The Practice
Evil-Doers

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Ding-dong, the psycho is dead

Client Room Where They Discuss The Appropriate Method Of Pain. Jerry is livid. He doesn't think Eugene protected him enough. He sarcastically insists that Eugene didn't "pull any punches in there." Eugene screams, "I didn't pull no punches in there and I'm not pulling them with you. We've got to plead this out!" The camera juggles all over the place. This director has been watching too much Traffic. Oh, so "cutting edge" for television. Oh, so dramatic, oh. Snore. The two lawyers try to convince Jerry Cochran to lock himself up and throw the key away with his own two hands. He doesn't want to plead. He says, "Okay. Okay. I got a twin brother. He's going to pay you a visit." Eugene asks why. Jerry continues, "Because he is. You just listen to what he's got to say." And the plot thickens into lukewarm tomato soup, cafeteria-style.

Whoosh.

Judge Spindle's Courtroom. Cindy McConnacle is Lannibal's new lawyer. She's standing before the judge beside Michael Scannel. Did they drag that costume off the set of L.A. Law circa 1989? Honestly. I'm sorry, Cindy, but you look way overbearingly matronly. Cindy says, "Your Honour. This is an outrage. Lawrence O'Malley was acquitted. The state doesn't like that result so they're seeking to lock him up civilly." Blah bend double jeopardy, blah constitution, blah violation blah. Scannel counters, "This isn't about locking him up for a crime." Cindy retorts, "Yes, it is. And don't offend my intelligence or the integrity of this court by pretending --" Scannel interrupts, "If Ms. McConnacle could climb down from her soapbox for a second." Damn. He's right. She's terribly annoying. Blah every right, blah soapbox, blah abuse of police power blah. Judge Spindle is inclined to agree. What about double jeopardy? Scannel answers, "He was acquitted of murder; he nevertheless professes to be Hannibal Lector. He eats people. How can this court or any government institution that purports to safeguard the public allow him to just --" The judge interrupts, "Has he threatened anybody?" Yes. Scannel illustrates, "His own former lawyers are afraid of him." Cindy wants them to get restraining orders. Blah argument, blah he's sick, blah get him treatment blah. The two lawyers are out of sight as Lannibal turns around and stares at Lindsay. She looks back at him. They share a dysfunctional moment. Shrill. That's the word to describe Cindy McConnacle. She whines, "You're seeking to throw him into an asylum and lock him up." The judge calls all right! All right. Then she says the case "smells" pretty bad. She cracks, "The government didn't even try this with O.J." Cheap shot, DEK, cheap shot. Michael says, "I'd like you to hear from Lindsay Dole, Your Honour. And perhaps from some of Mr. O'Malley's own doctors." Enter Shrindy: "Those doctors were hired by the lawyers for the purposes of building an insanity defense." She takes passionate to a whole new level. You need earplugs every time she speaks. The judge says, "Okay, Ms. McConnacle, the court notes your outrage." Pause. "Mr. Scannel, I'm not leaning your way, but I'll let you call your witnesses." She sets the date for early the next morning, and keeps O'Malley in custody until then. Bobby takes a deep breath as the gavel is dropped. Instantly, Lannibal crawls over to Lindsay and says, "Clarice? Why are you doing this, Clarice?" Shrindy tells him to "come on" and not to "talk to her." The bailiff pulls Lannibal away, but he doesn't take his eyes of Lindsay.

The Firm. Isaac Cochran has appeared. He's clean-cut, unlike his brother Jerry. His hair is shorter. He's wearing glasses. He's also a sharp dresser, made to look like an educated man. Eugene says dryly, "You were with your brother?" Not for the entire evening, but he was there from about 8:30 PM until 10 PM. Also, the "ghetto" is gone from his speech. Jimmy: "That's kind of convenient." Then Eugene blurts, "If it is true, why have you waited until now to come forward, why didn't your brother tell us this?" Oh, and why didn't the police find out that he had a twin brother in the first place? I mean, they were able to discern that Jerry visited a bar two to three times a week, but not that he had a brother that, well, looks exactly like him? Isaac answers Eugene's question by saying, "I'm an oncologist. I have a fairly distinguished career. I have a family. I'm afraid of the public association. My brother was respecting my wishes. But he now tells me he could lose." Under those terms, he could no longer stay silent. Eugene asks, "Are you close to your brother?" Yes. "And you're asking us to believe that you sat quiet on an alibi because being associated with your brother would hurt your career." That's correct. "And your brother would let you stay quiet and face life in prison? Not to blemish your career. Wow." Eugene does that whole dry sarcasm thing so very well. It's almost as if he's channeling all of Television Without Pity. Isaac repeats that he was at his brother's house the night of the rape. Jimmy points his pen at the man: "We can't put somebody up there to commit perjury, Doctor." Blah, he won't be committing perjury. It's the truth. He was at his brother's house the night in question. Eugene tells the doctor that the DNA proves Jerry committed the rape. The doctor insists that he thought the DNA was inadmissible, and that it might be incorrect. Eugene throws his hands to his sides: "We're not going to call you." Isaac wants to know why not. Eugene: "Why? Because if it looks like you're lying, which it will, that'll hurt him." Isaac gets all pissy with the lawyer: "It seems to me that if a witness comes forth with exculpatory evidence, evidence which you can not establish as being false, and if a client directs you to call that witness, it would be grounds for malpractice for you not to do so." Pause. The threat hangs in the air like a badminton birdie. Yeah, I could have used a heavier metaphor, but this is a silly show and badminton is a funny sport. Isaac finishes, "Now would you like to prep my testimony, or should I just meet you at the courthouse tomorrow?" Eugene doesn't like being manipulated. His nostrils start to flare. His head starts to heat up. He turns to Jimmy, and the two of them stay silent. Neither one likes to be blackmailed.

The Courthouse. Lindsay is on the stand. She recounts Lannibal's testimony from the previous trial. She goes over the fact that he talks about the Book of Genesis. In fact, he uses this as proof that, by eating the women, he ensures they'll go to heaven. Lindsay: "And he'd say how he'd make sure I'd go to heaven." Scannel says, "And you interpreted that to mean?" Lindsay replies, "That I was going to die, and I didn't have to interpret. He said so. He said 'the other man' was going to get me." Scannel inquires as to whether or not Lindsay formed a lay opinion about Lannibal's state of mind. Lindsay replies that he's sick and dangerous. Then she says, "He murders." Shrindy objects. She states that O'Malley was cleared of all charges. Lindsay shouts, "He's a cannibal! He thinks he's Hannibal Lecter, for God's sake. He goes after women, and he has made it clear that he is coming after me. He should be locked up!" Scannel interrupts, "Ms. Dole? Clearly, you recognize how unusual this is for a lawyer to be giving testimony against a former client." Yes. Lindsay has quieted down a little. She's never testified against a client before: "But I consider this man to pose a great risk to the public, and I guess particularly to me." Pause. "Because he consumes women he has a relationship with." Pause. Extreme close-up on Lindsay's face: "And he thinks he has one with me."

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