Boston Legal

Season 3 Episode 18

Son of the Defender

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 03, 2007 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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out of 10
217 votes
  • Among the best of the Boston Legal's series!

    One of the best episodes of the whole series! A Denny Crane episode of course! Bravo to the black and white technique! The featured parts of another Shatner's appearance on screen (The Defender) were absolutely perfect! I over-enjoyed it! Shatner was just brilliant here! He could have walked away with the EMMY statue. It’s a shame that Lost’s Locke managed to grab it (nevertheless he also deserved it)… And the writers rose once again above the expectations! They managed to combine the agony of such an old case (the first of the young Denny) and the life threat of the opposed. I wish Boston Legal never ended…
  • "I'm proud of you Denny." "Why?" "I just am, I always am".

    This is definately one of my favourite episodes, which is strange as Alan barely features. The performance by Shatner is just pitch perfect here.

    The concept of the great Denny Crane's first case is just a brilliant idea, and the flashback scenes (real footage with Shatner) was just ingeniously incorporated. The case itself was quite moving and emotional, particulary as Denny had flashbacks to him and his father.

    The rest of the cast was used to good use, Brad proving good humour, Paul and Denise good as the "jurors" whilst Shirley acting on the outside.

    Alan's b-story proving some good laughs as well, especially in the short scenes with the judge. It was quite a nice little story that didn't take too much away from the main plot.

    The balcony scene has to be one of my favourites, especially when Alan tell's Denny he's proud of him. A really touching moments.

    Overall- perfection, even for a series that makes perfection easy.
  • Denny is reunited with his first client who had been charged with murder. Denny had won this case, but had no idea how it would come back to haunt him. The son of the victim shows up at the firm and holds Denny and several others hostage.

    This is why I watch television!!! William Shatner deserves credit for his performance in this episode. This proves that the man really can act when given the chance. This is probably the most serious episode of the series, but definitely the best.

    This is the first time in the series where we have been given the chance to see What made Denny become a lawyer in the first place. Also, this is the first time that Alan hasn't been around to save Denny. He is busy with a different trial.

    The highlights of the episode are the flashbacks that Denny has to the first trial where he was co-counsel with his father. A true masterpiece of television!
  • special episode. Denny Crane!

    Its always a special episode when Denny Crane has some camera time. Loved what they did with that old footage of him when he was young. Very touching episode that only confirms the powerful talent of a great actor and probably a great man! =) I cheer u Commander! =) Its not so good that Alan didn't show up, but no arm done, when he shows, he leaves his mark! =) Keep up the good work, a great series with damn good actors, lots of comedy, lots of sex! =) always good material do keep us interest. Take Care and Congratulations. ViVi
  • Denny revisits his very first case.

    This is such a fantastic episode. Aside from the unique setting which creates for good theater, the infusion of the old clips creates a terrific episode. This episode shows Denny revisiting his very first case which subsequently led to the demise of his relationship with his father. Nostalgia aside, the episode also allows for Denny to survive a case on his own, as Allen is in and out of jail for contempt of court. A convenient plot devise that ensures Denny fight this battle on his own. With the hint of Billie Joel's And So It Goes makes for a truly touching episode.
  • this episode for every character other than denny meant very little, but seeing denny's flashback to his first trial and his fathers reaction, its unmissable ,the characterisation is incredibly

    throughout the length of this series denny is the comic relief, saying edgy and slightly unethicla things, shooting people and spakring off situations he is one of the shows pivotal characters, and part of the main relationship in the show (denny and allan as friends) he always seems untouchable and aimlessly happy but in this episode we get a true depth out of the character, albeit il want this side to be shown few and far apart is is very effective, re-enacting the trial which rocketed him into the legal world, while also being te poithis father disowned him for his legal trickery and his quote at the end of the episode "he disowned me" really hits hard, you care about this, the storyline is hard-hitting and anybody can relate as its a family based storyline, a true wonder for the series kudos to the makers and the bomber was well acted too
  • A brilliant idea! The only reason I didn't give it 10 was because we saw so little of Alan. Though I can understand the reason why.

    Who thought of incorporating an old film of William Shatner's as a flashback for this episode? I was intigued enough to look it up....
    The Defender:(1957)The plot outline goes:
    A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father while the prosecution puts on a dramatic and convincing argument of guilt.... Surely William Shatner must have had some input. I think it was a great idea that worked very well and showed us a very different Denny Crane.
  • Did somebody say TJ Hooker? No? Well, there is actually a hooker in this episode...

    Easily Denny Crane's finest legal moment, he betrays his own cynical exterior to reveal that-- for all of his anti-liberalism on the rooftop with Alan Shore at the end of every episode-- Crane is just as idealistic as Alan is. It definitely puts a new spin on Shatner's character, his moments of selfish hedonism can now be seen for what they really are--they're just sad attempts at trying and make his father proud (who never approved of his 'liberal' thoughts of getting the guy off even if he was guilty).

    It's a new way to look at the lawyers of Boston Legal. Sure, people can say they're the scum of the earth for basically doing everything in their power to get criminals off scott free without any punishment. But as we see with Alan's case with his prostitute client and the official that's caught 'with his pants down', trying cases is a serious responsibility that has pivotal consequences for the guilty/innocent defendants. Any lawyer that doesn't try to their fullest skill level to win their assigned cases should really be disbarred, thrown in jail, and prevented from ever having such a responsibility ever again, the episode seems to say--

    The flashback scenes were also a great sneak peek into Mr. Mad-Cow's brain for once, a nice bonus!

    Young Denny got emotionally involved in the case, yes, but only because Daddy Crane had stopped remembering how to get emotionally involved. This is why Denny's a better lawyer than his father ever was ("Still undefeated!") Kudos.
  • Felt like a clip show. Not bad for a clip show!

    What a brilliant way to write an episode about the early life of Denny Craine - Use old footage from shows long forgotten by both fans and probably Shatner himself. Other than this, this episode proved that you don't need to use much of a set to create an episode - One prison Cell, a Courtroom and a staff meeting room. On the other hand , this episode did contain a bit of the old predictable storyline. Alan gets thrown into jail, a dwarf nearly gets everyone killed by her charming personality and Denny's past puts him once again in trouble.
  • What a joy, this top notch episode showed more character and depth than any other this season. Brilliantly acted and excellent executed.

    This episode brought forth a better understanding of human nature and what exactly makes everyone tick and how they are affected by the past. I loved the scenes from "Studio One" episode "The Defender" with Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner mixed in with the present situation that held everyone captive for an hour. Definitely an Award winning episode.

    I am in shock of this episode, it was better than it looked, and it looked awesome. BL has always been good, but it has rarely been this stern and good. The episode was still hilarious, yet moving. It shows a side of Denny we never before saw. Alan's case was also humerous. My only gripe is that Claire was gone with no explanation, lol. Anyway, if every episode is this good, BL will be better than it has ever been before. I don't know if this is the series' best episode, but it without a doubt comes into the top five.
  • Aaron Sears is a man holding the firm hostage and seeking to kill Denny for the fact that his father defended a man that allegedly killed his mom.

    On paper this looked like another run of the mill episode. Too many episodes lately have been mostly for guilty pleasure but nothing really special except this one.

    Denny or should I say Shatner takes us back in time to an old tv pilot he did with Ralph Bellamy playing a father and son duo defending a man for murder (that man would be Steve McQueen).

    The writers managed to incorporate parts of that pilot to tell the story (in not so many words) how Denny got into the law firm. I think this is the first time as well that they've gone in more detail about Denny himself. We all know he's vulnerable and in his old age losing his memories and become a shell of his former self. However, at least this episode redeems the character to be an honest man who even without the approval of his father wanted to play the law by the rules.

    Stephen Lee does a decent job as the man holding the firm hostage. Denny defends the same man accused. The ending I didn't find convincing at all because in most real life hostage situations you really get everyone out alive. Still though it was one of the more memorable episodes of the season.
  • We see Denny's first case while Alan sits in jail on contempt.

    This was one of the finest episodes of Boston Legal that has been written. I loved the incorporation of the show from 1957, it was not just a gratuitous use of old footage, but pivotal to the story. This show also gave us much more background on the character of Denny Crane. We saw him as he was early in his career, not yet hungry for the win, but truely believing in the innocence of his client and doing whatever it took to get him off. Alan meanwhile was acting as his usual self, slimey yet noble. The closing scene brought a tear to my eye, seeing, even more, the close friendship of Denny and Alan.
  • The best episode since Death Be Not Proud. Denny is taken hostage and forced to retry his first case. Alan is held in contempt of court during a prostitution case involving a State Senator.

    Achive footage from a 50 year old TV pilot, The Defender, is cleaverly woven into a mock retrial of Denny's first murder case. The son of a woman murdered 50 years ago show up at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt with the alleged murder suspect and forces Denny to retry the case. It turns out that the man accused of the murder was not the man put on trial, thanks to Denny's legal maneuvering.

    As the trial progresses, we see footage of a young Denny(Shatner) and his father (Ralph Bellamy) who discuss the trial, the law, and what it means to be a lawyer. The footage reveals a clash between the two men regarding thier views of the legal profession and how their differences made Denny the lawyer he is today. When a secret is revealed concerning the relationship between the murder victim's husband and the suspect, the son has a better understanding of his father and his behavior after his wife's murder. Although the verdict remained the same, Denny comes to realize that he made a rooky mistake by not suspecting the husband, despite new evidence provided by the accused.

    I just praise the lord Alan was in jail while this mock trial was going on. His attitude would surely have set the son off, literally. The writing was superb and seeing a softer Denny made the episode a real classic.
  • The perfect episode.

    This is one of the best BL episodes in months, maybe even better than the episodes about Judge Hooper's murder. Seriously. This episode left such an impact on me. I was left speechless. We saw a different side of Denny, finally... Well, two sides... :lol:
    The first one is, of course, the young William Shatner, but also Denny Crane's emotional, softer side. The scene where he takes that trigger thing was absolutely astonishing and brilliant. This episode couldn't have been any better. I'm kinda glad Alan wasn't involved in it, 'cause then he'd make the entire 'hostage situation' a joke... This was a fine example of television's greatest, and Boston Legal is one of the biggest examples for the kind of shows we want to keep watching, instead of dumb reality shows. Brilliant.
  • The show that you thought couldn't get any better, just did.

    Now, I just want to say that I thought it was very cool how they used the old footage in the episode, when I first saw it, it surprised me, and I thought the had gone to commercial break and then a young William Shatner popped up on my screen, it was really cool to see that. The storyline of the guy taking the firm hostage and holding a trial was very well written, and I was guessing myself if he would blow everybody up. I really didn't care for the whole Brad being stuck in the ventilation shaft, and the callbacks to that during the show. I also get why they didn't have Alan in with the rest of them, for the fact if they had Alan in there, we would have known the guy wouldn't blow everybody up, so they had to separate him from the rest of them. Alan's storyline was good, but it was just there for filler, in between the scenes of the hostage taking. Plus, how different did Mike Hagerty look, compared to what he looked like on Lucky Louie, I didn't even notice it was him until about the third scene he was in.
  • The son of the alleged victim of Denny's first client kidnaps the Crane, Poole and Schmidt staff and forces them to retry the case. Meanwhile, Alan is jailed for contempt along side a prostitute and her state senator client.

    I imagine it is quite hard to give depth to as cartoonish a character as Denny Crane, this episode did that in spades. This was Boston Legal at its finest, giving some gravity to a show that has been a bit weak this season. The main plot was both sad and intelligent and the subplot was really quite good. One of the things that has always impressed me about Boston Legal (and most of David E. Kelley's shows) is the character acting and as usual the guest cast was quite excellent. This episodes gives me hope for the remainder of this season and seasons to come.
  • Amazing Episode!

    Does anyone know what song played at the end when Denny is talking to the guy holding them hostage, if so pleaseeeeeee post back and let me know! Thanks sooooo so so much!

    This episode was a memorable one and it had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved the clips from "The Defender", I thought it was very well written and has Emmy written all over it. I only just started watching this show but my sister got me into it and now definetely hooked on it because of this episode!!! The acting is really superb!
  • this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons

    this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons

    this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons

    this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons

    this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons

    this is one of the best episodes any legal show i seen hope this show runs for many many more seasons
  • Fantastic!

    This is one of the best episodes in quite some time...As usual, it was very well written with many twists and tugs at the viewers heartstrings. It was extremely well acted and we finally see some vulnerability in Denny Crane. Although it did not contain very much humor in comparison with most episodes, I enjoyed it immensely! The flashback scenes were great. I think David Kelly is a genius and Boston Legal is the best show on none! I can't wait to see what's coming next. Such a great cast! The jailed Senator looked and sounded like John Candy. I can't help wondering if he is related somehow.
  • I really loved watching this episode, despite the so-few laughs it delivered.

    I watched this episode expecting some left-field curve in the plot to make a hostage situation funny, instead I watched an episode that makes the irascible Denny Crane into a fuller human being. The flashbacks with Denny and his father were brillantly dispersed through the story, and you could almost feel the hurt and desperation Denny was feeling. Here is this man, who always seemed as if he sprung full-grown and disgusting from the ground, and you connect with him, through the desperation he feels for the love of his father and realization that his father wasn't proud of him. Even at the end, when he tries to bring back old Denny with his 'proud papa' remark, he has to face reality and realize his father was so disappointed in the man he was that he disowned, not just disavowed or never spoke to him but disowned him.
  • A very different Denny.

    I found this episode intriguing and heartfelt...for the most part. Set aside, for now, the Alan Shore plotline and look at the Denny Crane side of the episode.

    For all his comedy William Shatner can still act (or what passes for acting.) He did a wonderful job of being dumbfounded and confused, but also searching. His soul searching and reminisces the true heart of the matter...well, the true heart of the matter was relationships between father's and sons...but having such an old and prominent wound opened certainly makes one suffer self doubt. I got that.

    The supporting cast of the episode, or at least that storyline, were solid. The Kidnapper (whose character name I've forgotten) was very well played...up until the harrowing final moments with the trigger. Not sure harrowing is the word I want...perhaps tense and tender (if that's possible.)

    Now, on to Alan. Hmm...interesting departure. I missed the first few minutes so I don't totally get what happened to end them all in the cooler, but I'm sure it was classic Shore. It was nicely done, even if our hero had a minimal role in the meat of that "case."

    All in all a fine episode. The flashbacks were utilized well. Definitely a unique episode.