Chicago Justice Judge Not – In the previous episode a young Muslim man is found beaten to death in the hallway of an abandoned building. It looks like frat boy Byron Welch has done the deed. But Antonio and Laura come up with evidence showing that a different associate of the murder victim isn’t who he pretends to be. “Chicago Justice” is proving to be an interesting series in which a cop show intersects and coincides with a legal drama.
Review and recap Chicago Justice Judge Not
In Episode 4 of the new Chicago franchise, a prominent judge is shot and killed while leaving a bar with Anna Valdez. Monica Barbaro as Anna has been let out of the box in this one and it shows to good effect. It starts out with a stock establishing scene where she loses a case that was thrown out by the judge who rules on illegal search and seizure.
When it’s over, Judge Kinsey signals ‘Ms. Valdez’ to the bench where he seems to wink and nod at the pretty novice prosecutor. “Eight O’clock,” he reminds her. She smiles back and then they are doing after-hours face time at Sheridan’s City Tavern.
The bartender sees them walk out of the bar together. They hug and go their separate ways. But as Valdez heads for her car, shots ring out, a motorcycle speeds by, and Judge Ray Kinsey dies on the sidewalk with bullet holes in his torso. Little Ms. novice prosecutor is a tainted witness to the murder because it appears she was getting more than legal advice from the judge.
This notion of a straying older man falling for a young professional woman is given added flavor when Laura and Antonio interview the bartender. She’s seen the two come in a couple times a week.
But it’s not unusual, says the bartender. “This is the Viagra triangle.”
“Did you hear any of what they were saying?”
The lady bartender does remember one bit of conversation: “Did you tell her yet?” asks Anna Valdez of the judge.
Now the relationship between Valdez and boss Peter Stone is left vague throughout all episodes so far. It seems sometimes that the relationship is strictly professional. Other times, it seems there is an attraction.
Stone and Valdez have lunch together sometimes, but this can be construed as a mentor-student relationship. It’s something that is teased rather than made explicit. But it’s important because you maybe think the Peter Stone character is motivated by male jealousy when he prods Valdez about her interaction with Judge Kinsey.
“What were you doing at a bar with Judge Kinsey?” asks Peter.
Valdez feels offended by his insinuation, and lies about the purpose of their meeting. Is Stone being possessive? Or is he merely doing his job as chief prosecutor? Even the top man, State’s Attorney Mark Jeffries is worried about the appearance of impropriety. The old judge murdered after drinks with a young protégé.
“He could be her father,” Jeffries comments.
The murder mystery deepens when police talk to Mrs. Kinsey, the Judge’s wife, an unhappy woman by all accounts. One of the things making her unhappy is the teenager they’ve adopted who was rescued from life on the streets. Young Kaitlin is an angry, seething rebellious wreck of a tattooed teen who rails against Judge Kinsey for trying to keep her in check. Laura and Antonio find her in a hipster café. Laura Nagel makes a great tackle when Kaitlin runs, though “the bitch bit me.”
Guest actor Lizzie DeClement added lots of wild spirit to a small but memorable role as the volatile teen. If you think you’ve seen the worst of them, take a look at the sputtering Kaitlin: “I live with a judge. know my rights. Suck my ass! The only reason he took me in was to ease his rich suburban guilt.”
And more. Kaitlin has ‘lex talionis’ tattooed on her arm, prompting Antonio to tell Laura: “You should bite her back.”
Kaitlin is quickly ruled out as a suspect, but not as a result of her people skills. It’s because the question of who killed Judge Kinsey offers many other possibilities. Having sent more than 500 people to prison, Kinsey could conceivably have 500 enemies.
It’s Detective Laura Nagel who narrows down the possibilities to a rape victim Zoe Butler, and then to her ex-husband John Butler. An interesting twist to the usual rape-revenge plot is when a psychiatrist explains to Peter Stone that, in some cases, the revenge reaction is transferred to those close to the actual victim. This is the case here, as the brilliant Peter Stone finds his way through a legal maze to get John Butler to confess.
I have to say that, in spite of its outcome predictability, and after four episodes, “Chicago Justice” has some of the reliability and staying power of shows like “NCIS” and “Law and Order.” The actors are engaging, the story lines contemporary, the dialogue funny and biting, and many viewers are already attached to the characters of “Chicago PD.”
I’m still thinking about that scene at the end, though. You know, the one where Anna Valdez is running it down for the overbearing Peter Stone?
“Would you believe me if I said I wasn’t sleeping with Judge Kinsey?” she asks Stone.
Peter’s paternalistic attitude has irked her before, and rightly so. It seems that Peter hasn’t learned his lesson. Why does Anna Valdez now feel the need to reassure him about her behavior? Is there something going on that we’re not seeing?
Other episodes of Chicago Justice reviewed on TV Eskimo include:
Characters and cast of Chicago Justice See Something include:
Peter Stone – Philip Winchester (Strike Back, Flyboys, In My Sleep, Chicago P.D., Thunderbirds)
Antonio Dawson – Jon Seda (Treme, Primal Fear, Homicide: Life on the Street, Twelve Monkeys, Bullet to the Head)
Laura Nagel – Joelle Carter (Justified, High Fidelity, Scandal, Constantine, American Pie 2, Jessabelle)
Anna Valdez – Monica Barbaro (UnREAL)
Mark Jeffries – Carl Weathers (Rocky, Colony, The Shield, Predator)
Zoe Butler – Holly Curran (Z: The Beginning of Everything, Ironside, Alpha House)
Jon Hoffman – Dennis Flanagan (Ozark, Banshee, The Deuce)
Vivian Teagan – Tijuana Ricks (Luke Cage, Billions, The Night Of, A Gifted Man, The Affair)
Judge – Douglas Sills
Dr. Daniel Charles – Oliver Platt (2012, Chicago Fire, Kill the Messenger, Fargo, The West Wing, Simon Birch, X-Men: First Class)