Bull Recap Premiere

CBS' Bull: What's Your Verdict?

After being away from our screens for upwards of four months, NCIS vet Michael Weatherly returned to TV on Tuesday night as the “Boss” to his own team, on CBS’ Bull. What say you, the jury?

Comfortably hammocked between NCIS and its relocated New Orleans offshoot, Weatherly stars as Dr. Jason Bull, the leader of the elite, gadget-heavy Trial Analysis Corporation, which — for a very pretty penny, one must assume — will help a defendant best plan a courtroom strategy.

Working alongside Dr. Bull are his former brother-in-law Benny Colon (played by Freddy Rodriguez), a legal eagle who pre-tries clients’ cases in front of a “mirror jury”; Marissa Morgan (Geneva Carr), a neurolinguistics expert poached from  Homeland Security; former NYPD detective Danny James (Jaime Lee Kirchner); millennial hacker Cable McCrory (Annabelle Attanasio); and lineman-turned-stylist Chunk Palmer (Chris Jackson).

The first case the TAC team tackle involves a rich kid, Brandon, who is accused of strangling a drug-peddling hook-up during a yacht party. Bull immediately winnows down the brooder’s massive legal team, then does his best to wrangle the unctuous lead attorney, whose Rolex he even (and rightly so!) bugs. As both the haughty lawyer and viewers are told repeatedly, winning over a jury can hinge on targeting the right member — in this case, a woman who subconsciously wants to make up for not giving her son the father he deserves. Or something.

Bull catches a break when Taylor, a pampered princess who deemed Brandon her own, lashes out on the stand, looking mighty, murderously jealous of his hook-up. But in the end, Brandon’s alleged motive withers away when Bull empowers the lead attorney’s beleaguered colleague to have the lad to reveal the truth on the stand: he is gay, and was with a man at the time of the murder. In a coda that seemed tacked on just to let us know who did commit the crime, we learn that it was Taylor’s mother, and that Brandon had been bedding her husband. Then, in a moment added since the pilot originally went out, we see the cops pull up to arrest the mom, as Bull stands outside, satisfied in a job well done.

As often the case with pilots, we didn’t get to know much about the other TAC team members — Benny ribs Jason about his ex; Danny can be tough; Cable likes her earbuds. And we must wonder, will Bull always be defending a wrongfully accused person? (And would he always know?)

What did you think of Bull‘s bow?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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188 Comments
  1. does anyone know the actress who played taylor?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Katherine Reis (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

    • Martin A. says:

      Oh boy…. how well I know that problem! I finally figured-out the following solution, in case you’re interested :

      1) Go to IMDb, 2) Use their search engine to find the show or movie, 3) Click on ‘Full cast and crew’, 4) use your web browser’s search engine to find the name of the actor or character — and… hopefully…. voila!

      • ScottJ says:

        IMDB is well known for being inaccurate. Its even worse than Wikipedia, although anyone can make spurious changes to Wiki pages at any time. Both sites are a good starting point but if anything is important then it it pays to double check.

        • It was much better when anyone could make updates to IMDB to correct errors and missing information. Now, it is rarely as updated as Wikipedia, so not nearly as useful for upcoming or recent entertainment.

      • Stacy says:

        Guest actors are often not added to IMDB by the time the episode is first aired, but added later. I always use IMDB and am often frustrated when the actor isn’t listed.

        • Tom Novak says:

          IMDB is better than TV.com, who also used to use community contributions, but stopped those and only allowed items to be updated by certain moderators, which often means you don’t get updates on shows til after the season.

  2. Letuit says:

    I loved it! Thought MW was good at keeping “Tony” out of his performance. Although I already want Cote de Pablo as his ex wife they’ve already mentioned, ha.

    I just didn’t care for the hacker girl. She seemed unnecessary. Hope the stylist had more scenes, mostly because I love Christopher Jackson.

  3. honestly it wasn’t bad it would’ve been better if the first trailer hadn’t shown 80% of the episode including the gay “twist”

    • Fido says:

      When I saw the trailer I thought this as well. TV Networks should give us a choice, teaser trailers or full-plot-spoiler trailers. Hopefully the ep didn’t end with a preview of the coming season like what MTV like to do (which includes copious spoilers and important plot thingies)

  4. Et al says:

    I’m pretty sure this was written by a piece of CBS software.

  5. Paparia23 says:

    Typical CBS stuff. OK for doing chores or playing on the laptop, background noise TV.

    • Pete says:

      Actually, no. It’s was a show that you needed to watch all the time, or else you missed important details. If you were paying attention to other things whilst just listening to it – as I often do when watching TV then you missed an awful lot that mattered to the story. Not sure if that is they way they plan to go on, but I hope so.

  6. Linda Gant says:

    “I THINK, THEREFORE I AM (RENE’ DECARTES) “BULL” (“WHY TRY TO FIGURE PEOPLE OUT TO GET WHAT YOU WANT “) CRITICAL THINKING DRAMA TV SHOW (LOVE THE SHOW)

  7. Jennifer says:

    I liked it. Reminded me a lot of Lie to Me (RIP) with a bit of … Justice? ( with Victor Garber) … With the “real” showing at the end

  8. Jane Fischel says:

    Loved the show from start to finish. Weatherly is beyond charming (as expected) but he also shows his range as an actor — smart; compassionate; dedicated. I love the team — and understand the purpose they will each serve over the life of the show. The trial science aspect of the show gives a fresh twIst to the legal procedural and I can see how the show can sustain for episode after episode. I’m even guessing that, once established, Bull will end up representing someone who’s guilty and the things he does to get justice will seem more morally compromising. I think this could be CBS’ new GOOD WIFE, with the charming, sexy, easy on the eyes Weatherly at the center.

    • Missnotmadam says:

      Jane: We’re we watching the same show? I can’t help but wonder if you were paid to write a positive review. I thought the show failed miserably, but for Weatherly’s performance. He did the best he could with an otherwise lousy production.

      • Jane Fischel says:

        Wish I had been paid….As someone else on this chain said, BULL reminds me of the film THE RUNAWAY JURY (which I loved). I haven’t seen trial scene presented in such detail since that film and I think it’s a fascinating twist on a straightforward legal procedural, with endless possibilities. And someone like Bull IRL would be able to take cases pro bono, as well as working for the prosecution and not just the defense. Just my opinion…

    • LESLIE MOSER says:

      I totally agree with Jane. Just wish they put different glasses on MW. Who chose those outdated things??? They are way too big. Look again. O If he has to wear them, can’t he have a little panache and still be a science geek?

    • Susan LaPlaca says:

      Agree with you. Different story with Weatherly. Really good actor. Give the show a chance!

  9. This show sucks. It was awful. I could not even make myself watch the whole thing

    • Jim Peltier says:

      I agree it is a very poor TV Show. MW is good but the story line is awful!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JimC says:

      I have to agree. Unfortunate because I like MW. It will probably do well given it’s time slot but the long range forecast isn’t bright for this one.

    • Missnotmadam says:

      Agreed. I was very disappointed. I forced myself to watch the whole show, hoping it would rise to the hype…but no. It seemed more like a egotistical homage to McGraw (and another vehicle for his son to earn some unwarranted recognition), which made for a slick, unballanced, superficial and contrived show.

    • Jacqui Tarpley says:

      I loved MW in NCIS. I turned the TV off after 20 minutes. It was awful. So disappointed.

    • I agree…wanted to like it…but could not get through it

      • tribulationschimeriques says:

        thank you! I barely could stand it like 5 minutes and was afraid I was the only one … gezz, I still have to write a review and honestly I can’t think about anything to write except from : didn’t like from the beginning, just watched 5 minutes :(

    • jj says:

      agree, I didn’t expect to hate this show as much as I did. Ironic that MW talked about how the lead male lawyer came across as smarmy when to me he was the exact same. Would up watching this at 1.5x speed to ‘force myself’ through it to see if it would get better at the end. It didn’t.

    • Christine Wheeler says:

      agree totally… watched 1st episode but I changed stations tonight

  10. Emily says:

    Meh. I couldn’t get into it. It really dragged for me. I was never a fan of MW in NCIS and the verdict is still out on how I like him as Bull. I’ll probably give it a few more episodes before I give up. Hopefully it will get better and won’t be the same ol same ol every week.

  11. datdudemurphy says:

    Bull seemed like DiNozzo with glasses to me.

    The cast seems likable enough…I’m just not sure that I can see this lasting too long.

    If CSI and Lie to Me had a baby, it would be Bull.

    • darkangel200 says:

      Nope, sorry, didn’t see any Tony in Jason Bull. Loved the episode. Needs a little tweaking but think it will find it’s groove. Seems like some were waiting for this show with daggers drawn, their minds already made up to hate it before they even saw an episode. Whatever.

      • drhenning says:

        this will have a good season to build the show… it’ll have good ratings ..

      • datdudemurphy says:

        Sorry, boss…..wasn’t feeling it.
        Like I said, I like the cast…and I love Michael.
        Just not seeing this one having legs.

        • Jane Fischel says:

          According to the ratings, 15.5 million viewers disagreed with you.

          • Susan says:

            The 15.5 M viewers were NCIS and former NCIS who left and Ziva and Tony were gone trying the show. Give it a month. Then we’ll see if it has legs. The jury is still out (for me anyway).
            Pun intended.

            I’d still expect decent ratings but not as high as NCIS.

          • datdudemurphy says:

            not really….because I had that opinion, and I was one of those 15.5 million.

            Check the numbers next week. That will give you a better estimation on who agreed with me.

            You can continue to have your opinion, tho.
            I’ll keep mine. Thanks.

    • Laura says:

      I agree – DiNozzo in glasses. That’s who MW is anyway. It’s not a bad show but it’s not great either.

  12. mr. smith says:

    Enjoyed it! Can’t wait to see more!

  13. Trevor says:

    It was interesting in some respects, but in other’s it was rather disappointing. I don’t know if it will be possible to create a hit series just yet, I’ll just have to wait and see.

  14. Joe Wizener says:

    It was okay not great. Very erratic. Sometimes boring then pretty good. Will give it a few more chances to get consistent. Also hope MW gives Bull more of a different personality than just Tony in a different environment.

  15. Tory says:

    I was a bit worried after seeing the supposed experts give such varied opinions about the show. Gotta say that I really like this new show. I can see enjoying it very much.

    Michael Weatherly definitely showed how good an actor he is — even in previews I didn’t see Tony. He was mature, portrayed gravitas and warmth, but a bit of a twinkle in his eye. I’m looking forward to next week’s episode.

  16. SW70 says:

    Well, I didn’t hate it! Granted, pilot episodes deal with setting things up and letting the story evolve naturally. That said I will give Bull the chance to grab my attention and get me hooked. However if asked how I feel after only watching this episode, unfortunately I would have to say…good thing CBS placed this between the NCISes!

  17. sharon red deer says:

    i guess im stupid but what was the motive of the wife of the gay affair to kill the girl

  18. Charlotte Davis says:

    Instantly hooked! I’m setting my DVR.

  19. Jimmy says:

    I thought it was formulaic at best. That said, I’m going to give it a few more episodes simply because I’m a Weatherly fan.

  20. L mort says:

    The end was confusing!

  21. Robin says:

    Michael Weartherly is a good dramatic actor. So nice to see him in the role of a serious adult who isn’t getting his head slapped all the time. He clearly has more to offer than the goofy sidekick. Very nice premier!

  22. Cory says:

    Someone nailed it, this is a reboot of The Mentalist, even gave the new guy the same wardrobe people. Hope they can cut through the arrogance you find the good person.

  23. Linda Sterling says:

    Did NOT like it. Don’t like the name “Bull” Bull is a know-it-all. Don’t like that. Finally, this illustrates that justice is different for the wealthy, ie those that can afford Dr Bull.

    • tara says:

      Absolutely.
      Justice is insanely different for the wealthy.
      The next time someone drinks and drives in your town and is arrested and convicted, walk up to the driver and say:

      “Wow! You are awesome! You have worked so hard for sooo long, you deserve only good things. It doesn’t matter if you put lives at risk or broke the law. You are so amazing and hot!
      Here… have a couple million dollars.”

      Because that’s what has happened here.
      Mike can do no wrong, so they all say.
      Do you know what he did last fall, right before he announced he was leaving NCIS?

      Still can’t over this butt-kissing crap.
      People drink & drive too often. There are campaigns on TV against it. News stations report the devastation that drinking and driving causes ALL THE TIME.

      But because this guy is “easy on the eyes” & gets all the ladies excited.. everyone just puts aside the FACT (yes, fact, & not speculation or gossip) that LAST FALL MICHAEL WEATHERLY DRANK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL, GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR & SPED DOWN THE LA FREEWAY.

      HE WAS PULLED OVER, ARRESTED & SUBSEQUENTLY PLED “NO CONTEST” to DRINKING & DRIVING CHARGES.

      Yeah.
      Isn’t he swell? Isn’t he remarkable? Isn’t he just the EPITOME of yet another spoiled rich kid getting off of a crime?

      And isn’t he just the epitome of Hollywood values?

      Dude played a COP.
      Dude drove drunk.
      And now he’s being rewarded for it with the lead in a new show.

      For what it’s worth:
      I am choosing to boycott CBS for this hypocrisy. This is a shame, & a step back in the fight against drunk driving. What is their message here? That it’s ok so long as you don’t kill anyone, & bring in lotsa profits?

      Suppose if Michael HAD killed someone, would that would be their line in the sand? We will never know, because he was LUCKY enough to have been pulled over thank goodness.

      And a big THANK YOU to the REAL LIFE COP who had the stones to collar this idiot.
      YOU didn’t fall for his hype like the rest of the planet.

  24. Juanita Goble says:

    I miss him on NCIS, but happy to see him in new show. Great move!!!

  25. mikefrommarkham says:

    Didn’t find this show at all compelling, but I’m not prepared to write it off entirely based on this episode alone… Apart from Weatherly (who was just OK), and Rodriguez (who was seriously underused), the cast is largely forgettable… All of the characters need more to do if viewers are going to develop any attachment to them at all… Personally, I will hang in for two more episodes and then decide whether to keep watch or pull the plug entirely.

    • Dan O says:

      I might try watching again. Seemed to slow down after 1st 20min. & got boring. Didn’t watch past 40 min. mark. I’d rather have been watching NCIS:NOLA. Don’t see this going anywhere.

  26. Paige says:

    Bull is off to a great start. Initially, I was skeptical based on some critic reviews, but thank goodness I didn’t listen to them. DVR is set and looking forward to the next episode.

  27. Sandra Cox says:

    What other shows has the man who played Brandon’s dad been in? Can’t seem to get to list of full cast.

  28. Ellen says:

    It was okay. I’ll at least give it a chance and watch another episode or two which is more than I can say for a lot of new shows lately. I’ve never watch Michael Weatherly in anything before and I found him to be a bit lacking in range so far. He seemed very one-note in his delivery. None of his team jumped out as compelling characters so far. A few of the guest actors in this episode were pretty bad, including Taylor’s mother.

  29. dan says:

    I would have enjoyed it infinitely more without that last scene. I would have loved if they left it ambiguous and not had the reveal of the real killer. Leave it to us to decide if the defendant is guilty and let Bull and Friends just focus on getting the victory. It was a cop-out. It only rated an ok from me but I’ll watch a few more.

  30. anglhugnu2 says:

    “Bull” suggests you are watching something contrived and convoluted. And, the program seems to have walked the fine line between a topic that could be interesting only to topple into the convoluted.

    At the outset, Bull immediately rejects the role the audience should take. Are we to be the juror who is being manipulated, the lawyers who are told they are clueless, or the client who is trying to get off. There was no sense of being an observer of the trial, so where is our place, as the audience to stand?

    As a result, the overwhelming sense of self-importance Dr Phil (the show’s writer) grants to his major character revealed more about the show’s author than anything else.

    This program will have a short life. It will not be able to sustain any long term energy or interest based on the message Bull sends to the audience that it’s alter-ego character of the program’s executive producer/writer that he is the smartest person in the room.

  31. Margo says:

    The show relates to the wealthy. the common person couldn’t afford the very high cost of Bull for their defense.

  32. Dee says:

    Love MW…don’t like the show…might appeal to a ‘younger’ group of people. I’ll stuck to NCIS x3 and possibly Criminal Minds if the casting doesn’t change much there.

  33. ndixit says:

    I thought the pilot was inconsistent but decent. MW was good. The scene with Bull and Brandon in the mock courtroom was excellent. I am happy to see MW getting to play something other than the class clown, which is unfortunately what Dinozzo had become on NCIS in the last few seasons, barring the occasional episode. The rest of the cast still needs to be fleshed out. I am definitely onboard for now. They just need to prove to me that the show is sustainable.

    • dan says:

      I liked that too. It was nice to see MW play somebody capable and not wonder why everybody is tolerating the incompetent moron that NCIS devolved Big D little i big N little ozzo into too often.

  34. Paul Ritz says:

    I thought the idea had merit. I enjoy Weatherly. I thought parts of it were a little cute. The twists were obvious or convoluted. Willing to give it a look.

  35. mazel tov says:

    If this thing survives it will be because people have warm, fuzzy feelings about MW because of his years on NCIS. That and cozy scheduling slot between NCIS & NCISNO. Move it out of its protected time slot an it lasts one season.

  36. Lm says:

    MW is superb. Makes you realise if you do not have $$ your out of luck. If writers change up, have MW character take on probono. That would relate,that maybe if poor still have a chance for justice. Some one with means might take notice and really help.

    • Elaine says:

      The trouble with poor suspects, they need good lawyers too, and their trails usually don’t last long enough to investigate behind the scenes.

    • KLS says:

      I agree that taking on poorer clients are needed to make this show more interesting. Let’s just hope that the writers don’t do something so predictable as having Bull face charges for a previous case and has to donate % of his time helping people who can’t afford him.

  37. Tinkerbell says:

    Poor his character is boring predictable and condescending will not waste my time

  38. Lane says:

    Who’s the actor that played Brandon?

  39. S Tru says:

    Was this written by bots?
    A very poor clone of Lie To Me, and that show was silly. It is predictable with a weak/nonexistent plot and the acting is marginal.
    It’s just silly, I can’t figure who the target audience is!

  40. Dixie says:

    I was completely enchanted with the character ‘Bull’ portrayed by Mike Weatherly. The storyline was interesting and moving. Weatherly brings the best of Tony to the new character. Looking forward to new stories and challenges for ‘Bull’!

  41. Donna2712 says:

    I enjoyed it. It kept my interested which is my personal test. If I start looking at my iPad through a show it doesn’t last on my watch list for long, so that didn’t happen. My main gripe was the last scene when they come to arrest the other woman, why was Bull there? He is not part of an investigating team. He has nothing to do with arresting people. This just seemed off to me but if that scene was removed it would have been better. That being said, I look forward to seeing more and hope it actually delves into some personal aspects of the characters and not just one court case after another.

  42. PatriciaLee says:

    I enjoyed it, even though predictable. I can cruise with a someone figuring things out show. I kept having to remind the husband the jurors were not actually talking, but Bull could figure them out. They need to add some kind of framing graphic for their dialogue. I say cute, and the husband says, “The jury is supposed to be in their own world, not interacting with anyone. I’ve been on two juries. I know more than Bull!” So, he might be watching the show to enjoy a feeling of superiority, but he sat with eyeballs glued, planning to watch it next week. I like how Bull’s personal background is lightly interwoven, giving a believable base for his talent.

  43. Miss not madam says:

    Weatherly left NCIS for this? What a shame. “Bull,” is boring. Poor script, poor character development, Predictable storyline, horrible directing, poor editing, lack-luster boor of a show. Too many behind-the-scenes egos, involved, I suspect. I wanted to change channels after the first five minutes, but held on hoping it would get better. Nope. Awful.

    • Pete says:

      No, Weatherly didn’t leave NCIS for this. He left NCIS because he felt it was time for him to go, originally he planned to spend more time with his family and then he was offered a job – this – that really excited him. It’s work for him, just like that thing that you and I get up for each morning, why begrudge him work that he enjoys and is enthused about, shouldn’t everyone have a job like that?
      As for the show itself, it’s proper, grown-up TV, something that requires you to pay attention to it, rather than mere mindless pap. That’s probably why you found it so boring.

      • Jerry says:

        If he wanted to spend more time with his family, he should have. I guess one only has to offer a new show and lots of money to the popular actor within a few weeks of his decision to leave NCIS to reveal that your thought on his family is not correct.

      • tara says:

        Michael left NCIS because last fall he drove drunk, and in doing so, probably violated one of the terms of his employment contract.

        But because CBS doesn’t want to explain to anyone that they fired him for committing a crime, only to hire him again, (for more money) he and CBS gave us all a dozen reasons for his leaving, including that ridiculous notion that Michael wanted to spend more time with his family.

        (Right. Because leaving an ensemble cast for a lead role will give you more time with your family. In Michael’s case, money won out over quality time with the wife & kids, I guess.)

        And since his DUI, and since the original news report on his conviction, NO ONE in the entertainment media TALKS ABOUT IT, & NO ONE asks Michael ANY questions about it.

        Any and all negative feedback is quickly deleted, buried on Google, or discounted on entertainment websites as “gossip” or “off-limits” because it’s regarding his “personal life.”

        Which is CRAP.
        Drinking and Driving is a PUBLIC issue, & affects us ALL.

        But whereas most tools who drink & drive lose both their jobs & their reputations, (rightfully so, in my opinion) GOLDEN BOY MICHAEL LANDED A NEW DEAL WORTH MILLIONS.

        All of us who break the law should be so lucky…eh?

        • Tory says:

          Rant rant rant. Jeez Tara, you sound like a jilted lover here. Too much disappointment that your idol Cote de Pablo didn’t get a tv show? Oh that’s right…she left a show last minute and can’t act anyway.

      • Missnotmadam says:

        Insults aside, I am an adult who enjoys quality entertainment. This show failed, as evident by my, and other’s honest, unpaid, opinions, Pete.

  44. J-Elle says:

    I did feel it was a bit predictable and cliche but I can’t help it, I love MW and easy TV :)

    Can anyone explain the end conversation with Bess? She said “I have never seen so many lost kids, what have we done?”

    I watched that scene 3 times and I have no clue what it means.

  45. Angela says:

    I honestly feared Michael Weatherly was doomed when he left NCIS. I always knew he has the “X” / “It” factor to carry himself in any show format he was in, but worried if folks would abandon him because he left NCIS. There is no way anyone who watched the premiere of Bull could call him or the show anything else but an amazing success!!!! Not only is Michael Weatherly AMAZING, but he seems to have a great chemistry with his TV team as well as a one-of-a-kind show!! I will continue to watch and hope all the other NCIS people watch and support this teriffically new refreshing show. I love ♡ Bull ♡ and look forward to watching many more
    episodes.

    • kryds says:

      Michael Weatherly has the “Exit Factor.” That made me smile ;-) He is a very good actor. [See DARK ANGEL and NCIS.] I only hope that the writers give him scripts that match his talent and let his character develop.

  46. Grant McDonald says:

    This felt like Runaway Jury the Tv show……. AND I LOVE THE MOVIE RUNAWAY JURY will def be tuning in every week.

  47. Sarah96 says:

    I really like it and Bull was definitely a fun entertaining guy at times and even though the trailer showed mostly everything it still led to an intense case and I’m glad they caught the real killer.
    This reminds me of Lie to Me and Mentalist wich I loved.

  48. Jerri says:

    Had Lie to Me vibes from the beginning. I do like it so far, we’ll see where it goes over the next few episodes.

    It would be hilarious if NCIS or Bull did a shoutout to each other, however subtly. The “you can call me Boss. I like boss” line may have been a subtle shoutout to NCIS.