ICYMI: Night Court Recap for 1/17/2023: The Nighthawks
The premiere opens with Abby Stone talking to a guy with tattoos and being awkward in the process. Gurgs the Bailiff introduces herself and Abby reveals that she is the judge, like her father before her. She is excited about the job and wonders what happened to his former coworkers.
As she looks back at the stories he told her, Dan Fielding is working at a coffee shop, being snarky as usual. It turns out he is undercover.
Gurgs introduces Abby to the court, but keeps getting her name wrong. Neil moves things along, while Olivia and Paul present their first case, which involves a psychic who may be a fraud.
Abby wants the psychic to prove herself. At first it seems like she is the real deal, but it turns out Abby set her up by hiding her engagement ring. She gives her 50 hours of community service.
Abby comments on Paul giving up so easily and causes him to quit.
Later on, Gurgs brings Abby some of her dad’s things. They chat a bit about people messing with her name on the board and then Neil lets Abby know they will be getting a new public defender. She finds an old pool ball and goes to visit Dan. However, he thinks she is the delivery person and then a Girl Scout and slams the door in her face. She explains who she is and takes him even further by surprise.
The two of them share memories about Harry and she offers him his old job back. He doesn’t want to do it because he doesn’t like people. She shares some more memories and he tries to push her out the door—with food. He promises to stop by and asks her to leave.
Gurgs is still upset over her name being messed up. Neil tries to calm her down, but she yells at the delivery woman who gets her name wrong.
Back in court, Abby is working on a case when Dan shows up and runs into an old flame named Sally. She runs over to talk to him and introduces her to Olivia, who could not be less interested in talking to him. Olivia thinks bringing Dan on is a bad idea, but Abby thinks he will be a good fit.
Dan and Abby finally talk about the job and end up arguing. He ends up storming out in anger.
Gurgs is still trying to get revenge on her name messer upper and rants to Neil about it. She then realizes she might be overreacting and runs off upset.
Abby wants to know if Neil will ever admit he is the culprit, but he says he is trying to make his own fun. She warns him to be careful and they end up having a heart to heart where she talks about her dad and his magic tricks. Neil admits he can work harder.
Dan goes back to the court and goes through Harry’s old things. He ends up chatting with the janitor about his previous life at the court and how a big loss caused him to close off his heart. He wants to know what to do, but the janitor is no help and tells him to tell shorter stories.
Dan then decides to open the box and a snake pops out. He vows to think about the job offer and opening his heart.
Court is a disaster until Dan shows up to help….for a few days. Abby thinks he will be there longer, making him already regret taking the job. He ends up saving the day…..but not without snark.
The episode ends with the defendant flashing everyone.
The second episode opens with Olivia and Dan working on another case. Dan argues that his client is innocent and points out it could be another person in the room—who looks like him. He then points to people in the room who indeed look like the defendant.
The defendant admits to being the robber, which leads to him being found guilty, despite Dan’s best efforts to get his client off.
Later on, Neil, Dan, Olivia and Gurgs are hanging out. Dan tells them about Harry and says that Abby will be in with an inspirational speech.
As predicted, she gives a speech and gives them water bottles with Nighthawks written on it. She wants them to come together and make things better and makes Neil help her motivate everyone. Olivia is not interested and Gurgs is just snarky about the whole thing.
She also annoys the birds Nikolai is trying to get out of the ceiling.
Later on, Abby tells Gurgs she is worried Dan might not work out. At that moment, Dan walks in and Abby asks him if he needs help working the defense. She offers him some advice, but she only serves to upset him.
Neil tries to help Abby inspire Olivia and Gurgs with new paper, but they are once again not interested. Gurgs tells him that he can get rid of the stenographer, but Olivia wants to keep her because she wants someone on her good side. However, she is also worried since she is Maggie’s emergency contact, she might disappear like the last three.
Court is in session and Dan tries to work on being a better public defender for Abby, right down to wearing a patterned sweater. However, he only upsets her because he is not doing what she wanted.
Abby realizes the defendant is dyslexic and that is why he could not use the bathroom code and ended up with a public urination charge. She dismisses the case on a disability clause.
Dan is upset over this, as is Olivia since Abby is doing her job.
Later on, Maggie tries to make plans with Olivia by knowing exactly what she is doing at any given time. Olivia is creeped out by this and makes a getaway.
Dan tries to talk to another defendant, but also ends up getting creeped out. He asks Gurgs for advice on socializing, but she will only help him if he gives her fifty dollars or remembers her name. She gets the money.
Abby walks into court to see a new stenographer and a mural being painted. She is not quite sure these are the changes she wanted, but says she is proud of Neil.
Gurgs helps Dan prepare for another case, but it ends up being a disaster. This leads to him fighting with Abby and Maggie coming into the court angry that she was fired. She has a huge meltown and releases the birds Nikolai was trying to remove from the building.
Afterward, Dan, Gurgs and Neil discuss the day, all while the defendant finally opens up to Dan while handcuffed to the wall.
Dan goes to talk to Abby about his clients and comes up with some convincing arguments for why they are not guilty. He also opens up about himself, making Abby happy. She thinks he is there forever, but he still says he is still a temp. However, they end up bonding.
Later on, Abby and Neil are cleaning up and talking about how Nikolai’s paintings were featured in an Estelle Getty museum and how he learned English due to watching The Golden Girls. He also admits he feels insecure about not being a big swing guy, but Abby convinces him he is doing fine, especially since he got the birds out of the building.
Nikolai comes in and says they are not gone and his is prepared for them as the episode comes to a close.