Civil War
Air date: April 5, 1999
Summary/Review by Dana Hagerty

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

Billy, Richard and John are in Richard's office discussing the fact that Billy and Ally kissed. Billy tells Richard that what they are talking about better not leave the room and Richard picks up a bullhorn and asks Billy why he told him if he didn't expect him to tell others. Billy says he thought that Richard actually cared. Richard says he does care, then adds that he thinks telling Georgia was wrong. "You should never, ever tell unless it's clear you're going to get caught," Richard says. Then he asks if Ally has a wide tongue. "She has one of those fat, wet, juicy tongues, doesn't she?" He turns to John and reminds him that he kissed Ally once. He wants to know his opinion of her tongue. "I'm not sure it really qualified as a kiss," he says. "I sucked it to ameliorate my own secretion problems. I gave her a canker." John goes on to say that at his junior prom, he accidentally licked out his date's tiny hearing aide. As John and Richard continue to talk about this incident, Billy gets up and leaves the room.

In the next day's morning meeting, Richard announces that the "sweat man" is due in. He's having trouble with the IRS and Richard wants Nelle to handle it since she knows the most about tax law. Nelle doesn't look thrilled, especially by the name "sweat man." She asks who he is. Richard says his name is George Chisolm and he sweats profusely. Nelle says she has a thing about sweat and tries to get out of it. Richard won't let her. "Next up," Richard says, "Ally, what's with the big kiss?" Everyone looks at Richard. "Case," he corrects himself. Georgia is NOT happy. Ally says that their client is refusing to settle so the case is going to trial. She adds that she could use some help. Richard tells Billy to second chair. Georgia says no. Richard goes with John. Elaine comes in to tell Richard that Harry Wah is there to see him and it's urgent.

Richard comes out of the conference room to talk to Harry. Apparently, he had a legal issue that was supposed to be settled out of court but now it's going to trial. He explains that he didn't come to Cage/Fish & Associates because it was a small case and he threw a bone to his nephew, but now his own son is on the line. Richard invites him to the conference room and asks him to tell him about the case on the way. Harry says that his son had relations with this woman and now she is claiming he seduced her with fraud and she's filed a civil date-rape claim. Richard laughs, and when Harry asks him why he thinks that is funny, Richard explains that Cage/Fish & Associates represents the woman. Ally starts to walk by and Richard grabs her and tells her to dump her client. He introduces her to Harry as a "long-time meal ticket." She thinks he's kidding and starts to walk away. He pulls her back and says that suing one of the firm's clients is a conflict of interest and she should withdraw or, at a minimum, throw the trial. "The judge is not going to let me withdraw at this point and as for whether he'll okay me throwing the trial, gee, I'll just have to check," Ally says. She walks away. Harry isn't happy and reminds Richard that he's been bringing his business to the firm for a long time. "Trust me," Richard says. "She's not very good," he whispers. Ally hears him anyway.

Back in the conference room, Billy and the others tell Richard that they can't be on both sides of this case. Richard says that as long as both clients are aware of the conflict, it's okay. He tells them they will run it by the judge, then says he needs someone to represent Harry's son. He picks Georgia and announces he will second chair.

George Chisolm arrives to see Nelle. When Elaine introduces them, George sticks out his hand to shake Nelle's. It's dripping with sweat. She reluctantly shakes it. Elaine introduces her to Ling. He sticks out his hand to her and she says "Yucky do." She tells George that is Chinese for 'hello.' She turns to Nelle and says "Ick. Kucka." She leaves and Nelle asks George to come to her office. They sit, and he explains his case. She agrees to meet with the IRS agent who is questioning his deductions, but she feels that he will probably want to meet with George. She is afraid that when he sees George sweat, he will equate that with a feeling of guilt. She says she will see what she can do on her own.

In court, the judge is still trying to figure out whether he is going to allow the firm to represent both sides when Richard asks for a continuance. He and Ally bicker back and forth about that for a bit until the judge stops them and says he will let the case go forward with the firm at both tables but he won't give Richard the continuance. The case will start after lunch. Ally playfully hits Richard, as if to say 'ha, ha, we won the first round.' The defendants share a glance at each other.

Ally and her client, Paula, are getting coffee at a coffeehouse. Ally mentions that the defendant is gorgeous. Paula doesn't see why that is important. Ally tells her that she asked if he was good-looking and Paula told her 'sorta.' "That's not 'sorta'," she says. "He's great looking and I think the jury might think that you wanted to sleep with him." Paula says that he lied his way into her bed. Ally think they should settle but Paula is firm on that. She says since he's rich, settling for money means no consequences for him. She wants the trial and the public condemnation. Ally says that if Paula is this angry, maybe she really does love him. Paula repeats that she wants to go to trial. They agree to meet after lunch and Paula leaves. John joins Ally. They talk for a minute then her cell phone rings. She is startled. She reaches down to get the phone and is obviously disappointed by who it is. She hangs up and continues talking to John about the case but he wants to know "Who wasn't it?" Ally doesn't understand. "Who was that just there not calling?" Ally admits she's waiting for Greg to call. They haven't talked in a week. John wants to know if that fact is related to her kissing Billy. Ally is surprised that he knows and wants to know if everyone knows. John says yes. Ally tells him that she told Greg and she sees a cuckoo bird come out of his forehead. John says that a relationship is the most passionate at the beginning and Greg would be a fool not to run if Ally is kissing somebody else at the beginning.

Ally and Renee are having lunch in Ally's office. Ally expresses frustration over the fact that she has called Greg twice but he won't return her calls. Renee tells her to just call him again. She doesn't.

Nelle meets in her office with the IRS agent. They go over several aspects of the case, then the agent says he needs to meet with George.

In court, Paula has taken the stand. She tells Ally that she and Kevin met at a party and they just hit it off. Paula says she isn't very good at meeting people and she was thrilled that she and Kevin had so much in common. She even thought to herself that this was the man she would probably marry. She tells the court that she has always felt that when she met the right man, their souls would connect, even before a single word could be spoken. Richard objects. "That kind of sentimentality shouldn't go unpunished," he says, "Move for costs." The judge, of course, overrules him. Paula says that for two nights, she and Kevin stayed up until dawn talking, and on the third night, they made love. She found out later that everything they connected on was information he learned about Paula from her online chat room. He had come into her chat room pretending to be a woman. When it's Georgia's turn to question Paula, she asks if Kevin asked her if she was sure she wanted to make love. Paula says every man asks that. Georgia asks if Paula thought Kevin was funny. When Paula says he didn't have a great sense of humor, Georgia asks her if she ever laughed at his jokes even though she didn't think they were funny. Paula says she might have. Georgia goes on to remind her that even though she isn't a football fan, she pretended to like football when talking to Kevin. Georgia says she's trying to prove that everybody does a little pretending. "Some woman even lie and still think they're blameless in life," she says. Turning to Ally, she adds, "Some even cheat." Ally jumps up. "Objection! Move to strike," she says, very angrily. Ally sees Georgia's head turn into a cat that hisses at her, then Ally's head also turns into a cat and hisses back. Georgia turns to Paula again and asks if she wore perfume on her dates with Kevin. Paula says yes. "Maybe you smelled a little better than usual, looked a little better, pretended to think things were funnier than they were, feigned interest in things that he found interesting – are you sure that he went to bed with the real you?" John stands up and tells the judge, "I must apologize. Ms. Thomas has recently undergone a little strife in her marriage. I think it explains the inappropriate and cruel line of questioning. She's usually very docile and likeable." Georgia objects. The judge tells everyone to knock it off.

When all four emerge from the elevator back at the office, Georgia tells John that what he did was over the line. "Oh, and you weren't," Ally says. Georgia tells her to just shut up. "You've done nothing but yap," she says. Everyone starts talking at the same time and Elaine interrupts with "Are we all fighting?" They yell, in unison, "Quiet!" Ally tells Georgia, "You just wait till your client gets up there." She turns to leave as Georgia asks, "What are you going to do, kiss him?" Ally continues walking away. Richard tells Georgia to come with him to prepare. They start to walk away, and Richard comes back to John. "You were a little out of line," he says. John replies, "It was your idea to face me in court, now there's a consequence for that." Richard asks, "Which is?" "You have to face me in court," says John.

Ling and Nelle are in Nelle's office with George. He is only wearing pants, and they are wearing aprons over their clothes as they brush something on his skin. Ling has a mask like a surgeon's mask over her mouth and nose. Ling explains that the liniment they are applying will keep him from sweating.

Ally comes into the unisex and finds Georgia there. She starts to go into a stall, then turns to tell Georgia that she knows they have their differences but that she hopes they can deal with all this one-on-one and not in court. "The truth is, I do consider us friends," Georgia says, "And in court it's probably not a good thing to think of opposing counsel as your friend, so, in a way, it's probably just easier for me to look at you as a conniving back stabber who kissed my husband."

John comes into Richard's office and asks him when was the last time he truly offered Richard advice. Richard says never. "Check that," Richard says, "I'm thinking of the last time I truly took it." John tells him he's worried about the fallout from the trial. "I'm better than you and I fear that this trial will cost us not only a major client but could jeopardize our friendship," John says. Richard repeats to him, "Because you're better than me? And you think you'll beat me?" John says yes. "You can't possibly overestimate how much you underestimate me," Richard says. "If you're under the impression you'll overwhelm me with your little stunts, understand this. I'll be all over you the minute you try. I'm not your underling in there, you have nothing over me." John interrupts, "There are just far too many over and unders going on here. My point is this. No one beats me in court. You won't beat me in court." He turns to leave. Richard says, "May the best man win." "So you agree," says John. "You're really an arrogant little guy, aren't you," says Richard. "I object to the term little and my arrogance is simply anticipatory," says John, "It coincides with the prospect of certain victory." Richard and John stand almost nose-to-nose as Richard tells him that no matter what happens, he won't let it affect their friendship. They stare each other down to the sound of the bells.

George comes in to see Nelle and Ling. The liniment was successful. He didn't sweat at all the night before. They test it out by having Ling ask him some tough questions.

In court, Kevin is on the stand. He tells Richard that the best way to make an impression on a girl is to make her feel as if she is the most interesting person in the world. To do that, he says, you have to find out her interests and that's why he went into her chat room. Richard asks why he owned up to it – why he felt like he had to be honest. John stands and says, "Your honor, I believe counsel has confused honesty with a sleazy, dirty trick." Richard objects. John apologizes and sits down. Richard turns to Kevin and says, "So, Kevin. Come on," as if he is trying to get him to answer the question. John again stands and again objects. "I'm sorry, your honor," John says, "I was anticipating a leading question and I jumped the gun. He often asks leading questions when he can't trust his witness to volunteer truthful answers. It made me gun-jump. I apologize." The judge asks John if they can just get through this. John sits. Kevin says while he did learn about Paula through her chat room, he truly believes what he said to her about soul mates. Richard asks him if the sex was good. Ally objects. Richard explains that Kevin told him that Paula appeared to have an orgasm. The judge wants to know the point. "If she faked it, that would make her the liar," Richard says, "If it was real," he motions toward Kevin, "winner. Either way, she shouldn't be suing." The judge sustains the objection. Richard asks him why he did it. Kevin explains that he had seen Paula at a few parties and wanted to meet her but he is shy. He thought that if he learned some things about her it would give him a head start. He starts to address Paula. "It really was the real me talking and it's the real me now." John objects. "I really must object," he says, "Polygraphs are inadmissible." The judge says, "What?" "This witness never took a lie detector," John says. The judge wants to know what he's missing. "The fact that he is shielded from taking a lie detector doesn't mean he should be able to say things that he wouldn't dare offer if he had to back it up with a polygraph," John says. "It's one thing to lie to a woman, quite another to lie about it after, still yet another to lie about it under oath. I'd simply like the court to remind the witness he is in fact under oath. Though admittedly, given his character, the warning may have little effect. In fact, I'm sure none. Permit me to withdraw my objection. Please continue." He sits.

John, Richard, Georgia and Ally go into an empty room in the courthouse. Richard says that John isn't funny. "I don't mean to be funny," John says, "My intent is simply to beat you, which we're doing." Georgia says he isn't beating them. "Oh, are you still here?" says John. She wants to know what that is supposed to mean. "It means your presence is gone from this trial, leaving the jury with him. He exudes chauvinism. You don't want to be leading with chauvinism in this trial," says John. He says they should settle for $250,000. Georgia says they won't pay him and turns to leave, bumping Ally's shoulder in the process. "Oh, excuse me," says Ally. Georgia turns and asks her what she's talking about. "Don't bump me like that," says Ally. Georgia says she didn't mean to. They share a nasty look and Georgia leaves. Richard says they won't settle.

Nelle, Ling and George are in the conference room with the IRS agent. The questioning goes okay for a while, but pretty soon George's head and face starts to sweat. A huge ball of sweat drops off his nose and lands on the conference table.

Back in court, it's John's turn to question Kevin. He asks him if he sleeps with a lot of girls. Richard jumps up. "Objection! Relevance. Cost. Sanctions. Badger," he says. John says it goes to his state of mind, especially if he is a believer in free sex. Kevin says he isn't a bed hopper. John asks if he thought that Paula was. He says no and that in fact, he knew she was discerning. John asks if that's why he resorted to fraud. Richard and Georgia object. They are overruled. John asks Kevin if he's ever used that date rape drug. He says no. "Why not?" John asks. "That drug only works to loosen inhibition. Didn't you accomplish that with lies?" Again, Richard and Georgia both object. John says, "I take offense to the double objections. Two wrongs can hardly make a right." The judge tells them that he is getting tired of this. John tells Kevin that he is reminded of a story of two brothers. One becomes romantically involved with a pen pal. After years of writing to each other, he tells her that he's coming to her city. His brother knew this would happen and went first, met her at the door, they kissed and went to the bedroom. The next day, she discovered she had made love to the wrong brother. John asks him if that is fair. Kevin says no, but adds that situation is different. John asks him to lean forward a bit. He gets in his face and screams, "It's not different!" Georgia and Richard object. "She made love to you thinking you were someone you weren't, which was the plan. You took information from that chat room, you used it to move in like a Trojan horse and out popped the Trojan condom." Richard again objects, this time stomping his foot. The judge tells John to "dial it back." John asks Kevin if he's sorry for what he did to Paula. He says he is, and starts to say something else when John interrupts. "Thank you," he says, "I have nothing further for the sorry witness."

Richard exits the elevator at the office with Harry Wah, who is upset. He says John is better than Richard and that if they lose, Richard is fired.

Nelle doesn't think the meeting went well. She is meeting with the IRS agent again the next day, and Ling thinks she needs to wear her hair down for it. Nelle doesn't want to win that way, but she doesn't want to lose either.

That night, Ally and Renee are at home watching John walk back and forth in their living room, barefoot. (He's on his first draft of the closing.) The phone rings, Ally leaps for it and lets it ring three times before answering. It's a telemarketer, and since Ally was really hoping it was Greg, she lets her have it.

The next day, John is the first to give his closing. "Values," he starts. "We keep talking about values. Honesty is a value. So is integrity. And for Paula Hunt, the decision to love somebody, to make love to somebody – she put a value on that. As she put one on trust and the sanctity of sexual intercourse. This man, he lied to get it. I suppose we could say 'big deal, premarital sex these days, it's the 90's, it's free and easy'. And no doubt when he tells the story to his buddies he gets the big high-five. Got into her chat room. Got into her pants. Ingenious. Paula Hunt doesn't see it that way. She's not ashamed to say that sex should be accompanied by love and truth. And if that makes her a prude, fine, she'll wear the label. That's her right. But it was not his right to use lies and deception to get laid, at this woman's expense. That's what he did. It's as simple as that. As a result, she not only lost the ability to trust him, it's hard for her now to trust herself to trust anybody. So, values. We need you to attach a value to what he did. And I want you to put a big value on it. Because there are plenty of other guys out there who think what he did was ingenious and some of them may be surfing the Internet as we speak, looking for your daughter's chat room."

Richard stands to give his closing. John is on the way back to his seat and is right behind Richard when he turns and says to the jury, "Attach a value to what he did." Richard finally gets to talk. "Venus. Mars. Name a planet, opposing counsel has probably been on it. But when we talk about men and women as Mars and Venus, it's because on some issues the two genders really are from different worlds. And when it comes to sex, please. Basic anthropology tells you the female species instinctively looks for one mate, while the male innately looks to spread his seed with as many mates as possible to propagate the long-term survival of the species itself. Even a gay anthropologist will tell you so. Men are guided, sometimes misguided, by a different missile. I won't lie. I saw this beautiful woman once at a Van Gogh exhibit. I put a bandage over my ear and told her I nicked it in a prior life. Whatever gets you there. Am I proud of it? No. Does it work sometimes? Yes. And women expect men to make moves. They expect us to launch that first offensive. It's why God gave us the missile to begin with. Having said that, both sexes pretend at the beginning. Men and women. We all pretend to be what the other wants to see. It's part of the mating dance. Did Kevin Wah go too far infiltrating her chat room? Maybe. But he believed the thoughts he shared with her just the same. He was genuine in how they felt they connected. And remember this. Remember this. Remember this…." "He's forgotten," says John. "I have not!" screams Richard. "Kevin Wah really fell for her. When they went to bed, he was falling in love with her. And he didn't leave the next day, did he? She broke it off. Kevin Wah was in this for real. With a lot of guys, it's only about sex. Kevin Wah was in this for real."

Nelle decides to go for it and wear her hair down. She meets with the IRS agent, flirts a bit, and returns to her office to give George the good news. He has 120 days to pay what he owes, with no penalty and no interest. George hugs her then leaves to tell his wife the news. Nelle feels like she should shower now. She heads to the unisex.

Ally is already there, washing her hands. She and Nelle talk a bit about Ally's case. Georgia comes in and stands behind Ally, watching her. Ally turns and asks Georgia to stop looking at her like that. "Now, I am happy to go someplace and talk," Ally says, "but the looks and the attitude, well, it's getting old." "This is what's getting old," Georgia says, and turns to leave, again bumping into Ally. Ally pushes Georgia a little and says, "Stop bumping me!" Georgia tells her not to push her. Ally says, "Don't you push me." Georgia does. Ally loses her balance for a moment, gets her footing, and then lunges at Georgia. They end up on the floor. Nelle tries to break it up by grabbing Georgia by the hair and pulling her off Ally. Georgia starts fighting with Nelle. Ally wants Nelle to stop fighting with Georgia, so she pulls Nelle's hair. They all three fall to the floor. Ling comes in and joins in by pulling Ally's hair. They all stand up and Elaine comes in with the video camera. Still fighting, all four women fall to the floor. Ally gets up, crawls on top of a stall, then jumps onto the other three women, sending everyone again to the floor. The men come in and finally break it up. As Ally explains that Nelle started it ("Georgia and I were fighting by ourselves and you turned it into a brawl"), Georgia points out to Ally that she has blood on her forehead.

Ally is at the emergency room. A nurse says the cut isn't too deep but she is going to have a doctor look at it. Richard and John come in with a balloon and stuffed animal for Ally. She wants to know if the jury came back and Richard says they settled – for nothing. Paula and Kevin come in. She says Richard's closing convinced her that Kevin really was in it for real. Richard says he can't take a contingency on bliss so they will have to work something out. Kevin says his father will pay the fees for both sides. Richard is happy again. The doctor comes in and it's Greg. He tells everyone to leave. Ally tells him that she's been beeping him. He says he knows. He looks at the cut and says he can butterfly it. Ally tries to convince him that her coming to the hospital could mean that they should get back together. Greg tells her that he doesn't know what her kissing Billy says about her and Billy, but it does say something about them. "And I don't really need to tell you that, do I?" he asks. "We're done?" Ally says. He says, "Not quite. You still need a tetanus." Ally asks if that's all she's going to get out of this relationship. He tells her to roll onto her side. "You'll feel a pinch," he says. "No doubt," says Ally.

That night, Ally comes out of the kitchen in her pajamas with a carton of ice cream. Renee comes out of her room with the blow-up doll. They trade. Renee goes back to the bedroom and Ally dances in the living room with the doll.


First of all, let me say how nice it was to finally have a new Ally episode!

Now, let me say that no judge, no way, would ever let the firm represent both sides in that case, even with both sides giving their okay. I know this is television and it was a great way to get Ally and Georgia into a situation where they could duke it out, but it just would never happen.

With that said, let me add that it was soooo fun! It's really unfortunate that John and Richard can't go up against each other every time.

From the previews, we could all see that Ally and Georgia were going to have it out, but who could have imagined it would be like that! I know several men who, I'm sure, were thrilled beyond words to see all of those woman rolling around on the floor together. And, I know several women who, at least once in their life, have wanted to grab another woman's hair and yank it!

I have to hand it to Ally. She said what everyone would love to say to all those telemarketers that call a billion times a day. I truly can't believe how bad it has gotten. They even call people at work now!

Favorite Lines:

Ally: "Why is it that a guy can cheat with his penis and expect forgiveness, but I can't get any slack with a lip?"

Renee: "Is this guy really that cute?"
Ally: "Spanky-toy."

Ally, to telemarketer: "Now is not a good time, Shirley."
Telemarketer: "Is there another time that would be better?"
Ally: "How 'bout never? Is never good for you? How 'bout you give me your home number, Shirley, and I'll call you. Would that be all right? You annoying little bitch."

Richard and John had way too many good lines to list here. They are all included in the actual summary.

Copyright © 1999 Dana Hagerty. All rights reserved.