65-year old crack addict Ellie Germaine approaches Alice in a coffee shop, demanding to have Alice change her probation so she doesn’t have to continue living with her controlling sister Marilyn. When Alice refuses to help Marilyn fires her.
Alice heads to bail court to find her client Joanne Kelsey, who is accused of assaulting one of her daughter’s friends at a Chinese food restaurant. Joanne feels terrible for her behaviour and wonders if the girl is okay. Alice explains that Joanne suffers from an inoperable brain tumor that affects her judgment and behaviour and tries to have the matter traversed to 102 court. In the hallway Alice meets with Joanne’s husband Peter and her daughter Zoe, who are very worried about Joanne’s deteriorating health. Zoe in particular is beginning to lose patience with her mother’s erratic behaviour.
James is in the cells with his client Stan Puck, a career car thief. Stan tells James about his son Bucky, who Stan only met recently, and how Bucky will bail him out.. Stan beamingly tells James how excited he is that his long lost son is also a car thief. James doubts that a car thief will make a good surety, so Stan suggests that they think of Bucky as merely a “car consultant” who doesn’t have a criminal record.
Alice meets with her client Ralph Jelnyk, who is accused of assaulting the superintendent of his rooming house. Ralph is accompanied by his boyfriend Mercer Drennan who, like Ralph, is in his sixties. Ralph’s relationship with the super and the building owner went downhill when they realized that Ralph is gay. He didn’t mean to push the super down the stairs, he just let his temper slip away from him. Alice has arranged a deal with the Crown, but as a condition of the deal Ralph isn’t allowed to return to the rooming house, a place where he feels very comfortable. Ralph isn’t sure what to do, despite Mercer’s strong feeling that he should take the deal.
Elliot meets with Michelle Chovanec, a middle-aged woman accused of assaulting a tow-truck driver. Michelle tells Elliot about how she’s so sick of being treated like she’s invisible just for looking like a stressed-out single mother, which is who she is. The tow-truck driver wouldn’t be reasonable with her so she lost her temper.
At Ralph’s trial, Menon interviews the owner of the rooming house, who witnessed the assault. He explains that when the super told Ralph that he was restricted to one bag of garbage, Ralph threw the second bag at him in anger, knocking him down the stairs. On cross Alice makes it clear that the owner’s feelings for Ralph changed after he realized that Ralph was gay. Alice also questions the owner’s many building violations, accusing the owner of being a “slumlord” with the super as his “muscle”. When Alice later cross-examines the super, she explains that before Mercer moved in, Ralph and the super were friends - Alice suggests that the super was tough on Ralph because he was jealous of Ralph’s relationship with Mercer. When Ralph takes the stand he is asked by Menon why, if he felt threatened and discriminated against, he didn’t just move out of the building. To everybody’s surprise, especially Mercer’s, Ralph announces that he wants to stay in the rooming house because he’s been diagnosed with colon cancer and he wants to live his remaining months in a place where he feels comfortable.
Nancy follows Bucky Puck to a hole by some railroad tracks so Bucky can “dig up” some money to bail out his father Stan. Bucky asks Nancy some suspicious questions about her car and reminds her that he’s a car “consultant” should she ever want to upgrade.
At Michelle Chovanec’s trial, the tow-truck driver is on the stand. He tells Munoz on direct that Michelle lost her temper when he refused to un-hook her car, despite the fact that she was parked illegally. On cross, Elliot challenges his credibility by pointing out that the tow-truck driver tried to extort Michelle, offering to unhook her car for a mere $50. In his closing remarks, Elliot pleads that all Michelle wanted was to be treated with dignity rather than be constantly manipulated and extorted just for trying to make her way through a busy city. Michelle gets off easy, with a conditional discharge and community service.
In Mental Health Court, Kaye is hesitant to release Joanne Kelsey given her history of violent behaviour. Corrective surgery is too dangerous and medication will be too severe. Peter refuses to dump is wife in a home, she is after all only in her early 50s, and they can’t afford the thousands of dollars a month proper home care would cost. Despite Kaye’s strong objections, Malone releases Joanne into the custody of her family because, as he sees it, she simply doesn’t belong in jail. Afterwards, teenage Zoe is angry because she knows things are only going to get worse.
James meets Stan in bail court. Nancy storms into the courtroom after Bucky and announces to James that Bucky just stole her car. Bucky claims that he and Nancy “had an agreement”. He is, after all, a car consultant. Stan realizes Bucky is in trouble, so he fakes a heart attack in the dock to create a diversion. Bucky runs away, Nancy chases after him, and Stan doesn’t get bail.
Alice and Nancy meet James on a city rooftop where they look out to Bay street and Old City Hall, blanketed by winter. James announces that they’re getting a new firm, something “closer to the ground…something without wood paneling. Wood paneling tells our clients that we’re doing a hell of a lot better than they are … We need to tell them that we’re doing just a little bit better than they are … so they have something to aim for.” Alice is surprised to see Elliot – he will be joining the new firm as well. Alice asks James if he knows what he’s doing. James says “no” and they head inside, out of the cold.