First things first: if the arrival of this review has you befuddled, then you must have missed the memo about how NBC opted to slip in an extra episode this week in order to be able to wrap up this first – and please oh please, don’t let it be the last – season of Trial & Error with its final two episodes on Tuesday.
With that out of the way, let’s leap right back into the courtroom proceedings, shall we? As it turns out, Carol Ann doesn’t have much left to offer in terms of witnesses, although we’re favored with the return of Larry’s brother-in-law, Jeremiah, who takes the stand to offer up some sexism (“Obviously, she didn’t work; she was a woman, after all), an appearance from Dr. Senior Junior, friendly neighborhood unintelligible coroner, and a glass-shards expert who is positively sleep-inducing. In a related note, we also learn that – shocker! – Anne suffers from another malady: nocturnal lagophthalmos, a.k.a. sleeping with your eyes open, which results in a funny callback later in the episode when she’s at the wheel. But after Josh wisely passes on any coroner cross-examination, Carol Anne announces that the prosecution rests, inspiring Larry to shout, “Praise the lord!”
Hey, not so fast with that lord-praising, chief: there’s still that little matter of mounting the defense.
Once Larry, John, and the team get back to the office (such as it is), Josh is the only one who’s steadfastly attempting to dive right back into work and make sure that the defense is as good as it possibly can be, prompting Larry to mutter, “Maybe you should be on trial for killing the mood.” Josh’s attempts to jumpstart the group’s enthusiasm by chanting, “Mur-der BOARD! Mur-der BOARD!” fail miserably – the price of not being as cool as Carol Anne, apparently – but after the group wraps up, he does manage to get Larry riled up by going to answer the cell phone ringing in Larry’s coat pocket and discovering that, in fact, it’s Margaret’s cell phone.
Of course, this is no shock to us, since we saw at the end of last episode that he had it on his desk, but Josh is completely blindsided. Maybe not quite as blindsided as he was by, say, being tackled by Larry, but it still throws him for a loop, particularly when Larry explains that he only hid the phone from Josh because of the incredibly incriminating information on the phone. Not incriminating to him, mind you, but to Summer.
From there, we start learning a bit more about the “complicated relationship” between Summer and Margaret through a combination of first-hand remembrances and old security footage featuring potentially controversial quotes. We also discover that Summer was, in fact, in town when Margaret died, but to confirm her whereabouts, Josh and Anne head over to Jeremiah’s temporary on-campus housing to check out her alibi. As it turns out, her alibi doesn’t hold up, since she told Jeremiah that she was going to see a Michael Jackson concert…seven years after his death. Why did she tell him that? Because she was too embarrassed to admit that she’d gone to a party at Jessup Farm.
And oh what a party it was: Summer went there to blow off steam, but she ended up experimenting with a hallucinogen and forgetting everything she did that evening. In an effort to go above and beyond the call of duty, Dwayne decides to visit Jessup Farm, which has apparently been the site of many a close encounter for his family, and sip on some Ayahuasca tea in hopes of being overcome by its hallucinogenic effects and taking a trip that might pave the way for a successful end to the case for both Summer and Larry.
A save-the-day moment couldn’t come at a better time, frankly. Tom Hinkle’s appearance on the stand started going horribly wrong when Carol Anne decided to play up his tendency to leave, uh, additional DNA contributions, shall we say. Larry’s subsequent offer of hand sanitizer to anyone who might need it was an unexpected but wonderful moment, but for the moment that delivered the biggest laugh of the episode, I’m going to have to go with Anne taking the stand and belting out “I Will Always Love You.” Sure, the whole performance ends up being moot, since the testimony of someone who can’t identify faces is ultimately pretty worthless, but it’s still a brilliant moment.
So where do things stand with the case? Well, given that she’s already got a case of champagne at the ready, it’s fair to say that Carol Anne’s feeling pretty confident. If she’s feeling that way now, though, one can only imagine how she’d feel after seeing the footage Dwayne was able to secure as a result of his trip to Jessup Farm, with Summer cracking open pumpkins like they were human skulls and announcing menacingly, “I’m gonna go get my jewelry back!”
It doesn’t exactly paint the prettiest picture of Summer, but as it happens, that’s ostensibly a good thing, as it provides Josh with the opportunity to try a different strategy when he puts Summer on the stand. It’s not his first choice of strategy, mind you, but the guy’s rolling with the punches as best he can. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how Josh rolls with Larry’s end-of-episode roundhouse punch: a sudden decision to keep Summer off the stand by taking the heat himself and announcing, “I did it!”
- “My stamina is legendary,” says Carol Anne. “I can go for days, weeks, even months.” I really wondered how long they were going to let her stare into the camera. Just long enough to be funny, as it turns out.
- So when Anne drinks too much, she develops slurred speech, gets belligerent, and wakes up with a headache? Yep, well, that’ll happen.
- “Wine helps silence the inner critic.” I would like that on a t-shirt, please.
- Just the mental image of Larry going up to Margaret’s coffin and trying to use her finger to access her phone… I’m laughing right now.
- I have such a crush on 2011 goth Summer.
- These kids today, what with their grasp of feces-shaped emojis.
- “I don’t like this!”· “I’m an alto. Is that perjury?”
- Lastly, since the season wraps up on Tuesday, this is your last chance to offer up a theory: who do you think actually did kill Margaret? To the comments section!