The Practice
Officers Of The Court

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Officers Of The Court

Courthouse. Jimmy continues on his quest of "saving the girl from herself." He stumbles up and tells Jennifer, who is now dressed in her non-prison-issue clothes, that he's going to drive her to the hospital. Jennifer plays dumb, pulls her hair behind her ear, cocks her head like a coy actress from the silent film era, and says, "Oh. But I was going to go and see my aunt today." Translate: "I was going to go smoke some rock." Because we're supposed to get that she's a crack-addicted pregnant woman who doesn't think she has a problem. Jimmy reminds her that she promised, and he's got it all set up for her to do outpatient rehab. The young girl reluctantly agrees, but then DA Alexander and Nubile Cop charge down the hallway toward them. In an instant, Jennifer's cuffed again, and being arrested for distribution of a controlled substance to a minor. Whew. She's "smoking crack for two now." And they're arresting her. The crash you hear is the Constitution falling abruptly off the building and being washed right into the gutter. The Melody of Misappropriated Justice mocks Jimmy as we break for commercials.

Susan Alexander's office. It's pretty sparse. She's wearing a powder blue power suit that reflects just how pale her skin actually is -- do none of these women see the light of day? Or have they all found a secret fountain of youth they're keeping secret from the rest of the female population, keeping their skin both young and translucent? It's frightening. Jimmy is pacing and screaming about how the charge is absolutely ridiculous. He's taken a lesson from Emperor Rod and is slashing his hands around like they're weapons in a Jackie Chan movie: "There's never been a case made for distributing for a fetus and you know it!" She counters this point by saying that's just because the case has never been made before. Susan explains in her best pedagogical voice, "She distributed cocaine to her baby through her bloodstream." Jimmy is livid. In fact, I've barely seen him that angry, only in just about every single episode of this damn show. The DA's plan is to stop Jennifer from using until the child is born; Jimmy drones on about Jennifer agreeing to go to rehab. The DA's not buying it; she doesn't believe Jennifer will stick with it, and frankly, as the anvil of dramatic irony slams down before me, I don't believe it myself. They argue about the viability of the law for a few minutes -- Susan's deluding herself, Jimmy's going to contest it -- until they stop. For one glorious minute, we are suspended in silence as Jimmy's very large cranium finally grasps what Susan is trying to say. If they cut a deal, one that keeps Jennifer locked up until she gives birth, they can effectively save the baby from further harm. The Coda of Conspiring Moralists rises. Jimmy says, "You're asking me to conspire to keep her in jail." Just for a month, yeah, isn't that what all the fascists say? Susan pulls out her trump card -- she knows Jimmy cares for Jennifer, but he explains that the girl will go "crazy inside" because she needs "help, not jail." The music continues as Susan rails through the litany of health problems for crack-addicted mothers and their children. The DA wants to make a plea for in-patient rehab with no jail time; the lawyer just wants it to be clear that she's asking him to cop to a "bogus" charge. With a grating smile on her face, Susan says, "I'm asking you to consider you really have two clients here." We crescendo: "If she gets out, she'll OD, miscarry, who knows what will happen. She trusts you, and you can help her!" The strangely sinister smile sits on Susan "Bedazzled" Alexander's face as she and Jimmy "Brendan Fraserhead" Berluti prick each other's fingers and sign their contract in blood.

The Firm. Ellenor and Lindsay are apprising Mr. Jamison of the situation with Judge Tight Cheeks. He wonders about his settlement. Ellenor explains how they might end up with more if they actually win their motion. They dismiss their client and turn to bow to the Emperor, who has appeared on the threshold: "You filed a formal motion against Aldrich?" She wants to know why he seems to have a problem with their actions. How funny you should ask, because boy, does he ever have a problem with that motion: blah dee blah tenure, the right hand goes up, blah dee blah retaliation for the firm, the left hand goes up, blah dee blah they can cut damage awards, he does the hokey pokey, return verdicts, turns himself about, give lousy instructions, blah dee blah shakes it all about, hell: "What can't they do!" Because in the Land of Emperor Rod, the Judges are in fact gods, they could put all of their cases at the bottom of the docket, and, gasp, how dare she forge ahead with, oh, I don't know, trying to do the best for her client without passing it by him first: "At the minimum [sic] this should have been the subject of a partnership meeting." In a bold and brassy move, the Lady Ellenor brushes past the Emperor, sniping: "I've had bad experiences with partnership meetings." He turns to unleash his fury upon her, thrashing his arms about and inadvertently causing a tornado off the coast of Southern Florida. "Snide," he claims, "isn't what I was looking for." Ellenor explains that she's not looking to continue the motion against Judge Hoity-Toity, but to use it as leverage with the Anti-Bobby and Anthony Hopkins, in the hope that it might chip their knock-down number up a couple of notches. Well, it's a good explanation, but the Emperor's not convinced. "I am only trying to help the client," Ellenor says. "This is not about vengeance." Shockingly, Mrs. Rod keeps her trap shut through this entire scene. For once, she's window dressing, and we are spared another shower scene. Oh, if the collective unconscious in us all is hoping to be spared Lindsay's shower scene from ever burning its way into our common mythology. Gross.

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