for Roman and his family, according to both Geraghty and Eid. "This episode has a message as well. It digs a little deeper than your average procedural cop storyline," the actor said. "They were going for something a little more nuanced and emotional in this."
"He was speaking a lot about himself as well, about what he did and the eulogy just speaks to his own guilt and what he can expect to face emotionally going forward given what he had just done," the EP explained.
So, when Roman joined Voight and Burgess, he expected the sergeant to arrest him. In his mind, "'I've done something that I'm OK with and I thought this through,'" Geraghty said. "'I'm willing to take the punishment for my crime. ... I appreciate you not making a scene in front of my friends and family during this very difficult time.'"
It was the eulogy that ultimately changed Voight's mind. "[He] was probably considering arresting him," Eid revealed. "What Roman was saying made him realize that it wouldn't matter, that this guy was going to pay a very heavy price for what he did, no matter what."
Can fans expect to see Roman again this season (perhaps to check in on how he and his family are recovering)? There's nothing planned at the moment, but Geraghty's "open to the idea."
Elsewhere, continuing the Season 7 trend of big Burgess-Ruzek moments happening in crossovers — they hooked up during the three-show "Infection" event — the two finally talked about their loss.
Burgess noted that Ruzek still has the sonogram up in his locker, which Eid noted was part of him still processing what happened. "It's the loss of what would have been his child. He also got excited about what his life was going to look like," he shared. "The idea of co-parenting with Burgess and having a child and a family was something that was appealing to him and he never really thought about that and then when he was forced to think about it, it felt pretty good."
What followed was as emotional a conversation as either has been a part of — and we saw the most feeling we have from Burgess, who has been slightly "robotic," as Squerciati said she would be on the job from now on — since the loss. "You blame me for losing the baby," Burgess said, which Ruzek denied. But she thought he should, because she wasn't supposed to be in the field. He reiterated what that episode had shown, that she had no choice but to enter the motel room or a girl would be killed.
"I don't want pity, and I don't want support," Burgess continued. "I want you to be angry with me, as angry with me as I am." He told her he couldn't do that, and she walked out.
"They'll continue to deal with each other and try to help each other," Eid previewed of the former couple. "They both on some level really love each other and care a lot about the other person and they're just struggling with the loss of the pregnancy. They were both excited about this future and then when she lost the baby, it just changed everything for both of them and they're trying to just get back on balance and figure out what the future holds both individually and possibly together."
Let's just hope there isn't more heartbreak coming for either of them.
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC