Warning: General spoilers ahead
Truth be told, I’ve been a fan of Law & Order — and of the Dick Wolf franchise, in general — for close to 25 years. I can remember watching the show with my parents back when Mike Logan (Chris Noth) was on the beat and Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) was the District Attorney of NYC. Those were some good times, and that was some good TV. So, when the whispers started that there might be a Law & Order reboot, needless to say I was more than a little excited. Unfortunately, nothing ever materialized on that front, but the good news is we may have gotten something just as good.
Last summer, it was officially announced that the 4th installment of Dick Wolf’s mega Chicago franchise, Chicago Justice, had been given the green light at NBC, and this past Wednesday, we got our first look at the series as the final part of the 3-hour #OneChicago crossover. That was described as a “preview” of the new series, with the actual premiere airing tomorrow night, and if you’re a fan of the original Law & Order, this is something you definitely won’t want to miss.
In tomorrow’s premiere and as a crossover with Chicago P.D., Stone (Philip Winchester) and the State’s Attorney team investigates the chain of events following the arrest and death of a young man while he’s in custody. This ultimately leads to charges being filed against the Police, EMT, and hospital personnel, only to have a recalcitrant Grand Jury indict a single individual: Officer Kevin Atwater (guest star LaRoyce Hawkins). To make matters worse, Atwater’s former colleague, Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), is caught in the middle, being forced to help build a case against Atwater but at the same time, trying to do right by his friend. Dawson is new on the job as Investigator for the State’s Attorney’s office, and this very blatant conflict doesn’t set very well with his new partner, Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter). Don’t worry, they eventually find common ground, but even still, it’s a rough road for the duo for most of the hour.
As I said, if you’re a die-hard Law & Order fan, this new series definitely won’t disappoint, because after only the “preview” episode on Wednesday and tomorrow’s premiere, there’s already 3 major callbacks to the series that helped put Dick Wolf on the map. First, if you watched Law & Order back in the days of Jack McCoy as the Executive Assistant District Attorney, you may recall a tough-as-nails defense attorney by the Danielle Melnik, portrayed by the fabulous Tovah Feldshuh (“The Walking Dead”). Well, the judge presiding over the arson case was actually none other than Ms. Melnik — um, I mean the Honorable Danielle Melnik.
Then, of course, we have the Assistant State’s Attorney, Peter Stone, who just so happens to be the son of Ben Stone, the District Attorney for the first 4 seasons of the Law & Order mothership series. We learn in tomorrow’s episode that the father-and-son relationship has been quite rocky, and the two actually haven’t spoken for many, many years. The final blast-from-the-past comes with Richard Brooks reprising his role from the Law & Order days as Paul Robinette — except instead of sitting on the prosecution side of the table, he’s now a defense attorney and represents Atwater at his murder trial. I didn’t start watching Law & Order until both Ben Stone and Paul Robinette were gone, but I have watched re-runs, and the entire situation feels so nostalgic. Law & Order began its run in 1990, and now, some 27 years later, we have Ben Stone’s son, Peter, as the lead on a new Dick Wolf series and working alongside the Sr. Stone’s former Assistant DA, Paul Robinette. And, if you’re wondering — oh, yes, they do have some stories. While Ben Stone may have come across as very tame and soft-spoken in the original Law & Order, we learn he is somewhat of a bull-dog behind closed doors and more or less, a pain in the ass to be around at times.
Now, about that big elephant in the room — what happens to Atwater? Obviously, I can’t tell you that, but I will say this episode has perfect timing. With Ruzek abruptly going undercover earlier in the season on Chicago P.D., the opening in Intelligence was filled by Kenny Rixton from the gang unit. Well, after Ruzek’s return 2 weeks ago, Rixton stepped back out, supposedly after a position opened up in Narcotics. Even though Rixton only appeared in a handful of episodes, he quickly became a fan favorite, and many viewers are hoping he’ll make a comeback. Well, guess what? Officer Atwater being convicted of murder would definitely provide an opening on Voight’s team for that to happen.
The series premiere of Chicago Justice is titled “Uncertainty Principle” and airs Sunday at 9/8c on NBC.
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_1007_CLIP_1_030517_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_1007_CLIP_2_030517_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_1007_CLIP_3_030517_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_1007_CLIP_4_030517_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_CARL_WEATHERS_INTV_030117_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
[S3VIDEO file=’CJC_PHILIP_WINCHESTER_030117_h264_hd.mov’ authurl=’true’ autoplay=’false’ vol=’90’ allowfullscreen=’true’ time=’true’ displaymode=’embedded’ width=’680′ height=’420′]
Geeky computer and math nerd by day and TV fanatic by night. My beats are The Walking Dead, The Strain, Person of Interest, Z Nation, and anything that most people would call freaky. Editor-In-Chief and Lead Writer of TVGeekTalk.com
s are closed.