ACCIDENTS ARE UNINTENTIONAL
Alicia and Will are engaged in a court-ordered mediation, the kind where everybody stays in a hotel and meets in a central area; the mediation is administrated by Senator Clay Davis from The Wire, due almost entirely to the breadth of his moral character but also to the fact that this show will eventually cast every single person that was on The Wire. The res in which we find ourselves medias, bouncing back and forth between both rooms, establishes opposing counsel (Lisa "Cuddy" Edelstein as Celeste Serrano) as playing hardball, quite familiar with Will Gardner's tactics, and both sides trying to exhaust the mediator.
Celeste: "This was an unfortunate accident..."
Will: "I know Celeste works under the mistaken impression that if she says something enough times it'll make it true, but this wasn't an accident. This was fraud."
We skip around in time a little bit, throughout the case, which is one of the good things about this episode. There are some junky, awkward bits, some telegraphing and a fair amount of show-don't-telling that makes the now-classic "Alicia is confronted by moral bendiness" denouement pretty much unearned, but the guest stars are great and the cases themselves are fairly interesting. And no amount of slippery-storytelling would ever outweigh the stupid things CBS is doing to our timeslot anyway, so be grateful for what you get.
Will introduces text from a deposition, and then we jump around inside that deposition and out again, and it's easy to follow but not boring: The plaintiff, Maggie, was in a car accident four years ago which gave her a little misaligned-vertebrae bummer called "Degenerative Disc Disorder," which means chronic pain that basically ruined her life. (Will's constantly like, "Is it too painful to go on, Maggie? Are you hurting too much to continue talking right now?" which makes everybody's eyes roll but especially Celeste's.) A Dr. Farland suggested implanting a medical device called a Spinal Cord Stimulator, or SCS. He showed her a list of 12 FDA-approved options, and she assumed that he'd implanted one of them, but after the pain came back threefold she noticed the invoice for the device: The inventor was one Dr. Farland. He'd implanted his own SCS model in her, she says, like "a guinea pig."