"Trees in The Forest" - Transcript Done by Laura

Trees in the Forest

Written by: David E. Kelley and Frank Renzulli
Directed by: Dwight Little


-------------------- Disclaimer --------------------

We do not own the characters or storylines of "The Practice." They belong to David E. Kelley and Twentieth Century Fox Productions. This a cut and dry transcript of "Trees in the Forest" and is for entertainment purposes only.

(Inside Helen Gamble's office, at night. Helen is working, and ADA Virgil Johnson walks in)

Johnson: Helen. Don't hate me.

Helen: What?

Johnson: Liz Fernal just got hit with appendicitis, she has a manslaughter, hit and run- -

Helen: Oh no you don't.

Johnson: We've already bought six continuances, the judge said if we're not ready he dismisses.

Helen: When?

Johnson: Tomorrow.

Helen: Virgil!

Johnson: The file is paper thin,- -

Helen: I'm not starting a murder trial with ten hours notice, . .

Johnson: Two witnesses- -

Helen: And who takes the heat with the N.G.? Me.

Johnson: There's no heat on this, I promise. The victim's a John Doe, homeless guy. It doesn't matter if we lose, but we can't dismiss, the defendant's wealthy, it would look bad. Just put on a case, it's a two day trial- -

Helen: No.

Johnson: Helen. (Sweetly) I didn't ask. (He drops the file on her desk and leaves.)


(Eugene is visiting his client, nineteen year old Raymond Burnette)

Eugene: Okay, Raymond. Tomorrow we go. I took one last flier with the D.A., he'll give us voluntary, four years, it ain't bad.

Raymond: That's manslaughter?

Eugene: Yeah.

Raymond: You think that's good?

Eugene: Look . . .murder two you get life. Manslaughter, you could be out in four.

Raymond: So we should take it? (He is willing to be steered.)

Eugene: Well. Here's my problem. You say you didn't mean to kill him which may be so. But the only way we get your story in is to put you on the stand. I do that, that means all your priors come in which includes two assaults, plus the three drug convictions. If a jury hears all that, I don't like our chances. So . . .

Raymond: So you think I should take it? (The pair stares at each other.)

Eugene: Tell me again. When you hit him . . .

Raymond: He was just jumpin' in, it's part of initiation. I never meant nothin' bad to happen. He was my friend.

Eugene: Look me in the eye. (Ray does so.) It was an accident?

Raymond: I swear.

Eugene: Look me deeper in the eye. (Ray does.) Okay. Let's try it.


MAIN TITLES, THEN COMMERCIALS -----------------------------------

(Helen, Detective McGuire, and Bobby Show, a crazy homeless man in his forties are in Helen's office)

Show: Right outta nowhere, I seen it happen. It was . . . he was walkin' on the side of the street, not the sidewalk but the side, on the street, not in the middle but the side, on a highway they'd call it a shoulder maybe but this was a regular street, not a highway you see and . . . he was walkin' there and the car was comin' along and, as it came he . . . (Show motions for Helen to lean close to him.) BOOM! (It practically shatters her eardrum.) Flat as a pancake.

McGuire: Alright, Bob. Could you excuse us a minute?

Show: Walkin' right on the side. (Show leaves) Boom!

Helen: That's my eyewitness?

McGuire: Sorry.

Helen: I have to plead this out.

McGuire: I thought your office said "no".

Helen: I'll try to get involuntary.

McGuire: Suspect fled the scene, Helen.

Helen: Why me?


(Staff meeting with Bobby, Lindsay, Ellenor, Jimmy, Eugene, and Rebecca.)

Bobby: Straight "not guilty"? On the elements?

Ellenor: There were witnesses.

Eugene: There was no specific intent to kill.

Ellenor: So go manslaughter, they'll easily make reckless homicide. He beat a kid to death.

Eugene: It was initiation, there was no intent to kill.

Bobby: Okay. Rebecca's lunch Wednesday, everybody's in?

Rebecca: (embarrassed) You don't have to.

Jimmy: What do you mean, we don't have to? This is like the highest dog lover honor, isn't it?

Rebecca: It's animal rights, and it's not a big deal.

Jimmy: Not that big a deal, you saved two shelters.

Ellenor: We'll all be there.

Bobby: Great. Anything else, I'm late for a settlement- -

Lindsay: One other thing. Actually. (Nothing trivial.) I'd like some equity in this firm.

(Everyone stares at her.)

Bobby: Excuse me?

Lindsay: If you run the numbers, I've probably generated half our revenues. I've been getting feelers from headhunters, I really don't want to leave, I like it here, . . but I want some equity.

Bobby: What . . . like partner?

Lindsay: Not equal but . . . yes. (Everyone glares at her.)


(Bobby and Lindsay in Bobby's office)

Bobby: (fuming) The issue aside, don't you think that's something you should have addressed one-on-one?

Lindsay: There's no one-on-one in this firm, everything comes out so I wanted to be up front- -

Bobby: And exactly how am I supposed to react- -

Lindsay: Bobby.

Bobby: (escalating) That was an ultimatum, Lindsay. I don't handle ultimatums well.

Lindsay: I make a third of what I'm worth, and it's not like I'm trading in salary for prestige, this place doesn't leave you with much of a pedigree- -

Bobby: I'm so sick of you complaining about- -

Lindsay: I didn't make a complaint in there I made a demand! There's a difference.

Bobby: You want to go?

Lindsay: I want to stay. And I'm willing to make less. But I won't be an idiot. (She leaves.)


(Eugene with Mrs. Burnette, client's mother, forties, in court corridor)

Mrs. Burnette: Mr. Young, I'm Raymond's mother.

Eugene: Hello.

Mrs. Burnette: You don't know my boy. You probably don't like him. Are you going to save him?

Eugene: I'm going to try to keep him out of jail. (They stare at each other.)


(In court. Judge Joseph Camp presides, Detective James Horne on the stand, ADA Curtis Simmons prosecuting and currently conducting direct, with Eugene sitting next to Raymond.)

Simmons: When you arrived on the scene, was Mr. Johnson still alive?

Horne: He still had a pulse. But he was unconscious. He died en route to the hospital.

Simmons: And did you talk to anybody, Detective?

Horne: Yes. The officers had detained several gang member involved, one being the defendant.

Simmons: Did you question Mr. Burnette?

Horne: Yes.

Simmons: What, if anything, did he tell you?

Horne: He said they had been in a fight. He'd hit the victim. But he never meant to kill him. (Simmons sits down and Eugene gets up.)

Eugene: How long have you been connected with the Gang Unit?

Horne: Going on fifteen years.

Eugene: Would you say that you are an expert on street gangs?

Horne: With regard to this city, yes, I would.

Eugene: Have you ever heard the term "jumpin' in"?

Horne: Yes.

Eugene: Would you explain it for us, Detective Horne?

Horne: It's a gang initiation ritual. Different gangs do it differently, in this case they used playing cards.

Eugene: Playing cards?

Horne: Yes. The prospective gang member picks a card. The number of the card will decide how many existing gang members he has to walk through, allowing himself to be punched by.

Eugene: And did the victim draw a card, to your knowledge?

Horne: He drew the ace of spades.

Eugene: Did that have any special significance?

Horne: Yes. In this particular gang, drawing the ace means the one being initiated has to go against the gang member considered to be the toughest.

Eugene: Do you know who that member would be?

Horne: It was the defendant.

Eugene: So by drawing the ace, the victim, Mr. Charles Johnson, . . he was to fight the defendant?

Horne: Yes.

Eugene: And to your knowledge, it was in that fight that Mr. Johnson suffered the injury which caused his death?

Horne: That's correct.

Eugene: And Detective . . . when you detained my client and talked to him . . . could you describe his demeanor?

Horne: He was crying.

Eugene: Thank you.


(Rebecca and Lindsay in Bobby's office)

Rebecca: It was an ambush, Lindsay.

Lindsay: Why?

Rebecca: To just spring it at a staff meeting like that.

(Lindsay closes the door.)

Lindsay: Eugene told me that you know.

Rebecca: Know what?

Lindsay: That Bobby and I used to sleep together. (She says it like it's no big deal.) There. It's been said. Now. Suppose I went to Bobby privately and made my request. And suppose he granted it. And then suppose it got out that he used to suck my elbows through the night. (She and Rebecca are smiling and giggling quietly.) There'd be a mutiny. This way, out in the open . . . Bobby doesn't get accused of special favors, does he? It's better for everybody I did it this way.

(Lindsay leaves first, and bumps into Ellenor. Rebecca screams and rushes out.)

Ellenor & Lindsay: What's wrong?

Rebecca: Rat!!

Ellenor: What?

(They all scream and jump on top of desks.)

Rebecca: Where'd it go?

Ellenor: I saw it over there.

Lindsay: Where?

Ellenor: I don't know. Get it.

Lindsay: You get it.

Ellenor: Rebecca- -

Rebecca: I'm not getting it. (They all scream "help".)


(Gamble has Show on the stand, with Attorney Nick Jamison defending Ronald Feldman, and Judge Winter presides.)

Show: It was one of them big Mercedes. Tinted windows. We see a car like that, that time of night we think they're trollin' for pretty smellin' hookers.

Helen: Yes, Mr. Show, could you describe- -

Show: Little bitty hooker girls climb into those big back seats, car starts shakin' all so. Itty-bitty little hooker girls- -

Helen: Mr. Show, I'd like to just stay focused on the actual events of that night.

Show: Some of them girls are really men, y'know, but nobody ever finds out- -

Helen: Mr. Show- -

Show: ‘Cause the john's just looking for a quick slurpy.

Helen: Mr. Show. Just the accident. Could you describe it please?

Show: I seen this guy walking near the side of the road. This black Mercedes comes speeding along. Boom. Hits him.

Helen: How far away were you?

Show: Ten feet. Boom. And then it just speeds away. He doesn't stop. He just speeds off.

Helen: Did you get the license plate number of the car?

Show: Just "TD". The first letters, they were "TD" like "touchdown".

Helen: Had you ever seen the victim before?

Show: (sadly) Nope. He's a homeless man, bigger bum then me.

(Helen sits down and Jamison gets up to cross-examine.)

Jamison: Had you been drinking that night, Mr. Show?

Show: Yes. But I saw what I saw, Mr. Jamison. The car hit him. And he never stopped.

Jamison: Objection, non-responsive.

Judge Winter: Sustained, just answer the questions asked, Sir.

Show: I am, Your Honor. We both saw it.

Jamison: Both? Somebody else was with you?

Show: Yes. So there you go.

Jamison: Who else witnessed this accident?

Show: Mr. Penis. And his big pink eye was lookin' right at it. Saw the whole damned thing.

Jamison: (smiling) Ah. The two of you saw this.

Show: Me and the cyclops. Boom. (Helen is shown, trying not to laugh.)


COMMERCIALS ---------------------------------

(Law office, women are still on the desks)

Ellenor: How long are we gonna stay like this?

Rebecca: Till she gets it.

Lindsay: I'm not getting it.

Rebecca: You speak his language, Lindsay. Fellow rat.

Lindsay: (annoyed) What I did was good for the firm, Rebecca. (Jimmy enters.)

Ellenor: There's a rat running around.

Jimmy: In here?

Rebecca: No, in Washington, that's why we're all up on our desks, Big Head.

Jimmy: Don't you be rude with me, Rebecca.

Lindsay: Just get the rat.

Jimmy: (He pulls out his hockey stick.) Where is it?

Lindsay: We think he's under my desk.

Jimmy: (He sweeps the stick under the desk, nothing.)

(From the rat's point of view, Jimmy is seen looking under the desk. The rat runs for him, and Jimmy looks horrified.)

Ellenor: There he goes!

Lindsay: Where?

Rebecca: You almost knocked me off!

Jimmy: He's the size of a beaver!

(Ellenor opens the her desk drawer.) Rebecca: What are you doing? (Ellenor takes out a pistol.) You have a gun?

Ellenor: It's just a starter pistol.

Lindsay: What are you gonna do, race him?

Ellenor: I'll scare him.

Jimmy: That's not gonna scare him.

Ellenor: Then go get him, Big Head!

Jimmy: (yelling) It's normal size!


(Simmons has Rachel Johnson, mother of the victim on the stand. )

Simmons: You began to date to keep your son out of a gang?

Rachel: I thought if I could bring some male leadership into his life . . .

Simmons: What gang was your son trying to join, Mrs. Johnson?

Rachel: The one he (Raymond) was in. They call themselves the Bangers.

Simmons: Your son had a relationship with the defendant?

Rachel: Goin' back five years. To when he was eleven. He started sellin' drugs for him.

Simmons: Charlie started selling drugs for the defendant? Rachel: Yes.

Simmons: When he was eleven years old?

Rachel: Yes.

Simmons: Did you know this at the time?

Rachel: Yes. I did everything I could to . . . but Charlie looked up to him. Wanted to be like him. ‘Stead, . . he was killed by him.

(Simmons sits down and Eugene gets up.)

Eugene: You talked about trying to steer your son away from gangs. He didn't have a father, did he?

Rachel: No.

Eugene: You work at a gas station as an attendant. And uh, your hours are three p.m. to midnight?

Rachel: Yes.

Eugene: Mrs. Johnson. How often did you see Charlie during any given week?

Rachel: I know I couldn't be there for him as much as I wanted.

Eugene: I understand that. Mrs. Johnson . . . was there anybody who looked out for your son?

Rachel: (She knows where he is going.) You call getting him to sell drugs "looking out for him"?

Eugene: On the Columbus block where you live, what percentage of boys end up joining gangs?

Rachel: Most. Eugene: Most. You testified your son looked up to my client. In fact, you often thought my client helped keep your son alive, didn't you? (She stares at him.) I'd ask you respond to my question, Ma'am.

Rachel: (low, intense) I'll answer your question, Sir. Did I often appreciate him lookin' out for my boy? Yes. And I know they was friends. But he got him into drugs, he got him into gang business. And with his own hands he killed him. Don't you dare be sayin' I should be sittin' here, lookin' at him grateful. (Her power resonates, she has won the room.)


(Helen, in car, on phone.)

Helen: I'm putting up the detective, I won't do more than ten minutes. I just need to get in the condition of the car plus the statement of the defendant.

(A homeless man taps on the window.)

Homeless Man: Wash your windows, Ma'am?

(Helen waves him off without a look, but he washes the window anyway.)

Helen: We should rest by the end of the day. (About the dirty window) Great.


(Law offices, with everyone still on the desks. Jimmy is holding a very large book.)

Ellenor: Somebody's gotta get down and flush him out.

Rebecca: Why, you gonna blow his ears out with that?

Ellenor: Rebecca, I'm an animal rights activist myself, there's a waiver for rats.

Jimmy: We're gonna have to flush him again.

Rebecca: Then get down there, be a man.

(Bobby enters.)

Jimmy: Hey, Bobby. How's it going?

Bobby: "How's it going?"

Lindsay: (screaming) There he goes!!

(Everyone screams, Ellenor fires the pistol three times, and Jimmy hurls the book.)

Bobby: What in G-d's name?

Jimmy: I think I got him!

Bobby: Got who? What?

Lindsay: This law firm has rats. What a surprise.

Bobby: Hey, you know something Lindsay,- -

Jimmy: Where is it?

Ellenor: Its in the corner. Right there.

Jimmy: Nothing's moving. I think I got him.

( The rat runs right up Rebecca's leg. She screams, hurls a book, and knocks it off. She stomps on it five or six times.)

Ellenor: Yes!

Jimmy: That is one dead rat.


Eugene: I just don't like the feel of it. I thought we had a shot. But right now, my gut says take the manslaughter.

Mrs. Burnette: But even the doctors say it was a fluke, the way the boy died.

Eugene: Mrs. Burnette, he died from getting punched to the head. If Raymond had no record, I'd say let's roll the dice. But now . . . I think we should take manslaughter.

Mrs. Burnette: How long will he go to jail for that?

Eugene: With the priors . . . he could do six, I'd be hopin' for four.

(Mrs. Burnette is quite saddened by this.)


(Eugene and Curtis Simmons in the corridor.)

Eugene: What do you mean "no"?

Simmons: I want him for murder two.

Eugene: C'mon, Curtis, yesterday you offered manslaughter, why- -

Simmons: That was yesterday, - -

Eugene: So what's changed?

Simmons: What's changed is I was lookin' at that boy's mother on the stand and I just got sick of hearing "didn't mean it" from the gangs, it's time- -

Eugene: C'mon, Curtis, you- -

Simmons: (escalating) And I took offense at you, I didn't like what I heard from you.

Eugene: Which was?

Simmons: Which was, "these kids got nowhere else to turn but gangs, there's nobody there for them but gangs"- -

Eugene: You don't think that's the truth?

Simmons: I don't think it's an excuse! Now. Look. I was raised by a single parent, I grew up in those neighborhoods, I got out, Eugene, kids do make other choices,- -

Eugene: So you got out, I'm happy for you, that still doesn't mean my guy should get murder two- -

Simmons: A kid is dead because of your guy!

Eugene: Try the case, Curtis!

Simmons: I'm trying my case! You try yours.


(Bobby and Rebecca in Bobby's office at night.)

Bobby: I think I should just tell her to walk.

Rebecca: We can't let her walk.

Bobby: Rebecca, I am not about to let her extort me, and- -

Bobby: I don't like the way she did it and this is my practice.

Rebecca: (at same time as Bobby) You say "me" like you're the only one involved, you're not- -

Rebecca: Bobby, listen to me. This firm is not just you and me anymore. There's Eugene, Ellenor, and Jimmy- -

Bobby: They're not behind what she's doing.

Rebecca: They don't know the numbers. And if they did, they might say give her some equity.

Bobby: And if I do? What's to stop Eugene from wanting a piece, then Ellenor- -

Rebecca: Maybe it's time to deal with that.

Bobby: I don't need to- -

Rebecca: Yes you do. Hey. I'd like to make more money. We all would. This is a firm, now, you have a group of people committing to it. Committing to a promise by you to build this place into something.

Bobby: I won't have a gun put to my head.

Rebecca: Y'know what. Sometimes, I think you put the gun to your own head. (She's out the door.)



(Helen at her desk, in her office. Bobby Show enters.)

Show: Excuse me.

Helen: Mr. Show.

Show: I know I kinda digressed up there on the stand, see, I got nervous and I was thinkin' if you put me up again, see, I could be more vivid.

Helen: (polite) I think we accomplished what we needed to accomplish but thank you.

Show: See, I left some things out. He peeled away, big screech y'know, for effect I could describe it, I don't have to mention pinky.

Helen: Mr. Show. I know you'd like to testify again and collect another witness fee. But I don't think I'm going to recall you.

Show: (feeling a little hurt) Oh. Okay. Well. Okay. If you need me . . . you know where I am.

Helen: Okay. (Lindsay appears at the door.)

Show: Thank you. And I think you're a real nice lady, too. I'd be remiss without saying that.

Helen: Thank you. (Show exits.)

Lindsay: Who was that?

Helen: Homeless guy looking to collect another witness fee. My stupid hit-and-run case. I'm gonna miss Rebecca's luncheon.

Lindsay: Oh G-d, I need you there, I won't have anybody to talk to.

Helen: It didn't go well?

Lindsay: Oh no.


(Raymond on the stand, Eugene is questioning him.)

Eugene: We need for you to describe how this happened, Raymond.

Raymond: Well, like I said, Charlie drew the ace . The ace means he's gotta go with the toughest guy for sixty seconds.

Eugene: And that was you?

Raymond: I didn't say it was me. But . . .

Eugene: Kind of like a vote?

Raymond: Yeah.

Eugene: But Raymond . . . Charlie Johnson was your boy, your friend. You're the one who invited him in.

Raymond: Yeah.

Eugene: Well . . . C'mon. Why didn't you take it a little easy on him? I mean, he's not allowed to fight back. This is your friend.

Raymond: I did take it a little easy. But I couldn't . . .

Eugene: Couldn't what?

Raymond: I had to hit him some. If I didn't, they wouldn't let him in, it had to be a real initiation.

Eugene: So you did hit him pretty hard? Raymond: I was mostly jabbin'.

(A flashback to the alley is shown. Charlie is surrounded by the gang members. He doesn't fight back. Raymond is describing this off screen.)

Raymond: Like I said, he couldn't hit back. (The fight is shown.) It had to go on sixty seconds. I did a lot of punchin' on the shoulder and the back ‘cause I knew that wouldn't do much. But I hadda hit him some in the head. And then- -

Eugene: (also not shown) Then what?

Raymond: (still off screen, with the flashback in slow motion.) I was throwing a right to his . . . he kinda swerved . . . and I hit him right on the throat. He just grabbed himself . . . and he went down. And I could see he couldn't breathe. I stopped and tried to help him. I thought maybe he swallowed his tongue, I stuck my fingers in his mouth. But he couldn't get air. He couldn't get air. And then he was twitchin' on the ground. He couldn't get air. (Back on screen, fighting back tears.) And when the paramedics came . . . they said something about his windpipe. I crushed something inside his throat. And they took him away. And then he was dead. He was dead

(Eugene sits down and Simmons gets up.)

Simmons: You say you hit him some. You hit him hard, didn't you Raymond?

Raymond: If I didn't he wouldn't have been let into the gang.

Simmons: The gang you talked him into joining. The gang you got him to sell drugs for at age eleven. The gang- -

Eugene: Objection.

Judge Camp: Sustained. (Simmons holds up a picture of Charlie, taken at the morgue, with a bruised face and open eyes.)

Simmons; Who is this Raymond?

Eugene: Objection!

Judge Camp: Overruled.

Simmons: Who is this?

Raymond: That's Charlie.

Simmons: That's Charlie after you killed him, isn't it?

Eugene: Objection. This is grandstanding, he's trying to inflame the jury- -

Simmons: What's the matter, you don't want the jury to see the victim?

Judge Camp: Hey! The objection is overruled.

Simmons: How did he get these bruises on his face, Raymond. (Silence) I'll ask you again, Sir. How did he get these bruises on his face?

Raymond: I had to hit him some.

Simmons: You had to hit him some.


(The firm is having a meeting, with everyone but Eugene.)

Lindsay: It isn't just about money.

Bobby: Then what is it?

Lindsay: It's about some direction- -

Bobby: How many times do we need to play this record, "the firm needs direction".

Lindsay: (at the same time as Bobby) It's about the firm having some kind of growth plan- -

Lindsay: (yelling) Do you want to let me talk or not?!

Rebecca: Bobby,let her speak.

Lindsay: The economy is way up, the business of law is way up in Boston, we are good lawyers. And this place is still scratching. Why? Management. It doesn't have any.

Bobby: You think you could do better? Lindsay: Do I think I could do better? I think he (Jimmy) could do better. Jimmy: Hey you don't have to start comin' at me, first it's my big head, now my management skills- - Lindsay: (At the same time as Jimmy) You're a great seat-of-the-pants lawyer Bobby, but you're a seat-of-the-pants administrator too.

Rebecca: (At the same time as Jimmy and Lindsay) This isn't gonna work if everybody talks, if we don't do this one at a time.

Ellenor: Quiet!! For G-d's sakes.

Lindsay: Oh, go shoot a rat, Ellenor!

Ellenor: What the hell is wrong with you, now I'm the enemy too?

Lindsay: (at the same time as Ellenor) If you haven't go anything constructive to say- -

Jimmy: (at the same time as Ellenor and Lindsay) Maybe she's pregnant, are you pregnant women act like this pregnant.

(Just a side note: When this episode was being filmed, Kelli Williams, who plays Lindsay, was pregnant with her son, although it was hidden by camera angles during production.)

Bobby: (at the same time as Ellenor, Lindsay, and Jimmy) You don't seem to get along with anybody, Lindsay, maybe it's you, not me.

Bobby: Alright!

Jimmy: Look. May I say something, then I'll shut up, I'll make it quick.

Bobby: Go ahead.

Jimmy: Are you two sleeping together?

Lindsay: Nice, Rebecca.

Rebecca: I didn't tell.

(They all yell at Lindsay, accusing her of sleeping with the boss. They all leave, with Lindsay walking out behind them. Eugene enters the room. Business as usual, he drops his case on the table and goes back to work.)


(Jamison has his client, Feldman, on the stand.)

Feldman: He jumped out. I thought I hit him, I heard a thump. But I looked around and I didn't see anything. So I drove off.

Jamison: Well, Mr. Feldman . . . why didn't you stop?

Feldman: I did stop. I looked around.

Jamison: You didn't get out of your car?

Feldman: No, I didn't.

Jamison: Why not?

Feldman: I suppose I was afraid to. I was in a very bad area. Driving a Mercedes. I didn't want to get out.

Jamison: But you struck a man?

Feldman: Yes, and I thought he'd run off. Plus, I really wasn't sure it wasn't staged.

Jamison: Staged?

Feldman: I thought maybe it was one of those . . . y'know where people kind of . . . I thought he made it seem like I hit him, so I'd stop, get out . . . only to be mugged. Like I said, I was in an awful neighborhood. I was afraid.

(Jamison sits down and Helen gets up.)

Helen: Don't you think you should've at least checked? You hear a thump, you think you've hit somebody- -

Feldman: I did check, I looked around.

Helen: You stayed in your car. If a man were prone on the ground, how would you see him from in your car, especially at night?

Feldman: In retrospect I probably should've gotten out. But like I said, I was afraid.

Helen: But why didn't you call the police?

Feldman: Well, I probably should have.

Helen: Yes, why didn't you?

Feldman: Because I really thought it was just a robbery attempt. And since I wasn't victimized, I didn't figure the police to do anything.

Helen: So you didn't even call them? You had a car phone.

Feldman: Look, I was scared. I didn't think I hurt anybody and the only thing going through my mind was get the hell out of there.

Helen: Why didn't you notify your insurance company, your car was damaged.

Feldman: I . . . I was going to.

Helen: You were going to.


(Simmons is giving his closing argument.)

Simmons: It's okay to punch people in the head so long as we call it initiation. Some gangs require that you go out and cap somebody to get into the club. I don't know about you . . . but I've had enough. For all his remorse, Ladies and Gentlemen, there sits a gang member three times convicted on drug offenses, twice on prior assaults, and this is the man who lured the victim into drugs, into gang life, and this is the man who killed the victim with his own fists. What are we supposed to do here? Have a group cry for these poor kids, disenfranchised by society? Gangs are the only community they know, their fathers leave, their mothers work, society just isn't there for them, so it's okay to punch, to initiate, to fire a random shot on a drive-by, these are poor unfortunate victims. I don't buy it. You want to work on community outreach programs, great, where can I sign up to help? But first . . . we need to attack gang violence head on. If you kill, you go to jail, damnit. Don't tell me you had a lousy home life, don't tell me your dad was a drunk. If you sell drugs, if you recruit people into gangs, if you kill, then damnit, you go to jail. You go to jail.

(He sits and Eugene gets up.)

Eugene: I have a ten-year-old boy. My greatest fear is somebody like him

(Raymond) might come along and convince him . . . (A side- note: In the third season, Eugene's son was correctly arrested for selling drugs.) "Hey, you're nothing without the colors". I hate gangs as much as he (Simmons) does. But this trial isn't about putting an end to gangs or gang violence. All this trial is about . . . is whether this man intended to kill Charles Johnson. Or was he so reckless that he should've known he put the victim at an extreme risk. He didn't. You heard the doctors. Crushed windpipe. Was it foreseeable that Raymond with one punch was going to kill his friend, of course not, did he want to kill his friend? You know he didn't, he wasn't even trying to hurt him; you know that. And so does the prosecution. That's why . . . he didn't get up here and go after Raymond Burnette. He went after gangs. He said, "Let's stop these gangs, the gangs are the culprits". And maybe he's right. But this isn't a forum to cure the ills of society, it is about one death, one defendant, and his intent. If you don't find that intent, you can't punish him just because he's in a gang. Who or what he is . . . that isn't on trial. If it were, I might say convict. For the sake of my boy, I might pray you convict. But this trial is about the act. And this act was an accident. Let's not see the twelve of you go back there and turn into a gang. (He sits.)


(In the office late at night. Rebecca is packing up and Lindsay is working at her desk. Shirley Yellen enters.)

Shirley: Rebecca, hi. I was hoping I might catch you.

Rebecca: Shirley, what's up?

Shirley: Well . . .

Rebecca: Oh, Lindsay Dole, this is Shirley Yellen, from "Save Our Animals Association".

Lindsay: Nice to meet you.

Shirley: A pleasure. You're not going to believe this. Marcy Kealing works dispatch at precinct twelve, y'know she's our board of governors.

Rebecca: (thinking) I don't know her.

Shirley: Well she certainly knows you since you're about to be one of our honorees. Um. She says you evidently killed a rat?

Rebecca: Yeah. In the office here.

Shirley: Ugh.

Rebecca: What?

Shirley: It's just . . . the politics of it, that's the last thing we need running in the papers, one of our honorees is a rat killer.

Rebecca: (insulted) I'm not a rat killer.

Shirley: I know, but you know the media, it's just the little anecdote they get all creamy over.

Rebecca: What are you saying, Shirley?

Shirley: Nothing. It doesn't mean anything, I just want to have a response in case somebody asks me. Don't worry about it.

Rebecca: Okay.

(Shirley looks around the office, maybe to look for rats.)

Shirley: Well. I'll see you at the luncheon.

Rebecca: I'll walk you out.

(They leave and Bobby enters a minute later.)

Lindsay: Hi. (Bobby is not looking at her.)

Bobby: Rebecca told me your reason for springing this in front of everybody instead of taking it up with me privately. I don't buy it. (Lindsay just looks at him.) There's no excuse for you not coming to me one-on-one.

Lindsay: Bobby, I'm afraid what I might say to you one-on-one.

Bobby: What's that supposed to mean?

Lindsay: It means I might say that I think you're dysfunctional. Look at you. Fancy suits in a dumpy rat-infested office. As you try to get ahead, you fight yourself at the same time. And it hurts everybody here. One-on-one, I was afraid I might say that.

Bobby: If that's the way you feel, why do you stay?

Lindsay: Because my best friends work here, I don't want to leave. And I'm in love with you.

(He is shocked and just stares back. That music plays in the background.)

Lindsay: I say that . . . with no hope that you'll love me back. I don't even know that I want it. But . . . I dunno. Maybe as a result of my loving you I also see you. And I know with you in charge, and only you in charge, this firm is maxed out. And you might be too.

(Lindsay leaves, and Bobby just stands there.)




(Det. McGuire gets off the elevator.)

McGuire: Helen. Sorry I'm late.

Helen: We haven't started.

McGuire: Guess who took a knife in the throat last night?

Helen: Who?

McGuire: Your star witness. Show. Mr. Cyclops got into some beef with another homeless guy, they both wanted to sleep on the same heating vent. He lost. (He says this with no emotion.)

Helen: (absolutely stunned) Is he dead?

McGuire: Yeah.

Jamison: (passing by) Helen. We just got called.

Helen: Oh. Okay.

McGuire: I'm gonna try to steal a quick cup of coffee. (Jamison and McGuire walk away, but Helen just stands there, stunned.)


(The Bobby, Ellenor, Eugene, Rebecca, Lindsay, and Jimmy are sitting at a table at the "Save our Animals" luncheon. Everyone feels awkward.)

Jimmy: This is really good a thing. Saving dog shelters, it's nice that they honor you for this. Y'know, the Jewish people believe one of the greatest things is kindness to animals. I'm not Jewish, though. Eugene: You look Jewish.

Jimmy: If you're insinuatin' Jewish people have big heads, that's prejudice. And mine's normal size.

Shirley: (walking up to the table) Rebecca. Can I steal you for a second?

Rebecca: Sure.

(She gets up, and it's awkward at the table.)

Eugene: Let's not spoil this for Bec, huh? Whatever our problems. (Very obviously directed toward Bobby and Lindsay.)

Jimmy: Y'know, in my family, if things were like tense, we'd all butter each other's bread. Let's try it.

(He moves to grab Eugene's bun, but Eugene slaps his hand.)

Eugene: (annoyed) Don't touch my bun. (His beeper goes off.)

(Rebecca and Shirley are shown, talking on the side.)

Rebecca: You gotta be kidding me.

Shirley: You're still getting the award, of course you are. But the board just wants to talk about the incident after, I wouldn't give it another thought.

Rebecca: Then why are you telling me?

Shirley: Because some of our more zealous members might make a fuss. I want you to be prepared.

(Rebecca is getting angry.)


(Jamison is doing his closing.)

Jamison: He didn't know he'd hurt anybody. You heard him. And who among us wouldn't have been afraid to get out of the car in that neighborhood? And who knows . . . it could've been a staged thing, an attempt to rob Mr. Feldman. We don't know who this John Doe was, what was in his mind, what he was up to. He could've been some crazy nut. He could've already been hurt when he stumbled out. There's a lot of unanswered questions here. What we do know is this is a good man. A very good man. Who didn't know that he'd hurt anybody.

(He sits down and Helen gets up.)

Helen: (quietly, still touched by Show's death) When I get up to do my closing arguments, I often look to the gallery, at the victim, or the victim's family, to remind myself who I am fighting for. But there's no family out there today. We don't even have a victim in all this, when you think about it. Somebody jumped out of darkness, now he no longer exists. But nobody know he existed anyway, what was really lost? Of course Mr. Feldman wasn't going to get out of his car to check. Why should he? If a man dies in a forest and nobody hears him cry . . . then he doesn't make a sound, does he? The other day I was stopped at traffic light and some bum came up asking to wash my windshield. I couldn't tell you what he looked like ‘cause I never looked at him. I never do, just stare straight ahead. Stopped at the lights, or walking down the street, I never look at ‘em. Do you? Easier not to. But uh . . . when you run one of these bums over . . . maybe we should stop the car. Get out of the car. Take a look. Mr. Feldman knew he hit somebody. That's all we know. I guess the question for you to go back and decide . . . Is there any intrinsic value to human life? Or does he have to be somebody? I don't know. It's your call. (She sits down.)


(Raymond and Eugene are seated in court. The Bailiff returns the verdict to the Foreman.)

Judge Camp: Madame. Foreperson, the jury has reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson: We have, Your Honor.

Judge Camp: What say you?

Foreman: Commonwealth versus Raymond Burnette, on the charge of murder in the second degree . . . we find the defendant Raymond Burnette . . . not guilty.

(Raymond and his mothers cry tears of relief, and they hug. The jury is dismissed, and Simmons just stares straight ahead.)

(On the elevator.)

Raymond: Thank you man. I don't know how to say thanks.

Eugene: (to Mrs. Burnette) You asked me before if I was goin' to save your son. I told you I would try to keep him out of jail. I did. Whether he's saved, that's up to the two of you. (To Raymond) You don't know how to say thanks. From now on, every ten-year-old kid you see out there? You pretend he's mine.

(Raymond is touched.)


(Shirley is at the podium at the luncheon.)

Shirley: For her perseverance both the Roxbury Animal Shelter and her fundraising efforts to help build the Jamaica Plains Shelter, it gives me great pleasure to present the 1998 Bassethound Award to Miss Rebecca Washington.

(Rebecca steps up to the stage, gets her picture taken with Shirley, then steps up to the podium)

Rebecca: Thank you so much. I was so honored to come here today. Especially . . . to be honored for something that I love. I so love dogs. But I uh . . . I should also be honest in saying I'm a little thrown. Okay, two days ago I had to kill a rat in my office and I guess there are some people in the association that are considering taking this trophy back from me because of that. And well . . . Shirley, who I adore . . . she mentioned some hypocrisy issues and well, . . the last thing I want to be accused of is hypocrisy, so I'm just gonna say this. I hate rats. (The room stares at her with blank expressions.) Love dogs, but rats, I think they're filthy disgusting scummy little things, they may be one of G-d's creatures but they certainly don't represent His best work, and if one ever tries to run up my leg, I will not apologize for stompin' it to death. Rats. They're ugly, they got mashed up faces, they carry germs and rabies and . . . and . . . and come on. Let's all ‘fess up. You'd all try to poison them if they were in your house. Part of me even likes those spring traps ‘cause they make ‘em suffer, the scummy little rat squeaks out in pain and the other rats know better than to come into the area. Ever see a drowned one in a pool? Yuck. I ain't savin' no rat and if that costs me this award then so be it. I just hope I hold on to this long enough so I can use it to bash in one little rat head. Otherwise, I thank you.

(Jimmy is the only one clapping as she heads back to her table. The firm stares at her until she slams the trophy on the table.)


(Feldman is hugging, his wife, kids, and Jamison in the corridor. Eugene approaches.)

Eugene: Not guilty?

Jamison: Yeah. You too, huh?

Eugene: Yeah.


(Helen is sitting at the D.A.'s table. No one else is in the room. Eugene enters and sits down.)

Helen: Hey. How'd the luncheon go?

Eugene: Had to leave, my jury came back.

Helen: Good?

Eugene: I don't think you'd like it. (Helen smiles.) I'm still all dressed. Get a drink or something?

Helen: Actually, . . I'd rather go for a walk. Feel like walking?

Eugene: Cold out there.

Helen: Tell me about it.


(Bobby is in the office, working late. Lindsay walks in.)

Lindsay: Rebecca okay?

Bobby: Yeah. She was just feeling the stress of everything. That and . . .

Lindsay: She hates rats.

Bobby: Yeah. (They hold a look.) Are you lashing out because of us? Or do you really believe . .

Lindsay: Both. I'm sure part of my . . . frustration has nothing to do with the practice. But part of it does. I know what you want this place to be. And I think I can help you . . . (She stops herself.)

Bobby: What?

Lindsay: Nothing.

Bobby: What?

Lindsay: (She bites her lip, then decides she will say it): I'm right here,

Bobby. I'm standing right here.

(He gets her meaning. She's his answer. Not just to better office management. And part of him . . . he knows she's right. The chemistry here certainly lives on. They gaze at each other.)

Bobby: I'll uh . . . I'll think this office stuff through.

Lindsay: Okay. That'd be good. (They gaze at each other again, then she leaves.)


(An area of Boston is shown, not one of the best neighborhoods. Homeless people are laying on the sidewalks. Helen and Eugene are on a walk, trying to re-connect with the humanity that made them want to be lawyers.)

----------End of Episode---------------




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