Harry's Law Review: Where's the Direction?

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Harry's Law made a valiant effort to start 2012 off right, but "Gorilla My Dreams" wasn't the best way to achieve that goal.

Between Harry and Tommy's attempt to legally qualify a gorilla as a person, and Cassie and Adam's fervent defense of a vigilante Wonder Woman avenging the domestically abused, it was hard to see through to the bigger picture of the episode.

I mean... I have yet to determine what that bigger picture was.

Erica Durance on Harry's Law

It's clear that consistency in the writers' room is a luxury that Harry's Law does not enjoy. From episode to episode it seems that different characters get emphasized and increasingly more random cases become focal points.

As an Ohioan, I can appreciate that David E. Kelley and company felt it necessary to flagrantly point out the states' rather poor handling of the exotic animal escape that made national headlines last fall, but to then connect that to this heavy storyline about personhood was too much.

I never saw the Planet of the Apes movie franchise, but I can imagine that this storyline was the highlights version of that series lacking some details.

There is also the issue of Harry and Tommy's sudden attachment to Wentworth. I didn't understand it, nor was it explained to me. Suddenly Harry and Tommy developed some kind of kinship with the gorilla?!? I expected Harry to give the girl a hard time about it, but that simply wasn't the case.

Then we go from an escaped gorilla to a severely traumatized former classmate of Adam's that exacts revenge on abusive husbands and boyfriends under the guise of Wonder Woman, a psychological response to her own horrible abuse by her former husband.

While the psychology lesson embedded in this episode was enlightening, it also felt overused and sincerely forced.

I am sure this episode will get a boost in the ratings simply because it featured the Smallville-faithful fan favorite, Erica Durance. She deserves an award for playing someone who is the complete opposite of the bubble-gum happy Lois Lane. It was pretty powerful and I wished she had gotten more screen time and more background.

This felt especially necessary to make the connection between Annie Bilson and Adam, which barely made its way into the episode.

There is a severe lack of foundation taking place in this season of Harry's Law. Everything appears out of the blue, from characters to relationships. It gets exhausting to try and keep it all straight.

Harry's Law is in desperate need of storytelling and depth. It sacrifices character depth for the depth of the case message. While I recognize the prerogative of the writers of this show to turn everything into a social issue, this show cannot and should not be expected to hold its own on this premises alone.

This series is more than capable of building deep and convincing character development while still achieving its social issues agenda in the courtroom.

I just wish they would pursue this course of action before this show becomes another NBC cancellation. It is dripping with potential. I am desperate for the show to own and capitalize on it!

What did you think of this week's episode? Sound off below!


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (105 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


The topics were so farfetched, I turned off the episode and didn't finish watching it.


The writers have gone completely off in a bad direction. I loved the first season. I now watch only the first few minutes in order to see if they could possibly find their way back on the tract of the first season. No such luck.I liked the old shoe store front office and a story that full-filled the reason for leaving the large law firm in the first place.


Was the gorilla real? I say yes, and my husband says no. I thought the subject matter was very compelling.


I too agree the first season was way promising and should have stayed in that format for at least two seasons. NBC has needed a strong character orented series since 'West Wing' and sadly the independent networks have really come through...The Closer and more. This episode worked for me in that two issues based on cruelty were explored. Domestic violence is rarely talked about by the media unless a death occurs and animal cruelty in various forms is very present in our country. Good bad or indifferent to the production..this one made me think after the show...and to write this.


Because I am passionate about animals and how awful humans treat them, I was hesitant to finish watching the episode. But I persevered in hopes that something good would actually come for the gorilla. However, pursuing "personalization" for him was a real ball drop, in my opinion. At the very least, they should have pushed for a better option than comparing him to aliens and property and then just sticking him back in the zoo. Zoos are deplorable, awful and selfish places to keep our precious animals. Using animals for human entertainment is just plain wrong. Gorillas and other primates are more intelligent than the average human idiot roaming this planet freely. I was extremely disappointed in this episode and I had bad dreams from the sad look in the gorilla's eyes in the end. Shame, shame, shame on this episode, zoos, and humans in general.


I miss the first season too - and the characters - and what happened to the lawyer that Adam decided he was definitely in love with? And why do they still have a designer shoe on the logo when they aren't a storefront lawyer/shoe store anymore? Where's the grit? Where's the continuity? I am a big Kathy Bates fan (hey, my birth name is Bates, no relation). But I miss the old days of not that long ago.


Only Wonderwoman was real!! Ha!


The gorilla was a puppet. Run by 4 puppeteers... read the credits...


Part of the reason I enjoy series by David E. Kelley is because they are so quirky and at the same time have a message that can be pretty deep. One never knows quite what to expect and IMO that's a plus. I don't think there will ever be a viable case involving something as ridiculous as a person dressing up as a super hero and delivering vigilante justice. However, the issue being addressed is real and the fact that so many scumbags get away with chronic domestic abuse makes it seem as though only a vigilante/superhero can deliver the justice that so many victims need and just aren't granted by the legal system.


The actress who played Wonder Woman did an amazing job. I was moved by the gorilla plot, and I can't understand how a certain fan didn't understand why the lawyers became so sympathetic to it. Did she actually watch the scenes or was she just listening while she was doing something else, I wonder.
This plot was also very timely as this issue is very much in the news.
In previous episodes Kathy Bates seemed quite ill with a bad cold. Although she is over it, when I watched this episode I began to worry about her health in general and hope she is taking care of herself. I love the feisty but sympathetic character of Harry that she portrays.

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Harry's Law Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

We are going to fight....fight for you...and everything is going to be ok.

Tommy [to Wentworth]

Oliver: Drinks later?
Oliver: She could take you...