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The First Turnabout

Larry Butz is walking and looks surprised as the deceased Cindy Stone, a thinker statue, and a smiling Frank Sahwit are in the background.

Phoenix takes on his first case to save his childhood friend -- one who helped inspire him to become an attorney in the first place. With Mia by his side, he learns the basics as he confronts a decisive witness.

August 3, 2016

Defense Attorney:  Phoenix WrightMia Fey (Co‑council)
Prosecutor:  Winston Payne
Defendant:  Larry Butz
Charges:  Murder of Cindy Stone
COD:  Loss of blood due to blunt trauma
Guilty:  Frank Sahwit

As they move into the courtroom, Phoenix's anxiety is palpable. So much so, in fact, that the Judge offers Phoenix a short test to make sure he's prepared. After going over the defendant, victim, and cause of death, the trial begins.

Winston Payne is prosecuting, and introduces a statue of The Thinker as the murder weapon. He then requests that Larry take the stand, to Phoenix's dismay.

Larry begins by saying that he and Cindy were still together even though, given her behavior, it was clear that they had broken up. When Larry finally realizes this, he becomes furious and accuses Cindy of being a cheater. After a couple of unhelpful outbursts from Larry, the Judge requests that the trial move forward. Payne then claims that he has a witness who can prove that Larry was in the apartment on the day of the murder. He calls Frank Sahwit to the stand.

Sahwit first testifies that he saw Larry leaving the apartment, then peered into the open door and saw Cindy dead on the floor. He panicked, and tried to use the phone by her door, which was dead. It was 1 'clock. Payne backs up the testimony by offering evidence of a blackout on the day of the murder.

Here, Mia teaches Phoenix about the power of evidence and about how to cross examine a witness. Phoenix, though uncertain, presents the autopsy report as evidence, pointing out that the report shows that the time of death was 4 'clock, long after Sahwit says he witness the murder. Sahwit retorts by saying he probably heard the time from a taped TV recording, but Phoenix brings up the blackout again, proving that it would have been impossible.

Again, Sahwit changes his testimony. He claims that he saw the time on the murder weapon. When Phoenix points out that the weapon was merely a statue, Payne jumps in and mentions that the statue, which Larry had made, announced the time when the head of The Thinker was tilted. Phoenix realizes that the only way Sahwit could have known it was a clock was to have entered the apartment and interacted with it. He then asserts that Sahwit had not only entered the apartment, but he had then used the clock to kill the victim.

Sahwit becomes terribly unsettled and drops his pleasant persona, becoming visibly angry and changing his manner of speaking entirely. He rips off his toupee and throws it at Phoenix. Payne points out that there is no evidence backing up such a claim, and Phoenix references the sudden change in Sahwit's demeanor. However, he also has the court sound the clock and proves that the clock is exactly three hours slow, which would mean that it had sounded 1 'clock when it was actually 4.

Payne points out that it's impossible to prove the clock was running slow on the day of the murder, and Phoenix freezes . He can't find a way to prove it, either. However, Mia steps in and encourages him to turn his thinking around; by figuring out why the clock was slow in the first place, they may be able to prove that it would have been slow on the day of the murder. Phoenix then realizes that since Cindy had taken the clock with her to Paris on vacation, she would have changed the clock to be in the same time zone -- nine hours ahead of the time in Los Angeles. Thus, the clock would have been running nine hours fast on the day of the murder, rather than three hours slow. Sahwit then realizes he has been cornered, and breaks down.

Larry is then declared not guilty.

After the conclusion of the trial, Phoenix mentions that Sahwit is merely a common burglar who had gone to rob Cindy's apartment. However, she had returned in the middle of his crime, and he had panicked and killed her. He had then planned to frame Larry.

Back in the defendant lobby, Mia congratulates Phoenix as he thanks her for her help. Larry, though, is still upset because Cindy is gone and she had never truly cared for him. He then sees Mia and offers her a matching statue of The Thinker -- he had made a pair of them for him and Cindy and wanted Mia to have the other as thanks. Mia points out that the statue is proof that Cindy had cared for him, since she had taken it with her on her travels.

As Larry cheers up, Mia suggests a celebratory dinner, while Phoenix promises to tell Mia the story of how Larry helped inspire him.

The episode ends with Phoenix's ominous comment that he would never be able to keep his promise.


Phoenix: [About Larry] Our school had a saying: "When something smells, it's usually the Butz." In the 23 years I've known him, it's usually been true.

Payne: Ahem. Mr. Butz. Is it not true that the victim had recently dumped you?

Larry: Hey, watch it buddy! We were great together! We were Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony!
Phoenix: (Um... didn't they all die?)
Larry: I wasn't dumped! She just wasn't taking my phone calls. Or seeing me... Ever. WHAT'S IT TO YOU, ANYWAY!?

Phoenix: (I'll send him a signal...)

Phoenix: (LIE LIKE A DOG)

Mia: Lies always beget more lies! See through one, and their whole story falls apart!
Mia: Try thinking out of the box! Don't waste time doubting the facts. Assume the clock was three hours slow and... Think through it! Ask yourself, "Why was the clock three hours slow"? Figure out the reason, and you'll have your proof!
Mia: Wright? I hope you see the importance of evidence now. Also, hopefully you realize, things change depending on how you look at them. People, too. We never really know if our clients are guilty or innocent. All we can do is believe in them. And in order to believe in them, you have to believe in yourself.
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