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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: No Brain Left Behind

In the middle of a game of Wii, Denny and Alan are interrupted by a distraught local business owner being sued by Denny because his pizza place wasn't open. But the man insists he has a valid excuse - his pizza place is under several feet of water, all resulting from a flood the National Guard failed to respond to. Without missing a beat, Alan agrees to represent the owner in suing the National Guard.

After the credits, Carl and Shirley are none-too-pleased to hear of Denny and Alan's plans, while Whitney makes some thinly-veiled comments about Lorriane being supposedly marked for death. The proceedings are interrupted by Shirley's granddaughter Marlena, who needs representation after shredding standardized tests at her high school in part of a vaguely-though-out protest. Whitney ends up Shirley's second chair - if any to keep her off Lorraine's back. Meeting with the principal, Shirley tries to dissuade Marlena's expulsion, but Whitney's boisterous efforts don't help matters. In court, however, it's the prosecution who is hard-pressed for a change. Marlena is as strong-willed and well-spoken as her grandmother, and its the patronizing prosecution that pays the price. The statistics are also in the defense's favor - American students are lagging behind their international counterparts, and even the principle - after some baiting from Shirley - is in total agreement. Eventually, the judge rules that while Marlena deserves to be punished with suspension, her expulsion should be overturned. Marlena even offers to help Shirley after-school, setting the course for future appearances.

Denny and Alan's case doesn't go so well, however. Judge Clark Brown is against the case from the start, and Alan's ranting about the war cost only leads him to not only dismiss the case, but also toss Alan and Denny in jail for contempt of court and country. In jail, Lorraine visits and tells Alan Katie is getting closer and closer to the truth. Lorraine further reveals she ran a high-end brothel in London, and struck a deal with prosecutors to altogether vanish the scene. Alan advises Lorraine to come clean to Shirley. After she leaves, Denny and Alan decide to join the National Guard themselves, and are released by Judge Brown - on the condition he never sees them again. Denny and Alan, however, discover they cannot join the National Guard on the account of their age. After trying the patience of the recruitment officer, they leave - and complain to Brown, who agrees the age policy is counter-productive, but ultimately dismisses the case. With Marlena's help, however, Denny and Alan research other branches of the military to join, and eventually resolve to join the Coast Guard reserves.

In addition to Marlena's problem, Shirley must also try to reason with Carl Sack, who is considering leaving the firm. Lorraine's revelation doesn't help matters, but ultimately Shirley is able to convince Carl to stay, or at least, to try. The two share a kiss - only to be interrupted by a disgusted Marlena.

On the balcony, Denny and Alan are dressed in rented uniform, back to discussing politics and Denny's desire for a a tank. Alan urges Denny to be ready to stand by Lorraine, who might need their help if Shirley or the senior partners through any heat her way.

Overall, this was a really funny episode, but one where the woodwork was definitely showing. The suit against the National Guard in particular had real relevance, but instead its used as a transitional tool to get Alan and Denny from court house to jail cell. And what of the man who lost his business in the flood? He was someone we could have cared about, but instead, whom disappears altogether after the dismissal.

On the other hand, Marlena looks to be an interesting character if given time to develop, and Shirley and Carl's relationship definitely has some tender moments. Next week is the Christmas episode, and if the previews are any indication, should be quite a hoot.


Posted by Richard on December 11, 2007 11:31 PM
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