The Practice
Black Widows

Episode Report Card
Ragdoll: C+ | 1 USERS: D+
Black Widows

The Firm. There's a reporter named Camilla Berg on the tube in the conference room. She's talking about the "Black Widow" trial, discussing how this is the first case of its kind where a woman is accused of fornicating her husband to death. Lindsay, The Lump, Lucy, and Rebecca are watching the news; we get the impression that this case belongs to The Firm. Lucy snaps the remote control, changing the channel, exclaiming: "Jeez, it's on every channel." Ellenor "Public Defender Extraordinaire" Frutt pokes her head into the conference room, explaining that she's got to run down to the courtroom for a minute to do Pinocchio a favour. "Helen's asking for a favour on a homicide case?" Lindsay questions; see, she knows that Pinocchio's nose grows. The other lawyer shrugs her shoulders and replies, "I'll call when I know more." The ensemble goes back to watching the television, where another, equally annoying, fake reporter is talking about the case. Do we think it's causing a media frenzy? I think so. This reporter states that amongst the men the station polled, thirty-three percent said that they'd still sleep with the Black Widow, even knowing that she might then try to kill them. Jimmy, earning his lumps for this show, touts: "I would!" Which prompts a lot of "ew!"s and "Jimmy!"s. Hell, the credits haven't even finished rolling and I'm already totally insulted.

Courthouse. The guard brings Jenny in front of Judge Zoey Miller. A man sitting in front of the bench announces that the charges are murder in the first degree. Ellenor and Pinocchio announce themselves from their respective positions. The puppet squeaks, "Your Honour. I'd like to conference, I think we can dispose of this right away." The judge is suspicious: "On a First Degree Murder charge?" "Your Honour," Pinocchio insists, "I'd like to conference." Judge Zoey agrees with a wave of her hand and a look of confusion. This is one wily puppet, oh, and her nose grows. As they prepare to enter chambers, Ellenor walks over to Jenny to explain to her what's happening: "I'm Ellenor Frutt. I'm your attorney here. Right now I'm going to go and talk with the judge and the district attorney. Then I'll come back and talk to you. It's very important that you don't talk to anyone about this, not anyone, okay?" Jenny mumbles yes and then Ellenor's off to meet with the puppet in chambers.

Across the hall. Amidst a barrage of reporters, Bobby "Spiders Have Rights Too!" Donnell and Eugene are leading the alleged Black Widow into the courtroom. Imagine my surprise to note that the Black Widow isn't a spider, nor is she black, but she most certainly is back -- from infomercial hell and near career oblivion, that is -- and after building her fledgling résumé on eighties prime-time drama, Victoria Principal joins the ranks of Henry Winkler as a guest star on our humble show. Cut to inside the actual courtroom. Bobby and Marsha Scott, DA, are arguing a motion in front of Judge Walter Kimball. Our hero wants to exclude the deaths of her previous husbands. The DA wants them included; they're prior bad acts. Marsha says that she killed her last husband, and they are going to prove she killed this one. "She killed neither and two doesn't make a pattern anyway." Retort: "She could have killed her first husband and that would have made three." Bobby: "Her first husband died of cancer, what does that mean?" Marsha: "That she's clever!" The peanut gallery titters and Judge Walter pounds his gavel -- settle down or all the reporters will be removed! The DA continues to yammer about dead husbands, and she's convincing, because Judge Walter is going to allow the testimony. "Appealed!" Bobby barks. "So noted," the judge responds. He then asks if the prosecution is ready for trial, which they are, and the defence: "Ready, Your Honour!" Slam! Down goes the gavel again as the judge states the trial will begin at two o'clock this afternoon. In hushed tones, Eugene wonders, "I'm not sure that was the old college try." Victoria flutters in the background, oh, and she's wearing black, you know, because she's a widow. Hey Wardrobe, we get it. It's offensive, but we get it. Bobby was reserving the objection for appeal; truth is, he wants all this stuff to get introduced. "Why?" their client asks. "Because it's been in the papers for months. There's no way the jury hasn't heard about it. We'll need to address it, Courtney. They're not calling you the Black Widow because you like bugs." Yeah, but David E. Kelley's sure into bugs this season. My skin crawls with all the insects flying around that man's mind.

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The Practice




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