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Chicago Justice - Uncertainty Principle - Advance Preview

3 Mar 2017

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For someone who hasn’t watched more than a few minutes of NBC’s popular and successful “Chicago” shows, what made me curious about the latest offshoot – legal procedural “Chicago Justice” – was its connections to another of the network’s stalwart franchises, the original “Law & Order.” And “Uncertainty Principle” – the series’ first proper, standalone episode and its time slot premiere – definitely paid off that curiosity.

The episode is even structured similarly to classic “Law & Order.” When the death of a perp in the police holding cells is ruled a homicide, State’s Attorney’s Office investigators Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda, playing his “Chicago P.D.” character) and Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter, “Justified”) must retrace the chain of custody and figure out when he received the killing blow. This becomes a troubling task for Dawson in particular when it turns out a friend of his, Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins, on loan from “Chicago P.D.”), was the arresting officer.

Moving into the judicial part of the hour, Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Stone (Philip Winchester, “The Player”), his associate Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro, “UnREAL”), and his boss Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers, “Rocky”) debate who they need to hold legally responsible. Complicating matters for Stone when they go to trial is that opposing council is Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks, reprising his role from the early seasons of “Law & Order”), a family friend and former colleague of Stone’s estranged father.

It was so fun seeing Brooks as Robinette again and hearing him talk about Ben Stone, and I’m curious to see how much that history will continue to inform the junior Stone’s story. Less interesting to me was Dawson’s brooding over his conflicting interests concerning the case, though that might be because I’m not familiar with his “Chicago” backstory. There was also a twist late in the hour that seemed very halfhearted. But overall, the show has a sturdy cast (Winchester and Weathers were the standouts for me) who showed good chemistry in their various pairings and I found the episode pretty entertaining.

You can render your own verdict on “Uncertainty Principle” when its airs this Sunday on NBC. Until then, feel free to deliberate any and all “Chicago Justice” thoughts and speculations in the comments section.