Eli Stone continued on its path of providing middle-of-the-road entertainment, and it did so with an episode that was actually halfway decent. Not that there was anything extremely different about it, just that there were less things to be annoyed with in this installment. The visions actually directed Eli to make certain choices and the case offered up some more great chemistry between the lead and Maggie Dekker. Unfortunately, the baseball murder case, which just isn't as interesting as the writers seem to want me to believe, has become a continuing storyline.
The big vision was a giant fire-breathing dragon tormenting Eli, first in his closet and later on the city streets. It wasn't long before I learned the vision's connection to the real world. A 15-year-old boy asked Eli to help him make a malpractice case against a Dr. Agon. Get it? "DrAgon." Seeing the name, Eli immediately agreed to take the case, even though the likelihood of winning was almost nonexistent. Though possibly a little too straightforward, a vision like this is at least better than some I have seen where it's a stretch to make any sort of plausible connection to the real world. Later in the episode, a white knight protecting Eli from the dragon turned out to be his brother Nate. Again, a little too spot on, but at least it directed Eli to his brother who then gave him information to help break the case.
The case itself, as has been the norm for Eli Stone, was fairly black and white. A doctor had done wrong and a hospital had covered it up. There was never any doubt that Eli and Maggie would bring out the truth. But while the case was rather bland, watching Eli and Maggie working together continued to be a treat. This episode in particular gave the pair a lot to play with by having Maggie as lead counsel while Eli, as a silent second chair, was pulling all the strings. I wasn't thrilled with the surprise kiss when the case was won, however. Clearly their chemistry has been building with each episode, but a slow burn of a relationship would have added more depth to the couple rather than having them awkwardly kiss so soon. This isn't to say that can't still happen, but a kiss in this episode seemed to quash their chemistry rather than build it.
As mentioned before, the baseball murder case continued this week, and appeared poised to carry over into at least one more episode. Me, I'm not a fan. As I stated last week, it annoys me that the writers want us to believe a District Attorney would even try to prosecute a ball player for murder, apparently aiming a ball hit during a game at the head of the third base coach. This week, a video of the player hitting a target repeatedly (down the third base line, no less) was brought to light, but deemed inadmissible at trial. Even so, attorneys Bennett and Dowd quibbled over a defense strategy and viewers likely couldn't care one bit. This one didn't. The show is called Eli Stone, but Eli and his visions are in no way involved with this case.
This is still a mediocre program, but at least "Heal the Pain" wasn't a complete pain to watch. The show was even able to do something different with Eli's reaction to his visions. No, the dragon stuff was business as usual -- Eli falls down, people look at him funny. But this week, Taylor took Eli to a George Michael concert and for the first few moments, Eli was convinced he was having another vision. It was a truly fresh moment for a show that has so quickly become stale. If the series can continue to put smart, fun spins like this one on Eli's situation, Eli Stone may raise itself to a higher level yet.