Ally McBeal
Heart And Soul

Episode Report Card
Alex Richmond: C | 1 USERS: A+
The Heart of an Artichoke

Previously: Ally hired Ray to the firm, but not without threatening that if he "acts like a tree trunk," she'll "chop him down." We saw the heads of Jenny and Glenn fly off, to remind us that they got canned, too. Richard hired Dame Edna; she was thrilled. Ally McJunior dug in her heels and refused to go to school. JBJ told Ally that even though the Kid is in her third home in less than two years, she's okay and that Ally "must be doing something right." Then a super-scary montage of Ally's child-abuse hallucinations flash by (Ally vomits pea soup in Maddie's face, kicks her out the window, and shakes her like a dog worries a newspaper) and the screen fades to black.

After some new footage of Boston By Air -- You Gotta Fly Over It To Really Take It All In! -- Ally stammers timidly into the principal's office, at Maddie's school. Maddie is snippy and irritable, just like her mother. The principal has busted Maddie, via security cameras, committing an illicit act in the school bathroom: smoking a cigarette. Brazenly. Openly. The keyboards and pianos play their dirge-y chords. Maddie even has her own little Bic lighter. Awww. I love it when kids can corrupt themselves, and don't need my help to do it! It reminds me of that time I took a bong to a Phillies game, and didn't even have to ask the pee-wee sitting in my section to help me light it. It was one of those three-footers, you see. Hard to reach. But this kid of Ally's? She's all right. Ally has smoke coming out of her ears, then turns into a rocket, and blasts through the ceiling. She's just that mad! Me, I'm busting.

Vonda's been dooown, she's been down, down, down...

Okay: The credits now go like this: Ally, Richard, Elaine. Then, Vonda. The hell? Then Nelle, then Corretta, then Ray, and last but most important in terms of "breathing new life" and all that desperate malarkey, The Kid. If they update the credits again this season? Well, I don't know what I'll do. Make the start of threats, I guess, then got bored and not care.

Oooh, an aerial shot of Boston! Whee! The city looks so big and pretty from up here! But I gave up drinking for Lent. In the offices of Cage, Fish, McBeal, and Whatever, Richard kvetches that Ally is late, and that partners are not supposed to be late, ever. Elaine relays that she's late because Maddie was smoking in school. That bit of nonsensical exposition is backed up by a "joke" from Dame Edna, who coos that Maddie had better not smoke around her, because she's "flammable." Dame Edna has the worst way of cheating toward the camera, it's so annoying: She looks at the person she's speaking to partially from her cocked head, rolls her eyes toward them conspiratorially, and turns the front of her body to the front of the lens. She's theater people, I guess. Or just from Aussie television. A young woman, Serena Feldman, walks in, and Richard and Ray both goggle at how young she is. Ray even gets to make his reaction shot to the universally springy "boing" noise which means he's popping a boner, is unprofessional, and is probably a pervert. Dame Edna calls Serena "a flower not yet in bloom," and I'm all, Dame Edna, who are you trying to convince? Her or me? Like, the girl is smooth of face, and I guess is young -- is she not a girl, not yet a woman, though? Let's call her a wo-girl. All she needs is time. A moment that is hers. While she's in-between. She tells Richard that she can, in fact, pay the fee, even though she's oh so young, really, so they usher her right into Richard's office to hear her Sad Sad Story.

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Ally McBeal




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