Judge Lola Carmichael's reign in the courtroom has only just begun, and if she continues to tick all of the boxes, she may emerge as the best judge around.
On All Rise Season 1 Episode 5, Lola continued to fight for what's right, all while helping people get married, and fighting back against the system for making money from defendants.
If you watch All Rise online, you know the series strives to tackle subjects that other TV shows wouldn't.
The one that weighed heaviest on Lola's mind during "Devotees in the Courthouse of Love" was the way the system manages to monetize cases.
Mr. Owens was between a rock and a hard place. He committed a crime, didn't want to do any time, yet didn't have a dime to pay any of the fees incurred by the court.
Many judges are blissfully unaware of how much hauling a defendant to court actually costs, and Lola was all about finding out the truth.
It's information like this that makes All Rise the best legal drama out there. Lola knew that Mr. Owens was not going to be able to afford to pay everything back.
She also understood that he could potentially re-offend to pay those fees back. Number crunching and finding out the truth about what happened after her rule helped put the man in better standing.
It was fascinating to learn that what should have been 16 days in the county jail could be reduced to as little as a matter of hours because of the number of variables in play.
With the knowledge Lola attained, she can now make more informed decisions as opposed to not thinking about the ramifications of a particular charge.
Sherri has struggled to keep Lola from making waves, and she seemed poised to yell at Lola for trying to break the wheel, but the assistant recognized that her superior was doing something that should be done.
Lola: What are the court costs, anyway?
Sherri: Your honor.
Lola: Court costs on this case.
Sherri: They change all the time. The clerk's office.
Lola: I'll wander over there, stretch my legs a little.
Sherri: Your honor, there's a bench trial in--
Lola: Thirty minutes.
Sherri: I can call down to the clerk's office and have them send over.
Lola: Feeling a little hemmed in. I want to get my steps in and take in the wedding day sights.
Sara: A judge out there on your wedding day is like a butterfly on your hand.
Sherri: Judges are strongly discouraged from using public areas of the courthouse.
Lola: Not a law. Not even a rule.
Sherri: Accepted wisdom.
Lola: Deputy Watkins, does it seem right to you that judges are imprisoned in their chambers, cut off from the general public, and the carrot cake muffins in the cafeteria?
Luke: I can run and get that muffin for you, if you would like.
Lola: You're more afraid of her than me? Fine, maybe I'll go later.
Whether these two women will continue to agree is up for debate, but this was a rare good moment between them.
Let's just hope Lola doesn't bring up the fact that she knows Sherri has been talking about her to people from other departments. That would make for some awkward scenes!
The new layer to Judge Benner was needed. She's been given more or less throwaway lines on the series to date, and it was surprising initially that she didn't show up to ordain the weddings.
The truth was heartbreaking. We didn't know much about her relationship with the woman she was dating, but they certainly seemed happy on All Rise Season 1 Episode 3 at the awards ceremony.
Taking some time out when your world begins to fall apart is necessary, but the biggest surprise was that she revealed the truth to Lola.
She needed to vent to someone, and she understood that Lola was a kind person who would listen. With that little nugget of truth out int he open, the series needs to utilize Marg Helgenberger more.
She's an excellent actress who is getting very little to work with, and that needs to change. Bringing her character more into Lola's orbit should help fix that.
The case with the nuns didn't impress me. The case took a back seat to everything else that was going on in this packed installment, and it's tough to tell whether that was intentional.
Mark: Benner does this PR thing. Civilians running around, taking all the parking spaces. Throwing bouquets, flowers, everywhere.
Ria: They have bridal bouquets?
Mark: You should see what they try sneak through security.
Phoebe was frustrating because Emily was going above and beyond to try to keep her out of prison, but the nun wanted to protect someone else over herself. It's challenging to help people who are okay with taking the fall for someone else.
I respect that the other nun had views about how the money should be spent, but the case fell completely and utterly flat for me.
Mark's wasn't much better. Margo was an opportunist who was meeting men online, ordering the most expensive things from restaurant menus, and then bailing before getting a chance to pay.
She was using these men to help get her out of the house on a Saturday night. It was pretty absurd, but it did allow for some comical moments.
The case was merely a guise to bring Mark and Amy closer, and I hate to say it, but I may be shipping them more than Mark and Ria.
Ria is woefully underdeveloped, partly because the series is still in its infancy, and there's not been much action outside of the courtroom.
Mark has a level of chemistry with Amy that is leaps and bounds better than what he has with Ria. There's no getting around that.
Given that Mark shut Amy down at the close of the hour, it seems he is more concerned about giving his relationship with Ria a real shot before looking elsewhere.
Ria: You never told me?
Mark: Once a year, we were not together a year ago.
He's a good man, but something tells me he's going to be ditching Ria before long and running to Amy.
Which brings me to Emily. Taking off the ring was a big step forward to moving on with her life. She had it on for so long that she felt she was entitled to keep it.
Family heirlooms are difficult, and that's why she felt the need to give it to her estranged husband. In a sense, it seemed like she didn't want to give the ring back because then it would be the final death knell for her marriage.
But it's not like she's been missing her husband. She seems happy enough and is also ready to get closer to Luke at her pace.
We still don't know the ins and outs of Emily's relationship with her husband, and it should get addressed.
This was another successful episode of this new CBS drama. The only issues that are coming to the forefront center on some of the characters needing development.
What are your thoughts on the way things are playing out?
Did you like the cases?
Hit the comments.
All Rise continues Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.
Editor's Note: Our system got updated! Now, you'll be able to scroll through many articles at once. That required a bit of a change to the comments, though, and now you have to click the blue "comments" bar at the bottom of an article to access them.
There are also two segments to comments now. You can either comment using Facebook or Disqus. Either way, you can SEE both types of comments. We hope that will be more inclusive of our community at large and that the conversations will grow as a result.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.