Trial and Error: Season 1, Episodes 7 and 8 “Chapter 7: The Case Gets Bigger” and “Chapter 8: A Change in Defense” (B+)
Larry has been going on about how the cable guy never showed up since this show first started, and it’s a wonder that no one has thought of looking into that angle. The arrival of Josh’s boss Howard Mankiewicz, played by Fred Melamed, recently seen on “Casual,” prompted Josh and his team to look into that, but the bigshot lawyer himself dismissed its relevance entirely, looking to bargain down Larry’s sentence with an insanity plea and some Hamilton tickets for the judge. Inviting literally everyone except for Josh to the meeting wasn’t a great start in terms of their relationship, and it was great to see Josh step up his game and go straight to Carol Anne to negotiate with her since he knew that she wanted to make sure he got the death penalty. I love the interactions that Josh and Carol Anne have, highlighted by her repeated question about what he would have done if he had walked in to find her in the bath. Summer’s outdoor boyfriend whose blue soda Larry admitted to drinking was an entertaining subplot, as was her incredibly awkward accidental confession of love and subsequent worse attempt to make it better. Summer switching sides after she realized that Carol Anne was manipulating her was an endearing development, and being happy to not be recognized by Anne was a sign of what represents a victory on this show. Howard’s quote about reasonable doubt requiring reasonable people was extremely fitting, especially for a town where pumpkins are the third industry after tobacco and book-burning. John Lithgow’s delivery of “I don’t want the best, I want you” was also completely perfect.