The Practice
Losers Keepers

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Losers Keepers

The Firm. Bobby comes out of his office, wondering if Lindsay "Can Smell Him" Dole's ready to go home. She's still got a lot of work to do. "I have a gun, remember?" she chides him. Bobby starts to apologize for everything, for his gigantic ego, his pompous attitude, his unbearable, intolerable barking. Oh, wait. That's me I thought he was apologizing to, but it's Lindsay, so he grovels for a bit, explains that her charade of good health had him fooled. In his heart, he just likes to believe that everything is okay as The Waltz Of Lindsay's Festering Wounds drives up the emotion quota like Tiger Woods on the back nine. She needs time to heal. And he's there for her. There is tenderness. There is an oboe. There are apologies. There are trembling lips: "It's just him still being out there. It just brings it all back. I just keep thinking what if he's caught ever, he goes to trial, I'd have to testify." She whispers, "I don't think I could handle it. It was just so much easier with him being dead. I just want him dead." Now that's justice for you.

The Ronald Vega Trial. The Swack asks if the jury has reached a verdict, and the defendant is asked to rise. The jury finds the defendant not guilty. In spite of himself, Ronnie smiles, and Rebecca mutters, "What do ya know?" under her breath. ADA Jennifer just looks defeated. The Swack adjourns and Ronnie hightails it out of the building. But, just as Rebecca snipes that her lousy clients never thank her, The Swack pipes up with a little "Ms. Washington. The court thanks you." Well, I'll be -- all that glory, and Eugene's taking her out for dinner.

Hellenor's. Using every lame trick in the book, the scene is set for the ending to a straight-to-video thriller. The scene opens to see Ellenor coming home rambling about dinner, the tap is running in the shower, and once she completely gets into the apartment, she notices Helen's scrawny arm hanging over the tub. ["At first I thought Helen was trying to re-hydrate her Sea Monkeyish self." -- Deborah] The Theme Of Soon-Ensuing Tragedy starts racing as Ellenor rushes to try to revive Helen. She runs to the phone; the cord is severed. Not just cut, severed. You know how these things are. All the while, Ellenor's mumbling, "Ohmigod. Ohmigod. Ohmigod." Because that's what people say when they're scared. Honestly. She turns from the severed phone to almost run into George standing in full nun regalia (including pumps). He looks really, really creepy: "Something wrong, Ellenor?" The nun's got her tongue. "I changed my mind about dinner," he quips like all psycho killers, "but I think Helen's too dead tired to cook." You? she whispers. "Susan Robbins? Lindsay?" ["What a load this entire storyline has turned into. Such a stupid and insulting and implausible resolution to this whole thing." -- Deborah] The Melody Of Multiple Personalities takes over as George does the obligatory explanation of his crimes; he meant to hurt Ellenor but found Lindsay instead. Drugged Helen with some chloroform to simulate death so that when she wakes she'll see Ellenor decidedly not alive. Ellenor: "You came to kill me?" George is bleak, his monotone voice not even breaking with the pressure: "Do you know how many times you've killed me, Ellenor?" ["Oh, please! Didn't he reject her originally?" -- Deborah] Ellenor glances toward her purse, signaling the fact that she's going for the gun, but, of course, Mr. Serial Killer is one step ahead of her (that's what makes this "thrilling"). He says, "You think you can use that gun to kill me, Ellenor. Let me make it easier for you, Ellenor." He kicks the purse toward her across the hardwood floor and continues: "I would love to go out that way! With you pulling the trigger; go ahead, Ellenor, get your gun." She grabs it, and he taunts her. The Melody is sauntering in the background. She'd be doing him a favour. Putting him out of his miserable, pathetic existence. Now, listen carefully, because here's where our plucky heroine shows some initiative. "What you don't know about me," she sneers, "is that I would. I will shoot you!" He taunts her some more: Then do it! I'll make you do it! They circle like it's the O.K. Corral. "Do it!" he screams and Ellenor jumps. "Do it! Shoot me, Ellenor!" She doesn't want to and begs him not to make her. She begs him to put the knife down so that they can talk about it, please. He comes toward her, and the gun goes off. It blows a lot, and I mean a lot, of smoke. He falls to the floor, and without checking to make sure he's actually dead (which is always a mistake -- you should always make sure they're dead), Ellenor goes to try to wake up Helen. Ellenor's still screaming "Ohmigod!" only this time she throws in some "Helen can you hear me"s while turning on the cold water. And I certainly hope for Camryn Manheim's sake that Lara Flynn Boyle is wearing some sort of something in that tub, because doing this scene with her naked would have creeped me out.

Of course, George gets up, because, of course, he filled the gun with blanks, because he likes to play dead. Ellenor notices the knife coming at her reflected in the shiny bathroom tiles, and she turns around and whomps George. He, of course, falls right into the mirror, which, of course, shatters making all kinds of noise, which, of course, does not signal any neighbors to call the police, or for that matter, even come round to see what might be wrong. We hearken back to Friday the 13th Part 300 as Ellenor races to the front door, which is, of course, jammed or something and she, of course, can't get out. She bangs on the door in frustration and turns to see George, holding the keys, coming toward her down the hall: "I'm feeling better!" He turns on his nun pumps: "I could even dance!" Okay, let's just take a sidebar for a minute: even if he has the keys, don't most apartments lock from the outside too? Why does he need to taunt her with the keys? It doesn't make sense. The psycho psychoanalyzes his psychotic behaviour: he put blanks in the gun, which we had already gathered; he just wanted to see if Ellenor would actually do it, and she certainly surprised him. The heroine's last-ditch attempt at saving her own life before the killer descends is always to plead for him to get help. Things are no different here. George grins, "Now you want to help me?" She tells him he has an insanity defense for everything he's done. "Well then! I'll also have one for what I'm about to do! Bad boyfriend!" he screams as he lunges toward her, knife sharpened and ready to be inserted, when, just in the nick of time, Helen emerges from her half-dead state, naked and looking like a harpy, and shoots the living crap out of George. He lands on Ellenor and, as his dying body drags itself down to the floor, it smears a tell-tale trail of blood across the front door of the apartment. The Drama Of George's Dying Breath is noted by his choking, gasping sounds as the camera pans to both women looking scared, exhausted, and disheveled. And that, my friends, is a wrap -- the ordeal is over!

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The Practice

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