The Practice
Germ Warfare

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Germ Warfare

County Jail. Emperor Rod is convening with his client. He's brought a list of entries from the wife's Rolodex for Scott to examine. The client glances at the papers and wonders what he's looking for. In a shocking display of humanity, the Emperor responds, "The desperation of it would probably depress you." Wallace looks up at his saviour and begs him to continue, and, as you know, Emperor Rod can never resist the urge to flap his gums. He explains his thinking: "Well, is there any possibility that it wasn't suicide? That somebody else killed her?" Scott looks to Rod in confusion. He continues yapping: "I know it's out there, but while she was leaving you, suppose she was seeing someone else, and after you two fought, she called and he came over to get her --" You see, in addition to being a great leader and a wonderful man, Rod is also an accomplished storyteller. Scott shuffles down toward the paper and admits the scenario does depress him. Bobby points his magic finger toward his client and asks him again to examine the list. They need all the help they can get at this point. "What about the appeal?" With his fingers grasping the chicken-wire-like bars of the cell, the Emperor looks concerned, even a bit distant, as he responds, "We're putting it together." A second passes. And then another, until Bobby can contain his guilt no longer -- even Emperors are human -- and approaches Wallace. "Listen, Scott," he starts. "You have one other grounds we need to talk about and it could cost me my bar card." The man is distressed and confused, yet he urges the Emperor to continue, which Rod does: "You were denied your right to testify by me. You were adamant about getting up there and I just cut you off and rested the defense. I think it's an issue." The subject shakes his head, refusing to believe ill of his leader; he says he trusts that the Emperor was just putting their best case forward, using the best strategy. The Emperor, in a moment of weakness, confesses, "But, in the end, it has to be your decision and I totally usurped it." The Theme of Truthful Treachery perks up behind them as Bobby continues, "You might want to think about hiring a new lawyer and making that one of the grounds for appeal." But Scott wants Bobby, regardless of how strange that might seem. Scott sighs, shakes his head, bites his lips, pinches his nose, and says, "Bobby." Pause. "This situation that I'm in, it's not likely I'm going to get out of here. I know the odds." No more dreams of Fiji. "Now, if I'm going to have any chance, I need a lawyer who feels he's in the hole here with me." The music changes its tone, it gets lighter, even brighter, as we crescendo toward the ultimate goal of every single scene on this show: The Exaltation of the Emperor. No one will fight harder, smarter, longer than Rod. Hip hip hooray! Three cheers for our mighty leader!

Courthouse. Ellenor has another expert on the stand discussing the toxic swing-set. He explains that when the coating breaks down, the arsenic can be inhaled, as numerous studies have proved. He rhymes off some names and dates of clinical data. He explains the risk, calls the play-set a "cancer death trap," and worries that they are in backyards all across the country. The poor man's Anthony Hopkins sets about deconstructing the "death trap" argument. They discuss the coating again, with Hopkins explaining that the wood in this play-set was coated to protect people from the dangers of the CCA. However, the doctor counters, the coating breaks down, and when it does, it becomes a dangerous carcinogen. Well, Anthony Hopkins pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least as far as the jury is concerned; as we pan toward their faces (and I could swear that one of them is a doppelganger for an older, wiser Adam Rich), they look increasingly concerned as he suggests that all of our houses, at least the ones made of wood, are treated with the same kinds of pesticides, which in turn would mean that they too are "cancer death traps."

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