The Practice
The Means

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

In jail, Aaron holds his wife's hand and tells Eugene, "Please, tell me you're not serious." Eugene says he's not necessarily recommending it. Interesting how he's the one assigned to give Aaron the news about this brainstorm of Bobby's. Aaron wonders how humiliating him in front of his friends and family and pretty much the entire world is supposed to help him. Eugene suggests it might help keep him out of jail. His wife asks Eugene to explain the deviancy argument to her again. Eugene says they would argue that he has a pathological tendency toward violence. She says, with some outrage, "Like a 'wild monkey' defense?" Well, yeah, that's pretty much what it boils down to. Eugene says again that he's not recommending it. Aaron wants to know why he's even presenting it. Eugene reminds him that he's facing a potential homicide conviction, and even if they manage to get it chopped down to involuntary manslaughter, he could receive a five-year sentence. Mrs. Wilton says she still doesn't understand the "group contagion" part. Eugene explains that, instead of arguing that Aaron was defending others, when the fighting got started, he went on automatic pilot, and he lacked the power to stay out of it. Because, of course, black men are naturally violent. I successfully restrain the impulse to gouge my eyes out. Again. Aaron asks if Eugene really expects him to testify to that. Yup, more or less. Mrs. Wilton is concerned that if he testifies, the jury will learn about his previous conviction. But that's okay, because now that supports their defense. Aaron's not impressed with that. Eugene reiterates that the strategy has changed. Aaron renders his decision: "No." Mrs. Wilton seems to think they should consider it. He says, "Baby, no! How am I supposed to walk back into work after I say I'm some kind of pathological...?" She replies, "You don't get to walk back into work if you're in prison. What about our son? Our home? Our life together? What about all that?" He can't believe she wants him to pretend to be a social deviant. She doesn't know what else to do. Get some new lawyers, maybe?

Whoosh. Somebody's telling Bobby, Eugene, and the Wiltons it's not a strong case, but it's "makeable." I'm guessing this is Dr. Alvin Traub. Well, I'm not really guessing, since I know from later episodes that it is. He suggests that the times when Aaron has been pulled over and falsely accused will bolster the case. Eugene points out that every black man in America has that history. Traub reiterates that it's not a strong case, but all they need is reasonable doubt. Traub's free to testify tomorrow; all he needs is the chance to interview Aaron, and ten grand in advance. Traub sits down in front of Aaron and suggests that it would be helpful if Aaron could think of any other horrible things he's done. Aaron looks at Eugene, who looks like he wishes he could crawl into the floor. Thank god it's time for some commercials. This storyline is starting to make me long for Myra.

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The Practice

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