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"Witches of Mass Destruction" / Season 2, Episode 6
A story of stop-loss, dissent v. disloyalty, Wiccans, Christians, being
flamingos somewhat pretty in pink.
Broadcast: November 1, 2005
Shirley Schmidt and Denise Bauer represent two groups of parents, one
Christian and the other Wiccan -- a pagan religion -- who are suing to get
rid of a school's Halloween pageant for its wicked witch. The Christians
feel their faith is being marginalized by a satanic symbol, and the
Wiccans claim that Halloween images stereotype them - especially after the
school's principal gives a riveting demonstration of her cackling, green
witch. Meanwhile, Garrett Wells takes Cassie (Tamara Feldman), the
paralegal with whom he's involved, to see Alan Shore and ask him to
represent her in suing the U.S. government, to vindicate the death of her
brother, killed in the Iraq war. Shore takes on the unconventional case,
but his friendship with Denny Crane is threatened since Crane strongly
feels that one shouldn't criticize the military while the country is at
war. The strained friendship threatens the annual office Halloween party,
where they both were to dress up as giant flamingoes.
Directed by .... Jim Bagdonas
Written by .... Lawrence Broch & Andrew Kreisberg & Michael Reisz
[1st ep in season 2 not written by DEK]
Derrex Brady .... Corporal Brian Webb
Matt Champagne .... Bob Mathias
Marietta DePrima .... Grace Mathias
Michael Ensign .... Judge Paul Resnick
Tamara Feldman .... Cassie
Henry Gibson .... Judge Clark Brown
Zach Grenier .... U.S. Attorney Chris Randolph
Bob Rumnock .... Jury Forman
David Lee Russek .... Sergeant Jason Hendler
Johnny Sneed .... Sam Sawtelle
Jayne Taini .... Principal Maxine Berleth
Andy Umberger .... Attorney Morrison
Stephanie Venditto .... Evelyn Sawtelle
Alan Shore's closing argument in Judge Clark Brown’s courtroom.
In U.S. Attorney Chris Randolf: In war, any war, there are
casualties. For the family of a victim to sue the army for such a casualty
is not only patently ridiculous its an insult. First it offends the memory
of the soldier who gave his life to defend his country. Worst, it’s an
attack on patriotism and the US Army itself. He enlisted. He was trained
in combat. He assumed the risks of combat. This lawsuit merely represents
a flamboyant attempt to showcase anti-war sentiment. It is wrong, it is
baseless and it’s an affront to every soldier, to every veteran who has
put himself on the line to defend the United States of America.
Especially, primarily the ones who have given their lives to do so.
Alan Shore: First. This is hardly about anti-war sentiments.
Private Elliot was for the war. Personally I was against it, then I was
for it then I was against it again, but that’s just me, I’m a flip
flopper. But whether one is for or against the occupation and let’s assume
judging from your tie one is, that does not exempt the military from a
duty to be honest with its soldiers. Private Elliot was told he’d serve a
year. He was told he wouldn’t see combat! Okay! Unexpected stuff happens
he did see combat. Fine! But, he was sent into combat with insufficient
backup, he was sent in to perform duties for which he was never ever
trained! He wasn’t given the most basic of equipment. And then after his
tour of duty was up they wouldn’t let him leave. He never assumed those
risks by enlisting. Over extended, under equipped, non-trained. He never
signed up for that. And now he’s dead. An aside from his sister, nobody
seems to care. We talk about honoring the troops. How about we honor them
by giving a damn when they’re killed. Our kids are dying over there. In
this country, the people, the media, we all just chug along like nothing
is wrong. We’ll spend a month obsessing about Terri Shivo. But dare we
show the body of a fallen soldier? The most watched cable news station
will spend an hour a night on a missing girl in Aruba, but God forbid we
pay any attention when kids like Private Elliot killed in action…
Judge Clark Brown: You’re off the point.
Alan Shore: I’m not off the point. We’ve had two thousand American
trees fall in that forest over there and we don’t even know it. Not
really. But, maybe we don’t wanna know about our children dying. So lucky
for us this war isn’t really being televised. We’re not seeing images of
soldiers dying in the arms of their comrades, being blown apart on the
streets of Baghdad. But they are! By the thousands! And all the American
public wants to concern itself with is whether Brad and Angelina really
are a couple. At least with Vietnam we all watched and we all go angry!
Judge Clark Brown: What does this have to do with the death of
Alan Shore: Private Elliot is dead in part because we have a people
and a government in denial. We currently have no strategy to fight this
war. We have no timetable for getting out. Some of these troops could be
extended twenty plus years! Their mothers and fathers have to spring for
body armor because the army doesn’t. And they’re getting killed! And we as
a nation in denial are letting them. We simply don’t seem to care. Well
she does. She’s in this courtroom honoring one dead soldier. That’s a
Shirley Schmidt: Did you say... witches?
Brad Chase: Did you know your briefcase is smoking?
Alan Shore: 'Tis the season Brad. Bubble bubble, toil and trouble.
Brad Chase: This is a law firm!
Alan Shore: Thank you for that.
The Boston Legal Trifecta, converging on the O.K. Corral.
Garrett Wells: Mr. Shore? My name is Garrett Wells.
Alan Shore: Sounds like an old western town -- Garrett Wells.
Cassie: My little brother Jeffrey signed up for the National Guard. He
fulfilled his service in Iraq and the Army kept him there under the
Stop-Loss program. It - got him killed.
Brad Chase: Go shine your shoes.
Garrett Wells: I beg your pardon?
Brad Chase: You heard me. Shine your shoes. Now.
Alan Shore: It’s fun to pull rank, isn’t it?
Brad Chase: What you’re doing is an arrogant dismissal of that young
soldier’s ultimate sacrifice. And as somebody who served in the Gulf war –
proudly - when you disrespect our soldiers, you disrespect me. I don’t
[Editor note: Is that a Dole Fruit Cup?]
Attorney Morrison: Your Honor. The defense stipulates, “She’s scary as all
Evelyn Sawtelle: Wiccans care about spreading goodwill and restoring the
natural balance of the world.
Sam Sawtelle: And from you we’re feeling a quiet screaming disharmony.
Denise Bauer: Come again.
Alan Shore: I’m trying on my Halloween costume. What are your thoughts?
Denny Crane: I prefer to be alone. Please leave.
Alan Shore: Why?
Denny Crane: No reason.
Alan Shore: If you were to guess at a reason?
Denny Crane: If I were to guess, I’d say, maybe I don’t wanna socialize
with a pinko, liberal, democrat commie.
Denny Crane: Say what you will about Republicans, we stick to our
convictions, even when we know we’re dead wrong.
Denny Crane: I'm senior partner. I'm asking you - . Check that. I'm
directing you. Drop it.
Alan Shore: No.
Alan and Denny flock
to the CP&S Halloween party. Sara is Secretary of State Condi Rice and
Cowboy Brad can pull off the rugged look very well. Just - please - let's
hope he's not coming as George Bush on vacation
Did You Know... ?
You and Me | Lifehouse
The beautiful song that serenaded the Alan/Denny one true pairing balcony
scene was "You and Me" by Lifehouse [lyrics]:
Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do
Nothing to lose
And it's you and me and all of the people
And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you
Denny: i put the costume on. Looked good. Kept it on. Doesn't mean I
Burn, Baby, Burn
Ever wonder how character names are chosen? Yeah, me, too. And no, I don't
know - but I know how to speculate. In this episode, the Wiccan wife's
name is Evelyn Sawtelle. This was also the name of a character in a 1962
"Night of the Eagle", aka "Burn, Baby, Burn". Plot: "A skeptical
college professor discovers that his wife has been practicing magic for
Inspired by John Doe I v. President Bush?
Could Alan shore be channeling John C. Bonifaz in his case to hold the
government accountable for the death of a soldier? Bonifaz is a
Boston-based attorney who, in 2003, [excerpt from
speakoutnow.org] Bonifaz served as plaintiffs’ lead counsel in John
Doe I v. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to President Bush’s
authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of
war or equivalent action. Bonifaz represented a coalition of US soldiers,
parents of US soldiers, and Members of Congress, arguing that the
president’s planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers
Clause of the US Constitution. [thank you, cymack from
CrooksandLiars.com, for this link]
>> read more
From Military.com, under Trial Programs: "Both the Army and Air National
Guard offer the “Try-One” enlistment option to active duty veterans and
all prior service individuals who are joining or rejoining the Guard for
the first time."
>> read more
The New Army Stop-Loss Program
The stop-loss policy, in the United States military, is the involuntary
retention of troops to remain in service beyond their contractually
agreed-upon term. Stop loss originated during the first Gulf War; the
current policy was enacted in 2001 primarily to fight the War on Terrorism
declared by George W. Bush.
Army expanding 'stop loss' order to keep soldiers from leaving
From USA Today [Jan. 5, 2004] All four service branches have issued
stop-loss orders since then. The Pentagon issued stop- loss orders in
November 2002 for Reserve and National Guard units activated for
the war against terrorism. The orders remain in effect. A stop loss was
issued for active troops in February 2003, but rescinded in May 2003.
>> read more
U.S. Army Public Affairs articles on National Guard Stop-Loss >>
Shirley Schmidt reads Martin Niemöller
Many viewers contacted this site wanting to know more about the passage
Shirley Schmidt read during her closing in the Wiccan/Christian v. School
case. It's a poem that was said to have been written in 1946. For use in
the courtroom, Shirley read from a book entitled "Persecutien of Religien".
Shirley Schmidt: The aim of the law is tolerance. And I could be
wrong but I don't think we ever
ratified persecution under the heading of fun. Let me read you something
Niemöller, a German pastor who opposed the Nazis.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I
was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was
not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because
I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Judge Resnick [Michael Ensign] is back, seen
in Catch and Release 1x3, An Eye for an Eye 1x5 and It Girls and Beyond"
1.13. Michael was in 'Pink Floyd: The Wall' [Ed. note: I have a very good
PF vibe going], LA LAW, a Judge on CSI and was on Alias and Star Trek:
Enterprise and Deep Space 9 and The Next Generation.
2.06 'Witches of Mass Destruction' written by
... coming ...
[Listen to Abney and Dana's conversation about
Witches of Mass Destruction - mp3 download]
Read in the New York Daily News
"Though the courtroom argument was ill-fated, it was heard by millions
more people than ever tune in to "Meet the Press."
The last time a prime-time program dared to question the policies of a
presidential administration and the wisdom of an increasingly drawn-out,
far-flung war, in the late '60s, it was the lone voice of prime-time
dissent. The war was Vietnam, the presidents were Lyndon Baines Johnson
and Richard Nixon, the show was "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," and
siblings Tom and Dick were eventually fired for their efforts and
Ratings Ratings [101
Nov. 1, 2005 "Witches
of Mass Destruction"
#T5; adults 18-49: #9 – coming in after Law and Order SVU but ahead of
Close to Home. A little down compared to last week's Men to Boys -
Households: Tied 4th, adults 18-49: 3.6, #8
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Boston Legal: "Witches of Mass Destruction"
Airdate: November 1, 2005
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November 1, 2005:
Households: #T5; adults 18-49: #9 Source: NTI (Fast Affiliate
James Spader Meeting Place "Witches of Mass Destruction"