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Chicago Justice - Double Helix & Lily's Law - Double Review

10 Apr 2017

“This case is why I do what I do.”

When Antonio and Laura lead a search of a seized building, they get a bit more than they bargained for. In an unplugged freezer, they find a woman’s body, Julia. She was badly beaten, but also had her stomach slashed open and her unborn baby removed. Yikes. As Laura points out, this is a woman’s crime. I was curious about the statistics, and a quick Google search showed that roughly 11 percent of murders are committed by women. How accurate is that percentage? Well, that depends on how reliable you believe the internet to be. But we know it’s much less common for a woman to kill, which makes this an interesting case.

Anna asks, “Why do we always get the gruesome ones?” Because, Anna, Peter is the best prosecutor in the city. Use your brain. And Peter is definitely on the case, though a surprise criminal from his past factors into the case and attempts to rattle him. Though fingerprints weren’t lifted from the bat used to kill Julia, DNA results show a match for David Zachariah. Zachariah was not only a serial killer, but the defendant in Peter’s first big case. In exchange for the location of victims and the full truth, Peter granted Zachariah immunity on all murders except one—Alice White.

Meanwhile, Antonio and Laura visit Julia’s yoga studio and meets members of her expectant mothers class. That talk leads them to Ryan Mathis, Julia’s ex (and baby’s father) who knew nothing of the baby. It’s clear Ryan is a good guy right off the bat, but the same can’t be said for his current girlfriend. She’s fishy. Zachariah is still in prison, so who in the pool of suspects is related to him? The ex? My guess would be the new girlfriend.

Alas, I am mistaken. Zachariah has a daughter, one Large Marge (aka Dawn). When Antonio and Laura pay Dawn a visit, she’s rocking a dead baby to sleep. Dawn’s lawyer is quick to take the “innocent by way of insanity” approach, and who can really blame him? It’s a risky approach, though, because the defendant has to admit to the murder. The result is a fascinating debate about genetics and its influence on behavior—if your father is a serial killer, are you genetically prone to becoming one?

Peter works to disprove that theory and receives help with his argument from Dr. Charles’ evaluation of Dawn. Her Fallopian tubes were removed when she was young, so she was unable to ever have kids of her own. As sad as that is, it’s also excellent motive for murder. Dawn isn’t dumb—she knows she has to play up the genetics angle. She claims to have killed Alice White, the woman her father admitted to killing, and described it as an uncontrollable urge.

In the end, Peter’s argument wins out and Dawn is found guilty of murder. That’s not the interesting piece of the case, though. Because Dawn admitted to killing Alice White on the stand, Zachariah intends to be released from prison. He was granted immunity for the other murders and supposedly didn’t kill Alice, meaning he’s legally innocent. Just when Zachariah seems to have the upper hand, Peter argues that by lying about killing Alice, Zachariah broke the terms of his immunity deal and can therefore be tried for each of those murders. Peter – two, Zachariah – zero.

I appreciated the backstory on Laura this hour. After the case, she questions whether her father’s alcoholism had an influence on her brief addiction to pain killers. She was shot on the job, and though she got her addiction under control, she questions what her life might be if she hadn’t taken the pills to begin with—would she be lead investigator instead of Dawson? Would she have custody of her daughter?

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts below!

"Lily's Law"

“Maybe I should’ve let you go.”

When a juror begs to be let off a murder case and is later found dead, suspicion arises surrounding the friends of the newly-convicted criminal. It doesn’t take long for the investigation into Lily’s death to take a new route, as her ex immediately proves to be a jerk.

Jaxon Clark, Lily’s ex, is the founder of a successful tech company. He’s clearly not lacking in the financial department, while Lily struggled to get by. The two shared custody of their son, Sam, but something tells me Lily would have full custody if she had more money (or if Jaxson had less). I hate that money wins. Antonio and Laura find evidence of stalker and harassment tendencies toward Lily, as her phone had nearly one hundred emotionally abusive texts from Jaxson over a period of several days.

The case takes an interesting turn when Laura and Antonio, thanks to some hilarious drunk friends, obtain video footage of Lily walking into the water—she committed suicide. So, case closed, right? Not if Peter and Anna have anything to say about it. And something tells me they always will. The two initially target Jaxson for stalking and harassment, but Peter ups the charge to murder when he learns that Jaxson knew of a previous suicide attempt by Lily and did nothing about it. Actually, he did do something about it—Jaxson called Lily a loser for not being able to kill herself. Legally, Jaxson didn’t kill Lily. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t the lowest form of scum.

The deck is definitely stacked against them—Lily had some sort of drug in her system, she was about to be evicted from her home, and her sister recently died of cancer. How can Peter claim that Jaxson’s abuse was the sole cause of her death? In truth, he can’t. But like this show has already explored, the truth doesn’t always matter; what matters is the story you create. The truth is that Jaxson harassed Lily for full custody of their son and used any means necessary to prove that to DCFS. He even goes so far as to have their son film a Snapchat video claiming he didn’t love his mom and wanted to live with his dad.

Peter makes a heck of an argument, and no doubt has the jury on his side. One thing everyone can agree on is that Jaxson Clark is an unfit father and all-around horrible human being. But did Peter prove that Jaxson’s actions directly led to Lily’s death? No. And though the jury rules in favor of the prosecution, the judge is forced to overturn their decision, setting Jaxson free.

As unjust as the new ruling feels for Lily, there is hope. This is how new laws are created and how old laws change—cases that prove change is needed. Thanks to encouragement from Mark, Peter goes before the senators to make his case for a new law—Lily’s Law.

What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts below!