CBS' Bull: What's Your Verdict?

Matt Webb Mitovich

After being away from our screens for upwards of four months, NCIS vet Michael Weatherly returned to TV on Tuesday night as the “Boss” to his own team, on CBS’ Bull. What say you, the jury?

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Comfortably hammocked between NCIS and its relocated New Orleans offshoot, Weatherly stars as Dr. Jason Bull, the leader of the elite, gadget-heavy Trial Analysis Corporation, which — for a very pretty penny, one must assume — will help a defendant best plan a courtroom strategy.

Working alongside Dr. Bull are his former brother-in-law Benny Colon (played by Freddy Rodriguez), a legal eagle who pre-tries clients’ cases in front of a “mirror jury”; Marissa Morgan (Geneva Carr), a neurolinguistics expert poached from  Homeland Security; former NYPD detective Danny James (Jaime Lee Kirchner); millennial hacker Cable McCrory (Annabelle Attanasio); and lineman-turned-stylist Chunk Palmer (Chris Jackson).

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The first case the TAC team tackle involves a rich kid, Brandon, who is accused of strangling a drug-peddling hook-up during a yacht party. Bull immediately winnows down the brooder’s massive legal team, then does his best to wrangle the unctuous lead attorney, whose Rolex he even (and rightly so!) bugs. As both the haughty lawyer and viewers are told repeatedly, winning over a jury can hinge on targeting the right member — in this case, a woman who subconsciously wants to make up for not giving her son the father he deserves. Or something.

Bull catches a break when Taylor, a pampered princess who deemed Brandon her own, lashes out on the stand, looking mighty, murderously jealous of his hook-up. But in the end, Brandon’s alleged motive withers away when Bull empowers the lead attorney’s beleaguered colleague to have the lad to reveal the truth on the stand: he is gay, and was with a man at the time of the murder. In a coda that seemed tacked on just to let us know who did commit the crime, we learn that it was Taylor’s mother, and that Brandon had been bedding her husband. Then, in a moment added since the pilot originally went out, we see the cops pull up to arrest the mom, as Bull stands outside, satisfied in a job well done.

As often the case with pilots, we didn’t get to know much about the other TAC team members — Benny ribs Jason about his ex; Danny can be tough; Cable likes her earbuds. And we must wonder, will Bull always be defending a wrongfully accused person? (And would he always know?)

What did you think of Bull‘s bow?

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