The Practice
The Candidate, Part I

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When all your friends are murderers

The Fake Cameras of Pain. A nameless, unspectacular non-reporter is speaking to another fake non-anchorwoman named Jenny. She says that "warrants were issued last night" and that "Senator Ellison's office is also being searched." Fake reporters line the hallway of the fake courtroom. The elevator door opens, lights flash, and the media hounds The Emperor as he steps from the elevator. He pushes his way through the particularly rough crowd, screaming, "No comment! No comment!" The door to the courtroom opens and admits Senator Ellison from the non-media door where they keep all the bad guys waiting to be arraigned. Ellenor and Helen announce themselves and their respective sides. The prosecution asks that Senator Ellison be held without bail. The defense states that he has strong and substantial roots in the community. Helen throws the whole "brutal homicide" argument into the mix; then she whines for a bit about how the fact that he is a senator should have nothing to do with inflicting her own particular brand of justice. Ellenor takes offence, obviously. Judge Finkle slams the gavel and rules that Ellison can have some bail, and maybe a little bond. Blah. The defense moves for an immediate trial. The prosecution whines about that for a minute or two. Yawn. Ellenor and Helen start bickering about the beast of burden. Then they bicker about the court date. Then they bicker about each other's intentions. The judge yawns. His jaw cracks, he yawns so wide. The Emperor takes a beauty nap. The Senator grows a beard. Finally, someone with a gavel makes a decision and sets the court date for September 24. Then he tries to adjourn, except of course Helen won't just let it go; of course she has other points to argue; of course her eye make-up still looks like the one-armed man from Twin Peaks applied it while whacked out on Valium.

Helen states she thinks that Ellenor is guilty of witness tampering, or worse, "obstruction of justice." Ellenor's witty response: "What?" Well, the prosecution has been unable to interview key witnesses to the crime, people who have been present at the scene and instructed, by Ellenor, not to talk to police or the district attorney's office. Sounds to me like Ellenor's just doing her job, and doing it well. Ellenor blathers on about how Helen is attempting to try her case in the press. Helen objects. Ellenor and Helen keep talking about each other as if they were not standing in the room beside each other. Blah the prosecution this, dee the defense that, blah blob blah they are roommates for heaven's sake. Oh, the judge hails Helen back into the real courtroom. Then he asks which witnesses they are arguing so vehemently about. Helen: "Mrs. Ellison and Allison Ellison." Has DEK been reading too many nursery rhymes? He couldn't think of another name that might perhaps not be a within a vowel's distance of the surname? Mrs. Ellison enjoys spousal privilege. What about the daughter? The judge threatens Ellenor with action if he "gets wind of tampering." She asserts she's "not doing that." Then he asks if Mrs. Ellison and Allison each have separate attorneys, which they don't, which incites the judge to believing that sarcasm is really the way to go here; it's not. He snarks on and on about accessory charges and asks if Ellenor advised Allison and Marsha that it would be in their best interest to cooperate with the police. Ha! The conversations between Ellenor and the Ellison family are privileged. Pause. The Judge instructs each of the Ellison women to get her own lawyer. And just because Ellenor wants to silence them for the sake of the defendant doesn't mean it's what's best for them. Now, Allison must be made available to the prosecution. Helen never stops. Ever. Each time the judge tries to get up off his bench, she starts yammering again. This time, she wants the deputies to escort Allison Ellison to her office immediately, because, you know, Ellenor's going to poison her mind against Helen or something equally terrible. Blah. The judge goes along with Helen's Police State, especially because it has its own theme song, and Allison is carted off to the prosecution's Chamber of Pain. Before following Allison to the DA's office, Ellenor leans over to Keith: "Do you have any idea what she's going to say?" Keith just looks blankly over toward his daughter. The Emperor walks over to Ellenor, who whispers, "Don't let the media get anywhere near him."

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The Practice

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