Previously on Boston legal
It's time to get back out there and start dating again.
Shirley's told me so much about you.
I met someone else and the night took a whole other twist.
I have been arrested.
Impersonating a police officer.
I'm such a loser.
I want you to find out if my daughter is using drugs again.
What time do you get off work?
I get off at 7.
I would appreciate your protecting my relationship with her if you can.
What about my relationship?
I haven't had them in years.
I'm afraid of clowns.
There's something screwy going on up there.
And over 40% of the groundwater in the United states, 40%!
is contaminated by industrial, agricultural, household pollution.
Over the last five years,
hundreds of thousands of blood tests given to Massachusetts children
have shown elevated levels of lead in their blood.
And yet what is our biggest fear?
The dirty bomb.
Not the dirty water.
Objection, your honor.
Shore is introducing evidence in his closing that was never presented at trial.
Nonsense, your honor.
I refer you to plaintiff's exhibit number apple.
I beg your pardon?
Apple trash can is picked from God.
Not the years 60 when classic electrons are free.
Uh, I think.
Shore, you have a notorious history of courtroom theatrics.
If your aim is to force a mistrial, you will be disappointed.
Pillow pants join forces over embargo pylons.
You aren't sailing past honor for the liking of a room.
These questions are birthday basements.
To end the blue radish is the upside of luxury
and sparking a good lizard can only make tears fall in hindsight.
Puddles do not ask for why not.
It is cheese.
Breath and wind.
It is cheese.
It's a phenomenon of confused language,
seen most often in patients with schizophrenia
or another underlying psychosis.
Now similar symptoms may also result from head trauma or an invasive tumor.
And I have?
None of those.
According to the MRI, Your brain looks normal.
I wouldn't know if it didn't.
Also, you don't display any symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia.
Well, we hardly know each other.
The truth of it is, the brain is very much a mystery.
It's theoretically possible
that these symptoms might be brought on by acute anxiety.
How are things at home?
I live alone in a hotel.
It's talking in unintelligible gibberish, brought on by anxiety.
He gave me some pills.
Oh, let me see.
I like blue.
Something to wash it down with?
I don't know.
I rather value my melancholy.
It used to be a personality trait one was allowed to have,
like Abraham Lincoln or Lord Byron.
Now one is required to grin and say things like, "great".
You don't need pills.
You need to stop helping people.
What do you mean?
All those old people who were being fleeced by that conservator,
the smoker, that gloomy little girl who wouldn't smile,
you tried to help those people, and don't deny it.
I don't, but what the hell does that have to do with this episode of word salad?
Well, Alan, the human mind is like a bucket.
It can only hold so much.
You see all that suffering going on around you,
and you get involved, it fills up your bucket and soon it's overflowing.
The doctor recommended I take a few days off.
I know just the thing.
I'm gonna take you to my spa.
I'm gonna empty your bucket.
I live at 147 Edgar street.
And I'm at 149 Edgar street.
We baby-sit each other's kids.
We go to Costbuy together.
Toilet paper, paper towels.
Jumbo ketchup 2-pack.
I have the lawn mower.
Hedge clipper, weed whacker.
And we both share Ray.
There's just one problem with this arrangement.
It's completely illegal.
I'm afraid so.
Well, for six years, everything was fine,
but you know how people start to talk.
And one day we came home with the children,
and Ray was being handcuffed and arrested.
Right in front of 147.
Now, Denise, we've done nothing wrong.
There's no victim here.
To the contrary.
In this chaotic world we live in where there is no stability,
we have found a way to raise a family in a cooperative, loving way.
And now we're being punished for it.
I think that's wrong.
We all do.
Guys, the law on polygamy has been settled for a long time.
So? It's time for a change.
Denise, we are very committed to this.
I know I am.
Chris Mott, Shirley Schmidt.
How do you do?
Chris is an old buddy of mine from Annapolis.
Right now he's founder and CEO of Alcove games.
Last quarter they posted a profit of $502 mil.
How can we help you?
A wrongful death suit.
filed by the mother of a kid who died while playing their latest video game.
How is that even possible?
He played the game for nearly two days.
Didn't eat, didn't drink.
His heart stopped.
The game is called "Hell born".
You start out as a ghost fighting your way out of hell,
and when you finally reach the surface,
you need to track down your lost soul in order to become human again.
Sounds like a typical day around here.
Like I said, it's a frivolous suit.
No jury's gonna hold a company responsible
because a parent let a kid play a game for two days straight.
But there's a glitch.
I need this to go away before it goes to trial.
We've got a sequel coming out next month and bad press could kill us.
Shouldn't be a problem.
I'm thinking we can get this kicked on summary judgment.
$502 million, you've landed your first whale.
Nice work, partner.
Paul, how's your daughter doing in rehab?
Rachel's doing just fine, Brad.
Tell her I said hello?
I never took you for a spa person, Denny.
I love it.
Being touched and caressed and
Thank you, Digna.
Are you still spooked by this word jumble thing?
Happens to me all the time.
You get used to it.
I don't want to get used to it.
It was extremely upsetting to be speaking and
to see confusion on the faces of everyone around me.
I'm not the most connected individual, Denny.
Sometimes words are all that allow me to feel like I'm a part of the world, a part of life.
If I don't have words, then I'm alone.
Ashtray, soda pop, dingo?
Wes was obsessed with the game.
All the kids were talking about it.
It was the only thing he wanted for his birthday.
So you bought it for him.
He would play before school, after school, in the middle of the night.
He'd played other video games before, but this one, this one was different.
He couldn't stop.
His grades began to slip, so I took the game away.
How did he react?
We argued constantly.
So he began going to friend's houses after school to play.
I realized I couldn't win, so I gave him the game back,
figuring aleast that way, I could keep an eye on him.
What happened the weekend your son died?
I got home after working a double shift at the store,
and, um, I only had 15 minutes to change before I left for my second job.
I clean offices.
I told Wes it was time to quit.
He said he just needed five more minutes to get to the next level.
He promised he would go to bed as soon as he was finished.
So I kissed him, said good night and went to work.
What time did you arrive home?
About 5 the next morning.
I just fell into bed with my clothes on.
I woke up at noon and went to check on him.
And that's when I found him.
He was slumped in his chair in front of the screen and
you know, at first, I, I thought he'd just fallen asleep.
Would you like to take a recess?
I would rather get this over with.
Beller, how old was Wesley?
And you're a single parent?
Wes' father is no longer in the picture.
So you were solely responsible for his care, clothing, feeding him,
taking care of him when he was sick?
And you made sure that he ate right, got enough sleep, did his homework?
I took very good care of my son.
I'm sure you did.
And yet the coroner's report lists the cause of death as a myocardial infarction
brought on by physical exhaustion.
Apparently your son did not eat, drink or sleep for over 36 hours straight.
Now I can't speak to the pain that you must be feeling,
but how did this happen?
I work two jobs, Mr.
I understand that.
But I can't help wondering that,
if you had checked in on your son that night instead of falling asleep,
that maybe he'd be alive today.
Now isn't that correct?
Don't answer that.
What's the problem?
In responding to Ms.
Beller's production request, we came across something.
When your company designed "Hell born,"
you commissioned a study that documented the effects the game had on its players.
The report states that playing the game dramatically increases
the dopamine levels in the players' brains.
I'm aware of it.
Chris, this means Mrs.
Beller can argue that Alcove games knew their games
were addictive when they sold them to the public, including minors.
Oh, that's ridiculous.
That's just one study.
Besides, it's an established fact that all video games
increase the dopamine levels in the brain.
At least the good ones do.
Are there any other studies out there,
anything like this that can bite us in the ass?
No, just the one.
We're required to turn this over to Ms.
As per the rules of discovery, we'll provide it with the 100,000
other pages of documents that pertain to this production request.
So you're gonna bury it?
That would be unethical.
We'll simply comply.
It's not religious.
I'm a dietician at Mercy hospital.
And what does every working mother always plead?
I wish I had a wife.
Well, I actually do.
Imagine leaving for your job and never having to worry about day care,
late baby-sitters, nightmare nannies.
Your child gets sick, you have someone there you trust,
who loves your children, someone with a warm home
who cooks healthy, homemade meals for your children
and has a lovingly prepared dinner waiting for you when you walk in the door,
someone who bakes.
And our kids love it, too.
At any one time, there's a parent to give a hug, some advice, share a story.
Families these days are no longer together, scattered across the country.
Ours is simply another form of an old-fashioned extended family.
Who are we kidding? It's about the sex.
I'm a stay-at-home mom.
I have 3 kids ages 1 to 6.
That's 24/7 breast-feeding, potty-training, fever,
solid food, diapers, ear infection, dishes,
homeworks, toys, chaos.
Raising children is the single most exhausting job ever anywhere, anyhow.
Did I make myself clear? I'll say it again.
It is the most exhausting job ever.
Don't you think?
Strike that last remark, even though it's completely true.
Alena, you were telling us about sex?
I love my children,
but by the end of the day, I am bone tired.
My husband comes home, he's tired, too,
but somehow, he still has a little energy for baby making.
Now if we were in a traditional marriage,
at that moment, we would have an explosive argument.
But since we're not, when I am that exhausted and he has that look in his eye,
I simply ship him off to Evette, where she satisfies him and he her.
And then I draw myself a nice, hot bath and read the paper.
This works for me.
I knew it would.
More gobbledygook, please.
Hey, take it easy, man.
Denny, I meant to say gobbledygook.
The stuff on my face.
I think I've decompressed.
My word salad days have wilted.
May I have my hand, please?
Thank you, Denny.
This is almost as good as fishing.
Denny's my friend.
He takes me to nice places, buys me nice things.
We like to dress up.
Your honor, there's not a shred of evidence for which a jury would rule against my client.
Now as tragic as his death may be, plaintiffs have not shown any causal link
Beller's death and his playing "Hell born".
We have the internal dopamine study.
That's one study which shows that playing any video game
could raise anyone's dopamine level.
That's hardly enough to prove causation.
I have to agree, Mr.
If your only evidence is this one study
We have a witness, your honor.
He'll testify that not only did Alcove games know their games were addictive,
they intentionally tried to make them so.
That is the first we're hearing of this, your honor.
Williams just came forward.
Your honor, they're stalling and wasting the court's time.
Before ruling on the motion, the court will hear Dr.
Hoberg, I don't like surprises.
Your honor, I
Your objection is noted for the record, Mr.
The court will hear Dr.
I thought you said there was nothing else.
Williams is a psychologist we hired
to consult on how to make our games more appealing to the consumer.
It didn't work out and we fired him.
It's really not a big deal.
Chris, we need to get this case thrown out now,
while it's only in front of a judge.
We've got a women with a dead kid.
A jury is gonna want to make somebody pay for that.
Now did you hire this Dr.
Williams to make your games more addictive or not?
I started with nothing.
I built this company.
I employ hundreds of people.
I didn't do anything wrong.
You've known me for 20 years and you're doubting me?
Chris, this isn't about friendship.
This is about getting rid of this case quickly and quietly.
Now maybe we should consider settling.
No, to me, a settlement is an admission of guilt.
And Alcove games is not gonna be a scagoat on this,
even if this goes public.
Klaywig, as a historian of family law,
could you tell us why laws against polygamy were enacted?
The origins, of course, are biblical.
But in recent history, they were enacted to prevent a man from abandoning his wife,
leaving her with no means of income for herself or her children.
They also prevented enslavement and abuse.
Before these laws were solidified, elders in certain communities
would simply divvy up the young girls, 12 and 13 years old.
Among the old men.
would you agree that Mr.
Richardson's relationship is unusual?
Yes, I would.
And would you agree that it's unusual because it works?
All parties are satisfied,
the children, as we've proven earlier, are well-adjusted.
It does seem to work, doesn't it?
Yes, I suppose so.
And wouldn't you agree that when the polygamy laws were enacted,
it was under a different social and economic construct?
Meaning that women weren't allowed to work.
They were, in effect, less powerful than they are today.
Their reliance on their husbands was more substantial.
One could agree
And for the record, what is the divorce rate in this country?
And what are the statistics on extramarital affairs?
Conservative estimates say that about 60% of married men
and 40% of married women will have an extramarital affair at some point.
So one could argue that we're already practicing polygamy in this country.
We just haven't institutionalized it yet.
Objection, your honor.
Bauer is simply twisting statistics to make a mockery of the institution of marriage.
I'm simply drawing conclusions based on fact.
It's not specious.
You wouldn't understand.
You're not married.
Yeah, well, I don't see a wedding ring on your finger.
Two for me.
Go right ahead.
You saw her first.
You really don't mind?
Nobody's sitting here.
My name's Alan Shore.
What are you reading, Jessica?
Uh, "The Da Vinci code".
Yeah, it's okay.
Have you read it?
No, it's enough for me that Leonardo was a brilliant painter and engineer
without turning him into the Karl Rove of the 16th century.
Are you here with someone?
I just, um, needed to get outta dodge and relax.
Only now I find myself very relaxed.
Well, two can play dominoes for gangs allow freedom white.
The danger in whistling cannot be undone by hybrid chatter.
orange above all.
Is this, like, a joke or
I'm going to need another mojito.
Should I charge that to your room, sir?
Williams, you're a clinical psychologist.
Why did Alcove games hire you?
Their game was already popular.
But the company wanted to take the desire to play the game to the next level.
In other words, change the motivation from "I want to play this game"
to "I have to play this game".
And how did they go about doing that?
It starts with causing an adrenaline rush.
The most effective way to trigger that rush
is to make someone think that they're going to die.
How do you know that?
We measure the effect in two ways.
The first is blink rate,
and second, we monitor the amount of dopamine
that's produced while playing the game.
What is the significance of the dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter.
It's also connected to the reinforcing effects of drugs
like cocaine and amphetamines.
It's often called "the master molecule of addiction".
And why is that significant in terms of this video game?
Playing this video game is like receiving a jolt
equivalent to an injection of amphetamines.
And my duty was to help create a game
that would maximize dopamine output for the players.
You were deliberately trying to make this game physically addictive?
Williams, who was your supervisor at Alcove games?
And his title?
Vice president of marketing.
Of marketing, not of secret brain addiction research or something like that?
So you worked in the marketing department at Alcove games.
Now as a marketer, whether you're selling iPods or breakfast cereal or soft drinks,
isn't one of your primary concerns,
how do I get consumers to buy my product?
You ever been employed by a heroin dealer?
Of course you haven't.
A heroin dealer doesn't need to hire a marketing department,
because the product they sell really is addictive as opposed to video games,
which aren't, isn't that correct?
Ray Richardson married two women at the same time.
No one denies that fact.
The defense argues that this polygamist marriage is practical,
that it makes sense in today's hectic world.
Well, the law against polygamy is practical as well.
Say you're a man with good health insurance and a generous nature.
Why not go down to a hospice and marry 50 terminally ill women
so they can have your health benefits?
If a billionaire could marry a thousand women
and claim them all as dependants on his tax return, don't you think he would?
No, the law against polygamy doesn't just make sense from a moral point of view.
It's practical as well.
Today, the traditional family is under constant assault from every direction.
One refuge, maybe the last refuge against that assault is the law.
The law in this case states that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Ray Richardson broke that law.
Make him pay for it.
Decades ago, the nuclear family implied one man, one woman and their offspring.
Usually of the same race.
Today, there is no limit to what loving families look like.
We have single mothers, single fathers, two mommies,
two daddies, ex-wives, ex-in-laws, you name it.
If we're going to universally apply a law,
we need to look at what it is that law strives to protect.
Nobody can say that the Richardsons are not a loving family.
They are honest and caring.
Their children are confident and kind.
With so many monogamous couples breaking up,
this true family unit should be held in high esteem.
Instead, we seek to destroy them
simply because they consensually engaged in a loving relationship
that all parties wanted.
You've heard both Mrs.
This is a family unit that works.
If you put Ray Richardson in jail when all he was,
was a good husband and a good father,
you will accomplish the very harm the anti-polygamy laws set out to prevent.
You will tear the Richardson family apart.
You need to relax, you know?
but telling me to do so is like saying to a starving man,
"You just need money.
" It doesn't exactly solve the problem.
Well, I got lots of money, so if you're hungry,
just order up room service and say hello.
You just touched me and not in a nice way.
Could I please have a little privacy?
So you mix up your words.
Make it work for you.
That's what I do.
Denny, get out.
Leave the room for a moment and let me be alone.
You're a moody traveler, aren't you?
Can you please put your narcissism aside for one second
and try to imagine what it's like for a person to be losing his mind?
It's just, I'd penciled in sex today for 5:30,
and since I lost out on Jessica, I'll now have to have it alone,
which is fine, just
All this time, I thought you were empathizing with me.
But you were sympathizing.
I'm going home.
Don't talk to me.
Please don't leave.
I said do not talk to me!
It's just, that's my suitcase.
You're packing my things.
He was 15.
He was about to get his learner's permit.
Beller, I'm sorry, but I can't talk to you.
He was a scout, too, in this day and age, and he was going for eagle.
You know that everything that Dr.
Williams said is true.
And the only thing that this should be about is,
Wes and the life that was taken from him, but it's not.
It is about lawyers and your talking and your arguing.
Why are you doing this?
You know what the truth is here.
You know it.
So why are you doing it?
You know what the truth is, don't you?
Foreman, has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?
We have, your honor.
Will the defendant please rise?
What say you?
In the matter of the commonwealth vs.
Ray Richardson, on the count of polygamy,
we the jury find Ray Richardson guilty.
The defendant will be remanded into custody.
We are adjourned.
This isn't over.
I'm so sorry.
When I was 15, I smoked cigarettes for a week because a friend of mine smoked.
I quit, never smoked again, and thank goodness it didn't hurt me.
But tobacco companies have been found liable,
assessed penalties in the millions of dollars because cigarettes are addictive,
and they do kill people.
Your honor, with this case, we are in the same position as the people
who first brought legal action against the tobacco companies 40 years ago.
Lawsuit after lawsuit against tobacco was thrown out of court.
How many people died as a result?
And now we got a boy who died playing a video game,
a game scientically constructed to make him addicted to it.
Will everyone become addicted to it? No.
But other children will become addicted, your honor,
and there will be other deaths.
It's time to let a jury decide who's responsible for the death of Wesley Beller.
Your honor, I know I'm supposed to be a dispassionate advocate
for my client's position but
I have to tell you that this case,
it, it just makes me mad.
You see, I know someone who is addicted to crystal meth.
This is a lethal drug.
It would've killed her if she hadn't stopped using it.
So when I hear people talk about being addicted to their blackberry,
to soap operas, video games
Believe me, if anyone who's addicted to crystal meth could suddenly wave a magic wand
and be addicted to video games instead, they would do it in a heartbeat.
Now you heard testimony that playing this game raises your dopamine level.
We don't deny that, but the fact is,
anything you enjoy doing raises your dopamine levels.
Sports, chocolate, exercise, sex, on and on and on.
When Einstein was developing his theory of relativity,
I'm sure that his dopamine level was through the roof.
But where do we draw the line between addiction and passion?
And the fact is,
this case is an insult to anyone who has a real addiction to a harmful substance.
Now we are all sad that Wesley Beller is dead.
But Alcove games did not cause his death.
After reviewing the papers and the evidence presented,
I agree with Mr.
The defense's motion for summary judgment is granted.
Ah, man, I knew we'd win, but you never really know till it's over.
So, champ, where can I buy you dinner?
Best steaks in town.
I'm truly sorry about your son.
I'm sure you'll be sorry about the next one, too.
A little lower.
Just a little bit lower.
Not quite low enough.
I have always empathized with your mad cow.
In a seismic shift of character, I was
momentarily thinking only of myself.
As I said, Denny,
words are my friends.
To think that, I might suddenly
Why are you so anxious here?
Of all places, where people only rub you the right way?
I'm nervous about work.
Denny, they could walk through my door on any given day and just fire me.
I've offended everybody there is to offend.
I was hoping to at least ingratiate myself with Shirley sexually but
she rebuffs me.
Since when have you been afraid of losing your job?
You relish the idea of being able to walk at the drop of a hat.
Hell, you threaten to.
I guess I just don't feel that freedom anymore.
Is it money?
It's not money.
What is it then?
I'd miss you, Denny.
You're a liar.
You can't walk because you think you have to be there to protect me,
to save me from myself.
That's certainly not it.
For the first time in your life, you feel trapped,
and I'm the reason.
Why can't we just leave it at, "I'd miss you, Denny"?
Denny Crane has never needed anybody.
And that's a tragedy.
One for which I empathize as well as sympathize.
I will never be anybody's charity project.
If that has something to do with our friendship,
I no longer want it.
Have you thought for one second about what you're doing to the Richardson children?
Yeah, I'm about to make parent-teacher night a lot less awkward.
There's a new book out that says that there's no such thing as an amicable divorce,
that children are far more traumatized by divorce
than they would be by growing up in a house with a bad marriage.
Yeah, well, they didn't grow up in my house.
And there's a study from university college Dublin
that found that the effects of divorce on children
are far more damaging than the death of a parent.
Exactly how much time do you spend on the internet?
You're not breaking up some group of freaks here.
The Richardsons work.
That family unit works.
And they can remain a family,
as long as they're not married.
I spoke to Ray and his wives,
and they have all agreed, reluctantly, to get divorced and live in sin.
All they ask is that you recommend probation.
As long as he quits breaking the law,
I have no interest in putting him in jail.
I'm sure we can make this work.
Have you had dinner yet?
Um, it's 4 o'clock.
I haven't dated in so long, I
Would you like to get some food at a more appropriate time?
Looks like Chris wants us to handle all his business from now on.
Uh, Paul, you didn't get a chance to say hello to Rachel, did you?
She'll be getting out of rehab in a few weeks.
Good for her.
I want you to stay away from her.
I beg your pardon?
As part of the 12-step program of recovery,
they strongly suggest that she not be involved in any relationships for a year.
This allows her to focus on mending her life,
and any distractions could jeopardize that process
and make her more susceptible to returning to drugs.
I am strongly suggesting that you stay away from her.
Okay, so I worry about you a little.
Is that so bad?
With my night terrors, the clown phobia and now word salad,
you don't worry about me?
You know, strangers aren't always gonna be there for us, Denny.
I'm gonna say this once.
I don't want it repeated.
I need friendship.
I especially need this one.
Did you not hear a word I said?
Heard every word.
The thing isn't on.
Is it really so horrible for people to need each other?
Doesn't it give you comfort that I'm here to cover for you when you slip,
that in the end, I'll be there to shoot you?
It comforts me that you need the friendship.
I've thought about it.
You've survived here a hundred years or so without me.
I could leave and you'd go on just fine.
But for me to go on, Denny,
I need my balcony time whether I work here or not.
You got it.
Typically, when I get fired, I'm banned from the premises.
I got the keys.
You think of everything.
You got it.