Monday, October 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'All Rise' - Lola Refuses to Let Court Fines Destroy a Man's Life in 'Devotees in the Courthouse of Love'

CBS' All Rise - Episode 1.05 "Devotees in the Courthouse of Love"

Lola officiates her first nuptials on "Wedding Day," an annual event when couples flock to the Hall of Justice to be married free of charge. Lola and Emily are torn between civil laws and the laws of a higher power when it seems they must allow Phoebe, a nun with a shady past, to go to prison for a criminal act against the church that she believes is morally right.

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.

"Devotees in the Courthouse of Love" was written by Shernold Edwards and directed by Michael M. Robin

Judges can't be oblivious to the details of their rulings. They need to be considerate about each decision knowing that it will have a serious impact on someone's life. Sherri celebrates Wedding Day because it's a happy occassion in a place where the people are so often experiencing the worst moments of their lives. But it also presents as a system set up to avoid any true reflection on the institution. Lola struggles to get the precise details about how much court fines actually are. When she issues her ruling early on, it's nothing to just say those words. But it's also her duty to know just how much debt she has instantly crippled this man with. A $500 fine is tripled because that's the way that the system is set up. The judicial process is paid for on the backs of the defendants who have a right to have their day in court. This man may be representing himself but he needs the understanding that the system is judging him fairly and with all the consideration his case deserves. It may be a minefield for Lola to go outside of her courtroom and through the public areas of this building. She could easily be confronted by someone who pushs back against a ruling she has issued. She could also run into someone whose case could land in her courtroom at any moment in time. It's written off as not a big deal whatsoever when she and Emily have a conversation in the bathroom. It may not impact their ongoing case where a nun is accussed of stealing from the church collection. It's simply used to showcase the bonds amongst the main characters and how they are all essentially rooting for each other to succeed in this system. Lola set out to make things better. She will give everyone a fair chance at justice in her courtroom. She will ensure that only the people who deserve to be punished will be sentenced to it. She won't allow people to incriminate themselves because they aren't fully aware of all the details of the law in question. It's her responsibility to look after everyone's best interests. That is a daunting task. It may burn her out quickly. Her passion may fade over time. Then, the system is at risk of becoming a routine process moving through these cases as quickly as possible not caring what happens to the people on the other side of the decisions. Lola sees her role on the bench as valid and crucial. She is making a difference in people's lives. That should be celebrated. But again, not everyone is going to agree with her decisions. Sure, the confrontation in the hallway is a little startling because the audience has no real understanding of the case. Lola is thrown by it too. It's too random and disconnected. It highlights the severity of a public building like this. There is the sense that the system may be rigged against people. Some will just always suffer. More time is spent on prosecuting cases with a personal bent or bias to them. The legal system can be incredibly silly. Sometimes the reward comes from knowing Mark can simply call the fanciest restaurants in town and tell them to refuse service to the defendant in his case. That's the only victory he can get right now. That feels like justice for him. Meanwhile, Judge Benner is devastated that she is dumped on Wedding Day. It means she's not in the right headspace for all of this love right now. But she still has to rally together because it's her responsibility to be impartial. Her job provides a vital service to the community. She fought for what she believed in and won. It's joyous to see all couples celebrated and welcomed on this day. Lola gets in on the love as well. All of this continues to paint a stark portrait of such a complicated system. One that has the ability to do so much joy while also being prone to bad actors and corruption. It's a perilous time for the system with Lola and her colleagues presenting as the beam of hope to make everything feel like it concludes with the exact justice each case deserves.