Ally McBeal
Reasons To Believe

Episode Report Card
Gwen: C- | Grade It Now!
As we learned in Clueless and Cocoon...

It's snowing, John's staring out the window, and Vonda's singing that Rod Stewart song that goes "straight-faced, while I cried." ["It's called 'Reason to Believe,' almost exactly like the title of this episode, because the show's subtle like that." -- Wing Chun] At first I thought a tear was rolling down John's cheek, but then I figured out that it was just his mole. Ally walks into his office, scratching her chin. The record-scratch noise plays and John's pants fall off. Then he screams like a girl and falls over a chair. He tells Ally that he "ate some bad pastrami and got some gas pains," and that's why he loosened his trousers. Ally is only mildly perturbed by all of this. I myself would have turned around and left the building. John eventually starts whining about how lonely he's been. He says, "I just see myself, thirty years from now -- a lonely old man with nothing to call his own but a worn-out, old trial bag." I think he said "trial bag." Then Paul Dooley appears in the doorway. John screams again, then Dooley screams, then John screams, then Ally screams and moves her hands as if insects are flying in her face. I'm still not laughing. Yeah -- this guy looks thirty years older than John, but only in John's dreams. John calls Dooley "Nicolas" and shakes his hand. He is "THE Nicolas Engbloom," some allegedly famous trial lawyer near whose house John grew up. Nicolas Engbloom explains that he's come out of retirement to defend a woman with Tourette's Syndrome. She murdered her lover by running over him with an SUV, then backing up and running over him again. She won't open up to Nicolas, though. Ally and John make unfunny noises of understanding, and the stage is set for the Stupid-Ass Case O' The Week.

It looks like the opening credits might have changed, but I can't be sure because I'm tired of looking at the faces of the characters on this show. Oh, and if I have to see that "Oh, Donna" tattoo commercial again, I'm going to...I'm going to...I'm going to grind my teeth or something.

At the morning Fish & Cage meeting, John explains his newest case. Nelle registers disgust and Richard makes an insensitive remark about Tourette's. Elaine shows cleavage while she informs John that a woman with "wattle for days" is there to see him. I pause my VCR on an image of Ling, whose blouse I like. It might not even be a very pretty blouse, but the rare instances that I see non-ugly clothing on this show, it really catches my eye.

John goes into his office and finds "Brandy" there. Brandy, played by Anne Haney, is Nicolas Engbloom's wife. She came in to hire John as her divorce lawyer. She's so annoyed about Nicolas's coming out of retirement that she wants to divorce him. They hem and haw over the conflict of interest for a bit and then John offers to set her up with a good lawyer. You realize, of course, that means someone outside Fish & Cage.

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Ally McBeal




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