Tuesday, April 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Code' - Abe Takes on a Personal Case to Get Justice for the Death of a Friend in 'Blowed Up'

CBS' The Code - Episode 1.01 "Blowed Up"

When a soldier in Afghanistan kills his commanding officer, Judge Advocates Captain John "Abe" Abraham and Captain Maya Dobbins are assigned to the case as prosecution and defense lawyers by their commanding officer, Colonel Glenn Turnbull.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of CBS' The Code.

"Blowed Up" was written by Craig Turk & Craig Sweeny and directed by Marc Webb

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a well-done procedural. That really has been the CBS drama brand during the last few decades. They have gotten a too of success with this format as well. They may not be the exciting shows that drive a lot of discussion but they do cater to a large and broad audience. This show will get a solid sampling on CBS. It also aspires to be a little different than the other procedurals currently on the network. It is a legal drama set within the military court system. Sure, that may conjure up comparisons to JAG - which ultimately led to the creation of the NCIS franchise. But this may be a reformat of that successful show to a new audience. Plus, it can stories about the issues currently being faced by today's brave men and women who serve in the military. It's such a noble profession. This hour highlights how Captain Abraham felt the calling to be a marine and found a new way to serve after being injured in combat. He challenges the system to ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions. Of course, this premiere really only establishes three main characters. Abe is working on a case with Major Ferry and Captain Dobbins. At first, they start as adversaries where the case seems open-and-shut. A soldier killed his commanding officer. It didn't seem all that complicated or worthy of a prolonged legal case. Dobbins can make the argument though that her client was left untreated for numerous traumatic brain injuries. That led to crippling neurological conditions in which he doesn't remember large portions of his life. That is inherently tragic. He doesn't remember how or why he stabbed his commanding officer. However, this case is really just a way to introduce Abe as the main character and how passionate he is as a prosecutor. He has a personal connection to the case because the officer who died was a close friend who inspired him to serve in so many ways. He was an inspiration and Abe will fight to honor his memory and get justice no matter what. He is willing to take the fight against the chief medic on the ground for ignoring TBI protocols and forcing everyone to keep serving no matter how serious their injuries turned out to be. It's a complex case with lots of twists and turns to it. The show injects some personality in the proceedings like the moment where Dobbins keeps inserting herself into the private conversation Abe and Ferry are having in a cafeteria. But it's also pretty straightforward as well. The show makes it seem as if Abe is the underdog going up against a system where no proof could be found that show the chief medic's guilt. That's what makes it rousing when he ultimately does pull off a win. He gets justice for his friend and his wife. It's just a little too formulaic in the early going. All hope seems lost for a moment only for a new moment of inspiration to hit that gives Abe the winning case he needs here. It's also just insane how this cast employs two-time Emmy winner Dana Delany and Tony nominee Phillipa Soo without giving them anything of importance to do. That's uninspiring and makes it seem as if the focus for the series moving forward will be more narrow instead of giving the entire ensemble material to work with every week.