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'Eli Stone' Recap: Rain, Steroids and Revelations

March 7th, 2008 10:20am EST
Eli StoneIt's Thursday night, so you know what that means? Time for another horrendous episode of "Eli Stone," right? In this wild and crazy world that we live in, it's nice to have something to depend upon. Only this week, ol' Eli decided to throw us a little curveball. This week, the episode wasn't terrible. In fact, it actually bordered on decent. Quite shocking.

Pleading his case

Things are not going so well for Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller). Not only are his strange visions persisting, but he is now facing a hearing with possible disbarment. To top it all off, he even has a little rain cloud that follows him wherever he goes. And no, it's not metaphorical; rather it is a small piece of his vision. A large (and wet) dance number soon follows. And no, George Michael does not appear. But Tom Cavanagh does!

Back to the plot. Eli complains that no lawyer seems to want to touch his case. Too bad, because he really needs all the help that he can get. The reason why, he tells Chen (James Saito), is that the lawyer who will be opposing him in the hearing is his "own personal Javert." Thank you, "Eli Stone." Les Mis references are always appreciated.

Speaking of Chen, he actually gets to play a significant role in the episode this week, the first time that has happened since the series premiere. Nice to see James Saito finally earning his paycheck. But more on that later.

So Eli doesn't know who to turn to, but ex-fiancée Taylor (Natasha Henstridge) has an idea. In yet another attempt to prove to Eli how much she still loves him, she goes to her dad Jordan (Victor Garber), and pleads on Eli's behalf. She says that Jordan should take Eli's case because Eli's erratic behavior (and the breakup) is all her fault. She tells Daddy J that she cheated on Eli, and he was hurt because of it and started acting out. Jordan falls for it and takes the case. Come on Victor Garber, we thought you were sharper than that.

The case starts out well for the "dream ticket" of Jordan and Eli, as they put Eli's "Javert" in her place. But then big brother Nate (Matt Letscher) is called in to testify about the physical that he lied about. In order to save his brother's license, Eli admits everything during the hearing. Needless to say, Jordan is not very happy with the revelation.

Jordan eventually helps Eli regroup, and they play up the aneurysm as a disability that is not affecting Eli's job performance, but instead enhancing it. The maneuver works, and Eli lives to fight another legal day. The celebration is short lived, however, as Jordan later berates Eli for lying to him and putting the firm in jeopardy. Although he can't fire Mr. Stone (due to events in an earlier case), he tells him that he can take away his office, assistant and caseload. He also cuts off all personal and professional ties with Eli. Actually, that sounds even worse than getting fired, but Eli doesn't really seem to mind.

The obligatory steroids case

The subplot this episode is thin and incomplete. It is another "ripped from the headlines" case a la "Law & Order." Sorry guys, but "Eli Stone" is no "L&O." The case this time involves a San Francisco baseball player (and the writers take care to reassert the fact that he is not supposed to represent Barry Bonds) who is suspected of steroid use. There is even a crack about his expanding head size thrown in there. Oh, and he also killed his third base coach with a foul ball. So technically, both aspects of the case were "ripped from the headlines." Neat.

The odd couple of Bennett (Jason George) and Dowd (Sam Jaeger) join forces and defend the ballplayer. Although it does provide a few entertaining scenes, the case never really goes anywhere and the conclusion is unresolved and unsatisfying. True, it was just filler, but it wasn't very good filler. However, it took screen time away from Maggie (Julie Gonzalo), who thankfully only appeared in two short scenes this week. Guess it wasn't all bad.

How Chen found his purpose

So Chen and Eli explore more of Eli's fractured relationship with his father in this episode. That is always a welcome storyline, as it means that viewers are graced with the presence of Tom Cavanagh as the elder Stone. Eli has a memory of his father acting out in a rainstorm, and later admitting that he could see into the future. Although Eli scoffed at the notion at the time, he has begun to believe due to recent events. Chen the drops a little bombshell that proves Eli's father wasn't crazy (wasn't that already proven weeks ago?).

The bombshell is that a younger and much more unemployed Chen was once hired by a man who ran an electronic repair shop. Guess who that was? Papa Stone took good care of Chen, and Chen once told him how grateful he was. Papa Stone said that it was ok; Chen would repay him someday by helping out Eli. He saw into the future, get it? It wasn't exactly a show changing moment or anything, but at least it gave Chen a purpose for being in the show (sort of).

It really wasn't that bad

Maybe it was just reduced expectations brought on by horrendous episodes past, but this week's installment of "Eli Stone" was fairly entertaining. The dialogue seemed a little sharper, and there were a few nice moments involving characters that usually don't get a chance to do anything remotely interesting. Even the subplot, although pointless, was watchable. The real question is: will things continue to improve next week, or was this episode an aberration? Guess only time will tell.

What did you think about this week's episode of "Eli Stone?" Have any thoughts on the series as a whole? Suggestions on how it could be improved? Let us know!

Story by Derek Krebs
Starpulse contributing writer