Last season we got a plot about Wilson Bethel’s relationship with Lindsey Gort getting unsteady as college crush Ryan Michelle Bathe started hanging around. It got very soapy. This season, it’s Simone Missick’s turn. And it again involves Bathe. She’s in L.A. (for the first time this season) with her new beau, Sean Blakemore. Blakemore was Missick’s college love, and he’s giving her feels.
Unfortunately, Blakemore’s not particularly charming, and he and Missick don’t have any chemistry, so she’s working overtime to sell it. It’s a waste of Bathe, who doesn’t get anything else to do in the episode, despite she and Gort presumably having law practice stuff to go over.
Most of the episode focuses on the cliffhanger trial. J. Alex Brinson is defending an accused murderer, Geoffrey Owens, against pal Bethel. The last episode ended with a double-DNA bombshell, which the opposing lawyers spend the runtime sorting out. Kind of. Bethel’s investigation keeps hitting convenient dead-ends, padding out the time until they can set up a second act surprise.
The other case is Jessica Camacho getting her first juvie case, defending a criminal TikToker, Kayla Maisonet.
The main case is mostly character development stuff for Brinson—they’ll probably spend at least a couple episodes repairing his relationships after his bombastic court performance—but it’s also a procedural for Bethel. An ongoing procedural. I can’t remember if “All Rise” has ever tried a more-than-two-parter arc, but apparently, they’re going for it now, halfway through their first streaming season.
The episode’s well-directed—Paul McCrane does a good job—but the script’s middling (Katrina O’Gilvie gets the credit). Between Missick’s character 180 on the college ex and the A-plot being constructed for multiple reveals, nothing else… well, it’s good the Camacho plot works out so well. Despite being third-billed, she feels like the fifth wheel this season since she’s no longer hanging around the halls of justice.
The juvie case, requiring her to learn new procedures and protocols, gives Camacho a nice professional arc. Especially as she bonds with Maisonet. Camacho’s really good this episode too. Maybe because she’s the only one not trying to force behaviors to fit the plot.
Also, good performances from Owens, Maisonet, Brinson, and Bethel. It’s nice to see Bathe back, but she’s got nothing to do.
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