Eli returns from the Himalayas happy that he's been vision-free for two weeks, and quickly gets assigned the firm's biggest case in years. However, when new associate Maggie (Julie Gonzalo) pushes a workman's comp case on him (on the do-gooder side of the workers), his refusal prompts the music to start again. It seems a little odd that Eli wants to go right back to his old shallow self, given his promise to his dead father's ashes, but it makes sense in light of his denial through most of the episode about his condition. In any case, Eli's regression causes a children's choir to show up to sing "Freedom '90" just as Eli has succeeded in getting Taylor over her aneurysm-fear enough to consent to a roll in the hay, and this isn't the only vision: a small biplane seems to almost mow him down in broad daylight. Maggie lets us know more about her case: it's being brought by two married farm workers, the wife having been rendered sterile from a pesticide. Jordan tells Eli that he's a great talent, but he's worried about Eli's recent erratic behavior, and Eli tries to reassure him, but when the biplane appears to him again, he puts it together that the male plaintiff is a pilot, and realizes that he needs to take the case. Jordan expresses his worry to Taylor about Eli's behavior, and she in turn spills the beans to Patti about Eli's aneurysm, making Patti feel betrayed. This leads to a fight between Eli and Taylor, and his denial and her worry combine for some nice realism. Meanwhile, Eli's case gets more complicated when the defense attorney unearths the fact that the plaintiffs were duped into thinking they became citizens legally, and threatens to have them deported. Things go from bad to worse when the wife, under oath, admits that she had a baby before she met her husband, unbeknownst to him, and gave it up for adoption. Eli and Maggie lose the case, but on the plus side, we get our first Victor Garber musical performance, which OH MY GOD AWESOME. At the deportation hearing, Eli gets the husband on the stand and demonstrates his knowledge of the citizenship exam, and that and an overly pat speech are enough to buy them two years; a happier development is that Eli's vision points the couple in the direction of the wife's long-lost son. Eli tells Jordan that the way he plays the game has got to change, oh yeah, and I'm quoting almost directly here. Jordan -- emotionally for him -- says that he hired Eli because he thought he was the future of the company, but lets him pursue his new course, although not without some words of warning. Eli and Maggie realize that they're going to be working together a lot, and Eli resolves to tell Taylor about all his visions, to her great appreciation. In the end, Eli sees a battlefield surrounding him, but that's not enough to stop him from fooling around with Taylor on the couch. Just as well that he didn't see George Michael, because there's no way he'd put up with that.
You guys, I'm just going to say up front that the legal stuff on this show is killing me here. I mean, you don't have to assume that everyone watching your show is a lawyer, but you've got to think they've at least served jury duty at some point? Learned a thing or two as part of a liberal arts education? Watched Court TV? Law & Order or any offshoot thereof? It's one thing to ask the viewers to accept the fantastic premise of the prophetic visions -- that's part of the beauty of narrative fiction. But to tell us that Eli is a lawyer, here in the United States, and then have the legal proceedings resemble nothing that has ever happened on Planet Earth is quite another. You have to obey the rules of your universe, even if it's fictional. Anyway, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'm going to try not to harp on specific examples of these errors at length, because it will take me twice as long to write the recap and be frustrating for me and probably most of you. But if you ever feel like visiting the forums, there's a thread devoted to legal screwups on the show. And to use some jargon from the entertainment industry, it's got legs. Okay!
We start with a segment in which Eli sums up what happened last week in which he calls George Michael the "worst houseguest ever." Considering George's rather notorious last few years, you can't blame me for wishing Eli had gone into some more detail here. The last shot is of Eli emptying his father's ashes...
...and then he's telling some local airport (...I guess; the place looks more like a bazaar than anything else) official about disposing of his father's ashes, and how he'd now like to take the coffee can back with him. The guy, however, is not amenable, as he says that "mules" often use coffee to disguise the scent of drugs they're carrying. Eli tries to protest that he's not carrying coffee, so the guy opens the can and examines a bit of the residue and remarks that it doesn't look like coffee. I realize you're ESL here, dude, but THAT'S WHAT HE JUST SAID. I don't know if we're just supposed to laugh at the stereotype of the intransigent security guy, but this is dumb in several ways, starting with: Why didn't, and doesn't, Eli just rinse the can out? Holding on to the can as a keepsake is one thing, but being attached to the film of dust therein seems a little much, given how he disposed of the bulk of the ashes. Also, if Eli is such an amazing lawyer that he's routinely able to overcome things such as, say, the letter of the law, it's hard to believe that he's so easily hamstrung here. But the verdict is in: No can on plane, so Eli uses the can as a vessel to address his dad, asking him to ensure that he gets left alone for a while on the vision front. My guess is Dead Dad won't have a lot of luck telling George Michael what to do, but I suppose he's got plenty of his own time to waste.