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The Chicago Code: Bathouse & Hinky Dink Review

Get with THE CODE

When audiences hear “Shawn Ryan,” they think The Shield. Maybe even the critically-lauded Terriers. Yet even among his most ardent fans, The Chicago Code isn’t his magnum opus that many had hoped for after Terriers. Ratings have slumped to a point where it’s fairly definite, barring a dramatic comeback, that Fox will end the series after the season finale.

Yet while The Chicago Code is obviously more “mainstream” than The Shield or Terriers, Shawn Ryan still has it. “Bathouse & Hinky Dink” shows the direction that The Chicago Code should be going in, even the product of that direction will most likely never reach fruition.

The episode effortless weaves a procedural element (a paid off juror) into the larger narrative of the series: Alderman Gibbons’s corrupt regime. Every other procedural plot has been handled fairly wobbly, yet the Gibbons storyline is easily the strongest throughout the series. Minear and Ryan are more equip to handle these serial stories and the strongest aspects of the series have always been the struggle against governmental corruption (a narrative of Chicago itself, I suppose). The dedication that Colvin, Wysocki, and Evers have towards this grand-prize of eliminating Gibbons is the most thought-provoking, the most well-written, and the most exciting aspect of the series; it’s why I keep watching week in and out. “Bathouse & Hinky Dink” largely succeeds because of the build-up towards catching Gibbons finally reaching a head and the high-stakes adventure that we’re now involved in. At points such as this, the previous title Ride-Along would be more applicable.

Detracting from an otherwise amazing episode is, yet again, Vonda and Isaac! Their odd, misplaced story might have had a decent conclusion, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that both of their roles in the series is still unclear. I often wonder, what’s the point? And there’s no need to keep flashing to Jarek’s body while Liam is undercover. That’s milking an emotional moment: trust your actors and audience.

Grade: A-


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