Maggie Sutter (Henner) and her inarticulate and surly (need we add) teenage son, Eric (Nick Stahl), are dining with her new b.f., David (Matt McCoy), while Sutters’ neighbor, Joann Brodsky (Jamie Rose), is at home being attacked at knifepoint by a shadowy figure whom Brodsky tentatively identifies as Eric.
That’s enough to send Detective Carver (Carmen Argenziano) into action, prodded by district attorney Brokaw (James Sloyan), who’s up for re-election.
David, eager to help, brings in the only attorney he knows — the one who worked on his divorce representing his wife. Neither David nor Maggie thinks to hire an experienced criminal lawyer, and self-confident Hennessey (John O’Hurley) doesn’t recommend one.
Hennessey botches the case, leaving it to Maggie to (1) uncover evidence the police failed to follow up, (2) teach herself how to file an appeal, (3) bring in a hotshot big-city lawyer (Barry Corbin, playing Dan Pendleton as Gerry Spence without the buckskin jacket), and (4) convince reporter Lisa Eubanks (Lisa Banes) to investigate a teenager, long missing, who was spotted peeping into neighborhood windows.
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Still, it’s Maggie who tracks him down and takes the candid, but very clear, close-up photos that Brodsky identifies as the person who really assaulted her.
Dan has for the most part disappeared, and Pendleton (who’s been onscreen for a few minutes, tops) suddenly reappears at the end of the show to make a statement to reporters after charges are dropped against Eric. That part, at least, sounds like a grandstanding lawyer in action.
Phoenix locations stand in for fictional “Fairview,” and tech credits are professional.