'Chicago P.D.' Star Discusses Big Breakup: "There's No Lack of Love"

"He knows he wants to be with her, but he's not ready to be in a committed relationship," Marina Squerciati tells THR about her character's broken engagement to Ruzek.
 Matt Dinerstein/NBC

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Chicago P.D, "Looking Out for Stateville."]

The writing was on the wall for "Burzek" all season on Chicago P.D. First, there was the less-than-romantic locker room proposal. Then his request to postpone their big day. Most recently, it was their delay in moving in together.

However, the many signs didn't make the Burgess' (Marina Squerciati) decision to end her engagement to Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) in Wednesday's episode any less emotionally wrenching. "I knew something was coming but I thought what happened is pretty extreme and pretty sad," the actress tells The Hollywood Reporter.

So what comes next after "I don't?" Squerciati spoke with THR about the breakup, how it will "complicate" her relationship with Roman (Brian Geraghty) and what advice Burgess will get from Lindsay (Sophia Bush).

What is Burgess' reasoning behind the split?

You know when your friends break up and they're like, "But we still love each other," and you’re just like how is that possible? In this relationship, it's really true.  I think Burgess loves Adam and Adam loves her just as much. There's no lack of love. It's just here's a guy who's just not ready to get married. I think it’s a protective mechanism. Then you think about, like, 'Well, can they get back together?' But how do you go backwards? I don’t really know how to pick up that up again. Does he need to grow and she sees change? Like real change? He knows he wants to be with her, but he's not ready to be in a committed relationship.

How does that affect her going forward?

What's funny is, just before this interview, they told us what we're allowed to say and what we're not allowed to say and one of the things that they said – again, they tell us nothing – is how this might complicate my relationship with Roman. I was like, "Wait, what? Oh my God," so I'm really nervous. I had no idea.

I also think what's interesting is that Lindsay and I -- we haven't had a scene together and it's this breakup that really brings us together. The advice that Lindsay gives me coming up is really interesting in terms of how women are viewed in the force and how maybe you can't outwardly show how this is affecting you because we have to be a little stronger, a little braver, and its really good advice. It's sad too.

What can you say about that dynamic?

My character's a little bit more upbeat, a little bit more peppy than her [character]. I would say it's kind of like the cool girl and the nerdy girl, and how is that relationship going to work? Is it going to work? And I think it will. It's going to be very interesting. In the next episode, I'm paired with Lindsay in intelligence – that's a spoiler. But yeah, we'll see how that goes.

That's a big question too because your character was on Intelligence for a bit before. How does the breakup affect her ability to help that unit and how does it affect her ambitions to get promoted to that unit?

As an actor, I haven’t really figured it out because I did feel like when Roman came on the scene, Burgess sort of put away her Intelligence ambitions. I don't know what this does to it quite yet. I'm still figuring it out. It's interesting. I've been thinking a lot about it because it's coming up now. The breakup just happened and what does that mean? Do I want to be near Ruzek? Maybe not. Actually, my character puts in for a transfer from the district because after thinking all this through, she decides, 'I can't be near this guy.'

I feel like Platt will intervene because what would she do without Burgess?

She'd be nice! No one would know how sassy and mean she is. (Laughs.)

Speaking of Platt, what will that be like when she has someone in her life who is planning a wedding right after ending her engagement?

It's horrible. Next week's episode, you'll really see what that does to Burgess. Having to step up for Platt and be there for Platt and be positive. My mom always said, "Never let an enemy know they're an enemy." Platt has always been like, "He's never going to marry you," but I don’t want to show any chinks in the armor. I really want to maintain a steely front for her and, especially because she's getting married, it gets harder and harder.

Will we see Burgess going out more now or dating?

In the episode we're about to film, Lindsay and Burgess go to Molly's and Lindsay, in her way, sort of puts the screws to me a little.

So what else can you say about these upcoming complications with Roman?

I have no idea. I literally just read that and I'm like, "Are we going to sleep together? Are we going to have a relationship? Is he just going to come to my aide and Ruzek gets jealous?" I wish I knew. I don’t know. I'm interested because I feel like Roman and I have a real buddy relationship and I can't see quite yet how that would turn, if it is going to turn. I have no scoop there, but if its going to turn, I haven’t seen how it will happen yet; over beers at Molly's probably. (Laughs.)

They've been through so much. They haven’t worked together very long but it feels like a long-standing partnership at this point.

Our technical adviser on the show is always like, "You're putting your life into this person's hands, and vice-versa," so it behooves you to get along quickly and to trust each other quickly and bond quickly.

How was it for you to adjust from playing the tone of that first partnership with Atwater to the dynamic Burgess and Roman have?

It's hard. You have a good working relationship. You know what their weak points are, what their strong points are and you compensate and adjust for those things and as actors as well. So it was hard not working with LaRoyce [Hawkins] because he's a really good friend of mine. It took some getting used to, but I'm a Roman girl now.

You're coming to the end of season three, you're already renewed for season four. How do you think burgess has changed the most since you first stepped into this character?

She started so green and I think the streets take away a little bit of that in a way. The sheen is a little bit worn off at this point. But in this next script, I wrote – when I'm reading, I always write down my initial thoughts – and I wrote, "Bring back her joy." I think even though she loved Ruzek, when someone's not totally committed, it also wears away at you a little. Ultimately, I'm going to try and bring back a little more joy into Burgess.

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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