Is getting justice for the murder of one man worth breaking the military cone of silence?
On Chicago Justice Season 1 Episode 5, Peter thought so and was even willing to risk his job for it.
The murder victim's father chalked it up to Peter not understanding how it works because he hadn't served. When Peter found a way to get what he wanted, Jeffries had to grudgingly admit he was correct.
Who was right in this case?
Moral dilemmas seem to be one of the things Chicago Justice does best, and I was excited about this particular one.
It was hard not to agree with Peter when he wanted justice for a man murdered because he wanted to tell the truth, and his argument for government transparency is especially appealing in the current political climate.
As Jeffries pointed out, there are certainly times when it doesn't make sense to tell the truth, or at least not the whole truth.
Valdez: What the hell was that?
Stone: Something we weren't supposed to see.
From a legal perspective, I think Peter's argument made more sense than his boss'. When ruling on the Department of Justice motion, the judge saw no risk to national security if the information was revealed and a risk that two murderers would go free if it wasn't.
Thus, Jeffries' insistence that there are times to veil the truth just didn't hold up, because this was not, in any way, one of those times. It was about whether loyalty to the chain of command was more important than loyalty to principles.
It bothered me that the anti-reveal crowd kept arguing that catching someone who murdered only one person wasn't that important.
Trevor was a private citizen who was killed for exercising his right to freedom of speech. Dismissing his death as not very important seemed callous and cold, especially in light of the fact that the information didn't constitute any real security risk and was just embarrassing to the Navy and Trevor himself.
Jeffries: How did the DOJ find out you had this video in the first place?
Valdez: My money is on someone in the tech company we hired for de-encryption.
Stone: Not that it matters now.
Jeffries: It matters to me. You should have told them yourself.
I thought Jeffries' threat to fire Peter was a little silly, too.
Peter probably wouldn't want to do this, but if he were fired for entering that video into evidence, it seemed to me he could go to the press about the reasons behind his firing, and it would make the State Attorney's office look like it was in the business of helping cover up embarrassing truths.
Jeffries simply had more to lose, so his threat was pretty empty. It wasn't surprising at all that he was willing to forget the whole thing once Peter went around his demands.
Craig: I didn't want my medals. I sent them all back.
Jeffries: I threw mine away years ago. I couldn't look at them without remembering everything I'd seen that I didn't want to think about it.
Craig: 50 years, I still can't talk about it.
Jeffries: Maybe it's time, Craig. Maybe it's time.
The last exchange between Jeffries and Craig was interesting. It made me wonder why Jeffries was so gung-ho about aiding in the cover-up to begin with. Was it really because he thought the military is always right, or was it more because he didn't want to deal with his own guilt and fear over things that happened in Vietnam?
Judge: Bail is set at $1 million -
Olsen: That's an insult to these two young men who dedicated their lives to serving this country.
Judge: I wasn't finished. Now, I'd like to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for your service. Bail is still 1 million smackers.
The problem seemed to go beyond just not wanting evidence that was not favorable to the Navy to be on public display.
Defense attorney Olsen took the attitude that any kind of equal treatment under the law for veterans was tantamount to denying that they served the country and that the patriotic thing to do was let them go with no bail just because they were ex-Navy.
This kind of blind patriotism is irritating, and I liked seeing Stone get the upper hand. I was wondering why he hadn't asked Mike about the relationship with Mia in the first place so that Olsen couldn't go there.
But when Olsen's cross-examination led to Stone to ask about the mission in the Ukraine, it all made sense. I thought this was a great compromise. Stone kept the video out, but the description of its contents in, and justice was served.
Dawson: So what did you do on your big night out?
Guy: We had a few drinks at Mr. Nichol's bar and then we went to some palce where all the waitresses were dressed in bikinis.
Laura: Big Mel's?
Dawson: What went down at Big Mel's?
Guy: Trevor was hammered. And this smoking hot - sorry... anyway, this waitress was all over him like honey on a biscuit.
Dawson: Was Trevor into her?
Guy: Oh yeah. He said he wanted to hang out, wait for her to get off work. So me and Mike bounced.
Dawson: So you left your drunk buddy who was about to get married alone to wait for some girl? Some wing men.
One thing that was not addressed as much as I would have liked was the role alcohol played in the murder.
Trevor being so drunk in the first place was problematic. If he had had sex with Angela, would it have even been consensual? It's not really a relevant question since he died and Angela didn't have sex with him, but I wish there had been some way to address that just to let viewers know that this is problematic.
More importantly in terms of this particular story, I wondered whether the murder was as much premeditated as it was alcohol-fueled.
In one sense it doesn't matter. Dead is dead even if the murderer would never have gone that far sober. But premeditated murder is a different crime than non-premeditated murder, and I was surprised that the defense never went there.
I also would have liked to have known a little more about Mike and Mia's relationship and whether that played any role in his decision to kill Trevor over his plan to reveal what happened during the mission. It was brought up several times but not investigated, leaving me curious as to whether this whole thing was more complex than it seemed.
What did you think of "Friendly Fire"? Do you think Peter was right to get that cover-up into evidence, or should he have listened to his bosses? Do you think Jeffries had a change of heart at the end despite his gruffness about it?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Chicago Justice online if you missed anything.
Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.