What would a Chicago Justice revival look like? One Chicago Center crafts the first episode we’d like to see if the One Chicago series returned.
Recently we discussed the possibility of Chicago Justice getting a second chance at life on NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock. With extra time on our hands since the One Chicago season has ended, we at One Chicago Center began to brainstorm what the first episode of Chicago Justice would look like, if the show did return.
Below is our idea for a new Chicago Justice pilot—the story that we’d go forward with if NBC and Wolf Entertainment ever decided to revisit the show and its characters. We’re presenting it here in hopes that One Chicago fans will enjoy reading our faux pilot as much as we enjoyed coming up with it.
The following takes place three years after the original Chicago Justice finale “Tycoon.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Baker has a nervous breakdown in open court while prosecuting two Chicago police officers for murder. His second chair, Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro), can only watch in shock as Baker melts down, prompting the high-profile case to be declared a mistrial.
The news quickly reaches State’s Attorney Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers), and Baker tenders his immediate resignation in his boss’s office. He’s overworked and burned out after three years at the top, and he can’t take the pressure anymore.
Jefferies needs to find a new right-hand attorney fast, on the same day that an incredibly volatile case has landed on his desk. He’s been in his office with new evidence that CPD’s Intelligence Unit, led by Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), knowingly obstructed justice in a recent murder [in the Chicago PD crossover episode “Burden of Truth”].
Needing a win to save face as he plots a run for Mayor, and needing someone who can take on Voight, Jefferies knows there’s only one man for the job—Baker’s predecessor and the person who successfully prosecuted Voight before, Peter Stone (Philip Winchester).
The State’s Attorney personally tracks down Peter, who moved back to Chicago after resigning from the District Attorney’s Office in New York. Disillusioned with the law from his experiences there, he’s working in the front office of the Kane County Cougars minor league baseball team. And he has no interest in getting his old job back.
Jefferies and Voight have a confrontation, which in Chicago Justice fashion quickly gets heated. We see Jefferies call out his former right-hand man, saying that what Peter is really disillusioned with is himself, and that if he wants to make things right he’ll get back in that office. “If Hank Voight gets away with covering up a murder and who knows what the hell else he’s done,” Jefferies says, “that’s on you.”
Challenge accepted. Anna and Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter) are surprised to see Peter walk into the State’s Attorney’s Office the next morning. It’s Anna’s job to catch Peter up on everything that has changed in the last three years, and in their conversation he reveals why he changed his mind: his conscience wouldn’t allow him to look away; then he’d be doing the same thing Voight is accused of doing. And, he admits, he needs to know that he can be a good prosecutor again. That he didn’t fail his father’s legacy, as well as his own.
Anna reassures Peter that he didn’t fail anyone, and that she’s glad to have him back. Rumors of Jefferies’ intent to pursue another cop case have already begun to spread, and he gets a tense visit from a union rep who warns him against taking on Voight. Anna overhears the meeting, but gets told not to worry about it.
And Laura, who is now finally lead investigator, informs Peter and Jefferies that if they really want to get this case handled correctly, there’s someone else missing from the picture: Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda).
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Laura takes Peter to see Antonio, who is clean and sober and has moved back to Chicago in order to be close to his kids; Chicago Justice reveals that Laura has been helping Antonio maintain his sobriety and settle back into the life he left behind when he traveled to Puerto Rico. But while he’s happy to see her, Antonio isn’t thrilled to see Peter on his doorstep.
This is another tough conversation: Antonio isn’t interested in being an investigator again, and he definitely doesn’t want to prosecute his former colleagues in the Intelligence Unit. Peter tells him that yes, they had their differences but that’s why he needs Antonio on his team for this case. He needs not only his knowledge of Intelligence but his opposing point of view. And, he adds, either this case will clear Voight’s name or bring him down—and either way, wouldn’t Antonio want to be the one to do it?
Reluctantly, Antonio agrees to rejoin the State’s Attorney’s Office, but only for this specific case. He, Laura and Peter return to the office…but the parking garage is now a crime scene. Anna tells them that she got a text from Mark Baker saying that while he was going through the contents of his old office, he found something she needed to see. Unfortunately, when she came down to meet him, she found him shot to death in his car.
Anna thinks this is much worse than it looks; she tells them what she overheard from Jefferies’ office, which makes her believe this could be a statement. Or a warning.
Was Baker killed by someone connected to the Chicago Police Department? Could it be related to the case they’re trying to build against Intelligence that’s already leaked out onto the streets? Or did he stumble onto some other secret inside the State’s Attorney’s Office?
Our heroes will have to go into their own history, not just that of the Chicago PD, to find the truth about two murders—before the tension between police and prosecutors explodes.
To be continued…
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