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The Real World is the premiere of Season Two of Ally McBeal.


Ally finds herself attracted to an eighteen-year-old while Cage & Fish considers hiring an attorney which Cage finds attractive.


Ally experiences a dream in which she floats in darkness, her arm extended towards a young man whose face is in shadow. As their fingertips come to touch, Ally suddenly awakens with a start. She tells Renee that the dream felt too vivid to be dismissed. That morning, Ally and Cage meet with Laura Jewell, a thirty-seven-year-old woman accused of having sex with Jason Tresham, who was a sixteen-year-old minor when the affair transpired. Cage decides that the best defense is to plead insanity. Shortly thereafter, Ally encounters Jason in a court corridor. She experiences a strange, arresting sensation, but is unsure of its meaning.

Cage, seeing Fish worry that the firm isn't making enough money, asks if he has ever heard of an attorney named Nelle Porter, who is sometimes referred to as "sub-zero Nelle" due to her reported emotional coldness. Cage explains that Nelle is looking to leave her firm named Goodman-Dale, and that her client list is quite impressive.

In court, Ally questions Jason about how he met and fell in love with Laura Jewell. During his testimony, Jason states that some people find love, while others are meant to be alone. Ally is taken aback by the observation and ends her questioning. Later, Ally tells Dr. Tracy Clark that she felt as if Jason was talking about her. She also admits that she experienced impure thoughts about the young man. Tracy believes that Jason triggered old feelings in Ally, feelings dating back to her teenage years with Billy, when she found the love of her life. Back in court, Laura takes the witness stand. She describes in detail her first sexual encounter with Jason. As Laura recalls how beautiful the experience was, Ally fantasizes making love to the boy. Suddenly, Ally lets out a squeak and all eyes in the courtroom turn to her.

Nelle approaches Georgia and Elaine in hopes of 'picking the brain' of one of the female employees before she decides whether or not to join the firm. The women agree that Nelle should speak with Ally, whom they believe will give her the 'straight dirt.' When Nelle leaves, both women agree that Nelle will hate Ally. Back in court, Laura tells the jury that she made love to Jason because he was a boy. She believes that something within men dies emotionally as they grow older. Later, Billy tells Ally that she is perhaps meant to have a relationship with Jason.

When Cage and Renee finish their closing arguments, Ally asks Laura if her relationship with Jason is over. Laura assures her that it is. Shortly thereafter, Ally encounters Jason in the elevator. Jason tells Ally that she was in his dreams the previous evening. He also informs her that their fingertips were touching. Ally relays the information to Dr. Tracy Clark, somewhat incredulous that both she and Jason shared the same dream. Tracy encourages Ally to listen to her own thought and to pursue the relationship.

Ally tells Nelle that she enjoys working at the firm. However, shes tates that Nelle will never make partner, as the powers-that-be believe that women who want families will end up taking maternity leave and quitting. Their conversation ends when Elaine announces that the jury has reached a verdict. The jury rules that Laura is not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. Afterward, Ally again encounters Jason in the elevator. This time, Jason asks her out on a date. To her own surprise, Ally accepts the offer.

During their date, Jason tells Ally that his uncle is a groundskeeper at Fenway park. The pair makes their way to the field, where they play an imaginary game of baseball. Afterward, Jason invites Alley to come up to his apartment. Ally, however, declines. They both realize the romance could never be. Ally gives Jason a final kiss goodbye… aware that she will never see him again.

Fish announces to his staff that Nelle Porter has joined the firm as its newest attorney. Afterwards, Cage admits to Alley that Nelle 'makes his heart go boom,' even though she may be the kind of woman he can only dream about.


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
Vonda Shepard as Herself
with Peter MacNicol as John Cage
and Gil Bellows as Billy Thomas

Special Appearance By

Tracey Ullman as Dr. Tracey Clark

Recurring cast

Portia de Rossi as Nelle Porter[1]

Guest starring

Richard Lee Jackson as Jason Tresham
Caitlin Dulany as Laura Jewell
Susan Krebs as Judge Lee Kensington


  • The episode is dedicated to Phil Leeds, who had passed away a month before the season premiered. The episode opens with a title card which readsIn memory of PHIL LEEDS.


Notes and references

  1. First appearance of Nelle Porter