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TV Review: Boston Legal – “Trick or Treat”

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Halloween is the time of year when all sorts of surprises happen. For the cast of Boston Legal, this is no exception. Did they pack too much into one hour? I'll let you be the judge.

Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) in a Grim Reaper costume should be a hint of things to come. As it happens, she finds herself being handed a document suing Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko) for defamation of character. The action introduces her to Lincoln Meyer (David Dean Botrell), the Peeping Tom neighbor in the Scott Little murder trial. When she asks Jeffrey what he said, he replies that he accused Meyer of being a murderer.

Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois) assigns Brad Chase (Mark Valley) to handle the suit, saying this will give the two a chance to 'bond'. Um, doesn’t he know they do not exactly get along? Brad snidely asks Jeffrey if he's having some trouble. Couldn't resist getting the dig in, could you, Brad? Fortunately for them, Lincoln is acting as his own attorney. A bad idea, to be sure, even if one is an attorney.

After deposing Lincoln, where they hear his side of the story, Brad brings up the questions opposing counsel might ask. Jeffrey points out if the case goes to trial, one of them is a bad lawyer. They present their case in a courtroom. Before they proceed, Jeffrey sits next to Lincoln and apologizes, saying he was doing his job and it wasn't anything personal. Lincoln replies it was VERY personal. When the judge asks Lincoln about the Peeping Tom charge against him, Lincoln babbles on, basically convincing the judge he is mentally disturbed. The judge rules in favor of Brad and Jeffrey, throwing out the case. Lincoln is not happy, not happy at all.

Alan Shore (James Spader) comforts Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) after she learns, via mariachi band, her fiance, Daniel Post, has died. When she confirms it, Alan offers to go with her to the morgue. She thanks him, but says no; she was expecting this and she's fine. Unfortunately, Shirley shows up in costume, which is when Denise bursts into tears. The story gets stranger, but I'll come back to this later.

Meanwhile, Alan has his own case to handle, after Jerry Espenson (Emmy winner Christian Clemenson) lies on a federal jury questionnaire about a death penalty case, saying he believed in the death penalty when he didn’t. He might not have gotten caught, but he was interviewed for a magazine article about his firm. He slipped up and told the whole truth. This is serious, and Alan tells him so. Upon consulting with others, Alan does not have a defense for perjury (lying under oath). All he can do is throw Jerry on the mercy of the jury. To make matters worse, Jerry blurts out he lied. Alan wins, but he also tells Jerry he will one day wind up in prison, no matter how good the attorney.

Denny Crane (William Shatner) gets a surprise when he meets the mother of Bethany Horowitz (Meredith Eaton-Gilden). He and the woman (Delta Burke, Designing Women) used to be engaged. Bethany never knew this, but she has also never told her mother about dating Denny. When mother Bella shows up at Denny's office later, she tells him she does not want him dating her daughter. After Denny points out she hasn't given him much of a reason, she says Bethany is his biological daughter. A paternity test is pending.

At the Halloween party, all are in costume. Brad is dressed as General Patton. I'm not sure what Paul was supposed to be, although I have a feeling it might have been a caricature of a Frenchman. Denny, Alan, and Claire Simms (Constance Zimmer) are dressed alike, as the Lennon Sisters. Actually, they all kind of looked like Delta Burke.

When Alan sees Sally dancing with Brad, he asks Claire to dance. She turns him down with "forget it, horny toad." This is not his only loss, as Melissa Hughes (Marisa Coughlan), Alan's newest administrative assistant, has started working for Jeffrey. The ensuing confrontation did not go well, and Jeffrey was not 'feeling the love'. So, out of Alan and Brad, who will clash with Jeffrey the most? Watch and see!

Oh yes, the death of Daniel. Denise learns he donated his body to science and the proof of his death is a foot being kept at the morgue. When Alan and Denise arrive at the morgue, she realizes the foot is that of an African American. This begins a search for his body, which leads to an arrest of a body snatcher. Denise and Shirley end up at a haunted house, where the creators use real cadavers. A box lights up, showing the back of a head to the viewers. I suppose it was Daniel's as they both screamed.

Yikes! This is a filled-to-the gills hour filled much too high. At least two of these storylines could continue into a new episode. Is this how things are going to play out this season? One long arc, then a break, then another arc? Talk about painful! I also have another question — I read somewhere Constance Zimmer is a series regular. So why is she not in the opening credits? I thought the production team might have learned something after last season, when Garrett and Sara were let go and they were still IN the credits long after their last episode.

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About NancyGail

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Congratulations! This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States.

  • SueB

    ABC announced just this week that Constance Zimmer will join the regular cast in the next episode. The previous news about her joining the regular cast was not an official announcement.

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    Paul was dressed as Cardinal Richelieu.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Sue,
    I heard about CZ from another commenter who had a screen name close to a news site. http://www.boston-legal.org had the announcement that she and Craig were added to the cast, but only he has been in opening credits. Thought I needed to say something.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Not that it matters now, but what was Jeffrey dressed as? Not talking about Sally, beacause now Alan knows she is looking elsewhere for love. Of course, Brad should now find out about Daniel….

  • SueB

    Looked like Jeffrey was dressed as a WWI fighter pilot.

    Nancy – Craig Bierko joining the cast was announced by ABC before the season even started. The newsbit at b-l.org about Constance Zimmer being upped to a regular castmember was more of a scoop or a leak, not an official announcement from ABC.

    I agree that it’s about time they got her in the main credits. I’d also like to see Meredith Eaton-Gilden (Bethany) join the cast. She’s fun.

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Yikes! The “look down” joke are horrendous, I can’t imagine her an a regular. Seems to me an addition usually means someone’s on their way out, The way the show is going looks like Denise. Lincoln Meyer, however, has defnitely been on TOO long. Think he’s gay?

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Darn it all! I meant to comment about the episode sooner, but got distracted.

    Anyway, I’m not surprised at the revelation about Bethany and Denny, although it does put a bit of the “ewww” factor a bit too close to the yumminess of their interaction.

    Daniel’s death offscreen was a disappointment. Where was the big angst-ridden scene, where Jeffrey and Brad fight for the right to comfort Denise? Perhaps it’ll come next week.

    And the costumes at the party…a bit odd, if you ask me. Since there hasn’t been much to put Alan, Denny, and Claire together in the office or courtroom (Alan and Claire, yes, but not the three of them together), the girl group singers didn’t make sense. At least, not in this combination. Last year’s costumes were much better.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    oh, and if there’s not some sort of Shirley/Lincoln story in the future, the writers are off their game. What a perfect pairing that would be!

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Hang on a sec, Joan. I’ll reply to the part I can. Denise told Jeffrey she was off limits, so I don’t exactly see him as a comfort. A bigger dustup would be Brad and Jeffrey since they have never liked each other. There are pre-empts coming so wait to watch!

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Shirley and Lincoln? EWWWW!!!!! He and anybody would be yucky, to put it mildly. BL is depending WAY too much on long arcs for stories.

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