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October 3, 2015

Eli Stone: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 22nd 2008 1:01AM

Victor Garber(S01E04) Is James Avery always a lawyer these days? Every time I see him he's either a lawyer, or a judge, or someone involved in law enforcement. Gosh, even in The Closer he's a medical examiner. And in other things he's been a general and a Chancellor and other characters of power. Well, I guess if you are going to be stereotyped in Hollywood it's best to be stereotyped as a person of authority.

Anyway, Avery was a guest-star on this week's Eli Stone as, you guessed it, a lawyer. But, he wasn't a member of Eli's firm. He was actually requesting the services of Jordan Whethersby to represent him in a case of same-race discrimination. You read right -- this was Jordan's case, not Eli's. This makes it the first time in the show's short history that there was more than one case shown on an episode.

This poses a bit of a quandary since the show is named Eli Stone and not San Francisco Legal. I really shouldn't be surprised that the program would need to focus on some of the other cases at Jordan's law firm, but I thought that Eli would have a hand in them. I guess that the producers of the show thought that, by the fourth episode, they could shift some of the focus away from Eli and more towards the other characters.

This worries me, as I thought that Jordan's case was more interesting than Eli's. The case that Eli took seemed to be filler for all of the other events that were going on around him this episode. It was Jordan's case that had the meat and showed off his character quite well to the television audience. It also gave us the opportunity to be introduced to (I think) new character Keith Bennett, played by former What About Brian star Jason George. I can only hope this won't be a regular trait of the show until all of the characters have established themselves.

I like Jordan. Rather than being a stuffed shirt he has a human side to him. Not a quirky human side like Denny Crane has on Boston Legal, but a fairly honest and truthful side. Yes, yes, I know that's hard to say about a lawyer, but I like to take risks. Jordan isn't one to back down, yet he is willing to give his employees, like one Eli Stone, slack to do what they need to in order to right themselves on the flume ride that is life. If I were a huge corporate entity I would certainly like to have Jordan in my court.

Eli, on the other hand...not so much. It's not that he doesn't know his law, and it's not that he ends up jumping up or hiding under various tables after visions. It's just that his support staff stinks. His associate, Maggie Dekker, is one of the worst law graduates I have ever seen: You can glean all of the information you want from books and legal briefs, but if you don't have experience in court, then you are S.O.L. Maggie is that type of person and I wish that she wasn't added to the cast of Stone.

Meanwhile, Eli's assistant, Loretta...Man, how I dislike her. You know, when I see her smile and listen to that high voice I am reminded of one Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (the book, not the movie). She just seems all sugar and spice, but she's really salt and, um, really stinky spice. What does she have against Taylor anyway? Oh sure, she's a successful lawyer who swept Eli's heart away. But to be so vengeful towards her, especially when Eli breaks up with her. Well, that's just not nice.

Eli, for the most part, is a nice guy. However, I do have an issue with him...he's stiff. I'm not talking about his personality -- frankly, I think Eli is a very emotional type of guy. I'm talking about the way he moves. I haven't noticed it over the last three episodes, but tonight Jonny Lee Miller was definitely walking and moving a bit stiffer than a normal person would. I don't know if that is a characteristic of Eli or Jonny Lee Miller, but it's a bit disconcerting to see on camera.

Eli's case this week -- as I said, it really was just a tool to further Eli's development. In fact, it was over in about 30 minutes, which made me wonder what he would be doing in the second-half of the show. Turns out, it was filled with his visions of his client having a medical emergency and his sort-of reconciliation with Taylor. I did enjoy his musical vision this week, which featured many copies of his client, dressed in a hospital gown, singing "Good Lovin'". I think this is also the first time where the musical number was not a George Michael song.

I like Eli Stone. I think that it's in a growth stage right now, so it's still a bit clunky. Yet, I see some good stuff with the stories and characters that could make this show last for awhile. Let's see what they do over the next couple of weeks.

After four episodes, what do you think of Eli Stone so far?
Very good show. Looking forward to the next episode.151 (71.9%)
It's an okay program, but kind of similar to everything else going on.45 (21.4%)
Not a very good show.14 (6.7%)

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I'm kind of getting bored with this series. I miss George Michael.

February 22 2008 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment

I miss the big dance and song sequences with George Michael songs.....

February 23 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Insert Name

The only thing that would compel me to watch another episode of this show would be someone threatening to shove a flaming thorn bush up my rectum.

February 22 2008 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've really been enjoying the show since the pilot. Not my favorite show on tv, but definitely one I look forward to watching, especially since not much else I watch is on Thursday nights since the writer's strike.

I am curious to see whether or not they continue showing other cases that don't involve Eli in future episodes. I had a similar reaction to yours, but I kind of questioned whether or not it would really happen every episode. It sort of seemed to me like they were just doing that so we could be introduced to a new character (I think you said his name was Keith Bennett). So maybe that was why they had a lot of the show devoted to non-Eli related matters. However... if they ARE adding a new character, then this may lead them to showing us other cases that don't involve Eli in the future. But we shall see.

Overall, I've been enjoying the show. I agree that they portray Maggie Dekker as pretty dumb, and not very realistic. On the other hand, Eli IS pursuing cases that most other lawyers in that type of firm wouldn't want to go after, since there is not a lot of money in it for them. So, it makes sense that Eli will take whatever help he can get, which in the real world might end up being someone similar to Maggie, who is not very experienced and is more in it to help people, rather than make money. Hopefully she will get better, and then she will be a little less annoying and more of someone who actually helps Eli on his path to making the world a better place.

February 22 2008 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

The black lawyer who brought forth the discrimination case ... they needed a way to bring him onto the show and into Eli's law firm ... this was an interesting way to do it ...

February 22 2008 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tari Akpodiete

Um, I'm pretty sure that's a picture of Victor Garber - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001255/ - and not James Avery - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0043041/

February 22 2008 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tari Akpodiete's comment

i can't see anything implying that it is....

February 23 2008 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tari Akpodiete

Well, it implies it by its placement, theConundrumm; the post starts off talking about Avery, and there's a picture of someone.

February 23 2008 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually like this episode. Jordan's trial gives me the reason why he tolerates Eli's recent strange behaviors and wasn't bent on trying a way to fire him after his star employee entered his slump. He's not just the boss; he's also a great mentor, good judge of characters, and know how to spot a talent when he sees one (at least that's what it seems to me from this episode anyway).

This episode also helps bringing Nate (maybe?) into the Eli's interpret-a-vision circle. Not that I don't like Dr.Chen, but it's tiring to have just the spiritual perspective to counter Eli's all the time. Having others' point of view in interpreting the meaning of the vision might be interesting; not just about their takes on things, but also how it reveals them and what that means to/affects Eli.

February 22 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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