Probably the strongest episode of the series, dramatically speaking. Of the few episodes of The Practice that I did see prior to the introduction of Alan Shore in Season 8, this rang true as an episode that could have come from that series, with a classic Boston Legal tongue-in-cheek subplot to undercut the seriousness of the main plot, which was nothing short of phenomenal. Alan is so effective in this role - because for once, he isn't sardonic or smug. He's passionate about a case that he truly believes in, and he doesn't have the upper hand - he's fighting an arduous uphill battle that he knows he probably can't win. But he fought anyway. For Chelina, for Zeke - for his own personal beliefs. That's admirable whether or not you're morally upstanding.
I'm not going to comment on whether the death penalty is virtuous or a monstrous institution, and I'm not even going to touch the fact that Texas is responsible for so many of our nation's state-inflicted capital punishments. David E. Kelley did plenty of that for the both of us. Instead, I'd like to examine the people that make up this show - it's the characters that carry us through the story, case by case. That's why I watch the show in the first place, and that's why I stick around. I'll tell you, plain and simple, right now - Alan Shore is THE most interesting, involving, sarcastic, and yet at the same time utterly serious character on television. Period. I just couldn't help but watch in awe as he delivered his final speech to the Texan justices, scrambling to find some way to stay Zeke's execution, any way he could. He likes that people such as Chelina would turn to him for help in this insurmountable situation, and he hates that sometimes, he fails. But that's what makes him more real than the (pleasantly) one-dimensional Denny.
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