For The People Episode 4 Recap

This week’s on For the People we learn some additional insight into some of our favorite secondary characters, including Miss Krissman and Jill, the head of the public defenders. Rather than face off against each other, both sides focus on one big case while showing off some continued teamwork. We get some more information on the background of these secondary characters and see development in our major players as well.


The major case of the week—as well as most of the focus of the episode—belongs to Seth and his personal case against major corporation Kappler Hays. The beginning of the episode provides personal insight into Seth, one of our personal favorites. He has finally moved out of his Airbnb and gets his own apartment. Also, viewers get to see a video chat between him and his mom. His mother discusses the chemicals Kappler Hays is dumping into the water right next to his old elementary school and how a lot of children are getting very ill. Seth, spurred by this personal connection, fights for the right to charge Kappler Hays in order to stop the dumping and help the community. Although impassioned, Seth struggles during the episode when Kappler Hays recruits his old law firm to represent the company. Seth has several meetings with different members of the firm and it is obvious that they are willing to use their connection to Seth as a way to undermine him and prevent a trial.


After the first meeting, Seth struggles with the idea of bringing up charges against Kappler Hays and calls his ex Allison for advice. His plan was to spend a few years as a district attorney and then return to his old firm to be a partner, which would be impossible if he files charges against their big client. Allison reminds Seth not to be tied to his old plan and not to let anyone underestimate him. This sparks Seth to file charges against Mr. Lewis, the company CEO, in hopes to make a deal with at least some jail time. Seth’s second meeting with the law firm ends more disastrously than the first. Seth’s initial confidence is diminished when one of his old colleagues lays into him and even reveals that his current boss didn’t even want to hire him. There is no chance of a deal and the firm is confident they will not only win but also ensure no one will even think about hiring Seth. The beginning of the trial is a disaster and the firm begins discrediting every one of Seth’s major witnesses. After a pep talk from Kate, Seth goes into the rest of the trial confident with a new angle and a new witness, which helps him win the case and establish some jail time for Mr. Lewis.


The other major case this week falls into the hands of Jill, the head of the public defenders. She is tasked with defending Chloe, a woman who attacked and almost killed a post office worker. It is immediately obvious after Jill and Chloe’s first meeting that there are several inconsistencies in her story. Chloe, for example, claimed to be defending herself while getting the mail when she has not lived in that building for years. It is obvious to Jill and all of the other public defenders that something is not right. This is confirmed when Jill finds Chloe after she tries to jump in front of a train. She takes Chloe to have a psychiatric evaluation, which yields no results. When Jill tries to confront her, Chloe becomes defensive since she has heard all of this before. We learn that Chloe used to be a competitive cheerleader, which leads Jill to discover that Chloe has chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is common in athletes who get a lot of concussions and it explains all of Chloe’s symptoms.

The next hurdle for Jill and the team is how to find a way to make this diagnosis admissible in court. The only “proven” way to diagnose CTE is via a test done during an autopsy, which is not ideal. Jill is able to find a doctor who has an experimental test that confirms Chloe has CTE, but since it is not FDA approved, it is thought to not be admissible in court. Jill’s impassioned speech in the courtroom highlights to the judge the importance mental illness can have on cases in the courtroom and the impact waiting for tests to be considered admissible can have on current cases. Jill gets a big win in the case when the judge grants deferred prosecution, meaning no jail time for Chloe. This is a big win. Through this case, however, we learn a lot about Jill. It is obvious even early on that Jill has a personal connection with this case. We learn that she has a sister whose actions were very similar to Chloe’s and therefore, has a soft spot for Chloe because of her experience with her sister. Since Chloe has isolated herself and will only get worse, Jill feels for Chloe and her whole situation.


We also learn more about Clerk Krissman, both personally and professionally. She is the person tasked with assigning judges to the case via a spinning wheel. At the beginning of the episode, the wheel breaks and no longer spins. Once the wheel broke, the court had decided that they would automate the judge selection process and the wheel would not be fixed. Ms. Krissman is not happy about that because she has a personal connection to the wheel. We learn that during her time as clerk, she used to take the wheel home. She and her husband used the wheel as a way to make smaller life decisions, such as where to eat or go on vacation, and even make some bigger life decisions, such as like where her son would go to college. She even used the wheel during one of her last memories of her late husband, giving her a very personal connection to the wheel. When she is able to find a way to fix the wheel, she finds a way to use it.


Now that we have continued to learn more about our favorite characters, hopefully, more interactions and maybe even more relationship s are in store for the rest of the season.


For The People airs Tuesday’s at 10 pm EST on ABC (check your local listings)