September 8, 1997 12:00 am
Ally McBeal, 28, and a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, is harassed on the job by a senior associate. When she confronts the partners, it backfires and she loses her job. On the street, she literally bumps into an old classmate, Richard Fish, who offers her a position working for his new firm. She accepts, despite her misgivings about his ethical standards. While being introduced to her new fellow associates, she receives the shock of her career.
September 15, 1997 12:00 am
Fish's partner, John Cage faces fines, jail, and public humiliation. To her dismay, Ally is assigned to be a litigator. Fish invites Ally along to dinner with a very wealthy potential client, Ronald Cheanie. Unbeknownst to Ally, the dinner is really a double date with Fish and his girlfriend, Whipper. Ally is furious, but Cheanie turns out to be handsome and intelligent.
September 22, 1997 12:00 am
Ally senses Cheanie is withholding something when he neglects to kiss her goodnight after their first official date. Georgia asks Ally to assist her in trying an age discrimination case when the opposing litigator turns out to be Billings, the guy Ally tried to sue for sexual harassment at her old firm. Fish admonishes Ally for putting her emotional life above the firm's financial welfare while telling her to grow up.
September 29, 1997 12:00 am
Ally is asked to be a pallbearer at the funeral of her ex-law professor. The widow, Katherine Dawson, invites her to give the eulogy, but Ally's initial reluctance betrays the reason. In a moment of complete vulnerability, she confesses to Billy who supports her by agreeing to attend the funeral with her. This unnerves Georgia, and Cheanie, who are both feeling threatened when they realize Billy is helping Ally out during a difficult time in her life. Georgia confronts Billy, and Cheanie confronts Ally, who refuses to tell him why she's been upset lately. He doesn't understand why she chooses to confide in Billy over him.
October 20, 1997 12:00 am
Ally is arrested for aggravated assault and attempted shoplifting. Renee bails her out, but word spreads quickly, and Ally is brought before the State Bar Review Board. A litany of her recent travails is read aloud, and Ally must contend with her unconventional past catching up with her.
October 27, 1997 12:00 am
Ally has to defend a friend of Whipper brought up on solicitation charges. She is serving as second chair to Cage, whose idiosyncrasies become increasingly apparent and mystifying to Ally as well as the other attorneys. At the same time, on a different case, a severely rotund attorney passes out from a near heart attack just outside the courtroom and Ally has to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
November 3, 1997 12:00 am
Ally represents a Jewish woman who needs her Rabbi to grant her a spiritual release from her marriage to her comatose husband. Ally goes personally to the Rabbi's office to find out why he is being so rigid. Meanwhile, Georgia is the target of a senior partner's wife's insecurities.
November 10, 1997 12:00 am
Billy and Georgia are faced with a crisis of confidence in their marriage. Elaine threatens to sue the firm for sexual harassment if Fish and Cage don't meet her demands for improved working conditions. Ally, Georgia, and Cage take on a lucrative divorce case. Fish uses some tactics, which causes a debate between the two parties as to which side is the most amoral.
November 17, 1997 12:00 am
The attorney, Caroline Poop, who represented Elaine in her short lived suit against Fish and Cage regarding the constant gawking directed at a beautiful delivery woman, returns. This time she is representing the beautiful delivery women, Jennifer, who now serves Fish and Cage with her own lawsuit for same-sex sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Ally makes a bet with Renee that she can tell a dirty joke and get more laughs. The duel is set for the bar downstairs in her office building.
December 1, 1997 12:00 am
Judge Whipper Cone asks Ally to take on a pro-bono case of a young prostitute up on her third solicitation charge. Fish, meanwhile, wants to sue his uncle's church for discrimination, due to his uncle's overt bigotry towards vertically challenged people (short people). The church's contention is that they cannot support bigotry of any kind and allowing the uncle a service and proper burial is tantamount to endorsing the appalling views. Fish promises he will not propagate the attitudes in his eulogy. Renee talks Ally into double dating with the salad-dressing-on-the-chin guy if the Biscuit is invited.
December 15, 1997 12:00 am
Three intelligent, successful and motivated adults approach Judge Whipper Cone about the possibility of getting legal representation in their quest to have the courts approve a legal, binding, three-way marriage. Fish assigns Ally and Cage to the case, knowing Ally's incurable romanticism and Cage's legal acumen is a potent combination with Whipper assigned to the case. Ally is opposed, claiming the three-way relationship is morally repugnant, but Georgia, feeling punkish around the holidays, points out that the clients' triangle isn't very different from the one in which Ally, Georgia, and Billy find themselves. Georgia accuses Billy of being more relaxed and open in their marriage ever since Ally re-entered the picture. Whipper, herself experiencing an annual bout of Holiday Blues, causes Fish to propose marriage, even though both know he really doesn't want to.
January 5, 1998 12:00 am
Ally is shocked to discover that her biological clock is ticking, unleashing strange libidinal impulses in her. During a sculpting class with live nude male models, she and Renee become enamored by one particular model with obviously generous endowments. Meanwhile, Ally has taken on the case of the 19-year-old son of an important client, who has been charged with assault because he slugged a guy in a bar who was verbally harassing his date. The boy tells Ally he felt justified because he warned the guy first, which serves to increase Ally's cradle robbing interest in him.
January 19, 1998 12:00 am
Ally has a chance encounter with Glenn, the well-endowed artists' model, at a local Starbucks, and makes it very clear that she is irritated with him. On the legal side, John Cage takes on a wrongful death case that Fish is convinced will reap big bucks for the firm. Two adult siblings are suing an airline after their father is killed in a plane crash.
February 2, 1998 12:00 am
Ally and Renee are bridesmaids at a friend's wedding. They both bristle at the absurdity of the rituals performed, and swear to never do it. Richard asks Ally to flirt with a wealthy new client. To Ally's chagrin, Cage offers no protest on her behalf, admitting he's undergoing smile therapy which has renewed his appreciation for behavioral reinforcement. Ally and Georgia try a case about overturning a prison warden's decision to refuse marriage for a life-term inmate.
February 23, 1998 12:00 am
Fish brings in a client, an 80-something world famous artist, who is battling his heirs to regain control of his estate. Ally and Billy co-counsel the case, and as a result of spending several late nights together, separately conclude that the artist's love of his recently deceased wife parallels their own relationship in many ways. Meanwhile, Cage begins to sense that Ally is losing interest in the possibility of getting together when she behaves in an overtly irritable manner that is obvious to the entire office. Fish loses his patience and decides to get to the bottom of Cage's problem with Ally.
March 2, 1998 12:00 am
The firm takes on a high profile case involving a jilted spouse who is suing a US Senator for "interfering with happy marital relations". The Senator's case takes on perversely similar parallels to the Ally / Billy / Georgia love triangle, causing Georgia to quit the case, Fish to try the case, and Cage to keep the Senator from losing his career. Ally, meanwhile, doesn't hide much from Renee, and while trying to deny her feelings, experiences another dancing baby visitation, and thus causing Renee to wonder about Ally's sanity. Cage taps Fish to help litigate; knowing his utter lack of legal experience is just what they need to discredit the merits of the case. He advises Ally to match her adversary with smiles and ingratiating behavior.
March 9, 1998 12:00 am
Ally, Georgia and Renee sign up for a kick boxing class to relieve stress. Ally and Georgia wind up having to fight each other because they're both beginners. As they start to carp more and more at the office, all pretext towards civility drops in the ring and their matches in the class increasingly intensify. Ally takes on a case about an attractive surgeon accused of performing an unauthorized and controversial transplant procedure. Cage insists it's time for her to visit with his smile therapist and she agrees. Fish, meanwhile is in hot pursuit of Janet Reno, who is still in town, and is once again busted by Whipper, when she smells perfume on his wattle finger.
March 16, 1998 12:00 am
Ally is a passenger in a car accident with the firm's client Greg Butters, a handsome doctor to whom she finds herself attracted. She attempts to handle the doctor's case herself, but finds she just cannot. Ally confides in her "therapist" that she is attracted to the doctor and is enthusiastically encouraged her to use her sex appeal to take the initiative with him. Ally decides the therapist should meet the entire cast of characters in her life and talks her into showing up at the bar after work one night. Fish argues a case of sexual discrimination on behalf of a client who missed a promotion because she didn't sleep with her boss.
April 6, 1998 12:00 am
Ally is in denial about her birthday but her co-workers aren't. Elaine orchestrates a party at the bar and asks Dr. Greg Butters to sing a romantic ballad dedicated to Ally. He does, and knocks the socks off everyone in the room. Renee is especially moved, and jumps up on stage to join him in a seductive duet. Meanwhile, in the courtroom, Ally is forced to take the position for a new client that his foot fetish qualifies him as temporarily insane. Renee, as the opposing district attorney, maintains that sneaking into a would-be date's apartment uninvited to tickle her feet is breaking and entering.
April 27, 1998 12:00 am
A wealthy client is brutally murdered and the wife is implicated. Her only defense when caught red-handed is that she has no recollection of what had taken place. Billy, anxious to take on bigger cases, is the lone voice advocating for the firm taking the criminal case, but Fish and Cage ultimately decide it should be farmed out. Georgia, meanwhile, takes on a case about a heterosexual waiter suing for discrimination and wrongful dismissal when he's fired from his job for not being gay. Renee seduces a fellow attorney.
May 4, 1998 12:00 am
Cage prepares Ally for Renee's trial. Renee is fast becoming a basket-case because she's convinced Cage's untraditional tactics are going to cost her job. Georgia tells Billy that she took a home pregnancy test, and it came up positive. Ally is of course thrown by the news, but recovers just in time to reclaim Renee's defense. Ally forces Renee to confront her problem with sexual aggressiveness. Ally and Renee have a sleep over and for the first time, Ally appears to be the grown-up in their friendship.
May 11, 1998 12:00 am
John Cage must confront the cowardice of his convictions when he comes face to face with an ex-law school classmate who is coincidentally trying the case he's representing. It becomes obvious to Ally that John is deeply in love with this woman. Cage admits he took the safe way out, protecting the friendship versus risking losing everything if he were to be rejected by her. Ally encourages Cage to tell the woman, Hayley, that he has feelings for her, which he does as part of his closing arguments. Meanwhile, Georgia and Fish take on a case about a jilted bride-to-be who sues for emotional and physical damage. The judge for this case is Whipper Cone, who finds it difficult to hide her bias against her ex-lover, Richard Fish. He takes the opportunity to confront Whipper one more time and tells her that he misses her. Whipper in return, finally smiles, leaving the door open by telling him she'll take it all under advisement.
May 18, 1998 12:00 am
Cage must represent his second cousin, a harmless but eccentric man with a Cupid Complex. His cousin was brought up on assault charges for swatting couples in the head with a paddle to goose them into realizing they're in love. On the way out of the courthouse, the client swats Ally and Bobby Donnell, who have grown considerably closer over a case they are co-counseling. The matter entails two men who want the court to order/force a hospital to perform a heart-swap surgery. The judge turns the tables on the lawyers and asks Ally to role-play by pretending she's the judge who must render the ruling. Billy and Georgia realize their relationship is in a rut. They resolve to be less predictable, and spontaneously decide to have sex in the conference room. Ally who always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time inadvertently walks in on Georgia and Billy.