This season's premiere begins with a retina-searing montage of Ally's past sexual adventures and mishaps. We get the Ling kiss, the generously endowed sculpture model, the latte abuse of the bisexual judge, and even a Young Ally and Young Billy scene. These are accompanied by bell-tolling and ominous horns. Lastly, Ally reprises her goofy statement of last season to Brian: "I have a boyfriend." Will wonders never cease?
At the bar, Vonda and Renee sing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." Renee's long sheath dress has been made from the hindquarters of a very large, shiny zebra, and her hair is pomaded back. I think she's wearing a minimizing bra, too. Vonda is wearing vinyl pants and a top from Contempo Casuals. Ally and Brian watch from their favorite table. Ally moans, sways, and fingers her mouth, saying that it's one of her favorite songs ever. She wonders why Renee didn't mention she'd be singing that night. Brian suggests that it was part of a special surprise. Maybe there's a man at the bar who wants to ask one of Renee's friends to spend the rest of his life with him. He draws it out much longer than that, actually, but I'm sparing you. He's slipped a Service-Merchandise-looking sapphire ring onto Ally's finger. She gasps, seemingly with excitement. He asks, "Ally McBeal...will you...move in with me?" Renee and Vonda do the warped-record thing while Ally opens her eyes as wide as she can and makes a special effort to keep her hand out of her mouth.
The theme song begins with that special "scratch" effect not heard since the likes of the rap-cassette playing from my boyfriend's mini-pick-up woofers in 1989. We get a flashy montage of skeletal faces, hopping text, strobe light effects, and hyper-actively mugging cast members. Welcome to Season Four.
"What kind of fool do you think I am?" Renee belts. "You seem stunned," Brian tells Ally. She is. He presses her for an answer to his question. She says she has to think about it in a way that lets us know she'll be dumping him before the hour's up.
At their apartment, Ally and Renee share a bed. "It's not that I don't wanna move in..." Ally starts. "It would mean you would have to stop sleeping with me," Renee finishes for her. There's an overhead shot, and I can't help but notice that a single Renee breast is wider than a whole Ally torso. Renee says that for these kinds of decisions, there's only one person who can know the answer. I wait for Ally to say, "Al Green," but instead they both say, "A therapist." A therapist? Oh, come on. Why not just write to Ann Landers?