Side Effects May Include Murder
Margaret and Todd get two phone calls late at night as So Help Me Todd episode 11 begins. At first, we are made to think they are for the same purpose but then, it turns out that it is not the case. Margaret has been called by Lionel to help his daughter, Emani, with an attempted murder case, while Todd has been called by Allison, who has surprisingly deviated from the norm and got herself into drunk shenanigans. Todd bails his sister out but Margaret is in court as well and spots her. To cover for her sister, Todd does not deny Margaret’s allegations that he was the one who was arrested.
Emani shares details about the incident the next day with Margaret. She is accused of attempted murder after shockingly stabbing her boss, Josephine, on her birthday in front of all the teachers at school. The video evidence confirms the same. Margaret reprimands Todd for his perceived recklessness and he plays along to protect Allison. At the school, the mother-son duo speaks with the teachers who all confirm that Emani did indeed stab Josephine.
When they see the video, they find that Emani perhaps stabbed Josephine out of a reaction to something. It might be a side effect or a neurological disorder that forced her hand. They get her tested at Allison’s workplace. Margaret is the one who goes to get the results and learns to her shock that Allisson was the one arrested that night. The tests come back normal but Emani’s CK levels are through the roof. She had been taking a prescribed drug called orcalax to control cholesterol.
Dr. Featherstone, an expert in the field, is contacted to confirm the suspicions that orcalax might have caused the fading event for Emani. He confirms the same and blames Volthrupp, the organization that made the drug. He also agrees to testify against the organization in court and save Emani. The incident was a side effect of taking orcalax. At court the next day Featherstone does not arrive. Margaret calls Todd and learns that Voltrhupp has offered him employment to prevent him from testifying.
But Todd has a trick up his sleeve. He sends fake emails to former employees of the company and one of them replies to his emails. Casey, a former executive assistant meets him for coffee and discusses the malpractices of the company. She informs him of an archive room where he can find incriminating evidence against the company. Margaret works with Allisson on writing a personal letter to apologize to the judge and show leniency in her case.
Due to Allison’s nature of arrest and work profile, she might even end up going to jail or losing her medical license. Allison is incensed at Margaret for not giving her daughter enough personal space and conducting her life on Margaret’s own terms. Todd goes to the company’s office under the guise of taking the drug. He actually wants the files from the archive room and takes Allisson with him. He is given a dose of the medicine and when the doctor disperses, he sneaks into the room and steals siles on a pen drive. His cover is blown and security chases him through the streets. He goes to a computer store and finds some reprieve.
He sends Lyle the whole contents of the pen drive and is then forced to give an awkward presentation for an elderly crowd. As a side effect, his hands start to go numb and he concludes the presentation in a hilarious fashion. The guard catches up to him but the job is done. The judge is convinced by Margaret to admit the evidence, which will prove detrimental to the prosecution. Neddie, from the store, contacts Todd. She says that the video they saw from the pen drive had similar symptoms in patients like her dead sister. She drove off a highway under the effects of the drug and Susan retrieves the necessary documents verifying her account.
Todd locates the original inventor of the drug, Dr. Smith. But as he discovers, the doctor has turned into a drunk. They bring him to the office and get him to sober up. He confirms the theory like Featherstone did and agrees to take to the stand. But the Wrights once again run into trouble as Smith comes drunk to court.
At first, it does not go well for them and the judge is inclined to dismiss his testimony. Margaret proves why she is a skilled lawyer and turns the tide for them. Smith’s testimony is admitted and Emani is acquitted by the court. Boatman, the prosecutor, agrees to prosecute Volthrupp and Margaret has done enough to become a partner by bringing in a class action suit for the firm led by Neddie.
Margaret and Allison have a heartfelt conversation where the former admits that she had laden Allison with undue expectations. She was too controlling to ever allow Allisson to become a person of her own. She hates her life because it is not her’s, to begin with; it has been Margaret’s creation all along.
Allisson gives a heart-wrenching plea to the judge where she has a coming-of-age moment of sorts. The judge is touched too and decides to send her for community service and not to jail. Margaret and Todd have banter about the case and how this time, he became the responsible one and Allisson became the problem child.
The Episode Review
So Help Me Todd truly saved its best for last. Episode 11 is without doubt the most wholesome on both an emotional and practical level. Allison’s arc has been developing ever since that Christmas episode when it was revealed she was on a dating app.
Margaret’s own struggles too collided with her decision-making and attitude towards Allisson. She was projecting her unhappiness and professional success on Allison, who was leading a similar path. But this episode brought out that coming-of-age moment in her character that was pivotal.
Skylar Astin was once again brilliant and confirms his major contention for the awards season. He is such a pleasant appearance on screen that you do not notice the plot holes, which this episode had in abundance. Nonetheless, thank you CBS for making this show happen!
You can read our full season review for So Help Me Todd Season 1 here!