Stars: Delroy Lindo, Billy Lush, Matt Lauria, Jennifer Beals, Jason Clarke, Devin Kelley and Todd Williams
Writer: Kevin Townsley
Director: Clark Johnson
Network: Fox, airs Monday nights
Original Telecast: March 7, 2011

Not all episodes of THE CHICAGO CODE have to be action-packed, and “O’Leary’s Cow” proves that it can be just as provocative and intense when it’s dealing with smaller stories that have larger implications for our core characters.

Things kick off when Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and his partner Caleb (Matt Lauria) stumble on a case in Chinatown where a black youth spreading the word of the Lord is found dead with his hand cut off.

Since it’s clear there are no gang ties, Wysocki, with the help of Superintendent Colvin (Jennifer Beals) try to convince the unofficial Mayor of Chinatown to give up a security tape that will reveal the killers.

Things are not that easy though – and there are many twists and turns in the case which could ultimately lead to Wysocki getting answers in a cold case involving the murder of a woman and child in Chinatown years before.

Meanwhile, another plot involves Colvin’s brother-in-law illegally selling her services to others in the community without telling her. This corruption, within her own family, is a major turning point for her character since she has to talk the talk and that means not sparing her brother-in-law from the law for his wrong doings.

This provides some great drama, and again, shows off THE CHICAGO CODE’s dramatic range. Also having to make a hard decision is undercover cop Liam (Billy Lush) who tries to get deeper in with the Irish mob by burning down a place for insurance money. However, a dead body is found in the supposedly empty house – which makes Liam question his morals and responsibility.

A great dialogue scene between Liam and Wysocki is a highlight – since it really deals with the moral implications, but also weighed against doing a greater good.

Awesome stuff. The same can be said for the family drama involving Colvin and her brother-in-law. The world of THE CHICAGO CODE is never pat, but it’s wonderful to see characters that stay on one side of the line – for better or for worse.

There’s also some quieter stuff, such as Caleb courting a cute nurse – which doesn’t turn out quite the way Caleb, or the audience would have expected. It’s honest and truthful.

The episode is well-directed by Clark Johnson and once again features an amazingly good Clarke steam-rolling through his scenes with purpose and urgency. I really like this actor and I absolutely love his character.

THE CHICAGO CODE delivers another strong episode, something that isn’t as flashy as showy as previous weeks, but once again proves you don’t need big moments to make a show potent. That is never more clear when Wysocki’s cold case is solved. Any other show would have shown the emotional pay-off to this scene, but in CODE’s world, that’s not what the drama is about. The drama comes from the characters doing their job and trying valiantly to stay on either side of the law – whether or not they’re part of the system or not.

It does things unlike any other cop show out there. It’s great stuff and an excellent show. Can’t wait to dig deeper in the world in the coming weeks.

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There’s also some quieter stuff, such as Caleb courting a cute nurse – which doesn’t turn out quite the way Caleb, or the audience would have expected. It’s honest and truthful.

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