OWN saved All Rise for the third season. Since the season began, the series has delved into more challenging cases and the characters’ personal lives.
Luke Watkins(J Alex Brinson) moved to the public defender’s office and was trying a complicated murder case.
TV Fanatic chatted with J Alex Brinson about Luke’s growth, his complicated murder trial, his friendship with Mark, and the future of Luke and Emily.
Hi J Alex. I have been a massive fan of yours since the show began. And I love how Luke has had more serious cases since Season three began. How have you enjoyed the change since you guys moved over to OWN?
It’s wonderful. I love growing. Younger Luke was very indecisive as he tried to figure himself out. He didn’t know what he wanted or what his approach should be.
Now, it’s fun to play him with more confidence, more understanding, and more clarity about what he believes he thinks is right or what is wrong.
It’s great to see him grow in intelligence and understanding of the court system and how to make it work to his benefit to fight for the things he believes in.
Absolutely. I noticed that in season 2, Luke advocated for restorative justice. Are we going to see that at all this season?
You know, what’s interesting? I’m not sure. As of the episodes I have filmed already, we see conversations about restorative justice, but I’m not sure if we go into it entirely. However, we definitely touch on it.
I also think it’s different now as he crosses over to the public defender’s side. Now he’s representing the defendant rather than prosecuting from the state’s side.
True. I have enjoyed seeing that. It seems you got your most challenging case with the murder trial and defending Carl Brewer. It looks very different than your other cases.
Okay, talk to me. What do you think of it so far?
In the other ones, you always seemed sure your client was innocent. You didn’t seem as sure with Carl, and he didn’t connect with you as many of your other clients did.
That’s a great observation.
As Luke understands how the world works, he notices there is gray in the world. He’s in this gray zone of wondering if this guy is guilty or not. What does he do in the in-between if he can’t commit to one side?
That’s where he is right now, and it’s tricky because what are the repercussions if he fights and helps a murderer walk free? How does he live with himself?
Yes, I imagine that would be very hard because, as you said, Luke has always been significantly cut and dry, so this one must be tough for him emotionally.
Can you tease anything about the new evidence Luke found in the cliffhanger about Carl being a chimera? Is that going to help him? Or does Mark have more tricks up his sleeve?
I don’t know if I can spoil anything, but we will find out more.
That was a new one that is done a lot in legal cases, a chimera.
It was very astute. I think Luke tripped on something extraordinary. That’s the thing –you have to do the research to do the work. You’ve got to dig and find as much information as possible and use your creativity to connect all the dots in pieces. That’s what it’s all about.
That was a very interesting loophole, and I’m curious to see how that loophole works next week.
Me too. I thought the episode turned out great. I believe it’s a shadow of a doubt with the jury or when arguing the case. All you have to do is cast a shadow of a doubt. I think Luke is trying not to necessarily prove anything but just cast a shadow of a doubt.
Right. Like he told Carl, he has to prove the prosecution is weaker than the defense.
I do watch the show. Will Luke and Mark overcome the tension in their friendship from this trial since they promised bros before litigation?
Right, you know, life is so interesting. You go out, team up with people, and think it will last forever. But sometimes, you must take your own path and stand on your own two feet, and a willingness to be an individual is what life is about.
I’m not saying conflict is terrible or anything, but I think Luke and Mark had to decide what is their job and what is the framework of their friendship.
Well, I hope they eventually reconcile and become friends again. I liked their teamwork in All Rise Season 2.
The relationship is growing, and they’ve come so far from Luke shadowing Mark and Mark helping him in the DA’s office learning the system and the courtroom. I agree with you, Laura. I think their camaraderie this season has been fantastic.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long until they can become friends again. I enjoyed the scene of you two jogging together. That was just a fun casual scene.
That was a fun scene to do. Working with Wilson is fun. He’s a carefree, easygoing guy. It’s easy to laugh with him.
That’s good, and I’ve noticed this season the series has started focusing more on the characters’ personal lives. We’ve even seen them having fun or in each other’s home lives. What can you tease about Luke or Luke and Emily?
It is nice. It brings such a beautiful element to the show to go beyond the courtroom and see into the personal lives of all the players in the courtroom.
No spoilers, but the only thing I could tease is we do see more family dynamics that we all deal with.
Well, that’ll be fun. Do we get to meet your family, or you can’t say that?
I’m going to pass on that one.
Okay, I understand. Do we see more of Luke and Emily as the season progresses, even as friends? You guys have supported each other, especially in the last episode.
I think our friendship is growing, and I think a decision is coming about what they want to do with their lives.
Oh, that is fun. You two have a lot of fans.
Yes, we both love Lemily. Lemily fans are the best. I love all the Lemily fans. There is nothing like a romantic, loving partnership where you feel you can be yourself in the relationship and you can be supported in your pursuit of yourself.
I think people connect with Lemily in that regard. They’re so supportive of each other and what their dreams are.
Absolutely. I am a fan. You guys are one of my favorite couples.
Aww. You are the best, Laura.
Well, thank you so much for chatting with me. I can’t wait to see what happens with the case next.
You can catch J Alex Brinson on All Rise Season 3, airing weekly on Tuesdays on OWN at 8/7c.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.