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TV Review: Boston Legal “World Salad Days”

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During his closing, Alan Shore (James Spader) is interrupted by an objection from opposing counsel. It seems Alan brought up a point not introduced previously. Alan defends it, saying opposing counsel is mistaken. He then begins to throw in a word here and there, words that clearly do not belong in his sentences.

Afterwards, Alan goes to a doctor who says that there is nothing medically wrong with him.

Denny Crane (William Shatner), upon hearing about the “unintelligible gibberish,” says Alan is tied emotionally into past cases (“Smile”, “There’s Fire”, and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”) and he has the perfect solution. He takes Alan to his favorite spa.

The sight of Spader and Shatner in the milk bath together was priceless! Refreshed, the two head out for a walk around the pool where Alan spots a lady he wants to meet. The unintelligible gibberish begins again, and the lady asks a passing waiter for another mojito, throwing the one she is drinking into Alan’s face.

When they are getting massages and facial masks, Alan thanks Denny and tells the two attendants how Denny has been such a good friend, taking him to the mountains when he broke up with his girlfriend, Tara (“Finding Nimmo”).

The friendship is tested, however, in their room when Denny gets upset after Alan says, “Do you know what it’s like to lose your mind?!” Denny immediately thinks Alan has only been sympathetic rather than empathetic to his Alzheimer’s. He begins packing his suitcase in anger, but Alan reminds him Denny is not packing his own clothes, but his!

Later, the two discuss what is really going on. Alan is worried he may be fired, and soon. More importantly, he would miss Denny’s friendship.

Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) defends a man who is in a polygamous relationship with two women. She loses her case, but discovers the opposing counsel is divorced, and he asks her out.

Brad Chase (Mark Valley) has a new case. The company of an old friend of his, Chris Mott (Adrian LaTournelle), is being sued after a boy died playing one of their video games. Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) and Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois) are impressed after Brad introduces his friend. They realize if Brad wins, a lot of money could be brought into the firm.

When they sit down with the boy’s mother, she explains she is a single mother who has to work two jobs to make ends meet. When she left for job number two, her son was only going to play a few more minutes of the video game and then go to bed. When she got home, she went straight to bed because she was exhausted. Brad points out that if she had checked on her son, she might have prevented his death. Brad agrees she was doing the best she could under the circumstances.

In court, opposing counsel says they have a surprise witness. Brad later asks his client about the person. Mott says the man is a psychiatrist who was fired from the company. Brad tries to get his friend to settle, but the man refuses.

In Shirley’s office, Brad explains they are required to turn over a study which shows increased levels of dopamine in the brains of people who play video games. This could be damaging to Brad’s client, Mott, but it is the ethical thing to do.

At trial, Brad pulls out a unique defense. He says he knows someone in rehab, although he does not say Rachel Lewiston by name. He mentions an addiction to video games insults “real” addicts. Paul is second chair, and Brad’s closing argument cannot have gone over well.

Once the case is decided in Brad’s favor, he goes over to the boy’s mother and apologizes for her loss. She responds she is sure he will be sorry when the next child dies.

Back at the firm, Brad asks Paul if he told Rachel hello for him. Paul says yes, and says Rachel will be released in a few weeks. Brad is delighted to hear that. Paul tells him he would appreciate it if he would stay away from Rachel. Brad is surprised at the request, but Paul has a reason for asking. The treatment center advises its patients not to get involved in relationships for a year so they can focus on recovery. Brad does not question Paul, so it’s clear he understands. Is Paul going to keep Rachel away from the firm so she won’t run into Brad?

On the balcony, Alan tells Denny he needs friends, specifically Denny himself. When he sees the iPod in Denny’s ears, he pulls them out and asks if Denny heard a word he’d said. Denny says yes, the sound was never on.

Interesting side note: Rene’s daughter is one of the two women in the polygamy case and her husband is Brad’s client.

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About NancyGail

  • SueB

    Just to clarify, the name of the episode was “WORD Salad Days”, not “World Salad Days”. Alan had a condition called “Word Salad”.

  • http://blogcritics.org Joanie

    Congrats! This article was chosen FOR Advance.net

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    SueB-
    The sites listed the title both ways. I went with the one at the ABC site, because I have found fan sites are infamous for getting details way off. Besides, I figured Alan’s condition was not the focus of the entire episode. Brad’s case was MUCH more dominant.

  • SueB

    Hi, Nancy – Thanks for responding. ABC’s official press release for the episode at abcmedianet.com calls it “Word Salad Days”, although I do see the reference you’re referring to at abc.com. Clearly, one of them is a mistake – Word Salad makes more sense (to me) given Alan’s condition. But I’ll grant you it’s confusing since ABC has it listed both ways.