I wouldn’t call tonight’s episode of The Practice classic, but it certainly reminded me of why I started with the show and why I kept watching. We had an interesting legal case, defendants who were the underdogs, a legal dilemma, and some intriguing character moments.
First, the case itself. Christian Scientists on trial for second degree murder in the death of their three year-old son from the hanta virus. There were some great arguments from both sides, and Eugene’s closing argument would have put reasonable doubt in my mind, but I understood why the jury came back the way they did. I could have done without the cross-cutting between the court room and the birth of the couple’s son, but it effectively tied up several plot threads running through the episode.
Ken Walsh’s meltdown was handled well. Throughout the Lindsay Dole murder case and its follow-up, I kept imagining Richard Bey or Alan Lowe handling the prosecution; I couldn’t see why the District Attorney for Boston needed to get involved in the nitty-gritty of a case. But Walsh likes to win, and that comes through the way Bill Smitrovich plays the character, and when the character began to lose his grip on reality it’s a testament to Smitrovich’s skills as an actor that Walsh didn’t degenerate into a parody.
I’m not sure about Jamie, though. Walsh calls her a “cherubic sperm magnet,” and she’s offended by being called “cherubic.”
Lindsay’s decision to leave the firm and start her own practice seems odd, but given all the character has been through in the past year it’s understandable. Lindsay always wanted to devote herself to civil law, not criminal law, and setting up a practice to handle small claims issues and other related errata makes sense for her.
Eugene has been more of a presence this season as compared to the last two. This can only be a good thing. I like Steve Harris as an actor, and he’s always brought a sense of righteous indignation to the part, and that was muted the past two years as Eleanor and Jimmy seemed to get the lion’s share of cases and attention.
Tonight’s episode worked for me.