The Practice
Summary Judgments

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Ragdoll: C | Grade It Now!
Summary Judgments

Thanks to Sars for having me back this season, and to deborah for kicking all different kinds of ass.

I hoped. I wished upon a star that something, anything, might have changed. And, well, Lindsay cut her hair. At least it's something.

Season Five opens with a shot of Bobby Donnell's clean-shaven and extremely coiffed head as he smirks uncomfortably while an anonymous guard lets him into a holding cell. Inside the cell itself, Bobby greets Bruce Davidson, fresh from his stint as Senator Kelly in X-Men. Davidson is playing Scott Wallace, an investment banker friend of Bobby's accused of murdering his wife during a heated argument. At this point, I must interject: Does Bobby have any friends or mentors that don't kill their wives? And shouldn't Lindsay be worried? There is a pattern emerging where disagreement + friend of Donnell's = death. Anyway. Bobby explains to Senator Kelly that they've got one last pre-trial motion in which he's going to try to suppress the statement. Bobby's already doing that serious motioning with his hands -- you know, where he folds them in front and waves them around like a divining tool. Apparently, the situation is quite dire; if their attempt to suppress the video statement is unsuccessful, Wallace will most likely be convicted. Bobby starts to suggest they think about a deal. Scott freaks out: "Oh! No! I'm not taking manslaughter! Bobby! Please don't ask me that again!" It's a record. We're about three minutes into the season premiere and they're already screaming. It's not looking good for me. Cramped in the corner of the cell, Scott apologizes for screaming, explaining that "it" is just getting to him. I wonder if he's still suffering from that whole melting ordeal this summer in X-Men, but, again, I digress. Without saying "hey man's it's okay, you're under a lot of stress" or anything remotely resembling support, Bobby trucks forward with his "business." Way to be a friend, Donnell. They discuss the logistics of what's going to happen: they'll argue the motion, then the trial will start after lunch. Scott sits on the bed, and Bobby's playing with his hands; I'm convinced he's fixated on the ten fingers with their perfectly manicured nails attached to the ends of his arms, and he simply can't stop moving them.

Meanwhile, Scott starts running off at the mouth about some dream he had. In this dream, "everyone wakes up and comes to their senses. Karen's even in it, she's not dead." Note here that someone named Karen (and I rewound the tape three times to make sure that's what he said) was alive and is now dead. Who is this Karen? Should we assume this is his wife? Except that later in the episode, Wallace's wife is called "Jill" -- confused? Well, me too. Wallace's dream sequence begins a Bobby pep talk where the lawyer tries to convince his client that they've got a shot. Although they aren't showing Bobby's hands, I can tell they are moving because his shoulders are jiggling around in his grey suit. Scott looks up at him and nods, grabs a picture out of the pocket of his prison wear, and shows it to Bobby. Then announces he's going to go to Fiji when it's all over. Um, okay. The Symphony of Suspended Vacations floats into the scene as Bobby sits on the bed to affirm the severity of the situation to Scott. "Look at me!" Our fearless warrior. The humble subject looks into Bobby's searing blue eyes, and the truth is revealed: "If that video tape is admitted, I believe you will be convicted, probably of second-degree murder. Now that carries a life sentence. You will not be going to Fiji." They pause, glance at each other, the Bobby continues: "Do you get that?" Bobby Donnell -- whose superhero name would be Dream Stomper "Defender of Reality."

Credits. Same crappy music. Welcome, Jason Kravits. And what's up with Marla Sokoloff coming up before Camryn Manheim and Kelli Williams? Did the box office success of Whatever It Takes suddenly catapult her to fame?

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The Practice




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