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Franklin & Bash engage in "Voir Dire"

Franklin & Bash poster

Written by : published Wednesday 11th July 2012

This week's Franklin & Bash on TNT, entitled "Voir Dire," is an excellent, unique episode. The installment title lacks clear definition, but it has to do with jury selection, which is really what the hour is about. While "Voir Dire" is not the first jury trial to be featured on Franklin & Bash, it is definitely the first one where almost the entire episode is consumed with picking the jury, rather than trying the case.

The case of the week involves a man named Sal (Gino Anthony Pesi, The Vampire Diaries), who beat up three other guys. Missing the partners' meeting because, let's face it, Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are not the traditional law firm partners, they get assigned Sal as their client. At first, they'd like to argue self-defense, as Sal is trying to get out of a criminal enterprise. But after the jury is more than half picked, it turns out that Sal did the deed for love, throwing the selection process into disarray.

There are a number of twists, as per usual, and the dynamic duo get advice from all of their co-workers at multiple points during the episode. But rather than most cases of the week on this series, "Voir Dire" is more focused. There aren't as many side stories, supporting character bits, or superfluous scenes. Almost every moment involves the guys figuring out how to win Sal's case, and they repeatedly say that the key to doing so is to have the right jury.

Many Franklin & Bash fans may be disappointed that "Voir Dire" stops before the trial even begins. The preview for next week reveals that this isn't a two parter, either, and that this abrupt ending is the way Sal's case will be left. But considering how things shake out, and that Franklin and Bash are fist bumping, it is very clear that they got what they wanted, and the trial will go their way.

Now could the writers continue this story? Absolutely. It would be especially nice to see Bash and Franklin's amusing intern (Danielle Panabaker, Shark, Friday the 13th (2009)) again. But they don't have to pick up Sal's story to see the intern. And it might actually be a little drawn out to continue this plot arc, considering that the case just isn't important enough to warrant multiple installments. So they are wise to leave it alone. 

Though the episode leaves it in a good place, could this case be messed up by other factors? Of course! And that's what most episodes of Franklin & Bash, and most other legal procedurals, for that matter, focus on. The brilliance of "Voir Dire," though, is that it sets out to tell a very specific story about one small part of the legal process, and it does so, without worrying about what comes next. In that, it succeeds.

Franklin & Bash is enjoyable because of the sense of fun that the two lead actors bring to the table. However, "Voir Dire" is really the first time that the series proves how serious it can be. There are stakes here, and viewers are made to care about the client. It's easy to get just as invested in this jury process as the titular characters do, and, now more than ever, we get to see how Bash and Franklin accomplish their work. They aren't just playing games, but are real lawyers. This episode kicks the show up a notch, and hopefully there will be more like it in the future.

Watch Franklin & Bash Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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