The Practice
Brothers' Keepers

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It's a girl!

Courthouse. Eugene and Susan Alexander are arguing in front of Judge Zoey. Eugene's position is that there is no way of knowing whether Tenacious G picked Emma out of the line-up because he saw her picture beforehand, or simply because she was the one who committed the crime. Obviously, the DA takes the other side. Eugene complains, "This was witness bolstering, Your Honour. First of all, this wasn't a mug shot; she has no record, and there is no mug shot. The DA took this picture out of my client's purse." Pursing her lips, Susan exclaims, "I certainly did not." Then how did you get it? Eugene turns and stares at her. Apparently, the witness picked it up off the department store floor. It fell out as she was running away. Bam. Oh, that face tells us Eugene doesn't like surprises. Judge Hiller denies Eugene's motion to dismiss, and says they'll be proceeding with the trial. Eugene sits down, slowly: "Perhaps you should have filled me in on how they got the picture." Harland didn't know. Because Harland never knows. Because Harland's never won a case. Eugene tells him to get his niece into court pronto. Harland tells him to look at the bright side; this way, he still gets to win a jury trial. Eugene: "Yes. I'm trying to contain my delight on that [sic]."

Courthouse. Helen has The Brother on the stand. He explains that their relationship was special, and that they were more like best friends than siblings. In fact, it was The Brother himself who convinced her to tell her husband she was having an affair. Helen asks him why he regrets this action. "Because he had her killed." The Emperor objects. Judge Kittleson sustains. Next, Helen wants to know if Julie had discussed her trip to Pakistan with her brother; again, Bobby objects, citing hearsay, to which Helen responds, "State of mind." Kittleson allows the question. Mr. McGrath states that Aman thought it would be a good idea to reconnect with his homeland. What made this suspicious, in The Brother's mind, was that Aman didn't enjoy going home and wasn't particularly close to his family. Apparently, Julie went over to Pakistan first because her husband had business to take care of, and he would join her in a few days: "She never suspected she was being sent over to be executed." Bobby objects like he's Don Cherry coaching the Bruins. The Brother continues, blah dee blah he stayed here as an alibi, blah dee blah objection, blah dee blah control your witness. Helen wants to know what happened after he learned of his sister's death. Nothing: "The brother confessed. Said it was an honour killing, and nothing happened." He points at the defendant: "Because that son of a bitch. He made sure of it." More objections from Team Donnell. Everyone's screaming at each other. The Drama Of Desperate Families rises as Kittleson threatens to have The Brother removed. Helen makes a faint attempt to calm Mr. McGrath down. My theory is that he calms down because the music lulls him into a more serene state. The Brother's bottom lip quivers in time with the oboe as he repeats, "He didn't go over there." Blah dee blah nobody did anything, blah dee blah my sister was burned to death, blah dee blah Pakistani police did nothing, blah dee blah our government refuses to get involved. Blah dee blah a beautiful woman was murdered, and nobody did anything. Wrong: nobody did anything according to American standards of justice. The murderer confessed, and was pardoned, according to the laws of the country in which the crime was committed. I'm not saying the outcome was a positive thing -- a woman was burned to death -- but you just can't go around charging people for crimes their brothers committed. ["On the other hand, I got the feeling that Aman didn't even go over to pick up the body or anything, which is kind of fucked up." -- Sars] The Emperor looks defeated as his hand rests beside his chin. That's always a measure of how poorly Bobby thinks the trial is actually going.

The Firm. Team Donnell are advising Aman about the trial. The Emperor thinks they made their case, but he's worried because The Brother was so emotional. Because it's emotions and not evidence that win trials. Right. He asks Rebecca what she thinks, and she agrees that Aman should testify. Apparently, although the prosecution's case is thin, they do have phone records of Aman calling his brother. "Yes," he says, "because I was about to visit." People generally call before they fly miles and miles to Pakistan. Rebecca interrupts him to repeat that she doesn't think it looks good: "It's going to be hard for the jury to believe your brother risked burning your wife openly without some assurance of a pardon. Particularly, when the punishment is death by hanging." Aman asks if Rebecca thinks he's guilty; Rebecca responds that her opinion doesn't matter. He snaps back, "Well, I'm taking a poll." The lawyer looks at him strangely and says, "You pardoned the man that killed your wife." He asks, "Could you kill your sibling?" Bobby interrupts, because he can't stand going five minutes without talking. The Emperor waves his hand around in Aman's face to make sure he's paying attention. The handsome man buries his hands in his own face so as not to be persuaded by the Emperor's hypnotism. Then Bobby explains that it's not going to be enough to simply denounce the murder; he'll have to denounce the honour killings, and it's probably a good idea for Aman to "distance yourself from your homeland altogether." Because he's on trial for being Pakistani-American. Because race really matters in the justice system. And he should be convicted simply because he's foreign. Whatever. I'm disgusted. Honestly. Aman pipes up that he's proud to be an American, but he's also proud to be Pakistani, and he certainly won't denounce his homeland. Word. Bobby repeats that he thinks it's a good idea, and Rebecca complies by nodding her head.

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