Leading into the Chicago Justice finale on Sunday, it was very much clear that Peter Stone would do whatever he could to stop guilty parties. This was tested and then some over the course of “Tycoon” thanks largely to the presence of one Frank Linden (the excellent Richard Schiff), a man adept at ruling a real-estate empire and managing to slide himself out of tricky situations.
When Linden’s son-in-law passed away in what appeared to be a construction accident, the folks at both the Chicago PD (hey, a Sophia Bush appearance!) and the State’s Attorney’s office uncovered that this went far deeper than just an unfortunate accident. Clearly, Frank was involved in some way, but the struggle became trying to find a way to take him down. Linden was protected from almost all fronts, and if Stone failed with his onslaught against him, he ran the risk of being out of a job; not only that, but the entire reputation of the office would be shot for quite some time.
One of the major plot points over the course of this season was the bubbling tension between Stone and Mark Jefferies, and this came to a head thanks to Mark arranging a plea deal in order to ensure that they got some justice for what happened. The problem for Stone was clear: He wouldn’t accept it without a proper punishment, given that it would mean in turn no jail time. Jefferies and Linden had a history together, and that complicated things further. Still, Mark eventually sided with Stone, severing what friendship was there. Meanwhile, Peter continued to press in hopes of getting what he wanted. It was not the easy thing to do, but it certainly was right.
In the end, did he and the rest of the Justice team end the season with a win? It took some effort; to be specific, it took Stone managing to outsmart Linden on the stand. He brought up some of his past work, and then used it against him in an unexpected manner. His weakness was clear — his emphasis on profits, and how this mattered to him more so than anything else. There was only so much time that he could spend on starting he employed “thousands of people” was Stone tore him down to his roots: A heartless, cold man out for money more than his personal or professional family.
The story ended in the finale with an attempted-but-failed plea; from there, it went back to trial, and Stone received the verdict that he hoped for. To make matters worse, the other members of the family / organization involved could face consequences of their own.
One of the challenges of a show like this is the constant struggle to make things intense when fundamentally, so much of it takes place within the confines of a courtroom. Still, this was one of the best episodes of the entire series thanks in part to Schiff’s performance, and the intricacies that went into the battle between Linden and Stone. Grade: A-.
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