All Rise season 2, episode 5 recap – “The Perils of the Plea”

December 15, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“The Perils of the Plea” finally returns a jury to the courtroom, but it perhaps does more harm than good as Christmas looms large for everyone.

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3.5

Summary

“The Perils of the Plea” finally returns a jury to the courtroom, but it perhaps does more harm than good as Christmas looms large for everyone.

This recap of All Rise season 2, episode 5, “The Perils of the Plea”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


With the obligatory Christmas party on the horizon, All Rise’s seasonal finale “The Perils of the Plea” finally reintroduces a jury back into the courtroom, albeit by video feed, and by episode’s end kind of wishes that it didn’t. These, though, are the perils of the justice system, and indeed the source of the episode’s title. Not every story gets a happy ending, which is certainly true in life, and sometimes, to reflect that has to be true on TV.

Enter, then, Leon, who is accused of non-fatally shooting a man who blew a kiss at his daughter. His case is open-and-shut, but really, is there any such thing? Emily, who’s representing him, knows that better than anyone, which is why she spends so much time trying to talk him out of testifying in person. He wants to say his piece, to defend himself, to prove his innocence and get back home to his family, but Emily knows that isn’t how it works – the prosecution can tear even an honest man apart, and a jury can be swayed. It isn’t worth the risk.

But is it worth living with the reality that you didn’t do everything you could? That’s Leon’s justification. And it’s why Emily ultimately lets him take the stand. Naturally, he doesn’t fare well. Throughout the trial, the jury keeps positing questions to Lola that she has to answer frankly, but that also worry her. Are they looking at the facts correctly? Are they letting biases influence their decision-making? If it were up to her, Leon would have already been ruled not guilty. But, for once, it isn’t up to her.

Because of this Lola advises that Leon take the plea deal, which means six years in prison and officially being a felon. Too afraid of what might happen if he doesn’t, he takes the deal. At the end of the episode, Ness finds the juror’s note confirming the verdict. They found him not guilty.

Blimey, that’s morbid, isn’t it? “The Perils of the Plea” is making a strong point, though, that simply being innocent isn’t always enough. The justice system is a complex, flawed thing, and even the best of intentions can sometimes result in a bad decision. Lola made a judgment call, and so did Emily, and so did Leon. This stuff happens all the time.

In light of this compelling throughline, everything else in the episode feels a bit peripheral. It’s difficult to care why Amy has such a problem with Christmas, or about Emily’s relationship with Joaquin, or Emily and Sara having a spat about social politics. But these things do help to add texture to the show’s characters. It’s nice to see Roxy again, too, and the subtle differences in her relationship with Lola now that she’s pregnant are interesting.

But what’s perhaps most interesting is that Callan’s case against the sheriffs is looking to be a season-long affair – a kind of serialization that we didn’t really see in the show’s first outing. The only downside to that is how it keeps him away from the case-of-the-week format since it was always fun to see him in court. But I’m intrigued by where All Rise is going with this, even if it’ll take a while to get there.


Thanks for reading our recap of All Rise season 2, episode 5, “The Perils of the Plea”. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

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