It’s the common nightmare of the modern world: the stock scam. TheÂ irresistible chance to invest in high-yield, fast returns. The tantalizing opportunity to own a home, a new car, maybe take a holiday. The horrifying realityÂ of having it all disappear in seconds.
Our good doctor returns to our Tuesday night television with not one client, but thousands who have lost their savings to an “Alternative Investment” branch of a well-reputed bank. In the process, he risks T.A.C.’s solvency and puts Benny in a difficult professional dilemma.
It all starts with a school teacher, Erin Howland (Laura Breckenridge, Blue Bloods) who discovers the boiler room phone centre from where her bank, Brannigan Trust, offers its customers “the deal of a lifetime”. She tries to report the scam to the authorities to no avail and it’s Chunk who brings her story to Bull, a longtime client of Brannigan Trust.
When T.A.C. takes the deep dive into all the victims of the Alternative Investment division, four thousand two hundred and eleven come to light and Marissa is rightfully anxious about the risk they are taking on this single class action case.
In taking on the third largest bank in the world and fronting the costs of bringing in and housing the scam victims from all over the country, T.A.C. could realistically lose everything themselves if they fail to unanimously convince the federal jury. While Bull is clear-sighted but eager to take the leap, Benny has his eye on the potential pay-off if they win which Marissa immediately (and somewhat correctly) points out is exactly the same mentality as put their four thousand-plus clients in the position that they are currently in.
The case is even trickier than usual and it’s fascinating to listen to how Bull and Marissa narrow down the target juror demographic. The general mock jury pool is sympathetic to the victims but still finds for the bank. Even with credible witnesses and victim statements, Bull needs a stronger narrative push to incite the jurors on this case to find for the plaintiffs.
He wants jurors who won’t trust blindly, who are naturally skeptical. A jury made up of people who tend towards brand loyalty would find for the bank as an established institution but the “disloyal” jurors he’s looking for don’t believe the sizzle over the substance and will look beyond the name for the motives of the company.
Complicating the situation is the ongoing federal investigation into Benny’s past case, a belligerent Judge Vortuba (Kurt Fuller, Psych), and Benny’s not-that-subtle infatuation with their initial client, Erin. In a unique twist, Bull is unable to assist in voir dire (thank you, Judge Grumpy Pants)Â but points out afterwards that this time, they get to “shop” for their witnesses as they have so many to choose from.
Our fearless leader, ever the fan of team-building exercises, challenges the T.A.C. members to throw in for the victim they feel will be the most influential in convincing the mock jury, offering a $5000 bonus for the winner. The competition turns everyone into a boiler room broker, flaunting all the positives of their candidate and ignoring any negatives. What was particularly entertaining was how quick they were to throw each other’s candidate under the bus. After initial pitches, there’s no clear front-runner for star witness in the victim pool.
As it turns out, it’s not a victim they need but a predator. Sofia Dern (Cristina Rosato, The Art of More) was one of the boiler room brokers and, boy, does she ever light up a room (when she’s not kicking stuff over). Benny wants to treat her as hostile but Bull convinces him that the way to go is to play to her ego and let her brag about her wins.
Of course, then she doesn’t show for trial and Bull goes off to track her down. In his absence,Â Benny puts Erin on the stand where the defense succeeds in making her look both uninformed and naive. In the aftermath, Benny makes an effort to reach out to her.Â “We all make mistakes. Sometimes well-meaning but still life-changing,” he tells her and shares his recent experience of realizing he’d sent an innocent man to prison for nine years. Romantic shenanigans ensue and I’m pretty sure that was not in Bull’s game plan.
His actual plan borders on indecent – dropping in to Dern’s luxury auto show room where she slinks up to him, purring about the car – then test-driving said vehicle right up to the steps of the courthouse. Her testimony is all that T.A.C. could want – smug, snarky, and revealing the “Suckers List”, the list of clients Brannigan Trust targeted with these stock offers – but Bull feels that Erin’s poor showing on the stand still leaves them behind.
He insists that Benny call the Brannigan Trust C.E.O., Griffin Fuller (Ian Lithgow, Girls) to the stand before the defense can but Benny takes the pit bull whistle too literally and comes across as a bully to Fuller’s calm demeanor. Always adaptive, Bull tracks down Dern one more time, betting on her “transactional” nature and offering her incentive if she helps with the last hold-out juror.
With Judge “Tuba” catching them in the transactional act, as it were, the plan both nearly backfires and benefits them at the same time (super weird loophole in the law) but T.A.C. pulls it all out of the abyss and wins the day for their clients. Bull’s cottoned on by this point that something’s awry with Benny and gives him a ride home in his sweet new luxury sedan in order to give him a chance to share.
As Benny told Chunk previously, he’s not ready to share with Bull and retreats to his home without unburdening himself. However, he might be ready for something else when Erin shows up on his doorstep, looking to invest in something more meaningful than money. With the X Ambassadors soundtracking the moment with the lyrics “living life like renegades” the credits on a crucial episode roll as former counsel and client embrace in the hallway.
Bull airs Tuesday night on CBS at 9pm ET/PT.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
Alison Sweeney Talks About What’s Next for Hannah and Mike After Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
[Warning: Spoilers for Carrot Cake Murder.] Everybody OK after that Hannah Swensen Mystery twist? Thankfully, our favorite crime-solving couple is still on speaking term, even if they’re on a break (hopefully not that kind of break). Most importantly, we already know this isn’t the last film in the series. No…
Counting Down to From Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] We’re just shy of two weeks away from Season 2 of last spring’s obsession, From, which premieres at 9 pm/8c, Sunday, April 23rd, on MGM+ (formerly EPIX). If you never picked it up last year, now’s your chance, and you can do it for free, catching…
Thank Me Later: Will Trent
[Warning: spoilers ahead.] I’m on record as loving and losing shows over at ABC so I’m usually very reticent to pick something up on the network until it’s been renewed, and I seriously hope I’m not jinxing it, but I took a chance on the deeply odd and very sweet…
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…