The Practice
The Candidate, Part II

Episode Report Card
Ragdoll: C | 1 USERS: A+
Twist, shout, then twist again

Helen's Office of Quick and Decisive Pain. The trial picks up after a commercial break separating the first and second parts of the episode. Helen examines her fake files while listening to her television. According to the fake news, the courthouse is already packed with press, and if you didn't get yourself a pass, you are plum out of luck. Okay. The large ten-tonne truck barreling toward me is carrying a huge load of signs. All of them say, in bold Century Gothic font: We. Get. It. Yes, this is a high-profile case. Yes, the Senator is pleading for his life. Yes, there is more here than meets the eye. Any. Way. Helen packs up her briefcase while the camera pauses for a moment on Hunky DA, grimacing. We focus on the fake reporter giving his fake commentary: Blah the entire city is asking the same question, blah what was Senator Ellison really thinking when he fired the gun, blah was the shooting an act of vengeance or was he truly defending his wife. The Drama of His Defenseless Women's melody is droll in the background.

The Firm. Senator Ellison and his wife Marsha are watching the same newscast. Ellenor comes into the conference room where they are seated and says, "Let's go." The two get up to leave.

The Fake Courthouse of Immeasurable Pain. An elevator dings. This spurs the cameras into slow motion. Reporters fling themselves at the opening doors like wedding guests throwing rice at the happy couple. The immaculate head of Emperor Rod emerges. Ellenor Frutt, Senator Ellison, and Marsha Ellison follow him. They all wear expressions of extreme reverence. From the other direction, like gladiators in a Roman arena, the prosecution floats in from the other side. Armed with only their wit and wonder, Team Prosecution is looking for blood. The reporters rush around them. You can only hear from a distance -- or at least that's what they would have us believe, as the sound is muted and hollow. Cameras flash and voices scream as the two sides enter the courtroom, ready for battle.

Helen stares toward the bench before standing. Her bony knees are knocking. She laces her string-bean fingers behind her in the small of her back, and begins: "This trial is not about who shot and killed James McNown." She addresses the jury. The defendant did that -- there is no disputing that. No, this trial is about why Senator Ellison shot and killed the man. The evidence is conclusive: Ellison discovered his wife in bed with the Dead Man; he became enraged, and then shot him. Blah he destroyed the evidence, dee he covered up the crime, blah he tried to get away with it. Helen: "There's an old saying in the medical profession. When you hear hoof beats, don't think zebra." Um, okay…but if I were picking analogies, I probably would have picked one that was at least a little bit relevant. I'm pretty sure there are neither wild horses nor zebras roaming the streets of Boston on a regular basis. ["And what the hell has the medical profession got to do with anything? I mean, I get it, and yet…huh?" -- Sars] Helen explains her rationale; instead of looking for some far-fetched diagnosis, one should just see the obvious. Because drawing wild horses and zebras into the conversation is the easiest way of, um, stating the obvious. Right. Moving on. The commonwealth will ask the jury to see the facts for what they are: obvious. Uh-huh, okay -- because Helen runs with the truth in every case she tries. Sure. On to Ellenor's opening statements. Blah she agrees with the DA, dee the trial is about why Ellison "fatally wounded" the Dead Man, blah it was Mistaken Self-Defense. Ellenor sets the scene. She talks to the jury in the second person, just so that they'll understand exactly how Senator Ellison felt. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure of a trial. Blah the person you love is being killed blah. It's all very dramatic. Ellenor's evidence, presumably the same evidence Helen's team has access to, will prove that Senator Ellison acted in the best interests of his family. Yawn. Been there. Heard that. Don't believe it. Carry on. The entire case is built on what was in Senator Ellison's mind, on both sides -- it's a hard one to argue. Ellenor finishes and sits down, and Hunky DA whispers something into Helen's ear.

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The Practice




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