“All Rise” wraps it all up, giving the entire regular cast some closure (save Marg Helgenberger, presumably because they couldn’t book the necessary guest star on short notice). But even Reggie Lee is back—he got suspiciously promoted off the show either last episode or the one before—but he’s just there to say hi. The episode’s definitely a series finale, including a literal wrap party, but it’s not series finale. Some of it is still season finale. Next season seems like it would’ve been about Simone Missick having to defend her seat on the bench.
There’s a really good resolve to the outstanding trial, which has almost the entire regular cast in Missick’s courtroom. Some good yelling banter between them, with Rachel Michelle Bathe really ramping up the animosity, which is simultaneously fun and distracting. It’s now the last episode, no one really cares too much about the trial of the week. Especially when it turns out to be a bit of a MacGuffin.
Maybe there was more to it when it fallout from the trial was going to impact next season, now it’s just distraction.
The most surprising thing about the episode is how much Todd Williams plays into it. He’s the costar, in every scene with Missick outside the courtroom, and it’s an interesting tone. Though while Missick gets the relative spotlight (top-billed, her show, even if she was out with maternity leave for a lot of the season), Wilson Bethel sort of gets to sit at the supporting cast table. Yes, he gets a bit of resolution with Lindsey Gort, but in a rather vague sense. His professional subplot also gets resolve, but it’s anticlimactic.
Worst resolve is for Jessica Camacho and J. Alex Brinson. No spoilers but it’s six anticlimactic endings in a row, without good material for either of them, not even when they try real hard. It’s a weird way for Camacho—who got to be the most active star in “All Rise” in a lot of ways—to exit. And Brinson seems entirely on fumes, even though the opening establishes it as his episode. It’s too bad, especially for Camacho, who did some really good work on the show. Brinson too but he hasn’t gotten the plot line shaft as bad as Camacho lately.
There’s been zero rumors of “All Rise” getting a streaming save, so it seems very done. It never got a fair shake; Rona hit just as it was closing the first season, the combination of Rona and Missick’s having a baby affected season two, the show creator Greg Spottiswood is a racist misogynist who made the behind-the-scenes miserable for his show about a Black lady judge with a social justice bent, not to mention lots of inclusivity. “All Rise” had it rough. It deserved a third season just for getting Rona, not to mention Spottiswood.
I’m going to miss a lot of the cast. And the potential. “All Rise” was all about the sincere potential.