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The Firm

Episode 1.04 : Chapter Four

The Firm Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

January 19, 2012

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama, Action

Show Period

2012 - 2012

Production Company

Entertainment One TV, Paramount Pict, Sony Pict TV

Cast and Crew


Director

Fred Gerber

Screenwriter

Lukas Reiter, Peter Noah

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


Mitch is on the run again through the streets of D.C. Now he's missing his jacket and briefcase, having just escaped would-be assassins at The Westin hotel. He hightails it to a marina, where Ray and Tammy dock their houseboat. Abby and Claire are on board, and Ray's ready to cast off. Mitch relates what just happened: the chase, Martin Moxon's suicide, jumping off the balcony, chase number two - and the worst, leaving his briefcase in the hotel room. He admits to calling Andrew on the way to the boat. The firm represents Hubble Insurance, where Moxon worked, and Mitch is hoping Andrew can help him make sense of the situation. They've arranged a meeting, and Mitch promises to return in an hour. Meanwhile, a uniformed cop informs a detective that the room at The Westin was reserved in Mitch's name. Until the cops know better, this suicide just became a homicide, and an APB is issued on Mitch.

Four weeks earlier, Mitch is up early, contemplating the first day of a murder trial and another visit to Sarah Holt. Abby promises to fix his traditional lucky chicory coffee, but Mitch is hoping to inaugurate a different sort of trial day tradition. Having skipped the coffee, Mitch has to make do with courthouse caf during his meeting with Sarah, who's surprised to see him. They weren't supposed to meet, but Mitch wants to know why the medical examiner's report shows that Margaret Whitaker was smothered. Furthermore, the records from her ventilator indicate that it was turned off. Upset, Sarah insists on her innocence - she doesn't know how to turn off a ventilator, and why would she? Since the only other person present was Margaret's deputy sheriff son, Mitch wants to know if Sarah's saying he killed his mother. Sarah doesn't know, but she does know she wants Mitch to keep believing in her.

Ray calls Mitch. He's learned that Margaret's son has a disciplinary file, which he's going to check out. Meanwhile, a pissed-off Tammy has her nose buried in a wedding magazine, which Ray finds obvious. Mitch's late to court, annoying his client, psychotherapist Dr. Elle Larson, who immediately gives him grief. Within minutes, prosecutor Rebecca Crowell is making her opening statement. She claims Elle was being stalked by her obsessive, violent patient Greg Tillman, who was stalking her. Afraid for her life, Elle took matters into her own hands, setting up a meeting at the patient's house, drugging him, shooting him to death, and staging the scene to look like suicide. Mitch of course claims Elle is innocent, which he's confident the evidence will show. During his opening statement, he spots a man in the gallery who doesn't look quite right. And in fact, the man goes into the hallway to call Joey Morolto...

In a witness room, Mitch meets with Elle, who's distraught that the detective who handled her stalking complaint is the prosecution's first witness. She's pretty sure she told him she hated Tillman, though he did strike her as an honest cop. On the stand, Detective William Quinn talks about 27-year-old Tillman, a mortgage broker who Elle thought was compulsive and capable of narcissistic rage. When she stopped treatment, he harassed her with phone calls and impromptu office visits, which gave way to stalking with a gun, messages written in dog blood and a possible late night visit to her bedroom. Quinn couldn't arrest him because all the evidence was circumstantial, and no one feels worse about it than he does. It's the system's fault. His professional opinion is that Quinn shot himself in the head, a comment that Crowell immediately moves to strike. Elle's impressed with Mitch's cross-examination, but she's not pleased when he rushes out to his office, promising to see her tomorrow.

Andrew meets with Alex for an update on Sarah's laptop, which is still in the police evidence lockup. He doesn't think the cops will find anything, but Alex maintains that wishing and hoping won't cut it. Andrew proceeds to Hubble Insurance to meet with their computer tech. Sarah's laptop can be wiped remotely; it just needs to be powered on. Andrew tasks the tech with round-the-clock monitoring of Sarah's laptop. Nothing is to distract him from wiping it the second it gets switched on. Back at his office, Mitch tells Abby, Ray and Tammy about the guy who gave him the hairy eyeball in court. Abby presses - what is Mitch not telling them? He admits that U.S. Marshal Louis visited a few weeks ago to tell him about Joey Morolto, Jr. Shaken, Abby sends Ray and Tammy out of the room. She wants to talk to Mitch by herself.

That night, Abby gives Mitch the silent treatment in bed. He apologizes for not mentioning Louis; it was wrong of him to keep stuff from her and it will never happen again. Still, he can't tell her there's no cause for concern. Meanwhile, Joey Jr. meets with his lieutenant Sal in Chicago. Sal wants to take Mitch out, but Joey's still weighing his options. The next morning in court, Crowell questions medical examiner Dr. Allison Schneider. Tillman was found at his desk with a single gunshot wound to the head, and the gun in his hand. The call indicated suicide, but Schneider changed her mind due to a prescription bottle for a powerful psychotropic drug prescribed by Elle found on scene. Furthermore, Tillman had a massive quantity of this drug in his system - enough to completely disable him - and two wine glasses were found, one of which had traces of the drug in it. If Tillman took the pills, he wouldn't have been able to shoot himself, and furthermore, the bullet entered his skull at a slightly downward angle, the opposite of the norm for self-inflicted wounds.

On cross, Mitch asks how long it would take for the medication to take effect. A few minutes is more than enough time to commit suicide. And the angle of bullet entry is only a few degrees off the angle of expectation. Not to mention there was gunshot residue on Tillman's hand, stippling burns on his skin, and a star-like wound pattern, all consistent with suicide. Mitch dismisses Schneider and asks for a brief continuance, then rushes out to meet Abby at Louis' office. Abby tells Louis about the suspicious car at the house and the man Mitch saw in court. The FBI hasn't picked up any new evidence of a threat, but Louis wants to err on the side of caution. Mitch and Abby agree they don't want to live their lives in pointless fear, but promise to advise Louis of anything unusual.

Carrying a file box, Tammy proceeds to the court witness room to find an irritable Elle, but no Mitch. Elle wants to know if Mitch is always absent and distracted. Tammy promises Mitch is the finest lawyer she knows, then poses a hypothetical. Her friend kind of gave up her life to stay with her boyfriend of 10 years. So if the guy doesn't want to marry her, what's that about? Elle turns the question around: why is marriage so important to this friend? Just then Mitch barges in, surprised to see Tammy, who explains she stopped in after picking up Sarah Holt's laptop. When Mitch tells Tammy he wants her to print something from it, Elle almost blows a gasket. They need to talk about the unacceptable level of Mitch's distraction. Mitch sends Tammy back to the office, then takes a verbal beating from Elle.

Crowell puts bank security guard Norman Kincaid on the stand. A resident in Tillman's building, he was home on the night of the murder, watching out the window for his daughter who was due home from her prom. Around 2:00 a.m. a green Pontiac with tinted windows drove by slowly. Then he saw Elle enter the building. On cross, Mitch blasts Kincaid as a plastic badge who couldn't be a cop and wanted to impress detectives as an eyewitness. And how could he definitively ID Elle in the dark? Kincaid sticks to his story: he saw Elle. Later, Ray shanghaies Deputy Sheriff Eugene Whitaker as he reports to work, presenting a copy of a domestic violence complaint made by Whitaker's girlfriend, Carmen Askew. When Ray identifies himself as lead investigator on the Sarah Holt case, Eugene starts steaming. Assuming Ray is accusing him of murdering his own mother, Eugene can barely contain his fury, but stalks off before going any further.

Back at the office, Tammy unpacks the file box of Sarah's stuff and boots up the laptop. While waiting, she chats with Abby about her conversation with Elle - how could wanting to get married be her problem? Abby suggests Tammy try to articulate what marrying Ray would mean to her - then she might be able to explain it to him better. The tech at Hubble Insurance hits a button on his machine, just as Tammy looks down and freaks out - the contents of Sarah's laptop are rapidly disappearing. When it's done, the tech picks up the phone to call Andrew. Back in court, Crowell calls pharmacist Vincent Hughes to the stand. He filled the prescription for Tillman on the night of his death - but Elle picked it up. Blindsided, Mitch glares at Elle, then lays into her in the witness room.

On the witness stand, Elle tells the truth. After Tillman broke into her apartment, he started following her. She saw the same green car with tinted windows everywhere she went. Convinced he was going to kill her, she thought that if she went to see him, she could persuade him to resume taking his medication and start therapy again. When he grew agitated, she crushed some of the pills into his wine glass - just to immobilize him so she could get away. After drinking the wine, Tillman wanted to dance. When Elle tried to get away, he attacked. They struggled, he threw her down and stood over her waving a gun. Finally, Tillman collapsed and Elle ran off as fast as she could - but he was alive when she left.

Ray tracks down Carmen Askew, Eugene's ex-girlfriend. At first, she doesn't want to talk about her domestic violence complaint. She made the call on the night they broke up, but overall, Eugene wasn't violent. She broke up with him because he was under his mother's thumb, at her beck and call 24/7. That night, the McDeeres and Tammy gather at Mitch and Abby's for dinner. Ray likes Eugene for Margaret's murder, but his theory doesn't explain why he would risk murdering a dying woman. Tammy explains that she took Sarah's laptop to be repaired, only to learn the CPU is fine, but the hard drive has been wiped. Mitch is still embroiled in Elle's case. Suddenly, he remembers the green car Elle mentioned... also mentioned by the eyewitness neighbor. It couldn't have been Tillman driving - he was in the apartment! Luckily, Mitch thinks he knows whom the car belongs to.

The next day in court, Mitch puts Detective Quinn back on the stand, to ask him about Madelyn Poole, another woman who filed a stalking complaint. Quinn couldn't do much more than get a restraining order for her. She was found murdered a week later, the restraining order balled up and shoved in her mouth. As an active investigator, Quinn is assigned a police vehicle, a green, unmarked Pontiac with tinted windows. Mitch tells the story of what he thinks happened: it wasn't Tillman who was following Elle, it was Quinn. The law wouldn't let Quinn do his job, and he wasn't going to let what happened to Madelyn happen again. When he saw Elle run from Tillman's building, he went inside to find Tillman passed out. He decided to kill Tillman with his own gun and make it look like suicide. Quinn denies everything, claiming Mitch is lying. Later, the jury finds Elle not guilty, and the judge releases her. Elated, she gives Mitch her office number. If he ever feels like it's all getting to be too much, the first session is on her.

Mitch bumps into Quinn in the hallway. Feeling ironic, Mitch remarks that there have been times when he knew someone was guilty, but just he couldn't prove it. Quinn allows that maybe he was in Tillman's apartment. Maybe Tillman was conscious; maybe he wanted Quinn to arrest Elle; maybe he promised he wouldn't let up until she was dead. But Quinn's just talking hypothetically. That night, Tammy asks Ray to sit down; she has something to say. She's watched Ray over the years, and she knows how important family is to him - they're the people he relies on and cares about most. The reason she wants to get married is that she wants to be like family for him. Ray explains that not everything in his life has worked out; he doesn't want to disappoint Tammy. Meanwhile, Andrew tells Alex that Sarah's laptop has been wiped. She orders him to continue keeping tabs on Mitch - and if anything else happens - it's on Andrew.

Four weeks later, Mitch is on the phone with Abby, Ray and Tammy, as he walks towards an outdoor cafe to meet Andrew. What he doesn't know is that two guys with guns are sitting in a black Escalade, talking to Alex, who orders them not to lose Mitch again.

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