Bull Season 2 Episode 20 Review: Justified

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All or nothing.

That was the strategy for Jason Bull and the TAC team on Bull Season 2 Episode 20, and it was risky.

But it was their only play. 

Defending an Old Friend - Bull

Watching Brian humiliate and then beat and rape his wife in that opening scene was difficult and disturbing, but if I hadn't witnessed it, I'm not sure what I would have thought about Kate shooting her husband in his sleep. 

Didn't she have other options? 

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I suppose that's easy to say when you aren't the person who got physically and psychologically abused for years. But Kate was scared for her life and the life of her unborn child. 

And the baby was the game changer in this case. 

Perhaps Kate could have survived seven to ten years in prison for manslaughter, but she would have lost her child, and that seemed unacceptable, especially to Jason Bull who was still carrying around a boatload of guilt concerning his own sister's tragic death.

Bull: You ever heard of Battered Women's Syndrome?
Mark: They have a syndrome now?
Bull: My older sister was married to a gym teacher. Ran the youth ministry at church, chaired the big school carnival to raise money for cancer research, and when they'd fight, which apparently was more than anybody realized, he'd get her on the ground and kick her. He weighed 215, she weighed 122, and one day he kicked her too hard, ruptured her spleen. Six hours later she was gone.

What I found even more unsettling than that story was how condescending and disdainful the public defender sounded about women who get abused. It wasn't only that he sounded unfeeling, it was worse than that.

It appeared that he felt they weren't even worth his effort. 

At that moment, I was as outraged as Bull. 

It is horrible, it's also daunting from a legal perspective. How do you prove that shooting someone while they slept is in fact self defense?


But Benny was correct when he said that this case was going to be difficult. How do you prove that someone was justified to shoot a man in the back while he slept? 

You have to show how dangerous he was when he was awake, and that was a challenge with so little physical evidence. 

Even Danny seemed to be judging Kate before hearing her side of the story.

Danny and Marissa Have Their Doubts - Bull Season 2 Episode 20

The one thing that kept bothering me was when the entire TAC team insisted they had no proof of Brian's abuse. What about all of Kate's current injuries? She ended up in the hospital with broken ribs and a punctured lung, not to mention that wicked shiner on her face. 

It was obvious she didn't give her self those wounds. Why not show the jury photos and medical records for those injuries? At least it would prove that Brian beat Kate before she killed him, even if it was hours before. 

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To his credit, Benny was adept at walking Brian's sister down memory lane in a way that showed her all of the signs she had missed, or perhaps turned a blind eye. 

I find it hard to believe that his sister never saw signs of Brian's controlling or abusive behavior, even if it wasn't as overt as it had become with his marriage. Behavior like that grows over time. 

I also give Benny and Marissa credit for refusing to gossip about Jason's sister's death, even after Danny brought it up in their meeting.

Benny Worries - Bull Season 2 Episode 20

And I appreciated how much Benny didn't want to let Bull down. He understood how close to home this case hit for Jason, and he desperately wanted to win it, as much for Bull as for Kate.

It was unusual to see Jason Bull so distraught over the outcome of a case. With the jury deliberating for nine days, he was panicking and second-guessing his strategy. That's something we hadn't yet witnessed. 

The hug he gave Kate before the verdict was as much about his sister as it was his client, and my heart hurt for him. No matter how many cases he wins or how much money he donates to domestic abuse shelters, that will be a wound that will never completely heal. 

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Although this was a superb episode, there was one other small item that bothered me. That nurse in the hospital was quick to assume that Marion and Bull were somehow related to Kate. Even if they were, it still wouldn't automatically give them the right to hear her test results. 

And what was with Izzy's phone call? We've heard almost nothing about Bull's ex-wife, also Benny's sister. I'd nearly forgotten about her. I have to assume that Izzy's message to Bull is a dangling story thread that will be picked up by the season finale. 

Finally, we get to Chunk, who failed Professor Jameson's class. Will Chunk file a complaint? I can't imagine we've come this far with this boring story for this to be the end. I might hope it, but I don't expect it. 

We've only got one more installment before the season finale. What do you think we'll see before Bull Season 2 ends?

Check back for my review of Bull Season 2 Episode 21, and until then, you can watch Bull online here at TV Fanatic. 

Justified Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

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

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Bull Season 2 Episode 20 Quotes

Mark Burns: You're out of your mind.
Bull: And you're out of your depth.

It is horrible, it's also daunting from a legal perspective. How do you prove that shooting someone while they slept is in fact self defense?