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Those Lips, That Hand is the 18th episode of Season Two of Ally McBeal.


Ally defends a man accused of murdering his wife by cutting off her hand. Billy and Georgia represent a life insurance salesman who lost his job because of his bad comb-over.


Ally observes herself in the bathroom mirror, drawing closer for a better look. Suddenly, she lets out a scream. She tells Renee that a wrinkle has appeared on her face, one that wasn’t present the previous day. With her twenty-ninth birthday rapidly approaching, Ally worries that life is passing her by. Renee has a hard time taking Ally seriously, especially since she is preparing for an upcoming murder trial, one that will pit her against Cage. She warns Ally not to allow Cage to pull his usual stunts, for if he does, she will pressure the judge to have him cited for contempt.

In the conference room, the attorneys discuss the status of their current cases. As the meeting wraps up, Elaine suggests celebrating Ally and Cage’s birthdays simultaneously. Cage is less than thrilled with the idea.

Fish tires of pressuring Ling for sex and decides to end the relationship. But Ling changes his mind by licking his finger and letting him touch her wattle.

Billy and Georgia meet with their client, Ross Fineman, an elderly man with a terrible comb-over. Georgia tells Billy that she has "a thing" about comb-overs. She admits to having difficulty looking their client in the eye. The pair meet with Attorney Michael Stone and his client, Joseph Corte, Fineman’s former boss.

In court, Ally and Cage defend their client, Albert Shepley, against charges that he murdered his wife by sawing off her hand. Officer Kent describes how he stopped Shepley’s car after it sped through a stop sign. Kent spotted some blood and a blanket in the back seat, and when he opened the rear door to investigate further, he discovered a severed human hand. Offices searched Shepley’s home, where they discovered the body of Mrs. Shepley. Later, a coroner testifies that Mrs. Shepley died of cardiac arrest. It is the coroner’s belief that the coronary was triggered by the trauma of the arm being severed. But under cross-examination, the coroner concedes that it is possible the arm was cut off after Mrs. Shepley expired. Dr. Joyce Brothers testifies that the loss of a love one can trigger psychotic behavior. She also believes it would be an entirely different situation if Mr. Shepley cut off the arm before his wife’s death. Later, the District Attorney’s office offers a manslaughter plea. Mr. Shepley rejects this, insisting he did not kill his wife.

Fish tells Elaine that he has yet to have sex with Ling. Later, Elaine tells Ling that teasing Fish will work for a while, but eventually, his id will rule the day and he will seek out another woman.

Mr. Shepley tells the court that he would often sit by his wife’s side and hold her hand. When his wife died, the thought of never being able to hold her hand again seemed unbearable. So he cut off her hand, hid it in the backseat of his car, and drove towards his mortician-brother’s house. Later, Ally and Cage discuss the progress of their case. Cage laments that he is about to turn 35. Without warning, he kisses Ally on the lips. He apologizes, then retracts his apology and exits the room.

During deposition, Ross Fineman testifies that he was fired from his job as a life insurance salesman because of his age. Stone raises the issue of Fineman’s hair. According to Stone, Corte fired Fineman because of concerns for his credibility, as by its very nature, a comb-over is considered a fraud. In an attempt to save Fineman further humiliation, Billy brings the proceedings to a halt. Both parties realize the case will have to be settled in court. Later, Stone convinces Judge Walsh that a photograph of what is beneath Fineman’s comb-over is needed for trial. Fineman announces his decision to drop the case, but Billy changes his mind. Stone takes a comb and lifts up, revealing more than two feet of hair on Fineman’s head.

Renee starts up a power saw and asks Shepley if the device was used to cut off his wife’s arm. A slew of objections follows.

Billy tells Fineman that Corte has agreed to rehire him if he drops the lawsuit and gets a haircut. Fineman asks Billy and Georgia if they thought he had a comb-over when they first met him. Georgia confirms that the comb-over looked terrible. Devastated, Fineman decides to get a haircut.

Ally tells Renee that her client’s action can be explained by only one thing: love. Renee is incredulous. Ally repeats this theory in her closing argument. The jury is swayed by the reasoning, and Shepley is found not guilty.

Ling reveals the reason she has never made love to Fish: she is great in bed, and once they make love, he will only want sex from then on. Ling then strides into Billy’s office, picks up a pair of scissors, and with a few simply snips, gives Fineman a trim. Billy and Georgia both compliment Fineman on his surprisingly good haircut.

At the birthday celebration at the bar, Fish drives Ling wild by stroking an erogenous zone in her knee pit. Ling begs for more. Later, Nelle surprises Cage with his birthday present: a live performance by singer Barry White.


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

Special Appearances By

Barry White as Himself
Tony Shalhoub as Albert Shepley
Dyan Cannon as Whipper Cone

Guest starring

Paul Willson as Ross Feinman
Albert Hall as Judge Seymore Walsh
Gerry Becker as Attorney Myron Stone
Tony Campisi as Joseph
Dr. Joyce Brothers as Dr. Joyce Brothers
Jody Wood as Officer Kent
Brad Blaisdell as Dr. Alfonso Moreno