Last night was the season premier of Eli Stone. As viewers know, Eli Stone is a lawyer at a huge law firm–the type that defends the rich oppressors and exploiters of humanity. But God gave him a tumor that makes him see visions, which summon and enable him to help others. Well, his visions almost get him dis-barred, so he decides to have the tumor removed. That was that last season. In this season, Eli Stone tries to find meaning after the tumor is gone.
There were things that I liked and disliked about this episode. Two things that I liked:
1. Eli was seeing a psychiatrist, played by Sigourney Weaver. She tells him that he may feel confused because he no longer has a sense of divine purpose in his life. But she signs a form that says he’s cured, allowing him to return to his legal practice (I think).
But when he looks at the form at a later time, he finds that there’s no signature. He then goes to Sigourney Weaver’s office, and he’s told by a janitor that it’s been vacant for quite a while. We then learn that Sigourney Weaver was a messenger from God.
I’ve seen this motif a lot. Laura Ingalls had Ernest Borgnine as a guardian angel! But I liked it on Eli Stone because it conveyed a sense of the mysterious, or maybe because it reminded me of the Lost episode where Hurley found out his best friend Dave was imaginary.
2. Eli has an Asian friend who frequently gives him some wisdom. The friend tells Eli that he had an effect on his own firm and others around him when he had his visions. And we see some of those effects: the head of the firm, Jordan, decides not to represent a sub-prime lender who blames his victims for not reading the fine print. Jordan calls him a scumbag, then leaves. Eli has made the greedy firm more humanitarian. Can a firm stand for God and righteousness have ripple effects?
Two things that I disliked:
1. Sub-prime lenders hurt too when their “victims” don’t pay them back. That’s why McCain said for a while that bailing out the mortgages means bailing out the corrupt lenders.
2. Everyone (except Eli and a few others) thinks Jordan is trapped in one part of a collapsing building, and Eli knows by divine revelation that Jordan’s actually trapped in another part. So he asks the court to make an injunction so that the rescue team will go to where Jordan actually is. And Eli has to fight Jordan’s lawyer daughter, his hot ex-fiancee, to make this happen. Eli asks the court to take a leap of faith. But the court doesn’t do so.
I had a hard time with Eli’s approach. He should have pointed to his record of successful predictions–he foretold an earthquake at the end of the last season–not ask a court that relies on fact to follow him blindly. What would happen if courts followed any old Joe who claimed to have a divine revelation? The show was trying to make a positive statement about faith in this particular scene, but it ended up promoting an absurdity.
But it made some good points…