This week’s The Firm starts off with a bang. In the present day, Mitch is being followed by the bad guys as he is on his way to meet up with Andrew. Mitch calls Andrew his friend, so hopefully in the past storyline we’ll see more of that develop in the next couple of weeks. Just before the bad guys catch up with him, two men are about to pull guns on Mitch until BOOM!—a cop tackles him and arrests him for throwing Moxon off the roof, (which is not what actually happened). The scene is short and impactful and makes me wonder how exactly Mitch discovered the truth about Moxon, Sarah Holt and the shady firm he now works for. (On a side note, how effective is the APB system in Washington, DC? One was just put out on Mitch, and not 20 minutes later, a lone police officer is able to recognize and arrest him? DC must be the safest city in the nation!)
After the superb music and title sequence, “Chapter Five” transitions to 3 weeks earlier—at this rate, we are going to get to the present day quickly! We are visiting 3 cases this week: the Althea Sanderson heart stent case (the big medical settlement case which motivated Mitch to join forces with the firm), the Sarah Holt more-than-it-seems case, and
The Case of the Week: Mitch is defending Jud, a lawyer who also owns an illegal gambling bar. Jud is accused of killing the local loan shark, who had earlier paralysed his best friend over some money. Mitch is trying to get Jud acquitted based on the self-defence argument. There was a small moment where the Prosecuting Attorney congratulates Mitch on his rebuttal questioning that I really enjoyed. It reminds us that at the end of the day, both the prosecution and the defence are lawyers, and though they may be on opposite sides of the case, they can still appreciate each other’s skills in the courtroom. In an interesting twist, we learn that Mitch’s client really is innocent, but willing to go to jail for the crime anyway. “You can never know what the jury is thinking” is the overriding sentiment throughout this week’s episode, and I really was unsure how the jury was going to rule in the case.
His characterization helps forgive the usual plot twists in a typical dramatic trial. The prosecutors bring in a surprise witness to stab Mitch’s client in the back. Then in another twist, Jud reveals his friend who was paralyzed by the gangster actually is able to walk and was the one to shoot the gangster. Wait, what? It’s a little hard to believe that someone is faking paralysis and that Jud still refuses to admit that he might be going to jail for life. That’s where the unique luster at the beginning of the trial turns sour.
The heart stent corporation is offering a $200,000 settlement to Althea’s family, which seems like a great offer when you’ve got bills to pay, like Althea’s daughter has. Abby becomes the bulldog, telling the daughter to wait one more week to get a larger settlement. Abby gets convinced by Andrew that the firm is working hard to find the smoking gun that will get a large settlement for Althea’s family. Don’t be fooled, folks: Abby is still a teacher. Turns out, she handles most of the finances for Mitch’s business—and as a former elementary teacher, I can tell you that if she is a good teacher, she does not have time to handle lawyer billing as well. It does give her a little bit more reason to be involved in the cases, though. This case has a nice “In Yo Face” moment with a pompous medical attorney, and a great, emotional moment with the daughter when the case is resolved.
Ray continues to work on the Sarah Holt case while Mitch is working on the CotW. I hope he gets a good salary from this! While visiting Sarah in jail, he comes to the realization that Sarah might not be all that she claims to be. He also investigates Sarah’s apartment and finds evidence that Sarah might not be quite as removed from the murdered woman as she has led everyone to believe. Could Sarah have been hired to make contact with the dead lady? It is interesting to see the twists each week as this case gets more and more complicated.
Back in the present day, the unrelenting action comes to a grinding halt, as we watch Mitch being led into a witness interrogation room at the police station, and we get an end title.
Addict Verdict: Quite a unique case this week that presents many different facets. First, Mitch struggles to convince Jud, his client, to take a plea bargain. The client claims he’s innocent and only killed the gangster out of self defense. Second, the client’s background and motives are murky. A lot of police procedurals try to present confusing backgrounds, butThe Firm does a great job of shrouding clients in mystery.
Fix-Your-Eyes-Me Scene: For the first time in the series Mitch’s humorous flare in the courtroom shines through. So far he has been a sharp-witted lawyer, but while cross-examining a medical examiner he becomes cocky and almost treats the doctor in a demeaning way. Perhaps that’s why The Firm is able to compel a niche audience to return week after week.