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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: Hope and Glory

The episode begins with a woman named Patrice introducing herself to Alan and asking how best to proceed with the murder of the man who killed her daughter. In particular, she wants to know what steps she should preemptively take to be found temporarily insane. Alan cannot and will not help her - and on the news he discovers she's already carried out the crime. Alan reluctantly takes the case, though he is ill-adjusted to Patrice's domineering stubbornness. She demands Denny be removed from second chair because she doesn't want the label of corporate greed - she instead wants to "color up", and just when I thought this was a clear intro for Clarence - Whitney appeared instead. It was just as well though - Whitney's inherent bluntness tempers Patrice's methodical grip, but only to a point. She doesn't make the job any easier for Alan - using the press as her means of communicating with the jury and even showing up at Rod Stewart concert to boost so-called personality appeal. Between cloth fitting with Lorraine and balcony drinks with Denny, Alan admits he is intrigued with the case - even though he finds Patrice's presumption that she can get away with murder so easy infuriating - both practically and ethically.

Joseph Washington - the season premiere's defendant - is back, this time being arrested for driving a car in Middleton, a small suburb where he works. As a registered sex offender, he is prohibited from driving in the town - a move that all be guarantees he'll loose his employment. Katie and Jerry get the charges dropped, but can do nothing to overturn the sex offender law - which is reasonably in place to protect the community. Carl Sack, showing some moral character after all, berates them for disobeying his orders to leave the case alone and pursue other clients. He instead tells both of them they aren't good attorneys, because they've overlooked the most basic means available to Joseph Washington: instead of trying overturn the sex offender law, they should be looking to overturn the ruling which labeled Joseph as a sex offender in the first place. Katie talks to Gwen, whom Joseph claims he had consensual sex with as a teenager. Gwen at first refuses to help - though she seems unclear whether or not Joseph raped her. However, she later agrees to help - and goes before the judge to explain she lied about Joseph's rape in order to avoid punishment from her father, who walked in on her. This prompts both Gwen's arrest for perjury as well as Joseph's freedom from the sex offender list. But the members of the community still tell Joseph Washington they don't want him there - sex offender or not - and he turns up dead just as Katie and Jerry meet for a drink. At Friday night mass, Katie attends the Middleton Church and says a prayer for Joseph Washington, though she is distraught that he died without a single person "giving a damn about him" - a fact Carl Sack is able to easily dispute.

This plot was so skillfully cut down the middle that it remains one of the most potent of the Boston Legals so far this season. Alan's trouble have a subtle humor to them, as we aren't quite sure what Patrice will say or do next, but there is a fearfully underlying theme to the plot, as Patrice is so sure of her justification she leaves virtually no room for a guilty verdict. Joseph Washington's tragic subplot, on the other hand, further submit Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers) as one of the best female characters to grace Boston Legal since Julie Bowen's Denise Bauer, while working well to establish her own quirky yet powerful mark on the series. Clarence's non-appearance is essentially a non-issue - Whitney's character was much better suited for the case anyway - but the issue continues David E. Kelly's unfortunate perchant for misplacing characters just as they are added to the opening credits.

Posted by Richard on October 30, 2007 11:04 PM
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I believe you mean Patrice's surety leaves no room for a guilty *plea*. There's plenty of room for a guilty *verdict*. The plea is under the control of the defendant - the verdict is under the control of the jury.

Seems like the old Texas "He needed killin'" defense. Of course since jury nullification is an every day occurrance in Boston Legal's courtrooms (as opposed to the real world), they'll probably get away with it.

-- Posted by: Cecil Rose at October 31, 2007 10:29 AM

Does anyone have the text of the scene in the church with Katie saying the prayer? Would be most appreciated to have it emailed to me to use as part of a memorial service tonight

-- Posted by: Laurie Elliott at November 2, 2007 4:43 PM

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-- Posted by: pxulfqyh lufxreajh at September 5, 2008 8:47 AM

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