The Green Monster
Air date: May 10, 1999
Summary/Review by Dana Bonistalli

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John walks into the inner office. Nelle comes up to him, obviously happy to see him. She asks him what's going on and he says he just gargled. "I gargle before each trial," he says. "I like to open with fresh breath." Nelle tells him that the toothpaste she uses is really strong and that it "makes your tongue tingle." She leans over and kisses him, then asks if he can feel the tingle. "Yeah," he says. "Not on my tongue." Ling sees this and growls. "This is an office place," she says, "people shouldn't be happy." She wants to know what Nelle sees in John, "besides the top of his head." Nelle tells Ling they should go get some coffee and pulls her into the elevator. John says to himself, "What does she see in me? I'm a love machine, baby. That's what she sees. L-O-V-E machine." He turns to see Ally standing right behind him. He says her name, then she says his. "Or, should I say, Mr. Machine?" she asks. John gives his therapy smile, then his nose whistle.

John and Richard are meeting with their client, Mrs. Mannix, in attempt to get her to settle. She refuses to settle. She says her husband hurt her and she wants to make this as difficult as possible. "I want you both to be everything people hate about lawyers," she says.

As they walk out of the office, we hear loud music. It's coming from Ally's office, and Ling is not pleased. She walks over to Ally's office and growls at her. Ally turns the music off. Ling says she's looking for some aspirin because loud, bad music gives her a headache. "Why are you playing all these songs about things being over?" Ling asks. "Did your bad therapist tell you to?" Ally says she just likes Boz Scaggs.

In court, the judge tells John and his client that they can't sue a husband for emotional distress. We learn that John is just trying to counter-sue the husband, who is suing Mrs. Mannix for malicious destruction of property. Because they are in a no-fault state, John can't sue the husband for cheating. The judge says they are going to move forward with the plaintiff's cause of action only. "You disappoint me, your honor," John says. "I always considered you special." The judge just gives him a stern look and asks to have the jury brought in.

Ally is again singing sad songs in her office. Ling has had enough. She comes in and shuts the door. "You are obviously trying to sing yourself over somebody," Ling says. "I may be able to help." Ling says she owns a male escort service that is basically for beautiful women who need to go to functions and don't want to get hit on. "Who are we trying to forget about here?" Ling asks. "Greg Butters? You've got it completely backwards. What you should be doing is making it harder for him to forget about you." She says using the male escort is the way to do it. "Guys get jealous," she says, "it's a scientific fact."

Ally and Renee are at lunch in a Chinese restaurant. Renee can't believe that Ally is going to go through with this. Ally tells her to stop looking at everything through logic. Renee tells her not to criticize something she's never tried. "You want a little logic from me, Renee?" she asks. "We put in twelve hour days working on our professional lives. We agree that a personal life is more important but we don't really work on that. I am going to apply myself, Renee. I'm going to apply a work ethic to my private life." Renee asks if that includes renting somebody. "I am not excluding anything and I'm not going to apologize for it," Ally says. "And this isn't about me wanting a man, either. This is about me wanting a partner. Okay? A partner to go through life with. And since I happen to be heterosexual, that limits the field to men, at least if I want to have sex, and I do, I like sex." She is starting to raise her voice. "And if that makes me weak, tough, then I want to be weak. I want a partner. I want sex. I want a house, with furniture. I want to have a baby. I want to have all of it. I want to get fat. I want to wear maternity dresses. I want to stick my legs up in stirrups, take two shots of Pitocin and spit the little thing right out between my thighs and then have him suck on my breasts, with daddy standing right there the whole time pointing the camcorder. Okay? This is what I want. And instead of sitting back hoping for it to happen I'm going to make it happen. You think you can deal with that?" Everyone in the restaurant starts clapping.

Billy sees some guys staring up the stairs and when he looks to see what they are looking at, he sees Georgia in a halter-type dress with a long slit up the side. He runs up the stairs. "What are you doing?" he asks. "Are you on drugs wearing this here?" Georgia says Ling designed it and that everyone loves it. "I'm sure they do," he says. "Take it off." Georgia can't believe he said that to her. "I am your husband," he says, then repeats, "Take it off." She turns away from him, then reaches back and starts to unzip the dress. He stops her. "On or off," she says, "Your choice. Make it."

Mr. Mannix is on the stand. He explains that he came home one night to find his grand piano suspended from a crane over his Porsche. "I got home and there she was in the cabin of the thing, acting like a banshee," Mr. Mannix says. "Objection to the term 'banshee,' that is hugely inflammatory," says John. "Move for a directed verdict for the defendant, together with costs, punitive damages, plus interest." The judge tells John that he won't allow him to pull his stunts in his court. John asks if he can just take a moment. The judge tells him to make it quick. He puts his fingers to the bridge of his nose and the judge asks what he is doing. "He's taking his moment," Richard says, adding, "You said he could." Mr. Mannix goes on and says that both the piano and Porsche were antiques the two things he held dearest in life. He watched as the piano was released and it crushed the car. John asks him where he was coming from that night. Mr. Mannix says he was at a party. John asks if he wasn't, in fact, returning from a liaison with another woman. He admits he was. John says that the police refused to arrest Mrs. Mannix because they concluded that the property could be deemed hers as well. Mr. Mannix says, "It's not that simple." "I'm asking it that simply," John replies. "You ruined that relationship," John adds. "Who did more damage in your mind?"

Ling comes to Ally's office and tells her that she has him. "You brought him here?" She asks for a second to straighten up her desk and instead, she quickly puts some lipstick on and fixes her hair. Ling brings in Kevin Wyatt (played by the very handsome Antonio Sabato, Jr.) and introduces them, then leaves them alone to talk. "Se we need to make a green monster?" Kevin asks. Ally doesn't exactly understand so he explains, "Make someone jealous." She says yes and he says he needs to get some information from her. She tells him that Greg is a doctor and that he's good-looking, so he's not likely to become jealous just by seeing her with another good-looking man. Kevin says, in that case, they will say that he's an actor. "Men in the profession are more likely to be threatened by those in the arts," he says. He tells Ally that attempting to make Greg jealous may involve her kissing him and maybe even pretending that she wants to sleep with him. Ally imagines herself sucking Kevin's entire face into her mouth. "I might be able to fake it," she says.

At home that night, Ally is telling Renee about Kevin. "He was THAT good-looking?" Renee asks. "Incredible," says Ally, "Figures I'd have to rent him." Renee asks what Ally is going to do if Greg is really involved with that woman she saw him with (in last week's episode). Ally says she did some checking around and found out that it was just a date. "Okay, so I'm a stalker," she says. They try to figure out how to get Ally and Kevin to be seen my Greg. Renee suggests they have a party at the bar for John, whose birthday they never really celebrated.

"Absolutely not," is John's reaction when Renee comes to the office to ask him if he will do this for Ally. He says he has no interest in celebrating birthdays. She comes clean and tells him that Ally wants to get back with Greg so this will just be a way to make sure he sees her with Kevin. Renee sees Nelle approaching John's office, and she takes his head and thrusts it into her breasts. Nelle is not thrilled at all to see this. "Get his head out of your breasts!" she says. Renee removes John's head and tells him, "That's jealousy. That's what we need from Greg." John is flustered. He tells Nelle he's late for court and quickly leaves the room.

Mrs. Mannix is on the stand telling the jury that she suspected her husband was having an affair, but he denied it. That night, she got a call from a friend who was at a party and said she saw her husband and another woman together there, and they were not being discreet about it. Mrs. Mannix then called a friend of hers who works in construction. He came over with the crane, they hoisted the piano and dropped it on his Porsche. "The only thing saner would have been to drop it on his head," Mrs. Mannix says.

Billy comes into Georgia's office to find her wearing another of Ling's creations. "What the hell is this?" he asks. Georgia says it's evening wear. "As in 'Lady of the Evening'," Billy says. "How do you wear a dress like that?" he asks. "Pretty damn well, I think," says Georgia.

Richard and John again try to get Mrs. Mannix to settle. She says she doesn't want to settle and she won't pay him anything.

Kevin comes to make sure they have a plan. She tells him about the birthday party.

Renee goes to the hospital to invite Greg. He says he hardly knows John, but Renee says that he doesn't have many friends and he listed Greg as one of them. "This isn't a plan to get me and Ally together?" he asks. Renee says no and adds that Ally met somebody and he's an actor.

Renee comes to tell Ally that Greg said he would come by the party. They are standing at the front of Ally's desk, and while they are talking, Ally feels something hit her foot from underneath the desk. She walks behind it and finds Elaine underneath, eavesdropping. "I dropped my pencil," she says, "Have you seen it?"

Ally and Kevin enter the bar together and come over and sit with Ling, Renee and Elaine. Ally asks where John is and Elaine says he's in a settlement conference. Kevin says they should practice nose nuzzling. Billy and Georgia come in and ask what's going on. "They don't need to know," Ally says. "We're celebrating John's 35th birthday," says Ling. Billy and Georgia join them.

John and Richard are still trying to talk Mrs. Mannix into settling. She has her back to them. "I told you I don't want to settle," she says, "Why do I have to keep repeating it?" She tells Richard that he told her they could win. "I promise victory to every new client," he says, "It's how I get the business."

The gang is still waiting for Greg to arrive and Ally is trying to prepare to concentrate on Kevin when Greg walks in. He sees where they are, then goes back out and brings in that woman he was with in the last episode. "He brought a date?" Ally says. Greg introduces them all to his date, Kimba. Greg and Kimba sit down and Greg asks where John is. They say he's stuck in a meeting but he will be down in a second. Ally's plan isn't working. She is jealous that Greg brought this girl. "Kimba," she says, "Rhymes with 'bimba'."

In the conference room, John tells Mr. and Mrs. Mannix that the thing about these types of lawsuits is, it's often about people trying to 'get at' each other rather than work it out. "You two will never be happy simply by 'getting' the other one," John says. "I will," says Mrs. Mannix. Mr. and Mrs. Mannix start arguing and John tells them to be quiet.

Greg tells a joke and Kimba, Billy and Georgia laugh. "It's not working," says Ally. Kevin asks her if she can sing. They leave the table. Georgia asks if Ally is 'with' this guy and Elaine tells her he's rented. Two people start singing, and everyone looks up at the stage. It's Kevin and Ally. "This is what the bastard did to her last year on her birthday," Elaine says to Renee, then she thinks about it and adds, "with you." Ling notices that Greg doesn't like that Ally is singing with Kevin. Greg gets up and goes to the bathroom.

Back upstairs, Mr. Mannix won't settle. The attorney for Mr. Mannix is confused. She wants to know why they were called in for a settlement conference when it's obvious his client doesn't want to settle. Mrs. Mannix tells Mr. Mannix that it was easy for him to cheat on her and that he never even felt bad for it. "I made it easy," she says, "I'm not making it easy anymore."

Ally and Kevin sit down. Just as she is wondering if Greg has left the restaurant, she hears him singing. He walks up and talks Kimba's hand. She stands up, he hands her the microphone and she starts singing with him. Of course, she has an incredible voice.

Georgia wonders if she should get up and sing. Billy tells her that she can't sing but she insists she can. "You don't want to get up there," Billy says, "and I promise it has nothing to do with the dress."

Meanwhile, Ally is at the bar waiting for her drinks. Greg comes up and orders beer. They ask how each other is, then Ally tells him he was a little rude. "You knew I would be here and you bring a date, who is what, a professional singer?" Ally asks. Greg reminds her that she brought a date. "There was no proof I knew you'd be here, you knew I'd be here," Ally says. He says Renee is her roommate so he just figured she would know he was coming. "So, is anything on her real?" Ally asks. "That's nice," says Greg. Music starts and we hear someone singing, badly. It's Georgia. She is so bad that Vonda gets everyone in the bar to sing along during the chorus. When it's over, everyone claps enthusiastically and Georgia thinks that means she did well. She asks them to play another one, and again, Vonda gets the crowd to sing along.

The attorney for Mr. Mannix gives her closing argument. "She purposely destroyed his most-valued possessions in an attempt to hurt him," she says. She says what Mrs. Mannix ruined was priceless, but that they need the jury to put a price on it. John gives his closing. "Love hurts," he says. "Was it a mature thing that Bonnie Mannix did?" Of course not, but we don't attach maturity to the definition of love. Grown ups are often reduced to children." John says that we can't hold Mr. Mannix liable for cheating on his wife, "but we would be damn fools to reward him, now wouldn't we?"

Greg comes to visit Ally at the office the next day. "We never finished our fight," he says. He asks if she wants to get coffee later and talk. She says yes and he says he'll call her. Elaine comes in as he's leaving. Ally tells her that it worked. Kevin shows up with Ling to follow up. She says they were successful. Ally wants to talk to Kevin alone. Ling and Elaine leave. "Got it done without us even having to fake a kiss," Ally says. Ally tells Kevin that she is hitting on him. "I'm not as neurotic as I seem," she says. "Well, actually, I am. I hired you to get Greg and now I have a crush on you." Kevin says he's not allowed to date clients. Ally says she's not a client anymore. "I could clear it with Ling," she says. Kevin says it would be unprofessional. He's about to leave when Ally says, "Oh, hell." She grabs his arm, pulls him back and kisses him. "I was just testing the merchandise," she says.

The jury comes back with the verdict. They find in favor of Mr. Mannix and order Mrs. Mannix to pay damages in the amount of 35 cents. Mrs. Mannix wants to know if they can appeal. John explains to her that they won. "Give me the keys," John says, "I know you have them." She turns over the keys to the crane.

At home, Ally tells Renee what happened. "You want Greg back but you fell for rent-a-date?" Renee asks. Ally tells her not to make fun of her. "I'm making progress," Ally says, "I'm opening up my heart at least." "Yeah and it's working like an esophagus," Renee says. They laugh about Ally's predicament, Renee starts singing, and they get up and dance together in their living room.


BITS AND PIECES:

I wonder how long it took David Kelley to talk Courtney Thorne-Smith into getting up on that stage and singing badly on purpose? As humiliating as it must have been for her, it made for the best scene in the entire episode. The look on Vonda's face was great, and when Georgia wanted to sing the other song, I was really hoping that someone would stop her. Oh well, no matter what Kelley has her doing, Thorne-Smith is still looking better than any female on this show.

I hate to say this two weeks in a row, but I was bored with this court case. About the only thing I enjoyed about it was the verdict and the fact that neither one of them got away with what they did.

Too bad John and Nelle only got a few minutes of air time together. Their short scenes were adorable. I especially liked seeing Nelle get upset over John having his face in Renee's bosom. It made me believe even more that Nelle really does care a great deal for John.

Copyright © 1999 Dana Bonistalli. All rights reserved.