Shark: Strange Bedfellows
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.