Saturday, February 10, 2007

TV Review Boston Legal "Selling Sickness"


If the Hon. Clark Brown (Henry Gibson) requests the services of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, the issue is important. For him, the case is a personal one. Unhappy being gay, he sought professional help. He tells Denny Crane (William Shatner), the firm's most senior founding partner, his minister encouraged him to get in touch with a certain religious group. The person in charge immediately diagnosed him with Same Sex Attraction Disorder and recommended intense Bible study and prayer to "cure" him of the problem.

Right off the bat, I have problems with this case. Although the minister in question could have his doctorate, he's hardly a licensed psychiatrist. What's worse, the label is merely a way for organized religion to try and get rid of something it finds distasteful. In addition, Judge Brown paid $40,000 to get this so-called help!

Denny calls on the help of Alan Shore (James Spader) and Bethany Horowitz (Meredith Eaton-Gilden) as the judge wants to sue for false advertising. Having Bethany aboard makes the judge uneasy, but she tells him her specialty is medical malpractice. It's a bit of a stretch, but the tactic helps. Alan gets on his 'soapbox', and closes with a lengthy argument about selling the idea of being sick for profit. The judge rules in his favor.

Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) is asked by a former client (Ed Begley Jr.) to step in when his niece is touched inappropriately by her rabbi during a counseling session. There is medication which can make people forget traumatic memories. Since the girl's father is a psychiatrist, he is eager to give her this, and she wants to take it. A major sticking point is the unwillingness of her mother to give consent.

Shirley argues successfully the drug is a form of mind control. The judge agrees with her point of a teenager perhaps not understanding the implication of her actions. Permission to medicate denied. It seems to me this case should have been a lawsuit against the rabbi.

Back at the firm, Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) is stunned to realize she is pregnant. However, she has a good idea of who the father could be - Brad Chase (Mark Valley) or Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko). For some reason, she throws out the possibility of Alan Shore, although she slept with him as well.

When she tells Brad and Jeffrey, she also hands them a swab for a paternity test. They agree to it, but Brad immediately gets concerned about what he will do next. Jeffrey reminds him there are two possibilities available.

Jeffrey discusses the situation with Clarence (Gary Anthony Williams), the legal assistant of Claire Simms (Constance Zimmer). Clarence wonders if Jeffrey is scared of what would happen if he were the father, but Jeffrey is more concerned about it NOT being his. Clarence suggests he talk to Denise, and Jeffrey appreciates the advice.

As the results come back, Denise informs Brad he's the father. Jeffrey congratulates them both upon hearing the news, but leaves Denise's office clearly disappointed. I seem to recall Mr. Coho has an offspring of his own. While it's never been explained, I wonder if the child died. This would make Jeffrey perhaps more interested in parenting again.

Brad is none too pleased to hear Denise express a lack of interest in having the baby. He points out aborted kids do not have any future. Denise threatens to get a restraining order if she has to.

Was Brad born blind and selfish? I have a feeling he was more interested in having a carbon copy of himself than anything else. He certainly has little regard for the feelings of Denise. Considering she has told him more than once they wouldn't have a future together, why is he pushing the issue? Brad should have walked away a long time ago.

This episode got back to what Boston Legal is supposed to be about, trying cases. The judges could stand a bit more decorum, since at times they are worse than the lawyers. Speaking of which, Clarence surely has a last name. It needs to be said aloud sometime.

NancyGail writes from her home in Georgia.

1 comment:

Phyllis said...

Good for people to know.