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Boston Legal

Season 4 Episode 8

Oral Contracts

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 04, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
101 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Oral Contracts
Denny is once again arrested, this time for allegedly soliciting gay sex in the court men's room, and again turns to Alan for representation. Shirley is surprised to find Bethany as her opposition in court when she defends an old "shock-jock" friend for saying offensive things over-the-air. Meanwhile, Katie begins snooping around when she suspects Lorraine is not who she says she is.moreless

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  • Denny gets arrested in a sting operation in a public bathroom for soliciting gay sex. Little doi the police know but Mr. Crane is the biggest homophobe in Boston. NAturally he worrys about his reputation and depends on Alan to get him off (so to speak).moreless

    A plethora of vignettes worth mentioning. Great to see Paul back. And doesn't actor Rene Auberjonois look distinguished with his goatee? Not sure if this will be permanent or not but even if it's not, still great to see him. Anyone know who ene studied actingwith? Richard Sanders. That's right, Les Nessman and Odo side by side honing their craft in the late 1950's.

    And Bethany is back as well. More dwarf jokes. Interesting how it is still ok to make light of a person's size (in both directions) but not at a person's race. The judge Bethany goes toe to toe with is black but that isn't even germain to the dialogue. She is slightly on the hefty side. Nothing like the really really big female judge in an earlier episode when Denny Crane got the firm sued by a woman who was in his opinion "too fat." Why didn't they get that judge totry this case? Don't try to tell me it's because this show doesn't like to go to the well repeated times, because they do all the time. Was it last season when Alan would hold cue cards for Denny as hedidn't know what to say in a given situation? The first time it was hilarious. The second time was bland. Or, from this season when they had the nun interpreting double entedres left and right in open court. One case had to do with cock fighting. uff said. The first time it was a riot. They went back to the well the very next week and by then it was stale. So maybe they are learning their lesson. I doubt it but you never know.

    You knew they had to lampoon the Larry Craig story somehow. Sure enough, Denny gets busted in a bathroom. Feet tapping, humming, looking through the occupied stall, it's all there but the fingers under the stall asking for toilet paper. Besides providing Alan a soapbox to once again pontificate on the idiocy of sting operations in public bathrooms, this episode allowed for a fair examination of the underlying subtext of the Denny/Alan pseudo homoerotic male bonding vein of the show. One wonders just how far the producers will be willing to go with this. Sometimes I think Denny protesteth too much (reminds me of a guy I used to know - yeah, the one in the mirror).moreless
  • Denny is arrested...again, Alan defends him...again. Shirley defends a shock jock, and a secret is revealed about Lorraine.

    This was a good episode, not great, but certainly not bad. If was funny and very enjoyable, but it wasn't really anything special. If anything, this episode met the standard it has established for itself.

    Denny is accused of soliciting a prostitute for gay sex, the charges were completely unfounded and Denny was raked through the mud. His sleepovers and the fact that him and Alan are "flamingos" was brought into trial, and unneccessarily so. This issue was used to examine the nature of homophobia and heterosexism in this nation. Alan's argument to defend Denny was good, and the social commentary was interesting, but nothing out of the ordinary and ground breaking.

    Alan and Denny's interactions were wonderful as always. Both James Spader and William Shatner are amazing actors who are amazing when on screen together. Their dialogue and direction was great too.

    Shirley's case was good, nothing great there, though free speech is always a great issue to examine through the lens of Boston Legal. The interactions with the Judge and Bethany were priceless, lots of laughs there. Candice Bergen turned in a stellar performance as the level-headed yet witty Shirley Schmidt.

    The whole "Lorraine has a fatwa on her" thing could get interesting, and the idea that she is someone else is kind of cool, but it's already been done.

    Good episode, great writing and great acting as usual. Direciton was pretty good, cinematography wasn't out of the ordinary. This was a decent run of the mill episode, nothing to write home about, but still very funny and very enjoyable.moreless
  • Denny is arrested (again), this time, for solicitation, caught by police in a sting operation. Alan must talk Denny out of the situation. Meanwhile Shirley faces off against Bethany. Paul returns concerning the fate of Denny's career and the firm.moreless

    While the episode does draw on a story similar to real life, Boston Legal continues to entertain us with excellent story lines and character development. While not one of the best episodes, the dialogue between all characters is consistently entertaining and the storyline continues to keep viewers interested in what will come next. It is unfortunate so many cast changes have occured; however, William Shatner as Denny Crane and James Spader as Alan are enough to keep the series worth watching. Characters, once regular cast members, including Paul and Brad, do make cameo appearances which keeps continuity in each episode. The characters stay true to form, and ultimately, the focus remains on Denny's antics, and Alan's powers of persuasion in a court room, as well as their friendship.moreless
Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine

Judge Victoria Thomson

Guest Star

Steven Culp

Steven Culp

A.D.A. Norman Wilson

Guest Star

Robert Wuhl

Robert Wuhl

Bob Binder

Guest Star

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Paul Lewiston

Recurring Role

Henry Gibson

Henry Gibson

Judge Clark Brown

Recurring Role

Jill Brennan

Jill Brennan

Gracie Jane

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Saffron Burrows (Lorraine) speaks in a British accent in a couple of scenes. This is in fact her real accent as the actress is from London.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Alan: We're actually sitting in a court room, wasting tax dollars, because my client had gas. He was constipated, he went to remedy his problem, in a bathroom, imagine that, where low and behold, three undercover police officers were lurking, waiting, to interpret a tapping foot as a call for gay sex. Now, maybe Larry Craig deserved his fate, thrown in front of the very bus he helped to build, but Denny Crane doesn't deserve this, all he was trying to do was take a crap.

    • Denny: Can you imagine all the times I've beaten the rap, to be convicted of public gayness? I'll be forced to unregister as a Republican.
      Alan: Republicans would have no problem with you being gay Denny, so long as you continue to prosecute homosexuals.
      Denny: I hope you're right.

    • (In court)
      Alan: So you didn't go into the bathroom looking for sex?
      Denny: Oh God no! Oh, I've had sex in bathroom stalls before, sometimes for money. But always, always, with a woman. I'm a heterosexual. And I think being gay is a sin. It's against God, against the President. And it's bad for the troops.
      Alan: How could the police officer misinterpret it?
      Denny: 'Cause he's an idiot!

    • Officer Whistler: He did all the known signals for solicitation. In fact, he was quite methodical about it.
      Denny: He's full of crap.
      Alan: Denny...
      Denny: Well so was I, but I was constipated.

    • Alan: ...then I remember what Mark Twain said, You go to heaven for the climate but to hell for the company so (chuckles) no matter what, in the end...
      Denny: We'll be together.
      Alan: Indeed
      Denny: Soul mates in hell, I love it.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Before Denny gets arrested he tries to call, Alan on his cellphone when he flips it open like a Star Trek Communicator and it makes the sound of the Communicator. Denny yells Alan's name as he gets wrestled to the floor.