HARRY’S LAW “Last Dance” Episode 12 – I’m going to go on the premise that this was not the actual “Last Dance” for Harry’s Law, seeing as how the show (generally speaking) finished strong. Plus we faded to black on a traffic light glowing green in the episode’s final shot. If that’s just hopeful wishing on David E. Kelley’s part, well …
“Last Dance” encapsulated everything that has been wrong with the show this season, as well as everything that has been right. This episode, written by Kelley and Christopher Ambrose, and directed by Mike Listo, was probably the strongest non-woman helmed episode of the season. Harry (Kathy Bates) was pitch perfect, walking the fine line between dryly witty (“I had this image of you brooding, and not with a brood mare…”) and stubbornly fatalistic (“The American dream. The one where you get to live in the perfect house with the person you love. You know that dream, your honor; the dream that never comes true.”).
I was certainly amused by her annoyance at all the kissing going on. Kathy Bates is still a coup for Kelley.
“Last Dance” also showed us, painfully, how truly bad the Malcolm and Jenna dynamic is. I mean, I guess it’s good in a sense that they don’t take up anyone else’s space, and when we’re forced to watch Aml Ameen and Brittany Snow act (for lack of a better word) they don’t take up extra screen time by being with people we actually like. But my god is it painful. This episode probably brought out the very worst in both actors, and that’s saying a lot. But it gladdens my cold heart that they were able to showcase this (lack) of talent, so that producers would have a lasting impression of tonight seared into their minds if they did indeed greenlight a second season. Even Jenna’s line, “Is it because I’m super white?” came off as uncomfortable. A simple beat, a half-second’s pause before delivering that line makes all the difference in the world, but it felt like Snow just wanted to say it and get out of there. And really, I can’t argue with that. Please, please—do not bring either of them back.
The opposite is said for the Adam / Rachel dynamic. Adam (an understatedly powerful Nate Corddry) had probably his best episode of the season thus far; Adam nearly completely broke down, warring between his head and his heart over his need to be near Rachel (Jordana Spiro—in a word: awesome). Corddry’s scenes with Spiro were pitch perfect, the emotion roiling. And that last kiss delivered on every level.
(Also, whoever dressed Spiro in that blue dress … wow. Winner. Hell, even the lighting was great. Someone buy the gaffer a beer.)
On the subject of Jordana Spiro … how the hell does this woman not have her own show? If Harry’s Law doesn’t make it to another season, someone needs to snatch her up and put her under a spotlight. Seriously, Dana Delany has her own show (Body of Proof) and that woman has zero charisma. Spiro has beauty, range, natural empathy, and she can deliver a kiss. To me that’s gold. Sooner or later someone’s going to realize it.
Speaking of lighting, Tommy Jefferson (the always-magnetic Christopher McDonald) lights up the room whenever he enters. He’s a one-man Lenny and Squiggy! (Shame on none of you for getting that reference. Hello!) Harry likes the dude (“He’s a nice banana.”), even though he hangs with the occasional hooker. (And who doesn’t, right?) (Right?) If we get a second season they need to pay McDonald more money so we can see more Tommy.
Also in need of a raise is Paul McCrane, who plays the skittery, clothing-stripping Josh “Puck” Peyton with verve. Season two (see, there I go thinking ahead again) could do to see a rivalry develop between Puck and Tommy—with an eye-rolling Harry caught in the middle.
So while season one had its share of problems, they are fixable with a few judicious firings. It wouldn’t hurt to see some new blood anyway. All in all, Harry’s Law still has really good potential. I’m glad they ended strong.
And it’s not like Kelley has anything else to do. There’s no way Wonder Woman is a success. (She’s already having wardrobe issues. Oy…)
Thanks for riding along with the Axe!
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