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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: Cross-Dressers and Buzz Lightyears

Bad timing seems to have stalled Boston Legal’s mid-season rebuke. Every time I turn around something’s interfering with my Boston Legal weekly dose, be it additional premieres or Presidential addresses. Whatever the reason, these frequent interruptions are unfortunate, as they interrupt the very flow of the seasonal storyline.

Luckily, this episode serves as good easing back into the Boston Legal world, with an episode focused more on characterization than plot.

Bella gets blue – literally – when an animal cruelty advocate sprays blue dye all over her. She (forcibly) enlists Shirley and Denny to seek a restraining order against the advocate, with Judge “Jibber-Jabber” at the helm. But the advocate has an additional trick up his sleeve – Bethany, Bella’s vertically-challenged daughter, is defending him. The case is more complicated because Denny, still smitten with Bethany, is preparing to dump Bella . . . preferably without shooting her. And if things weren’t bad enough, Bella seeks Shirley’s “approval” in order to gain Denny’s. Luckily, all’s well that ends well for this subplot – Denny and Shirley succeed in getting a restraining order while Bethany preserves her client’s right to reasonably protest Bella’s animal testing policy. Bella takes the dumping pretty well, without tackling Denny, and Bethany agrees to be Denny’s date to a costume ball – dressing as Danny DeVito to Denny’s Dick Chaney.

Clarence also gets serious with Claire this episode, bashfully asking her on a date, and then retreating quickly to throw a bag over his head in shame. Claire, surprisingly, agrees to the date. The two both confess how life has hurt them in the past. Clarence does revert to Clairce when Claire is badgered by a lawyer, but overall, the episode is pretty tender on Clarence’s character – Clarence shows signs of reconciling his alter ego, slipping out of his Oprah personality to share a quiet dance with Claire.

Things aren’t so tender for Denise. Mischievous Alan lets it slip that Brad “isn’t the only one”, leading the ex-Marine to go to extreme measures (applying infra-red chemicals to Denise’s hands) to prove her involvement with Jeffrey Coho. Brad then bows out of his relationship with Denise, claiming he’s not “modern” enough (and perhaps, refusing to acknowledge Jeffrey as the “decent guy” Denise claims he is). Denise dresses as Jennifer Aniston, Jeffrey and Brad as Buzz Lightyear both. The two are last seen duking it out in the parking lot yet again.

Alan takes a backseat this episode, though his presence is sorely felt in the later subplot. He confesses to Vanessa his secret love for a woman in a yellow dress, which dates far back to an old high school regret. Vanessa obliges him by wearing a very similar one at the ball. Shirley forbids Alan from dressing up as her, so Alan responds by dressing up as the doll version of Shirley Denny keeps in the closet. Shirley dresses as Diane Sawyer, Paul as Albert Einstein. Alan’s costume is perhaps too effective, rekindling Denny’s memories of his old flame. The episode ends with the two men dancing on the balcony.

As always, a memorable ending for Boston Legal. It was an okay episode, although more often than not, the show seems like its juggling with its characters, with Shore unfortunately getting the short end of the stick. The biggest problem? Someone has to go, but David E. Kelley has succeeded in creating a variety of characters for who we care deeply. Clarence and Claire seem just as untouchable as Alan and Denny – maybe they should go form their spin-off from this getting-too-complicated spin-off.


Posted by Richard on January 30, 2007 11:36 PM
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I heard Disney wasn't happy about the use of Buzz Lightyear

-- Posted by: Kiki at February 1, 2007 5:06 PM

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