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Loose Lips / Season 1, Episode 8
First broadcast: November 28, 2004
A story of Santa, psychologists, bets, elves, dirty pool and yet another
rabbit - can I say God Almighty!
In defending a man, Gil Furnald, who was fired from his post as Santa at a
local department store for being a transvestite, Shore tries his own
hand at pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Meanwhile, Lori finds herself in
a difficult position when her therapist, Dr. Allen Konigsberg, tells her
one of his patients has threatened to kill his wife, and asks Lori for
advice on whether he should warn the woman.
Directed by ... Jeannot Szwarc
Written by ... Jonathan Shapiro and David E. Kelley
Rene Auberjonois ... Paul Lewiston
Jim O'Heir ... Gil Furnald
George Newbern ... Dr. Allen Konigsberg
Neal Matarazzo ... Brian Stevens
Cheryl White ... Mary Stevens
H. Richard Greene ... Judge Harry Hingham
Wayne Wilderson ... Attorney Paul Phillips
Vicki Davis ... Sylvia Donato
Steven M. Gagnon ... Detective Lowe
Debbie Lee Carrington ... Patty
Heidi Heller ... clerk
Donna Cooper ... secretary
Paul Lewiston: This is a staff meeting, Mr. Shore.
Alan Shore: I realize that.
Paul Lewiston: Why are you in a Santa suit?
Alan Shore: It’s after Thanksgiving. Surely you’re not suggesting I
still dress as a pilgrim.
Paul Lewiston: And who is this?
Alan Shore: She’s my elf. Sometimes, especially after Santa’s been
drinking, he needs a little helper.
Paul Lewiston: Have you been drinking today?
Alan Shore: No. Today I just brought her for amusement. My doctors are
concerned these staff meetings could cause me to lapse into a coma.
Tara Wilson: Do you have a thing for little women?
Alan Shore: I have a thing for women. You’ve never fallen for someone
shorter than you?
Tara Wilson: Well, I believe I’m involved with one now.
Lori Colson: It’s just very difficult to reconcile being drawn to a
person I consider, well, repugnant.
Gil Furnald: I just like wearing women’s clothes sometimes. It’s not a
sexual turn-on. It . . well . . . it just feels right sometimes.
Denny Crane: So, basically, you’re a sicko?
Denny Crane: Alan, I have trouble with this sort of subject matter.
Alan Shore: You’re homophobic.
Denny Crane: It’s not that.
Alan Shore: What is it then?
Denny Crane: It’s my father. Sometimes he wore dresses. He called it a
kilt and sang all those Scottish songs, but we knew.
Reverend Al Sharpton: The image of Santa Claus has been crafted for
hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years, but we’re supposed to be in
a different day. Give the world a black Santa Claus. Let the people have
an African-American come down the chimney bearing joy and good will.
Alan Shore: *sotto voce to Al Sharpton* Gay, not black.
Alan Shore: He’s played Santa for eight years without incident. In fact,
he’s received glowing praise from both parents and employers.
Judge Harry Hingham: Would you sit in his lap?
Alan Shore: Sure. Why not? *And he does* And he hasn’t gone homo erectus
on me, if that was your fear.
Judge Harry Hingham: You’re making entendres. Disgusting, sick, innuendo
Brad Chase: He’s got a putty ass and a flabby body and I can’t
understand why women would rather sleep with him than me.
Did You Know... ?
Lori, Lori, Lori
There are six segments in "Loose Lips". All but one [seg. 5] end with a
doe-eyed look from Lori: Lori and Psychiatrist, Lori and Shore, just
Lori, Lori and Brad, Lori and Lewiston.
Segment 5 ends with Brad, head in hands, recovering from Sharpton. Can I
get a witness to that feeling?
Get Wardrobe on the set - stat
This episode continues BL's hallmark of themed costumes for the cast.
The Halloween episdoe ["An Eye for an Eye", 1x5] gave viewers Batman
[Alan] and Robin [Tara]. This week, we see Santa [Alan] and his elves
[Alan's unnamed elf at staff meeting and Brad]
This is one of the few episodes that does not end with a balcony scene.
Instead, Lori Colson and Paul Lewiston visit the house of their client -
and stumble upon a dead ending.
Boston, You're My Home
An alternative path for Brad and Lori
""I gotta run. I've got that dinner thing." I set down my beer and stood,
ready to leave the conference room Lori called home while lending a hand
down here in D.C. on the antiwar demonstrators appeal."
"Oops" by Abney [written for TVTome]
I'd like to start off this review by extending a warm welcome to my
co-reviewer, TeaCake911 - I was delighted when he filled in with a
review for the Halloween episode which I missed and I'm glad to see that
he'll be a regular reviewer of the show. Since I prefer to focus on plot
analysis and how the action and the story affect the characters, he'll
take on the role of analyzing character development, and I'll keep on
going with my normal reviewing. So back to the matter at hand.
In what was easily the best episode of the series thus far, every single
character (save for Sally) was at the top of their game. Nobody was
boring, and nobody was overused; nobody came off as too one-dimensional
and the balance between drama and comedy as well as between characters
was just right. Even the fact that this was a themed episode (and
traditionally I have a thing against themed episodes) couldn't take away
from the fact that by the end of the episode, I was really looking
forward to what is going to happen next week - not just to see what Alan
Shore will say next.
This episode was just plain enjoyable; so much so that I can look past
the opening antics (used in a shameless attempt to retain Desperate
Housewives viewers). Alan in a Santa suit and the juicy details about
his sexual escapades, and the subtle foreshadowing of how Brad would end
this episode would normally be things I would scoff at and dismiss
immediately. But with the right touch, I was able to look past it and
get into the thick of the plot - gay Santa. That's right - ho mo sexual
Santa Clause. (Those three little words, anyone?) It remained unclear
whether or not the cross-dressing Santa Clause was actually gay, and
while I wanted to assume, we all know what that does (insert witty quip
about the three words within assume - ass, u, and me - here). And if you
had told me that a gay Santa would come to be represented by Crane,
Poole, and Schmidt, I would have instantly told you that he would end up
with Denny, because that seems to be the trend. And I would have been
right, because after Brad and Lewiston tried to force the case on Alan,
Denny picked it up. It was only is obvious homophobia that saw the case
relegated to Alan, the champion of all people who practice some sort of
"deviant" behavior. Tear down all the bells and whistles, the gratuitous
reappearance of Al Sharpton, and at the core of this story you had
social commentary that can be found on almost all of David E. Kelley's
shows - here, the question of tolerance, specifically homosexuality.
Denny, the cardboard conservative of the show, removed himself from the
case, and Brad's immature rivalry with Alan had him in the court of the
one judge who would rule against Alan, despite how obvious it was that
the man's termination was unjust. Do one's personal inclinations really
matter when it comes down to your job? He said he did his best to keep
his personal and professional lives separate, and succeeded for 8 years,
but the connection he made with the children as Santa Clause meant
something to him. He liked bringing Santa Clause and the spirit of
Christmas alive for the children, and it was out of this desire to be
there that ultimately got him fired. Because he reached out, and what he
said didn't sit well with the higher ups at Gordon's. Is that right? You
make the call.
On the opposite end of things, we have a classic conflict of doing what
think you ought to do and what you know you should do. Lori, who I
instantly had pegged as the sane, straight-arrow lawyer who would keep
the others in check, has really gone through a lot to take her to a
place where her actions are almost as immoral as Alan's. Here, she
breaks patient/doctor confidentiality, but has such a thing ever truly
existed? Sure, it sounds great on paper, but every circumstance requires
a different response. Lori had to balance her requirements as a lawyer
and her obligations as a human being, and in the end her decision cost
not just a lawsuit or a big-name client, but another person's life.
That's more than a simple oops - that's a monumental guilt that she will
carry around for a long, long time. And as much as she buries her crush
on Alan, the fact is that since he has been around, she has been more
willing to cross the line. It took Lewiston to notice, and to point it
out to her - and perhaps it will take this one man's death to set her on
her old path again.
While Lori was busy on an offset adventure with Lewiston, (and you have
to know by now that they don't go offset for nothing. They certainly
weren't going for a pleasant drive) the rest of the staff had their own
problems to deal with - Brad, for example, with his inferiority complex
when it comes to measuring up to Alan. Despite all of his best efforts,
Alan still won out in the end, because Alan has the ultimate secret
weapon - Al Sharpton. Although it seems like Alan won't be able to rely
on Al as his rabbit any more, which is good because I want to see Alan
winning cases on his own legal skills again. And besides, we had already
seen Alan in a Santa Suit this episode - what would we have gained by
seeing him in an elf suit, too?
Sally actually seemed happy to see that Alan had won and Brad ended up
in the elf suit - but whether this was out of remaining feelings for
Alan or sheer disdain for Brad is still up in the air. For now, I'm
kneeling towards the latter. One thing that would normally irk me would
be the fact that, for some odd reason, every woman ever to appear on
this show instantly becomes enamored with Alan. All three of our Boston
Legal vixens have or have had feelings for him, and Lori is the only one
who hasn't been in a relationship with him (yet). Keep in mind that
Lewiston practically forbade Lori from acting on her feelings for Alan
(feelings which disgust her, but feelings nonetheless), and people tend
to want the thing which they cannot have. That comment from Paul was
certainly no mistake by the writers.
-Woohoo! Crisp legal drama, plenty of witty retorts (mostly involving
Alan) and all around, a spectacular episode. The fact that there was a
cliffhanger only makes me more excited for next week, since I've learned
to deal with end of episode suspense from years of watching Alias.
-Alan, traditionally the amoral one, brought up to Lori and her shrink
that a woman's life may have been at stake. It took him to remind him
that sometimes, you have to sacrifice yourself or your reputation to
save someone else.
-The way the judge pronounced just about everything, from 'entendre' to
ho mo sexual. The judges are almost as colorful as the lawyers.
operative word 'almost'.
-Lori and Brad's conversation towards the end, starting off on the case
and meandering towards Alan. Brad hates him, and Lori hates that she
likes him. I love it.
-High ratings now that Crossing Jordan is on temporary hiatus. Hopefully
people will stick with Boston Legal when CJ finally does return in
-Normally I would whine about how Sally wasn't involved, or how one of
the cases was (well, more like became) criminal. But I'm not going to.
I'm not even going to criticize the fact that we still don't know why Al
Sharpton would do favors for a man like Denny, because this episode was
just too good.
-Santa in a dress? Unsettling for me, and I consider myself open-minded.
-Brad in an elf-suit takes the cake here. A friend of mine says he
should probably stay in a suit and tie for the rest of the series, if at
all possible. I'll take her word for it.
Written by: Abney | Send feedback and comments to Abney at
Review by eaCake911 [written for TVTome]
A Christmas episode airing before the month of December begins? Well I
for one hope the show has one killer New Year's episode to keep me going
in the coldest month of the year, or else I'll be going through some
Well, the opening contained shades of the Halloween episode where Shore
dressed up as Batman; this time he was Santa himself, along with (not a
hooker as the Catwoman, but) a little-person (or dwarf?) as an elf. Now
it made sense back on Halloween, but I can't help but think Shore's game
of "dress-up" here is a transparent attempt to intrigue new viewers to
make the transition from Desperate Housewives to Boston Legal. Oh well,
anytime the kinky sexual past of Alan Shore gets leaked the scene can't
be all bad.
Now, if you're thinking I'm about to write a negative review of this
episode, you're sorely mistaken. This one happened to be my favorite one
so far. Why? Well, for starters, we finally get a full-cast effort this
time. Instead of falling through the cracks of the firm as usual, the
conspicuously absent Brad Chase at last rivals the on-air time of the
"stars" of the show Shore (Spader), Crane (Shatner), and Colson
(Potter). Also, did anyone in this episode NOT get their character
developed? Forget about Sally Heep for a second when you answer that...
A disclaimer: this episode review ran a little longer than I had
expected, but I've gone ahead and sectioned it off by character for you
guys. I figure I'll all of my subsequent reviews the same way (with an
emphasis on character development), to differentiate myself with the
other wonderful reviewer, abney, as he seems to have a nice firm hold on
the plot each week.
This week, Denny is a red herring. At first we the viewers think we'll
end up seeing another case where wacky Denny and his oddball client (the
cross-dressing Santa) find some common ground in the different beats
they both march to. But Denny, the man who just recently learned how to
use a computer, is a perfect example of old values dying hard. He, like
any person of the older generation, hold a thing such as Christmas in
such a virtuous (read: conservative) regard that the notion of a Santa
that might ‘corrupt' children with alternative family values quite
sickens him. He, like this week's rigid judge, wants no part of the case
or the Holiday Drag Queen. Taking Brad's bait from the opening scene in
the boardroom, Denny passes the case off to...
Ahh, back in the saddle again. The series' main character doesn't know
what he's getting into at first, as Brad's recommendation that he take
the Santa case sets him up for a lopsided bet: either Alan wins the case
for the fired "ho-mo-sexual" Santa, or he has to don a skin-tight elf
costume and be Brad's laughingstock for a day. If he wins, Brad gets the
tights. Oh, but of course, Alan's got his hands in everyone's cookie jar
this week, as usual. Before tackling the case, he gives some advice to a
rookie rule-breaking Lori, who basically wants his opinion on whether to
break doctor-patient confidentiality if it's to save a life. Alan shares
his personal philosophy with Lori, that it's better to save someone's
life than protect your own ass, yet he neglects to mention that the
‘Shore method of law' is usually a self-destructive method. Oh well,
she'll figure it out later (the hard way). Back to the case at hand,
Alan finds himself up a creek after Brad ushers in the judge from hell
(aka the Evil One), who prejudges the Santa to be a guilty sinner before
the client can even open his mouth to defend himself. Shore, always
having a weak spot for the little (cross-dressing) guy, goes the extra
mile to at least get a hearing from the Evil One. But he quickly
realizes he needs to pull another rabbit out of his hat to change the
judge's preconceived views on having a gay Christmas. Forget the rabbit,
he needs the ultimate hail mary: Al Sharpton! Yes, Al comes back for
seconds to bail out Shore one more time, and this time Al not only
forces the judge to side with the public opinion to accept gay Santa,
but he effectively forces Brad into an embarrassing elf costume! Now
that's a happy ending. Well, not if you're a fan of Brad...
Poor Brad. He finally gets some decent air time and it's only to be
completely outclassed by his archrival Alan. But don't feel too bad for
him, Brad's character improved about 10 times this episode, in my
opinion. He literally throws down the gauntlet with Alan during his
conversation with Lori. He hates Alan, but only because he jealous of
him. Brad sees Alan's existence in the firm as a direct threat to his
success (in the firm and with the ladies). Of course, breaking this down
to its basic level shows us that Brad is coming off as a whining child,
but it's the kind of childish behavior that pushes a man to become
better through rivalry. He doesn't realize it, but by being his worst
enemy, Alan is also his most helpful coworker, forcing Brad to improve
himself if he wants to take down the ‘it' man and reclaim the spot at
the top for himself. And hell, the thought of future Brad vs. Alan epic
battles for bragging rights makes me eager to see what scheme Brad's
gonna come up with next time. Cheers!
But-- jeers to the latest development in Lori's character. Not that
Monica Potter did a bad acting job, but I somehow don't like the way
Lori's progressing as of late. First she gets the murdering son of the
mother with a glass eye off scott free, then she tells a bold-face lie
to a client (the one who wanted the transplant from who he thought was
his real son) that might come back to bite the firm in the ass later on.
Now she's trampling all over doctor/patient confidentiality. She doesn't
seem to realize the power that lawyers have in today's world, but again
she learns the lesson the hard way in the end. I found her talk with her
therapist at the beginning to be far more revealing though-- it seems
she has a sort of crush on Mr. Shore! Even though it's been alluded to
in the previous episodes, this is the first time she's actually
acknowledging it, which is huge (sorta puts a new spin on the whole
‘Don't date him, Tara! It's for Sally's sake!' convo she had a few
episodes back). She goes to him right off the bat after the therapist
tells her that his patient might be thinking of killing his ex-wife,
with all his repulsive behavior I believe she's become quite attracted
to his ‘for the people' law tactics and Devil-may-care attitude. Hell,
I'd go so far as to say that all the shady things she's done so far in
the series is a direct result of her attraction to Shore. It's what
Lewiston believes after he confronts Lori, and I have yet to really
catch Paul Lewiston saying something uninformed. This brings up an
interesting triangle between Lori, Lewiston (her former mentor before
Alan Shore started influencing her), and the Shore-man. Interesting
because Lori and Lewiston both claim to hate Alan, and Alan really gets
a charge out of pushes both of their buttons. Well, Lewiston's words
prove prophetic at the end, as the wife (whom Lori incredulously showed
a tape of her ex-husband threatening to strangle the life out of in a
private therapy session) ends up killing the husband out of hysterical
fear for her life. Lori's guilty conscience sure is taking a beating
these last couple of episodes, I'm wondering if Shore is really the
person to save her, or if it's Lewiston that's gonna hafta step up as
her role model and lead her back on the right track? Only time will
"Sadly" (I put that in quotes for a reason), Sally's role this episode
was to stand there and look pretty, mostly. She did provide a few extra
laughs as Brad walked around in his elven gear, though.
She mostly played the Watson to Shore's Sherlock this episode, then
stood by his side as the big bad Brad tried to blow down Shore's house
in court at the closing statements. She was also there to give Al
Sharpton a standing ovation when he finally arrived to save the day.
Classic supportive love-interest, but not much depth this week, sadly
(notice no quotes this time).
Come on, they just hafta make him a regular guest star after this
episode. He was HILARIOUS! He starts off on a tirade about Black Rights,
then quickly alters his speech to gay/lesbian rights after Shore reminds
him what case he's supposed to be saving. Comic gold!
Arguably the man behind the scenes in every episode, I found Paul's
presence this week to be a refreshing point of stability amidst all the
oddballs running around this episode. Paul's relationship with Lori
inevitably leads to Lori being found out by the ex-husband, as she
illegally posed as a doctor in front of him to get the info to tell his
ex-wife about the threats on her life. Paul knew the dangerous waters
Lori was getting herself into, and he knew that Shore was the one behind
it all. I just know that sooner or later Lewiston and Shore are gonna go
at each others' throats, and if the previous episode is any indication,
Paul can definitely step up to Alan with the clout he has at the firm
(Alan almost gave in to Lewiston's antagonizing and quit last episode,
if you missed it). If anyone is a match for Alan in this firm, it's
definitely Paul "Odo" Lewiston. Again, sorry Brad fans, he's just second
best compared to PL.
This one gave me that warm fuzzy feeling you only get when you take a
dwarf, Mark Valley in an elf costume, Al Sharpton, a cross-dressing
figure of ultimate patriarchy, and a woman pushed to murder because of
shady legal tactics and serve it with some egg nog. Seasons Greetings!
Written by: TeaCake911
For the second time this season, Boston Legal made the Nielson Top
Twenty, this time at #14. It ranked #20 for its series premiere October
For the Week Ending 11/29/04:
Rank / Program Name / Network / Day / Time / Rating / Share /
1 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 9:00PMSun 16.1 23.0 17,601,000
2 CSI: MIAMI CBS 10:00PMMon 14.3 23.0 15,700,000
3 CSI - THANKSGIVING(S) CBS 9:00PMThu 13.5 24.0 14,753,000
4 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 9:31PMMon 12.3 18.0 13,430,000
5 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND CBS 9:00PMMon 12.2 18.0 13,387,000
6 WITHOUT A TRACE-THNKS(S) CBS 10:01PMThu 11.9 22.0 13,085,000
7 60 MINUTES CBS 7:33PMSun 11.6 17.0 12,724,000
8 COLD CASE CBS 8:33PMSun 11.4 16.0 12,544,000
9 NFL MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ABC 9:07PMMon 10.6 17.0 11,610,000
10 LAW AND ORDER:SVU NBC 10:00PMTue 10.1 17.0 11,058,000
11 EXTREME MAKEOVER:HM ED-8P ABC 8:00PMSun 9.8 14.0 10,715,000
12 NCIS CBS 8:00PMTue 9.4 15.0 10,277,000
13 CBS SUNDAY MOVIE CBS 9:33PMSun 9.1 14.0 9,956,000
14 BOSTON LEGAL ABC 10:01PMSun 8.8 14.0
15 CSI FRIDAY SPCL(S) CBS 10:00PMFri 8.8 16.0 9,691,000
16 SURVIVOR: VANUATU-THNKS(S) CBS 8:00PMThu 8.8 17.0 9,617,000
17 LAW AND ORDER NBC 10:00PMWed 8.5 14.0 9,291,000
18 CSI: NY CBS 10:00PMWed 8.3 14.0 9,102,000
19 SEINFELD STORY(S) NBC 10:00PMThu 8.2 15.0 8,977,000
20 NFL MONDAY SHOWCASE ABC 9:00PMMon 8.1 12.0 8,927,000
*There are an estimated 105.5 million television households in the USA.
A single ratings point represents 1%, or 1,055,000 households for the
2001-02 season. Share is the percentage of television sets in use tuned
to a specific program.
From ABC (uses a different service than Nielson):
Ranking: 17 of 98 programs with 13.7mm viewers (the chart above
represents # of households, not viewers) is also the highest number of
viewers BL has had so far this season.
Desperate Housewives: #1 with 27.2mm viewers
NBC Sunday Night Movie #44 with 8.9mm viewers
Season to Date:
Boston Legal average rank #26 of 133 programs with 12.0mm viewers
Watch 4th segment clip (3:18)
Lori: You can go deeper than that. What do you feel, Brad?
Brad: I hate him. He mocks me.
Watch 5th segment clip (7:40)
Reverend Al Sharpton: God Almighty, God Almighty. Leave out the cookies and
the milk this Christmas Eve for a holly, jolly homosexual! God Almighty!
Share your thoughts
Memorable scenes >> go
Read the episode, transcribed by Sheri: [pdf]
Boston Legal: 9.0/14; with 12.0mm viewers; For the second time this season,
Boston Legal made the Nielson Top Twenty, this time at #14. It ranked #20
for its series premiere October 3, 2004.