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September 2, 2014

Justice: Behind the Orange Curtain

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 14th 2006 7:12AM
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(S01E03) Good opening sequence. We see a guy strangle a girl, then learn it's on a film set, and then we see it's a reenactment for smarmy American Crime. A chick named Beth, who is about to be married, disappears after getting a ride home from a bartender, Jake Garcia.

Garcia has some good evidence against him. He lied to the police about giving Beth a ride home, her sweater is in his car, and so is her blood (which he says came from a cut to her foot). It looks like the cops are going to ambush Garcia at TNT&G offices, but Ron Trott (Victor Garber) turns the tables by parading his client in front of the media and offering a $1 million reward for the safe return of Beth, who may or may not be a runaway bride.While Ron is excited about the runaway bride angle, the other attorneys are more worried about going to trial in Orange County where the jury pool hates flashy defense attorneys. And Garcia seems less concerned about the murder charge than his rocky relationship with his girlfriend, Olivia, who can't act her way out of a paper bag. We do get a little hint of Garcia's possible temper when his girlfriend says that he gets angry when she flirts with guys at the bar where the couple works.

The lawyers start investigating Beth's background and they find some text messages to someone named 'Bennett', planning a rendezvous in LA when Beth was supposed to be on her honeymoon in Italy. The team is about to file for a dismissal when the DA surprises them with a press conference announcing that Beth's body was found in a marina (it's like Laci Peterson meets crazy-eyes Georgia runaway bride). This destroys the team's runaway bride defense.

I thoroughly enjoyed the scene in the coroner's office when Alden Tuller (Rebecca Mader) was wiping the floor with the DA. The prosecutor was being a pain in the ass, not letting the defense lawyer and her 'expert witness' see all of the body, and Alden threatened to bring a judge in and accused the coroner of "cutting coroners". She's a female version of Ron Trott. In the meantime, Luther Graves (Eamonn Walker) gets the audio tape of the tipster who gave the location of the body and subpoenas 'Bennett', who ends up being an attorney specializing in prenuptial agreements. And the 'expert' discovers that Beth was strangled from behind, not from the front like the OC coroner concluded.

The case is kind-of boring until we get to the controversial re-enactment with the torso and sensors and we see that Garcia's hands are not big enough to match the strangulation marks on Beth's body. Alden even calls up Beth's fiance to compare the size of his hands to the size of Garcia's hands and that puts reasonable doubt in their heads. Tom is so thrilled with their reaction that he defies Ron's suggestion and chooses to close by blaming Beth's fiance. It works. Garcia is found not guilty.

But, what really happened? Beth was killed by her fiance's father as her fiance watched from inside the car. That's messed up, dude! (But that's also what I guessed when they discovered the fiance revealed the location of the body)

Is the videography still making you dizzy? The courtroom scenes were especially jarring. I would like to recommend a tripod or something to the crew.

Great Line:
"It's like I tell my son, never get into a compromising position with an inebriated woman" - Luther Graves.
"Your son is five years old." - Tom Nicholson.

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Hal

A quibble on a plot point in this latest episode. They were talking about the risks of doing a demonstration in front of the jury, and how it had worked out so well for Johnnie Cochran in the OJ trial. But actually, it wasn't Cochran's demo in the OJ case. It was the prosecutor, Christopher Durden, who called on OJ to try on the glove found at the crime scene. This mistake probably cost him the trial. OJ made a big show out of being unable to fit the tight leather glove on his hands, leading to Cochran's famous quote. If it don't fit, you must acquit, and that's what they did.

September 14 2006 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

The show is good, not great, and I wonder how it will survive once it has something to compete against other than the laughably stupid Fashion House? What the show needs is a good guilty person; an OJ-like trial to really get things going. No defense attorey has only innocent clients. An annoying aspect of the show is that Victor Garber's character seems to be fading into the background with Kerr Smith constantly being put in the lead position. In a real life argument between two attorneys, a Trott-like character would never have allowed a junior partner to speak to him the way Tom does -- it just doesn't seem realistic.

September 14 2006 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

I watched the last two shows being a fan of Victor Garber but this show is weak. It's a good filler when nothing else is on.

September 14 2006 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phil

This is one of the best new shows on the air -- reminds me of the practice. It is really involving and the acting is top notch. Great cast and great writing.

September 14 2006 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacey

I spend most of my evenings with my boyfriend, and while he puts up with most of the shows that I want to watch that he doesn't like (Pretty much Bones, Standoff, and House). He can't stand courtroom dramas, so I haven't seen any of this show at all.

However, I've been reading the reviews here on TVS, and honestly, I'm not that dissapointed that I haven't been watching it, it doesn't seem like it's going to last.

Oh, and Bobby, lol, if you're looking for something else to watch in that timeslot. Mythbusters is on Discovery.

September 14 2006 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BobbyBuz

I've watched all three episodes of this show and I just can't get into it. Now that the "new TV season" is here, I'll be looking elsewhere in this time slot.

To me it's just not believable.

September 14 2006 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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