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Benched - 1.06 - Rights & Wrongs - Review: The Art of Compromise

Raise your hand if you are ready to talk about the latest episode of USA’s Benched! I know I for one cannot wait to gush and blubber like a fangirl. This week’s episode of was hands down the best to date. Let’s not waste any more time and just get straight to the review. OK? OK!

This week’s episode was written by John Enbom. I found his style to be moderate. He didn’t do too much nor did he do too little. I did find it odd that we were still harping on Nina’s competitive nature but they did manage to spin it in a new light. In last week’s misadventures, Nina actually hurt her client’s case because she was so obsessed with not getting played and her need to be the smartest person in the room at all times.

This week’s episode saw her wanting to “serve justice” (as long as that meant really sticking it to Trent at every turn). But this episode did touch on a very serious topic in criminal law: trumped up charges to illicit more guilty pleas without regard to actually serving justice all to avoid expensive jury trials under the guise of saving taxpayers money.

Victor Nelli Jr. directed this episode. I enjoyed his use of the wide angles and I have to say he really captured the courtroom in a fresh and interesting way. The tight composition of each scene really sold the low budget public defender angle. This was definitely one of the best technically balanced episodes to date.

This episode explored themes of compromise, obsession and letting go. It was great getting a little taste of what Trent had to put up with during his time with Nina. I mean sure she is lead of the show but every story, especially a break up has three side (his side, her side and the truth, of course). Another bonus is that the writer of this episode didn’t feel the need to shove the budding romance of Nina and Phil down our throats. We were long overdue for a break on that front.

I love nothing more than when the whole office crew is present. Well, alright boring Larry wasn’t there but he only shows up when Cheryl isn’t there (and between me and you I like Maria Bamford’s Cheryl a whole lot more even though for some odd reason she gets less screen time than him). I definitely have to say Carlos is my favorite character. He’s the character we know the most about (even though he isn’t the lead) and he’s the most sympathetic and relatable and that just grows by leaps and bounds each week. I’m thrilled to see Oscar Nuñez have a character that the show appreciates.

A very well put together episode that could (and probably should) be a winning formula for the show to follow. Here’s hoping net week’s episode is as put together, balanced and funny as this one maybe even hopefully more.

Grade: A

Episode Awards

Character of the Night
• Carlos

Best Character Interactions
• Nina, Trent and Judge Nelson

Scene of the Night
• Nina realizes her client is guilty and decides to compromise

Line of the Night
• Micah: You look like a porn star who just got her real estate license.

Most Memorable Moment
• Nina gets the Public Defenders office some office supplies courtesy of the District Attorney's office.

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