BULL works best when it keeps things light, so centering an episode around Fashion Week was a great choice for the show. After Chunk’s mentor, designer Nella Webster, is killed by a poison dress during her own fashion show, Bull decides to take on the case of the man accused of killing her, her assistant Will. A poison dress! It’s an insane idea, but a fun, dramatic one. Will is the prime suspect because he sent out a threatening email, he ordered arsenic, and he has an engineering degree so he has the sophistication to pull off the crime.
The issue with the show remains the fact that there’s no dramatic tension because the audience knows there’s no possible way that Bull can ever lose or be wrong. Bull decides that Will can’t possibly be guilty because when he asks him if he prefers checkers or chess, he answers that he likes Pictionary. From this one response, Bull determines that Will doesn’t have the foresight necessary to plan such a dramatic crime. Bull shouts this question at Will as he’s being dragged away by the cops, making the whole thing even more ridiculous.
Chunk is less convinced of Will’s innocence and resents the fact that Bull is potentially helping his mentor’s murderer, but come on, Chunk! When has Bull ever been wrong? Of course, the evidence isn’t helping Will, because this wouldn’t be an episode of Bull without some completely unnecessary red herrings and misdirects. The prosecution uncovers video footage of Will taking something from Nella’s safe the night after the murder. Inside was a revolutionary new heel design that makes wearing stilettos as comfortable as wearing slippers–a “golden ticket” worth “hundreds of millions” apparently and definitely motive for murder.
Will tells Bull that he thought up the design. After all, he has the engineering degree. He was angry at Nella because when he brought up the idea, she promised him a promotion, but didn’t follow through. Will then heard her on the phone with patent lawyers, so Will assumes that she was trying to steal the design for herself. He also ordered the arsenic to use in a new dye, but decided against it because it was too dangerous. However, Bull’s team now needs a new strategy for the trial, as the video footage of Will seemingly stealing has turned the entire jury against him. They have to find another plausible suspect, but who?
Cable discovers that someone has been selling Nella’s designs on the dark web. Bull purchases a dress using the screen name StrongLikeBull99, a hilarious little detail, and discovers that Nella’s former employee Delilah is running the online store. Delilah didn’t kill Nella, but she has valuable information. Kira, Will’s fiance, was supposed to wear the finale dress, but she dropped out in the middle of the show, forcing Nella to wear the killer garment herself. Benny wants to put Kira on the stand without telling Will, but Bull insists on informing him.
Kira breaks down and tells Bull that she didn’t quit the show–she was fired halfway through. She told Will she got sick because she was too embarrassed to tell him the truth, as Nella took the humiliation one step further by not even delivering the news herself. JonCarlo, Nella’s second in command, told Kira that she’d been fired. It turns out that JonCarlo orchestrated the crime. Nella was going to fire him and promote Will to his position. We also learned that Nella did indeed talk to patent lawyers, but she was putting the patent in his name. Everything works out in the end, as it always does.
This episode also featured Diana, the feisty Texan lawyer who Bull’s faced off against twice so far. She’s an excellent opponent for Bull, so it’s always good to see her in the mix. She and Bull flirt over the phone, but things get serious when she asks him to visit over Skype. She realizes that him visiting would take their relationship from flirty, no strings attached to real. A wistful moment between two unrequited lovers…and a nice showcase for Microsoft’s products, their logos perfectly framed in the shots. However, at the end of the episode, we think that Bull is going to go on a date with a model, but he really flies to go spend time with Diana. He wants their relationship to be real.
This week’s episode also ditched the downer subplot about the U.S. Attorney Office’s investigation into Benny. Last week was dragged down by the show’s focus on Benny and his issues. It was the show’s first attempt at a serious serialized subplot, but it simply isn’t fun watching Benny mope around for an hour. Hopefully the show has decided to abandon this storyline for good.
Season 1, Episode 18 (S01E18)
Bull airs Tuesdays at 9PM on CBS
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor