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TV Review: Boston Legal – “Nuts”

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Alan Shore (James Spader) returns from New Orleans, but the drama is far from over. Once he sees Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) writing on a notepad, he just has to make a smarmy comment. All I will say is that it refers to hands and alone time. The rest is up to you.

Denise replies by asking if he has met Vanessa. Alan turns to see that Vanessa Walker (Nia Long) heard every word. She inquires how often he is sued by women who work where he does. He says he usually wins. Denny Crane (William Shatner) makes an appearance before they can continue the conversation. He has a bigger issue to contend with – he has managed to get himself on the airline no-fly list, which bans people who are ‘suspect’ from getting on a plane. This is a major issue since Denny’s girlfriend, Bella, is in Maui and waits for Denny to join her. Keep reading for more details.

Vanessa, after winning her last case with Alan’s help, finds herself with a Boston bugaboo. A teacher is accused of wrongful death after one of her students dies from an allergic reaction to peanuts. Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) takes on the role of co-counsel and schedules a meeting with the deceased child’s parents. The case has less to do with money than with making an example of the teacher’s responsibility.

When they go to trial, Shirley and Vanessa portray the teacher as overworked with too many duties. Less than a minute might have gone by before the Epi-pen was administered, but it did not change the outcome. While the teacher might have broken the rules by being on her cell phone during lunch, she was trying to find out the status of her ailing father. The fact of his passing was a double blow to the client.

Vanessa shows how the child’s parents could have hired someone to keep an eye on their offspring just in case. They failed to do so, thinking the teacher would be able to handle things. After all, according to them, children with autoimmune problems are in regular classrooms all the time. Would a ‘shadow nurse’ have ensured the child’s survival? Perhaps not, but the point is made clear to the jury. A verdict is to Vanessa and Shirley’s favor. Even though the teacher could have been reinstated, she opts to get her real estate broker license instead.

Denise, meanwhile, is juggling a problem of her own making. Alan has been trying for quite a while to seduce her to no avail. Alan being Alan, he mentions she has a sexual scent about her. He openly wonders if the other party is one of the partners. Denise is terrified since she came to an agreement with Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko) and Brad Chase (Mark Valley) for sex whenever one of them wished. Neither man knows about the other, yet.

Brad tells Denise he never told anyone about their arrangement, but he does have advice to get Alan off her back. All Denise has to do is become the pursuer, and Mr. Shore will run for the hills. When Alan makes yet another comment about Denise’s scent, speculating aloud about Jeffrey and Brad specifically, she takes Brad’s advice and suggests she and Alan go to his office.

Surprised is putting things mildly for Alan upon hearing Denise suggesting sex atop Alan’s desk. He promptly clears off various objects, and Denise later emerges out of the closed door with a surprised look of her own. Brad and Jeffrey are equally stunned. I’m not sure why, since Alan sleeps with anything in a brassiere.

Speaking of, Clarence (Gary Anthony Williams) is in full female regalia and pretending to be Oprah. This hit Shirley’s radar, since the incident took place in reception. When Claire Simms (Constance Zimmer), Clarence’s boss, talks to him, she finds out his date with Sandy, the gym manager who dropped his membership when he stopped wearing the dress, did not go well. Claire assures her assistant someone appreciates him for himself. Could this be a hint to a future storyline? Wait and watch.

Claire tells Clarence she has a hard time trying to make it in a man’s world as a woman. Clarence replies that she should stand on her own terms. She doesn’t say anything, but hears the message loud and clear.

Back to Denny and the airline: Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois) lets Alan know a representative from Homeland Security is waiting in Alan’s office. When Paul seeks out the reason why, Alan asks if the managing partner really wants to know. Paul decides he doesn’t.

Although Alan asks nicely (for him, anyway) that Denny be removed from the no-fly list, the other man says it is not as easy as it sounds. The people whose names bring up red flags for the government, and rightly so, are not linked with details, which would make it easier to screen out innocents caught in the crossfire. Alan knows what he needs to do, and heads for court.

The judge is not sympathetic to opposing counsel. She says the government must either remove Denny’s name from the list or leave his name on and let him fly anyway. Bethany (Meredith Eaton-Gilden) comes up to Denny in the courtroom hallway and says she would like to get back into a relationship with him. He tells her about Maui and her mother, which opens him up to another body tackle. Bella, if nothing else, taught her daughter how to achieve that perfectly.

I get the feeling BL is getting back to its original concept – trying cases. One question is now taken care of – what to do about making Clarence part of the regular cast. While he is now in the opening credits, Nia Long is not. This would tend to mean Vanessa will not hang her boots in Boston. Personally, I think she belongs somewhere else.

Will someone give Jeffrey and Brad a trial to work on? In other words, get them doing their jobs?

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