Tonight’s episode of Boston Legal started out where most episodes usually end — on the balcony. The show always talks politics, so you knew they were going to discuss tomorrow’s election and this was how it began. Denny and Alan were discussing the race for president and Denny gave Alan two reasons why he was voting McCain — salmon and women. The man’s logic was incredible and perhaps right, but would take hundreds and hundreds of words to try to explain in a way that would make any sense. As the discussion wasn’t really germane to the episode, I will not expend those words, so let’s just move on.
After the credits, the show got down to business and the case of the night. Alan wanted Denny to second chair at a hearing that involved a cattle rancher (Valerie Bertinelli) not being allowed by the government to test her cattle for Mad Cow Disease. Though he was initially apprehensive, upon hearing about the case and seeing the client Denny jumped at the chance. Working opposite Alan and Denny tonight was our old friend, Denise Bauer. I’ve missed her since she left the show and Denny and Alan both seemed to feel the same way (they both made sexual advances towards her).
During the case Ms. Hober (Bertinelli) explained that the Department of Agriculture didn’t want her to test all her meat because bigger companies didn’t test all of their meat. She said that the bigger companies had the relevant government agencies in their pockets. To my ear the whole thing sounded odd — the government was banning her from testing all her cows because not every company did it. Odd, right?
The counterargument, presented by an expert from the Department of Agriculture, was that testing for Mad Cow didn’t necessarily reveal whether an animal was ill, that it was done mostly for consumer confidence. He then said that Hober’s company’s claims that they tested every cow implied to the consumer that her meat was the safest when that wasn’t the case. Alan pointed out correctly that his client wasn’t banned from advertising but testing. It all started to look very good for Alan until Denise cut him off in court by stating to Judge Brown that Alan had told her that Brown was afraid of him.
Not only did Denise’s statement put Alan into some trouble with the judge, it also unnerved him. At Denny’s suggestion, Alan tried throwing Denise by asking her about Brad during a meeting, but quickly regretted the possible low-blow. After his apology, Denise told him that she and Brad were getting a divorce and Alan only felt worse.
But, like water off a duck’s back, Alan’s upset quickly dissipated and when he next saw Denise, right outside of court, he tried to unnerve her by asking her out. Maybe he was being legitimate, but I doubt it. Denise certainly thought it was gamesmanship as she told Alan that she’d love to go out with him, but that she had lied before about her and Brad’s relationship being headed towards divorce and that the couple was still very much in love.
Gamesmanship or no, Alan won the case. Of course, as it was presented, Denise’s side had no argument whatsoever.
The other story tonight started with Carl Sack informing Jerry at the beginning of the episode that both he and Shirley were supporting Jerry in his bid for partner. Katie was called before the partners in order to, she thought, discuss Jerry. She was right, but was totally unable to keep her cool when Sack, Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois also came back for the episode), and the rest of the partners started asking her questions about Jerry’s personal life.
The partners then wanted to meet with Jerry, who was, obviously, nervous about seeing them. Just as the meeting was about to start Denny walked in and announced that if Jerry didn’t make partner that he, Denny, would leave the firm. One of the partners (at least) thought that maybe, just maybe, that would be the perfect way to "unload" Denny. Jerry then, wooden cigarette in hand, announced that he would leave the firm if Denny left. After a short rant about a possible spinoff, he put the cigarette away, apologized, and went back to being himself. He then delivered a nice little speech about how maybe, just maybe, he was the type of person who was the future of the firm. Jerry made partner.
Tonight’s episode finished (before the balcony scene) with the various members of the firm voting. Shirley was doing it in Colorado, where she and Carl had a second house and where she had registered to vote because Massachusetts was definitely going to go Obama. Nice.
Other bits and pieces:
- In introducing the case in court, Alan pointed out that Denise Bauer was back and Ms. Hober was there and how both women sweep people off their feet. In fact, he said the words "sweeps" repeatedly. He was, not so subtly, pointing out the fact that it’s currently the November ratings sweeps.
- Alan and Denny did argue politics a second time in the show. Alan definitely got the better of Denny in the verbal fight, but when Denny pulled out a paintball gun things sort of evened out.
- On the balcony at the end of the episode, Denny told Alan that he, Denny, voted Obama. And that brings me to the question of the week — personal politics aside, do you think the show altered Denny’s character severely by having him say he voted Obama? To me, it seemed awfully out of character and as though it was put there only in order to serve a political point.
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