This week’s The Firm starts off with a bang. Back on ‘The Chase’ day, two men are about to pull guns on Mitch until BOOM!—a cop tackles him and arrests him for throwing Moxon off of the roof. The scene is short and impactful and makes me wonder how exactly Mitch discovered the truth about Moxon, Sarah Holt and the shady firm he now works for.
After the superb music and title sequence, “Chapter Five” transitions to this week’s case of the week: a recent law graduate began running an illegal casino and is being tried for murder. It’s a unique case that presents many different facets. First, Mitch struggles to convince Jud, his client, to take a plea bargain. The client claims he’s innocent and only killed the gangster out of self defense. Second, the client’s background and motives are murky. A lot of police procedurals try to present confusing backgrounds, but The Firm does a great job of shrouding clients in mystery.
For the first time in the series Mitch’s humorous flare in the courtroom shines through. So far he has been a sharp-witted lawyer, but while cross-examining a medical examiner he becomes cocky and almost treats the doctor in a demeaning way. It’s unusual to root for a defense lawyer trying to get a murderer cleared of a life sentence. Perhaps that’s why The Firm is able to compel a niche audience to return week after week.
His characterization helps forgive the usual plot twists in a typical dramatic trial. The prosecutors bring in a surprise witness to stab Mitch’s client in the back. Then in another twist, Jud reveals his friend who was paralyzed by the gangster actually is able to walk and was the one to shoot the gangster. Wait, what? It’s a little hard to believe that someone is faking paralysis and that Jud still refuses to admit that he might be going to jail for life. That’s where the unique luster at the beginning of the trial turns sour.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to give Abby a more centralized role, the writers have her go to Andrew from the new firm with Mitch’s first case since returning from Witness Protection. Back in the future (during ‘The Chase’ timeline) Mitch continues to claim Andrew is a good person. This is just another example of Andrew’s true colors getting pushed down deeper under the good guy persona he shows Mitch and Abby; this makes the viewer have to decide whether or not Andrew is good or evil.
It’s a tough decision: even though Andrew works for the firm that is covering up some heinous crime, perhaps he actually does have a good heart. On the other hand, maybe he is so corrupt that he has no morals and will do anything to win the trust of Mitch and Abby. One of those choices is the right one, and perhaps one seems easier, but because The Firm likes to throw plot twists every which way, it’s difficult to decide only five episodes in.
The last few minutes give us a revelation of Sarah Holt. The characters are thinking one thing, but I think it’s on a grander scope. One thing that this show has done so well is provide cliffhangers that aren’t over-the-top. Instead, it makes you think just a little about where what the truth really is.