Jamesspader_bostonlegal_s4_240 You know what I think of when I think of Boston Legal? I think of courts and trials. I think of judges and juries. However, there was no court case tonight. There may have been a bunch of judges and a jury, but that’s only because there was a friend-filled Thanksgiving dinner at Shirley Schmidt’s.

That’s right, there was no court case. Instead, with just a few episodes left in the series, we learned that Crane, Poole, and Schmidt was going broke. Belly up. Bankrupt. What could they do (not that they all knew, but go with me)? They all celebrated Thanksgiving together. All the usual suspects were there, and even Melvin Palmer, Edwin Poole, and Poole’s new foster child showed.

I have to say, Shirley has quite the digs, not that I would have expected any less. There really wasn’t a lot of furniture in the place, which I thought odd, but maybe Shirley is more of a minimalist than I pictured her to be. Either that or she sold everything in order to help keep the firm afloat. Nah… that couldn’t be it. Maybe she had just broken everything as part of her case of nerves hosting a party. Yup, that seems more likely.

The dinner itself was a hoot. It was a hoot before it even began. Alan wanted to say grace, but Denny objected when Alan instantly invoked God (Alan not believing in Denny’s version of God), and grace disappeared. Then, as the food was starting to be passed, Alan said something about the firm’s systemic racism (it came up due to an insensitive remark Denny made about Poole’s African-American ward). Alan then ranted, raved, and spouted facts as though he were delivering a closing.

Shirley booted him from the house, or at least she should have booted him. She tried to boot him. She asked him to leave, but Carl didn’t let her carry out the order. Looking at Shirley you could just tell that she was itching to let everyone know that the firm was going under.

Edwin went so far, when asked by Alan what was going on with him, to refer to his "economic Armageddon." Shirley compounded Edwin’s semi-bean spilling by referring to that as a secret, and naturally Alan wanted in. And that is where things went bad. Very bad.

Over the course of the next few minutes Jerry went off on Katie, saying things it would be difficult to take back, and then Denny forgot that it was Thanksgiving. He thought it was his birthday and that he and Shirley were, perhaps, still together.

I ask you, do we really need that many possible storyline finales thrown into this episode, and did those two particular ones have to come back to back? The show has known for an awfully long time that this abbreviated season would be it for them, they didn’t have to cram everything into one holiday turkey of an episode.

Maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but at that moment it certainly felt like it.

In the scenes that followed the show tried to take bits and pieces of those moments back. Denny minimized his issue, and Alan said that it was unlikely that Denny would develop a serious problem from his mad cow before dying of old age. They weren’t minimizing the problem so much as putting it into perspective. Jerry, as we knew he would, apologized to Katie. He even announced his love for her. She was taken aback by that. Seriously. I kid you not, she didn’t realize how Jerry felt about her. Do you think she was just too close to the issue?

So, with nothing better to do, they all went back to the table and it took about two seconds for Denny to point out that Edwin, being mentally unbalanced, ought not be allowed by the government to raise a child. Edwin got frustrated and hinted at the bankruptcy again. Then Shirley got all sentimental about this being her first dinner without her father, she got up from the table (again) and Edwin finally let the bankruptcy cat out of the bag.

Alan was more than a little perturbed. You can understand why, the man is, after all, a partner in the firm, but he seemed more perturbed than Denny who ought to have been pissed at never having been informed. Eventually Denny did get pissed, but he seemed just as angry that Carl was dating Shirley as he was that the firm he had put his blood, sweat, and tears into was tanking. It took Carl’s revealing an engagement ring to Denny to shut him up.

Well, that at least explained why Carl was so moody about not having the quiet evening at home with Shirley that he had hoped for. By that point in the show, Carl had decided he wasn’t going to pop the question, the timing wasn’t really great, but Alan, Denny, and Edwin all suggested that he do it anyway. They wanted him to be happy which showed how much of a family the folks at the firm are. I don’t think that it was really appropriate for Denny to show Shirley the ring and propose (with some help from Alan) on Carl’s behalf, but it was sort of sweet.

And there the episode ended.

Oh come on, Boston Legal doesn’t do that sort of thing. She said "yes," and was all happy. Dessert was then served and everyone was happy. I guess they forgot the firm was going under. Either that or Alan’s closing speech during dessert put them all to sleep.

Alan and Denny did end up on the balcony back at the firm after dinner, which I liked, but even that conversation (which revolved mostly around Denny’s illness) didn’t do much to save an episode that could have been better. I like the idea behind this episode — the firm’s Thanksgiving dinner, I just would have done it differently. I don’t know how, but I would have.

That is, of course, the question of the week — if you were doing a Crane, Poole, and Schmidt Thanksgiving, would you have done it this way? I think maybe they needed some sort of kangaroo court setup at Shirley’s.

The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews – pecan pie.

Posted by:Josh Lasser