So Help Me Todd – Your Day In Court – Review

Spoilers

In the second instalment of the new season, the series takes a compelling turn, honing in on the core of what makes this show a standout- its blend of courtroom drama and complex family relationships. This episode stood out as truly unique, offering a fresh experience unlike anything that the rookie show has done so far. Viewers were presented with an entertaining hour of television, demonstrating the show’s exceptional knack for weaving together the legal world with character development and the nuances of relationships.

The plot centred around a high-stakes day in court, bringing all of the main characters into the courthouse’s pressured environment. The episode introduced viewers to three cases occurring simultaneously: Margaret defending a married couple accused of arson and murder, Beverly Crest fighting a lawsuit against a multi-millionaire with Gus as opposing counsel, and Allison facing a judge in traffic court who judges her recent erratic life choices noting, “aren’t you a doctor, what kind of life choices are you making?” This episode is a departure from the series norm, with all of the action unfolding in just one location. This unique setting shift brings a different dynamic to the show, focusing on the characters interacting within a legal setting and allowing for a deeper dive into the character’s vulnerabilities and strengths in handling pressure, ethics and personal connections. Although this new shift in setting is unique, having two cases plus a third discovered in the midst of them by Todd, which I’ll discuss later, was a lot to digest and made it difficult to keep up with what was going on. With a shortened season to work with, it is understandable that the writer’s would want to cram in as much content as possible into every episode. However, they need to find a balance to avoid overwhelming the viewers.


“Your Day in Court” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Inga Schlingmann as Susan and Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret. Photo: Michael Courtney/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Even though the episode was jam packed with content, it did a great job of shining a light on the supporting cast, with characters like Beverly Crest and Gus stepping into the spotlight. Their contributions not only added to the legal proceedings but also served to push the narrative of the show further. During a recess in both trials, Margaret and Gus had their first interaction since he walked away after finding out about Harry’s return. Although he is happy to see her, the mood quickly sours when Harry calls Margaret’s phone. Gus questions why Margaret hasn’t made more of an effort to cut Harry out of her life for good and she is quick to defend herself, stating that Harry is the one to blame for the situation that they are in. The great thing about Gus is that despite his unkempt and chaotic lifestyle, he is extremely intelligent and level-headed. He points out to Margaret that the downfall of a relationship is a two-way street, implying that both parties play a role in its failure, prompting Margaret to re-think what happened between her and Harry.


“Your Day in Court” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret and Jeffrey Nordling as Gus Easton. Photo: Michael Courtney/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Although Beverly finally relented and promoted Margaret to named partner of the firm, she’s not about to make Margaret’s life easy. By assigning Margaret the challenging double murder case, Beverly freed herself up to concentrate on a client valued at $800 million, aiming to secure a significant financial gain for the firm. Beverly is tough, but she is also backhanded and not afraid to do what it takes to get what she wants. She attempts to use Susan as a pawn in her game, by pitting Susan against Margaret, playing into Susan’s insecurities by making her feel like Margaret does not appreciate her and what she brings to the firm. She tempts Susan by telling her that the client in the opposing case is looking for a new attorney, and that if she nails her cross examination in Margaret’s case, she will help her land him as a client. The problem is, Margaret is so preoccupied and frazzled by her last minute case, that she isn’t willing to let Susan take on the cross-examination, even though Susan has done all of the preparation for the case and knows the situation better than Margaret does.

You might be wondering, where does Todd fit into all of this? He is at the courthouse, working his first case for Beverly. While he is meandering in the halls of the building, he uncovers a skimming scam affecting several jurors. He uses Allison, who is stuck at the courthouse without a ride home, to help him uncover who is behind the scam. The two discover that the security guard at the jurors entrance is skimming the phones of the jurors as they check in for the day as part of a big scheme between the guard and his aunt, who happens to be the Bailiff. In a clever twist, the skimming plot manages to intertwine with Margaret’s case, paving the way for Todd to help his mother once again, much to Lyle’s chagrin. Lyle and Todd’s witty banter was back in full force tonight as Lyle expressed his disappointment with Todd’s new P.I. office being housed in the firm. The two managed to put aside their differences in order to use Todd’s discovery to assist Margaret in winning her case, thwarting Beverly’s plan to oust her. This paved the way for Margaret to finally give Susan the recognition she deserves.


“Your Day in Court” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Madeline Wise as Allison Grant and Skylar Astin as Todd Wright. Photo: Michael Courtney/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Beverly and Gus’s trial may have been one of the most ridiculous cases a court has ever seen. Multi-millionaire Lavender Kirk was suing a puppet master, citing that the puppets did irreparable harm to her son, causing him to fear everyday objects and have nightmares. The ridiculous nature of the case did serve up some excellent comedic moments, such as Allison being brought in to testify that the puppets were not alive, thus could not cause emotional damage to a person, and Todd hilariously using one of the puppets to distract his mother’s client so that he could steal her smart watch. The names of the puppets alone were good for a laugh, Amadeus Alligator and Princess Michelephant. In the end, the judge declared a mistrial which was somewhat of a win for Beverly in more ways than one. She almost certainly drove Lavender Kirk to fire Gus as her attorney and hire Crest, Folding and Wright instead.


“Your Day in Court” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Christin Park as Lila Hogan and Skylar Astin as Todd. Photo: Michael Courtney/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

So where do things stand with Gus and Margaret? The two finally communicated about what they need from each other in order for the relationship to work. Although the flirting and whirlwind love making session were fun, the two needed to sit down and be open with one another about what they want and know that they have, hopefully they are on the path to a bright future together.

Although seeing Allison as a shell of her former self has been entertaining, I hope viewers will get to see more of her path to self-discovery, instead of her just existing in a pit of uncertainty. There is a lot of potential here for the writers to shape Allison’s character and I trust that they will do just that, they certainly haven’t let viewers down yet.

Over to you, Todd fans! What did you think of the episode? What do you think Beverly’s motive is? After two episodes with nary a scene together, is there still hope for a relationship between Todd and Susan? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below or engage with me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.


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