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Fools Night Out is the 3rd episode of Season Two of Ally McBeal.

Synopsis

Ally plays mediator when a minister breaks up with his church’s choir singer. A client sues a plastic surgeon’s nurse for misrepresenting her natural breasts as implants.

Plot

Ling returns to Cage & Fish to sue someone else who irritates her. As she comes off the elevator, she finds herself face-to-face with Elaine. She says she is there to see Nelle, and Elaine asks her, "Who would we be suing today?" Nelle walks up, and Ling complains that Elaine "drips with sarcasm at my personal expense." Nelle tells Ling, "One of the disadvantages of having magnetism is you bring people out. People who would otherwise go unnoticed. The fact that she can be so annoying is really a tribute to you." When Ling walks away, Nelle apologizes for Ling's attitude. "And thank you for defending me so staunchly, Nelle," Elaine says. Nelle walks away, and Georgia comes up to Elaine, who announces, "That bitchy little thing is back." Georgia asks, "Who is she suing this time?" "Maybe her gynaecologist pulled the wrong tooth," says Elaine.

Ling is in Richard's office with Richard and Georgia, explaining who she wants to sue and why. Richard wants Georgia and Billy to handle the case, which involves Ling suing the nurse of a cosmetic surgeon. She isn't suing the doctor because he went bankrupt and the nurse apparently comes from money. (Richard is playing with a microphone and speaker during all this.) Ling doesn't understand why Georgia is upset over this case. "You are suing a woman because her breasts are real," Georgia says. Ling responds, "When you say it in a tone like that, of course it's going to sound silly." Richard says Georgia's name into his microphone, which comes out over the speaker. Georgia is still upset that he's giving her this insane case, but he tells her it's just two depositions, tops, then it will go away. Elaine opens the office door to tell Richard that his minister is there to see him, and as she does, the door hits Ling. She moves to the other side of the doorway (there are two doors) as Richard says his minister's name into the microphone, and the other door opens, hitting Ling again. Richard pushes everyone out of his office. To Ling, he says, "I'd promise satisfaction if you were the least bit capable of happiness. Go do a nail while I meet with my clergy." Ling just stares at him, so he tells her to "Shoo," and closes the door in her face.

Georgia and Billy go into the unisex to discuss the case. She can't believe that they are suing someone because they have natural breasts. Billy wants to know what Nelle did to deserve the kind of reaction she is getting from Georgia. "She showed up," Georgia says. She looks under the stalls, then admits (reluctantly) that she has a 'mirror on the wall' complex. "All of my life, I've been the fairest one of them all," she says. "I'm not proud of saying that. Then she arrives," Georgia continues. But before she can go on, there is a flush, and Ally comes out of a stall, smirking. Georgia accuses her of having her legs up, then says, "I knew you were here." "How could you tell? My asparagus diet?" Ally asks. Georgia goes on to say that she wasn't including Ally when she said what she did. "You exist in your own universe, and I was referring to the one the rest of us live in," Georgia says.

Back in Richard's office, his minister, Mark Newman, explains that he has gotten himself into a situation he doesn't know how to handle. As he leans over the desk to tell Richard about it, he talks into the microphone, which Richard finally turns off. It turns out that two months ago, the minister ended a relationship he was having with the music supervisor of the choir. "She's the one you prevailed upon to sing that short people song," Newman says. He's upset about the songs she has been singing at church and feels that they are directed at him. "Lately, she's been doing pop," he says. He is afraid to demote or fire her, but he wants her to go back to singing church hymns.

In the conference room, Ling is giving a deposition in her case. She says that her sister is hard to shop for, and the only thing she knew she wanted was nicer breasts, so she bought her implants for Christmas. She went to see this doctor who had been recommended to her, and they discussed the importance of the implants feeling natural. Ling says the doctor offered to show her an example of his work and brought in his nurse. "She unveils. She's full. Soft. Without a hint of a blemish. I almost signed up and my breasts are beyond reproach," Ling says. She glances over at the stenographer, who has stopped typing, and asks, "Shouldn't you be typing?" She goes on to say that she paid for her sister's implants based on the nurse's full soft implants, but instead her sister got hard, little petrified lumps. Then she found out that the nurse's breasts are real. The attorney for the nurse asks her why she hasn't sued the surgeon. "He's an empty pocket in another jurisdiction and she's collectable," Ling says. Then she sees that the stenographer has stopped again. "TYPE!" she screams at her, while slamming her hand down on the table.

Renee, Ally and Richard are in his church. The minister announces there will be a hymn before his sermon. Lisa stands up and begins to sing a pop song. Before long, the entire congregation, including Renee and Ally, are standing and dancing. Richard even finally stands up and moves his body a bit to the beat.

Later in Richard's office, he is telling his minister that the people in the church enjoyed Lisa's song, so it will be tough to fire her. Cage suggests getting someone to mediate. "We need someone who speaks the language of loneliness," he says.

Richard tells Ally. She wants to know, "Why me?" Richard says they believe that she can tap into Lisa's despair. "That sense of futility that comes with knowing no matter how long you'll live, you'll be going it alone, uncoupled, and yet charging forth just the same," Richard says, "never under the false assumption it will get any better. You're the hero she might listen to."

In the deposition, the nurse, Miss Silverman, says that she never actually said her breasts were artificial. But Billy tries to get her to admit that she knew the doctor was passing her off as an example of his work. She says she didn't know, at first, but eventually it did become apparent to her.

In Billy's office, Georgia tells the attorney that they actually have a case. Billy and the attorney decide to bring in the two women and compare the evidence. Georgia can't believe they are going to do this. "Let's do a taste test while we're at it," she says. Billy asks her if this is about Nelle, too, and when she answers that it doesn't, "although I have no doubt that her breasts are perfect," she turns around to find Nelle standing behind her. "You would be standing there for that," Georgia says, "because that's the way things work around here. Go pick a stall and hoist your legs. You'll learn all about us."

Nelle and Cage bump into each other outside Billy's office, and she knocks him into a mail cart. He stands up and gets on the other side of the cart, keeping it between them. She pushes the cart away, takes a step towards him, and asks, "Are we ever going to go out?" Cage stutters, attempts to say "Poughkeepsie," and settles on "Cuomo." She tells him that she understands that he is a partner and she an associate, but "if you're drawn to me. I do think you're cute." She adds that she doesn't mean to pressure him, and walks away.

Ally and the minister are outside the doors to the church, listening to Lisa singing. This time, she's singing about a nuclear bomb. "Well, she isn't singing that she's going to drop it on you," Ally tells the minister. She thinks he might be over-reacting, but when she listens to the words of the song, she admits that maybe he isn't.

Ling joins Georgia in Richard's office. Georgia says Ling's name and Ling tells her, "Don't call me Ling." Georgia says that's her name. "Not with a hard 'L' and hard 'G'." She explains that those letters are pronounced softly. Georgia says her name in the manner that she asks and tries to explain to her why they are bringing her sister in to show her breasts. "I'm deaf to condescension. Right now, I could hear a pin drop," Ling says. She tells Georgia that people like her who are beautifully proportioned don't understand that she is just trying to give her sister a chance to feel what's it like to be someone like Georgia. "Maybe God didn't give you a heart under your perfect breasts," she says to Georgia.

Ally meets with Lisa, who wants to know of Mark is suing her. When Ally says no, that he is just concerned with her choice of music, Lisa says that the people love it and it's the only way for her to deal with the pain. She asks Ally if she knows what happened between them. "He changed his heart," Lisa says. They had discussed marriage - they were in love - then one day he just told her he had a change of heart. "I don't sing these songs to hurt him," Lisa says. "I sing them to help me."

Ally meets with Mark in the pews, who wants to know if Lisa is still going to sing those songs. She tells him that he's the only one that seems to be bothered, then she asks him if he ever loved Lisa. He says he did, and when Ally asks why he stopped loving her, he says he just did. She begins to grill him. "Did you ever bother asking yourself why? Did you seek counseling? Did you do anything to explore it?" Ally asks. Mark asks her whose side she is on, and she admits that she might be on Lisa's side. Lisa comes into the church at this point, and asks Mark, "Where was the warning?"

Ally is walking back to the office, thinking about when she and Billy were in college. She recalls that moment after he told her he was going to Michigan, and she told him she was staying in Boston. She stops dead in her tracks, as if something hard just hit her and knocked her out. "It had nothing to do with going to Michigan," she says to herself.

Ally finally reaches the office. Richard is trying to talk to her, to explain that Mark Newman is very upset. She snaps at him that she has a plan, and tells him to get lost. She realizes that she shouldn't have said that to her boss, and she apologizes.

Billy, Georgia, Ling and the nurse's attorney are all looking at the breasts of Ling's sister and the nurse. Billy looks closely at the implants, and Ling's sister asks him if he's nearsighted. He tells her he's looking for the scar. Ling says that they might look the same as the nurse's, but they don't feel the same, as she takes her hands and grabs one of each. Ling tells her sister to jump to show them how the breasts don't move, and before she can Georgia tells everyone that this case is over. She is recommending dismissal. "It's over LinG," she says. "Hard 'L' hard 'G.' If I seem a cold, shapely person - tough. This case is over." Ling responds, "I thought I hated this firm, and then I didn't, but now I know that I do."

Cage is in the unisex, and at first it appears that he is talking to himself about Nelle, but the mirror moves and Richard is on the other side, shaving. Cage says Nelle frightens him, and Richard tells him that she would "floss her teeth with you inside a month, but it would be a fun month." Cage asks Richard if he thinks he and Ling could work out. "Not a chance. But that's a plus for me. I want someone who is emotionally inaccessible." Cage says that when Ally went on that talk show, she looked him straight in the eye and said "you only die once," and she marched right into danger with a smile on her face. "I think I will date Nelle," Cage finally says.

Ally is sitting at the bar downstairs, staring at a law dictionary, which is being used as a coaster for a drink. Georgia walks up to her and asks if she is drinking. "No, that's just, um, vodka," Ally says. Georgia asks her what is the matter, and Ally tells her, "Nothing I can talk to you about." "Oh, Billy," Georgia says. Ally says that she and Lisa were talking about how when men break up with women, they speed away like they are fleeing the scene. She says it was then that it hit her. "Billy didn't break up with me because he had to go off to Michigan to make law review," she says. "He went to Michigan to get away from me." She asks Georgia if she is right, and Georgia doesn't say anything. "Did he really have to go all the way to Michigan?" Ally asks herself. Then, she comes to an even more startling realization. "He met somebody who was at Michigan. He met you, while he was still with me," she says. Georgia tells her that she didn't know about her when she met Billy. Ally drinks the vodka.

Ling, Nelle and Richard are in his office, and Ling is furious. "Twice. Your lawyers turned traitors on my twice," Ling says. She goes on and on, until Nelle decides it's time to say something to her. "I admire the way you don't let yourself be pushed around," Nelle says. "Something's gong on lately. You think the whole word is against you." Richard adds, "When it's only just the people who have met you. Kidding." He leans over and touches her wattle. "Soot," he says. Nelle continues, "You're an unpopular person. I think it's easier to deal with if you are fighting with everybody. So you can lay it off on a battle." Ling is shocked into silence, but only for a moment. "Thank you. That helps," she says, then walks out of the office. Richard goes after her, stops her outside the office, takes a secretary and pushes her away in her chair so that they can use her space for privacy. He tells her that he does the same thing, in a way. "Not everybody dislikes you. I like you. Have dinner with me," Richard says. She tells him she would like that.

Billy and Georgia are in his office and he is very upset that she told Ally. "She figured it out," Georgia says. "We see things," she adds. Then she switches subjects and starts talking about the nurse and the women with the perfect breasts. "What's bothering Ally right now is the same thing that's bothering me," she says. "You can be in love with somebody, but if somebody else walks in to the room." Billy can't believe that she is serious. "What am I supposed to tell myself, that it would never happen with you?" she asks. "You said yourself that you took one look at me - it happened when you were in love with somebody else. I was the beneficiary. What happens when it happens the next time." Billy says he won't even dignify that. Georgia tells him that when Ally comes at him, he should dignify her complaint, because it's legitimate.

Ally is trying to get Lisa to sing in the bar downstairs. "You need a forum," she tells her. She goes on to say that she has persuaded the minister to sit down and talk. At first she isn't thrilled with the idea, but Ally convinces her it's a good idea. "It's better to know," she says.

Cage meets Richard in the hall. He wants to get his opinion of these shoes he's thinking of wearing on his date with Nelle. They've got about five inches in height added to them. (Looks like something Elaine would invent.) "I feel short with her," Cage says. Richard says she might like "less tall. Why bother making yourself conventional. If she wanted that, she wouldn't be dating you in the first place."

Billy is waiting for the elevator. It opens, he enters, and finds that Ally is the only other person inside. He stares at her - waiting for the inevitable. The camera goes back and forth between the two. Finally, Ally just shakes her head slightly. The doors open and Ally walks out.

In the minister's office, he tells Lisa that he's sorry. She wants to hear more. "Was there somebody else?" He says no. "It just wasn't you," he adds. "It was never, ever going to be you." Lisa is confused, because he told her that she was the one. "Because I wanted to believe it. I was desperate to. You're the best woman I've ver known. When I finally found you, I felt so sure I would fall deeply in love, but I didn't," he says. He goes on to say that he did love her, but he had no passion for her. "Do you feel better knowing?" he asks her. She puts her fingers to his lips, letting him know that she doesn't want to hear anymore.

Cage is in the unisex, looking in the mirror, and hearing Barry White in his head. He begins to dance. Elaine comes in and starts dancing behind him. When he finally sees her, he tells her that he won't stand to be disparaged. "I wasn't disparaging you. I was dancing," she says. "Barry White?" she asks him. "You are hot," she says.

Lisa and Ally are in her office. Lisa wants to go rehearse down at the bar before she sings that night. She tells Ally, "You know what the worst thing is? Suppose he hadn't broken it off. I'd be married to a man who wasn't in love with me."

She leaves, and Billy comes in. He stands over to the side of the office, and tells her his story. "When I considered transferring to Michigan, I went to visit. I met Georgia. Inside of ten minutes I knew she was the woman I would marry. Nothing happened with her until after you and I." Ally tells him that he lied to her. "I did go, in part, to make law review," he says. Billy says telling her the truth would have only caused her more pain. "You don't know how much pain you have spared me," she says. "It's not like you lost something that you had yesterday," says Billy. "Yesterday I believed in something," Ally says. "I'm not ashamed of wanting someone to love because I had it once, and it was everything." She pauses. "But maybe I never really had it." Billy tells her that she did. She turns away and looks out the window. "Well, it's like you said, it was years ago. It doesn't really matter," she says. Billy says he wished he had done things differently, but before he can go on, Ally puts her hand up as a sign for him to not say anymore. She simply says, "Billy. I'm fine."

Renee and Elaine are sitting at a table in the bar, listening and watching Lisa sing. Ally sits by herself, at the end of the bar. Richard and Ling are at dinner somewhere else, and she is actually laughing. Georgia is at home cross-stitching, while Billy remains at work. Cage and Nelle are on their date. She has her hair in a ponytail and he buys her a rose from someone on the street. Back at the bar, Elaine and Renee dance with the twins. Mark Newman comes into the bar and watches Lisa. As she has so many times, Ally walks home alone.

Script

Full transcript can be found here.

Music

List of music in the episode can be found here.

Cast

Starring

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

Recurring

Portia de Rossi as Nelle Porter
Lucy Liu as Ling Woo

Guest Starring

Jennifer Holliday as Lisa Knowles
Harrison Page as Reverend Mark Newman
Gerry Becker as Attorney Myron Stone
Kayren Ann Butler as Jody Silverman
Lydia Look as Leigh Woo

Plot

Ling tells Georgia and Fish that she intends to sue a nurse who worked for a cosmetic surgeon. The conversation is interrupted when Mark Newman, Fish’s minister, arrives at the firm. In private, Newman tells Fish that he ended a relationship with the music supervisor of the church choir, Lisa Knowels. Ever since, the songs Lisa has been singing during services are about broken hearts and lost love. Newman believes his congregation is oblivious to the fact that the songs are directed towards him. He also believes he cannot fire Lisa, since the move could be perceived as retaliatory. Fish promises Newman he will drop by the church to observe.

Ling’s case moves to the deposition phase. It becomes apparent that Ling purchased implants as a Christmas gift for her sister. She did so after a plastic surgeon showed off his nurse’s breasts, under the pretense that they were implants. But Ling maintains that she and her sister were duped, as the nurse’s breasts were, in fact, natural. As the plastic surgeon who performed the procedure is now penniless, Ling is suing the nurse, Jackie Silverman, for damages.

Fish drags Ally and Renee to his minister’s church. The threesome listen as Lisa Knowels belts out Al Green’s "So Tired of Bein’ Alone." Lisa’s performance is so powerful, it connects with those in the audience who are also tired of being lonely. Afterward, Cage asks Ally to be a mediator, believing that she can "tap into her despair."

As the deposition continues, Jackie Silverman admits that the plastic surgeon sometimes represented her as someone he had performed work on . Afterwards, Georgia states that the firm may have solid grounds for a case if they claim misrepresentation. Silverman’s attorney, Michael Stone, tells Billy and Georgia that if they compare their clients’ breasts, side by side, they can give informed advice as how to proceed. Billy wholeheartedly embraces the idea. His sudden enthusiasm is not lost on Georgia.

Ally approaches Lisa about her choice of music. During their conversation, Ally realizes that her situation with Billy-working side by side with a man who broke her heart-is very much like Lisa’s relationship to the minister. Lisa maintains that expressing her feelings through music is her only salvation and the church represents her only forum to do so. Later, Ally confronts Newman about the manner in which he broke up with Lisa (a sudden change of heart with no advance warning). Afterward, as Ally walks down a Boston street, she suddenly stops in her tracks. She realizes that her break-up with Billy had nothing to do with his leaving for Michigan.

Jackie Silverman and Ling’s sister, Leigh, disrobe in Billy’s office. Stone and Billy inspect both women’s breasts as Georgia attempts to contain her dismay at the absurdity of the situation. Billy, Stone and Georgia all conclude that the implant surgery was done well. Georgia announces that the lawsuit will not proceed.

Ally tells Georgia that Lisa’s situation suddenly made her realize that Billy went to Michigan to get away from her. And she also realizes that Billy met someone who was in Michigan at the time. Putting two and two together, she concludes that Billy and Georgia met while Ally was still dating Billy. Georgia admits this is true.

Nelle insults Ling when she suggests that she is an unpopular person. As a result, Nelle believes Ling deliberately picks fights so she can lay the blame on a battle. Hurt and vulnerable, Ling walks off. Fish catches up with Ling. He tells her that she is not disliked by everyone. He admits that he enjoys her company and asks her out to dinner.

Georgia tells Billy that Ally knows of their affair in Michigan. She also tells him that she fears he may drop her just like he dropped Ally years earlier.

Ally convinces Lisa that it would be better if she sang her pop songs at the bar instead of at church. She also arranges for Lisa to sit down with Mark to discuss their feelings. Eventually, Mark admits that although he fell in love with Lisa, marrying her would have been a mistake, because he would have held no passion for her in his heart.

Billy tells Ally he knew he would end up marrying Georgia ten minutes after they met. But he insists that nothing happened between them until after he and Ally broke up. Ally turns to Billy and accuses him of destroying the idea that there was hope-and that, perhaps, the one love she thought she had in her life never really existed.

At the bar, Lisa takes the stage and mesmerizes the crowd with her take on "Fools Fall In Love."

Trivia

Music

Quotes

Photos

Notes and References

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