In general, seven episodes in, I’ve enjoyed Chicago Justice. Some episodes have been better than others, as is the case with every TV show, but there is a lot they can do as far as storylines, the main character is engaging and the supporting cast is interesting enough so far.
With that exception of Laura Nagel.
Coming into this episode, I cared nothing for her. She was just there, another blonde investigator to partner with Antonio, and sometimes she had good ideas, sometimes she had nothing to add, and I was fine either way.
Boy, an hour can really change your perspective.
Antonio didn’t need such an episode – we know more than enough about him. Anna had gotten her share of the spotlight, so had Peter, and please, never tell us more about Jefferies because nothing you do will make me like him. So it was Laura’s turn.
Can it be possible that she’s not near the top of my list of faves on the show?
Yes, it can.
Can it also be possible that she made it in an episode where the main story-line had me shaking my head at the screen every 2.5 seconds?
Stranger things have happened.
So, let’s go into the good, the bad and the team of “Double Helix”
NATURE OR NURTURE
The episode introduces the idea of nature or nurture, and examines the possibility that your best/worst urges are determined by genetics. All of this is, of course, total and complete nonsense, but hey, lawyers will say a lot of nonsense to win a case. I it works, it works.
Problem is, of course, this talk gets under Laura’s skin, as well. When your father has a history of addiction and you’ve had problems with the same thing it’s easy to question if there was ever choice involved. After all, if it was always destined to happen, there’s less responsibility for you.
But – and the show tried, but ultimately failed to send this message strongly enough – you do get a choice in what you make of yourself. Your get a choice in what you do, you get a choice in how you behave and you certainly get a choice in whether you kill a person or not. Nature doesn’t make you a bad person. Your choices do.
Stone argued his case convincingly and the jury believed him. Problem is, the show didn’t make their opinion as clear to the viewers as I would have liked. The whole notion is not just absurd, it’s been debunked time and time again and I’m frankly surprised a judge would let that defense go as far as the judge did in this case.
But hey – if the show only did it to give Laura Nagel some more screen time and backstory, I guess I can maybe, perhaps, live with it.
Peter Stone: Less problematic and more favorite by the second, Stone is the reason I – and probably most people – watch this show. His personality is just that large. If I didn’t like any of the other characters, I’d still watch just for him.
Anna Valdez: The thing I like the most about Anna is that Anna plays everything so close to her chest. That and she doesn’t dress like most TV lawyers – in that she actually dresses like a lawyer who spends time in court. I don’t love her yet, but I do feel like I could love her and I’m very happy with the way they’ve been giving me just little pieces of who she truly is.
Antonio Dawson: Look, I’ve never been Antonio’s biggest fan, but I have to admit he works better in Justice than he did on P.D, where he was always butting heads with Voight, forcing me to choose Voight’s side, because Hank Voight is one of those guys who’s so loyal that you just can’t hate him. But here, Antonio’s little jokes don’t bother me as much and his incipient friendship with Laura is actually winning me over.
Laura Nagel: I just want to hug her, I do. This amount of backstory in an episode and I went from don’t care to my baby don’t touch her. I don’t even know how it happened, but I’m cooking up scenarios in my head for the team to help her get custody of her daughter back.
Mark Jefferies: I can’t stand the guy. I really can’t. If that hadn’t been cemented in previous episodes, his false equivalence about climate change/genetics being responsible for murderous tendencies clinched it for me. I get that he’s there to play Devil’s Advocate, but he really could do that without being a pain in the ass all the time.
I’m gonna get a Jefferies episode, right? Ugh. I know it’s coming, and yet I really, really don’t want to. Never in this whole Chicago franchise have I disliked someone as much as I dislike him – not even Voight in his early douche Chicago Fire days.
Other than that, though, the team only needs more time. Time to form deeper connections, time for us to care not just about them as individuals, but about the relationships they’ve developed. And I’m pretty sure time is something they have on their side.
The other Chicago shows have bought it for them.
Other things to note:
- Even though it makes more sense for them to be here than in some other places, I’m starting to wonder why Antonio and Laura are EVERYWHERE, all the time. We never saw a State Attorney Investigator before on Chicago P.D
- I know the answer to that is probably – because we hadn’t come up with this idea yet, but it bugs me.
- Every time a character mentions the word statistically to prove a point they just made, it means the issue is personal and they could care less about common sense.
- That whole touching the belly of your partner thing is a bit too familiar, Antonio.
- Though you do get points for just dismissing Laura’s concerns about her kid as if they were absurd.
- That courtroom scene with Stone owning the serial killer was so beautiful I might rewatch it again when I’m having a bad day.
- Sometimes being a lawyer is hard, and sometimes it’s just … poetic justice. I bet Peter Stone felt like that was one of the last ones.
- Are we ever gonna see Anna try a case? Even if it’s just a little one.
Chicago Justice airs Sundays at 9/8c on NBC.