In the eighth episode of Bull, “Too Perfect,” Bull takes on his ex-wife — and Benny’s sister — as a client after her company, Bella Colon Brands, is sued for the wrongful death of one of its customers. But the team finds the job taxing when Bull’s own complicated history with Bella, as well as Benny’s rough relationship with her, opens up old wounds. Can the TAC team successfully keep Bella’s company from going under? And can Bella make good with her ex-husband and younger brother? Read on to find out.
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“Too Perfect” opens with the victim, Olivia, moments before her death. She’s watching one of Bella’s popular lifestyle videos; this one is about how to make a healthy, energizing smoothie. After blending the shake together, Olivia finishes her exercise, working up an appetite. Then minutes after she drinks the smoothie, made with a Bella Colon Brands packet, she can’t breathe and she soon falls to the ground.
After Olivia’s husband, George, sues Bella for wrongful death, citing irresponsible business practices, Bull decides to take on the case at the request of Bella’s lawyer, Franklin. He tells Benny, who immediately sees that Bull wants to use this case to repair his relationship with his sister. Before he can fully object, Bella herself joins them to talk about their defense. Bella states that her company has strict safety standards, so there’s no way they could be at fault for Olivia’s death.
Back at headquarters, the team learns that while Olivia’s death was originally attributed to a heart attack, an autopsy revealed that she actually died from anaphylactic shock from contact with bee pollen. The prosecution argues that the powder came from Bella’s product. Bull knows that to win the case, they’re going to need to come up with an alternative theory about where the bee pollen could have come from.
Winning Over the Jury
During the mock hearing, all of the jurors seems to love Bella, and they sing her praises, some even admitting that they’ve followed her advice themselves. However, even though they adore her, they all are quick to find her liable for Olivia’s death. Bull explains that this is due to cognitive dissonance; they see Bella as perfect, which makes them hate her, and finding her guilty for this crime would prove that she’s not perfect. He explains this to Bella simply, stating, “People love to hate you.”
Bull plans to change the jury’s minds by showing her vulnerability and making her seem more approachable. Chunk sets to work on altering her appearance but soon finds that when he changes her out of her bold, colorful wardrobe and into a plain, gray suit, jurors think she’s trying too hard to project a new image. Some even think she’s making fun of the average working person. Bull suggests a change, having Chunk show their mock jury a photo of Bella in the same bold outfit as earlier but with less makeup. The jury responds well to the change, thinking more positively of Bella.
Bull decides that the key to winning the case is to weed out the perfectionists from the jury. They need people who can laugh about their failures, who aren’t concerned about getting everything right. They manage to secure a decent jury, only accidentally accepting one juror who they discover lied about not knowing Bella. They aim to learn more about her to figure out her true motives and what makes her tick.
Reminiscing About the Past
After Bella asks Benny out to dinner, he declines. Bull, always nearby and attentive, offers to have drinks with Bella instead. They retire to her rooftop, where they reminisce about their past. Eventually, Bella reveals that she blames Bull for ruining her relationship with Benny. She storms away, stating that she’ll be looking for a new lawyer in the morning.
At Bull’s request, Benny tries to smooth things over with his sister and keep her on as their client. She explains that she believes Bull asked Benny to work for him as a way to win their divorce. Benny tells her that he wasn’t choosing sides when he accepted Bull’s offer; he was simply trying to do what he wanted. Bella had advised him his entire life, instructing him about what clothes to wear and what schools to go to, and he finally wanted to do what he wanted to do. He tells her that he loves his job at TAC because he gets to help innocent people every day.
Back at headquarters, Benny returns, unsure over where or not his sister is still their client. The team’s been looking into the jury and their habits as well as researching Olivia herself. They discover that she’d been following Bella’s lifestyle advice obsessively for the past three weeks, but they’re not sure why. Soon, Bella shows up, ready for court and clearly still hoping to remain as Bull’s client.
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Danny learns that two of their jurors have been hooking up throughout the trial. While jury members aren’t allowed to develop relationships or, more important, discuss the case outside the courtroom, the TAC team seems more concerned with their mock jury no longer accurately reflecting the real jury. Chunk placed the two mock jurors in a room together, but they aren’t reacting to one another. They soon realize that what had sparked the relationship of the real jurors was the judge’s orders forbidding any fraternizing between jury members. So they soon replicate this, setting rules for their mock jurors, which soon results in a new romance.
Danny also finds out that there was a week when Bella’s company received an extra shipment of boxes, but they didn’t come from their usual factory. Bull puts Bella’s COO, Allison, on the mock trial stand and asks her about how demanding Bella is. While Allison seems to genuinely respect and adore Bella for her high standards, she admits to feeling overworked. When Bella had told her to double up on production, Allison ordered the stock from another factory in order to keep up with Bella’s schedule. The prosecution also learns this, which makes Bella’s lawyer want to settle, but Bull pushes on.
Cable soon learns why Olivia became so obsessed with Bella’s lifestyle advice. She had suspected her husband of cheating on her, and Cable, using her super sleuthing powers, was able to uncover correspondence between George and his mistress, Katrina. Bull brings Katrina to court while Franklin questions George, getting him to admit to having an affair and effectively transforming him from a sympathetic widower to a cheater.
Bull and his team decide they need to take Bella down a peg by humiliating her in public in an attempt to humanize her to the jury. They write a script and plan a public fight between Bull and Bella, with Danny egging on nearby people to watch the argument. Many people film it, as the TAC team had hoped, which makes it go viral the next day. However, during the fight, Bull goes off script so that they can get a real, honest reaction from Bella to show her vulnerability. The two then discuss their past relationship, and we learn that Bella had previously had a miscarriage that she and Bull struggled to deal with as a couple.
Tying Up Loose Ends
After closing arguments, the jury finds Bella not liable for Olivia’s death. However, with Bella found not guilty, how did Olivia die? Bull, of course, has a theory. He invites Katrina to meet him, where he’ll take her to see Bella. She’s excited to meet her, but Bull points out that she seems like she’d literally kill to meet Bella. While Katrina had previously stated that George was going to leave his wife for her, Katrina realized it was never going to happen unless she took matters into her own hands. Using a key to George’s apartment that she had, Katrina had snuck into their home and added pollen to Olivia’s smoothie powder. The police pull up and arrest her.
Alone after the trial, Bull and Bella have a conversation about their relationship and about the baby they lost. She had wanted him to mourn with her, but he could only deal with the tragedy by trying to heal her. After accepting their different methods of grieving, Bella kisses Bull and then leaves.
What did you think of this episode of Bull? Did you expect “Too Perfect” to reveal more about Bull and Bella’s relationship? What about her relationship with Benny? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Bull season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of CBS)