Eli Stone

Season 1 Episode 3

Father Figure

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Feb 14, 2008 on ABC

Episode Recap

A mechanic is towing away Eli's company car, unimpressed with his claim that he's a prophet. Eli's forced to take public transportation to get to the office where he meets with Patti. She isn't thrilled that she has to coordinate the engagement party while Taylor's assistant fills in. Maggie meets with Eli and notes that with Matt out of town, she wants to help out Eli and get a win on her record. Eli reluctantly agrees and they go into the morning meeting where Martin Posner mentions that associate billables are down. Jordan asks for a volunteer on a case and Maggie volunteers, but he's unimpressed until she says Eli will be helping her.

As Eli sits in, he hears the sound of gunfire and suddenly finds himself in a trench on a battlefield. A soldier complains about how it took Eli so long to get there, then says that Private Swain is pinned down so they have to go to help her. He grabs Eli… who snaps out of his vision from underneath the conference tape. He gives a feeble excuse about dropping his pen. After the meeting, Posner thinks there may be something wrong with Eli and wants to use it as a reason to get out of the no-firing clause. Jordan isn't convinced, but Posner has a plan.

Eli visits Dr. Chen and once again denies that he's a prophet. Chen isn't convinced but Eli notes that there's nobody named Swain on the firm's client list. Chen notes that the name may come up in the future so Eli should keep an eye out. Afterward, Eli visits with Taylor at her firm and while he's waiting, he sees a boy named Brian waiting for his mother, who is involved in a custody case. Brian is reading a newspaper article on military casualties in Iraq. His mother comes out: a soldier. Eli talks to Taylor, who is representing Brian's father Robert and whose wife is in the National Guard. The mother is suing for a discharge and receiving custody, but Taylor figures that the court won't grant an active military officer a discharge over a custody matter. She also mentions the mother's name: Patricia Swain.

Back at WPK, Maggie talks to Eli about their case: Patricia Swain's. Patti lets him know that the engagement party is set up, and then informs Eli that Patricia's current lawyer, Larry, isn't thrilled with Eli taking the case from him. They're interrupted when a server shows up to subpoena Eli with papers requiring him to submit to a physical.

Patricia's lawyer Larry is the same attorney who represented Beth, but Eli explains he just wants to act as co-counsel. They go to court where Larry founders until Eli provides some help, slipping him a note detailing other instances of active soldiers receiving custody. Eli steps in and explains the situation and the judge agrees to hear the motion, much to Taylor's disgust. Eli tries to apologize afterward but Patricia interrupts to inform him she's dropping Larry and wants Eli to run the case.

Eli catches up to Taylor in the parking garage and tries to apologize, but she's mad that this is how he wants to spend time with her. He notes that she's won more cases against him then he has against her and he promises they can have adversarial sex afterward. He ends up having to hitch a ride with her.

Eli meets with Nate, who will be doing the physical including a MRI and CAT scan. Eli warns that if he fights the subpoena then the partners will know something is up, and he wants Nate to fake the report. Nate refuses, thinking Eli needs a break.

In court, Brian's father testifies that he wants a divorce because she came back from the war as a different person. In turn Patricia argues that he can't control Brian, but Taylor argues that Patricia might be suffering from post trauma syndrome. When Taylor and Eli start arguing, the judge is forced to separate them. Later, Eli tells Brian to testify truthfully but the boy seems nervous about his father being in court. Patricia is worried about Eli's relationship with Taylor, then suggests he get some 911 phone records from Larry from when she was away.

Eli is talking with Maggie in his office when he starts hearing gunfire again. He walks outside and sees the same soldier saying they have to take the ridge. A grenade lands nearby and explodes, and Eli finds himself under Patti's desk. After trying to explain, he asks her to set up an appointment with Chen. Chen uses a needle to bring back Eli's memories, and Eli finds himself remembering a day when his father was raving about Nazis and rescuing someone on a ridge. Eli's father thought young Eli was a soldier and started waving a pistol round. He stepped out of the room and Eli heard a gunshot. In the present, an upset Eli believes the whole thing is a mistake.

Brian testifies in court about how Robert is there for him when his mother is gone. However, under cross-examination Eli brings up the fact that Brian called 911 the night he ran away from home. The judge forces Brian to reveal that he was injured that night, and he still has bruises on his torso. Brian testifies that his father inflicted them. Afterward, Eli wonders why Patricia didn't say anything, and she admits she didn't want to believe he could turn violent. He warns her that there'll be a criminal investigation but she should get custody.

That night at the party, Taylor gives Eli a hard time about bringing up the phone records without notice, and notes that other kids on Brian's football team have similar injuries. She isn't happy with how the case is affecting their relationship and Eli apologizes for blindsiding her with the new evidence.

Nate is at the party, drinking heavily, and Beth arrives there at well. Nate knows who she is and Eli realizes that Patti invited her on her own to possibly set her up with Eli. Beth's son Ben is doing better, and Eli sets her up to dance with Nate. Jordan calls for attention and congratulates the happy couple, and Eli then finds himself on the battlefield again. They've taken the ridge, but the soldier tells Eli to run for the rally point. He ends up on the pastry table with everyone staring at him.

Back at Eli's apartment, Nate makes coffee while Eli apologizes to Taylor. She wonders if this is what it was like with his father, and explains she convinced her parents that Eli was nervous about the wedding. After Taylor leaves, Eli wonders to Nate if he'll be a worst husband then their father was. Nate insists their mother loved their father, then shows Eli's the fake test papers and agrees to sign them. He insists he isn't going to let Eli end up like their father.

Eli goes to Chen for another memory-session that picks up where the last one left off. Young Eli goes into the room with his father and finds he shot a mirror. Eli takes the gun and then lies to everyone that he fired the gun so his father wouldn't get in trouble. However, the idea of a son lying to protect a parent gives Eli an idea. He goes to see Patricia and accuse Robert and Brian of committing fraud: Brian is lying so that they can get Patricia discharged to take on custody, and get her out of harms' way. It becomes clear Patricia is in on it as well, and they faked the assault charge to throw off the government. Robert will go to jail, but that's better then Patricia being killed in Iraq.

The next day in court, Eli doesn't say that Brian is lying or telling the truth, but defends the fact he needs his mother who could otherwise die in an endless war. As they wait for a verdict, Eli talks with Taylor and admits she's the best lawyer he knows. Taylor wonders if the craziness is ever going to stop, but there's nothing Eli can do to reassure her. They're called into court where the judge gives Patricia custody and remands Robert to the authorities.

Eli meets with Jordan, who congratulates him on winning the case and notes on the coincidence of the physician also being named Stone. Jordan apologizes for thinking he could get Eli back to "normal" by taking away his perks. However, he also wants Eli to tell him if anything is wrong that could impact Taylor. Eli lies and says that he's fine, but Jordan warns that if he ever finds out differently then their relationship will take a downward turn.

Back at his apartment, Eli and Taylor are sorting through engagement gifts and she notes that Eli didn't address Brian's statements or their truth during his closing statement. Eli admits that he did the same thing for his dad, then tells her that he has to break up with her. He refuses to put her through the same thing that his mother went through with his father. A stunned Taylor can only leave.