Tonight, “Bull” returned to CBS with an episode entitled “EJ” that may be the show’s strongest yet, at least when it comes to presenting a fantastically-complicated case, a defendant who was desperate to defend her project that she would ignore the small stuff, and a victim with some dark secrets of his own.
The defendant this time around – We’re looking at Ginny, a powerful CEO of one of the biggest tech companies out there. She had worked to build a self-driving (and at times talking) car in EJ, what was in her mind a passion project and a way to make the world better. Unfortunately, someone in Adam died as a result of an accident in said car. There was rampant speculation as to if the car killed him, whether or not these cars or safe, or if this project could ever get off of the ground.
The problem for Bull in this case was that he was dealing with someone who refused to compromise her own work for the sake of the case. She didn’t want to testify, or really acknowledge that her devotion to this project was one of the reasons her and her colleague Carter (who also died as a result of the car) started to drift apart — and why someone like him would want to hack into EJ to take some of her attention away from it.
As it turned out, there was a big twist when it came to why Ginny was so attached to this car and continuing onward with this project, and it was tied very much to the loss of a young boy named EJ who died in a car accident that she blamed herself for. She couldn’t get over that, and so working on this car, and a way to make the streets safer, was her way of trying to come with that death. As we said, this was a really, smart powerful way for the show to take a concept so emotionless and inject it with a ton of emotion. Bull had to come up with a drastic way to get her to spill the beans in court…
Could things turn around? – We certainly wondered that when Ginny and Bull, while riding around in EJ, felt just how terrifying it can be when the car seemingly tried to kill them. It was after Cable saved them via hacking into the already-hacked car that Ginny agreed to testify (though in reality, Cable created the hack in the first place to push Ginny into making the move). She had to agree to say that Carter’s actions led to the accident; it saved her and her company, but at the same time did expose that there were possibly hacks that could be done to the car.
Chalk this up as a victory for Bull, but it’s hard to really consider this a victory given that there were still two people who died. Bull was able to implicate the real killer, and even figure out how their motive tied into what happened to Carter. There could’ve been more time spent resolving the true mystery of what happened with EJ, but at the same time, we recognize that this is not that sort of show so much as it is one about Bull (somehow) managing to win cases when the arcs were stacked against them.
Overall – One of the stronger cases that we’ve seen so far through the series. We didn’t go into it with any big expectations, and found ourselves surprised and even at times moved. While you can argue that the show does need to do more with long-term story arcs, at least they told one of the better standalone stories we’ve seen in some time. Grade: A-.
Next time around – There’s no confirmed returned date for the next new episode of the show. However, you can read a little bit more in the way of speculation on this story now over at the link here. (Photo: CBS.)