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Bad Judge - Knife to a Gunfight - Review : "Snaps For Bad Judge"

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1.04 - "Knife to a Gunfight"
Written by Aseem Batra
Directed by Reginald Hudlin
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Firstly, I apologise for not having a review of episode three up last week. Last week was pretty crazy for me as I had a conference call with Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey, Sabrina the Teenage Witch) on the Friday and then had to take three planes to Orlando for the Syfy Press Tour, so I didn't get to watch episode three of Bad Judge until I got back home on Tuesday. Things are slowly getting back to normal now so reviews should be put up on time from now on.

"Knife to a Gunfight" was a pretty fun episode and seems to be stepping in the right direction for the characters as we see them bond and develop. And of course, the court-case-of-the-week was really funny again this week.

Season Guide

Click on an episode title to be taken to my review of the episode.

1.01 - "Pilot" (Advance Preview) (Review)
1.02 - "Meteor Shower" (Review)
1.03 - "One Brave Waitress"
1.04 - "Knife to a Gunfight" (Review)
1.05 - "Judge and Jury" (Review)
1.06 - "What is Best in Life?" (Review)
1.07 - "Communication Breakdown" (Review)

'Knife to a Gunfight' Recap

While hanging at the local bar Serpico's, Rebecca and Tedward spot a familiar face from the past: Byron Cash, a career criminal recently released from prison. Tedward freaks, certain that Cash wants revenge on the judge that sent him to jail, but Rebecca assures him she can handle herself just fine - a point she proves by staying cool even after she finds a death threat clipped to her rental van and hears creepy breathing noises on a voice mail.

For Tedward, however, the death threat confirms the fact that Rebecca needs protection. Rebecca balks at the suggestion she carry a gun - until Tedward demonstrates exactly how vulnerable she is by breaking into her house late at night. She agrees to accompany him to the shooting range to prepare for a possible gunfight and impresses Tedward with her knack for sharpshooting.

Meanwhile, Tom saddles Rebecca's courtroom with his latest case - Charlie Lewis, a dimwitted criminal facing his third strike and, along with it, a steep sentence. Rebecca feels for the defendant since all three of his crimes involved misunderstandings and advises him of his right to waive a jury trial, but Charlie stands firm, confident in the strength of his case. Unfortunately, Charlie chooses to represent himself and requires more assistance from Rebecca in order to appear halfway competent. During recess, Judge Hernandez reminds Rebecca to uphold the law, not to meddle with it.

In a last ditch effort, Rebecca asks Gary to perform a psychiatric evaluation on Charlie to determine whether he should stand trial at all, and sure enough Gary discovers that Charlie suffers from a variety of mental ailments ranging from kleptomania to multiple personality disorder. Rebecca takes this evidence to Tom and pleads with him to push for a reduced charge. He concedes and Charlie accepts a deal to spend two years in a psychiatric facility over 20 years in prison. Charlie also demands to recite his closing arguments in front of an already-excused jury.

Later, Rebecca suddenly finds herself face to face with Cash in the courthouse parking lot. She braces for the worst, but Cash instead expresses his thanks - prison changed his life for the better. Turns out Cash didn't write the death threat or leave the creepy message - the stenographer Judy did! She meant the note as a sly nod to join her at hot yoga, and while at hot yoga she accidentally butt-dialed Rebecca. In any event, Rebecca did end up with a gun - a cute gun necklace. Because who needs a gun when you're an expert crossbow hunter? Rebecca shows off her enormous crossbow to Tedward.

'Knife to a Gunfight' Review

I did really enjoy this episode actually, more so than Bad Judge's last few outings. Not to say the past few weeks were bad because they weren't, but I do think with each passing episode the show is getting gradually more funny. I do love the court-case-of-the-week that reminded me of Legally Blonde but if Elle Woods was on drugs and I enjoyed the more personal story about the ex-con who seemingly stalks Rebecca. Those were so fun.

The first storyline that's introduced in the episode is the stalker ex-con. Rebecca had put him away five years before and now he's at a cop bar where Rebecca is. I absolutely love the friendship between Rebecca and Tedward, even if Tedward does get the wrong idea about Byron Cash but to see him work so hard to protect Rebecca was actually really sweet. The pair have great chemistry and I can believe that they're really good friends. When "I Will Always Love You" started to play as Tedward was giving a speech to Rebecca about him being her court officer and how he will stand between Rebecca and harm. It leads into some fun moments between the two as Tedward tries to protect her. It actually made me snort when he tries to put his jacket over Rebecca's head to sneak her out and she's just like "what are you doing?". The comedy there was subtle and nicely-acted, bravo Kate Walsh and Tone Bell! Next we have the car scene where Rebecca finds the note saying "You ready to die?" That sets alarm bells off with Tedward to get a gun, which Rebecca comments about the McDonald's breakfast cut-off. Believe me, I've been there and I am also glad I didn't have a weapon at the time.

When Tedward breaks into Rebecca's house and does all of the unnecessary floor-sliding and sleuthing before reaching Rebecca's bedroom, that was pretty funny too as it leads to Rebecca and Tedward sort-of shouting at each other as Rebecca is angry he broke in and woke her up just to prove a point. It's also funny to see he made a sandwich too when he broke in and she never heard. Kate Walsh just has spot-on reactions in this episode. The scene at the gun store was good too, with Tedward's crazy eyes 'who ate all the pie' face and then his screaming when firing his gun (again, Rebecca's face as he does it was so good!). I don't think Tedward has been that funny since the pilot, but this episode was a really great episode for him. I really enjoyed when Rebecca went all 'commanding officer from every bad cop movie ever made' on his ass. The voicemail of the breathing is actually hilarious when you get to the end of the episode and you realise it's just Judy doing hot yoga and she accidentally butt-dialled Rebecca. The storyline climaxes with Byron actually thanking Rebecca for putting him away which leads to Tedward unknowingly tazing him. I felt pretty sorry for Byron at this point, bless him haha.

The court-of-the-case is the Charlie Lewis case, a three-time offender of (not-so-serious) crimes. Tom wants to give the man 25 years to life but Rebecca doesn't think he deserves it. Charlie does some silly stuff but to be fair, I would not pay 300 dollars for a jar of caviar either. It was pretty funny when he tried to steal a knife in a gun store and everybody pulls a gun out on him. Rebecca is really insistant on making sure this guy doesn't get such a long time so she tries to help him out. Rebecca's facial expressions whenever Charlie would say or do something bizarre was hilarious, she just can't help but look a little gobsmacked. That's coming from a judge who flipped off the paparazzi a couple of episodes ago. When Charlie point at "the defendant" who isn't in the box but points anyway and Rebecca looks with her eyebrow raised both times was hilarious, especially when Charlie would switch between being the attorney and the defendant. He tries to argue that the knife is too small for his hand and I was right there with Rebecca putting my head in my hands - this guy is crazy! And when Rebecca shouts out the number of the law that Charlie is looking for, the way she says "nine" was brilliant.

I don't think I really find Gary funny yet, even in the scene with Charlie as he analyses him. He still needs time to grow I think because right now he's pretty disposable. But, everything works out well in the end. Charlie got to give his closing statement through the rule of "no backsies" which shows just how silly Rebecca's courtroom can be. His closing statement is given to a jury that isn't there and it was actually sweet how Rebecca and Tom allowed him to do that.

The episode ends at Rebecca's house with everybody there, including Judy which was actually a great way to end the episode - showing the characters bonding. Rebecca's giant crossbow was pretty awesome and reminded me of Daryl's in The Walking Dead. I'd like to see more scenes of everybody together as long as it has comedic elements such as Naked Judy. I can just see a Judge Judy joke coming somewhere later in the series.

Funniest Quotes

Rebecca Wright: Tedward, are you saying you wanna be my black Kevin Costner to my white Whitney Houston?

Rebecca Wright: What are you doing? Your jacket? This doesn't just happen.

Rebecca Wright: Well I hope Charlie has a good defence attorney.
(Next scene)
Charlie Lewis: Your Honour, I've decided to represent myself. And I think it's cool they're letting chicks do the whole judge thing now.

Rebecca Wright: I'm like a chick-magnet for thirty-something lesbians.
Woman: Hey Judge Wright, is that your new ride? Dig it.
Rebecca Wright: See what I mean, well she's kinda cute.

Rebecca Wright: I'm not getting a gun! You've seen me at McDonald's when I miss the breakfast cut-off! You wanna add a weapon to that mix?

Tedward: Why is your alarm code 6969?
Rebecca Wright: Because it's hilarious!
Tedward: Well I guessed it right away!

Tedward: Oh I hope you don't mind, I made a sandwich.

Charlie Lewis: Everyone underestimated Elle Woods.
Rebecca Wright: Elle Woods? I'm sorry sir, are you referring to the film Legally Blonde?
Charlie Lewis: All people see when they look at me is blonde hair and big boobs, that was all I saw... and it was wrong. Let's not make the same mistake.

Tedward: Gun face!
Rebecca Wright: Alright, why don't you show me?
Tedward: Well it's basically my 'who ate all the pie' face but with crazy eyes.

Rebecca Wright: Do you know how much crap I ate for that little stunt you pulled back there? You're a good officer but you're a hothead! And you're costing millions of dollars to the city... in damages!

Rebecca Wright: Is that your grandma?
Byron Cash: That's my wife.

Tedward: (to Rebecca) Who is your family, Duck Dynasty?

Closing Argument

"Knife to a Gunfight" was an enjoyable step-up in the show's fourth episode, gradually increasing character development with occassional comedy. It would be nice to have a thorougly hilarious episode and while this episode doesn't exactly come close to that, it was still a very nice try. It definitely had some shining moments and the court-case-of-the-week doesn't disappoint. It would be great to see funnier court cases in the future which could help elevate Bad Judge from being an average comedy to a standout one. Characters like Tedward begins to shine in this episode and Rebecca continues to lead in brilliant fashion.

They need to work on the characters of Gary and Judge Hernandez. They're just not cutting it in a comedy. More episodes like this please, if not, then please make them funnier.

VERDICT: Chick-magnet for thirty-something lesbians. B-

What did you guys think of 'Knife to a Gunfight'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Bad Judge, October 30th on NBC!
About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black and Salem in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact Gavin at
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