Do you enjoy hunting wildlife? This episode of Harry's Law has Harry preparing to go on vacation, and her idea of hunting is shooting birds. She tells Tommy, Adam, and Cassie that if any emergencies arise, don't call her. As she is leaving, three people walk into the office, one of which is Chunhua Lao, played by Irene Keng. Chunhua Lao was Adam's girlfriend in season one before he broke up with her to pursue his ex-girlfriend, Rachael Miller. Chunhua brings a couple in for a lawyer because someone stole their daughter Ming. Their government in China took her because they violated the one-child policy. The couple tracked the girl to a couple in Ohio who adopted her.
Harry heads out on the open road in her Mercedes-Benz SUV, singing American Girl at the top of her lungs, when a police officer pulls her over. Harry inquires about why she was pulled over when she wasn't speeding. The officer tells her she crossed into Langford City limits. Harry says, "Yes, that's been known to happen occasionally when ones destination is Langford." The officer tells Harry she violated city ordinance 30225, the "Buy American" ordinance. No foreign vehicles may be owned, driven, or parked in the town.
The officer asks Harry to step out of the vehicle because it must be impounded. Harry calls the officer Barney then tells him, "I'm white, rich, and a Republican. That makes it legal to mistake you for a quail." Back at the office, Ollie asks to borrow Tommy's car to get Harry because she hinted at shooting the officer. Ollie has to take Tommy's car because he drives a Porsche.
Cassie and Adam meet with the parents of the missing girl. Cassie says their case is hard because the courts will decide in the best interest of the child and she's been in the country for four years. Adam tells them the adoptive parents do not know she was taken and they've been her parents longer. The couple pleads with Cassie and Adam to get her back.
Back in Langford, Harry insists she didn't threaten to shoot the officer. She was simply making a reference to a hunting accident. Ollie tells her to pay the fine so she can go hunting, but she refuses. The city attorney comes by to talk to Harry. He's barely 27 and just passed the bar. He got the job because his uncle is mayor. He doesn't want to take on Harry in court, so he asks her to pay the fine. She once again refuses because the law and the mayor are stupid.
Cassie and Adam meet with the adoptive couple and tell them the story about the parents. The adoptive couple says they were told the parents were dead. Cassie and Adam tell the adoptive parents that the biological parents want their child back. They are filing a motion in court to return the child to her biological parents.
In Langford, the mayor, played by George Wendt of Cheers fame, introduces himself to Harry and Ollie. The mayor says the law is intended to create jobs during difficult economical times and Langford is doing its part. The mayor asks what is Harry doing besides "driving around in her SUV?" In Cincinnati, the judge tells both sides they need to get in a room and work something out because they will be in each other's lives for a long time. The adoptive parents bring Ming into the room to meet her biological parents. The father hugs her, but she does not return the affection. The mother tries but gets no response. The adoptive father tells them Ming, now known as Lee, thought they were dead and she no longer speaks Chinese.
The biological mother gets upset and says to her husband in Chinese that Ming no longer recognizes them. The girl speaks to them in Chinese and says she remembers them. They both hug her, but she does nothing. The adoptive parents are heartbroken.
In the Langford court, Harry says the law is unconstitutional because only Congress can regulate commerce, not Langford. It also goes against free speech and a person's right to buy whatever they want. The judge says Harry is taking this personal, and she says she is. Harry says to the judge, "The Constitution, stop me if you've read it, is about individual freedom. The 'Buy American' ordinance is collectivism." The city attorney says the Constitution allows Langford to make their law based on the necessary and proper clause in Article One. He also says FDR signed the "Buy American" Act to stave off depression. He says, "History books called him a hero. Would the history books be wrong?" Back at the office, Harry is furious at Ollie for getting his butt whipped by Doogie Howser.
In the Ming case, the biological parents testify about how the Chinese local governments enforce the one-child law by tearing down homes and taking the children. The adoptive mother testifies that Ming is their daughter and part of their family. The judge brings everyone to her chambers, and she talks to Ming. She asks Ming what scares her most, and she says having to leave her family. After the families leave, she meets with the lawyers.
She asks if they have their clients in counseling, and they all say no. She asks the lawyers if they're parents, and they say no. She says, "Well the families are in the best hands possible, huh? Nothing a little litigation won't clear up." Then she tells them to get out. She looks at a photo on her desk, and it shows the judge with her adoptive parents. The next day, the professionals testify for both sides as to why or why not Ming should stay or go. The lawyer for the adoptive parents tells Cassie and Adam that Ming has invited the biological parents to her choir concert.
Back in Langford, the mayor testifies that the economy could turn around if people would buy American and that's what the law does. The automobile industry is essential to the American economy, and Langford is helping. Harry asks the mayor if it bothers him if American companies make their products in other countries, and he says yes. So that means, according to Harry, no more iPads or iPhones in Langford. He says Apple employs a lot of people in America, and Harry says so does Toyota. In fact, they employ more people than Apple. She asks what if foreign countries decided to stop importing American goods? The mayor says if he buys a Ford, America gets the money. If he buys a Mercedes, Germany gets the money. Harry says, "If foreign companies decide not to import American goods, we all go the way of Enron. But hey, Enron was American, right?"
Back at the office, Harry and Tommy have a heart-to-heart. He asks her why is she spending her entire vacation on this trial. The fine is less than the cost to rent the Mercedes. She says she got into quail hunting because of her father. One day he decided they were going to a hunting club and they got new outfits and such. When they arrived, she and her father were turned away because they were Jewish. She says, "This isn't what America is suppose to be and were becoming less and less inclusive everyday." Back in court, the judge finds in favor of Harry and invalidates the Langford law because it goes against the Commerce clause. Harry tells the city attorney if he needs a job in Cincinnati, they can talk because he's good.
At the church choir concert, Ming is singing her heart out while her biological parents, along with Cassie and Adam, stand in the back listening. They can see how happy she is. Back in the courtroom, Adam says the biological parents deserve to get their daughter back and the international law is on their side. The lawyer for the adoptive parents say it's not about the biological parents, it's about the little girl, and taking her from the only family she's known is wrong. The judge rules in favor of the adoptive parents but gives the biological parents visitation rights.
What did you think about this week's episode of Harry's Law? What do you think about the judge's ruling? Should the adoptive parents keep the girl, or should the biological parents get custody? What about the "Buy American" ordinance in Langford? Should that really happen in the U.S.? Catch Harry's Law Wednesdays 9/8c on NBC.
Missed the last episode? Read the recap here.
(Photo Source: Wikimedia)