Ally McBeal (1997–2002): Season 1, Episode 20 - The Inmates - full transcript

A rich client might have just killed her husband. Ally is scared of murderers, Billy wants to get into criminal law, but John and Richard want to outsource the case to another firm. Elaine is attracted to Bobby Donnell, the lawyer brought in for the case, but he is exasperated with the childishness of Cage & Fish. Meanwhile, Renee's overt sexuality could land in her a lot of trouble.

- Gay?
- Yeah.

He was pretending?

Richard brought it in.

Why would a man pretend to be gay?

I heard from Marie Hanson.
Her husband's dead.

She's under arrest.
We got to go to the scene.

What do you mean, "go to the scene"?
The crime scene?


- There's a dead guy there?
- Yes, it's a homicide.

I won't go where somebody's dead.
I have a thing about that.

You go with him.
He's your husband.

- Now he's my husband!
- It's a wealthy client. We got to go.

- We're taking the murder weapon.
- Go ahead.

Three lawyers?

- She's in custody?
- In the kitchen.

- She doesn't remember anything.
- She's represented. I want to see her.

He's even more dead than I thought.

That's the most
dead person I've seen.


You wait. I'll see Mrs. Hanson.

There's the killer.

- Client, Ally. Client.
- Right.

Mrs. Hanson, I'm Billy Thomas
from Cage and Fish.

Don't say anything.
I'll meet you at the police station.

Excuse me.

I've got blood on me.
I'm a suspect.

I think...


I've been down this road

The Inmates

Walking the line
That's painted by pride

And I have made mistakes in my life

That I just can 't hide

Oh, I believe I am ready

For what love has to bring

I got myself together

Now I'm ready to sing

I've been searching my soul tonight

I know there's so much more to life

Now I know I can shine a light

To find my way back home

Oh, baby, yeah

Oh, yeah

Don't be embarrassed.

JOHN: A crime scene is shocking.
It's your first homicide.

I sometimes get vasovagal.

Though it's triggered by chickens.

I get nauseous.
There's nothing wrong with fainting.

- Elaine?


With an ax?

I couldn't sleep.

RICHARD: She did it?
BILLY: She can't remember.

Slipped her mind. Any evidence?

Prints. Blood on the clothes.

- This is over our heads.

- It's high-profile.
RICHARD: She did it!

We win, we're heroes. We lose,
she goes to jail. Win-win.

We've never done a homicide.
We should refer this out.

We don't need to.

Did you know that chickens
make John faint?

BAILIFF: 32771, Commonwealth vs.
Marie Hanson. Murder in the...

- Plead not guilty.
- We'd be opposing bail.

Mrs. Hanson has no record.
It's the first charge she's had.

It's quite a debut.

She has ties to the community.
There'd be no risk.

Maybe they'll chip in,
buy her a new hatchet.

We don't need that.

We'd post a substantial bond.

No bail. She'll get treatment
to determine competency.

Police will take the hatchet.

On Tuesday, we'll set schedules.

You can't fire somebody
because of orientation.

Of course you can. He said he was gay,
he's not. He's fired.

See, it happens.

- He was fired for being straight?
- Yeah.

You'll say it to a judge?
In open court?

He was at a hockey game.
How gay can he be?

- That's your argument?
- A French bistro...

...needs somebody fey
to move "cream brulee."


- I don't remember.
- Anything?

I just remember going to bed.

I woke up and I was outside.

And this policeman brought me back.

And he was there.


BILLY: Were you together at bedtime?
MARIE: No. He came home after.

I suffer from blackouts.

I could have blacked out, but...

- God!
- Have you ever been treated for this?

Yes, I have a doctor.
He's a psychiatrist.

He's got me on medication.

BILLY: Was anybody else in the house?
Nobody else lived there?



Is there anything else?

Would anybody want to harm him?

Mr. Thomas.

I must have killed him.
I don't remember doing it.

But I do remember swinging a hatchet.


- Do me a favor and move off a little.
- Why?

There's a guy over there
who wants to ask me out.

The good-Iooking one?
Do you know him?

Never seen him before.

GEORGIA: You think he'll march over
here and ask you out?

Ten bucks.

All right. Bet.

One second.

Do you want to ask me out?

Well, sure.

Call me.

I will.

That's sort of not fair, Renee.

It's over our heads.

Think of the publicity.

High-profile losing, not good.
We still split the fees.

- I can do this.
RICHARD: I know.

In the long run, crime doesn't pay.

Let's farm the case and take the fee.

Who's the big hitter in town
on murder?

What an awful place.
Are they themselves criminals?

Can I help you?

Richard Fish. We called.
Client, husband, hatchet, bygones.

How can we help?


We'd like to talk about a referral.
Is Mr. Donnell here?

- That's me.
RICHARD: Excellent.

We represent Marie Hanson.

- Why don't you want to do it?
RICHARD: We worry about our image.

People think criminal attorneys
are scumsuckers. We can't have that.

On you it looks good.
Little soot there.

The client has money.
And single now, if anyone's looking.

- Just a little more.
- Hey.


- What's with you?
- Just taking a moment.

This is money. You could paint
the place, even fumigate. You in?

We'll think about it.

- Friendly group.
- The big one frightens me.

He's a big fella.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- You pulled.
- You weren't coming.

I'm drawn to her.

You're worse than him.

You're telling me he's coming back!

You lying old hag.

No! I'm sick! Let me go!

On a train, huh?

Where are you going? No!

- This is for knowing a square.
- Not outside!

- I'm sick.
MAN ON TV: You ain 't sick.


- Don't sneak up on me!
- I didn't.

- You said, "Ally."
- That's your name.

You don't cry out someone's name...

...while the handicapped
are thrown down stairs.

What are you doing?

I am trying to desensitize
myself to murder... I can be a better lawyer.

Why don't you just watch the news?

Are we sure we want this case?

Why shouldn't we?

Because we'll mutate.

- What?
ALLY: Mutate.

We'll be lawyers who
can look at a body...

...and instead of "why,"
say, "reasonable doubt."

You can't be a criminal lawyer
if murder scares you.

And if it doesn't scare you,
then what?

Then what do we tell ourselves?
We've arrived?

We're lawyers. Sometimes it gets ugly.

Why can't we just stay tucked away
in our little sheltered...?

What is so great
about the real world?

What's this about?

I'm just afraid that this case
will rub off on us.

And I like the law.

But I prefer soft-core.

We'll prepare the case.

But for trial, another firm
will carry the ball.

Okay, and who is this Bobby Donnell?

He's the best. He gets
guilty murderers off all the time.

I didn't mean it like that.

Yes, you did.

You think I'm some kind of monster.

You? No.
We could be girlfriends.

You're right. If we weren't separated
by these bars...

...I wouldn't be caught dead with you.
Or maybe I would.



- I want you to talk to my psychiatrist.
- No, thank you.

The last thing I need to do
is see your shrink.

Look how you turned out.


I was suggesting you talk
to him about me.



You can't make me argue that.

- Why?

They can fire him because
gays sell more dessert?

They do.

You're building a niche.

The Supreme Court is too old.

Women per se are disabled.

- Gays make better waiters.
- Blonds have dark roots.

That was corporal. I enjoyed it.

What are you doing?

I pulled a tricep
when Richard yanked me.

The doctor said to use an aid
to take my moment.

- You know about them?
- They're flush.

Let's see how it plays out.

Are you all right? Are you okay?

I just get...

BOBBY: I wasn't looking.
ALLY: It's okay.

- Bobby Donnell.
- Ally Donnell... McBeal.

You can go into the conference room.


- Temporary insanity is viable.
- She has no memory?

She remembers swinging the hatchet.

I'll meet with her shrink today.

- I'll go too. Who's the D.A.?
- Adam Dawson.

- How about her and the victim?
- They had some problems.

How so?

You sound like Jack Webb.

Excuse me?

The Dragnet guy.
He talked all clipped.

The marriage was not in great shape.

He is so yummy.

BOBBY: What caused it?
DOCTOR: We're not sure.

She suffers from temporal-Iobe
seizures. She has other disorders.

Is it possible that she had
a seizure and just went wacko?

I don't like the term "wacko."

What if she killed him right before?
Could she forget?

- Yes. Or during one.
ALLY: Unconscious?

A blackout is more
like sleepwalking.

- Is she capable of...?
- I'm not comfortable.

She waived privilege.

There may be things that
have nothing to do with this case.

We decide what's relevant
to this case.

I'm sorry, but I don't agree.

DOCTOR: I'll talk to Marie,
then I'll talk with you.

GEORGIA: There's no protection
for heterosexuals.

- Lf it's because of sexual...
- It's not right.

It's not based on principle.

You can't discriminate against gays.

There's no law for straight people.

We're dealing with the same principle.

He wasn't fired
because of sexual identity.

He couldn't perform
a function of the job.

- Which was?
- Being gay.

May I?


We just love to live in
a politically correct world.

But when did we pass
the law against common sense?

Why don't you tell me?

This is a French bistro.
People go there to dine in culture.

They want to feel elite.
A good gay waiter can help.

They have that snobbish entitlement
thing going. People like that.

- Gays are elitist snobs?
- The waiters are.

RICHARD: First, they're smarter.
- Uh-huh.

- Gay waiters.

They read more books,
trying to find out why they're gay.

They're bad at sports, so they study.

They want to work in the arts.
They end up overqualified waiters.

People expect this
when ordering a fruity wine.


- Bygones.
- No bygones.

I won't go to court with you again.
I won't be a part of your bigotry...

- Lend me your shoe.
- What?

- You're going to tie it into my shoe?
- Just give it to me.


Better to have you model this or me?

- What?
- It's all presentation.

It's the same for restaurants or shoes.
What's inside doesn't count.

He's cute, this Donnell guy?

I would just like to take
my thighs and squeeze his head.


I'm mainly into patent law.
Pretty boring.

Why would anybody be into
something that bores them?

I mean, it's my job.
I didn't mean I'm stimulated by it.

Are you easily stimulated?


It's the first time I've danced
with a district attorney.

She gave you consent to talk to us.

That doesn't mean I have to.

I don't want a reputation
as an expert witness.

We lose integrity
as witnesses for hire.

- We won't pay.
- We want you to help a patient.

Testify to the blackouts.

I'll do it by affidavit.
I'll swear to it all.

It'll be hard to convince a jury
with affidavits.

I'm not comfortable.

BOBBY: Doctor.
- No!

- I'll subpoena you.
- Don't do it.

She's charged with murder.
You can speak to her insanity!

- There's no guarantee...
- I'll go after you for perjury!

BOBBY: You're a nice guy,
but I only care about Marie.

We've been polite, but I'll play ugly.

BOBBY: I'll have you in that chair.
Even if I have to beat the truth out.

You decide.

I don't think you endeared yourself.

Now you "good cop" him.
He needs a push.

That was a little "good cop, bad cop."

Shouldn't you tell us the strategy?

I just decided on the fly.


RIVERS: Is your roommate here?
- She's working late.

She's got a big case.

- Have you gone up against her?
- Actually, we have.

Would you like to be up against me?

You know, I love how you
economize with time.

- Slow down.
- Yeah, right.

- What are we here for?
- Excuse me?

We practically
tore clothes off dancing.


Let's keep it practically for a while.

I get it.

This is like a little tease thing.
I can do that.

No. I was serious about that one.

Okay. Now, you can leave now.

Are you kidding? This is your game.
Come on.

Don't you ever hit me!


How'd your date go?

- Is he all right?
- We need to make sure.

- You said he slipped?
- Yeah.

- Well, Renee...
- He got all aggressive.

- I know, but...
- But what?

You barely know the guy.

He's a patent lawyer.
How dangerous can he be?

- Even so.
RENEE: Even so, what?

I can't have a guest
without being mauled?

You can lead a man by the penis
but it's the wrong way to tame him.

- You're defending him.
- Of course I'm not.

I am talking about you.

It's not that I don't want
to help her.

DOCTOR: Of course I want to help her.
- But?

You know about
the past-life phenomenon?

- I've read about it.
DOCTOR: You believe it?

- Not really.
- I've always considered it quackery.

But I used hypnotherapy
on Marie Hanson.

And after a few sessions...

...she began talking in a voice
from someone who lived 100 years ago.

- Who?
- Lizzie Borden.

Pardon? The one who killed
her parents with an ax?

I believed it. The things she said...

- I don't mean to sound skeptical.
- How can you not? It's ridiculous.

That's why I don't want
to testify to that.

I'd be a front-page joke.
My practice would be over.

JUDGE: Come in, please. Have a seat.
- Thank you.

And where is Mr. Fish?

I convinced him that since
he made such an impression...

...he needn't actually be present.
- Thank you.

But, Your Honor, deep, deep...

...inside the absurdity
of the words that escape him...

...there is some truth.
Businesses use window-dressing.

I'm not gay. The suggestion
I know less about wine or food...

...that I might be deemed
less credible because I'm straight...

...I find it all repugnant.
I'm sick of it.

Yes, counselor,
the court shares your outrage.

But you might want to work this out.

No laws protect heterosexuals
against discrimination.

- Practically speaking...
- What are you saying?

Since the law doesn't help,
you'd rely solely on a jury.

There are many people
like Richard Fish.

I don 't deny that marriage
is an insidious institution.

Love dies in the short run,
leaving only hate and contempt.

But every time a husband
is chopped to pieces...

... we say, "Must be the wife."
Marie Hanson is a rich woman.

RICHARD: If she wanted her husband
dead, she would've hired someone.

- Good to contaminate a jury pool soon.
- Good?

What kind of lawyers are you?

- He went on TV!
- It won't happen again.

BILLY: What about Dr. Peters?
- Lizzie?

- The doctor said it.
- She's probably faking it.

She'd fake something less far-fetched.

My cousin thought
she was Helen Keller.

Happiest person I knew.
She'd walk around all day...

...saying, "I can see. I can hear."

BOBBY: I gotta talk to Mrs. Hanson
and Dr. Peters.

BOBBY: You turned him on testifying?
- I didn't turn him. I softened him.

- Take the case outright or walk away.
- The money's good.

They're nuts.
Cage and his "moment" business.

- He pulls that in court.
- What?

During trial, he takes a moment.
And we needn't even discuss Fish.

We're arguing insanity,
and these people are the inmates.

Oh, hello.
Welcome to our unisex bathroom.

I had a dream last night
that we had unprotected sex.

I'd say more if I knew you better.

ELAINE: Oh, somebody was just here!
The seat is cozy.

I like a fresh bowl.

- You're kidding, right?
POLICEMAN 1: We have some questions.

- He tried to maul me.
POLICEMAN 1: You slapped him?

- Then he slapped me.
- That's when you knocked him out?

Yeah. Right around that time.

The guy wants to press charges?

You broke a bone
in his neck, Ms. Radick.

He deserved it.
The guy was out of line.

It's not a theory a jury would accept.

- We might consider saying blackouts.
- I understand.

Now, Mrs. Hanson, what I'm about
to say next is a little delicate.

It's something I've never said
or done before.


This other firm, Cage and Fish...

...I don't think it's in your best
interest to let them represent you.

I'm uncomfortable.
Truth be known, I'm betraying them.

My obligation is with the client.
The lawyers at this firm are...

...just a little odd.
- I've used them before...

...with great success.
- Lf we use the Lizzie Borden theory...

...credibility will be a challenge.

A challenge this particular firm
might not be up to.

Do they know about this?

I wanted to tell you first.
I'm off to tell them now.

In the meantime, just think about it.

You're asking me to trust a person...

...who doesn't put
a high premium on trust.

My duty isn't to them. It's to you.

- You went behind our backs!
- In the interest of the client.

- Divisiveness won't help!
- You don't know homicides.

- So we hired you.
- Just so we get paid.

We hired you for your experience
and you betray us!

- This place is too eccentric.
BILLY: This place has good lawyers.

- Why kick us off?
- I didn't go to get you kicked off.

You have more influence with her
than I do. That's the problem.

If our strategic decisions are absurd,
I'd rather she be influenced by me.

- It's that simple.
- You could have just said that to us.

- Who said we wouldn't defer to you?
- Oh, really?

He just showed up on TV!
Do you know what league you're in now?

She took a hatchet
and killed her husband.

He won't free her by taking a moment!

You brought me in, I'm in.
You want me out, fine.

But while I'm in, everything goes
into getting her acquitted.

I'm not the selfish one here.

The police are here about Renee.

Her roommate almost killed someone.
You think about my dream?

You're all crazy.


I said, "Hey." You make "crazy" sound
like it's worse than deceitful.

- I told you.
- Only because the client would have.

Get out of my face!

- I'm in your face!
- Me too! I'm just shorter.

You're all friends, but if she
goes down for first degree...

...who cares if her lawyers
held hands?

- But we must work together.
- I'll do that...

Then do it!
Either we're a team or we're not!

It's the shoes!

I've heard about this guy Donnell.

Nothing sleazier than a lawyer
who's a stickler for ethics.

So he should have gone
behind our backs?


If he told you first and was afraid
you'd run off to tell the client...

- What's wrong?
- I'm sorry. It's not my call.

- What?
- Renee Radick...

Never mind.
We gotta book you on assault.

- What?
- You're a kickboxer.

HARRY: You broke the guy's neck.
- Only a little.

- He's a respected...
- He came at me!

We don't want to do this,
but politically, if we don't file...

- You're taking me in?
HARRY: I'll arraign in chambers.

- You're kidding me.
- We gotta go. No cuffs.

What's next?
Straight hairdressers? Decorators?

Once you start giving quid pro deus
ex affirmative heterosexual action...

RICHARD: ... it won 't stop. It's
enough they run the Republican Party.

- Potential jury out there heard that.
- What's wrong with you?

I have had it! This firm is a joke!

We look like clowns.
We get a big case and look at us.

Ally calls our client a killer.

You go on TV and say
killing is a wifely thing.

And you blurt "Poughkeepsie"
and flush toilets by remote!

We're a joke,
and I'm embarrassed to be here!

I'm embarrassed!

What did you think?

What was that about?

This is a chance for us
to play on another level.

A level I can and want to play on.

- Nobody doubts that.
BILLY: We all doubt it.

We practice hit-and-run law.

We get retainers before clients
can find somebody more competent.

- You don't believe that.
- We shouldn't need outside help.

Sometimes we need it.


We're kids.

- Bobby isn't much older than us.
- He's five years more experienced.

Didn't you see them laughing at us?
Couldn't you see that?

- You want a probable cause hearing?
- I had cause to break his head.

- I assume that's not on record?
- We don't want it.

- You prosecute and defend?
- PC is a formality.

- It'll drag it out.
- Unless I win.

You want an outside opinion
from someone making that call?

Kickboxer, broken vertebrae.
This will survive probable cause.

We'll plead not guilty.
No bail. Immediate trial.

- One witness. We'll plow through it.
- Joke.

"He killed my pigeons." That's what
she kept saying over and over.

BILLY: What did she mean?
DOCTOR: I had to look it up.

Lizzie accused her dad
of beheading her pigeons.

- It's a theory of why she killed him.
- She said this under hypnosis?

- Also said, "He chops off dead feet."
- What?

The Lizzie Borden Society
didn't know the meaning.

Then they called back. Evidently,
Mr. Borden worked as an undertaker.

He'd chop feet off
to fit corpses into coffins.

Marie Hanson knew all this stuff.

Any chance she's faking this
to set up a defense?

Yes, but I'd know.
Faking hypnosis is hard.

There's no sense in faking Lizzie.
It's too preposterous.

And also...


Don't forget Lizzie Borden
was deemed innocent.

She did it!
The jury took pity on an orphan.

Before you get carried away,
I'll talk about the seizures...

...temporal lobe disorders, blackouts.
- We may need the other.

All I have is my reputation.

DOCTOR: If I get up and testify
about past-life...

If I say, "I think my patient may have
been Lizzie Borden in a prior life"... won't help her.
It'll definitely ruin me.

We wouldn't ask you to say
something you don't believe.

But if you do believe it,
how can you not stand up?

Can I think about it a little more?


Let's split things up.
First, past lives.

We need experts just
to see if that's viable.

We need mock jurors. If this
falls flat, we need feedback.

I'll handle witnesses.
Eugene can investigate.

Let's get our own forensic guys,
just so we don't get surprised.

We got a lot of work to do.
Let's get to it.

Who are you?

- My name is...
- Frank! Don 't listen!

I told you, if you ever...

MAN 1 ON TV: - Stop that, you fool!
- Fool, huh?

Frank! Frank, stop!


Damn it! Damn it!

Why does everyone come and say "Ally"?
Don't say because it's my name.

I don't need to retain outside counsel
to remind me of my name.

The doctor is our key defense.

You're the best one to hand-hold him.
Assuming he doesn't say your name.

You think we're all
from Mars, don't you?

I never said which planet.

I know this is a good place.
But, yes, you people...

Different firms have different ways.

And what's your way?

Well, at the end of the day,
we all go downstairs...

...and we dance.
- That's office policy?

A little. But our long-term
policy would be...

Well, it's probably to bounce
our kids on our knees...

ALLY: With them looking
into our eyes without seeing...

...anything hard or jaded.

And you think that's what I am?

Well, I wonder.
Do you ever have any fun?

Is that the philosophy
of this firm? Fun?

There's more to life
than being a lawyer.

- And I don't mean golf.
- Sounds great.

But you can't make a circle
without making the ends meet.

And that sounds even better.

Do you ever want kids?

It's just a question. I'm not
volunteering to carry them to term.

Do you?


For the sake of their innocence,
you might want to cling to your own.

What's left of it.

I'll just go to jail.
Things might make more sense in there.

- He was out of line!
- I know.

Then why do you keep going, "Renee"?

Does it sound like an item
a gay waiter would recommend?

- What?
- He was wrong.

But if you don't take some of
the responsibility, you're wrong too.

Thank you.

I'm always here for you
and your problems...

...which go on and on and on.
But when I need a little support...

You also tell me where to go
when you think I need it.

That's what I'm doing now.

- I'm going to my room.
- You hurt him.

You're a kickboxer.
You broke a bone in his neck.

He's a creep. Your arrest was dumb.

But if you don't look back
and ask yourself how this happened...

I've talked to the Biscuit.
He'll represent you.

This will all go away.
We'll get through this.

- I didn't mean to really hurt him.
- I know.

You needn't walk around with this
"I meant to kick his head in" bravado.

Let's get something to eat.

- I'm not that hungry.
ALLY: I am.

Let's go grab a bite.

And maybe a twin.


Oh, yeah

Just a shoulder to cry on

That's all I've been to you

Just someone to rely on

- Criminal defense lawyer.
- I want to know what it's like.

- I hope you like it.
- Thanks for reminding me.

About what?


I'm just someone you run to

- Are we?
- Are we what?

- A joke to the outside world?
- They don't get the joke.

Now a real question.
Think the twins ever get lucky?

Not that lucky.

Who has the honors?


- I'm gonna saunter up to an Ikette.
- Excellent.

I'm just someone you use

Just can 't refuse

I'm just someone who loves you, baby

I can 't lose

I'm just someone you run to

You stinker!

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