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What Led to That Unexpected Death in Chicago P.D.'s Latest Ruzek Episode

The cop's impatience to rejoin the Intelligence Unit has fatal consequences.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe

After several months where Ruzek's (Patrick John Flueger) fate was left in the balance, we finally found out that he survived being shot in Chicago P.D.'s Season 11 premiere.

How to Watch

Watch Chicago P.D. Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Now, in Episode 2 of the season, "Retread," we officially get to catch up with the cop as he fights to regain his spot on the Intelligence Unit — but not without some trouble. Read on to find out if he gets his job back, and who gets caught in the crossfire in the process.

What happened in Season 11, Episode 2 of Chicago P.D.

"Retread" follows Ruzek at the tail end of his six-month hiatus from the Intelligence Unit as he attempts to stay away from police work until he's officially reinstated. Spoiler alert? He does a terrible job.

Despite having just one more test to pass before he can return, Ruzek goes to a late night illegal poker game after being invited by one of his longtime informants, Zaco. As it turns out, the cop has attended these games for months — unofficially undercover — unbeknownst to both Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and Voight (Jason Beghe). Unlucky for him, they find out about his secret side gig when the game is ripped and two civilians are shot and killed. 

"I was covert, I would listen for information. I just miss it, Kim," he explains to Burgess. "Split second decisions, adrenaline, feeling alive."

Adam Ruzek plays poker with men in Chicago P.D. Episode 1102

Intent on maintaining their rekindled romance, she stressed the importance of communication. "These are the things we tell each other, now, right? When you're in it, you tell me. And I know that it's hard, that you nearly died, but I get that. I get it, too because I've been through it. But you have to tell me so I can help you." 

The Intelligence Unit takes the case, but since Ruzek is still technically off-duty, he's not allowed to investigate the robbery. However, it proves extremely difficult for him to stay away. He goes as far as to contact Zaco to both reassure him of his safety and to gather new information. "I swear to you I'm not trying to pull you in, I promise you," he tells him.

Ruzek then finds the home of two suspects and witnesses them being fatally shot — despite attempting to save one victim's life.

Voight and Burgess reassure him that they have control of the case, with the ladder recruiting a reluctant Zaco to go undercover and get a confession from their number one suspect: Wes Arben, the host of the poker game. Zaco only agrees to do it if drug charges are cleared off his record, he gets "good CI money", and if his sister is guaranteed an apartment at a new public housing unit.

Kim Burgess and Hank Voight stand in front of an investigation board in Chicago P.D. Episode 1102

Who dies in Chicago P.D. Season 11, Episode 2?

Zaco meets up with Arben, who drives him to a part of town that's out of range, so the Intelligence Unit loses connection to his body camera. The young CI smartly calls Ruzek, who's able to figure out their location and help find them. Of course, Ruzek goes against protocol and arrives on the scene — "I'm not letting Zaco die," he insists — where he then witnesses Zaco get shot. (Arben dies after falling off the roof of a building while getting chased by Burgess).

While in the ambulance, the medic seems to assure both Ruzek and Zaco that he'll be OK despite his injuries. "It was a through and through," she says of his gunshot. "Looks like nothing major was hit."

Releived, the two men have a heartwarming exchange.

"That was fun as hell. We should do that again," Zaco says. "Hey dude, look, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I jammed you." Ruzek responds, "I'm sorry. I'm just glad you're OK."

Adam Ruzek speaks on a cellphone in an alley as a police car drives in the background in Chicago P.D. Episode 1102

However, at the hospital it's a different story. A doctor informs Zaco's sister that there were complications during surgery, and bullet fragments were lodged in his heart. He died on the table. Distraught, she slaps a shocked Ruzek and exclaims, "This is on you."

While absorbing the news, he finds out that he's passed his final test and can now re-join the Intelligence Unit. So Ruzek is officially back on the squad full time, but his recklessness and impatience led to the death of one his most trusted CIs.