After an enjoyable first season, All Rise ends with an interesting and different flavour of episode, as all our characters try to carry on with their lives while in isolation. This was quite the clever narrative which had some fun and emotional moments in it too, ending on a heartwarming note when the final credits roll.
The season 1 finale of All Rise starts in the midst of lockdown with Lola calling Mark and complaining about all the trials being pushed back, along with the future of the justice system. Mark is obsessed with exercising while Lola can’t stop eating. Her mum then calls and tells her she is busy making care packages. Lola is concerned though and tells her she doesn’t want her to deliver them as she has an underlying condition. She insists but Lola has to cut her conversation short when Judge Benner calls.
Meanwhile, the rest of our characters are having a yoga session. Luke then calls Emily while out running and tells her how much he misses her so he suggests having a video date. She tells him it won’t be possible as she is inundated with work and also currently living with his brother and kids.
The judges later all have a video conference to discuss the current situation and possible solutions, especially as the conditions in prison are appalling. This prompts Lola to have the idea to start doing the trials online.
Emily video calls her client Kurt, who is charged with hijacking his brother’s car. He wants to know when his trial will be as he insists he is innocent. She explains that trials have been pushed back by 60 days which upsets him as he explains that his girlfriend is pregnant and wants to get out. She then calls Mark who is the opposition lawyer in the case and proposes to file for misdemeanour as she believes it to be a family feud since they are brothers. Mark doesn’t agree though as he believes Kurt is guilty and assaulted his sibling.
Lola organises a video conference with Sherri, Sara, Emily and Mark regarding Kurt’s case. It is also the first time Mark appears as a lawyer in a case with Lola presiding as judge. Emily wants to file for early release but Mark is opposed to it as Kurt has a prior assault charge on his record. Since they can’t agree, Lola suggests doing an online trial and tells them to speak to their bosses and clients about it.
Later in the day, Emily sets up a video call for Kurt and his girlfriend. They have an emotional exchange while Lola calls Mark and they have their usual talk on the stairs. Since it is their first trial together, they set some ground rules to make sure they both act professionally.
As the online trial starts, Lola sets the rules and asks Kurt if he is happy with some of the rights he is waiving. He agrees and Mark starts with his presentation. However, after Kurt’s brothers starts describing what happened in the day, things quickly get out of hand when both lawyers argue and Mark calls Lola by her name instead of your honour, which prompts her to call for a recess.
In the evening, we see each character dealing with the isolation in different ways, each struggling and feeling lonely. The next day, the trial continues and as Joe talks about his brother, things become heated again, causing everyone to argue and talk at the same time. Sherri decides to pull the plug for 10 seconds and as they return, Kurt declares that he wants a real trial as this isn’t working.
In the evening, Lola calls Judge Benner to talk about what happened. Benner tells her she saw the trial but also insists that she needs to make it happen. Lola then calls her mother and the two have an emotional conversation about how they used to connect when she was away in college. Her mother then tells her that she has stopped her deliveries and misses her.
Back in the trial, Lola starts by speaking to both brothers individually and tells them to remember who they are to each other and how they grew up. She tells them that they might not be in the same room but are also connected. After Mark and Emily ask for a recess, they call each other. Mark tells her that Joey has changed his mind and therefore agrees to a plea of misdemeanour, which means that Kurt will be allowed out today.
As the episode closes, Emily sees Kurt reuniting with his girlfriend while Lola calls Mark, who tells her she is doing a great job as a judge. She tells him that she can’t have him in her court anymore though as she needs him as a friend. As we cut to Luke and Emily finally having their dinner date, Sara calls and invites her to a dance party. She then sends the link to everyone as we see them join and dance together.
All Rise’s final episode will definitely remain one of the most memorable of the season as it adopts a very unusual and original concept with the entire thing filmed with video calls from the cast’s own homes. This is, of course, very fitting with the current situation and also depicts quite well how different people are dealing with isolation.
There was also some amusing and touching moments between Lola and Mark, as they both worked for the first time on the same case. While it didn’t quite work out, it did bring them closer together. All Rise has had quite the enjoyable season and whether the drama gets renewed or not remains a mystery for now. In the meantime, the show gives some decent conclusions for our characters and after this inventive finale, let’s hope that’s enough to persuade CBS to green-light a second season!
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!