Previously on The Practice: William Hinks wins his lawsuit and decides to start bothering Lindsay. She asks Jeannie to "prevail upon him" not to stalk her. Jeannie ends up dead. The therapist was injected with liquid nicotine that simulated a heart attack. The cops can't hold Hinks; they have no evidence. The Emperor, acting with his heart and not his head, asks an old "friend," Allan Neal, to "put the fear of god" into William Hinks. Loosely translated, Neal believed the Emperor to be telling him to slice off the serial killer's head and pop it in the freezer with the Green Giant peas. Thank god we are moving on from Baby Wallace and his never-ending piles of grief.
The Practice opens this week with a walking shot of Detective Mike, accompanied The Runt and some fellow I don't recognize. They make their way into an interview room housing Allan Neal and close the blinds. Richard looks smug. I hate it when they start episodes with Richard looking smug. Anyway, Neal complains, "I asked for my lawyer." Richard introduces Bernard Shanley, who is a public defender. Allan "Grumpy Not-So-Old Man" Neal shouts, "I don't want a public defender. I asked for Bobby Donnell." Bernard (who names their kid "Bernard" these days? I mean, really? That's just an excuse for him to get the crap beaten out of him on the playground) thinks Neal should listen to him. Neal, frankly, doesn't: "You listen. Beat it." Detective Mike tells him to can it, Richard nods, and then the cop sits down: "You have a problem, Allan. The man you killed was a bit of a security freak." A bit? Anyway: "He had cameras. One of them picked you up entering his house." Huh? "He also managed to activate his phone machine which partially recorded an exchange between you." The Melody of Mistaken Murders rises as we hear Neal's voice on the tape. He threatens Hinks, then explains his "arrangement" with Bobby: "I kill people; he gets me off." Allan is stupid, stupid, and more stupid. On the tape, he continues to blather on about how Bobby sent him over there while Hinks tries to manipulate the man into not harming him. It doesn't work; you can hear the scuffle before the answering machine shuts itself off. "See, Allan," Detective Mike says as he shuts off the tape recorder, "I don't think Bobby Donnell is the lawyer you want to be calling."
The stinking credits. The theme song is more annoying that Juliette Lewis's voice. The theme song is even more annoying that Cameron Diaz's voice. In fact, if you mixed both of their voices together, threw in some nails scratching down a chalkboard, and played Nelly Furtado, you still wouldn't reach the level of annoyance I achieve when forced to listen to this theme music.
The Firm. Rebecca and The Lump are feeling the baby kick in Lindsay's womb. Everyone is smiling. Things are so cheerful this morning. Hey, listen up, people, The Practice has been renewed for three, that's right, three more seasons. You can only imagine how big The Emperor's family will be by the end of that run. Anyway, things are cheerful around the office until the phone rings, and Lucy actually answers it: "Bobby. Allan Neal." The Melody of Muddled Murders plays its trump card and makes a special guest appearance. What does he want? Lucy: "He's been arrested for William Hinks's murder." When? The receptionist doesn't know. They've got him in lock-up and he's being arraigned at nine o'clock. Bobby doesn't look surprised. In fact, he barely shows any emotion at all. He simply swallows the facts and stares blankly out into space. It's odd to see the Emperor so reserved.