Boston Legal

Season 2 Episode 16

Live Big

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 21, 2006 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
139 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live Big
Alan and Denny defend a man charged with murder after he euthanized his wife with Alzheimers. Meanwhile, long-lost family members return when Shirley's ex-husband asks her to be "best man" at his wedding and Paul tracks down his estranged daughter.

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  • Live Big

    This was a much darker episode of Boston Legal.

    Alan and Denny's case was very poignant, especially as it goes a little deeper into Denny's past, learning about his father and his own fears for the future. The balcony scene was very touching.

    I couldn't care too much for Shirley's story with her ex, and her exs new fiance was just sooo anoying! I know she was meant to be, but god. I thought the chemisty between Shirley and Ivan was good, however.

    Paul's scenes with his estranged daughter, however, stole the show for me this time. Its the first time they have given Paul a story of his own, and it was so dramatic and fantastically acted- I really hope they keep his daughter around.

    Overall, a darker episode this time around, but none the worse for it.moreless
  • Live Big, Denny, Live Big.

    Some episodes are over the top outrageous. This one was on the level amazing.

    One of the shows strengths for me has always been it's ability to mix comedy and drama. Live Big found the right balance.

    Alan and Denny defend a man who euthanized his wife. Good topical drama with the requisite Denny/Alan humor. Tinges of Denny's mad cow...and oh, yeah! Adam Arkin in a nice little guest spot with potential as rival of Alan's.

    Shirley has a bit of a mess on her hands when her ex-husband shows up with his new bride. What is this mismatched pair all about? This is where the farcical comedy comes in. Candace Bergen can say so much with her eyes.

    Then we get to the meat of the show...well, not really the meat, the other meat. Rene Auberjonios. (You'll have to forgive it's morning for me and I've had a complete brainfart and can't remember the character's name.) Rene's attempts to connect with his estranged daughter are priceless and well written scenes. Well acted on both parts, he and the actress playing his daughter. Nice little heartwrenching scenes.

    So, that's it. Great ep with drama and comedy. Wonderful pacing. And good characters. I guess that can be said about the show in general.moreless
  • Boston Legal is the most brilliant drama. I have slowly dropped "House", but Boston Legal is irreplaceable.

    I have just finished this episode 1/2 hour ago. It's again, different, but it's again, very Boston Legal. I have grown to love Shirley and even Denise more and more, especially Shirley.

    For once, I get to see how this Paul (Rene Auberjonois) is, and surprisingly to me, he's quite human :-) He's emotion, he feels sad, he feels angry, and he's a daughter!! oh!! plus a grand-daughter. So, now, I know, he's not so inhuamane afterall... cos, normally, I thought he's just being a bad silly boss, who's so much concerned about the firm only.

    I cried in 2 occasion in this episode.

    First, when Paul's daughter (who, 'apparently' he's abandoned for 7 years, where he refused to pick up her call, ask the security guards not to let her in the firm and etc, ya, a father, actually did that to a daughter) showed up again in the firm, and then, they started quarreling loudly. (Paul asked her to close the door first) After sentence and sentence of own's statments about who's stowing away, or who's leaving who behind, the daughter finally said one thing, "I needed you!!"

    3 simple words, but that's a tear jerker.

    3 simple words, but it says all about how she felt over the past 7 years, being abandoned by your own beloved father, when you, deep down in your own heart knows that, your life is down the drain, but you thought you've a father to cling on. (her mother, Paul's wife was dying of cancer)

    3 simple words, a drug addict plus alchoholic's cry of help!

    The second time I cried, is when the man, who's accused of 'murdering' his wife who suffered from alzheimer, as he claimed he wanted to end her suffering, and her gradual lost of her own dignity. (She's a very fiercely proud woman)

    Alan Shore told the jury, it's a self-less act, and what more to say, killing somebody you love so much. I cried.

    However, in the end, oh!! my second cry is being 'cheated', not by the episode, but well.. ya, by the episode in a way :-)

    Of course, with Alan Shore, you'll never loose a case. The man is found 'not guilty', then, with a blink in the eyes, Alan spotted this eye exchange between the man, and the nurse who took care of the wife.

    That's HORROR! (ya, horror element in Boston Legal series) You'll feel a chill down you spine. The man, since he obviously 'won' my tears, then, of course, everybody, including me, including Alan, including Denny Crane, believed that, he's innocent, that he really helped end his wife life, in great pain and sorrow.

    But, with that short glance, we all know, as well as Alan, that, it's all lie. Man and Nurse have an affair, Man is so relieved that, he's not guilty. Of course, as Alan (to his horror as well, poor Alan, again, he's mistakenly helped somebody who doesn't deserve it, poor Alan!!) asked him before the splitted in the courtroom, "So, you've anybody to keep you company tonight?"

    Man(mankind) can really be the most scary and ugly animal on this planet!moreless
  • Three different stories and only 60 minutes (43 without commercials) in which to tell 'em.

    In one case, a man is charged with killing is wife who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease; Alan and Denny handled that. Shirley had to contend with her ex-husband turning up (Tom Selleck is still gorgeous), asking her to be his "best man." Finally, Paul went looking for his estranged daughter. Of the three stories, I found the mercy killing one the most riveting and chilling. Now that I'm over 50, I've seen a lot of TV, and I've been able to guess a lot of plots and plot devices, but I honestly didn't see this one coming. The guy offed his wife to be with that ex-nurse! Eeewww! Even the war veterans Crane and Shore were a bit shocked by that one. Shirley's being best man for the ex-husband was sort of an also-ran, though Tom Selleck and Candice Bergen had some nice give-and-take throughout. I'm afraid I could give a flying fig about Paul and his ex-junkie daughter. I had a difficult father myself, and these types of storylines never interest me. In some parts, I could recite her dialogue for her, since I'd been there, done that, AND got a T-shirt. Nonetheless, it was a very satisfying episode.moreless
  • The ability of the writers and production team (David E. Kelley) to balance the comedic and dramatic themes continues to amaze me.

    Rene's Paul steals the show!

    Continuing a trend with high profile guest stars,

    Tom Selleck guests and he is not the best thing about the episode. Recently Michael J. Fox and Tom Selleck have appeared and while they have stood out they have not outshined the regular cast members.

    Rene Aubernjois (I'm guessing on the spelling) as Paul Lewiston gets an episode to shine. He general only gets a couple episodes a year and this was one of his. Rene's character Paul decides to go see his estranged daughter after a nightclub singer (a little forced and obvious on the writing team) brings up bittersweet memories for him. His daughter is played by Jayne Brook (a Kelley alum from Chicago Hope) and their interactions and chemistry are just mind blowing.

    I was totally convinced and moved by their scenes. And actually moved close to tears. Great job.

    The other stories with Alan and the assisted suicide and Shirley as Best Man are good. But pale next to Aubernjois.

    Rene has been a strong character actor for decades including his loveable foil on Benson, and as Security Chief Odo on Deep Space Nine where he was still able to convey loneliness and heartbreak despite layers of makeup. Rene's finest performance of the one's I've seen came though on another Kelley show. He guest starred on an episode of Chicago Hope as a man suffering from Teret's (spelling) Syndrome. It was so powerful how he was a brilliant man trapped by this agonizing mental condition.

    It was great to see him shine.moreless
Tom Selleck

Tom Selleck

Ivan Tiggs

Guest Star

Jayne Brook

Jayne Brook

Rachel Lewiston

Guest Star

Maury Chaykin

Maury Chaykin

Ryan Myerson

Guest Star

Michael Ensign

Michael Ensign

Judge Paul Resnick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Ivan: (to Shirley) I'm sorry. I lost a crown on my tooth last night. I was wondering whether perhaps you swallowed it.

    • Shirley: This isn't fair what you're doing to this girl.
      Ivan: I have enormous affection for her. The sex is rewarding. I make her happy. All adds up to a workable equation.
      Shirley: Your sense of romance is overwhelming.

    • Ivan: Come on, rehearsal dinners are meant to be silly. Let me take you back thirty years or so to ours.
      Shirley: I don't relive past traumas.

    • Paul: Rachel, you're almost forty.
      Rachel: Meaning what, time to grow up?
      Paul: Meaning, perhaps when choosing men...
      Rachel: Find one who won't walk out on me, yeah, well, you know what they say, girls look to marry their fathers...

    • Missy: Shirley, may we speak as girlfriends for a second?
      Shirley: I met you this morning.

    • Missy: (about the bridesmaid dress) What do you think?
      Shirley: I'm curious about your thoughts, if they involve me putting that on in this life time...

    • Shirley: Tell me. What brought you two together?
      Missy: Well, I'd have to say, church. Also his sense of humor. Did he make you giggle?
      Shirley: Only in bed.

    • Judge: Do you two have prior relationship?
      Douglas Koupfer: Yes, Your Honor. When I was in private practice, Mr. Shore hacked into my client's corporate files and then blackmailed him.
      Alan: Successfully. You left that out.

    • Paul: (about his daughter) She basically stole from me.
      Shirley: How?
      Paul: You name it. She'd feign problems with rent. Her health. Credit card debt. She'd invent all kinds of crisis to impel me to write a check, the proceeds of which would always go to feed her drug habit. The last straw, I got her in a program, an exclusive one, I told her if she left she was cut off.
      Shirley: She left?
      Paul: We had a fight. I haven't spoken to her since. That was seven years ago.
      Shirley: You should go see her. Let's list all the reason not to and put them under column A.
      Paul: And column B?
      Shirley: She's your daughter...

    • Paul: So why not do it? Be in his wedding.
      Shirley: An ex-wife as a best man? Come on, Paul.
      Paul: But if you're as close as you say, and the fiance is okay with it.
      Shirley: There's also a rehearsal dinner. He wants me there at that.
      Paul: All I know is when someone asks you to be in his wedding... How many has he had?
      Shirley: This one will be number six.

    • Ivan: I have only known two great loves in my life. You. And now Missy.
      Shirley: Okay. As far as our great love goes, you strayed during our honeymoon. And let's not even discuss the name Missy. Is she a pony?

    • Ivan: Shirley, I'd like you to be best man.
      Shirley: What do you mean?
      Ivan: If a man wants his closest friend to be his best man he should have it. Stand by my side Shirley. I want you to give me away. It's only right.
      Shirley: Uh, first of all you raise several issues. The first is that the best man doesn't give the groom away. The second is that you and I used to be married and the third is I'm not a man!

    • Ivan: This time It's real, Shirley. I feel it deep down to my...
      Shirley: Bone, I'm sure.
      Ivan: She's funny, she's smart. She's practically you, just a much younger model.
      Shirley: Aw, that's sweet.

    • Ivan: That is some fine South of the border Schmidt.
      Shirley: Ivan?
      Ivan: Take me back Shirley, that's all I ask.
      Shirley: You came here to ask me to take you back?
      Ivan: No actually, I'm getting married.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Slovakia: October 6, 2010 on JOJ

    • Music: "Thanks Again" and "The world goes 'round" by Georgia Murray, "Something Good" from The Sound of Music, and "Life is Wonderful" by Jason Mraz.

    • Douglas Koupfer played by Adam Arkin mentioned that he and Alan had a history together. This is indeed true for Arkin and James Spader as Arkin had appeared in The Practice episode The Chosen when Spader was a regular in that show. However Arkin plays a different character here in Boston Legal than the one he portrayed in The Practice.


    • Missy (singing): Anybody could be that guy...
      Ivan: Mamma Mia...
      Mamma Mia! is a musical with a book by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It is an example of a jukebox musical, and is notable for popularising the genre.

    • When Missy goes into her annoying "snort laugh", Ivan says tragic things to get her to stop. One of the things he says is "Bill Buckner". Bill Buckner played first base for the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series and made an infamous fielding error during a critical moment of game 6 that contributed to the Red Sox losing that game and ultimately the series to the New York Mets.

    • Shirley: Am I being Punk'd?
      Punk'd is the Aston Kutcher Candid Camera-esque show that plays absurd pranks on celebrities and films it.