The Practice
Judge Knot

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Judge Thyself

The Courthouse Of Cassell's Fake Pain. As Bobby sets his coat down, the fake client Cassell/Donegan says, "Good morning." Bobby totally ignores him. Now, there's a bit of Rod emotion: the silent treatment. What is he, twelve? The clerk calls, "All rise." They do. The judge enters. And says, "Good morning." Because he's jovial. In the matter of Commonwealth v. Cassell. Blah in limine, blah jury selection, blah legal terms blah. Bobby jumps up: "Your Honour. If I may." Judge Fleming jokes with him: "You've a lot to add these days, it seems, Mr. Donnell." Rod then moves to waive the jury and request a bench trial. Ah-ha! Judge Fleming takes off his glasses! He's guilty. He is a dirty old man in a robe. Oh, wait, this is The Practice; of course he has to be guilty, just so that Bobby can be so very innocent. Right. The judge asks if Mr. Cassell understands what waiving his rights to a jury actually means. Blah fate, blah his hands blah. Then the judge asks if Helen objects. She doesn't. Fine! Opening statements will come after lunch! It's all too, too easy.

Outside the courtroom. Bobby walks with Helen. He asks, "Are you hating this as much as me?" She responds, "More." He replies, "Not possible." She says, "Trust me." He grabs her bony arm and pulls her off into a corner. He moans, "Can I? Trust you, I mean?" Blah no good guys, blah upset, blah who are the bad guys, blah poor Rod blah. Helen: "It was a lot easier when they all wore black and white hats." What the hell does that mean? Blah obscure reference to old Westerns blah. There are so many problems with that statement, and I honestly don't have time to get into them here. Just realize that I'm fuming. Bobby shakes his head. Helen apologizes for pulling him onto the floor. They stare longingly into one another's eyes. Rod notices Judge Fleming going into the bathroom. The music starts up to let us know Bobby's end of the "sting" operation is about to begin.

The Bathroom Of Rod's Pain. Bobby pulls out the clicker and clicks it just once. Then he washes his hands. Ah, metaphors. Make them stop. It hurts me. It really does. The judge walks out of the stall and begins to wash his own hands. Bobby greets him, asks if he enjoyed the dinner from the other night. Judge Fleming responds, "Oh very much so, very much!" Bobby says, "Rumour has it that you're up for a circuit appointment." The judge laughs. He tells Bobby not to put too much stock in rumours. Again, WE GET IT. Bobby takes a deep breath. They continue to talk about the "rumour." Just when the judge is about to leave, Bobby says, "I've been weighing my options in the case before you." Pause. "And to be candid. The D.A.'s offered a reasonable deal. I don't know if it's the right --" The judge's face changes. Completely. He looks angered. Totally peeved. He interrupts, "Mr. Donnell. Are you asking me to handicap this case for you?" Bobby says he's thinking out loud. The judge admonishes him. He wants Bobby to keep it to himself next time, because otherwise, their idle chit-chat might seem like a "highly improper ex parte" discussion. Rod tries to mutter an apology, but the judge refuses to hear him any further. He yells, "We're done!" And storms out of the bathroom, leaving Bobby there all by himself to wallow in totally screwing up the "sting." Rod screams, "Dammit!" And punches the air. Oh. He's. So. Tortured.

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The Practice




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