If James Spader doesn’t win a third consecutive Best Actor Emmy on the basis on tonight’s episode of Boston Legal there’s no justice in the universe. It’s that simple.
Tonight was one of the more dramatic outings for Boston Legal. The partnership selection. The legal wranglings in the case of a cancer drug test. And Hands’ nervous breakdown. The comedy in tonight’s episode was limited mainly to Denny Crane’s sexual adventures — first in the coat closet at a swank hotel, later on the desk of his office. Past that, pure drama.
Toward the end of last season we began to see the outlines of a war brewing inside the firm of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. Tonight, we may have had the first shot across the bow as Alan Shore took on Shirley Schmidt. I can’t imagine that next week, when Hands goes to court, that the stakes inside the firm will have ratcheted down any.
Tonight’s episode really forced me to ask, Why does the firm keep Alan Shore around? There’s a rainmaker aspect, certainly, though we’ve seen little of that beyond being told that Alan brings in the business. (Indeed, that was why he went to war with Young, Frutt, and Berlutti on The Practice‘s last season.) And he has his uses, such as the times when Paul uses Alan to do the dirty things that suit no one else in the firm. But while Alan may have been justified morally in his actions before the partnership, his action at the end of the episode will certainly drive a deeper rift between Alan and the firm.
While this was a great episode, it wasn’t a great standalone episode. It put too many balls into play, and the stories it began saw no resolution as the episode wound down. Next week can’t come too soon. 🙂