All Rise season 2, episode 9 recap – “Safe to Fall”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 23, 2021 (Last updated: November 4, 2023)
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All Rise season 2, episode 9 recap - "Safe to Fall"


A sensitive case dominates “Safe to Fall” as Emily and Sam square off for the first time and Mark finds himself in a pickle.

This recap of All Rise season 2, episode 9, “Safe to Fall”, contains spoilers.

“Safe to Fall” revolved almost entirely around one big case, and the episode was smart to give it so much room. It was a complicated affair on its own terms, a question of whether a man who had stabbed his own father was mentally ill, but it also had knock-on effects for several of the show’s existing relationships and dynamics. Emily was defending the accused, as ever, but in a change of pace, Sam was leading the prosecution. This naturally brought her current relationship with Luke to the fore, going directly against his ex, especially when Luke kept cautioning her not to underestimate Emily rather than congratulating her on her successes during the trial.

Of course, there was a bit more going on elsewhere too. With Judge Laski now gone, and his deer head missing, Lola’s prized photograph of Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura has been kidnapped as petty vengeance, which Sherri is keeping quiet. And Mark has two issues to deal with on top of the deer head theft. The first is that his case against the police force seems to have turned the whole system against him, and his efforts to get his old mentor Tony Carver (Steven Williams) back into the DDA’s office are being stymied for reasons he doesn’t understand. On top of that, his ex, Rachel, has temporarily moved in with him and Amy, making things terribly awkward around the house – and that’s before she plants a kiss on him.

With all this going on, it’s a wonder that All Rise season 2, episode 9 was able to make enough time for the main case, but it felt well-served to me. Of particular note was the perception of mental illness within Latin communities; the accused, Alfredo (Andrew Matarazzo), displays symptoms of schizophrenia, which it turns out his grandmother also had, but his father, Javier (Juan Carlos Cantu) is loathe to admit it lest he relives the pain of seeing someone else he loves being shunted from hospital to hospital without receiving help. This hits home for Emily, who is not only from a similar background but is also undergoing therapy herself to help heal the trauma of her abusive marriage. As she explains to Joaquin towards the end of “Safe to Fall”, she told her traditionalist father that she got divorced because she didn’t want kids. Admitting weakness and asking for help is just not the done thing among the community, and it’s something that Emily is quick to point out to lily-white Sam when the topic comes up.

Of course, Sam has points of her own, including testimony from Alfredo’s sister, Eva (Daniela Nieves), that he was high on drugs and is perfectly lucid most of the time. This is also her first big case, and she’s desperate to prove herself, both professionally and to Luke, especially by getting one over Emily, who it’s clear he still has feelings for. Of course, this being All Rise, the more compassionate outcome is the one that the show runs with, and once Javier takes the stand and reveals the family’s history of mental illness, that’s enough for Sam to concede and offer Alfredo the chance to be cared for rather than imprisoned. But in the process, she realizes that her relationship with Luke isn’t working, in large part due to his lack of commitment, which doubtlessly stems from his lingering feelings for Emily. All Rise season 2, episode 9 brings that fling to an end just as it seems to solidify both Mark and Amy, and Emily and Joaquin. But after Mark’s kiss with Rachel and whatever’s going on with Luke and Emily, there’s going to be trouble in paradise, isn’t there?

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