'Franklin and Bash' episode recap - 'By the Numbers'

By Sari N. Kent,

We open on Jared accusing a man, Wendell Singletary, in court of wanting a woman dead, named Noelle Gardner dead after buying an insurance policy on her. The man denies Jared's charge because Noelle is sitting next to Peter in court. Jared then says that Wendell is now suing Noelle because she lived "thanks to a miracle Amazon cure." Wendell maintains that Noelle lied to him, that "Noelle about the cure before her trip to Amazonia and before I bought the insurance policy. It wasn't a miracle, it was fraud. I don't believe in miracles." Wendell then says he's "an actuary, I believe in facts and numbers. Numbers never lie." Yet, Jared still says that Wendell is angry about having to pay Noelle's insurance premiums for the remainder of her hopefully long life.

Shoot to the guys leaving the courtroom as Peter is praising Jared's questioning of Wendell. Then, Noelle approaches the guys asking if she can "pack my bags for Mt. Whitney?" Her sister then tells the guys that "she wants to blow all of Wendell's money on scaling the seven summits." Noelle replies, "What good is money if I can't use it to fund my new lease on life?" The guys then tell her that the case is far from over but she ignores them and she and her sister walk away. Then, Wendell tells the guys that he's told his lawyer that he wants to settle because he analyzed the jury's facial expressions, demographics, etc. He then tells the guys that they’re wrong about him and Noelle and shouldn't be so quick to judge. Wendell then walks away from the guys. Jared then suggests to Peter that they go surfing since they now had the day off.

Shoot to the beach house. The guys are chilling out when Carmen brings them a gift Noelle sent them, a basket full of indulgent goodies. Carmen then asks them if they feel bad for Wendell like she does. The guys say they don't. They then see Charlie on the beach and Jared asks Peter when he's going to make his move. Peter decides to go for it right then. He offers Charlie a Twinkie and flirts with her. He then asks her out. She agrees to dinner then tells Peter that she has a one-year Daughter named Tess. She asks him he's "weirded out." He says he's not. He then tells Jared, who tells him that a lot of single mothers date. Peter replies that he can't take care of a kid and that he can barely take care of himself. Carmen tells to relax and that "one date doesn't make you the kid's new dad." Then, Carmen gets a call that Noelle was murdered.

Shoot to Stanton's office at the firm. The guys ask Stanton how Noelle was murdered. He replies that she developed a food allergy to bananas from her miracle cure and someone deliberately laced her food with bananas that was sent by the usual delivery service. Stanton then tells the guys that he wants them to represent Wendell, Noelle's alleged killer. Stanton then says that everyone has the right to a defense and is convinced that Wendell isn't the killer. Peter then asks why him and Jared and Stanton replies that Wendell asked for them.

Shoot to Rachel asking Damien what he knows about bees. She then tells him that a beekeeper in Venice is being sued by the city for public nuisance because some of her bees interrupted a kid's birthday party. "They're trying to shut the beekeeper down and I'd like you to try the case in front of the community association," Rachel tells Damien. Damien thinks it's "a lighter case than our usual fare." Rachel then says he should be able to handle it by that afternoon.

Cut to the guys telling Wendell that he's being charged with manslaughter and that Noelle died because banana extract was injected into her food. Wendell adds that the allergy surfaced after her cure and only three people knew about it besides her family, "her insurance agent, her allergist and..." "You," Peter finishes. Wendell tells the guys that he was sleeping alone during the time the food was delivered so he has no alibi but he has a motive since after Noelle's death, her benefits defer to him. He also tells the guys that before Noelle found the Amazon cure, they were lovers. The guys are shocked. Wendell then says she "instigated it to get me to buy her policy. Then, she dumped me so you can add that to my motives for killing her."

As they're walking out, Wendell's assistant Jill is there to drive him home. She yells at the guys for not wanting to represent Wendell. She wants Wendell to tell the guys what he does with the money from the policies he buys. He insists they don't care but Jared insists he tell them. Instead, Jill tells the guys that Wendell "donates 30% to the foundation of the illness they die of." Peter then asks where the other 70% goes. Wendell replies that "42.5 percent support my elderly mother and aunt, and the other 27.5 percent I'm saving...to retire in Italy, my spiritual home." Wendell then insists again that he didn't kill Noelle. Peter then asks for a moment to talk alone with Jared. They talk about taking the case, that Stanton believes him but that they can't use any of the evidence from Noelle's civil case. They then tell Wendell that they will take his case. Wendell then thanks them and says he calculated the odds of them taking his case and they weren’t good given their “antipathy” towards him.

Shoot to Damien appearing with Summer, the beekeeper before the community association. Damien introduces himself as Summer’s counsel and a guy named Lyle is there representing the city. Damien asks how they can be sure that the bees that interrupted the birthday party were Summer’s bees given there are a lot of bees in Venice. Lyle has footage of Summer’s bees going over the fence and into the birthday party. Mr. Bix, the head of the association, then moves for an official hearing, which is approved by the other members of the association. Damien then calls Rachel to tell her about the hearing. Rachel is surprised that a hearing’s been scheduled and tells Damien that Jared and Peter are now going to help him with the case.

Shoot to Carmen telling Peter and Jared that the $250,000 on Noelle’s policy “had a rider on it that wasn’t mentioned in discovery. Carmen then asked where Wendell was. Jared comments that Carmen could have texted them the info. Carmen then says she wished she had and adds that the rider makes Wendell the sole beneficiary unless he’s convicted of causing Noelle’s death. Jared then asks who the next in line is and Carmen says it’s Noelle’s sister, Rayann.

Shoot to Rachel telling the guys she has a job for them and sees they pushed their desks back together. They tell her that they already have a murder case and she replies that they now have a “bee case.” Then, Stanton comes in and tells Rachel that he’d like to take the bee case with Damien. Rachel persists the guys take it because Stanton has more important things to do but he replies, “Is the death of honey not important?” He tells a story about something that happened on his trip that involved “apiculture.” Stanton wants to “save those marvelous creatures so they may in turn…save us.” Rachel then tells the guys the desks better be back where they were at the conclusion of their murder case.

Shoot to the pier as Peter surprises Charlie on their date. He tells her to keep her eyes closed. When she opens them, she sees he set up an intimate candlelight dinner for them on the pier. As they eat, Peter tells Charlie that he and “Jared give our clients the best defense we can even if it means breaking a few rules.” Charlie also says she does the same for her patients and doesn’t “let insurance get in the way.” They then toast to “breaking the rules.” Charlie then tells Peter that he’s “not like other lawyers” and he says she’s the first kinesiologist he’s ever met so he has no one to compare her to. Then, Peter sees the meal he prepared is raw, all the other food needs to be melted and calls the meal an “epic fail” but Charlie surprises him by kissing him and tells him she’ll give him a “do-over.”

Shoot to Peter telling Jared that the date “was perfect.” He tells him that they talked “about everything but no mention of the kid.” Jared thinks Charlie will like Peter in a “different way when you meet the kid.” Peter thinks he means “a pre-interview for a stepdad.” Jared replies, “No, stupid. I’m just saying you’ll know she takes you seriously.” Peter says he doesn’t want anything serious and that he’d be “having serious sex right now” if Jared hadn’t forgotten to put the lighter back in the bag after they shot the bottle rockets into the ocean. Jared then asks if it would have been “a done deal” if he’d put the lighter back. Peter thinks it would have been. Carmen then interrupts their squabbling with “breaking news. Noelle knew about her cure before she sold her policy to Wendell. Turns out that trip she reported to her insurance company was her second trip. She never mentioned the first one.” Peter then says that Wendell was right when he told them that Noelle defrauded him, which them, as he lawyers, “equally duped.” Carmen then tells the guys that Rayann, Noelle’s sister, was seen by a neighbor of Noelle’s going into Noelle’s building around 3:30 am, which was around the time the food that killed Noelle was being delivered. Peter then comments that Rayann lives in Santa Monica and Jared questions why she would make a trip across town so early in the morning.

Shoot to Peter and Jared in a dog park with Jared having a “loaner” dog. They see Rayann in the park with her dog. Rayann comments that the “dirtbags who represented my sister are now representing her murderer.” She tells the guys that she has nothing to say to them and calls them “money-hungry bloodsuckers.” Peter insists that, they, like her, just want to know who killed Noelle. She insists that Wendell did it. Peter then tells Rayann that they know someone else was in Noelle’s building the day she died and it was someone who knew about her allergy when her food was being delivered. Rayann doesn’t know what the guys are talking about and then they tell her about the witness who saw Rayann go into Noelle’s building at 3:30 am that morning. Rayann can’t believe they are accusing her of killing her sister and says she was the one who took care of Noelle and quit her job when she was diagnosed. Jared then adds that Rayann went with Noelle on both trips and asks if she was the one who suggested to Noelle that she defraud Wendell. Rayann says that was Noelle’s idea then clams up. Peter then says, “You can do it here or on the stand.” She then stomps away, angry.

Shoot to Damien and Stanton going to see Summer, the beekeeper. Damian tells Stanton that Rachel told him that Jared and Peter were going to assist him on the case. Stanton says he “overruled that” because Jared and Peter were “far too busy.” Damien replies, “Really? So, now because of your African epiphany, we’re knocking on Venice doors and they get to handle murder trials?” Stanton then says he wanted the bee case because he and Damien haven’t been on “the best terms since I brought on Rachel.” He then adds that Damien is his nephew and “family comes first.” Summer then invites them in. Damien tells her that the city says “you’re running a commercial operation out of a residence by selling your honey.” Summer replies that her neighbor sells the tomatoes he grows in his garden and asks why no one is going after him. “Because tomatoes don’t attack people,” replies Damien. Summer then tells them that “honeybees pollinate most of the US’ crops and most have vanished due to the colony collapse disorder.” Stanton adds that honey is a “”powerful aphrodisiac.” Summer goes on to say that each hive has its own personality and that the bees recognize her. Damien kills one as she’s talking and he says he had no choice because it was coming at him “like a kamikaze.” Summer replies that the bee was “introducing itself.” Summer then tells Damien that the bee he just killed had a name. Stanton then tells Summer that he just figured out how to win her case.

Shoot to the courtroom as Peter calls Rayann to the stand. She whispers, “Dickheads,” as she heads to the stand. Peter states that a witness placed Rayann in Noelle’s building the morning of her death but Peter says that Rayann wasn’t there to see Noelle. Rayann agrees. He then asks her who she was there to see. “Michael Shepperd,” Rayann replies. “Your sister’s boyfriend? Hours before she died?” replies Peter. Rayann says yes and the opposing counsel objects saying, “Relevance? All this proves is that Ms. Gardner had a legitimate reason for being there.” Peter says her “legitimate reason” was sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend when her sister was one floor below. The judge overrules the objection and tells Peter to curb his “outrage.” Peter then says it may have been Rayann’s reason for being there or it might have been her motive to kill Noelle. He then asks Rayann, “Are you a liar or a murderer?” and asks her why the jury should believe anything she says.

Shoot to the guys telling Wendell that the trial is “looking up.” Carmen is there too. They offer him a beer but he declines citing facts like alcohol inhibits sleep patterns, etc. Carmen seems to like Wendell and asks him if she can get him anything else. He asks her for a Snapple and says he noticed her drinking one the last time he came there. She goes to get him one. When Carmen leaves the room, Jared asks Wendell what makes women get so attracted to him. Wendell doesn’t know what he means and Peter points out how Carmen was flirting with him. Wendell says he doesn’t know why. Then, Nelson, the opposing counsel arrives. He shows and tells the guys that he just received “life settlements orchestrated by your client at his previous job.” The guys don’t see the relevance of this. Nelson then says he’s focusing on two policies Wendell purchased. “He bought a policy from a triathlete. Peak of health, who died one month later – hit and run, never solved and an 85-year-old woman, who died one hour after Wendell visited her in the hospital. These two untimely deaths netted Wendell $285,000.” Jared says these facts will “never come into evidence. You can’t introduce alleged prior bad acts. You’re suggesting Wendell is a…” “Serial killer, who uses life settlements as a pool for his victims.” Peter thinks the evidence will be introduced for the jury to hear. Nelson then gives the guys an affidavit from Noelle’s boyfriend, that says he met Rayann “at the front of their building at 3:30 am, where there was no food-delivery bag and that he stayed with Rayann until late the next morning.” Nelson then adds that he’ll be bumping up the charge against Wendell from manslaughter to first degree murder and that he’ll see the guys in court.

Shoot to the beach house as the guys are telling Wendell that he lied to them. Wendell explains about how the triathlete moved to Portland, which is one of the most polluted cities in the US with no bike lanes and that he calculated the odds/percentage of him getting run over or contracting an airborne disease were. He then says the woman was a “lonely widow who regularly called 911 so she could be in a hospital with other people.” His assistant, Jill, then adds that “widows die younger than their married counterparts and over 195,000 die annually from hospital negligence. Wendell simply saw them as a sound investment.” Peter then tells Wendell that he should consider a deal. Jared adds that they might be able to get the charge “knocked down to involuntary manslaughter – 3 to 5.” Wendell insists he didn’t kill Noelle and that he won’t take a plea. Jared then says the accuracy with which Wendell predicted those people’s deaths makes him “the best damn actuary in the world and those deaths – they are the proof. Those skills don’t make you homicidal. They’re what make you so good at your job.” He then asks Peter, “Could it work?”

Shoot to Damian appearing at the community association’s hearing about Summer’s bees. He informs them that the night before someone destroyed Summer’s home apiaries and says she’ll need protection until the case is decided. Lyle admits that drunk teenagers “came upon” the apiaries but says the bees attacked them and that two of them were now in the hospital. Damien says they were “trespassing.” Stanton then interjects that a case study supports their contention that Summer’s bees are her pets. Lyle agrees but says they are “dangerous pets” and then Damien and Lyle start to argue. Mr. Bix then says the association will hear both men’s closing arguments the next day. Lyle then tells Damien and Stanton that the two teenagers’ parents are bringing a civil suit against them for “their medical bills, pain and suffering and criminal charges.” Summer is upset and Stanton tells Damien that Rachel is going to be upset when Damien tells her. Stanton says Damien has to tell her because he’s “first chair and that I’m only here for support and to heal our relationship.”

Shoot to Jared proposing to Peter that someone was jealous of Wendell and Noelle’s relationship. Jared mentions that Jill, Wendell’s assistant, might have been jealous since she’s been with Wendell through it all. Peter notes how helpful she’s been and Jared says that could have been a way to stay close to the case. “What if Jill loves Wendell enough to do something crazy?” Peter adds that she would have hated what Noelle did to Wendell and would have known about the food allergy. Rachel then tells the guys to come to her office…now! She tells them that she needs them to win the bee case. Rachel tells them that she can’t be “directly involved because her G-ddaughter, Gloria, who would excel at Beecham, [a private school] but, her mother, who’s barely scraping by, refuses to take money from me, Summer, the beekeeper sits on the admissions committee at Beecham. Jared can’t believe she busted them for taking on too many pro bono cases and now she wants them to win a case so her friend’s daughter can go to some private school. Rachel calmly says yes. Peter then asks Rachel why she wants them to handle it. She says they’ll fit right in with the Venice Community Association. Peter says they can’t doing anything the next day because they have the murder trial. She then asks if they can teach Damien and Stanton to be like them. They clarify that they need to prove that Summer’s bees don’t attack unless provoked. Jared then tells Rachel that they’ll do it if they can take down the wall in their office. “If you do it, you can have another case. That’s why they call it a job,” replies Rachel. They agree to help Stanton and Damien.

Shoot to the guys working in their separate offices. Peter finds an email between Noelle and Jill a year ago, right after Noelle’s cure. The email has Jill telling Noelle about the food service that could deliver food to her building. So, Jill knew about her allergy and when the food would be delivered. But, the judge won’t let them introduce evidence from Wendell’s civil case against Noelle. Jared says that they can’t but the prosecution can.

Shoot to Peter and Charlie kissing at the beach house. He asks her to come to the BBQ he and Jared are having that Saturday. She says she would and that Tess’ dad isn’t picking her up until the following weekend. Peter is surprised that Charlie wants him to meet her daughter. She asks if it’s a problem and he says that it isn’t. Charlie then says she wants Tess to meet him, Jared, Pindar and Carmen for “emergency reasons. The same way she met the other neighbors.” Peter calls it “smart parenting.” Then, they go back to making out.

Shoot to the courtroom as Peter is questioning Noelle’s doctor, who testifies that her cure was 100% and sent the news to Wendell’s office immediately. Peter then asks him how people usually react to such great news. He says they go on trips, get married but some start treating their body’s worse than when they were diagnosed. Peter then asks the doctor which category Noelle fell into. Nelson objects but the judge overrules his objection. The doctor says Noelle gained weight and “exhibited some…reckless behavior.” Peter then notes that a week before her death, Noelle ordered a lot of junk food. Nelson objects again. Peter then submits receipts for Noelle’s purchases of “Hos-Hos, Ding-Dongs and Twinkies.” The judge then tells Peter to proceed. Peter then asks the doctor if the Twinkies were made in the same factory as Banana Crème filled Zingers. “Couldn’t traces of Zinger juice be traced…” Nelson objects before Peter can finish. Nelson then says that Noelle had her food delivered to her from a company called, “Feast, a company that provides locally sourced organic food. She was very vigilant in her diet.” Peter then cites that since Nelson used Noelle’s diet, which was used in the prior civil trial. Nelson then tries to backpedal but it’s too late and Peter requests the judge let him make use of that info. The judge grants Peter’s request then calls a recess.

Shoot to Stanton telling Damien that working on the bee case with him has reminded him why he hired him in the first place “because you’re a damn fine lawyer.” Damien thanks him. Stanton then says he hired Rachel, subconsciously, because “I believed you’d be better suited somewhere else. Like a judge or a legal counsel to a Fortune 500 company.” He then tells Damien that for him to get to the “next level” he has to take risks. Damien replies that not taking risks got him where he is. Stanton then says how Rachel wants to win the bee case, how he hates to lose then he asks him if he has any allergies.

Shoot to Stanton addressing the Venice Community Association’s members. He tells them that Summer’s bees are “gentle defensive creatures. That will only attack if provoked.” He then points to Damien, who is covered in Summer’s bees.

Shoot to the courtroom as Jared is questioning Jill on the stand. He questions her about introducing Noelle to the Feast food delivery service so she knew the time the food would be delivered to Noelle and about her food allergy. Jared then asks Jill to use her actuary skills as he notes that women take their time when they plan a murder whereas men are more impulsive and that men tend to kill people they don’t know whereas women tend to kill people they have a personal connection to. He asks Jill if that’s correct and she says it is. Jared goes on to say that women use poison as their method of killing and kill for love more than men. Jared then asks Jill if she’s in love with Wendell. She weakly says no. Jared then reminds Jill that she’s under oath. She then says, “I’m not in love with Wendell, so…” Jared then says, “He didn’t notice you at all, did he?” He then asks Jill the odds that Wendell committed a murder using poison. Then, he says, “What are the odds that the real murderer is you?” Wendell sits back in his chair, seemingly sad and shocked.

Shoot to Stanton telling the guys and Rachel that the association is now going to look at all ordinances that make beekeeping illegal thanks to Damien’s demonstration. Also, Summer gets to keep her hives and Rachel’s G-ddaughter got an interview with the private school…thanks to the guys. Damien is still jumpy from the demonstration. Stanton asks Damien if they’re “good,” and Damien says they are and that he can still here buzzing. Stanton then asks the guys how the murder trial is going just as the guys’ phone vibrate that a verdict has been reached.

Shoot to the guys telling Wendell that the D.A was dropping all charges against him and that Jill was in custody for Noelle’s murder. Wendell thanks them. Jared then asks him what he’s going to do with the $250,000 that’s now his. Wendell replies that he’s going to quit his job and move to Italy. He then asks Carmen out for a drink. She replies that he said alcohol shortened one’s life. He replies that life isn’t life if you’re always calculating the worst possible outcome. Carmen says she knows a bar around the corner. She invites the guys but then tells them to say no. They tell them to go on without them. They then go into their offices and find that Rachel had the wall taken down. They then start throwing balls and arrows, etc. at each other.

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