Bull 302 Recap/Review
Bull settles into its new day and time with not one, but two cases. What’s interesting is Jason Bull (Michael Weatherly) is involved with both. At the same time.
Starts with a bang
The episode started with a woman, clearly nervous, waited outside a bodega to shoot Richard Briggs three times. The scene set up was powerful: the frantic scrambling for cover, the woman standing over the dead man’s body and the sad testament of bystanders recording everything they could with their smartphones.
This was our case-of-the-week. Or so we were made to think. And the horror of what the woman did was soon eclipsed by what Briggs had done: raped and murdered her 11-year-old daughter. Briggs was set free due to a technicality of searching without probable cause.
Justice or Right?
While the team gathered in the break room and foraged for food that was not fruit and quinoa (courtesy of Bull’s new health epiphany), they debated whether the mother was justified in her actions. What she did was, of course, wrong, but as Chunk puts it, he would have done the same if it happened to his daughter.
The second case, more of an obstacle for the main case, is of a man practicing law without a license. Why is this an obstacle? Because Jason Bull was now one of the jurors.
Acceptable to the defense, your honor.
Bull has postponed jury duty many times. And he never postponed the last one because he was out recovering from his heart attack. He complained even when he gets picked, as soon as they know who he is, they excused him. At first, Bull thought this would be the case again, but to his dismay, the defense found him acceptable.
It was an amusing twist. The role reversal of Bull being part of the voir dire despite his many attempts to get out of jury duty was amusing and oddly satisfying. Even Jason Bull couldn’t get out of jury duty.
Legal Hokey Pokey
The main case with the mother hits a snag while Bull performed his civic duty. The mother refused to let her older daughter testify. Bull played a legal juggling act with their client, who was getting frustrated by his absence.
Desperate to get back to his client, Bull whispered advice to the defendant he was in the jury for and got out, duty served. He returned to the main case and convinced the mother to allow her daughter to testify and the teen’s account was heartbreaking to witness.
We find the defendant…
The shooting case ended in a deadlock, but the prosecution, rather than reschedule, declared time served and dropped all charges.
The twist with both cases and the non-traditional win for TAC were pleasant surprises. It left me hopeful that the later hour will open new options for the series, tackling matters much darker than their original timeslot would allow. They’ve kept the team moments and the interactions that always made this ensemble enjoyable to watch.
Season so far…
Like with many of their previous cases, this week’s case (cases?) tugged at the heartstrings. Both ended in a way I was happy with.
During all the legal square dance, Cable’s death came up throughout the episode in ways I thought was perfect. We get snippets of her presence: Bull hearing her voice, Benny finding her coffee mug and the occasional panning to her empty chair. I appreciate her death wasn’t swept under the rug. The ripples were still felt and somewhat gentled the shock of her death from the previous episode.
Gone but not Forgotten
It looked like Bull was still processing (or not) Cable’s death, though. When her mother (Jill Hennessey) showed up towards the end, Bull recruited Marissa to handle it. He appeared discomfited and this hinted the loss of Cable is going to linger for many episodes to come. And I’m okay with that. And looking forward to that as well.
Promising start to the season
This episode gave us a glimpse of what this series can do if they stopped shirking back when the plot starts getting tetchy. The dialog at the beginning about justice and the mother’s actions should have been explored further as we saw the team split in whether the shooting was justifiable.
However, this felt like a good try. I’ve always enjoyed stories where the lines were blurred; the gray areas were more prominent. It felt like the series was finally dipping their toes into storylines that were a step above their paint-by-number plots, a shade more grittier and complicated. Will they continue or go back to the easy flow storylines and neat resolutions?
The jury is still out on that one.
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