The Practice

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Ragdoll: D | Grade It Now!

Conference Room. Rebecca explains the logistics of the case to her client. Who is wearing a baby blue mohair sweater; it's fuzzy. Aw. Her lawyer is insisting that she tell the truth: "If you close down up there. We're in trouble." The Violins Of Visions climb into the scene as Rebecca grabs Jan's hand. The young woman understands. Then she starts rocking back and forth as the music wails. She stammers, "It's going well so far, right? It's going well." Rebecca evades: "It's a little too soon to tell." And with that, we are encouraged to take a much-needed break.

Helen's Office. She and Lindsay are discussing "the dress episode." Helen makes some crack about Bobby's mother being built like a "dump truck." I suppose that's better than being built like a brick shithouse. That's how my father used to describe me. Neither woman has seen the dead mother's dress, but Helen's sure "it's hideous." Then, instead of advising Lindsay just to tell her fiancé that she doesn't want to wear his dead mother's dress, she tells her to lie to him. That's because truthfulness and honesty are only relevant after the wedding. Shut up, Helen.

Courtroom. Dr. Starger is on the stand, in the middle of explaining Jan's treatment history to the jury. Jan began to see Dr. Starger about two years ago. At that time, she complained of fatigue, sadness, and health problems that interfered with her work. Not to mention her inability to have a normal relationship with the opposite sex. Rebecca: "Was there anything else, Doctor?" Yes. There were periods of time Jan couldn't account for: "Sometimes minutes, other times she lost hours." Dr. Starger continues, "I found her to be suffering from PTSD." Oh, those mysterious "periods of time." They always signal trauma on this show. Wouldn't it be fun if, instead of trauma, a "period of time" meant the character was a superhero saving the world? Oh, wait, according to Unbreakable, that would be just as boring as The Practice. Don't worry, dear readers, by next week I might be off my Unbreakable-is-the-worst-movie-I-have-ever-seen kick. Rebecca echoes: "PTSD?" Dr. Starger explains: "Post-traumatic stress disorder." In layperson's terms, Dr. Starger explains, PTSD is a complex set of reactions to a traumatic event. Here, Jan was experiencing a "flashback." Again, Rebecca does that whole "lawyer playing dumb" line of questioning with her response: "Flashback?" The doctor explains that they see this a lot in Vietnam vets and plane-crash survivors: "These flashbacks are short, intense, but extremely real to the patient." She continues, "It's as if they are living inside of the memory." And more: "As if it was happening at that very instant." Finally, Rebecca gets around to her point: Jan was remembering being abused by her father when she killed her mother. Then Rebecca wants to know if Dr. Starger determined what triggered Jan's flashbacks. "It could be almost anything: A sound. A smell. An anniversary of the event." Oh, here's the kicker; Rebecca says, "What about a birthday party?" Of course. Dr. Starger interviewed Jan after she killed her mother and determined that she had suffered from a post-traumatic stress flashback. I guess that's better than suffering from post-traumatic stress flashdance. Heh. Blah dee blah she was living inside the memory of the abuse. Blah dee blah she lashed out at the one person she considered to be her most blah dee blah imminent threat, blah dee boring blah: "Jan Carlson killed her mother without even knowing it." Blah blah blah crazy-cakes.

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The Practice




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