The Practice
Vanished, Part I

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Into Not-So-Thin Air

The Firm. A creaking door opens to reveal Spanky the Bookie come to collect his dough. He walks in, and everyone in the office stares at him. He and Jimmy walk silently toward each other. You could cut the non-tension with a butter knife. Spanky says, "Hey, Jimmy. How you doin'?" Jimmy breathes fire: "I asked you not to come back here." Ah, Spanky missed his Lump, and he wants to go for a walk. Don't go, Jimmy. You'll be on the wrong side of the sidewalk for sure. Don't do it, don't go -- ah, damn, he goes, and they exit the premises.

Well, now we all know that The Firm is located on 10 State Street. As if the address could be any more pretentious. Jimmy and Spanky walk around to the side of the building where no one except the passersby, the cars on the street, the neighbouring building occupants, or just about anyone with a good pair of eyes can see them. The Lump hands off a brown envelope containing fourteen-eight of the thirty-three Jimmy owes. Yes, there's the "juice" of eight point two five percent to consider. That's all Lump's got. Cue Muscle-Bound Morris to come around the corner. He's about eight feet tall. Spanky introduces them to each other, Morris nods, and Jimmy sweats. Blah you're probably thinking Morris is going to rough you up, blah it's kind of clichéd blah. Spanky: "Whatever words people might use to describe me." Morris socks Jimmy a good one in the ample gut, which I thought would have provided some padding, and the Lump goes down clutching his stomach. Spanky continues, "'Original' isn't one of them." Jimmy tries to catch his breath: "Thirty-six hours. I'll have the rest." Spanky says, "You've got until tomorrow." And then he walks away, leaving Jimmy kissing the dirt and gasping for air.

Meanwhile, back upstairs where the "real" work is going on, Lucy hangs up the phone. She walks over to Rebecca and says, "We just caught a break." Apparently, there's a jailhouse informant ready to testify against Pearce. Eugene joins them, hears the good news, and says, "Rebecca. Let's go." Rebecca grabs her fake briefcase filled with fake papers and jauntily chases after him.

Eugene and Rebecca sit across from Bud Reynolds, the one who claims that Pearce confessed. After eighteen years of denying the crime, he just up and told him? Bud insists they were friends. Rebecca: "Which explains why you're ratting on him." Um, hi, Eugene/Rebecca? Yeah, um, gift-horse, um, yeah, mouth -- stop kicking, okay? "What's in it for you?" Blah the warm glow, blah they were friends, blah they're not now. "When did this conversation take place?" Six or eight months ago. "Why didn't you come forward?" Well, he was holding out hope that the prison community would take care of Pearce by sticking a shank into him. "How did the conversation come about?" Bud doesn't remember details. Come on, guys -- isn't it enough he's going to make your case for you? Who cares that he's lying through his teeth?

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The Practice

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