Night Court Season 1 Episode 14 Review: When Abby Met Gabby


There’s trouble in paradise on Night Court Season 1 Episode 14, when Abby starts questioning the foundation of her relationship with Rand after meeting her spiritual doppelganger in Neil’s high school crush.

Meanwhile, we take another haywire trip through Gurgs-ville when she takes an assault on Dan as a personal attack on her honor as a bailiff.

Finally, and it’s probably a silly thing to get hung up on, but who honestly believes Neil is old enough to have had a crush on Mrs. Brady?

Like the O.G. series, Night Court has been stellar at booking bang-on guest stars.

Having a second Melissa — Villaseñor, in this case — portray Gabby to Melissa Rauch’s Abby is some genius casting.

It goes without saying that Neil definitely has a type.

Cheerful and capable professional women already involved in long-term relationships obviously turn his crank.

Gabby’s path to dentistry probably started as early as Abby’s road to the judge’s bench.

Gabby: I’m doing well. I’m a dentist now. You probably remember I always loved mouths. They do so many things – smile, talk, eat. They’re not lazy like arms.
Neil: Totally. Arms have been riding hands’ coattails for far too long.

There’s a moment where I worried that Abby’s bonding with Gabby over their parallel romantic relationships might drive Gabby back to Steve, ruining Olivia’s carefully crafted plan.

But in a surprise twist, Gabby’s story of her divorce casts a shadow over Abby’s vision of her future with Rand, a relationship, if we’re being honest, has been questionably anchored in the show’s newborn canon.

Seeing as Night Court Season 1 Episode 10 was actually meant to air two weeks AFTER this offering, we can assume Abby finds a way through her moment of matrimonial hesitancy.

To be fair, A Christmas Carol was always going to get old. It’s just a bunch of socialist ghosts trying to stop a decent man from running a small business.


Throughout the entire Neil-Gabby adventure, Olivia is a fascinating study in determination, the most unromantic Cupid ever.

While her motives are borne of the usual self-serving source, the side effects are alarmingly altruistic.

Abby is freed from Neil’s awkward and cringy attentions.

Gabby gains both a new patient and an adoring boyfriend.

Neil digs deep and lets himself be happy.

Abby: Do you think it’s possible that you fall for unavailable women so you have an excuse if it doesn’t work out?
Neil: That would explain why I had a crush on Mrs. Brady. You could tell she was unhappy but she was never going to leave Mike. They were a ‘bunch’.

And, again, Mrs. Brady? Really? Either the writers need to give us a backstory where the only channel Neil’s TV growing up could access was Nick at Nite, or they need a reminder that Neil’s formative television should’ve been syndicated Friends reruns.

Dan’s trial by Gurgs experience feels like an attempt to have Larroquette take a seat over on Plot B while Abby gets the opportunity to emotionally road trip with Olivia and Neil.

And Plot B is very much a Gurgs introspective on her duties as a bailiff.

I swore an oath – that I made up – to protect this court at all costs, and tonight, a suit lost its life on my watch.


Having failed to protect Dan from the drunk mother of the gender reveal mum-to-be, Gurgs’s sense of honor has been forsworn, and righting that wrong in typical Gurgs fashion means Dan suffers through the most well-meaning but inconvenient bailiff-guarding ever.

Whether he wants it or not.

Gurgs: I’m just trying to apologize for letting that lady and her daiquiri give you a north Florida baptism.
Dan: Listen, I’m a lawyer. I’ve had things thrown at me for years. At least this wasn’t sharp or on fire or a ferret. Poor thing. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Has there been a fan theory floated yet that postulates Gurgs as the daughter of Roz and Bull?

I know, I know, it’s not a coital relationship anyone wants to picture in their mind’s eye. Even Neil’s honey pot inevitability seems less weird.

But give it a second to percolate.

There’s an unmistakable physical resemblance between Gurgs and Marsha Warfield’s Roz from the original series.

The fact is, I should’ve known that woman was trouble the moment she puked in her purse.


But then Gurgs’s more fantastical leanings are reminiscent of Bull’s flights of fancy.

Bull also took his job as bailiff exceptionally seriously. It was a defining element of his personality, but he also had a genius IQ and an incredibly loving heart.

Of course, since he married Wanda Flinn near the end of the original series’ run, maybe a more plausible connection is he’s Roz’s daughter’s godfather, and she absorbed his uniqueness through exposure.

Don’t mind me, folks. I go down these hypothetical and nostalgic rabbit holes mentally whenever I consider the O.G. cast members that haven’t dropped in yet.

Since Marsha Warfield and Richard Moll are still alive and kicking, it’s not a big stretch to imagine them popping in to give Gurgs a pep talk.

Let a girl dream.

Okay, back to plot analysis.

Dan’s employing of outside agents to mitigate Gurgs’s mission to bubble-wrap him is predictably ineffective.

And if he wants to stage a drink-throwing scene that Gurgs could save him from, why would he set it up so far away from her?

Gurgs: [pulling out a basketball tank tee] I feel like you could pull this off.
Dan: Exposed arms are just someone’s way of saying that their muscle tone is their only currency.

There’s no way she would’ve been able to get across the cafeteria in time to block that drink if the Juilliard grad had actually stuck to the script.

On the other hand, the private bodyguard appears to do the job he’s hired for at first.

But the trick about bringing in a newbie to Night Court is they have no idea the perils represented by an overly happy Neil.

Foreseeing that sort of catastrophe takes constant vigilance and an oracle’s eye.

Also, knowing how Dan feels about hugs.

In terms of physical comedy gold, Gurgs’s hug-blocking in slow-motion is some heroics of epic sitcom level.

When you watch Night Court online, reflect on how well we know these characters now.

Despite the twenty-two-minute format, laugh track, and predictable tropes, we’ve plumbed some remarkable depths and grown affectionate about the relationships developing here.

Will Rand and Abby have a “talk” about whether they can build a life together on the power of Cute? Can Skaneateles values take root in Manhattan soil? What sort of a permit will they need to keep a pet pig in the city?

Book your burning-est questions into our comments below and pass judgment on how you think it’ll all go down!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond ’til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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