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Boston Legal: Season 1, Episode 7 - "Questionable Characters"

Boston Legal: James Spader, William Shatner, Mark Valley, Monica Potter, Rhona Mitra

Episode Credits  |  Dialogue  |  Did You Know... ?  |  Reviews  |  News & Ratings

Episode Summary

Questionable Characters / Season 1, Episode 7
First broadcast: November 21, 2004
A story of being lost, a shot informant, a slum lord, Denny in the slammer , one-legged lovers, serial hair-sniffing, Tara and Alan are late and Red Sox Nation

Lori takes the case of Michael Shea, her former informant when she was an A.D.A., who was shot while robbing a convenience store. She faces a legal and moral dilemma when she argues that the bullet not be removed - despite the fact that this could endanger his life - on the grounds that it could incriminate him. Meanwhile, Shore takes the case of Walter Mack, a man accused of being a slum lord, and is irate when the judge decides to get creative in his sentencing.

Episode Credits

Directed by ... Mel Damski
Written by ... Lukas Reiter
Rene Auberjonois ... Paul Lewiston
Henry Gibson ... Judge Clark Brown
Willie Carpenter ... Walter Mack
Bruno Campos ... A.D.A. Mark Wills
Jon Bernthal ... Michael Shea
Nike Doukas ... A.D.A. Allison Hayes
Nancy Stephens ... Judge Wilcox
Scott Alan Smith ... Dr. Randall
Shawn Michael Patrick ... Dr. Kodash
Marshall Manesh ... George Keene
Hildy Brooks ... Chairwoman Nora Lang
Sue Ozeran ... Esther Brown
Laura Henry ... clerk
James Howell ... police officer
Rebecca Lin ... receptionist
Nigel Gibbs ... court officer
Reggie De Morton ... tenant no. 1
Roberto Montesinos ... tenant no. 2
Diane Sellers ... tenant no. 3
Gregor Manns ... tenant no. 4

Episode Dialogue

Alan Shore: Morning. Tara, looking even lovelier than ever.


Judge Clark Brown: I donít like this. Your office gets behind, so you just let criminals walk?
Alan Shore: Itís reassuring to see that you havenít formed any conclusions about my clientís guilt or innocence.
Judge Clark Brown: You know what my mother always says? If it smells funny, Iím not eating it.
Alan Shore: Exact opposite of my motto.


Denny Crane: You look upset. I can tell these things. Iím a people person.
Alan Shore: Ever appear before a raving loon named Clark Brown?
Denny Crane: Oh, many a time. Raving loon. 70 years old, still lives with his mother.


Lori Colson: He said the bullet could puncture the heart wall. What are you saying? That itís all right to walk around with a nine-millimeter slug in your chest?
Paul Lewiston: Well, as you know, my policy is to always remove bullets immediately after Iím shot.

Denny Crane: There are two things I hoped to experience in my lifetime that I was sure I never would. The first was the Red Sox winning the World Series. Then when that happened, I thought ďBy God, I should experience the other.Ē
Alan Shore: The other being a hooker?
Denny Crane: No. I didnít know she was a prostitute. The other was sex with a one-legged woman.


Alan Shore: The Red Sox make us lose ourselves. And in the wake of that team giving us what our hearts have yearned for all our lives, our parentsí and grandparentsí lives, we have fallen victim to a delirium that makes us believe anything, anything is possible. Including, but not limited to the notion that God put a fetching, one-legged woman in this manís path to commemorate the end of a wretched, horrid curse.


Judge Clark Brown: Do you know what my mother would call you? A namby-pamby. Weak and spineless. Belly-aching about some trumped-up medical excuse. Well, your guyís in violation of his sentence.


Paul Lewiston: Itís not my habit to ambush colleagues in the middle of a proceeding. But you gave me no choice, Alan. I cannot allow an associate to declare war on behalf of this firm. Certainly not against a highly influential jurist.
Alan Shore: Iím giving notice. I believe two weeks is standard. Now step aside, Paul, before I push you to the ground and go to the bathroom on you.


Judge Clark Brown: I donít see a defendant, Mr. Shore.
Alan Shore: Iím sure we can drum one up. The building is teeming with them.


Denny Crane: I heard about your run-in with Paul Lewiston. Did you really threaten to pee on him?
Alan Shore: Forgive me, Denny. Iím not in my usual good humor.
Denny Crane: He never wanted you here from day one. That in mind, you can leave and give him the victory heís aiming for. Or you can stay. Your very presence torturing him, hour after hour, day after day. Thatís what I do. He turns to leave and stops at the door. For the record, I hate sentiment. But before you got here I was beginning to loathe this place.


Lori Colson: Donít be glib with me. Tara adores you. Of course sheís gonna follow your lead until one day she slips up, somehow blows it, and her career is over.
Alan Shore: And yet here I sit, years of evildoing under my belt, and still a happy camper.
Lori Colson: I suppose youíre the exception. But to what end? I mean, you conspire to conceal evidence? You take on a judge to help out a slumlord. You know, sometimes youíre in the right, Alan. But other times it seems like you just canít control yourself. I think youíre lost.


Denny Crane: Oooh. Iím the one thatís lost, Alan.
Alan Shore: How so?
Denny Crane: Empty, I should say. All my life I wanted the Red Sox to win the World Series. It was like a quest, you know? Something burning inside. And now the bastards have done it. And I feel likeóI donít knowólike my pilot light went out.


Denny Crane: Is it really made of ash?
Sarah: I think so.
Denny Crane: Give you any trouble dancing?
Sarah: Not a bit.
Denny Crane: Maybe we could go dancing later.
Sarah: Iíd love that.

Did You Know... ?

Bad Luck
The convenience store owner who shot Michael Shea was the same actor that Catherine Piper robbed in 2x13, "Too Much Information", whom Alan bribed with a BMW.  Thanks to Sue for noticing this.


Episode Reviews

None at this time

Episode News


From the ABC Press Release:
Fast Facts for Sunday, November 21, 2004 (Based on Fast Affiliate Ratings)
ABC is No. 1 on Sunday for the Fourth Consecutive Week, Marking its
Highest Adult 18-49 Rating with Regular Programming on the Night in 4 Years
"Boston Legal" Achieves a Series High Rating among Adults 18-49. Among Adults 18-49, ABC marked its highest-rated Sunday with regularly scheduled programming on the night in 4 years - since 11/12/00. "Boston Legal" ranked No. 1 in the 10 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49 (5.3/13). The show also took first in the time slot across the Men demographics: Men 18-34 (3.3/10), Men 18-49 (4.2/11) and Men 25-54 (5.0/12).

From TVTracker.com
"Led by Desperate Housewives, ABC's combination of America's Funniest Home Videos (#4: 5.5/ 9 at 7 p.m.), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 10.6/15 at 8 p.m.), the aforementioned Housewives, and Boston Legal (#2: 9.1/14 at 10 p.m.) not only led the evening in the overnights, but is expected to rank first overall in total viewers and adults 18-49 once the nationals are released. Although Boston Legal managed to lose to NBC's competing Crossing Jordan (#1: 9.9/15) by 8 percent in the overnights, expect a No. 1 finish among adults 18-49 thanks to its Desperate Housewives lead-in."

For the week ending November 22, 2004, Boston Legal was ranked #23 of 106 shows, with 12.0mm viewers.
Season to date it has an average ranking of #26 of 133 shows, with an average viewership of 11.8mm.
Other stats:
Crossing Jordan: Ranked # 19 14.0mm viewers
Desperate Housewives: Ranked #2 24.2mm viewers
L&O:Criminal Intent: Ranked #21 13.5mm viewers
[Thank you, Kitkat]

From Anais, explaining how ratings change over the days:
Here's a prime example of how rating numbers change within one source.

From Variety.com at 10:13am, 11/22/04

From 9 to 10, "Desperate Housewives" (11/24 in adults 18-49, 14.6 million viewers overall) was a tick off its series high in 18-49, beating the other four broadcast networks combined in the demo. The Alphabet also looked good at 7 with "America's Funniest Home Videos" (3.2/9 in adults 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), dominated at 8 with "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (7.5/18 in adults 18-49, 18.2 million viewers overall) and was solid at 10 with "Boston Legal" (projected 5.1/13 in adults 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall).

On DH, I think they goofed and the fast number was really 24.6

Later that afternoon over at Variety, a half million BL viewers appear -

Also for ABC, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" grabbed its second best Nielsens to date (prelim 7.5/18 in 18-49, 18.2 million viewers overall), "America's Funniest Home Videos" kicked off the night with its highest scores of the season (prelim 3.2/9 in 18-49, 9.6m) and "Boston Legal" was solid at 10 (prelim 5.3/13 in 18-49, 12.8m).

Then on the 23rd:

Also setting some season highs were Tuesday comedy "Rodney" (3.8/9 in 18-49, 10.13m) and Sunday's "Boston Legal" (5.0/12 in 18-49, 12.04m) and "America's Funniest Home Videos" (3.0/8, 9.10m).

The first set of numbers are projections and the second set is preliminary. The number on the 23rd is most likely the final number.


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Read the episode, transcribed by OLucy: [pdf]  Transcript

Episode Ratings
Boston Legal ranked #23 of 106 shows; 5.0/12 in 18-49, 12.04 million viewers.

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