On tonight’s new episode of “Bull,” we saw something that could have easily been the biggest legitimate threat for Jason Bull to lose to date. It was one thing to be in military court rather than some of his more-typical venues; it was another thing altogether to be trying to analyze jurors when his reads were entirely wrong because of flaws in the data.
The client – This week, it was Lt. Dale, a young woman who was accused of criminal activity all thanks to her uploading a document to a media outlet. The parallels between Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were both real and intentional here, given that we were talking about two people here who had serious moral questions raised around their trials. Were they really deserving of their punishments, and how just were their actions? These were questions that the TAC had to take on over the course of the hour.
Here is where things get more complicated, as Bull’s reads on the jury were enormously wrong thanks to someone hacking his profiles and altering his ability to analyze the jurors to be as a minimum. Meanwhile, Benny held some key information about some secret classified documents, and he did not want to disclose it. This led to a very intimate Q&A session that Bull used in order to get some answers, while at the same time not forcing Benny to actually say anything out loud. The information that he eventually figured out was critical — she had more of a secret. She didn’t do anything wrong at all despite her charges; instead, she was playing a martyr, knowing that bringing up the real memo that she was hiding could lead to even further trouble.
Eventually, Bull executed her plan of having the information out there, but in doing so, it was Benny who was arrested under the Espionage Act. Clearly, the notion here is that he played a role in convincing her to make the move.
Bull gets through to Dade – Why did she care so much about protecting civilians, even to the extent that she would leak documents that got her arrested? It had to do with her friend from high school in Matt, a man who, while working with an NGO in Yemen, was killed off in a blast. She wanted to fight for these people when no one else could.
This is when the first big surprise of the episode came about — Bull didn’t get a straight not-guilty verdict across the board. Even though there were three not-guilty verdicts, it was the fourth that potentially doomed Dale forever … or did it? This is where Bull started to get creative. He did his part to appeal to Col. Jackson, a man who had the power to change the course of everything. Bull managed to take advantage of a rule that reduced her sentence to one year on base. It wasn’t a COMPLETE victory, but it was enough to allow her to have a life at some point in the future.
After this, the TAC was able to trade Benny for the hacker’s code, and with that, the team could at least celebrate another minor victory. There’s clearly tension still between Benny and Bull, but through an emotional plea and a story for Jason’s past, we’ve got a feeling that they’ll be on good terms with one another soon enough.
Our overall take – This was an episode that brought a lot of intrigue to the table, and beyond the smart political writing, it was nice to see Bull tested to the point of a bad verdict. The fact that he was somehow able to reverse that just shows his true strength as a character. While this show does follow a formula, we give them some praise for at least finding new ways to shake things up week to week. Grade: B+.
Next week – For those of who you loved seeing Jill Flint on the show previously as Bull’s rival, rest assured that she is coming back! You can head over here now in the event you are interested in securing some further news in terms of what is coming up next. (Photo: CBS.)