THE CHICAGO CODE “Hog Butcher” Review

THE CHICAGO CODE Hog Butcher Episode 2 (FOX)

THE CHICAGO CODE “Hog Butcher” Season 1 Episode 2 – The second episode is often the trickiest because it establishes week to week premise of the show. Where the pilot is like a mini movie, this is where things start getting serialized and “Hog Butcher” was a solid episode which offers up some juicy potential.

There were a lot of things I liked about this episode, a few things I wasn’t too crazy about, but I can honestly say this is my favourite new show this spring. Alderman Gibbons was not given much in this episode, despite being the major villain of the series. The little he did do-orchestrating Colvin’s need of him by denying death benefits to the family of Colvin’s savior-was enough to keep his character relevant and menacing. Rule 101 of making villains: a smart villain is a scary villain, and Gibbons is turning out to be a crafty force.

The fact that Colvin’s shooting was not linked to Gibbons but was in fact the result of her getting too ambitious with her power was a slick move on the writers’ part (Patrick Massett and John Zinman were the scribes of the week). It keeps Gibbons in the picture, but also makes it clear that the show will branch out from solely hunting down this one man, which is a track many shows have run but few have been able to succeed without risking their characters’ intelligence. Caleb’s use of Twitter is the sort of technology most shows would do well to avail of: it’s clever but not unbelievable and it adds a nice layer of the generation divide between Caleb and Wysocki. Wysocki’s old school detective tricks were just as impressive, between forgoing the forensics unit to stake out the car and manipulating through the media.

Both Colvin and Wysocki drive the show. Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke make an electric team, and the screen buzzes whenever either of them are on. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of some of the minor characters, particularly Wysocki’s niece and her partner, who are so far pretty bland players. This could change with their move to another crimes unit, where I predict they will be conveniently useful (or perhaps a convenient dramatic foil) to Wysocki and Colvin. Still, their scenes do not have that same bite which the Colvin and Wysocki scenes carry, but hopefully they’ll improve, along with the undercover officer, who likewise is suffering from a lack of screen time and a potent story. We have no sense of the danger he is in, of the ruthlessness of those around him, but hopefully we will in the coming episodes.

Two of my favourite scenes were the interrogation scene with Colvin, where her invulnerability was tested and where she came to realize that, as Jarek said, “there is corruption, and then there is just the way things get done, and you have to know the difference.” The other great scene of the episode was the closing, with Wysocki and the nun as he prays to God to give him good aim when he finds his brother’s killer. What a powerful way to introduce a new villain, or, maybe, to strengthen the power of the already established one.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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