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TV Review: Boston Legal “Ivan the Incorrigible”

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Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) and Ivan Tiggs (Tom Selleck) step out of the elevator and it is immediately obvious they are smitten with each other. Before they have time to make a discreet exit out of the lobby, they run into Denny Crane (William Shatner).

When Shirley rounds the corner into her office, Ivan’s wife, Missy, is waiting. She tells Shirley while she loves Ivan dearly, she still has a sneaking suspicion that he is cheating. She asks Shirley to talk to Ivan. Missy has no idea that Ivan is cheating, and with Shirley!

Jerry Espenson (Christian Clemenson) steps out into the lobby. The last time viewers saw him, he was holding a knife to Shirley’s throat. He has started to get therapy for Asperger’s Syndrome and is doing better. In his efforts to express the proper social graces, he misses the mark with Brad by asking how his children are.

Jerry finds Alan Shore (James Spader) in his office. Alan knows he had better step in as co-counsel after Jerry is assigned to try a case of attempted murder.

Brad (Mark Valley) has a fun subtext in this episode! Going into the break room, he accidentally bumps into Audrey, a paralegal who has transferred into the firm. Brad was clearly too smitten to think properly, because he never introduced himself.

When Jerry and Alan arrive in court, a cute bit of physicality comes into play when Jerry heads the wrong way and Alan has to pull him back where he belongs. Jerry is thrown for a loop when the judge (Howard Hesseman) walks around in front of the bench. Alan points out that everybody has quirks. I knew the trial was going to be riveting when Adam Arkin entered as Douglas Koupfer from the District Attorney’s office. The last time he and Alan tangled, it was over a case of assisted suicide in “Live Big”. As usual, Alan won. Alan gleefully tells Jerry that Koupfer is his favorite opposing counsel.

At the firm, Shirley tells Ivan that Missy suspects he is cheating, to which Ivan replies there is a misunderstanding on Missy’s part. Shirley says he needs to tell Missy the truth.

Back in the courtroom, Alan and Jerry have a debate over who is going to cross examine the plaintiff. Jerry says he is not ready, although Alan does his best to convince him otherwise.

Brad finds Audrey and suggests they have dinner together. When she mentions they could go back to her place afterwards, Brad agrees. As she walks away, she makes reference to her vagina and uses the term in subsequent conversations. Brad decides to ask Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) if he is misunderstanding Audrey’s frequent use of this word. Denise replies he should just enjoy the relationship.

Later, Brad tells Denise he and Audrey spent the weekend together. He has enjoyed it, but plans to break things off.

When Brad tries sneaking out of the firm without being noticed by Audrey, she finds him and suggests they get together. After Brad throws off excuse after excuse, Audrey figures out she and Brad are through and asks why. He tells her, and she is horrified. After all, she points out, men have words for their parts, and use them frequently. Brad says he doesn’t. Audrey tells him he needs to grow up.

He later says he wants to try again. She tells him to say “the word”. By the time he does, she is far enough away that he has to raise his voice. The entire office hears him, including Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois).

Missy comes to Shirley, and says she knows everything. Ivan told her all is fine, but she is still having doubts. Shirley has an idea of how to solve Missy’s dilemma.

She draws up a post-nuptial agreement for Missy. When Ivan comes to see her, he is more than a little taken aback at what she put in it. Basically, if Ivan strayed, Missy gets all that he loves most out of his personal possessions.

Back in court, Jerry questions their client on the witness stand. While doing so, he does great damage by bringing up the word “revenge”. Oops!

Alan asks for time to confer with co-counsel. Jerry is highly agitated over his performance. Alan says trials are a process, trying to placate him.

In his office, Alan tells their client privately his chances of being declared not guilty are pretty much over. He straight out says that as a member of the Massachusetts Bar, he cannot suggest the client run. However, Alan says the jury would be likely to come back with a guilty verdict if the man were to show up in court the next day.

Ivan comes to Shirley and says he cannot break Missy’s heart. Shirley says of course he could, he has a reputation of doing so. She should know, he broke her heart during their honeymoon. Shirley knows her affair is over.

When Denny finds Shirley shortly after Ivan has left, he asks if she is now available. She doesn’t quite answer him, but she does do one thing. She whispers in his ear, “Denny Crane”. Heaven!

Back at the courthouse, Alan and Jerry’s client is missing. The prosecutor thinks Alan had something to do with it. Gee, where did he get that idea? Alan protests by saying his client is wandering the streets and needs to be found. The judge adjourns the case. As they turn to leave, the prosecutor tells Alan one day his actions are going to get him hurt. Alan agrees, and says he is prepared. Could this be a hint to a future plot line?

Lawyers at this firm sure have a way of getting around the law! Although Alan does not directly tell his client to run, he phrases it so his client does exactly that very thing. Wasn’t Brad told similar words by that FBI agent when he and Denise were tracking down the abducted child in “Gone”? Only Mark Valley and James Spader could have made those scenes work. Somehow, I can hardly picture Paul Lewiston telling Denny he should flee the country before he is arrested for firing a gun at someone. Of course, it just might spare Paul embarrassment to the firm….

On the balcony, Denny mentions he had a situation similar to Alan’s, but he made sure his client went to a country without extradition.

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