Jason walks into the lion's den, though the lions are all quietly solicitous. Mean Partner Number One launches into a speech: "Jason, no one can deny what you've meant to this firm." Payne picks up on the whole past tense thing and starts to panic. MP#1 continues to jaw on about the need for stability, but Jason's thumping heartbeat has started to take over the soundtrack. Jason protests, "I'm doing better," but MP#1 tells him, "Sometimes the perception of weakness is enough." Jason can't believe he's getting fired and says, "I've given seven years to this firm." The camerawork goes handheld again and Mean Partner Number Two, a.k.a. Frank, gets up to start ushering him out the door while MP#1 goes completely off into the deep end of the Pool of Implausible Plot Developments and starts actually YELLING at Jason for having a breakdown.
In the elevator -- voted Worst Place on Earth To Have a Panic Attack -- Jason desperately pushes at the buttons and sort of flings himself around the tiny space. Yikes. Rather affecting.
He busts out the door of the building, breathing deeply. Nicole runs out after him, asking what happened. He tells her he just got fired. She tells him she didn't know, but that she isn't surprised by any of this. He picks up on the implication and asks, "About what? About me falling to pieces or about me getting canned?" She tells him, "Take your pick. I've been with you sixty hours a week for three years, you don't think I've noticed? The hyperventilating, the shaking?" This is a bit of a comeuppance for Jason, who thought he was King of Invisible Panic Attack Land and starts worrying about everyone having noticed "it." Nicole tells him to stop worrying about everyone else, but Jason turns and walks away from her: "God, I'm crazy and unemployed." He neglects to add to that he is also a perfect candidate for a wrongful termination suit, but who am I to ever quit suspending my disbelief.
Commercials, thank the good lord.
Establishing shot of an apartment complex at night. Jason goes to answer the knocking at the door and Schultz barges in the apartment. "Oh, I like it. Did you do all this yourself?" referring to the completely bare space. Jason whines, "I was sleeping. It's two in the morning!" Cry, baby, cry. Schultz launches into a riff about watching Animal Planet and how giraffes only sleep two hours a day. Schultz, to Jason's dismay, then tells him he heard he got canned and throws him a file in thanks "for bailing me out. Three hundred potential clients in there, buddy." The file contains Hawkins and Bates's caseload, and Schultz got it from a secretary there. Jason is rather slow to pick up on what Schultz is suggesting: that he try to represent the people suing Hawkins's clients, for "a little payback against your old firm." Jason tells Schultz that he'll be "at a new firm within the month" and Schultz has a cute little outburst of gibberish when he hears Jason jawing on about Big Time Law. Jason, not content to just continue along the flowered path to Breakdown Number Two, decides to lecture Schultz a bit for good measure: "The way you practice law, that whole show at the deposition, that's not genius. It's lazy." I beg to disagree with both adjectives. It's actually stupid. Schultz takes offense: "Okay, so you know me now? Right. I mean, you know what it's like trying to keep your mouth shut but you can't, right?" I wish these ladies would get the panties untwisted and just get on with it. Schultz leaves, and Jason looks a bit chastened. So chastened that he decides to sit around in his underwear swigging orange juice next to a lonely lamp in his bare apartment. I don't know about you, but I prefer to watch the nighttime struggles of people with darker tendencies, tendencies less "orange juice" and more "whiskey."