'Rake' Recap: Marriage on Trial
'Rake' Recap: Marriage on Trial
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
On tonight's episode of Rake, Keegan defends a bigamist. The mayor's wife starts to thaw. The majority of the women in Kee's life seem to be undergoing some kind of crisis. The elusive Margaret still lingers.

When we last saw Keegan, he had arrived home at his apartment to find hooker-turned-law student Mikki waiting for him. This in and of itself was a surprising turn of events since she 1) disappeared without giving him a heads up and 2) when he coincidentally encountered her on a college campus, she blew him off again--only this time in person. The other shocking event was the speeding oncoming car apparently driven by Kee's mysterious stalker, Margaret. Their history has yet to completely unfold, but we do know Keegan has a restraining order against her.

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Oh, Mikki You're So Fine

We are denied the pleasure of seeing the infamous Margaret for ourselves since this week's episode of Rake begins with Mikki driving Kee to the police station to report what he believes to be an attempt on his life. What we do learn about this mystery woman is that she was, at one time, both Kee's client and sexual partner.

Kee's derogatory comments about the Los Angeles police department continue to haunt him. The officer doesn't buy the attempted murder story, care about Margaret violating the restraining order, or even bother to take Mikki's statement.

Mikki reveals to Keegan the reason for her visit, and it's not to apologize for her harsh brush-off. Although, it appears he's not the only previous client whose feelings she hurt. Mikki turns to Kee for help because one of her clients, who just happens to be a well-known and powerful attorney, isn't taking no for an answer. The man, Clay Randolph (Bruce Thomas), has also made the shift from masochist to sadist. Needless to say, the word of an ex-prostitute isn't going to mean much against a law-abiding citizen. Keegan promises to talk to Randolph.

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Big Love

Keegan's case of the week is defending a well-known chef named Alberto Rinaldi (Michael Imperioli) who's accused of bigamy. Keegan's client is pretty cavalier about his behavior. He equates his actions with trying to choose between two desserts: why not have both? Life is short. Rinaldi doesn't understand how love can be a crime or why the courts or police should care. He believes it's a personal matter between himself and his wives. Too bad that one of his wives is the niece of a Santa Barbara court judge.

When Keegan questions how Rinaldi was able to keep each wife in the dark, the chef suggests it's because he never had to lie or act in a duplicitous manner. Since he owns two restaurants, neither wife questioned his whereabouts when he was away. Keegan, whose fear of commitment is emphasized in every episode, has a hard time wrapping his head around a man's choice to voluntarily marry twice.

For once, it doesn't look like Keegan's going to get his client off in a miraculous and timely manner. Keegan, lacking a defense, tells Rinaldi the upside is that he's likely to serve less than a year in prison. But for the chef who likes to have his cake and eat it too, this is unacceptable. He states his devotion to his families and his financial livelihood make even serving a few days unacceptable.

Sexual Politics

Keegan runs into the mayor's wife, Gloria Barzmann (Kim Hawthorne), who was pretty frosty to Kee at the time. She seems to have had a change of heart because the two engage in some heavy flirting. Kee's seduction tactics are as lazy as his attempts at practicing law. There was nothing meet-cute about their initial interaction, and their chemistry is zero.

More Women, More Problems

Keegan's got his hands full of female troubles. His assistant is annoyingly teary-eyed because she's convinced that her boyfriend, who has moved to Scotland for two years, is going to cheat on her. She whines pitifully whenever there's the slightest mention of infidelity.

He pays a visit to his ex-wife's house, and winds up in another pissing contest with her current beau. This time it's over yard work. When Kee declares "Nobody touches that bush but me," you get the sense this is a double-entendre. He also winds up covered in manure which is obviously symbolic in some way of him being full of s**t, or his life being crappy.

He gets a phone call from Margaret who has managed to gain access to his apartment and leave him a gruesome gift in a box with a pretty bow.

War of the Roses

Keegan meets with the assistant district attorney prosecuting his case and the presiding judge, both of whom were unhappily wed for 18 years. This benefits Keegan when he argues his justification of pleading not guilty. She's a shrew who flings barbs at her ex-husband while Keegan gives the judge knowing, empathetic looks and makes jokes at her expense. So even though Keegan has no case, he's going to get his day in court.

The Beat Down

Keegan finally has his run-in with Clay Randolph, a misogynistic ass. He calls Mikki a slut, and Keegan responds to this by informing him she's out of the business, and that he should stay away from her. Randolph's retort is that it only makes sense that a guy who's made a career out of defending garbage would stand up for a piece of trash. The two tussle in an elevator, and when the doors open, it would appear Keegan bested Randolph. Keegan doesn't get away unscathed, and it's becoming obvious that if the show survives past its six-episode run, we'll be seeing fresh scrapes and bruises on Kee every week.

Meanwhile in Court...

Rinaldi's wives take the stand, and their anger quickly turns into self-doubt. One argues that if he'd met her first, he wouldn't have felt the urge to look elsewhere. The other blames herself for not meeting his needs.

Keegan has no legal basis for a defense, so he just decides to demonstrate what a great husband and father Rinaldi is. The judge takes great pleasure in overruling his bitter ex even when legal precedent is probably on her side.

Using a Sex Toy as a Weapon

Keegan's conversation with Randolph has the opposite effect of what Kee intended. Randolph manages to find Mikki on a crowded college campus, corners her in an empty restroom, and threatens her.

Keegan shows up at Randolph's home and tells his wife how her husband was paying a thousand dollars a week to help care for a man named Mikki. Just Kee's way of letting Randolph know that if he doesn't back off, Kee will return with a very different story. His last act is to present Mrs. Rudolph with a sizable sex toy that he passes off as a small sculpture of the "Balinese God of Plenty." There isn't a woman alive who wouldn't be able to identify this particular object (used for self pleasure), but you can be sure even though his wife is unrealistically naive, one of her friends won't be.

Happily Never After

Rinaldi's case is blown open when a third wife is discovered. She's conveniently located where he's planning to open his third restaurant. Keegan loses, but we all know the case was just a very small part of a larger theme regarding marriage. I think matrimony took just as bad a beating as Keegan.

Rake airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.

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(Image a courtesy of FOX)

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