Boston Legal

Season 3 Episode 13

Dumping Bella

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 30, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
131 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Dumping Bella
Denny finds it unusually difficult to break up with Bella when she asks him to represent her in her claim against an animal-rights group who is harassing her cosmetic business.

Meanwhile, Alan opens up to Vanessa when she shows up in a yellow dress, and Brad and Jeffrey continue their feud at Paul's mandatory costume party.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Excellent Episode

    This episode continued the strong episodes that the third Season had during Boston Legal, despite not being as strong as some of its predecesors.

    Denny dumping Bella for her daughter was well handled- comic, but also quite sensitive. The case surrounding Bella was amusing, especially Shirley's obvious hatred of her! And the old, senial judge is always a favourite! The costume party was also well handled, especially Alan opening up to Vanessa. My only real complaint is what on earth happened to Vanessa after this episode? No explanation again!

    Nevertheless, the two buzz lightyears caused much amusement! No idea where they are going with either of the pairs storylines however.

    Overall, a great watch, start to finish- as per normal.moreless
  • A great episode.

    So Denny finally decided to dump Bella but he finds that it becomes increasingly more dificult to do that when he has to defend her at court. Meanwhile Denny confesses to Alan that he still loves Bethany. Alan reveals to someone his most deepest secret that he has never told anyone. Claire however reveals to Clarence that she had a bad childhood. Meanwhile Clarence finally works up the nerve to ask Claire out on a date. Finally Brad finds out that Denise is sleeping with someone else at the office and breaks off the realtionship with her.Finally Paul reveals to everyone that they are going to have a fancy dress party and everyone has to come dressed as someone they admire, Alan comes as Shirely and Brad comes as Buzz lightyear. Overall loved this episode, it was really enjoyable next week looks realy good because Denise finds out she is pregnant.moreless
  • Alan Shore as Shirley Schmidt and looking absolutely gorgeous? Where else but BL? The storylines are thought provoking but the dialogue is hilarious!

    If the criticism is that BL is turning into Ally McBeal ... so what ... that was a really funny and moving show too ... I laughed and cried my way through many an episode and BL is just as superior in its writing.

    Bethany's speech about the cruelty to animals in cosmetic testing was superbly delivered ... it made you stop and think about the terrible suffering animals go through didn't it? I hope so! But at the same time the writers never let go of the humour ... because there is always humour ... Judge: "Hold on! Are you a midget?"

    Bethany: "Are you an imbecile?"

    Judge: "Objection!"

    Denny: "Sustained!"

    ... and with Shirley commenting on the Judge's own face peel and then when the Judge says he doesn't believe in all that moisteriser, botox, fountain of youth poppycock she says:

    "Oh please Judge ... how else could you look like you do at 100?"

    It was obvious it was going to be a great episode ... Bella coming in ... not only in a blue coat ... but totally blue herself! Hilarious! Alan with prompt cards as Denny tells Bethany he loves her! Paul's demand they all attend a costume party to show another side of their personality to their colleagues ... you knew there was going to be trouble! Two Buzz Lightyears ... fighting it out!! Although who knew Alan would look so good!! And as with Ally ... you have the emotional side of the characters ... Brad finishing with Denise ... or is he testing her emotions? Alan opening up to Vanessa about his fantasy girl in the yellow dress that all women have had to size up to ... well she wore it to the party so he has made an impression with her! And Clarence and Claire ... an unusual couple ... but well suited because they look after each other! And Alan as Shirley dancing with Denny :

    ["Do I really remind you of Shirley?" "Hmm ... except some of the lumps are in the wrong place!" "The lump you are referring to is your own!"] What is it about men who show their feminine side? Well ... in BL ... it seems to be a must!

    I hope BL runs as long as Ally ... if fact with the writing as good as it is ... may it run even longer!moreless
  • Wow, this show is really going off the rails.

    Wow, this show is really going off the rails. I don't know what is going on with this show. They've taken the parts that were charming and are making them overly broad. Gone is all subtlety. Denny Crane has always been something of a buffoon but they have taken him over the edge. He accidentally fires a gun TWICE in this episode. The whole Clarice/Clarence thing dating his boss? Oh, so many areas I can't list them all. There were still some funny parts in this episode but I certainly hope they reel it back some again starting next episode. It is become a caricature of itself at this point.

    Update: I was looking in the forum and came across a thread "The Practice & Boston Legal" which had some illuminating comments:

    "I liked Denny and Alan much better when they were in The Practice. They seemed more like real people, and the comedy was much sharper. However, since Boston Legal started, they've degraded into almost cartoon characters.

    Same thing happened with Ally McBeal. She started off as an eccentric, yet real, lovable person, but by the end, she had completely lost her mind. I think David E Kelley has a problem of eventually taking his characters too far in their 'zaniness'."


    "Oh yes here we go again. The Practice or Boston Legal. It is my contention that season 8 of The Practice is much better then BL. BL has totally forgot about the dark debase side of Alan Shore. And Denny was much better. He actually won cases on his own and Alan was in awe of him. Now Denny is portrayed as a perverted buffoon. I know that BL is a different kind of show the TP but they can at least continue with the characters as they were first developed."

    I didn't see much of The Practice so I missed out on Denny and Alan's origin story. I still have to agree with these commenters, though. An eccentric Denny that is a great lawyer is entertaining. Denny as a complete buffoon is starting to become boring. The characters are losing their depth and that is a shame.moreless
  • A great show including some character development

    This was a good episode. I'm not really sure where they are going with the Denise as a slut story but perhaps it just something to move along the the Jeffery Brad relationship. Buzz Lighyear? I have to say I was amused. But I really watch the show for Denny Crane and alan Shore. What more can be said about these two? I know they will always make me laugh. Who would have we ever see Denny dance with another man! And finally, I never really thought much of Clarence at first but now I think Clarence and Claire are for each other!moreless
Nia Long

Nia Long

Vanessa Walker

Guest Star

P.J. Byrne

P.J. Byrne

Matthew Steinkellner

Guest Star

Christopher Neiman

Christopher Neiman

Marshall Prig

Guest Star

Shelley Berman

Shelley Berman

Judge Robert Sanders

Recurring Role

Delta Burke

Delta Burke

Bella Horowitz

Recurring Role

Meredith Eaton

Meredith Eaton

Bethany Horowitz

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Denny: Imagine people looking out their windows and seeing Dick Cheney and Shirley Schmidt dancing on the balcony.
      Alan: Well, if they're regular viewers, they know by now that anything goes.

    • Paul: What's it like being Shirley?
      Alan: The thong is a little uncomfortable. (Paul's eyes widen as he looks downward at Alan's torso.)

    • Paul: Denny, it's supposed to be somebody you admire.
      Denny: (dressed in camo hunting garb, shotgun over his shoulder) Anybody who can blast his friend in the face and get him to take the rap for it is my kind of citizen!

    • Denny: Alan, you've got to help me dump Bella. I'm not good when it comes to breaking up with women. I'm too soft.
      Alan: Denny, you shoot people!
      Denny: I thought of that, but that would be illegal. Except in Florida.

    • Denise: You can assume that any sex I'm having is safe, not that I'm having any separate and apart from you.
      Brad: Are you sleeping with somebody else from this office? I'll not be made a fool of. Are you sleeping with somebody else from this office?
      Denise: If you no longer want to sleep with me, that's fine. I'll miss it, but I'm not answering these questions.

    • Denny: Shirley, Shirley, when the woman is unhappy, the man is rarely satisfied. I'll let you play with my gun. (leeringly)
      Shirley: Your gun goes off too prematurely for me, Denny. It always has.

    • Denny: I'm about to drop the big one for the little one.

    • Brad: Could I get you to put your tongue back in your mouth there, soldier?
      Alan: Thank goodness we have you, Brad, to keep track of our tongues. Would you like a list of the places mine has been this week?
      Brad: Perv.

    • Denny: It's gonna get ugly, Shirley.
      Shirley: Denny Crane ugly.
      Denny: Hmm-mm.

    • Vanessa: I'm sure it's a long, very complicated answer, but what is your problem?
      Alan: (chuckles) You're right. It's a long...very complicated answer.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Slovakia: October 29, 2010 on JOJ

    • When Denny and Alan are dancing on the balcony dressed as Cheney and Shirley (respectively), Alan says "Well, if they're regular viewers, they know by now that anything goes."
      This is another example of this show breaking the fourth wall.


    • Alan: Shirley, we've been instructed to chose somebody we admire. That leaves you and Dog the Bounty Hunter.

      He refers to the TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter, which is a series revolving around Duane "Dog" Chapman and his crew trying to capture criminals.

    • The fictional C.O.T.A. is an allusion to P.E.T.A. (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), an organization known for using demonstrative tactics similar to the blue paint applied to Bella in this episode.