The Practice
Trees In The Forest

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Previously on The Practice: We jumped to the left. And then stepped to the right. Put our hands on our hips. And squeezed our knees in tight. Let's do the Time Warp, people. It's the Time Warp, again.

Helen's working late. She's fiddling with papers and sitting quietly in her office. We see a man approach and enter. He mutters, "Don't hate me." Why? "Liz Fennel just got hit with appendicitis." Helen starts shaking her head and gasping, "Oh. No. No you don't." Something about a hit-and-run. Helen continues looking straight down at her papers. Skinny Bald Guy: "We've already brought six continuances. The judge said if we're not ready he dismisses." Okay, not only does the fellow bear an uncanny resemblance to Ichabod Crane, but then DEK has the audacity to name him "Virgil." The trial starts tomorrow, and Helen refuses to start a murder trial with less than ten hours notice. No way, José. They bicker for a minute about "taking the heat" on a case that gets poorly argued. Apparently, the victim was "some homeless guy," and according to Virgil, it doesn't matter if they win, they just can't "dismiss." Again, Helen refuses to take the case. Finally, Virgil says, "Helen. I didn't ask." Whap. He drops the paper-thin file on her desk.

Whoosh. The Parallel World of Characters A and B is about to begin as Eugene sits down with his client in lock-up. He and Helen are lost souls who find one another this episode. You've got to know that doesn't last. He walks over toward the table where Raymond, said client, is sitting with one hand on the table. The lawyer drops his briefcase and says, "I took one last fly with the DA. He'll give us voluntary. Four years, it's not bad." Raymond doesn't think manslaughter is a "good" thing. Eugene reminds him that he'd get life with a murder two conviction; he could be out in four with manslaughter, and that is definitely better. "So you think we should take it?" Eugene unbuttons his suit jacket and finally takes a seat: "Here's my problem. You said you didn't mean to kill him, which may be so. But in order to get your story in, I've got to put you on the stand." This is a bad idea, because Raymond has got some serious priors: three drug convictions and two assaults. If a jury gets hold of all that information, they aren't likely to believe Raymond didn't mean to kill whomever he's killed. Again, the client asks, "So. You think I should take it?" The lawyer leans back in his chair and sighs a deep, full sigh. He wants Raymond to go over the story again. Blah dee blah he didn't mean to kill him, blah dee blah the beating is just a part of the initiation, blah dee blah the dead kid was his friend. Eugene leans back toward the table: "Look me in the eye." He's performing some sort of mind trick: "It was an accident?" An earlier version of The Symphony of Not-So-Simple Little Mistakes sweeps in under the locked doors. Raymond complies and meets Eugene's eyes. Yes. Eugene leans even further toward his client: "Look me even deeper in the eye." Pause. Four Eyeball Shots later. "Okay," Eugene says. "Let's try it." Raymond nods in agreement.

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The Practice

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