Production Code: AM110
First Air Date: December 1, 1997
Writer: David E. Kelley
Director: Thomas Schlamme
Wilson Cruz as Steven/Stephanie Grant
This wasn’t the official Christmas episode, but it invoked much of the true meaning of the season (little doubt Jerry Falwell would disagree).
Richard’s even more impossibly offensive uncle, Kevin Hanson has passed away. The major controversy here is that Fish wants to celebrate his Uncle’s phobia of short people but the church minister refuses to allow such bigotry.
Whipper Cone takes it upon her self to assign the firm, namely Ally with their nect case that of a young transvestite Stephanie/Steven who is charged with prostitution, the odds on winning are slim.
During a particularly tedious double date with salad dressing boy, Renee and the Biscuit, a light bulb goes off over Ally’s head regarding Stephanie’s defense. Inside Stephanie’s small apartment Ally can’t help being impressed by her clothing designs most especially a wedding dress that out Vera Wang’s Vera Wang. Anyway, Ally explains that they could say that Stephanie has a transvestite fetish and that could be grounds for pleading insanity.
The next day, Billy and Richard go to court claiming censorship against the short speech, they eventually win when they encounter Judge Walworth a fervant opponant to political correctness. Whipper wonders if it isn’t all an elaborate scheme cooked up by Fish so he’ll be spared the mourning process.
Stephanie offers a pleased Ally, a mini-makeover in exchange for her fee, while the attorney isn’t quite sure what to think when she realizes that John believes he was her date the night before. She eventually tells him no hard feelings but she shouldn’t date her boss. A disappointed John should talk to Billy about her flip flopping ways.
A psychiatrist, Dr. Harper, confirms that although Stephanie has a fetish, he knew what he was doing. Still, Ally’s grown quite sisterly towards her latest client and manages to get Stephanie’s case postponed when she promises the transvestite a job, help keep her off the streets.
Something seemed, well, Fishy when Richard delivered the eulogy and didn’t mention short people, that is until a rousing church choir version of Randy Newman’s “Short People,” creating the kind of spectacle that would no doubt make Uncle Kevin proud of the lad.
True to form, wearing a stunning black sheath designed by Stephanie, Ally circles in on Cage & admits that yeah, she’s decided she wouldn’t mind dinner again sometime. Her happiness is short-lived however when she makes the harrowing discovery that her young friend was murdered by an irate customer.
The touching final scenes played out with Ally in the morgue applying makeup on Stephanie, knowing he would want to look beautiful; and Richard saying a far more sedate final farewell to his uncle, whom in spite of his gift to offend remained loved.