“Benched” Season 1 Episode 9 “A New Development” aired on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, the entire public defenders department went against Public Defender Nina Whitley’s (Eliza Coupe) ex-fiance, District Attorney Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), who seemed to have it out for all the homeless in the area. As Nina was sick and tired of defending him, as whatever he did reflected on her a little bit as they used to be together, Trent ended up telling her the secret behind the rounding up of the homeless. However, Nina, who now knew the truth, had a hard time keeping it to herself. Meanwhile, Nina helped her colleague, Cheryl Church (Maria Bamford), defend her homeless client in order to save her from getting fired by their new boss. In the end, though, Nina discovered the truth behind everything, from the campaign against the homeless that went out of hand to Cheryl’s defense, was all part of someone’s master plan. Read on to learn more about this episode.
At court, Public Defender Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) wondered out loud to her colleague, Phil Quinlan (Jay Harrington), on why the courtroom smelled like “every smell there is to smell.” It turned out that it was a “prosecute the homeless” day, and Nina’s ex-fiance, District Attorney Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), seemed out to get them all. As if to illustrate this point, Trent was able to get the judge to rule in his favor to sentence Public Defender Carlos Corda’s (Oscar Nunez) client to get 90 days in jail.
Back at the office, everyone seemed to be a little bit resentful towards Nina, as she used to be with Trent. Nina then tried to tell them that Trent wasn’t a monster and that she saw him once give his entire lunch to a homeless man outside of their building. However, their conversation was interrupted as they noticed that their new boss, Geoffrey (Gary Anthony Michaels), seemed to be scolding Cheryl Church (Maria Bamford), as it seemed as if she could not win any cases at all. As Cheryl went out, Geoffrey called her a “weak link” and reminded her that he could fire her anytime. Cheryl then confided to Nina that she thought that her luck was really bad because she was the new kid, but Nina, who was already the new kid seemed to win everything. She then asked for an advice on what to do with all of the folders of case files she had to arraign in a few minutes. Nina then told her that if it were her, she would asses the likelihood that the District Attorney can prove guilt based on priors and put sticky notes on them so that everything would be more organized, as well as to put notes on any other mitigating factors.
At the courthouse, instead of fixing her files first, Cheryl made some small talk with her client, Annie Mundy, who was also her friend. By the time the court was in session, Cheryl panicked as she couldn’t find Annie’s folder as she had stuck so many sticky notes on all of the folders. When she finally found it, she claimed that her client was not guilty at all, which prompted the judge to tell Trent that they would have a trial the next day. Afterwards, Nina removed one of the sticky notes that was covering the main note to reveal that it had said that her client was, in fact, 100 percent guilty.
In the elevator, Nina unfortunately ended up stuck with Trent, and a friend of his, who was making fun of the homeless that they defended. Nina then revealed that she was tired of defending him all day and told him that she only did so as whatever he did reflected on her as they had been engaged before. This prompted Nina to wonder if they were really that mean to begin with. Because of this, Trent stopped the elevator and told Nina that he didn’t like kicking out all of the homeless, but he had to do so as Tom Balasso, a major real estate developer, bought some land two blocks downtown and leaned on City Hall to clean up the streets of vagrants so that people wouldn’t be put off to visit his development, which included a mall. He then told her not to tell anyone about it, as he could lose his job over it.
Later that night, at a bar, Phil and Carlos kept on abusing Trent for being so mean to the homeless. Nina, in an attempt to convince them that Trent was not an evil monster, told them Trent’s secret, right after Carlos told her that she couldn’t keep secrets.
The next day, before entering the courthouse, Nina was surprised to see that a protest had been organized and that the pen in the courthouse was full. It turned out that Carlos had leaked out the secret to everyone, including a high school classmate of his who worked for the Times. When Trent came in, he asked Nina if she had said anything, but she maintained that she had kept his secret.
Back at the office, Cheryl asked Nina’s help to make her opening statement for the next day’s trial because she would get fired if she did not win. Nina then decided to help and encourage her to win her case after Cheryl showed her a scrapbook of thank-you notes that her clients had given her and revealed that she liked the job as she was sympathetic towards their plight.
The next morning, before entering the office, she was ambushed by a team of reporters who ignored Larry (Peter Spruyt), whom Carlos had spent hours preparing for the interview, and was televised, much to the chagrin of the entire department. However, Nina told them to keep on watching the interview, as she had told the reporters that the District Attorney should remember that they work for everyone and to stop being mean.
Later on, Phil reassured Nina that she had done the best that she could have done, as Nina admitted that Cheryl’s opening statement was still a mess. She then told Phil that she would try to avoid Trent as much as she could that day, as it was her fault that he might just lose his job. However, that also failed as Trent was in the elevator that she just got in. Inside, she revealed to him that she had leaked his secret and wondered why he had told her his secret as he knew that she was terrible at keeping secrets. She then realized that he had been manipulating the entire narrative from the start as he knew that she would leak the secret, and a big scandal would happen. He then reminded her that he did not like what was happening and that was the only way he could solve things. She then told him to throw the trial against Cheryl so that she would be able to keep her job, but he refused.
At court, Cheryl’s opening statement came out better than expected, and surprisingly, Trent dropped all the charges against her client, which meant that Cheryl could keep her job. Afterwards, Trent revealed to Nina that Balasso, because of all the media attention that he was garnering, had told City Hall to ease off on persecuting the homeless. He then issued a public statement in which he stated that he would put up a shelter for the homeless. However, Trent told Nina that the biggest win of all was that Cheryl was going to keep her job, which made Nina realize that he had manipulated the entire thing.
At the bar, Cheryl excitedly talked about her big win, but when she left, Nina revealed to them what had really happened. However, when Cheryl came back, Phil decided to cover for everyone and told her what a great lawyer she was.
And that was all for the recap of “Benched” Season 1 Episode 9 “A New Development.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Benched” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
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