As I replay the beginning of this episode in my mind, it is in slow motion, just like the slow motion we all see in real life as we watch those things happen that we can't stop. (Like the blue fingernail polish I saw drifting slowly down towards my mauve carpet the other day -- nothing I could do).
Ally is grocery shopping and leans over another shopper to take a can of Pringles. Not only is this the last can of Original Pringles, but the shopper had just put it back, although she insists she only put it down and was about to pick it up again. A tiff ensues, and the woman thinks she has won because, after all, she has the Pringles. As she starts to walk away, Ally trips her, she lands sprawled on her stomach, and several bottles of vegetable oil land on her back.
The shopper is taken away on a stretcher and Ally is taken away in handcuffs. Her roommate Renee arrives at the store before Ally is carted off to the police station, and announces she is a Deputy District Attorney.
At the station, we find out that the woman is okay, and that Ally has more to worry about that falling oil bottles. A check of the store's surveillance tape shows Ally putting a tube of contraceptive jelly in her pocket. Ally attempts to explain that she was embarrassed to be seen with it in her cart and she was going to take it out and pay for it at the checkout counter, but Renee insists she is going to need a lawyer.
Ally is charged with assault, battery, and misdemeanor larceny, and she gets to appear before Judge "Let me see your teeth" Boyle from the Compromising Positions episode. Renee gets the case and explains Ally side, even though she is called on it by the judge. ("Aren't you the District Attorney?")
The judge lets Ally off, after being assured that Billy brought her dental records, and just when you think it's over, here comes trouble again. Judge Boyle reports her to the Board of Bar Overseers, and a hearing is scheduled for the next day.
During the bar review, we learn that this is not about criminal wrongdoing, but rather Ally's mental fitness. A member of the board attended the funeral of Ally's former professor and saw her give her speech, and a man that Ally yelled at after he bumped into her on the street is in attendance. They schedule an evidentiary hearing for the following day, and Elaine is subpoenaed. (I'm still wondering why Ally hasn't asked for a different assistant yet?)
Elaine starts talking about Ally during the hearing and she doesn't stop. In a matter of seconds, the review board knows everything about our poor Ally -- the affair with the professor, the working with the old boyfriend, everything that has been stressing her out.
Ally learns from Elaine that she told Whipper (Fish's girlfriend, who happens to be a judge) that she thought Ally was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Whipper admits to Ally she also reported her to the bar and says that while she doesn't think Ally is nuts, she's not sure she "has two feet on the ground, either."
During Ally's next appearance before the review board, she becomes emotional and tries to explain all of her actions. "I'm human. I'm temperamental. I'm guilty," she says.
Judge Boyle appears in Whipper's chambers, apparently accidentally thinking it was his chambers, and begins taking off his robe. Whipper kindly tells Judge "Happy", as she calls him, that he is in the wrong chambers again. Before he leaves, Whipper asks him about reporting Ally to the bar. His response that Ally is "a pretty little thing, she'll learn" sends Whipper to the bar review.
She stands up in Ally's defense, and says that when a man acts passionate, we call him impassioned, but with a woman, she's emotional. The board is confused because Whipper is one of the people who reported Ally. She says she was wrong. Billy also stands up in Ally's defense. He gets my vote for best line of the night. "Whatever virus she's got, we should all be so lucky to be infected with it," he says.
The board comes back and rules in Ally's favor, mainly because they don't want to see her and her devoted following back there again should there be an appeal.
As the group celebrates at the local hangout, Ally leaves and goes to the
office, where she calls her parents. She doesn't tell them anything about the
review. At the last minute she starts to, but her father had already hung up.
©1997 Dana Hagerty. All rights reserved.