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I Will Survive
April 17th 2000
by Papa C

episode photos

A new attorney joins the firm: Mark Albert. Richard introduces him and assigns him to a murder case which Ally and Ling are on. No one welcomes him, and Ally rudely accuses Richard of trying to buy them a "new puppy" now that Billy is dead. Nevertheless, Richard wants him on this case, despite Ally and Ling's protests; Mark has experience with criminal law.

Their case involves a middle-aged woman who walked in on her husband and his female physical therapist making whoopee in the couple's bedroom. She hit him with his own prosthetic leg until he was bloody, and then tripped him as he fled, causing him to fall downstairs, which killed him. Ling advises her to try to cry, and tells her exactly what to say, but when questioned, the woman is obviously repeating what she has been told to say. Ally has nothing of any value to contribute to the case. However, whenever Mark tries to get anywhere with the case, Ally and Ling resent his intrusion.

Ally is still on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and is hearing music inside her head. During the court proceedings, she visualizes herself in a song and dance number, and then being led out on a stretcher as she waves goodbye. During this hallucination, she faints, and is taken to the hospital in reality. The members of the firm are with her, but the doctor thinks she simply fainted and will be fine. Mark speaks with her, and asks her if she's considered the possibility that she hates him simply because she's attracted to him, and she doesn't want to feel that way while she's grieving. This annoys her greatly, and she tries to punch him, but he intercepts her fist.

Meanwhile, John is away, getting over his emotional turmoil resulting from Billy's death and Nelle dumping him. Nelle is continuing to try to steal away the other attorney's clients, and Elaine catches her meeting with one of Ally's clients. Nelle also reminds Richard that he promised her she is supposed to be the next person made partner - obviously feeling a bit threatened by Mark - and Richard reminds her that his promises mean nothing

Ally talks to Richard, who says that he is grieving too and can't walk by Billy's empty office. She hugs him and agrees to try to be nice to Mark. She goes to his office, where he is getting a cleaning by a dental hygienist. He has this done three times a week, he explains. She calls him a nut. (Pot, meet Kettle.) She mutters some other rude things, and he leaves his office, where she lingers and talks to Billy's ghost, telling him she has to find a way to say goodbye. She can't accept moving on without him - it would be an insult to him. He tells her just to remember him once in awhile, and that's enough. He jokes that he'll keep it from raining on her. She hugs him.

During Mark's closing, he explains how Nora, his client, felt lost inside when she saw the man she loved with another woman. Her whole identity had been wrapped up in her love for him, and when she saw this, it made her whole identity invalid because their love was invalid, and she was lost. Ally is mesmerized listening to him, and keeps hearing his voice intermingled with Billy's voice. After the closing, the attorneys and Nora are in a conference room waiting for the verdict. Nora is offered a settlement of "manslaughter", but Mark and Ling advise her not to take it. Ling and Nora go for a walk, and Ally talks to Mark. She asks how much he knew about her and Billy. He tells her just that they used to date. She tells him how his closing spoke to her heart: how lost she feels without Billy, and how invalid she feels her feelings to be now, since he died not being "hers". She sometimes thought she would someday get his love back, but it wasn't at that stage when he died, and now she's lost. He asks her if her love for Billy was real at any point, and she replies "yes". He tells her that it is therefore valid, she owns it, and she is entitled to mourn it. She will survive this way, and Billy will.

The verdict comes back: Nora is cleared of first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter, all by reason of temporary insanity. They congratulate each other.

Back at the bar, they all celebrate. Mark asks Ally to dance, but she says she's going home. As she walks out, it's raining, and she looks up at the sky and says "Very funny" [to Billy].

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