The Practice
The Case Of Harland Bassett

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Ragdoll: B- | 1 USERS: A+
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Humble Harland

I'm embarrassed to admit that I taped some of Good Will Hunting during the commercial breaks. Matt Damon's only redeeming acting credential was his role in Dogma. Okay, that and the fact that he's gorgeous. I don't care if he and Ben Affleck didn't really write this movie; he's still a beautiful man.

The Courthouse Of Annie's Charge Against Pain. Mr. Mullen wheels Annie into the courtroom. Mrs. Mullen, Jimmy, Harland, and Eugene follow. Before they enter the courtroom, Eugene taps on Harland's shoulder and says, "While she's testifying, I do not want you to move." Not at all? No, not at all. They'll need every juror's eyes on Annie. Harland hopes, "We're almost there, aren't we?" Come on -- they haven't even finished putting on their case, let alone gotten past the defense putting on their case. Harland has a severe case of putting-the-cart-before-the-horse-itis.

Annie Get Your Pain. The young woman describes how her illness started. She threw up some, thought it was the stomach flu, and then passed out on the bus to school. Harland's feet are anchored to the floor: "What happened?" Annie says the doctors told her that her liver stopped working. "And then?" She got sick. And then she got even sicker. And then she got even sicker. Her eyes and skin turned yellow, and she lost a lot of weight. The Mullens look on in earnest toward their daughter. Go Annie! Go Annie! Go Annie Mullen! You can do it! You to can join the National Ballet School. Oh, sorry, wrong movie. Yawn. Back to Annie: she found a new liver; they performed a transplant, but her body rejected the organ. It took a long time to find another liver because she wasn't as high on the transplant list. The doctors all thought she'd reject the second liver too. Harland: "Is everything going to be okay now?" His feet are irons of steel and the floor is a magnet, a powerful magnet, holding him deeply in place. Annie doesn't know if she's going to be okay. Her body is still having some problems. She's taking anti-rejection pills and she'll have to take them for the rest of her life. This means she's more susceptible to infection and cancer. What if she needs a third transplant? She's too far down the list -- they probably wouldn't give her another liver. Now, in certain cases, couldn't they take a piece of the parents' liver and transplant that into her body? Apparently, the organ, because it is in a growing stage anyway, grows normally, thinking it's supposed to be there in the first place. Maybe at thirteen Annie's already too old. Are there any doctors in the house? No?

Okay, moving on to Rebbie's cross-examination. Blah sorry about your illness blah, blah everyone in the room wishes you a complete recovery dee, blah we can take a break blah, did the doctors ask about the other drugs? Yes. What was her answer: no, except for the other antibiotics. Blah they were asking about other causes blah. Rebbie: "You also told them you hadn't drunk alcohol, right, Annie?" Yes. Rebbie brings up a slumber party where Annie and her friends busted open a liquor cabinet and went to town. Oops. Annie didn't say anything because she was afraid of getting in trouble. Oh, please -- the girl had, like, three sips, like that's going to cause liver failure. Nicolas Cage drank straight for days in Leaving Las Vegas, years even, and it took him forever to die. Not that he's the standard for judgment, but please, Rebbie, this is lame, even for you -- you're reaching like Inspector Gadget on this one. The Lament Of The Liquored-Up Lassies reinforces how the line of questioning is simply pathetic. Go Annie! He moves on to establish that maybe there were other causes for her liver failure: infection, viruses, or other medication. Harland re-directs: "Annie, how much alcohol have you had in your life?" Not much. Two sips of vodka, and she hated it. And did she tell the truth about all the other questions the doctors asked? Yes. Team Annie pulls ahead of the evil Non-Daddy Non-Warbuckses sitting at the other table. Oh, I'll bet Rebhorn's eating something chewy for dinner, yes, that's right -- he's up for a tasty meal consisting of crow.

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