The Blame Game
Air date: January 19, 1998
Summary/Review by Dana Hagerty

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I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Every other episode is my new favorite, followed by an episode that I think is good, but "just okay." This one, for me, was in the "just okay" category. One thing I did like was seeing Ally finally deal head-on with some of her problems.

The episode begins with Ally and Georgia on a plane, and Ally complaining that she hates riding in coach. The plane starts to shake, and the pilot announces that there is trouble with one of the engines. The shaking becomes violent, the plane starts to decent, everyone is screaming – and Ally wakes up from her nightmare. Renee is awakened by Ally's screams, and comes in to calm her down. After Renee tells Ally that she's just nervous about her upcoming case, Ally recounts her dream, which ended with her in the water, and Georgia without her head. Renee can't help laughing, and when Ally tells her it isn't funny, Renee can't resist coming back with "you killed her."

The next morning, as Georgia and Ally get their coffee, they run into Glenn, the nude model Ally had a one-night stand with a few weeks ago. Glenn had told Ally he was leaving the country, so naturally she is surprised to see him. He explains that something came up. It's apparent to us that Ally isn't too happy about this, since the next thing we see is her taking a sword, slashing his body, and removing his head. (Note to any new viewers who are reading this because you saw that the show won Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globe awards: this is something that David E. Kelley will add periodically to the show – an "insight" into what Ally is really thinking at the time.) Glenn says that they should get together again sometime, and Ally says okay. As he walks away, Ally tells Georgia that he told her he was leaving the country, to which Georgia responds "bastard."

John Cage, Ally and Georgia are representing Cynthia Pierce and Michael Lamb, the children of a man who was killed in the crash of Flight 111 of Transatlantic Airlines. Cage, in his opening statement to the jury, asks the jury to repeat the words "res ipsa loquitur" which means "the thing speaks for itself." The plane crashed, and that speaks for itself, he says. He asks the jurors to repeat it again when he points. They do, and he announces that the jury pleases him.

Later, Glenn visits Ally in her office, and explains that he didn't call her after their one-night stand because he felt like she only slept with him because he was leaving the country. Of course, that was true, but when Ally tells him it wasn't true, he asks her out again.

In the unisex, Georgia is surprised that Ally is going out with Glenn again. Georgia asks about the sex, and when Ally responds "you have no idea," she immediately realizes that Georgia probably thinks Ally is comparing the sex with Glenn to her past relationship with Billy. She tells Georgia she didn't mean it that way.

The Chief Investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board is on the stand, answering Georgia's questions about what happened. He says all they know is the fuel tank exploded, but they have ruled out the possibility of a missile, bomb, or lightening as the cause. He believes it was mechanical failure. However, when the defense attorney questions him, he admits they found no evidence of mechanical failure. As the attorney continues questioning him, finally asking him if he ever claimed he was abducted by aliens, Ally envisions the witness getting smaller and smaller.

That night, the dancing baby returns, dancing in Ally's doorway as she and Glenn kiss on her bed. In the bar downstairs from the office, Georgia, Renee and Elaine are all waiting for Ally, who is late meeting Renee. Once she joins them, Renee exclaims that Ally has that sex afterglow, and Ally turns red with embarrassment. When Georgia asks if she was with Glenn, Ally doesn't answer, and the girls start harassing her. When Billy arrives, asking where Ally's been, Elaine announces that she's been out climbing Jack's beanstalk. I'm sure Ally wanted to call Elaine something else at this point, but she settles for "isn't she a stitch?"

Ally goes upstairs to the unisex, and while looking in the mirror and telling herself that she doesn't have an afterglow, Cage comes crashing out from inside a stall. He explains that he was doing isometrics, and his dismounts are usually quite fluid. He asks Ally if they could suspend planning their first date until she's finished with the "well-endowed model." Ally says she understands.

Billy enters the unisex while Cage is leaving, and asks Ally about her dating Glenn. When he asks her if she is sleeping with him, she responds "you can't ask me that." He keeps trying to get an answer from her, but she stands her ground.

The next day, Glenn comes to the office to ask Ally out to dinner. She accepts. Billy watches him leave. At the courthouse, Ally is telling Renee that she thinks Billy is jealous, but that aside, she is worried that she may really like Glenn.

Cage has asked Ally to "be him" at the settlement conference. She goes through Cage's ritual with the water glass. He pours it very slowly for her, she takes a drink, she sniffs it, and Cage nods his approval. She stands up, and using several of Cage's mannerisms, explains to the defense attorney that there has to be a reason for this crash. It was either a bad plane or a bad pilot, but these things can't just happen.

Ally and Glenn are having dinner at the bar when he tells her that he still feels like a sexual object to her. He also doesn't think that they have a future, and as the entire bar sings "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye" to Ally (in her mind), Glenn admits he has a complex with successful working women. He says he should probably leave, Ally says she'll pay ("I'm a successful working woman"), and Glenn kisses her on the top of the head as he leaves. (Doesn't this always happen when you finally admit to yourself that you actually like someone?)

Ally wants to get even, and she and Renee decide to do "the penguin," even though at first Renee thinks they shouldn't because they are adults and lawyers. They put the plan into motion. Renee goes to see Glenn, and tells him that while he might not enjoy being a one-night stand, she does. She says "I've been holding your clay self in my hands and it's time for me to chisel the real thing." Glenn wonders if Ally knows about this, and Renee assures him that Ally told her to help herself.

At the office, Billy tells Ally that he is a little disappointed in "this thing" with the model. (Elaine, never to disappoint, is eavesdropping with a directional microphone.) Billy says that Ally's promiscuity makes the firm look bad. Finally having taken enough, Ally tells Billy that who she dates doesn't concern the firm and it doesn't concern him. He calls her "bitch" – she calls him "lawyer." He walks away.

In Cage's closing argument, he tells the jury that the defendants have money, the plaintiffs want that money, and he needs the jury to make the airline give it to them. "If you spank Transatlantic hard enough, you can make it in their economic interest not to ever let another plane come down," Cage says.

That night, Glenn and Renee are out in Glenn's jeep in the middle of nowhere, and Renee tells him to pull over. They get out, and she asks him if he's ever had a penguin. Ally and Georgia are nearby in their vehicle, watching through night vision binoculars that Ally rented. Renee unzips Glenn's pants and lets them drop to his ankles. Georgia is surprised that he's wearing Speedo's, but Ally says they are an Italian knock-off, and they're wintergreen scented. Renee tells Glenn to lower his shorts to his ankles, then walk towards her. She continues to back up, faster and faster, until Glenn is waddling to her, like a penguin. When they reach a road, Ally drives up, shining the headlights in Glenn's direction, and picks up Renee, leaving Glenn in the middle of the road.

The next day, Billy tries to apologize to Ally for being what she calls "ass-holy". But when he tells her that their past gets diluted for him when she's been with everybody, she gets angry. He calls her "bitch," she calls him "man."

The defense attorney is giving his closing argument, and in a few sentences, sums up what this episode is all about. "If you get hurt, there's got to be a bad guy," he says. "Pain doesn't just happen, there's got to be somebody to blame." Ally feels like he was talking to her, and while walking through the courthouse with Renee, asks her if she blames other people for all of her problems. With no hesitation, Renee answers "yes." Ally tells her to consider her answer, and Renee answers "yes" quickly again. Then Ally says this is why she pushes too hard with men – she is starved for communication because all she gets from her roommate is knee-jerk quips. "You just blamed me for your problems with men," Renee says.

Ally comes back to the office, and finds Glenn waiting for her in her office. Billy is walking in behind her, and at first she tells him to leave, then changes her mind and tells him to stay. She apologizes to both of them, and in the process admits to Glenn that she did only sleep with him because he was leaving the country. She says Glenn stung because she looked at him as a could-be, and Billy still stings without even trying. Ally gets called to the conference room, where their clients are discussing an offer that's been made by the airline. The clients decide not to take it. Good call. The jury comes back with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and awards them $1.1 million.

That night at the bar, Billy and Georgia get up to dance. Billy asks Ally if she wants him to round up a twin for her, but she declines. Another guy comes up and asks her to dance, and she declines that offer, too.

Later, Ally is upstairs and Billy comes up to talk to her. He admits that he does still get jealous when he sees Ally with someone else. She admits that she felt like she was betraying him when she was with Glenn. Billy then says that he knows one of these days, she's going to meet somebody, for real. He walks away, leaving Ally alone with her thoughts.


Why did they bring the dancing baby back in this episode? What was the point? It almost seemed to me like they inserted that shot just because the baby was so popular.

I was glad to see Ally stand up to Billy. Personally, I hope they have moved on to the next level of their friendship. The end where Billy really opened up to Ally was very touching, and you could tell that he will truly be sad when she falls in love with someone else. But, I also believe that Billy knows he and Ally will never again have what they shared before.

I wonder what happened to the date Cage and Ally were supposed to have the night after "fight night"?

In one scene, Vonda was singing with the Ikettes, Elaine's backup singers from the Christmas party.

Some of my favorite lines from this one:
Ally: "I bit his hook line and swallowed his sinker."

Ally: "I don't like to attach anything audio to him."
Richard: "Toosh" **

Billy to Ally: "Didn't do enough today?"
Ally: "Why? Who do you got?"

And, we even had a repeat nose whistle by Cage.

Copyright © 1998 Dana Hagerty. All rights reserved.