Though she’s been a background character through the first few episodes, ASA Anna Valdez makes her presence known this hour and I loved it. Does she still have a lot to learn? Sure. But it’s also apparent that Anna got her job working with Peter for a reason—she’s tough and has what it takes.
“Do you think I’d do anything unethical?”
The hour kicks off with Anna losing in court, but then immediately confirming a later rendezvous plan with the judge who ruled against her seconds before—Ray Kinzie. When the two leave the bar, enough is said to imply an affair, but at the same time, nothing unseemly actually happens between the two. We don’t have much time to speculate on the romantic involvement of the two, though, as Ray is shot seconds later. So begins the case…
Peter rightfully excludes Anna from the investigation, because her involvement could taint the case. She doesn’t see it that way, and that’s one thing I love about her—she wants to do everything she can to help. She does go against Peter’s orders and speaks with Ray’s foster daughter, but that’s ultimately a dead end.
What it boils down to is a rape case in which the rapist received a light sentence from Ray. Several years prior, Ray caught a lot of heat, and Zoe Butler (the victim) certainly isn’t Ray’s biggest fan. And after hearing her graphic and horrifying description of the rape, I can’t say I’m a big fan of Ray either. (Not to mention, Ray may or may not have been cheating on his wife.) But even after all that happened to her, Zoe still didn’t want to “ruin someone’s life”. Well, she’s a better person than I for that. Antonio and Laura trace the case to Zoe’s ex-husband, Jon, who has the motorcycle Anna described as the killer’s in his garage.
So it seems pretty obvious that Jon killed Ray, but why? The case was years ago, Jon and Zoe aren’t married anymore, so why now? Chicago Med’s Dr. Charles explains that triggers can go off at any time—there might not be any rhyme or reason to it. I had a tough time buying this. I’m obviously no psychology expert, but there must be something we’re missing. Sure, Jon’s a bit of a creep and definitely had overprotective stalker tendencies with Zoe, but it’s been years! But how does an overprotective ex-husband/stalker react when his ex-wife announces her new engagement? Aha! There’s the trigger—and that one makes sense.
What I loved most about this episode is that we never actually find out whether Anna and Ray were romantically involved. At first, that frustrated me, but like Anna said, it didn’t pertain to the case. After thinking about it, I appreciate the ambiguity of it all. This show has established itself as one that deals with the gray areas, so why should we expect anything different in the personal lives of the characters? I also appreciated the interaction between Peter and Anna. Call me crazy, but I can’t help but wonder if the potential romance between Anna and Ray, a much older man, was a little nugget used to set up Anna’s romantic potential with Peter, an older (though not as old as Ray) man. Am I reading too much into this? Entirely possible. We’ve been given no evidence that anything romantic will happen between the two. But, we’re just getting started.
Now, every new show has to find its footing. Sometimes that takes a handful of episodes, and sometimes it takes a season or two. I hope that the format of this episode doesn’t become the norm—it was basically an episode of Chicago PD (mostly case investigation) with a little law thrown in. Personally, I’d like to see a little more courtroom and a little less investigation. I hate to compare it to other legal dramas, but finding a balance between the courtroom, investigation, and personal lives like The Good Wife did would be ideal. No show has done it better (that I’ve seen).
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Anna was having an affair with Ray? What are you hoping to see from Chicago Justice moving forward? Share your thoughts below!