While we went through much of the One Chicago crossover back on Wednesday, the Chicago Justice series premiere review was something that we didn’t get a chance to fully dive into — luckily, we’re getting that chance now!
It’s hard to separate this show necessarily from the other portions of the franchise thanks to it being so involved in that event, but what we’d say is that this is as fine a courtroom drama as you’re going to find, and it harkens back to the days of the original Law & Order. Given that your main character in Peter Stone is the direct descendant of one of those characters, it’s clearly an intentional move. It’s a show that is all about the process of getting to that guilty verdict no matter how difficult it may be.
For the premiere, the story was straightforward. Following the arson investigation that we saw on Chicago PD, Stone and his team (which included Antonio Dawson following his departure from Intelligence) went to work securing the evidence needed to ensure that Dylan Oates, the man first accused of setting the fire that killed countless people in the warehouse explosion, was found guilty of his crimes. The process of ensuring this lead to much of the team, including Dawson and Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter), going out into the field and getting people to hand over the information necessary to build the case. Eventually, the evidence found its way to determining that Oates was obsessed with one of the people at the warehouse that night, and he set the fire as a way of getting revenge for her not wanting him to be a part of his life. As Stone made his closing statement, Oates ended up sealing his own fate.
One of the interesting things about this first episode is that, as executive producer Peter Jankowski noted to us last week, this was actually filmed much later in the season 1 order. It doesn’t feel inherently like a pilot at all. It drops you right into the world of Stone and Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers) in a way where you don’t exactly get to know anyone all that well. It was a natural extension of the world, but also a show that was a little distant in the first episode.
Where we stand for now
Through one episode, Chicago Justice proved itself to be a great show for longtime fans of the franchise, and also one for people who do enjoy a good courtroom drama. When it comes to twisting the form or delivering a jaw-dropping stunner, it still has a way to go. The premiere was mostly about setting a solid foundation and using the other parts of the franchise to cement its place in the universe. As we start to get it standing on its own two feet, we’ll have further opportunities to test its mettle. Grade: B.
We will have some further opportunities soon to discuss Chicago Justice over at the link here, so we do hope you have a chance to check that out sooner rather than later. (Photo: NBC.)