We fade up on Amy walking Lauren to school, and the kid's in full-on brat mode already, whining about how Amy had to buy "turkey cookies" for her class's Thanksgiving Feast instead of making them, like a proper mother. Instead of telling Lauren to shut up and be grateful that she's got any cookies at all, Amy apologizes. Lauren whines that she hates Thanksgiving. Amy tries to convince her that they're "going to have great time," with the turkey, and the pie and the parade. Lauren whips out the Guilt and mopes that all the rest of the kids in her class have a "normal family," and wonders why her father can't come to Thanksgiving dinner. Because, you know, no one in Connecticut gets divorced, and all the little kids in Lauren's class are teasing her for coming from a broken home, and for having a mother who has the audacity to go to work, instead of staying home to do housework in a ruffled tulle apron and high heels. Yeah, I'm so sure. Amy looks pained. She explains that just because things are different, that doesn't necessarily mean they won't have a nice holiday. Lauren just gives her a mopey, puppy dog look, and shuffles all forlornly into school.
Over in Amy's courtroom, she's processing a legal change of name for a guy in a Star Trek costume. Surprise, he wants to change his name to "James T. Kirk." While Trekkie jokes are always both refreshingly original and super timely (except for the part where they totally are not), I'm a bit confused as to why a family court judge would have anything to do with the name change of an adult. Without kids. Or a family. Amy signs off on Mr. Kirk's name change, and tells him to "live long and prosper." He echoes the sentiment and flashes her the Spock hand signal thingie, which she returns in kind. Oh, God, this is going to be a very long hour, isn't it?
Credits. I rush to the kitchen to grab a bottle of Cuervo Gold and a lime.
Amy and Bruce parade through the Halls of Justice, discussing the docket for that afternoon, and how very depressing it is to have to preside over incest cases and child abuse cases and custody cases during the holiday season. Yes, why don't people just curtail the pain and agony of their lives so that civil servants can have a nice Thanksgiving? The oppressed and abused can be so inconsiderate!
In the courtroom, Amy presides over a case in which two fratty guys have admitted to beating their neighbor's cat with baseball bats and then setting them on fire. You know, this show has been accused of being too hard on gun owners, but frat boys get no mercy from the Judging Amy writers, either. They're raping girls, and ritualistically killing animals, and looking smug and unapologetic all the time. I think this is because the show's writers are contractually obligated to fully explore each and every stereotype in The Writer's Big Book of Stereotypes: Common Preconceptions to Learn and Know before the end of the season. I can't wait to see the episode with the sassy African-American grandma! Or the tight ass working mother with no regard for her children because she's so busy climbing the corporate ladder! Or feisty Hispanic chick with a smart mouth! Oh, wait, we're already seen all of those. In less than a year. Anyway, Fratty and Frattier were angry because the neighbors broke up one of their keggers. But they're sorry now! Sometimes, cats just get set on fire, you know, man? Want some Keystone? Fratty compares the Cat Incident to "road rage," as Frattier jumps in and says that "it's not like it was appropriate, but [they] were pissed!" Dude! DCF's counsel smirks at her second chair, since Frattier just wrapped up the case for her as neatly as if he'd packaged it in an Abercrombie and Fitch bag with a big red bow. Amy asks Fratty and Frattier if they've ever seen a professional, to deal with their "anger issues." The boys just kind of stare at her. I expect them to explain that seeing a psychologist would interfere with their intramural rugby practice, but they save their breath. Amy asks how torturing the cats made them feel. Frattier waggles his noggin and kind of grins and says "it's not like it was it any fun," and Fratty gives him a total "shut up!" look and tries to undo the damage by telling Amy again that what they did was stupid, and they know it was stupid, and they're stupid and please, don't send them to jail. Amy asks for more time to think about the case.