“The Review” focuses on Nick’s upcoming review and his fear of getting fired.
My “inspiration” for the episode dates back to a story I heard my first week at Skadden about a slightly insane senior associate who billed 2600 hours a year for nine straight years—only to be heartlessly passed over for partner. Legend has it that the disgruntled associate saw the bad news coming and brought a .38 revolver into his review. After the bad news was delivered, he pulled the gun, aimed it at the Senior Partner’s face, pulled the trigger, and muttered “Bang.” Moments later, he was escorted out of the firm in handcuffs.
At first, this story seemed preposterous to me. Who the hell would do something so stupid and self-destructive? After a few years of billing 2600 hours myself, however, the story began to make perfect sense. In fact, I began to wonder why more people didn’t pull guns or go insane.
In any event, that apocryphal story became the basis for “The Review.” Given the state of the legal economy and the acute, constant fear of getting laid off, it seemed like an unfortunately topical and relatable concept. A perfect BigLaw cocktail: Equal parts fear, anxiety, and pressure—with just a splash of inherent unfairness.