Just like in Made in Jersey‘s pilot, street-smart young lawyer Martina Garretti defends in “Cacti” a new client accused of manslaughter. This time, the underdog, Hannah Atwood (Kelli Barrett), is a schizophrenic patient who’s been spending the last 11 years in a mental institution after being charged for killing her boyfriend.
Hannah’s case stood out from the pile of “jail mail” first-year Martina’s been given by a new face in the show, third-year chair Nolan Adams (Kristoffer Polaha). Under her new medication, Hannah remembers everything from the day her boyfriend was killed. She says she wasn’t the murderer and wants another trial. Martina believes her and with her boss Donovan on board, she persuades a judge to set a competency hearing.
Janet Montgomery as Martina Garretti – Photo: Global TV
Later she asks Hannah to identify some guests from the photos that were taken at the party where the murder happened. Hannah loses it the second she sees Jake Beckett, the man who abused her when she was a child. According to her psychiatrist, she suffers from conflated memory, a condition where two memories converge and become one tangled narrative.
During the trial, Martina faces Tommy (Enver Gjokaj), a high-school ex-boyfriend who now works for the DA’s office.
Martina proves in court that Hannah wasn’t able to have a clear recollection of what exactly happened at the party. Hannah is released and Beckett is arrested.
On the Garretti’s home front, Martina’s sister Bonnie (Erin Cummings) is dating a guy who seems too good to be true. He’s smart, classy and cultured. He studied poetryÂ—17th century French poetry. Mr. poetry/insurance man is a good man. “Just not Bonnie’s man,” thinks the family. But as a dinner guest in the Garretti residence, he’ll get the dessert.
Still little to no drama around Martina, her work and her large family. Unless Made in Jersey digs deeper, its future in the CBS TV schedule might become uncertain.
One million viewers less than last week watched “Cacti.” Ratings are down to 0.8 in the 18-49 demographics. The case of the week was intriguing but that’s about it in a 40-minute episode that’s supposed to engage the audience.