Boston Legal

Season 4 Episode 9

No Brains Left Behind

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 11, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
109 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

No Brains Left Behind
Alan takes on one of his most outrageous lawsuits to date when he teams up with Denny to sue the National Guard for failing to show up when a flood wiped out a small business.

 Shirley is surprised when her granddaughter visits her at the office with the news that she was expelled from school for destroying government standards tests.

Meanwhile, Carl has second thoughts about staying in Boston, and Lorraine comes clean to the firm about her true background.moreless

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  • A hint of redemption.

    In this episode we see how truly brilliant Boston Legal can be. Recent episodes have frustrated me as they have presented: preposterous ideas that are insulting to intelligent viewers, a lack of creativity with how characters are utilized, an over-emphasis "quirky" characters who are completely unrelatable, and long , drawn-out, preachy speeches which solve all plot holes and lack of legal proceedings. In this episode, however, we see that Boston Legal is not unaware of their recent lack of good stories. Allen, upon accepting another ridiculous case, is not given a chance to make one of his sermons, but instead tossed into court for contempt of court. What follows is a terrific character development as he examines his repetitive and predictable nature. One can only hope that it would lead to a greater development as a character. As this show would be remiss if it were not preachy in attacking the right. We have Shirley indicting the school system once again, this time in defense of her daughter who broke into the school, stole a standardized test, and destroyed it in a way that vandalized the school. As a teacher currently earning his PhD in Education who has taught in both England and the U.S., I was completely offended by much of the episode. Even if one forgives the "preachy" indictment of the American school systems, the complete fallacies that are propagated in this episode, and the complete lack of realism in how "witty" the little girl is while a graduate school educated lawyer is completely stumped; the case is once again absurd. I was afraid of the direction of this case and episode until the judge's ruling. Providing a little levity in that the Crane, Poole, and Shmidt can't get everyone off for every crime by simply presenting the left agenda in vocal form.moreless
  • Alan and Denny sue the National Guard, Shirley defends her granddaughter, and more is revealed about Lorraine.

    Decent episode, nothing absolutely great, but still good-much like last weeks.

    Alan uses the courtroom as his soapbox for the Iraq war. His points were well made, but really not in the context of his case. The courtroom seemed to be a place to air out a scathing rebuke of the war as opposed to being TV. It was entertaining but seemed more overt as opposed to subtle. The case that Alan and Denny were trying really fell by the wayside, it was a flimsy disguise for the overall social commentary. It was enjoyable, but really not part of the show.

    Shirley defended her granddaughter who destroyed standardized tests at her school. This case examined the failings of the American educational system. This issue was well examined through the lens of this case which made it informational, entertaining, and weaved it in well with the show. Unlike Alan's case, this had a story to it which was integrated well with the social commentary. Candice Bergen did an excellent job in this episode as well.

    Lorraine was a madame! Great! What else does this mean? It was great fodder for Denny though. William Shatner did another great job in this episode as evidence by his exchange with Lorraine and at the balcony scene.

    Speaking of which, the balcony scene stole the show. Seeing Alan and Denny in uniform was priceless. The dialogue and interactions were great and it was just a very funny scene.

    Good episode, but just average. It was very funny, directed well, and had some noticeably good cinematography, but the plot was inconsistent. Shirley's case flawlessly combined the social commentary and the courtroom as a backdrop-Alan's was all social commentary. This is not to say that the social commentary wasn't thought provoking or enjoyable, it was just blatantly overstated. It doesn't matter what your opinion of the war is-the show normally veils the commentary through the courtroom, not the case here.moreless
  • Alan and Denny attempt to sue the National guard, after Denny sues a pizza place. Shirley represents her grand daughter citing improper educational practices with staggering statistics. Denny and Alan realize they are too old to serve their country.moreless

    Once again drawin on reali life issues in society, Alan and Denny attempt to sue the National Guard. Alan reaffirms his abilities to turn court room trials into a circus, although to a slightly lesser degree in this epidose. Meanwhile, Carl questions his role at the firm, and more development is revealed about a cast regular who was actually from England, but assumed a new identity after running a prostitution ring in her 20's. Boston Legal continues to shock it's views with stories about life in the U.S. and the affairs of goverment facing the country. This becomes especially clear with the "no child left behind" concept. While Alan is a stern Democrat, it is entertaining that his outrageous friend is a republican. The dialogue is shocking and well written and brings issues to light that Americans may not realize concerning the expense of the war, education, and the security of the country. Meanwhile, as Shirley's relationship with Carl unfolds, Shirley's grand daughter faces expulsion from school for vandalism in the vein of shredding standardized tests, while emphasizing the differences in our education system compared to those abroad. Nearing the summmation of the story, Alan, with Denny are inspired to serve their country, but find they are too old to provide any assistance, even with the National Guard depleted, as well as so many removed from the services due to sexual preference. Without question, this series consistently provides great television and relevant and interesting story lines.moreless
Mark L. Taylor

Mark L. Taylor

Attorney Adam Jovanka

Guest Star

Allison Miller

Allison Miller

Marlena Hoffman

Guest Star

Steve Hytner

Steve Hytner

Principal Daniels

Guest Star

Henry Gibson

Henry Gibson

Judge Clark Brown

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Alan: Denny, if you were President, seriously, you wouldn't nuke Iraq and Iran.
      Denny: Before breakfast.
      Alan: Then what, North Korea?
      Denny: Okay.
      Alan: Pakistan?
      Denny: Why not.
      Alan: Afghanistan.
      Denny: If there's time.

    • Denny: Oh, we're going to be in the military. Already my penis feels bigger.

    • Denny: You know, I can't get over the irony, a long time ago I was with Shirley Schmidt now I'm old enough to be with her granddaughter.
      Marlena: Oh my God... You are, like, too ick for words.

    • Denny: (surprised) You're English?
      Lorraine: Yes, Denny, I am. I suspect you find that rather exotic.
      Denny: Oh, I love the English. I had a thing with the Queen once. On top of a Xerox machine. She's an animal.

    • Denny: Alan, I'm having second thoughts.
      Alan Why?
      Denny: Suing the National Guard might seem unpatriotic to criticize one's country at a time when we're trying to blow up somebody else's country.

  • NOTES (0)