The Practice
The Deal

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Ragdoll: D+ | Grade It Now!
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Too Many Plots 'R' Us

The courthouse is bustling. Who the hell are all these people? Francis's case is called. Bobby introduces himself and "waives reading." Richard opposes bail and then asks for a finding of "dangerousness." Judge McGough asks the basis for his charge, and the Runt replies, "It's a heinous crime Your Honour. Three days ago, the defendant kidnapped a seven-year-old girl, and has been holding her for ransom." This, of course, incites the Emperor, who wants to know the evidentiary basis for the DA's claims. They do a back-and-forth bit about Lupino's criminal history until the judge halts their otherwise non-engaging, non-momentous discussion by making a preliminary finding of probable cause and remanding Francis without bail. There will be a "dangerousness" hearing three days from now. Gavel whack. Next case. The gallery starts to mill about as Bobby leans into his client and says, "I'll meet you downstairs in half an hour." Which doesn't really make a lot of sense if Francis is being held without bail. I suppose the Emperor's going to accompany him to the county jail?

As Bobby leaves the courtroom, a barrage of reporters start to ask questions about Alessa Engel and Francis's involvement in the case. A mawkish blonde woman attacks Bobby with a photo; it's the mother. Oh, the mother emotes. Oh, the girl is so cute. Oh, The Symphony Of Sad And Pathetic Mothers grazes like a cow in the field. Bobby apologizes because he "understands how she's feeling." You know, being married with a baby on the way turns Emperor Rod into Emperor Empathetic. In the real world, hundreds of children go missing every day. It's tragic. In fact, "tragic" can't even begin to define how awful it must be to lose a child. It is just a shame that the gravity of the situation is mocked by DEK's horrible dialogue and ridiculous grandstanding. The mother drones on about her child. She cries out, "She was supposed to be in the school play. But they had to cancel it because -- she's. Not. There." That's because emotional people only speak in sentences that consist of tense, single-syllable words.

Mr. Engel drags his wife away to droning of a clarinet. Apparently, last week, mother and daughter sewed the costume together. Sigh. And in the two days or so she had in between sewing the costume and actually having her daughter go missing, Mrs. Engel had the occasion to use the entire role of thirty-six pictures, just in time to take the whole package to Wal-Mart to have it developed. Because the picture of your child in a lion's costume is so helpful to the police when they're looking for a lost/kidnapped child. You know, because so many people will be able to recognize the girl through the face paint, fake whiskers, and felt ears. The cameras flash. The mother wails. The lawyers disappear into the elevator.

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The Practice

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