WHAT'S HOT?

Harry's Law

Episode 1.03 : Innocent Man

Harry's Law Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

January 31, 2011

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2011 - 2012

Production Company

Bonanza Productions Inc., Warner Bros. Television

Cast and Crew


Director

Stephen Cragg

Screenwriter

David E. Kelley

Main Cast

Synopsis


On her way to work, Harry is waylaid by a commotion in front of the Laundromat. An angry Fung is yelling at an angry crowd of demonstrators and cops in Chinese. Who threw the brick through his window? Meanwhile, Tommy Jefferson is presenting his pregnant client Diana Kremp at a press conference, which is streaming online. Chunhua, Harry and her team gather to watch it on a laptop at the store. Since everyone now hates him, Fung has decided he wants to give Diana her job back. Adam presents this offer to Tommy, but he's still pissed off about Adam's behavior in court, and rants on about how Adam is a rude, "peepy, squeaky little bug." Furthermore, Adam should go away and not come back until he's ready to offer Diana not only her job, but $2 million as well.

Damien stops by the store with his bookie, Father Jimmy Nance, who tells Harry about a congregant who confessed his sins before taking his life five days ago. Apparently this man's false "eyewitness" testimony put an innocent man, Jeffrey Rollins, in jail for life. Nance wants to help, but knows he'll be excommunicated for breaking the confessional seal. For her part, Harry knows that no DA will release a convicted murderer unless Nance goes on the record. Stunned, Nance decides he needs to go forward, regardless of the consequences. Over lunch, Rachel asks Adam if he's had sex with Chunhua. Adam's not worked up over Chunhua; it's Tommy and his refusal to consider Fung's offer. Rachel challenges Adam to deliver the offer to Diana himself. Even if it's unethical, Tommy's refusal to do so is equally unethical, so he won't be able to report Adam. And if it's all about Chunhua, this move is sure to impress.

Jeffrey Rollins is an imposing, angry-looking man, and he's annoyed that Harry and Father Nance have picked today of all days to visit him in jail. He's slated to go before the parole board tomorrow, and if all goes well, he's going to walk out of jail for good. His last hearing four years ago didn't go so well. Even though the warden recommended release per Rollins' exemplary behavior, the parole board denied him, claiming he needed to accept responsibility for his crime - despite the fact that he'd maintained his innocence for 20 years. Realizing Rollins intends to profess his guilt to get parole, Harry points out that he won't be a free man, but a convicted murderer on furlough. Furthermore, he'll never get a shot at a new trial. Afterwards, Father Nance asks Harry if she feels good about the impassioned speech she just delivered, since she probably just talked Rollins out of doing the one thing that will get him out of jail.

Surly, obese Yvonne Morris enters the store and immediately gloms onto Malcolm, who agrees to evaluate her case in his capacity as paralegal. Yvonne explains: she's fat, and it's all because of fast food row, which she has to pass everyday on her way to work and her way home. She smells it, she likes it, she eats it, and now she wants to shut the fast food joints down. After some research, Malcolm thinks it's possible to carve out a nuisance claim, but Harry knows it's been done already and she doesn't have the resources. When Malcolm asks permission to keep researching, Harry says no, but Jenna prevails, asking what harm research can do.

Harry returns to jail to apologize to Rollins for her sanctimonious speech. Hell, if it were her ass, she'd do whatever it took to get out of jail. Rollins surprises Harry, asking her to come to his hearing. She agrees, but warns that if he's going to claim guilt, he'd better get his heart in it. Rollins mentions that he has a son he's never met. He figured that one day, he'd at least be able to clear the family name; now he won't even get to do that. Harry agrees; once Rollins declares guilt, he'll own it. Tommy stops by the store to present an alternate settlement proposal, refusing to deal with Adam. Harry tells Tommy to leave the offer on her desk, just as Malcolm bustles in with Yvonne. Annoyed that she's already said no, Harry politely explains herself to Yvonne and leaves. Seeing the opportunity for media maelstrom, Tommy tells Malcolm to bring Yvonne to see him.

At the hearing, head of the parole board Linda Yates commends Rollins as an exemplary inmate. The warden has argued passionately for his release once again. Does Rollins wish to bring anything new to the table? Looking ferocious, Rollins claims he's sorry for committing murder - even though he hasn't expressed his sympathy to the victim's family, nor talked to the prison chaplain. After conferring with the board, Yates quips that it would be a shame to lose Rollins, since he's been such a good influence on younger inmates. But since he hasn't been sincere - hasn't engaged with the clergy or the victim's family - his parole is denied. Irate, Harry jumps to her feet and interjects, despite the fact she's not supposed to talk at this hearing. How can the board flip flop, denying parole when Rollins refused to admit guilt and when he did!? When Yates threatens to call security, Harry threatens to haul her into court, and after a few choice epithets, huffs out.

Afterwards, Harry tells Rollins that she's scheduled a meeting with the DA. Rollins thinks she's wasting her time. Fed up, Harry offers a pact: she'll do whatever she can to get him released, if he'll practice not being an asshole. And he should stop with his glaring - it's not scary. Meanwhile, Adam delivers Fung's offer to Diana, and Malcom delivers Yvonne to Tommy. Spinning out with puns in poor taste, Tommy tells Yvonne that she's a triple crown plaintiff: fat, black and poor. That's what's good about her. What's bad about her - she's too grumpy. A jury will never take her side. She needs to get herself a personality makeover and come back likable. When Yvonne leaves, Malcolm scolds Tommy for his insensitivity, and offers a sizable folder of the research he's done on the case. Tommy asks Malcolm where it says he should talk, so Malcolm throws the folder on Tommy's desk and leaves.

Harry visits her old friend, Judge Beeman, to plead Rollins' case. He already knows Harry's ears are mostly deaf, but he reminds her that a sealed confession to a priest is inadmissible in court. And if she tried to clear Rollins' name this way, she's going to do nothing but cause anguish for both him and the victim's family. As a judge and a friend, he advises her to let the case go, knowing full well that she can't. Later, Tommy comes by the store, unable to believe that "a little drug addict office boy" wrote the legal research for Yvonne's case. Finally convinced, he offers Malcolm a chance to assist him on the case - an opportunity to observe Tommy Jefferson up close! Malcolm promises to think about it.

Harry visits the prison to give Rollins an update. When he asks if she has white guilt, Harry blows up. Until now, Rollins hasn't offended her, but now she has to set the record straight: "Screw you!" Even though Ohio Parole Board hearings are non-reviewable, her judge friend got her an audience with the Ohio Appellate Court, and Harry's trying to get Rollins transferred there so the court can put a face on his case. An angry Diana visits Tommy, explaining that Adam came to her house to offer her job back. Tommy's irate, but Diana trumps his wrath. How could Tommy actually think he could get $2 million!? Out of a laundromat? He's fired!

The three judges on the appellate court explain the facts to Harry and Rollins. As far as the parole board is concerned, Rollins is guilty, so the only question is whether or not he's rehabilitated, and whether he accepts responsibility for his actions. Harry can't be suggesting that every parole board hearing should be a re-examination of evidence? Harry gets it. Nevertheless, our criminal justice system turns out hundreds of wrongful convictions per year. When Judge Rodas explains that the Ohio Parole Board doesn't require prisoners to admit guilt, Harry gets testy. They may not require it, but they do practice it; everyone knows it's nearly impossible to achieve parole without an admission of guilt. And if Rollins declares his guilt, he'll never be able to clear his name. Besides an admission of guilt would be a lie - do they even care about that?

When one of the judges admits they're well aware of the system's potential unfairness, Harry throws caution to the wind. Their awareness makes their acquiescence all the more disgusting! When one of the judges moves to end the hearing immediately, having run out of patience, Rollins pounds on a table. They've run out of patience?! Wide-eyed, Harry advises Rollins not to speak, but he knows this may be his last chance to have his say. The judges talk about respecting the system, which put him in jail, which is apparently based on a lie, and now they're telling him to lie to get out of it! They don't care about him; they're just worried about their precious system. So when does conscience come into it? Harry politely asks the court for an order so that the parole board won't condition Rollins' release on his admission of guilt. After all, the judges said that's technically the law.

Harriet is incensed to hear that Malcolm intends to help Tommy with Yvonne's case. Malcolm protests - Tommy's giving him real law work to do. Harry reminds Malcolm that he's not an attorney, and therefore unqualified to do such work. Malcolm promises that anything he does with Tommy won't interfere with working for Harry. Tommy runs into Adam and Chunhua on the street and a light bulb goes off in his head. Apparently Adam's peepy squeaky behavior has been all about love! Adam's polite, but when Tommy rants about disbarment, Adam reminds him that he failed to convey Adam's offer, which is also grounds for disbarment. Besides, Adam's just a kid, and kids make mistakes; Tommy's way old enough to know better.

In the hearing room, yet another parole board meeting is underway, and Yates is already frustrated with Harry. What does Harry expect them to do? Harry expects them not to condition their potential release of Rollins based on his admission of guilt, in compliance with both the law and the order she just received from the appellate court. Why not be fair? When Yates claims the only thing owed to Rollins is due process, Harry invites her to grant him some fairness anyway. Rollins has served 25 years, been an exemplary prisoner, and the warden has petitioned for his freedom twice. Even if he's guilty, he's done his time. Why not let him go? When Yates asks if Rollins has anything to add, he admits he has condemned the judicial process, and probably condemned the players in the process, when he probably should be thanking certain individuals. He's brought hatred into the room where it doesn't belong. He's been a good man on the inside, and promises to be a good man on the outside too.

After just a few minutes of deliberation, Yates and the board grant Rollins parole. Stunned, Rollins and Harry can barely believe what happened. Afterwards, Harry meets Tommy for a drink. He explains that he didn't have the chance to present Adam's offer to Diana. When Harry promises to take care of the matter with Adam, Tommy grumbles that Adam isn't without talent, even if he is rude. Unable to believe that Harry's opening a firm at her advanced age, Tommy invites her to come work for him. At least it'll be cushy. Stunned, Harry declines the offer, but wants to know why Tommy made it. Tommy admits he doesn't have the same pedigree as Harry, and never gets invitations like she does. Harry suggests that if Tommy wants to be taken seriously, he might dispense with all the pomp and nonsense, even if it made him what he is today. Tommy admits, dignity's never been his strong suit.

Now that the case against the laundromat has been dismissed, Adam invites Chunhua to a celebratory dinner. She muses over inviting her father, then agrees that she and Adam can celebrate alone together - with a couple of passionate kisses on the street corner. Meanwhile, Harry waits to pick up Rollins as he walks through the prison gates. The car ride isn't very chatty. Rollins admits all he's dreamed about for the last 25 years is walking down the street in his old neighborhood. Harry thinks the reason they released Rollins is that he finally showed some humility, which he's definitely going to need to survive on the outside. When they reach Rollins' old neighborhood, Harry tells him to get on with his daydream, and finally rates a smile, which nearly brings her to tears.

Now that the case against the laundromat has been dismissed, Adam invites Chunhua to a celebratory dinner. She muses over inviting her father, then agrees that she and Adam can celebrate alone together - with a couple of passionate kisses on the street corner. Meanwhile, Harry waits to pick up Rollins as he walks through the prison gates. The car ride isn't very chatty. Rollins admits all he's dreamed about for the last 25 years is walking down the street in his old neighborhood. Harry thinks the reason they released Rollins is that he finally showed some humility, which he's definitely going to need to survive on the outside. When they reach Rollins' old neighborhood, Harry tells him to get on with his daydream, and finally rates a smile, which nearly brings her to tears.

Reader's Reviews


Screen Name
Rate This TV
Comment