Synopsis of Without a Net
Written by Josh
Ally sits like a deer in headlights, horrified, confronted by the father and son. She excuses herself to go to the bathroom and, upon returning - - her face set into the grim determination of a woman about to face a firing squad - - she runs headlong into Kimmy Bishop, an old "friend" from law school who gives her an enthusiastic greeting. Much to Ally's chagrin, Kimmy introduces her to her friends, the officers of the Women of Virtue Bar Chapter of Massachusetts. Kimmy tells the women that Ally was voted Biggest Prude two years running, and that she'd tried to recruit Ally for their Christian Coalition but she wouldn't commit. Irritated and at the end of her rope, Ally tells her that she HAD considered joining, especially when Kimmy promised her that free spermicide under the table...but that when she went down there to get it, she found Kimmy munching on her boyfriend. Kimmy turns very pale as the Women of Virtue react, shocked; Ally smiles, excusing herself and returning to her unusual party. Michael suggests that he remove himself from this situation - - he's not going to date someone who's interested in his son - - but Jonathan jumps in quickly, saying HE should be the one to opts out...the idea of dating a woman who has the hots for his dad makes him uncomfortable. Ally starts to speak, but Jonathan interrupts, saying he has to leave and excusing himself from the table. Michael apologizes as well, saying he needs time to think about this.
"So they both dumped you," Reneé says. All the women are over at Ally's house for the weekly slumber party. Elaine suggests that Ally date both of them, and Nelle agrees, saying that they're always whining about how there are no good men around, while Ally seems to have met two (neither of whom are married). The door bell rings. Ally goes to answer it; Jonathan stands in the doorway, apologizing for leaving so abruptly. He tells her it's because he was devastated, that he felt an immediate connection with her and that he wanted to make love to her from the moment he first saw her at the table in the restaurant where they met. Ally tries to quiet him, but he won't let her speak, asking if she likes Michael because he's a great guy or because she's sexually attracted to him. She clears her throat, glancing at the room full of women behind her. Jonathan notices them for the first time and becomes embarrassed, asking her to think about it and leaving. Ally looks back at the girls and shrugs.
Walking on the street the next day, Ally runs into an irate Kimmy. She glares at Ally, growling that she was humiliated in front of her friends, people who looked up to her...she says that Ally has turned into a coarse person, and that she's suing Ally for defamation of character. As Kimmy stalks away, Ally stomps off in the opposite direction, slamming into Larry. They talk, and Ally starts to hear music (the opening to "My Girl"); Larry asks how things are with Brian, and she tells him that they broke up, and that she's now dating a father-son team. He tells her that if she ever needs a sympathetic ear, he can fake it, and she smiles warmly.
At the office, Ally tells the other lawyers about Kimmy's lawsuit. Nelle is distracted, and finally interrupts, saying that the situation between Mark and Cindy upsets her. She says that such a disgusting state of affairs reflects badly on the firm. Mark coldly informs her that it is his private life, making it no one else's business. Elaine enters, telling Ally that Michael is here to see her.
Michael waits in Ally's office, apologizing for coming undone. He starts to ask her about her feelings for Jonathan, but she stops him, saying that hasn't known either of them for very long. He says that he and Jonathan have agreed that she might be the most amazing woman alive, and that they aren't going to compete for her. It has to be her decision. She says that she's not equipped to make that decision, and that the only way she'll be able to make an informed choice is to continue to see both of them. She promises not to exchange saliva or bodily fluids with either of them until she's narrowed her selection down to one. He agrees to this and leaves, smiling.
Later, Ally finds out that, due to a motion by Kimmy Bishop, Richard has to withhold her wages. Enraged, she grabs Elaine, preparing to respond. Meanwhile, Cindy gets off the elevator, causing Nelle to jump and scuttle out of her way, disgusted. Cindy catches Mark, inviting him to have lunch with her later, and they kiss happily like any normal couple would as, behind them, Nelle struggles desperately to close the elevator so she doesn't have to watch. As Cindy leaves, Mark notices John and Richard staring...they look away quickly. Cindy steps onto the elevator, and Nelle grimaces, shrinking away. "My penis makes you nervous," Cindy observes dryly as the doors close.
Ally enters Larry's office, asking him to represent her. He agrees, and she tells him about the situation with Kimmy, how her wages have been garnished. They agree to meet Kimmy in court, and Ally gives Larry the complaint to look over, asking if there's anything else. "The son'll probably live longer," Larry points out.
Mark enters John's office to find him hanging upside down, and asks to talk to him about Cindy. He needs an honest, grounded, open-minded opinion. "Dump it," John replies. Mark reacts to his abruptness, astonished. John continues that there may be countless reasons to pursue a relationship with this woman, and only one not to. "But as flaws go...SHE HAS A PENIS!" John shrieks. And even though he wishes he could say he's tolerant enough to support this, he can't.
Kimmy and Ally - - and their respective lawyers - - meet in court, and Judge Walsh angrily demands to know why Larry filed a motion to dismiss on the same day the complaint was submitted. Larry argues that the laws the libel claim were based on implied that it is libelous to impugn a woman's chastity, and as such, those laws are outdated. Kimmy's lawyer points out that Ally implied that Kimmy was promiscuous. "And most women would say, 'Thanks for the compliment'," Larry replies, feigning confusion about why it's okay to cast aspersions on a man's chastity but not a woman's. Indeed, he points out, in today's society, virgins are ridiculed more than praised...chastity is no longer considered a virtue. Walsh says that Ally made these statements in front of the Massachusetts Women of Virtue, a situation which she knew would humiliate Kimmy. The motion is denied.
John enters Mark's office, apologizing for imposing his own bigotry. He tells Mark that one time, he dated a woman who had an inordinate amount of facial hair...the feeling of that stubble on his upper lip still unnerves him greatly. They had gone to a therapist who specialized in counseling couples with unusual differences, and not only getting them to accept each other, but helping them to gain acceptance from society. He gives Mark the therapist's card and suggests that he go with Cindy.
Ally comes home after a date with Michael and tells Reneé she's thinking of breaking up with him soon. They talk about Ally's case, and that the reason it's so difficult is that, in a situation like this, the injured party doesn't really have to show damages. Reneé asks why Ally hired Larry, instead of going to her or one of the lawyers at Cage/Fish. Ally is unable to give a straight answer, and Reneé asks if she even checked up on Larry before hiring him. Ally admits that she didn't. But Reneé did...and found out that he's married. Ally pretends it doesn't bother her, but we can see she's very disappointed.
"The thing is, we're all different," the therapist says, speaking to a room full of couples...a man in his late twenties with a woman in her seventies, an obese woman with an albino dwarf, a woman with a pair of Siamese twins joined at the head, and several other bizarre couplings. Cindy and Mark sit in the middle, visibly uncomfortable. The therapist continues, saying that the physical disparities are easy to bridge...it's the emotional disparities that tend to be more malignant.
Cindy storms out into the street, humiliated, as Mark follows her, trying to apologize. She tells him that she's not a freak, and that it hurt to be compared to a room full of freaks...a midget, a blob..."A woman with a penis," he reminds her gently. "I'm not a freak," she says again. "And if that's how you think of me, Mark, then let's just forget this." She gets into a cab and drives away.
Back at the office, Ally and Larry arrive for the deposition with Kim Bishop. Before they go in, he tells her that he can make this lawsuit go away, but it's important that she doesn't antagonize Kimmy further. Once they're inside, she can't say anything. She agrees, and they enter. Larry asks Kimmy if people truly think of her as a chaste person. "They most certainly do," she replies. When Larry asks if the women in the Virtue Club might have thought the things Ally said were true, she replies indignantly that there's no way ANYONE could POSSIBLY think she had done those things. Larry smiles, satisfied, and ends the deposition.
At the bar, Ally is telling Jonathan about the case...when she sees Larry enter with Nelle and sit down at a table. She frowns, excusing herself and going over to talk to Larry. She angrily asks him if she doesn't think it's a little inappropriate for him to date Nelle, since he's married. He tells her it isn't; he's divorced. Ally reacts, embarrassed, and Larry excuses himself, returning to his date.
The next morning, Ally waits for Larry at the offices. Nelle approaches, and Ally grimaces, asking her if she and Larry were out late last night...Nelle smiles, replying that she didn't check her watch; she rarely does when she's having fun. Larry arrives, and they enter the conference room with Kimmy and her lawyer. Larry says he's done some checking around, and Kimmy is very much respected and held high in esteem by her colleagues. None of them would ever entertain the possibility that what Ally said about her was true...unless Kimmy took such offense at it that she actually took Ally to court. THEN her colleagues might wonder at how close Ally had been to the mark, to get Kimmy so upset. But, he continues, he knows she feels wronged, and that all she really wants is an apology. "Let her apologize," he suggests, his voice cracking melodramatically as he points out that forgiveness is a much greater virtue than chastity. Ally balks at the notion of apologizing, but finally, through clenched teeth and with great difficulty, she tells Kimmy she's sorry and Kimmy forgives her. She drops the lawsuit, with the added condition that Ally pay her legal fees.
Ally marches Larry into her office, screaming at how he made her grovel in front of that gruesome woman. He points out that he made the lawsuit - - the one she created with her obnoxious behavior - - go away, with minimal damage. She challenges him about Nelle, saying it's inappropriate for him to date her. "This case is over!" she snarls. "You can go now!" He calmly answers that he doesn't want to go, and suggests that Ally dump the father-son team, he'll declare Nelle void, and they can go out together instead. She agrees.
That night, she ends things with Michael and Jonathan - - pointing out that she wouldn't be comfortable as Jonathan's mother or Michael's daughter - - and goes to the bar with Larry. The lawyers sits nearby, watching them dance and laugh. "I think they like each other," Reneé comments dryly.
Back to episode info