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Choosing Sides On 'Eli Stone'

November 12th, 2008 11:18am EST
Eli StoneWhen last we saw Eli Stone and friends, Jordan (Victor Garber) had been ousted from the firm that he helped create. He and Eli (Jonny Lee Miller) decided to partner up and create a new, kinder and gentler firm of their own. That means that all of the lawyers and staff of the former Wethersby, Posner & Klein are given a very difficult choice to make - stay loyal to Jordan and leave Posner & Klein, or accept a huge raise from Martin Posner (Tom Amandes). The decision is an easy one for some, more difficult for others, but honestly, the majority of the people who have to make the decision are just extras, so who really cares about them? Instead, this episode focuses on the choices of two characters in particular - Dowd (Sam Jaeger) and Maggie (Julie Gonzalo). So let's discuss each one separately, shall we?

Little Maggie All Grown Up

Eli's vision this week is one that Chen calls a "Quantum Leap" vision. Eli finds himself in the shower, naked, with Maggie. He soon realizes that in this particular vision, he is playing the role of Maggie's fiancé Scott. Maggie is freaking out about the upcoming nuptials, hoping that everything goes right. Eli isn't really listening, as he spends most of the vision desperately trying to avoid looking at Maggie anywhere other than the eyes.

He goes to Dr. Chen (James Saito), who starts rambling on about Greek mythology and Zeus (surprisingly there is no mention of the Grateful Dead. Eli concludes that because he has now had two visions in a row involving Maggie (including one where she was a cold-hearted Posner & Klein attorney), he must convince her to stay with his new firm, which seems like a no brainer. Chen tells him that what happens in visions doesn't necessarily need to come true, and that he can change the future if he so wishes. James Saito then takes his paycheck and disappears for the rest of the episode.

The next day, Eli approaches Maggie and pretty much begs her to come to his new firm. She says that she will, but that seems a little too simple. Sure enough, following that conversation she is summoned by Posner (who still desperately needs a haircut). He offers her the following: a promotion to senior associate, a huge raise, and her own pro bono department. Suddenly, the vision of her working for Posner & Klein in the future seems a lot more plausible.

Maggie is still reluctant to accept though, as she feels obligated to Eli (not to mention the fact that she is in love with him). Things get shaken up a bit once Eli has his second Maggie-related vision of the episode. In this new vision, he is once again Scott the fiancé, however this time he is naked in the bathroom with a completely different, non-Maggie woman. Armed with this information, Eli goes to Scott and Maggie's engagement party, and he and Scott first exchange unpleasantries, then punches. What is it with Eli and causing a scene at engagement parties (remember his disastrous party with Taylor last season)?

Maggie is at first upset, then thankful that Eli uncovered her fiancé's infidelity. She breaks up with him, but tells Eli that it is not all Scott's fault. She admits that she has fallen in love with Eli, and that was part of what drove Scott away. She says that because of that, she has decided to take Posner's offer, as that is what is best for her career. For once in her life, she says, she is going to put herself first. She then plays hardball with Posner, knowing that she has leverage (because he desperately wants her, mainly to spite Jordan and Eli), and requests undisclosed terms for her acceptance, which the impressed Posner agrees too. Maggie is finally acting like she belongs in a huge law firm and not on a high school mock trial team.

Dowd Gets a Conscience

The other storyline in the episode deals with the choice that Dowd has to make. He has fallen in love with Taylor (Natasha Henstridge), and because of that the logical decision for his character (staying with Posner & Klein) is suddenly not guaranteed to be the one that he makes. Posner, who has always had a fondness for Dowd's heartlessness, offers to make him full partner if he aligns himself with Posner & Klein.

Taylor asks Eli to work on one of his "special" cases with Dowd, in hopes of exposing Dowd to the Wethersby & Stone world of law. She wants to keep Dowd around for two reasons 1) she has fallen in love with him and 2) he knocked her up. She is keeping the pregnancy a secret for now, although she does tell Jordan, whose eyes gleam with visions of "World's Best Grandpa" t-shirts.

The case is a doozy - Pakistani woman fell in love and decided to stay in the U.S. after her student visa expired. She didn't want to rush things with her boyfriend, but needed a way to stay in the country, so she married her gay best friend. The marriage was discovered as a sham and Homeland Security wants to deport her. The only problem is that she has caused dishonor to her father by marrying a western man (and sleeping with another one) and she will be killed by her father if she returns (so that he can reclaim his precious honor).

The case really starts to get to Dowd, and for the first time he gets emotionally involved in his work. He does a surprisingly great job, and even rocks out an Eli-esque closing statement about love and sacrifice. Taylor and Eli are certain that the experience has opened his eyes, which it has. Dowd admits that he has a new found respect for Eli and the work that he does, but that he has been an emotional wreck throughout the duration of the case. While the case has shown him that he is capable of caring, he would prefer not to do so, as the emotional involvement was just too much for him. Instead, he decides to take Posner up on his offer, assured that he will never become emotionally involved in one of the cases thrown his way by Posner & Klein (& Dowd?).

Looks like Eli, Jordan and Taylor went 0 for 2. At least they still have Dr. Chen to kick around.

Thoughts on this week's episode? What do you think will happen now that the firms have officially split? Will Maggie and/or Dowd every have a change of heart? Leave a comment!

Derek KrebsStory by Derek Krebs

Starpulse contributing writer