Kicking off the show’s Fourth Season, Franklin & Bash returns with some notable absences. With Rachel (Heather Locklear) moving on to greener pastures and Infeld (Malcolm McDowell) facing serious charges, control of the firm has fallen on the shoulders of Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). It seems the inmates are in fact now running the asylum. Along with Locklear’s exit, the premiere is also missing series regulars Dana Davis and Kumail Nanjiani as the Peter and Jared’s go-to investigator Carmen and hypochondriac helper Pindar who have both, apparently, left the show with big holes to fill.
Franklin and Bash accept the case of a call-center archaeology grad student (Kevin Christy) who is convinced that he’s being screwed out of the find of an Egyptian death mask which may or may not reside in a local storage locker. With Karp (Reed Diamond) representing the other side in the case, and only half-believing their client’s word, the lawyers decide to showcase his eccentricity in an attempt to win the case with some of their regular tomfoolery (although it’s not as memorable as the zombie tactics used to win the pre-credit trial to open the season).
In the episode’s B-story, the recently hired Ellen Swatello (Rhea Seehorn) is forced to defend a local pot shop owner (John Allsopp) getting forced out by a couple (Spencer Garrett, Carol Avery) attempting to open a day care, although their true motives aren’t quite that black-and-white. Swatello’s move to the firm may give room to further her relationship with Jared, but nearly all of the couple’s heat came from fighting each other in court which may explain why there’s nary a spark to be found in the season premiere.
Although the season premiere does feature some classic Franklin and Bash shenanigans, things feel a bit off which the number of cast changes. Along with Toni Trucks joining the firm as junior partner Anita Herrera the show also attempts to replace Carmen with the far less interesting, and far more creepy, Dan Mundy (Anthony Ordonez). We don’t get enough of Anita to properly judge her, but Dan (at least so far) is a poor replacement for Carmen. And with Infeld, Karp, and Rachel all now removed from the firm the rebellious nature of the two leads has been limited by not having someone else to answer to (other than the judges who will likely continue to find them in contempt).