The Practice
Mr. Hinks Goes To Town

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Ragdoll: D | Grade It Now!
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He said, she said

Commercials. Oh, and ragdoll recommends skipping Bounce too. Despite the fact they apparently dated, it is possible that Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck are actually made out of cardboard. ["'Possible,' nothing. Affleck is a slab of particle board." -- Sars]

There is still snow in Boston.

Courtroom. Lindsay is closing. You all know what her case is made of. He's a paranoid, schizophrenic, delusional man. He's made it all up. He's desperate to believe he's something he's not: "He's ill. But he's not the sick man who committed those crimes." She touts the "public consumption" knowledge as proof. Then she plays on the fact that we want the right killer off the street: "We'd better send a message to the police that they'd better keep looking. Because it's not William Hinks." The Prosecution Mountain starts: "I have never been on a case where the defense plead insanity only to then, in the middle of trial, suddenly declare that he didn't do it at all, and then to follow that with the defendant taking the stand to say that he did." Well, when you put it like that, it all sounds like a big joke. Oh, wait. This is The Practice. It is all a big joke. DA Hill then claims that William orchestrated the entire scenario. He knew the police would find the clippings and printouts. He knew the police would know they had the right guy. He gives a confession. Careful to leave out a few details. He tells a different story under hypnosis and makes the therapist his pawn. To have any chance of an acquittal, he'd need the therapist to sell the jury. Then he'd need a lawyer who'd insist he was innocent while he insisted he was guilty. Brilliant, isn't it? Masterful, even: "If you want to, give him an Academy Award for his wrenching performance on the witness stand, but don't you dare give him an acquittal. You don't want him out there looking for number ten." Yeah, because on this show, all the bad guys eventually come after their lawyers. Good closing. The music swells up again.

It carries us over to the side room in the courthouse, where Jimmy is watching the snow fall out the window. He, Lindsay, and Hinks are waiting for the verdict. "How long?" the defendant asks. "This one could take a while. It's close," his lawyer responds. Hinks turns to look at Lindsay and says he thought the Prosecution Mountain did a very good job. Lindsay takes a deep breath: "Extremely." Pause. Dramatic Pause. Unbearably boring pauses. Another pause. More pausing. "He almost sold me." Then, William "Almost Famous" Hinks cracks. Like a candy cane in winter, he breaks into a million different little serial-killer pieces. He smiles a crooked smile, and then Lindsay knows. She knows he sliced and diced nine different women and then ingeniously maneuvered himself to an almost-victory. Lindsay's mouth is dry, you can hear it in her voice, and her lip does that gross sticking-to-the-top-of-her-mouth thing as she says, "Did you know I planned to yank the insanity plea and enter not guilty." The drum gongs away in the background. (You know, I keep harping on this, but the scenes would be so much more effective if they would just shut the orchestra the hell up.) He knew, yes. But wasn't that a risk? "Besides, I was poised to settle for a mental breakdown and at least secure a mistrial if you stuck with insanity." Well, he had to cling to Dr. Reynolds. She was his Tinkerbell. They run through about a million more scenarios: "When you murder nine people, the jury is not looking for a reason to let you go. You have to be perfect." Jimmy wants to know if William is going to kill again if he is acquitted. Is the Pope Catholic? Do ducks take to water? Is ragdoll annoyed? Of course he's going to kill again. He's a SERIAL KILLER. That's what they do -- murder people. Hinks is too smart for Jimmy: "Mr. Berluti. If I tell you I'm about to kill again, you don't have to honour privilege. But nice try." Things went exactly according to his plan. Except for the Prosecution Mountain's excellent closing, yes. Lindsay asks about the gloves from the last murder. "Burned in the fireplace. Your police are shoddy." Then, enter anonymous guard: "Verdict." Here, or in the next life?

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The Practice

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