We’re now into the episodes I’ve seen before. This
was the first episode of the show I ever saw.

Cast and Crew

Nestor Carbonell as Tom Montero

Viola Davis as Hannah Crane

Ioan Gruffudd as Lukas Gold

Kristin Lehman as Lee May Bristol

Eric Schaeffer as Darwin McNeil

Hector Elizondo as Martin Constable

Guest starring Zachery Ty Bryan, and Judith Hoag.

Written by David Shore.

Directed by J. Miller Tobin.

Created by Ed Zuckerman.

Complete information is
available from this
IMDB
page
.


Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate


Love and Games originally aired on March 27,
2004.

Synopsis

There are three cases running through this episode.
The most
prominent is the case with Zach Bryan as a baseball
draftee with an
artificial eye who is not being allowed to play
baseball because of a
mechanical eye. The second case (with Judith Hoag) is
about a couple
arguing through divorce court about the meaning of
family, and how
they need to negotiate a settlement. The third and
most amusing case
is one brought forward by former firm employees. It
seems that, by
2030, people have the right not to work for “an ass.”
Darwin, a
lawyer with the firm, is an unabashed and undeniable
ass, and his
previous assisstants feel the world needs to know
about him.

High Point

The meeting in the gym.

Low Point

The conclusion of one of the cases. The case was won,
not because of
any effective arguments from the firm, but because of
information the
judge brought in independently. The victory felt
weak, as did the
closing arguments of the lawyers involved. The first
time I saw this
episode, I expected the case to be lost. It just felt
like a forced
happy ending.

The Review

The only case involved that felt original was
the least
prominent, involving Darwin. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects were minimal. We have
establishing shots, and a
CGI shot revealing the mechanical eye. That was
clearly CGI. The
other elements involved were as subtle as usual. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The story was only weak in the final
execution. We got some
real drama, some effective comedy, and some real depth
to Darwin. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from the guest stars mentioned was
great. (I’m
very impressed with Zach Bryan in this episode, in
fact.) Eric
Schaeffer does a great job as Darwin, and most of the
rest of the firm
does their jobs. Ioan Gruffudd doesn’t do as well
here, though. Some
points just didn’t sell me for reasons I can’t pin
down. The worst
scene was when he came to visit Bryan’s character in
the batting box
without Elizondo’s character. He didn’t seem
invested, and even
worse, he didn’t respond to Bryan’s work. At one
point, his head
snaps over to Bryan, as though responding to
something, but Bryan was
still in a dramatic pause. Rather than recover or do
a retake,
Gruffudd held the pose, and waiting for the line. It
was really
poorly done. Bryan just outclassed him in every scene
they shared,
and unfortunately, there were a lot of them. I give
it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response was good until the
undeserved court
win. Even Gruffudd’s acting in the scene above wasn’t
a major
problem, given how good Bryan’s acting was in the same
scene, and that
it was Bryan’s character we were meant to sympathize
with. The two
other cases were used to illustrate the two different
aspects of
Darwin’s character, and they both worked quite well.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The production felt like there were some
moments that
received a lot of attention, and others that were just
done. The
opening teaser was very well done, as were the
Darwin/Lee May
exchanges. The scene I complained about in the acting
section
shouldn’t have been used as is. I don’t know what
happened there, but
there should have either been another take to use, or
another camera
available to use an insert to cover the timing issue.
I give it 4 out
of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode, but not
spectacular. I give it
4 out of 6.

In total, Love and Games receives 29 out of
42.

Next Week

Next week’s episode is the one that I find the
funniest of the
series. It’s worth checking out, particularly since
the serious
storyline, while seen many times before, is one which
I suspect many
Bureau 42 readers can identify with.