The Practice
Man And Superman

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Man of Steel

Suffering County Courthouse. Lindsay, Deborah, and Jimmy come out of the elevator mid-conversation. The lawyers are explaining what it means to sue the hospital. Lindsay thinks this is their only chance to win. "But it is dangerous. The hospital will come after you and Bill." She's not sure how much SuperBill can take. Jimmy: "You need to understand that if you're found liable, you could lose everything, including the money to pay for his care." Deborah nods her head and says okay.

The three of them enter a client room, where Bill is waiting. He's dressed in a suit and looks, well, totally normal. Deborah says, "Hello, Bill." Bill says, "Hello, Lois." My eyes roll so far back in my head that I am afraid they are lost forever.

Everyone is now seated. We've missed half the conversation, of course. Jimmy explains, "We're not going to deny what happened. We're just going to say you're not to blame." Bill says, "Okay." Blah judge to go for it, blah wear the SuperBill outfit blah. SuperBill leans forward: "I saw the complaint. They named Muntz, not Superman." Mrs. SuperBill quietly asserts the fact that "they" already know he's SuperBill. Bill: "Do they? I'm not really sure." Jimmy insists that they definitely know. He also says that having SuperBill dressed in the costume would not only totally humiliate him, but it would prove that DEK will stoop as low as possible to get the cheap laugh. Oh, wait, that's not what Jimmy said at all. Jimmy thinks that having the jury see "who [SuperBill] really is" might make all the difference. If I could pull out all my hair and not look like an idiot, I would. This episode is that infuriating. Blah America loves Superman, blah he won't wear the outfit, blah role model, blah not seen on trial, blah now they know Muntz is SuperBill, blah he wants to change his name. Of course he does -- you know why? Because he's crazy. Loony. Batty. Loopy. Certifiable. Nuts. Cracked. Hey, you know what else? We. Get. It.

Judge Rudy Fox's Courthouse Of Specialized Pain. In her I've-been-smoking-since-birth voice, Judge Fox says, "Ms. Dole. I don't like surprises. Filing a cross-complaint on the day of trial constitutes a surprise." She turns to Mrs. Green's counsel and asks what he thinks. Mr. Kline says, "Let them point fingers at each other so long as my client gets what she's entitled to." Pause. "What we don't want is a continuance." Okay, having three teams of lawyers in the room is confusing. So, from now on, the Green/Kline contingent shall be known as Team Green. The SuperBill/Deborah/Jimmy/Lindsay team is now The Superheroes. And the hospital will be The Doctors. The Doctors wave their arms and complain that they need time for discovery. Lindsay snarks, "You've had time. They have had access to our clients from the moment this happened." The Doctors retort, "Your Honour, if the Muntzes lose, they can always come after us later." Judge Fox is getting dizzy. I am getting dizzy. And I can tell you, it's not from the excitement. Lindsay argues that there's no need to try the case twice. Apparently, Judge Rudy likes The Superheroes. She rules in their favour; the cross-complaint will become a part of the trial. Slam! She hits the gavel. "We'll begin in an hour!" Deborah looks forlornly at the table. She and her husband half-smile at one another. Jimmy and Lindsay huddle. Dr. Gorman comes up to them: "You asked if I was worried that a trial would devastate Bill. I have to ask, are you?" The Superheroes let the music answer for them. It wanes. It wallows. It withers. Bobby Kennedy approaches: "You need to understand. Dr. Gorman is a compassionate man who gets paid to care about Bill's condition." He pauses for the kicker: "I'm not." Hell, I'd pay him to care about me. Do you think he'd go for that?

Whoosh. One hour has elapsed in Judge Rudy's Radiating Lair Of Pain. Team Green has Mrs. Green on the stand. How long were they married? In a weepy-widow voice, Mrs. Green responds, "In August it would have been twenty-three years." Blah loved him very much blah. Team Green asks, "Tell us what happened." Blah she met him for lunch, blah walked to his office blah. She went window-shopping. Bill went window-dropping. Wearing his SuperBill outfit. Mr. Green's neck was broken. Mrs. Green: "I knew he was dead." Ah. Team Green has nothing further. Judge Rudy calls on Jimmy. He has no questions. The Doctors are up. Bobby K steps forward and says, "Your husband was an accountant. An accountant who earned forty-five thousand a year?" Mrs. Green says, "So?" Because witnesses looking to make a good impression on the jury should always throw such attitude at the defense attorneys. Blah she's suing for fifteen million blah. "The truth is, Mrs. Green. Your husband was fifty-three years old. It would have taken him over three hundred years to earn that kind of money." Bobby K steps forward. Mrs. Green furrows her eyebrows. This woman must be wearing a wig. Her hair looks like she stepped off the set of Coronation Street about ten years ago. It's that bad. Wah pain and suffering, wah my husband was killed wah. Bobby Kennedy: "Yes. Because that woman." He points to Deborah. "Chose to be reckless." Jimmy snaps to attention and objects. Oh, come on, spare us the dramatics, Jimmy; you knew this would be their strategy going in. "You don't really believe that we're to blame for his death?" Jimmy's objection is overruled. Bill whines, "This isn't right. I don't like this." You know why? Because he's "crazy." All "crazy" people freak out in court. The Melody Of Mischievous Missions drones away as Bobby Kennedy continues, "She didn't care about ending her marriage. Do you think she cares about ending yours?" Mrs. Green: "I don't know who to blame, Mr. Aldridge. All I do know is that my husband is dead. And no amount of money can make that right." Then, for some reason, she stares at the defense attorney out from under her eyelids. She looks totally creepy. Well, as creepy as a woman who sort of looks like Dame Edna can actually look.

Suffering County Courthouse. Team Doctor has the doctor on the stand. He explains, "Bill's never tried to fly before. He never discussed the ability to fly." The camera pans around to show the entire courtroom, which is, of course, packed. Dr. Gorman continues, "Flying was never part of his pathology." Uh-huh. So the man thought he was Superman but he never even considered flying? Right. That's like pretending to be Wonder Woman without the lasso. Or the invisible plane. It's like being Spiderman, but never thinking about casting a web. What-freaking-ever, DEK. Aldridge asks, "Did Mr. Muntz appear suicidal before that day?" No. If so, they would have "lodged" him on a more secure floor. Why did SuperBill try to fly himself into a pancake, then? Dr. Gorman says, "To understand, you need to know about Bill's condition." Aldridge: "Has his condition improved since being at the hospital?" Okay. Am I the only one to notice that Bobby Kennedy just totally changed the topic? Perhaps he thinks that if he talks fast enough, no one will notice the jump in subjects. Ah, what DEK doesn't take into consideration is that I am SuperRecapper. I have wonderful powers of observation and a keen sense of reality. I stop all injustices of continuity. With my bare hands. And my legs aren't even that sore after a day of leaping over tall piles of horseshit in a single bound. Blah Bill's not getting any better, blah SuperBill's safe, calm, blah stress to a minimum blah. Dr. Gorman thinks that stress made SuperBill try to commit suicide. "What stress are you referring to?" Gorman explains that Deborah visited Bill on the "day in question." Gorman met her at the reception area. Then, ten minutes later, he walked by the room where he'd left Deborah visiting Bill. Bill was upset. Dr. Gorman left them for a minute to "get his medication." While he was gone, SuperBill decided it was time to fly. Cue up The Foo Fighters, please.

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The Practice

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