The Practice
Judge Knot

Episode Report Card
Ragdoll: D+ | 5 USERS: A+
Judge Thyself

Fancy Banquet Hall Somewhere In Fake Boston. Bruce McGill, this week's Guest Star Extraordinaire, is giving a speech. He's going on about how "back then [he] was sharp enough to stick in the ground and green enough to grow." He's carrying on, as a keynote speaker should, half-witty and somewhat droll. Pan over to the table where members of The Firm are sitting. They are dressed in their finery. Bruce McGill blathers on about his life long before he became the "esteemed Judge Charles Fleming." He holds up his finger and points upward, toward the sky, kind of like he's going to hit a home run or something. The camera pans around the table, and I notice that no one has touched their desserts. Not one single person. There are perfect pieces of chocolate cake just sitting there looking plastic. Oh, okay, the State Bar Association has given Judge Fleming the Lifetime Achievement Award. After he announces this, he grabs the placard and puts it into his coat. Ha ha, ho ho, physical comedy, blah. The audience applauds uproariously. Bobby and Lindsay clasp hands.

Just then, Helen falls over their hands and onto their table, trying to grab a bottle of wine. Rod -- who looks fabulous, by the way; there is not a scratch or a scar on his pretty little Emperor face -- snarks, "You emptied the four bottles at your table?" Helen cracks, "Practically by myself. Just a bunch of sippers." Lucy asks Helen for the gift bags that accompany her table. Again, Rod roles his non-bruised eyes and mutters that the trusty assistant can have his. Helen saunters around toward Ellenor, drunkenly whining, "Firm springs for a table and no one invites me?" Ah, Helen's loaded. I'll bet LFB had plenty of life experience to rely on for inspiration for this scene, being the "party girl" and all. Her hair is down, and again, it actually looks nice, very soft and flattering. Perhaps someone on the stylist crew has actually started reading these recaps. Maybe DEK is next. Ouch, crack, oh, stop, okay, I'll take it back, hell can stop freezing over now. Lindsay shushes her friend. Helen apologizes, reminds herself about what a big deal Judge Fleming is to Lindsay, and then remarks that she likes him even better "off the bench." Lindsay smiles through her annoyance; she just wants to listen. Cut back to Judge Fleming's speech. He's going on about an office that's perfect, something about moving furniture, and there is more extraneous laughter. Someone must have been holding up "Laughter" signs for the filming of this scene. Cut back to the table, where Helen hip-butts the Emperor and sits down on half of his seat. She wants to talk about Cassell. They start talking business, only Rod thinks Helen is too drunk to talk about work right now. Ellenor and Rebecca both want them to "take it outside." And thus begin the sexual innuendoes. Helen grabs the Emperor's tie and says, "Bob, your client is a bad, bad man. He deserves to be in jail." Lindsay glances over. "I'm not letting him back out onto the street." Bobby cracks, "Maybe not but you're going to buy me a new tie." And thus begins the married-man-flirting part of the episode. Helen sort of half-stands up, still clinging to Bobby's tie, and complains, "Buddy, you're not taking me seriously. This is going to go to trial, and I'm gonna win." Suddenly, a waiter walks by and knocks Helen off balance and onto the Emperor. Her sudden "weight" knocks them both over and onto the floor, Rod on top of Helen. They giggle. Their position is faintly sexual. I yawn. Lindsay looks over at her husband, lying on top of her best friend, and gives them a strange, sort of uncomfortable-but-trying-just-to-ignore-the-whole-thing kind of look. The rest of the table stands up to see what happened. Everyone is laughing.

Except me. Because the credits have started. And by the fact that Hunky DA was not in that first little segment, I'm guessing he's not in this week's episode. Which means I'm not going to be a happy recapper. Right now, the Hunky DA quotient is highly lacking; we're averaging a little Hunk once every three episodes. These are not good odds.

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The Practice




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