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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal Returns for Promising New Season

After a somewhat disappointing third season (but nevertheless one which garnered James Spader an Emmy), "Boston Legal" returns in such perfect form it practically drips with potential.

First, Denny and Alan are having lunch with Gloria as well as a beautiful brunette for Denny. After Denny and the mystery girl depart, Gloria asks Alan not only to ravish her . . . but to also impregnate her as well. And if that weren't surprising enough, the mystery girl in Denny's limo admits she's in the business of "doing men" and request some money to get the backseat process moving. Seconds later, Denny is 3,000 dollars poorer and in hand-cuffs - and being read his rights.

Shirley is none too happy with this development, but Denny is equally upset about the appearance of Carl Sack (John Larroquette) who Shirley calls "the new sheriff." Carl belittles Denny at every turn, leading to an equally chilling reception from Alan. Trying to repair the firm's image to a conservative and professional standard (see below for more details), Carl appears mortified by Alan and Denny's bond, though he seems late genuinely touched by a moment shared by Denny and Shirley. Alan gets Gloria to drop the charges against Denny on grounds of entrapment, ending Denny's problem. Its however only the beginning of Alan's trouble.

Charged with defending Shirley when she recants a 3 million dollar to Stanford, which took an ever bigger donation from oil companies, Alan is confronted by Lorraine (Saffron Burrows), an ex-lover turned rival lawyer who on two occasions makes loves to Alan in the courtroom elevator. Alan is mortified by his actions with regard to relationship with Gloria, and Lorraine uses the tactic several times to nearly fluster Alan in the courtroom. But Alan wins the case regardless, if only because the befuddled Judge Sanders is presiding.

The last newcomer to the show is one Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers), a nice young lawyer straight out of law school whom Jerry takes an instant liking to because she is "pretty" and "nice". Unfortunately, Katie is arbitrarily assigned a nightmare case by Carl Sack - a murderer named Joseph Washington who doesn't speak at all - save to spit at Katie - and has already confessed. A nervous Katie meets with the Assistant District Attorney - none other than Brad Case - to enter a life sentence plea agreement, but Joseph refuses to speak. Even with the aid of Jerry, Katie's case looks dismal, until, alone with Joseph, the enraged client begins screaming and thrashing. Looking at the position of his hands, Katie realizes he may not be guilty. Joseph admits he was having an affair with the victim - explaining his seaman found on the victim - but cannot explain the victim's blood on his locker. Shirley assigns Alan on the case, but Joseph refuses to work with him - and demands Katie. Jerry tells Katie to consider first-chair, since her compassion and humanity could potentially win the jury's heart.

And finally, Carl Sack sets his sights on Clarence, making him feel very uncomfortable. He first tells Clarence his uncle had "shifty eyes" like him, and "liked to touch small children", before asking Clarence if he did as well. He later calls Clarence into his office and shows him a clip of Clarence taking part - as Clarice - in a duet competition. Carl gives Clarence an ultimatum - either withdraw or quit. Clarence delivers the news to his partner - a shy young woman named Nora - but soon finds more and more he cannot withdraw so easily. Both Jerry and Alan urge Clarence to talk to Carl directly, which he eventually does - with Nora at his side. Enraged by Carl's efforts to sanitize the firm, Clarence storms out of the office. Later, Carl confronts Clarence, who is walking the halls with Jerry. When Carl says "You're fired" to Clarence, Jerry head-butts the new partner, but then admits he was only kidding, and has come to see things Clarence's way - though he is shocked by Jerry's head-butt. Clarence performs, to a cheering crowd, including Alan, a far-too-jubilant Jerry, and even Carl.

The episode ends on the preparation for the trial of Joseph Washington, who the media has already found guilty. Shirley confirms as much to Carl - whom she is sleeping with! Meanwhile, Denny finds Alan on the balcony - and in drag, inspired by Clarence's performance. The two discuss the good lives they lead and fantasize about Shirley Schmidt - in a cheerleader's outfit - before coming back to their first assertion of "good lives".

Posted by Richard on September 25, 2007 11:42 PM
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Holy Cow! The show looked totally different half the time. The story pattern and progression was the same, but the cast... newbies in and oldies gone. Jerry's with the firm, some new brit blonde named Katie Lloyd walks in straight out of law school, Lorraine is likely to join the firm next week, Denise is apparently on "maternity leave" - she actually might be, from the show, and Brad is the A.D.A.? WTH - all worked out and planned out well I say. Don't miss Paul Lewiston all that much either.

I can't wait to see Denny/Alan's reactions when they find out about Shirley and Carl.

-- Posted by: gnosys at September 26, 2007 12:07 PM

I know, gnosys, and I loved it! Last season spent so much time setting up Constance Zimmer and Craig Beirko that - even as enjoyable characters - they veered away from the traditional cast and I became frustrated. Here, we've got characters like Katie Lloyd who are already part of the that cast, working alongside Jerry and Alan instead of apart from them. And I agree - Carl is so going to be on the receiving end of Denny and Alan now!

-- Posted by: Richard at September 26, 2007 2:23 PM

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