Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Chicago Code "Greylord & Gambat" Review

The star witness in the grand jury investigation of the Alderman Ronin Gibbons disappeared. Colvin and Wysocki have 24 hours before the case is dismissed and the Alderman walks free. The plot sounds like a bad cop drama film starring Al Pacino as the grizzled cop but this is the story that drives the first part of The Chicago Code's two part finale. I'm impatient with procedural cop dramas. Yes, there are critics who blowhard about how The Chicago Code's different from the pack of network procedural cop dramas, how Shawn Ryan created a new breed of network cop dramas with The Chicago Code. Maybe he did. Maybe the innovation and originality of The Chicago Code eludes me.

"Greylord & Gambat" is a good episode of television within the context of its genre. The cops scrambled to save their city-changing case against the Alderman. Gibbons and Killian used their influence to find out who had been working undercover in Killian's group. The episode had its share of tense moments because the urgency in those two stories. When Liam ignores Wysocki's suggestion to find safety because his cover's blown, I wondered how long Liam would last because I figured news would travel fast in Killian's gang. News doesn't travel fast. Liam managed to access the files he needed and steal one before Killian's daughter caught wind of the truth.

I suppose Shawn Ryan, Virgil Williams and company wanted the audience to wonder if the red file would reach Wysocki before Killian's group killed Liam but I didn't wonder because the previous scene proved how "safe" The Chicago Code is. In other words, its formula's like any other network procedural police drama. The core characters are safe. Their dangers are only illusions. Of course, Liam needs to authenticate the red file that will lead to the indictment of Gibbons. Unfortunately, Liam's near death because Liz Killian shot him and the other boys beat him up before Jarek and Caleb saved the day.

The best scene in the episode happens at the end, between Jarek and Gibbons. Gibbons' back is to the wall. The vultures have been circling and they're ready to feed. He sees and feels his life's work slipping away. Gibbons tries to reason with Jarek by telling his side of the story. The Alderman didn't invent the political system but he has to exist and thrive within it. Gibbons essentially says that Chicago's full of corrupted politicians (which is absolutely no shock). He wants Jarek to make the case go away and he offers to tell him who killed his brother, Vincent. I liked the scene because of the dialogue. Gibbons' comments about the political system intrigue me. I'd be into the show if they focused more on the intriacies of the system (maybe I just need to watch The Wire to get that kind of storytelling). The scenes focuses more on how different the two men are. Jarek's a righteous, by-the-book police officer and Gibbons is the corrupted politician who represents the problem with Chicago. Colvin and Wysocki believe Gibbons indictment will reform Chicago.

I liked how Colvin and Gibbons were reversed. The majority of the season showcased Gibbons as the master politician, and Colvin as a seemingly powerless superintendent to really change things. Again, the two characters are two sides of a different coin. If TCC explored that truth more, it would've been a more engaging show.

Next week's the last episode of the series and the second part of the finale. Virgil Williams wrote the episode. Paris Barclay directed it.


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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.