Living Single

Season 5 Episode 9

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Aired Sunday 8:30 PM Dec 04, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Max is burying herself in her work. She encourages her clients to plea bargain, so that she can get through as many cases as possible. Walter Jackson, a man accused of trespassing at a hospital, thwarts her plans by insisting on going to trial. He believes that he is the Son of God, and says he was only trying to comfort the sick. Khadijah researches Walter's background and learns that he is a former corporate raider who became disgusted by his work. Max is disturbed when Walter asserts that she is trying to get over a broken heart, and describes in detail incidents from her childhood that he couldn't possibly have known about. He dissuades her from withdrawing from the case by challenging her to overcome her fear of losing. Max tries to win through "smoke and mirrors," but Walter urges her to tell the truth. He forces her to realize that she has relied on her career as a crutch because she doesn't know who she is. Max attacks the dishonesty of the legal system, and points out that Walter helped many people. He is sentenced to two weeks in jail. Max apologizes, but Walter tells her that the purpose of the trial was to force Max to undergo some soul-searching. She is left completely confused and empty.moreless

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John Henton

John Henton

Overton Wakefield Jones

Kim Coles

Kim Coles

Synclaire (James) Jones

Mel Jackson

Mel Jackson

Ira Lee "Tripp" Williams III (season 5)

Kim Fields

Kim Fields

Regine Hunter

Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander

Maxine Felice Shaw (a.k.a. "The Maverick")

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

Khadijah James

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Max: "So we're going to need some character witnesses. How many of the apostles can you round up?"

      Max: "I'm sorry I'm late. I got stuck in lock-up with this crazy brother who thinks he's the Son of God."
      Synclaire: "Oh. I met a man on the subway once who had a sock puppet he said was Gandhi. I didn't buy it, though. But he had a brown sock that sounded just like Luther Vandross."

      Max: "What do you want from me, man?"
      Walter: "Miss Shaw, I want you to look inside yourself and tell me who you are."
      Max: "Maxine Shaw..."
      Walter: "Attorney-at-law. I know, it rhymes really nice. But there's got to be more to you than that. What do you stand for? What do you care about? What drives you to get out of bed in the morning...besides breakfast?"
      Max: "I don't know."
      Walter: "Finally, we're getting to some truth."

    • Tripp: "Y'all picked a flick? I'm with anything as long as it's not one of those 'All-men-are-
      dogs, burn-his-car, Denzel-come-and-save-my-life' chick flicks."
      Khadijah: "Like you didn't cry buckets when Big Mama died in 'Soul Food.'"
      Tripp: "Big Mama meant everything to them girls."

      Khadijah (to Max): "Now you can come only if you promise not to talk back to the screen. For the last time, the people can't hear you!"

      Khadijah: "What happened to the Max who asked us to move our refrigerator next to the couch so she wouldn't have to get up?"

    • Max: "Who's your daddy?"
      Walter: "The man upstairs."
      Max: "Judge Cartwright?"
      Walter: "A little higher."
      Max: "The mayor? The governor? President Clinton?"
      Walter: "Higher."
      Max: "Hillary?"
      Walter: "All the way up."
      Max: "So then that would make you..."
      Walter: "I'm back!"

      Walter: "Miss Shaw, this isn't a joke. I really am the Son of God."
      Max: "Yeah, and I'm Joan of Arc. Where were you when they were burning me up? That fire was a bear!"

    • Khadijah: "So, what's the charge? Wearing sandals and sack cloth after Labor Day?"

      Regine: "Who's to say that he's not the real thing?"
      Overton: "Yeah. 'Cause he did say he was gonna come back someday, you know. And carpenters' sons don't lie."

      Synclaire: "I, for one, believe Jesus was a brother."
      (Makes upraised fist.)
      Regine: "Well, now the Bible does describe him as having, what? Hair of wool and feet of clay. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I don't know why feet of clay would make me think he's a brother though."
      Synclaire: "Oh, oh, oh! Okay, okay. See, I worked this out. Clay, meaning like, dirt and dust. It means he was ashy. That's how you know he was a brother."

      Max: "But he didn't say anything about him wearing a jail jumpsuit, cheap sneakers and a trace of Polo cologne."
      Overton: "Well, if he is the Lord, he should be wearing Eternity."

      Synclaire: "Food for thought, Max. Wouldn't it be ironic if you got to the pearly gates and there's your client saying, 'Told you so'?"
      Regine: "Wait a minute. Max in heaven? Oh, I don't think that's one she's got to worry about."

    • Khadijah: "Max, where is your heart?"
      Max: "My heart? Oh please. They make you get rid of that the minute you pass the bar."

      Walter: "A wise man once said, 'The truth shall set you free.' Hey, that was me."

    • Walter: "You're coming off a really hard time in your life. You put your heart out there, you got it stepped on. I understand why you wouldn't want to take any risks."
      Max: "Wait, wait. How did you know that? Khadijah. Khadijah told you my business, didn't she? Well, here's a little something you should know about her: for two whole years, she didn't go to church. She slept in every Sunday...sometimes with somebody."

      Max: "All right. I'm back on the case, and I'm gonna figure out a way to win."
      Walter: "You were looking for a miracle? Whoomp, there it is."

    • Khadijah: "Guess what he did before he took up this messiah gig."
      Max: "Oh, I don't know, travelled with the touring company of Godspell?"

      Khadijah (to Max): "But I was going to put you on the cover of my magazine, with a halo over your head. Okay. I guess I got to change that halo to a couple of red horns."

  • NOTES (2)

    • Unlike all the other guest stars throughout the series, no character name is given for Harold Perrineau's character. This is probably done to allow the audience to speculate about his true identity.

    • At the beginning of the episode, Khadijah teases Tripp about crying during the movie "Soul Food." Mel Jackson appeared in that movie.