The Guardian: Feeding Frenzy

Saturday 12th September 8.00pm

The legal drama starring ‘The Mentalist’ actor Simon Baker continues. Having been arrested for possession of narcotics, disgraced corporate lawyer Nick Fallin (Baker) is sentenced to perform community service representing at-risk children. This week, a mother tries to stop her learning disabled son from being exploited by a drug dealer. Elsewhere, a car accident leaves Jake facing a jail term.

Nick is assigned the case of Malcolm Dempsey, a 25-year-old man with learning difficulties. Malcolm has a job and is living in his own apartment, but his mother, Alice, wants him to move back in with her. “She’s mad at me,” Malcolm says. It transpires that Malcolm is friends with a drug dealer called Freddie Paddock. Alice claims that Freddie is using Malcolm to deliver narcotics, and is seeking guardianship of her son.

During the hearing, Nick argues that Alice has her own motives for wanting her son at home. “I’m sure you could really do with Malcolm’s social-security cheque,” he suggests. Alice is distraught and insists her son is in real danger. “He doesn’t understand what he’s doing,” she pleads. “He just wants to have a friend!” But the judge rules in Nick’s favour and allows Malcolm to continue living by himself.

It seems the lawyer has made an error of judgment, however, when Freddie is shot dead, and Malcolm is seen running out of his apartment. As the prime suspect in the murder investigation, Malcolm now faces a jail term. Alice visits Nick at Fallin and Associates and begs for his help. “You told me that Malcolm was in trouble, not that he was the trouble,” Nick says. “There’s no way he killed Freddie Paddock. It isn’t in him,” Alice insists.

Alvin attempts to reassign Malcolm’s case to a different attorney. “We don’t handle criminal cases,” he says. However, when Nick learns the case will be given to a disreputable lawyer, he resolves to help Malcolm himself. Nick asks his former drug dealer, Colin Bryant, for information about the case. The slimy Bryant says he can put Nick in touch with a possible witness to the murder – but as Nick leaves, the dealer slips a bag of cocaine into his old client’s jacket. In seeking to help Malcolm, will Nick be tempted by his old demons?

Elsewhere, Jake finds himself in serious trouble when he accidentally hits lawyer Frank Furnari with his car while delivering some papers for the firm. “He just bounced off my windshield,” says the distraught attorney. Things look bad for Jake, however, when it emerges that he was using a mobile phone at the time of the accident – and the judge in his trial is keen to make an example of him in a bid to ban the use of cellphones behind the wheel. With Jake already facing a potential jail term, the situation becomes graver still when Burton discovers that the victim’s wife is suing Fallin and Associates over the accident. She claims that Jake was distracted because he was delivering work for the firm.

To avoid jail and retain his law licence, Jake sets out to prove that the victim was responsible for the accident himself. He has a lucky break when he sees an old college friend at the court house who also works at Furnari’s firm. Jake discovers that Furnari was facing fraud charges, and becomes convinced he committed suicide so his family could benefit from a large insurance payout. When Furnari dies from his injuries, Jake is slapped with a homicide charge. Can he persuade Furnari’s wife to exonerate him?

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