“Benched” Season 1 Episode 4 “Sell It” aired on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, at 10:30 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, Public Defender Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) desperately tried to get the jury to like her during her very first trial. Meanwhile, her colleague, Public Defender Phil Quinlan (Jay Harrington) went against Nina’s ex-fiancee, District Attorney Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), whom he immediately got competitive with. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode opened with Public Defender Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) at court, where she tried to argue and explain her argument in court in front of a jury at her first trial. However, the jury voted that her defendant, Neil Gabrieal Andre, was guilty. They couldn’t understand a single word that she said as she peppered it with complicated legal terms. She then revealed to her fellow public defenders, Carlos (Oscar Nunez) and Cheryl (Maria Bamford), that as a corporate lawyer she never saw the inside of a court room.
Back at the office, everyone clapped for Nina and mocked her jury speech. Her boss, Burt (Jack McGee), told her to remember that she was only addressing the jury and that the nuances of talking to a jury is a learned thing. However, as she only had one hour left until her next jury trial, they concluded that she would be dead.
In front of her, Phil Quinlan (Jay Harrington), Nina’s colleague just realized that since his computer had hung, he had just lost his “entire opening argument.” He then informed Nina that he was going to go against her ex-fiancee, Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), whom he hated going against as he made him extremely competitive, even if he, Phil, wasn’t really a competitive sort of person, as he usually won. Afterward, Nina discovered that she would be defending a scary-looking man named Tinsy Curtis. Her colleagues then told her that she wouldn’t have a chance in helping Tinsy out as Carlos told her that the jury would convict him on his face alone.
On their way to court, Phil gave Nina some advice on how to address a jury. He told her to dumb it down as the members of the jury were like her sixth-grade peers and told her to simplify things. However, Trent, who met them at the entrance of the courthouse, told her to pretend like she was a cool boss at an office party, whom everyone looked up to.
At court, the judge, Judge Miron Ickles, started to rule against Phil. He clearly favored Trent since both Trent and the judge shared an interest in tennis. During their short recess, Phil asked Nina for some advice on how to shake up Trent’s confidence as they used to be together. Nina then told him that the key to beating Trent was to beat him in just one thing so that his confidence would be shaken. He then wished Nina luck on her jury trial by giving her some more advice.
At court, she first treated the jury members like little children, and then as that wasn’t working, she tried to treat the entire thing like a fun office party. Afterward, she told Phil that the members of the jury hate her. They had drawn hateful and mocking images of her on their pads and realized that the problem was her.
At the office, she bought everyone lunch in order to ask them for advice. They then pretended to be the members of the jury while Nina addressed them. However, as they kept on giving her different advice and criticisms, she became too critical of herself and started to doubt every move she made. She then told them about the advice that Phil had given her, but she was only told that “only Phil could do Phil.”
Back at the courthouse, Phil challenged Trent to a tennis match. He knew that he would be able to win against him as Nina had told him that Trent was not good at tennis. He then saw Nina who was extremely confused at that moment with all the advice that had been given to her.
At court, she told the members of the jury that Tinsy was a victim of mistaken identity. She told them that they should not judge people based on their looks alone. However, she was unable once again to win the jury over to her. She walked awkwardly and placed her hands awkwardly on her hips.
Later that night, at their usual bar, Tent gloated over Phil as he had won their tennis match. Because of that, he had Phil buy him a drink even if he was not going to drink anything from that particular bar. Phil then became upset at Nina. She had told him that Trent wasn’t good at tennis. Phil then told her that he did not understand why he had lost because he had been good at tennis during college. Nina then told him that both he and Trent were bad at giving advice. She had let all the advice that had been given to her mess with her head. Phil then told her to just follow her gut. She then realized what she had to do. Then she went to the bathroom to throw up as she realized that she had been drinking leftovers from other people’s bar placemats.
Next day, Nina visited Tinsy in jail. She told him that she was going to have him reassigned to a different lawyer as it seemed like she would not be able to help him out. He then stood up and grabbed his chair, which left Nina terrified. However, to her surprise, he gave her his chair. He told her to sit as it seemed like she had been having a bad day. Because of this, she was able to get a brilliant idea on how to win his case.
Outside the courthouse, Trent beat Phil at playing a game in which one had to throw paper balls into a trash can. While Trent was gloating over his win, Nina came and thanked Phil for his great advice because thanks to that, she was able to have a breakthrough in her own case. Thanks to this, Phil was able to claim a victory that was really close to their upcoming trial. It made him feel like he was going to win. Trent, however, became a little bit shaken.
At court, everyone wondered where Nina was as she was late. She then walked in limping with a cane and air cast. Tinsy then helped her out with her cane and helped her sit down comfortably. When it was her turn to address the jury, she told them that the facts of the case were simple — somebody got mugged in the dark and blamed Tinsy as he had happened to be there at that time. She then told them that one should judge a person based on their actions and not by how one looked like. Tinsy then helped her back into her chair, which effectively won the jury over to their side. This guaranteed them a not guilty verdict from the jury, and Tinsy was now a free man.
Meanwhile, Trent was getting hit from all sides by Phil, and it seemed as if Judge Ickles would rule against Trent. However, all of a sudden, Judge Ickles suffered from a stroke, which caused the trial to become a mistrial. However, this was not enough for either of them, and even if it was childish, since Phil knew that Trent’s confidence was shaken and that he would be able to win against him that day, he raced him to the vending machine.
At their usual bar, they convinced Burt to buy Nina a drink as she had won her case. Phil then revealed to Nina that he knew that she didn’t really take his or Trent’s advice at all. She agreed then agreed that “only Phil can do Phil” and told him that “only Nina could do Nina.” She then fell down at the bar as she hadn’t realized that there was no seat behind her.
And that was all for the recap on “Benched” Season 1 Episode 4 “Sell It.” 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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