The Practice
The Means

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

Aaron is going over his defense with Bobby and Eugene in one of the meeting rooms at the courthouse. Eugene says that Bobby will question Dr. Traub, indicating that it will be "better coming from him." Wouldn't it be better coming from Eugene, instead of having two white guys talking about uncontrollable black male violence? Whatever. Bobby will also take Eugene's testimony, and Eugene will do the closing. Aaron asks, "You don't feel a little funny about this?" Eugene: "Funny? It makes me sick. But let's get the acquittal first." Yeah, you can puke your guts out later. Bobby pipes up all yeah, let's get the acquittal, do what we have to, we're not going to lose.

Back at the office, Myra's travel agent (you remember -- Gracie Kramer, the giant fart?) shows up with her lawyer. Ellenor greets them pleasantly. The giant fart's lawyer tells Ellenor he's advised his client not to say anything. She immediately launches in with, "Listen, young lady, I've been in this business for thirty years and I've never carried liability insurance. Whoever heard of suing your travel agent?" The agent kind of makes me think of a cross between Florence Henderson and Joan Rivers, and if that doesn't make you shudder, it should. Ellenor says that Myra feels her damages are very real. Gracie would like to know what these alleged damages are. Ellenor: "Inconvenience, fraudulent representations, and, um...impediment to sexual satisfaction." Gracie looks at her lawyer with some incredulity. Ellenor suggests there may be some room for a settlement. Gracie says, "Not the skinniest of a chance." Ellenor says Gracie can't deny that there were foul-ups on the honeymoon. Gracie: "Can I tell you something? When I went on my honeymoon, my husband Herschel, may he rest in peace, never made a big deal out of sex. We talked, we played canasta, we'd go for a stroll, we really got to know each other. There was still time for love, but it wasn't the be-all and end-all that these kids make it out to be. No. No settlement. And if you're their advisor, Miss Frutt, you tell them what really matters in a relationship." She turns to her lawyer, who appears to be about to say something, and shushes him with a gesture. She hustles out, and her lawyer pops something -- aspirin, antacid, who knows -- and suggests to Ellenor that maybe they can work it out. Ellenor nods and says that would be nice.

Bobby's taking Traub's testimony. He asks him to explain the science of urban anthropology. Traub says that it's the study of human interaction in the inner city. He says that he has studied phenomena like the riots that occurred in Brighton, and that he authored a paper called "Group Contagion and Racial Violence," which was published in The Journal of Urban Studies. The prosecutor is listening to all this with interest, and when she hears this, she looks pissed. Bobby asks Traub to read from that paper, and hands him the journal. Traub reads, "It is the finding of this study that group violence often triggers a contagious behaviour within the African-American community, which aggravates in African-American males an innate pathological tendency to commit acts of violence." Bobby says that's a pretty bold statement, and wonders if the doctor isn't worried about being labelled a racist. Traub responds that his only concern is scientific study and that racism plays no part in it. Oh, yes, I forgot that science is absolutely free and pure of all human biases. Especially anthropology.

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The Practice




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