Bull Season 2 Episode 22 Review: Death Sentence

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For weeks we've known that Jason Bull has been struggling. Drinking too much, eating too much, and not sleeping enough. His relationship with his team, and specifically Marissa, has been strained of late.

So I was expecting Jason to hit the edge of the cliff at the end of this slippery slope on which he's been sliding. 

With all of that, I assumed Bull Season 2 Episode 22 would be a more emotional season finale. 

Surviving the Case - Bull Season 2 Episode 22

Not that it was bad by any means, but I wanted more drama. 

The problem came when I read the episode description, and it gave away that Elliot would be found guilty of murder. I know we learned the verdict at the very beginning of the hour, but it would have been more fun to get blindsided by it.

I appreciated the TAC team's frustration. As Chunk pointed out, were they supposed to try and hunt down an elusive serial killer to prove Elliot innocent and overturn the conviction, or were they going to put their energies towards prepping him for the penalty phase of the trial so that he could avoid being sentenced to death?

Bull said both, and I doubted that it was possible, but the TAC team proved me wrong. 

What was compelling was that the TAC team doesn't usually take on this type of a challenge. They are used to manipulating a jury's perceptions of the facts leading them to find a client not guilty. 

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When it came to deciding whether to end someone's life, that was a decision generally based on pure emotion, and Marissa had no algorithm for that. 

When the victim's daughter took the stand and read her statement, I thought Elliot was done . After listening to her overwhelmingly powerful and heart wrenching testimony, I was ready to issue the death penalty against Elliot.

The moment Cable mentioned finding the receipt for cigarettes in the vehicle, I was yelling at my screen about time stamps and in-store cameras. 

Now, the truth is that a trial for murder takes place months, sometimes years, after the actual crime, so the odds of the store still having that footage might be slim in real life, but this is TV, and I'm willing to go with it. 

That Cable, Danny and the rest of the team were able to whittle the facial recognition list from 172 possible suspects down to eight was amazing. 

Then we got to listen to Bull analyze those eight down to one murderous psychopath in this Bull quote...

Psychopaths can be superficially charming. Even those closest to them may not know that their relationship isn't built on any real feeling. Here, look at this guy. Psychopaths tend to be internet trolls, bullies.

Bull

To be honest, as Marissa stared at Bull while he spoke, I wasn't sure if she was admiring the way his mind worked or wondering if he was a psychopath and she had been the one being conned by his charm. 

Thankfully it was the former because the latter could have led us down a very dark path. 

Hard Truths - Bull

Speaking of Marissa, her therapy was a bit anticlimactic. We were only graced with clips of conversation, and then she was writing her resignation letter.

Even the letter sounded odd. Marissa was unhappy because she loved her job, and working with Jason so much, that it took up too much of her life and she had to leave. 

I sort of understood that she needed more in her life than bringing Jason clean suits and being his right-hand woman, but it sounded strange for someone to resign from a position they admittedly loved.

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I also hated that she took the letter back before Jason saw it. That letter could have been a catalyst for more open conversation between them. Instead, Bull may have no idea that Marissa had one foot out the door and where's the turmoil in that? 

Chunk's skirmishes with his professor finally came to a head when Prof. Jameson was brought in as an expert witness, although I found his testimony a little odd. I thought he was a law professor, but his testimony was more about psychology. 

Either way, I thought Chunk handled himself well...

Mr. Jameson, look, I'm sure the thought of working with me is highly unsettling to you, and I cannot lie, the idea of spending my next half hour with you is not setting my heart aflutter, but the truth is, you're getting paid and so am I. More importantly, your testimony is crucial to our case and to our client.

Chunk

I did have one question. If the professor was willing to invite Chunk to lecture about trial science, was he also willing to change his failing grade?

Benny was once again a standout. He took the heat from the judge while doing everything in his power to defend his client. He kept his cool while being levied a contempt of court charge and a $5,000 fine. 

Most importantly, he remembered to thank everyone on the TAC team for their hard work as Bull ran out the door. 

My biggest disappointments for this installment were twofold. 

Surviving the Case - Bull Season 2 Episode 22

First, we never came face to face with the real killer. We got a name and a fuzzy photo, and Bull spoke with his wife, but none of that felt as satisfying as actually seeing a confrontation with the man who caused so much trauma. 

The second was that Bull's demeanor and arm pain telegraphed the heart attack that was to come. The moment Jason Bull walked out of that courtroom, I knew someone was going to have to call an ambulance. 

As much as I enjoy being right about predicting a story, I enjoy it much more when it's able to surprise me. 

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I did have to chuckle as Bull lay on the concrete and had to call his own ambulance. With no dramatic fall to draw attention to himself, all of those New Yorkers just thought he was some strange guy lying on the steps. They were going to avoid him at all cost.

I suppose Jason Bull having a heart attack should feel like more of a cliffhanger, but let's face it. Jason Bull is the main character of a show titled Bull. The odds of him dying are none and none. 

Hopefully, this health crisis will bring about shake-ups for Bull season 3, but we'll have to wait to find out exactly what those might be.

Thank you, TV Fanatics, for taking this ride through Bull Season 2 with me. Was this season finale all that you had hoped?

Until next fall, you can watch Bull online any time here at TV Fanatic. 

Death Sentence Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

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

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Bull Season 2 Episode 22 Quotes

You were right, I'm no good alone.

Bull

Now here's a crazy thought, the person who sent this to you knows who the real killer is and doesn't want to see an innocent man die for something he didn't do.

Bull