January 13, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Previously… on THE FIRM:  Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas), having relocated with his family to the Canadian part of Washington DC, 10 years after the events in the book and movie, has associated his scrappy small practice with a new but equally evil big firm that’s particularly interested in him because of an accused murderer he’s representing.  Also, the son of the Memphis gangster he brought down 10 years ago is on his trail.

Episode 2:  Like the pilot, the 2d episode spent very little time on the continuing storyline.  The show is apparently going to ape the structure of Damages, with an overexposed flashforward sequence at the very beginning and end of each episode bookending the main action, which in this case took place 5 weeks earlier.  Those scenes, and a single sequence in the body of the show, concerned the new murder case; there was no mention at all of the gangster’s son.  
This left the vast majority of the episode for the case of the week, which was both ludicrous and boring.  The son of a wealthy client was accused of having something to do with the disappearance of his girlfriend, and it turned out he really had (accidentally) killed her–but before Mitch could convince him to confess, a serial killer who had forgotten he didn’t kill the girl (no, really) said that he’d done it.  Mitch, in a breathtaking conflict of interest, represented both men.  Initially, he had the serial killer freed because he knew the man didn’t kill his other client’s girlfriend, then had him arrested again when he (Mitch) discovered the bodies of the woman the man had killed.  As with the pilot, series creator Lukas Reiter bears responsibility for this script.
Oh, and little McDeere told her teacher mom that another girl in the class was cheating, and mom figured out how to punish the girl without letting her know the daughter had ratted on her by making her tutor other children.  So there was that.
The Firm continues to be implausibly bad in every way–visually cheap, dramatically colorless, and lacking in any characterization or absorbing continuing story.  NBC would be better off airing the low-cost license agreement for the series than the show itself.
ORIGINAL VERDICT:  Change The Channel
PILOT + 1:  Read a Grisham Book 


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."