The Late Show with David Letterman was not the only television program last night to expose enviro themes to the late night crowd. Over on Boston Legal, something fishy was going on (and I’m not talking about their usual shenanigans).

Normally, I wouldn’t watch the show, but I got a tip from a reliable source that it might be worthwhile last night. So after returning from a night of Green Drinks and dinner, I plopped down on the couch and hit play on my VCR. In short, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, I had thought Boston Legal was one of those legal shows where a defendant chopped up his spouse and fed her to his pet tiger … and the defense team knows he’s guilty, but champions the case anyway … and the lead attorney sleeps with him … and the tiger escapes in court … blah, blah, blah. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of reality shows. I prefer fantasy myself, which is why I tune in to The West Wing. Ah, if only …

But I digress … Boston Legal … here’s the synopsis of last night’s episode:

Reeling over his break-up with Tara, Alan Shore [played by James Spader] heads to Nimmo Bay in British Columbia with Denny Crane [played by William Shatner] for some fly fishing and male bonding in an effort to cure his pain. When they learn that the salmon population is being threatened by sea lice produced by fish farms, Shore and Crane feel compelled to act.

Yes, you read that right. The Emmy Award-winning show tackled fish farming during primetime TV. And it was funny.

For example, when first confronted by an environmental lawyer trying to get him on the side of the salmon, Denny Crane responds with one of the best lines of the episode, “I came out here to enjoy nature. Don’t talk to me about the environment.” Later, when Alan and Denny are going to bed, Alan is reading from some book about how horrible it is that lice from farmed fish kill wild salmon and mentions that the lice go by the nickname “cling-ons,” to which Denny replies “Did you say Klingons?”

And because our dynamic duo was appearing in a Canadian court where lawyers wear black gowns and the judge is called “my lord,” they donned not only the required gowns, but also wigs (!) and their fishing waders. What a sight. Acting as a “friend of the court,” Alan explains how important wild salmon are to the B.C. ecosystem and rattles off numerous enviro offenses regularly covered in Daily Grist — all in under five minutes. I was impressed, and so were fans. Here is just a taste:

Re: This Show is TERRIFIC! Shatner and Spader are Priceless!

Spader and Shatner are awesome! I think this show has really hit it’s stride and I’m glad they have made Shatner now seem not quite as stupid as he seemed when the show began. The writing is excellent and the actors delivery shines, which is the reason for the Emmys!

Wow, this is my favorite show and I can’t wait to see the rest of the season!

Check out the message boards for more.

Of course, the entire show did not focus on the plight of the salmon in British Columbia. There were old ladies (who happened to work at the firm) killing men they thought were evil and lawyers using clergy fetishes to get the best deal possible. You know, all that normal lawyer stuff. But as we discussed before, to work, a show can’t be just about the environment. You gotta entertain.

So Kudos to ABC and the Boston Legal team. I predict an EMA Award nomination in your future. Hey, you already have one!