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CBS's 'The Code' Review: You Want Me On That Wall ... ?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 10, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 10, 2019 |


Sometimes, you tune into a new TV series knowing exactly what you’re going to get. You can practically see the pilot episode in your head, see exactly where it will end, and under what circumstances.

But sometimes, a show will surprise you.

CBS’s The Code is decidedly not one of those surprises. It’s exactly what you think it is, and the pilot is exactly as close to A Few Good Men as it could be without actually inviting plagiarism accusations. It’s a military courtroom drama. There’s a prosecutor, Captain Abe Abraham (bland white guy Luke Mitchell); his second chair, Major Trey Ferry (Ato Essandoh); a defense attorney, Captain Maya Dobbins (Anna Wood, straight out of procedural central casting); and a wizened, familiar-looking supervisor type, Colonel Glenn Turnbull (Dana Delaney).

The case in the pilot looks like a slam dunk for the prosecution. A soldier stabs a fellow soldier in the stomach and kills him in full view of a number of witnesses. The dead soldier’s best friend is the prosecutor here, and he’s adamant not just about court-martialing the murderer, but also finding justice! Oorah? But the defense attorney is also a friend (and potential love interest?), and she thinks there’s more to the case than meets the eye. Guess what? There is! The perpetrator was suffering from CTE, and he’s not the only one, because the military doctor on the base in question — a high-ranking general of some sort — is ignoring procedure and repeatedly testing patients until they pass concussion protocol so that he can send them back into combat.

Guess how the episode ends. I SAID GUESS HOW THE EPISODE ENDS. If you guessed that a hot-shot “snotty little bastard” prosecutor confronted someone high up the chain of command on the witness stand and was threatened by the judge with contempt of court before that general cracked under pressure because of a deus ex email, you win three Skee-Ball tickets, with which you can purchase a Dum Dums lollipop, if you have 22 more Skee-Ball tickets.

Just how many more times can this show recirculate the same storyline? I’m not sure. How many seasons did JAG run again? Ten? Well, there’s your answer. If grandpa keeps up his heart medication, he may make it until the end of the series’ run.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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Header Image Source: CBS