“Benched” Season 1 Episode 2 “Downsizing “ aired last Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, at 10:30 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) volunteered to give the thank-you speech at the annual Keely Foundation Fundraising Gala for Public Defenders, as she believed that if she could impress the other corporate lawyers there, she would get back into corporate law. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began with Phil Quinley (Jay Harrington), another public defender, showing Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) an apartment that his “landlord friend” was letting out, as she needed to move out of her old place. However, Nina was not happy with it, as it was small. Phil, who was going to get a commission if he was able to rent it out to her, convinced her to take it, as it was one of the nicest places she could get at a public defender’s salary.
At the office, their boss, Burt (John McGee), asked for volunteers for the thank-you speech at the annual Keely Foundation Fundraising Gala for Public Defenders. Every year, they had to “schmooze” and say thank you to those who had given them funds for that year. However, Phil told them that he would not be able to make it this year because he needs to attend the championship game of his basketball team, as he was the coach of a basketball team of at risk youth. Nina refused to believe that he really was coaching an at-risk youth basketball team, especially after he told her that one of the kids was named Marnold.
Nina, after learning that many corporate lawyers would be attending the event, decided to volunteer to do the thank you speech so that she could show off and probably land another job at a corporate law firm.
Later at court, Cheryl (Maria Bamford) asked Nina how she could get a guy like Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), Nina's ex-fiancee. Nina then told her to think of something that she really wanted, then to “focus on the voice” that said “that’s mine.”
Back at the office, she was surprised to learn that the head of the events committee of the gala had not approved that she deliver the speech. The head was Debbie Mathersons (Catherine Reitman), the lawyer who was given the partnership at Nina’s old firm instead of her. She then met up with Debbie, who told her that she got the position as she had blackmailed their boss who had been sending provocative texts and pictures to her. As Debbie liked the idea that Nina would owe her if she approved Nina to give the speech, especially if the speech got Nina back into corporate law, she agreed. Later, she excitedly asked Phil to listen to her rehearse her speech.
At the gala, Debbie helped her “schmooze” and “work the room.” She then met Maria Keely (Bre Blair) of the Keely foundation, who told her that she had heard a lot about her. Nina was pleasantly surprised when she saw that Phil was there. He told her that the game had ended early, and she teased that he had come in order to hear her speech. However, their conversation was interrupted as Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), Nina's ex-fiance went up to them. Nina then became embarrassed when she learned that Maria Keely was Trent’s new fiancée.
As she was nervous about the speech and because of Maria, Phil encouraged her as she was prepared for the speech, and she was “smarter than ten Marias put together.”
She then began her speech the way she had rehearsed it, but she somehow started to mess up after she saw Maria kiss Trent on the lips. She then told them that she had hoped that her speech would “dazzle them” enough to let her back into money law, but she knew that she had just probably blown her chance. She then told them that she had learned that “being poor” was a crime, especially as those were the people whom she now defended — such as the Mexican kid who would have to get deported after “experimenting with drugs,” while rich kids who take drugs are let off as they were just experiencing “college.” She told them that she was there “begging for money” as they had “slashed our budget again.” She had realized that she was now a public defender and not an annoying corporate lawyer anymore. She then capped it off by thanking them for the “outdated copier” they had given them.
Afterwards, Carlos (Oscar Nunez) thanked her. He would be giving the speech next year because of what had happened. They were then joined by Cheryl, who told them that the man she had been with was a waiter and not a lawyer like she thought he was. She then remarked that since she did not do well with her speech, she probably would not be able to get back into corporate law and joked that they would have been sad if she had left.
As she was moving in to her tiny apartment, Phil gave her a housewarming gift — a coffee machine. However, as the machine was his, he told her that he would "have to take it back at some point". He then got his at risk youth basketball team to help Nina move in and proved to her that he really had a kid named Marnold. Jokingly, she told him that he could have paid the kids off to pretend that they were his basketball team.
And that was all for the recap on “Benched” Season 1 Episode 2 "Downsizing." For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Benched” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “Benched” every Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on USA Network.
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