26 September 2023

Bull, Season 3

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Directors: Bethany Rooney, Aaron Lipstadt, Russell Fine, Randy Zisk, Stacey K. Black, Mike Smith, Mary Lou Belli, Dennis Smith, Kevin Berlandi, Carl Seaton, Dan Lerner, Jono Oliver, Alex Pillai, Tessa Blake, Glenn Gordon Caron, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Cast: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Christopher Jackson, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Mackenzie Meehan.

A thoroughly engrossing American drama television series which places the focus on Dr. Jason Bull (Weatherly, NCIS), who runs Trial Analyses Corporation (TAC), a company that analyses juries to help develop defence strategies. A top-notch team capably supports Jason in creating winning strategies that tip the scales of justice in his clients’ favour.

Sometimes the system is rigged against the average Joe, so Bull’s services help counter that. He has a physicality and feral intelligence that make him a magnet, together with an arduous bluntness.

Dr. Bull, a psychologist and trial science expert, uses his skills and those of his staff not only to select the right jurors for his clients, but to help his clients’ lawyers decide which type of argument will best win over the jurors.

Bull’s enviable team of TAC experts shape successful narratives down to the very last detail. This includes his quick-witted former lawyer brother-in-law, Benny Colón (Rodriguez); Marissa Morgan (Carr), a neurolinguistics expert from the Department of Homeland Security who monitors shifting jury reactions in real-time; former NYPD detective Danny James (Kirchner) the firm’s tough but relatable investigator; Taylor Rentzel (Meehan), a working mother and former colleague of Marissa’s who is an expert in coding and computer hacking; and Chunk Palmer (Jackson), who helps clients prepare their look and testimony for trial.

The drama is inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, the founder of one of the most prolific trial-consulting firms of all time. All the storylines are gripping.

The first of 22 episodes, titled ‘The Ground Beneath Their Feet’, sees Bull returning from rehabilitation after his heart attack and alcoholism. He presents the TAC team with the case of Caitlin Mehner, a dying mother whose liver transplant funding has been denied by her insurance carrier. In a surprise, Bull announces that TAC will represent the insurance company, with a substantial retainer.

This is followed by ‘Jury Duty’ in which Bull is selected to serve on a jury for a case of a man who has been practising law without a licence – despite his best efforts to get thrown out.

‘Excessive Force’ sees TAC representing the City of New York, which is being sued for $25 million after a drunk but unarmed black man is shot in the arm by a white female police officer upon barging into the women’s bathroom to throw up. Bull implores his team to make the case about circumstances, not race.

In episode 9, ‘Separation’ sees Bull being hired by a wealthy businessman to help him re-acquire a $10 million painting that his ex-wife, a now-deceased famous artist, had previously willed to a museum. A well-known medical examiner finds herself arrested and jailed after being accused of planting evidence nine years ago in a serial murder case in episode 12. A federal judge, who is about to hear a case against a crime boss is killed by the boss’s son in ‘The Good One’.

In ‘When the Rains Came’, two inmates at a private prison are killed and the last guard to leave during the storm is accused of murder. In ‘Pillar of Salt’ (episode 22), a woman is accused of killing her three-year old stepdaughter, after it is determined the girl died from ingesting a lethal amount of salt.

Can you tell us the name of another television series that starred Michael Weatherly? If your answer is correct, you could win one of three, five-disc DVDs of Bull, Season 3. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 4 November 2019. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 5 November 2019.

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