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Boston Legal Fodder

Boston Legal: Rescue Me

This episode has Carl Sack wrapped up in the chaos Crane, Poole and Schmidt knows best. Katie is defending a man accused of defrauding his life insurance policy. Alan and Denny are practicing rescuing one another for their big Coast Guard Reserves test. A woman appears randomly before him and professes her love for her pastor - who she is suing. Andrea is back - now protesting a diamond ring that is supposed to be composed of the ashes of her mother, and instead, is cubic zirconium. And Whitney is taking the case of a woman blaming her daughter's death on her high school - who she believed deprived her of sleep.

Clarence and Lorraine take the woman's case against her pastor, but not much comes of it. The law, as Lorraine explains, has very little intervention to speak of against a love affair. However, Lorraine sees another angle - because of the affair's disastrous outcome, the woman no longer believes in God, leading Lorraine to withdraw the suit, and levy another against the Church. Later, the woman restarts her love affair with the pastor, dropping the suit altogether. Already almost entirely marginalized this season, Clarence does hardly anything and has only a handful of lines.

Katie's client is Leo Morris (Special Unit 2's Michael Landes), an AIDS victim who sold his life insurance plan to cover his health and funeral costs, only to be forced to forge signatures in order to obtain the "rescue drugs" necessary to dramatically extend his life. Katie has an instant attraction to Leo, who is charming and candid about his situation. She and Leo meet with life insurance agency, who are all too willing to drop the charges against Leo - confident Leo will avoid a drawn-out legal battle that could burn up his remaining years. But Katie's well-research rebuttal counter the company's plans at every corner, landing Leo a $750,000 settlement check and a long, passionate kiss with Katie (I was expecting Jerry to walk in, but alas, he didn't). Shirley finds Katie and Leo kissing, and advises Katie to think twice about starting a relationship with a lover with AIDS - she would not be able to have sexual relations with Leo without fear of catching the illness herself or passing it on to their child. The next day, Katie breaks off the relationship with Leo, who, though thoroughly heartbroken, is understanding how poorly he fairs against "the practical."

Whitney and the mother take on the high school in court. The principal agrees students are stretched too thin between AP classes and other student activities, but sees no way to change things without marginalize the school's ability to prepare their students for competition with other schools. She puts the blame back on parents - and the mother also agrees she regrets leaning on her daughter at times. Whitney's closing argument reveals many of the cracks in teen pressure which as undermined education, and the judge ultimately sides with the mother, fearing innovators, dreamers and free-thinkers are being lost in a generation of class presidents and valley ball captains.

Carl dodges Andrea's advances while representing her. He explains to Shirley he feels their personal lives deserve more focus and - though they are extremely compatible - both he and Shirley deserve more from life. Though Carl is reluctant to take Andrea's case to court, he does so - and easily wins against the ring manufacturer. Andrea pursues Carl further - and even chides him for not seeing the beauty in Lorraine and Clarence's outcome - that love, not the bottom line, should be the focus here. Unlike her simultaneous fling with Denny and Alan last episode, Andrea promises to be exclusive to Carl, and with Shirley's blessing, starts a relationship with Carl, who is extremely surprised Andrea finds him "cute."

Though all is well that ends well at the firm, the same can not be said for Denny and Alan's test with the Coast Guard Reserves. Alan is ordered to rescue Denny. Alan first argues with the Coast Guard representative about the logistics of the situation - couldn't he just convince Denny not to go into the water in the first place - and then jumps into to save him - and nearly drowns doing so, arms flailing. The two fail the test horribly. Amid drinks and cigars on the balcony, the two argue about their botched recruitment, but then decide to skip to the best part - the hug. Alan then asks for a sleepover, which Denny finds trivial since they do it so often. Alan cherishes each one - and they hug again - returning to their chairs with laughter.

Overall, this was a good episode that just tried to do too much. Clarence and Lorraine's entire case was just a side-note for Andrea and Carl's relationship, yet Whitney and Katie's subplots were perfectly-pitched with emotion and detail. I did expect more from Alan and Denny's attempt to join the Coast Guard Reserve, but once again, there wasn't enough time. Still, this episode left things at a very good spot for the coming hiatus - before Boston Legal returns again with fresh episodes at the end of the season.

Posted by Richard on February 19, 2008 11:03 PM
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