BOSTON LEGAL: SMOKE SIGNALS {FIFTH SEASON PREMIERE} (TV)

Summary

The fifth season premiere in this darkly comic series focusing on a firm of brilliant but emotionally-challenged attorneys in Boston. In this episode, Denny and Alan take advantage of their new Coast Guard status to party with some attractive women on a boat, and Bethany later approaches Alan to request his help with her long-delayed wrongful death case against the powerful AB Curtis tobacco company. The firm's partners sternly warn Alan that he cannot expect to win against the tobacco industry, known for its aggressive litigation tactics, but Alan proceeds with the case and is startled to see that the lead defense attorney is his ex, Phoebe Prentice. Phoebe immediately tries to delay the case again, though Judge Milton Brody grants her only one extra day, and when Alan observes that Denny seems entirely disinterested in the case, Denny tragically admits that "his junk failed him" while on the yacht.

Carl reminds Alan that he must settle if Phoebe makes an offer, and Denny begs Shirley to use her secret cheerleader's outfit to "help" his problem. Bethany is outraged when Alan, feeling that he can win the case on emotions alone, plans to call only two witnesses, and Phoebe soon visits with an offer to settle for $140,000. When he criticizes her choice to represent a morally bankrupt company like AB Curtis, saying that she has changed since their time together, she counters that he has lost his passion and now appears "deadened." Rattled, Alan rejects her offer, and the plaintiff, Maureen Rhodes, later takes the stand to explain how her father died a terrible death from lung cancer after repeatedly trying and failing to break his fifty-year smoking addiction. Alan is angered when Denny takes a phone call in the middle of her testimony, and on cross-examination, Phoebe tries to suggest that Maureen's father's cancer could have been caused by any number of alternate factors, like radon exposure or genetics. Alan furiously upbraids Denny for his unprofessional behavior in court and finally suggests that his "mad cow" caused his impotence, then sadly admitting that he too once "failed" with Phoebe, who loved him less than he did her.

The AB Curtis CEO protests that his company displays plenty of "corporate conscience," but Jerry coldly points out that their so-called anti-smoking campaigns have been proven to contain subtle reverse-psychological tactics aimed at teenagers. Alan, distracted by daydreams of what might have been with Phoebe, admits to Denny that he is afraid that her comments about his lack of passion are true. Denny, however, points out that Alan has a flair for powerful, convincing closing arguments, and Alan later delivers an emotional speech about the tobacco's industry's insidious, amoral tactics for getting customers hooked on cigarettes, urging the jurors to do what politicians, who benefit financially from the powerful companies, refuse to do and regulate their deadly products. Maureen is stunned when the jury quickly returns and finds in her favor to the tune of $600,000 in compensatory damages and $213 million in punitive damages. Stunned by the unprecedented loss, Phoebe assures Alan that Curtis will appeal the decision, and they bid one another a sad farewell. Later, on the balcony, Alan remarks upon the irony of celebrating his win with cigars, as ever, and when Denny finds the Shirley has caved and sent him the cheerleader's uniform, he ecstatically declares himself to be "cured" as Alan urges him to "romance her a little." Includes commercials and promos.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: September 22, 2008 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:08
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 113123
  • GENRE: Comedy
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 2004-2008
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Alliance for Climate Protection^TV - Commercials - Dyson vacuum cleaners^TV - Commercials - "Boston Legal" home video^TV - Commercials - Claritin allergy medication^TV - Commercials - K-Mart stores^TV - Commercials - Sprint communications^TV - Commercials - Mazda automobiles^TV - Commercials - Audi automobiles^TV - Commercials - Kohl's stores^TV - Commercials - MasterCard credit cards^TV - Commercials - "Miracle at St. Anna" motion picture^TV - Commercials - Allstate insurance^TV - Commercials - Verizon Wireless cellular services^TV - Commercials - Advair asthma medication^TV - Commercials - Enterprise Rent-a-Car services^TV - Commercials - Ethan Allen stores^TV - Commercials - Windows computers^TV - Commercials - Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch cereal^TV - Commercials - Lexus automobiles^TV - Commercials - Conservation.org website^TV - Commercials - Girl Scouts of America organization^TV - Commercials - Federal Student Aid financial services^TV - Commercials - Kia automobiles^TV - Commercials - Yoplait Yo Plus yogurt^TV - Commercials - USO organization^TV - Promos - "Opportunity Knocks"^TV - Promos - "David Blaine: Dive of Death"^TV - Promos - "Desperate Housewives"^TV - Promos - "Grey's Anatomy"^TV - Promos - "Boston Legal"

CREDITS

    • Lawrence Broch … Executive Producer
    • Mike Listo … Executive Producer
    • Bill D'Elia … Executive Producer, Director
    • David E. Kelley … Executive Producer, Created by, Writer
    • Susan Dickes … Co-Executive Producer
    • Steve Robin … Supervising Producer
    • Janet Knutsen McCann … Producer
    • Anne M. Uemura … Co-Producer
    • Sanford Golden … Co-Producer
    • Karen Wyscarver … Co-Producer
    • Den Menchaca … Associate Producer
    • Robert Breech … Consulting Producer
    • Danny Lux … Music by
    • James Spader … Cast, Alan Shore
    • John Larroquette … Cast, Carl Sack
    • Christian Clemenson … Cast, Jerry Espenson
    • Tara Summers … Cast, Katie Lloyd
    • Candice Bergen … Cast, Shirley Schmidt
    • William Shatner … Cast, Denny Crane
    • Meredith Eaton … Cast, Bethany Horowitz
    • William Daniels … Cast, Judge Milton Brody
    • Wendy Gazelle … Cast, Maureen Rhodes
    • Paul Collins … Cast, Lance Buttram
    • Ally Walker … Cast, Phoebe Prentice
    • Peter Lewis … Cast, Dr. Christie
    • Christine Scott Bennett … Cast, Woman
    • Takayo Fischer … Cast, Clerk
    • Brian Hatton … Cast, Foreman
    • Mark Edward Smith … Cast, Bailiff