The Practice
The Candidate, Part I

Episode Report Card
Ragdoll: C | Grade It Now!
When all your friends are murderers

Ah, Boston at night. It's peaceful, relatively quiet, and yet the monotonous "we're in big trouble, Charlie Brown" music indicates that all is perhaps not well. Flying quietly over to Senator Ellison's manor -- the house has an ominous Teaching Mrs. Tingle feeling. As the camera pans inside, the Senator himself is sitting on his couch in his silk shorts, panting and sort of staring off into space. He's all sweaty, which is kind of gross. Dylan Baker gets major kudos for baring it all -- paunch and everything -- on national television. ["Compared to the role he had to play in Happiness, I'm sure this was a walk in the park for Baker." -- Sars] We pan over to a downstairs bathroom, where a young girl is throwing up into the sink. The wallpaper in the bathroom is quite nice. Pan up the stairs and fade into the bathroom shower, where the water is running over a very sedate Virginia Madsen kneeling and clutching her chest. Finally, we pan into the bedroom, over some oak furniture, along a beige carpet and thankfully to the conclusion, a very gruesome corpse, who has obviously been shot and is still bleeding all over the four-post bed.

A doorbell rings. Dylan Baker is still staring at the wall; the doorbell rings again. This time he gets up to answer it, still in his boxers. Ellenor is at the door. She's thinking, "Not a-freaking-gain." Because all of her friends seem to get in these "oh, by the way, I murdered someone" jams. "Keith?" Ellenor asks. Dylan Baker stumbles around. Ellenor asks where Marsha is, and he explains she's in the shower. "Why aren't you dressed?" He stares at her and responds, "My clothes are in the washer." Marsha "Sister of Michael Madsen, God on Earth" Ellison comes down the stairs in her dressing gown and hands her husband some clothes. They stand together. Marsha greets Ellenor, who replies with a guarded, "Hello." Then Marsha says, "The master bedroom. Just go look." And if this were a horror film, they'd all already be dead, and there's no way Ellenor would be looking in any master bedroom, especially by herself. But, because this isn't a horror film, just a horrible DEK production, Ellenor makes her way up the stairs while being serenaded by the Symphony of Sticky Situations. Oh, and Keith's still holding his clothes in his hands.

Cut to Ellenor, who places her hand on the knob of the bedroom door and gasps at the ghastly and horrific site of the Dead Man. As Ellenor comes back down the stairs, Keith and Marsha are arguing. He wants to do all the talking. She thinks he's done enough for now. He whisper-barks something about her wanting to lay "all this" at his door. The shot opens up and Ellenor asks, "Have you called an ambulance?" Marsha quips, "He seems a little dead for that." What about the police? Well, Keith was worried about becoming a suspect, so he called his attorney first. Because you know, having a Dead Man in your bed doesn't make you enough of a suspect? Ellenor: "So, the police haven't been called at all?" No. The lawyer asks if they know who the victim is, and yes, they do -- his name is James McNown and he was a business associate of Marsha's. Ellenor is flabbergasted. She asks what happened. Blah knowing the truth would prevent you from protecting me blah. Dance to the left, dance to the right, deny, deny, and deny some more. Let's draw this out As Long As Humanly Possible. Allison Ellison, Barfing Daughter, joins her parents. They have to call the police. Keith wants to say that no one saw what happened, that none of them had anything to do with the crime. Ellenor: "He just showed up in your bed dead?" Yes. Ellenor doesn't think that sounds very convincing. Neither do I. He steps forward and says, "Ellen-ner, I'm placing myself in your hands now. I'll tell you as much or as little as you want to know. It's up to you." He pauses for dramatic effect: "But I don't want to say anything that will keep you from representing me." Wow, I am always amazed at how calmly these people call their lawyers before they do anything else when faced with an unimaginable tragedy. He asks Ellenor to tell him what she thinks he should do. She pauses. Lets the music wash over her until she's down with the sound. Everyone makes big tragedy eyes. She tells Keith he has blood splattered all over him; he should take a shower. She's going to call the police in ten minutes.

Credits. Wow, after a glorious summer vacation, these credits are three times as crappy as they were last season. And the season before that, oh, and the season before that, and the one before that too. You know why? Because the damn thing never changes. I would rather be fed to a boa constrictor whole then have to listen to this theme song again this season. Sigh -- thank goodness for fast-forward. Oh, and welcome, dear, sweet Ron Livingston, Hunky DA, to the show.

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The Practice




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