Boston Legal ends its five year run tonight with a 2-hour finale starting at 9pm on ABC.
Boston Legal is quirky and clever in an almost branded David E. Kelley way, and has brought us some of the most memorable, most complicated characters in all of television. The most endearing of all has to be William Shatner's inimitable Denny Crane.
A lot is made of the liberal slant of Kelley's scripts, with the partners and associates at Crane, Pool, & Schmidt often taking on some of the most volatile causes in our society (euthanasia, abortion rights, religion, the death penalty -- just to name a few). And Alan Shore's trademark closing arguments are rousing, if not downright inspiring.
But the thing Boston Legal will likely be remembered for more than anything else, is the beautiful, sophisticated portrayal of male friendship. The relationship between Alan and Denny, who are opposite in almost every conceivable way, has evolved over time into one of the greatest love stories ever told. A true bro-mance, if ever there was one. Their end-of-show balcony scenes, complete with scotch and cigars, are iconic.
Tonight's finale should wrap up a lot of loose ends on the show. We know the firm is going bankrupt, thanks to all those financial clients, and that it could be sold to a Chinese corporation. And we know that senior partner Shirley Schmidt, played perfectly by Candice Bergen, is all set to marry Carl Sack (John Laroquette) -- a development that has truly broken Denny's heart.
But the heart of the show tonight will be Alan's fight to keep his dear friend Denny from the grips of his advancing Alzheimer's disease, as he argues before the Supreme Court that Denny should have access to an experimental drug. It's a little scary to think what might happen if Alan loses the case, since he has previously promised Denny he will mercy shoot him if his disease becomes too advanced. But Alan doesn't usually lose these big cases. Usually...
Whatever else it is, tonight's show promises to be funny, and it could also potentially be terribly sad. We know Denny won't get the girl, but we hope his character does get the promise of going out with some measure of dignity.