THE CHICAGO CODE 1.12 ‘Greylord & Gambat’

Teresa and Jarek launch a grand jury inquiry against Alderman Gibbons as Liam blows his cover in the field.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Greylord & Gambat"
 
Writer: Virgil Williams
 
Director: Paris Barclay
 
Previously on "The Chicago Code":

Chicago PD Superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) made it her mission to clean up Chicago's infamously dirty politics and take down Alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo). She received an early setback when Gibbons revealed that her first chief of staff tried to sell her out. But when Gibbons handpicked her new chief of staff, Lt. Kelly, Teresa was able to keep him out of the loop on the Gibbons investigation. At the same time, Detective Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and Detective Caleb Evans (Matt Lauria) investigated other criminal activity and tried to tie it back to Gibbons.

The most promising leads came from Liam Hennessey (Billy Lush), an undercover cop in the Irish mob who had gained favor with Gibbons. Liam had also witnessed his boss, Hugh Killian (Patrick St. Esprit) murder a man in front of him. With Liam's help, the police arrested a city trash truck driver named Ronnie Underwood, who was trafficking in drugs for Killian. Despite offers from Teresa and Jarek to come in,  Liam insisted upon staying within the mob even as his associates began to get suspicious about his true motivations.

Story:

This is the day that Teresa Colvin has been waiting for. In front of a secretly convened grand jury, Teresa lays out the case against Gibbons and tells them about the garbage truck full of drugs driven by Ronnie Underwood for Killian, with the knowledge and cooperation of Gibbons. But Teresa overlooked one important thing: Ronnie himself, who has apparently skipped town because she didn't leave a police guard on him. She orders Jarek and Caleb to track him down. But in order to buy more time with the grand jury, Teresa admits that she has an undercover cop in the Irish mob who witnessed Killian killing a man.

Jarek and Caleb gather a small group of trusted officers to fan out and find Ronnie. Across town, Gibbons is admiring the posters for his upcoming campaign for mayor when his aide lets him know that Teresa has launched a grand jury investigation against him. Elsewhere, Elizabeth Killian asks Liam to go on a date with her. He refuses, citing Killian's objections to mixing his daughter up with the mob. However, she reveals that she's already involved with the mob as her father's accountant. When she answers Liam's phone, she finds her father on the line ordering Liam to report to him.

At the truck depot, Ronnie's brother tells Jarek that Ronnie was soliciting advice on whether he should testify or run. He also lets him know that he has a girlfriend named Penny who works at a local massage parlor. In his office, Gibbons angrily demands to know why Lt. Kelly didn't know about Teresa's plans for him. He also threatens Kelly and his family if he doesn't discover who the undercover cop in the Irish mob is. At the same time, Killian orders Mikey and Liam to locate Ronnie and Penny; which they do fairly quickly. But when Mikey makes moves to kill them both, Liam is forced to fatally stab him.

When other mob enforcers show up at Ronnie's door, Liam is able to preserve his cover momentarily and get rid of them. Unfortunately, Kelly came through for Gibbons and Liam is revealed to be Officer Chris Collier to both Gibbons and Killian. On the phone, Jarek pleads with Liam to come in, but Liam insists upon making one last play for evidence. He approaches Elizabeth and claims that Killian sent him personally because the cops are after him. As Elizabeth takes Liam to her real ledger for safekeeping, Teresa has Killian arrested and tries to get him to break.

A phone call to Elizabeth reveals that Liam is really a cop. He tries to talk her down, but she shoots him. He shoots her in return shortly before other members of the Irish mob show up and proceed to beat him mercilessly. Tracking Elizabeth's phone, Jarek and Caleb arrive and narrowly save Liam. But on the way to the hospital, Liam loses consciousness after giving Jarek Elizabeth's ledger… that implicates Gibbons directly. In the ensuing chaos, Gibbons is missing. However, Jarek finds Gibbons waiting for him at an unexpected location: his own desk in the police precinct.

The cornered Alderman wants the grand jury investigation to go away. And in return, he offers Jarek "justice" for his brother, who was murdered while on an undercover assignment years ago. Jarek barely contains his anger as he orders Gibbons to leave. But as he goes, Gibbons promises to "be in touch."

Breakdown:

If you're a fan of television, there's always going to be a show that you love that gets canceled prematurely. It's inevitable. Either through low ratings or network mismanagement, some series just don't take off. This calender year in particular was hard for me, because I already lost "Terriers," "Stargate Universe" and "Lights Out." If "The Chicago Code" could have been saved, it would have made my spring.

Because this show is everything I want from a cop drama. It has sharp writing, great characters, compelling stories… "The Chicago Code" really has it all.

But there is one bit of good news. We're going to get an ending for this series. This week's episode and next week's finale are actually going to wrap up the Alderman Gibbons storyline that's been percolating since episode one.

"Greylord & Gambat" kicked things off with a beautifully intense hour of television. It wasn't quite perfect, but it was pretty close. I do have to point out how stupid it was for Teresa and Jarek to leave Ronnie unattended and without a police escort ahead of the grand jury. Their rationale was that Killian would know Ronnie was testifying if they assigned a protective detail to him. But Killian already knew the cops had grabbed Ronnie when his truck never showed up!

It felt like this was a cheap way to manufacture some drama as the grand jury got started. Aside from that, the plot held together really well.

Billy Lush's storyline as Liam could have been a modern day "Wiseguy" just by itself. And it would have been cool to see his relationships with Mikey, Elizabeth and even Killian himself go deeper. This week's episode kind of put Liam and Elizabeth's relationship in fast forward, but I love that it ended with them both shooting each other. If she had sided with Liam over her father, it wouldn't have worked. Mikey's death was also a little rushed after seeing him with Liam so many times. However, it still made for a great moment when Liam finally betrayed him.

Delroy Lindo was also at the top of his game as we saw Gibbons descend into desperation for the first time. He's been such a cool, calculating villain for so many episodes that it was unexpected to see him so clearly rattled by the turn of events. I'd say that Teresa outsmarted him, but the major conflict came back to her again when she revealed Liam's role in the grand jury. Do cops really expose the existence of their undercover officers in the field while they can still be discovered?

After last week's episode focused on his family life (and lack there of), Jarek took a backseat for most of the hour. But Jason Clarke made the most of his confrontation with Gibbons, which may actually be the first time they've been in open conflict since the beginning of the series. For a final card to play against Jarek, bringing up his dead brother was a brilliant move by the Alderman. On this show, there's really only one person that's already been seen who could have killed Jarek's brother (and the preview for next week's episode is pretty blatant about it as well).

Regardless, the undercurrent of anger and menace from both Jarek and Gibbons was fantastic. A hero is usually only as good as his villain, but both of these characters are a cut above almost any others on TV. I'm fully invested in this show and I want to see how it all plays out. I suspect that Gibbons is going to go down, but not without a fight. And Jarek and Teresa are both probably going to pay a price for their victory.

Are there any other guesses about how this is going to play out? Feel free to weigh in below!

Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.