The Practice
The Candidate, Part II

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

Blah. The Senator also wants a press conference before he's taken into custody. Those are his terms, and he orders Ellenor to take it to the DA. Ellenor asks Bobby and Jimmy to take Allison and Marsha out the back door. The Senator seethes: "Why?" She. Just. Needs. A. Second. Wow, Ellenor has certainly perfected that clenching your teeth in anger while you talk voice. Bobby hauls them off, leaving the Senator alone with his friend, who sits down at the table and says, "If there is anything you are more committed to than your political career, it is your daughter. Is she taking the rap for you, or have you been taking the fall for her all along?" He doesn't answer the question, just repeats his plea to plead guilty. Ellenor wants an answer. Keith whispers, "Make the deal."

Helen's Office Where They Make Deals of Pain. Bobby, sigh, brings them the deal. Bobby, sigh, throws in the part about the press conference. Helen, sigh, thinks he thinks she's a big idiot. Then she accuses him of orchestrating the entire ordeal. He's offended. She throws him out. It's War of the Roses, television-style. Alan chastises Helen. Then he asks Bobby to wait outside for a second. Then Hunky DA lays out all of their cards for Helen, and they do not look good: a charismatic, persuasive defendant; no eyewitnesses; another person taking credit for the crime; face it, they are screwed. They'd be crazy to walk away from the deal, and they can't risk a straight appeal. Hunky DA is going to accept the deal. He walks out to confer with the Emperor.

Blah fake reporters report the plea.

Blah The Firm watches the news and wonders aloud, "Hm, what's the plea?"

Blah the fake reporters say, "It's a manslaughter conviction."

No. I'm not kidding. That's actually what happened.

The Courtroom. Judge Finkle looks over the deal. He asks the defendant to rise. They go through all that official court stuff. Everyone understands. The gavel is pounded. The judge states that Ellison can be escorted to his press area by the security guards, and then into custody. The matter is adjourned. Or so you'd think. Ellenor wants to know the truth. Keith remains mute about it, preferring to brush her off instead.

Helen complains to the media about the outcome. She should really stop her whinnying and moaning.

Senator Ellison walks up to the podium. He "agrees with Ms. Gamble that this is a terrible day." Then he explains that Allison tried to mislead the jury. He maintains that the story is exactly as he confessed in the first conference. The camera pans back behind the podium where Marsha and Ellenor are standing. The attorney whispers, "You think you're helping Allison?" Pause. "She's going to end up as another teenage suicide." Now, in what universe did DEK think that was a good argument to make? "And you know it." Pause. "And if she is the shooter. I am going to eventually prove it." Wow, Ellenor's strong-arm technique is pretty pathetic. It's more like one of Bobby's arms flapping through the wind then it actually is threatening. She severs any legal representation with the daughter. Marsha: "Do you think if Allison did this I'd stay quiet?" Ellenor doesn't know. The Senator drones on and on in the background. Ellenor thinks Marsha might not want her daughter to ruin her entire life because of an affair she had. Marsha says she never had an affair. Ellenor snarks, "Excuse me?" Then Marsha admits, under attorney-client privilege, that she was the one who murdered the Dead Man. That it was Keith who was having the affair. That Keith is gay.

Now, I know it's not prudent to investigate the victim, but don't you think, in their zealousness to find out whether or not Marsha was having an affair, that they might have, well, checked out McNown? Figured out he was gay? At least, oh, I don't know, looked through his apartment or something? But no, that might have been logical, or at least probable -- no, here on The Practice DEK just feels it necessary to jerk the audience from one plot twist to the next like a fifteen-year-old joy-riding with his parents' stick-shift car for the first time. Pathetic. Keith and Jim McNown were in the bed that night. That's why they found no powder burns on Keith; that's why they found no semen on Mrs. Ellison. Yawn. Helen didn't trace metal her hands or test her for powder burns. Now the information that Marsha actually committed the crime is hidden behind privilege, and Keith is going to jail for a crime he didn't commit. Just like The Fonz. Just like Scott Wallace. Just like every other damn defendant on this show. Apparently, the Dead Man wanted to go public with the affair. That's why Keith said he didn't want to be humiliated. See, if McNown was going to go public about the affair, someone should have known he was gay. The cops could have at least figured it out. Instead, they figured it out the way Marsha wanted them to; they just had the wrong spouse. At the end of Marsha's speech, the Senator's voice comes back into the scene; his commitment to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will never wane. He'll be back, don't you worry; he'll be back, and Lord, that's what we're all afraid of.

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The Practice




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