Episode 09 - Two Ministers

'Two Ministers' - Nate, Beth, and Ben are visiting Eli at his apartment. Eli is dropping hints about marriage being a serious commitment (because of his vision of Beth leaving Nate on the altar), and Nate wonders why he's acting so weird. Beth comes in and reminds Nate to ask Eli to act as their minister for their Las Vegas wedding.

At the office, Eli asks Patti to find him a web site that will give him a minister's license. Patti considers marriage sacred and Eli explains that he had a vision of Beth calling off the wedding. Patti thinks he should just ask Nate what's going but Eli doesn't think it's a good idea. Meanwhile, a minister comes in to visit Keith. Keith doesn't recognize him right away, and finally realizes it's Reverend Michelle Stills… now Reverend Michael Stills due to a sex-change operation. Michael informs Keith that St. Anne's Church let him go. Keith goes to Eli, who insists that the law is clear on discrimination but St. Anne's insists it's a contractual dispute. Keith wants Eli to take the case, figuring it's right up his alley. Eli agrees to talk to Michael and Keith makes a quick exit rather than involve himself in the case.

Matt is buying hockey skates for their child and showing them off to Taylor. She refuses to have their child playing hockey and works on her genetic history form, while warning Matt not to get between her and her father in their recent dispute. Meanwhile, Eli goes over Nate's vows and brings up Ben's father. Nate wonders why Eli cares and as he leaves for the new clinic, Eli asks if Beth is okay with him starting his own practice. Nate figures that Eli had a vision about his wedding and Eli nervously denies it. Eli admits he's given up his shot at a normal life and wants to make sure Nate does.

Eli manages to trick Keith into signing onto Michael's case. They meet with St. Anne's representative, Dr. Conroy, and his lawyer. They offer Michael a payment but note that many of the people are leaving because of Michael's operation. Michael wants the chance to address the congregation and Eli prods Keith into backing Michael. Conroy doesn't believe a sermon will do any good and Eli calls an end to the negotiations. Keith wonders if Michael wants to go through the ordeal of a trial, but Michael insists he's ready after 30 years trapped in a woman's body.

Taylor and Matt go to Dr. Lenz's office and the obstetrician tells them that Taylor's blood test reveals the possibility of a chromosomal problem in the fetus. Lenz wants to conduct a CVS and tell what's really going on. Taylor asks to go home.

Nate calls Frank and wonders why Eli is so high-strung. Frank asks if Eli mentioned a vision and says Eli hasn't talked to him about anything recently. Nate asks Frank to check his father's journal and Frank says he will but there probably isn't anything there, and tells Nate to get married.

Eli goes over Beth's vows and she talks about how her first date with Nate and how badly it went. Eli notices Beth bought a piano and Eli asks her to play. As she sings of romance, she turns solemn and Eli, sensing her mood, hastily leaves.

In court, Conroy testifies that it was a contractual matter and Stills was fired because of changed circumstances. He insists there is no bigotry. Eli cross-examines and notes that Stills hasn't changed other than his sex. Conroy says that Stills lied, living as a man for two years before the surgery. He insists the congregation doesn't want Stills there. When Eli points out they couldn't be bothered to attend, Conroy points out Keith is a member of St. Anne's. Keith objects as he isn't under oath. Afterward, Stills is angry that Keith didn't stand up for him and Keith explains that the congregation is good people. Stills doesn't believe it, saying he had to lie or they wouldn't have accepted him. He thinks he did it to be a better pastor as his true self, and he lost his pulpit to explain. Keith warns he can't force them to listen, and Stills wonders if Keith is listening.

Matt tries to console Taylor and says they should do the test, but Taylor isn't ready to face the decision if the test is positive. Matt thinks she's inconsiderate and Taylor thinks he's accusing her of being a bad mother. They start to argue but Matt insists it isn't the time.

Keith admits to Eli that he doesn't think Stills is wrong, but he's not the same person. He notes Eli wasn't the same after his operation, but Eli thinks he was closer to his true self. Beth comes in and shows Eli the watch she's bought Nate as a present. She asks him if everything's okay and Eli says he wants to ask her a question and then forget he asked. He asks if there's anything that might keep her from going through with the wedding. She never answers the question and asks how he's doing, and he claims that he's under pressure.

Eli goes back to Dr. Lee for another Dark Truth session. He asks her not to tell Frank, and she assures him they're not friends. Eli gets the vision of Beth again… kissing Eli as Nate comes in, shocked. Lee pulls him out, warning his convulsions were becoming too severe. Eli returns to his apartment and finds Frank waiting for him. Frank knows he visited Lee and warns that the Dark Truth is too dangerous. Eli insists he's using his visions to help Nate but Frank says it isn't his responsibility. When Eli tells him what he saw, Frank warns him not to go to Vegas but Eli refuses to miss his brother's wedding.

The wedding party arrives in Las Vegas and Eli asks for a room as far away from Nate and Beth's penthouse honeymoon apartment as possible. Nate notices his odd behavior as well as the fact he's been staying away from Beth. Eli claims he doesn't know what Nate is talking about and heads off to his room.

Keith visits Stills at the community center where he holds a Bible study Keith promises to listen and Stills asks him to start now and invites him into the study which is attended by transsexuals.

Eli goes to get Nate for the ceremony and Nate thanks him for everything he's done and for being his brother and best friend. Eli realizes the rings are gone and goes up to the honeymoon suite to find them.

Reverend Stills reviews the Bible and one student, Joanna, notes that the passage talks about being one in Christ. However, her boyfriends and neighbors abandoned her. Stills says that they all need to find forgiveness from within and they are all spiritually equal, with equal access to God. Keith remembers Stills saying the same thing in his first sermon.

Eli arrives at the honeymoon suite to find Beth there, looking at the wedding rings. She tells Eli that she can't go through with the marriage because she still loves him. She loves Nate, but can't go through with the wedding without knowing if Eli feels the same way. He says he doesn't and she breaks into tears. Eli turns to see a shocked Nate behind them. Beth tells him that she can't go through with the wedding and runs out. Nate glares angrily at Eli and leaves.

Going back into court, Keith wants to take over the case and Eli readily agrees. Keith questions Stills and has him explain that he was fired before he could give his first sermon after his operation. Keith suggests that Stills give the sermon now and the judge agrees over the church lawyer's objections. Still talks of how he achieved a male body in flesh as well as spirit, and sought the understanding of the congregation. Keith notes he had more faith in his congregation then the church leaders did.

Taylor goes to the ladies room and runs into Patti. She ends up explaining there may be something wrong with her baby. Patti figures she had a fight with Matt over it and Taylor admits she has doubts about being a mother because she thought of herself. Patti says it's a natural reaction and Taylor has to take care of herself or she's no good to anyone.

Eli goes to see Frank and tries to apologize. Frank points out Eli messed up by going to Las Vegas. Eli talks about Stills and how he wants a chance to explain things to his congregation. Frank tells Eli to tell Nate his side, even though there are no guarantees.

Matt comes in to see Taylor, who reveals she had the CVS test on her own and is waiting for Lenz's call with the results. She admits neither one of them have been through this before, and they can't stop talking. They get the call and Lenz informs them the baby's fine.

The jury finds in Stills' favor and award him $175,000. Keith suggests that Conroy avoid paying him by agreeing to let Stills give his sermon. Keith and Stills go to the church to discover only a few people there. Stills thought there'd be more then and everyone would come around. Keith assures him they will: he did.

Eli gets into Nate's apartment using his spare key and waits for his brother to arrive. Nate is still angry and accuses Eli of having a vision and not telling him. He insists he had a career and a life before Eli had his visions. He accuses Eli of lying about the vision so Beth would leave and Eli wouldn't be alone. Nate thought he'd have a normal life, and tells Eli that his taking the aneurysm back left him with no future and no ability to see the future. Nate accuses him of being worse than their father and Eli throws a pillow at him in anger… unaware that he's bleeding from the nose. Eli starts to collapse and Nate calls an ambulance.

(Aired on Tuesday December 30 2008 on the ABC Television Network)

'Eli Stone' stars Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby, Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Loretta Devine as Patti, Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, James Saito as Dr. Chen, Matt Letscher as Nathan Stone, Jason George as Keith Bennett and Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker.

Guest stars include, Laura Benanti as Beth Keller, Dallas Malloy as Rev. Michael Stills, Melinda Clarke as Dr. Lee, Stephanie Niznik as Delia Slater, Jonathan Walker as Dr. Conroy, Lynn A. Henderson as Dr. Betty Lenz, Alexandra Billings as Joanna, John Pleshette as Judge Nettles, William Topputo as Ben, Libby Mintz as Check-In Attendant and David Jung as Jury Foreman.

'Two Ministers' was written by Wendy Mericle and Dahvi Waller and directed by David Petrarca.