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The Blame Game is the 13th episode of Season One of Ally McBeal.

Synopsis

As Ally, Cage and Georgia try a case about liability in an airplane crash, Ally is reunited with male model Glenn, her recent one-night-stand, who makes her feel guilty about using him as a sexual object.

Plot

While enjoying cappuccinos, Ally and Georgia see Glenn, the art model with whom Ally had a recent one-night stand, who was supposed to have left the country. Ally and Glenn share a rather awkward moment of reunion. Back at the office, Ally, Cage and Georgia discuss how to prove liability against an airline the Lamb family is suing over a plane crash that killed Mr. Lamb. Later, Glenn comes to see Ally and says he never called after their date because Ally made him feel like a cheap one night stand. To prove that wasn't true, she agrees to go out with him again.

In court, Georgia gets an expert witness to testify that mechanical failure was the most likely cause of the plane crash. But opposing counsel quickly discredits the witness by revealing him to be a believer in alien abductions. That night, Ally has sex with Glenn again. Afterwards, she meets her friends at the bar and realizes they all know where she's been and what she's been doing. The next day, the lawyers watch a news story about the airline case. Fish is excited by the attention but frets about the pressure it creates to win. Later on, in a settlement conference, Ally assumes Cage's role and insists a jury will assume, whether or not the airline was actually negligent, that planes don't just fall from the sky without some sort of mistake. Glenn asks Ally to dinner again and Ally confesses to Renee that she's really starting to like Glenn, even though they have nothing in common. But that night, Glenn complains that Ally still sees him as a sexual object and breaks up with her. Ally realizes Glenn manipulated her into sex the second time, having no more intention of continuing a relationship than she did. So she and Renee plot an old revenge scam: the 'penguin.'

The next day, the airline offers the Lamb's $375,000. Georgia, Ally and Cage think it's a decent sum, but Fish says they should hold out for more. Later, Ally and Georgia giggle over the 'penguin' plan. But Billy chides Ally about her about her promiscuity with Glenn and the damage it could do to her professional reputation. Ally says Billy no longer has any right to comment on who she dates and shouldn't hide his own jealousy behind any professional concerns. Back in court, Cage makes his closing arguments, urging the jury to 'spank' the airline into safety consciousness with a large cash penalty.

That night, Renee goes to sculpture class, flirts with Glenn and gets him to go out with her. Driving along a remote street, Renee pretends to want initiate sex and gets Glenn to pull over. Ally and Georgia watch through infrared binoculars as Renee tells Glenn to pull his pants down to his ankles. Then Renee backs away, tantalizingly. Glenn starts to follow, waddling like a penguin. Ally and Georgia next drive by and Renee jumps in the car, leaving Glenn waddling after them in a high state of frustrated excitement. The next morning, Billy tries to apologize to Ally, but the moment degenerates into another fight. In court, the defense gives its closing arguments and the case goes to the jury. Fish frets over the pending verdict. Ally goes back to her office and finds Glenn and Billy. She apologizes to both of them, saying that when someone gets hurt the natural tendency is to issue blame and they both attack her, so she lashed out.

Back at court, the airline offers one last settlement of $685,000. The lawyers recommend the Lamb family accept but the family has bought into the firm's arguments and refuses. Now Fish worries more than ever about the verdict. But then the jury returns and grants $1 million to the Lambs. Everyone celebrates at the bar. Billy tells Ally he understands why she lashed out at him and Glenn. He also notes that she seems pretty happy now...which she realizes too, watching all her friends dance.

Script

Full transcript can be found here.

Music

Hooked On A Feeling (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
Baby, That Is Rock-n-Roll (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD
Tell the World How I Feel About 'Cha, Baby (cover) | VONDA SHEPARD

See also list of songs in the episode.

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

Guest starring

Michael Easton as Glenn
Harry J. Lennix as Ballard
Vonda Shepard as Herself
Elizabeth Ruscio as Cynthia Pierce
Ben Siegler as Hoverless
Adrian Sparks as Katz
Susan Merson as Judge Stoller
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