Chicago Justice season 1, episode 1 rewatch: Fake

CHICAGO JUSTICE -- "Fake" Episode 113 -- Pictured: (l-r) Monica Barbaro as Anna Valdez, Philip Winchester as Peter Stone -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC)
CHICAGO JUSTICE -- "Fake" Episode 113 -- Pictured: (l-r) Monica Barbaro as Anna Valdez, Philip Winchester as Peter Stone -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC) /

Look back at where Chicago Justice began this summer. Read our retrospective as we rewatch Chicago Justice season 1, episode 1.

Over the One Chicago summer break, we’re looking back at where it all began by rewatching the first seasons of our shows—and today we’re revisiting Chicago Justice season 1, episode 1.

If you want to rewatch this episode along with us, you can find Chicago Justice season 1 on iTunes and DVD.

“Fake” was the first installment of the fourth One Chicago series, and when you look back at it in retrospect, you realize just how much the episode had to juggle.

Not only was it the series premiere and having to introduce viewers to this new universe, but it was also tasked with servicing the highly anticipated Chicago Crossover as the conclusion to that three-hour block.

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It wasn’t just setting up its own story; it was also paying off everyone else’s. And if that’s not enough complications for you, there’s a fair chance that this episode was supposed to be the season finale, not the season premiere.

Factoring all those off-screen details in definitely makes you look at “Fake” differently the second time around.

It’s quite frankly admirable that Chicago Justice is able to deliver an episode that really hooks viewers into the series, when it has other concerns that it has to balance.

And it makes sense that the episode is able to avoid the awkwardness and clunky exposition that comes with most premieres, if indeed it wasn’t the first one filmed.

“Fake” sees Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) prosecuting the man who started a warehouse fire that killed several people, while having to deal with a big impropriety that was committed in the Chicago PD part of the crossover.

He battles legal challenges from within and without, while ultimately uncovering that the motive goes back to social media—and delivering a much-needed conviction that gets justice for so many mourning families, including Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas), whose daughter was among the dead.

The best of Chicago Justice is yet to come, but “Fake” positions the show in two very important ways. Firstly, it shows that the spin-off is going to have to deal with the actions of Chicago PD, which is something that went otherwise untapped, given that cases didn’t carry through from one show to the other.

The logistical reasons for that are obvious, but could you imagine how much of a field day Chicago Justice would have had with what went down on Chicago PD this season? It demonstrates a lot of awareness about the One Chicago franchise to have “Fake” deal with the consequences of actions from the Intelligence Unit while it has the chance.

Even more importantly, this first episode makes a statement about its intent to make statements. With Stone’s closing argument we see how this isn’t just going to be about whether or not the State’s Attorney’s Office gets a conviction. It’s going to be about the underlying issues that are part of each crime, and will leave the audience with something to think about. None of the three other shows do that to such a degree, so it was a tonal shift for the entire franchise.

“Fake” rests on a strong performance from Philip Winchester with some able assistance from Bradley Whitford as defense attorney Albert Forrest. (Fun fact: Whitford would be the first of three The West Wing alumni that Winchester would face off against.) It’s a better premiere than 90 percent of most TV shows, and well worth a second watch this summer. Rewatch it on iTunes and DVD.

Next: Where are the Chicago Justice stars now?

Join us every Sunday this summer for our Chicago Justice season 1 review. For more Chicago Justice related news, follow the Chicago Justice category at One Chicago Center.