The Practice
The Means

Episode Report Card
Deborah: D+ | Grade It Now!
Written by: David E. MachiaKelley

The lawyers are at the office, watching news coverage of the trial. The reporter is claiming that the defense strategy is risky but the team must believe it's necessary. She surmises that the team must think that, since racism will be a potential factor in the jury's decision, why try to beat it -- why not use it. Eugene says quietly that he thinks they hit that nail on the head. Bobby claims it isn't that simple. He says, "Look, I am not going to pretend that I am proud of this defense. But how is that different from what we did in the Braun case? We argued that the guy had a Jewish right to revenge." Eugene thinks this is totally different; in the Braun case, the guy avenged the death of his daughter, and they argued he was acting out of some kind of moral outrage, but there's no moral component to the arguments in the current case. Bobby says he knows Eugene is angry, and he also knows why Rebecca is out with what he calls the "blue flu." I've never heard this expression, but I get what he means. He insists, "But this is what we do, Eugene!" Eugene's had enough and he explodes with anger: "Hey! I know what we do! We get people off. We're good lawyers. We come up with the best defenses. There's nothing we won't stoop to! We're the best! I know what we do." Eugene paces and glares. Lindsay, Ellenor, and Jimmy sit there looking uncomfortable. Thank God for the commercials.

Bobby and Eugene leave the office for the courtroom. Out on the street, Bobby asks Eugene if he's ready. Eugene says he is. Bobby tells him that for them to have any chance, Eugene has to go all out. Eugene knows that. Geez, Bobby, he's not five. Bobby then has the gall to tell Eugene that he understands how difficult this is. Yeah, he knows all about what it's like to deal with racism pretty much nonstop. Eugene says nothing but moves his head in that gesture that's the equivalent of eye-rolling, except you use your whole head. With any luck, you get what I'm driving at here. They get in the car. Miraculously, the control freak lets Eugene drive.

More news coverage: Jimmy flips the channels around. All the reporters talking about how this defense strategy was successful in the Reginald Denny beating. Jimmy turns the TV off and says dismissively: "It ain't dull here." Lindsay says, "Nope, fun place." Whatever. In a meeting room, Ellenor's got everybody there: Myra, Gracie, and her pill-popping lawyer. Ellenor suggests that the other party might want to submit to binding arbitration; Myra opens her yap to say that she doesn't want arbitration, she wants her day in court. The closed captioning translates part of the previous dialogue as "binding ashtrays." You can see how I'm struggling here, between the crappy sound mix and the even crappier closed captioning. Ellenor suggests to Myra that that approach might mean spending a dollar to save fifty cents. Myra reiterates wanting her day in court, and says that she's not afraid of a trial, and wants to know why Ellenor is. Please, somebody clock this insufferable termagant now. Ellenor asks whether she would consider small claims court. Myra doesn't understand; doesn't Ellenor want to handle this? Ellenor says quietly that to be perfectly honest, she thinks the case is a bit of a nuisance suit. Grace mutters, "Tell me about it." Her lawyer tells her not to inflame the situation. She starts whining, telling him to be quiet and that you fight fire with fire. Ellenor says this doesn't have to be a fight. Myra says of course it's a fight: "Why do you think we hired lick opposing counsel's earlobe?" Ellenor stands up and says she's going to need some time alone with her client. As opposing counsel heads out the door, Ellenor says quietly , "And I apologize, because I know this now means you have to be alone with yours."

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The Practice




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