‘Chicago P.D.’: Patrick John Flueger & Jack Coleman on Those Major Upsets to Ruzek’s Key Relationships
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Chicago P.D. Season 8, Episode 10, “The Radical Truth.”]
Officer Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) saves his father, beat cop Bob (Jack Coleman), in the March 31 episode of Chicago P.D., but things may never be the same between them — or between Adam and another member of Intelligence, ex-fiancée Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati).
Bob’s kidnapped after he can’t deliver (but not from lack of trying) the name of a snitch to a gang member, Lucas, he borrowed money from to cover a gambling debt. It falls on Adam (with a higher clearance) to possibly give up that name to save his dad. Adam doesn’t have to, and he not only saves his dad but also kills Lucas (in a good shoot), meaning Bob’s wrongdoings aren’t exposed and he can retire with his pension. But prior to the footage showing Adam and Lucas’ confrontation, Kim, upon arriving on scene, asks her ex, “What did you do?” Those words are why Adam closes his door in her face when he checks on her at the end of the episode.
Below, Flueger and Coleman break down the long-term effects of “The Radical Truth” on key relationships.
An Even More Complicated “Burzek”
“Kim’s always his rock,” Flueger tells TV Insider. “She could’ve asked, ‘What happened?’ But ‘What did you do?’ is an accusation and to have his bedrock make that kind of accusation towards him, it’s too much to bear with everything else that’s going on.” So at the end of the episode, “he just feels alone.”
Going forward, their relationship, which has been somewhat steady despite being undefined, is “really complicated” as a result, he continues. “We’re still in the midst of complications right now. They’re adults. His intention is to get over it as quickly as he can. They gotta work together and they gotta be professional but I think it’s going to be something he’s going to have a hard time extricating from his brain.”
That’s because while Flueger readily admits that Adam “might do the wrong things but it’s for the right intentions,” he would only “put two [bullets] through [somebody’s] eyes” to protect someone he loves or a victim. In his mind, Kim “must know [him] better than that.”
The Father Ruzek Didn’t Really Have
While Bob does sell out his son to save his life, it’s something he “deeply regrets,” Coleman says. But while his character does mean it when he says he should’ve taken the bullet, “people that are living on the razor’s edge tend to have these moments of moral clarity but they don’t necessarily last,” the actor adds. “I do know he is deeply distressed by how much danger he put his own son in. I do think Adam means the world to him and it’s the last thing in the world he would want to do, but on the other hand, sometimes when your back is against the wall, you do things that are very morally compromised.”
While Coleman isn’t sure if the father and son’s relationship can ever be the same after this and hopes his character can make up for his actions by rescuing Adam for once, Flueger is a bit more hopeful.
“Bob’s an addict. That’s a disease,” he says. “I think that Adam’s kind of an enabler. A long time ago, he stepped in and took over the father role for both his father and his sister, who was busted for a DUI years ago while driving with her son in the car.”
And since Bob had a gun to his head when he sold out his son, Flueger thinks his character will be able to “find forgiveness” for him. After all, he does go to his dad’s retirement party, even if he doesn’t speak to him. “But their relationship is probably going to shift a little bit,” the actor adds. “I’d like to think he’d build up a few more walls towards the man.”
Ruzek vs. Ruzek
Father and son face off over Bob’s actions in his hospital room after Adam rescues him in the episode’s most intense scene. Both Flueger and Coleman say that Bob bringing up the risk to their family name if his wrongdoings get out is “manipulative,” which adds another layer to it.
It’s also why Adam is so “pissed off” in that scene, Flueger says. “‘You keep treating me like I’m stupid and I’m nine times the man, I’ve got nine times the smart that you do in these situations.'”
“Jack is an easy guy to play off of and to play with. It was definitely one of those scenes that came up different every time. There were times where I’d turn around, ‘You’re supposed to be my dad,’ there were some ad-libs in there,” Flueger recalls. “It was a f**king blast to shoot because they let us go free. We got a badass camera crew that’ll just follow you anywhere.”
And Coleman also praises his scene partner. “Patty’s just so great to work with and he’s so present and he’s so emotionally available, just a gentleman,” he says. “The very first shot we did, it was just the handheld following over Patty’s shoulder as he comes into my hospital room, and I think everybody thought it was just going to bring us into the room, but we just kept going. It had one of those magical moments where you don’t realize the scene was going to continue and there was a freshness to that very first take, as there often is, that I thought was really electric.”
The Father Ruzek Has Gained
Since Adam joined Intelligence, Sergeant Voight (Jason Beghe) has become “the father he wanted his dad to be,” Flueger says. (Elias Koteas’ Al Olinsky, before his death, also filled that role as well as being his mentor.) That’s why after approaching Voight about maybe letting Lucas go to protect his dad, Adam is “embarrassed” on the team’s way to Lucas’ location before the shoot,” Flueger explains.
“He feels guilty about it and he wants to go there and do a really f**king good job,” he continues. “He wants to be the one to take him down — not kill him, arrest him — and rehabilitate his relationship with Voight, how Voight sees him and how he does his job.”
Voight, as he’s done in the past, steps up to cover for Bob so he does retire with his name clean. (Last time, Voight claimed Bob was working undercover for them.) That’s just the latest action from his boss that explains why while Adam “might push him,” he’ll “never question that man again.”
Hopes for a Different Bob
While Coleman doesn’t know if he’ll be back this season, he does hope we’ll see something different from his character if he does return.
“One of the things that might be nice is a fatherly gesture to possibly help [Adam] with his love life,” he suggests. “I’m just hoping there’s going to be some sort of paternal moment where you see this guy isn’t just a source of trouble. He can also be a source of relief.”
But what he really wants is to see Disco Bob step up and “play the hero,” he adds, especially since, with all the times Voight has covered for him, “I assume the moment is going to come when he can’t [anymore].”
Chicago P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC