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Chicago Justice - Friendly Fire - Review

“You do not give aid and comfort to the enemy unless you’re a misguided fool.”

The hour kicks off with ex-Navy SEAL Trevor Nichols and his friends drinking and reminiscing at his dad’s bar. The fun stops there, though, as Trevor’s dad finds Trevor’s body the next morning. It’s not long before Antonio and Laura are on scene and Peter and Anna begin building a case.

Hands down, the best part of this episode was that Mark Jefferies was finally more than a background character. Not only did we learn that he is a Marine veteran, but we saw the overwhelming respect, appreciation, and loyalty he has for the men and women of our military. In this episode, he wasn’t the State’s Attorney—he was a fellow veteran helping a family navigate a world that not many understand. That loyalty, though, pit Mark against Peter when a recording of a mission gone awry is found in (yes, in) Trevor. Peter argues that video needs to be seen—not only to prove the murder case against Trevor’s two friends, but because keeping secrets and lying to the public is not how the government should operate. Mark, on the other hand, believes that some secrets need to be kept—especially military secrets. It’s easy to see both sides of this argument, which is a strength of this show.

When Antonio and Laura learn that Trevor was working on a memoir tell-all about his time in the military, the pieces of the case fell into place. Trevor’s friends, Mike and Jake, couldn’t let the truth regarding the botched mission get out—so they killed him. The problem with the case is that Peter can’t use the video surveillance—aka his smoking gun—in the courtroom. Though the DOJ lost their case to have the video returned to them, Mark orders Peter to not show the video. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that Peter is sneaky good at his job. He didn’t play the video, but he orchestrated the examination of the witness/murderer to bring the contents of the video into the discussion.

In the end, Peter kept his job (obviously), but the head-butting between he and Mark is clearly a sign of things to come. I expect these two to disagree quite a bit over the course of the series. And the killers? Well they got their due justice.

Every show generally needs a handful of episodes to find its flow. I’ve been impressed with the character development thus far, but the structure of each episode has me concerned. Why are these cases wrapping up in one episode? Look, I’m no lawyer, but aren’t the investigators and cops supposed to do the investigating? Why on Earth are Peter and Anna involved in the investigation? Shouldn’t they be building a case after the investigating is complete?

Chicago Justice would benefit from introducing stories that span several episodes—in other words, more Chicago Fire and less Chicago PD. Not only would that give us more time to dive into the case, but it would present a more realistic approach to how cases actually work (meaning, a murder case isn’t magically wrapped up in a matter of days). Chicago Justice is just getting started, so I expect some bumps and perhaps a variety of structures for each episode until the right one comes along. I just hope that the right one isn’t a “case of the week” format.

What did you think of the episode? Will the testy dynamic between Mark and Peter boil over? Share your thoughts below!


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