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  • Writer's pictureLouisville X-Press Staff

Season Finale Review: Depp V. Heard Trial

No one was expecting the tired old "courtroom drama" to once again grip the nation, but we have to say this one knocked it out of the park.

Though it shouldn't be too shocking with such star power behind it as Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, and Camille Vasquez stealing the show every chance they got. Depp's unusually subdued performance (think Jack Sparrow, but older and just receiving his 1-year chip) really sold the idea of a man just trying to pick up the pieces after a toxic relationship that cost him his career.

Heard, while her performance could be viewed as a bit exaggerated, undeniably did her research on the nuances of a crazy manipulative ex who is so convinced of her own righteousness that she hired literally the first lawyers for whom she saw a bus stop ad without any vetting or research. As unusual a plot twist as it was, I could absolutely believe that she would shit a bed.

Rising Star, Camille Vasquez
Rising Star, Camille Vasquez

While the casting of the aggrieved parties was excellent, the real winner here was our debut performance of Camille Vasquez, who plays a member of Depp's legal team. She dominated in every one of her scenes. Her zero-bullshit attitude was not only believable but not since 'Avengers: Endgame' have I cheered so loudly when one of the heroes gets their moment and experienced such catharsis. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of Ms. Vasquez in the future. Another notable player, Elaine Bredehoft (who played one of Heard's lawyers) brought effective comic relief in the moments she was on screen but was memorable in the same way we all remember Jar Jar Binks. She played her part the way she was supposed to, but we all collectively groaned whenever she spoke. Good job being terrible, I guess. While other stars never appeared for more than an episode it was fun to see the likes of Kate Moss and Ellen Barkin. And while his scenes didn't make the final cut, Jason Momoa's testimony was still used for viral promotion videos on social media and had us all in stitches.

David Spiegel
David Spiegel

Of the support roles, one notable entry was David Spiegel, who played a psychiatrist analyzing Mr. Depp. While he was hardly believable as a "Doctor" the various quirks and ticks he lent the character, with the weird jaw motions and inability to understand which questions were being 'asked' and which ones were simply being 'said' made him one of the most memorable additions to the cast. He most did too well with eccentricities in that I began to question how any real lawyer would want to put that guy on the stand. However, just like whatever "meds" the doctor was on, he was best taken in small doses and I'm ultimately glad he wasn't given an expanded role.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the show. We've tried celebrity trials before but too often they're grounded to the point that the actors can really only play it straight and while this may be more reflective of reality it doesn't always make for a fun watch. The stories told and the performances conveyed were just surreal enough to make for compelling viewing we just couldn't get enough of, but not so "out there" that one could be forgiven for thinking this whole thing was actually happening.

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