Bull season 2 episode 12 was certainly one for the books. While “Grey Areas” may have began as a fairly run-of-the-mill case for our title character, it eventually evolved into one of the most complicated and fascinating stories we’ve seen yet.
Much of that has to do with one man: Dr. Donovan Benanti. While we hesitate to call a one-episode character a Big Bad, he’s definitely one of the most evil people we’ve seen on the show.
For starters, Dr. Benanti put Bull in a position that he’s not often in, one where he had to represent someone he actually knew was guilty and deal with the ramifications of it later. He took Benanti on because of their prior relationship, not thinking that the doctor had actually coerced his patient to go into an office and murder both two people and himself. However, as the case got underway and Bull started to have suspicions, Benanti told him the truth. The problem was that he was covered by confidentiality and there was nothing that Jason could do. He actually had to sit there, in trial, and watch Benanti sell his way out of a conviction. Bull was so good at picking a jury that there was nothing that he could do … at least at that point.
Was he able to get creative after the fact? Sure, mostly because of his ability to use one of the victims’ widows to set him up on a dinner date. The fact that a therapist could be manipulated by something like this is rather appalling, though at the same time we’ve seen Dr. Benanti show that he doesn’t exactly have his head on straight. She was able to get a confession out of him; while Bull technically did break his confidentiality, he did it in such a way where it couldn’t be proven and the doctor could end up behind bars.
It was quite the craft maneuver on Bull’s part, and to go along with tthat it proved to be incredibly compelling television.
Nobody wants to see the bad guy win in the end, but we rather appreciate that the show had Benanti win his first case. It established Bull as a guy with his back against the wall and forced him to think creatively. Also, it helped to ensure that we remember this case after the fact.
Crazy as it may sound, we actually wouldn’t mind if Dr. Benanti came back down the road; maybe before he was imprisoned, he found a way to coerce someone else to do something or he has reach behind bars. We hate his actions, but every good hero needs a villain. This is a compelling one with a lot of power and influence. He was able to briefly outsmart Jason Bull, and he could very well do it again.
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