The Best Episodes of Judging Amy

Last Updated: May 20, 2019

A family drama focused on three generations of women living together in Hartford, Connecticut. Amy Brenneman plays Amy Gray, who left New York City behind and now works as a family court judge. Karle Warren plays Lauren, Amy's daughter; Tyne Daly is Maxine, Amy's tough, opinionated mother.

The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

#1 - The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

Season 3 - Episode 14

Barry invites Amy to a business dinner, where her outspokenness almost gets the better of her and the budding relationship with Barry; with Kyle's help, Maxine searches the streets for a runaway gay teen, and she later agrees to let him stay at her house until she finds him another foster home placement; Amy must decide if a teenager who wrote a play about killing bullies, joked about school shootings, and considers the Holocaust a warning to the ruling classes, presents a threat to society; Maxine's already strained patience with the way Brian is running Teen Harbor snaps when she witnesses a drug deal there, and she orders it closed, incurring Kyle's wrath; as Bruce prepares a recommendation for Amy on whether a woman whose alcoholism caused her to lose custody of her children should be reunited with them, he isn't entirely convinced that she has stopped drinking and decides to do a little surveillance, bringing along Andrea to keep him company.

star 8.67
6 votes
Writers: Randall Caldwell
My Name is Amy Gray...

#2 - My Name is Amy Gray...

Season 6 - Episode 22

Amy says her final goodbyes to Graciela. Maxine realizes that she made a mistake in pushing Ignacio away and tries to reach out to him but Ignacio rebuffs her because he doesn't want to be her yo-yo, jerked around on Maxine's whims. Bruce is still absent on Amy's last day in the courtroom. Holbrook tries to raise awareness about the bill before Congress that will effectively kill the juvenille justice system. Donna is amazed that Amy refuses to support the cause and brings several of the kids whose lives Amy has changed during her time on the bench in an effort to change her mind. Amy, frustrated by her limitations as a judge, runs into Marty Levine, who again tries to convince her to give the speech in Washington and run for Senate. Amy runs the idea by Lauren who at first refuses to give a straight answer but later supports her mom when Maxine attacks the decision. That same night, Maxine must rush to save a young girl from being pimped out by her prostitute mother. Amy receive

star 8.50
8 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers:
Crowded House

#3 - Crowded House

Season 1 - Episode 10

Amy hears the case of an extremely abused, mentally ill teenager who has stabbed a teacher; Vincent's agent finds him a publisher who will sign him only if he completes another short story in the next four days; Maxine tries to help an overstressed young mother who is afraid that she will hurt her baby; Lauren strains Amy's patience as she waxes enthusiastically over Michael's girlfriend; Maxine faces a house full of her children for a week as Vincent moves back home to devote all his energies to writing, and Gillian takes a much-needed break from the strain that infertility has placed on her marriage; Vincent's short story inspires Gillian to return home to Peter and reconsider adoption.

star 8.45
11 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Lyla Oliver
Come Back Soon

#4 - Come Back Soon

Season 3 - Episode 24

Although Amy tries to make the best of it, she and Lauren are still miserable in their small apartment; unable to avoid running into Jared and his date at the diner while looking and feeling her worst, Maxine gives him the cold shoulder, but Jared remains undeterred in his affection for her and finally gets her to accept an engagement ring; Michael sues for full legal custody of Lauren; just as Amy is prepared to ask her mother if she can move back in, she discovers that Maxine has puts her house up for sale; Bruce pleads no contest on his assault charge and receives a suspended sentence; Amy hears a case of a woman who locked her children in the trunk of her car because she had no one to care for them while she was at work; Maxine ends her medical leave after her dentist asks her to investigate the possible abuse of a teenaged patient; Bruce is fired and the dreaded Ian Jankowski is promoted to C.S.O. and assigned to Amy's courtroom.

star 8.43
7 votes
Directors: Daniel Sackheim
Writers: Barbara Hall
Victim Soul

#5 - Victim Soul

Season 1 - Episode 4

Amy must determine if a comatose boy who is believed to have healing powers is being abused by his grandmother; Maxine clashes with her supervisor over taking an underfed little girl away from her anorexic mother; Vincent begins a relationship with an older woman.

star 8.33
15 votes
Directors: James Frawley
Writers: Barbara Hall
Requiem

#6 - Requiem

Season 4 - Episode 20

Stu convinces a reluctant Amy to go on an overnight camping trip which ends up bringing them closer together; after planning to wed Jared secretly on the weekend, Maxine is devastated when he has a sudden, fatal heart attack in China and lashes out in her grief to everyone around her, including a rebellious teenaged client; tensions run high in the Gray household when Maxine refuses to allow anyone to comfort her, and Peter and Charles bicker over the funeral arrangements as a way of handling their sorrow; Maxine gathers family and friends at the diner for a moving memorial service.

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Peter Levin
Writers: Barbara Hall
Short Calendar

#7 - Short Calendar

Season 1 - Episode 2

Short calendar day drops 54 cases on Amy's docket, and the long day stretches into night when she's forced to make a life and death decision about the fate of an abused child; Maxine decides to return to work; Amy's confrontation with Lauren's obnoxious new teacher leaves her with yet another responsibility in an already jam-packed calendar.

star 8.25
24 votes
Directors: Jack Bender
Writers: Nicole Yorkin, Dawn Prestwich
Lullaby

#8 - Lullaby

Season 6 - Episode 2

Vincent's struggles with his latest novel leads him into blowing off his agent, who responds by dropping Vincent and demanding the return of the advance that Vincent's already spent; Maxine receives another award, and uses her acceptance speech to talk about the young boy lost in the system that she and Sean can't seem to locate; Amy's dealings with two troubled teenage girls and their mothers in Accountability court inspires her to change her focus when she returns to Juvenile Court; Maxine tries to avoid removing the children of a overburdened single mother working to overcome anger and abuse issues; David finally feels that he's put his wife's death behind him and can now pursue a relationship with Amy; Ignacio lets Maxine know that he's ready to do whatever it takes to have a future with her; Amy fires Donna to propel her into practicing law; Kyle decides to accompany Heather to Minnesota and take care of their son while she's in rehab.

star 8.20
5 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers: Barry O'Brien
Trial By Jury

#9 - Trial By Jury

Season 1 - Episode 3

Sitting in for a friend who's undergoing chemotherapy, Amy presides over her first jury trial and clashes with a former law school classmate who represents the parents of a murdered girl who are suing the parents of her teenaged killer; Maxine shops for a new car for the first time in her life; Vincent feels that Maxine doesn't take his writing seriously after she interrupts his work to ask him to babysit the six rambunctious first graders attending Lauren's sleepover party.

star 8.17
18 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Natalie Chaidez
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Family

#10 - The Unbearable Lightness of Being Family

Season 3 - Episode 6

Amy must decide whether to modify a custody agreement and allow a woman to take her daughter to Paris for two years against the wishes of the girl's father; back to work at the DCF, Maxine takes on the case of ""Bubble Man"", a homeless man who is about to be arrested for blowing bubbles in the park without a permit, and shows Robert some tricks of the trade to save an abused boy; Bruce works with a mother who is about to lose custody of her son for not meeting the conditions of his probation because she is in denial about the emotional toll her son's disability has taken on her; Maxine brokers a peace settlement and gets Amy and Vincent speaking again by suggesting that Amy review Vincent's contract with the studio that has optioned his novel; Carole's condition worsens unexpectedly, and Vincent leaves hurriedly, amid many tears and in possession of the family's good luck totem, the ""surfing monkey"".

star 8.17
6 votes
Directors: Janet Davidson
Writers: Randall Caldwell
Sex, Lies and Expedia.com

#11 - Sex, Lies and Expedia.com

Season 5 - Episode 23

Unwilling to let a poor client go to extremes to get prompt medical attention for her daughter, Maxine finds a way to get D.C.F. to cover the surgery the girl needs; David declares his love for Amy; Maxine gets shocking news about Ignacio and breaks off their relationship; Amy tragically miscalculates a teenager's propensity for violence; increasingly jealous over Peter's involvement with Shelby, Gillian confronts him about the future of their marriage, and doesn't like the response she gets; with the help of Buck and a little gunfire, Kyle finally finds a career path he can get excited about; the Grays receive a very unexpected, and very welcome, visitor.

star 8.14
7 votes
Writers: Karen Hall, Lyla Oliver
The Out-of-Towners

#12 - The Out-of-Towners

Season 1 - Episode 19

Heeding the request of counsel to deliver one of her ""rants"" at a sentencing hearing, Amy lectures a young drug dealer whose mother has made tremendous sacrifices to provide him with a better life; much to Peter's dismay, Maxine accepts a date from an attractive man she meets at the diner; Amy gets ""backwater detail"" subbing for another judge, and travels with Bruce to a small town to hear a case centered on the misdiagnosis and overmedication of its teenage boys; as her abductor's case comes to trial, Lisa and Vincent argue when her fears for the possibility of acquittal, and thus her safety, increase; pending the outcome of an investigation, Susie is back at work after a one week paid suspension and, over Maxine's objections, sets in motion a chain of events which eventually leads to the death of a young mother; Amy and Bruce have divergent reactions when confronted with intolerance during their trip; Maxine unsuccessfully tries to resign, and ends up being blackmailed into acceptin

star 8.13
8 votes
Directors: Bob McCracken
Writers: Hart Hanson, David W. Zucker
The Persistence of Tectonics

#13 - The Persistence of Tectonics

Season 1 - Episode 9

Amy juggles preparing Thanksgiving dinner, being on call, and coping with a surprise announcement from Michael; Gillian asks Maxine for help in financing another in-vitro procedure; Amy presides over an adoption in which the biological father shows up at the last minute to claim his child; Hillary tries to settle the score with Vincent during a Thanksgiving party at Alan's; Amy sentences two boys convicted of animal cruelty.

star 8.07
14 votes
Directors: Joe Ann Fogle
Writers: Randall Caldwell
Presumed Innocent

#14 - Presumed Innocent

Season 1 - Episode 11

Amy takes it personally when Stuart appeals her decision to overturn the jury's verdict; Maxine arrives at a creative solution in placing an extremely gifted teenager who chronically runs away from his foster placements; Donna becomes Vincent's new roommate; Amy must decide whether to remove a child from the care of a mother suspected of suffering from Munchausen by Proxy syndrome; after her verdict is upheld, Stuart asks Amy out on a date, and she royally disses him as she turns him down flat.

star 8.00
11 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Natalie Chaidez
The Wee Hours

#15 - The Wee Hours

Season 1 - Episode 16

Amy gears up for the custody battle over Lauren; Vincent takes a job at the local newspaper to help him overcome a severe case of writer's block; Amy suffers from a bad bout of insomnia that's coupled with some interesting dreams in the few hours that she's able to sleep; Maxine investigates why a boy from a loving family persists in sleepwalking far from home; Amy decides the fate of a teenaged athlete when her parents disagree on how her gymnastics training is affecting her life; Lauren and Amy have an ongoing battle over bedtime; Amy must decide if she'll allow the children of combative parents to be represented by their own attorney.

star 8.00
7 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Hart Hanson
Drawing the Line

#16 - Drawing the Line

Season 1 - Episode 17

Amy must decide if a brain-injured woman is fit to be a mother; Maxine discovers that a teenaged client is being abused by his therapist; Leisha meets Amy, and faces her ire for piercing Lauren's ears without permission; Vincent and Maxine clash over his journalism career; Amy faces a class of insufferable law students when she's asked to teach a seminar at Yale; Donna takes modeling herself after Amy a bit too far when she begins to show up for work dressed and coiffed exactly like her mentor; it's all bark and no bite when Amy decides to dismiss the case of a drug dealer sniffed out by a four-legged member of the neighborhood watch.

star 8.00
6 votes
Directors: Jack Bender
Writers: Lyla Oliver, Randall Caldwell
Gray vs. Gray

#17 - Gray vs. Gray

Season 1 - Episode 21

Maxine gets a new supervisor at D.C.F.; Donna becomes stressed when Oscar's attorneys petition to have his conviction reversed; Amy and Maxine are at odds over having Maxine's terminally ill client testify in a case that Amy is hearing; Vincent counsels Donna against telling Oscar about her attraction to other men, and reassures her that her feelings are normal.

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Kerry Lenhart, John J. Sakmar
Who Shot Dick?

#18 - Who Shot Dick?

Season 3 - Episode 12

After her brother Richard arrives in town looking for his son, Maxine initially refuses to put him in touch with Kyle, but later relents; in the process of helping Donna with her estate planning, Peter and Gillian agree to become Ariadne's guardian should something happen to Donna; as Maxine quarrels with Richard about the event that caused them not to speak for twelve years, it becomes apparent that Maxine blames her brother for Edward's early death; Bruce and Andrea hit it off during a play date for their daughters, and later go out on a date; Kyle refuses his father's offer to bail him out of his troubles; Maxine works to help a father regain visitation rights to his teenaged son; Kyle and Amy continue their discussion about the events that caused a rift in their relationship and find that they share responsibility and guilt for the events of that night; a young surrogate mother pregnant with twins who has no interest in keeping the babies comes before Amy in the middle of a custody

star 8.00
6 votes
Directors: Nancy Malone
Writers: Barbara Hall
Woman in Cacti With a Curled Up Rat

#19 - Woman in Cacti With a Curled Up Rat

Season 3 - Episode 16

Amy presides over a sad custody dispute in which neither parent wants a troubled teenager; Bruce sets down some ground rules with Andrea about their relationship; Amy is frustrated, bewildered, and angry when Barry fails to get in touch with her after their last date; Maxine and Kyle use their respective charms to find the administrator and the funding that will enable them to reopen Teen Harbor; Gillian's attempt to interest her painting teacher in Amy backfires, causing Peter to resort to Neanderthal behavior; Amy battles with Michael over the scope and expense of the upcoming birthday party he's hosting for Lauren.

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: Joe Ann Fogle
Writers: Karen Hall
Men Aren't Monsters

#20 - Men Aren't Monsters

Season 3 - Episode 19

The Gray house is completely ransacked by vandals who appear to have targeted the house after receiving an adverse judgment in Amy's courtroom, and it takes all of Amy's persuasiveness to convince herself and her daughter that they are safe; after Joe McKenzie takes over at Teen Harbor, Kyle disagrees with his strict approach but they settle their differences after Joe sees how Kyle uses his training to treat an epileptic teenager; Maxine enlists Sean's help in her own investigation into Pamela Taylor's death at Buckley Hills; Amy hears the case of parents accused of abuse for transferring their son to a new school every year to get him more easily noticed by the scouts who can recommend him for a college basketball scholarship; Maxine finally finds the perfect foster father for Eric right under her very nose, although it takes a little convincing for both the adult and the teenager to see the wisdom of her choice; against his better judgment, Bruce spends the night at Andrea's house,

star 8.00
6 votes
Writers: Stephen Neigher
The Bottle Show

#21 - The Bottle Show

Season 3 - Episode 20

Maxine is saddened when Jared fails to call her upon his return from China, so Sean arranges a casino night fund raiser to cheer her up; a born-again teenager charges her mother with parental neglect for working as a stripper, and Amy must decide whether to place the girl in foster care; Donna confronts Kyle after she finds a syringe and morphine in his room drawers and is relieved to hear that he keeps it as a reminder that he is capable of making the choice to stay clean every day; after his daughter tells him about her ill-timed encounter with Bruce, David Solomon files a complaint against Andrea, who immediately ends her relationship with Bruce for fear of losing custody; responding to a message from Bruce attempting to explain the situation, Solomon shows up at the courthouse and threatens, taunts and insults Bruce, who is arrested and jailed after he knocks Solomon to the ground with a punch.

star 8.00
6 votes
Directors: Andrew Robinson
Writers: Barry O'Brien
Lost and Found

#22 - Lost and Found

Season 4 - Episode 11

Maxine incurs the wrath of the mothers in Lauren's carpool; Amy fears her parenting skills will be called into question when a family-relations officer visits her home as part of Michael's custody suit; Kyle and Lily try to locate a man Lily misdiagnosed and prematurely released from the hospital; Maxine feels Sean's new relationship with a new foster mother is inappropriate; substituting in probate court, Amy rules on whether a mother can have her son declared legally dead despite the father's hope that the boy, who disappeared four years earlier, is still alive.

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Alex Taub
Roadhouse Blues

#23 - Roadhouse Blues

Season 5 - Episode 14

Despite their protests, Maxine and Amy fail to convince anyone that that dinners out with Ignacio and David don't constitute dating; Amy is asked to decide if a man in the Witness Protection Program can regain custody of his eleven year old son after the boy's mother dies; Lauren and Victor are unhappy when they discover that their parents are dating; Maxine races against time to prevent the participants in a suicide pact at a local high school from carrying out their plans; Shelby's band gets a gig at a local bar, and Peter's invitation to his mother and sister to hear him play provides the opportunity for the relationships between Amy and David, Maxine and Ignacio, and Peter and Shelby to grow and intensify on the dance floor and stage.

star 8.00
8 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers: Barry O'Brien
You Don't Know Me

#24 - You Don't Know Me

Season 6 - Episode 12

Unaware that he is hiding his true feelings and pretending to be happy for her, Amy is annoyed by Bruce's casual response to news of her engagement. Amy is also annoyed that her relationship with Bruce has evolved to the point where he knows all of her idiosyncrasies, including, he asserts, how she'll rule in the heartrending case of a teenage girl with epilepsy whose parents disagree about whether or not she should have risky brain surgery that may stop her seizures; Elsewhere, Maxine has issues with an affluent, mostly white prep school after a student there is severely beaten; a publisher takes an interest in Vincent's new book; Lauren lashes out at Amy for being pregnant.

star 8.00
6 votes
Directors: James Kramer
Writers: Christopher Ambrose
Happy Borthday

#25 - Happy Borthday

Season 6 - Episode 14

Amy finds it rather difficult to follow her mom's advice and embrace her 40th birthday as a milestone. Donna is in Amy's court representing a 13-year-old girl who accidentally kills her friend while they are out on a joyride but shows no remorse for her death. Maxine tries to determine whether two brothers are better off without the presence of their father, an ex-con, in their lives. Amy miscarries on her 40th birthday. Amy drowns her sorrows at a bar located on the beach, where she meets a stranger who gives her the perspective she needs during her difficult time.

star 8.00
7 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers: Carol Barbee