The Practice
Awakenings

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And baby makes two?
ures them that Rebecca is somewhere in the building and that they'll find her. Okay, my cousin, after having a horrible car accident that almost killed him, woke up from his coma, pulled out his IVs, and started to get up to leave the hospital. About SEVENTEEN nurses were on him before he could even take a step. I'm just saying it's about as likely they'd lose an I.C.U. patient as it is that California is actually going to drop off into the Pacific Ocean.

The Maternity Ward Of Crying-Baby Pain. There are fake parents clamouring around their fake babies. The camera pans into a room where a very peaceful Rebecca rests.

The Courthouse Of Ellenor's Contractual Pain. Michael bursts into the waiting room with Jay and Silent Bob. Okay, maybe he leaves them outside because they'd be too much of a distraction. Jimmy gets up to shield Ellenor from this evil man causing her distress in her final moments of pregnancy. Damn him, evil man. Michael is snide: "Is nothing beneath you?" Jimmy reminds Michael that counsel represents him, and this loosely translates to "Shut up, you evil pot-smoking photojournalist dude." Michael rips into Ellenor: "We've been maybe best friends for most of our adult lives and you come at me like that for what? Legal strategy?" Ellenor rebuts; she's protecting her daughter from an evil pot-smoking photojournalist dude. Oh, I shudder to think of the influence. The Symphony of Single Mothers rises up to the right of Ellenor. Michael threatens his ex-friend and mother of his child: "Well, your turn comes next." And with that, he exits the room, grabs Jay and Silent Bob, and ducks out behind the courthouse to roll up some Zig Zags with his secret stash of "tobacco." Ellenor shakes her head and looks uncomfortable as we fold into commercials.

The Courthouse Where They Inflict Fake Pain. Helen shows up to arraign the slime ball that raped Amanda McGowan; she considers him dangerous as well as a flight risk. Judge Betts denies bail, and then the slime's attorney moves for a probable cause hearing. Slam! Helen protests; she hasn't spoken to the witness. The judge wants to know, then, why is she filing charges? She swallows, and her throat looks like a boa constrictor swallowing a small child. The judge orders her to confer with her witness, and sets up the probable cause hearing for tomorrow morning. On her way out of the courtroom, Helen runs into Amanda's father, who is in a wheelchair. He introduces himself, and she runs off the usual "I'm sorry," only she sounds so cold and uninvolved that I was afraid the man would freeze from overexposure to her elements. He wants to know what happens next. The DA explains that they have a probable cause hearing, so she'll need to find the witness. Mr. McGowan, oh wait, she's right over there -- sitting in the GALLERY.

The Courthouse Of The War Of The Non-Roses. Ellenor is on the stand. She explains how she and Michael had been friends for a long time, so when she decided to have this baby she naturally turned to him. His genes were solid, smoking pot not withstanding. And she trusted him on his word. Jimmy clarifies, "But you don't want him as a co-parent." Correct. That's why they signed the contract. Then Ellenor stands up and cheers C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T. Co-on-on-tract! Go team! Jimmy wants her to explain why she wants to have the baby by herself. Ellie explains that she doesn't think she needs a man in her life to raise a child. Go sister. No, seriously, go sister. Even if she did decide to share the responsibilities with a man, she wouldn't choose Michael "Dazed and Confused" Hale. Why doesn't she want him to participate? Because they aren't in love with one another. Now, she doesn't trust him. Their entire relationship would be grounded in betrayal if they were forced to co-parent this child. Ellenor insists, "That relationship would most definitely harm the baby." Ellenor honestly believes that her daughter would be better raised by one parent, rather than be thrown into a relationship already filled with "tension and acrimony." Double. Triple. Quadruple. Word. The judge wants to know if Ellenor believes Michael to be an unfit father. Well, he does indulge in "the pot," you know, and his changing his mind at the last minute, that's not very good either. The judge notes that if Ellenor agreed to let Michael parent, she wouldn't be in court. Good point. She doesn't think so; she thinks he's motivated by guilt over his son, by redemption, about himself and not about any real need to become a parent. Ms. Garrett's up next. She really gives it to Ellenor. Stats about single parents this, stats about raising children alone that, stats about kids turning out better with fathers the other thing. Bleepity blah more studies, blah working mom blah, nannies here and nannies there. The Symphony sidles up to Ms. Garrett, smirking. In the end, Ellenor holds her own. She has "choices" and she has a contract.

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The Practice

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