Boston Legal

Season 2 Episode 11

The Cancer Man Can

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

By Users

Episode Summary

The Cancer Man Can
Paul recruits Denise to help him defend a cancer patient who used his wealth to guarantee he would not get a placebo during a drug study. Meanwhile, Alan goes too far in trying to convince the senior partners to promote "Hands" to partner, and Denny finds himself falling in love with a woman he meets at a charity event.moreless

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  • "All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to sit back and go 'It's a business'. "

    Another wonderful episode, that has too many good points to list! The opening scene was just brilliantly, brilliantly done! Hilarious scenes, involving pretty much all the main characters.

    Michael J Fox played his part perfectly- one of the best guest stars they have ever had on this programme. I also thought he and Denise had really good chemistry together.

    Alan trying to get Jerry the partnership was brilliantly done as well- I love how Alan sympathises and even relates to Jerry, more than anyone else in the firm. His exchanged with Shirley was so dramatic- the chemistry between the whole cast is just amazing. It was very tense stuff when Jerry attacked Shirley! And, of course, Alan comes to the rescue yet again :).

    Overall, this Season just proves why it was one of the best of Boston Legal.moreless
  • Pretty good episode.

    Paul and Denise have to defend a patient who used his wealth to guarantee he would not get a placebo during a drug study, luckily they win the case. Meanwhile Jerry tries to become partner, but he is beaten by Brad. Alan takes an intrest when he realises that the senior partners are not allowing him to become partner because of the way he acts. Feeling hurt Jerry threatens to kill Shirley luckily Alan talks him down but Jerry is arrested. Overall i thought this was a good episode. Not to sure about Denise going with Daniel Post but anyway i really enjoyed it.moreless
  • Hands faces an obstical in his life and turns to Alan for help. Denise has a case she can't win with a man no one can resist. Denny gets a new "girl".moreless

    Very very good episode. Alan is such a good character, well they all are really. But Alan is just so good. I was actually scared when Hands got ahold of the knife. But that line "Is this enough?" Wow it just gave me shivers. I'm definately on Hands' side how could you choose Brad he's just so "perfect". Denny is especially funny in this episode, "get my guns", His girlfriend is absolutely horrifying though. "and is it just me or could she be Candace's stunt double, maybe that's the attraction.

    Michael J Fox did very well, not that I expected differently. His character really fits in with the Firm. I'm looking forward to the next few episodes with him.

    The Hands Alan storyline definately stood out to me though. I threw the internal balance of the firm off and finally Alan is taking actions against Shirley (I do like her its just shes too willing to fire people). Im glad they finally mentioned all the people that have left and how that was wrong. Boy I can't wait for the case between those two.moreless
  • An excellent episode, altho not quite up to the usual fare. A filler episode of Boston Legal is better then most series' best.

    An excellent episode, altho not quite up to the usual fare. Perhaps being right after two of the best episodes ever, Gone and Legal Deficits, brought expectations too high. Still a great episode, with a hilarious opening, and a many pronged spork of plots. Hands and Brad are up for partner, Brad gets the nod, Hands doesn't. Hands goes crazy. Denny finds a love interest, and So does Denise. Shirley is a hostage. Everyone eats cake, and Denny decides what sort of cake to have for his birthday. Sara and Garrett are hardley to be seen in this episode, which is regretable. Alan agrees to represent Hands.moreless
  • A major boost to a secondary character and a nice guest turn highlight this ep.

    This ep turned out to be much better than expected due to the surprise elements. The commercials made it sound like Michael J. Fox would dominate but instead he wasn't on that long, at least not in this ep. His story was intriguing with trying to buy his way into a group to try to save his life and I liked how Edwin got some good moments dealing with it. Intrigued by how his relationship with Denise will progress and Fox is always excellent.

    The bit with Denny meeting the woman of his dreams was very unexpected and delightful to see Denny put off by someone for a change. I'm not sure about his marrying her but then again, the idea of a Denny Crane wedding episode is comedy gold. And he also did well with stuff like "knighting" Brad and his hysterical smile to Hands after telling Brad to get his guns.

    Which leads us to Hands and the show is great with elevating what looked to be a one-ep humorous character into a major storyline. It was nice to see Alan taking on Shirley pushing Hands' partnership and even though we understood why he couldn't be a partner, it still hurt when Shirley had to break the news to him. Trying to kill her seemed a bit much but it was great when he rattled off all the legal terminology and you could see everyone realize he really was a better attorney than Brad. I look forward to seeing Alan trying to defend him.

    So once again an episode that was much more than it promised to be, which is always good and shows how well this show balances drama and humor and will continue to do so.moreless
Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Attorney Samantha Fried

Guest Star

Larry Cedar

Larry Cedar

Robert Hopper

Guest Star

Mary Boucher

Mary Boucher

Judge Rose Olheim

Guest Star

Michael J. Fox (I)

Michael J. Fox (I)

Daniel Post

Recurring Role

Marisa Coughlan

Marisa Coughlan

Melissa Hughes

Recurring Role

Joanna Cassidy

Joanna Cassidy

Beverly Bridge

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The nickname "Hands" used of Jerry Espinson is a nod to the discoverer of Asperger syndrome, Hans Asperger.

    • There is a scene where Michael J Fox's character and Julie Bowen are walking in the street close together. It is evident in the shot that Julie is actually taller of the two. However, in the next scene after they have kissed, you could see that Michael was is now taller than her. Elevated shoes perhaps?

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Denny: What did you think of my speech?
      Alan: Excellent.
      Denny: Thank you for writing it for me.

    • Daniel: (to Denise) You free for dinner? Because I got a private chef that makes a mean breakfast in bed. You see where I'm going with this...

    • Alan: Would you at least let me have a glance at his performance review then?
      Denny: Well, it's highly confidential... (gives it to Alan) Just don't tell anybody where you got it.

    • Denny: (about Beverly) She's an amazing woman, Al. It's like having a one-night stand, but every night, with the same woman.

    • Alan: Things going well with Bev then?
      Denny: She said she wanted to fulfill every single one of my fantasies. I made a list. I had to type it myself. My assistant threatened to quit.

    • Alan: Jerry, you know I have a tremendous affection for my own intelligence, and even I think you are smarter than me.
      Jerry: Oh, I am.

    • Beverly: Nice night.
      (Denny turns and looks at her)
      Denny: Suddenly it is.

    • Denise: The rich are different from you and me.
      Paul: Certainly from you.

    • Denny: What the hell kinda charity is 'Children's Group'?
      Shirley: We're teaching children to read.
      Denise: No, we're buying them food.
      Alan: I thought we were providing them with old people to play with.

    • (After Denny has sex on the desk in his office without dropping all the blinds on the storefront windows)
      Shirley: This is unprofessional, Denny. You are setting a very bad example for the rest of the firm.
      Denny: Understood. And, from now on, in this office, those blinds go down before anybody else does...

    • Denny: Mmmm! Everyone, this is the cake I want for my birthday.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Slovakia: September 30, 2010 on JOJ

    • Music:
      "Last To Know" by Neil Finn

    • This episode is the first mention of Lori Colson's (Monica Potter) departure. Right after Alan interrupts the partners' meeting, he goes on a tirade in his office with Shirley Schmidt in which he reveals that almost all of the departed cast members, including Sally Heap (Lake Bell), Catherine Piper (Betty White), and Lori Colson (Monica Potter) have all been in some way or another let go of by Shirley. Previously, all of this was known except for Lori Colson's departure.

    • On the night that this originally aired, Erica Gimple, who played Samantha Fried on this episode, was playing Elizabeth Stone on the House episode "Failure To Communicate" during its original airing.
      In addition to this, this Boston Legal episode was shown on Australian TV on the Seven Network five nights after the aforementioned House episode was shown on rival network Network Ten.


    • Listen carefully and notice that when Denny (William Shatner) flips open his new cell phone, it has the same chirping sound effect as the communicators he used as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series (1966-69).