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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: "Fat Burner" In Need Of Trimming

The episode opens with Clarence taking up Claire's advice on becoming a practiced lawyer. Unfortunately, the insecure freshman lawyer is assigned to a whooper of a case - defending a young Haitian woman accused of first degree murder. Upon further examination, Clarence discovers the woman was sold in slavery, and committed the murder when her owner planned to sell her yet-to-be-child. Clarence assembles a hasty back-up consisting of the ever-hesitant Paul and the spunky Beth - two lawyers who plainly don't get along. In short, Clarence does pretty well. He has contend with an impaitent judge as well as a slight addiction to the feel of Clarice's wig, but for the most part, he succeeds so well in examining the client that he also provides an effective closing which spares the woman for prison or death penalty. The case ends on a sour note though - the woman wins her freedom with very little grasp of what "freedom" truly means, and finds herself cut off from her previous owners.

On the other hand, Denny Crane takes perhaps too much advantage of his own personal freedoms - shipping out his own body fat as an alternative fuel source. The overzealous D.A. is quick to prosecute, leading Alan to rush to Denny's defense. Of course, Denny only really needs Alan's expert closing - he effectively wins over the jury by spinning a tall tale about his larger-than-life Uncle Bill, much to the chargin of the hawk-eyed Judge Robert Thompson (Howard Hesseman). Alan supplies a superb closing, much the objection of the ill-suffering D.A., and Denny winds up off the hook, leading the two to once again sip scotch on the balcony.

In other subplot news, Denise decides to have the baby but makes sure to reassert her right to chose to the thick-skulled Brad. This comes as Jeffrey Coho, my #2 pick, tenders his resignation to Shirley. He bluntly tells Denise she is the reason for his leaving, as their "Best Friends with Benefits" relationships seems to have pricked the unstoppable attorney's feelings. But Coho also admits he is at fault - desperately hoping for Denise's child in an attempt to make up for the lost time of his own family. Still, Coho makes peace with Brad (kinda) and wishes Denise every happiness before leaving in style - in the Buzz Lightyear suit (if Disney wasn't already mad about one use, they might be upset for a second helping).

This episode ranks "okay" with me. It is a bit sad to me it took Jeffrey Coho's leaving to turn out the best development the character has seen all season. The titular "Fat Burner" is nowhere near as funny as it should have been, although Clarence's case was poignant contrast of social and cultural differences. Most frusterating was the way Alan seems to be once again shunned to the sidelines - there needs to be an episode which puts him back in the subplot of one of the episodes and soon, as this season of "Boston Legal" is suffering for it.

Posted by Richard on February 13, 2007 11:07 PM
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I am through watching Boston Legal. They had ample opportunity to develop a great character in Jeffrey Coho. Craig Bierko is one of the most sought after and talented performers in the business today and BL's writers couldn't develop his character. In my opinion, this shows how poorly the show is being written these days. And Clarence?? C' far over the top is his character...and like that hot young lawyer Claire would ever date a guy like him in real life. To me, it turned the same corner as Ally McBeal in that it went from a good show to a farce overnight. Click...I'm gone.

-- Posted by: Mark at February 14, 2007 9:11 AM

Okay, first off, I agree - especially in these last episodes, we saw just how much potential was being squandered with the character of Jeffrey Coho. But Bierko did have another show in development at Fox, so his leaving may have not been by the choice of Kelley.

Clarence, to me, is awesome - just not as Clairice. And the fact that Claire dates him gives guys like me a little hope, even if it is fiction. Besides, how the heck Alan and Denny get that many girls is a mystery to me.

I'll stay with it, but both myself and my family have noted a stailness running through the show which wasn't present a year before.

-- Posted by: Richard Pulfer at February 14, 2007 9:32 AM

Perhaps you haven't been watching the show...but they tried to develope COHO's character, he just didn't click.. and it caused LESS screen time for Alan Shore, which was a big mistake....I am glad COHO is gone.

I am starting to like Clearence. I didn't before, but he 'clicks' way more than COHO, and he is black. BL has been searching forever for a black character and I think they have found him...over-the-top? Sure. But who on this show isn't? Alan, Denny, Bethany are all over the top. What is wron with over the top. You want boring stiff character, flip over to LAW AND ORDER


-- Posted by: Robert at February 16, 2007 9:57 AM

Coho just got the short end of the stick in the beginning of the season - the Judge Murder case was a major time suck which pretty much isolated him entirely and served to drain viewer paitence to its barest limits. It wasn't until recently that the writers even set out to make Coho a somewhat likeable character, as the long-running judge case really pushed the character to his limits without really engaging him with the rest of the cast.

-- Posted by: Richard Pulfer at February 16, 2007 11:13 AM

Hessemen's judge didn't seem to be 'chagrinned' - in fact projected much sympathy for the defense, as for instance when he and Alan would simply stare at the prosecutor's lame objections in disbelief, then go on as if they hadn't occurred. And Hessemen spent more time lounging in front of the judicial bench than behind it. Has anybody ever seen a real judge do this?

-- Posted by: Cecil Rose at February 20, 2007 12:42 PM

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