Boston Legal: Season 5 (2008)

Season 5
Boston Legal

Critics Consensus

Boston Legal rests its case on its own terms with a final season that celebrates both the dynamic duo of Shatner and Spader, along with the series' more earnest excesses.



Critic Ratings: 12


Audience Score

User Ratings: 12

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Air date: Sep 22, 2008

Alan answers a call for help from Bethany Horowitz in a suit against a tobacco giant, but he suffers a crisis of confidence when the opposing counsel (Ally Walker) turns out to be an old girlfriend. Meanwhile, Denny is plagued by a case of performance anxiety.

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Air date: Sep 29, 2008

A close call for Denny involving prescription drugs inspires Alan to go after a pharmaceutical company for its unscrupulous advertising tactics. Meanwhile, Carl defends Shirley's 17-year-old granddaughter after she's caught voting illegally, and Jerry and Katie help a girl who was sexually assaulted in a private detention facility.

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Air date: Oct 6, 2008

Denny is arrested on concealed-weapon charges after shooting a man who tried to rob him and Jerry. Meanwhile, a case gets personal for Alan when he tries to help a sex surrogate in a custody battle for her daughter.

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Air date: Oct 13, 2008

After his old girlfriend hires Alan to help her husband beat a murder charge, he faces a moral and professional dilemma when his lingering feelings for her elicit a secret desire for a conviction.

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Air date: Oct 20, 2008

Alan and Shirley prepare for a fight with the military on behalf of a man whose brother died under suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile, Jerry helps his sister (Annie Potts) in her search for the identity of the father of her son, who was conceived through an anonymous donor.

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Air date: Oct 27, 2008

Shirley defends the notorious Catherine Piper (Betty White) after she accidentally blows up her doctor. Meanwhile, Alan and Denny take a break from the office, but they are out of their element at a dude ranch in Utah.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2008

Alan and Denny sue the USDA on behalf of a cattle rancher (Valerie Bertinelli) who wants to test her entire herd for mad cow disease; Jerry's consideration to make partner hinges on an up-or-down vote by the firm's panel, which includes Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois). Julie Bowen guest stars as attorney Denise Bauer, who has been on maternity leave.

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Air date: Nov 10, 2008

Alan and Shirley help a minor in a legal battle over her pregnancy, and Jerry takes up his own defense when he faces aggravated-assault charges after an encounter with a bully.

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Air date: Nov 17, 2008

Carl and Denny go to Virginia to defend a prison guard who shot a death-row inmate when a lethal-injection execution was botched. Meanwhile, Alan and Shirley help a woman (Cheri Oteri) who says she lost her job after voting for John McCain.

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Air date: Nov 24, 2008

Shirley's quiet Thanksgiving with Carl becomes considerably louder when she opens her door to other members of the firm, including Alan, Denny, Jerry, Katie and emotionally unstable partner Edwin Poole (Larry Miller), who brings his 6-year-old foster son.

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Boston Legal: Season 5 Photos

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Cast & Crew

Christian Clemenson
Jerry Espenson
Candice Bergen
Shirley Schmidt
James Spader
Alan Shore
Tara Summers
Katie Lloyd
William Shatner
Denny Crane
Roma Maffia
Judge Victoria Peyton
Henry Gibson
Judge Clark Brown
Rene Auberjonois
Paul Lewiston
Christopher Rich
Attorney Melvin Palmer
Jim Jansen
Marshall Kennedy
Steven Anderson
Walter Seymore
Chuck McCann
Judge Byron Fudd
Ming Lo
Hyung Lee
Raymond Ma
Zhu Chang
Pamela Dunlap
James Rebhorn
Wade Mathis
Marianne Muellerleile
Bess Armstrong
Penelope Kimball
Betty White
Catherine Piper
David E. Kelley
Executive Producer
Bill D'Elia
Executive Producer
Kelley Johns
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Critic Reviews for Boston Legal Season 5

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

Fortunately, the final image will endure: Alan and Denny on the balcony, as always, this time arm in arm, dancing.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

As I was watching most of tonight's episode, I was reminded of all the reasons I've grown to loathe it.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Kelley did it the way he always has, by blending real-life headlines and issues into fictional drama that was simultaneous complex, troubling, reflective, absurd and amusing.

Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

It was a lot of insanity and lecturing to wedge into a strange yet occasionally moving two hours.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

That was the most satisfying series finale I've seen in years.

Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…

The show wasn't interested in defending itself, or a character, in some rigid declaration of purpose; within its stories, and as a TV show as a whole, it was interested in defending and depicting the virtue of change.

Oct 15, 2019 | Full Review…

I'm sad to see the show in one aspect -- its willingness to confront contemporary social issues and its ease in criticizing missteps by the Bush administration are rare in prime time -- but as a TV show, I can't help that the show is out of juice.

Oct 15, 2019 | Full Review…

I love this show. I find it sophisticated, funny and zany.

Oct 15, 2019 | Full Review…

You have to give ABC credit. It allowed writer-producer David E. Kelley to take several shots at the direction broadcast television is heading.

Oct 15, 2019 | Full Review…

I am not sure this series had soul, but [Spader and Shatner] certainly formed the heart of it. In so doing, they became one of the more intelligent, engaging, off-beat and enduring professional couples on TV.

Oct 15, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Just when we were wondering how they could possibly keep the naughtiness of Boston Legal fresh, series creator David Kelley came up with the perfect foil: the new, straight, ultra-conservative managing partner.

Mar 6, 2018 | Full Review…

Despite Season Four of "Boston Legal" having a vague vibe of impending staleness, creator/writer David E. Kelley came roaring back with a vengeance for the abbreviated fifth season.

Mar 2, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boston Legal: Season 5

  • Jul 25, 2020
    With the disappearance of more characters (while acting like they were never there) the show stumbles to its final a bad joke of its former self.

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