Deadline
Red Herring

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Sweet Merciful God, It's Over

Benton calls in a favor with an unnamed lawyer, sheepishly telling him he met a woman and got drunk. "Women and alcohol," the lawyer laughs. "The Benton curse." Remind me how getting lots of women would be considered a bad thing for one as repellent as Wallace...Benton wants to talk strategy and applauds the lawyer for not questioning his innocence. "It doesn't matter whether I think you did it or not," he says, kicking Grammar in the groin. "As long as you know you didn't." Benton insists he didn't, but admits he can't give a minute-by-minute clear account of what happened. They stare at each other, realizing Benton could be in big trouble. As the plot plods along at a snail's pace, I start screaming at the television, only to realize that the Cancellation ghost isn't watching, having long ago whipped out a pocket TV to watch Max Evans do shirtless pull-ups on Roswell.

At the fifteenth precinct, our pal Sammy Klein is grilling Wallace as a female cop leans against the back wall with sullen distaste. That is how women should react to Benton. Benton giggles that his final memory from that night is this thought: "Ooh, boy, my cleaning lady's going to be pissed off." Then, he says, he passed out on the floor. Klein looks vaguely disgusted at having to delve into Wallace's sexual escapades. He asks for blood and DNA tests. "Oh dear, do I have to pleasure myself into a Dixie cup? I don't know if I'm up for that," Wallace says, trying too hard for a laugh. The female cop snipes that he could just confess and save them a lot of time. I'm so glad cops would rather made snap judgments than dig deep into the evidence. "Who did it?" "I dunno...let's thumb-wrestle. If you win, Benton did it." Meanwhile, Benton's sassing the cop. "Oh, honey, I wouldn't run from hard work. It builds character," Wallace sing-songs. "It hasn't helped you any," the cop spits. Klein tries to calm everyone down. "Sorry, I get sensitive when I'm a suspect for murder," Wallace says defensively. He then suggests they investigate Barry Lambino, the abusive mobster boyfriend. Benton's lawyer demands that they be allowed to run tests in an independent lab. "Valerie Dunne should've had a cab waiting for her," muses the female cop, grouchily. "Of course, a gentleman would've called a cab." Wallace giggles that Valerie wouldn't have gone home with him if she thought him a gentleman. No one laughs. Out of sheer boredom, I start making my own newsprint out of paper towels and duct tape.

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Deadline

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