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September 1, 2014

Shark: Strange Bedfellows

by Michael Canfield, posted Apr 27th 2007 3:15AM
Shark(S01E21) One of the more interesting episodes this season. Stark mostly handles this week's prosecution alone. This is a good thing. Madeleine and Raina find themselves just about taken in at one point by the kidnapper's implausible defense that he had "rescued" the boy from his own parents which were the so-called "real abusers."

This story doesn't ring true to Stark. He proceeds to rips it to shreds under cross-examination. This was a real treat to see. It's the kind of scene I once, so long ago, last fall, imagined a show starring James Woods as a legal superstar would excel in, and showcase often.

He uses logic and asks simple common-sense questions to expose the weaknesses in the kidnapper's story: "Why didn't you call the police.? Why didn't you contact a child advocacy agency?" and other sensible questions any thinking person would ask a single man who has taken in a seven-year-old boy, changed his name and tells everyone is his son. It's as if Stark is finally fed up enough to demolish every logic-stretching scenario the writers have lobbed past him (and the audience) this season.

Sure this episode still had plenty of head scratching moments. Like when the judge refuses to allow another boy, molested and living in the home of the kidnapper, to testify on the grounds that he didn't witness the actual kidnapping itself. The very fact that no one seemed to ever notice this older boy's existence is also unlikely, as is the fact that Stark's team is yet again surprised in court by evidence the defense just spring on them out of nowhere. Stark has a habit of asking persons related to the victims in his cases whether there is anything potentially damaging they need to tell him. "Why no, Mr. Stark, nothing at all," comes the answer week after week. That seems to be sufficient for him, but maybe he should start checking these assertions with some independent investigation.

On the home front. Jules withholds her very-high test scores from her Dad, in the belief that this will cause him to start idealizing her again. Something like that. It's all good though. Parent and kid have stayed in a good place, for what is it now? Two episodes in a row. All the better to build up to next week's Julie-in-peril season finale.

Jess Devlin's election defeat provides the material for exceptionally well-made and understated scene between Stark and Devlin. There's no teeth-gnashing, just two people a little world-weary at the (sadly) not-terribly surprising revelation of the mayor's political and personal betrayal.

On TV Squad's recently implemented 1-7 scale I'm giving this one a six. Maybe that's a little high, but it's good to see this show about a supposedly-sharp lawyer focus on courtroom skills somewhat, rather than, say, Stark moving bodies, banging opposing counsel, and negotiating with hostages.

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JD

"Boy... the woman who played this little boy's mother could play Julie's mom. They look alot alike."

Argh! I know. I'm convinced that that must be her real-life mother, but I can't find proof. Even their mannerisms and facial expressions were identical.

May 03 2007 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Georgia

I'm just watching this episode online. Boy... the woman who played this little boy's mother could play Julie's mom. They look alot alike.

May 01 2007 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe

I agree with Gordon. It seems like the mention of running for Mayor will get Ms. Devlin into the race for next season. Either that, or she comes back as a lowly prosecutor.

April 28 2007 at 1:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Helen

I think they should due something about Julie. She is very annoying. She keeps on putting Stark down. They should due an episode where Stark runs for DA. I am glad Jeri Rayan did not win the election because she thinks she is all that. She stabs Stark all the time behind his back. It is time to put romance in the show. In real live lawyers do have a personal life.

April 27 2007 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

Maybe Jeri Ryan's character will run for Mayor?

April 27 2007 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DudeBoyz

So this means that Jeri Ryan is no longer going to be on the show, correct?

The way they did it - without revealing the face of the actual winner of the race - would seem to indicate this is a last minute thing and they will have to cast the role for next season.

Would it be fair to speculate that Jeri Ryan, as do many other stars of hit series, asked for a raise in her contract due to the success of the show, and the producers / network / etc all balked at that, therefore she is being let out of her contract?

Or is it possible that it is an ego thing between her and James Woods?

They have already pared the show down to the core group they have now, plus the D.A. and the Mayor. Maybe they are just tightening the focus on the group of lawyers + the investigator and the role for the D.A. will be significantly reduced?

As for this episode, I felt that they tried to wrap it up too quickly with a neat little ribbon, and that rang as untrue.

The boys real parents were obviously involved in some pretty bad behavior towards the boy, including paying off an investigator to get rid of the records that incriminated them (the radial fracture) when it came to possible abuse. Certainly they did not treat their son with as much kindness as loving parents should have.

The Julie thing is just flat-out annoying. She is becoming the most pain-in-the-tail, whiny daughter since Kim Bauer on 24! She is a bratty little witch and I honestly think she brings down the show. The less she is on screen the better, imo.

April 27 2007 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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