Stone is at his best when bringing down seemingly untouchable criminals.
Half the time his best efforts don't succeed, but he still comes out the hero for trying.
But on Chicago Justice Season 1 Episode 13, he finally got a much needed win. It wasn't entirely realistic, but Stone – and the audience – really needed it.
Stone ended the season with a victory against a business tycoon who literally almost got away with murder, but at what cost?
It wasn't hard to figure out which headlines "Tycoon" was ripped from.
Frank Linden was an amoral business man who had had five bankruptcies yet always landed on his feet and believed Stone was engaging in a witch hunt to take him down. His son was his attorney and his daughter was so loyal to him that she almost allowed her husband's death to go unpunished.
This easily could have become an unwatchable parody of current events. But although Linden was larger than life and cartoonish in his attempts to cover up what he'd done, veteran actor Richard Schiff really sold it.
Linden and his philosophies might have seemed ridiculous or gross to viewers, but he clearly believed every word he was saying, and that made him pretty scary.
Anyone can make money, but you know what I find impressive? When you fly into O'Hare and you see a building with your name on it pricking into the sky.Linden
Linden was proud of having his name on buildings in the skyline, believed his achievements made him better than everyone else, and not only thought he was above the law but that he should be.
On some level, I'm sure he regretted his son-in-law's death. But he probably really thought it was the crane operator's fault, or his daughter's, or maybe he blamed Evan for being stupid or unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sarah: I can't help you.
Stone: Then maybe your brother can.
Sarah: Good luck with that. Brett worships Frank, and Frank would never give him reason to think otherwise I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you can't stop Frank.
There was only one thing scarier than an abject failure who believed he was God's gift to the world and that his son-in-law's death didn't really matter if it allowed him to keep his businesses going, and that was how untouchable he thought he was.
I couldn't understand how Sarah could put loyalty to him above loyalty to her husband's memory, never mind risking her young daughter's well being!
Of course, Sarah was intimately involved with the plot. She was totally willing to sabotage that crane; it just never occurred to her that her husband could end up dead as a result.
I had to wonder whether she was as cold and callous as her father or whether she just felt backed into a corner and unsure how to survive.
Linden's seeming un-touchability made him a non-traditional criminal, so for once I didn't mind Stone's non-traditional ways of trapping him.
Annalise: Mommy! Mommy!
Mrs. Wheeler: Mommy's talking to the nice man, sweetheart.
Stone: How old are you? Nine? Ten?
Annalise: No! I'm four!
Stone: Four, huh?
Mrs. Wheeler: Go play.
Mrs. Wheeler: I still haven't told her yet. How do you tell a four-year-old her daddy's never coming home?
Stone threatened to arrest Sarah and have her child taken away permanently to get her to cooperate and confronted Linden at a private party at his mansion.
It seemed like he was really playing hardball here, but it also seemed like the only way to break through the inner circle of loyal family members defending him from any and all crimes was to upgrade the threat level.
Even Jeffries told Stone not to pursue the case because it wasn't worth it, and I had to wonder what, exactly, Linden had carefully collected from Jeffries during their 30 years of friendship that he could use as leverage now.
I was glad to see Stone go against Jeffries' orders because, after all, this is Chicago Justice and there was no justice in Jeffries so quickly giving in to avoid trouble.
But I hope that if we get a season 2 of this show that whatever it is comes back to bite Jeffries in the butt. That would be entertaining, dramatic, and tie up some loose ends from this story.
Brett: I did tell you that you couldn't win against Frank.
Valdez: You never actually said that. You just told me what a great guy Frank is.
Brett: Sometimes you do what you have to do to get ahead.
This episode ended with the predictable-by-now meltdown on the stand. It was enjoyable to watch Linden squirm, but I'd love to see the show get away from these Perry Mason like endings!
I also thought it was totally unrealistic that Linden's attorney would put him on the stand. She initially rested her case, then changed her mind because he wanted to testify.
She had to have known he was a liability, yet she opened the door to a lot of nonsense by encouraging him to express his narcissistic beliefs on the stand. I didn't think his testimony or the questions she asked him did the case any good whatsoever.
And then of course Stone masterfully got Linden to unravel by bringing up his masters' thesis that he had all but forgotten about and pointing out that nobody but Linden agreed with its worth.
It was a great scene, but I'm hard pressed to see how the judge found it relevant enough to overrule the defense's objection without as much as asking Stone where he was going.
Linden: I'm sure you're a very smart girl but -
Valdez: You can pat me on the head if youd like.
Linden: Sorry, sorry. PC felony. Take me away. You're not a girl, you're a woman.
Valdez: I'm an assistant state's attorney.
Linden: Sorry. You know, we'd all be better off if we could just say what we really think.
I think my favorite scene in the entire hour was the mini-confrontation between Valdez and Linden.
This scene didn't really move the story forward at all, but seeing Valdez stand up to the sexist, patronizing way she was being treated and Linden blame her outrage on the world's insistence on political correctness instead of even attempting to see where he went wrong was incredibly satisfying.
This little moment helped define both of their characters and reminded me why I liked Valdez so much prior to the stupid judge affair or whatever it was she got tangled up in on Chicago Justice Season 1 Episode 4.
After that mess, Valdez has been largely absent from the canvas, and it was great to see the backbone and determination that used to define her character.
As I was watching, I was very aware that this is the season finale and possibly the series finale. I hope that there will be more Chicago Justice to come, but I thought that final scene in the club was a fitting ending if this series doesn't grace our screens again in the 2017-2018 season.
Stone got a major win, he and Jeffries had one last drink, and the team agreed that someone like Linden had a ton of dirty laundry to air that could affect things for years to come.
What better ending could there be?
What did you think of "Tycoon?" Were you glad Stone was able to unseat Linden, or was it too unrealistic? Was the story what you expected from a season finale? Are you hoping to get more "Chicago Justice" next season?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can watch Chicago Justice online if you missed anything or you want to see your favorite episodes one more time!