The Chicago Code (Monday, 9/8c, Fox)
As often happens in the best crime dramas, the bad guy often gets some of the meatiest material. And Ronin Gibbons, the Chicago Alderman played so deliciously by Delroy Lindo, is no ordinary adversary. We get a better sense of what makes him tick in this episode, when the powerful politician is confronted by an armed teenage robber, causing Gibbons to look back on his own upbringing, back before he became so cynical about the city's corrupt ways. In another storyline, a bomber blows up a city building and promises more mayhem, putting a ticking clock on Jarek and Caleb's efforts to track down the culprit. This situation is not unlike the dilemma on ABC's Castle an hour later (10/9c), in the conclusion of a tense two-parter that finds Beckett and Castle teaming up with a fed (Adrian Pasdar) to avert a terrorist calamity....
On the other end of the phone, Jennifer Beals is reading a Carl Sandburg poem titled "Chicago." Scratch that — she's performing it.
The poem celebrates Chicago's blue-collar work ethic as what trumps portrayals of the city as a corrupt, dangerous place to live. It's the best way for Beals, a Windy City native and star of Fox's The Chicago Code, to explain how she — and her character, Police Superintendent Teresa Colvin — feel about the place they call home.
Cheers to The Chicago Code for unleashing the bear inside Jason Clarke.
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The Australian actor is probably best known to American audiences as Tommy Caffee, the velvet-glove politician to Jason Isaacs' iron-fisted sibling Michael on Showtime's late, great Brotherhood. But as detective Jarek Wysocki in Fox's Windy City cop drama, he blows through crime scenes like a man on a tornado-like mission to uproot corruption. He's an instantly fascinating character, and Clarke charges him with kinetic energy.
Miss The Shield? On Monday, Fox will debut Shield creator and boss Shawn Ryan's new cop drama The Chicago Code.
The series revolves around the Chicago Police Department, whose superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) is in the middle of creating a task force to help to take down a corrupt city alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo) with possible ties to the Irish mob. Teresa tasks Det. Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and his new partner Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria) to investigate.
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Check out an exclusive scene from the series premiere of Chicago Code, airing Monday at 9/8c on Fox:
What a week for fans of crime dramas that try to raise the bar. Two winners premiering this week are set in USA's midsection — one rural, one urban (which I'm thinking you might have heard about on Super Bowl Sunday) — and they're so good it makes you wonder why Law & Order never took its act to the heartland.
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We'll be discussing the second season of FX's spectacularly entertaining Justified (returns Wednesday, 10/9c) later this week. Inspired by an Elmore Leonard character, this Kentucky-fried caper sneaks up on you, its laid-back attitude punctuated by shocks of grisly mayhem.
By contrast, Fox's muscular new The Chicago Code — from The Shield's Shawn Ryan — grabs you by the collar as it plunges headlong into a treacherous labyrinth of big-city corruption...