Bull (S03E17) “Parental Guidance”

“Parental  Guidance”  is a  story of what happens, when a child is raised by a narcissistic, paranoid  father. 

In a rustic cabin, with no indoor plumbing,  electricity, and the usual comfort’s  of home; a young man grabs his pail and goes for  water.  He runs home when he hears the alarms. Somebody’s coming !

Lucas Schwieger, (CJ Valleroy)  aged 16 stands with his father, Norman (Trevor Long) and shoots at the authorities; a Social Worker and a Sheriff. 

Lucas focuses and softly says, ,”Killed or be killed” The Sheriff is shot, the Social Worker is killed.  His dad is killed by the Sheriff. 

Dr Statton (Maria Dizzia)  asks Bull to evaluate young Lucas. He has confessed to murder, he’s in jail and being tried as an adult.   He has no other family. His mom  is dead; hung herself. His dad was just killed in a shoot our. He’s all alone.

It’s quite a case. He can’t read, barely speaks english and lived off the grid with his father in the bush. 

Norman Schwieger raised his kid away from everyone.  Bull is going with, “Persuasive Coercion”  as the affirmative defense, hoping for compassion, sympathy, pity. 

It’s a kind of mind control and dad used it  over Lucas. He has no experience in right or wrong,  decision making…thinking!

There was no outlet for learning. No books, telly, radio, computers,  internet, people!   He just did whatever his father told him to do!  Dad was his source,  god, North Star.  It was cult like living; mind control.

Lucas, in a suit and tied, looked scared,to death! He just wants to home.   He asks at every turn and doesnt understand, “why?!” This case was so bizarre, yet incredibly…sad. I was intrigued . 

Sidebar: Marissa has frozen eggs stored. Her husband, Greg opens the storage bill and a deep discussion ensues. She tells Greg, she just wanted options.  She and hubby will think about it; keep  the eggs, use the eggs or throw them away  (shutters)  A real adult relationship.  I like it.  Winners. 

After a day in court, Lucas tries to hang himself.  He’s been  pushed into a society  of strangers and pulled away from everything he knows.  And everything he knows is untrue as told by his delusional  dad.  At 16, he just wanted to die.

Struggling, the team has nothing to confirm the living situation and deadly influence. Yet  who called CPS?!

Yvonne Fowler, ( Tricia  Pauluccio)  a  neighboring nurse, is found by the prosecution.  Lucas stayed with her when his dad was hospitalized, for 3 weeks . He had an opportunity to experience, a warm home,  indoor plumbing, The Bible…right and wrong!   The Affirmative Defense weakens.

And who didn’t know his mom, Brenda  (Dana Eskelson) was still alive, uh? Although her testimony was powerful, the ending still went in a very different direction.  I like it!

Benny pulling  it out it out of the hat  never gets old. 

Bull can be seen,  Monday’s at 10p/Pacific, On Demand and the CBS app.