Ally McBeal Wiki

I Know Him by Heart is the 23rd episode of Season Two of Ally McBeal.


Ally decides to take a more aggressive approach in her search for a mate; a lesbian who wants to have a baby sues her insurance company when it refuses to cover the fertilization process; Nelle feels threatened by the relationship Cage shares with Ally.


As she prepares for bed, Ally again experiences a fantasy in which Al Green sings. This time, however, Ally joins in. Renee looks in on her roommate… and sees her singing all alone.

The next morning, Renee admits to Ally that she is worried about her mental well being. Ally insists her heart is a gigantic stress fracture. She asks Renee to tell Elaine she will not be going to work, as she intends to stay inside her room, "where life is beautiful." Later, Renee tells her colleagues about Ally’s behavior. Fish travels to Ally’s apartment and discusses the situation. He tells Ally that she must take a more proactive approach to finding a mate. Later, Ally tells Renee that she has finally reached the conclusion that the man of her dreams does not exist. Renee believes in one thing Fish said: don’t wait until the right guy comes along. Renee insists that she and Ally will turn all of their attention to the dating scene.

When Ally returns to work, she asks to see Ling in private. Anxious for a makeover, she asks Ling to "do her." Ling misinterprets this as a sexual advance. She then begins relating the story of "a friend" who let herself be touched by another woman. Ling asks Ally to stick out her finger. Perhaps out of curiosity, Ally does so. She also gives Ling permission to lick it. But the moment she gives her consent, Ling is "grossed out" by the thought. Ling exits the office, telling Fish that she now believes Ally is a lesbian. Moments later, Ally finds herself standing face to face with Margaret Camero. She accuses Ally of hating lesbians… something Ally vehemently denies. When the matter is settled, Camero relates how she sought Fish’s advice on a legal matter. It turns out that Camero is attempting to have a baby. When her insurance company refused coverage of the fertilization process, she initiated a lawsuit.

Ally opens a stall door just as Cage is exiting with a dismount. He collides with the door and ends up draped over it, the wind having been knocked out of him. Cage tells Ally that her eyes have seemed dead of late. He apologizes for telling her that the man of her dreams doesn’t exist. That evening, Ally and Renee hit the town, meeting a seemingly endless succession of men. When their efforts fail, Ling offers to round up all the available men in Boston and bring them to Ally.

Nelle tells Cage that she is uncomfortable with the way Ally always runs to him whenever she is having a crisis. A short time later, Cage tells Ally that Nelle feels threatened by the way he connects to her imaginary life. Cage also tells her that one of the reasons for the connection is his childhood. As a little boy, Cage started his own imaginary Little League in his bedroom… and pitched a no-hitter.

Inside the unisex bathroom, Elaine hops over the top of the wall and into Nelle’s stall. Elaine tells her that she couldn’t help but notice how upset she is. Nelle tells her to leave at once.

Ally assists Cage with Margaret Camero’s deposition. Camero points out to Attorney Stone, who is representing the insurance company, that his client has covered infertility expenses for other employees. Stone suggests that she attempt to get pregnant by having sex with a man, as it is the most efficient way of fertilizing the egg. Stone insists the insurance company is not attempting to discriminate; rather, it has already paid for three other single mothers and does not wish to "open the floodgates." He promises to discuss the case with the company.

True to her word, Ling escorts fifteen handsome, eligible men into the office. Ultimately, Ally rejects them all, as she has no interest in a man who would respond to such a cattle call.

Elaine informs Fish that Cage is in the unisex dismounting over and over again. The pair confront Cage and demand that he stop at once. Cage dismounts, but overshoots and crashes into the opposite stall. A short time later, Nelle and Cage discuss the growing tension between them. Nelle explains that she would like to go through life with someone whose interests are different than her own. Cage insists that the one non-negotiable thing in their relation must be Nelle’s eventually love of all things Barry White. They both realize they are beginning to love one another… and they kiss.

That night, Ally sits alone in a carriage on a carousel, going around and around.


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
Vonda Shepard as Herself
Portia de Rossi as Nelle Porter
Lucy Liu as Ling Woo
with Peter MacNicol as John Cage
and Gil Bellows as Billy Thomas

Special Appearance By

Al Green as Himself

Guest starring

Gerry Becker as Attorney Myron Stone
Wendy Worthington as Margaret Camaro