Love Unlimited
Air date: January 18, 1999
Summary/Review by Dana Hagerty

Skip summary and go straight to Dana's "Bits and Pieces"

Ally and Greg are walking down the street towards her place. She asks if he really didn't date anyone while he was in Chicago. He says that the women there were saving themselves for Sammy Sosa. Ally says she's saving herself for George Clooney. When Greg really wants to know whether or not she dated while he was gone, she says she is sure she must have, but she can't remember anyone right now. When it's mentioned that Greg might come in, Ally says that Renee is there and she's afraid they might sing a duet. "I see," says Greg. "Let me begin this second go-around by just walking you to your door, like a gentleman," he adds. Ally says she likes that word, 'begin.' As we hear Vonda sing "Anticipation," Ally imagines her and Greg's tongues coming out of their mouths and doing a little dance towards each other. The vision stops, and Ally asks Greg "Call me?" He says he will think about it, and they laugh.

The next morning, Renee asks Ally if Greg and she kissed. She says she got a short one but that they are going to take it slow. "And when a guy wants to take it slow," Ally starts, as she rises several feet off the floor, as if she is walking air. This feeling stays with her all the way to the office, where she has to duck to get out of the elevator. Unfortunately, the feeling fades when Ally funs into Ling. Ally falls to the ground. Ally asks Ling why she is always here and Ling answers with a grown. She walks away, and Billy explains to Ally that Ling is suing the environment.

In the conference room, Georgia wants to know how it is possible that Ling would want to sue the environment. "Without defending her," Nelle says, "let me defend her." She says that activist organizations have brought lawsuits claiming trees have rights, so if a tree can sue people, then people should be able to sue the tree. Georgia still thinks it's stupid, so Nelle says that she is really just trying to tie Georgia up in court while she ties up Billy. Georgia doesn't appreciate the joke. Richard tells the group that they have another case that is more important right now. The husband of their client, Kimberly Goodman, wants to annul their nine-year marriage on the grounds that he was incompetent. The husband says he is a sexaholic and "was under the influence of the dumb stick when he went through with the ceremony," Richard says. He asks Ally to second chair and says he will first chair the case.

As Ally makes her way to Richard's office to meet with Kimberly Goodman, Elaine tries to ask her if she and Greg are dating again. Elaine says she is only asking because she doesn't want Ally to get squished like she did the last time. "And, he's here," Elaine says. Ally turns to find Greg standing beside her. "I did not get squished," she says. Greg says he stopped by in person to ask her out for tonight. Ally again rises into the air. She says she will have to check her schedule, but Elaine says, "You're free. Like you are every night." Ally slowly comes back down to earth. Greg wonders if he should pick her up at the office but Ally insists on him coming to her apartment like a perfect gentleman. He gives her a little kiss, and walks away as Elaine puts her cheek out for her own kiss, which she doesn't get. Elaine thinks there has to be someone she can tell all this to and walks away. Ally leans down and puts her hands onto a desk as if she needs the support. John comes up and asks if she is okay. She says she's fine but thinks she needs mental help because she is happy and she isn't equipped for that. John has an appointment with Tracy at lunchtime and offers the appointment to Ally. Ally says no, so John says that he is sure Tracy will take them together.

Ally finally makes it to Richard's office to meet with their client. Kimberly says she came to the firm looking for an expert in divorce law. Ally says it isn't their specialty, but Richard says he took a class on it in law school so he's sure they can handle it. Kimberly says that she's been a housewife for nine years. Her children are seven and nine, and it is important to her that the judge not rule that their father married their mother in some act of insanity. Ally promises Kimberly that they won't let that happen.

As John and Ally wait in Tracy's office for her, Ally says she is glad she has a career. "Nobody's going to be able to pull the rug out from under my life and suddenly make it meaningless," she says. "You can say whatever you want about me, but at least I am in control of my world," she adds. John reminds Ally that she is in Tracy's office seeking a cure for happiness. They hear some commotion outside the office and the door opens. But it isn't Tracy. It's guest star Bruce Willis, in a cardigan sweater and bow tie and a piece of hair hanging down onto his face. They want to know where Tracy is and who he is. He is Dr. Nickle and is sitting in for Tracy, who is in California "pitching tofu and possibly a pilot," Dr. Nickle says. Dr. Nickle wants to know which one of them is the sick one. They point at each other. "You must be John," Dr. Nickle says. "So, you're in therapy and what, you decided to bring a date? Where's your popcorn?" John stutters through telling Dr. Nickle that the woman he brought is Ally and they are both patients of Tracy's and they are both experiencing symptoms regarding fear of relationships. "Fine!" Dr. Nickle says, "Theme song. You first." He nods at Ally. She says she is not going to sing her theme song to a stranger. "Hey, Spanky, you go," he says to John. John says no. "Look, I'd like to help," Dr. Nickle says, "but two wacky little people who come in tandem and refuse the sing their theme songs – do I look like a miracle worker?" Ally starts to say something about the way he is treating them and the doctor screams "Shut up!" then says quietly, "I'm speaking now." He goes on to ask Ally, "When you go the movies, do you talk back to the screen as well?" Ally says no, but says that sometimes she just walks out. She starts to get up from the couch to leave. Dr. Nickle tells her he will need her to sign a release form if she is going to leave. It basically says that if she jumps out of a window, they won't be held liable. He tells Ally to initial the bottom and as she leans over to do so, he takes a peak at her behind (and up her skirt, I wonder). He turns to John. "So, back to you Stuttering John, how's everything in po, k, k, k, kipsy?" John stands up, stutters a bit, and finally gets out "poop." Dr. Nickle says, "Now that's progress. Tracy will be real pleased." They leave.

Ling is upset. She tells Richard that the people who work there don't take her seriously. "Ling, you're suing a tree," Richard reminds her. She reminds him that she is counter-claiming. "I'm beginning to think you don't take me seriously," Ling says. Richard tells her that he is trying but, "Are we serious? We haven't even had sex," he says. Ling says that they have kissed and "I let you brush up against my breasts in the elevator." Richard says she only lets him do that when it's crowded. He asks her seriously if she really doesn't like sex. She tells him it's messy. "I'm very good at cleaning up after myself," Richard says. Ling wants to know why sex is so important to a man. She wants to know what happened to simple intimacy, emotion and tenderness. Ling says she likes foreplay, to which Richard responds, "So do I. I'd be happy with three-play." Richard says he needs to know if they are going anywhere. She makes him stick out his index finger and tells him that most people don't know that the finger is erogenous. She softly touches his finger to her lips, slides her lips down it, then takes it into her mouth. She slowly lets it glide out of her mouth and asks Richard if he likes that. He does. She stops, throws his hand away and says, "See, there are so many other things besides intercourse but men just can't see beyond their dumb sticks." She leaves.

John thinks that maybe he and Ally don't need Tracy. He thinks they can just bounce their respective problems off each other. Ally says okay. Nelle comes up, stands next to John, and asks Ally if she is late for court. She walks away. Nelle asks John if they can have dinner tomorrow. "Don't start playing hard to get again, John," Nelle starts, and, knowing that Georgia has come up behind her, adds, "I might just give up and start going after Billy." She turns around to Georgia, says "kidding," and walks away. Georgia asks John, "What exactly do you see in her?"

Mr. Goodman is on the stand telling the judge that he married Kimberly because she's beautiful. He says he wasn't acting out of free will – that he suffers from sexual obsessive compulsive behavior and that affected his mental competence. "Basically, I was crazy," he says. "Move to strike, your honor," Richard says, "any man's crazy to get married." Ally pulls him down to his seat and he says "withdrawn." Mr. Goodman says he married Kimberly to make love regularly and thought that would cure him from lusting after other women. When Richard gets his chance to question Mr. Goodman, he asks him why he didn't just cheat on his wife if he just wants to have sex with different women. He says that Kimberly is the one who wants the divorce. Richard brings up the fact that since Mr. Goodman is a wealthy man, his client would get a lot of money in a divorce settlement, but if the marriage were annulled, she wouldn't get anything. "This sickness not only gets you off," Richard says, "it gets you off cheap." Richard tells Mr. Goodman that he took a vow, "till death do you part – I don't see any dead people here, do you?" Richard asks him why it is so important to him to get an annulment. Mr. Goodman says he was not of sound mind when he decided to get married. He says he is not a well man, and asks Richard if he thinks he is proud of all this. "Will you feel proud if you avoid alimony?" Richard asks. Mr. Goodman says to Kimberly that he's sorry to hurt her, and Richard reminds him that she isn't the victim here, he is.

Ling and Nelle are having coffee outside the Cyber-Café. Ling wants to know of Nelle really wants to sleep with John. Nelle says she likes him. Ling asks if she is strange because she doesn't want "it." Nelle is surprised Ling can't even say the word. Ling says she can, but she doesn't because when she says the word it drives men, and some women, crazy. Nelle wants to know what is so special about the way she says the word "sex," and Ling says if she knew she would correct it. Nelle gets her to say it. Her voice is low and husky when she does.

Ally is walking in the hallway at the courthouse when she is approached by a woman who introduces herself as Laura Dipson, the Executive Vice President for Women for Progress. She tells Ally that she has been nominated for this year's 1999 role model in the category of professionals. She says they are going to publish it in next month's magazine, but Ally says she doesn't want to be a role model and starts to walk away. "Well, that's very sweet, but I'm afraid you really have no choice," Laura says. She adds that they will need to make a few adjustments in the way Ally dresses and "I'd really like to fatten you up a bit. We do not want young girls glamorizing that thin thing." Ally is not happy and demands to know who this woman is. She introduces herself again. "Now, my sources tell me that you feel an emotional void without a man," Laura continues, "You're really going to have to lose that if women are going to look up to you." Ally says she doesn't want them looking at her at all. She starts to walk away and Laura grabs her arm and tells her not to be pissy. "You're a role model and you'll do what we tell you to do," Laura says, "yeah, you can start by dropping that skinny whiny emotional slut thing and be exactly who we want you to be. Nothing more, nothing less. Can you do that pinhead?" Ally bites off the woman's nose then spits it out, sending it into the air, landing on a door.

"You bit off her nose?" John asks Ally. She says she did, and she got blood all over her outfit. (By now, we have realized that this was all a dream.) John wants to know what that dream has to do with Greg. She thinks it is telling her that she wants somebody she can be totally weak with – somebody who will hold her and make her feel held. "But, can't you have that without biting off some woman's nose?" John asks. Ally says that she thinks she craves some kind of dependency and that makes her feel like a failure as a woman. "I had a dream they put my face on the cover of TIME magazine as the 'Face of Feminism,'" Ally says. John tells her that she isn't going to have to stop her life or her work to love somebody. She goes on about emotional free-falling then laughs because she realizes she sounds like John, and she says so. "Fear of splat," she calls it. John looks at his watch to say that they are out of time.

"Splat?" Greg asks. He and Ally are sharing a drink in her apartment. She says that she was lecturing John about not taking chances and "I'm just telling you this in case, should I turn all rigid like a potato chip don't give up on me." Greg tells her, "You really got hurt with Billy." She admits she did. He asks if she loved anybody since. Ally stumbles around for a bit, then says no. He asks if she is afraid of loving anyone again. She acts as if she is going to say no, then says yes. But she says she is working on it and has even picked out a new theme song. She tells him it used to be "Tell Him," and now it's "Ooh Child." She starts to sing it to him. "Ooh, ooh, child, things are going to get easier," she sings. Greg knows it, and continues, "ooh, ooh, child things'll get brighter." Renee comes into the room and she starts singing, too. Ally gives her a look telling her to stop and she does. "Kidding, just playing through," she says. Renee has a date too, so she leaves. Ally asks where they were, and Greg starts to sing the song again. Ally joins along.

Later, Ally and Greg are dancing together at the bar. Richard and John are there talking. When Richard asks John how things are going with Nelle, he says he is sensing an impending breakthrough. He says he has switched colognes. John asks about Richard and Ling and Richard says he is beginning to wonder if she even likes him. John says he saw her smile once. Richard believes she is attracted to him because he seems emotionally void. John thinks Richard is falling for Ling and that he should try some Barry White with him. "It loosens the romantic muscles," he says. Richard looks over, sees Ally and Greg, and says that, "somebody's in love."

Mr. Goodman's attorney calls a doctor to the stand who tries to explain how Mr. Goodman has a compulsive disorder that overcomes free will. The doctor says that Mr. Goodman had no control when he married Kimberly. "Addicts can't control their behavior," he says.

In the unisex, John is dancing to Barry White. We see the room from a different angle, and see that Richard is there with him. They do a little dance routine together. Ling comes in and watches them. A toilet flushes, Elaine comes out of the stall and joins the dance. After watching a bit more, Ling sort of shrugs her shoulders and joins, too. Nelle comes in, and when John looks up and sees her he falls backwards, sending the other three down like dominoes. Ling announces she's hurt.

Back in court, Kimberly says that she didn't know about his affairs until about a year and a half ago. She didn't leave him because of their children. They even saw a therapist. Kimberly says she came highly recommended and that her husband tried to sleep with her. Ally asks Kimberly if it was after he met his lawyer that he decided he was mentally incompetent. The attorney objects before Kimberly answers. Richard tries to rephrase. "When did he first decide to try and nullify the marriage as a means of circumventing no fault and getting out of paying alimony as the law, morality and decency would require him to do?" Richard asks. The attorney again objects and Richard says, "Overruled." The judge calls on him and tells him to sit down. Ally asks Kimberly what she would like to say to her husband right now. She says that no matter what his problems are, they shouldn't nullify the fact that they have been married for nine years. "He may not want to call it real, but it was very real to me," Kimberly says.

Richard and Ally are back at the office working on their closing when Ling comes in and asks if they are going out. "It's that time of the month for me," she says, "I feel like fun." "You look like it, Ling," Ally says. Ling asks her, "Shouldn't you be out somewhere, in love?" Richard says they should all go to the bar. On the way out, Ally sees that John is still there and she asks him why. He says he cancelled his date with Nelle, but that he did it so that when everyone was gone from the firm, he would go to her and Don Juan her. Nelle has overheard most of this, and she approaches John to tell him that she's excited. They are both surprised to see her, but she just smiles and tells John that she will get herself ready. "And now there's pressure," he tells Ally.

Ally is at home, sitting by the fire, working on her closing. Renee is there with her. Ally asks if she thinks it is significant that just as she starts to date somebody, she gets this case that tells her not to trust passion. She says that this woman thought she had it, and she herself thought she had it with Billy. Renee tells her she did have it with Billy. Ally admits that maybe that's what scares her the most. "As soon as you've found love, you've had it," she says.

John goes to Nelle's office. He opens the door to find her sitting at her desk in a button down dress. She gets up, walks around the desk, and unbuttons the dress. She stands before him in her red and black bra and panties. He touches her face. She reaches back and takes off her bra, dropping it to the floor. The music we hear (another Barry White song) scratches and stops. John tells Nelle that he can't. He turns and leaves her there. Nelle bends down and picks up her dress, holding it against her, then sadly says "Oh, John."

John goes back to his office, closes the door, and slides to the floor.

Later, John goes to talk Ally's place. They are looking for something in the refrigerator (Ally has 'Virgin' brand cola!), and Ally finally settles on a Popsicle, which she gives to John. They sit down to talk and Renee comes out and asks if John had performance anxiety. "That's big with lawyers," Renee says. Ally tells Renee to leave. John says everything was working physically, but it just felt wrong. Ally says that he did the right thing, but he probably should have discussed it with Nelle.

The next day, Ally has told Richard about what happened. He asks if John told her why he ran away. "Just that it felt wrong," Ally says. "Ally, sex for men, when it's right, it's right, and when it's wrong, it's still right," Richard says. Kimberly joins them and they walk to the courthouse.

The attorney for Mr. Goodman gives his closing, where he basically says that his client has grounds for a textbook annulment.

Ally gives their side's closing argument, during which Greg comes into the courtroom. I give it to you here in its entirety:

"That's just dumb," Ally says. "Would dumb be the legal definition?" the judge asks. "Your honor, if you look at alimony and palimony it comes down to fairness. And, whatever his problems which couldn't be kept in check, much less in his pants, she endured it for nine years. She's taken care of the children." The judge interrupts. "The problem, counsel, is that the fairness issue presupposes a valid union. Here, technically, it might have been invalid." Ally says again, "And that's dumb." "We're back to legal definitions," the judge says. "If we're really going to go down that road and hold up marriage ceremonies to standards of sanity -- watch out," Ally says. "People run off to Las Vegas on their first dates. Some listen to their astrologers. So many people make terrible, horrendous decisions out of passion and we still enforce those marriage contracts." "There is a difference," the judge says, "between recklessness and insanity." "Oh, he wasn't insane," Ally says. "He knew what he was doing even if he was being led by little Mr. Helmet Head." "Mr. Helmet Head?" the judge says. "Love by definition is crazy," Ally says. "'I'm crazy about him,' 'He's mad about her.' People get blinded by love. They fall, ass over teakettle. What does that expression even mean 'ass over teakettle'? It's nonsensical. But we excuse it because if it's about love, fine. Love doesn't make sense. People fall in love for all sorts of insanities and we don't legislate the reasons. But once they take vows, once they get that legal piece of paper and once they start having kids, we take that seriously, and we call it an institution. And for this man to be running around vaccinating any woman he can convince to play doctor -- for this man to indulge his little affliction at the expense of his wife and his children -- for this man to skirt financial and moral responsibility because he found a skuzzy lawyer and a skuzzier shrink to pronounce him disabled – for this man to waltz into a court and get an order saying that this woman was never married when she led an exemplary married life – for this man to say that he's addicted to love, addicted to sex, addicted to infidelity, lying and cheating – for this man to come in here parading his penis like he should qualify for handicapped parking." Ally turns to look at the husband. "How dare you subject this woman to this embarrassment -- how dare you subject your kids to it -- how dare you live, you giant ass." Spectators in the courtroom start clapping.

John goes to see Nelle in her office. He tells her that he doesn't know if he can convey how sorry he is, and he doesn't even know if it would make a difference. He says he had been holding back, he thought because he was afraid of falling in love with her and getting hurt. He says that he thinks now that his real fear isn't that he would fall in love with her, but that he never would. Nelle isn't looking at him while he talks to her. He tells her that she doesn't really get him, and that he doesn't really get her. She tells him that he's met somebody. He says he hasn't. She tells him that he has. Someone that does get him, that does connect with his inner world. "But, judging by the look on her face lately, you may have waited too long." She gets up and leaves.

Nelle is in the bathroom washing her hands. She is upset. Billy comes in and she composes herself. "How is Georgette?" she asks him. He corrects her. "Whatever," Nelle says. He asks if she is okay and she says she is fine.

In court, the judge says that the law can go either way on this case, and they have one of her favorite judges. "Me," she says. She goes on to say that she shares Ally's disgust, and orders Mr. Goodman to pay his wife's legal fees. The petition for annulment is denied. Richard is thrilled and says their rates just shot up. When Kimberly gives Ally a hug of thanks, Richard leans over and touches her wattle.

At the bar, Ally dances with Greg and Richard dances with Ling as they celebrate their win.

Later, Ally and Greg sit on the steps to her apartment talking about her case. He says that he likes marriage, but that he only plans to do it once. Ally tells him about a favorite song that she had when she was in high school. She never told anyone because it was Anne Murray and her friends wouldn't think it was cool. It's called "Could I Have This Dance?" She says it was about happily ever after. Greg asks her how the song goes. She resists at first, but he convinces her. She begins to sing the song. "I'll always remember, the song that was playing the first time we danced and I knew." Vonda takes over from there as Ally and Greg look at each other. Back at the bar, Billy and Georgia are dancing, as are Richard and Ling. Nelle walks home alone as John stares out his office window. Ally and Greg dance together outside her place as the snow falls, and we see John and Nelle on either side of them, alone.


Last season, I remember mentioning that if I really enjoyed one episode, I normally didn't like the next one much. This one followed that formula. I loved last week's -- in fact, it was one of my absolute favorites -- but I could never get into this one.

Well, they definitely didn't use a body double for Nelle's little strip scene. I have a feeling that tomorrow I will have at least one e-mail message from someone who wants to know where Nelle got her underclothes. If you are wondering, I don't know the answer.

If you subscribe to my newsletter and you read the spoilers, then you weren't surprised by Bruce Willis' appearance. Bruce is in "The Story of Us" with David E. Kelley's wife, Michelle Pfeiffer, (the movie is due out in the fall) so I'm not surprised that Kelley got him to appear on the show.

What the heck happened with Ling's case? Not that I really cared -- in fact, I didn't even remember it until just now -- but I do remember at least two scenes in which it was being discussed then it never came up again.

The tongue thing has got to go. Tonight, when Ally imagined that her and Greg's tongues were coming out of their mouths and doing a little dance towards each other, I actually had to turn away from the screen. That was just gross.

By now, you are probably wondering if I have anything at all good to say about this episode. Well, I loved Ally's closing. She was smart, strong, and confident. It's nice to see that she can be so in control of some things.

My favorite line:

Nelle, to Georgia: "Actually, I'm just trying to tie you up in court while I tie up Billy."

Copyright © 1999 Dana Hagerty. All rights reserved.