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From Whence We Came / Season 1, Episode 12
First broadcast: January 16, 2005, repeat: August 23, 2005
One of the members of the firm falls victim to Shirley Schmidt's mandate
to clean house and is ordered to leave immediately. Meanwhile Lori, with
help from Denny Crane and Shirley Schmidt, defends a school superintendent
being sued by two science teachers who were fired for refusing to teach
creationism. And Bernard Ferrion, Alan Shore's client who killed his
mother by whacking her with a skillet, finds himself in need of legal help
once again, but Shore refers the case to Tara, as he cannot hide his
disappointment in his former client. And Shore is genuinely surprised when
he learns his assistant, Nora Jacobs, is offended by his inappropriate
Directed by .... Mike Listo
Written by .... David E. Kelley
Sam Anderson .... Walter Fife
Frank Birney .... Judge William Howe
Keisuke Hoashi .... Police Technician
Rhomeyn Johnson .... Detective Willet
Leslie Jordan .... Bernard Ferrion
Leyna Nguyen .... Reporter
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe .... Nora Jacobs
Alyson Reed .... Roberta Turner
Maura Soden .... Melissa Stevens
David Starzyk .... Attorney Daniel Gellman
Betty White .... Catherine Piper
Denny: Lock and load. *pause* Where is everybody?
Paul: This is an administrative meeting, Denny.
Denny: Oh. What the hell am I doing here? *begins to leave*
Schmidt: Remember the good old days when you liked to know what was going
on, when you could go from your office to the elevator without a roadmap?
Denny, about Schmidt: I once had her and Streisand at the same time.
Schmidt: I do Denny. And not to burst your bubble but that was a female
impersonator. Perhaps the penis might have been your cue.
Denny: That wasnít Barbara Streisand?
Denny, about Schmidt: She can still pump my chubby.
Schmidt: You're a very good lawyer... but not good enough. We're letting
Nora: Mrs. Schmidt.
Schmidt: My mother is Mrs. Schmidt, you can call me Schmidt.
Denny: Massachusetts is a blue state. God has no place here.
Denny: Iíve been practicing law for 45 years. Never lost a single case.
Client: Youíve never lost?
Denny: My record is 6,043 to 0. You hear the one about the fellow who
died, went to the Pearly Gates, St Peter let him in, sees a guy in suit
making a closing arguments. says, ďWhoís that?Ē St Peter says, ďOh, that's
God. Thinks heís Denny Crane.Ē Iím your boy, Walter. Never lost. Never
Lori: Did she give you a reason?
Sally: Just that my work didnít cut it. I mean my reviews have all been
good. Plus, I mean itís not that theyíve given me very much to do. The
Witchell case was really the first one they let me run with.
Brad: And... you forgot to plead negligence. *everyone gives him a
disapproving look* Sorry.
Nora, explaining Alan's sexual harassment: Well. He compliments my figure
daily. And he just kind of does it in kind of lascivious way. He also
ranks my sweaters.
Schmidt: He ranks your sweaters?
Nora: Yes. Which ones he thinks I look best in. This is a three. He asked
if he could take one home for the weekend. He told me he has dreams about
Schmidt: What kind of dreams?
Nora: All kinds. Once he dreamt that I was just a head. No body, just a
head. Everywhere he went he would carry me along, wrapped in a muffler, to
keep him company. And every so often I would whisper terrible, dirty
things in his ear. Feels a little like harassment.
Schmidt: You think?
*Tara, contentedly watching the news reports about another skillet death,
is suddenly propelled backwards as Alan emerges*
Alan: It's Bernie - that skillet-wielding client from last week.
Tara: Does this mean we're done?
Bernie: She knew. She heard an argument between me and mother. She was out
there watering her stupid plants - in the winter, for God's sakes. The
woman is not right. *hesitates* Or wasn't right.
Alan - she said she was going to call the police. She said what she heard
would not be hearsay. She said she looked it up. She said because we were
arguing, it would qualify as an excited blutterance.
Alan: Blutterance isn't even a real world, much a defense. You murdered
somebody over a fake word!
You said you helped the little man. I'm little!
*When Alan refuses to help Bernie since he's been 'let down terribly'*
Alan: Shirley? What about senior partners? There would be nothing wrong
with me lusting, say, after you, would there?
Schmidt: Go subscribe to National Geographic. Make a list of the places
youíll never get to visit. Add to that list, Schmidt.
Schmidt: I certainly believe in evolution. Who here among us, while
watching the presidential debates could deny that we all come from
Alan: What are you doing here?
Catherine Piper: Iím applying for the position of your secretary, of
course. I heard what happened to the last one and, I must say your
problem - most people arenít able to see that beneath your slick and
sensitive exterior, deep down you really are douche bag. I get that Alan.
Youíd have no misunderstanding with me.
Brad: So when are your leaving?
Sally: Is there a big rush?
Brad: I didnít mean it like that.
Sally: Iím leaving now. Tonight.
Brad: You know, for what itís worth, Shirley can be very draconian, and
when she makes up her mind, itís not -
Sally: I have nothing against Shirley. In fact, she didnít even really
hurt me. Shirley doesnít know me. You do. Lori does. Alan does. A lot of
people, none of whom took issue with Shirley. The silent majority has
spoken, Brad, with a resounding roar. Every knock is a boost. Iím gonna
cling to that and a few other clichťs for a while, and then, youíll all
see me again. In court, across the deposition table, youíll all see me
again. Thatís a promise.
Alan: I hate this job. *pondering his disappointment in Bernie and Nora's
reaction to his sexual harassment*
Lori: What are you doing out here?
Schmidt: Just looking at the city. Still trying to fathom that -
Lori: - The Red Sox won?
Did You Know... ?
The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards aired on Sunday, January 16th, 2005 at
the same time as Boston Legal. Both James Spader and William Shatner were
nominated - and Shatner won for "Performance by an Actor in a
Supporting Role". Boston Legal fans were masters of juggling two
compelling shows that night.
Nora, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe's character, looks remarkably like Yasmine
Bleeth - and actually played a relation of Bleeth's on "Nash Bridges" for
Sally Heep's [Lake Bell] final speech seemed too real, as if Lake was
performing her own firing since she was let go from Boston Legal.
"Every knock is a boost. Iím gonna cling to that and a few other clichťs
for a while, and then, youíll all see me again. In court, across the
deposition table, youíll all see me again. Thatís a promise." And shortly
after that episode aired, it was announced Lake Bell was hired as the star
[NBC series, 2005-2006]
David E. Kelley's pop culture references - it's an amusing game to look
for them. Lori makes reference to the Red Sox winning the World
Series. The win was on October 28, 2004. This ep aired January 16, 2005.
Also, on the CP&S balcony, Schmidt asks Lori "You wanna smoke cigars? Lori
replied, " The passing of the torch, from the boys club, to us!" One
thinks of the other David E. Kelley series, "Girls
Club", on Fox in 2002.
You would not believe the increase in visitors to
http://Boston-Legal.org after this
episode aired in January - seven times the normal traffic. People adore
this show, you know. Visitors also came after Shatner's Golden Globe win
Petty Crime by Abney [written for TV Tome]
A few nights ago, January 16th 2005, Boston Legal went up against the 62nd
Annual Golden Globe Awards - a daunting task. While James Spader was
bested by Deadwood's Ian McShane, William Shatner took honors in the BEST
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR
MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION category for his role of Denny Crane on
the series. Congratulations to him!
I don't really have a good way to shift gears into my review, but I
figured that was worth mentioning. Anyways, this latest installment of
Boston Legal was equal parts farewell episode, dark comedy, and socially
meaningful legal drama - the story of creationism vs. evolution isn't an
old one in our court systems or our television sets (or even the David E.
Kelley universe, I'm told) but that doesn't mean it isn't worth
revisiting, especially under different circumstances. As Shirley Schmidt
(or just 'Schmidt' as she's telling most people to call her) acclimates
herself to life in the crazy world that is the Boston office of Crane,
Poole, and Schmidt, Nora discovers the lewd game that is working for Alan
Shore; Bernard Ferrion returns as the serial tiny serial killer whose only
crime was to desperately want to be noticed; and Betty White, reprising
her role from The Practice (Catherine Piper) was more of a cameo
appearance than a guest spot. Hopefully there will be more from her in the
future besides skeeving Alan out by applying for the now vacant
For weeks now, you've probably picked up that my least favorite character
on the show is Sally Heep. But as often happens when a character leaves a
TV show, that character becomes more important and interesting during the
one episode they leave than they were for the majority of the series.
Sally was always the whining, "secure with her femininity", junior
attorney that I didn't care much about - and leaving the firm the way she
did made me respect her for the first time. What made her mad wasn't that
Shirley came in out of nowhere and fired her after a week - that's not the
point. The point is, her co-workers didn't say or do anything about it.
No one showed that they cared enough to stand up to Shirley, and with their
inaction they did more for and to Sally than they had in weeks.
Interestingly enough, she promised a return - whether this is a tangible
goal Sally is keeping in mind to keep her going or a solemn truth isn't
quite certain, but I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing her as opposing
counsel one day.
A lot of you are unhappy with the introduction of and continued focus on
Shirley Schmidt, and I can't honestly blame you. Doesn't this show belong
to Spader and Shatner? Shouldn't people with an endless pit of potential
be given a chance to develop before introducing a new character? And I
can't really blame a lot of you who continue to gripe; it's quite
understandable. I can get pass the political bias that comes through with
characters up against each other like Denny and Shirley as long as the
dialog is still witty and the cases are still resounding. The dynamic
between Shirley and Lori is, as we all know, the parallel to the
relationship shared between Denny and Alan - the difference is Denny and
Alan are little off. Shirley knows what she's doing and wins the case -
but if she doesn't agree with what she's arguing, then is that truly a
victory? On the other hand, Denny wins not because of his legal skills but
because he is who he is and he knows who he knows. I'd like to see more
moments in the future where he isn't making a joke at his own expense -
let the old Denny who "never lost a case" shine through every now and
then, if for no other reason then to keep things fresh - he certainly
could have said a lot more about the case this week than he did.
I won't claim to know the ins and outs of the Intelligent Design theory,
and I'm anything but an expert on the theory of Evolution. I won't force
my religious views on anyone, and will leave the analysis of this week's
main case at this - why does there have to be antagonism between science
and God? Why is there a perpetual conflict there? Some people are such
staunch supporters of one side or the other they fail to understand the
other side's view. Should Intelligent Design be something we teach in
science classes? That's up to you to decide, but for those who believe it
to be a made-up version of creationism - can't you at least see where the
supporters of it are coming from? Is it not as valid? And on the other end
- evolution and natural selection fit perfectly into the principles of
science as we know it - presumably, it makes more sense than anything else
and has more concrete evidence to support it. But is there not faith in
science? Is there not science in faith?
If the main case was supposed to be dramatic, then the the secondary one
was definitely supposed to be comedic. And though I'm sure Bernard Ferrion
was written to be amusing (perhaps even funny) he didn't do it for me this
week - he made the same jokes as he did last week, and he still speaks
with that annoying inflection in his voice. The only thing that made his
presence worth it to me was how Alan played off of him, and how Tara
explained what Bernard had done to Alan by committing murder again when he
promised he wouldn't. Alan sees some pretty scummy people in his day to
day work, and every once in a while he meets someone who truly inspires
faith in the righteousness of man. Alan thought Bernard was one of those
people. Alan was wrong. You can usually tell that you're letting things
get way out of hand when someone like Alan Shore calls you evil, flat-out;
and I don't care if Bernard was only looking for attention. It doesn't
justify what he did, in my eyes, the law's, and certainly not in Alan's.
Sorry for the short review, but I watched only once and took no notes. So
I'll leave you with a (kind of) brief The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
-Sally's final speech to Brad - before, I didn't believe that they had
been or could be a couple; now I do. And my approval rating of Sally
skyrocketed right when she walked out the door.
-I loved Tara's remark when Shirley wanted to speak to Lori - Tara really
is Alan's soul mate. They're destined to live unhappily ever after
-The final scene between Shirley and Lori would have been great on it's
own, but it was even better with the words Shirley chose to talk about how
the women didn't like the cigars while the men did. Something tells me the
word 'evolved' was not slipped in there by accident.
-When Alan pointed up and out to signal Bernard to leave - hehe.
-The way Tara pronounced 'Bernard'. That's an 'A' Tara, not an 'E'. It's
not Bernerd. I guess it's ok; she's hot and she's British.
-Bernard Ferrion, the serial skillet smasher. The man seems to either not
know what the law is or have no regard for it, as he basically said to
Alan "I committed premeditated murder, than I conspired to cover it up.
-Did I her ANOTHER BoSox mention? Seriously, when is enough going to be
enough - they won like 4 months ago! (I know, I know, they wrote the
script and filmed the episode a long time ago...but c'mon. There comes a
point where you've got to let it go.)
-Not much to say here this week. I guess I could always close The Good,
The Bad, and The Ugly with the same scene I opened it - the tongue-lashing
Sally gave Brad was pretty ugly, and ultimately satisfying.
-If you have anything else, fill it in yourself. I don't feel like going
back and watching the tape again.
Written by: Abney | Send feedback and comments to Abney at
[January 16, 2005]
Boston Legal ranked #21 of 112 shows with 13.9 mm viewers, tying with "Two
and A Half Men". As for the timeslot competition, there was no
episode of "Crossing Jordan" due to the Golden Globes and no episode for
"Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The lead-in, "Desperate Housewives"
ranked #2 that week with 24.1 mm viewers. [Thank you to Kitkat for
tracking all Boston Legal ratings for season one!]
Ratings translate to advertising dollars, of course. As of October 2004,
the average prices for a 30 sec spot were:
Boston Legal - $160,000
Desperate Housewives - $156,542
[Thank you to Anais for this data]
Boston Legal: From Whence We Came
Season 1, Episode 12
Airdate: January 16, 2004
Watch 6th segment clip
wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads
Spoiler warning: This is the ending. The clip also
sadly says goodbye to Sally Heep [Lake Bell] and introduces Betty White
[Catherine Piper] to Boston Legal. We love her!
Boston Illegal Radio
Listen to a discussion of the episode
[66 min; 23 mb; 48k bitrate]
"From Whence We Came" mp3
with streaming mp3 or
subscribe via Odeo
Memorable scenes >> go
Read the episode, transcribed by Imamess: [pdf]
Share your thoughts
January 16, 2005:
Boston Legal ranked #21 of 112 shows with 13.9 mm viewers, tying with "Two
and A Half Men".
August 23, 2005 [repeat]:
Households: 3.5 / 6% share of all households watching TV, tied for #10
Adults 18-49: 1.6, tied for #14
James Spader Meeting Place "From Whence We Came"