S2E17: Girl-on-Girl-on-Girl-on-Girl Catfight

s2ep17 pic
Sigh.

Previously: Nothing, somehow.

Sometimes I end up reading the IMDB synopsis for an episode. This one includes the phrase that became the title of the post, so I think I better take an aspirin before I start.

We jump in with Billy just having told Richard (and Cage) that he kissed Ally, but not to tell anyone else. Richard says it’s “unconscionable” for him to have told Georgia, but isn’t as concerned with that as he is finding about about Ally’s “fat, wet, juicy tongue”. He asks Cage to confirm from their makeout adventures, but Cage says they didn’t have much of a kiss. Richard is glad that they’re all sharing, so Cage contributes that at prom he licked out his date’s hearing aid: “I tried to explain myself, but she couldn’t hear me.” Okay, I’m tipsy and that is pretty amusing. Billy departs, leaving Richard vaguely offended.

In the conference room, we find out that “the sweat man”, a guy named George, is due in for one of Nelle’s cases. She says she has a thing about sweat, since she doesn’t perspire herself, and Ling chimes in that she’s the same way. Richard’s not swayed, since they need Nelle’s tax expertise. Richard asks Ally, “What’s with the big kiss?”, and everyone looks up. He corrects himself to “big case”, and Ally says she’s refusing to settle it. Richard tries to assign Billy to second chair but Georgia’s like “nope”, so he pulls Cage on. Elaine comes by to get Richard, since his client, Harry Wah, is here.

It turns out Richard is actually representing Harry’s son, Kevin, despite the fact that Harry thinks the case is silly. See, Kevin “had relations” with a woman, who’s now claiming that he seduced her with fraud, and has filed a date rape charge. Richard realizes that Ally is  representing the plaintiff, Paula. He runs into her in the bullpen and tells her to dump her client, since it’s a conflict of interest, or throw the trial. Ally points out that the judge won’t like her bowing out at this point. Harry mentions how much of his business he’s brought to C&F…

…and we cut to Billy saying that the firm can’t represent both sides. Richard insists that it’s fine, as long as the clients are aware. Billy asks if Harry approves, and Richard assures him that he told Harry that Ally isn’t a great lawyer. I mean, I can’t argue that point too much. Ally asks what happens if she wins, but Richard just laughs and assigns Georgia as his second chair, officially putting them up against Ally and Cage.

Meanwhile, Elaine introduces Nelle to Sweaty George, who is also bald for ultimate humiliation points. He holds out his hand and horror music plays, and while Nelle is game to shake, Ling refuses to. They sit down, and Nelle looks disgusted watching George describe his case, which involves a the legitimacy of a charitable donation. Nelle asks if she can be blunt, and implies that he might not have much of a chance when the IRS agent sees him sweating all over. He tells her that it’s always been a problem, but should he be “prosecuted for perspiration”? She says she’ll meet with the agent and get back to him.

Court time! At the pre-trial hearing, the judge clarifies that C&F is repping both sides. Richard asks for a continuance, but Ally argues against it, causing Richard to call her moody. The judge approves the arrangement, but refuses a continuance. Ally is smug. Outside the courtroom, Ally regroups with Paula, who’s surprised that Ally is going up against her senior partner. Ally points out that she has the other senior partner, who’s much better. Before I can gain any confidence in her, though, she observes that the defendant is gorgeous, so the jury might think that Paula wanted to sleep with him (!). That being said, Ally wants to settle (!!). What a crock of shit. Paula insists that Kevin is rich, so if they settle there are no consequences, and she wants the trial and the public condemnation. Ally says that if Paula is this angry, maybe she really does love Kevin (!!!), and reluctantly agrees to continue the trial. FIRE HER.

Paula leaves and Cage joins Ally, apparently ignorant of the fuckwittery, as he lets her make him promise that he’ll “play to win”. Ally’s phone rings, and it seems to be some kind of work call, but she admits after hanging up that she was hoping it was Butters, since they haven’t spoken in a week. Cage confirms that everyone knows about her and Billy. He points out that the beginning of a relationship is the most passionate, so if you kiss someone else at that point, the guy would be a fool not to run. Men and women have different rules, he says, and when your girl kisses someone else, there’s nothing to talk about. Ally is somehow skeptical of this idea.

Ally and Renee return to C&F with lunch, and Ally is AGAIN describing how hot the defendant is. She asks Elaine for messages, but Butters hasn’t called her at work either. In her office, Ally asks Renee why he hasn’t called. She’s called him twice, and “third time I’m a tramp”. Show, do you even know what tramp means? It’s not synonymous with needy. Renee says that Butters is a busy doctor, and she did, after all, kiss Billy. Ally asks why a guy can “cheat with his penis”, but she can’t get “any slack for a lip”. Renee points out that he knows that a kiss for Ally is more than that, and Ally wonders if she should kiss more guys, like the defendant (ughhhhh) to dilute the indiscretion. Her phone rings and she bitterly thanks Elaine, and Renee tells her to call Butters.

Nelle is meeting with the IRS rep, Marsh, who’s not convinced of George’s naivete in the case. Nelle makes a sarcastic comment about the tax code being confusing, and he tells her he has a “short button with snide”, because I guess he can’t keep his metaphors straight. He wants to meet George before he signs off on this as an innocent mistake.

Ally’s gets things started examining Paula. She and Kevin met at a party and hit it off. She’s shy, but they had a lot in common, and quickly thought that this was the man she would marry. See, she believes that when she met the right man, their souls would connect. Ally looks enchanted, but Richard objects: “That kind of sentimentality shouldn’t go unpunished.” The judge overrules him, and Ally gets Paula to continue that Kevin is the one who made the comment about the souls. They stayed up for two nights taking, and the third night they “made love”. Then, a couple days later, he told Paula the truth: he knew everything about her from pretending to be a woman in her women’s chat room.

Cut to Georgia’s cross, and fair warning that things are about to get gross and blame-y. Georgia asks if Kevin forced himself on her, in fact, didn’t he ask if she was sure? Paula’s point is that she thought he was somebody else, even if he was still attracted to her. Georgia asks if Kevin is funny, and Paula doesn’t think so, so Georgia asks if she laughed at his jokes anyway (she did). Then Georgia asks if she likes football, to which Paula admits that she’s not a big fan. Georgia asks if she didn’t talk football to impress Kevin, since everyone does a little pretending. Didn’t she lie, Georgia asks, and in fact cheat— Ally objects, and the two of them whimsy-morph into cat heads that hiss at each other until the judge redirects. Georgia repeats her premise again with the idea of perfume, and finally Cage tells the judge that Georgia is usually docile, but she’s going through marital strife, which is making her cruel. The judge tells everyone to knock it off.

Oh, man. This episode is a gray area with landmines. Let’s lay it out: legally, no, Kevin did not rape Paula, he was just an ass who lied to get her into bed. Slimy, but not illegal. HOWEVER. First off, the “everyone pretends!” defense is gross and not very strong. But the biggest issue is that the way that Ally and others are acting, implying that Paula is to blame at all for being deceived, and that it’s in any way diminished because Kevin is hot, is way out of line. And if the charges being discussed were any level of sexual assault, it would be downright horrifying. This is definitely one of those episodes that would never fly in 2017.

Ally and Georgia argue as they and Richard get out of the elevator at work, and Billy asks what’s going on. Everyone shouts to fill him in, and eventually Ally tells Georgia to wait until Kevin is on the stand. Georgia asks if she’s going to kiss him. The ladies split off, and Cage tells Billy this is ugly. Richard reminds him that he was out of line in court, and Cage points out that this civil war thing was his idea.

Ling and Nelle are in Nelle’s office, painting George with liniment to prevent him sweating. Nelle says that sweat equals guilt, and Ling swears by this method to stop it. George tells them this is humiliating.

Georgia is hanging out in the Unisex when Ally enters, and they exchange cold looks. Ally says she knows they have differences (and things in common, Georgia observes darkly), but she doesn’t want to air it out in court, and she’ll stop Cage from doing so as well. Georgia apologizes, saying that she considers them friends, which isn’t a good thing in court. It’s easier for her to look at Ally as a “conniving backstabber who kissed my husband”.

Cage enters Richard’s office and starts in on a little speech. He mentions that they’re friends despite their differences, and he’s worried about the fallout of the trial. He knows he’s better than Richard, and he’s afraid that the trial will not only cost them Harry as a client, but also their friendship. Richard says Cage is underestimating him, since he’ll be all over him about his stunts. Cage reiterates that nobody beats him in court, and Richard replies, “May the best man win.” Dramatic bells sound.

The next day, George tells Nelle and Ling that he didn’t sweat all night. This is encouraging, but they’re going to practice giving him tough questions. Ling starts by asking if it’s hard “going through life as a soggy hog”, so Nelle clarifies that they should be tax questions. She grills him on legalities, and he seems to be doing okay.

Kevin’s turn on the stand. He’s testifying that the best way to make an impression is to make the girl feel interesting, so he went to Paula’s chat room to gain intel. Richard asks why he felt the need to be honest about it, and Cage stands up to clarify that here, honest means sleazy, dirty trick, but Richard objects. The judge overrules and Cage sits, but as soon as Richard starts talking he’s up to object, and admits that he was expecting a leading question. Richard turns back to his client: Kevin confirms that he did believe what he said about soulmates. Richard asks if the sex was good, causing Ally to object, and the judge sustains. Kevin says that he wanted to meet Paula, but he was shy, and just wanted a head start– what she saw was and is the real him. Cage objects that Kevin didn’t take a polygraph and is now saying things that wouldn’t have held up, and wants to remind him he’s under oath. Then he realizes that wouldn’t have much effect anyway, so he withdraws the objection.

Afterwards, the C&F attorneys confer in a court conference room. Richard is pissed, and Cage says Georgia’s presence has gone from the trial, leaving the jury with Richard’s chauvinism. Cage wants to end it for $250k, but Georgia says no, and bumps Ally on her way out. Cage tries to urge Richard to settle, but he refuses.

At the office, Billy and Elaine eavesdrop on George’s meeting with Marsh. George is proclaiming his innocence, but when Marsh asks him about an offshore trust, he starts sweating when he answers. Nelle and Ling look nervous. The agent escalates into questions about child support and alimony, and dramatic music accompanies a single sweat drop that falls to the table.

On Cage’s cross, Kevin admits that he deceived Paula, and Richard objects when Cage asks if he sleeps with a lot of women. Kevin says no, and he knew Paula was discerning, and Cage asks if he’s used “that date-rape drug”, since it loosens inhibitions, which is basically what he did with his lies. Georgia and Richard at least object to this. Cage tangents into a story about a guy who had a female pen pal, and arranged a visit with her, but his brother found out and visited her first. They had sex, and later she found out it was the wrong man. Kevin says that’s different, and Cage leans into his face and yells “IT’S NOT DIFFERENT!”, causing Georgia and Richard to object again. Cage says Kevin pretended to be someone he’s not, and makes a Trojan horse/Trojan condom joke before the judge tells him to dial it back. Cage asks if Kevin is sorry, and he says he is, so Cage declares that he has “nothing further for the sorry witness”.

Back at the office, Harry berates Richard, saying that he and Georgia didn’t help when Cage was attacking Kevin, and says that if Richard doesn’t win, he’s fired. Richard leaves to prepare his closing.

Nelle and Ling are rehashing with George. They think it doesn’t look good because of his sweating, but Nelle says they’ll meet with the agent again and they’ll call him. Once George has left, Nelle tells Ling that it was a disaster, and Ling suggests that Nelle “let her hair down” when she sees the agent tomorrow, since he seems to like her. Nelle doesn’t want to win that way, since the only thing worse is– “losing,” Ling interrupts.

Cage is pacing barefoot at Ally’s apartment, which she tells Renee is due to the office feeling like enemy ground. Renee comments that C&F is becoming a “hot little place to work”, and the phone rings. Ally answers all sexily, but it’s a long distance telemarketer, who Ally whimsy-pulls through the phone and calls an “annoying little bitch”. Yikes. Renee tells Ally to call Butters, but she pouts that she just wants to be able to hang up on him, and storms into her room. Cage tries to excuse her by noting that there’s a lot of office tension.

At the courthouse, Cage begins his closing: they’ve talked about values, like honesty and integrity, and for Paula, values include the decision to love and trust somebody. Kevin lied to get sex, and they could say “premarital sex these days, it’s the 90s, it’s free and easy”. But he continues that Paula thinks sex should be accompanied by love and truth, and “if that makes her a prude, fine” (what is with the prude/tramp dichotomy on this show?), but Kevin shouldn’t have gotten laid at her expense. Paula has lost the ability to trust, and the jury has to attach a value to what he did as an example to other guys, who “may be looking for your daughter’s chat room”.

Richard gets up, but Cage interrupts him with a last line. Once he’s done, Richard starts with “Venus, Mars…” which is just a great sign. He says that the two genders are from different worlds, especially with regards to sex, and even a gay anthropologist would tell you that women are monogamous, and men want to spread their seed (oh look, the precursor to evo psych). Richard tells how he once noticed a beautiful woman at a van Gogh exhibit, and he told her he nicked his ear in a prior life to get into her pants, because this stuff works. He says that women expect men to make moves like this, and both sexes pretend at the beginning. Maybe Kevin went too far, but he believed what he told her. Kevin really fell for Paula and didn’t leave the next day, because he was in it for real. Kevin looks over at Paula.

At the office, Nelle has her hair down as she enters her meeting with Marsh. She apologizes for George’s sweat, and says that she thinks he did believe he was complying with the tax code. Marsh says he doesn’t have any bad news yet, and she plays with her hair as she says that she wishes he could know George, who’s a good man. Marsh says that if George agrees to pay the tax, he won’t ask for a penalty. Nelle joins George and Ling to tell them the good news, and he hugs her, which grosses her out; Ling refuses to even tolerate a hug. Once he’s left, Nelle admits that she played up the attraction angle, and between that and the hug, she needs a shower.

Ally is in the Unisex when Nelle enters and asks about Ally’s case, and whether she really believes it was date rape. Ally says that she’s incensed by the lying, but Nelle thinks it’s par for the course. Georgia exits a stall and gives Ally the old stink-eye, and Ally tells her to stop looking at her like that, because the attitude is getting old. Georgia retorts the same about Ally and bumps her, which escalates into a pushing exchange until Ally tackles Georgia. Nelle tries to stop them but Georgia slams her, and now that it’s a three-person altercation, Ling comes in and grabs Ally. Elaine enters with a camcorder and it continues, with lots of stall slamming and hair pulling, and Ally jump-slamming everyone from the top of a stall. This is just so embarrassing on so many levels. Cage, Richard and Billy run in and break things up, and Ally realizes her forehead is bleeding.

Later, at the hospital, a nurse tells Ally that the cut isn’t too deep. Richard and Cage enter to see her, and Richard tells her that they settled… so technically he won. Cage argues that they settled for nothing so that’s incorrect. Kevin and Paula also come in, and Paula says that Richard’s speech convinced her, and after talking, she and Kevin are together. Ally proclaims this good. I mean, it’s not nearly as skeezy as when the foot-tickling B&E couple gave it another shot, but it’s still not the most promising beginning to a relationship. Richard is annoyed that they can’t take contingency on bliss, and Kevin assures him that his father will pay both sides.

Butters comes in to clear everyone out, and Richard lets him know that Ally really is hurt. Once the onlookers are gone, he closes the door and asks what happened, and Ally admits that she and Georgia got in a fight. He says he can fix the cut and applies a bandage as she recaps the case, noting that people get back together in strange ways. He evenly replies that her kissing Billy says something about the two of them, and she realizes they’re done. Not quite, as he tells her she needs a tetanus shot.

VONDA sings (something with the lyrics “wrong number, I’m sorry, goodbye”) over Ally at home in her PJs, accessorized with ice cream, glancing at the phone. Renee trades her the inflatable guy for the ice cream, and Ally dances with him as we fade out.

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