The Practice
Mr. Hinks Goes To Town

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He said, she said

Boston still looks cold and winter-like.

The Firm. The Emperor Rod is doing his best impression of Jackie Chan by karate-chopping the conference table: "I don't think you should take it." His wife believes that Jeannie believes Hinks is innocent. Ellenor wants to know how you start such a monster of a trial on two days' notice. Mrs. Rod explains that the two previous lawyers had prepared excellent cases. Apparently, when these two fellows -- after they spoke to Jeannie -- confronted Hinks about being delusional, and because he couldn't face the fact that he's innocent, William fired them. Still chopping (we should all be amazed that the table is still in one piece), the Emperor asks of his wife, "How do you defend him?" Yeah, and Eugene cracks, "Why would you want to?" With the gleam of a good fight in her eye, Lindsay says, "I'd be going up against Roland Hill from the DA's office. How often does any lawyer get the chance to go up against him?" Hey, who cares! Anyway, the Emperor starts lecturing and gesturing about not wanting a client who insists they are guilty as Jeannie walks into the conference room: "You people supposedly defend underdogs. Well, I've got one here." Blah blah blah delusion-cakes. Lindsay insists that she wants to take the case, and that she needs back-up. Every single lawyer at the table insists that he or she is free, and then they start bickering about who was free "first." The Emperor gives in after making sure his wife is sure, and then decrees that Jimmy be second chair. A smug Lump twists his pencil as Rebecca gets in one more: "But that isn't fair." She needs all the camera time she can get, people, even if she is whining. It's better than nothing.

County Jail. Jeannie, Jimmy, and Lindsay are walking toward William "The Opposite of Sane" Hinks's holding cell. Jeannie insists he's a docile man. Jimmy quips, "Just misunderstood." They come to the room to see a slight man resembling Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Well, he would resemble Mr. Burns if Mr. Burns were actually a man and not a cartoon character. Yes, Hinks is a younger version of Mr. Burns. Absolutely. Through the bars, you can see that the prisoner is slumped over the desk and shackled. Lindsay wants to know if they need a guard in the room. Jeannie reminds her that they'll lose privilege if one is present. The Lump takes a good look at Hinks and jokes, "I think we could take him." In they go. Wow, Jeannie is a very tall woman. Her knees reach almost to the top of the table. William Hinks has to tilt his head all the way up just to get a good look at her. Jeannie introduces Mrs. Rod and the Lump. Hinks thanks them for coming. After setting her briefcase onto the table to separate herself from the man, Lindsay explains that they did manage to get a continuance until early next week. This means that Hinks might be transferred back to the main jail, because they don't like to keep defendants in the county lock-up for any length of time. She then announces that they're going to go over the evidence, the confession, and then "they'll get back together and talk." Hinks replies, "But what is there to talk about?" The two women glance at one another before Lindsay continues, "Dr. Reynolds tells me it's your preference to plead insanity. You realize, if we win on that [sic], you don't go free." Hinks realizes his predicament. Lindsay insists they should go for a straight not-guilty. I do not think that Hinks's eyes could look more bug-like. They almost look as if they were inserted into his head after the rest of it had already developed. I'll bet an evil scientist built him. The soundtrack wavers in the background as Hinks insists he committed the crime. And at least if he's convicted of the crime, he'll be sent to a place where they can help him get better. Ha. Only if there's a team of plastic surgeons specializing in de-bug-eye surgery.

The Firm. Conference Room. Jeannie is lecturing. She's pacing behind The Lump and Lindsay, trying to explain her thoughts about Mr. Serial Not-Killer: "The closest diagnosis I can make is that he has delusions, symptomatic of schizophrenia, probably paranoia. Not only does he believe he committed these crimes, the idea of others not believing it is repugnant to him." With a stack of papers in front of him, Jimmy cranks his head up to look at Jeannie: "But if he didn't do it...he sure gave them a lot of details." Jeannie insists that the information that Hinks gave to the police was all accessible. In fact, there's a whole Internet site set up on this killer. Please. She keeps insisting that all of the facts in the case would have been available to the public. Lindsay wants Jeannie to explain why she thinks Hinks didn't commit the crimes. "For one thing, he's got a lot of holes in his story." Jeannie takes a deep breath: "I don't get any sense of anger in him. I don't see the necessary capacity for violence. He's a quiet little accountant who never leaves the house." Jimmy "Summer of Scam" Berluti pipes up, "It's always the quiet ones." Word. Jeannie also put Mr. Hinks under hypnosis, where he told a very different story. One where he didn't do it but that he just wishes he had. Lindsay tries again to dissuade her friend: "They found him near the scene of the last victim." Jeannie leans in: "He says he has police radio. According to a story under hypnosis, William heard of the crime, managed to get to the scene and into a neighbouring cellar, then let himself get discovered there." The Lump insists the police are excellent at sniffing out false confessions. She claims Hinks is extremely smart -- borderline genius -- and he also passed the polygraph, which he would, if he were delusional. Okay, but just, like, two weeks ago, during the fake-umentary, didn't Bobby insist that polygraphs were the be-all and end-all of truth-telling machines? Whatever. The Lump asks if Hinks could have been faking it through the hypnosis. Jeannie explains she did believe that at first, but now, well, she's not so sure. Lindsay steps in with her particular brand of wisdom: "Either way, Jeannie, if he convinced the police with his confession, including an FBI profiler, he'll likely fool a jury." Again, Jeannie leans in toward her friend with her hands folded across the table: "He didn't necessarily fool the FBI profiler." What?

The Profiler's Office. The Agent pulls a file from his side cabinet before turning and facing Mrs. Rod and The Lump. The Agent sits down and explains that he was suspicious: "There were certain facts he should have had, had he been the real killer." He too folds his hands on top of the now-open file on his desk. Lindsay only wants to know the facts. She's all about business. The Agent reveals that William didn't know many of the specific details he probably should have: "Like the time of death, he could only approximate. A killer that precise, I thought he'd be clear on time. Positions of bodies, that sort of thing. The fingernails." The fingernails intrigue Jimmy; his head perks up at the mention of them. Hinks has maintained that he pulled the fingernails off of all of his victims, just as has been reported in all the papers, but the police planted that tidbit just to trip up any people thinking about making a false confession. What's up with that? How many people actually walk into a police station and make a false claim to have killed nine people? How many actual "delusional" attention-getters can there be in Boston at any given time? ["Apparently, it's pretty common, and the police give out false information in high-profile cases as a matter of course to winnow out the whack jobs. The things I learn from reading true-crime crap..." -- Sars] Regardless, the nails of the fifth victim were never removed: "And that's something the real killer should know." The Lump wants to know why the Agent signed off on "this being the guy." The Agent explains that Hinks was found near the crime scene, and that his apartment did contain voluminous clippings and Internet printouts regarding each of the murders. Mrs. Rod insists that he could have been collecting that information just to learn about the crimes. The Agent responds, "Or he was the murderer and he liked to read about himself, which is pretty typical of serial killers." Secret Agent Man looks once more at Lindsay before he continues, "One more thing. The murders stopped once William Hinks was in custody." Jimmy nods his head. Lindsay still wants to know if he thinks Hinks is the one. His response: "Maybe, but maybe not." Just in case the cops were thinking they could maybe, almost, kind of, um, get off the fence or something.

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