to the Message BoardCoffeerooms Ally McBeal

"Pursuit of Loneliness"
February 21st 2000
by Papa C

episode photos

The show begins with Ally entering her favorite coffee shop, and the guy who makes her cappucino (barrista) asks her out. She is not particularly polite about declining, and he persists, and even kisses her. He apologizes, but says his ex always told him he was a good kisser so he thought he should put his best foot forward. Ally dumps her cappucino over his head and tells him his ex lied.

Back at the unisex, Ally tells Nelle about this. She commiserates, adding that there's nothing worse than being hit on by the Little People. John comes out of a stall and is appalled. Nelle adds that she didn't mean short people, but people on a lower rank of the social class. John is still appalled. He inquires if she would date him if he were a janitor, and she says no.

In the conference room, Ally, John and Richard are representing a client being sued for alimony by his ex-wife, who is represented by Georgia. Although Massachusetts is a no-fault state, Cage and Fish take the argument that the marriage itself was fraudulent: the woman had not told him she is a lesbian. He loved her and is the injured party.

Ally meets the barrista again, and he says he has forgiven her and still wants to go out with her. [Why?] She is annoyed and says she may have to report him to the manager. He explains that he is the manager and owner - in fact, he owns three chains. Her expression softens, and he catches her: aha, that makes a difference! She dumps her cappucino over his head again, and leaves.

Their case goes before three judges, one of whom is - tada - Hammond, the coffee shop owner. He immediately explains to the entire room that he twice asked out Ally and she dumped coffee on him: does either side have a problem with his presiding? Georgia certainly doesn't! John tells Ally he is the most moderate and they need him, so she says she has no problem with it, either. She presents their side, and Hammond immediately starts tearing apart her argument: why is the marriage any less valid than if she were heterosexual, but not genuinely attracted to him? What would their claim be if she were bisexual and not heterosexual? People marry for reasons other than attraction. Ally gets flustered and can't respond, and Hammond immediately rules that Georgia's side wins.

Ally comes into Hammond's chambers after the case and immediately lashes into him, with her usual lack of self-restraint. He charges her with contempt and has her thrown into jail for calling him a pig.

While all this is going on, Billy has been back at the office making a play for Sandy, his secretary. She tells him she would have to be an idiot to get involved with him: he's her boss, he's just been through a divorce (just got the papers), and he's a card-carrying male chauvinist pig [have to stop typing and applaud for a second]. But then, he kisses her and she doesn't stop him.

Later on, John and Nelle are still arguing about her "snobbiness". She says she's no worse than he is: sure he'd date a janitor, if she were good-looking! She says John was interested in her before he ever got to know her, based on her looks. She wants a man who has ambition, yes.

Ally is given a chance to apologize to the judge, and refuses. He sentences her to community service: making cappucinos at his shop! [huh?!]. While they're there, Sandy comes in, clearly upset. Ally talks to her, and while she's flabbergasted when she discovers that the guy Sandy is pondering is Billy, she tells her that if there's any chance Billy is the right guy, Sandy has to find out. Hammond overhears this. He and Ally have fun and he walks her home. He asks her out again, and she accepts. But then he tells her he should make something clear: he is bisexual. She is surprised.

The next day at the office, she and Elaine are talking about this new information. Elaine says it wouldn't bother her. It does bother Ally. They look up and see that Hammond is in the room with them. She admits to him she doesn't want to go out with him because he's bisexual. She isn't interesting in dating - when she goes out with someone, she's auditioning him for a husband, and she'd rather stop their relationship now. He says she is a bigot, and she admits that maybe she is. She does associate promiscuity with bisexuality. She admits she'd rather not have to worry about her husband taking their son to a baseball game and checking out the players' tushes, or other children laughing at her children. She also worries about disease, and she worries that she wouldn't be able to satisfy all a bisexual man's needs. He is angry, and says that when someone marries, they promise to be faithful, period. And her heterosexual husband would be just as likely to be checking out female basketball players' assets. He leaves in a huff.

She thinks about her advice to Sandy some more, and figures that, if there's any chance he's Mr. Right, she should investigate it. She goes back to the coffeeshop to apologize, but she just can't shake the image of him kissing another man or lying in bed with another man from her mind. She apologizes for being this way, but she tells him goodbye.

Back at the office, Sandy tells Billy that if they're going to try this out, there are a few rules: no affection at the office, no affecting her job, etc. He agrees but then they immediately start necking, and Richard and John walk in. Cat's out of the bag!

Previews for next week: If I put together the pieces correctly, Ally and Elaine are auditioning for a dance contest, the winners of which get to meet Tina Turner. Tina will be guesting.

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