‘Bull’ episode 9 review: Jason heads home — and talks about his father

Light My Fire -

At the start of Tuesday night’s new episode of “Bull,” there was immediately an opportunity to revisit a certain emotional part of our title character’s past: Specifically, his hometown. We visited a quaint New Hampshire community that we wish we could call Bull-ville, mostly because that is more fun than “the town that looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.”

The defendant – We’re looking at Peter, a guy who seems to be a bit of a town pariah. Nobody in the community really trusts him, and everyone seems as though they’d be more than happy to just see him leaving the town and getting out of their hair. Whenever there’s a crime, he finds himself accused of it. To date, He’s been arrested for several different crimes, but ultimately acquitted of almost all of them.

Unfortunately for Bull, one of the biggest problems that he started to run into in this town is that it was not New York City. The same rules didn’t apply, and as Benny looked for more information to damage the D.A. and also further sway the jury, we saw some of the same-old tricks delaying the trial blow up in his face. At one point, we even had a chance to see him temporarily serve as an attorney while Benny was away.

While Jason worked to try to find away to make Peter appeal to the jury — music was a key part of it — we also saw the attention divert over to a firefighter of all people, who may have been responsible for the arson. The entire process to clear his name now became extremely entertaining, largely in how we saw Bull using some of the local gossip Joyce’s techniques and against her and also how Peter used his own history of being in Bull-ville in order to sway the jury further. We like this side of the show, where it really plays on the underdog aspect of things and when the team doesn’t have this enormous surplus of information on their side.

Not only did we see Bull manage to get Peter off with a not-guilty verdict at the end of the episode, but they also uncovered the source of the arson as well: Joyce. She had paid off one of the local firefighters to start the fires and use the money for his own benefit.

Jason’s past – One of the more entertaining things to come out of this hour was getting to unravel a little bit of who Jason Bull was long before he ever became a doctor. In Bull-ville, he had a habit for being somewhat mischievous and causing problems; he even had a “biker gang” when he was twelve! Much of this was very cute, but the part that wasn’t so much was hearing the sad news that his father was a known swindler, and at one point even took $500 of his own kid’s money. The thing that makes us the saddest about this at the moment is the mere fact that this seemed to destroy their relationship forever.

Side note: In between this, Paige’s mother on “Scorpion,” Sarah’s father on “Chuck,” and Juliet’s father on “Psych,” why do so many TV parents out there have to be con artists?

The biggest question through most of the episode is why Bull decided to keep his father’s cabin. He revealed that he wanted to come back some day and see if life could be any different, but it wasn’t. His father is now in Florida, and while we haven’t met him yet, we do have to think that this is coming someday.

Overall – “Bull” is really starting to hit its stride now as a show with some humor and craftiness to it. While it does seem predictable that he wins almost every time, we appreciate that the show is changing up the settings and really working to make things creative, while handing down some nuggets about the past in the process. Grade: A-.

Next time – “Bull” will be on hiatus for the next few weeks, but be sure to head over to the link here in the event you want some additional news regarding when the show is coming back on the air. (Photo: CBS.)

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