In the morning meeting in the conference room, they discuss the case that Ally will help Bobby on. Richard says the CEO can have his heart. "I never use it," he says. We learn Cage is going to trial today on a case involving his second cousin, Alan Farmer. He's charged with misdemeanor battery because he assaults happy people. Renee drew the case so Cage anticipates "a battle hard-fought but fair." During all of this, Ally has continued to look for her green hair. Richard finds it, plucks it out, and sniffs it.
Bobby goes before Judge Hall to get a court order to make the hospital let Mr. Michaelson (the CEO) and Bernie Gilson (the janitor) switch hearts. The attorney representing the hospital says that this kind of "voodoo surgery" could cause the hospital to lose grants. "Not if some pro-voodoo judge sticks you with a court order," the judge says. He decides to hear Mr. Gilson's side of the story the next day.
The first witness on Cage's case is Julie Martin. She testifies that she was on the subway, sitting next to a man she was dating, when "Thwap. That awful person hit me, vicious." Cage objects to the words 'awful' and 'vicious', and also tries to strike 'thwap' on the grounds of ambiguity. The judge strikes only 'awful' and 'vicious.' She continues on to say that the man hit her with a sawed-off paddle. When Cage questions Ms. Martin, he asks her if she was thinking of kissing when she was hit by his client. "You were thinking of kissing but you didn't kiss. Is that your testimony?" he asks. She says "I guess."
Bobby and Ally are in Bobby's office preparing for the next day. She is finding the case a little hard to grasp. After all, she says she considers Bobby a friend, but she doesn't think she would even give him blood. Bobby tells her that she would. Ally imagines her tongue reaching out, wrapping around Bobby's neck, and spinning him like a top. He tells her about how he showed up at their bar once and watched them dancing. Ally asks Bobby when was the last time he danced. She says she has time for one. "Right here, one dance, you're due," she tells him. "You just need to hear the music in your head. You can do that, can't you?" She starts to move to the music she hears and asks if he can hear it. He says he's beginning to, and they begin to dance.
In the unisex the next day, Georgia is asking Ally if she kissed him. Ally says they danced slow to pretend music, and Georgia says she would have kissed him. Billy comes out of a stall, and Georgia tries to cover and add "if I weren't married," but Ally takes that as her cue to leave. Billy is upset over the fact that Georgia said she would kiss another man and they begin to fight.
Back in court, a man is testifying that he was in a theater watching a movie when his head fell against his date's and the next thing he knew the defendant hit him on the temple. Judge "Let me see your teeth" Boyle asks if it was a vicious hit and Cage objects. When Cage begins to question the witness, he notices something and calls the judge's attention to it. Judge Boyle makes the witness (Hendrix) stand up in front of him and show him his teeth. He's got spinach caught in an incisor, and Judge Boyle proceeds to give the jury a speech on oral decay.
On a bench in the hallway outside the courtroom, Ally is sitting between Michaelson and Gilson. They are bickering like two old friends. She stops them and says it's time to go inside. Michaelson wants to talk to Ally alone. He's concerned that Gilson will get grilled on the stand, but Ally thinks it will be okay.
While on the stand, we learn that Gilson and Michaelson met years ago when Gilson was homeless and asked him for some change. He gave him five dollars, and every Wednesday for the next three years he continued to give him a five dollar bill. He always asked him how he was and looked him in the eye. Gilson says that is more than he got from most people. One day when it was snowing, Michaelson took him to a place for some soup. They discovered that they both played high school ball in the same conference. After that, Michaelson gave Gilson a job as a custodian in his company. They continued to have lunch every now and then, and for the past five years have had lunch almost every Wednesday. Ally asks Gilson why he wants to do this. He says it's because Michaelson has a family a wife and two kids people who need him to live. He says that if he were a CEO, he doubts he would have brought a street person in from the snow and given him soup. The judge still doesn't understand why Gilson would do this. Gilson asks the judge, "Is there any answer I could give that would satisfy you?"
Elaine is looking at Georgia's hair because she is now afraid that she has orange hair. "You use too many chemicals and I'm pro-chemical," Elaine says. She thinks Georgia probably had head lice as a child. Elaine says she had pinworms, but she asks Georgia to keep that between them. Billy comes in and asks to talk to Georgia. When Georgia makes it to his office, he starts yelling at her for telling Ally that she would have kissed Bobby. She tells him it was just girl talk, but he believes he deserves more respect than that.
Cage and Renee are entering the courthouse elevator as Cage tries to talk Renee into suspending the jail time. He says if she does, Farmer will plead guilty. The best she will give him is six months. Cage stops the elevator, and asks Renee to hear him out. He brings up the foot fetish case, which Renee lost to Cage. He tells her it was an easy conviction for her to get, but she didn't because she was up against Cage. He adds he is sure that gave Renee's office pause. Then when Renee was arrested, Cage was able to successfully defend her. "It had to give your office pause," he says. He then asks her to consider the pause it will give her superiors if she loses this case. Renee isn't convinced and tells Cage that he can't work his little biscuit magic on her. His stomach gurgles. Renee looks at her own stomach.
Back in Bobby's office, they are all preparing for the next day. Michaelson and Gilson leave together, bickering all the way out the door. Bobby offers to give Ally a lift home, but she says she will take a cab. Bobby says "I'm taking you home." They look at each other, as if they both realize what he could be meaning, and Bobby says he will help Ally hail a cab. As they reach the door, Ally looks up at him and kisses him. In an effort to explain herself, she tells Bobby "I have a great imaginary world. Sometimes I just need things to happen for real." He grabs her and kisses her -- slowly, hungrily, and perfectly.
Renee and Ally are walking around in bath robes the next morning as Ally tells Renee about the kiss. How was it? Ally and Renee both say "Oh My ..God!" Ally says it was nothing like a first kiss, where you have tooth on tooth and lips that don't line up. She said it was full alignment, upper on upper, lower on lower, "and I'm not even going to talk about his tongue," she says. Ally tells Renee that if she brings Bobby to the bar, she better not get up and sing to him. Renee jokingly throws a pillow at Ally, and the scene changes to a pillow landing next to Billy, who is sitting on the side of the bed. Georgia is angrily throwing the pillows onto the bed, and yelling at Billy that he's not jealous because she wants to kiss Bobby. She thinks he's jealous because Ally wants to kiss him. Billy tells Georgia she's been to too many shrinks, to which she says she's never been to a shrink. Billy says it shows.
In court, Michaelson is on the stand. He says that Gilson didn't ask for the custodian job in fact, he had to make him take it. He explains how it's lonely for him at the top, how people always look at him as the boss. But he says friendship isn't real unless both sides have the right and the power to tell the other guy to go to hell. Gilson tells him to at least three times a week. The judge asks Michaelson if he loves Gilson. He says he would never say so with him in the room. Why would he do this? Because he doesn't want his children to grow up without a father, and because he believes that Bernie really wants this. "When I said before that he's never asked me for anything, that wasn't right," Michaelson says. "He's asked me for this."
Farmer is on the stand, trying to explain how when he smacks people, he is really accelerating love. He says that people have no patience with relationships. They want it to click, click, click. And sometimes they get a little stuck so he bashes them. He says nothing bonds like a crisis. Four of the five couples he bashed got closer. Two are now engaged and one is married. The fifth was a Christian Scientist and the couple argued over going to the hospital. Judge Boyle wants to see Farmer's teeth.
Alone with Gilson in Bobby's conference room, Ally asks him again why he wants to do this. He says if he were to list all his life accomplishments on a piece of paper, it would be a blank piece of paper. He says this is his first chance to do something important. "I could die without having done anything, or I could die giving life to a person I love," Gilson says. "Imagine thinking when you go, it will have mattered that you lived. And then consider the alternative."
Billy and Georgia are still fighting, but it doesn't take them long to realize they aren't really fighting about anything. They both just wanted to have a fight. They admit they are in a rut. They've gotten to where they make love on Tuesdays and Saturdays and it lasts 17 minutes. Georgia asks Billy if he wants her to walk around the house naked, and at first he answers "no," then says "yeah."
Cage gives his closing. He says that when he was in high school, he told his mother he wanted to wait for the perfect girl. She told him he was an idiot because even if he found her, she might be holding out for the perfect man. She also told him he wouldn't recognize love if it bonked him on the head. So he told his mother to come along and if she saw love, she should hit him on the head. "It was difficult as a young man, taking my mother on dates," he says. Then one night, not a date night, he turned to his mom and as he looked into her eyes, he could see she was dead. She passed on quietly right there at the table from an aneurysm and all she said was "ip." Judge Boyle starts looking for something on his desk. Cage goes on to say that it was his mother's request to have her last words on her tombstone, so the tombstone reads "Joanna Cage, Beloved mother, Ip." Cage says that he knows his mother is still with him, smiling down on him hoping that he will find love and praying that if he does, someone will have the kindness to whack him on the head with a paddle. He says this case isn't about malice or violence. "You know what it's about," he says. "Say it with me." The jury says, in unison, "Love." Cage says the jury moves him. Judge Boyle doesn't think "ip" is a real word.
On the way to the courtroom, Bobby pulls Ally to the side and says that he doesn't go around kissing people. Ally pretends to be surprised and says she kisses everybody. In fact, it's what she does to get rid of guys once they kiss her they are gone. She finally has to tell him she's kidding. Bobby tells her that in the past year, he's been involved with a homicide client, the D.A. he was up against in that case, and the D.A.'s best friend, who works at his firm. He then rethinks his original statement and says maybe he does kiss everybody. They get called into the courtroom before they can finish their talk.
Bobby is giving his final statement to the judge. He talks about how unlikely it is that a man walking down the street and a homeless person can become best friends. But they did. Call if fate, call it luck, call it God. But he says these two men came together for a reason. He asks the judge to let it be the patient's informed choice. The judge says Bobby doesn't have to persuade him that his client is for it. Instead, he makes Ally the judge and asks her to rule in the best interest of her client. Ally clearly doesn't want that responsibility, and tells the judge that if she wanted to be a judge, she would go suck up to a governor. She looks back at Gilson and denies the plaintiff's motion. All four of them leave the courtroom and go to Bobby's conference room. Gilson is upset and wants to know why Ally did that. She says that he seems to measure a man's worth by what he does, but by Ally's math, it goes more to what he is. She says he told her he wanted to be something. With her ruling, she was telling him that he already is. Michaelson says Ally is right. He says he never would have taken Gilson's heart, but he knew that he needed to see this through. Michaelson says he has always measured a man by his friends, and he knows that someday people will say, "Look at the friend he had in Bernie Gilson. Willing to give him his own heart. Wow." It's a very touching moment, broken only by the bickering that soon starts up again between the two men as they leave the room.
Cage's jury has reached a verdict, and this time he's not so lucky. Farmer is found guilty of four counts of misdemeanor assault and battery. (Read my review for how the jury read the verdict.) Farmer, who repeatedly has said things three times, asks Cage, "What's going to happen now, now, now?" Cage answers, "My guess would be jail, jail, jail." He asks Renee if that six months is still on the table, but she says she will have to think about it.
Georgia peaks her head into Billy's office and says it's 8:00 and time for them to go home. She says she got some sexy new shoes and asks him if he wants to see them. She opens the door all the way, and struts in to the office, wearing nothing but the sexy new shoes. (It's during this walk that we see a tiny bit of her buttocks.) She stands in front of his desk (the parts of her body we aren't supposed to see are shielded by furniture), and tells him to come with her to the conference room.
As Ally and Bobby walk through the hall of the courthouse, she accidentally calls him "Bobbit." He stops her and before he can say anything, Ally says "You're leaving the state." He's confused, but she says this is about the time when men apply for passports. Then she adds a "bygones." Bobby finally is able to tell her what he's been meaning to say. He can't go out with her right now. "When you say it blunt like that, it almost comes out swell," Ally says. Bobby says he has some baggage and that if he went out with her right now he would screw it up. "So for the sake of our relationship, let's not have one?" Ally asks. Bobby says he just needs a little time. "What, to deal with your old bags?" Ally asks, before correcting herself and saying "baggage." Farmer and Cage are walking up behind them when Farmer whacks Bobby on the head, yelling out "He's in neutral!" When Bobby recovers and asks where they were, Ally says he was putting her on layaway. He tells her again that he is just asking for a little time.
Later at the bar, Richard and Elaine are dancing. She asks him about Whipper, and he says it looks like they might get back together. Elaine offers herself to him in the meantime. She says in high school, boys called her the window of opportunity. "I'm sure you were proud," Richard says.
We move over the dance floor to where Ally and Cage are dancing. She says Bobby's dump was "kind of like a timeshare dump. He might be back." Cage is upset he lost a case. "Oh balls," he says. Ally says "It's not that I object to sadness, it's just whenever I get depressed, I raise my hemlines. If things don't change, I'm bound to be arrested." She asks Cage if he ever wished he would erase a whole day or year from his life. He's surprised she would say that. "How could you even think of erasing this one," he says. He says his mother used to say "If you think back and replay your year, if it doesn't bring you tears, either of joy or sadness, consider the year wasted." Cage says his mother was a very profound woman, but Ally still can't get past the fact that her tombstone says "Ip."
Back at the office, Billy and Georgia are on the conference room table,
naked, when they hear the elevator bell ding. Billy says just to stay completely
still. It's Ally and she begins walking to her office, but something stops her.
Like she has some sort of radar, she turns and looks towards the conference
room. She walks to the conference room, steps in and flips on the light. Billy
says "Hey Ally." Ally says hi. Georgia asks "How's it going?" Ally says fine.
She turns off the light and walks away. As she walks to her office, she exhales
and sort of shakes her arm like she is shaking off the bad experience she just
had. When she gets there, she picks up the phone, hits a speed dial button and
calls Renee. "Hey Witch," she says. She tells her she heard she won, and asks if
she wants to get a late dinner. She hangs up, and remembers the words Cage told
her his mother used to say. She starts thinking back over her year, and along
with Ally we watch as she replays her year. The good and the bad and the men!
When we come back to Ally, we know that she doesn't consider her year wasted, as
she laughs and cries tears of sadness and joy.
©1998 Dana Hagerty. All rights reserved.