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Harry's Law

Episode 1.02 : Heat of Passion

Harry's Law Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

January 24, 2011

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2011 - 2012

Production Company

Bonanza Productions Inc., Warner Bros. Television

Cast and Crew


Director

Bill D'Elia

Screenwriter

David E. Kelley

Main Cast


Additional Cast

Synopsis


Owner of the local laundromat Fung Lao runs into the street to accost Harry and Adam, yelling in rapid-fire Chinese. When Fung Lao's daughter Chunhua runs up, it's all Adam can do to keep himself from drooling, and he immediately puts himself at her service. Apparently, a former employee is suing Fung. Adam claims that labor law is his specialty and the case is no problem, until he learns the employee was fired because she got pregnant, and the laundromat has a one-child policy, just like in China.

Back at the shoe store, Malcolm's in a panic. Damien has gagged local big guy Nelson, and tied him to a dolly. Damien wants Malcolm to ply his "parapaplegal" skills to ensure the volatile Nelson understands the parameters of his restraining order. Malcolm gives in just as Harry enters. Satisfied, Damien wheels Nelson out of the store as an irate Harry lays into Malcolm. Does he have any idea what he's just done?! Aiding and abetting, false imprisonment, kidnapping? Harry warns Malcolm never to give legal advice, and sends him off to find Damien. Chunhua shows up with Fung. They've been served with papers calling them to court tomorrow for a declaratory judgment, saying the employee's firing was unlawful. Adam's upset to learn that infamous local lawyer and shameless self-promoter Tommy Jefferson will be representing the employee.

Harry visits her snarky insurance agent, who's balking on her malpractice policy. Why did Harry have to open her shop in such a crappy neighborhood? And why did she leave her cushy job? Harry admits she may have lost her mind, but least a lunatic can still practice law - if the lunatic has malpractice insurance. Besides, the neighborhood just received a huge windfall, which is going to make it safer. What's the windfall? It's Harry. Harry returns to the shop to find Adam banging his head against the desk, in anticipation of going up against Tommy Jefferson. Adam's day only gets worse when his freshly minted ex-girlfriend, sexy lawyer Rachel, shows up to urge him to get his old job back before it's too late.

Jenna's screams finally interrupt Rachel. Ahhh! There's a rat on the loose! Cool hand Harry whips out her gun, shoots the rat, and tells Malcolm to alert PETA, just as her next client walks in. At 87 years old, Anna Nicholson doesn't have much patience, and she wants Harry to clear her fat ass out of the neighborhood. People like Harry move in, rents go up, and people like Anna get pushed out. When Harry tries to show her the door, Anna admits she needs a lawyer. She's in the middle of her trial for armed robbery, and she heard Harry beat the prosecutor, DA Peyton. Anna presents Harry with a dirty sock, filled with all the money she has in the world, which stacks up to a whopping $26.

Having agreed to take the case, Harry's stumped for a defense, since a surveillance camera taped Anna's armed robbery. Malcolm proves an unwelcome distraction when Jenna pushes him towards the street, wearing a sandwich board advertising shoes on sale. Harry forbids this maneuver, despite Jenna's protests that they have to move product to pay the rent. Rachel returns looking for Adam, who's flown the coop. Rachel explains that Adam's a chronic over-reactor, on the run from his old life because of their break-up. He's brilliant, and she doesn't want to see him squander his talents, not to mention that Harry has a reputation of being a horrible mentor. Harry admits she hates young lawyers, then delivers a news flash: Adam doesn't want to quit; he likes his new job.

Adam stops by Tommy Jefferson's office, which is pre-lit for press conferences and features a big screen that rotates photos of Tommy shaking hands with Republican notables. Deciding he's going to call Adam "kid," Tommy clobbers him with a verbal barrage: what's a jury going to find more sympathetic, the Chinese evil empire or a baby; China or baby, China or baby? Adam can bend over and kiss his legal career goodbye, because that's what's going to happen if he bothers to show up in court. And if Adam's interested in making a deal, he'll need to come back with Harry, the big kahuna. Meanwhile Harry meets with Peyton hoping to strike a deal to keep Anna out of jail, but the best he'll do is three years, since most armed robbers get a minimum of six. Harry counsels Anna to accept the offer, but Anna refuses. She can't die in prison; anything but that.

Later, Harriet and Adam wait for Tommy in his office. Finally, Tommy blusters in late, telling Harry that he can walk into a courtroom shooting blanks and still win the battle. The question here isn't whether or not he'll win, it's whether Harry will take this opportunity to settle... for $1.2 million! Harry bites her tongue (well, not really) and politely dismisses the offer. Afterwards, Adam meets Rachel for lunch. Familiar with Tommy, Rachel offers some advice: Tommy has a temper, so Adam's best chance is to rattle him with constant interruptions. In the meantime, she's more concerned that Adam took Fung's case because Chunghua is pretty, not to mention that he's left his good job to work in the ghetto. It's time for Adam to grow up and face reality. Insisting he's fine, Adam pays the check and returns to court.

Jonathan Briggs, the victim of Anna's armed robbery, takes the stand to narrate the videotape of her crime. It's clear Anna pointed the gun at his head and threatened to blow his head off. When Harry refuses her turn to question Jonathan, Anna gripes. She wants her money sock back. Anna takes the stand to tell her story. Her son was sending her money but he got laid off and she got sick. Without health insurance, her bills took all her money. That's when she began quite literally to starve. She wrote her congressman, and he sent her a form letter asking for money, and that's when she had to resort to begging in the streets, and "self-help," i.e. robbing the liquor store that's creating drunks out of the local kids. After all, the government is only bailing out Wall Street, not poor, starving geriatrics.

On cross-examination, Peyton calls Anna adorable, so she calls him a douchebag. He laughs, admitting he can be, just as she can be an armed robber. Oddly enough, Anna comes off proud and unapologetic. Anna assures Peyton she's not proud. Didn't he hear her story, where she admitted to begging for money in the streets? After what she's had to do to stay alive the last 12 months, Anna's anything but proud. Chunhua finds Adam sitting outside the courtroom with his head in his hands. He admits he might have misled her when he said he could easily win the case - which was not because he wants to have sex with her, although dinner and a movie would be nice. Chunhua explains that China's one-child policy is more philosophy than policy, meant to target the extreme poverty and starvation that goes along with overpopulation.

Back at the store, Harry levels with Anna. There are certain things lawyers can't tell their clients. In fact, lawyers really serve the system, more so than their clients. For example, if Anna had a murder weapon in her handbag, Harry couldn't tell her to ditch it. Since Anna will immediately be taken into custody if found guilty, there's another thing Harry can't and won't tell her: she won't have time to visit her son in California. Anna appreciates that Harry is NOT telling her to flee, however she's lived her whole life in the neighborhood, and doesn't intend to leave now. Back in court, Peyton mounts his closing argument. Yes, he's a douchebag, and it's his job to go after nice people. Though there are 45 million people living in poverty in America, Anna robbed a man at gunpoint.

Peyton triggers a slideshow featuring pictures of hardened convicts, all doing time for armed robbery. Harry objects, but Peyton's made his point. Anna may be adorable, but her actions were not. The jury should abide by its duty to uphold the law. In her closing argument, Harry tries to invoke the necessity defense, for when a defendant commits a crime to prevent greater harm. Certainly Anna starving to death would be a greater crime than armed robbery. Peyton leaps up to object, and the judge agrees: the necessity defense must be invoked prior to trial. When Harry points out that she wasn't around prior to trial, the judge smacks her down again.

As a last resort, Harry appeals to the hearts of the jury, discussing the frank reality of Anna's bleak life situation. A guilty verdict for an 87-year-old woman is a death sentence. Again Petyon leaps up to object, and the judge threatens Harry with contempt. Harry acknowledges that she's already in contempt. The richest country in the world lets its poor starve. Since criminal law is primarily about rehab and retribution, the jury should ask themselves: Does Anna need rehab? As for retribution, isn't Anna's shame retribution enough? Certainly there's nothing this jury can do that the government hasn't already done to Anna. When the jury comes back with a not guilty verdict, Peyton barks with outrage. Harry thinks it's preposterous, but Anna's certain the verdict is just fine. Now, can she get her gun back?

Adam walks Chunhua home, still high about going to the Ohio Supreme Court. When Chunhua explains her father isn't comfortable with Adam working for free, Adam tells her a story. Back when he was in high school, he fantasized about playing varsity quarterback, with the most beautiful girl ever cheering him on from the stands. Of course, he was too chicken to try out for football and was captain of the debate team instead. The truth is, having Chunhua watch him argue before the Ohio Supreme Court will be living the dream. Touched, Chunhua gives Adam an appreciative peck on the cheek, and promises to see him in court.

Back at the store, Jenna grills Adam. Did he kiss Chunhua? Going slow is good, but only if Chunhua understands it as a sign of a respect, not disinterest. Finding Harry sitting glumly at her desk, Adam asks why she's not celebrating. Harry admits she's not sure what she's gotten herself into. Last week she was pulling down $600K, which she squandered, and now all she's got are clients with dirty socks. Jenna points out that in all her years of patent law, Harry never had a client who truly needed her, and already this week, she's had two! Anna stops by to give Harry a proper thank you and welcome her to the neighborhood. Everyone smiles feeling the love. Looks like Harry's Law & Fine Shoes is sticking around for awhile.

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