Bobby Donnell asks for Ally's help when two men seek an operation to switch hearts. Cage's cousin is arrested for assaulting 'happy people' with a paddle.
Bobby Donnell from The Practice enters the unisex bathroom as Georgia and Elaine examine one of the hairs on Ally's head, which seems to have turned green. Bobby tells Ally that he is representing two men who wish to swap hearts: one of the men has a healthy heart, the other suffers from congenital disease. The hospital the men approached refused the surgery, prompting the lawsuit. Citing a potential conflict of interest, Bobby asks Ally if she would be interested in acting as co-counsel. Ally accepts the offer, though she and her female friends can hardly maintain their composure around the handsome Donnell.
Ally meets with Bernie Gilson, a former transient who now works for Brian Michaelson, a CEO. She is perplexed as to why Gilson would want to give away his healthy heart to his ailing friend. Ally explains that a judge will want to ensure that Gilson's decision is not subject to undue influence. Gilson states he is acting out of friendship towards Michaelson, and insists there in no quid pro quo.
Meanwhile, Cage announces that his second cousin, Alan Farmer, was arrested after he began assaulting 'happy people' with a paddle. Farmer refuses to plead guilty, as he wishes to remain out of jail. In court, various couples testify that Farmer struck them with a paddle when they exhibited signs they were enjoying themselves in public.
In court, Judge Walsh reacts with disbelief when Bobby asks for a court order that would force a hospital to perform the heart swap. Attorney Michael Parkman, who represents the hospital, argues the hospital could lose its reputation should the operation fail. Later, as Bobby and Ally discuss the case, Ally convinces Donnell to dance with her. In the unisex, Ally tells Georgia that she and Bobby danced. Georgia insists she would have taken the situation one step further and kissed Donnell. Billy, having overheard their conversation, emerges from a stall, causing Georgia embarrassment regarding what she said. She defends the conversation as 'girl talk,' even though Billy considers it disrespectful to their marriage. Eventually, the pair concludes that their marriage is in a rut.
On the witness stand, Gilson describes how he first met Michaelson, who gave the then-transient a five dollar bill as he stood on a Boston street. For the next five years, Michaelson continued giving Gilson five dollars a week. One day, he bought Gilson some soup to eat. The two struck quickly up a friendship, and eventually Michaelson offered Gilson a job at his company. Gilson tells the judge he wishes to give Michaelson his heart because Michaelson has a wife and two children. Bobby offers to drive Ally home after she works late one night. When Ally politely declines the offer, Bobby insists he will hail her a cab. When they reach the office door at the same time, they hold a look. Ally tells Bobby that although she has a great imaginary world, she sometimes needs things to happen for real. On that note, she gives him a kiss.
Bobby places Michaelson on the witness stand. He insists he is not compensating Gilson for his heart, and explains that the only reason he is accepting the offer is for the sake of his family. In private, Gilson tells Ally the real reason for his generosity is the chance to do something worthwhile for the first time in his life. Eventually, Judge Walsh makes a highly unusual decision: he appoints Ally as a judge, asking her to decide what is best for her client. Ally considers the facts-and denies the plaintiff's motion. Later, she tells a disappointed Gilson that he need not sacrifice his heart to be someone as he already is someone. Michaelson tells his friend he would never have accepted his heart to begin with, as he never expected a judge to permit the operation. The two men then begin bickering back and forth, as good friends will often do.
When Farmer takes the witness stand, he states that he 'accelerates love' by striking lovers with the paddle. He believes that the incidents bring out the best in couples, and the relationships grow stronger as a result. Cage beams with dismay when he loses the case.
Bobby tells Ally he does not wish to pursue the romance at the moment, as he is coping with a great deal of emotional baggage from past relationships. He asks her for a little time. Later, at the bar, Cage and Ally dance. Cage reminisces about his mother, who always said that if a person reflects back on a year, and doesn't experience tears of either joy or sadness, then the year was wasted.
Georgia walks into Billy's office wearing nothing but shoes. They retire to the conference room and begin making love. Ally suddenly walks in on the pair, then casually turns off the lights and makes her way back to her office. There she thinks back on the events of the previous year and experiences tears of both joy and sadness.
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 Appearance By
- Dylan McDermott as Bobby Donnell
- Willie Garson as Alan Farmer
- Richard Schiff as Bernie Gilson
- Phil Leeds as Judge Dennis 'Happy' Boyle
- Albert Hall as Judge Seymore Walsh
- Lee Wilkof as District Attorney Nixon
- Vonda Shepard as Herself
- Rhonda Dotson as Julie Martin
- Ken Abraham as Hendrix
- Bob Gunton as Michaelson