This episode’s a downer. I kept waiting for it not to be a downer, only it keeps getting worse for pretty much everyone.
But it’s also a very familiar kind of “All Rise” downer episode; it’s bittersweet and about how these people are just trying to do the good thing in impossible, structurally broken situations. Even though the episode’s very evenly distributed—there are two trials, Simone Missick and Ruthie Ann Miles’s corruption subplot, Wilson Bethel and Lindsey Gort babysitting, Bethel investigating Missick and Miles’s investigation, and Lindsay Mendez getting closer to a full arc for the first time this season. Though Miles and Missick are still having problems with a stenography replacement, so it does always seem ready for Mendez to give up the victims’ rights advocate position.
Lucy Luna gets the script credit; she’s written numerous episodes and is a story editor. Again, it feels like “All Rise.”
Jessica Camacho’s got the roughest professional arc this episode—Missick and Miles’s ends up being a lot more personal than either were expecting—while J. Alex Brinson’s trial is the lightest. Bethel and Gort’s babysitting alternates between being cute and tense; things go wrong, and Bethel and Christian Keyes (Missick’s newly recast husband) trying to figure things out behind the scenes to help Missick and Miles complicate matters.
Also, Missick and Keyes get their best episode together so far; they’re doing date night without the baby, only it gets complicated.
Kearran Giovanni is back guest-starring to make “All Rise” again feel like it’s from the “Closer” and “Major Crimes” production company (it’s not). She’s Camacho’s opposing counsel in a case about a young, single mother, Tina Ivlev, accused of assaulting a landlady. Camacho’s trying to make sure Ivlev doesn’t lose her kids, but it turns out Ivlev isn’t reliable. The show skirts around Ivlev’s guilt or culpability; she can’t get it together, she’s overwhelmed, and it’s affecting many things. It’s again a good arc for Camacho, though her resolution needed to be a little longer.
“All Rise” does seem to be closing off some subplots—there are more than a few outstanding—and hopefully, it’ll lead to the show getting more focused.
Lots of good performances this episode, particularly Bethel, Missick, Camacho, and Brinson. Keyes is getting comfortable in the part, and then it’s one of those good Gort episodes. It’s problematic that good is because she’s playing off Bethel and not doing court.
But still. Everyone’s appropriately earnest this episode, and it pays off.
Director Lionel Coleman does a good job keeping the episode moving… with the caveat, the episode did need to be longer. Forty minutes and thirty seconds or whatever doesn’t cut it.
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