Synopsis of Mr. Bo

Written by Jennifer W.

Melanie and John are dancing at the bar. Melanie asks John if he would like to walk her home tonight. When they get to her apartment, she tells him that she has never brought anyone to her apartment before. She says she is nervous. "Well, I'm honored, then. I certainly hope my underwear is clean," John says jokingly. They enter her apartment. It is extremely small - it's an efficiency. John is surprised. She tells him she feels safe and cozy there. Melanie then shows him how the bed is stored in the wall and the toilet is stored under a chair. He tells Melanie the place is magical. They sit on the bed and start to kiss. All of a sudden, the room shakes. John thinks it's an earthquake. She explains, "No, no, no, it's not an earthquake. That's the other thing. This isn't technically an apartment, it's an old service elevator." The room starts to go down as John and Melanie clutch each other.

At the morning meeting, Richard asks where John is. Mark tells him that John is siting in on Melanie's class. Ling interjects, "He's in love with her. He follows her around like a puppy dog - it's gross." Richard explains they have a new client, Roth Public Relations Firm, who is being sued by a former employee for discrimination. He would like Ally to take the case and Mark second chair. The case involves a receptionist who claims she was fired for being too chunky. Ally asks what the client said about the situation. "Oh, she was fat," says Richard. Ally can't believe the client's admitting that was the reason. Ally doesn't want to take the case but Richard insists. Richard also announces, "Final note, now this is fun. There's going to be a charity twisting contest at the bar Wednesday night. Chubby Checker is actually going to sing, which is a real treat for me, since I thought he was...what's the word?...dead. Uh, I bought five entries at $1500 a pop. Nelle, you'll have to round up a partner, I guess." Nelle says she doesn't twist and Ally says she isn't going to. Ling volunteers that she is a champion twister. Ally gives her the growling look.

Melanie is conducting class while John looks on. She is singing "Mr. Bojangles" to the class and all the kids join in. The school bell rings for recess. One of the children, Benny, asks Ms. West when are they going to see Mr. Bo again. She tells him she will work on it. After Benny leaves, John asks who Mr. Bo is. Melanie says it is Mr. Bojangles, a homeless man that lives on Tremont Street that she passed for years. One time, she took the kids to visit him (she almost got fired for that one) and Mrs. Stiles won't let her bring him to class. "Does he really dance?" asks John. Melanie says he can and asks John if he would like to meet him-she would love it if he would. John agrees to meet Mr. Bo.

Elaine tells Ally that Mark is waiting with the client in her office. Ally is not happy. "This is silly. Nobody hires new lawyers on the day of trial," she says. Elaine reminds her that anything can happen around that office. "You keep forgetting, we don't live in a real world," Elaine says. Ally wants to know if chauvinism lives in the real world. "Firing a receptionist for being fat? Is that what the real world has come to?"

Mark introduces Ally to Jerry Hill. Ally is shocked she is a woman. Ms. Hill thanks Ally for stepping in at the last minute-her other lawyers were just not up to it. Ally is reviewing the case and just wants clarification that the receptionist was fired because she was fat. Jerry says, "Not fat. Just overweight." Ally wants to know why being overweight made her unable to do her job. "She's not attractive enough," Jerry admits. Ally doesn't think she is the right lawyer to argue this case. Jerry says she needs her because she is out of both lawyers and continuances. "Richard said you're a good attorney with an excellent grasp of the superficial," Jerry says. "Hmm, did he? Well, I don't think that I can see my way into taking up your cause. I don't believe that people should be judged on a first impression," Ally argues. Jerry tells her it certainly seems like Ally is judging her.

Ally tells Richard she does not want to argue this case. He reminds her he is Senior Partner and he assigned her the case. Ally can't believe he wants her to argue that it's okay to evaluate somebody based on looks. "What else is there?" Ling asks. "Ling, why don't you go somewhere and pluck an eyebrow or at least pencil one in?" Ally shoots back. Ling adds, "Back when you were attractive you didn't mind being judged on beauty alone. It's amazing how principle pops up with wrinkles." "You know Ling, I have never challenged a girl to a fight before..." "But since a black eye could now be an improvement..." Ling concludes for her. "Let's go!" Ally says. Richard interjects, "Hey, hey, hey. You are both grown-ups. If you have a score to settle, do it on the dance floor." Ally hits him in the chest and walks away.

Elaine explains to Mark that they must practice their twist because Elaine lost to Ally in the Tina Turner contest. Elaine says she needs to win this one. Mark reminds her this is a charity thing. "Well, then think of me as the charity case because I need to win," she says.

Melanie and John are walking down the street to meet Mr. Bo. Mr. Bo is excited to see her. Melanie introduces the two. Mr. Bo acts stand-offish to John. Melanie tells him she is going to try and sneak the children to see him again because they miss him. Melanie gives him money and says she must get back to class. She tells Mr. Bo she loves him. John is dismayed that Mr. Bo didn't like him. John wonders if he is jealous. "Well, he could be, but he'll get over it," Melanie says. John's nose whistles.

Mr. Bo is in the elevator at the firm. John sees him and starts to walk towards him. Mr. Bo doesn't get off and the doors close. Melanie comes around the corner and John tells her Mr. Bo was there. John wonders if Mr. Bo is a sane man. She says that he is. John thinks Mr. Bo is after him. Melanie tells him not to be silly but John can only wonder why he was there.

The receptionist suing Jerry is on the witness stand. She says, "First she came up and asked if I were retaining water. I said I didn't know and that my water retention scale was on the blink. Then she was less subtle. She said I needed to drop at least five or I'd be let go." Mr. Stone, her lawyer, asks if there was anything other than weight Ms. Hill mentioned was a problem. "I got my hair cut once, and she said "Oh, no. That doesn't work at all". And finally, she called me in her office, said things weren't working out, and fired me. She says I wasn't pretty enough." Ally cross-examines her. Ally wonders if she was actually told to lose five pounds or she would be let go. The receptionist says yes. "So you were given a warning then?" Ally asks. "When's the last time somebody told you to diet?" the receptionist asks. Ally is flustered, "Well, I don't think that we need to get personal." "I hate it when thin people think they know what we go through. Just because their butt is tad big they think they know what it's like to have a weight problem." Ally objects saying her butt is not a tad big. She says she has contour. "Seems I'm just placing too much importance on the way I look. Have you ever known people to do that, Ms. Pip?" she asks. She admits all the time. Ally wants to know if she has ever known people who attached too much significance on the way other people look? She admits of course. "Do you make room for the possibility somebody could walk into my client's office, take a look at the receptionist, and form a quick conclusion, not only about her but about the company itself? Could that be possible?" Ally wonders.

Ling tells Nelle she has an incredible instructor, Sam Adams, who could give Nelle dance lessons. Nelle says she is not entering the dance contest.

Melanie is trying to convince John that Mr. Bo is completely harmless. John thinks he is obsessed with Melanie since he gave John a menacing look on the street and came to his office. She says he would never hurt anybody but John isn't so sure. She says she will talk to Mr. Bo and handle everything.

Larry agrees to be in the twist contest with Ally once she tells him Chubby Checker will be performing. Ally is happy. She tells him she needs his help because she is in a completely no-win trial situation and needs him to give her some ideas. Larry doesn't understand why it is a "no-win" trial. Ally doesn't get why he doesn't see a problem with the receptionist being fired because she is unattractive. "You think that it's okay that people get fired and hired based on whether they're attractive or not?" Ally asks. "Um, Ally, you work at Cage and Fish." She doesn't see his point. "It's extremely well-known Richard Fish only hires babes," he says. Ally is taken aback. "You didn't know this? It's practically on your firm's resume. Have you ever seen your firm's resume?" he asks, "You, Ling, Nelle, Georgia, it's quite the kennel." Ally wants to know where he heard this. "It's out there. Guys want to work there because of it. So do a lot of women. It's like being a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader."

John is at the office and goes to the unisex. He opens the stall to find Mr. Bo sitting there. John screams and runs out of the unisex very fast. Mr. Bo follows and looks around, but can't find him.

John had Mr. Bo arrested and Melanie is not happy about that. John says Mr. Bo was stalking him. He says he felt he was in danger. "Do you know how traumatized he'll be being arrested?" she asks. "How traumatized do you think I was going in for my evening poopy and finding him in my stall?" John answers. Elaine is eavesdropping at the office door when Richard asks what is going on. She tells him Melanie and John are fighting. "It doesn't sound good. Think the little guy needs help?" he wonders. Elaine asks him, "When Ling said she was a champion twister, has she actually won a competition?" "I don't know, Elaine, but I'll tell you this. I've made love to Ling, and if she can twist half as well as she can, uh, contort, you got no chance." Just then the door opens and Melanie storms out. John yells, "And I don't even have Tourette's. I was just pretending to so I could get a little action."

Jerry Hill is on the witness stand. "It isn't just about a first impression, which is important. The reception area is also the waiting room. Waiting is not fun. It helps to mitigate the impatience when they at least get to sit with a pretty girl in the room. In fact--and this may sound chauvinistic, but it's nevertheless true--put a beautiful woman in the room, and men are happy." Ally wonders about the women who are waiting. "Believe it or not, they enjoy it, too. Again, this may sound gender-biased to say it but most women, especially my clients, are extremely fashion-conscious. Look at you (she is talking to Ally), women love to look at the clothes. It helps for my receptionists to look like models. The clothes on them look better. Miss Pip is ten pounds shy of a muumuu." Mr. Stone asks Jerry, "You feel no compunction about firing someone because they're not good-looking enough?" Jerry says that if she has learned anything from being in public relations, it's that packaging counts." He wonders if it is okay to discriminate on the basis of "packaging". Jerry argues that Ms. Pip didn't protest when she hired her on looks. Mr. Stone wonders about her publicists. She says that is different, she hires them on talent and skill. "Yes, but I would imagine a beautiful publicist would make for a better presentation," he says. Jerry agrees. "So, skill levels being equal, you would hire the prettier publicist?" "In an eye blink," she says.

Nelle again protests on taking any dance lessons. Ling tells her that Sam is there to meet her. Nelle tells her to send him away. Sam Adams walks in. He is a Latin hunk. Nelle is speechless than says "maybe one lesson". Ling is happy.

In court, Mr. Bo is having his hearing. Melanie stands up and says she would like to drop the charges. The judge asks if she is the victim. Melanie says no. Just when the judge was about to tell her she had no standing unless she is the victim, John walks in and ask that the case be dismissed. Once John says he is the victim, the judge dismisses the charges.

Ally tells Richard she wants to see the firm's resume. He objects saying it is for clients. She insists. He reluctantly shows it to her. Ally again asks Richard if she was hired based on her looks. He explains, "Ally, did we know each other in law school? (not really) Did I interview you for the job? (no) Did I ask to see a reference or a transcript? (no) So all I had to go on was looks. Why bite the hand that wants to touch you?". "So this had nothing to do with my ability as a lawyer?" Ally asks. "What ability, I'm still looking for that?" Richard says. "Kidding," he adds, "Ally, you, Ling, Nelle, you're smart. You wouldn't be here if you weren't, but people hate lawyers. Clients think we're only out to screw them. It's just easier being screwed by a beautiful woman." Ally can't believe what she is hearing. He continues, "Don't tell me you don't trade on your looks every day, Ally. You pull out the lip gloss, the rouge, the blush. What for? To brush up your intellect?" Ally walks out speechless.

Elaine spies on Nelle getting dancing lessons from Sam. Elaine goes to Ally and asks her if she could give her a minute. Ally starts to get up and leave but realizes that it is her office. "Oh, that's right. Secretaries don't get offices. Secretaries get stations. I should know my station in life by now, okay," Elaine says. Ally asks her what is the matter. "Nelle has a professional instructor. Ling's a champion and Nelle has this Latin pelvic machine." Ally reminds Elaine the twisting contest is for charity. "I don't care. You people win at everything. I'm sick of you people," Ally asks who "you people" are. Elaine explains, "Ally, I don't have a law degree. I didn't even go to college. There's not much out there for me to..., oh, forget it. I wouldn't expect you to understand." Ally disagrees, "Let me tell you something, Elaine, okay? I may have a law degree but I was hired here for being a babe." Elaine laughs. "Oh, right. Yeah, you, you're a babe. Come on, you're hardly...(Ally gives her a dirty look) I'm sure that's not true," Elaine says. Ally says that it is true. "I may have an education but I got my job as Richard's trophy. So, don't think that you have the priority on the esteem blues." Elaine assures her that whatever Richard might think, Ally knows better. Ally wonders if she believes that winning the contest would make her feel better. "I'd feel better than if I'd lose," Elaine answers.

John apologizes to Melanie for calling the police on Mr. Bo but says that he really was frightened. Melanie says he could have called her and not the police. She says he is not an animal just because he is homeless. John asks why Mr. Bo is so important to her. "He is my father," she admits. John wonders if she didn't tell him that because she was ashamed to have a homeless father. She says she is not ashamed, she is embarrassed. "I have nothing to be ashamed of expect maybe being embarrassed. I am ashamed of being embarrassed about my own father." He wonders if there is anyway they could help him. "John, it's not about that for him. This is the society he chooses to live in. I put him into shelters. He has places to stay when it's cold, but the pressures of ordinary life were beginning to break him down mentally. And since he's been on the streets he's more peaceful than I've ever see him. He's a kind man, John. I wanted you to meet him because he's a wonderful person. He's just, he's just a little different," she explains. "Well, the last woman I dated, her father thought he was Santa Claus." He wants to know if he can talk to him. Melanie says he will want to wrestle him and that is probably the reason he came by his office. "I beg your pardon," asks John. Melanie urges John to let Mr. Bo be and assures him she will get him to leave John alone.

In court, each side is giving their closing arguments. Mr. Stone asks if it is okay to judge a person by physical appearance instead of talent and character; while Ally argues that the reality of this world is that people are judged by first impressions. She says that Jerry Hill is in the business of offering first impressions. She runs a public relations firm and how can a client trust her if the first impression that she makes isn't a good one. She adds that the receptionist is there to greet and she is part of the package that wraps up what Jerry Hill has to sell.

John goes to visit Mr. Bo. He tells him he didn't know he was just being an overprotective father. Mr. Bo says people don't always treat Melanie right and he needed to check up. Mr. Bo asks John if he loves Melanie. John admits he thinks he might. Mr. Bo tells John he must wrestle him. John says no, he is a grown man. Mr. Bo calls him a chicken and then takes a swing at him.

The jury finds in favor of the defendant in the court case. Ally congratulates Ms. Hill. "Thank you. Your closing was so effective, one might think you believed what you were saying," Jerry says, "I didn't invent the way things work, you know?" "No, but you perpetuate it," Ally says. "And you're sure you don't?" Jerry asks.

John and Mr. Bo are wrestling. All the other homeless people are cheering them on. They are going back and forth until Mr. Bo breathes on John. His bad breath stuns John for a moment and Mr. Bo pins him and gets the three count. Mr. Bo gets up triumphantly. He tells John he can date his daughter. John wonders if that is the way he judges a person's character. "Believe me, there are worse ways," he assures John.

Chubby Checker is singing at the bar. Everyone is cheering. Mr. Bo has joined Melanie and John at the table. Everyone starts dancing and having a great time. All are amazed by Elaine-even Chubby Checker. He cuts in on Mark and dances with Elaine. Ally and Ling aren't happy that they aren't going to win the contest. Elaine is on cloud nine once again.

Melanie really wants Mr. Bo to spend the night at least once at her house. He says he would rather stay at his own place. He then asks Melanie to start calling him Dad instead of Mr. Bo. She happily agrees. Mr. Bo points to John and tells Melanie he is okay. Melanie agrees.

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