Two things occurred to me while watching last night’s episode of The Firm. The first was this: How on earth does Mitch manage to make sure he’s assigned one brand new murder case each week with precise regularity? And then how does he break down said murder case, bring it to trial, and wrap it up efficiently in less then seven days? These things can take forever—look at Brittany Norwood, who’s only today getting sentenced for killing her Lululemon coworker almost a year ago. The idea that Mitch could get his clients off the hook in under a week and still have time to attend an endless number of family pizza summits with Abby, Tammy, and Ray is fairly improbable. But it sure explains why his clients are always so POd when he’s never around.
The second thing is that this show might be the least realistic interpretation of Washington to grace the small screen since Carrie nearly got blown up by the lake in Fake Farragut Square last fall. In fact, it’s almost making us appreciate how well Homeland managed to portray the city despite barely filming here. If you’re making a show about Washington, the rules go something like this: You film by a monument for your pilot episode, you splice in a few overhead landmark shots between scenes, and you throw in awkward references to news blogs called “Washington DC” and companies named “DC Tech” any time you can. Then you can film in locations with skyscrapers and cobbled streets galore, and nobody, apparently, will notice. So aside from the obvious fail of basic geography, here are the main winners and losers from last night’s episode.
Cops. Because unlike other legal dramas, where cops are constantly hampered in their attempts to find bad guys by things like procedure and constitutional rights, the cops in The Firm seem to have no such compunction. Mitch is the second person so far to be arrested for murder without a shred of evidence against him beyond the circumstantial, which is certainly helping me understand how all his clients manage to get off.
Abby. Things took a turn for the better for Molly Parker this week when her character inexplicably took over from Mitch as head of the McDeere family firm. One minute she’s quietly working in Claire’s school, dealing with tween dramas and fraudulent math tests, and the next she’s telling Andrew that Althea Sanderson is “our client” and getting him to call her with news on the case before he even calls Mitch. If this were any other show, I’d assume they were setting us up for some kind of romantic drama between Abby and Andrew, but since it’s The Firm, I’ll just chalk it up to ineptitude.
Bromance. Ain’t love grand? It’s kind of sweet how Mitch’s client of the week was so utterly dedicated to his curly-haired buddy that he was prepared to go to jail for life for a crime he didn’t commit. “How many times did you save me growing up?” the awkwardly named Judd Grafton asks his friend, Tom Connolly. “You never had any street smarts,” Tom replies, affectionately. That sound you hear in the background? A trio of violins, combined with me throwing up into my notebook.
Ray’s detective skills. Ray is fast becoming the most interesting character on the show. He did jigsaws in jail! He has the kind of McGyver-y skills that enable him to make a key out of its faint tracing in a powder compact! He seduces women to get what he wants! He’s basically James Bond with a super-budget wardrobe and a dubious criminal record.
Doctors from foreign countries. What’s that, snooty DC law firm? You think you can get one up on Mitch with your fancy list of experts? Kinross & Clark has doctors from the UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, yo. And FRANCE, which is so reputable it doesn’t even NEED a university to certify its medical experts. These guys invented the stent, snooty lawyers, so back the hell off, why don’t you. Or as Mitch put it, “If you will read our file, you’ll see that our guys top most of your guys,” which is totally how lawyers talk in tort meetings. Boom.
Shredders. All these years you’ve been quietly shredding your documents, assuming the best, and now all it takes is Ray and Tammy and a boatload of free time to ensure that the list of women’s names you assumed was hamster bedding is incriminating evidence all over again. Has anyone actually tried this in real life? Personally, I like to set my incriminating documents on fire. Much more dramatic that way.
Caroline. Considering she only got about three lines total, Althea’s daughter delivered one of the most heartfelt and believable performances we’ve seen on the show so far. But we’ve got bad news for you, honey. That settlement you got, which was never revealed to us because it was presumably so big it dwarfed even our wildest imaginations? You’d better hope DC Tech is also picking up your legal fees, because Andrew’s team of document-reading geniuses presumably doesn’t come cheap. You’ll be lucky if you’re left with a dollar to buy a cup of coffee.
Professional workplace behavior. We love you, Ray, but the office is no place for seduction. Look at all the stuff that fell on the floor when you swept Tammy across her desk! It’s messy, and you’re just begging for a lawsuit when Tammy finally cottons on to the fact that you’re never, ever going to marry her. Plus, seeing you two making out made me feel vaguely troubled in a way I can’t identify. Just keep it PG in future, okay?
Abby’s students. I know Abby’s way too busy crusading on behalf of her legal clients and all, but does she not remember she has a job? Wasn’t she supposed to be in school or something when she was traipsing through Kinross & Clark with Andrew, or stopping by the office? Kids are never going to learn not to cheat when their teacher plays hooky more than they do.
Hair. Judging by Tammy’s gorgeous sideswept ’do last night, the ’80s are back. And that’s bad news for hair, for women, and for the ozone layer.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Let us know in the comments.