The Good Wife: A New Day

E:  Dialogue worthy of The West Wing – with hallway walking? Check.  Something awfully reminiscent of that scene in Buffy where the house gets knocked down (and don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about)? Check.  Ferreting out the real killer like Perry Mason?  Check.  That’s right, friends.  That is our show – the best of all possible worlds (political, personal and legal). It’s thoughtful, it’s funny, and it’s sexy as hell. It’s everything you’ve ever liked about your old favorites, wrapped up neatly in one unbelievably packed hour, and it’s finally here.  Happy days are back again!

The baseline of Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” thumps wickedly as Alicia walks off the elevator into Lockhart/Gardner.  Just as wicked; the smirk on her face.  Cat, what did you do with that canary?  Even her hair looks – I don’t know, lighter and less severe, no?  It bounces off her shoulders as she walks into her new office, the engraving on the glass declaring her alliance with Eli Gold.  Just perfect.

It really is a new day.

Suddenly, there’s film of a horrific explosion, followed by bodies, wreckage, and men with guns.  Children with guns.  A slogan – “Rid our campus of Hamas” – appears, emblazoned in red.  “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” continues to throb in the background.  The video, a well manicured Arab in a well cut suit tells Diane, was mass emailed “around campus” – he believes by the Jewish fraternity, Thau Kappa Theta. “I’m not saying anything bad,” he justifies himself. “No, of course not,” she pacifies him smoothly.  “I just think it was this video that provoked the fight at the interfaith rally.”  Oh.  So that didn’t go well, did it?

Mr. Smooth wants Diane to defend Jamal Mifsud, a scholarship student whose family couldn’t afford legal representation. “I am purely an interested bystander here who wants to see justice done.”  Diane sneaks a loaded look in Smooth’s direction; he smiles in graceful embarrassment.  There were a dozen Israeli and Palestinian students involved in the fist fight; why has the State’s Attorney’s office only charged this one Palestinian?  A reasonable question.  Diane thinks it’ll be a cake walk, since the boy has no record.  “Nope. The new State’s Attorney wants to appear tough on his first day.” Alicia arrives just in time to hear this.  “It was deemed a hate crime. Seven years.”  Well, that’s ridiculous.

Diane introduces Alicia to Smoothie (whose real name is Wasim Al-Said) as an old friend moving his business over from a rival firm.  “To my eternal regret,” he smiles. He and Alicia shake hands; she encourages him to use her first name instead of her married one.  “Your husband was very good to the Muslim community in his first term.  My fear is, that’s changed.”  Hmm, that’s interesting, because remember how much the ultra-Orthodox Jews like him, too?  That’s an impressive line to have walked, and it makes me think well of Peter.  “Of course, Alicia can’t influence her husband in any way,” Diane smiles (and it’s oh so much more true than she thinks) “but she’s still one of our best lawyers.”  That should be enough, Mr. Al Sayeed agrees. “This is a good kid, and they’re painting him as a suicide bomber.”  There’s a bond hearing today, and Alicia will be there.

“Good,” Diane purrs, crossing her arms. “That’s one piece of business.  What else can we help you with that Young, Bachman & Meyers can’t?”  Funny that you mention that, Diane.  Yes, yes there is a little something.  “I know that Eli Gold is working with you these days.  I’m in need of some … crisis management.”  Where’s the crisis, Diane wonders.  “Where’s the management?”  Mr. Smoothie replies. Smooth, sir.  Very smooth.

Diane instructs Alicia to gather up Eli and Will for her.  But hmm, she looked so odd when Diane mentioned Will, and she takes way too long to answer.  What’s that about?  Will, it turns out, has slept in.  No doubt he overdid it celebrating last night’s victory, his secretary laughs.  No doubt.

“Mom, pick up the phone!” calls Grace’s voice.  I love that ringtone – it’s so cute.  Mom picks up the phone.  “Hello, dearest daughter!” Alicia trills.  (Now that’s a phrase I didn’t ever think I’d write.)  “You sound happy,” Grace replies with some surprise.  Which,  aw, that’s a bit pathetic.  What more could I desire while talking to you, darling child?  The darling child doesn’t think she needs a tutor for just one bad report card.  What’s mom’s response?  “Grace, we discussed this.”  Oh, the old standby.  Grace has an excellent child of divorce answer: “Dad just thinks I need to apply myself.”  Mom’s not having any of it.  “I agree, and a tutor will help you do that.”  One month, and that’s it.  As Alicia calls in to Eli, Zach grabs the phone to say that Neesa’s parents want to have dinner with the Florricks.  Both of them.  Hmmm.  I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty curious if my darling daughter was dating a boy whose father consorted with prostitutes.  I’d want to know what that environment was like.

Anyway.  Not that it’s not a normal invitation.  “They’re just trying to be nice.  It’s just like you said – I haven’t told anyone you and Dad are separated.”

Eli wants to know who’s coming to dinner, too. Wasid is a commodities trader Diane’s been chasing for two years.  Eli stumbles a bit over the name, which is a little offensive (if typically Eli).  “He has ten million in charitable assets to spend.”  On what, Eli wonders.

And well might he ask. “A campaign.  Against anti-Muslim bigotry.”  Oh, now that’s kind of fun.  Eli shoots his eyebrows at Diane.  Is this for real?  Alicia can barely contain her smirk at Eli’s discomfort.  When Eli suggests that such a campaign is PR rather than crisis management, Wasid wonders if Eli watches the news. “Religiously,” Eli answers. God, he’s so immature.  “Then you know there was a murder of  Jewish poli sci major at Chicago Politech last night. Unsolved, but the police are questioning Muslim students.  Ten minutes later a riot broke out at the other end of campus, at a rally intended to encourage interfaith dialogue, and only one Muslim was arrested.” Eli nods his head, his features pinched shrewdly. “Now I’m used to reading the tea leaves in this country, and the best way to manage a crisis is before it becomes one. Isn’t that true?”  Good point. Eli concedes. Then he cuts to the chase, as is his wont.  “So, are you hiring me because I’m good, or because I’m Jewish?”

“Can’t it be both?”  Wasid parries smoothly.

“I don’t like being used,” Eli snaps to Alicia as they leave Diane’s office. “Really, since when?” she snarks.  Hee, although what Eli actually likes is using other people.  Ruthlessly.  “He knows Jewish money’s going to Peter for his next campaign, and he wants to buy influence.”  “And?” wonders Alicia.  True enough; why don’t Muslims have the same “right” to buy influence?  He stops to look at the question. “Don’t you get so knowing on me!” He squints at her for a breath. “What’s up with you anyway? You seem different.”  Oh, Eli, you have no idea. She snorts, checks her watch, and heads off.

“Where’re you going?”

“Court.”

“Why?”

“I’m a lawyer.”

“Okay. Glad we cleared that up.”

Hee!  Sam and Josh, good morning!

And, good morning, Cary Agos!  The next scene begins with a close up of his face.  His hair is shaved close on the sides, and I hate it.  Yay, Cary – boo, Cary’s haircut. “This is a hate crime, your Honor, and we ask that bail be set at a hundred thousand dollars.”  The burly bearded judge towers over Cary, standing at the bench.  “Mr. Agos, have you ever been in a fist fight?”  Cary’s at a momentary loss before admitting (surprise!) that he hasn’t.  “Well, let me educate you.  It’s chaos in there, chaos!”  Hilariously, the bailiff rolls her eyes.  She must get this a lot. Alicia rushes in just in time to hear the judge proclaim that there’s no way to know with whom your fist is connecting.  He demonstrates, clenching his fists, punching the air.  “…and the next thing you know, someone’s on top of you.”

Awesome.  I love this show’s capacity for creating unique judges, and also of making characters funny without making them punchlines.

As Alicia’s apologizing and introducing herself to a very downtrodden looking Jamal, Cary cuts in that the entire fight stemmed from religious hatred.  Alicia quickly states her own case.  Only one Muslim was charged when twenty students of both faiths were fighting.  Why is that?  Excellent question.  “Alright, alright,” the judge says, sitting, “your passion is preserved for the record.” He sets bond at $5,000. “And I do suggest that the state reconsider it’s charge.”

Alicia finishes introducing herself to Jamal, a waif with large velvety eyes and shiny black hair, explaining he has a benefactor who’s paying her.  He is, unsurprisingly, down with the free legal help.  “But I didn’t do anything!”  “I know,” she replies soothingly. It’s just the SAO trying to be tough.  “But the good news is,” she whispers, leaning toward the tiny haggard student,”the judge is on your side.”  After we establish that we can never ever bother Jamal’s parents (he’s too embarrassed), he expands on his self-defense, insisting he wasn’t even at the rally.

“He wasn’t at the rally, Cary,” Alicia cries, chasing Cary down the hall. “He was at the library.”  “Oh my God, really?” Cary replies with a straight face. “That’s terrible.”  Alicia has no patience for sarcasm. “This isn’t about Jamal, and this isn’t about some stupid fist fight.”  She steps in to whisper once more. “This is about that Jewish kid stabbed to death and you can’t find the killer, so Jamal is the scapegoat.”  Hmm. Maybe you shouldn’t go from 0 to 60 with Cary, hon.  “Eyewitnesses saw Jamal throw the first punch, that’s what this is about.”  Is it?  Alicia wonders if the witness is Caucasian (and there for less likely to be able to distinguish between Arabs).  “Wow, how quickly we slip the bonds of political correctness!” Cary, you crack me up.  He makes an offer. “Six months in County, one year probation.”  Obviously not, Cary, but that’s still pretty funny.   “Tell Peter there has to be a better way to firm up his campaign contributions!”  Alicia calls after him.  Cary finds that pretty funny.

And with that, Cary slips into a meeting.  “It’s a new day,” Peter tells the assembled ASAs.  Yay, Peter!  It is so good to see you – I never know when we will.  “We’re running a clean office.  Let me say that again because we’re all prone to the same cynicism.”  He points at the assembled lawyers. “We are running a clean office.  Clean, ethical, honest, but not weak.  I know our budgets have been slashed,  I know we’re the underdog here, but our strategy will be this: no plea bargains.”  Say what?  Seriously?  Good grief!  Between the standings ASAs, we catch a glimpse (we see Cary catch a glimpse) of our old friend Sophia and her bare calves, lounging sexily on a sofa. “That’s right. Defense attorneys will be expecting the opposite.  So for the next two months, I want you to hold the line on every single plea.”  Ah, it’s the old teacher strategy – hand out a bunch of detentions the first few weeks of school, and let your rep do the work after that. “After that you won’t have to work so hard.  You make your enemy flinch and you’ll never have to hit him hard again.”  Gee, Chris Noth is way taller than everyone in this room.  Is he really that tall, or is this for effect?  Whether it’s his presence or his strategy, the ASAs seem impressed.

“Your first complaint will be about investigator hours.” Sophia wags her eyebrows at Cary.  “That’s why I’ve hired an outside contractor until we can budget full time.  I want you to meet Sophia Russo.  She’s good and she’s cheap.”  She’s also too confident to feel the need to stand up; she’s still got her feet propped on the arm of the sofa, her skirt at mid thigh.  “Thanks,” she says in a tone of mild offense.  “Relatively,” Peter notes, and his minions laugh.

Once the meeting is over, Cary pulls Peter aside, wanting to know if he should dial down the desired sentence on Jamal’s case.  Isn’t that plea bargaining?  I guess not if he doesn’t lessen the charge.  “What’s the law say?” Peter asks. “Three to seven years.”  For a fist fight?  Really?  “There’s your answer.”  Even if the defense is Alicia, who’s coming after Peter’s campaign contributions?  Peter’s quite surprised by this. What should Cary do?  “Follow the law.  You can’t go wrong if you follow the law.”

When Cary arrives at his office, he finds a golden haired investigator waiting for him. “Geez, what a pit!”  He retreats to extreme sardonic mode and thanks her, dryly.  “You have the Jewish Muslim thing, right?”  “Yeah, the hate crime,” Cary treads the party line warily, “what do you need?” She tosses him the envelope she’s been fiddling with; it’s about what he needs. “You used to work with Kalinda Sharma, didn’t you?”  “Yeah,” he says shortly, deliberately not looking up. “If I were you I’d slip it to her.”  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  Sophia swaggers out.  I cannot even believe she said that.

Kalinda sits alone at her favorite bar; it’s crowded as always.  Cary slips in beside her.  “It’s kinda odd, not seeing you around much.”  I wonder how much time has elapsed since the season finale?  Enough time to get Alicia a new office, have Eli move in, and have Cary miss Kalinda, but still early enough for Peter to be setting his opening tone?  At any rate, Kalinda’s been busy.  Cary doesn’t sit down.  “Yeah.  I thought you didn’t need me any more.”  She laughs, downs her shot, and delicately wipes her lip.  “What’s that?”  Cary lays the envelope in front of her.  “It’s a peace offering.  Peter Florrick wants to run a clean office, so this is me being clean.”  She doesn’t answer. “You’re welcome,” he says, and he leaves.

“You can’t make Chicagoans feel good about Muslims with pathos,” Eli insists, waving a poster that proclaims “Muslims go home.”  He encourages his troups – and there are quite a few – to cast the Arab Spring in terms of the American Revolution. “Who is the Islamic George Washington?  Who is the Islamic Paul Revere?”  I bet a lot of people want to know the answers to those questions.   Anyway, Alicia hears this, but she’s more interested in why Kalinda’s walking into her new office.  (And for the record, wow, that is a big office.  She’s got her own conference table and everything.)  “Do you need something?” she asks coldly. “It’s on your desk,” Kalinda replies curtly. “It’s self explanatory.”  Youch.  That was icy.

The envelope contains an automatic ticket. “Is this your car?” Alicia asks Jamal.  The thick stubble we saw at the courtroom is gone. (For the record, the paper uses the name Mifsud, or I’d have gone on thinking his last name was Masoud, since that’s what it sounds like they’re saying.)    He looks profoundly uncomfortable.  Why?  It is his car.  “Good.  Now, I know you said you were in the library, but that ticket shows your car running a read light just outside the campus gates at the exact moment of the interfaith rally.”  Huh.  A smoking gun.  Why didn’t Cary just drop the case, then?  It’s not like the last case, where Peter hadn’t initiated the prosecution.  It seems like a very weird way to come clean.  “That means that the driver of the car, if that is you, couldn’t be involved in the fist fight, do you understand?”  She’s pleased as punch, really.  “I do.”  He’s clean shaven now, wearing a vest over a button down, looking much more clean cut. She wants him to think before he answers, but she’s clearly leading him.  “Is that you driving your car?”

“It is,” he says clearly, standing in front of the judge.  “Are you certain, young man?  It’s a very round about way to come from the library.”  The judge’s head interrupts the phrase “In God We Trust” emblazoned on that wall.  Kalinda stands to leave the gallery. Cary requires Jamal to state this under oath, and marks the traffic ticket as exhibit number one.  Say what?  Kalinda turns around, and Alicia wonders aloud why this was necessary.  Cary says he wants the assurance if he’s to drop the charge.  Jamal looks to Alicia for reassurance before he swears.  She isn’t looking, though (she’s watching Cary in some confusion), and he does anyway. “That just about wraps it up, then,” the judge smiles, standing.  Yes, says Cary, we made a terrible mistake.  But it turns out that this car was seem racing away from that fraternity murder.  It’s a trap!  Oh, we are so stupid.  It’s a trap, it’s a trap!  You should have listened to Wasid and his tea leaf reading instincts.  The crisis, it has come!

“Objection, your Honor!” Alicia can’t believe they’ve been played like that. “This is why he ran the red light – because he had just killed Simon Greenberg.”  “This is outrageous!” Alicia sputters. “This is prosecutorial misconduct.”  “He swore to it – his alibi means he committed this crime.”  Uh, no – even if he was in that car it would hardly be that cut and dried. “Because you overcharged him with a hate crime so he would grab at any alibi!” Alicia’s livid. Oh, are you saying he perjured himself?  Yes, now she’s going to have to say that. “No, I’m saying he took my advice, that’s all.”  “Well congratulations, Alicia, you just advised your client to admit to murder!”  Um, totally overstating things yet again, Cary, but you’ve got Alicia so mad she’s practically spitting.  Cary and the state charge Jamal Mifsud with first degree murder.

Damn.

[Quick aside: can I just say that The Ides of March is a perfect advertising fit for this show?  I loved seeing this commercial. Smart political thriller?  Yes please!  Next time, though, could you have more women in the cast?]

That brilliant baseline blares again as the elevators open on Will.  And, oh dear.  Oh dear.  Will too has done a bad bad thing – or so sings Chris Izaak – but his expression doesn’t look like a happy one.  His assistant meets him at the elevator door with a mug of coffee.  “Alicia stopped by for you.”  Why?”  The look he turns on her is not pleasant. “I don’t know, do you want me to call her?”  No, he says.  Later.  That seems – cold and suspicious.

“So this isn’t you?” Kalinda waves the ticket at Jamal across a table. “It’s your car, but you weren’t driving your car?”  I’m sorry, he sputters.  “I thought it was the easiest way out.”  Well, you weren’t alone in that mistake. So who’s driving the car, Alicia asks from the back of the interview room. He doesn’t know.  She doesn’t believe him.  “They have a witness who swears that that car – your car – was driven away by Simon Greenberg’s killer.  So don’t cover for anyone!”  He’s not, he promises.  “Look, my two roommates don’t have a car.  I let Amir and Tariq use mine, I just leave my keys in the room.”  “So which is driving it, Amir or Tariq?” Kalinda wonders.  (And yeah, she does say which, as in ‘which of them is driving,’ and yeah, it sounds weird to me too.) He can’t say.  There’s no way to tell from that picture.  Unless you’re a forensic guru able to gauge height from the relative positions of the carseat and the person’s body, assuming the two men differ in height.   (Sorry.  Clearly I watch too many crime dramas.)

Anyway.

“He swore that was him driving?”  Diane can’t believe it.  Alicia and Kalinda stand looking utterly wretched, about four feet apart, in Diane’s office as their boss paces furiously. “He didn’t know it would implicate him,” Kalinda explains.  “It’s my fault,” a miserable Alicia admits, “I encouraged him to place himself in the car to give himself an alibi from the hate crime.”  “Yes,” Diane huffs, “and now I have a multimillion dollar client thinking we’re amateurs.”

Kalinda won’t let Alicia’s confession stand. “I got the pictures from the ASA’s office.  I should have checked.”  Yes, and I suppose you would have if it wasn’t Alicia, huh?  If you weren’t in a raging hurry to let it speak for itself?  “Great, it’s everybody’s fault.”  Diane’s straight backed in rage. “Now let’s make it right.”  Kalinda’s interviewing the two roommates – one of whom must be the real driver, and so quite possibly the murderer – and Alicia’s filing a motion to dismiss the alibi statement.  Okay.  As they attempt to leave, Diane calls out. “I don’t know what’s going on with you two, but make it better.” They turn, almost as one.  “Whatever you have to do.  Make it better.”  They nod, but they can’t even walk out the door without tension.  Diane has it in one; this wouldn’t have happened if Kalinda and Alicia were working together as usual.

Alicia catches sight of Will in his office, and catches her breath at the same time.  Her face lights with a terrible, hopeful smile, but her confidence fades just as quickly, and she walks away instead.

“So, are we supposed to do something?”  Grace sits down at a desk across from a peculiar looking girl who’s playing with her hoodie ties. They’re in the Florrick apartment, so presumably this is after school. “Sure, what subject?” What’s with the tutor?  There’s something about her voice that makes you feel like she’s not all there.  Grace looks super cute in a striped sweater.  She’s very sophisticated looking for a high school student, with her hair coiffed and curled and poofed just so.  Do you feel like she’s the kind of girl who’d do that on her own?

Anyway.  They don’t really know where to begin.  Better grades are the point, so I’d recommend looking at the subjects where she has problems.  Apparently Alicia wants Grace to get into Briarcrest.  Was that their old school?  “You don’t like public school?” The tutor plays with her eyebrows as Grace explains that Alicia’s nervous because of a mugging, and then stares blankly at the desk.  “Is this your first job tutoring?”  “Yeah,” the girl admits, chuckling a little. “How’m I doing?” “Not good,” Grace tells her, trying to make eye contact.  “Darn,” says the tutor, refusing to be caught.  Hee.  The tutor proposes going outside. “I think that’s up to you,” Grace replies, agreeing.

“Cary the man!” some unseen colleague calls out; what we see instead is another sexy investigator sitting at Cary’s desk.  This time, of course, it’s Kalinda.  Cary fist bumps another colleague before turning in the doorway and noticing the chickens come home to roost.

“Nicely played,” she opens, giving him a thin smile. He smiles back briefly, looking embarrassed, and leans against the doorframe.  “So this is the new Cary?” “No, just a new day.” Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.  “So, can I see the crime scene photos, Cary?”   He laughs silently. “Oh, come on, you’re in the big leagues now, what can it hurt?”  He’ll think about it.  And then Kalinda’s face changes abruptly.

“Aw, well, lookie who’s here.”  “Sophia,” Kalinda nods as the blond drapes herself across the doorway. “In the flesh!”  Sigh.  Kalinda catches Cary’s gaze. “Strange bedfellows, huh?”  “The strangest,” Sophia agrees cheerily.  “Well – you two have a nice time,” Kalinda pronounces slowly, full of intent, then sashays out between them, swishing her school girl skirt.  She manages not to touch either one.

“What did she want?”  Sophia’s tone is markedly less cordial.  The crime scene photos, he explains, which are – whooops.  Which were right here on his desk.  Not being able to trust your friends feels a bit crappy, no?

“Okay,” Kalinda reads over her phone, rifling through the crime scene photos in her car, “Simon Greenberg, 22, found in his dorm room, gagged, bound, stabbed 45 times.”  Damn.  That’s horrific looking.  “That’s a little overkill,” Alicia replies from her posh new office.  Overkill.  Ha ha.  “Yep.  Police think it was an execution, no sign of a struggle.”  There were no direct witnesses, just the neighbor who heard a scream and saw a “dark, possibly Middle Eastern man” running to Jamal’s car. They got the whole license plate, too.  Listening to this conversation, you wouldn’t know these women were no longer friends.  They have gotten it together; Diane would be pleased.  Another detail, one not released to the press: the killer painted a swastika in blood on Greenberg’s forehead.  Ew.  “I know, this is not looking good, is it?” Kalinda sums up.   Alicia, however, has caught sight of Will, and has lost focus completely.  “Okay – let me know what you find out from the roommates,” she says, distracted.

“Oh, one more thing – the police don’t know why, but the swastika, it was drawn backwards.”  Wha-huh?  What does that mean?  That seems like an odd thing to me – people who use swastikas are usually either pranking or consciously allying themselves with the Nazi movement.  That makes me think Skinhead before Arab.  Is this a thing I don’t know about?  I’m probably not that up on hate crimes.  But on the other hand, it does point to bigotry as the motive.

As Alicia sets her phone down, Will walks in. “Am I interrupting?”  “Nope,” she smiles, and God, her whole sweet face lights up.  Her whole being is lighter.  Will, by contrast, is brooding and focused.  “Do you have a moment to talk?”  She sits down and gives him a challenging look.  “About last night?”  Oh, so it was last night.  Alright.  Just quick work on the new offices, then.  He laughs quietly, not so very humorously.  Yes, about last night.  She raises a shoulder at him, powerful, flirty. Wow.

And slam goes Eli’s door across the hall, making a weird shivery sound.  For a second there, I wondered if it would shatter.

“Don’t act like this is nothing, ” a short, compact and very angry little man insists, standing in front of Eli’s desk with his hands clasped.  Wait, I’m sure this is all going to be very fascinating, but I’d like to go back to that other conversation, thank you very much!  What are we doing over here?  “You’re running a pro-Palestinian campaign.”  “It’s an anti-Muslim bigotry campaign, and I am a crisis management….” The short man cuts him off. “You are a Jew – we are both…”

“Oh, come on, Michael, what is this?”  Eli’s got his fake indignant face on. “Ultimate frisbee?  We only win by making them lose?”  Ha.  That’s hilarious.  He’s sounding extraordinarily self-righteous for someone who turned the very name Wasid into a sneer.  “Yes,” Michael says, pointing with his finger. “You act like you’re not paying attention, but I know you’re paying attention.  This is a PR war.”  Yes, says Eli, and I’m a traitor?  Michael begins to give examples of pro-Palestinian stories dominating the press.  (You can, in fact, Google the story about the Israeli woman who gave birth in a Palestinian hospital and find a ton of stories about it, though if you read them, you’ll see it’s quite a bit more nuanced than that; stories about Palestinian babies being helped into the world by Israeli soldiers seem to focus on the fact that the soldiers weren’t allowing the mothers through the checkpoints.  There are lots of stories about those instances, too, but they are not pro-Israeli.  Oh, come on, you know I had to look it up.)   “This is a PR and they are winning.”  Eli holds up his hands for a cease fire. “Michael, I do not go to your house and tell you what novels to write.”  Okay, he’s a novelist.  Good to know.  (Not a real one, though.  I looked it up.)  “I do not go to your committee and tell you what lobbyists to hire.”  Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.  Michael mimes putting his hand to his mouth in horror. “Oh.  There it is.  Now I get it.  I didn’t hire you.  I hired Tarkoffski & Associates.”  “With a 20 million dollar Jewish League fund to fight intolerance, yes.  You did.”  Now Eli looks actually mad.  “So, this isn’t Israel vs. Palestine to you, it’s Gold vs. Tarkoffski.”  In a word, yes. “You’re paying a competitor, Michael.  And as moved as I am by your plea for Jewish brotherhood, Michael, I’m not that moved.”    Michael nods. “Four thousand years, and we’re always our own worst enemy.” He leaves.

Alright, this wasn’t the conversation I wanted to listen to, but it’s a pretty fun one.

But, oh my goodness, just as Michael leaves, Will leaves Alicia’s office.  No!  We’re not going to get to see anything they talked about?  Not fair!  Okay, show, I know you think we’re all so smart you don’t need to show us everything, writers, but I wanted to see that, damn it!

But oooooh, maybe I didn’t.  Alicia sighs deeply, sadly. She looks cut, and Eli sees it.

“So you were driving Jamal’s car last night?” Kalinda asks one of Jamal’s roommates, a very tall skinny boy with mocha skin and large ears.  He thinks this is bigoted BS, just like he got from the cops.  Maybe, but you did have access his keys, which has nothing to do with your race or religion, so they’d have to question you even if you were Swedish.  Anyway.  Amir buttons up a tunic and grabs his backpack; Kalinda tries to get him to admit to being the mystery man on the ticket, but he won’t.  “No.  And you know why it wasn’t me, lady?”  He puts on a knit prayer cap. “Look at your time code. I was in my living room. For salah.  Evening prayers.”  Can anyone verify this?  Yes. “The Prophet Mohammed.  Peace be upon it.”  He nods at her and leaves.  His alibi is salah time – the five times a day all Muslims face Mecca and pray.  Awesome.  And that’s clearly provable, too – you can go online and calculate those times for any city in the world, snip snap, just like that.  (They vary.)

“Yeah, Amir’s in the living room five times a day,” the third roommate confirms. He’s Middle Eastern, broader, more aquiline, but also very Western looking with short hair and a hoodie.  Can he vouch for that on the night of the murder?  Naw.  “So you were home?”   Tariq’s eyes go a bit crazy trying to figure out where Kalinda’s going with this.  “You were home to not see him?”  No, he was out.  No, he didn’t take Jamal’s car because the keys were already gone.  He was on the quad at the interfaith rally. Oh, interesting.  I’m expecting Kalinda to ask whether or not Jamal was with him, but instead, she gets distracted by the golden head of Sophia Russo.  Tariq takes off as Kalinda slowly walks over to her old lover.

“Sophia,” she says in a warning tone. “Kalinda, hi!  I didn’t see you over there,” Sophia lies blatantly.  Cute. “So this is how you investigate these days?  By just following me?” “Yep,” Sophia admits. “Makes things a lot easier.”  I just bet it does.

Sophia pops off the bench.

“So you and Cary, huh?  That’s why you’ve been ignoring me.”  Kalinda tilts her head. “It’s not because I’m married.”  Sure, go ahead and think that. Kalinda bites her lower lip.  “Yup.  You got me.”  Nope, but she’s still going to test you and try.  “Listen, I’m going to go question eye witnesses at the Jewish frat, do you want the address?” Sophia shrugs.  “Where’s the fun in that?”

Well, I will say one thing.  I really like Sophia’s gray jacket.  Also?  It’s not a hideous strategy, just following Kalinda around.

The next scene begins with a deafening cacophony of sound.   “Alright, each to your corners,” the burly bearded judge growls. “Mrs. Florrick, your client already swore that that was him in the car, is he now saying he lied?”  Yes.  Of course Alicia doesn’t say that, though. “He’s saying that he was misled by the prosecution.”  Cary’s all innocence. “How did I mislead him?”  Um, by feeding them the ticket and calling it a good will gesture?  “He was given an opportunity to avoid a hate crime prosecution and he took it, that’s all.”  Which is to say, yes, he perjured himself. “This murder charge is based on nothing else.  There’s no evidence that Jamal and the victim even knew each other.  Where’s the motive?”  “Mr. Greenberg was Jewish and Jamal is Muslim, and as you can see here, your Honor, a swastika was drawn in the victim’s blood.”  Cary passes a photo of Greenberg’s forehead to the judge.  Alicia’s livid. “Anti-Semitism isn’t some cookie cutter motive you can apply to any dark skinned…”

The judge cuts her off.

“Now, listen.  Nobody likes a street fight better than me, but that’s for in the street, not here.”  The same bailiff rolls her eyes again. Without more probable cause, the judge is going to agree with Alicia. Cary has something else up his sleeve.

That something is a beaming blond Poli Sci professor – Poli Sci, as you may recall, being Jamal’s major – for the witness stand.  Dr. Noah Fineman teaches one of Jamal’s classes.  Jamal, says Pr. Fineman, showed particular interest in his standard 9/11 lecture, about how the chickens came home to roost for the U.S. and Israel’s Zionist regime.  Ouch.  Alicia leaps to her feet immediately, but her objection is weak and jokey and the judge ignores it.  ‘I think we can stand a bit of rough and tumble here, counselor.”  Well, you’re all about the rough and tumble, judge, so you would know. And, hmm, we finally get to see the judge’s name plate – Alan Karpman.

“So, Professor, you would argue that Israel’s a criminal regime.”  Oh, he wouldn’t argue it – Peter arrives in time to hear the jovial Fineman say he thinks that’s self evident and incontrovertible. Oh, lovely.  You can just see how ugly this is going to get.  “Given this, what do you think about suicide bombings and the death of Jewish citizens?”   Yes, do tell us, professor. Well, he would never condone it, but he does understand. “These are understandable movements against a Zionist oppression.” Honestly, when people use the word Zionist, I start rolling my eyes like that bailiff.  You know there’s no dialogue possible when someone starts speaking from that kind of place.

“Didn’t Jamal take an added interest in this lecture?”  Cary points to poor Jamal.  “He was very engaged in class, yes.  And afterward he approached me to ask me questions about my latest book.”  Fineman’s head bobs in genial enthusiasm.  He’s a picture, this one.  He plugs his book happily.  Cary looks less thrilled, but has no more questions either.

Fineman moves out of the witness box; Alicia has to call him back.  “My client was very engaged in your lecture, you said?  How did you witness this?”  Fineman waxes poetic about his long years of teaching. “And how long did you teach Jamal?”  “Well,” he considers, “it’s been four weeks since the beginning of the semester, four weeks, that’s twenty sessions.”  Um, this is a college and not a high school, right?  The most frequently any college class I ever took met was 3 times a week.  “And for how many of those sessions were you actually present?”  He doesn’t understand. “For how many of those twenty sessions were you actually there teaching, and not having one of your TAs do it ?”  Cary’s eyes flick up nervously.  “Ahhhhhh….”  “Didn’t you only lecture the class twice, professor?”

Ha.

Not that you can’t have a meaningful encounter with someone you’ve only met once, but still.  Ha.

‘Well, I would question your use of the word only, but, ah, yes.”  “And yet you really focused with your laser like perception on Jamal, and his engagement.”  Hee.  Fineman sees he’s being made fun of.  “You’re being a bit rude,” he laughs, still trying to hold on to his good mood. “Yes, and I’m just getting started.”  Ha!  She’s awesome.  Nice.  Peter looks down at his feet.  I can’t help remembering the season premier last year when Peter watched Alicia in the courtroom.  Is he filled with admiration today, too, or is it all appreciation lost in anger?  Or is she just an adversary to him now?

Alicia wonders how it is that, with such little contact, Fineman knew that it was Jamal who asked about his book.  Turns out he has a neat little system; the students sign themselves in, and then he puts a star next to the names of the kids who talk to him.  “See?  That asterisk tells me I must send them an email about my book.”  More eye rolling from me.  “Of course you recognize Jamal over there.”  Alicia does her best Vana White.  “Oh yes.”   “The students sign themselves in, yes?” “Oh, yes, it’s a very efficient way to work.”  Fineman’s smile is broad. Or at least it is until Alicia points out that Jamal’s name isn’t in his own handwriting – he was signed in by his roommate, Tariq, so that he could cut class.  Oh, Cary, I don’t think objecting is going to get you out of this one.  (So, hmm, does that mean it was Tariq who asked about the book?  Isn’t Tariq supposed to be the secular one?  Or can Fineman just not tell one Arabic face from another?  The casting directors have gone to great lengths to provide three actors who look extremely different from each other.)

Peter meets Alicia in the hall. “Well, I’d say things have been pretty easy for you up until now.”  Um, what does that mean?  Easy in this case, where you lied and misled the defense?  Or easy because your evidence, up to now, has been complete crap, but you have better in store?  Don’t even start to imply that anything about her renewed career has been easy, because it hasn’t, and most of it’s been about people trying to hurt you through her.  Also, nice to see you, too, spouse.  “In court,” Peter clarifies with a smile. “These people really don’t know how you think.”  “And you do?” Alicia smirks.  “I hate to tell you this, but we’re going to beat you.”  Alicia smiles. “Good luck with that.”  Peter laughs until she’s too far away to see he doesn’t find it funny.

Oh, the coldness.  Sigh.

We see a combat scenario – a plaster walled city, gunfire, explosions, the sound of Arabic, and a running man. The CG man leaps to pick up a glowing vest. “Battle Gaza Strip ME. One of my best MMOGs,”  a smug bearded youth proclaims from the stand.   I’m no gamer, so I have no idea what this means, and though Cary has claimed to be in the past, he asks for clarification. An MMOG is a massive multiplayer online game.  “Meaning, people log on to their computers and battle each other.”  Yes indeedy.  What’s playing on the screen behind the superior programmer is the recorded actions of one Samson5 – the avatar of the accused.  Alicia wonders where the relevance is.  Cary says it’s motive.  Judge Karpman wonders whether the weapon of choice is an Uzi.  Sigh.  This time we don’t get to see the bailiff roll her eyes, but I can imagine she’s still doing it.  It’s not an Uzi, but Karpman still thinks it’s cool.

“Well, that’s Jamal’s avatar there, the guy running.”  What’s he wearing, Cary asks.  “Oh, that?  That’s a suicide vest,” the programmer says casually. In the gallery, Wasid Al-Said’s eyes widen in horror. Of course he would be there now.  Sorry, but I have to say it – why doesn’t my family have noses like that?  Seriously, the man has the tiniest perfect straight little nose.  This is not your average Mediterranean nose.  I’m so jealous.  He’s upset.  So’s Jamal.  (Upset, not jealous.) “He’s wearing a suicide vest?” Cary repeats.  He then elicits the fact that the avatar is entering an Israeli school.  Oh, lovely.  Just lovely.  It still seems utterly circumstantial – gross, sure, but what first person shooter game isn’t morally questionable?  And yet, how many people who play first person shooter games use them as a rehearsal for real life?  I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but as a percentage, it can’t count as proof of one man’s guilt.  Especially when we’re talking about a knife murder.

Anyway.

“Your Honor, this is a game!” Alicia pounds her desk.  Then the school explodes.  Everyone looks appalled, and Wasid walks out.  Ouch.

“Mr Al-Said was just here,” Diane notes, back at the office. “He wants us to pull out of Jamal’s case.  He’s afraid defending a youth who makes light of a suicide bombing will undercut Eli’s pro-Muslim campaign.”  Oh, dude.  “He wasn’t making light of it, he was playing a video game.”  Well, that kind of is making light of it, but he’s a college student.  They’re either being totally offended by things or totally blaze about them.  Also, that’s gaming, something lots of model citizens engage in. “He killed a school house full of kids,” Will yells from his seat at Diane’s desk.  “Yes, but in a videogame.  Have you seen video games these days?” Alicia reiterates.  She’s standing. She’s the only one.  “We can’t abandon Jamal, he was looking at misdemeanor battery, we helped him into a murder charge.”  “We?” Will shoots back at her.  Ouch!  She’s getting the cold shoulder from everyone these today.    Diane looks slightly shocked, and Alicia gives her a look of surprise and consternation.  “I helped him into a murder charge – which I did as a representative of this firm.  We made a commitment to him.”  Will practically rolls his eyes at Diane.  “What do you think?” Diane asks Will.  “I think your friend will pull out of Eli’s campaign and go right back to his old firm with his ten million dollars.”  “Yeah, ” Diane agrees regretfully.  She looks at Alicia.

“Still, retail rules,” she decides. “We broke it, we own it?” Will confirms. Yep, that’s what Diane means.  Let me say, on Jamal’s behalf, phew.  I’m sure legal aid couldn’t have been any worse. Diane dismisses Alicia.  “Win this one!”  Alicia nods at Diane’s parting words.

“No!” Eli barks, his back turned on the latest visitor to his office.  “What?” growls the man with the perfect nose.  “No, Mr. Al-Said?”  That really wasn’t any friendlier.  Al-Said laughs.  “I’m coming here as a courtesy.  I don’t need your campaign anymore.  I’m taking my business back to my old firm.”  Eli sits at attention.  “Oh, that’s too bad, because I already cashed your check.”  “You did not,” Al-Said doesn’t believe it. “I did,” Eli bites out (sounding oddly like Anna Torv of Fringe; is it the over articulation?).  “You know us Jews.”  Oh, Eli.  Al-Said’s smooth facade cracks. “You’d do anything to piss me off,” he splutters, frustrated laughter punctuating his words. “You’re right, but I still have a great pro-Muslim campaign for you.”  Mr. Not-So-Smoothie snorts and leaves.  “Good doing business with you” says Eli of the sharp elbows.

“Did you hear the one about the Arab and the Jew?”  Wasim wonders from the doorway.  “No, but I’m sure it’s very funny,” Eli says wearily. “An Arab and a Jew walk into a bar,” Wasid begins, his voice turning serious and sad, “and then they kill each other.”  They look at each other regretfully for a moment.  As his own version of “why can’t we all just get along”  it’s pretty good.

The L rumbles through Chicago.  Grace and her interesting new tutor are on it.  This is what she means by outside? To me that means, you know, trees and stuff.  Perchance a local park.  But this girl, she thinks outside the box, clearly.  She tries to explain something about black radiation to Grace, who’s more interested in how the tutor (give her a name, for the love of God!) can eat a chocolate bar.  Oh, the horror!  Grace, you let Jackie into your head!  Please don’t tell me you think you need to be on a diet!  (By the way, I was completely fooled by wardrobe changes here; Alicia went into work wearing a red dress under a black blazer, but now she’s in all black.  And of course Jamal got all cleaned up.  So I assumed it was a new day – but no, here’s Grace in the same cream and gray sweater, and Tutor-girl in the same really puzzling bib shirt.  Odd.  And I don’t just mean the bib shirt.)  “It’s like the equivalent of three buckets of popcorn.” Tutor-girl thinks this is ridiculous. “But I don’t want three buckets of pop-corn.”  What is this eating things just because you want them?  Gracie doesn’t understand.

No, I’m not saying anything against being healthy.  It’s just – you can’t be all “a chocolate bar is going to kill you, omg.”  Grace really can’t say anything about this girl’s eating habits; she’s only known her for what, an hour? Maybe it’s the first chocolate bar she’s had in a year.  It’s not as if Tutor-girl’s heavy, although she’s probably not as thin as Grace has gotten to be. Anyway, Grace looks at her like she’s from another planet.

And this is prescient, because Tutor-girl immediately proves she’s from another planet.  A very confident planet.  A bunch of guys in bright red and white soccer uniforms enter the train. The pop of color?  It’s just so Bollywood, she can’t help dancing.  (Yes.  I know.)  On goes the music player in her bag, and out goes her phone into Grace’s hand.  “It’s Bollywood – you can’t pass up Bollywood!”  Grace is too stunned to hold the phone up properly, and Tutor-girl has to keep tipping her hands up.  “Do you know them?”  Grace is stunned, almost speechless.  “No.  It’s chance.  I do this all the time.”  And Tutor-girl proceeds to dance like a complete and utter maniac, doing a hilariously dreadful stripper imitation with a pole, even cozying up to one of the boys, who dances back good naturedly.  And Grace, who couldn’t deal with the tutor eating a chocolate bar, is utterly charmed.

“Good to have you back, Mr. Sartori,” Alicia smiles at the smug programmer, on the stand once more.  And this really is a new day because both he and Alicia are wearing new clothes; she’s in a gray suit, and he’s in a maroon hoodie.  “So tell me.  What is a power up?”  Sartori laughs.  “I”m sorry.  This is the only place in the world where I have to explain a power up.”   I’m sorry, but no, I guarantee itisn’t, dude.  In fact, it’d be a lot of fun coming up with a list of places where people would not know what that is.  It would be a long one.

Anyway.  “In a video game, it’s something you collect to give you extra power,” he explains.  “Like a gun.  Or, you know, ammunition.” “So would anyone pass up a power up?” Alicia asks. Perish the thought!  Sartori laughs.  “No.  Not unless you’re crazy.  You never know when you’d run out of ammunition.”  And, guess what?  The suicide vest?  A power up.  “And everybody who plays your game grabs one?”  “At one point or another,” Sartori affirms. Jamal looks up, encouraged. “In fact, according to your own logs, many ASAs in Mr. Agos’s office…”  Here Cary vainly objects. “Many ASAs in Mr. Agos’s office have collected such suicide packs.”  Hee!  “Yeah – it’s part of the game, it’s not a thing.”

“But doesn’t that mean these ASAs are more likely to have murdered Simon Greenberg?”  Cary’s horrified – of course he is.  It’s not like any of the ASAs are Muslims who went to school with Simon Greenberg.  Seriously, when was the last time the SA’s office made such an offensively stupid case?

Kalinda provides a distraction to everyone when she comes forward with a note for Alicia. “Mr. Sartori, Jamal’s roommate, Amir Al-Falan, he played your online game too?”  She can prove with his logs that this is so.  And also that Amir had his privileges restricted for fighting with another player.  Gee, who could that be?  One of the ASAs, perhaps?  Strangely, no.  It was Simon Greenberg.

“Jamal’s roommate Amir is the most likely suspect,” Alicia tells Diane. “He has an alibi,” Will reminds them. “Praying.” “Yes, but he was alone.”   And can’t prove his alibi.  Does that count as an alibi?  “What about the other roommate, Tariq?”  “We can’t find any contact with the victim, and he doesn’t have the political motive,” Alicia explains.  “Amir is the Palestinian hardliner, Tariq could care less.”  Of course, you’re buying into the prosecution theory here when you assume that’s the most likely motive, but hey, who am I to question you? Diane looks to Will, and he looks away from Alicia in annoyance.  Eeek.  More cold shoulder.  Noticing this, Alicia looks self-conscious; Diane dismisses her, which doesn’t help.

Diane squints at Will, but he’s too busy looking at his hands to notice. “What do you think?” he asks.  She stands in front of him, squinting again. “I think?  You’re holding something against her.”  Will looks up.  “I’m what?”  “Alicia.  Maybe it’s unconscious, maybe it’s not, but you’re being hard on her.”  He’s dismissive of the very notion.  “No.  She’s a third year associate on a partner track, and she’s treating us like peers.” Ouch!.  It hurts!  I don’t like that at all, Will!  Why are you talking about Alicia this way?  “That’s all you’re seeing.”  “My God, am I the only adult left here?  Could everyone else just put their emotions away?”  Well, if Congress can’t do it, don’t get too hopeful about your colleagues, Diane. “I have to get to a meeting, unless you have some other stray observations for me?”  Diane just shakes her head.  “Phew,” Diane sighs.

Alicia leans back against a dark paneled wall, tipping her shoulders back and forth.  Her eyes are closed. Oh my God. “Are we over doing it?”  The light glints off her bare skin.  Will – dressed in his suit – rises up to meet and kiss her.  “Diane thinks I’m going to hard on you.”  Her intake of breath is sharp, and timed precisely to that word, hardHard.  She shifts up and back slightly. Oh my God.  Oh my holy heavens.  They stare at each other.  “Am I?” he purrs. “Going too hard?”  He matches action to his words.  They start to move; she starts to laugh, halting, throaty, rich.  “All those late nights.”  “No time off,” she agrees.  He mutters about being buried in work.  She sighs, shifts up, inhales sharply. “Up to my knees,” she smiles, her head still thrown back, mouth open, the words drawn out.  He kisses her neck.  He practically eats her neck.

“You’re doing it again, Mom, you’re doing it again!”  Alicia freezes, taken back out of herself.  “It’s just my neighbors,” Will assures her.  Wow. Really poor soundproofing.  Not cool.  But somehow, she manages to redirect her focus.  “Let’s go to the bedroom,” he says. “No, no don’t move, don’t move,” she pleads.  But he does move.  Repeated.  Rhythmically.  And she’s catching her breath, and panting, and making these little noises, and then bites down on his finger, biting, biting, biting down so hard.

Holy crap.  I mean, oh my God, did they really just show that?  Wow.  I mean, oh my – wow. All that was missing was the house falling down around them.

So, okay.  Looks like they didn’t attempt to leave things at that one hour of good timing, did they?

Oh. My. God.

Holy frak.

Well.  I was not expecting that.

“The leg is done,” a chef says through the television.  Grace and Alicia are cuddled up on the sofa, next to a plate full of pizza crumbs, glasses in hand.  “We need to eat better,” Alicia muses, looking at the crumbs and at the lamb chops resting on her tv set.  “I like what we eat!” Grace protests.  “No, I need to cook,” Alicia protests, clutching her red wine.  Grace looks up at her mother and giggles.  When Alicia laughs back, I can’t help thinking it’s the closest (not just literally) and happiest we’ve ever seen them.  They’re so relaxed.  “You’re happier without Dad,” Grace observes without judgement.  “No, I’m happier with you,” Alicia tells her daughter, nuzzling her head.  “Okay, that was such a mom thing to say.”  They laugh again. “No,” Grace continues, “it’s about Dad.”  Well, it’s about the lack of Dad but also the addition of something else that we’re not talking about yet.  But yes. “Does that upset you?” Alicia wonders.

“No,” Grace shakes her head, providing the good girl answer first and then the more honest one. “I don’t know.”  She twists to look her mother in the face, now serious. “I mean, I love Dad.” Alicia understands. She starts a few times before picking the words “I’m sorry” and then kissing Grace on the side of the head.  They settle back to the lamb chops when Alicia remembers; she’s gotten Grace a new tutor to replace crazy girl.  “Dana.  I think you’ll like her – she’s social.”  Grace, however, has changed her mind about crazy tutor girl, and does not want her replaced.  (I’m a little unsure about when she would have complained to Alicia, since she changed her mind during their one session; maybe she called her on the way to the L train?) “I thought you said she was too different?” Grace turns a thoughtful face to her mother again. “I did.  But sometimes different isn’t always bad.”  Thanks, Miss After School Special, I’ll keep that in mind.  Drink your milk, kiddo.

“She’s coming over tomorrow to help me set up my computer.”  Alicia’s quite taken aback by this.  Doesn’t Grace already have a computer set up?  “Please tell me you’re learning something,” Alicia begs, dubious. “I’m learning something,” Grace replies, eyes wide to demonstrate her sincerity.

Amir stands up to collect his prayer rug from his living room floor; Kalinda watches from the doorway.  “So, how do you explain that, Amir?”  “I don’t explain it,” he says, moving past her to put the rug away. “You said you didn’t know the victim, Simon Greenberg, and yet here you are on a video game, fighting with him.”  Kalinda shows him the Sartori’s log.  “I don’t need to talk to you,” Amir replies with a bit of contempt.  “You got no authority here.”  Kalinda heads for the door, but it’s not to leave, oh no.  It’s to call to Sophia, who’s lounging sexily on a classic car, still tailing her former colleague.  “Hey, you wanna make yourself useful in here?”   Why yes, she does. “I just got the authority,” Kalinda explains, and tall Amir stiffens.

“He claims it wasn’t him,” Kalinda tells Alicia as they stand in the courtroom.  Alicia’s writing furiously on a pad of paper (no more big brother tablets for you!).  “Wasn’t him what, fighting against Greenberg?”  “In the video game.  Amir says it was Tariq, he let him use his screen name.”  Alicia looks completely exasperated, and with cause.  Who can tell who did anything between these three? They borrow each others cars and screen names and sign each other into class until you can’t tell who did what. I’m started to be afraid they killed Greenberg together.  “So we’re back to square one,” Kalinda grouses, because Tariq doesn’t have a motive. Alicia finally looks up from her notes.  “Maybe we’re making a mistake, thinking it’s about Middle Eastern politics.  These kids, they’re just – college kids.”  The light bulb goes on.

And Judge Karpman walks in.  “Okay.  I’ll keep checking, but I’ll need some time,” Kalinda explains, and heads out.  “So, this is where we stand,” Judge Karpman tells the crowd as he begins the session. Did anyone else think the bailiff called him Cartman? If I hadn’t seen the name plate, that’s what I would have thought his name was.  Ah, South Park. “There is sufficient evidence for a finding of probable cause.”  What?  Is he kidding?  Only if you assume that the fact of being Muslim makes Jamal guilty, because there’s still no motive and only circumstantial evidence.  Appalling. Alicia looks a bit panicky.  Karpman wants to put the case on his trial.  Alicia stands to object.  And – wow – she asks Karpman to recuse himself.   “We believe that you have shown bias against our client.”

Um, okay.  That hasn’t felt true, at least not until this finding of improbable probable cause, and I don’t really know what the threshold is for that.  This must just be a ploy to get extra time for Kalinda – right?  “Really?  In what way?”  Alicia steels herself. “Your religion.”  Karpman drops his bearded jaw, and stands, aghast. “This is outrageous.  I’m…” He’s struggling for words to contain that outrage. “My Jewish background is irrelevant to this case!”  Alicia’s implacable. “Your Honor, you have given money to Outlook for Israel, an organization that supports the settlements in Israel.  We believe that you have shown bias against our client and we ask that a new judge hear further proceedings.” Wow.  That’s a ballsy strategy.  Are there so many judges in Chicago that you can afford to mortally offend one?  Especially one who, frankly, is more in your court than the average person might be?  (Also, note that Alicia did not say “the settlements in the occupied territory” or “the Gaza strip.”  Just saying.) The stunned Karpman will give them his decision in an hour.

Cary’s bemused. “He’s never going to recuse himself,” he tells Peter.  Peter doesn’t agree.  “Karpman always backs down. He’s too afraid of being overturned on appeal.”  That’s fascinating, given his tough guy person.  Maybe that’s part of why the bailiff was rolling her eyes. So we just start over with a new judge, Cary wonders. “No,” Peter smiles, “I know what Alicia’s doing.”

Alrighty then.

Eli sets a posterboard of notes on the aborted pro-Muslim campaign on an easel in his office, then capers back to his desk, tosses his suit jacket back on, and sits, pretending to peer intently at the board.  The angry novelist charges back in.  “Oh, Michael, how are you?”  Eli doesn’t take his feet down. “I was just sitting here going over this campaign.  Arab Spring – sort of like Irish Spring.  But with Arabs. Want some coffee?”  Ha!  Michael does not want coffee. “How much,” he asks instead. “For the coffee?”  Eli makes a negligible wave of his hand. “For six months, if I brought the Jewish League Fund here.”  Oh, that’s marvelous. Eli uses one despised fund – which he’s already lost – to get the one he really wants.  “How much are you paying Tarkoffski & Associates?”  You know how much, Eli, Michael grumbles. “Well, I would have to tell Mr. Al-Said that we can’t handle his account anymore, so if you could help us defer those costs…”  Michael shakes his head in respect and horror. “You’re really a son of a bitch.”  Eli nods happily.  “I am. But now I’m your son of a bitch.”

“All rise.  Judge Karpman presiding.”  Karpman asks them to sit, his mouth pressed together in displeasure, glaring at Alicia.  Has her gamble paid off?  He doesn’t sit. “I’ve taken a great deal of time with this motion, because I believe that part of being a tough judge is also being a fair judge.”  At this point, Cary moves back to his feet. “Your Honor, may I quickly interrupt?”  Honestly, he’d rather you didn’t.  He’s prepared remarks.  Cary doesn’t really give him the option. “I believe Mrs. Florrick is attempting to manipulate this court.”  Perish the thought!  Alicia leaps to her feet in protest.  Ah, lawyerly posturing.  It’s so cute.  “If you recuse yourself, the court will be forced to choose a new judge tomorrow, is that right?”  It is.  “You’re about to make your ruling, your Honor?”  Alicia’s attempt to sidestep Cary fails. “That’s what she’s counting on, your Honor.  Do you know what tomorrow is?”  He does not. “The holiday.”  “That has nothing to do with my motion,” Alicia whines. “It’s Rosh Hashanah.” Ooops. “There will be no Jewish judges in court.  The case will be assigned to a non-Jewish judge.  That is why she’s asking you to recuse yourself.”  Karpman starts breathing heavy and pursing his lips – an amusingly prim and ladylike gesture from such a big man.  Alicia’s offended, but not anywhere near as offended as Karpman is.  “Mrs. Florrick, I am … disappointed in you. The motion is denied, the trial remains on my docket.”  Down goes the gavel.  Damn.  He stands, as always, beneath the words “In God We Trust.”  Alicia looks over at Cary, who looks over to Peter; Alicia sees in him the author of her defeat.

Now, okay, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.  This judge hasn’t been biased against them; why would a change be an improvement?  This felt like a slightly desperate gamble to buy more investigative time, which would render any future judge’s political and religious leanings irrelevant.  So would she really have cared about Rosh Hashanah?  I suppose if she were to end up with a trial with a new judge, she might have wanted to eliminate the potential for bias?  Unpleasant.  At any rate, now she really has made life harder for herself, not only in this trial but any other time she ends up in Karpman’s court.  Not a good gamble, Alicia.

Tariq sits in a crowded bar, chatting animatedly – and closely – with another guy. Kalinda slinks up behind him.  “What’re you following me?”  “No,” Kalinda says innocently, “I’m following her.”  That’s a change of pace.  Sophia sits down on Tariq’s other side, drink in hand. “You know, Tariq, if you’re looking for a discreet gay bar, I’d try Scarlett’s on Halstead.”  “No no no,” counters Kalinda, “I’d try Sidetracks.”  Ha, they really are the only women there. Sophia makes a face:  “too leathery!”  Hee. “What do you need?”  Tariq just wants them gone.  Funny to think that two beautiful women must be attracting more attention in a gay bar than a straight one.  “You used Amir’s avatar in Battle ME online game.”  So?  “So that’s where you met Simon Greenberg.”  Oh, ouch.  Good call, Alicia!  Tariq looks panicked and denies it. “Yeah,” say Sophia, using the hand holding her drink to point to his suddenly terrified face, “actually, yeah.”  He grows more alarmed each second. “Checked your alibi, ” Sophia continues, “It doesn’t hold up, Tariq.  You weren’t at that interfaith rally.”   His mouth hangs open for a moment.

“Why would I kill Greenberg?  It makes no sense.”  “We spoke to the bartender,” Kalinda leans in softly. “He said you met Greenberg here quite a few times.”  “My guess is, you and Greenberg fell in love.”  Sophia drops the narrative and Kalinda picks it up.  “You argued, and he met someone else.”  “You got jealous,” Sophia continues.  Quick work for the first month of school, isn’t it?  “You stabbed him,” Sophia states flatly. “Made it look like a hate crime,” Kalinda finishes.  And that’s when Tariq tries to bolt.  Oh, silly, silly boy.  The women spin him around, pin his arms behind his back, and slam his head down on his barstool.

“I didn’t mean to kill him!”  You didn’t mean to kill him?  What did you mean by tying him up and stabbing him, then? To torture him into coming back to you? Cause that works.  Seriously, I got nothing for that kind of excuse. “Why the reverse swastika,” Kalinda wonders, as all around them the bar goes on with business as usual.  “When you set it up as a hate crime, why’d you draw the swastika backwards?” “What’d you mean?” Tariq pants, “isn’t that how you draw it?”  The two women stare down at him in surprise.

“Is it good for the Jewish League fund, I don’t know,” Eli muses into his phone. “A Muslim was the killer, but he was also gay and sleeping with our guy, so I would call that a …classic mixed message.”  Peter looks over sharply.  Eli puts the phone on his shoulder and mouths the words “crisis management.”  Peter – who ought to have the same information at this point as well – nods.  “If it helps our cause, I could find out if he’s a top.”  Now Peter can’t help guffawing.

“That was a joke,”  Eli’s forced to explain to his phone.  Well, Peter and I appreciated it, anyway, Eli.  Peter mocks Eli a bit for the hand holding.  “What do you think?”  “It’s veeeeery flattering, Eli,” Peter growls, looking over some paper work.  “But I can’t be thinking about the governorship when I’m doing this job.”  He hands the papers back.  “So do this job.”  Eli sets the papers down on the table between them. “Let me think about the governorship.”  On his way out the door of Peter’s plush new office, Eli stops.  “Just an observation from work.  If you’re worried about Alicia and Will Gardner…”  Peter lowers his drink.  “I’m not.  Worried.”  Which could mean anything from “I don’t think there’s anything going on” to “I don’t care if there is.”  “I know, I know,” Eli corrects himself. “But if you were, I think that whatever was there is no more.” Peter regards his former campaign manager shrewdly. “They barely look at each other.”

Eli tries to leave again, but Peter calls him back this time.  “You don’t want a divorced candidate, do you?”  Eli attempts to deny it, and Peter gives him another look, calling his bluff. Chris Noth is very very good at giving that kind of look.

“Here’s goodbye” sings a twangy voice in Kalinda’s favorite bar.  Will sits by her, and they drink.

“You need a friend, K,” he observes. ‘Why do I need a friend,” she wonders.

“Or a dog.  You need a dog.”  Hee.  I love this conversation already.  “Maybe a dog.  Kalinda and pooch, out investigating.”  Dude sounds very, very drunk – or at least very very silly.

“I’m fine, Will,” she assures him.  How much has Alicia told him, I wonder?  Do they actually talk when they’re together?   A good question.

They’re distracted by a break up down the end of the bar.  “What’s wrong with me,” a blond woman cries, head in her hands.  Which, seriously, dude?  At a crowded bar? That is so not cool.

“We’re not like normal people, are we?” Will asks, still watching. “What’re normal people like?”  Good question.  Will thinks. “Emotional.”  Kalinda smiles.  “You’re emotional.”  Will denies it. “Naw.  Sometimes I’m in the middle of an emotion, and I just look at myself and I realize, I’m not feeling anything, I just like acting like someone who feels something.”  Odd.

“You wanna stop acting and actually feel?” she asks him. “Yeah.” She hits him, out of sight.  Hard.  It takes a stunned moment for him to look at her and respond. “Ow.”  “That’s what it feels like,” she shrugs.  “Thanks,”he laughs, and she laughs gently with him.  But all good things must come to an end; he has an appointment at 8:45.  “That’s specific,” she points out. Yep.  “Be good,” he tells her as she leaves, patting her on the shoulder.

“I’ll get them to school on Monday,” Peter tells Alicia, who stands, stiffly, arms crossed.  Yes, he’s sure he can do that. Yay for Peter taking the kids!  It’s about time.  Zach wonders off screen if they should bring their homework. “Yes!” his parents call out in unison.  Peter stands out in the hall with his hands clasped looking at his shoes in profound discomfort. “So you’ve hired a tutor for Grace,” he observes.   Yes.  “She’s good.  And Grace likes her.  At least, Grace likes her now.”  She sighs. “I’ll keep an eye on that.”   Oh.  Then there’s the matter of Neesa’s parents and the dinner invitation. Awkward!  Peter almost chuckles. “I’ll tell her you’re busy,” Alicia steps in. “Yeah, yeah, tell her I’m busy,” Peter echoes, but is it just me, or does he seem disappointed?  Did he want to go pretend to be the happy family?  Finally Zach and Grace are ready.  Alicia kisses them on the way out; she’ll be there if they need anything.  How strange that must be, that first handing over.  Grace turns and smiles as they head to the elevator.  Alicia smiles, and then closes the door.

Hmm.  Alicia’s wearing a white fitted button down and heels with her jeans.  She fishes a lone white sock off the otherwise immaculate living room floor.  The clock says 8:35.  Now she’s at her vanity, applying red lipstick, fluffing her hair.  It’s 8:45.  She looks at her reflection, and suddenly this is the face we saw in the elevator at the end of last season; Alicia’s in total panic.  What’s this new world she’s living in, where she bring a lover into the home she shares with her children?  How does a good girl, a good wife, do this?  There’s a knock at the door.  She doesn’t move – she just breathes hard, fearful.  What will she do?  Does she let him in?

Oh, come on.  You know the answer to that.

I wasn’t totally in love with this case.  Oh, I enjoyed where it ended up (having nothing to do with racial/religious tensions), even if it was a touch predictable, and that nice little parallel with Will and Alicia’s charade (things not being what they seem).  But I’m just not certain about the beginning.  Was the whole initial case really a feint to get Jamal to confess to being in the car?  That makes a certain amount of sense, especially given that he was the only person charged in the interfaith melee.  But there’s the small matter of Sophia producing the ticket.  Oh, I don’t doubt that Cary knew it was a trap when he gave it to Kalinda – he knew that the car had been identified at the murder scene – but before he got the ticket, could he have anticipated that?  Perhaps Cary knew the ticket existed and Sophia was just giving him the physical copy?  What about the witness who swore Jamal was at the rally?  Or was that a lie?  Was it Cary who decided to try Jamal in the first place, and if so, was it because he already suspected Jamal of the murder? And how did the police pick Jamal up, anyway, if he wasn’t actually at the rally?

I like that Peter got to take the kids, finally.  I’m so relieved that he’s in touch with them.  Do you guys think that the arrival of Tutor-girl means the end of Shannon, and Grace’s flirtation with Christianity?  That was such a big arc for her last season, though I’m not sure it went anywhere useful.  Especially if they’re just going to drop it now in favor of gorilla theater.  Was it just a passing phase?  It’ll be interesting to see.  It’ll be doubly interesting if she starts doing “Bollywood” numbers and posting her goofy exploits on youtube.  Oh, excuse me – on vidtrope.com, of course.

I’ve always said that my worst case scenario was for Alicia to begin an affair with Will while she was still married to Peter.  Now, she’s no longer living with Peter, and has begun talks with a divorce attorney.  But she’s not officially separated, not publicly so.   And we’ve all been hoping that she would have some time by herself, to be herself.  Of course I suppose one could argue that she had a lot of time to stand on her own while Peter was in prison.  So I can’t exactly call this my worst case scenario, even if it’s not my dream romance, either.  But damn, they know how to make a sexy scene on this show.  I mean, come ON.

Speaking of which, On Point on NPR did an interesting show on women in the new tv season, and of course everyone (including the excellent Maureen Ryan) lavished love and attention on The Good Wife.  Near the end of the show, a woman called in, saying what a fan she’d been of The Good Wife, but how shocked she was by this episode, how it focused too much on Will and Alicia and sex, and if this was the new direction of the show – if the creators were just trying to tart it up to get better ratings – then she would stop watching.  And the critics echoed her concern.  Two years into a show, they agree, she either starts getting sexier, or they have to give her an adorable baby.  I’m intrigued by this critique; I feel like this plotline is organic, and makes sense through the history of the show.  Whether you think it’s a good idea for the characters or not, I’d assert that it didn’t feel forced.  I didn’t think the episode was out of balance at all; the show has spent a lot of its focus on Will and Alicia, so that doesn’t feel new or weird.

Their new relationship is certainly going to provide more sex, but that doesn’t offend me by itself. Heck, Alicia was party to a mere three sex acts in entire first two seasons, one in the first, one in the season opener of the second and the other in the season finale.  It would be hard to have less sex than that.  For a show with a premise based on sex – on sexual infidelity – this show has remarkable little sex in it.  But does that make it wrong to have more sex now? Is it a problem for viewers drawn in by two years of longing glances and suppressed Victorian-like passion to have what we just witnessed on their screens?  Do we have an issue with Alicia being a sexual being?  I can’t help feeling that another worst case scenario is going to result; the affair will come out, the public will consider it cheating and vilify her, her children will be hurt, and Peter will use it to fight her for custody.  It would certainly work as part of a plan – a plan to give us more drama, more conflict, more pain.  All the elements that make a TV show intriguing and satisfying. Get great characters; then put them in situations which test them.

So that brings us to the question; can you sex up a show for a good reason?  Is that always selling out? Or could it be a useful plot device?  Do we think the Kings sat down and said “what can we do to increase our demo?” or was this always the intention?

Now, okay, people other than Alicia have gotten to have sex.  Diane, Cary, Will and of course Kalinda have all had their dalliances.  If I were going to complain about the sex on the show, if anything felt tacked on, it would certainly be Sophia.  I like her, don’t get me wrong, but how many blatantly sexy bisexual investigators do we need?  I have to tell you, I kind of liked Andrew.  Even if he was God-awfully myopic and destroyed Alicia’s life for no reason.  He was different.  He was a unique character, and I appreciated that.  Do we need Sophia trying to out-Kalinda Kalinda?  I do like the mischief she could cause between Cary and Kalinda, I guess.  But if those two start doing the nasty, I might have to rethink my stance on the whole “sexing up” charge.

What do you think, friends?  Was this a satisfying season opener after the long lonely months of summer?  Is the show getting too sexed up?  Can you even believe that scene – what Frank McCourt calls a knee trembler- made it on network TV?  Is it about time Will and Alicia got together?  Is it about time Alicia found something that made her happy?  Or have they done a bad bad thing?

44 comments on “The Good Wife: A New Day

  1. Angee says:

    YAY E!! Your post is a sight for sore eyes, you do not know I much I missed your posts this summer. Welcome back! I actually enjoyed your post more than the episode when I first watched it last Sunday.
    I may be the only person on the planet who is wary of the Will and Alicia relationship. I worry that it may end up being a “bad, bad thing”. But I will hold off on predictions of doom and gloom until I see more episodes. I do feel like they overdid the “we are NOT having sex” routine at the office and they only made Diane more curious. I would love to know Will told Alicia when he went into her office. The sex was hot, but not tender or romantic, IMO. It will interesting to see their relationship evolve from just hot sex to a committed, emotionally intimate relationship.
    But before Alicia can broaden her relationship with Will, she needs to legally end her marriage to Peter. I think Peter is beginning to come to grips with the fact that his marriage is over, the only person who wants them to stay married is Eli! I think Alicia needs that formal closure before she can genuinely move on.

    • E says:

      Angee!!!!! It’s so great to hear from you. :)

      Hon, you are so not the only person who’s nervous about Will and Alicia. I don’t think it’s any mistake that they started the episode with a “bad bad thing” and I think they meant for that to be nuanced. And even if the writers don’t expect us to be nervous about it, I sure am! No one ever has a hot sexy affair on tv without getting found out. That’s just the nature of the beast. And it exactly; it was hot, it wasn’t tender and romantic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but they care too much about each other to only have the one side of it.

      I agree that Peter doesn’t seem to hold out much, if any, hope that they can reconcile. Eli certainly wants that for them, for the campaign, but yeah, Grace seems okay enough with it, too. Of course, if she thought Alicia left Peter to be with Will, I think her calm would vanish. So I can’t wait for Alicia to formalize things, even though it looks like she’s going to take David Lee’s advice and not move on that. Which makes it weird for things with Will, too; when she does start proceedings, is he going to feel pressured? :P Not smart. But being dumb makes for some pretty great tv!

      • Angee says:

        “Which makes it weird for things with Will, too; when she does start proceedings, is he going to feel pressured?”
        I think that is a very intriguing question, Will seems to have serious commitment issues, is that because he has been with the wrong women up until now or is an organic problem that will surface in his relationship with Alicia? I hope the writers explore these questions this season and we get to see Alicia and Will do more than have HOT sex! (Not that there is anything wrong with that). I am also curious about how much of what he was saying to Kalinda he is seriously concerned about. What does it mean the difference in demeanor between Alicia and Will when they first got off the elevator? Is he only concerned about how their relationship will impact the firm?

        Grace and Zach will be upset when their parents finally divorce, but I think they both want their parents happy. I mean Grace’s observation was that her mom seems happier without her dad. And thinking about Zach’s situation with Nissa, he might prefer the split out in the open to having to pretend like everything’s okay. Ultimately delaying the divorce might give the kids false hope that hurts more than the split in the long run. But we have an entire season to see these issues play out, it going to be an interesting ride!

        • E says:

          I think there are a lot of questions about what it is Will & Alicia are actually doing (other than the obvious). I don’t think they know! So it’ll be enthralling to see how it works out over the course of the season. Did Will just have his game face on when he got off the elevator? Was he being truthful with Kalinda when he said he doesn’t feel anything – and does that mean, he’s not even feeling something with Alicia? Was he trying to throw Kalinda off the track, or was an internal conflict showing through? It’s intriguing.

          I definitely agree that the kids should know, asap, if things are really over (as they seem to be) between Alicia and Peter. (Personally, I think they deserve to know about the real reason Alicia left, though I might be in the minority on that one. I can’t help thinking it would prevent misunderstandings which I fear are going to be inevitable once Will & Alicia get caught.) Grace and Zach really do seem to be troopers, though. I’m so impressed with them.

  2. Angee says:

    E! Your post is a sight for sore eyes. I think Will has serious commitment issues that will come to fore when Alicia is divorced, at the very least, a serious, committed relationship is new territory for Will.
    I hope Alicia makes getting a final divorce decree from Peter a top priority in the very near future. Zach and Grace seem to be handling the separation okay and Peter seems to ready to move in the direction of a divorce. It seems like the only person who does not want Peter and Alicia to divorce is Eli. Also, while I understand the boundaries Alicia has set up, I think she should allow Peter to come to dinner at Nissa’s, he is still Zach’s father. At some point for her own sake Alicia is going to have to genuinely forgive Peter and move on from the anger and hostility. Let me be clear, I am NOT saying she needs to take Peter back, but to successfully co-parent with Peter she going to have to put her anger behind her and even for her relationship with Will she needs to put the anger and hostility she has built up toward Peter behind her. Let’s face it right now she and Will are not in relationship, they are just on a sex high and when they finally come down, Alicia’s anger and trust issues and Will’s commitment issues are challenges they will have to face.

  3. Kiki says:

    Whats the one thing Kiki was looking forward to the most after TGW premiere?? E’s review of course! YAY!!! So glad to have TGW and E back!!! And as you said “Happy days ARE back” :D ( I been checking since Monday if it was up, even though I know it takes you about 2-3 days to write it lol)

    I found the premiere VERY strong. Overall I was pleased with the whole thing, I was pleased they didn’t start in the hotel room, instead they gave us something MUCH more interesting and original. Case was so so, but it doesn’t matter cause everything else was perfect!!

    Diane, was perfect!! Glad she caught on about K/A! And I am with her these two need to make it better, pronto! I hate that we don’t get our great K/A scenes anymore :( The writers need to fix this really.
    Eli is back to being GOLD! he was great, funny, back to the Eli of S1 :D
    Kalinda and Sophia where SUPERB! I mean Kalinda has chemistry with everyone! and those scenes with Sophia where marvelous! So sad we are losing Kelli to SUV :(

    As for THE scene, holly mother of God! That was….H.O.T! Wow! I mean Julianna Margulies KILL the scene, I mean seriously, it couldn’t get anymore real than that?!! Can we say Emmy winner :D And E, for the first time, I got the A/W appeal. I never once thought A/W had that much chemistry, but I sure saw something in that scene! And you know I have always said it, if Alicia is happy well I am happy. And even Grace notices it, so sad but so good. Though they might be sexy in bed and all, but can they work? could this office romance survive? What happens next?

    As for A/P…Sigh. I will always enjoy their scenes, CN and JM are just magnetic when they are on my screen. And it seems to me that this season might actually bring me MORE A/P scenes now that they are separated LMAO ironic? I know they could never be together, but is great to see scenes between them. Its gonna be a fun season. As for Peter does he think is over? has he moved on? I don’t know.

    So E how about that ending, and the question about if W/A are actually talking? I have read a lot of reviews and one pointed out that, at the end Alicia might be putting on a mask for Will (hence putting on lipstick) or she is not sure of who she is anymore. And does this upset her? Is Alicia really happy with the “new Alicia”? And how long do you think it will last before her moral conscious catches up to her?

    So yea, I am pleased. And excited about next week and the new developments in Alicia’s life! Its gonna be a fun season!

    (also totally agree, that one of the flaws of The Ides of March is that the cast barely has women…fail. But I still want to watch)

    Thanks again babe, I live to read your reviews!

    • E says:

      Kiki! Yay, Kiki! It’s absolutely fantastic to hear from you. You say too many interesting things to respond to all at once, but I can’t not write back asap! :)

      So, quickest response, it turns out there are terrific women in The Ides of March (Jennifer Ehle, Evan Rachel Wood, Marissa Tomei, but either they have tiny parts or they’re just being totally excluded from the ads. This puzzles me, especially when the ads are being shown on TGW. Not the female audience is going to object to Clooney and Gosling but you know what I mean. I’m totally going to see the movie, and I hope to see more from those actresses than the trailer implies!

      I totally agree with you about not starting at the hotel; I thought they would, so I’m glad they surprised me. Plus I like the way they made us think Will regretted starting something so we could be shocked to see that they’re continuing the affair. And man, was that shocking. What can you say? These are people who know what they’re doing.

      Diane completely rocked it, calling people out on their bad behavior. Loved that. And I’m really going to love having Eli in house. He’s appalling in the best possible way. And you, I do really like Sophia, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s not a good thing she’s leaving. She and Kalinda working together every week? That could easily be it’s own show.

      Okay, I’m going to have to respond to A/P and the Alicia mirror issues later because I think I could write a book about those topics! You know me. ;)

      But meanwhile it is so.freaking.great. to hear from you! :) Yay, Kiki’s back!

      • Kiki says:

        Right, I don’t get why the movie doesn’t highlight the women in the promo, they should specially during TGW. I look forward to seeing how big/small/important their parts are in the movie.

        And ITA about S/K working together being its on show, a spin off. I would watch that LOL.

        And I look forward to your A/P response the Alicia mirror response. I know you have a lot to say and I want you to say it all without feeling any time constrained haha….I will be waiting of course!!

        Great to hear from you too! So glad to have you back!!

    • koz says:

      Well, Kiki, you are no doubts happier than me, since I have suddenly lost the feelign of chemistry between Will and Alicia (and I am one of the most devoted fans of the pair). In the third season premiere I saw a healthy woman enjoing great sex with handsome male. That’s it. I saw no friends. I saw no man who told two seasons ago ” we’ve always had bad timing”, no man who declared ” I love you. I have always loved you”.

      Just a boss f.. cking his employee in his lunch time (sorry for rudeness). And this is very, very upsetting.

      • E says:

        Koz, I will definitely be talking about this more below, but I see where you’re coming from totally. What I’m not ready to say was that it means something in the larger scheme of things.

        Because this is Alicia, I don’t think she could have that sort of sex with a random guy. I think the sex is so great because it’s Will, because she trusts him, because she can actually relax and laugh and be sexy. And that’s great. But it’s definitely not romantic. It’s not my ideal way to see two people get together. When you have a lot invested as them as a love match, even seeing great sex isn’t going to cut it.

        They’re clearly going at this (sorry, pun) from a particular angle. They’re not thinking about the emotional impact, which is dumb for two people who might have been kind of in love for the last 15 + years. But that’s where they are, and seeing the emotional part try to synch up with the physical is going to be very interesting. Also, since we didn’t get to see anything in the hotel room, and since we just get to see them putting up the act in the office, we can’t actually say for sure that there isn’t any tenderness or romance. (I’m incline to think there’s not a ton, but still, we can only guess.) That’s a tricky transition anyway, from friends to lovers, and they have a lot of things stacked against them that’s going to get in the way.

        Okay, so much for a quick response! Down to respond to your other post, if I have anything left to say! ;)

    • E says:

      Okay, now for the rest:

      I felt really sad seeing Alicia and Peter almost as hostile as Alicia and Childs! But I do like the idea of him as a worthy courtroom adversary for her. I wonder if he’ll actually get to try a case? Because that? Would be awesome. In some ways, it’d be a neat tip of the hat to Noth’s time as Detective Logan, even, seeing him back in a courtroom, schmoozing with the judge, winking at the bailiffs. I love that idea.

      I will say – I mentioned it below – I think they need to pay careful attention to the criminal cases now in a way they didn’t when Childs was in charge. I don’t want to see Peter making a bunch of foolish prosecutions that don’t hold water. He’s much too smart for that, and so is Cary. Use them well, Kings!

      I think Peter is largely resigned (based on the look he gave Eli when Eli suggested reconciliation was possible) but I was intrigued by his reaction to Neesa’s dinner invitation. I almost felt like he wanted to go, like he was somehow disappointed that Alicia was going to make his excuses. He agreed that he was too busy too heartily, somehow.

      The question of masks and this show is a fascinating one. Alicia is a deeply reserved person, and especially given what she went through with the media during Peter’s scandal (but possibly dating from as long ago as her parents’ divorce) she tries never to let what she’s feeling show on her face. And that habit serves her really well in many aspects of her life. (That’s one reason why the sex seems like a great thing for the show – to see her so abandoned is just unreal. But I loved the g-rated scene with Grace for the same reason.)

      And of course, we all wear masks, expose different parts of ourselves to different people and in different situations. So putting on the lipstick to feel sexy – does that have to be particularly false or indicative of a problem? There’s nothing intrinsically wrong about dressing up, so to speak, for your lover (or your job, or whatever).

      That said, it seems very clear that she doesn’t really know how to be this new person and that when she has time to think about it, it freaks her out a little. She’s been very controlled, utterly focused on others for long. Even if she can say to herself now “this makes me happy and I deserve to feel happy and appreciated” all the competing factors must come in. She still has kids. She’s still legally married. He’s still her boss. She doesn’t know where it’s going. But I don’t think she’s known who she was (if you want to put it that way) since she learned that her wonderful life with Peter had such terrible cracks in it. She’s still trying to find that equilibrium, and this is just another thing that’s confusing. I don’t think that makes it bad or good – it’s just new. Her world got bigger, and that’s exciting and scary and not always welcome.

      Phew! I told you that would take a while.

      I have to say, though – I cannot WAIT for her to tell Owen what’s going on. Can you even imagine what that scene is going to be like?!!!!

      • Kiki says:

        Oh mama, I hope Peter does get to be opposite of her in court. But it might be to much conflict of interest, so it might not happen :( (not that the writers care that much since Eli works at L&G now, and thats a huge conflict of interest) I think Peter will have a different style in court and I would LOVE to see it.
        And I totally agree, about making P/C look like idiots just for the sake of L&G winning. They cannot make P/C the villains, they need to stay true of the characters and the idea that they are good at their jobs.
        I agree about Peter being resigned. As for the Nessa conversation, I didn’t quite see it that way. Not sure if Peter really wanted to go, but I did get a feeling that he might have felt like could we at least have talked about it?

        And yes you are right, you put on different mask for different people. And very god points about her trying to find her equilibrium, this is all new to her indeed. How is she gonna balance it out? I am really eager to see this, I hope the writers focus on these questions throughout the whole season. Is obvious A is having doubts, I would love to see her voice them.
        Thanks for taking the time for writing this, I mean I just love your point of view. Love that you analyze everything so detailed and well.

        As for Owen, I bet he throws a party LOL Cannot wait! I think he might be back soon.

        Is it Sunday yet?

        • E says:

          I think that’s the key – how long does she go without voicing any of her confusion to Will? She’s always the grown up, and now she’s doing this very grown up – but also naughty – thing. I think she might want to play it too cool, in a way – might not want to put a downer on the situation. And she’s used to swallowing her fears/emotions; it’s part of being the “good girl/wife/lover/lawyer.” So it’ll be interesting – and eventually vital to whether she can make a relationship work with Will or not – to see if she can let down that guard.

          And again, I think this could come up with Owen, since she’s less reserved with Owen that with anyone else. That was the thing that made me feel like she had a genuinely good relationship with Peter back in the day, because even at her most humiliated, she trusted him enough to be honest with him. And for her, that’s not easy.

          Anyway – can’t wait to see it all work out.

          • Kiki says:

            Right I agree, how long will se delayed without telling Will how she feels.Will se hide her feelings, in order to stay “good.” And I wonder if she trying to play it cool, is it cause she feels if she gets to serious, Will might run? Letting her guard down, might be the hardest thing Alicia can do!

            Right, I loved that scene with Owen, in Breaking Fast. I felt that was the most honest we have ever seen Alicia taking about Peter.

            Is Sunday!! time for another one!!

            • E says:

              I think she’s trying to be the “good” bad girl, if that makes any sense. I don’t even know if it’s insecurities about Will stopping if she was serious, as much as it is, if she admitted that she was nervous about it to herself, she’d stop. This is so out of character for her, so not something she’s been for so long, that I think if she admitted it scared the crap out of her in those dark moments, well, she wouldn’t be able to have it.

              I bet she’s not even thinking long term enough to imagine what’d happen. (And that’s part of why I think it’s going to be a disaster longer term.) Nothing about this is logical or rational.

            • E says:

              Also, eeee, Sunday!

  4. E.L. says:

    +1 for those who don’t have a problem with the sexier Alicia at all. I agree that it feels like an organic next step for the character. The Kings and Julianna Margulies both say in interviews that this season is about Alicia taking risks and trying out new things. And I think this all makes a lot of sense given the revelations at the end of last season. This last betrayal (intentional or not), this last humiliation, by her best friend this time, must have felt like a final refute to all her years of being good. It makes sense that she would feel the need to change herself, beginning with her hair, to leave her goody two-shoes persona as far behind her in the dust as possible.

    On the other hand, I don’t think the sex on the show is overplayed at all. As you mentioned, the show uses sex sparingly and always to make a point, which is why it’s so effective when they do show it. Most of the people complaining, I think, were responding to CBS’ new advertising campaign, which doesn’t seem to have much to do with the show itself. It annoys me a bit that a lot of people seem to be getting outraged over a few promos before the third season even premiered.

    Also, having seen the first episode, I think the last shot of Alicia in the mirror should put to rest any doubts about the direction of the show. This is still clearly a story about Alicia’s struggles. The first episode made a point of showing that her problems haven’t gone away just because she has separated from Peter.

    • E says:

      E.L., that’s a fantastic critique – thought maybe I think so because I agree with every word! I think people are overreacting to the ad campaign, rather than the show itself. I’m glad I’m not alone in seeing the change as organic. I’ll certainly be curious to see if there are many more scenes like THE scene (as Kiki aptly calls it) in future episodes, because their very occasional use of sex has been so effective.

      And yes – Alicia’s taking risks, and she’s happy to be this new woman, but clearly also puzzled by it, too. I love the point you make about her reflection emphasizing the fact the show is most importantly about her relationship with herself, with her struggle to make a life when the rules she’s always obeyed no longer apply.

  5. John Graydon says:

    Welcome back, E! I missed you too.

    It seems like there are a lot of prudes out there who think that ANY sex is “too much sex”. In the real world, and for normal healthy people, oh no it isn’t! After two long years of yearning glances, it was way past time for them to hit the sheets already. It’s been steamy, but very tastefully done, with just about everything implied and off-screen. You’d have to be very prim to be shocked by that.

    Unlike some of you, I see a divorce as nothing more than an official piece of paper to attest to something that has already happened — the Florrick marriage is OVER. She’s not going back.

    I’m amused at people who imagine that Will has “commitment issues”. Like Peter didn’t? Peter was a married man during all that extra-marital sex he had. Will is a bachelor, who is entitled to date anyone he wants. Tammy wasn’t committed to him either, as she kept telling him.

    But it’s just incredible how many people took the series title literally, and thought we’d be seeing week after week of Alicia playing the martyr, bound by her one-sided “marriage vows”, and dutifully sacrificing her own happiness on the altar of holy matrimony forever. That such people apply such a different standard to Alicia’s right to be happy is nothing less than disgraceful.

    • E says:

      John! I was really hoping you’d be back! It is just fantastic to hear from you.

      I think they walked a great line with the single, brief sex scene. There was absolutely no skin, you saw nothing more than a few kisses, and yet the suggested action was incredibly intense and intimate. Honestly, I think the watch dog folks made more fuss about the oral sex scene last year, which might say more about being people freaked out by that action than by anything else.

      One thing that I’ve always loved about this show is that the characters are so dimensional. Alicia is clearly a really good person, but she can make personal and professional choices that we, as her fans, question. The fact Peter, who’s done so much that is terribly wrong, has passionate fans anyway – that’s an amazing testament to Chris Noth and the writers. (For example, even this week, where he was very unpleasant to Alicia, we still get to hear about what a friend he’s been to the Muslim community, and how smart he is in his job.) So when we have Will, who’s in his 40s and dates a lot without having long term relationships – I don’t think it’s either inaccurate to say he has commitment issues, or that it makes him a bad person. We’ve seen him tread ethical lines at work, but he’s also capable of great loyalty and (no matter what he says) caring passionately about his clients and his employees. If nothing else, we can say that he hasn’t committed to another woman because no one has lived up to his dream of Alicia for all these years! So it will be fascinating to see what happens now.

      And for the rest, time will tell. I don’t think we can say anything definitive about the tone of the season or about Will & Alicia’s relationship yet. In some ways this episode was more of a tease than anything else. It’s going to be great finding out!

      • John Graydon says:

        I’ll always be back, E! I was glad when your brother wrote on the IMDb that you’d just posted your new review, because if he hadn’t I was going to come looking for it! I love going over each show again line by line, with your insight.

        I think many of the people who objected to the love scene this week were really just reacting to their own imaginations, because the way it was shot was very tame and tasteful.

        But since you mention it — I really HATED that bathroom scene with Peter last season, partly because I think he is such a reptile that I thought she should have sent him to the STD clinic for a check-up first — and partly because she said no twice and he still forced himself on her against her will. How is that different from rape?

        And when I watched the promo for next week, I must say I wasn’t too happy about their suggestive conversation in her office, either. I do NOT want him to just go disappearing under her desk and then emerge, straighten his tie, and go back to work. That’s not sexy in the least. It’s just cheap and exploitative. Will needs to get naked too — and they need to get into bed. But maybe that’s just me….

  6. koz says:

    My concern is not the sex scene itself. The problem is that these two became the lovers but, I don’t know how, they almost stopped being friends. I don’t know how to explain it but the more they share phisically, the less they exchange emotionally. And emotional long-run connection between them was that attracted me personally to this pairing.

    • John Graydon says:

      I think it’s way too early to know what their emotional connection is going to be. Clearly they were trying to hide their attraction at the office, with Will pretending to be “too hard” on Alicia — and the rest of the time we’ve seen them having sex.

      How do you get out of that that they’ve stopped being friends? Friends who became lovers seems to be an ideal to many women.

      • koz says:

        That’s not just in this episode. I would say that something gone wrong, starting from the middle of the season 2.

        Again, that’s just my IMO, I’ll be glad if I am wrong.

        • E says:

          I actually agree about Will backing off from Alicia midway through last season, and that definitely adds a level of confusion here.

    • E says:

      Koz (and it’s lovely to hear from you, by the way) I totally get this. (Honestly, part of me was hoping that they got interrupted in the hotel room.) For passionate Will & Alicia fans who wants the romantic union of soul mates, this was sure as heck not that! So to see them together without that level of emotional content – I can see why it’s hard. Funny how this episode was, of course, hard on the A/P shippers and on the A/W shippers both!

      I suspect that this is the writers’ solution to the whole “Moonlighting” curse. When you bring your leads together, you lose the drama and the spark, and the show fails. Of course the flip side problem is that a lot of shows go the opposite direction and throw such improbable roadblocks between couples, and for long, that it all stops working. Here, they’ve gotten their leads together (depending on whether you think the whole series was intended to get Will and Alicia together; there seems to be some support for that as a theory based on interviews with the Kings?) but they’re not synched up emotionally. It’s a level jump which allows for progress with lots of conflict built in. And that’s what they need – realistic conflict. So I think this was a good way to achieve that, and I don’t think it precludes either pairing A/W or A/P eventually coming together in a more romantically satisfying way. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s not going to happen until the show ends! (And I really hope the creators get to end the show on their own terms, once they’re finished with the story they want to tell.)

    • E says:

      Oh, I do want to say, though, that I agree with John – it’s too early to be completely nervous. There could easily be emotional content that we’re just not seeing. Now, it does still seem unbalanced, more sexual than emotional, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s going on. I really look forward to seeing.

      • koz says:

        On the other hand I would expect perople who clearly wanted each other for… a while, spent a lot of time ,enjoying just sex with each other. They are human beings, after all.
        So, maybe you are rights, it too early to judge.

        • E says:

          Yep. And you can imagine that her sexual confidence took quite a hit after Peter’s infidelities, so it’s fantastic to see her so caught up.

  7. E.L. says:

    To weigh in on the Alicia and Will conversation here, I don’t think it’s important right now if Will is right for her or not. The show has been fairly clear that Will poses a number of problems for Alicia, so we know already that their relationship isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. Also, Alicia doesn’t seem to know herself what she wants with Will. If she even wants something serious. She’s made changes to her life, and she’s still trying to decide if these changes are right for her. Will is associated with the ambitious, competitive side to Alicia’s personality that she buried years ago and is rediscovering now. However, that does not mean that the good wife persona she is trying to shed now is not also a true part of who she is. From the looks of it, it seems like this season Alicia will test the limits of her comfort zone and perhaps try to reconcile these two sides of herself, so with all this experimenting, I don’t see why she has to make all the right life decisions now or why Will has to be the right man for her. The show certainly doesn’t portray him as such. All this is to say that I agree with John that it’s too soon to judge and that I’m on board with Alicia and Will, but I’m also on board if they don’t end up working out, because the show has been upfront about the complications of their relationship.

    • marilyn says:

      I ORIGINALLY wanted to see A/P work on their marriage to see if there was any viability to it..bec they seemed to indicate it had been happy… I just thought it would be great for TV to examine the repair of something but I know I have had to move past that. They imploded the marriage beyond repair ( too harshly IMO)…but I am posting bec wanted to say how much I liked your analysis of Alicia as above, whether it were Will or ??.. I think professionally she has a ways to go and a lot to learn about herself…her kids are older now so that does give her more leeway in some ways. They have made the point that there are complications with any relshp Alicia would undertake, and she has to know where she wants to go as a person in many ways…as a lawyer, future ambitions, as a single parent, and there is no reason for her to be in a rush.

    • E says:

      Yes, exactly! Alicia has the opportunity to really explore different sides of herself here, and watching her navigate these changes and while still staying connected to who she is – that’s going to be a treat. She’ll make mistakes, but that’s an inevitable part of the process.

      I think it’s entirely possible that even if the Kings have fated Will and Alicia to be together, they could still stop and restart their relationship many times before the series ends. If they were in a perfect place, the perfect union of soul mates, the show would be over. That’s what the story is – getting to where ever Alicia is going, with whichever man she takes along for the ride.

  8. marilyn says:

    I post with KIki on Fanforum…we both love A/P( sorry)..think i was decotaylor last year. Do not mind A/W..but hate the excessive focus on it…,esp in the marketing …and I know others out there feel that way…
    Still love the show but disappointed in LA Times article re Tassler Its “a new show”,more sex…don’t object to the sex, new Alicia, but resent the focus …feel it misrepresents the show…is this the way it is really going..appealing to who?? more young kids?? men go elsewhere for sex..they love the show for other reasons..( my own informal poll-ok mid aged!)…the cases, dialogue, cast, humour ,etc…Will/alicia would be last on their list… does this mean it will become a gossip girl??!!!
    what happened to dealing with what show originally hinted at…serious discussions of marriage/family/faithfulness/forgiveness/career, Granted, they are big, of heavy and not easy to handle. I noted that a few pple picked up on JM’s ” 15 years of a bad marriage” comment( on the special )…revisionist history …what is the point of that??/ Peter did enough to Alicia ; she may have been in a bubble… but did that mean the prev 14 years of the marriage were bad?? so Hollywood…cheating , bad marriage, throw out baby with bathwater .. what message does that tell the kids??? disappointing approach for a show that has been smart , well written, nuanced. I was hoping for approaches not normally tackled…possible restoration of a marriage, honest repair of a friendship,the need for men to adapt to role of prof women etc…

    Noted also case in premiere was sloppily written… ( a lot of us like cases too)..its a lot to expect ..but we have come to want both!! Holiday stuff and some of the timing not credible IMO.

    Bottom line: this show is still great overall, much admired… it has a LOYAL devoted CORE audience…realize syndication, $$$ is the end game, but concern is that show will not be true to itself and lose the devoted viewers it already has by pandering to those that are far more fickle. So your questions above re the sex… I think they are driven by ratings… they are committed to syndication and want to ensure the show gets there… I totally get it but will be disappointed if they do a sex scene every week..
    I also share your concern that Alicia will inevitably be “found out”… I don’t think the affair is bad and she is entitled BUT the covering the separation left her vulnerable with the kids and Peter.. will she be pillioried the rest of the season for this??? I hope not…

    Agree with you re Grace’s hair being too sophisticated… good observation…
    I think Peter still cares deeply for alicia but is someone who wants to win…so he will be driven by that…he took her forgranted for many years and forgot how competent she was ( she did too!!!)noones fault though…
    Kings have indicated that there will be a lot of A/P misery, but if they are going that route for the whole season, I wish they would end it now, and let Alicia move along.But that would not make for good TV. Unlikely Chris noth will be back for S4 ( he has said as much) and is off to do a mini series ..not sure how much he will be around in fall…so using him before he goes and in what manner( I am sick of bad Peter and Alicias coldness to hate, deserved though it is…) is of interest to me…
    another stray observation on other sites is that pple are getting sick of everyone taking the low road , being sleazy, … and that is something the writers have to balance carefully…

    • E says:

      Hi, Marilyn/Decotaylor – it’s excellent to see another member of the Fanforum gang! And I can see that, like Kiki, you have a ton to say about a ton of different subjects! :)

      I’ll have to look up that Tassler article. I do think there’s going to be more sex on the show, because the show is about Alicia and Alicia has not been sleeping with her husband – but now is engaged in a steamy affair. I think it’s unfair to call that a ratings ploy, however. It seems completely natural that if she’s having a sexual relationship, we’d be seeing more sex. But perhaps the writers need to be careful about what we do see. They’ve never been gratuitous, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

      I hate the thought of A/P misery and Chris Noth leaving (I can’t even imagine how they’d work that, would he leave the SA’s office? Run for senate instead of governor?). I’ve been afraid for ages that this will all turn into recriminations and Alicia pilloried in the press for lying to get her husband elected and custody battles and untold ugliness. Shudder. That will be very dramatic, of course, but it’s felt a bit like a slow motion train wreck. You can see it coming, but without being able to prevent it.

      I didn’t see the compilation show (I really loathe those) but I’m disheartened to hear JM call it 15 years of a bad marriage. I suppose that the infidelity could make her doubt what she thought was good, make her feel like it was a lie. I’d a professor once who told us of her own divorce “well, I eventually realized it had been 18 great years of marriage and 3 bad ones and just because it didn’t last a lifetime doesn’t mean it wasn’t good or worthwhile.” I hope that’s something Alicia can realize eventually.

      You know, one thing I think the show needs to work harder to balance is the cases. Cary and Peter (and Geneva) are too smart to keep bringing nonsensical cases to trial. I don’t want them to show us Alicia being smart because the SAO is stupid.

  9. marilyn says:

    Thanks for your reply ,E… Tassler article was in the LA times… I could be wrong, but she keeps saying it is a new show, and does say that they want to draw a broader audience… they quote the Kings, saying a bit of more sex, but not too much…interested in your comments.
    I do think there will be more sex..it is logical for Alicia…guess I just object if that becomes the sole focus. I did like that promo material(poster etc) was only about Alicia, not Peter or Will.. that was fine. Also suspect sex will be around other pairings!
    You are totally right re balancing the cases…they have a lot of work to do on the case stuff…

    • E.L. says:

      Wanted to point out that I think your comment about Chris Noth’s availability probably has a huge influence on what the writers do with Peter’s storyline. I like A/W, and I don’t think I have the same problems/misgivings that you do with the show. But my one complaint with what, in my mind, has been a mostly flawless show is the missed opportunities with the recurring guest stars. It feels sometimes that interesting storylines or characters are cut short or left hanging due to scheduling and availability issues with the actors and production team. From last season alone, there is Derrick Bond, the much-despised Blake, Wendy, Tammy, and even Glenn Childs, who all, I felt, were characters not utilized to their full potential. I think Peter, important character though he is, is sort of another example of this. Even though Peter’s campaign was a major storyline last season, he was only there half of the time, because Chris Noth was available for only half the time. And they dropped the FBI investigation and religious conversion storylines involving Peter too. However, since much of this is beyond the writers and production team’s control, I cannot really fault them for it. I can also understand why the actors would prefer to have their own show as opposed to doing a recurring guest role on TGW. Although if what you say is true and Chris Noth is going to go away to do a miniseries … I’m having trouble imagining how the writers are going to deal with that. Peter’s presence is still very important to the show, even if he doesn’t have as much screen time.

      • E says:

        Chris Noth’s availability frustrates the heck out of me. On the one hand, he’s the perfect Peter (imo). On the other, the show really needs him there to do more of the things I wish they’d do – follow up on leads like the FBI investigation, for one thing, his relationship with Pastor Isaiah, just plain working on the Florrick marriage… I mean, heck, he wasn’t even at his own campaign party last season. That was preposterous.

        I think they did okay by Tammy, given all the other stuff they have going on, but I really felt the lack of Derrick last season. He wasn’t around nearly enough to make the impact that he needed to; the few times we saw him show a little emotion, he was intriguing. Blake did his heavy lifting, and not in a good way.

        And Childs. Titus Welliver seems to really get around, doesn’t he? I hope maybe we’ll get to see him in a few guest appearances, maybe as a rival attorney in some civil cases? Because he was a fantastic character. Wendy, too – is she gone forever? Because she was just fantastic. I think so many of the portrayals are just so rich that there wouldn’t be enough time to keep as many of them around as I want. They pack an insane amount into each episode as it is!

        But to your original point, Chris’s absence is the most serious problem. I can’t even imagine how he could not be on the show next year.

      • Tvdramafan says:

        Chris problem is a big one.. I cannot address bec I would write a book…LOL.
        But I totally agree with your other point re the guest stars but I am not always sure it was about scheduling stars. In first two seasons, sometimes I thght they would throw things out, like FBI stuff, never to be heard of again.. There were other egs , like things with kids, not sure they have scheduling issues there
        and were just not followed up. Often I thought threw down markers… So they could come back to it again.. If they needed..eg if Peter was guilty of corruption, a good way to get rid of character. either way , if you wanted to see the storyline reolved, it was frustrating. Some pple they bring in, like,and expand…AC became a regular. But clearly Tammy outlived her usefulness prettybquickly. maybe as the show matures, they will get better at this….

        • E says:

          I suppose it’s a compliment that they write too many fascinating characters that we’re all bummed we don’t get to see enough of them! I’m so with you on the Chris thing, it’s a huge problem. Really, it only worked when he was in prison. Maybe it’ll be more natural now that he’s no longer living with the family?

          I think you’re right about throwing down markers. After all, they went back to the Federal investigation a little last season when dealing with the wire taps. That’s clearly a slow burn plotline – like who created the fake drug photo Zach found in the first season, and who paid for Eli when Peter was in prison… Maybe we’ll find these things out some day. Maybe not.

    • E says:

      I like your point that the promotion campaign is all Alicia – that really is a good thing. And it will be too much if the new season is all sex, even though there has to be more sex than there was. So it’ll be interesting to see them work to strike that balance.

  10. cantremembermyname says:

    Hi, I realize I cant watch the show without your review.
    I have to confess Alicia looks so different that I m confused about the timeline, how long after last seasons finale is this ep happening? New hair, new clothes (do I see cleavage? \o/), its Alicia 2.0.

    • E says:

      Hi there! Great to hear from you again! It’s so Alicia 2.0, and yes, I had similar confusion about the time line. She looks totally different (especially the hair, I think – it’s so light now!) but also with the new office, and Eli seeming so comfortably ensconced already. I think the clothes thing is harder to put your finger on – the colors are a little different, maybe. I will be on the lookout to see if she’s dressing a little sexier, too.

      Just gearing up for tonight’s episode here…. :)

  11. [...] minor in dance?”  Ha – is the dance thing freaking Alicia out after last year’s oddness?  “Yeah, ballet,” Miss Burdine replies enthusiastically. “Oh, my parents, they [...]

  12. […] – though this character, Judge Alan Karpman, has actually appeared on TGW back in season 3’s A New Day. Love him.  “This is not just another arrest, Your Honor.  Cary Agos is accused […]

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