The Practice
Dog Bite

Episode Report Card
Dog Bite

Again with the above-the-room establishing shot, and we're back in the firm. Rebecca is tinkering with a light, adding "caretaker" onto her already overburdened job description -- which includes: extra, set dresser, babysitter, Bobby ego-booster, and now light-bulb changer. Are we supposed to get the impression she's overworked and underpaid? And why doesn't Lucy ever change a light bulb or two? "How did it go?" Rebecca asks, and then asks again when the two downtrodden and almost disbarred lawyers come in. "Oh, ahh, Kenny got six months," Ellenor replies. Still hanging from the light fixture, Rebecca looks concerned. Ellenor continues, "He's out pending appeal on the probable-cause issue. We, ahh, on the other hand, ahh, things didn't go so good for us." "What happened?" Rebecca asks from her perch. Lindsay answers, "We're getting disbarred. And it's her fault." Ellenor and Lindsay scream and throw some blame at each other for this awful situation. Man, I can't stand Lindsay. In the middle of their catfight Bobby walks out: "Hey, there's a deposition going on in here -- what's going on?" The women keep screaming until finally Bobby breaks them up and orders them into his office. Now, this is our supposed dramatic crescendo. There are so many other ways of signaling stress or tension, you know, they don't always have to yell at one another. ["Sure, but that would require actual writing." -- Deborah] If people screamed that much in real life, the whole world would end up deaf.

Teddy's narrative: blah blah rejection, blah blah she didn't look at me, blah blah bring her down to see me, yadda yadda he's a joker, but this time it stuck with him. Blah blah one-legged Joey Free said he's a victim, something about crutches being thrown to the ground, goodness! It was Joey Free who did it. But blah blah the code Teddy's not going to turn him in blah blah. Teddy wishes he was the guy that took the money just to show Ms. Bancock that he exists: "Because if she was keeping in her wallet the idea that some people are less worthy than her then I'm glad she lost it!" Blah blah I didn't take it but I sure should have -- and that's the truth. And the judge gives him the stink-eye. A big, nasty "you've got to be joking" stink-eye. ["That really was an excellent stink-eye, and I should know, since I make that face about twenty times a day myself." -- Deborah]

Bobby's office. He's lecturing: "Why didn't you come to me with this?" Ellenor says that he would have gone along with it and landed in the same trouble that they're in. "I wouldn't have gone along!" he screams because, you know, Bobby never breaks the law or anything. ["Nope, he's Dudley Do-Right. And I am the Virgin Mary." -- Deborah] Basically, he screams at Ellenor for making the wrong decision, that no matter what kind of contact you have with a juror, you go straight to the judge. Ms. Prim is just sitting on the couch, silent, again letting Ellenor take the brunt of Bobby's anger. "This is beyond stupid," he claims, "you risked your careers, you completely jeopardized the reputation of this entire firm. What the hell could you be thinking?" Ellie makes some crack about the reputation of the firm, and rightfully so; Bobby points his finger, literally and metaphorically, and gets on his "oh The Firm" high horse, making Ellenor cry. There are actual tears running down her face. She defends herself by laying out exactly what the actual reputation of the firm is: "Bobby, all we did was live up to your example. You just sold out a client. Let's not forget that. You just finished arguing jury nullification. What exactly do you think our reputation is here, Bobby? I mean, who are we kidding? We are a 'reasonable doubt' for a 'reasonable fee,' bottom feeding, 'we'll do whatever it takes to get our clients off' law firm. And what Lindsay and I did may not have been ethical, it was completely in the spirit and tradition of Bobby Donnell. You want to fire me, go ahead, but please, please Bobby, do not lecture me." And with her head held high, Ellenor leaves Bobby to stew in his own juices for a while as we cut to commercial. This was an incredibly well-acted scene by Camryn Manheim. She's touching and incredibly sincere. ["She kicks ass. Why doesn't someone give her a show of her own, and save me from ever having to watch this show again?" -- Deborah] Bad Bobby -- bad, bad.

The next day. Rebecca's wearing jeans and a hat. She slowly walks into Bobby's office as he's looking disheveled and tossing a football around. And I have never seen that football -- not before, not since, and certainly not at all during the current season. "Were you here all night?" she asks. Yup, he answers. "Why?" she wonders. He doesn't know. Honestly, what Ellenor said rang true; Rebecca heard some of their conversation: "Bobby," she says, "I think the problem is that this place isn't just you anymore. There's them. They got a good leader in you -- but not great leadership, you know?" He decides that maybe it's time for a meeting. While Bobby comes to his revelation and Rebecca practices holding up his ego, we hear Jimmy screaming from the board room. Apparently, he gets nervous closing, and needed to practice for his settlement conference in half an hour. Apparently, he comes off too nice: "Gotta be strong you know, gotta come off strong, and since I don't shift gears good, I'm getting ready. Gotta be tough!" He slams his fist down on the table and continues screaming into thin air.

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The Practice




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