Boston Public

Season 4 Episode 14

Chapter Eighty

0
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Unknown on FOX
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Chapter Eighty
A former student of Winslow High dies in Iraq while serving the U.S. Army. Principal Harper receives a letter from the deceased student which brings back old memories back to the days when he took care of him and pulled him away from a life in the gutter. Danny Hanson struggles with a student in his class who's been hacking into the school's computer base; finding out about the teachers' private lives and upcoming tests.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The most poignant episode NOT including the character of Harry Senate. An amazing look at Steven Harper the man -- we learn of a student who he took under his wing from Southie who had bad start but whose mentoring changed him into a man.moreless

    10
    Honestly, even though the show often felt gimmicky during its unfortunately shortened final season (the Whitney Houston cameo at end of season three was pathetic; the R.E.M. episode contrived but unbelievably poignant as 'Losing My Religion' is performed while Guber realizes that his crusade to convince Feldman that he is not JC may have had unintended and unfortunate consequences). In this episode we see Steven Harper through the eyes of a student who grew up in Southie and had gotten to high school despite being illiterate; a casualty of the conflict in Iraq that Harper refuses to allow Danny Hansen to use boy's death as a call to arms for protest and it stays amazingly apolitical. Am amazing performance by Chi McBride it was the first episode that I didn't find myself asking, what ever happened to Nicky Katt. It is too bad that with all of the stunt casting they were unable to work Mr. Katt a cameo contract for this episode, but that is nitpicking. By far the best scene is when Harper visits the diner in Deegan's neighborhood after a Saturday detention and some of the neighborhood kids start to antagonize Billy for bringing a black man into the white Irish neighborhood. Hearing Mr. Harper explain to Billy that the ignorant kids represent his future if he were to follow a different path really hits home when Deegan tries to defend Harper. Heartbreaking.

    Probably should have been final, rather than penultimate, episode, switched with the one that instead concludes the series.moreless
  • It's a shame the whole series wasn't like this. There was no gimicks in this, just fine acting and storytelling.

    10
    This is what the show should have been about. It's the story of a boy who Guber thought was hopeless. Stephen figures out that the boy, Billy, can't read. He offers to teach Billy. The thing is, this happened years ago; Deegan recently died in the Iraq war.



    Stephen distances himself from everyone in the present, but in the past he helped Billy transform from a knucklehead to a productive young man. Billy even gets accepted into a college.



    I agree with the former poster that the best scence was the one involving the bigots in the diner. A lot of the race episodes on this show felt preachy, but this one felt real. The acting from Chi Mcbride and the boy who plays Billy is top notch.



    I only wished every episode had this level of realism; that could've put the show at the west wing level (yeah, I said it.).moreless
Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence

Billy Deegan

Guest Star

Jeanette O'Connor

Jeanette O'Connor

Agnes the Waitress

Guest Star

Rusty Schwimmer

Rusty Schwimmer

Billy's Mom

Guest Star

Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson

Sonny

Recurring Role

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