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Some of the best moments in Boston Legal‘s past have centered around things Star Trek related. From Denny’s cell phone sounding like a Star Trek communicator to not-too-inside jokes about Trek, the show has done well when it’s gone back to Shatner’s roots. Tonight the show did Trek again, this time with Scott Bakula (who will always be Sam Beckett to me, but some people may remember as the captain on Enterprise) making an appearance.

The show got off to a rockingly good start tonight with a friend of Shirley’s, Andrea, showing up and wanting to get an injunction to block the building of a nuclear power plant in her town. And, she had sex with Denny before the opening credits without Denny even learning her name (apparently he likes that).

The opposing counsel on the suit was Jack Ross (Bakula), who came in like a lawyer from Crane, Poole, and Schmidt would have — snappy quips, sexist remarks, and a few personal attacks on the lawyers he would be facing. It was just bluster to impress Shirley, but it was good bluster. The bluster even continued into the courtroom where we were with goofy Judge Brown, who was none too amused by it.

I’m not normally a fan of Judge Brown, but Andrea was a good counterpoint to him. Her way over-the-top sex drive in and out of the courtroom kept Brown’s antics from seeming as far gone as they usually do. Additionally, possibly even more importantly, as Andrea wasn’t taking her own case too seriously it didn’t matter to me that Judge Brown was going to make some idiotic, nonsensical ruling at the end of the case (and he did, he granted the injunction because his mother lives in the town in question).

At the same time that the case was going on, well, during a recess anyway, Alan got the chance to sleep with Andrea and immediately told Denny about it. Denny, still high on his sexual encounter, wanted to do a little swinging and proposed swapping girls with Alan. Alan was a little worried about seeing Denny naked, which Denny promised that they could manage to avoid (but he didn’t seem against seeing Alan in the buff). Alan brought it up to Andrea as did Denny (separately, of course, as neither knew Andrea was the other person’s encounter), and she was all for it. The three of them had dinner, and when the two men realized what was happening, that there was no fourth woman, Andrea proposed a threesome. It was just too bad for the show that Denny intimated that the Patriots had gone all the way before Alan put the breaks on the whole night. That’s what being too cocky gets you, you leave the big dance without a victory.

The Andrea/Denny/Alan love triangle wasn’t the only one to appear tonight. Jack Ross and Shirley Schmidt were apparently an item (that neither ever quite got over) back in the day. His being on the case caused no small amount of grief to Carl Sack who ended up ending his relationship with Shirley after seeing her and Ross having dinner together. Upon hearing the relationship was over, Shirley, in a fit of rage, fired Carl.

Mainly she was upset that Carl didn’t give her a reason for ending the relationship. Eventually though he acquiesced and explained to her that she wanted someone to complement her life rather than being a part of it. He wanted more, he felt he deserved more, and felt like Shirley deserved more too. He also told Shirley that if she was okay with it he was going to pretend she hadn’t been fired. She seemed to think it fine, and so, happily, we don’t have to say goodbye to Carl Sack quite yet.

It was a good storyline, but sadly it feels as though Shirley has had a ton of "true love" moments in her life and the men all keep popping back up on the show. It happens just a little too often for me to keep buying in or wanting to see more of it. What I’d really like the show to offer is a timeline of Shirley’s love interests, some sort of graphical, visual representation of whom she was with when. It’s getting so complicated that such a timeline would really help out the audience I think. No? Don’t you want one too?

The one other story going on tonight was with Jerry and Katie (yet again there was no Clarence, no Whitney, and Lorraine said maybe three words during the episode). Apparently Jerry told Leigh the negative things Katie said about her when Jerry and Leigh were broken up. Leigh really didn’t like Katie’s unkind words and threatened Katie bodily harm if Katie and Jerry continued to share an office. Over the course of the episode Leigh and Katie went back and forth using Jerry as a ping pong ball. Katie was definitely being treated badly by Leigh, but she should have done her best to leave Jerry out of the problem. In the end, Katie pulled the old "record the crazy woman and play her back to the boyfriend" trick. It worked and Jerry dropped Leigh like a hot potato.

What I want to know is why they bothered to add these characters to the show tonight if they weren’t going to do anything worthwhile. We’ve all seen that plot hundreds of times before, and just because Katie recorded Leigh on an iPhone doesn’t make it new, different, or better. Give me Clarence over that any day, or, better yet, give me Denise Bauer.

Sadly, such things are not to be, and, as we all know, whatever will be will be, and right now what will be be The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews. So, go and be free, but be there or be square.

Posted by:Josh Lasser