Judge Lola Carmichael is the judge we need.
All Rise Season 1 Episode 2 turned up the heat on the newly minted judge, presenting her with a case that judges come up across all too often in the courtroom.
ICE storylines have been making their way to television in their droves over the last few years, but "Long Day's Journey into ICE" was the most significant look to date.
What we had was a young man who was trying to notify his peers that a store was selling expired food. It was a recipe for disaster, and it was making everyone sick.
The revelation that the manager of the store was the one who called ICE shouldn't have come as a surprise, but it did. That's thanks to the clever plotting from the producers who made it seem as if Katie was feeding the information to ICE.
What was fascinating about this particular installment was that it gave Lola the drive to push herself to find the best course of action.
Deep down, she knew that the man deserved a fair trial, and Salsoto's arrival in the courtroom to threaten him with deportation successfully raised the stakes.
Soto wanted Lola to understand that he was in the courtroom because of the danger he and his colleagues have faced while trying to find undocumented citizens.
Sherri: We need to talk unauthorized furniture.
Lola: Good morning, Sherri.
Sherri: This is a perfectly good bookcase.
Lola: For Game of Thrones. I'm sure someone around here will want it.
Sherri: Your honor.
Lola: Call me Lola.
Sherri: Never gonna happen.
Lola: Let's give it a try, it's a fun name to say. Good morning Sherri. Good morning--
Sherri: Your honor.
It was clearly an attempt to humanize the ICE enforcement agents. They don't tend to get the best portrayal on television, but even with the dangers associated with the job, Salsoto was still breaking the law.
Katie was the biggest suspect in my book because she seemed to pop up every other scene. I should have stopped to think that all of her scenes were going to be rendered red herrings, but I was pleasantly surprised by the result.
Emily also struggled with the case, and it's not difficult to see why. She had much the same views as Lola on the matter, and that's why she became a Public Defender.
If people are messing with the process of justice, then what's the point of working in it? Emily was resilient, trying to find different paths to travel to save her client from a lengthy stint behind bars and subsequent deportation.
Lola: The governor signed a bill last year. I thought we won this battle.
Lisa: We did. Hey, I need to talk to the L.A. County sheriff. He's not going to take the call, so you just have to threaten him a little. Thanks. What are the charges?
Lola: Felony assault, first offense, no warrants out on the accused.
Lisa: He's undocumented.
Lola: This doesn't make any sense. How did ICE even know he was there? Somebody tipped them off.
Lisa: They're planning something bigger and are softening the ground with the least experience judged in the building. Where's the defendant now?
Lola: Courtroom holding, we're in recess.
Lisa: Judge Carmichael. Your court is now a legal and political minefield. Please endeavor not to blow anything up until I can get some answers.
Lola: Got it. Don't blow anything up. How exactly do I do that?
Lisa: Remain impartial. Don't let any of this affect the outcome of your defendant's trial.
Finding a misdemeanor charge was the best course of action for the young man. He was happy enough to take four years with a higher charge because it would give him four years to find a way to stay in the United States with the woman he loved and away from the conflicts of his home country.
The best part was Katie, Lola, and Emily making their way to Lola's office to find a way to keep him in the U.S. Katie was all about the facts initially, not taking into account that the man didn't actually do anything bad.
By the end, she had softened and was actively trying to find a way to save the man she was tasked with prosecuting.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions for all involved.
Lola got pushed to the brink, and it's not like she's finding it easy associating with the older and more seasoned judges in the office. The only one who remotely cares about her is Lisa.
Lola knows she's at a disadvantage, but it was refreshing that Sherri vowed to stay in the office with Lola all night. On All Rise Season 1 Episode 1, Sherri was all about Lola not making waves, but her actions on "Long Day's Journey" proved that she is willing to allow them if it meant saving a life.
Rockstead: I love what you've done with the place, making it your own. Exotic.
Lola: What, the pillows?
Sherri: Okay, let's go.
Rockstead: The ICE thing, I'd appreciate it if you don't drag the rest of us into your little theatrical.
Lola: I think you would be just as concerned about this situation as I am.
Rockstead: Not everyone in this building thinks like you, Judge Carmichael. To assume that only reveals your youth. My advice, pull the thorn and keep walking.
Mark continues to be my favorite character aside from Lola. He's a man of integrity who will stop at nothing to find the right course of action.
The strongest aspect of his particular storyline was that Mark could see the similarities between himself and Maya. They were both ashamed at the outlandish things their fathers had done.
Maya cracking and turning on her father was a big surprise, primarily because it meant she would be cut off for good. What I didn't expect was that the father would wind up in prison for two years.
That also allowed Mark to understand that admitting he had daddy issues was not a sign of weakness. It was a sign that he had to meet with his father and do something other than punch the living daylights out of him.
Mark's formative years were likely a mess because of his father's actions, but he managed to beat the odds and make a name for himself in the world of the law.
That's a considerable achievement.
Mark: So, okay so do I have daddy issues?
Lola: Ugh, yeah.
Mark: Yeah, I do, right.
Lola: Call Vik, maybe he'll be up for a drink tonight.
One of my main concerns on the series premiere was that Lola and Mark were going to get together because they work so well as friends. But they have more of a brother and sister bond as opposed to a romantic one. That was highlighted very well on this installment.
That's all I got, All Rise Fanatics.
Did you like "Long Day's Journey into ICE"? Are you enjoying the cases?
Hit the comments below.
All Rise airs Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.
Remember you can watch All Rise online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.