Oh, Bittersweet Mother of God!

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Mitch: “Wanna tag along, confess your sins?”

This week on Chapter Ten of The Firm,
Mitch takes on a tough case defending a woman accused of kidnapping a baby, which is not only being tried in court, but in the media too. Having her own dilemma, Abby agonizes over what to do about a student she suspects is being abused. Meanwhile, Ray and Tammy both discover helpful information involving the Sarah Holt case. Elsewhere, Joey Morolto makes a statement that proves he is the head of the crime family.

The episode starts with three unknown men approach the house as Mitch is figuring out how they will escape. Claire is grabbed through a window, luckily it’s Ray trying to warn them about the men, while Mitch creates a path using blood from a cut on Abby’s foot. He leads the unknown men straight into Ray’s waiting golf club.

Three weeks earlier, a priest introduces Mitch to his newest client, Elena, who is a parishioner being accused of kidnapping a young boy, Tyler. The most intriguing aspect about this case is that is showed the part the media can play in a case. Mitch had to be coached and even did an interview. Typically the media is not really discussed on The Firm, so it was interesting to see Mitch take on a high profile case and how the media affects it. One thing that the writers should’ve done is maybe shown an internet site or something where people are talking about the case. A person or two referenced that the internet and media had already started chatting about the case, and how Mitch was losing. It just would have been nice to see. Did you like the media focus?

Not sure if he liked it, but Joey Morolto sees the coverage of Mitch’s case and watches as he’s hounded by reporters. His consigliere says Joey is “out of time,” he’s starting to look weak and he needs to kill Mitch now to solidify his power as mob boss. Later, the consigliere drags in underling Dominic who is covered in blood and struggling to speak. He’s accused of trying to kill Joey. To address his problems, Joey hosts an “open forum” for the Morolto family to speak up about their concerns and challenge his power. No one speaks up, so he tells the other mobsters that he has a plan for Mitch, it just isn’t time yet. Then he nonchalantly shoots Dominic in the back of the head. He doesn’t expect to have any more trouble.

Abby has a little case of her own. She believes that one of her students, Kyle, is being abused by his dad. It was fairly obvious that the mom was the one doing the abusing, and this was not something that a minute or two before it was revealed that it became obvious. Did anyone else see it coming? What saved the predictability of the “twist” was that Claire got involved. It’s nice to see her magically appear in episodes and do something more than make dinner for the family. Viewers got to see a glimpse of her views on the whole witness protection situation. What did you think of this whole storyline?

So let’s talk about the Sarah Holt case, aka the overarching conspiracy. Tammy makes some progress at her lovely new job. The scenes of her at work were more entertaining than you would think. It is unclear whether or not she has gotten everything she can out of that job or if she is staying around a little while longer. She discovers the list contained people covered by Noble insurance who had died recently, including the woman that Sarah Holt is accused of murdering. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Any theories?

Addict Verdict: Things are definitely getting a bit more interesting on The Firm.

Fix-Your-Eyes-On-Me Scene: Father-like-son moment with Joey Morolto taking control was definitely long-awaited!

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Enemy of the State!

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Ray: “Only two kinds of people use payphones: drug dealers and nobodies.”

Chapter Nine” is the newest episode of The Firm. Mitch and Ray probe the death of a sergeant’s son and the case becomes a national security matter; Tammy lands a new job to break new ground in the Sarah Holt case.

This week, Mitch and Ray are treated to a baseball game by Kinross & Clark. They get the works, box seats and a limo to take them to and from the game. K&C is definitely trying to butter them up. Mitch feels uneasy accepting all of Alex Clark’s perks, and Ray tells him it’s a wise feeling. “We can’t trust anyone,” says Ray.

When they go to leave the stadium, their car is commandeered by U.S. Army Sergeant Leonard Debs, who says he didn’t hurt their driver Tommy. He just wants to talk. Ray was recommended to him by a friend. Leonard’s problem is that his son has been murdered and no one will investigate. He takes Ray and Mitch to the pay phone that the sergeant received a phone call from his son Rashad three days ago. No one has seen him, and he missed his mother’s funeral. During the phone call, Leonard says he heard a phone call and then the line went dead. He arrived on the scene two hours later, but the phone had been wiped clean and no one saw anything.

Ray discovers a new panel in a nearby fence and finds a covered up bullet hole. And it was definitely covered up by a pro. Based on the location, Mitch and Ray suspect that Rashad was involved with drugs, since no one uses pay phones but drug dealers and criminals. Leonard takes the McDeere brothers to his house, which had the shades drawn, the fridge empty, and no sign of life or a struggle. Ray notices a fallen picture frame, and finds a key taped inside the back. Then Mitch gets a call from Detective Quinn who agrees to meet them at the crime scene.

 

Meanwhile, everyone thinks the story covering up Martin Moxon’s death is a lie. Abby decides to befriend Martin’s widow, hoping that she’ll tell her something to complete the puzzle. Danielle Moxon comes over, saying she’s happy to get out of the house a little. She seems a lot more social than Martin, so we’re not sure why she doesn’t have more friends helping her through this troubled time.

Danielle is short with Abby, answering her questions about Martin’s work and marital life, but she doesn’t know about any trouble Martin could have been in. Looking for a lifeline, Abby drops the bomb that Noble Insurance told the McDeere’s that Martin was stealing from the company. Then Danielle splits. She can’t imagine her poor hubby stealing, and his suicide was the most selfish thing he’s ever done. Thank goodness for his Noble life insurance policy, otherwise she’d be screwed.

Detective Quinn meets MItch, Ray and Leonard at the pay phone in the alley, but he’s not buying that it’s a murder scene. Ray snaps off Quinn’s antenna and finds the trajectory of the bullet and figures out Rashad was shot from the roof. Sniper style. Believe us now?

 

The three men climb up the fire escape of the building to look for evidence of the sniper. Ray thinks he sees a bullet casing, but it’s an unmarked token. Standing up, he looks through a window to see a man being disrobed by a lingerie-clad woman. An armed man has since snuck up on Mitch and Quinn, ordering them to the ground. Ray is unnoticed and manages to disarm him. They go inside and find a fully operational brothel. As police round up the girls, the man Quon Pho says he didn’t see the shooting, but one of his prostitutes did. Mai says she recognizes Rashad by his photo, she saw him talking on the pay phone. Then a man with a dog approached, and the dog’s barking scared Rashad. He was going back to his van when he was shot, but Mai was too scared herself to keep watching and didn’t know what happened to his body.

Back on the Noble Insurance trail, Tammy thinks she could hack into Noble Insurance’s database from the inside. She finds a job at Bright Buddy, a Noble-affiliated pet food company in Maryland. When she clicks on their locations to show Mitch, Abby and Ray, she realizes Maryland’s outline matches the logo on Rashad’s mystery key.

Ray and Mitch are able to link the key to a Maryland storage facility and discover Rashad’s secret storage spot. Sorry Storage Wars fans, but there’s nothing in the locker except a few bags…holding drugs and guns. Was he trying to run a gang? The manager walks in and demands they sign in, but spots the stash and runs to call the police. It doesn’t look good for MItch and Ray, so they run and take Rashad’s laptop with them.

Browsing through his history, Mitch and Ray discover Rashad had been involved with terrorists, not just reading websites and blogs but contributing to them. He was also on the government’s no-fly list. Ray starts putting the puzzle together. Rashad was clearly listed as a potential terrorist. He was likely selling drugs and weapons to fund something, maybe terrorists. But who has the power to fake a power crew, use a sniper, and cover it up in under a minute? The government. If Rashad’s van had contained bombs which set the dog barking, that could have given Uncle Sam the OK to kill.

 

Mitch wants to file a Freedom of Information Act request to discover the truth. However, Leonard refuses to accept his son was a drug-dealing terrorist. There must have been a mistake! He was a good kid. Mitch tries to explain the request could take months or years to go through before they have answers. Tammy calls and says their request has been granted for the next day. So soon? This doesn’t look good.

Mitch’s witness protection buddy Louis shows up at the office and refuses to help Mitch. Last week you called me a fed who just wants to control your life. Now that you’ve injured my pride, I’m not going to help give you information I might be able to access (at risk to my job). Maybe if you had played more nicely I would be willing to help. Louis storms out still upset that Mitch has lumped him in with the rest of the government.

 

Back at home, Abby tells Mitch about Danielle receiving Martin’s life insurance payment. Paying out on a suicide case is illegal. There’s a knock at the door, but Mitch only finds a small envelope with their old Witness Protection number on the front. From Louis? Inside, a DVD of news footage talks about a government kill list, made up of terrorists who were deemed an immediate threat. This was only for terrorists in other countries though, right? Rashad Debs was an American executed on American soil. Isn’t that against the Constitution?

Mitch, Ray and Leonard enter the courtroom, but the floor has been cleared. There is a heavy security force who removes their cell phones before allowing them to enter. In court, Mitch argues the government is required to release the bare facts of Rashad’s case. Alan Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorney, argues that if they had any information and if there was a body – which he isn’t saying there is, of course – the government isn’t required to turn over anything in the interest of national security. Judge Bram recognizes the refusal breaches amendment rights, and demands to see the case file.

Bram reviews it, but refuses to release details to Mitch. There was evidence to support the government’s actions. Rashad was an immediate threat and killing him was within the government’s rights. Mitch pleads for his body to be returned for proper burial, and the judge grants it. When they uncover the body Mitch says they can appeal if Leonard wants to know the truth. Harper tries to stop Leonard from touching his son, but Ray steps in. Leonard says no, he just wants to keep serving his country. Rashad was a good kid, and that’s how he wants to remember his son.

Abby finds Danielle Moxon on her doorstep, and she is pretty pissed off. She doesn’t know why Martin killed himself, but she does remember something. He was trying to figure out how Kevin Stack was saving so much money for the company. Insurance is expensive. “I do know this… Kevin Stack is a bad man,” Danielle tells Abby.

We then have a last-minute whiplash four weeks into the future. The McDeeres are trying to escape their house, but before they can Claire is grabbed through the window.

Addict Verdict: This week definitely had a bit more fluid storyline and the time jumps didn’t hurt quite as badly. We’re moving in a good direction, hope next week continues the trend.

Fix-Your-Eyes-On-Me Scene: Tammy preps her self for her inter view with the Dog food company, and lo-behold!, she gets the eventually, all of this in less than 3 minutes…Absolute delight for Juliette Lewis fans!

Don’t trust the B— in Apartment 143!

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(Note: If you don’t know what 143 stands for, you’re dumber than I thought!)

So, we’ve heard of people dying in love, even of people killing for love, but, be to be manipulating thelegal system to suit your own finances, WOW, that’s gotta be a first…! Read on:

I really enjoyed this episode. We’re finally up to date on the whole Martin Moxon suicide thing – at least as up to date as we’re going to get. The closure on that piece of the Sarah Holt case is nice movement forward in the backstory. The focus of the show was the Holt case and Kinross & Clark’s attempt to explain it all away. Mitch doesn’t buy the whitewashed story and is determined to continue digging into Moxon’s cryptic list, which Abby and Tammy finally decipher.

This week on  The Firm,
after being cleared as a suspect in the death of Martin Moxon, Mitch is released from jail and immediately finds himself thrown into a new case against a large pharmaceutical company. During a free moment, Mitch visits Sarah Holt in jail, but she refuses to answer any of his questions. Elsewhere, Ray uncovers a clue about Mitch’s pursuer on the day of Moxon’s death, while Tammy and Abby investigate a mysterious list Moxon left behind.

The centre stage on “Chapter Eight” is  dominated by the case of Dr. Richard Kellner, a man who fell in love with the executive of a rival company is in court seeking an injunction against his former lover’s company, who is now developing his promising Alzheimer’s drug. He wins the injunction only to be told that his company us being bought out so they will get access to the drug anyway, There’s an amazing and heart-warming twist to the story at the end which alone is worth watching the show for.

Finally on The Firm we’ve caught up to real time. With a break from the timeline whiplash, Mitch is in prison for the murder of Martin Moxon. He is released to find Ray, Abby and Andrew waiting for him. Proving himself, Mitch thinks it’s time to confide in Andrew, while still keeping him at a distance. He tells him details about Sarah Holt’s case, but leaves out the list Moxon slipped him.

Andrew scurries back to Alex Clark to report what Mitch tells him. She decides it’s time to “bring McDeere in and tell him a story that covers everything,” which she does. Alex claims Moxon is the bad guy, siphoning money out of Noble Insurance to fund a cocaine habit. Mitch takes it, but has a hint of skepticism.

Shortly after, Mitch’s witness protection contact shows up and offers to help. Mitch turns him down, saying he just has to do it on his own. He doesn’t want the Fed controlling him anymore. Now that he’s officially insulted his old friend, Mitch has to go into court to defend a scientist who’s work has been ‘stolen’ by his ex-girlfriend’s big pharmaceutical company. Winning an injunction against big pharmaceutical, Mitch finds out the scientist’s company has voted to sell to big pharmaceutical.

After succeeding at saving the company yet again, Mitch finds out in the last minutes of the episode that he’s been played. Scientist William wasn’t thinking Mitch would be so successful and has sold the company. William had covered up major flaws in his research and the whole trial was a show for his stockholders. This case is less compelling than Mitch’s previous ones, and the plot twist feels a bit forced.

Meanwhile, Mitch confronts Sarah with the list of nurses and an underwhelming burst of anger. She refuses to talk, saying only “I’m sorry I got you into this.” She’s equally unaffected by Mitch’s burst, but sets Mitch harder on the trail. Abby and Tammy have discovered that Moxon’s list is tax ID numbers of Noble Insurance subsidiary companies. But they soon figure out that the list is a fake, slipped into his briefcase when Mitch dropped it at the hotel. They don’t figure out that the bad guys are eavesdropping in a bug also slipped into the briefcase, and Alex knows that Mitch doesn’t believe her story.

Just at the end, we get yet another whiplash, this time five weeks into the future. Andrew warns Mitch to get out of the house as a group of men approach in the middle of the night. Between growing a spine and warning his friend. Andrew’s character gets a lot of credibility this episode. Hopefully he continues to prove he’s not a gopher.

Addict Verdict: While the general direction of Chapter 8 is slow and a bit boring, perhaps next week’s episode will pick up the pace.

Fix-Your-Eyes-On-Me Scene: This episode is less compelling and exciting than the previous, though the redeeming moment comes when Andrew confronts Alex about Mitch. He wants to know what is going on and wants to be included. Andrew doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, and Alex agrees. It’s easy to see her thinking maybe a little pain wouldn’t hurt.

Leave me your thoughts and theories in a comment below! Anyone else love the twist that the list was switched? Do you think that the writers need to keep including the flash forwards in each episode or no?

The Fast & The Furious!

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From car chases to court cases, this week’s episode of The Firm has loads to offer…..

This week, Mitch takes the case of Nate, an overly insecure teenager accused of armed robbery and murder, but when Nate’s brother is named as co-defendant Mitch must convince both his client and the district attorney that Nate should be a witness for the prosecution in a twisted race against the defense of the brother for a plea bargain. Inspired by her daughter’s school project, Abby wants to get in touch with her estranged parents. Tammy turns up the heat on Martin Moxon to get him to explain his cryptic clue, but the hotel meeting she manages to arrange between him and Mitch goes horribly wrong before Moxon is allowed to explain himself. Noble Insurance’s Kevin Stack presses Alex to do something about Mitch. The flashbacks catch up with the present and Mitch is detained as a suspect in Moxon’s “murder”.

The episode starts with Mitch being interrogated about Martin’s death by a stereotypical blustery cop, who seems completely incompetent to handle the investigation. Mitch points out that the hotel room door was obviously kicked in, which he didn’t do, and yet the cop is happy to put that aside and continue to treat Mitch as if he’s already been proven guilty.

A week earlier, (now we’ve reaches to the end of our countdown…YAY!) there’s a smash and grab robbery (literally) at a jewelry store, in which one of the perpetrators is recognized by someone in the store, so therefore he has to die. A short time later, one of the trio arrested for the crime happens to be the kid who delivers sandwiches to Mitch’s office, so he uses his one phone call to interrupt Mitch’s dinner. Predictably, the case is damning; Mitch educates the kid on the felony murder rule, which for those of you who are not criminal law geeks like myself, means that it doesn’t matter which of the three pulled the trigger – by agreeing to the commission of the robbery, they all share responsibility for the death. This show wouldn’t be dramatic if it was easy, right?

Mitch gets called in by the prosecuting attorney handling the case, who shows him and the other defense attorney security video from the robbery. The store owner recognized the shooter because that guy happened to be dating the owner’s daughter – and the prosecutor wants insurance by getting one of the other two defendants to testify against the killer. He’s playing the two defense attorneys against each other, because he, like the cop, is pretty much one-dimensional.

Mitch once again lets his moral compass guide him, deciding to choose a third option: collaborating with the other attorney to force the prosecution to take their clients as a package deal. This would be a great idea if he wasn’t stabbed in the back by his co-counsel five minutes later. Confronted by the two clashing attorneys, the prosecutor tells Mitch to “convince me your client deserves this second chance more than his brother. I can’t save both.”From that moment on, it’s up to Mitch, Ray and Tammy to campaign for their client. They dig up teachers, friends, neighbors and even the boys’ excuse for a mother in order to make their best argument to the prosecutor. This is a perfect opportunity for Josh Lucas to make another impassioned speech, in which Mitch ends up talking not about his client, but about himself and Ray, giving his brother the credit for making him who he is. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t work, but his client later reveals something that his brother didn’t disclose: that there’s a “switch car” with a few guns in it somewhere.

Mitch and Ray go looking for the car, which has already been picked up by someone else, resulting in an awkward but hilarious car chase (it’s worth it just to hear Josh Lucas blurt out “bitch”). Ray eventually cuts off the other car, causing it to crash, and Mitch finds out his co-counsel is behind the wheel. Mitch brings this information to the prosecutor, who reverses course and tells the judge that they’ll make a deal with Mitch’s client. “You’re going to be okay,” Mitch reassures him, because he’s been there. And then he goes to that ill-fated meeting with Martin… and the rest is His Story!

Addict Verdict: “Chapter Seven” presents an interesting moral argument as it plays the two brothers against each other, even if it’s not novel (as Mitch says, this happens all the time).

Fix-You-Eyes-On-Me Scene: The car chase scene with Mitch And Ray driving is probably what got me hooked to my screen during the entire episode! If only the show was called The Firm & The Furious!

A New Chapter Begins!

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I was a huge fan of John Grisham‘s The Firm back when it was just a novel, and I even enjoyed the Tom Cruise movie adaptation. But when I heard that AXN was premiering a television series, I was stunned speechless. I wasn’t sure why the entire story needed to be retold in another format. Except that the series, aptly titled The Firm, isn’t just another copy.

There’s something almost old-fashioned about AXN’s new John Grisham series and for once, it isn’t a bad thing. From its slick, retro opening credits through the foot chase scene that sets the story of this new drama, the television sequel to Grisham’s 1991 novel of the same name doesn’t entirely feel like other 21st century legal thrillers.

The series picks up 10 years after McDeere has been in witness protection for taking down the Memphis firm of the original. Why does he leave? A mob boss who became collateral damage from the Memphis meltdown, and who went down the road of revenge for Mitch, is now dead. But, Nothing’s ever the way it seems, there’s always more to the story than meets the eye, as the opening scene reveals: Mitch is running for his life, chased by three nefarious suits through D.C. until Mitch tells Abby the code-red news: It’s happening again. All of this is set against the McDeeres’ determination to live outside of the witness protection program. But it soon becomes clear that the criminals Mitch crossed a decade ago have very sharp memories, and that is going to force changes in the McDeeres’ lives. In the end, Mitch has to make a significant decision about his career and about the cost of being his own boss.

For people those of you who are not familiar with the character, Mitch is an old-school, self-made hero, worked hard to graduate near the top of his class at Harvard — and you can’t help but root for him. And at a time when the procedural format is constantly being reinvented, The Firm‘s straightforward, one-man-against-the-system story feels quite compelling — especially when that one man happens to look like a Tom Ford model and yet comes off as totally relatable. It’s been a while since Hollywood dusted off the trope of the scrappy, Everyman lawyer fighting against Big Corruption. But if you’ve missed more traditional courtroom dramas, you’ll be glad that Mitch is right: It’s happening again. While he is not a carbon copy of Tom Cruise, Actor Josh Lucas does a fine job of reinventing Mitch McDeere, the lawyer Tom Cruise portrayed in the original film, though this time he’s more idealistic than eager that he clearly makes Mitch his own character, someone the audience can enjoy. Mr. Lucas, a film actor best known as Patrick Dempsey’s foil in “Sweet Home Alabama,” brings a riveting competence with a lot of fire to the role of Mitch. Callum Keith Rennie plays Mitch’s brother, Ray, and brings a rough around the edges charm to each scene. Unlike David Strathairn in the film, Mr. Rennie feels like someone who might have actually committed manslaughter! And while I’ve always had a hard time in general watching main characters’ wives whine and complain and try to force their husband not to do what he wants, Molly Parker gives Abby McDeere more of a loving and worried concern for her husband and family. Her initial reluctance is warranted and when she agrees to let Mitch join the new firm, it isn’t aggressive and against her calm nature. Juliette Lewis portrays Tammy, McDeere’s assistant, with charisma and a fun attitude.

The lead producer of The FirmLukas Reiter, is a veteran of Law & Order and of the Kelley lawyer shows like The Practice and Boston Legal. In trying to combine Mr. Kelley’s oddball idealism with elements of a crime procedural and long-arc thriller, he’s set himself quite the victory.

AXN’s new legal thriller “The Firm” is so front-loaded for success, that even two hours feel uncomfortably crammed!

With its frantic pace, jumpy cameras and pounding soundtrack right out of a video game loop, The Firm is determined to prove right out of the gate how edgy it is. And while the time-jumping could be a bit confusing, it is a great way to bookend the two hours and prepares viewers for the intensity to come. It succeeds in its endeavors to provide a compelling and fast-paced plot that introduced characters you want to watch. And although Mitch may never want to work for a law firm again when this is all over, I’m excited to see how he and the rest of his family come out on top.

After all, who doesn’t love an underdog fighting for truth and justice?

P.S.: Television never has enough law series to satiate us; so, let’s take a chance on reinvigorated nostalgia. What say?!

So, Don’t forget,

SUNDAY, FEB 19, 9 P.M., EXCLUSIVELY on AXN!!!

Remember, Its happening again!