Intelligence is kicking off 2021 on a high note.
Following Atwater's powerful storyline, Chicago PD Season 8 Episode 3 shook things up and reminded fans of the good old days when the focus remained largely on the case-of-the-week.
It's been a while since we've seen the team go full-in on a case, especially one as compelling as the murder of Makayla's entire family.
While gang retribution was the go-to motive, the case took a surprising twist when it was revealed that all three family members died protecting the little girl from her father, Tareek, who was recently released from prison.
The case was interesting even without a personal connection, but hinging the plot on a young, innocent girl not only provided an emotional hook, but it also allowed the narrative to revisit Burgess' miscarriage from Chicago PD Season 7.
Burgess: That's the good thing about being scared. Sometimes it's like this reminder that you have to be brave, you have to fight. So I fought.
Makayla: But I ran.
Burgess: That's ok. Running is a kind of fighting.
Voight was determined to nail down a suspect and get justice for the family, so the "by the book" police reform storyline kind of went out the window. Sometimes, I wonder if the series even remembers the plotlines it's introducing.
There wasn't even any reference to Atwater's situation with the racist cops; it's almost as if it never happened.
However, it was nice to see that Burgess was still dealing with the aftermath of the miscarriage.
Following such a traumatic experience, Burgess convinced herself that she didn't want children. It was a tactic to protect herself from getting hurt again.
But after forming a personal connection with Makayla, she began to see the possibilities that she could have it all: a family and a career.
Her motherly instincts kicked in when she saw that the girl was in danger -- motherly instincts she didn't even know she had.
It was such a treat to see her in "mama bear" mode.
Their bond never seemed forced either as Burgess genuinely cared for the young girl and found her purpose in protecting her. She even put her job on the line to ensure that she could stay by Makayla's side until they found the people hunting her down.
Upton: No, why? You think I need it? Are you trying to tell me I should take it?
Halstead: No, I'm saying it's a good job for a good cop.
Upton: You could tell me you don't want me to take it. It's an option.
Halstead: I want you to do whatever you want to do. I'm just practicing self-preservation here.
But it begs the question . . . what happens next? Was this the show's way of warming everyone up to the idea of a Burzek baby again?
They already let us down once; I don't want to get ahead of myself and get my hopes up again.
However, I was always a fan of the storyline and hated that they took such a violent turn to create relationship drama.
There's so much potential in introducing a motherhood storyline centered around a young cop.
There are hundreds of thousands of cops who juggle raising children and protecting civilians. It's possible to have both and not at the expense of the other.
The series could really benefit from showcasing a strong and capable woman in all facets of her life because that's the reality for so many women.
Pregnancy and baby storylines tend to sideline a character, but I'm not opposed to Burgess embracing this new chapter if done right.
Plus, it would shake things up on a series where having a family is considered somewhat of a burden and comes with such a negative connotation.
Everyone on the team has either lost a child due to the job or has chosen to remain a lone wolf out of the fear that the job would inevitably bring loss and pain.
Let's see the other side of the coin. Dare I say, let's allow someone to be happy for once!
It also comes at a time where Ruzek and Burgess finally seem to be on the same page.
After experiencing a loss, they've put their friendship first and grown closer than ever. Not to mention, he's always been there for her and supported her every decision.
Burgess: I'm a cop, I love being a cop. I'm good at it. I didn't think I'd have the instincts to be a mom too. And then what happened, happened.
Ruzek: No, you would have been good at both.
Burgess: You're always giving me the benefit of the doubt
Ruzek: No, I'm not. I know you. You would have had instincts for all of it, that's all. It's just how it is.
Burgess: Yeah, maybe it makes me better at both.
At the beginning of the episode, the conversation about monotony and craving change almost foreshadowed another pregnancy storyline. Why else would they give fans a glimpse of what parenthood would look like for the two of them while they were taking care of Makayla?
However, I was convinced that the series was going down a different route that would find Burgess and Ruzek agreeing to adopt Makayla after she was left without any family. And I wasn't opposed to it.
There isn't just one avenue to motherhood!
Burgess and Ruzek weren't the only ones getting personal -- Upstead also finally had their moment.
If you're not invested in the series' personal relationships, or you're not a fan of Upstead, then this didn't make your heart skip a beat.
But you knew it was coming. The series has been building up to this moment for quite some time, and I'll be the first to say that the anticipation made it lackluster.
Or maybe it was the way Halstead attacked Upton's face? I'm not sure. It was weird.
Again, the relationship came at Upton's expense, accepting what was presented as a better job offer. Why can't she have both?
It's infuriating that we always have to see characters choose between a fulfilling relationship or a fulfilling career.
It also continues painting Upton as Lindsay's replacement instead of her own person.
Both of them had job offers in NYC, but Upton chose Halstead while Lindsay chose to advance her career. I guess that makes Upton the right choice rather than just second-best?
It would have been more effective to leave out the whole job offer scenario altogether and have these two admit that they've got the hots for each other!
Alright, I'm turning it over to you, TV Fanatics.
What did you think of the episode?
Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.
And if you need a little refresher, you can always watch Chicago PD online!