Eli Stone

Season 1 Episode 3

Father Figure

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

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
145 votes
  • An otherwise good episode with a twist that just made me sick.

    This episode actually had me pretty pissed off. Eli has been having visions of a WWII battle that leads to a woman who joined the national guard who wants sole custody of her twelve year old son, because she claims that her father is an unfit parent because the boy keeps running away and getting into trouble. The catch is that she's being sent to Iraq. I could tell right away that I wasn't going to like where this would go. It involves the war and it's made in Hollywood. One-sided crap to follow. It's inevitable.

    As the case progresses, it reaches a point where it's revealed the boy called 911, and then hung up and ran away. Turns out he has a big bruise on his side where his father hit him. Open and shut, right? The father is abusing his son, he should go with the mother. Case closed.

    Not quite. After a number of visions, as well as flashbacks to an incident when his father was having visions (his father had the same aneurism), the truth comes out: the bruises were from a skateboarding accident. The whole thing is a setup, dreamed up by the father so that the mother will get sole custody and thus be discharged because she can't go to Iraq. And her reason for not wanting to go is not that she object to the war, it's that she might get killed, and every day she's over there, the odds of that happening increase.

    Alright, so let me get this straight: this woman signs up for military service. A job where the standard uniform comes with a fully automatic assault rifle, and the standard training includes how to use it to kill people. She then accepts money that people have paid out of their pay checks for working one weekend a month. She does this for six straight years,* getting benefits, possibly college tuition assistance, the whole nine yards, and the entire time, and then, after six years, she's called on to actually fulfill the duty of a soldier, the reason the job even EXISTS: to FIGHT. And suddenly, she wants out. She wants out, and she's willing to let her husband go to PRISON for child abuse, all so that she doesn't have to the job she signed up and drained the country's resources for.

    Bull crap. That is a royal slap in the face of everyone who serves. You're afraid of fighting? Of getting killed? Fine. That's understandable. So afraid you can't go? Again, that's understandable. Some people just aren't meant to be warriors. But you know what? If anything about war is unacceptable to you, you have no business being a soldier, and you [u]damn[/u] sure have no business doing it for six years.

    And in case you're wondering how I know she'd been doing it for six years, admittedly, I don't. But I'm giving her the benefit of a doubt. The alternative is that this woman signed up for military service after the war in Iraq had already started. She signed up for the military during a time of war, and then had her husband sent to jail for child abuse so that she didn't have to fight in said war. I don't really see that as better.

    The fact that Eli still plead her case and won kind of paints her in a sympathetic light. The whole thing just made me sick.
  • Another fun episode pitting Eli and his wife against each other of shall I say potential wife. Eli continues to take the law firm apart from this inside all to George Michael tunes. Other than fighting for a service woman to keep her

    Another fun episode pitting Eli and his wife against each other of shall I say potential wife. Eli continues to take the law firm apart from this inside all to George Michael tunes. Other than fighting for a service woman to keep her parental rights. We also deal with Eli's sanity being questioned by his boss. Even though it bothers me that Eli hasn't learned to control himself but watching him make an idiot of himself is funny. I liked the twist on how the lady soldier kept her parental rights and in my opinion they made there point without being preachy. Good episode once again I come away feeling good after a showing.
  • I enjoyed this episode and found the final scenes with both fathers quite moving.

    Through the acupuncture treatments by Dr. Chen, he and we learn more about his relationship with his father. That people, including children will do anything to help or protect those that they love. Under the needle, Eli relives an incident where his father has a vision like Eli and ends up shooting a gun at home. It stops with the father off camera and the sound of a gun. I thought that the father had shot himself in the head. When Eli goes back, we see that the Eli took the gun and told the police and his mom that he had done it. He reaizes then that the son of the soldier may be doing the same thing. I am beginning to enjoy watching scenes with Tom Cavanaugh. (I loved Ed) I wouldn't mind exploring the father relationship. Yet, it would take time away from all of the other great people on the show. The scene where he confronts the mother about the possible deception and her confession, and the last looks exchanged between the husband and wife as he was led away in handcuffs was nicely done. I would have liked to see a shot of the boy eyes watching his father being led way with perhaps the glimmer of understanding of the consequences their actions. This would stray from the story, but in a case like this, lawyers, the judge and other people involved, including the military, who would have had representatives there, would have caught the husband's not too subtle nod to his wife. Perhaps a shot of the husband face as he start towards his family that shows an intense stare that changes to a glaze of expressionless might have been interesting. I'm glad that they showed that his fiancee was able to get that the husband was sacrifing his life. I think that she should be able to intuit what is really going on in Eli's head. I think that it would be distracting from Eli's story, but, she, more than Eli, would struggle to balance social position with standing by a man who appears mentally unstable. I like all of the women in his life.
    A final thought, I sympathize strongly about what the family and child are going through, but when you sign up for the Military, you should try to follow it through. But it up to our leaders to think clearly of the consequences before committing the life of a single soldier.
    Eli is a pleasant surprise and I'm glad to have the opportunuty to enjoy it. I look forward to seeing much more.

  • I like the new series but this was my least favorite episode.

    I was pleasantly surprised by this new show. I like Eli. He's funny and a great reluctant hero. I was really pulled into the series in the first 2 episodes. However, this episode left me a little disappointed. Not enough to not like the show but enough to be concerned about the direction in which the show is moving. I liked Eli working for a big high powered firm but willing to go out on a limb to help the helpless. However, in this episode the firm is ready to fire him and they tow his car away to discourage him?? Really?? I also didn't like the premise of this episode - a husband and wife get their young child to lie about being an abused child in order to get his mother discharged from the military. What a horrible thing to do to a child! If Eli's visions are really supposed to be sent by God to help people, I seriously doubt that God wanted Eli to misrepresent the truth in a court of law, violate his ethics and represent a morally corrupt woman. I was also disappointed in the ending. Eli's brother falsifies his medical records (again another morally questionable action). As a result Eli assures Jordan that he's o.k. and that he loves Jordan's daughter. He then goes home and breaks up with Taylor. Seriously?? I'm not ready to give up on this show yet but I'm really hoping with episode was just a fluke.