Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Franklin & Bash: Captain Johnny Review


A Parroty of Lawyers...

At least with Captain Johnny, we didn't get a repeat of Franklin & Bash's last season where a great episode was followed by a lousy one.  No, Captain Johnny was not a great episode (the actions of Jared and Peter still makes one wonder how anyone could consider them competent lawyers, let alone the brilliant and clever attorneys everyone insists they are) and there are still questions of logic.  However, Captain Johnny at least didn't completely embarrass the cast and crew of F&B, so that's a plus. 

There's a competition between the team of Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and their boss/nemesis, Rachel King (Heather Locklear) and Damien Karp (Reed Diamond).  Both of them have high-profile cases that will draw attention to the firm, but only one will be able to use their case to draw positive press for Infeld, Daniels, and King.

Franklin & Bash's case involves Captain Johnny (Matt Battaglia).  His case involves a rescue at sea that cost the county a great deal of money.  The Captain, however, insists he didn't need rescuing and that the distress call was made in an effort to drive him out of business by having him lose his ship, which combined with the reimbursement costs would break him.  Fortunately, the Captain has his nephew Gino (Eric Balfour), a surfer/Fish & Wildlife Inspector, who brought the case to our boys as part of a deal after he beat Bash out for a good wave..

The King & Karp case (one K short of bigotry), involves Juliette Morano (Fernanda Andrade), recently fired from her job due to what was dubbed her 'erratic behavior'.  Morano insists the real reason she was fired was because she is psychic, and sensed a disturbance in The Force from Bryan (Roy Abramsohn), her boss who now has taken over her clients.

As a side note, I'm surprised Damien made no comments about "the disturbance in The Force"...even he has to be a fan of Star Wars.   Yet I digress.

In the F&B case, they up the ante by making the case into one of piracy, the first such case in the U.S. in a couple of centuries.  Their case if bolstered by the fact that the High-Line Company, long a thorn in Captain Johnny's side, has acquired his boat after years of wrangling with this solitary fisherman.  The boys suspect that a curious sound within the distress call (and the lack of sounds as well) may mean the call was not made by a passing ship, but on dry land.

A parrot comes into the picture, leading to the ultimate conclusion.

In the K&K case, Juliette does herself no favor by assaulting a former co-worker with pepper spray because she sensed he was going to assault her.  Karp is dismissive of Juliette's psychic powers but King, not as closed-minded, finds with the help of F&B's investigator Carmen (Dana Davis) is able to win the case (and that perhaps in the strangest teasers, Juliette finds that she sees Karp in jail, Rachel wearing some kind of crown, and something with Bash but that is unrevealed.

So who won the bet?  Who do you think?

Maybe by now we should not expect logic to enter in a Franklin & Bash episode.  Certainly Captain Johnny is no exception, filled with flat-out bizarre situations that would never be accepted in the real world.  Let's make a list of things in the episode that would never happen in the world you and I live in,

Two supposedly brilliant lawyers would never put their client on a revolving chair that simulates a storm-tossed ship when said client is clearly hung over.

A judge would not merely shrug when said defendant showed up late and clearly hung over.

The boss would never agree to allow her employees to arrive late merely to catch waves (might that not upset the other employees to see these two dimwits get special breaks).

A Fish & Wildlife employee would never risk his job to let a couple of lawyers come into an inspection to steal a parrot.

The boss would never have ruled against herself on a bet (which I think only coddles our attorneys).

In a bet where one of the participants is also the judge of the winner, the other party would have objected and asked for an independent ruling.

A co-counsel would never be told he was going to begin opening arguments mere seconds before going to trial (which makes Rachel King look just as nutty as everyone else in Stanton, Infeld, & King). 

Still, since when has logic ever stopped Franklin & Bash or Franklin & Bash?

Captain Johnny also shows Jared and Peter to be remarkably short-sighted, even stupid.  They are making a bet with their boss that they might win, so what do they ask for should they come out on top?  Do they, say for example, ask to have the wall between their offices that they hate so much taken down?  NO...instead, they ask to come in at 10 a.m. so as to catch some good waves (odd, especially since we have never actually SEEN Franklin or Bash actually surf).  Worse, the fact that King allowed them to win is just bad precedent.

A rational person would have said, "It's your job to show up on time, you can't just shirk your responsibilities to the firm because you feel like it, and you're coming in on time because otherwise, I'll fire you."  How could we root for two guys who are this selfish, self-centered, and irresponsible?

In another bit that makes these two look like imbeciles, while discussing the merits of taking on the fishing case, Bash points out the importance of fisherman.  "Jesus was a fisherman," he proudly points out.  "Carpenter," Franklin whispers (in a rare moment when Franklin is the smarter of the two). 

What saves Captain Johnny are some bits that show that Rachel King is actually a rational person.  She is the only one to use Investigator Carmen in a clever way.  Davis, though her part was small, at least showed that of all the characters on the show, she is the most intelligent because her character is called on to be intelligent.  One can question in Nicki Renna and Matt McGuinness' script how a bit of in-house gossip can lead to a major revelation, but at least Carmen is seen doing something.

We also get good bits of comedy (and that's what Franklin & Bash really is).  When Carmen first comes in to see Rachel, Karp has a dry introduction for her.  "She's with the Franklin and the Bash," he says.  John Ratzenberger's turn as a judge has a droll humor.  When being advised that the boys want to make this a piracy case, Judge Reid says, "Pirates.  Like Errol Flynn."  Even Rachel gets in on the act.  When Juliette sees a crown on her head, a disbelieving Karp asks if she's some sort of secret royalty.  "I'm Princess Calisia of House Tarkerian," she snaps. 

Was that a little Dune reference, perhaps?

Where Captain Johnny failed was in certain aspects of the main story.  If the parrot is a major clue, how was it that the parrot either never bothered the witness or no one at High-Line ever noticed that the parrot bothered the witness?  Another thing I can think of is, if the wager was that should Franklin & Bash lose, they would have to show up at 8 a.m., does that mean their lateness has been excused or overlooked all this time? 

Couch Potato Head...

Further, the subplot involving Pindar (Kumail Nanjiani) and Rob Lowe's couch is just hideous.  He has an irrational fear of the coach, and then he appears desperate to hold on to it.  The fact that Pindar has been reduced to being the annoying lunatic in a house full of lunatics does not help his case.

I understand Nanjiani is a Doctor Who fan (or perhaps, NuWho).  I wish he would watch Terror of the Autons, and that we find out the couch is made of plastic...

There are moments of good comedy in Captain Johnny, but having Jared and Peter get their way again despite the consequences (attention IDK staff, our two himbo lawyers will be coming in at 10 due to a bet I had against them that I judged, and no bonuses this year too) and we're getting teasers about poor Karp from a psychic, which shows that fortune tellers has something on the lawyers. 

Despite the show's best efforts, it is beginning to look like Franklin & Bash's ship has sailed...


Next Episode: By the Numbers

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