Bad Judge, Season 1, Episode 4: “Knife to a Gunfight”

By Anubhuti Kumar

via TVFanatic
via TVFanatic

This week’s episode of “Bad Judge” was surprisingly worth the watch. The first episode with laugh-out-loud moments, intelligent remarks from characters, and funny but believable story moments, it’s finally starting to live up to its potential.

For starters, Kate Walsh’s character is toned down to a casual, more believable level of rebellion outside of the courtroom, and though it might not live up to the titular “bad”, it shows a more reasonable contrast between professional and person lives. In this episode, Rebecca’s bailiff, Tedward, is bent on protecting her from a former criminal she sent to jail who he perceives as a threat to her safety. His concerns lead to many entertaining and laugh-worthy situations as he tries to prove she is not as safe as she thinks and she tries to prove is paranoia.

The characters are beginning to come off as more likable and relatable as they take on more roles in each other’s lives and their personalities are expanded from the stereotypes they started out as. A prime example would be rather than continuing to portray Rebecca as a constant partier, this episode shows other shades of her through some quiet, funny nights in with her zany friends.

Like the previous episodes, this one has another case that serves as the driving action. This most recent case deals with the issue of whether certain punishments is too harsh for their crimes – a man is about to face 25 years to life in prison for a petty crime because the law states that as the punishment for a third strike for a the same repeated crime. Rebecca’s sense of justice comes out again as she points out to the prosecutor, her friend Tom, that this law was made for harder criminals, such as child molesters. When he refuses to acknowledge her requests to seek a softer punishment in his determination to get this criminal off the streets and avoid repeat offenses, Rebecca is seen trying to help the defendant, who doesn’t have a lawyer, by giving him advice and statutes that might allow her to soften the ruling.

Between this case and the one in the last episode dealing with sexual harassment, Rebecca’s passion for justice is made clear, which thankfully makes it easier to understand how and why this callous and self-absorbed woman chose to be a lawyer and how she made it to the position of judge. Her intelligence, wit, and passion brings a refreshing aspect to the show.

This episode of “Bad Judge” shows promise and is worth watching even if the previous episodes have been missed. It can only be hoped that the writing follows through with this new-found momentum.

Anubhuti Kumar is a contributing writer.  Email her at



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