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Alone Again is the 22nd episode of Season One of Ally McBeal.


Cage defends a long-time convict who used a trampoline to break out of prison a month before his release, a woman intends to sue her ex-fiancé for leaving her at the altar.


Attorney Michael Huttle approaches Cage and asks him to represent his client, 72- year-old Vincent Robbins, on the day of his trial. Huttle explains that Robbins had been serving an eighteen-year sentence for bank robbery. One month before his release, he attempted to escape. As Huttle cannot think of a defense, he turns to Cage in desperation.

Meanwhile, Fish briefs Georgia on Marcia Halliday, a client seeking to sue her ex-fiancé for emotional distress after he abandoned her at the altar. Cage, Ally and Huttle meet with Robbins in jail. Cage cannot help himself when he notices Robbins blinking a lot and begins blinking in the same manner. Afterwards, Cage tells Huttle that arguing duress is their best hope of convincing a jury. While walking down a court corridor, Cage bumps into D.A. Hayley Chisolm, an old friend from law school. It quickly becomes apparent to Ally that the pair shares many of the same habits and quirks. She also concludes they may have been more than friends. Later, Hayley tells John that their relationship was the best relationship she had ever had with any man even if it was purely platonic. In private, Ally asks Cage if Hayley knows he was in love with her. Cage denies it but Ally knows better.

Georgia meets with Mary Halliday. She attempts to advise her against going forward with an emotional duress argument. But Mary insists she was humiliated in front of three hundred guests. Fish interrupts the conversation, takes Mary by the hand and assures her that the ex deserves to suffer for his actions. Later, Georgia confronts Fish for encouraging a client of success when she has no case. But Fish claims once the proceedings begin and things begin getting ugly, Mary will beg them to settle. Furthermore once the case is dismissed, she will thank him for his efforts, never knowing the firm was incapable of making good on its promises. Georgia stares at Fish, incredulous. Later, Elaine approaches Mary with a 'husband CD,' on which is recorded all the sounds of a spousal relationship, including snoring, flatulence and a football game.

In court, a prison guard testifies that he witnessed Robbins using a homemade trampoline to leap over the prison fence. When Robbins fell, he ended up spraining his ankles, and was taken into custody. Robbins next takes the witness stand and explains that he assembled the trampoline by collecting and saving rubber bands over the course of eighteen years. When he finally had the project completed, he decided he had to find out if it worked, even though he was one month shy of being released from prison. He claims he wasn't interested in escaping, his only interest was in carrying out his dream. Cage tells Ally he asked Hayley out on a date a week before graduation from law school, but phrased it in such a way that it could have been dismissed as a joke. Unfortunately, Hayley thought it was his best joke ever. Hayley never guessed he wasn't joking. Afterward, she met and fell in love with the man of her dreams. Ally points out that, however, that she is now divorced.

In court, Judge Whipper Cone presides over the Mary Halliday case. She labels it one of the dumbest cases she has seen in her twenty years on the bench, as it has no merits. Georgia suggests Cone recuse herself due to her relationship with Fish. However, Whipper insists the relationship will not affect her impartiality. In chambers, Fish argues that courts routinely delve into marriages all the time, from enforcing prenuptial agreements to arranging alimony payments. The ex-fiance's lawyer agrees to pay restitution on the wedding costs, but will not include moneys for emotional distress. Whipper interrupts their conversation, having changed her mind about recusing herself. She withdraws herself from the case. Eventually, Mary decides to drop the suit. She states that she no longer feels sorry for herself but feels sorry for Fish, and his views on the institution of marriage. Later, Fish appears in Whipper's chambers and tells her how much she is missed.

Hayley offers to reduce the sentence facing Robbins to four years in prison. But Robbins declines the offer, believing he cannot accept guilt for the only thing in his life that makes him feel proud. During closing arguments, Cage makes an analogy between his feelings for Hayley and the courage it took for Robbins to make the leap over the fence. Hayley picks up on the analogy, and confirms Cage's fear: she was never in love with him, but she did cherish their friendship. The jury sides with Robbins, and he is acquitted.


Full transcript can be found here.


List of music in the episode can be found here.



Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal
Courtney Thorne-Smith as Georgia Thomas
Greg Germann as Richard Fish
Lisa Nicole Carson as Renée Raddick
Jane Krakowski as Elaine Vassal
with Peter MacNicol as John Cage
and Gil Bellows as Billy Thomas

Special Appearances By

Dabbs Greer as Vincent Robbins
Dyan Cannon as Whipper Cone

Guest starring

Cynthia Stevenson as Hayley Chisolm
McNally Sagal as Mary Halliday
Michael Hagerty as Michael Huttle
Gibby Brand as Judge William McGough
Neal Lerner as George Pullman
Jocko Marcellino as Prison Guard