Family Law on The CW: Grade the Canadian Lawful Show

Let’s face it, the premiere of Family Law was a success. It’s 99.9% due to TV fan favorites Jewel Staite & Victor Garber.

Staite is most well-known for Firefly. However, her performance on the Canadian legal drama import is closer to Kaylee’s character on The L.A. Complex. Starring as Abigail Bianchi (a personal injury lawyer), we meet her for the first time while she’s lying on the roadside in her car. Abigail arrives late at court, visibly drunk and puking all over the place.

Three months later, Abigail is required to attend AA meetings. She can also only practice law under supervision. Her father, Harry Svensson ( Legends of Tomorrow) bailed on her. This isn’t a father-daughter moment. Harry has his own rules for Abigail who’s been separated from her father for over 30 years.

Harry left Abigail and her mom when she was seven years old, after he had killed Daniel’s mother. He then married Lucy, her half-sister. He then married Lucy’s half-sister, Daniel (The Expanse’s Zach Smadu). Abigail now works alongside her siblings, who she has never met before and don’t really like each other. Abigail is a professional who looks down upon Lucy and Daniel. When Lucy tells Abigail about Lucy’s death, Abigail replies, “He would’ve left her too, if she hadn’t died.” Lucy later described Abigail as “a massive bitch” to Daniel.

Abigail’s home is not much better. She is staying with her mom ( NCIS_ Lauren Holly), who drinks in front her daughter (“My home, my rules”) and refers Daniel and Lucy to Abigail as her “rainbow-colored brothers.” Abigail is also divorced from Frank ( Hemlock Grove_ Luke Camilleri), a family lawyer who cheated on Abigail. She doesn’t see her children often, especially her daughter who doesn’t want her to talk to her.

Abigail assists a client in suing a wealthy one-night stand who responded to her “sperm needed” ad for retroactive child support for 13 years. She then goes up against her husband as opposing counsel. Harry is excited about the potential income this case could generate, but Abigail changes her mind when she realizes that she’s using it to resolve her family problems. Harry is dismayed when she realizes that Frank and Abigail have reached a reasonable compromise.

Frank tells Abigail that she wants to go home. But he doesn’t believe her. He claims that their drinking ruined their marriage before he ever cheated. He does encourage their daughter to visit Abigail. As the episode ends, we can see Abigail’s tattoo of a heart on her chest. It reads: Frannie (her daughter’s names) and Nic (her husband). Did a loss cause Abigail to start drinking?

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