By Terry Kelleher
October 16, 2000 12:00 PM

ABC (Sundays, 10 p.m. ET)

At the end of the season’s second episode (Oct. 15), there’s a quintessential scene on The Practice. Bobby (Dylan McDermott) is bummed because his questionable defense strategy may have caused a friend (Bruce Davison) to be convicted of murder. Ellenor (Camryn Manheim) is dejected because she faces a biased judge (Dakin Matthews) in a long-shot suit against the Environmental Protection Agency. The firm is in a funk. Then Rebecca (Lisa Gay Hamilton) tells everyone to quit brooding, Ellenor recovers her fighting spirit, and this Boston lawyer team—still in the underdog role after almost four years on the air—seems ready to resume aggressive advocacy.

Even if the characters are growing overfamiliar, creator David E. Kelley’s stories remain compelling and surprising. As Exhibit A, witness the Oct. 22 climax of Ellenor v. EPA.

Bottom Line: Keep them on retainer