“You know, Saddam Hussein never even had WMDs, but he let the world think that he did. Why? Because it made him seem more powerful. What if Gibbons is doing the same thing? What if he’s just encouraging these rumours, letting everyone think that he has wise-guy connections so that no one crosses him?”
– Teresa

Teresa isn’t fond of the bureaucracy and bullshit that come with her job. She would much prefer to be out on the front lines, doing the investigative work to nail Alderman Gibbons to the wall. But the daily grind is starting to take its toll on her; she’s starting to have some doubts that Gibbons is really corrupt now that she knows he had nothing to do with Antonio’s death. Moreover, because of her combative management style, she’s not exactly popular with the force, which is making it hard for her to get things done.

Meanwhile, Jarek is facing a similar challenge. The other members of the force suspect him of feeding the names of lazy or incompetent cops to Teresa, which is making him incredibly unpopular. So unpopular, in fact, that Moose suggests freezing him out for a few days, refusing his calls for backup. He won’t even let his new protégés, Vonda and Isaac, go to Jarek’s aid. This puts Vonda in the awkward position of having to choose between being a good cop who follows orders and an honourable cop who does the right thing and defends her uncle. Without backup, Jarek and Caleb lose track of an armed suspect. When they and Moose’s team finally catch up to him later, Jarek is forced to shoot the suspect dead in order to save Moose’s life.

Even Gibbons is facing problems of his own. His partner, Hugh Killian, is placing threats against him. Conventional methods of silencing Killian wouldn’t work, since he and Killian are operating outside of the law. So what does Gibbons do? He exploits the law. In order to show his power off to Killian, he gets the man arrested on trumped-up child pornography charges.

Later, Gibbons seizes the opportunity to capitalize on Teresa’s unpopularity by setting her chief of staff up to solicit a bribe. He has seen how exploiting the system helped him deal with Killian, and now he’s going to apply the same strategy to dealing with Teresa. He thinks he can control what goes on in Teresa’s office by appointing his puppet, Roger Kelly, to replace the outgoing chief of staff. However, Teresa has also learned that she has to work within the system, not outside it, and she decides to let Gibbons believe he has the upper hand, while using Kelly to funnel false intel to the Alderman.

Jarek, on the other hand, refuses to go along with the system at Caleb’s suggestion, even if it would be advantageous for him in the short term. When Moose attempts to apologize to him, he flips out and punches his betrayer in the face, accusing Moose of forcing him to kill the suspect instead of taking him into custody.

At first glance, it seems as if The Chicago Code wants us to see Teresa’s actions as clever and virtuous and Jarek’s actions as stupid and hotheaded. But consider this episode’s case, in which a couple of bank robbers got help on the inside from a corrupt security guard, but all three of them wound up dead or severely injured. Like Gibbons and Teresa, they tried to exploit this system, and it ended up biting them in the ass. Say what you will about Jarek, but at least he has integrity.

It will be interesting to see, as the series progresses, whether Teresa can hold on to her own integrity, even as she starts playing games with Gibbons. But one thing is for sure: she’ll have to watch her back.

For more information on The Chicago Code rewatch project, please click here.

I apologize for taking so long to get this rewatch entry up, and I apologize in advance in case I can’t get one up next week due to real-life commitments. I’m going a lot slower than I initially intended, but I should be able to pick up the pace in the second half of August.

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