The Practice
Awakenings

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And baby makes two?

Ellenor "Kramer" Frutt is sitting horizontally across from Ted "Vs. Kramer" McGinley as their respective representatives make arguments regarding their contract in front of Judge Wilcox. He asks if Ms. Garrett is suggesting that their agreement was not valid. She responds that Michael "I Can Make A Baby?" Hale had no idea what he was giving up. He simply made a mistake. This contract violates public policy, something about the legal workings of adoption; she points her fingers to the left like she's a Watusi girl on tour with Tina Turner and blathers on about the law not wanting parents to be signing away their rights before they know what's really at stake. Jimmy says Michael knew what he was doing. Ms. Garrett turns back: "How can you make that claim?" Um, because he executed a contract, that's how. Blah dee blah we're talking about a child, blah dee blah his daughter will come to him one day, blah dee blah she'll want to know why she didn't have a father. Wow. You'd think this was five years ago and I was watching Dan Quayle argue with Murphy Brown. How narrow-minded are these people, honestly? The judge wants to hear from both parties. Now, just what did they think they were agreeing to?

Just Outside The Courtroom Of Excruciating Pain. Jimmy! Ellenor is M.A.D. She's so mad she pulls a Lindsay, tells him he performed horribly, blathers on about how a contract is clear on its face and that you don't go behind it to explore the intent. She yells, "There was nothing ambiguous in the language and you should have been screaming that!" He interrupts her: "Ellenor. This isn't an ordinary contract." She hisses that it is. He retorts, "If you believe that, you're not thinking clearly." The judge is taking into account the best interests of the child. Ellenor crosses her arms in front of her, swinging them in time to the Fury of Ferocious Ex-Friends: "Fine. Then I want to go after Michael as unfit." What does she know? This is going to get very, very juicy, just you wait and see.

The Hospital Of Missing-In-Action Pain. For some reason, the Emperor Rod has seen fit to get himself involved in the whole ridiculous "where's Rebecca" plotline. How do you lose a patient? Honestly, for once that's actually a good question coming from Rod. It's possible she could have been brought to another patient's room whose name is also Washington. They're checking on that. Eugene asks what about the other possibilities. Rebecca could have regained consciousness, become disoriented, and started wandering around the building. Don't worry, though, they're checking on that too. Bobby asks if she'd be strong enough to do that? The doctor says she'd be weak, but she didn't actually sustain any injuries that would have prevented her from becoming ambulatory. Except that last week she was about to die -- do you think that would interfere with being ambulatory? Some bouncy woman who looks like Florence Henderson arrives on the scene. She's from patient relations. This infuriates Helaine. She screams something about the hospital losing Rebecca and then having the gall to send someone from customer service to placate her: "You have lost my daughter who is in a coma!" Honestly, I don't know how CCH Pounder kept a straight face for that line. Eugene notices the doctor and the I.C.U. nurse whispering and wants to know what the heck they're talking about. There is another patient, one who's name is also Washington, who is currently in surgery -- having her kidney removed. Anyone else feeling like The Three Stooges have infiltrated DEK's brain?

The Other Hospital Of Consequential Pain. Helen "Ice, Ice Baby" Gamble struts into the room where Lucy is "helping" the young rape victim. The DA of the Walking Dead asks how Amanda is doing. The child responds that she's doing okay. In her best "rape counselor" slash "teacher's pet" voice, Lucy explains that Helen is a District Attorney, and she's going to "get" the guy who raped Amanda. You know, Helen is just so condescending when she's speaking to children: "I heard you talked to the police? Can I speak to you too?" I know we're supposed to believe she's empathetic, but I just end up feeling like I need to take a bath in acid to wash the slime off my skin. Helen patronizes, "Would it be okay if I asked you some questions?" Lucy assures the young girl that Helen is there to help. That's a good thing, because the girl might have mistaken the DA for the Angel of Death with her dark hair, deep navy suit, and scepter. Oh, I'm sorry, am I vilifying Helen? Right, she's not the bad guy; the sick disgusting excuse for a man who raped an eleven-year-old girl is the enemy, and they've caught him. But Helen was hoping Amanda could look at a police line-up. The girl asks, "What's that?" Yeah, you're telling me this kid's never seen Cops or America's Most Wanted? What freaking ever. Helen gives the kindergarten definition of a line-up. Amanda balks; she doesn't want to see him. Lucy jumps in, asking to talk to the DA alone, and then they move aside to discuss what's up. "Does she have to?" Helen answers, "The rape kit turned up nothing. No semen. No DNA. This whole case comes down to eyewitness testimony." First of all, shouldn't the kid's freaking parent be there with Lucy and Helen? Second of all, when did Lucy become a lawyer instead of a nubile, barely twenty-year-old receptionist slash "counselor" to rape victims? Lucy: "So what, it'll be her word against his?" No. There's another eyewitness, a woman who saw the crime from her balcony. Well, can't you just arrest on that? Again, where are the girl's FATHER or MOTHER? And why is the DA going over her case with Lucy, who is neither a LAWYER nor a COP? Yeah, and Helen's hair would look nice if it wasn't straw. Any. Way. Blah dee blah the case is better if the girl participates in a line up, blah dee blah she's more likely to identify him at trial, blah dee blah and I quote Lucy: "I don't think she's strong enough emotionally to see him." How do these actors keep a straight face? Honestly, tell me how. In the end, Helen forgoes the line up by saying she'll push it through arraignment and see how it goes. Then we pause on a full body shot of young Amanda lying in her hospital bed, looking alarmingly similar to Rebecca.

The Courthouse of Non-Kim Vs. Non-Alec. Oh, sure, Ted McGinley, it was your job as a photojournalist that kept your life busy and productive, and not the large vessel commanded by Captain Stubing -- right. Michael was always leaving for Bosnia or Vietnam but never for Hawaii or the Dominican Republic -- right. He never considered having a family. Ms. Garrett steps up: "Until Ms. Frutt asked for your help." He knew she wanted to have a baby: "When she asked me to be the donor it just felt right. And I knew how great she'd be with a child." Yadda blah if he could do that blah, give her that chance blah, how could that be wrong. Ms. Garrett: "You signed an agreement relinquishing your rights to this child." He made a mistake. He wanted it to work. But this isn't some abstract gift he can give; this is his child and she deserves to grow up with the love of her father. His brows are furrowed like little anthills. It's Jimmy's turn at bat. So, now you want the court to disregard your intent? Michael: "I'm asking that my current intent be given more weight since it serves the best interest of this child." Then Jimmy drops the bomb: "Let's consider the interests of your son, Mr. Hale. The one who is seven years old." Damn. That is a juicy tidbit. Jimmy is not only batting, but he's playing hardball. The judge asks after the son. Mr. Hale? The camera pauses on Ellenor giving Michael a record stink-eye. He was young, he responds; he wasn't ready to act like a father. Now you are? Yes. Are you being a father to this seven-year-old boy? Michael reluctantly admits that he's not. Jimmy wants to know why not. Garrett objects. The judge overrules. Michael makes some pale excuse, blah he lost the chance to be a father to his son, dee, he can't walk up to a seven-year-old kid and introduce himself, blah. Apparently, this time it's different; he'll be there from the beginning, despite the fact that he told Ellenor he could never be responsible enough to raise a child. To be fair, people do change and mature. Jimmy wants to know if breaking a contract is a sign of his maturity. Now, I don't quite understand this line of questioning. The Lump badgers Michael "Sperm Spreader" Hale for a while longer about his failure as a parent. Then he plays the "pregnancy" card -- bad Michael for putting an eight-months-pregnant Ellenor in distress. Jimmy attacks his lifestyle; Michael claims he'll adjust. Then they establish the fact that Ted's getting some booty from a twenty-year-old "girlfriend." You can hear his case cracking and then splitting like ice after the spring thaw. And to top it all off, Ted smokes some of that demon weed, marijuana, the "dope"; to quote one of my favourite movies, Dogma, he occasionally "rocks the ganj!" Dude. On his off time. In fact, he was convicted of possession. But, he claims, the drugs were for "recreational" use only -- please tell me, for forty-year-old "photojournalists," is there any other use for la pot? On the facts, a pot-smoking, world-traveling, semi-cool dad doesn't seem all that bad for Ellenor's baby. I know, they've got a contract, don't worry, we're moving on…hey, while you're at it, why don't you pass the duchy on the left hand side. Dude.

The Hospital Of The Missing Patients. A doctor scuttles up to the pack of Rebecca lovers and informs them she's still got both her kidneys. Heh. No one thinks his joke is funny except me. I'm rolling in the aisles. Mrs. Washington wants to know if they've ever lost a patient before. The doctor says it's unusual, but it has happened. Bobby wants to know who the heck had her after the CAT scan. Well, that fellow finished work at noon, and no one's been able to find him since. Eugene rolls his eyes. The doctor makes some faint excuses whereby he ass

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