Saturday, October 2, 2010

US Television: Outlaw, Episode 1.3, "In RE: Jessica Davis"

Season One, Episode Three, In RE:  Jessica Davis
Original Air Date:  October 1, 2010

Garza's bookie, Doc, surprises him with a nighttime visit.  Cyrus and his team take the case of a Baltimore mother who left her child in her car resulting in the child's death.  Meanwhile, Eddie and Lucinda work the case of one of Al's former clients, Desdemona. 

Doc and an extremely large and intimidating man, Tiny, awaken Cyrus in the middle of the night.  Doc wants his money and gives Cyrus twenty-four hours.  The next morning, Cyrus asks his boss for an advance of $200,000.  She ends up agreeing to give him the money after letting him know that her boyfriend asked her to marry him and she obviously said 'yes'.

Mereta presents Cyrus with a newspaper about the case of a woman in Baltimore who forgot her child in her car resulting in the child's death.  Cyrus, Al and Eddie all notice a story about a sports player, Ray Lewis, injured in his bathtub over the baby story shocking Mereta and Lucinda.  The case is interesting to Cyrus and the team because of similar cases in other cities and states that do not get prosecuted.  Some parents are prosecuted for the deaths, others not.  Cyrus' team is drafting a motion to dismiss the Davis case.

In Baltimore, Cyrus and Al speak with the district attorney prosecuting the case.  They want the case dismissed on equal protection.  The D.A. insists the case will not be thrown out on a "technicality".  When Cyrus asks him if he really wants to go after a mom who is stricken with grief, the D.A. sort of laughs it off asking if they have even met their client, which they haven't.

Cyrus and Al have a meeting with the parents of the deceased little girl.  The mother is strangely cold about the death of her daughter.  She states the facts of the case in a matter-of-fact way like she would be stating what items she has on her shopping list.  She even mentions the bagels in the kitchen at work.  Later, her husband speaks with Al and Cyrus alone and tells them his wife isn't as cold as she seems. 

Cyrus uses the money he got from his boss to place a bet with Doc that he feels will cover what he owes him.  With Ray Lewis out, the team is sure to lose and Cyrus is guaranteed a win.  Doc agrees to the bet.

Eddie used to be in a boy band, "In Heat" that had actually opened for Boy George in Waukegan, was almost on the Today Show and even Soul Train.  Lucinda is having a great time teasing him over it and finds photos of the band on the Internet.  The teasing continues even as Eddie and Lucinda work the case of one of Al's old clients, Desdemona, who is in jail for drug charges.  Eddie is clearly uncomfortable with the case and his client.  She wants him to post bail for her because Al always did but Eddie doesn't want to. 

Desdemona arrives in court and she has been beaten while in jail.  Eddie tries to broker a deal for her but the only offer on the table is 90 days.  He knows she won't be able to survive that long in prison.  He asks Lucinda to find Bob, the guy in the car with Desdemona at the time she was arrested.  When they find him, he is a straight-laced professional with a family who claims to not even know Desdemona.  Eddie takes Bob's name and info to the prosecutor and tells her to contact him to confirm Desdemona's story.  If he doesn't he will put Bob on the stand to blow his cover in front of his wife.  He gives her the choice to take the deal he offers or he will destroy the lives of Bob and his wife.  The case against her is dropped.

Al manages to get the Howard County D.A. to give a sworn statement that she would not have filed charges against Jessica Davis.  The judge in Cyrus' case isn't impressed with the equal protection briefs prepared by the defense.  When Cyrus brings up the issue of the Howard County D.A.'s statement, the Baltimore D.A. objects and the judge refuses to dismiss the charges.

Now having to work on a case to keep Jessica Davis out of prison, Cyrus wants experts that can tell him and the jury why a good mother would have forgotten her child.  He wants to know if anyone saw her when she discovered the girl and whether or not she showed any emotion and, if she didn't, why she didn't.  Cyrus' boss drops off his advance and the contents of Jessica Davis' SUV.

A psychiatrist brought in to evaluate Jessica believes she is dissociating.  She's using anger to mask her pain.  She also offers to testify in court that she believes the death of the little girl was an accident. 

The evidence in court is damning to Davis.  The officer on scene describes her as being so cool and collected that he didn't know she was the child's mother at first.  She didn't even call 911.  He found her behavior "unnatural".  Cyrus turns the testimony in his favor a bit when he states she didn't call 911 because she was administering CPR and he is able to get the officer to admit there is no evidence that Jessica Davis is an unfit mother. 

Naomi Bachman, Jessica Davis' closest friend, is the next witness the prosecution calls to the stand.  She paints a picture of Jessica as being stressed and resentful of the fact her husband was laid off work and that she didn't really want the baby; she was an accident.  She said that two days before the baby died, Jessica called her and told her the child was driving her crazy and she wished she'd never been born. 

Not only is the case not going well for Cyrus, Ray Lewis is cleared to play in the game and his bet is in jeopardy.  The M.E.'s testimony will be devastating to the case.  When the witness is called in court, Cyrus presents a motion asking if his client can be excused from the courtroom because hearing the details of her daughters death would be too emotionally devastating for her.  The prosecutor objects vehemently and the judge refuses to grant the motion.  She must stay in the courtroom and listen to the testimony.  While doing so, Davis digs her fingernails so deeply into her hand that she breaks the skin.

Cyrus calls Doc about his bet but it has already been placed.  A witness Cyrus calls to the stand gives the jury a scientific explanation of how a parent could forget their child is in the car.  She describes several factors that could have led Davis' brain to forget her daughter. 

The team disagree over whether or not Davis should take the stand in her own defense.  When Cyrus drops the box of items from her SUV onto the floor they hear strange noises coming from it.  He picks the box up and drops it again and they hear the sounds again.  A child's toy that allows a parent to record their voice for their child has recorded Davis' emotion when she discovered her daughter in her car.  She is clearly distressed and highly emotional and performing CPR on her daughter.  Cyrus takes the toy to the judge's chambers for him and the prosecutor to hear.  Because Cyrus cannot establish a timeline as to when the recording was made, the judge excludes the tape from evidence.

Knowing they are backed into a corner, Cyrus agrees to put Davis on the stand.  She is cold on the stand.  Cyrus pushes her harder and harder to try and bring out the emotion he knows she feels over her daughters death.  Eventually, she breaks into tears.  Both Cyrus and the prosecutor deliver excellent closing speeches.  The jury returns a 'not guilty' verdict.  Cyrus also gets lucky when his bet wins and he is closed out with Doc.

I loved the storyline with Eddie, Lucinda and Desdemona.  Eddie and Lucinda play very well off one another.  I admit I'm curious to know how long it will be before they finally hook up (if the series lasts).  You know it will happen eventually!  I also like that Doc was back briefly.  While the writers aren't focusing on Garza's bad habits, they are still introducing them here and there.  I still want to know who the guy following Cyrus in the pilot was, and why he was tailing him.

One thing I do like about this show is the cases Garza and his team take aren't the sort of cases you'd see on your typical legal drama.  They are emotionally and politically charged cases.  The ratings don't seem to be that great at the moment though, do they? Perhaps another time slot might help things some.  I don't know.  I really want this show to succeed because I want Jimmy Smits to have another success on his hands and I want to be able to see him on television for a long time to come.  With cancellations of the new season already starting to come in, I guess fans of Outlaw will just have to wait and see if the show will be able to weather the storm and finish the 13 episode run that has been ordered and go beyond that.

Outlaw airs on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. Central) on NBC.
For more information:
NBC Official Site:
Internet Movie Database:
TV Rage:

No comments:

Post a Comment