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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: Denny vs. Homeland Security vs. Tackling Midgets

Denny Crane, the red-white-and-blue (okay, mostly red as in Republican) conservative, is in for a shock when he discovers he is unable to fly after being listed as a terrorist on a no-fly list. His loyal friend Alan Shore intervenes, agreeing to meet with Homeland Security. In short, Denny Crane is definitely not the terrorist on the watch-list, but current technology prevents Denny . . . and in fact any Dennis or Denny Crane . . . from every flying again. So Alan takes them to court. As usual, there's an over-confident government attorney ready to pounce on Alan Shore for daring to question the government. Of course, Shore beats him at virtually every turn, so the outcome is virtually never up in the air. Denny prepares to depart for Hawaii with Bela, but runs into Bela's daughter Bethany - whom he is considerably more smitten with. Denny tells Bethany the truth, resulting in a flying squirrel tackle from the vertically-challenged vixen. The episode ends with Denny and Alan on the balcony as always, discussing America, what they would change, and why they love it.

But that's not all! Vanessa Walker and Shirley Schmidt defend a teacher who is accused of neglecting a child, who dies of a peanut allergy. The catch: the teacher was on a cell phone during the time, leaving a rather large hole open in the legal defense category. However, as we soon discover, the teacher was making an important phone call - checking on her father, undergoing life-threatening surgery. Shirley hammers this point, as well as the general plight of teachers in general, deep into the jury in an extremely effective closing. As expected, the teacher is found innocent, but reveals she's leaving the teaching business, painting a dark cloud over the victory.

And the cross-dressing Clarence is at it again, this time dressing as Oprah in lieu of Martin Luther King Day. But this time he's using his extroverted alter ego to pry deeper into the psyche of Claire. Its intently ironic a man whose comfortable dressing up as a woman questions a "conservatively-dressed" female co-worker about her own self-image. Clarence ultimately comes clean about the date with the gym owner, seen last episode, in exchange for a small but pivotal concession for Claire - who wears a red dress to work the next day. This seems to play into the next episode, which will find Clarence directly asking if Claire would be romantically interested in him - something which has been deeply hinted since Clarence's introduction.

Probably the best part of the episode was also the smallest. Denise continues her duo liaison with Brad and Jeffrey, with both exclusively ignorant to the other's involvement. But the sexually-observant Alan Shore notices this from their "scent" on Denise (shades of Spader's role in "Wolf", perhaps?). Brad gives Denise advice by way of Alan's former beau Sally Heap - just come on strong to Shore and he'll back down. So the next time Alan comes around, Denise lures him to his office in a sultry voice and begs for an horizontal examination of his desk.

And Alan calls her bluff.

Ten seconds later, Denise storms out of Alan's office a mess, glaring at Brad and saying "Tell Sally she's wrong!" And as she passes both Brad and Jeffrey, there's a slight hint both her best-friends-with-benefits are becoming aware of the other's benefits.

A good episode over all, but a bit stretched to the limits. The Denise subplot was the best part, and received the least attention. Similarly, more Clairce in place of Clarence made this episode a little less interesting than the last. The two court cases were good, but lacked a well-defined gray area. The government just yelled "War on Terror" a lot and the two parents were more concerned about vengeance than anything else. Because of this, we couldn't see the court cases going any other way, which lead to the element of suspense right before the verdict is read being totally missed this time around.

The Bella subplot is coming to head next episode, but don't look for me or BL next week as I believe there's a State of the Union. I hate to come with even more bad news, but it looks like "Boston Legal" might be cut short, or at the very least, due for a time slot change. According to Cynopsis, the result shows for "Dancing With the Stars" will air on Tuesdays at 9 P.M.

Absolutely no word was this does to Boston Legal, but I'll be sure to keep you posted when any news breaks.

Posted by Richard on January 16, 2007 11:03 PM
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Your last paragraph confuses me because the Dancing With the Stars results show would be in the hour BEFORE Boston Legal's time slot, so that shouldn't have an effect on when BL is aired. In fact, it'd be nice to have a good lead-in for a change.

-- Posted by: SueB at January 17, 2007 6:17 AM

I forgot to check the article for Eastern/Central/Pacific . . . it comes on at 9 P.M. in my time zone, so it seems I just forgot the rest of the world doesn't run on my individual wave length. Anyway, I checked the Cynopsis article, and it made no mention of what time zone it was referring to, so its possible its proceeding Boston Legal, which I think it did last time.

-- Posted by: Richard Pulfer at January 17, 2007 3:02 PM

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