The Practice
Victimless Crimes

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Victimless Crimes

Holding Cell. Jimmy "The Lump" Berluti is questioning his client, Darlene Keating, who refuses to answer said questions. She's silent and defiant. Darlene is a striking woman, with full lips, freckles, and brown hair. Jimmy's lost his patience: "Hey, I ain't doing this 'cause I want to. I got this court appointed? Do you know what that means? The judge told me I had to take it. No pay. No headlines. And I got to tell you that it looks open and shut so if you want me to go in there and say something to the judge and jury you got to give it to me." Headlines? Come on, Jimmy, I thought better of you. Damn those people who just can't afford lawyers screwing up his day. "Do you want to know what happened?" Darlene snaps. Yes, in her own words. "Justin Fitzpatrick raped me. I got a gun. I went up to his apartment and I killed him," she sneers, "take that to the judge and jury." The Lump adopts a mixture of shock and dismay. He's thinking, "Wow, Darlene puts the 'v' in vigilante." Cut to credits. Let's rock and roll.

Doctor's Office. Lucy is being examined by a female doctor, who asks when she first noticed "it." The young woman replies that her breast had become red and sore about three days ago. The blonde doctor takes a closer look at Lucy's breast and lets her know that it's infected. She seems concerned while poking around down there. "Lucy," she says, "this is a bite." Lucy responds, "What, like a spider?" No. It's a human bite. A person has bitten her breast. Lucy's little face contorts into a look of both concern and confusion. The doctor asks if anyone's been in the "area" lately. She replies that her boyfriend would have been, but "he doesn't bite." Are you sure? Lucy smiles: "He's very conservative; he doesn't bite." The doctor suggests that Lucy ask him about it, and starts her on antibiotics. As she pulls her gown tightly around her chest, Lucy looks upset; it's hard to find out you've been assaulted in your doctor's office. Well, she's been bitten, on her breast no less, so hard she got an infection -- Lucy puts the "v" in "violated." ["So much for the guy's dental hygiene. Lucy might also want to get an AIDS test." -- deborah]

Holding Cell. Jimmy says, "You go into trial with that attitude, 'the bastard got what he deserved,' and they're going to put you away for life." Hey, she killed someone in cold blood, doesn't she deserve some punishment? Darlene responds, "They're going to put me away no matter what." She's a tough nut to crack; after Jimmy suggests that he's going to mitigate by letting the jury know she wasn't thinking too straight, she replies, "But I was." The Lump is quickly becoming frustrated; he explains that revenge doesn't justify murder, but after someone has been violated, like Darlene, they aren't thinking straight for a long time. "But that wasn't me!" she exclaims. Jimmy admonishes her and continues, "What I'm thinking could have happened, after Justin raped you, you were upset --" Darlene interrupts to say that she was angry. Jimmy finds her response encouraging, but she snaps at him and questions his intentions. Jimmy loses his temper a little, slams his briefcase around, and exclaims that she's the one facing Murder I, and as it stands right now, she's "going down." Darlene looks sad and defeated as we cut over to the next scene.

The Firm. Lucy has her "conservative" boyfriend follow her into Bobby's office, where she proceeds to ask him if he bit her on the breast. He's about eight feet tall and looks like a bean pole. He wonders what's going on, and Lucy replies, "I have this lesion on my breast." He's obviously concerned. They don't really act like lovers at all, and because he's so tall, the camera angle from his perspective makes Lucy look like she's a little girl. She's obviously embarrassed and finds it difficult to talk about: "Last week after our date, you were kind of fooling around in that area --" He interrupts her to say that she let him. She doesn't deny that it was consensual, but turns her head to the left, eyes down, and asks if while he was kissing her, um, did he bite her? "What?" TBF asks. "Of course not!" He didn't bite her. Each time he says "bite," he really uses the hard "t," so the word sounds like "bit-te you." Malcolm looks all upset and hang-dog. He swears he didn't bite her. "Well, if you didn't -- then who did?" What happened to all of Lucy's basketball playing, crazy-hanging boyfriends of last season? This kid's all along the straight and regular. They make an odd kind of couple. There are no embraces. There are no tender moments. There is nothing to suggest that they didn't just meet three minutes before it came time to shoot the scene and are "acting." Bad casting director. Bad. Bad. ["Lucy seems more like she'd be dating some skeevy guy in a band, don't you think?" -- deborah]

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The Practice

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