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"Helping Hands" / Season 2, Episode 12
A story of helicopter parents, Asperger's Disorder, geckos named Linda,
the mambo, a Chinese wall, The Schmidt and "Bev Crane!"
January 17, 2006
Daniel Post (Michael J. Fox) convinces his new love, Denise Bauer, that he
should second-chair in her case against overbearing parents who harass
their teenaged daughter's teacher. Meanwhile, Shirley Schmidt makes life
difficult for Alan Shore as he prepares his defense of Jerry "Hands"
Espenson (Christian Clemenson), the firm's brilliant but quirky attorney
who held a cake knife to Shirley's throat. And the partners at Crane,
Poole and Schmidt worry about Denny Crane's impending nuptials and the
kind of influence his future wife, Beverly Bridge (Joanna Cassidy), could
have over the firm.
Directed by .... Bill D'Elia
Written by .... Phoef Sutton & Andrew Kreisberg
Lou Beatty Jr. .... Judge Gordon Kolodny
Veronica Cartwright .... Judge Peggy Zeder
Joanna Cassidy .... Beverly Bridge
Christian Clemenson .... Jerry Espenson
Kelly Connell .... Attorney John Hoberg
Marisa Coughlan .... Melissa Hughes
Takayo Fischer .... Clerk
Michael J. Fox .... Daniel Post
Megan Gallagher .... Gigi Gering
Currie Graham .... A.D.A. Frank Ginsberg
Michael Kostroff .... Dr. David Cannon
Konstantina Mallios .... Receptionist
Robert Frank Telfer .... Man
Audrey Wasilewski .... Traci Carpenter
The Gecko .... Linda
Set Photographer: Vivian Zink
Set Photos taken October 27-29, 2005
© 2005 ABC, INC.
Denny Crane and Beverly Bridges, singing: Iíve had the time of my life.
Iíve never felt this way before. Yes I swear, itís the truth. And I owe it
all the you Ďcause I had the time of my life. Iíve never felt
this way before. And I owe it all before. You, you, you, you, you.
Alan Shore: Your Honor! This incident was an aberration. Mr Espenson is an
upstanding member of his community, is not a danger to society, and he has
a family counting on him at home. He has dependants. Her name is Linda.
A.D.A Frank Gingsberg: Your Honor. Let the record show that Linda is a
Shirley Schmidt: Understand that everyone at the firm is considered a
witness. Donít expect anyone to help you. Or speak to you.
Alan Shore: And wonít that make for a refreshing change?
Daniel Post: Daniel Post.
Denny Crane: Denny Crane.
Daniel Post: Iím a client.
Denny Crane: Iím a partner.
Daniel Post: CEO, Christberg and Phelem.
Denny Crane: My name is on the door.
Daniel Post: I love the office.
Denny Crane: Thank you. I love your hair.
Daniel Post: I got a plane.
Alan Shore: But you are guilty, Jerry. A whole office full of people saw
you do it. One of the junior associates took a video of you on his cell
phone. Heís thinking of entering it in a film festival.
Jerry Espenson: No plea bargain!
Did You Know... ?
"Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile" by Warren Zevon
Zevon wrote this haunting and beautiful song while he was dying of lung
"If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile."
Real Rhapsody video [must have the real player installed]
Helping Hands v. Star Trek: Trek in the Courtroom
Explore the themes and similarities between this episode and the Trek
Captain of the Ship
Star Trek Alumni
>> Details and images [pdf]
2.12 "Helping Hands" written by
So - despite snapping and holding Shirley Schmidt to within an inch
(quite literally) of her life, Jerry Espenson still comes off to me as,
ultimately a likable character. Sure, a bit "awkward ... unsociable"
like his record from Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, but not the monster
Shirley tried to make him out to be to get her own brand of justice and
revenge thrown into a blender. Everyone has a history, and nobody is the
way they are for no reason at all. In Jerry's case, he has serious
issues with his father as well as a difficult to understand syndrome
that causes him to behave in the eccentric way he does. That doesn't
make right what he did to Shirley - but is he deserving of the legal
attack he was met with?
Revealing from this story is more in the convoluted (in an excellent
way, of course) character that is Alan Shore. More and more he's showing
one of his most reliable traits to be compassion, and yet he seems to
always be detested by those around him. Some people see through his
shell, but, despite all of his actions helping people he need not help,
most still see him the same way. Which is tragic, because there is so
much more to the man, as this episode showed. He had plenty of
opportunities to throw in the towel, but that isn't in his nature; he's
a fighter at heart. He doesn't give up. Which is why, while against all
legal advice, he understood Jerry's need to fight the charges brought
against him. Neither of them were willing to settle, and both of them
would rather go down swinging, knowing they had tried everything they
Interestingly enough, Shirley displayed a similar tenacity - on the
offensive rather than the defensive. Since she first walked through the
doors of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, she has shown herself to be an
immensely powerful woman, capable of doing what some would say are
horrible, ruthless things (firing Sally?) to maintain her business'
integrity and functionality. Never has this woman been vulnerable, not
even around Denny, a person with whom her alluded-to past has become
something of a running joke. Never until now. It's ironic then, that
someone such as Jerry, whom she herself believed to be unworthy of
partnership within the firm, is the person to get to her, to make her
feel fear for the first time in what was probably a very long time. She
has lived in an environment where she is top dog for so long to be
threatened so suddenly and so violently the way she was gave us an
interesting look at the inner workings of Shirley Schmidt.
However, while she did show an unprecedented amount of vulnerability as
a result of these circumstances, that is not to say she is not the same
balls-of-steel woman she was before. She is very capable inside a
courtroom - on the stand as well as in front of as she proved in this
episode, taking the wind right from Alan's sails when she prevented him
from making his point about Jerry's excellent work for Crane, Poole, and
Schmidt as dramatically as he would have liked. She realized the
weakness she was showing and was determined to erase any doubt that she
is the same strong woman she has always been.
Ultimately, this was a story of determination. Having the will to do
what you need to do, when you need to do it. Alan and Jerry demonstrated
this throughout Jerry's case, inside the court room and out. Daniel
showed it as well, proving that even a dead man can win a court case if
he's charming enough. Perhaps the most interesting example of all this
however is Denise. "Why is she getting involved with a dead man?" is a
question I asked myself as Daniel asked her flat-out, and I haven't been
able to come up with a reasonable answer. I don't think she has been
able to either. For now, I think it is sufficient for her to deny the
truth. But behind everyone's back, she still has hope. Because no matter
how many times Daniel calls himself a dead man, she refuses to believe
this to be true. She will continue looking for a cure until Daniel's
final breath. She won't surrender.
- The instant rapport between Denny and Daniel was fun to watch on
screen, and very believable given the personality of each. Plus Denise's
reaction was just priceless, since I take it almost no one (other than
perhaps Alan) has been able to connect with Denny so rapidly.
-The mambo dancing was lovely. I think I can just leave it at that, no
need to mention three little letters (OTP anyone?)...
-"Let's stop the badgering". At first I though Daniel was just hurting
Denise's case rather than sitting in on it until I realized what their
plan was, and it was a devilishly clever one that got the point across
in a tangible way. I can't say whether or not ACTUAL lawyers do things
like that, but I know it was interesting to see pulled off.
-I liked when Alan accused the prosecution in Jerry's case of charging
Mr. Espenson with everything "short of the Lindbergh kidnapping". That
was a nice touch.
- Bev and Denny singing karaoke. I mean ... c'mon. "Time of My Life"?
Seriously? I mean, really? I've seen Flashdance enough times to know
that no one should sing that song, especially not these two.
- Paul and Denny arguing over the new prenup -- while I do love the
antagonism Paul brings to the firm, what was 'bad' about this scenario
was the flimsy analogy. Deckhand? Captain? In my opinion, they took it a
bit too far.
- The whole issue of 'helicopter parents'. I guess I could say I have a
unique perspective on this issue as many of my peers have parents like
this, and I'll tell you the truth -- in many cases, television
exaggerates things to the point where they are often unrecognizable.
This was NOT one of those times. There really ARE parents like that;
whether or not you believe they are doing a disservice to their children
and to educators is your personal belief, but I find it difficult to
think that such an attitude towards your child's growth can only hinder
him or her, no matter how noble your intentions.
- Daniel's little morbid 'Make-a-Wish Foundation' joke. He crosses this
line a lot though; it's definitely a good thing he's such an endearing
- "The Schmidt". 'Nuff said.
Ratings Ratings [101
Jan. 17, 2005 "Helping Hands"
Households: 7.9/13, #6; adults 18-49: 3.3, #7 with 11.8 mil viewers; BL rated
higher than its Commander in Chief lead in [households: 7.3/11, #7; adults
18-49: 2.5, #T10] and partially better than its competition, the premiere of
CBS' "Love Monkey" [households: 5.9/10, #8; adults 18-49: 3.5, #6]. L&O:SVU
scored higher as usual.
Watch scenes from Michael J. Fox's "Helping Hands" storyline (14:08) wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads [Part 3-4 coming]
Watch the "Helping Hands" preview (:40)
Airdate: January 17, 2006
wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads
Boston Illegal Radio
"Trek in the Courtroom: Helping Hands" mp3 download [16 min; 5 mb]
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January 17, 2006:
Households: 7.9/13, #6; adults 18-49: 3.3, #7 with 11.8 mil viewers