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Series / Against the Wall

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Against The Wall is an American crime show that premiered on Lifetime in July 2011. It follows Det. Abby Kowalski (Rachel Carpani) as she breaks from her family policing tradition to join the Internal Affairs Division of the Chicago Police Department, and the turmoil that brings to her life plays out alongside the her investigation of the Mystery of the Week. Key characters include the heavily-pregnant Detective Lina Flores, her partner at IA, and the rest of the Kowalski family including father Don Kowalski and older brothers Richie, Steve and Donnie Kowalski (all beat cops).

Compare to Blue Bloods, a show with a similar concept set in New York.

The show provides examples of:

  • Almighty Mom: Sheila.
  • Always Gets His Man: Averted in the fifth episode.
  • Badass Family: The Kowalskis.
  • Betty and Veronica: Brody and Dan for Abby. Richie thinks Dan is the Betty and Brody the Veronica though Brody turns out to have surprising hidden depths.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Lina more than Abby, who tends to bend the rules if she deems it worthwhile.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: A few times.
  • *Click* Hello: Combined with Dramatic Gun Cock when Abby rescues Lina from the stalker summons officer.
  • Closet Shuffle: Abby has to hide under the bed when a drunken Richie comes over to visit Brody.
  • Crime Time Soap: Abby's family/personal life is just as prevalent, if not more so, the Mystery of the Week.
  • Cowboy Cop: When Abby goes renegade, Papadol suspends her for a week without pay.
  • Da Chief: Papadol.
  • Daddy's Girl: Abby and Don had this relationship, by the end of the series they've repaired it back to this.
  • Damsel in Distress: Lina when the stalker summons officer ambushes her in the carpark. Cue Abby's Big Damn Heroes rescue.
  • Dirty Cop: With IA investigating, of course. Lt Bob Barcelli is a prime example.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Averted. Nikki the undercover cop turns out to be on the good guys' side all along.
  • Fair Cop: Male and female examples aplenty.
  • Friends with Benefits: What Abby wants with Brody.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Abby and Lina use and lampshade this routine when they interrogate a summons officer accused of stalking his therapist.
  • Happily Adopted: Donnie by the end of the episode in which the adoption is revealed, it seems.
  • Happily Married: Plenty of couples. Carlos and Lina, Richie and Lauren, Steve and his wife and of course the Abby's parents, Don and Sheila.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Danny.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Abby and Mackie. Abby and Lina are developing this vibe. Brody and Richie are this earlier in the season before Brody and Abby's Relationship Reveal. Added points for actually being cop partners too.
  • Internal Affairs: Deconstructed. They're nice people out to catch dirty cops and protect the innocent majority.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Abby has to hide under Brody's bed when her drunk brother Richie turns up for a midnight visit.
  • The Klutz: Abby.
  • Last-Name Basis: We don't even find out Brody's first name till the ninth episode. It is John.
  • Love Triangle: Abby/Brody/Danny. Lampshaded when Lina advises Abby to "choose one".
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: An investigation of a brawl at a wedding turns into a rape investigation.
  • Moment Killer: Richie seems to have a tendency to walk in on his sister at inopportune moments. Mid-making-out with Danny on her rooftop being the latest example. Cue Danny's awkward exit.
  • Pædo Hunt: Against a priest who turns out to have been wrongly accused.
  • Pregnant Badass: Lina. Played fairly realistically in that she does not really get into the action too much, but she never backs down and she still her detective-smarts. Not to be messed with even in her third trimester.
  • Relationship Upgrade: What Brody wants with Abby. From Friends with Benefits to an actual relationship.
  • Religious Bruiser: Don and Shelia are both portrayed as devout Catholics, but with Don being a cop, he isn't afraid to throw down against some of the bad guys. Shelia herself pulled a gun on a gangbanger who had come to harass her and her former gang-related employee, whom she hired as a favor to a Nun friend of theirs.
  • Revenge by Proxy: One villain targets the daughter of the man he really wanted vengeance on.
  • Secret Relationship: Abby and Brody. Leads to an in-universe Relationship Reveal.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: An unusual variant. A crime-scene photographer gets PTSD and becomes an alcoholic after working too many crime scenes.
  • Ship Tease: Donnie and Mackie.
  • Spicy Latina: Averted with Lina, who is generally very calm, cool and collected during her work.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Summons officer Fletcher for his therapist, and previously for a barista.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Abby's claim that she and Brody are not in a relationship. No sir. Not at all.
  • The Unreveal: The first season Cliffhanger ending, which is a shot of the love interest Abby chose looking at her at her apartment door.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Lampshaded in the first episode by Abby's mother, and a major part of Abby's angst regarding her taking the Internal Affairs job. Then later in another episode it's a case of "Well Done, Son" Guy as her older brother, Donnie, is portrayed as constantly seeking his father's approval and pride.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Danny and Brody call Abby out on the fact she's basically stringing them both along without making a choice.
  • Worth It: When Papadol suspends Abby for going against his orders, he asks her if it was worth it. She replies that it was.