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'Eli Stone' Recap: Lead Paint and a Magic Book

October 29th, 2008 11:19am EDT favorite Add to My News
Eli StoneWith the resolution of Eli's crisis of faith having already come (his reluctance to become a prophet was so last season), "Eli Stone" was in need of a larger story arc to keep the momentum going and provide viewers with a reason to tune in each week. Posner (Tom Amandes) and Klein's (Katey Sagal) attempt to wrest the firm from Jordan's (Victor Garber) control has provided just that. Not only does this week's episode continue to progress that story arc, but it also throws in a few more juicy tidbits from the future, especially one which rivals the Eli/Maggie baby flash-forward from season one on the scale of intrigue.

The Supreme Vision

Eli (Jonny Lee Miller) is prepared to defend his friend and mentor Jordan Wethersby in court against the vicious attacks of Posner & Klein, who are looking to relieve him of his managing partner duties. God might have other plans for Eli though. He has a vision of himself and a jubilant Jordan traveling to D.C. in order to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court. He shares the vision with Nate (Matt Letscher), who in turn tells Eli that he thinks he knows which case will eventually bring Eli to Washington. How does he know? Because he read Papa Stone's magic journal (yes, Tom Cavanagh's character was a drunk-savant). That's how.

Nate (who has been volunteering at a free clinic in order to give back to the community), is convinced that one of his patients at the clinic is the client that will eventually lead Eli to the Supreme Court. The patient is a six-year-old girl named Leesie; a child who has gotten sick after being exposed to the lead paint in her underprivileged family's run-down house. Eli does not think that the case is all that appealing, and he feels that he is already busy enough with Jordan's defense. However, almost immediately after he refuses Nate's request, he gets another vision, which again has him with Jordan as they prepare to argue a case in the Supreme Court. Guess what the case is all about? Lead paint. Eli instantly reconsiders his brother's request. There is something suspicious about the vision though. Eli's visions are never this straightforward, especially not at the beginning of the episode (they usually begin to coalesce in the second half-hour). Hmmm, might there be a twist on the way?

A second vision, this one taking place six months in the future, involves Eli walking into his office, only to see that the building now says "Posner & Klein." He learns that Jordan lost the case because Eli represented him, and Eli's whole "God is my #1 client" mantra hurt Jordan's credibility. Equipped with these visions, Eli feels confident that the right thing to do is to drop Jordan's case and instead focus on the lead paint situation.

The Lead Paint Case

Eli understands the difficulty in the lead paint case, as no plaintiff has ever won one before. He decides that the best course of action is not to sue just one paint company, but to sue them all. He nearly gets laughed out of court, but another handy vision from the Supreme Court case (where he learns that Posner & Klein are defending the paint companies) offers him an alternative solution, which he attempts. It works (naturally), and the defense offers a settlement. Eli is confident that his clients will reject the offer, because in his vision the case went to the Supreme Court. Apparently, they are not fans of George Michael, because they didn't get the message. Instead, they choose to accept the settlement. Uh-oh. So much for arguing in front of The Nine.

After his weekly chat with Dr. Chen (James Saito), Eli realizes that the visions of the Supreme Court were misleading, and that while he will probably get there someday, the lead paint crusade is meant for someone else. He gives it to Jeff (Rob Nagle), a lawyer that he has had a love/hate relationship with in the past.


Jordan's Competency Hearing

The other storyline in the episode focuses on Jordan's competency hearing. Posner and Klein argue that Jordan is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome (following his near death experience in the bank) and that he is no longer fit to lead the firm. They reference his recent decision to fire most of their clients for being too "immoral" and instead shifting focus to work for the underprivileged. They mention Eli, and how he has affected Jordan over the last year, and infer that both have lost their minds. Jordan, who had been heartbroken by Eli's decision not to defend him, realizes that Eli did the right thing

Eli, when not focusing on the paint case, is feeling helpless about Jordan. He had given his dad's journal to Chen for safe-keeping, but as things begin to look bleaker for Jordan he tries to get the book back so that he can search for answers. Chen is reluctant to give it to him, saying that he read it and it is horrifying. Eli eventually sweet-talks him into handing it over, although he ends up not reading it after all. Instead, he decides to burn the book, not wanting to see the future any more than he already does. Somewhere, Tom Cavanagh is crying.

Meanwhile, Jordan ends up proving his competence in court, thanks to a napkin that is three decades old. Said napkin contains the mission statement, written by a young Wethersby, Posner and Klein, in which they stated that they would strive to work for the betterment of the community, serve the public trust, etc. Apparently, Jordan's recent actions are actually more in line with the company charter than the previous years of working for drug companies, oil tycoons and mortgage lenders were. However, Posner and Klein still end up winning out, as they get the necessary votes from the board to remove Jordan from his position. He is liberated and in a widely expected maneuver, decides to start his own firm along with Eli. In a convenient turn of events, it is discovered that the firm's current office is actually solely under Jordan's name, so his new firm will be staying there and Posner & Klein will be forced to vacate. After all, it's a perfectly good set, why build another one?

The aforementioned twist

The big twist in this episode happens in the concluding minute. Eli has another vision where he is at the Supreme Court, but in this vision he is simply a spectator. Jeff has taken up the lead paint crusade and is the one arguing it in front of the highest court in the country. Eli feels all warm and fuzzy inside, but that feeling quickly abates when he runs into Maggie (Julie Gonzalo), who is surprised to see him. It turns out that future Maggie has changed quite a bit. The sweet, caring, pro bono loving crusader of yore is gone, and in her place is a much more professional looking individual who had obviously not seen Eli in a long time. Guess what? She's working for Posner & Klein, and defending the evil paint manufacturers. Say it isn't so, Mags!

What do you think will happen now that Jordan and Eli are starting their own firm? Who will go with them and who will stay? What happened to Maggie? Leave a comment!

Derek Krebs
Story by Derek Krebs

Starpulse contributing writer


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