So Help Me Todd – The Queen of Courts

This week’s episode of “So Help Me Todd,” stood out not only for its engaging storyline, but also for its inclusion of two prominent guest stars. Sandra Bernhard delivered a memorable performance as a personal injury lawyer who doesn’t quite play by the rules, while Heather Morris, best known for her role in “Glee,” appeared as a barista in the building of Crest, Folding and Wright, who develops a notable interest in Todd. The episode seamlessly wove its guest stars into the fabric of its unique blend of comedy and legal drama, making for a thoroughly entertaining hour of television. 

Bernhard portrayed, “Belinda Tuttle,” a hokey personal injury lawyer, whom Todd is all too familiar with from his early days as a Private Investigator. Belinda has found herself accused of murder amid an insurance fraud scheme gone awry, leading to an accidental death. She is desperate for representation and turns to Margaret, offering double her usual rate in cash. Despite Todd’s warnings and the potential damage to the firm’s reputation, the offer is too good for Margaret to refuse, given the firm’s dire financial state.

“The Queen of Courts” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Sandra Bernhard as Belind aTuttle, Skylar Astin as Todd and Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret. Photo: Ed Araquel/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Bernhard’s Belinda is a master of manipulation, using tactics in court that push ethical boundaries. However, the twist comes when Todd uncovers that the real fraudster is Belinda’s ex- personal assistant, who has been impersonating her in a series of insurance scams. As Margaret and Belinda use stall tactics to buy time in court, Todd and Lyle work together to bring the assistant to justice, marking a significant win for Margaret and the firm. 

“The Queen of Courts” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Sandra Bernhard as Belind aTuttle and Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret. Photo: Ed Araquel/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This episode delved deep into Margaret’s professional challenges, highlighting the pressures and sacrifices that have come with being promoted to named partner. The idealistic version of what Margaret pictured of partnership faded quickly, as she faced the firm’s financial crises, leading to difficult decisions, including firing employees and resorting to Belinda style tactics, in order to buy more time to pay off overdue bills. The narrative really highlighted how alone Margaret feels, as she keeps the firm’s troubles a secret. However, her choice to keep quiet about the financial struggles the firm is facing, forced her to alienate Susan, who feels sidelined and undervalued. Susan feels that she has earned a promotion to Senior Associate, a move Margaret would have supported wholeheartedly before the firm’s financial strain from ex-partner Song’s embezzlement. Now, the firm cannot cover the increased salary that would come with promoting Susan. Margaret’s choice to abruptly dismiss Susan’s request, instead of letting her in on what is really going on, leads Susan to feel like she is not as valued by Margaret as she once thought. Margaret is typically a very straight-forward person, so it is a mystery as to why she is not letting Susan in on what is really going on. This choice could ultimately drive Susan to walk away and look for work at a different firm. 

“The Queen of Courts” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret. Photo: Ed Araquel/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Two romantic subplots added layers to the episode, Heather Morris’s Judy, a barista with a surprising academic background showing interest in an oblivious Todd. As usual, Todd is too preoccupied with his own problems to even notice that this sweet, nice looking girl is flirting with him. Meanwhile, Lyle and Alex finally decide to take their relationship to the next level. Although Lyle is super confident at work, he is anything but in his personal life and therefore it was super sweet to see him persuade Alex to stay over at his place in a totally Lyle way, by printing out a map of parking areas near his building. However, Alex isn’t the sweet girl that everyone thinks she is. At the end of the episode, we see her sneaking into Beverly’s office and doing something on her computer that is yet unknown to viewers. Alex clearly has ulterior motives for being at the firm. Hopefully her feelings for Lyle are not just a way for her to get easy access to the firm, as It would be heartbreaking to see poor, sweet Lyle get his heart broken, 

“The Queen of Courts” – SO HELP ME TODD, Pictured: Heather Morris as Judy. Photo: Ed Araquel/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Humour was also weaved throughout the episode, notably in the courtroom stall tactics employed by Belinda and Margaret, and the sharp banter between Todd and Lyle and Todd and Allison. While it is funny to see Todd in a position of power over his super successful sister, it is starting to become disheartening to see Allison struggle without direction in her life. Allison is a strong woman and she deserves a storyline that involves her taking steps to pick up the pieces of her life and start over. In this day and age, it is upsetting to see a woman be portrayed as unable to cope without a man in her life or someone telling her what to do. Hopefully the writer’s have a bigger plan in place, as they have not let viewers down before and it would be a shame if they did so now. 

Over to you, SHMT fans! What did you think of the episode? Will Margaret finally let Susan in on what is going on at the firm, or will she push Susan out the door? What is your prediction for Todd and Judy? Share your thoughts below and engage with me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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