'Boston Legal': Sometimes you have to lose to win

Williamshatner_bostonlegal_s4_240I don't think that any episode of Boston Legal has started quite as awkwardly as tonight's did. It featured Denny and Jerry out for a drink. Denny has never been, as you may recall, a fan of Jerry. However, he and Jerry were out having a drink because Jerry wanted Denny's support when he next came up for partner. Denny wasn't quite sure he wanted to support Jerry in the bid, but never got to give a definitive answer before being "forced" to fire his gun three times into the man who tried to mug them.

You might think it would be okay for Denny to shoot a man for such a reason (I, myself, have doubts), but the cops arrested him the next morning anyway. The charge was carrying a concealed firearm. The officers realized that Denny stopped a mugging, didn't take any shots above knee-level, and helped them catch a bad guy, but it wasn't their call.

You might next think that Denny would want Alan to represent him, but you'd be wrong there too. Denny apparently figured that Alan was a little too "anti-gun" and Carl ended up in first chair. Denny actually gave Jerry second chair, as something of a test.

The basic question of the case -- according to the D.A.'s office -- was whether Denny illegally concealed the gun (he did not have a carry permit) on the night in question. Denny, of course, did. But Carl, Jerry, and Denny still had to try their level best to obfuscate that fact. As Carl told Shirley about halfway through the show -- they really didn't have a defense at all.

Denny and Carl certainly did their best to get Denny off, but Jerry went a little bit off the reservation during his closing. He was peppy and exciting and pretty much argued that Denny was incredibly wrong. Jerry went off on the Supreme Court doing whatever was politically advantageous for them, and McCain and Obama changing their tune to suit their political dreams as well. It was one of the most fun closings Boston Legal has put on in a long time, and while I certainly thought it proved the prosecutor's point, Denny was happy with it, but Denny had a plan.

After the closing, Jerry tried to tell Carl that Denny needed to lose the case, that was pretty much Denny's plan all along. It was also why Denny was thrilled with what Jerry did. Denny wanted to lose so that he could keep appealing the case until it finally arrived at the Supreme Court because, he figured, they would change the law, and that was what Denny wanted.

Sadly for Denny, and possibly Jerry's chances at becoming partner, they won the case. Denny was off the hook for completely disobeying the law and the case was not going to go to the Supreme Court. Maybe they'll have better luck next time.

Alan tonight was visited by Joanna the sex surrogate. Her ex-husband was suing her for full custody and, understandably, Joanna didn't want that. The ex-husband's basic notion was that Joanna's being a sex surrogate wasn't sending an appropriate message to their child and that Joanna's influence was a bad one.

The basic argument Alan used started with the fact that Joanna spent very little of her time doing sexual things with clients (less than 15 percent). It went from there to pointing out that it might actually help Joanna's daughter to have someone in the house that can initiate intelligent conversations about appropriate sexual behavior. Both good ideas, but I don't know that I'd buy the first one.

As with all custody cases, a lot of it was going to come down to what the daughter in question thought. The judge sat with the girl, Daniella, in chambers and asked her about her mom's job and what she, Daniella knew about it. Daniella knew a lot and seemed unphased by it. Daniella quite clearly thought of her mom as just a plain old mom. The judge even asked Daniella who she would rather live with, but we didn't get to see the answer to that question.

Alan's closing tonight was pretty typical Alan, and while perfectly interesting, it was certainly left in the dust by Jerry's closing earlier in the episode. The judge didn't let Alan finish his speech before announcing that she was going to keep the joint custody agreement in place. I don't think it was the fact that she was impressed by the closing that led to the judgment, I think the result was much more due to Daniella's answers to the judge's questions.

Joanna wasn't only worried about her daughter tonight, she was also worried about Alan. She decided after their first meeting with opposing counsel that Alan was turning into a rather sexist individual who couldn't relate to a woman in any way but a sexual one.

The notion worried Alan, and he tried to talk to Denny about it. Yes, it was a foolish idea because Denny's notions on everything are at best silly and at worst highly offensive, but he did it anyway. After Alan tried to convince Joanna that he wasn't sexist, he went to Shirley to ask her what she thought. Her response was that she quite liked him, but that he was unquestionably lecherous.

By the balcony scene at the end of the episode, Alan admitted to Denny that, depending on the definition, he might be sexist. Alan acknowledged that the first thought he has when he sees a woman is always about sex, but that he also believes that women are no less than equal to men. Consequently, Alan decided that the way in which he was sexist didn't necessarily make him a bad person (Denny was pretty convinced it made him a good one), and the evening ended in a puff of cigar smoke.

Thoughts and maybe a question:

  • Tonight was one of those episodes where I really wanted to see Denny lose. What he did was illegal, unquestionably, but I think it would be fun to see them go before the Supreme Court once more before the end of the series.
  • What do you think -- will Jerry make partner? Or, perhaps a better question -- should Jerry make partner?

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