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Trial & Error - A Change in the Team & New Case, Old Murder - Double Review: The Green Fairy Makes You Say Things

12 Aug 2018

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Let's get the bad news out of the way here: looks like this lovely show has been canceled by NBC, which isn't really a surprise but is still complete bullReed. The specifics of it are confusing, it sounds like the first priority window for NBC to renew has expired, but they aren't officially considering it canceled and WBTV will shop it around. Whatever, the ratings are what the ratings are and it doesn't take a Murder Board to solve the mystery. But lucky for us, it's 2018 which means we can tweet at and harass every other outlet available as much as we want until the show is revived or everyone involved with it has passed away!

Fortunately, the seasons are designed as closed stories and we shouldn't get too much of a cliffhanger. This season continues to be delightful and this week's pair of episodes proved to us that it's not just a retelling of last season - they're more than willing to throw curveballs and switch up the formula. Let's take a look!

The first episode picks up with the fallout of Dwayne falling down a tunnel (a rum hole, actually) that leads right to the river. It's damning evidence and Dwayne can't deny it on the stand. Lavinia is furious and demands that Josh fires his right hand man. Josh is distraught, after all Dwayne was his first and only real friend in town and firing your friends isn't fun, believe me. But nobody was more distraught than Anne, who spent the episode on edge because her boss fired half the staff (fair, and accurate math). The Christmas party is going to be awkward, that's for sure.

A lead from a walk-in witness claiming to have seen a man attacking Edgar at the party gives the team some brief hope and they put her on the stand, but Carol Anne quickly proves the woman is just quoting season one of M-Towne (Carol Anne is an undeniable M-Towne fan, that's for sure). Lavinia mourns the things she didn't do as she prepares herself for jail (ride in a hot air balloon, make love to a normal sized man, etc) but Dwayne comes in with a last minute save. Video evidence of Amanda's interrogation (Edgar's mistress, if you'll recall) reveals she found out she was pregnant the day of Edgar's murder. When the team goes to talk to her, they find her lifeless body on the couch with a suicide note confessing to the murder.

Lavinia walks free, everyone celebrates, and the season is over! The team is 2/2 in murder trials and we all live happily ever after.

JUST KIDDING. As anyone could see coming due to the season only being half done, Josh is horrified to discover the handwriting on the suicide note matches Lavinia's handwriting. Lavinia is the murderer and he helped her get free. It was obvious a twist was coming and therefore it wasn't a huge OMG moment, but it was a daring one that shows the audience this sitcom isn't afraid to switch it up, and I love that!

The second episode didn't quite make sense to me, but that's okay. Josh is physically ill when he realizes Lavinia is guilty, yet the town is praising him as a hero and giving him awards. He even gets the combination to the city, which is simply "8" (everyone kept losing the key). His main hope to put Lavinia behind bars is to revisit Jesse Ray's case from 2008 when he was convicted of murdering Lavinia's brother, Chet. Nina has a recording of Lavinia bragging about getting away with murder "again" following her interview for M-Towne and all Josh has to do is find out who the victim was. Double jeopardy saves her from Edgar's murder, but the rest are fair game.

The team pays a visit to Lavinia's garden where she straight up shoots Dwayne with an arrow whilst donning a Katniss Everdeen side ponytail and I am on board with a murderous, reckless and psychotic serial killer Kristin Chenoweth. That's how I want to go, getting shot by an arrow launched by Kristin Chenoweth. Dwayne survives the attack, but it's just the beginning of Josh & Ass's being terrorized by their former client. She has no restraint when it comes to confessing her crime and is clearly unhinged and I can't wait to see where it goes.

The above sequence is one of my favorites, Anne trying to shoot without an arrow was a highlight

I don't completely understand Carol Anne's motives or how this court case worked out, but Josh convinced Carol Anne to revisit Jesse Ray's trial and undo Atticus Ditto Jr's famous case right before the election. Josh and Carol Anne do some digging and find out Jesse Ray doesn't have sperm, yet initial evidence had his sperm at the crime scene. They call upon last season's Dr. Thomas Hinkle, the compulsive masturbator, and he advises that all previous evidence be thrown out because he contaminated all of it. The judge agrees and the case is reopened. Carol Anne then apparently betrays Josh and takes this as an opportunity to get Jesse Ray the death sentence.

From what I understand, Carol Anne wanted Jesse Ray to get the death sentence the first time while Atticus managed to get his ruling to just a life sentence. So now he doesn't want the case reopened (even though he argued Jesse Ray was innocent originally, right?) but Carol Anne will now oppose Atticus in the new trial? So both Atticus and Carol Anne want Jesse Ray convicted while Josh wants him set free? I am not a lawyer nor am I judge nor do I watch any version of Law & Order, so I'm not following. Someone please explain to me in the comments so that I can look smarter at dinner parties.

By the way, this episode ended as a straight up horror movie as Lavinia unleashed arrows into the taxidermy office. It was bananas and I am fully supportive of this. I hope next week has Lavinia chasing them down with an axe because in case you haven't realized, Kristin Chenoweth going insane is my favorite thing.

-Anne's random conditions this week resorted back to her classic laughing-at-inappropriate-situations, and it was just as endearing
-"I told you, no walk-ins!"
-Dwayne and Anne continue to be a dynamic duo, with Dwayne training her to be a cop as a particular highlight
-Also love that they are more interested in solving Josh's love life than solving murders
-Speaking of Josh's love life, I continue to not care about this love triangle and Nina can't hold a candle (is that the saying?) to Carol Anne in terms of comedy and being interesting in general. I blame the writers
-"We've changed it seven times, we can change it again" -Lavinia, threatening to change the combination to the city
-Seriously will someone please explain the legality of what happened with Jesse Ray's case and who wants what

Okay, that's all. I love this show a lot. Now go drink some absinthe but definitely don't murder anyone!