Sniffle. Ragdoll has a bad cold; don't stand too close or she might sneeze on you. This week's episode of The Practice opens with Pinocchio busting her bad wooden self through swinging doors at the police station. She's wearing a navy suit with a pink mohair sweater -- Wardrobe's attempt to calm the severity of her appearance. "When did this happen?" she barks. "Eight days ago," The Cop Who Isn't McGuire responds. "Why didn't the hospital notify the police?" asks the frail wooden character. "The attending doctor wasn't convinced a crime was committed." Going along with the general ruse to keep the audience in suspense, these two are walking through the station toward an interview room. The detective continues, "He wanted her to heal first before asking any tough questions." Heal from what? Who? Where? Pinocchio wants to make sure the suspect has been read her rights, which she has -- twice. "And she didn't want a lawyer?" the district attorney asks. The detective confirms; the girl hasn't asked for a lawyer, and in fact, she hasn't said a single word, to anyone -- she's not talking.
Pinocchio enters the interview room with her clumsy puppet movements. A young blonde girl is sitting at the table looking quite distraught. "Hi Jenny," the prosecutor says as she moves around to sit at the table in front of her; she introduces herself and states that she's from the DA's office. Pinocchio then starts talking about how she knows Jenny must be scared, even terrified: "I think I can help you, but you are going to have to trust me first." All Jenny wants to do is leave. "And I will make sure you do," Pinocchio confirms, "but first, I want you to tell me what happened. Now, Dr. Matthews said that you tried to kill yourself, is that true?" Her nose grows, ever so slightly, just barely noticeable to the eye. Jenny nods, confirming that she did try to kill herself, keeping her eyes lowered so the camera has a nice shot of her cool-looking hair all rolled back into barrettes, all except for these cute fuzzy pieces flying away by her ears. Now, I'm no ear fanatic, but this girl has cute ears. They just sort of stick out. Pinocchio keeps prodding; she wants to know why the girl tried to kill herself, gently taunting her into telling the whole story: "I'll tell you what I know and you can fill in the blanks, all right?" Apparently, Jenny's mother chucked her out of the house the day before she tried to take her own life. Her mother was livid because the young woman was pregnant. "Why was your mother so upset?" the lawyer asks. Jenny replies, "She's always saying don't go and get knocked up. It was a big thing for her, so when she found out, she kind of went berzerk and stuff. Told me my life would be ruined. I don't know." Pinocchio wonders about Jenny's dad, what did he think? Well, Jenny doesn't have a dad, her mother doesn't even know who he is or was, and then Jenny postulates, "I think that she got knocked up. That I was probably the baby that ruined her life." The camera has tightly closed in on both women's faces. The puppet wonders if Jenny tried to kill herself because she was kicked out of the house. "Probably," the girl replies, and then asks, "Are you really going to help me?" When Pinocchio responds, "You have my word," creak, there goes the nose again. Her wooden legs carry her around to sit down beside Jenny, talking the whole time about how the girl had the good sense to get to a hospital after stabbing herself: "Did you then decide you wanted to live?" Jenny said that she just wanted the pain to stop. Now, Pinocchio wonders, did Jenny really think that stabbing herself in the stomach would kill her? Jenny shrugs, she doesn't know. Instantly, the little wooden girl starts talking about her own teenage years, about how she had an abortion when she was nineteen, how she was way too young to have a baby, and that she tried to keep all the pain inside, but it was hurting just too much. Up perks the young woman, believing she's found a kindred spirit, or at least someone who understands what was happening to her, and she promptly spills the beans. See, she doesn't see Pinocchio's nose growing. "When you stabbed yourself in the stomach, you were only trying to kill the baby, weren't you?" Tears are streaming down Jenny's face, and the district attorney keeps pressing her: "You thought if you could make the baby go away you could make things better, right?" A wooden hand is patting Jenny on the back, "It's okay sweetheart. I'm going to help you. But first I'm going to send someone in to write down the things we talked about. And I'm going to help you get out. I promise." Just when you thought it couldn't get any bigger -- the nose grows! Again!
Cut to the detective watching the puppet's Emmy-award-winning performance. They are all stunned as she hustles past them on her way out of the police station. "Get her statement!" she barks. This signals the credits to start barking themselves. Damn, she's one powerful little puppet; she's out of control with her strings flying all over the place.