“Aren’t you tired of this?”
Five simple yet powerful words that bring a lot to mind.
But in the case of Peter Stone and Chicago Justice’s latest hour, “Drill,” those five words guided an all too familiar issue that rocks streets throughout this country: gang violence.
The beginning of this episode was enough to set the tone for the hour, as well as give audiences a glimpse at how dark this world can be – a world that we sometimes can forget exists in our own streets.
But that’s the beauty and curse of Chicago Justice – it presents our reality to us in a more focused fashion that winds up shining light on the good, bad, and terrible of a cruel world.
As Stone attempted to figure out a way to stop this gang violence that had resulted in the murder of a young girl, he came up with an interesting tactic that ended up making a lot of sense. He proposed that there was increased gang violence due to the vast social media world that has made it even easier to call out hits and locate others.
Stone’s mission involved stopping the gang violence before it happens. How? He fought to have the phones of 39 at-risk kids (involved in gangs) shut off due to their contractual breech with their cellular provider. It was something that was completely out there yet incredibly brilliant. But that is Peter Stone in a nutshell.
So I wasn’t even surprised when the motion was granted – as well as when the gang violence decreased following one of Chicago’s bloodiest nights. It was that bold move, as well as the bold move from the judge that granted the motion, that was a gamechanger for our team.
But on the opposite side of that mission was the case at hand, which involved a young boy finding a gun – used in a murder of that young girl – under his mattress and his uncle attempting to get rid of it. We soon learned that the gun actually belonged to the uncle’s sister’s kid, Keo, who had all sorts of attitude problems and had all the makings of the guilty party.
At one point, Stone and Valdez approached the uncle and nephew, Andre, about testifying in court against Keo. You see, Keo was threatening Andre because the gun he was looking for was now in police custody. Only Keo didn’t know that. All we knew was that things were only going to get worse for young Andre, which is why Stone told them he was charging Keo with murder and needed their testimonies to help put him away.
Only that didn’t work for the uncle. You see, he was concerned with “the law of the street” and the implications and effects that has versus the law of the land. There’s no protection from street violence that the cops can ultimately provide in the long run. So the uncle was concerned with their well-being more so than someone being charged with a murder they didn’t commit. Survival instinct, I guess.
Well, turns out Stone didn’t need that to convict Keo of the murder. He convinced the judge and the defendant’s attorney to go along with a fake trial – they were dropping charges on the other guy – in order to catch Keo in a lie and convict him on those murder charges. And it worked. Of course, it did. Stone is brilliant.
But the victory was short-lived after Valdez got a call that took the team to another crime scene, where they found the uncle murdered and left for dead in the middle of the street. It sounds like “the law of the street” had gotten to him after all. Just when things were looking up, something else terrible happened in its wake.
And that’s the point, really.
There are no happy endings in these gang wars. Only violence, death, and regret. What an emotional yet powerful episode.
Wrong Makes A Right (Then Another Wrong)
Even when the good guys have good intentions, sometimes they’re wrong. That was the case in “Drill” when our team learned that they had the wrong man on trial for the murder of a young girl in gang retaliation gone wrong.
All it took was the discovery of the murder weapon and the brilliant workings of the entire Justice team to figure out that they were charging the wrong guy. You never think that the good guys can be wrong. But they’re not perfect, just like the bad guys. But what makes them better than the bad guys is that they fight to right the wrongs they committed and ultimately find justice for the victim and the accused.
“Sometimes you have to make a wrong turn before you find your way.”
So while our team originally convicted the wrong guy, they eventually caught the right guy in the process. Sure, it wasn’t the route they had intended. But they fought tooth and nail – even took a risk with a fake trial – to draw the guilty party out and find justice for a little girl caught in the crossfire of a gang war.
But as Peter said, wrong turns are inevitable when you’re trying to find your way. What person hasn’t made the wrong turn down a road they were headed, both figuratively and literally? But the point is that they never stopped striving for finding the right way. They even took some risks along the way.
But just when we thought we were getting the closest thing to a happy ending in this cruel world of gang wars, Anna got a call that emotionally shook her and the rest of the team when they arrived on scene to find the uncle murdered and left for dead.
Now, we’re never left to find out exactly what happened. And that’s kind of the point. The point of this was to reinforce what the uncle had told Stone and Valdez earlier in the episode – that the law of the street is much different than the law of the land. So we can assume, obviously, that his murder was a retaliation hit by the gang that this Keo kid belonged to.
Take A Risk
Life is all about taking risks. It’s about attempting things that scare you. It’s about trying and failing. It’s about doing whatever it takes to succeed. But success isn’t measured by how many times you try and fail. It’s measured by the times that you try and succeed. And you don’t get there without taking some risks along the way.
This episode was all about taking risks, whether it was in the present or alluded to in the past.
In the present, Peter Stone (aka Mr. Risk Taker) made a couple of bold moves in his mission to find justice for a little girl that was caught in the crossfires of gang violence. Not only did he attempt and succeed when it came to shutting down the phones of 39 at-risk youths involved with gangs. But Stone also took a huge risk when it came to setting up a “fake trial” in order to catch the actual guilty party in a lie. Luckily, Stone succeeded on both accounts. But sometimes life isn’t that friendly or fair.
Anna also took a couple of big risks that proved while she’s certainly someone who’s going to be someone to be reckoned with. I continue to fall in love with her passion, strength, and determination that has guided her during her life. She’s so much more than a pretty face. In fact, she doesn’t even seem to be aware that she has a pretty face. Instead she exudes this radiant confidence that we should all aspire to have.
Anyway, we finally learned how Anna got her job as Peter’s co-counsel, which was brought to light after her run-in with an old college friend that was serving as the defendant’s counsel. Turns out Anna made a huge risk that Peter naturally responded to. You see, Anna was delivering some paperwork to Stone in the court room when she noticed the defendant fidgeting with something under his table. She passed Stone the paperwork and then flipped the defendant’s table. The deputies were all over the kid – and Anna, who was in a choke hold – and eventually found the razor blade he had been hiding. Obviously that bold move resonated with Stone enough that he pushed for her promotion. Or so I’m assuming.
When people mutter that cliched phrase, “Life is about taking chances,” it’s actually true. You’re never going to get anywhere if you aren’t bold. If you remain a bystander in a world of active participants. Sure, it’s scary. Sure, it has risks. But what’s life worth living if you don’t fight for something you believe is worthwhile?
- It’ll never get old, but I love me some One Chicago crossovers. I’m continually impressed by how seamless these small cameos are executed. It’s a subtle nod to this vast universe, but it’s also something that comes quite naturally. Plus, anytime I get to see Kevin Atwater is a plus.
- This Staldez tension is killing me. Now I know that I’m not just seeing something that isn’t there. This is this magnetism, so to speak, between Peter and Anna where their eyes meet, whether it’s during a tense moment or a celebratory moment. It’s something that’s evident on both of their faces. They seem to relax around each other. I NEED STALDEZ TO HAPPEN.
- I loved how Anna got her job as Peter’s co-counsel. This was the answer to a question that I haven’t asked enough, but I’m glad Justice did the work for me. Anna is someone who is bold and not afraid to take risks, which is exactly how she wound up where she is. She was slipping Stone some paperwork during a trial when she saw the defendant fidgeting with something underneath the table. She took a risk and helped the deputies in the court catch the defendant with the blade. Obviously Stone admired her for taking a risk.
- Will I ever stop hating Jeffries? Like even when he’s tolerable at times I still end up disliking him. Perhaps that’s who his character is intended to be. Perhaps there’s something more beneath the surface. But I’m not seeing it.
- Chicago Justice reminded us that there are no happy endings with gang violence. Even though our Justice Team caught the killer and justice served for that little girl and the boy that was falsely charged with murder, they couldn’t prevent the violence on the street. Much like the uncle had told Stone and Valdez before, the law of the country and the law of the street are two very different things. And unfortunately, the law of the street got to him first.
Chicago Justice airs Sundays at 9/8c on NBC.