O'Leary's Cow
Season 1, Episode 5
Air date 3/7/11
Written by Shawn Ryan
Directed by Charles McDougall
Episode guide
The Gold Coin Kid

O'Leary's Cow is the third episode of The Chicago Code.


After playing softball on their day off, detectives Jarek Wysocki and Caleb Evers rush to a murder scene. A black teenager with a hand chopped off stumbled into a Chinatown firehouse and died. The missing hand suggests that he was a suspected thief. But he wasn't a gangbanger. He'd been passing out church leaflets.

Jarek and Caleb want the security camera footage from the Chinese bakery across the street from where the mutilation took place, but the bakery is closed. Jarek notes that the owner won't speak until he's authorized by Chairman Lao, the unofficial mayor of Chinatown, who owns half the local businesses.

Meanwhile, police superintendent Teresa Colvin is spendihg her day off with her sister Amy's family when her brother-in-law, Robert, mentions a friend told him about a parking lot near the airport that's laundering money. After promising to look into this, Colvin meets Jarek and Caleb at Lao's office, where he introduces them to Matthew Chao, adding that the Chinese community polices itself. When Colvin offers greater police resources in return for Lao's cooperation, he says that he'll talk to the bakery owner and get back to them. Officer Isaac Joiner, doing security work on his day off, breaks up a confrontation between board-up firms, one of which employs Irish mobsters. Isaac tells Jarek that this firm arrives suspiciously quickly after fires, and he suspects that they're torching these places to increase business. When Jarek asks undercover cop Liam Hennessey about this, Liam knows nothing. So Jarek tells Liam to try and get in on the action.

Colvin and Jarek revisit Lao, who says that the bakery store camera malfunctioned, so there's no footage to examine. Jarek reminds Lao that he worked an unsolved double murder in Chinatown three years ago. He accuses Lao of helping the killer escape. Colvin then visits Alderman Gibbons, noting that his ward is 10 percent Chinese but 40 percent black. She says that she'll be speaking to the 500 people who'll be attending the teenager's funeral tomorrow. Gibbons promises to help.

Meanwhile, Jarek meets Daniel, whose wife and son were the unsolved murder victims in the neighborhood. Daniel says that black gangbangers were robbing elderly Chinese women returning from the casinos - the last time was two nights ago - and that Lao promised to stop this. With Gibbons in tow, Colvin revisits Lao and promises to capture the thieves in exchange for the names of the teenager's killers. Gibbons orders Lao to cooperate. Jarek and Caleb visit the last robbery victim, Mrs. Quon, in the hospital and find Chao in her room. She won't talk. Caleb asks a nurse to see Quon's possessions when she was admitted and finds a casino shuttle bus ticket. Meanwhile, Colvin visits Robert's friend, Nick, a rival parking lot owner who says that he paid Robert $50,000 to get her involved. But Colvin says she's not for sale. She's furious. Jarek and Caleb ask a female Chinese desk cop, Wu, if she wants some street work. She says yes. After picking up her winnings at a casino, Wu phones that the cashier immediately texted someone. When two gangbangers assault Wu, Jarek and Caleb are there to arrest them.

An Irish thug tells Liam that board-ups lead to remodeling work. A crooked insurance adjuster gets $2,000 on a $100,000 job, a city inspector gets a few hundred bucks, the owner gets half to shut up, and the mob nets 25 to 30 grand. Liam says he wants in. Colvin confronts Robert about selling her access for $50,000. He says that he already spent the money, so he can't pay it back. Colvin won't do anything because it would implicate her and the department, which infuriates her sister. When Jarek, Caleb, and Colvin tell Lao about the arrest, he gives them an address. Jarek and Caleb head for a surveillance vehicle, where Wu translates Lao's phone-ahead instructions. Jarek and Caleb race to the address Lao gave them, find a gunman about to kill the teenager's murderers, and stop him. Meanwhile, Liam is introduced to arsonist Mikey, who takes him to a house, explains how to make the fire not look like an arson, and leaves him to torch it. After sundown, he does. Jarek then plays Lao a tape of his phoned-ahead conversation. Facing conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice, Lao offers to give the name of that murderer from three years back in return for a reduced sentence. Colvin leaves the deal up to Jarek. Liam and his thug pal watch the fire department arrive at the arson scene - and carry a body bag out of the house.

Meanwhile, Colvin tells Amy and Robert that he has to confess everything to the FBI before Nick does. She'll that see Robert gets probation. Amy accuses Colvin of putting her job before her family, adding that she'll never see her nephew and niece again. Colvin is shaken, but she stands firm. Jarek and Caleb bring Daniel to Lao, who says that his family's killer was chopped up and tossed in Lake Michigan. After they speak in Chinese, Daniel bows and says he's at peace. Lao says to Jarek that when the police find the killer's remains, his part of the deal is done. Gibbons tells Chao that he made Lao the unofficial mayor, but Lao betrayed him, so he's going to prison. He then offers Chao the "mayor" position.

Liam informs Jarek about the body bag, then vomits. He says that he didn't go undercover to be a killer, and now he wants out. Jarek tells Liam to make the mob pay for the psychological pain they've caused. Colvin watches as Robert and Amy arrive at the FBI office. Cold stares all around.