Episode Title: "Gillis, Chase & Babyface"
Writer: Davey Holmes
Director: Guy Ferland
Previously on "The Chicago Code":
Chicago Police Superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) recruited her ex-partner, Detective Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) to lead an unofficial task force to instigate Alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo), whom Teresa suspected to be the dirtiest official in city hall. Not long after that, someone made an attempt on Teresa’s life and killed her driver,Antonio Betz (Manny Montana) in the process.
While Jarek and his new partner, Detective Caleb Evans (Matt Lauria) tracked down the shooters, Gibbons began turning Antonio’s mother against Teresa for wearing his body armor during the attack and because the way he died would deny her his benefits. Teresa was further dismayed when Jarek and Caleb learned that the assassination was motivated by Sgt. Worthen, a cop she publicly demoted a few days before. Worthen was also greatly upset by the damage his words had done and murdered the last suspect himself before turning himself in to Jarek.
Getting the call for a bank robbery in progress, Jarek and Caleb arrive on the scene and find a security guard down from a gunshot wound and the two robbers already out the door. One the tellers lets them know that she slipped a tracker in the robber’s money, which sends Jarek and Caleb racing after the Chicago L train. However, the robbers end up on the train in front of theirs and kill a man by blowing off his face, leaving the tracker behind. Later, undercover cop Liam (Billy Lush) tips off Jarek that the Irish mob and Gibbons are running a construction scam together.
Elsewhere, Organized Crime Unit leader, Ernie Moosekian (Brad William Henke) brings a cop named Jonesy up to Jarek and accuses him of feeding his name to Teresa for a forced retirement. Caleb is also warned by one of his fellow officers that being associated with Jarek will damage his career. Shortly thereafter, Jarek lays into Teresa about being the scapegoat for Jonesy’s dismissal, but she tells him that he offered to retire after Internal Affairs caught him in a tow-truck scam. Their conversation turns back to Gibbons and they decide to send the OCU to harass known Irish mobster, Hugh Killian’s Dansworth Construction based on Liam’s lead. If Gibbons is involved, they’ll know soon enough.
Jarek and Caleb then identify the dead victim at the L train station as being one the robbers. And they manage to track down his partner, Samuel Robbins, a criminal with known psychological problems. They call in for back up, buy Ernie makes sure none of his officers answer the request. Robbins soon pins down Jarek and Robbins with automatic gunfire and gets away… without his cash. And Jarek is incredibly pissed off when he learns that Ernie knew they were under attack and didn’t respond. At a city meeting, Gibbons takes the bait and indirectly asks Teresa to lay off Dansworth.
However, Teresa’ Chief of Staff, Bill Hampton doesn’t understand why Teresa then increases pressure on Dansworth and refuses to let him in the loop. Jarek and Teresa visit Killian and try to get him to implicate Gibbons. Killian in turn yells at Gibbons and claims that he doesn’t need him. Then Hampton meets with Gibbons and offers to spy on Teresa for him in return for a monthly bribe and her job when she is eventually forced out. Gibbons smiles and gives him the handshake deal that he wanted. At the same time, Jarek and Caleb figure out that the security guard who was shot at the bank was also in on the robbery.
Gibbons fixes his Killian problem by having his police cronies plant kiddie porn at Killian’s house. And he makes the mobster beg for his help to get out of the situation. Gibbons follows that up by visiting Teresa with a tape of Hampton’s offer to him moments before he goes on live TV and rails against "police corruption," which is a major setback for her. Luckily, Jarek, Caleb and the OCU find Robbins… and Jarek shoots the man dead before he can kill Ernie. Later, Ernie apologizes for freezing Jarek out, but instead of accepting it, Jarek decks him.
At the end of the day, Teresa introduces Jarek to her new Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Kelly. And she tells them both that the Gibbons investigation is closed. But when Kelly leaves the room, she tells Jarek that he’s plant sent by Gibbons who they can now manipulate and feed info back to the Alderman without him realizing that they’re on to him.
"The Chicago Code" is beginning to feel like a Shawn Ryan series. Which is to say, it’s really, really good.
Delroy Lindo’s Alderman Gibbons is an entertaining villain because he’s clearly intelligent and he seems to be very good at outmaneuvering his enemies. I really thought that he would take Hampton’s deal and get a spy on Teresa, but he used a potential long term weapon against her for a short term gain. It could work if it forces Teresa out of office prematurely. Think about it for a second. We just watched the main character on this series get humiliated and it’s not because she wasn’t capable or intelligent herself. Gibbons is just that good.
The righteous anger of Jarek was also something to behold. It would have been too convenient if he had just forgiven Ernie for not coming to his aid and it’s telling that the death of the Robbins weighs so heavily on him. In last week’s episode, Jarek openly preyed for the opportunity to kill the man who murdered his brother. And in the heat of the moment, he had no problem pulling the trigger to save Ernie’s life. But if he’s that angry about having to take the man’s life then it suggests that he feels extremely guilty about doing so.
I generally like Teresa, but she’s coming off as largely cold and unlikable in the majority of her scenes. It may simply be that’s what she has to be in those situations, but it’s harder to get behind her without a better glimpse of who she is without the badge. She doesn’t seem to have much grey or moral ambiguity. But then again, she doesn’t have much of a character yet either. Of course, this is still early in the season, so that problem could clear up literally in the next episode or so.
In a way, I’m also disappointed that we probably won’t see Bill Hampton back on the show, since his willingness to go make a deal with Gibbons for himself could have added some good drama to his scenes with Teresa. It was surprising that the writer didn’t even play it off that Bill might have been there on Teresa’s behalf to trick Gibbons; which would have also been a bold play and left Bill’s loyalties in question.
Overall, my problems with the show so far are pretty mild. It’s never going to be "The Shield," but it doesn’t have to be. If "The Chicago Code" can maintain its own identity and deliver like it did this week, then it’ll be around for a good long time.
Crave Online Rating: 8.5 out of 10.