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Stick It / Season 02 Episode 19; March 14, 2006

Boston Legal starring James Spader, Mark Valley, Julie Bowen, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, Rene Auberjonois, Justin Mentell, Sara Michelle Bathe

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

Episode Summary

"Stick It" / Season 2, Episode 19
Broadcast: March 14, 2006

A story of rehab, bad dreams, honoring your grandfather, evading those taxes on principle and Alan versus the Government - again.

From ABC: When Alan Shore’s secretary, Melissa (Marisa Coughlan), is arrested for tax evasion, he takes on the case of this outspoken girl who says her late, patriotic grandfather would be proud of her for challenging the government. Meanwhile, after a blind date with Shirley Schmidt’s nephew goes badly, Denise Bauer hopes her love life will improve when she meets a cute policeman. And Paul Lewiston decides to stage an intervention for his crystal-meth-using daughter, insisting that a reluctant Brad Chase help him

Episode Credits

Directed by .... Adam Arkin
Written by .... David E. Kelley & Janet Leahy

Jayne Brook ... Rachel Lewiston
Shelley Berman ... Judge Robert Sanders
Marisa Coughlan ... Melissa
Josh Braaten ... Scott Warner
Ron Canada ... Judge Willard Reese
Scott Paulin ... U.S. Attorney Jonathan Shapiro
Ashley and April Rios ... Fiona
Brad Bovee ... P.I. Smollers
Michael Hilow ... P.I. Jerome
Robert Joseph ... Federal Marshall Joseph Reynolds
Bradley James ... Federal Marshall Thomas Leahy
Kevin Isola ... Michael Reisz
Matthew Lenhart ... jury foreman
Zylan Brooks ... clerk no. 1
Laura Henry ... clerk no. 2

>> More information on the guest stars in our forum


Stick It / Season 02 Episode 19; March 14, 2006


Episode Dialogue

Alan Shore's closing argument

Alan Shore: When the weapons of mass destruction thing turned out to be not true, I expected the American people to rise up. Ha! They didn't.

Then, when the Abu Ghraib torture thing surfaced and it was revealed that our government participated in rendition, a practice where we kidnap people and turn them over to regimes who specialize in torture, I was sure then the American people would be heard from. We stood mute.

Then came the news that we jailed thousands of so-called terrorists suspects, locked them up without the right to a trial or even the right to confront their accusers. Certainly, we would never stand for that. We did.

And now, it's been discovered the executive branch has been conducting massive, illegal, domestic surveillance on its own citizens. You and me. And I at least consoled myself that finally, finally the American people will have had enough. Evidentially, we haven't.

In fact, if the people of this country have spoken, the message is we're okay with it all. Torture, warrantless search and seizure, illegal wiretappings, prison without a fair trial - or any trial, war on false pretenses. We, as a citizenry, are apparently not offended.

There are no demonstrations on college campuses. In fact, there's no clear indication that young people seem to notice.

Well, Melissa Hughes noticed. Now, you might think, instead of withholding her taxes, she could have protested the old fashioned way. Made a placard and demonstrated at a Presidential or Vice-Presidential appearance, but we've lost the right to that as well. The Secret Service can now declare free speech zones to contain, control and, in effect, criminalize protest.

Stop for a second and try to fathom that.

At a presidential rally, parade or appearance, if you have on a supportive t-shirt, you can be there. If you are wearing or carrying something in protest, you can be removed.

This, in the United States of America. This in the United States of America. Is Melissa Hughes the only one embarrassed?

*Alan sits down abruptly in the witness chair next to the judge*

Judge Robert Sanders: Mr. Shore. That's a chair for witnesses only.

Really long speeches make me so tired sometimes.

Judge Sanders: Please get out of the chair.

Alan: Actually, I'm sick and tired.

Judge Sanders: Get out of the chair!

Alan: And what I'm most sick and tired of is how every time somebody disagrees with how the government is running things, he or she is labeled unAmerican.

U.S. Attorney Jonathan Shapiro: Evidentally, it's speech time.

Alan: And speech in this country is free, you hack! Free for me, free for you. Free for Melissa Hughes to stand up to her government and say "Stick it"!

U.S. Attorney Jonathan Shapiro: Objection!

Alan: I object to government abusing its power to squash the constitutional freedoms of its citizenry. And, God forbid, anybody challenge it. They're smeared as being a heretic.   Melissa Hughes is an American. Melissa Hughes is an American. Melissa Hughes is an American!

Judge Sanders: Mr. Shore. Unless you have anything new and fresh to say, please sit down. You've breached the decorum of my courtroom with all this hooting.

Alan: Last night, I went to bed with a book. Not as much fun as a 29 year old, but the book contained a speech by Adlai Stevenson. The year was 1952. He said, "The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live and fear breeds repression. Too often, sinister threats to the Bill of Rights, to freedom of the mind are concealed under the patriotic cloak of anti-Communism."

Today, it's the cloak of anti-terrorism. Stevenson also remarked, "It's far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them."

I know we are all afraid, but the Bill of Rights - we have to live up to that. We simply must. That's all Melissa Hughes was trying to say. She was speaking for you. I would ask you now to go back to that room and speak for her.

Watch closing arguments from "Stick It" (6:40) / wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads
"It's far easier to fight for principles, than to live up to them."

[edited out from the episode]
*Inside Denise’s dream. Denise is in bed, making love with an unseen partner*
Denise Bauer: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Denny Crane: Denny Crane!
Denise Bauer: No! No! No!
Dr Phil: Denise, you know why this is happening, don’t you?

Hillary Clinton: Hello, Denny.

Agent Joseph Reynolds: This woman is under arrest for evasion of Federal income taxes.
Melissa Hughes: *Alan looks to her. Weakly* Ooopsie.

Judge Sanders: Ten A.M. tomorrow. And I would ask Counsel to check his sense of humor at the door. My courtroom is a temple of decorum. And I do not tolerate jibber-jabber.

Shirley Schmidt: You slept with him.
Denise Bauer: I did not.
Shirley Schmidt: You did too.
Denise Bauer: I did not.
Shirley Schmidt: Denise.
Denise Bauer: Okay, maybe a little.

Did You Know... ?

Melissa's famous hair flip
Boston-Legal.org contributor Imamess created this icon s for the memorable scene of Melissa's hair flip after she kissed Alan in "Stick It" [2x19].

Cutting Room Floor: Deleted scenes from "Stick It"
The filmed version of "Stick It" began with two IRS agents walk into the firm to arrest Melissa for not paying her taxes. However, an early draft revealed the writers were going for wacky, topical comedy. To my knowledge, this version never was filmed.
>> forum discussion on Stick It deleted scenes

"Stick It" script
"Stick It" script

Six Degrees of the Guest Star bu SueB

Shelley Berman as Judge Robert Sanders - Where do I start on this guy? The amazingly prolific Berman has been performing for over 50 years. He began his career as a stand-up comedian and won the first-ever Grammy for a non-musical recording in 1959, the same year he debuted as a TV guest star in an episode of Peter Gunn. He appeared many times on The Ed Sullivan Show and other variety shows in the '60s while his lengthy list of TV guest appearances includes a recurring role on LA Law. Most recently, he appeared in several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm in the role of Larry David's father. He also played a judge in the 2004 film Meet the Fockers. Besides acting and comedy, Berman has written books, directed, and he has taught at USC for 22 years. In the meantime, despite turning 80 last month, he continues to perform stand-up comedy on a regular basis. There is more on his life and career in this interesting recent article.

Marisa Coughlan as Melissa - Coughlan returns for her sixth episode in the role of Melissa Hughes. The photogenic Minnesota native first appeared on film in 1995 and has been pegged as a rising star since winning the Movieline Young Hollywood "One to Watch" award in 2001. Besides her BL appearances, she appeared on a 2005 episode of Jake in Progress and features in the not-yet-released indie film Farewell Bender. (Mar 8 UPDATE: Coughlan has just been confirmed as one of the leads in an upcoming ABC comedy pilot!)

Adam Arkin is the first actor/director in Boston Legal history. Previously on this series, he appeared as A.D.A. Douglas Koupfer in 'Live Big' [2x16]. He'll be back as Koupfer in "Ivan the Incorrigible" [2x22].

Michael Reisz/Michael Reisz
Guest star Kevin Isola plays a character named Michael Reisz. It's also interesting to note that this character name is also the name of "Breast in Show", "Witches of Mass Destruction" and "Cancer Man Can" writer Michael Reisz. If things could be any more looking-glass, the real Reisz is also an actor. Oh, OK. One more rabbit hole. He acted in one of the Star Trek franchises. Last year, the actor Isola performed in the Broadway play Brooklyn Boy, which starred episode director Adam Arkin.

Thanks to Sue for this research. For more acting Six Degrees for every guest star in this episode, see our forum episode page

Trek in the Courtroom: Comparisons between Boston Legal and Star Trek
2x19: Stick It
WMD's, Torture and Spying: Insurrection
"It's about the girl... "
Star Trek Alumni: Ron Canada and a closer look at Shatner and Auberjonois
>> Details and images [pdf]


Episode Reviews

 | 2.19 'Stick It' written by Abney

Coming soon.

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

Episode News

Ratings  [101 by Nielsen]

March 14, 2005 "Stick It"
Households: 10.67 mil viewers, 7.0/12; adults 18-49: 3.1/8 [last week: 11.4 mil, 7.6/13 and a 3.4]. BL came in second in viewers to L&O:SVU repeat, 11.2 million and The Amazing Race, 9.6 mil. Lead-in Sons & Daughters at 9:30 p.m., 3.4/5 HH, 4.91 mil viewers, 1.9/4 in 18-49.
source: thefutoncritic, tvtracker.com

>> More ratings information in our Forum

Note about news mentions of "Stick It":
There have been hundreds of articles and blogs written about this episode. I know. I've tracked a log of them.  I'll post a few excerpts and a list of links. Partisanship is not guiding my choice. It is, truly, random.

Vendetta for Dubya
by John Patterson, The Guardian

March 24, 2006 - [excerpt] The thinking is: the president is a lazy, obtuse couch potato, so perhaps we can finally reach him through DVDs and television shows. [edit] So he heads back to the Lincoln bedroom to soak up a little TV. [edit[ On Boston Legal, James Spader, as a lawyer defending an antiwar tax-rebel, gave an irrefutable six-minute-long courtroom indictment of everything from pre-emptive war and Abu Ghraib to Valerie Plame and warrantless wiretapping, while wondering in anger and exasperation how long it would take his fellow citizens to wake up and smell the tyranny. Six months ago this would have been considered outrageously partisan, even seditious; today, it accurately reflects the public mood.   >> read more

Boston Legal episode given BuzzFlash award
Joplin Independent

March 24, 2006 - BuzzFlash, a website that provides headlines, news and commentary for what they call a "geographically-diverse, politically-savvy, pro-democracy, anti-hypocrisy Web community" has announced that their latest "Wings of Justice" award goes to David E. Kelley, James Spader and the writers of Boston Legal.

"Okay, we never thought we would be giving the BuzzFlash 'Wings of Justice Award' to the people associated with a weekly tv program, one of its stars, and the show's writers, but we were wrong," say the award-givers. They claim that each time they watched James Spader's closing arguments in the Boston Legal episode titled "Stick It," they wondered, ""Why don't Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi say this? Why aren't there Democratic Party advertisements on television with this message?"

BuzzFlash has labeled the episode a "splendid experience to watch someone say what needs to be said." Of course, Spader is talking to a fictional jury, but he's also speaking to every American that needs to pull their heads out of the sand. And no one should disagree that the case for democracy could be more compellingly and articulately stated in such a brief argument.

ABC's 'Boston Legal' Airs Anti-Bush Tirade, Takes Shot at FNC & Raises McCarthy Era
by Brent Baker, NewsBusters

March 21, 2006 - [excerpt] Last week's episode featured a plot line with over-the-top lawyer "Alan Shore," played by James Spader, delivering a five-minute-long closing argument, in defense of a woman who wouldn't pay income taxes, railing against the war on terrorism. Earlier, explaining to Shore her reasoning, the woman, "Melissa Hughes," cited how her grandfather, who fought in World War I, would be "embarrassed" by "what's happening today." She listed "us torturing people, spying on our own people, squashing everybody's civil liberties. My grandfather would weep." To which Shore got in an obvious slap at FNC: "You need to change the channel. The awful things you speak of never happen on the 'fair and balanced' newscasts."   >> read more

ABC's 'Boston Legal' Airs Anti-Bush Tirade, Takes Shot at FNC & Raises McCarthy Era

TV Review Boston Legal - "Stick It"

From Abu Ghraib to Terrorist Surveillance, “Boston Legal” Takes on President Bush

Boston Legal Speaks the Truth

David E. Kelley, James Spader, and The Writers of "Boston Legal"

What's Become of Americans?

A Boston Legal moment

Its What our Democratic Leaders Need to be Saying!


Pima County Democratic Party

March 18

The QuoMan's Quarter


Peace Garden: Boston Legal truth

Cathie from Canada: The "Stick It!" Speech

What if this were on primetime TV?

French Inside the USA: Boston Legal - Stick It; Politique US, Loisirs US, Télé et séries

Spontaneous Arising: Closing Argument

March 19
Souled On (Music, Art, Politics, and Life) The Tragedy Of Our Day Is The Climate Of Fear In Which We Live

Email this!

People's Awareness Coalition: Fascism Exposed on Television

One voice applauded, one not heard?

The End Of Civilization As We Know It: Where Credit Is Due (From Boston Legal)

MediaChannel.org: Boston Legal Speaks the Truth

Drinking Liberally® Promoting democracy one pint at a time.

LEGAL Wranglings

Life Through My Eyes


Today I saw a video clip from an episode of Boston Legal that really blew my mind


Shelley Berman as Judge Robert Sanders

Episode Forum
Share your thoughts  >> go

Episode Video

Watch the preview for "Stick It" (:40) Airdate: March 14, 2006

Watch closing arguments from "Stick It" (6:40) / wm stream; 340 bitrate / no downloads

Boston Illegal Radio

Marisa Coughlan as Melissa Hughes
Listen to our "Stick It" podcast with special guest co-host Marisa Coughlan [Melissa Hughes], Alan Shore's assistant who refused to pay her taxes on principle.
Part 1 of 2 mp3 [76 min; 26.6mb]
Part 2 of 2 mp3 [42 min; 14.8mb]

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Episode Images
Memorable scenes  >> go

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

Episode Ratings
March 14, 2006:
Households: 10.67 mil viewers, 7.0/12; adults 18-49: 3.1/8 [last week: 11.4 mil, 7.6/13 and a 3.4]. BL came in second in viewers to L&O:SVU repeat, 11.2 million and The Amazing Race, 9.6 mil. Lead-in Sons & Daughters at 9:30 p.m., 3.4/5 HH, 4.91 mil viewers, 1.9/4 in 18-49.
source: thefutoncritic, tvtracker.com

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