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Boston Legal: Til We Meat Again Season 01 Episode 14

Boston Legal: Til We Meat Again / Season one, ep 12 starring James Spader, Mark Valley, William Shatner, Monica Potter, Rhona Mitra

Episode Summary

Til We Meat Again / Season 1, Episode 14
First broadcast: February 13, 2004; repeat: August 30, 2005
Shirley Schmidt and Denny Crane represent a man whose steakhouse is being put out of business as the publicity-hungry mayor has pushed through an ordinance banning red meat for fear of Mad Cow disease, and in the process of trying the case, Crane wins over Schmidt's respect as an attorney. Meanwhile, what begins as an evening out for Alan Shore and Tara Wilson ends in a barroom brawl, with Shore arrested for conspiracy to commit assault and battery.

Episode Credits

Directed by .... Bill D'Elia
Written by .... David E. Kelley
SKitana Baker .... Beautiful Woman
Jason Blicker .... Attorney Timothy Simms
Curt Bouril .... Edwards
David Burke .... D.A. Casey Mathias
Michael Dempsey .... Dominick Ryan
Takayo Fischer .... Clerk
Henry Gibson .... Judge Clark Brown
Jack Impellizzeri .... Officer Jackson
Brandon Molale .... Mike
Holmes Osborne .... Mayor George Bostwick
Yamil Piedra .... Joe
Francesca Roberts .... Judge Jamie Atkinson
John Short .... Dr. Raymond Young
Pat Skipper .... Attorney Michael Roker
Glen Walker .... Reporter
LaFern Watkins .... Jury Foreperson
Betty White .... Catherine Piper
Rick Yune .... Troi Ran  [storyline cut]

Episode Dialogue

Alan: When a man turns 40, he begins to take measure of himself. I must admit I don't like what I see.
Tara: You're turning 43.
Alan Shore: If you don’t mind, I’m trying to appear vulnerable to facilitate my snorkeling up your thighbone later.
Tara Wilson: Alan? You boyfriend. Me girlfriend. You have a season’s pass.
Alan Shore: You’re ruining the conquest part, which is all it’s really about for me.

Alan: Don't be deceived by my cushy appearance.

Alan: You look like a strapping young fellow.

Brad and Alan face off: "I dunno what's going on with you, sport..."Alan: Talking about me, Brad?
Brad: Yeah, just trying to imagine you as an...instigator.
Alan: What's that supposed to mean?
Brad: Sorry. Forget it.
Alan: No, let's not forget it. How about you say what you have to say, or is that too monumental an effort, completing whole sentences?
Lori: Come on, Alan.
Alan: You want to talk about me, Lori, perhaps you should reposition yourself behind my back. Isn't that the rule of the game?
Lori: I don't talk about you behind your back, Alan.
Brad: You're not that interesting.
Alan: *shoves* I'm tired of this; get that?
Brad: *taken aback* I dunno what's going on with you, sport, but you're certainly smart enough to realize that I could probably dismember you in about--
Alan: *shoves again*
Alan: Then do it.
Lori: Cut it out!

Denny Crane: We’re carnivores. When the pilgrims landed, the first thing they did was eat a few Indians.

Denny Crane: Pop goes the weasel. Hi. Denny Crane. Still cuckoo for Cuckoo Puffs. Who’s your daddy? Denny Crane. Pop goes the weasel.

Denny Crane: I’ll tell you this one more time. Play the judge! The man lives with his mother, he wears lifts. The buzz word is nansy pansy.
Shirley Schmidt: I beg your pardon?

Alan Shore: When you… launched into that diatribe about me being the…
Tara Wilson: Universe.
Alan Shore: You said you were sick of it. Are you sick of me? Are you sick of me, Tara?
Tara Wilson: No.
Alan Shore: As much as I… loathe… sentiment, together with it’s expression… I cherish you. You should just know, you really, really smell good.
Tara Wilson: You smell good, too.

Did You Know... ?

Rick Yune as "Sexy Man"A storyline meant for Til We Meat Again was written, filmed and promoted - but was mysteriously deleted and never aired. From the ABC press release: "... Lori and Brad serve as second chair for a new attorney Schmidt has just poached from another law firm who refers to himself as "Sexy Man." "Sexy Man" Troi Ran was portrayed by Rick Yune [pictured in an official ABC photo from the Boston Legal set].  You may remember Rick Yune as Zao as the villain in the James Bond flick "Die Another Day".

CBS's broadcast of the Grammy Awards was on TV at the same time as Boston Legal. The Grammy's had the lowest ratings since 1995 with only 18.8 million viewers.

This February 13th episode aired after two weeks of preemptions. There was no episode on January 30, due to the Superbowl, and no ep February 6. Following episode 15 on February 20 ["Tortured Souls"], there would be another two week preemption, playing havoc with viewers schedules and expectations and, basically, heralding the imminent time slot chaos that would begin March 20 when "Grey's Anatomy's" success drop kicked BL into next season and another night.

Episode Reviews

A Unorthodoxy Works… Sometimes by Abney [written for TV Tome]

I'll admit that I didn't catch the entire episode; I was watching the Grammy's and forgot to switch over to ABC at 10 due to the fact that it's an Awards Show that doesn't end on the hour like normal programming. So I missed the first ten or so minutes of the show, but started watching after what I assume was the first commercial break because the credits were still showing up on screen as the episode went on.

Anyways, this episode continued the familiar trend on Boston Legal of presenting an outlandish case and presenting it in a serious manner - the characters, like Denny, can be portrayed to comical, unrealistic proportions and the same could be said of many of the court cases, but they always seem to link it back to the real world. Much like suing the United States government over the Sudanese genocide, a mayor attempting to shut down a steakhouse solely on the basis of the thread of mad cow disease is something that one would not perceive as 'normal', if there is such a thing.

Shirley, who was her own eccentricities, falls more on the 'regular' side of the line, with Lori, Brad, and Lewiston; Alan and Denny hold a monopoly on the crazy side, and Tara wavers back and forth between the two depending on what state her relationship with Alan is. Denny didn't become such a dominant and successful lawyer without some skill at his profession, however, and Shirley (as well as Paul) failed to notice this until just now. He may not employ the traditional tactics of winning a case, but he does what he thinks is necessary to get the favorable verdict, even if it means playing on the judge's weakness - a fear of coming off as small, or 'nancy pansy'. It may not be the thing most lawyers do, but then again Denny is anything but most lawyers. And that's why we love him so much.

At the heart of the issue, however irregular and arbitrary it seemed, was something that's been viewed as a potential crisis in this country. Most, however, have dismissed it rather quickly, myself (and apparently, Denny) included. The bottom line is our government does not perceive an eminent threat from red meat, and while the scientific community may not agree with them, the political institutions make the laws and enforce them. While there is no 'hard evidence' to support Denny's claim that beef makes him stronger than anyone else, his point wasn't to support that claim; it was to cast doubt on his opponents. For now, there really is no way to judge, with enough accuracy, the existence (or nonexistence, for that matter) of mad cow disease - the whole issue it surrounded by uncertainty, and in our court system things are based on facts and truths. Not on might bes, or might happens. And while I'm still somewhat angered that the legal staff at Crane, Poole and Schmidt never seems to lose a case, this one actually made sense. Judges are supposed to be impartial, but they're also human, and Denny played this one like a [game, musical instrument...anything else that can be played].

Lewiston still lacks an office or the authority to really control anyone who is supposed to be 'under' him (namely Alan) and the antagonistic dynamic that has been developing between him and anyone who opposes him is something interesting to watch for a character who started off as calm to the point of dullness. If he wants to be able to keep some semblance of order in the office, he'll have to do what Shirley did when she first step foot into the Boston office of the firm - fire somebody. Show your strength, back up your threats, and prove that you can and will do something. Otherwise, people like Alan will continuously rebel; it's just in his (and others') nature.

As much as Alan may play off the bar brawl as 'primal' and 'instinct', he can't ignore, and Tara sure wasn't easy to forget, that his actions were calculated. He didn't strike back because he felt he threatened, or in the heat of the moment - that's not the way he works. He defeats brawn using brains - and to some, that's being 'craven', as he put it - but if he wins the fight, what does courage matter? Somehow, he proved his worth to Tara; whether his final monologue was truthful is something that'll see in the coming weeks but for now it was enough to satisfy her; and me. Most likely the last characteristic I'll ever share with Tara Wilson.

The Good
-Alan's ending monologue was classic Shore; brilliantly penned by Kelley and delivered by Spader. He gets this subtlety in his voice when he's digging deep into an emotion and not being sarcastic, and those are some of the best lines he ever has.
-Tara actually stood up to Alan and it worked better than when Sally did it; but by the end of the night, he had reconciled the relationship. Not surprising.
-Alan defending himself is always a good thing; it's different when he has a truly personal stake in the case. It always seems to amplify the sarcasm, the wit, and the smugness. This time, he ended up on top; next time, he might not.
-Shirley's acceptance of Denny as a capable lawyer for the first time shifts their dynamic from playfully hateful to perhaps a level of mutual respect I didn't expect to see between the two of them.

The Bad
-I didn't like the way they made a connection between Denny's Alzheimer's and mad cow disease. I appreciate the attempt, but it just didn't fit right, at least not as I viewed it.
-Once again, both cases featured ended up with a victory for the lawyers of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt - if any sense of realism wants to be maintained, I hope somebody loses a case sooner or later. There isn't any dramatic tension if you know the outcome before it comes to pass.

The Ugly
-I was going to go with Lewiston blowing up (yet again...) but then...
-Shirley utterly creeped me out when she muttered sweet nothings into Denny's ear. Orgasmic 'Denny...Denny...Denny Crane' is not something I want to hear. EVER. AGAIN.
Tara: What the hell is going on?

Written by: Abney | Send feedback and comments to Abney at aliasabney@hotmail.com

A Job Well Done or a Job Medium Rare? by TeaCake911 [written for TV Tome]

It's that time again, kiddies. Another tri-episodic dose of TeaCake's Boston Legal Review, and this week's episode deserves special attention. Since my last review (shortly after the arrival of SS and the dismissal of Sally), the relationships between main characters have gotten quite interesting. Shall we get started?

Say all you want about how good a couple Tara and Alan make. You could even go on for days about her ridiculously high hotness level. But dammit, this episode took Tara down a few pegs in my personal book. Let's begin with the opening sequence, Tara (not Alan) comes up with the idea of 'pretending' to be a bar-hopping single to get Alan to pick her up. That's mistake number one. She obviously attracts the attention of an inebriated horndog at the bar, and Alan steps in to drive him away from his girl. Fast forward to the drunk guy punching Alan. Now, you would think that Tara would be feeling a little guilty for being the direct cause of getting her boyfriend punched in the face. You might even think she'd understand his need to get retribution against the rude drunken idiot. Here's where mistake number two comes in. She's actually mad at him for putting her in danger! I know! I can't believe it either! So we get some long-winded rant about how Alan's always the center of the universe (or he's actually 'the universe' as she so non-subtley put it). Hello? Didn't we learn this about Alan when he single-handedly dismantled the firm in The Practice all by his lonesome? Alan being the center of his own universe should've been something Tara knew well before she got busy with him, it's neigh retarded to throw something like that in his faceat this point. The saving grace for Tara this week is the fact that her antagonism gives Alan a brilliant idea for his closing argument. But the friction between the 'Dynamic Duo' of Alan and Tara showed in this episode might be a hint of rocky roads to come in later episodes. The thing I'm mostly pissed about is that Tara seemed to be adopting Alan's 'bad boy' attitude. With her recent sexually-risque behavior, and her actions in a previous episode (she gets information from a souce by flirting with them in a bar), she's really coming off as a holier-than-thou hypocrite. Hope she wises up next episode.

I re-he-heally liked Alan's case this week. It wasn't too spectacular, and it wasn't really a case at all, but it was the perfect stage for Alan to show what he's all about. He isn't a physical man. He's not even a virtuous man. He's just a guy that's perhaps too smart for his own good. This all became crystal clear in the bar scene. He knows that he'll get his white-collar butt whipped if he retaliates against the horndog guy at the bar, so he proffers some 'big looking guys' to do the dirty work for him, at $300-$100 apiece. Now I ask you readers, is this such a bad idea? The guy who threw the first blow, and who totally ignored Tara's explanations that she's with someone was clearly in the wrong, not Alan. He didn't necessarily dirty his own hands by fighting back, but by offering money to outsiders, they took the responsibility of committing acts of violence for themselves. Personally, I don't even see why there was a trial, anything short of murder doesn't even need to be looked at in this case. The writers use this scenario as a way to show that Alan certainly controls his own destiny. In a situation where most of us guys would've easily regressed to a neanderthal psyche and resorted to violence, even despite the certain ass-kicking that would follow, Alan got his vengeance, AND escaped any pain. Tara calls this being the center of the universe. I call it being resourceful, and knowing how to handle any given situation with finesse.

In the courtroom, Alan defends himself brilliantly... too brilliantly. His smug demeanor and the refusal to admit that he might've been in the wrong is picked up by Tara, and it gives her some leeway with her insinuations. He realizes that to get the jury on his side, he'll have to show vulnerability, and get them to feel sorry for him. I believe his closing argument was very sincere, Alan is the kind of guy that is a victim to the same weaknesses as most men, but his higher-than-average intellect, and his ability to talk people into doing whatever he wants, gets him in a very sticky situation at the bar. Even though he came out unscathed, the bar brawl definitely affected him the most out of all parties involved. When he pushes Brad around and snaps at Lori in the office, it's clear that Alan feels a bit of the 'mamsy pansy' phenomena that's been going around Boston that day. Tara calling him 'the universe' might symbolize Alan's having a God-complex. The fact that he tries to dirty his own hands by picking a fight with his rival Brad, and with Paul Lewiston, signifies his attempts to deny this personality trait that seperates him from the normal (non-Godlike) person. It's indeed his 'God-complex' that makes him pay off the big guys to fight for him, yet it's also this same complex that makes him such a great character to watch each week. I just hope that Tara doesn't do anything else to screw it up...

Paul had a brief, yet important spot this week. In an office briefing (read: lecture) with Alan and Tara, he tells Alan that he'll be fired if Alan's case is returned with a verdict of 'guilty'. Lewiston later gets irritated to the point of a violent verbal outburst when Alan continually mocks Lewiston's words. Paul is clearly the expert in having to clean up the messes made by Alan's 'God-complex', but unlike Tara, he wants Alan to continue on his path so that there'll be just cause to fire his ass when Alan inevitably steps over the line (like he did in The Practice, presumably). SS, of all people, defend Alan to Paul, saying that without Shore the firm would lose a big asset (and it would possibly be vulnerable to more losses, should Alan sue Crane, Poole, and Schmidt as he did with The Practice). I think Paul's just waiting to strike, like a lethal snake awaiting for the prime opening for a killing blow. The next time Alan screws up royally, expect Paul to make a federal case (perhaps literally) about it.

Shirley Schmidt
I actually wasn't too impressed with Shirley this week, aside from the fact that she had to rely on Denny's plan to win the case. She didn't bring much to the table in court this week, and she seemed to give up all too easily. Of course, this might be due to her being a liberal, and the case in question (prohibiting the county-wide sale of red meat) might be something she wouldn't necessarily disagree with, but we all know from the evolution case that she's a businesswoman first, and a tree-hugging Bush-basher second. Her weak cross-examinations were only saved by Denny's wild questioning and his intuition, and while this is a pretty entertaining glimpse into the relationship that was SS and DC back in the day, it's sad to see that at the end of the day Denny still has to act as a second banana to SS. On the brighter side, SS is showing that she's not just a shark in female's clothing, as she sticks up for Alan while talking to Lewiston, and she even trusts Denny's judgment in the final hour. She might end up being a popular character yet!

This is the first time we see Denny and Shirley in court together alone on a case. The mere fact that Denny had this case pegged from the start, while SS resorted to giving up in the face of adversity makes me adore this one off the bat. Denny not only showed great wisdom/experience in his handling of the judge, but he also didn't let the repeated mutterings of 'Alzheimer's' distract him (this also sets up the great joke he shares with Alan, saying that he has 'Mad Cow Disease' and not 'Alzheimer's'). The important thing here was that SS and Denny were facing the Mayor of Boston, and while she buckles like a belt when the Mayor recites an impressive list of reasons why red meat should be banned, Denny simply shows why the Bostonian Everyman (the person the Mayor supposedly answers to) wants red meat: it's good food, it's what most people grew up eating, and it's never been proven to be dangerous in America to date. His seemingly-simple utterances about the merits of meat, and the fact that anyone who's worried about Mad Cow Disease is a 'mamsy pansy' reveals that his own struggles with old age (and SS) never gets him in a state of panic or paranoia. The fact that the Mayor and SS want to take the easy way out highlights Denny even more; he's a survivor and he'll always find a way in the end to get the job done. Kudos to William Shatner for the Golden Globe, by the way, he definitely deserves it.

Firm Dynamic
Not much new to report here. Lori and Brad didn't get much air time this week, but they, along with Lewiston and Tara, ended up rubbing the wrong side of Alan this week. It seems that only the senior partners of the firm are still on Shore-man's good side at the moment, it could spell trouble next week if Alan finds himself in need of a little help from his friends. Oh, and Betty White needs to create more drama between the co-workers, cause she's just so damn good at it, but this episode didn't really use her to my satisfaction.

Episode Grade-------------------------------------B

I enjoyed the look inside Alan's head, and the (hopefully first of many) triumph of Denny over SS in the courtroom. I would've enjoyed an exciting case even more, though.

Written by: TeaCake911

Episode News


For the week ended Sunday, February 13, 2005:
Boston Legal ranked #21 of 116 shows with 12.9mm viewers.
Crossing Jordan ranked #25 with 12.2mm viewers.
The Grammy Awards ranked #8 with 18.8mm viewers.
Season to date, Boston Legal is ranked #25 of 162 shows with an average of 12.7mm viewers.

Footnote TV
Analysis of the stories behind the stories of Til We Meat Again by Stephen Lee
Mad Cow Disease:
In this episode, a Massachusetts town outlaws the sale of beef, ostensibly because of concerns over mad-cow disease. In real life, such a law, if ever enacted, probably would withstand court scrutiny - courts cannot simply strike down silly or misguided laws but generally can strike down laws only when the laws exceed government authority or infringe on constitutional rights.
>> read more

NS grad lands spot on hit TV show
North Scott Press [Eldridge, Iowa]
February 9, 2005 - Sunday, on ABC's hit drama "Boston Legal," son Curt will get his shot at TV stardom.

Curt, a 1995 North Scott graduate who never stepped foot on the Lancer stage in high school, will be seen in two scenes opposite Emmy award-winning actor James Spader.  In the opening scene he plays a bar patron named Edwards who was hired by Spader to fight in his honor. Later he can be seen being questioned by Spader in a Boston courtroom, sporting a bruised eye.

"About two weeks ago I spent two days filming the scenes," said Bouril. "I spent two days on the set and another day in stunt training. The beauty of it was they ended up using a stunt double.
"I tell you what, to a corn-fed Iowa boy, there's nothing better than showing up to work, having a refrigerator stocked with Diet Coke and an assistant getting you scrambled eggs."
Bouril, 27, also had kind words for the show's star.

"James Spader is a fantastic guy," said Bouril. "He's really nice. He is such a good actor. He is very talented and funny, and has a very dry, dry wit. He expects you to be able to do your job, and it was fun working with him."

Obviously, Bouril is having the time of his life.
>> read more


Tara attempts to avert a brawl as Alan presents his cushy appearance to Tree Trunk Joe.

Episode Video

Boston Legal: Til We Meat Again
Season 1, Episode 14
Airdate: February 13, 2005
Watch 1st segment clip (4:26)
wm stream; 298 bitrate / no downloads

Boston Illegal Radio
Listen to a discussion of the episode
[52 min; 18 mb; 48k bitrate]
"Til We Meat Again" mp3 download
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Episode Ratings
February 13, 2005:
Boston Legal defeated NBC's "Crossing Jordan" by 1.4 million viewers (13.6 million vs. 12.2 million) and by 34% among Adults 18-49 with 5.1/12 vs. 3.8/9.
[Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate Ratings]

August 30, 2005:
Households: 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, finishing third in timeslot the past four eps. It's down 17 percent from a 1.8 for the Aug. 9 ep, 1.65 average rating for four weeks and not even half the 4.9 the show averaged during the regular season.

James Spader Meeting Place "Til We Meat Again"

Conspiracy to commit aggravated assault: a Red Sox Tale
Beyond The Script

Conspiracy to commit aggravated assault: a Red Sox Tale

"...From out in left field, he landed his southpaw on my chest - again. "Then do it." This was a whole new ball game..." >> read more

"I'm sick of it"
 "Are you sick of me?"

Watch 'I'm Sick of It'
Three scenes from 'Til We Meat Again (5:49) wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads.

Til We Meat Again 'directors commentary': If you missed seeing episode 10 "Hired Guns", you may not understand the "You really, really smell good" line in "Meat". It's code between Alan and Tara. Watch the "You smell good" clip. Consider it homework.

Full transcript of episode
[Thanks to "Imamess" at JSMP]


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