The night came to a culmination with the introduction of Dick Wolf’s newest and fourth show, Chicago Justice.
After Intelligence found the suspect they believed was responsible, it was time to seek justice. Justice for the 38 victims… justice for Lexi, Olinsky’s daughter.
Antonio arrived to pick up Dylan Oates just as Olinsky was getting worked up and ready to “finish him off.” Knowing that there was a chance justice would not be served, he lied and said Dylan confessed to starting the fire. Voight didn’t object, knowing he just had to have his friends back and deep down, Antonio knew it too. He isn’t a stranger to Intelligence and knows how it works.
Peter Stone, Antonio’s new boss, isn’t pleased with him for not informing him about the legitimacy of the confession and questions his loyalty. Douche move honestly since Antonio will always have his old units back.
During the trial, Stone faces off against skeezy defense attorney Albert Forest, a friend of Dylan’s father. He plays dirty, discrediting the only witness who led them to the suspect and who was blinded in the fire, claiming she was high at the time. He also calls Voight’s bluff saying he wasn’t trustworthy because he faked a confession to help his friend.
Stone knows he has to step up his game since so many families are counting on him and falls bait to a clue that’s mailed into them – an article about how the rave was a place for men to lure teens in sexual acts. He forces the author of the post to testify on the stand, even after he threatens to make public an illicit weekend he had with a married woman four years prior. I didn’t really understand the point of this, unless they plan to bring this relationship back in later episodes.
Turns out, this was all part of Forest’s “con.” He wanted Stone to bring up the article so that he could introduce that Dylan’s pyromania could have been a side-effect of sexual abuse growing up. The emotional revelation would definitely hang the jury, something he hoped for.
So Stone once again steps it up, proving that Dylan had a motive and it was an obsession with one of the women at the rave – the witness left badly burned and blind. He was mad after she rejected him and his advances and wanted revenge on her for denying him entry into her perfect life.
Even better, Stone was able to rile Dylan up with his closing statements and elicit an outburst, which in itself convinces the jury who find him guilty on both counts.
The moral of the story? Peter Stone is a badass who’s not to be messed with. Unlike some lawyers, he’s there to get to the truth and bring justice to a city filled with corruption.
Here’s the thing though – as a crossover, Chicago Justice was great and fit seamlessly with the brand, providing a satisfactory ending to a painful episode. As a standalone series, it’s lackluster.
Without Olinsky making this personal and a guest-appearance from Voight, I would found this pilot episode to be weak and not convincing enough to make me tune in again. Now maybe the series will pick up with more episodes but it’s missing that “Chicago” magic – maybe it’s the story, maybe it’s the cast, maybe I’m still bitter about Antonio’s departure from Intelligence… or maybe I’m just not a fan of the courtroom and don’t want to spend every episode there.
The drama was said to differ from Wolf’s other baby SVU by being more focused on characters and less on case-of-the-week but I’m just seeing too many similarities. I love SVU when it crosses over and using Benson and company would have sufficed for episodes that needed that touch of law – did we really have to bring in a whole “unit” for it?