There are a lot of things that attorneys shouldn’t be caught doing when they’re in the midst of preparing a case, but one that’s surely near the top of that to-don’t-do list is withholding information. Unfortunately, this is the first thing that Josh does when we see him this week, making the decision to not rush over to Carol Anne’s office and tell her that they’ve found Larry’s purported “murdering stick.” Worse, she’s now got financial backing from Jeremiah Davis, who’s decided to offer a $50,000 reward to whosoever findeth the “murdering stick,” which is the sort of sum that – let’s face it – could potentially turn someone on Josh’s team to the dark side. If only there was some way to lend credence to Larry’s theory that his wife committed suicide by hitting herself over the head with the stick…
But wait! Since Jeremiah flipped his funding over to the prosecution and left Larry’s defense team flat broke, is it possible that someone on Team Larry could turn in the “murdering stick” and use Jeremiah’s reward money to continue funding the defense team? Well, sure, this is TV, so anything’s possible. Certainly, Josh could use the money, since it’s becoming increasingly clear that his station within his law firm is slipping away with each passing day that he’s spending in South Carolina, and when your “murder board” literally only leads to one suspect and it’s your client… Well, let’s just say that when the episode begins, Josh’s confidence level has seen better days, so when Larry indicates that he’s planning to take the stand, there’s really nothing else Josh can do except erupt with the words, “Fuck, no!”
Not that Larry’s been making it a habit of listening to Josh’s advice: he immediately heads to the courtroom – which, as the sign outside helpfully explains, is not in session – and teams up with Summer and Anne to practice his testimony. It predominantly serves as an excuse for the writers to have fun trotting out all of the classic courtroom clichés from TV and film, but you won’t find me complaining about getting to hear John Lithgow deliver the line, “Overruled: I want to see where she’s going with this.” Anne also gets a couple of wonderful moments, including her reaction to Larry’s change of expression, but the best of the bunch is when she successfully stuns Larry with her wholly tact-free question about his sex life and makes him realize that all the practicing and recitation in the world isn’t going to prepare him enough to deal with a prosecutor as crazed as Carol Anne.
Meanwhile, Josh and Dwayne make their way to the library, where they find out what Margaret had learned in the hours before her death: when her father died, the ownership of his business was supposed to be split between her and her brother Jeremiah, but instead he ended up with the whole kit and caboodle. The fact that she turned up dead almost immediately after discovering this situation proves to be enough in Josh’s eyes to add Jeremiah to the murder board. At last, another suspect!
Confronting Jeremiah about his situation on the golf course serves to literally throw him off his game, which makes it totally worth doing, of course, but the funniest moment on the course comes not from Jeremiah but from his caddy, who reads his responses to the questions he’s asked from a piece of paper hidden in his palm, and when he’s caught, he stuffs them in his mouth, jumps in his car, and speeds off, revealing a license plate which reads, “TOBACCO 2.” So, yeah, possibly not a completely above-board relationship there.
Unsurprisingly, Carol Anne is growing increasingly furious with the way her case is starting to fall apart, leading to her lashing out on a regular basis, but it’s hard to argue when a drained lake at the golf course leads to the discovery of some potentially-incriminating golf clubs and cannonballs. What’s really frustrating Carol Anne, however, is the fact that now that Jeremiah is a suspect, he can’t fund her campaign as she runs for D.A. Oh, and it’s possible – just maybe – that there might also be some sexual tension between her and Josh. But I could be reading it wrong. One thing you can’t read wrong, however, is Josie Davis’s expression when she delivers the closing line of tonight’s first episode: “My husband is a bad man.” Cue the devious smirk.
The fact that one of the first gags in the second episode of the evening involves Anne suffering from a malady called Foreign Accent Syndrome should’ve been a hint that we were going to be enduring a few rough patches in this particular installment. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great lines and situations scattered throughout the episode, most notably the clips of Larry on a public access show in 1987, but there are also moments which feel more predictable than we’ve seen in previous episodes, like the jokes about Summer’s scumbag boyfriend, or how the townsfolk are so simple and trusting that the banker leaves the legal team with the key to the joint and tells them to lock up when they’re done.
We do at least get a new suspect during the course of this episode: the guy whose arm was found in the pond but who got a huge payout from Jeremiah’s company as well as a prosthetic left arm which – callback, ahoy! – could well explain the lack of fingerprints at the murder scene. We also learn that Judy had a thing for Larry, which might’ve been what led to Margaret’s murder. And what’s this about Summer’s mom? It’s another interesting twist, to be sure.
But let’s not forget Larry’s big TV appearance, where he decides he’s going to try and clear his name by going on the air with the local news anchor and offering to take a lie detector test. He does so, and damned if he doesn’t prove himself to be innocent. Well, probably, anyway. It’s a little murky by the time things wrap up, with his failure to divulge everything to his daughter about her childhood, but at the very least, we’re kept guessing enough to keep us coming back for more.
- Did I miss it being mentioned before, or was this the first time we’ve actually heard that Jeremiah’s company’s name is “Davis Tobacco and Candy”?
- “I can’t help it if my favorite television show is How to Get Away with Murder!”
- Ghost ticket!
- Murder board! Murder board!
- Cannonballs are the third leading cause of death in town, after obesity and emphysema. What a great callback gag.
- “What’d the arm look like?” “Like this one, but left.”