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letzte Aktualisierung: 25.06.2001

#409 Ticks und Tricks [Reasons to Believe]

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"Respect only gets you so far. True love? Chemicals." Fishism

John meets his match in a new client suffering from Tourette's syndrome (special guest Anne Heche). Meanwhile, Richard teaches Mark the art of seduction.

Ally's working late and catches John with his pants down, literally! He's a bit melancholy and Ally gets him to admit that the holidays have him feeling a bit lonely. John says he doesn't want to wind up some old barrister clutching a worn leather briefcase. No sooner do the words leave his mouth than an old barrister clutching a worn leather briefcase appears at John's office door. Nicholas Engbloom, legendary for his closing arguments and adeptness in the courtroom, is asking for John's help.

Engbloom has come out of retirement for one last case. Melanie West (Anne Heche) is accused of driving over her boyfriend with her SUV, then backing up over him. Ouch! Melanie refuses to talk to Engbloom, which he thinks may be related to her Tourette's syndrome. Symptoms of Tourette's include uncontrollable ticks and sudden - often profane - verbal outbursts, among other things. Engbloom feels John might be able to connect with Melanie, so John agrees to meet with her.

The next day, Mrs. Brandy Engbloom pays John a visit, with a surprising request. She wants a divorce. The fact that Mr. Engbloom put his retirement on hold - as he's put Brandy on hold for 40 years - is the final straw for her. She wants out before Nicholas drops dead of a heart attack, or worse, never takes her dancing again. John refers her to Larry for representation, hoping that Larry will work his negotiating magic and keep the beloved couple together.

The meeting with Melanie goes well, considering that John's ticks rival hers. She shouts out "pipsqueak" and "midget," but his own idiosyncrasies make her more comfortable. However, Melanie won't agree to temporary insanity. She explains that people have been calling her crazy her entire life and she'd rather have them believe she's a cold-blooded killer than admit to any type of insanity.

Elsewhere in the office, Richard discovers that Mark and Elaine have not yet "done the deed." He decides that Mark needs a theme song and begins coaching him. Mark's first sex song choice is (what else?) a Tom Jones classic, "It's So Unusual." As Richard and Mark gyrate in the Unisex, Nelle walks in and offers a little advice. The key to a woman's heart - and to getting her into bed - is not sex appeal…it's respect. So Richard and Mark change their tune (so to speak) and get down with a little Aretha!

At the Engblooms' settlement meeting, Nicholas tells Brandy he never wanted to retire in the first place. It makes him feel old. In fact, he was so upset at his retirement party, he almost jumped off the building! Later, Larry tries to get Brandy to reconsider. But she wants all or nothing. You go, girl! Ally walks in as Larry and Brandy share a dance and teasingly warns Brandy to keep her mitts off Ally's man. The whole case makes Ally wonder if she and Larry will eventually grow apart due to their workaholic tendencies.

Back in court, Melanie's outbursts are not helpful. She keeps saying "splat" when describing the night she hit and killed her beau! John gets Mel to confess that her foot slipped onto the gas pedal as a result of a tick, but that she was too embarrassed to admit it. Nicholas brings in a medical expert to explain how Mel's ticks work - and how gunning the car could've been totally involuntary on her part. Meanwhile, Larry has tricked Brandy in coming to watch Nicholas in action and they slip into the back of the courtroom.

Ally follows John into the hallway and tries to persuade him to ask Melanie out. John thinks that their combined ticks, stutters and twitches may be too much, even for him. They are interrupted by paramedics rushing down the hall. Mrs. Engbloom has collapsed! At the hospital, Nicholas takes it as a sign from God for him to slow down. He asks John to do closing arguments.

John's closing works…and Mel is acquitted. She is so grateful that she plants a big kiss on John and even he can't deny their chemistry. So, he asks her out! Meanwhile, the Engblooms have reconciled because Nicholas has agreed to retire - for good this time. And Richard and Mark's "respect" act lands them both in the sack!

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