CHICAGO P.D. Post-Mortem: Patrick John Flueger Breaks Down 'Instinct' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHICAGO P.D. Post-Mortem: Patrick John Flueger Breaks Down ‘Instinct’

February 17, 2021 by  

CHICAGO P.D. Patrick John Flueger season 8 interview

CHICAGO P.D. — “Instinct” Episode 807 — Pictured: Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Wednesday, February 17 episode of CHICAGO P.D., “Instinct.”]

Things went awry for Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) on the Wednesday, February 17 episode of CHICAGO P.D., “Instinct,” as he attempted to use a CI–and friend—to help him take down a murderer.

The situation spirals out of control multiple times, as Tommy (Michael Drayer) needs to break his sobriety as the duo go undercover, and Ruzek crosses lines to get the information he needs.

But with Voight’s (Jason Beghe) warning in his head about having to go about the job the right way, Ruzek found himself in a standoff, with a gun pointed at Tommy—and civilians taping his move. Ruzek took the shot to take down the killer the team had been tracking…but only after Tommy was shot in the chest.

“He makes mistakes and really questions himself,” Flueger previously previewed. “These new rules and guidelines are necessary, and I think he recognizes that, but I think he also misses being able to go on instinct, even though, if past seasons, indicate that his instincts aren’t always great. Not always, but I think he intends good. So it really, really gets into that: where he just feels like his way of life is maybe going away.”

But what comes next? Flueger broke down Ruzek’s struggles with adjusting to the new normal. Plus, where do things stand with Burgess (Marina Squerciati)?

The show is good about cycling through the cast to give you all showcases, but this episode felt like it was particularly difficult for Ruzek. When you get a script like this, does your approach to how you tackle the hour vary?
[With] TV, everything’s moving so fast. You jump from one story to another so quickly that there’s not a ton of time to prepare in the way that maybe you would prepare for a film.

For me, a lot of was was meeting Mike, the guy who plays Tommy, Michael Drayer. He and I immediately had a personal rapport, to a degree that the relationship between he and I became much more personal as we shot. It didn’t, in the script; we weren’t quite as tied together as the final result displays. And so that was a big part of it for me: just meeting him. We had this rapport off-camera, and then on-camera, I mean, he’s so freaking good, all I gotta do is stand there and listen, and he just chews up scenery. Let it come as it comes.

For me, I take what I’m given, and try and move forward with that. But Scott Gold, the writer of it, he gave us some really easy material to work with; a lot of a lot of the emotion was on the page. But having Mike come in really solidified the relationship between Tommy and Ruzek, and really solidified the emotional direction that it took.

Ruzek was clearly struggling with both wanting to do right by Tommy—with the offer to seal his record so he can have a fresh start after this job—but also needing to get this case closed. With this ultimately leading in Tommy getting shot, how is he handling this guilt going forward? Will this something we see continue to play out and possibly impact his mindset?
Absolutely. But also just the way that he goes about his job. I think he has questions. He does intend good, but sometimes the outcomes aren’t what you want them to be. And so you can’t help but step back and go, “Am I the guy that I think that I am? Do I have what it takes to to have the amount of responsibility that you need to have to wear a badge and carry a gun?”

Also, he wants to clear the case, absolutely. But there’s a certain point where he’s promised this guy, who’s an old friend of his…this way out. We allude to a conversation that happened with Isabel before [they spoke], off-camera. In my mind, it took some talking, it took about 30 minute conversation to really convince her. “Look, here’s what I can do, here’s what I can give, here’s how I can help.” And so I think he does intend to help the guy, but he wants to clear the case, too.

And then there’s a certain point where Tommy starts to spiral. And Tommy’s doing everything he’s asked to do. Tommy smokes when we do the first meet, because clearly Logan is going to be suspicious, because that’s what Tommy is to him, he smokes…. So he takes one for the team in that way. And then later, he doesn’t smoke when I tell him do not smoke. And sure enough, it blows up in our face. And I think that there’s a certain point where he’s asked so much from this guy…I don’t want to sound callous, but this drug dealer’s really killing other drug dealers. But the fact that he threw his friend into the fire in that way to get these guys off the street, I think that it’s like, “I gotta make up for this. I have to make up for this. I have to get this done, so he can get what I promised him.”

We saw Ruzek hesitate when it came to taking the shot at the end, because he saw the cameras on him. He and Voight had a beautiful scene at the end where he tried to console Ruzek, but he seems clearly shaken by what went down. How will that level of second-guessing himself play into what’s to come?
This is definitely going to be a theme, at least for the next couple episodes, and I’m guessing throughout the season, for Adam. Because he does represent that “blue in your blood since you were born” kind of character. And I think, as you said earlier, he really wants to do right. And he wants to close cases in a way that the cases can be closed, which means by following the rules. But it is a complicated time to be a police officer in our country, and for a lot of reasonable reasons. But it’s still tough for him. And yeah, it’s going to continue to be tough going forward.

On another note, we saw Kim acknowledge that she was thinking about bringing Adam into her newfound family, but we haven’t seen her express that to him yet. How much is he looking at the situation with Makayla and thinking about taking a step to be a part of that? Or is he waiting for her to open that figurative door?
Look, he is in love with Kim. But as far as Makayla is concerned, I think that he has enough respect for her to wait to be invited into that situation—he would never make a move before [Kim] invited him, both out of respect and love for her, but also respect for the kid and what she went through. And maybe that’s not what’s best for her right now. And I think he’s gonna leave that up to Kim to decide.

Earlier in the season, pre-Makayla, he made it clear he wanted to be in a real relationship with Kim, but she didn’t seem to take him seriously. At this point, what do you think it would take for her believe he’s all-in?
Gosh, I don’t know. You may have to ask Marina that.

Well, she said he needs to actually prove that he’s serious.
I feel like I’ve been proving it! I mean, it’s funny, because she and I are both on our characters’ side. Which is hilarious, ’cause we’ll have conversations about it. [Laughs.] And it’ll be like, “Yeah, but this and this and this.” And she’ll be like, “Yeah, but she this and this.” We fight about our characters like an old married couple. It’s a really wacky part of the job. But it’s also funny, and Marina is one of my best friends.

But it’s real. We care about it enough…even with the breakup [after] the engagement, I still feel, like, “Hold on. Your partner, who you then dated, gave you this goofy test. And so you basically hoodwinked and gaslighted me. And then you turned in the towel, and I didn’t even know what was going on.” Guys…sometimes they pop the question, and they’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m freaking out.” And then they get married, and they’re like, “This is great!” So I think it’s okay that he was freaking out a little bit. It’s not completely inhuman. That’s my take on it. She’s got a completely a different take.

But I feel like he does step up. But Kim is a Grade-A student. She’s got a lot of goodness in her. And I think that she questions some of his decisions sometimes. Which is not unfair.

In this case, he did actually say he wanted them to be together, too.
I think she should have known it before I said it out loud. Like, clearly. No guy hangs out with a girl in a monogamous relationship that doesn’t involve relations…unless they’re madly in love with that girl.

It’s really fun, though. I love what the writers give us. It’s not interesting to just be together. [Look at FRIENDS’] Ross and Rachel!

They had a lot of drama between the two of them. But on the flip side, there was also Monica and Chandler, who managed to stay together for a very long time and go through a lot as a couple.
And it was still wildly entertaining. That’s true. It’s a totally fair argument. Ross and Rachel, what was that [a decade] of back and forth? And look at Monica and Chandler: they’re the gold standard of couples still being interesting to watch after they got together. Boom.

CHICAGO P.D., Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC


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