“Benched” Season 1 Episode 5 “Shark, Actually” aired last Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at 10:30 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, Public Defender Phil Quinlan (Jay Harrington) tried to become a more serious lawyer and person in order to ask out a court stenographer out on a date. Meanwhile, Public Defender Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) became paranoid that her co-defense lawyer was secretly arranging a side deal that would benefit his client without her knowledge. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode opened at court. Public Defender Phil Quinlan (Jay Harrington) went against Trent Barber (Carter MacIntyre), the District Attorney, with Phil’s co-Public Defenders Carlos (Oscar Nunez) and Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) waited for their turns at court that day. There, Phil argued that his client had failed to appear at court during her previous dates due to employment and childcare issues and not because she was leading a bucolic lifestyle in Tuscany. However, when he said that line, he checked his legal pad, and Trent told him that he had gotten off easy. The judge then agreed with Trent that the defendant was a flight risk. Carlos then congratulated Phil, which left Nina confused.
Carlos then explained that they usually played a word game at court. The court stenographer gave them a word of the day, which they had to slip into the proceedings without the judge catching them. At the same time, Phil was given another word by the stenographer after he approached the bench. His word was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which was his “bonus word.” Carlos thought that Phil would not be able to pull it off, but he was able to do so. Because of this, the judge set bail for the defendant at $ 10,000. He told them that he had won against Trent as he was not even able to slip in his word, osmosis, during their proceedings. Nina then told them that they were immature and that she would not resort using the word game. Phil then told her that she was not fun, which disturbed her.
Afterward, he tried to ask Lucy out on a date, but she quickly rejected him. Later, as they left the building, Phil revealed that Lucy had told him that he was not serious enough for him. At that moment, the elevator opened. Phil joked around with a police officer named Sam whose poker game he usually went to. Because of this, Nina told him that he was a funny person, but he wasn’t relationship material as he wasn’t serious enough. While he was drinking gin for lunch, Micah (Jolene Purdy), their intern, started assigning cases to them as their boss was currently in surgery. As Phil asked for a serious case, Micah gave him a breaking and entering case. It involved two kids, their defendant, a poor kid and a rich kid, whose defense lawyer, Mr. George Grumbeigh, had a reputation for throwing his co-defendants under the bus. As Phil was complaining about his case, Nina decided to get it as the lawyer described seemed like a serious lawyer. After Phil called her a shark woman, they fought over who would be able to use Micah as their intern.
Later that night, Phil confided in Carlos that he was a little bit insecure about how Lucy thought about him. Carlos did not really help him see himself as a serious person as he called him a jester.
The next day, at court, Nina was surprised that their co-defendants did not show up and was even more surprised when Mr.George Grumbeigh’s paralegal came and gave told her that she and Grubeigh would meet for dinner to discuss their strategy for their defense. Both Nina and Micah were then astonished as Phil walked into court as he had shaved and was wearing a crisp suit. He then went over to Lucy and told her that he was going to win his current case and that she was going to take back everything that she said and go to dinner with him. To prove that he was truly serious, he declined the word for the day. However, he felt stumped as his client, Levon Velasquez (Casper Smart) was sporting a black eye. It was also because Trent added a long list of additional charges which included assault and attempted murder.
Later that night, Nina became very impatient. George Grumbeigh had not yet shown up and left a very rude and annoyed voice message on his phone. As she did so, George Grumbeigh, Jr. (Mehcad Brooks), her co-defense, showed up. As she was embarrassed about the voice message she had left, she knocked his phone out of his hand. They then had a nice and expensive dinner with wine. He told her that he was not like his dad and would definitely work with her in order to win the case for both of their clients. After dinner, they had an awkward moment, wherein it seemed like they were going to kiss. Unfortunately, they were interrupted by the arrival of Nina’s old car.
The next morning, at the office, Carlos thanked Phil for letting him have Lucy give him the word for the day. Nina then told Phil that she had had a great strategy session dinner with George Grumbeigh Jr. and that they had also made plans to go out again. Because of this, Phil told her that she was not a shark, as sharks don’t get googly-eyed over other sharks. He then realized that George might just be playing Nina. He was able to demonstrate and say everything that George had done and told her the night before. He then asked if there was an awkward moment in which he had leaned in, as if to kiss her. He then told her that if she did, that meant he, George, knew that he had her in the palm of his hand, which left Nina very uncomfortable.
At court, Phil was able to help out his client by destroying the arresting police officer’s testimony. However, this became a bad thing, as the police officer in question was Sam. It was also because he replaced Phil’s spot at his poker games with Carlos. Later, he asked his client, Levon, why he had a black eye. After seeing that Levon’s girlfriend’s hand was in a bandage, he realized that Levon had been punched in the eye by his girlfriend, and he was too ashamed to admit it. Phil tried to get him to tell the truth about his black eye. It was also because the fact that the police had merely arrested the first Mexican they had seen a black eye, would win the case for them. However, Levon responded by punching Phil in the eye and ran away with his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Nina, who had become paranoid of George, thanks to Phil, met him in his hotel room, which served as his office there as his real offices were in Malibu. Nina then became suspicious of him as he kept on texting someone. It's because it did not state in his documents that his client had been driving that night, which was what Nina’s client had told her. As she could not seem to snoop on who and what he was texting, she tricked him into changing his blouse so that she could snoop inside his briefcase. When she was caught, she told him of her suspicions. The settlement proposal in his briefcase had the same initials as his client and because he had been texting with District Attorney. She then had thought that he was creating a side deal with the District Attorney. However, he told her that the settlement was for a different case, and he had been texting the District Attorney regarding their golf game. She then became suspicious of small folder, which later on was revealed to be the room’s menu.
At the office, Nina was surprised to see that Phil had a black eye. She told him that she had snooped on George because he had made her paranoid. Because of this, he told her that she was in fact a shark person. The only happy person in the office that morning was Carlos, as everybody at the poker game had loved him. Phil then told Nina to trust her instincts before he left for court.
Before their session, Nina apologized to George about what had happened earlier. However, she became paranoid once again after George had nodded at the District Attorney. Before George could say anything, Nina told the court that her client was going to accept the people’s original offer in exchange for reduced charges and agreed to testify against George’s client. Afterwards, George was furious at her for doing exactly what his father would have done and refused to go out with her.
Meanwhile, Phil was informed by Micah that Levon had “jumped bail” and had tried to flee using a stolen car. However, he had not gone far as he had driven into a pole, which led him to getting arrested by the police.
That night, at their usual bar, Nina, after hearing Phil’s story admitted that he just might be a serious person after all. Nina then understood why they needed the word games to keep everything a little bit light. She then told him not to buy drinks, as she proved herself to be fun. It was revealed that she had stolen some drinks from George’s minibar, as well as his Ethernet cable. Carlos then told them that he had gotten caught by the judge using the word for the day as he had gotten the word elver. As he had no idea how to put it in the proceedings of a triple homicide case, he had screamed the word out loud in court, which led him to be held in contempt. Nina then told them that she was going to buy them drinks. Phil told them that he had a date with Lucy, because even though he had lost his case, she had seen his effort in trying to be a serious person.
The next day, as Nina was able to help Phil beat Trent with his word of the day, she told him that she was indeed a fun person. However, Phil just looked away.
And that was all for the recap of “Benched” Season 1 Episode 5 “Shark Actually.” 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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