Chicago PD: Is Kim Burgess’ return the start of a new story arc?

It wasn’t a surprise that the second Chicago PD season 9 episode was a Kim Burgess-centric plot, and that the crime drama had Burgess being the hero in spectacular fashion—getting physical with a corrupt parole officer who had exploited his position to victimize women. Kim may not have been emotionally healed by the end of “Rage” but she was definitely back as a member of Intelligence.

It was definitely interesting that the writers took a different tack with how other characters reacted to her latest trauma. Whereas most shows would have people questioning her for coming back too early or advising her to take time to heal, we saw Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) and Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) both looking for ways to get Kim back on the job, even if in Ruzek’s case one of his suggestions was particularly unwelcome. Kim is not desk job material.

But this could be wonderful ground for Chicago PD to do an extended exploration of the emotional stress that police officers are under. We’ve seen it for an episode or two in the immediate aftermath of trauma but not as a prolonged arc. Marina Squerciati hinted at the possibility in our interview and knowing how talented she is as a performer that would be a great story.

Particularly if you pair her with Tracy Spiridakos—Upton has dealt with so much emotional damage especially over the last season so they could really help each other. And that then makes for dramatic fodder because Burgess will eventually find out that Upton lied to her about Roy. There’s no way that doesn’t come out this season.

Chicago PD hasn’t always explored this ground. Jay Halstead’s (Jesse Lee Soffer) therapy sessions took place almost entirely off-screen. So why not see where this goes? Squerciati is the perfect actress to take that leap, adding Spiridakos to the plotline would make it even better as it could also continue to develop Upton, and there would be a new friendship that the show hasn’t tapped into before… at least until Kim finds out the truth and calls Hailey out on it.

There’s every reason to give Kim Burgess more of the spotlight now, and to take a deep dive into what makes her tick, which could also send a powerful message about what it takes emotionally to be a police officer. Let’s see if the series continues to pull this thread in the next few episodes.

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Brittany Frederick has worked 20 years as a professional journalist, reaching millions of readers worldwide with thousands of articles. Her one goal is to meet Jonathan Groff, but she’s sung with Adam Levine and gone 200 MPH with Mario Andretti. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @tvbrittanyf.

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