The Paper Chase: Season 2, Episode 5

Commitments (15 Sep. 1983)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Hart must choose between the demands of law school and his relationship with Connie.



(based on the novel by), (developed for television by), 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview:
James Stephens ...
Tom Fitzsimmons ...
Connie Lehman
Betty Harford ...
Mrs. Nottingham
Wortham Krimmer ...
Martin Zeiss
Michael Prince ...
Dean Perry
Michael Mitz
Alan Shea
Marion Yue ...
Student Answering Pay Phone in Dorm


Connie is overloaded with extra work, leaving little time for Hart. This results in a temporary breakup. Bell is a less-than-adequate student representative on the Housing Board, attempting to intercede on behalf of a struggling 1-L in his dorm. Written by JEFJR

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Release Date:

15 September 1983 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A rather bad episode...and that IS a surprise.
27 June 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The idea of this episode is very good. However, the writer also seemed to ignore the character building that has occurred in previous episodes--making the characters behave very uncharacteristically and very unlikable. And, because of this, it's a letdown--an episode this is unworthy compared to the usual quality of the series.

Lehman (Jane Kaczmarek) is now in the same position Hart was in season one--Professor Kingsfield has asked her to assist him with some special research and her head swells due to this distinction. And, like Hart, she is completely absorbed in the process--so much so that maintaining a relationship with Hart is difficult. As for Hart, he's not the least bit understanding and is a major jerk--and ends up cheating on her. As I mentioned above, this sort of behavior just seemed very uncharacteristic of him--even in light of the more sexual nature of the series once it was picked up by Showtime.

At the same time, Bell is supposed to be working as an RA but does little, if any, advising. He's much more selfish than ever and when a struggling first year student (a very young David Caruso) comes to him for help, Bell blows him off repeatedly. Later, when he finally does his job, his incompetence pretty much dooms the guy.

The bottom line is that the characters are very unlikable in this one--very. You can't help but feel baffled and wonder if the writer was just unfamiliar with the show. Interestingly, when I checked, I found out it was the writer's first episode for the series. Hopefully, things will improve.

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