Bull Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Grey Areas

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I knew that Bull Season 2 Episode 12 was going to be an intriguing installment when it opened with a patient in a psychologist's office banging his head against the wall.

And that was before he said he wanted to kill his employers. 

A Deadly Rampage - Bull

As was pointed out early on in this Bull quote, it's a slippery slope to hold a psychologist accountable for his or her patient's behavior...

Psychologists aren't mind police. Holding them responsible for the actions of their patients after they leave the doctor's office is not only impossible, it's dangerous.


Benny and Marissa said that the standard for breaking patient client privilege was determining that there was a serious and imminent threat, which meant that the patient had identified a target, had a plan to commit violence, and the means to do so. 

From the brief session we saw, it seemed clear that Lex had identified the target as his employers and the plan was to kill them, so technically, the only thing missing was the means. 

Until we found out that Dr. Donovan Bernanti knew he had a gun.

That's when I first began to suspect that there was something off about Dr. Bernanti, when he not only admitted to knowing that Lex Becker had a gun, but that he had recommended he get one!

Donovan: You know as well as I do just because someone goes to a gun range doesn't mean they're planning to shoot someone.
Bull: A depressive with PTSD and impulse control issues isn't just someone.

I couldn't figure out how any reputable psychologist, never mind one that Jason Bull considered one of the best in the field, would encourage a patient with PTSD and intermittent explosive disorder to get a gun.

That's simply insane. 

Then again, so was Donovan Bernanti. 

Dr. Donovan Benanti - Bull Season 2 Episode 12

But that wasn't apparent right away, and the slow reveal was part of the fun. 

The oddest moment was when Donovan was smiling and practically mooning over Annabelle Harper during her testimony. I immediately thought the same thing that Bull did, that Donovan was sleeping with Annabelle, his former patient. 

If only it had been that simple. 

Even though Bull knew something was terribly off, he wanted to believe his old friend. He even tried to prepare him for what was to come...

Bull: A trial is a lot like an approaching storm. You know it's coming, you pull together appropriate provisions, you board up the house, but you still have to ride it out and hope it isn't any stronger than you thought or last any longer than you expected. Anything can happen. What?
Donovan: Please, I have weather insurance. I have Jason Bull.

Donovan looked upon Dr. Jason Bull as part of his insurance to get away with murder. Perhaps if he had hired someone less adept at reading human behavior he would have been more successful. 

I enjoyed Bull's story about the two of them as young, start up psychologists working in an office they nicknamed the dungeon, and how Bull had gotten a gun for his own protection.

It had me wishing we could see flashbacks to those days, as Jason Bull tried to help patients that could turn dangerous. 

When Bull learned the type of gun Lex had used in the crime, it all clicked, and he was horrified. 

In the worst kind of way, Donovan was fascinating. He chose a profession that's meant to help people, yet twisted it to use those very people to help himself. 

He played God with Lex, Annabelle, and the men who were killed and showed absolutely no remorse. 

Jason Bull was repulsed when there was nothing more he could do but sit back and watch his former friend get away with murder. 

Bull Is Devastated Season 2 Episode 12

At one point, like Bull, I thought that Annabelle might have been in on the plan, but was relieved to find out that wasn't the case. 

I wondered what the odds were that Annabelle had a gun in her purse and might be ready to blow her former therapist away if he did confess to planning the murder of her husband. 

Thankfully, that never took place, or at least if she did have anything like that planned, Danny got to her before she could carry it out. 

Bull's plan at the end seemed a little far fetched. As Chunk pointed out, wouldn't a good defense attorney be able to use the fact that Bull was involved in getting that confession against the prosecution? 

Along those lines, I did appreciate that Bull didn't try to taint Benny's defense in court, or pull him into acquiring Donovan's confession. It's nice to see Bull looking out for the members of his team even as he walks a questionable line to find justice. 

Benny's In the Dark - Bull Season 2 Episode 12

But this was personal for Jason Bull. Donovan Bernanti took their friendship, their history, and Bull's trust and manipulated it all in order to get away with killing three people. 

As much as I'm happy that Bull was able to put Donovan behind bars, I think I'd like to see him come back in future episodes. It isn't often that Dr. Bull goes up against someone who is as masterful at reading human behavior as he is. 

It's like watching Jason Bull go up against his evil twin. 

Check back for my review of Bull Season 2 Episode 13, and until then, you can watch Bull online here at TV Fanatic. 

Grey Areas Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Bull Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

Thoughts and actions are two different things. That's why the professional standard in a case like this is for the psychologist to determine if there is a serious and imminent threat.


Psychologists aren't mind police. Holding them responsible for the actions of their patients after they leave the doctor's office is not only impossible, it's dangerous.