As this final season of Boston Legal progresses, I can’t help but wonder how the series finds its end. The show is a fan of bringing back old lawyers and flames on such a regular basis that I imagine that the end will come with the return of some character, but I can’t quite figure out who yet. I do not however believe that it will be Phoebe, the woman we met a while back whom Alan confessed quite possibly could have been the one and who reappeared tonight.
The episode tonight started off with Denny Crane fast asleep in bed when a knock disturbed him from his slumber. He didn’t recognize it as a knock, just a banging, and thank goodness he was having a sleepover at Alan’s place, because he was able to crawl into Alan’s bed for comfort. The only problem was that Denny apparently didn’t remember where he was but a quick squeeze of Alan laid the truth bare. The squeeze woke Alan, who pointed out to Denny that the banging was a knock on the door and the two men went to see had disturbed their sleep.
Phoebe was there and said her husband had just been arrested for the murder of a nurse he had been having an affair with. She claimed that the affair was over and that her husband never left the house on the night the nurse was murdered, but as he’d definitely been there earlier in the same week, she was quite possibly wrong on the former.
Of course, things on the show are never presented quiet as straightforwardly as that, so Alan’s conversation with Phoebe was repeatedly interrupted by a "monitor" Denny was wearing that made a rooster noise anytime there was a change in flow to Denny’s privates (you’ll recall that Denny had an issue in that arena previously). It was, even for Boston Legal, odd, particularly because while Alan told Denny the sound was coming from him, the show itself didn’t intrinsically make that clear — we only knew the sound was coming from Denny because Alan said so. Alan did convince Denny to put the monitor on vibrate, was certainly good for a few laughs throughout the episode when the sound occurred.
But, back to the case. After the bail hearing didn’t go particularly well, Alan sat down with the defendant, Robert. Bob, as Alan called him despite him not wanting to be called "Bob," was quite clinical in explaining why the affair had only lasted 17 days, why he was at her place earlier in the week, and where he was on the night in question. He seemed very cold and calculated throughout his talk, in fact, he seemed like a killer.
Alan and Denny actually took a visit to the morgue. I suppose it’s something they might do on a regular basis and which we don’t see because there is usually more than one case featured in an episode. They got to see the body and needle mark where the succinylcholine (which mimicked a heart attack) was injected. Denny vibrated repeatedly.
When Alan next sat down with Phoebe, he explained to her the huge odds against them winning the trial. He even made it plain that he didn’t believe her saying that her husband was home that night. She briefly argued that she wanted another attorney, something Denny would have been all for as he had already told Alan that due to Alan’s feelings he shouldn’t be trying the case, but quickly backed off. Phoebe explained that she was going to do whatever she could to keep her family together, even if it meant that she was helping a murderer.
During the trial it came out that the victim had a myriad of men in her life, even her mother wrote her a letter where she called her daughter a "disgraceful, disgusting, whore" and the police acknowledged that the only prints they found of Robert’s in the house were old ones. Even so, there was one witness that saw him there on the night in question and the method of the killing certainly pointed to him. Of course, it could have been Phoebe too.
Phoebe actually changed her story while on the stand, admitting that her husband left the during the night in question. She claimed that her change in testimony was due to a sudden change of heart, but Alan wasn’t so sure. He demanded a recess to try and figure out exactly what was going on, and when he didn’t hear what he wanted from Phoebe, he went to get answers from Robert.
When they came back from a short recess, Alan went after her. He asked if she had been treated for a personality disorder recently. Her response was that she’d never been diagnosed with one. Not really the same thing and Alan called her on it, but she still refused to talk about her medical records. Alan had no choice at that point but to do the old Practice thing and "Plan B" her — he had to accuse her of being the murderer while she was on the stand and thereby create an adequate measure of reasonable doubt.
It all went quite well and she certainly looked guilty, she never even had to lie on the stand, she simply denied all the charges, but I didn’t buy it for a minute. I hope you didn’t either. Robert did commit the murder and the apparent twist in the case had to be Robert and Phoebe playing Alan.
Whatever you and I thought, the jury certainly bought Phoebe’s tale just as much as Alan and returned a not guilty verdict. It was only after the trial was finished that Alan learned that Robert and Phoebe had played him. It was a little obvious and yet still a little sad because Alan did seem to have feelings for her.
Other thoughts and a question:
- The saddest thing of all about the case is that the last two paragraphs above were written before the conclusion of the trial. It really did have too much of a "been there done that" feel to it. Denny claimed to have known it all along at the end of the episode too, and I don’t doubt it.
- The question of the week – I know I’ve mentioned the shrinking size of the cast this season, but tonight we only got Alan and Denny. Where was everybody else? What gives?
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