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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: Brotherly Love

In a span of two episodes, Season Three seems to have turned itself around. Stylistic directing combined with deft storytelling with as little bumps along the way as possible.

First, Alan Shore is introduced to Frankie Cox, a fellow attorney who couldn't tell the truth to save his life - and has already dealt with an unsavory assortment of sundry deeds. Chief among them, however, is his attempted covering up of a murder his brother committed. Now his brother is convicted, and the D.A. is looking to do the same to Frankie - unless Alan can help.

Alan finds Denny trying to will about world peace by willing Raquel Welch to his side. Enlisting Denny in the case, Alan embarks on yet another uphill court case. The prosecution has all the cards: Frankie's brother has not only detailed his brother's actions to a tee - he's also admitted it was Frankie's idea in the first place. With no other option, Alan has no choice but to run with the angle both Frankie and Denny suggest - brotherly love. Alan's questioning of Frankie's brother reveals the painful and manipulative relationship endured by the brother, prompting him to murder his wife. While keeping the absent-minded Judge Sanders on track, Alan's closing cuts straight to the human aspect of the legal system - the jury - as well as "the weakest and the noblest" core of Frankie's actions.
Midway through jury deliberations, it seems like Denny's wishful thinking has paid off - there's a sex-crazed celebrity right outside their room. But to Denny's shock, it isn't Raquel Welch, but another of Denny's less-than-proud conquests - Phyllis Diller! The jury reads their verdict - albiet with Denny mortified - and not surprisingly, Frankie is acquitted.

Trouble comes especially for Clarence this episode - as Clare spots him being especially friendly with another woman in a coffee bar. As it turns out, its not Clarence, but one of his many alter egos, Clarvon. Clare, however, dumps him the next day, leading Clarence to adopt Clarice (ughh!) again. A concerned Alan discovers Clarvon was trying to boost Clarence's intimacy by hanging out with a call girl no less, but Clare still refuses to be romantically involved with a person she get into the same room. Clarence and Clare eventually have a heart-to-heart, with Clarence admitting both his intimacy and trust issues, and Clare forgiving him. The two reconcile with a hug.

And finally, frictions occur at the ranks when Brad refuses to sign a Love Contract aimed at prevent sexual harrassment lawsuits within the firm. Paul fires Brad, but Shirley appeals to both Brad and Paul to reconsider. Stubbornly, Brad files an appeal and meets with the managing partners. After a heated and passionate exchange with Paul, Brad bluntly admits he's sick of being lonely. He speaks with Denise, who is finally showing in her pregnancy, and tells her he knows she loves him and wants to get married. Later that day, Brad is "two for two" - the managing board votes in his favor and Denise agrees to marry him. But Brad's ego remains largely intact, and when he asks if Shirley would really fire him, she replies she definitely would.

On the balcony, Alan and Denny tie up the episode with a conversation. Alan is worried for Clarence's experience with love, and we learn Alan hasn't been in love for a long, long time - if ever in fact. Denny tells him he's never alone on the balcony, but when Alan suggests a sleep-over, the two go at it like the old married couple we expect, ending the episode with a neat little bow.

All and all, a good episode. I liked the stylish transitions between Frankie's brother and the flashback to the murders. My only complaint is this - why didn't the Love contract interfere with the Clarence/Clare relationship. Even if they were not technically dating at the same, it would have presented a solid opportunity to link the cast together is further. I'm glad Clarence is interacting with Alan on a regular basis, but he still needs fleshed out some, and I think that opportunity lies with increased interaction with either Denise, Brad or Shirley.

In my mind, a character isn't truly complete until he or she has interacted with every other character in the cast.

Posted by Richard on April 10, 2007 11:03 PM
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