"Cro-Magnon" (first season, episode 12) will be remembered by Ally McBeal
fans as the "dancing baby" episode, in which Ally--woefully celibate and tortured by the ticking of her biological clock--envisions a strutting, diapered infant who haunts her at home and office. The little tyke's appearance (accompanied by the "ooga-chocka" refrain from the 1970s hit "Hooked on a Feeling") coincides with Ally's obsessive attraction to a well-endowed male model she meets in a sculpting class. A prime example of the series' capacity for frank and hilarious sexual content, the episode finally gives Ally a chance to unleash her pent-up sexual energy (courtesy of the model), while the guys in the law firm are left to ponder if "size really matters." By the final scene, Ally (sporting the flannel pajamas that became a modest fashion trend) has come to terms with her imaginary dancing baby, and the episode closes with the two of them dancing happily together... at least for the time being.
"The Attitude" (first season, episode 7) finds Ally struggling to navigate the stormy seas of romance. She's coping with close proximity to Billy, the former love of her life, and the tension increases when Billy's wife, Georgia, is invited to join the firm of Fish & Cage. While Ally defends a woman (Brenda Vaccaro) who's been wrongfully expelled from her synagogue, Cage takes on Georgia's ex-boss on a sex-discrimination charge. During a disastrous dinner date Ally obsesses over salad dressing on her date's chin, and later she simultaneously offends and attracts the young rabbi who ousted her client, leading Ally to trade her pursuit of "Mr. Right" for more pragmatic dates with "Mr. Not-Likelys." As usual, this episode is blessed with Kelley's rapid-fire dialogue, but it's best remembered for the superbly written scenes between Ally and Georgia, who forge a friendship despite their shared history with Billy. Calista Flockhart and Courtney Thorne-Smith really shine here, making this one of the first season's pivotal episodes. --Jeff Shannon