This week’s episode of For the People tests several characters and their beliefs, both personally and professionally. After last week’s insight into Jill and Roger’s unique friendship, this week tests their friendship by placing them on the opposite sides of a very challenging and high-profile case. These new challenges are explored throughout the case, which becomes the focus case of the week. We also get a peek into some personal challenges facing some of our other favorite characters, Jay and Kate.
The episode’s main focus this week is on Jill and Roger and the case that tests their friendship. The episode begins with Roger and Jill meeting in a diner to discuss the new cases brought into their district this week. Although they do not usually meet in the diner, it becomes obvious that Roger moved their meeting to cushion the reveal to Jill that one of the cases is from the arrest via a third Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raid. Jill is very unhappy because finds the raids pointless and unconstitutional.
Jill assigns Sandra the case and while looking into the latest arrest, Sandra discovers that one of the people, Brian Torres, was arrested in the raid but not in the system. While down at the DEA investigating what happened to Torres, she discovers that he was placed in a holding room four days ago and was left there. He was left in a windowless and bathroomless room for four days and is discovered unconscious and covered in blood. Security footage shows the torture he underwent while locked in the room (at one point, he even began to claw at his own neck and drew blood). Jill and Sandra meet with Roger and Leonard, who was also assigned to the case. Roger reveals that he has dropped the original charges and learned that the arresting officer, Agent Keener, was fired. Although it’s progress, this is not enough for Jill who feels that the government should file charges against Agent Keener for his treatment of Torres. Roger does not believe that there are any criminal actions that can be prosecuted.
When Jill leaks the security footage of Torres’ time in lockup, Roger is forced to file charges against Agent Keener to satisfy the public while not angering the DEA – an agency he works with often. In an interesting turn of events, Roger and Leonard are prosecuting the DEA agent while Jill and Sandra have to defend the agent in court. Neither side is interested in going to court and representing their side, so Sandra and Leonard meet up to strike up a deal: Keener pleads to a civil charge and pays a fine but no jail time. Jill takes the deal to Keener, who not only has worked against her in court before but does also not trust her. He believes in his work and knows that this deal would prevent him from ever working in law enforcement again. All he asks her is that she defends him as she defends her other clients. With this change of heart, Jill turns down the deal and the case heads to court. Roger watches the tapes and has a change of heart. Both Jill and Roger are now arguing the opposite of their original stances from the beginning of the episode. The case is very heated with passionate speeches during the closing argument from Roger and Jill. At the end, Keener is found not guilty and Jill meets Roger at the diner with some champagne to discuss baseball and move forward. They both have a better understanding of the other person’s job and are able to save their friendship.
In the beginning of the episode, Kate is assigned an animal smuggling case that is far outside of her comfort zones. She is assigned the case because of her dislike of animals, which she makes apparent several times during the episode. A red panda, which is an endangered species, died while being transported to the United States and she is prosecuting one of the smugglers deemed responsible for the death. Her uneasiness with any kind of animal is apparent during her visit to the animal sanctuary that was supposed to receive the red panda. After learning how ineffective the fines are on smugglers whose animals die during transport, Kate delves into the case in order to get real justice. Although the case is settled before she has a chance to do anything, she has become more sympathetic to these animals. At the end of the episode, she even feeds one of the lizards, Mango.
Jay’s challenge this week is more personal than professional as we get a chance to see more of his home life and his parents. Jay learns through one of his friends that his dad has become a driver. When he confronts his father, Jay discovers that his father bought shares of a water filter company and made a bad investment. His father is working as a driver on the side in order to make back the money he lost. Jay enlists Seth’s help to find charges to bring against the company because Jay believes that his father had to be the victim of a pyramid scheme. When Seth is unable to find any charges, Jay turns to Ms. Krissman for advice. We learn that Jay’s father is very intelligent, which makes it hard for Jay to believe that his father made a mistake. Ms. Krissman tells him that everyone, even parents, is only human and are prone to make mistakes especially as they get older.
With all of the development and complexities explored not only in this week’s episode but also the entire season, it will be exciting to see what the last few episodes of the season have in store.