Monday, October 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'All Rise' - Lola Takes a Jury to a Crime Scene Where the World Is No Longer Within Her Control in 'A View from the Bus'

CBS' All Rise - Episode 1.04 "A View from the Bus"

When a jury's field trip to a crime scene takes a dramatic turn, Judge Lola Carmichael must determine if the trip she granted helped the defendant or biased the jury. Mark is ready to take down a reputed crime boss, but discovers it's more complicated after he learns that a cop may have tampered with the evidence.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS' All Rise.

"A View from the Bus" was written by Aaron Carter and directed by Bronwen Hughes

Being a judge can be absolutely agonizing. That's the viewpoint from which Lola seems to be operating at the moment. She feels the responsibility and burden on herself all the time. Every single decision she makes will have a direct impact on someone's life. The defendants who enter her courtroom are expecting the system to be unbiased and professional. She feels the pressure to hold herself to the highest standards possible to ensure that there isn't any doubt in anyone's minds about the decisions she makes. And yet, she is prone to second-guessing herself. She isn't sure if she has made the right calls. Sometimes, it's easy to say "overruled" and "sustained." The calls that she makes when the defense attorney and prosecutor are examining witnesses on the stand are heat-of-the-moment decisions that everyone immediately has to respect. She has full confidence in her ability to do that part of the job. But she also feels like she is shaking up the system. She is issuing justice in a way that may alienate her from the other judges in this courthouse. She hasn't become friends with them. Judge Benner appears to be the only one she has conversations with. She can provide a valuable insight into the decisions that have to be made because she also knows what it feels like to be on the bench making these life-or-death choices. Sure, that hasn't always created an entertaining or meaty role for Marg Helgenberger to play. She is mostly just skeptical at everything Lola does while still coming across as the keeper of wisdom who can offer advice whenever it is necessary. Lola sees the value in taking the jury to the scene of the crime. It can actually help the logistics of the night in question play better. It helps inform them of just how reasonable the defense's argument can truly be. It's scary because the defendant is facing a murder charge. He didn't pull the trigger. He just drove the getaway car. He didn't know that his friend had just killed his drug dealer. That's the extent of his defense. He didn't hear the gunshots. He didn't know what happened until he was arrested. He has been waiting for his day in court. That wait has been so destructive to his life though. He may have dropped out of school before all of this occurred. But he still saw himself as a student with a bright future ahead of him. He shouldn't be defined by the foolish mistakes of his past. And yet, that can quickly create a damning case against him. The racial dynamics of this world continue to be boldly on display as well. The fact that the defendant is black means that there are several moments where members of the jury fear him despite all of the evidence that should be able to exonerate him completely. That is so tricky. The system may not be fair. And yet, it's what Lola and the attorneys have to work within. It's their job to find justice. It doesn't always go their way. It works out for Emily's client. He is able to walk out of the courthouse doors as a free man. He can start his life over once more without the burden of this hanging over him. That is absolutely freeing to him. It energizes Emily as well. But it was still a case full of stress and anxiety for the players involved. That included Lola who never knew if she was making the right decision because things kept going awry due to outside factors. And yet, she has a good day. That stands in contrast to Mark's day where he had to let a guilty man walk free simply because the lead detective falsified the evidence that led to a surveillance warrant. It's unsurprising that Detective Leyland's shady tactics return to the narrative. Lola did issue her a warning in the premiere. But it may not need to be revisited any further. If so, it may just need to clarify whether or not the police actually did the right thing by admonishing one of their own.