The Chicago Code Review: "Hog Butcher"

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It only took me one episode to underestimate Shawn Ryan.

On my series premiere review of The Chicago Code, I referred to "the obligatory scene of Colvin demoting a veteran" cop. I assumed this was simply thrown in to prove Teresa's mettle and even to give Fox a quote for its promos ("You think you can change the way thing are done... in CHICAGO?!?")

But "Hog Butcher" didn't waste much time proving me wrong.

Wysocki and Evers

Thanks to a tightly-focused hour that dedicated itself to tracking down Antonio's killer, viewers learned that there was a purpose behind Teresa's actions from last week. And definitely a fallout.

That one decision led to the death of her driver, while it also gave us a glimpse into a superintendent who doesn't exactly know it all just yet. As Wysocki explained, there's a difference between corruption and "the way things get done." It's important to show Colvin stumble a lot early on, or else there's no real cat-and-mouse game between her and Gibbons.

There's simply a cat who easily pounces on her mouse.

But this incident shook Colvin up, as portrayed well by Jennifer Beals in her eulogy and subsequent reaction to Antonio's mother's lawsuit. It's not that Teresa will take her foot off the pedal in her race to bring down Gibbons; it's that she must learn in which direction to steer. It can't be full speed ahead all the time, especially when the force will actually need the Alderman's help at various times.

The burden is on The Chicago Code to set itself apart from other police dramas, and this installment did a fine job of establishing its focus on characters over cases.

How great was that scene between Wysocki and the nun in church? While throwing out one important mythology nugget (his brother's killer is still on the loose), it also set Jarek up as a man well aware of his shortcomings - and not intent on doing anything about them any time soon.

While the pilot set up the premise of Colvin and Wysocki tacking Chicago corruption, this episode gave us more insight into each of these individuals and the obstacles they might face in accomplishing that task. What did everyone else think?


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Let me just mention that "Eight is Enough" was more than thirty years ago - what did you all expect the still-beautiful Ms. Buckley to look like? She's 63 now, not 32...


It took me forever to figure out that the nun was Abby from Eight is Enough.... Betty Buckley's picture on IMDB looks nothing like her (seriously, go look). I do have to say that I think Beals finally started settling into the role this episode. By the end I no longer felt like I was watching her try and act the part and just *be* in the part. Nice review Matt!


Shawn Ryan has a major hit with me in The Chicago Code, but I fear that like Terriers and another show I loved, Rubicon, that the dynamic dialogue and complex plots will leave the lowest common denominator behind, i.e., ratings. This is an outstanding show, well-informed characters played by talented actors. The real star for me is the language. My only nit-pick is that the Gibbons character is too evil too be believable in the more sympathetic scenes. I don't even believe that Delroy Lindo likes him. Or maybe Lindo has done such a good job with the character that I already dislike him to find it realistic that anyone would fall for his oily charms, like Iago in Othello.


I changed channels before the first 15 minutes were up. I am trying to give chicago code the benefit of the doubt, but it just doesn't grab me and reel me in. I liked Jennifer Beals as Lightman's ex-wife on Lie To Me, but in this role, I find something is missing.

Matt richenthal

@TvGuruAU: But Gibbons supposedly helped her get the job so she could act as his puppet... so she didn't fully earn this position.
I also wouldn't say she acts as a "half-wit." But someone young and new to such a major responsibility? I buy it taking longer to understand certain aspects of that gig than I would if she just came right in and knew it all.


This is a great show so far, but every time Teresa Colvin is told what to do / berated / undermined by her subordinate Wysocki it just loses credibility with me. If Colvin got to where she is, it's with reason, she's great at her job, not some half wit woman who needs to be shown the ropes.


Betty Buckley from Eight is Enough


My guess, Betty Buckley


Who played the part of the nun?

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The Chicago Code Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Jareck: There's a lot of history in that sausage.
Caleb: I can taste it.

Teresa: I trust you in as far as you respect me.
Jarek: I got your back.