The Beast (2001)

Season 1 Episode 6

Functional Family

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Aired Unknown Unknown on ABC
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Functional Family
As Alice struggles to keep her attention on being an anchor, rather than a reporter, the new intern, Robert, struggles with demons of his own. Meanwhile, in jail, Reese McFadden and Tamir Naipal meet Brandon Romer, a former child star who fell into a world of addiction when his career ended. With the help of a microphone, smuggled in with Reese's medication, and a cameraman stationed outside of the window of Reese's and Tamir's jail cell, the story of their incarceration ends up being broadcast, live, by WNS. Jackson discusses the situation with the station's attorney, who is not very happy with the bootleg broadcast. Mrs. Sweeny interviews the new intern, Robert Tibideau, and takes a shine to him. Jackson pressures Sonya about the impending promotion of a piece on which she is working, "The Ray Family ... A Startling Look At America's Forgotten Underclass." He fears that the most startling thing about the Ray family will be if the viewers are able to stay awake when the production is aired. An exhausted and bewildered Alice returns to her hotel room to find a huge array of flowers and a basket of bath salts, which were sent by Jackson. She also finds her boyfriend, Jeremy, waiting and clings to him as though he were the only port in the hurricane that has become her life. Reese smells a story in Brandon Romer, pays his bail and sends Ryan to get him upon his release. Ryan reluctantly baby-sits Brandon Romer while Reese does a story on the former child star, who turned to drugs and drink when his career faded away. Ryan has little sympathy for the former child star, but Reese wants to show the public what happens when the "system" puts people in jail for the crime of harming themselves and sees Brandon as the perfect means to accomplish that. Alice is ready to accept the proposal of marriage that her boyfriend made just before she received the call from Jackson Burns, but since Jeremy is a spy for the CIA, he tells her that her newfound fame has made a relationship between them impossible. Reese asks Ted to arrange a meeting with his friend, a liberal judge. He wants to turn Brandon's story into a "cause." Ted isn't sure he can manage it, and Jackson points out to Reese that the story is really about him. Still, he asks Ted to try to arrange a meeting with Judge Bailey. Sonya airs the footage she has of the Ray family, which puts everyone to sleep except Robert, who rivets his attention on young Caleb Ray - there's a connection there that goes unnoticed by everyone in the room, but clearly Robert sees something in the boy that the others do not. Jackson tells Sonya that she has to find another family for the story. She tells him that she knows it's slow, but she's certain that there's something there - she can feel it. Jackson tells her there's no more time to spend on it and tells her to pull the cameras out of the Ray's house and to find another family. Reese does the first of the broadcasts on Brandon Romer that will tell his story while he awaits the hearing that will determine whether or not he goes to jail for 15 years. Brandon keeps trying to be someone else, to play a role, but Reese keeps reminding him that the story is about Brandon himself. Wally, one of the members of the crew, introduces Alice to the Mocambo lounge ... an exotic bar, complete with faux sunset that can be watched from a sand-box beach, that is hidden away within the sprawling complex that is The Beast. There she meets Judge Bailey and they talk a bit about why he's there. Ted and Reese arrive for their meeting with him and tell him that, through a series of circumstances, he will now be the judge hearing Brandon's case. This should be a good thing, since Bailey is liberal, however, Harry caught the encounter with his web cams and sent it out to the Internet, live. Bailey has no choice but to recuse himself from the case. The next judge to draw the case has a history of taking a hard line regarding substance abuse - it's not looking good for Brandon. Reese gives Brandon the news on that night's live broadcast with him. He asks Brandon if he's "okay" with the camera being there and Brandon confesses that he's always been okay with the camera - his troubles began when someone turned the camera away from him. Brandon Romer is as addicted to the camera's red light, which means he's being filmed, as he is to any drug he's ever ingested. Brandon's emotional outburst, after hearing about the change in judges, worries Reese. He calls Ryan and tells him not to let Brandon out of his sight. Sonya tries to explain to Mr. Ray why she had to pull the cameras from his house, but he doesn't want to listen and accuses her of wanting a "better" family for her production. She can see the children, but Ray won't let her speak to them, nor say good-bye to his wife. Young Caleb finds his way to Sonya's car before she's able to drive away and tells her that he will miss her. The next day, while reading the Metro section of the newspaper in Jackson's office, Sonya learns that young Caleb Ray stabbed his father to death the night before, to stop him from continuing to beat Mrs. Ray. She tells Jackson that the Ray family was performing for the cameras after all - they were the only thing keeping Mr. Ray from abusing his wife and children. Reese arrives at the hovel that Brandon shares with a myriad of other derelicts to find Ryan asleep and Brandon missing. A frantic search of the building reveals Brandon in a filthy bathroom, trying to kill himself because he doesn't want to go back to prison again, but without the courage to finish the job. As Reese takes Brandon downstairs, Brandon's only thought is to wonder whether or not Ryan's camera is on. At the hearing, the judge makes a surprise decision and sends Brandon to a state sponsored rehab facility, rather than to prison. Reese reports that the facility won't be able to treat Brandon's real addiction, so he has no doubt that when Brandon is finally released, it won't be long until he begins using drugs again. Jackson Burns goes on air to express his feelings about the fact that WNS may have indirectly had something to do with Caleb Ray murdering his father ... it's all about the insatiable appetite of The Beast.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Morgan Weisser

    Morgan Weisser

     

    Guest Star

    Mark Pellegrino

    Mark Pellegrino

    Bobby James/Robert Tibideau

    Guest Star

    Lori Petty

    Lori Petty

    Rita

    Guest Star

    Gary Werntz

    Gary Werntz

    Harry

    Recurring Role

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