blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

All Rise (2019) s03e10 – Fire and Rain

There is more “All Rise” coming. While the OWN website says it’s a ten-episode section season, IMDb has all the titles for next season, whether it’s a three and a half or a four. I’m fascinated by the show’s production timelines, going back to the end of first season when Covid-19 lockdown changed the show’s trajectory.

So, whether it’s the end of season three or season three, part one, Fire and Rain is a great episode. It’s probably “All Rise”’s best episode. Technically speaking, it’d be hard to beat, and they’ve never done anything like this one before.

Showrunner Denitria Harris-Lawrence directed last season’s finale too, which at the time was the show’s finale, but it was nothing like this episode. This episode’s an action suspense thriller, with TikTok terrorist Nick Fink threatening to loose his mob on the courthouse. His scumbag sidekick, a perfect Josh Gilmer, is loitering around the courthouse to intimidate witness Olivia Aguilar.

Now, Jessica Camacho is encouraging Aguilar to testify, sort of as a favor to Wilson Bethel, even though U.S. attorney Nitya Vidyasagar is offering a better deal. So Camacho has stuck her neck out. It’d be terrible if something went wrong, like Ronak Gandhi screwing up some paperwork and it causing a disastrous continuance.

Of course, Sean Blakemore is defending Fink, and it’s in Simone Missick’s courtroom. So even though the episode opened with some very sexy marital canoodling for Missick and Christian Keyes—another series first, man-buns—there’s a lot of tension later on. Especially after Blakemore reveals he’s using their chemistry to manipulate her; it’s easily Blakemore’s best episode on the show and arguably his only good performance of the role so far.

Then there are the relationship troubles for Wilson Bethel and Lindsey Gort. She’s not telling him the real reason she doesn’t want to get married, and every time it seems like they’re going to have it out, Bethel needs another scene where Ian Anthony Dale yells at him. Dale’s performance is a little shaky this episode; he’s not believable as a yelly boss anymore, not after his party bro dream version a couple episodes ago.

Lindsay Mendez helps Gandhi try to repair the damage to the case, while J. Alex Brinson mostly offers support for Camacho. As for Camacho, who isn’t one of the cast members primed for an exit even though she’s never gotten an office this season… I really hope she’s back. She’s gotten so good on this show.

There’s a minor but urgent subplot for Samantha Marie Ware too.

Plus, Paul McCrane and Roger Guenveur Smith sucking up to Missick for election support. It’s a full episode with multiple cliffhangers, including a much foreshadowed one.

If they managed to keep this momentum going into the season premiere or whatever the next episode’s called… it’d be awesome for the show. I had no idea they could do an episode this good.

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