‘Chicago P.D.’s Marina Squerciati on Kim Being a ‘Mom,’ & What’s Up With Ex-Fiance Ruzek
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago P.D., Season 8, Episode 5, “In Your Care”]
It seems Chicago P.D. officer Kim Burges, played by Marina Squerciati, will have a child to care for after all. In the February 3rd episode, still grieving over the miscarriage caused by a beating from a sex trafficker, she follows her heart and becomes a foster mother to 8-year-old Makayla Ward (Ramona Edith Williams). She had met the traumatized child at a crime scene after the girl’s extended family was executed by the lover of her gangster father.
The childless cop and the motherless child quickly bond and, not wanting Makayla sent to a group home, Burgess decides to foster her.
Squerciati talks to TV Insider about her character’s life-changing choice, and how it could affect her relationships with fellow cops Adam Ruzek (John Patrick Flueger) — her former fiancé and father of the baby she lost — and Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins).
The episode’s criminal case focuses on a group of homeless teens who had aged out of the Chicago foster care system. To survive, they turn to prostitution and violent robberies. How much of this affects Burgess’s decision to take in Makayla?
Marina Squerciati: When I was charting the character’s journey in this episode, it was a bit difficult to figure out when it was just about Makayla, and when it was the case influencing her. But when that kid Miguel Reyestk (played by Matt Gomez Hidaka), was in the interrogation room refusing to turn on his friends even when his life depends on it, she realizes that the only family he had were those other kids. That’s the moment.
How much will we see of Kim’s struggle to be both a good mom and a good cop?
It’s going to be a smaller part, but definitely there. For the next few episodes, I asked the hair and makeup departments to do very little and the costume department to put me in sweatshirts if possible. As a working mom myself, there’s so little focus on your own personal care while your children are young. It’s also interesting that we don’t [currently] have any characters with children.
It’s an interesting dynamic: Do you still want to go into a burning building and put yourself in danger? Part of my research going in will be talking to a female cop who has children.
How would you describe the amorphous relationship between Burgess and Ruzek? They still have feelings for each other.
I’d describe it as almost familial. They’re so compatible and so attracted to each other, but there’s just so much bad blood and history. Part of Kim’s issue with Adam is that she can’t rely on him. If he shows up at her door and wants to be in 100%, or if he had said that in [the episode’s] final scene between them, I think she would have accepted him. But he didn’t. So he’s missed that chance.
Will things be awkward with Burgess and Ruzek at work?
I’m not sure, but that last scene between them wasn’t exactly champagne dreams and caviar wishes. Hope springs eternal though.
The morning after they have sex, she tells him that she wants it all: The big wedding, children, the job that she loves. Can Burgess have it all?
Sure. I’m loving work. I’m having a great time with my [two] kids. But my kids are not with me all the time. You can have it all, but you can’t expect to get an A+ in every department.
Who’s taking care of Makayla?
I’m assuming a neighbor. [Laughs] or a young college kid who she can afford. Unlike Med and Fire, we don’t focus on COVID that much, so I think she’s in school most of the day.
The episode touches on several potential problems with adoption. She’s single, white and a cop, and Makayla is Black. Atwater could be a good resource not only because he’s African American, but he started raising his younger siblings with no help when he was 21.
I do hope that Atwater becomes a touchstone for a lot of things Kim has to learn.
Speaking of learning, we see Kim struggle with something that seems elementary — strapping Makayla into her car seat.
It wasn’t elementary! It’s really hard. I remember during my pregnancy I was doing an Instagram photo with [former castmate] Sophia Bush. I totally forgot how to fold a stroller to make it small. So I had to fold the seats down and put the entire opened stroller in the car. It takes a master’s degree to work!
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC