AM-105 "100 Tears Away"

Original Air Date: 10/20/97

The Brief:
The Pringles/spermicide one.

The Verdict:

Not-So-Very-Short Summary:
The episode begins with Ally in a supermarket, walking through the snack isle while another woman asks a worker if the last can of Pringles on the shelf would be fresh or not. He answers yes, and the woman, after thinking for awhile, puts the Pringles back on the shelf and picks up a bag of Ruffles. Ally comes up, picks up the Pringles and is about to put them in her cart when the woman tells her that she was taking those. Ally asks her why she put them back if she was still getting them. The woman explains that she put them DOWN, not back, and was still in the throes of deciding whether she wanted them when Ally just "swooped in". She explains that she has trouble with ridges, and the only other Pringles are the ridged ones. Ally wonders why she picked up a bag of Ruffles if she has trouble with ridges. The woman grabs the chips out of Ally's hand, and Ally tries to turn to a worker for help. He says he doesn't get involved in product disputance, and the woman insults Ally and calls her a "sex cart", saying "You think he's just gonna automatically side with you because you like how you look and I look how I look". Ally asks her why she's being so mean, and suggests "Is it because you look how you look?". The woman says she won't even dignify that, and walks away with the can. Ally then sticks her foot out and trips her, causing her to land on her stomach, with her cart hitting the opposite shelf and sending bottles of vegetable oil to the ground to land on the woman's back. "Ooops..." says Ally... Soon, a police officer cuffs Ally, and then Renee arrives. She asks what happened, and the police officer takes Ally into custody (which displeases Ally very much). She has her "mug shots" taken, and then is approached by the same police officer, who says there's another problem. "Is she dead?" asks Ally. The officer says no, and explains the problem: the store's cameras showed Ally putting spermicide in her pocket... Ally argues that she was just embarrassed to be seen with it, and that she would've paid for it if they hadn't yanked her away. When Ally and Renee come home, Renee tells Ally she'll try to be the D.A., but Ally better get herself a lawyer. Ally wants to represent herself, but Renee says that judges don't like it when lawyers represent themselves and hands Ally the phone. First, Ally tries to talk to Whipper, but she's "a little busy right now" (having sex with Fish), and a disgusted Ally hangs up. Next she tries Billy, who's very tired but agrees to meet her at the courthouse in the morning. "What is it this time?" asks Georgia, who picked up the phone in the first place. "She kicked some woman unconcious and stole diaphragm jelly..." explains Billy. Back at Ally and Renee's, Renee tells Ally that Boyle will be sitting first session, and then shows Ally a tube of spermicide. "Now, can we talk about this?" she asks. "NO!" yells Ally and hides her head behing a pillow. The next day at the courthouse, Ally's case is first up. Renee quickly explains the situation to the judge, and he asks Ally to step up to the bench and show him her teeth (he has a tooth fetish). He asks Ally about whether it's appropriate for an attorney to act like this, and Billy steps in explaining that it was more of a misunderstanding and submits Ally's dental records and x-rays to Boyle. The judge seems pleased and lets Ally go with a warning - "You behave yourself, you little vixen...". At the office, Elaine informs Ally that she sold the face bra to a small venture company, and Richard interrupts their conversation by telling Ally that Boyle made a report to the Bar of Overseers and they suspended her license. Ally is shocked, and Fish tells her that the hearing is scheduled for the next day... Ally turns away and bangs her head on her office door... That night at the bar, Georgia, Billy, Fish and Ally discuss her case. Elaine brings in the names of those who'll be sitting at the Bar hearing. Fish analyzes them, and asks Billy to represent her. Meanwhile, a crushed Ally hides her face in her hands... At the Bar hearing the next day, the judges say that this case isn't about criminal wrongdoing, it's about mental fitness. They give examples on the basis of which there can be reasons to question Ally's mental health, such as her eulogy at Dawson's funeral, her accosting of a man on the street when he bumped into her and didn't even look up, her submitting dental records to Boyle and the "attack" as they call it at the supermarket... They schedule an evidentiary hearing for the next day, and later at the office Elaine tells Ally that she was subpoenaed by the Bar to come and talk about Ally at the evidentiary. Later that day at Ally and Renee's, Ally complains to Renee that "it wasn't supposed to be like this." Renee agrees, and then wants to talk about the tube of jelly. She wants to know who the intendent is, and Ally after a pause answers "...Omar Sharif...". "Omar what?" asks Renee, and Ally explains who he is and that he's the guy who's looking for her door... Renee suggests NOT to give that explanation in court... The following day, the judges lead Mrs. Clarkson (the woman whom Ally tripped) to give testimony, asking her about Ally's emotional state. Billy stands up and accuses the judge of not applying the "rules of fairness" here, also stating that the judges seem so willing to give the answers to questions they ask Mrs. Clarkson themselves. Billy is asked to sit, but Fish stands up and makes a fool of himself by babbling on about some "need for civility" from Billy's side or something like that... Billy then tells him that Fish was out of order, but Fish argues so was he. Then he says that Cheanie took his business elsewhere, saying he "had concerns" over Ally. Billy says that Ally's fine and walks away... At the bar, Renee tells Ally that it's time to quit working there becuase Ally's in love with Billy. Ally denies it, saying that she certainly feels that she's alive - at least it's not dull there. In the next scene, Elaine is before the Bar of Overseers, and is being questioned about her statements about Ally. After being asked if she had ever compared Ally to a Rice Krispie ("she already snapped and crackled and she's close to the final pop"), Elaine explains that she sometimes says things to make people think she's a wordsmith... Anyhow, next up is Billy questioning Elaine, where she says she believes Ally to be a mentally fit person. She later, after answering another one of the judges' questions, rattles out everything about Ally: how she had an affair with Prof. Dawson, how she and Billy sniffed each other's butts in the park and how she still loves him... She concludes by saying "There is NOTHING wrong with her...". The judges don't buy it... Back at the office, Elaine apologizes to Ally for saying all of those things, and admits that who she told about Ally's "nervous breakdown" was Whipper. Ally comes into Whipper's chambers, and the two talk over what happened. Whipper said she had the legal duty to report it if any other member of the bar was emotionally unstable or mentally unfit. She admits she doesn't think Ally's nuts, but she's not sure she has both feet on the ground, either... "You mean, some people do?" asks Ally. At the next hearing, Ally is being questioned. She's asked some nonsense about impulse control therapy, and then echoes what Elaine said about her having an adulterous affair with the dead professor whom she so oddly eulogized. Next comes Ally's wonderful monologue, probably one of the brightest highlights of the entire season (mentioned also in "Quotes: Allyisms"):
Judge Pink-
If you have anger, Ms. McBeal, feel free to express it...

But you would judge me for it, your honor! It would be better for me to sit here politely and privately pray that you would happen by me doing groceries... Now imagine a young lawyer, her future lying in your hands... Who would say such a thing? She'd either have to be enormously crazy or you'd have to be enough of an ass to deserve the remark, no matter what the risk... Now, since you're the judge, I'll let you decide, but not until I'm finished and I haven't finished! That woman abused me in that supermarket, now yes I overreacted, but there was a context... And to all that other evidence against me, that...that stuff about me being emotional! Falling in love with men whose bottoms I've smelled, submitting dental records to a judge who has a tooth fetish and sleeps with hookers, snapping at pedestrians who think that a square shoulder can be mitigated by "I'm sorry"... I am human, I am temperamental, I am GUILTY!!! NOW I'm finished!!!

"You certainly are, how the hell could you do that? Do you have some professional death wish?" Billy asks later. She explains to him that the tube of jelly was her lottery ticket, thinking "what if?" about a guy who she'd someday see on the street and they'd know off of one look that they were meant for each other... After a brief discussion on how to act at the next hearing, Billy says goodnight and leaves as Vonda's "Every Now and Then [You Are In Love With Me]" plays... Ally sits down and buries herself in thoughts... The next day, a half-dressed Boyle walks into Whipper's chambers by mistake... She asks him if he really thinks she's emotionally unstable, and he says no, but she tends to get a little violent. "A pretty little thing, that's why she thinks she can get away with it..." he explains... He then leaves. Later, Fish, Billy, Elaine and Ally are getting ready to go to court. Ally is up first again, and she says she's sorry about the incident at the supermarket. Judge Pink asks her if she'd be willing to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and after her response "Would YOU?" Richard butts in with some nonsense about a urine test, but Ally snaps "Richard, sit down, NOW!" and he sits. Then Whipper comes up and defends Ally's position, explaining that she thinks Ally stands "most guilty of being female: young and attractive and how dare she be aggressive on top of that?!". The judges say they'll consider her changed position and ask her to sit. After her, Billy wants to be heard... "Splendid..." mumbles one of the judges... Billy makes a passionate statement on how wonderful of a person Ally is, and concludes by saying "Whatever virus you think she has, we should all be so lucky to be infected..." "I think you all have been!" answers one judge... Then they quickly go to talk Ally's case over and vote on whether they should or shouldn't suspend her. The wait is long, but they finally choose not to... At the bar that night, Ally leaves early and thanks everyone, including Billy, for their help... Back at the office, she calls her parents. Her dad picks up the phone, and she talks to him for a few minutes before finally saying good-night... In a second, she says "Dad?" into the phone, but he already hung up... She puts down the phone, packs up all of her papers and exits the building. As she walks home, she reflects on her life while "100 Tears Away" plays...

*Please note: Sorry that this one was soooooooooooo long... I got just a tiny bit carried away, I guess!:)*