Episodes: 34 (hour)
TV show dates: January 17, 2011 — May 27, 2012
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Karen Olivo, Mark Valley, Brittany Snow, Aml Ameen, Paul McCrane, and Christopher McDonald.
TV show description:
This legal dramedy revolves around Harriet “Harry” Korn (Kathy Bates), a strong-willed and sometimes grumpy former patent attorney. She doesn’t believe that things happen for a reason, but discovers that they sometimes do. After Harry is abruptly fired from her blue chip law firm, she’s forced to look for a fresh start and starts her own business.
Harry’s world unexpectedly collides, literally, with that of college student Malcolm Davies (Aml Ameen). He’s a kind-hearted young man who desperately needs her help with his pending court case. He subsequently goes to work for her as a paralegal.
Along the way, a legal hotshot named Adam Branch (Nate Corddry) accidentally hits Harry with his car. Inspired by her no-nonsense understanding of the law, Adam decides to leave his corporate future to work with her.
With the help of Harry’s shoe-obsessed assistant, Jenna (Brittany Snow), Harry, Adam and Malcolm open the new law firm — in a bad Cincinnati neighborhood in a rundown shoe store. Whatever the case, clients can expect unusual results when they walk through the doors of Harriet’s Law and Fine Shoes.
Episode 34 — Onward and Upward
Harry shuffles Tommy into a room at the morgue claiming they just have one last errand before getting back to the office. The coroner lifts a sheet and Harry nonchalantly says, “That’s him.” When the coroner explains the body languished for three days at a fleabag motel before anyone fount it, Harry cuts him off. She doesn’t want to hear any of the details. On the way out, Tommy’s curiosity compels him to ask. Harry identifies the corpse as her first husband. He’s with God now… if God wants to have anything to do with Arthur Korn. One thing’s for sure. Harry doesn’t want to talk about him.
Harry meets with potential client George Pelman at his home. George wanted Harry to meet his wife and children because this case is as much about them as it is about him. George has been out of work for over eight months and it’s not for lack of trying. He’s been labeled a person of interest in the murder of his ex-wife by the district attorney’s office; thus no employer wants to hire him. Despite a lack of evidence and a passed lie detector test, the D.A. continues to call George a person of interest in the year-old murder investigation of his ex-wife. George implores Harry to aid in removing this stigma so he can get back to providing for his family.
Oliver is working on a case where a student, Jody, was denied admission to a state law school due to being white. He casually asks Cassie to second chair in court. Cassie is offended Oliver wants to use her as some sort of minority window dressing as he battles against affirmative action. Oliver denies choosing Cassie for such a reason. He merely thought she’d share his belief that affirmative action is a failed and outdated policy. Believing Cassie to be one of the smartest women he knows, Oliver thinks it would be a shame if anyone assumed she got to where she is only as a result of affirmative action. Furious, Cassie kicks Oliver out of her office.
Since no one has claimed Arthur’s body, Harry is guilted into taking care of his arrangements. Telling the mortician to just dig a hole, Harry can’t believe the cost of a funeral. Why can’t people just walk into the woods and die? Adam prods Harry to share. If Arthur was worthy of her love, he’s worthy of a decent burial. Harry recalls Arthur being a party, but not much more than that. She was his legal secretary, and he encouraged her to attend law school. They fell in love and got married. Arthur was also a drunk, a gambler, a womanizer and the biggest scoundrel Harry ever met… but he was a hell of a party.
Nelson Pootah hires Adam to represent him in a wrongful termination suit after his former company procures Phoebe’s services to protect them. Nelson pulls out his top teeth and places them on Adam’s desk to demonstrate why he was let go: he has dentures. Phoebe can’t believe Adam took the case while Adam can’t believe she finds the situation so amusing. She’s reminded of her uncle taking out his teeth for laughs at family gatherings and can’t help giggling about it. Adam insists that dentures don’t constitute a reason to fire someone. Phoebe agrees to depose Nathan and hopes they can come to an agreement before Adam files his claim.
Harry meets with D.A. Remmick and A.D.A. Karl Odom to discuss George’s status. Karl finds the person of interest label to be self-explanatory. George had a motive and accessibility. Without enough evidence and no other suspects, he’s going to remain “of interest” in regards to the case. Harry argues it would be better to arrest George and let him have his day in court than to have this misnomer hanging over him. Knowing they don’t have enough of a case, Remmick declines. Back at the office, George reveals the bank determined a job wasn’t in his future, so they’ve called in his mortgage – he’s losing his house! Harry’s had enough. She’s determined to sue Karl for character defamation in order to entice him to remove George’s person of interest tag. Tomorrow.
Oliver thinks Cassie is being childish about the affirmative action issue and returns to her office to tell her so. Even liberal California has put the kibosh on this archaic policy. Cassie points out that if Oliver looked at the racial statistics for prison and welfare recipients, he’d see how equal everything is now. They continue going toe-to-toe over the subject. Unable to grasp why Cassie is taking this so personally, Oliver crosses the line by saying Cassie isn’t even black. Calling Oliver a white racist pig, Cassie screams at him to get out of her office. On the other side of the door, Oliver is stunned to see the dismayed faces of his co-workers, who have heard the whole thing.
Harry takes George’s case to court, calling the person of interest label damaging and prosecutorial misconduct. Even worse, there are no rights for an individual who’s been tagged as a person of interest, since there is no legal definition of a person of interest. Karl admits no one is saying George is a suspect. He’s only saying George is on their radar. The D.A.’s office wouldn’t be doing their job if George wasn’t on their radar. Harry contends person of interest doesn’t indicate radar; it pronounces focus. The term paints George as the main suspect in a crime he hasn’t even been charged with. His family’s lives have been irreparably damaged, and they have no recourse. Harry urges the judge to fix this injustice.
Finding Cassie in the break room, Oliver tries to apologize. He went too far. He takes the opportunity to reassert his case: Jody is actually disadvantaged and impoverished. She can’t afford to go to the private schools where she was accepted and can only afford the lower tuition of a state school to attend. Is it fair for an inner city white girl to be denied a chance at an education over a rich kid? Cassie offers Oliver a little enlightenment: to a lot of people of color, affirmative action is personal.
Adam and Phoebe meet with Nelson to take his deposition. Phoebe has difficulty keeping a straight face. Nelson explains that he was fired for distracting other employees; his dentures are painful and he occasionally pops them out for relief. Phoebe prompts Nelson for a display in hopes of stirring a reaction from Adam. When Adam fails to react, Phoebe continues asking Nelson to demonstrate the clicking and popping sounds employees complained about. This time Adam can no longer hold it in and laughs out loud during Nelson’s show. Phoebe is glad to see the tables turned. Settling for $29,000 in compensation, Adam and Phoebe celebrate after the deposition with a kiss. A kiss noticed by Chunhua.
Oliver tries his case in front of an African-American judge and a Hispanic-American lawyer. It’s not long before both of them are reading him the riot act . The judge is surprised Oliver doesn’t see it. Affirmative action is about righting a past wrong… a pretty big wrong. Oliver contends that if the idea is to give students from bad schools an edge, fine, yet make it based on class status and not race. The judge believes Oliver may have made a valid point in his argument somewhere. Nevertheless, she defers to the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on the issue and denies his motion. Oliver knew it was a long shot; however he’s comforted to see Cassie made it to the courtroom to support him.
Harry pulls out her wedding picture and pauses to reflect. Apparently, it’s been in her desk drawer for years. Chunhua enters to give Harry her two-week notice. She feels it’s time to move on. Harry offers some advice. Love hurts, and from everything she’s read, it’s supposed to. More importantly, Harry doesn’t want whatever’s going on between Adam and Phoebe to derail Chunhua and her career. She’s been a great success at the firm, and this shouldn’t change anything. Harry tells Chunhua her resignation is rejected, and she nods in agreement.
The firm’s second anniversary party is in full swing when Harry gets the call that the judge has a ruling in George’s case. While agreeing George’s situation is unfair, he feels there’s little he can do about the person of interest moniker. Despite how the media runs with the phrase to continue a story and law enforcement uses it to maintain an illusion of making progress when they have nothing, the judge refuses to get in the way of free speech. George’s only recourse is a defamation claim, against both the D.A.’s office and Karl Odom personally. If the person of interest label is used with negligence or causes damage to others, Karl will be liable and held accountable. George and his family are grateful progress is being made.
Harry is called up to the stage at her firm’s second anniversary party. Instead of a rousing karaoke version of “I’m Every Woman,” Harry decides to sing a sad song about lost love in honor of Arthur. She warns the audience that she might suck, but if she does, they should pretend she doesn’t. Instead, the audience is fully moved by Harry’s emotional transparency as she sings about her loss. Harry visits Arthur’s gravesite afterwards to place a single rose on it. The tombstone reads “Beloved son, husband, scoundrel.” Harry’s moved when the rest of the office staff arrives at the gravesite to support her, calling them a hell of a group. As they leave together, Harry takes one last look at the rose on the tombstone.First aired: May 27, 2012.