Bluff City Law Episode 3 “25 Years to Life”
Jake reviews the video confession of George Bell as he continues his pursuit to overturn the conviction. The neighborhood has realized they have a once again eligible bachelor and are filling his fridge in hopes of an invite. While Elijah seems to believe in the innocent help of his neighbors, Della clues him in on the real motivation.
Jake asks Sydney to review to confession and admits that with the confession and the knowledge that he is innocent, she would vote to convict. As Emerson brings in some great work on precedents, his adulation from Jake is not overtly shared by Sydney. Jake mildly chastises Sydney and encourages her to make a bigger effort in a relationship. She follows up with a lunch appointment for the following day.
George Bell Case
In court, the prosecution argues that the confession should hold even as Jake has entered DNA evidence that proves that George cannot be guilty. He earns only a partial win, the DNA evidence is accepted, but rather than overturning the conviction, George Bell is granted a new trial. This will be an uphill battle for Jake and George.
Elijah sees the potential in Jake and asks to second chair the case as he and Jake discuss the major tenets of the case. Jake is incredulous that Elijah Strait would second chair a case. Let’s see how the legend and the rainmaker work together.
Jake is putting his full effort into this case as asks Briana along to visit George’s original lawyer, Connor. While Jake doesn’t question Connor’s litigation skills, he does ask why the victims’ diary wasn’t entered into evidence. All at once, Connor turns on Jake and asks him to leave before revealing all he had given up in the fight for George Bell, only to have George confess to a crime he didn’t commit.
One the eve of the new trial, Jake, Briana and Elijah are assembled in the conference room to plan out and finalize the trial strategy. They plan their questions, review the keys to the case, and find ways to discredit each witness. The trickiest witness may be the victim’s mother as she destroys the alibi. Having nothing to gain from the cross, they will dismiss Mrs. Androde without questioning.
Connor can’t let this case go either, and visits Strait and Associates with more information. They need a connection to the police department. I think this firm has just the one they need, but will it be in time and will it be enough? Following the viewing of the confession, George is on the stand. He offers up an explanation for confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. After his last appeal failed, George wanted a way to make life easier for his wife. By confessing, he allowed her to move on and live a better life. It took him 13 times to convince his wife that he was guilty before she finally believed him and left. After the prosecutor seems to put the final nail in Jake’s case, the sense of failure threatens to take over. Robbie and Sydney tell Jake they need to talk.
Robbie looks for the log of a police response but doesn’t find it. Instead, he finds the original police statement from Mrs. Androde. They recall Mrs. Androde to the stand to address the new information. As the prosecution objects, the judge hauls the lawyers to his chambers. Based on the DNA evidence and the new information that reestablishes George’s alibi, George is found innocent and immediately released. That rainmaker has a little crusader in him after all.
#Sydake or #Jidney?
Sydney and Jake take a meeting in their shared alternative office. Jake offers up his beverage which “may be stronger than the can indicates”. They lament their cases over the beverage. Sydney breaks down a wall with Jake and reveals that she isn’t biologically Elijah’s daughter and Emerson has her wondering how to carry on her relationship with Elijah. Jake reminds her of all the ways that she is, in fact, her father’s daughter. Is there something building between these two or is this just the start of a beautiful friendship?
Rivalry or Cooperation
A former law professor for Sydney and Anthony ask them to sue an online dating company because they insist on listing his biological age. He puts in effort to take great care of himself and argues that he identifies at 42 rather than his biological age of 62. Both skeptical of the validity of the argument and the challenge of the case, Sydney and Anthony open the case files to get started. Will their law school rivalry help them argue this case or get in their way?
Sydney suggests that dating younger women is not what the case is about. I’m not convinced, and Anthony doesn’t appear to be either. Portia, a young law student, shows off for the professor and tries to show off to Sydney and Anthony. Amidst overtalking each other, Anthony and Sydney lay out a creative strategy to leverage age discrimination precedent. The professor already has the necessary form prepared. So, a genius professor hires two brilliant lawyers, or is he setting them up in some way?
In the courtroom, Sydney realizes that the case may be just as shallow as we all feared. Nevertheless, she stands and delivers a well-thought-out argument. Though the judge does find the tenets of the case ridiculous, she finds merit in the arguments presented by Sydney. As it turns out, this was a strategy to strengthen an amicus brief for the Supreme Court arguing on gender identity, an issue important to him and his son, a beautiful 25-year-old woman.
Sydney and Emerson have an awkward start to lunch, but the conversation starts rolling. Emerson has lived all over the world (Sydney, just in TN) and started as a DJ when he was 14. Soon, they are laughing as Sydney enjoys her ribs. Emerson is weirded out by ribs and in his explanation, he ruins ribs for her for which he sincerely apologizes. As soon as Emerson breaks through her shell, Sydney quickly excuses herself, not quite ready to get there yet. We hope she will.
What is family?
Della helps finish donating Caroline’s clothes to a women’s shelter enabling Caroline’s legacy of caring to continue. Sydney admits that she walked out on lunch because Emerson has Elijah’s smile and she was afraid that one day, she would be cast away in favor of Emerson. Elijah assures her that will never happen. He signed the paper to make her his daughter and never looked back.
The fridge is full of casseroles, so it seems like a good excuse for a family dinner. We close on a heartwarming scene of Emerson, Sydney and Elijah sharing a family meal. Family isn’t just blood, family is family.
This one was a ride from beginning to end.
We saw Jake stretch himself with a new skillset and delivered a big win for George Bell. Elijah looks to be comfortable in the supportive second chair, but we hope to really see what he can do in the courtroom soon (the preview suggests as early as next week).
The competitive sparring between Anthony and Sydney will keep them both on their games and the Caitlin McGee and Michael Luwoye play these characters and off each other so well. You can just imagine them fighting through law school at Vanderbilt.
The building of relationships and unveiling of secrets was great, but the star of this episode was Jake! Barry Sloane shows us that Jake is a multi-faceted character and his brought it to bear in spectacular fashion in this episode. I can’t wait to see more layers of Jake’s character unveiled as we progress through the season.
This show brings us everything we need each week, an underdog for whom to fight, family, fights, character development and Memphis. It’s a magical creation from the mind of Dean Georgaris and they have just the cast to execute this vision.
We’ll see you next week for the next case. Don’t forget that So Many Shows has Bluff City Law complete coverage. Catch up on the podcast and the live after-shows for everything Bluff City Law.
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