Boston Public
Chapter Forty-Four

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"They didn't make probable cause!?" Incredulity, you ask? Yes, indeed. Ronnie has gone to see Steven in the ICU, and he can't believe that the judge has given the prosecutors twenty-four hours to come up with more evidence. They should get a hold of Agent Jack Bauer; he could stretch that out into a whole, long, repetitive season. ("They took Kim? AGAIN!? What. The! Hell!!") All of this comes down to: "They somehow have to convince Jamal to testify against his brother. Otherwise, there's a chance Amaad could be kicked." Steven wonders if it's possible that Jamal might do that, and Ronnie says she's going to try to convince him. Steven sputters. Ronnie suggests that he go home. "I'm stayin'! Harry…admitted to me once…that his greatest fear was that he'd die alone. He doesn't have any family, really. His father's in prison. I won't. Let him die. Alone." Ronnie says she'll stay. Steven says she can stay with Harry, then.

Ronnie goes to the other side of Harry's bed, and says to him, "I was up there on the stand, all ready to lie and say I saw his face, when I asked myself: what would you do? Big mistake, because I knew you'd tell the truth. I'm sorry." Poignant. Except: since when is honesty at all costs, like, a hallmark of a Harry's character? He has many admirable qualities, but I think chief among them is an ability to make judgments on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all factors, and often choosing, in fact, ends over means: he'll lie for Tyronn if it keeps the kid alive, he'll yell at the boy with cancer if it will spur him to apply to college, and so on. Harry, in fact, might lie on the stand to keep a murderer off the streets. But: whatever.

It's a good thing this show has a more or less permanent jail-cell set, because at this point, Ronnie goes there to visit Jamal. She fixes him with a steely glare forged in the Borg Cube. Jamal knows why she's there. "I'm not testifying against my brother. I told you where to find him. That's all I'm saying. Now get out." Here's a question: if there's no tape of the liquor store robbery, and the witnesses can't place Amaad, then what on earth is Jamal in jail for? They need evidence to hold Amaad, but not to hold Jamal? I suppose Jamal confessed to being present at the robbery, but only to Harry, and if those conversations can't be used against Amaad now that Harry is unconscious, they surely can't be used against Jamal either. So, basically: gluh? Ronnie keeps trying to talk, and Jamal keeps interrupting her. She threatens to take him to see Harry in the ICU, and he points out that he didn't do that to Harry and that, in fact, the fact that his brother did it for him is part of the reason it's hard for him to testify. "Man, don't you get that? I don't like what he did, but he did it for me." Little do they both know that Amaad was, once again, saving his own ass when he stabbed Harry, not avenging anything. Ronnie tells Jamal to take responsibility for his role in all of this, because he's one who brought Harry into it in the first place. "What about you? You turned me into the police. That's what set my brother off. Maybe Harry's lying in that bed because of you." Ronnie hits Jamal in the face. No, really, she does. He calls for the guard. Ronnie lowers her voice and says, "You are gonna testify because it's the right thing to do." Jamal says, "Look, I'd give Mr. Senate my blood. I'd give him a kidney. Whatever he needs, I'll give it to him. But I can't give him my brother. I won't." Um…even a brother who doesn't give a crap that he destroyed your once-promising future? I mean, really, how sad is this arc, after everything Jamal has been through, to end up in frigging jail instead of at Williams? It breaks my heart. Kind of.

ICU. Scott comes in and greets Steven and, with less convincing pronunciation than Fyvush Finkel's, prays over Harry in Hebrew. Then he echoes that quip about explaining why he's not wearing a gown. Steven's not in a joking mood, so Scott moves on. "Hey. Brooke came to see me. She's under the impression you blame yourself in part for this. Do you?" Wow, that's a sign of a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor if there ever was one. What's with young black women and pivotal scenes in finales getting cut? Sars, that's where you throw in a link to the series finale of Felicity. ["It's not up yet, as of this writing; I hope a link to the index page will do." -- Sars] Steven does seem to blame himself, so Scott redirects the blame where it belongs: the man who stabbed Harry. "And that man was there," counters Steven, "because Harry was getting into things he should have steered clear of. Like he always has. The reason he's been able to is, because in the end, I always back him." Scott says, "That hardly makes for proximate cause." Steven is not comforted by the fact that he's legally not responsible. In fact, he says, "Scott, cut the legal crap, the fact is I always puff my chest out, while I buck the rules, allow my teachers to be unconventional…if I had set boundaries, he wouldn't be lying here, and I know you know that. If had been a better principal…and look at me now. The school is in crisis, and where am I? I'm not there." Then all the students Steven has ever helped come into the room and give tearful testimonials about how he has positively impacted their lives. Scott says, "Look at you. Holding a teacher's hand so he wouldn't have to die alone. What kind of a leader would waste time doing that?" Steven, crying in earnest now, says, "This one was special to me, Scott. Always has been. Do you think he knew?" Scott says yes, he knew. Harry flatlines. Steven goes into the hall and yells for help. A "crash team" comes in and starts shocking Harry. As usual, when non-ER shows do this, it sucks, even though, as usual, they steal the drums. Scott and Steven watch as the doctors successfully bring Harry back.

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Boston Public

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