The Practice

Season 8 Episode 15

Mr. Shore Goes to Town (3)

0
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 07, 2004 on ABC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Mr. Shore Goes to Town (3)
AIRED:
Fireworks erupt at Dr. Stewart's trial when shocking testimony is elicited from the defendant's strong-willed mother, a conflicted priest and a crackpot.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "I don't know, it looks like an old nail". And with that one sentence the fantastic finale to this three-party storyline took a dark, chilling turn.

    10


    I love Season 8 of The Practice. You see I watched Boston Legal first so I didn't feel as betrayed the way some long time fans of The Practice did when the cast was drastically changed up for season 8. And I love the characters of Alan Shore and Catherine Piper - played by the legendary Betty White - these were their episodes to be sure. With this final part of the Paul Stewart storyline we saw a riveting example of just how strong a writer David E. Kelly is. There were no side stories at all over the last three episodes - just a 2 hr 15 minutes edge of your seat drama focusing on one case - which often times seemed more like a feature film than a television show. I can't praise this series of episodes enough - as Alan Shore ends up on a path not even he thought possible. 10/10 - as good as it gets.moreless
  • They could've called it "You Can't Go Home Again." But that might've given away the ending.

    9.0
    I'd actually seen this episode when it originally aired four years ago, but had completely forgotten the outcome. Watching it now, it was even MORE chilling than before -- just because of the relative success of several of its stars.



    James Spader's Alan Shore was still relatively new to the firm, and in a lot of ways, a bit naive. This version of Alan seems like a different person from the character he portrays on "Boston Legal." But in a way, this episode goes a long way to explain Alan's current cynicism, distrust and eccentricity. After all, the man returned to his hometown and proceeded to burn every single bridge he ever had there. By the end of the episode, he's betrayed his friend, Father Tom's confidence, and presumably ruined his parish; he's alienated Paul's mother by accusing her of incest; and he finds out his oldest and dearest friend, who he just spent all his resources trying to defend, is actually guilty. No wonder he embraced life at Crane, Poole, & Schmidt, and Denny Crane, as almost his surrogate family. After this case, he had none left.



    Patrick Dempsey is also fantastic as the accused, Paul Stewart, and knowing the international success he now enjoys on "Grey's Anatomy" only adds to his performance. He portrays Stewart as meek, gentle, innocent, emotional. "McDreamy" at his very McDreamiest. Until the last couple minutes when all that sweetness and sincerity fades into something much more calculated, smug and self-satisfied. He brings Alan's world down in one almost nonchalant sentence. It's not a particularly original ending ("Primal Fear" also hid a wolf in sheep's clothing), but seems particularly unnerving when you consider how Stewart seemed so similar to McDreamy -- and how easily good looks and charm can be used as a weapon.



    "Mr. Shore Goes to Town" might've been called "You Can't Go Home Again," but that might've given away the ending. Years later, it still stands up as a great twist on the old "hometown boy makes good" story. Especially because, as Alan finds out, there's nothing good about home anymore.moreless
Rhona Mitra

Rhona Mitra

Tara Wilson (season 8)

Michael Badalucco

Michael Badalucco

Jimmy Berluti (episodes 4-168, recurring previously)

Steve Harris

Steve Harris

Eugene Young

Camryn Manheim

Camryn Manheim

Ellenor Frutt

Jessica Capshaw

Jessica Capshaw

Jamie Stringer (seasons 7-8)

James Spader

James Spader

Alan Shore (season 8)

Gary Poux

Gary Poux

Dennis Hooper

Guest Star

Marc Vann

Marc Vann

Terry Glazer

Guest Star

Michael Reilly Burke

Michael Reilly Burke

Detective Kevin McCarley

Guest Star

Bill Smitrovich

Bill Smitrovich

D.A. Kenneth Walsh (episodes 118-146, 157, 165, recurring previously)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • D.A. Harvey Clarke: Where is the hammer Dr. Stewart?
      Alan: Your honor I must object to this. It's one thing not to have evidence, it's quite another to try to prosecute with that which you do not have. But I tell you I have a hammer...it's the hammer of justice, it's the hammer of freedom, it's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land, except perhaps the state of Massachusetts. What?

    • Dr Stewart: It seems like the old days, you and I getting in all kind of troubles, and you having the time of your life. I'm facing prison.
      Alan: I'm doing the very best I can.
      Dr Stewart: Is there a good deal to be made here?
      Alan: For a guilty man I'm sure there is a terrific deal to be had, for the innocent it would be despicable unfair, which do you like Paul? Good or bad?
      Dr Stewart: I didn't kill Brenda.
      Alan: I know you didn't, so let's not quit.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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