Eli Stone

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Jan 31, 2008 on ABC

Episode Recap

At the Mundol Village in India, lawyer Eli Stone has hired two Sherpas to take him to the Panch Chuli Peaks. A she posed to have the Sherpas take a picture, he related about how he has recently discovered he may be a prophet. The Past Eli talks about how he was once young and naïve but became a typical lawyer at WPK, and has a fiancée, Taylor. As he dictates notes on the Beutel Pharmaceuticals case, he starts hearing George Michael's "Faith" in the background. He calls in his secretary, Patti, who doesn't hear any music, and they head for a conference where it become clear Patti doesn't think much of Taylor. At the conference, a mother, Beth Keller, is threatening to sue Beutel because they produced a vaccine with a preservative which she claims gave her son autism. She seems to recognize Eli, who is distracted by the music again even though nobody else hears it. Eli eventually offers Beth a settlement but she refuse to accept. Later, Eli and Taylor are in bed when he hears the music again out in the living room. He goes out and finds George Michael standing on his coffee table singing "Faith." A stunned Eli just stares and then faints. The next day, Eli goes to see his older brother Nathan. Nathan, a doctor, orders a MRI scan and isn't too sympathetic. He finds nothing on the MRI scan and figures that Eli is just trying to figure a way to ruin his own life now that he has everything he wanted. Back at the office, Patti suggests that Eli see an acupuncturist, Dr. Chen. Beth arrives for an ex parte conversation and says she's fired her current lawyer and wants to hire.. Eli. He's understandably reluctant to sue the firm's own client and suggests she leave. Once Beth goes, Eli hears "Faith" again and follows it out into the lobby where George Michael is playing on the piano while the firm's staff are singing and dancing. Eli starts to sing and dance along only to snap out of it and realize it's a hallucination, as everyone stares at him. Eli visits with Chen who suggests that George Michael must have some significance to him. He inserts a needle, triggering a flashback for Eli of when he was making love for the first time in college. The girl decides to put on a George Michael album and starts playing "Faith," and notes that one day Eli will become a full-fledged lawyer and save the world. They start kissing and… In the present, Eli goes to see Beth, realizing that she's the girl he lost his virginity to. She notes that he didn't remember her so she didn't mention their brief relationship. Eli sees her son, Ben, who is playing with blocks. Noticing something on the blocks that Ben has spelled out, he tells Beth that he's going to take the case. As he leaves, Beth sees that her son has spelled out the name "George Michael" on the blocks. Back at WPK, senior partners Jordan Wethersby and Martin Posner have no idea why Eli is switching sides in the case. Fellow associate Matt Dowd is thrilled to hear that Eli seems to be losing it and anticipates getting his office. Eli hallucinates hearing a bell but ignores it and tries to make the case that they will get good publicity from taking the pro bono case. Jordan reluctantly agrees that they should have Eli represent Beth. After talking with Patti, Eli hears the bell again and goes to investigate. In the lobby he sees a trolley, and a man calls out his name. He refuses to get on and the trolley pulls away, and again the staff are wondering what he's doing. Eli goes back to see Chen and admits that the man he heard was his dead father. Chen triggers another flashback for Eli of when he was 12 and getting on board a trolley to talk to his father. Eli accuses his father of missing him winning a debate trophy because he was drunk. His dad doesn't deny it but shows young Eli a postcard of the Panch Chuli peaks in India and says he hopes one day they'll visit it together. On the back there is a note from is dad saying for him to remember. Eli's dad is then overcome with a brief pain, tells Eli he has one more stop, and gets off the trolley to go into a neighboring bar. In court, Beth testifies about her experience and Matt, WPK's attorney now representing Beutel, tries to object to her personal testimony. The judge calls Eli on it who admits that he's trying to get the jurors to identify with her. Matt calls the Beutel CEO, Alan Cook, to the stand and he testifies that the vaccine is safe and as a parent he wouldn't endanger anybody else's children. In his office, Eli warns Beth that the case doesn't look good for them and she notes that her husband left her because he couldn't handle her obsession with Ben's illness. After she leaves, Patti comes in and gives Eli an internal Beutel document she got from one of Matt's paralegals, showing a correlation between the vaccine and autism. Eli can't use the document as it's a breach of confidentiality but she tells him to figure something out. That night, Eli and Taylor host a dinner for their parents and Nathan. It turns out that Taylor is Jordan Wethersby's daughter. As Eli and Jordan talk, it becomes clear that Jordan knew about the memo and he let Eli take the case so he couldn't bring it forward. Eli then finds himself standing on a peak in India, holding a can of Chock Full O'Nuts. As he looks over the edge, he hears Nathan and Taylor's voice and realizes he's hallucinating again, and has climbed up on the apartment balcony. Eli and Taylor go to Nathan's office, where Nathan warns that their father underwent similar episodes. They used to think their father was an alcoholic but now he believes it was genetic since Eli shows the same symptoms. Nathan has reviewed the MRI with a neurology expert and they've discovered a small brain aneurysm. Aneurysms are hereditary and this one causes delusions and hallucinations. There's no viable way to remove it with surgery and it could burst at any time, or not at all. Taylor isn't sure if she wants to go through with the wedding now, and Eli has to leave to go to court. In court, Eli recalls Cook and gets him to admit that his daughter doesn't receive the Beutel vaccine. Jordan comes back with a new higher settlement offer but Beth refuses, wanting the vaccine removed from the market and a fund for children made autistic by it. Eli tries to warn her to take the settlement but she insists they'll lose because he doesn't believe the case. Eli visits Dr. Chen who admits his Chinese accent is fake and shares a beer with Eli on the roof. He suggests that there may be a spiritual explanation to what Eli's going through and he may now be a prophet of God. Eli is skeptical but Chen notes that Eli believes in good and evil and justice, all the things that God represents. Eli makes his closing argument in court and notes that while the evidence isn't conclusive, and the jury will have to go on faith. Later outside the courtroom, he tells her that the longer the jury takes to consider, the bigger the settlement. Patti shows up with Eli's mother Lenore and leaves them alone. Lenore has received the news about her husband's true condition from Nathan and gives Eli a familiar-looking Chock Full O'Nuts can which contains his father's ashes. She explains that it was her husband's wishes to be cremated and the ashes given to Eli, but she withheld them until now, thinking her husband was drunk. Eli has Patti take the can back to the office as the jury returns and awards Beth $5.2 million in damages. Matt considers filing an appeal but Eli convinces him not to, noting the publicity would be bad for Beutel. Beth insists that as part of the payment WPK guarantee Eli's job no matter what, and Jordan agrees. Beth then thanks Eli and as she and Ben leave, the autistic boy waves to Eli. Eli gets together with Taylor and she apologizes for her uncertainty earlier. He says he still wants to be with her, but he has to make a trip to India. The Present Eli is explaining everything to his father's ashes in India, and promises to be the person his dad thought he would be. He then goes outside onto the peak and scatters his father's ashes to the wind.