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October 10, 2015

Eli Stone: Something to Save

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 7th 2008 2:37PM

Eli Stone: Something to Save(S01E06) The secret is out. After hiding his condition from his boss, colleagues and clients for two months Eli Stone has finally come clean. Now, the world (or at least San Francisco) knows. Reaction is mixed. Some, like Eli's ex-fiancee and his brother, are glad that it's all out in the open now.

His colleagues' reaction? We know at least one person's opinion --more on that later. As for his boss and mentor, Jordan Whethersby...well, needless to say there's an extreme cold front coming between him and Eli. But, we'll discuss that in detail after the jump. For now, let's talk about Eli's decision to fess up.

There are two sides to his revelation (and, no, I'm not going to debate myself over it). On one hand he can be called a liar and a coward for holding back this information for so long from the law firm in general and Jordan specifically. Jordan seems to have been the father that Eli never really had, and really took the young lawyer under his wing to mold him into a younger version of himself. By holding back for so long, and then lying to Jordan in the process, their relationship is pretty badly damaged.

On the other hand, it took a big pair of berries to get up in the middle of a disbarment hearing and 1) lie to the judge that you were the one who signed the medical form saying that your brain scan was clear; and, 2) tell the judge about your brain aneurysm and the visions that they cause. Talk about putting your fat into the fire! If this weren't television, I could see the judge asking for Eli's lawyer-like secret decoder ring right then and there. Course, if he fessed up to Jordan about this in the first place, I'm sure that the senior partner would have been a bit more understanding and provided some sort of solution -- possibly the one that the disbarment judge gave to Eli (regular physicals and psychological examinations). But, since this wasn't written into any of the other episodes we can just file this all under speculation.

To the reactions. I wasn't surprised about Jordan's final reaction to everything he learned about Eli: you could see it bubbling underneath his skin as he and Eli were in front of the camera. By the way, that was a fairly ingenious move to sue the Bar for breaking the Americans for Disabilities Act. Plus, I think some of the frustration also came from the fact that he couldn't technically fire Eli (because of the letter the firm signed during the pilot episode). Hence, the reason that Jordan pretty much demoted him to an associate rather than a partner. I also think some of his frustration and anger was aimed towards Taylor as well. His own daughter, someone that he just hired for the firm, lying and keeping Eli's condition away from him. I'm a bit shocked that she wasn't relegated to the minor leagues with Eli.

The reaction that I was surprised about was Maggie's. For the first time in this entire series I actually found a modicum of appreciation for her. Initially, I thought that her anger towards Eli was a bit out of line. But, once she asked him if he would have been any different if he wasn't diagnosed with the aneurysm I was leaning to her side of the argument. Doesn't mean that I still don't like her. We can only hope that this will make Maggie a stronger lawyer.

You would think that Eli's case would take up most of the episode. Amazingly, there was a whole poop-load of stuff going on in this week's installment. Here is a summary.

  • I wish Eli's father didn't die, because I would certainly love to see Tom Cavanagh on this show on a regular basis. He plays a totally different character from the people he portrayed on Ed, Scrubs and his CBS show that lasted only two episodes (Love Monkey). Cavanagh was on twice this episode and, during one flashback, we learned that he had visions as well and tried to tell Eli all about it.
  • Speaking about the senior Mr. Stone...there is now a closer connection between Eli and Dr. Chen. It seems that Mr. Stone visited Chen while he was working at at television repair shop. During that meeting he asked Chen to watch over Eli in the future. It's starting to look like the visions of the senior and junior Stones are more of a gift than part of an illness.
  • Patti is now Taylor's assistant. This looks interesting. Luckily, Eli let on to Patti that it was Taylor who convinced Jordan to represent him during the disbarment. So, hopefully it won't be too much of a blood bath.
  • Keith Bennett and Matt Dowd join forces for a case involving a baseball player who may have murdered an opposing team coach during a 'roid rage episode. With Bennett coming from the streets when it comes to practicing law, and Dowd the high-end corporate lawyer, their solutions to getting the baseball player off were quite different. In the end, neither of their solutions worked when some new evidence was revealed. It seems like this may be a case that continues through multiple episodes.
  • This was the second time where Victor Garber sang during one of Eli's musical visions. I like how Taylor was surprised that it was a CCR song that was emanating from his brain rather than a George Michael song.
  • Finally, it was Old Television Lawyer's Week on Eli Stone. First, L.A. Law's Alan Rachins appeared as one of the lawyers Eli asked to represent him during the disbarment. And, he was playing Douglas Brackman Jr., the same character he played on the 80's law drama. Later in the episode Steve Harris appeared as the baseball player being accused of murder. Harris played Eugene Young in the ABC legal drama The Practice.

Next week -- Dragons, Knights, and Eli's new role as Associate Savior.

Do you think Eli should have revealed his illness during the disbarment?
Absolutely. He really had no choice as his brother was going to perjure himself.91 (46.2%)
I think he made the right decision,but he should have waited until after the disbarment2 (1.0%)
He should have spoken to Jordan long before the disbarment took place.104 (52.8%)

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Jim Kosmicki

I'm pretty sure that Love Monkey aired more than two episodes. It may have been cancelled after two, but I know that my wife and I watched more than two. Or were they run on another Viacom channel?

THAT was a show we miss. And now Miss Guided is going to bring one of the cast back to series TV too.

and if we're talking about Cavanaugh, I have to bring in the obligatory, GET ED ON DVD ALREADY statement. I know it's most likely music rights, but the first season at least is a classic that needs to be preserved and made available again.

March 08 2008 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim Kosmicki's comment

I seem to remember three shows.
You can look it up.
After being canceled, the episodes that had been made but not aired were aired on cable.
That is why you remember more then two or three.

March 09 2008 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Father Stone met Chen because Chen was working for him at the Stone TV and Repair store. They didn't have a "meeting."

March 08 2008 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not a "mix-tape" show, like what Viva Laughlin tried to be, although Viva Laughlin did prompt the wife to order all the Monarch Of The Glen DVDs from Netflix.

The songs are supposed to be a clue, and this clue was hidden from everyone until near the end, with the red herring of the prosecutor's name thrown in to quickly explain it. The rain was actually a pre-vision of the rain he would remember in a future event with Dr. Chen. Nowadays, I'm sure they have to clear the songs for future DVD usage before they air, as opposed to the old WKRP episodes that had to have several songs expunged.

The plots of this show aren't fantastic, nor do the procedurals on the cases even rise to the level of Boston Legal, so the only way the show lives is if the audience buys the characters -- and I don't see that happening. Garber is good, but he's not that good.

The only possible way to save this show is to have Stone Sr. inspire our hero in every episode.
Yep. Ghost Dad must talk, and not in flashbacks.

March 08 2008 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if I do remember correctly, Nate did refuse to sign the "normal" statement so Eli signed his bro's name to it.
I too lie Cavanagh as Eli's dad.

March 07 2008 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think I've come up with new TV terminology: "spanked." Meaning, when a character commits a crime, and is totally GUILTY and everyone knows it and there's plenty of evidence proving so, but it's television, so they have to get off.

Exhibit A: "Ten years of probation? Kate got spanked."
Exhibit B: "Eli COMMITTED PERJURY and got off?! All he got was $1000 fee and a lot of appointments and spanked?"

Um, yeah. I give them kudos for dealing with this plot so early on in the show, but by rights he should be busted for it. Might have been interesting to have this show figure out what to do with Eli Stone, non-lawyer.

March 07 2008 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was unfair for Maggie to get on Eli's case because he assumedly wouldn't have changed had he not known about his brain aneurysm. QUITE often, it's something that life-changing in order to get people to veer in a different and more positive direction, and it was ridiculously holier-than-thou of Maggie to get on his case about WHY he changed.

I was also a bit shocked at Jordan's response. I mean, I understand what he was talking about in that final scene with Eli, but as Taylor pointed out earlier in the episode -- Eli was like a son to him, and he doesn't even care that he could die at any moment?! Have you no heart, sir? I mean, imagine being diagnosed with a condition that not only could end your life but could end your career before that. Wouldn't everyone in that situation do a bit of lying in order to try and save whatever semblance of a normal life they still have, for as long as they have?

March 07 2008 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love the show and I love the actor who plays eli but i cant stand maggie. she acts more like a sophomore in college than a graduate of law school. and why is she always ragging on eli. what the hell did she think the law firm was about when she was hired. if she wanted to help people u dont join a major prestigious law firm that is all about the money. duh

March 07 2008 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

This was the first episode that I have wholeheartedly liked. There was interesting character development, neat twists, genuine emotional conflict, and no asking us to sympathise with people who feel that belief should overrule facts in the justice system.

I too was surprised that Victor Garber was singing, then I remembered that he played Jesus in "Godspell." And yes, it was Eli's father who gave Chen the job; I think the shop was mentioned by Eli in an earlier episode, and now we've seen the photograph.

March 07 2008 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show has become quite addictive and it wasn't until this episode that I suddenly realized that this show is techinically one of those quirky musicial ones that every major station tried to pull off this season. I must say this show does it and does it in such a low key manor that even the strongest critic can't help but get up and dance with Eli. I've also found my head humming the songs days after watching the show.
This episode in particular shows how relaxed the musical sequences slip into the story and if your paying attention you can see the clues before Eli does.
I actually found myself liking Jordan for the first time. He wasn't the snobbish big time lawyer represented in the first episode. Tonight he was the broken-hearted father. The audience realized along with the audience that maybe revealing his problems to Jordan sooner might have been easier.
And how about that Chen/Dad conneciton rock on! BTW it was the Dad's repair shop it said "Stone" on the sign.

Can't wait for more.

March 07 2008 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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