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Chicago Justice - Dead Meat - Review

“Someday you’ll meet someone who’s lost the most important thing in his or her life. And if you don’t do something to ease their pain, what good are you?”

This week’s case kicks off when the body of a former Chicago police officer is found in a motel bathtub. At first glance, it seems like suicide, but Laura and Antonio quickly determine they’re looking at murder. Officer Ted Cody was a long-time cop recently diagnosed with cancer—cancer that would kill him in a matter of weeks. So why kill him now?

Ted naturally had quite a few medical bills, nearly half a million dollars’ worth. After Antonio and Laura find just under fifty thousand dollars in Ted’s freezer (the new under-the-mattress location), it’s clear something shady was going on. Look no further than Ted’s former partner Hawkins, who lets the investigators in on Ted’s secret—he loves meat. Not quite the secret I was thinking would be revealed, but okay. Turns out though, Antonio knows the butcher, John Beckett, from a previous case in which he was the arresting officer. Beckett has quite the reputation—he was acquitted for murder after starting a fire at his own farm to collect insurance to solve massive amounts of debt problems.

Beckett casually acts as if he barely knew Ted, but the investigators quickly discover otherwise. The two were friends, supposedly, but not much else is said as Beckett quickly lawyers up. Meanwhile, Peter visits Paul Marcus’ widow, Gail, the man who died in the fire. Then at dinner with Anna, Peter can’t help but think about the justice he didn’t get for Gail and Paul all those years ago. But oh, how quickly the tides can turn—the knife is found with fingerprints that are a near-perfect match to John Beckett’s.

From there, the hour shifts from finding out who killed Ted (that would be Beckett) to proving it. Of course, there are bumps along the way. In this case, that would be the knife getting thrown out of evidence due to handling. Please. This show hasn’t been on long, but we already know that’s not stopping Peter. It won’t be without some mind games from Beckett, though, who tells Peter, “I think this is it for you, trying to put the bad guys away day after day. The thing is, one morning you’re gonna wake up… and realize you’re the one in the cage.”

In the previous case, Peter had the facts on his side. So why did he lose? According to Mark, “Juries love a good story.” It’s sad but true—sometimes the truth doesn’t matter. What matters is which side tells the better story, the story people will want to believe. Peter sets out to find some truth and a good story to back it. As pieces fall together, Peter and Anna discover a payoff that started shortly after the arson—Ted was blackmailing Beckett. Is it true? Maybe. But as Peter says, it’s a good story.

By sifting through Beckett’s assets, the team finds that Beckett paid off a juror (by means of a luxury boat) to get the rest of the jury in the arson case to acquit. Peter cleverly uses this to try Beckett again for the arson case, arguing that double jeopardy won’t occur because the payout technically never put Beckett in jeopardy to begin with. This was my favorite twist of the case—so clever! When all is said and done, Peter gets Beckett for both the arson/murder and Ted’s murder.

After all those years, Gail finally has closure for her husband’s murder. And though Peter clearly has a difficult relationship with his father, his words proved to be true—Gail gives Peter her husband’s jersey, the one she couldn’t bear to part with, and Peter remembers why he does what he does.

What did you think of the episode? After a handful of episodes, what do you think of Chicago Justice? Share your thoughts below!