At the Betty Ford Clinic, a group of people sit outside in a circle.
Therapist: That's great insight, Katrina. Really great. David?
David McNorris looks up: Present.
Therapist: Are you?
Therapist: Your 28 days are almost up.
David: Oh, so soon.
Therapist chuckles: We've had a lot of these group sessions. We've shared a lot of feelings. We've learned a lot of facts about you, but not a lot about how you feel.
David: Oh, well, I'm a lawyer. We don't have feelings.
Therapist laughs: Good deflection.
David: Thank you.
Therapist: Now, tell us how you feel.
David: How do I feel?
David: At this moment?
Therapist: Generally. Since you came to us.
David: I feel angry. Is that the correct answer?
Therapist: Why do you feel angry?
David: Why do I feel angry? Hmmm...maybe because I'm a walking dictionary of cliches. A corrupt lawyer, a pathetic separated man, a soulless politician, an Irish drunk. Why don't you pick? Maybe, because I started boozing when I was 8 when my old man used to give me sips of beer when we watched the Pats' games on Sundays in the parlor. Of course, the same hand that fed me that can of beer was the same hand that went across my face when I was a teenager and stayed out late drinking. Maybe, because I hated making my mom worry. Never mind how he made her worry. I'm angry, maybe, because I was raised to believe that the privileges men like my father had - the right to chase other women as long as you provided for the family, the right to belt a guy if he got out of line, the right to bend the rules for your friends, and - oh - my favorite, the God given right to knock back a few cold ones before you got behind the wheel of a car. All those were gone when it was my turn. You ask me, why I'm angry? I've been in this dump for 28 days and I still don't know what the hell
I want, except another drink!
David looks up: Ah...ah, sorry. What was the question, again? Therapist: How do you feel?
David: Good. Yeah, I feel good. You?
David enter his office and sees a plant with a card saying 'Welcome back'. His assistant, Gretchen, walks in.
Gretchen: Fisher said to make sure you see him right away.
David: Thank you. Messages?
Gretchen: Ah...your father called four times.
David: My father? Did you tell him...?
Gretchen: Golfing trip, yeah. He was real sweet. Hollings, Ramirez, Detective Stevens, Jack Asakian called me once to touch base with you before the Watkins summation.
David: Great. Thanks, Gretchen.
Gretchen: You look good, David.
David: Thank you. And thank you for the plant. Anything else?
Gretchen: Ah...a friend of yours dropped by this morning.
David: A friend of mine? Who?
Gretchen: He wouldn't tell me. He said he wanted to surprise you.
David: What did he look like?
Gretchen: Balding, brown eyes, big shoulders, about your height. Obviously, I didn't tell him anything about your schedule.
David: I appreciate that.
Gretchen: Fisher said first thing.
David: Great. Thank you.
In District Attorney Ben Fisher's office with fellow attorney, Thomas
Fisher: You look good, David.
David: Thank you.
Thomas: We're all proud of you.
David: And we're all proud of you, too, Thomas.
Fisher: Sabrina Fithian is a jewel thief in the John Donadoni crime operation. The police believe she was the shooter who killed the two officers in last March's gold coin heist.
David: Hmm. This is what they brought her in for?
Fisher: Nah, for another job. Detective Katherine Pierce was surveilling and investigating her for over a year. She and her task force caught her in the act two weeks ago. Her accomplice was killed. Sabrina was apprehended near the scene.
David: When's the prelim?
Fisher: Thomas is first chair. You'll back him up.
David: We should probably have a word.
Thomas: No problem. When you're ready, just come see me around the corner. (He leaves the room.)
Fisher: I want to ease you back in.
David: I don't need easing, Ben.
Fisher: You just got out yesterday, for God's sake. Thomas is up-to-speed.
David: I can be up-to-speed in within an hour and you know that!
Fisher: We've been waiting to take Donadoni's house down for a long time now. This theft ring is a major cornerstone. I can't be sure your self-destructive phase is over.
David: Thomas Paltrow.
Fisher: Well, believe it or not, David, you're not the only lawyer with brains and ambition around here.
David leaves the room.
David and Thomas are sitting at an outdoor table, as David reads the case file.
Thomas: It's two pros. Heavy equipment required for tunnelling into the vault. Drill presses to get into the safety deposit boxes. No way they could do that without money like Donadoni's.
David: Well, it takes money to make money. Durrell was killed during the course of the robbery. So, we can get her for that murder, right?
Thomas: The good news is we got better than that. The cops say Fithian did Durrell, herself. Pierce wounded Durrell in the leg before she went down, herself. Fithian didn't want the liability, did her execution style.
David: Wow, and they say lawyers are cold. Felony murder in addition to robbery. That's nice!
Thomas: Yeah, now, we get to the bad news.
David: No DNA?
Thomas: Not a drop.
David: At least we got her with the diamonds.
Thomas: Yeah, we should be that lucky. They're missing, all except a handful they left beside Durrell's body.
Thomas: Yeah. 18 million dollars.
David: Ohh..18 million dollars worth of diamonds are missing.
Thomas: And the cops don't look good here.
David: These cops? I doubt it.
Thomas: You have to think ahead to what the defense is going to say.
David: Boy, that's great thinking. I got to try that.
Thomas: I'm going to need you to go over the cops' testimony one more time for me.
David: This is your witness list?
Thomas: Yes! Look, I want to keep Hechler off the stand. It's enough to know that the diamonds are missing...
David: Uh-uh, I don't think so.
Thomas: David, please! The prelim's tomorrow. You'll have more input at the trial phase. I promise.
David: Whatever you say.
Thomas: Listen, it's not so bad.
David: No, for you, it's great.
David exits the building. As he crosses the street, he notices
a man in a car staring at him and remembers Gretchen saying 'a friend of
yours dropped by, he said he wanted to surprise you. Balding, brown
eyes, big shoulders'. The man in the car matches the description.
David looks at the car's license plate.
David enters the police station.
A police officer: David.
David: Good morning.
Joel Stevens: Welcome back.
David: Thank you. It's nice to be back.
Joel: Well, what can I do for you?
David: Look, I got this plate. I was wondering if you could run it for me. (He hands Joel a piece of paper.)
Joel: As long as it's not a blonde in a convertible. (He types the number into the computer.)
David: Nah, it's this guy I've been running into a little too much lately. He stopped by my office, didn't leave his name. You know, there's a bunch of guys who wouldn't mind seeing me dead.
Fearless Smith walks up: Yeah, plus there's all those guys you put in jail.
David: Ah, open mike night at the old precinct.
Fearless: Welcome back.
David: Thank you very much. I also want you to know that I'm backing up Thomas Paltrow on the Fithian case.
Joel: Backing up?
David: Umm. I'm on my way to talk to the uniforms. I need to talk to you guys and...Pierce?
Fearless: Yeah. She's upstairs.
Joel clears his throat as the information comes up on his computer screen: Yeah, here he is. He's one of yours. Paul Barnes. He just finished a six year stint on a DUI for crippling 8-year-old Ali...
David: Rivero. Two kids of his own. Pretty wife. Construction business.
Joel: And you sent him away.
Fearless: Well, we can always pay Mr. Barnes a little visit.
David: Let's hold up on that for now. But, thanks, guys.
Joel: All right.
In an interview room, David questions Officers Ray Hechler and Tom Turcotte.
Ray: When we arrived, Durrell was deceased. Detective Pierce was regaining consciousness.
David: So, Detective Pierce was conscious?
Ray: Regaining consciousness. As we approached, Detective Pierce was not yet fully conscious. It's not my first trip to court, Counselor.
David: You're going to sit this one out, Ray. Tom, you're going to take the stand.
Tom: But, Ray's got more experience in court.
David to Ray: Look, do you really want to take the stand, answering questions about missing diamonds?
Ray: Well, after you dragged my name through the Vista Heights scandal, I guess that could get ugly, yeah. Is that it?
Ray starts to leave the room, but Tom stops him: Ray...Ray. Hold on. Look, she probably dumped the diamonds to somebody on the subway before I apprehended her. For all we know, the diamonds are set in engagement rings all over the country by now.
David: Share that theory on the stand.
Ray, as he walks out of the room: We miss you at the bar. Why don't you stop by sometime? Have one on me.
Detective Katherine Pierce is sitting at her desk when David enters the
David: Detective Pierce.
Katherine: Nice to meet you, Counselor.
David: Nice to meet you. Oh, wait a minute. We've met before...at the Police Protective Dinner last Spring.
Katherine shakes her head: Sorry.
David: Oh, that's quite all right. Tell me what happened in the tunnel.
Katherine: I was in pursuit of Durrell. I ordered her to halt. She didn't. She fired at me. I returned fire, hitting her in the leg. As I approached, I was hit four times in the back of my vest. The force made me drop my gun and I lost consciousness. That's all I can testify to.
David: Detective, this is only a prelim. So, feel free to speculate. What do you think happened after that point?
Katherine: Well, Fithian killed Durrell. When I came to, Fithian was gone and Durrell was shot at close range.
David: Was your gun recovered at the scene?
David is sitting in his car. Searching for a pen, he opens the glove
compartment and sees a bottle of Scotch. He pulls his hand
back quickly: Ohhhh!
David to bottle: Didn't anybody tell you? The party's over. You know what? Stick around. I'll prove it.
He closes the glove compartment.
David is walking down a hall in the courthouse.
Sally Jacobson: How was the drunk tank?
David: I thought I heard the theme from "Jaws". Trolling for new clients, are we?
Sally: Oh, darling, you can't afford me. Try a public defender.
David: After you. (They head for the courtroom.)
Sally: I'm supposed to be facing Paltrow.
David: Oh, don't worry. I'm just baby-sitting.
Sally: Oh, he'll need it.
She walks away and Thomas Paltrow walks up to David.
Thomas: So, what? The Barracuda's taking over?
David: It's your case. You tell me.
Thomas: I just spoke to Foster's office this morning.
David: Well, then, the defendant made a very big and very fast trade-up. Good luck, kid!
In the courtroom.
Thomas: The state charges Sabrina Fithian with first degree murder of Rachel Durrell, attempted murder of police officer Katherine Pierce, robbery and special allegations of firearms use for all of the above. We'd like to call Detective Katherine Pierce as our first witness.
Katherine, on the stand: I saw Durrell up ahead and ordered her to stop.
Flashback to Katherine and Rachel in the tunnels. Katherine yells, 'Stop'. Rachel turns and runs.
Katherine on the stand: She did not. I ordered her to stop again. She turned and fired. I returned fire, hitting her in the leg.
Flashback to the tunnel. Durrell turns and fires. Katherine fires her weapon, striking Durrell in the leg.
Katherine on the stand: I ordered her to drop her weapon which she did. As I approached, four shots rang out and I felt the impact. The last thing I remember was losing my firearm as I fell forward.
Thomas: Thank you, Detective.
Sally: Interesting version of events, Detective Pierce.
Katherine: Thank you.
Sally: Let's try another scenario. After you shoot Durrell in the leg, you see she's in possession of the diamonds. If you take her into custody, she'll talk. So...you kill her, instead, and leave a few token diamonds near the body.
Thomas: Your Honor, this goes beyond speculation.
Judge: There's no jury here, Counselor. I'll allow it.
Sally: Thank you, Your Honor. Then, there's the matter of the elusive second robber.
Katherine: Not so elusive. There she is. (Indicating Sabrina, who is sitting at the defense table.)
Sally: Do you expect us to find it plausible that she would kill her friend, yet spare you, her pursuer?
Katherine: I do.
Sally: You're saying that you, yourself, didn't kill Durrell?
Katherine: I did not.
Sally: Okay. Well...the ballistics report says you did.
Thomas: Your honor, this is fantasy.
Judge: Ms. Jacobson.
Sally: This isn't fantasy, Your Honor. (She hands the judge a copy of the ballistics report.) Here's the report stating that Durrell was killed by Detective Pierce's gun.
Thomas: I have not yet seen that, Your Honor.
Sally: Well, it was available as of 5 o'clock last night.
Thomas: Your honor, this is wild speculation on the part of the defense and inflammatory.
Sally: The only wild speculation and defamation is on your part.
Judge: Ms. Jacobson, do you have any further comments or questions for Detective Pierce?
Sally: I certainly do.
Judge: We'll reconvene in the morning.
David, Katherine and Thomas in the courthouse lobby.
Thomas: How could you not know your gun killed Durrell?
Katherine: I was unconscious.
Thomas: It made us look stupid.
Katherine: The report landed on your desk the same time it landed on Jacobson's. It's your fault you didn't do your homework.
Thomas: You got that report, too.
Katherine: Yeah. I was caught in a triple homicide and home invasion at 4 o' clock. Where the hell were you? Oh, wait, let me guess. You were on the phone, a foot away from the inbox where the report was sitting. Brilliant! (She walks away.)
David: That's a good first day. (He walks away, smiling.)
David enters his home, sorting through his mail.
He hears a noise in the house: Who's there? Barnes?!
Man, sitting in a chair, rattles his empty glass: You're out of Scotch.
And who the hell is Barnes?
David: What are you doing here?
Man (Mack McNorris): That's a nice way to greet your old man.
Mack: Since when do you golf?
David: I don't. Look, I didn't want to tell you and Mom over the phone. I went to a substance abuse program.
Mack: Are you taking pills or something?
David: No, Pop, it's the booze.
Mack: Hey, if you're drinking too much, you can always cut back. That what I do.
David: I'll try that with my next crutch.
Mack: Was it one of these deals where you had to pay a king's ransom to scrub the floor with a toothbrush?
Mack: Yeah. California's a funny place, David Francis. Full of scams to take your money when you've got too much of it.
David: Look, Pop...are you okay?
David: Why are you here? Are you okay?
Mack: You tell me. I had to hear about your separation from your mother who heard it from Marian. Then, you disappeared. Are you going to iron things out?
David: I don't know.
Mack: Marriage is a vow before God, son.
David: Yeah, so is monogamy.
Mack: Well, she'll forgive you.
David: I was talking about you.
Mack: What goes on between a man and a woman is their business.
David: Do you even listen to yourself?
Mack: You got nothing in your fridge, either. Except some brown thing. Come on, let's go eat. And, please, none of that sushi crap.
David and Mack are sitting at a bar.
Mack: Two Jamesons. Neat.
David: Ah...club soda, please, for me. Thank you.
Mack: Club soda? I drag my ass 3,000 miles to find you on the wagon?!
David: Pop. I said, I was trying, okay? Just...Look, I don't drink Scotch in the middle of an important case.
Mack: Hunh. One Jameson, neat. What's it about?
David: Armed robbery. Her partner was killed, but we have the other woman in a preliminary hearing right now.
Mack: Two women?
David: Two women.
Mack: Ahh - this place is whacky.
David: Well, all trends start in California, right, Pop?
Mack: Yeah, and end in hell. Cheers.
Mack: So, why is this one so important?
David: The ring's run by John Donadoni. He's L.A.'s biggest organized crime boss.
Mack: That sounds like the movies.
David: Nah, he's not some knee-capping schmuck. He's got this construction company that provides the manpower and the tools and the proximity to nab these high-end goods. Look, this one's kind of important to me. I've made a few mistakes the last couple of months and I've got a lot of people watching. So...
Mack: Well, do you think you're going to win?
David: I don't know. The lead attorney's an idiot.
Mack: Hey, I though you were the head guy at trials.
David: Pop, I'm on probation, right now.
Mack: On probation. You know why? Because you spent too much time in that...place! Well, don't get crazy. It's just one case.
David: No, Dad, it's not just one case. It's important to me.
Mack: Well, don't worry, David Francis. You will land on your feet. You always do. It's in your blood.