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      Ally McBeal
   

Girls Night Out
October 30th 2000
by Papa C

   

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    Cage & Fish meeting starts off the show. Richard offers condolences to Ally about Brian. Down to business: Nelle and John will be facing Georgia and Renee in court, defending Myra Robbins, a woman accused of sexual harassment. Richard and Ling will represent a woman who was fired because she would not submit to a physical.

The Sexual Harassment Case
Nelle is clearly not sympathetic towards their client, and is disturbed by the fact that John is clearly attracted to her.

In court, Georgia questions her client, the plaintiff, who states that Myra Robbins is a gifted architect, but a sexual predator. She is the president of the firm, but came on to him when they were working late. They had sexual relations, but then she proposed that they do it again later, and he wasn't interested, yet felt pressured. He ended up quitting his job.

Nelle cross-examines the plaintiff, and he admits that the intercourse was consensual and that she never threatened to fire him.

John questions their client, Myra (played by Marcia Cross). Their sexual encounter happened because of mutual attraction, and after it occurred, she let him know she was still interested, but there was no pressure. Renee cross-examines her, and Myra admits she has had affairs with three of her assistants. She explains that, because of her looks, she has been approached by thousands of men over the years. She tells them no if she's not interested, and men are free to tell her no if they're not interested. She's just being straight-forward about her desires. John is pleased with this testimony, but Nelle tells him he's just attracted to her. Myra overhears this and coyly asks John if that's true. He doesn't answer.

Later at the office, Myra comes on to John. They end up having a fling.

Back at court, Georgia presents her closing, saying that Myra wants them to apply a double standard. If a man had come on to his employee, they wouldn't spend 30 seconds deliberating before pronouncing him guilty. John also complains of a double-standard in his closing: we expect men to have sexual relationships, but when women do, they're considered tramps. Society is scared of women who are forward about what they want. He gets quite worked up about it, and when he sits down, Myra grabs his tuckus - she's clearly pleased with his efforts.

As they await the verdict at the office, Myra asks John about their chances. He tells her they're vulnerable technically, but the jury seemed in their favor. (The jury, from my viewpoint, seemed mostly men, and youngish ones at that.) He asks if she would like to have a celebratory dinner, if they win. She says she has a date tonight, and tells him that she is attracted to him, but feels they wouldn't have a future together. John, embarrassed, tells her he just meant a celebratory dinner, and nothing more.

The verdict is in, and they rule in favor of Myra. Nelle tells her flat out that she's surprised. Myra thanks John and asks if they can have that celebratory dinner another night. Then she tells him he was great the other night, and would like to relive it. He tells her he's not that kind of guy. She thought so.

The Employee Physical Case
Richard and Ling's client, Cindy, is suing her employer for trying to force her to have a physical. Richard says they need to know why she won't comply - is she ill? No. She reveals that she's not completely a woman: she's been on estrogen for long enough to have her hair and face, natural bustline and a womanish voice, but the working parts are those of a male. They're both stunned - they both think she's such a beautiful woman, they would have never guessed. Richard makes some pig-like comments, but they try her case and win quickly. Ling points out that Cindy waived the health insurance at work, so they had no right to make her take a physical. Back at the office, Mark has developed an attraction to Cindy and asks her out. She declines at first, but he persists. Richard tries, on several occasions, to dissuade him, but he cannot reveal the client confidential information. Mark and Cindy go to the bar together and dance. Richard asks Mark later how it's going, and he is clearly smitten with Cindy. Richard tries to tell him, and almost does, but Cindy comes up just then and takes him to his office, where she reminds him he cannot reveal her secret. He just doesn't want Mark to get hurt. Cindy wonders why he assumes she'll hurt him. Richard makes a crude remark, and gets slapped. She does just fine with boyfriends - she just tells them she doesn't believe in premarital sex. She tells him she will tell Mark about it when she's ready, and he had better stay out of it.

Later at the bar again, Mark and Cindy dance together, and they kiss, as Richard and Ling watch on in surprise. Ling asks Richard if he'd feel differently about her if she had been a man. Richard says he would vomit.

Ally
Brian visits her in her office, and apologizes for being so rude to her when she dumped him. He is confused, though, and wonders if there's another man. There isn't, she tells him. He says that contrary to what we're told growing up, you don't always know it when the right person comes along. No, she says, but you do know it when the wrong person comes along.

Ally tells the others, during a staff meeting, that she wants to Cage and Fish Women Lawyers Association to meet. They all meet in her office later, and she tells them they're pathetic: they all care more about their personal lives, but put all their energy into their work. Nelle says she doesn't want a personal life: that only leads to marriage, which leads to either divorce or kids. Ally insists they need a way to meet decent men. Nelle says women are actually better partners, except for the sex, and sex is gross. They ask what Ally has in mind. She intends to ask a normal, objective guy how to meet nice men - she'll talk to Mark.

Mark tells her about a friend with a bar who has a Model's Night - it brings in lots of male customers, but no women ever show up. Bingo - they'll have a model's night at the bar, and then they'll get to meet the men who show up. She tries it out, and they all have plenty of men to choose from. Brian interrupts the activities, though, by taking the microphone and announcing that the whole Model's Night was a scam set up by Ally McBeal, so she and her friends could meet men. He also points out that he and she just broke up, and tells Ally he's glad she's been able to move on.

Ally goes to visit Brian later, and apologizes for what he witnessed at the bar. She didn't mean to trivialize their relationship or their love. She was trying so hard to look forward, maybe because she was scared of looking backwards. But she wants him to know that what he saw on the dance floor wasn't how she felt inside.

At the end, Ally goes to John in his office and tells him that she misses him and their talks. She asks if they can dance together, like they did before. They dance, and we hear her voice telling us that she has a friend who won't have a pet because he thinks it will be too hard when the pet dies. Maybe relationships are like that.

PREVIEWS for next week: Florence Henderson is Nelle's "loveable" client. Mark continues to date Cindy. And Ally is finding lots of men, all of a sudden.
 
     

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