The Good Wife: Parallel Construction, Bitches

E: First, it makes me angry as an American.

Then there’s the English major in me, which appreciates the meta-levels on which Alicia’s NSA watchers engage in her personal story and develop theories about the “characters” in her life and the way it brings the audience into a sort of parallel construction with the government agents.

But mostly, it just taps into one of my most fundamental fears.  Not quite the stolen identity nightmare of North By Northwest or The Net, “Parallel Construction, Bitches” brings us Alicia once more as a pawn in someone else’s game, the victim of implacable enemy with vast powers and endless resources.  An enemy who doesn’t bother to look at her deeply, to tease out the true meaning and complexities, to mine her story for its truth.  Who doesn’t even bother to see her as human.

Which is to say, my darling show returns after a looooooooong break, and what I have in the pit of my stomach is dread and fear.  Yay?

The episode begins with a hilariously gritty and over-acted promo for AMC’s Darkness at Noon, in which a variety of actors threaten each other.  “Cross the line!” they snarl, too close to each others’ faces.  Ah, I’m such a sucker for parody. Is this a dig at the cable channel that consistently beats The Good Wife for all the most prestigious awards?  Not that it particularly resembles The Walking Dead or Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but it’s a nice little piece of snark.

Though Grace sits next to her, utterly transfixed, Alicia stares blankly at her television. “You make your own lines,” our grouchy cop growls, the New York City skyline grimy and sharp behind him. “What’s going on?” she wonders, shaking her head to clear it. “He shot the other guy,” Grace explains as rains falls on a body in an alleyway; the main character of the fictional show wipes an unconvincing tear – or is a rain drop? – off his face.  “Now they’re blaming the bald guy.  Now she’s in trouble,” Grace points to the next scene where a woman in black writhes on a bed as a man points a gun at her.  That certainly looks like trouble, yes.  And that’s when the doorbell rings.

Zach pops out of the kitchen to answer the door.  Ah, the front door.  It’s been too long since we’ve seen you!  And once the door opens, whose tiny crinkly face beams up at Alicia’s eldest?  Why, it’s Vizzini!  Er, sorry, it’s Charles Lester, Lemond Bishop’s “personal” lawyer; I just can never see Wallace Shawn without thinking of The Princess Bride.  He chirps hello, leaving Zach frowning down at him.  Zach, frowning?  No!  Poor Alicia’s under the misapprehension that the drug kingpin’s fixer is here to pick up her dry cleaning. “Tell him the piping’s leather!” she hollers, and so Zach dutifully hands over a large bag and repeats his mother’s instructions, even though he can tell Lester doesn’t really look like a delivery man.

Playing along, Vizzini – damn it, Lester – tucks the bag under his arm and asks when they want it back.  Zach hollers to Alicia, she answers, and Zach again repeats her words for the smirking Lester as if there’s some sort of translation of sound necessary.  “Good,” Lester smirks. “And could you also tell her Charles Lester is here?”

Well.  That got Alicia up off the couch in a hurry.  Directing Grace to her room without answering her questions, Alicia sets down her inevitable glass of red wine and attempts a dignified scurry to the door.  “Zach, go to your room,” she instructs matter-of-factly; when he protests, pointing to where his laptop glows on the kitchen island to illustrate the inconvenience of this request, she insists, and as ever he goes.  Seriously, Grace and Zach are the most obedient teens on television.  And maybe also in real life. Nice to meet you, Zach, Lester calls out, and when Zach awkwardly returns the goodbye, Lester smiles, sending Alicia his message. “Nice boy,” he says, drawing out the words; from her pale face it’s clear that she’s received it. “Now, do you want starch with any of these?”

Ha ha, she scoffs, snatching the bag from his grasp.  “What’re you doing here, Mr. Lester, at my home?”  She folds her arms over her chest, glaring. “Oh, we have a problem,” he smiles pleasantly.  Then call my office, she tells him, gritting her teeth.  It’s not a wait til morning problem, however, and it’s certainly not one for the telephone.  Can he come in?  Must he?  I have to say, her capacity for rudeness impresses me.  I’m not joking. I graciously thanked a waitress today for taking my plate even though I was still using it; Alicia is certainly not nice by force of habit.  It’s cool.  (Of course, if she’d taken my child’s plate, I would have spoken up, but still.)  I can’t decide whether this is a sound strategy or not; how polite does one need to be to the devil?

When the devil (or his demon?) insists that the matter can’t wait, she reluctantly waves him into the hall. ‘What a beautiful apartment,” he gushes, overly enthusiastic.  “You know, I have no eye at all, but this is beautiful.”  Again, reminding her how much she has to lose if she doesn’t play ball?  “Thank you.  What’s the problem?” Alicia disdains his poisonous pleasantries.  “I have it right here,” he says, flipping through his customary scraps of paper. Just tell me, she pleads, but no.  He has it written down.

As he mutters (mostly to himself) about how his wife wants him to get a smart phone to keep track of his notes, Alicia peers over his head to see if the kids have in fact retreated to the safety of their bedrooms.  As if that would matter if Bishop really wanted to target them?  Maybe she just wants to make sure they don’t accidentally overhear some unsavory detail.  You can see her eyes narrow when she realizes the door isn’t closed all the way. “Ah, the bond hearing is at 10:30 tomorrow morning,” Lester reads.  I feel like his insistence on these little notes is half way between affectation and paranoid security.  Forget smart phones; this guy can’t even commit to a spiral notebook.  And if the little slips of yellow legal paper make people discount him, make him look bumbling and avuncular?  Clearly he likes to keep folks uncertain of just how seriously to take him.

“Mr Bishop is at the Pike Street Station, is that right?” Lester asks, pointing to the note and wondering whether or not he really wrote the letter P.  “Lake Street,” Alicia shrugs.  “Drug arrest?”

Lester stops worrying over his slips of paper and stares at her. “Why would you ask that?”  She glares at him.  Because it’s Lemond Bishop, obviously. “Well, he has legitimate businesses,” Lester pouts.  “Is this about his legitimate business?” Alicia asks, arms crossed. Ha.  “Not really,” he sighs.  Ha again.  In the gentle tone she might use with a small child, she asks what they’re talking about.

Meanwhile, back in Zach’s room, the Bloodhound Gang has googled (or rather, chumhummed) Charles Lester, and man are they getting an eye full – articles about gang murders, dead witnesses and dismissed charges.  The press paints Charles Lester as the “family spokesman and lawyer” of the Bishops.  I’m sure he cultivates that familial appearance. “Maybe it’s a different Charles Lester,” Grace guesses.  Yeah, you can wish.  No, Zach shakes his head, but he’s just a spokesman.  Yeah, you can wish. “It’s not like he actually did it.”  Well, that’s probably true.  Probably?  I don’t see him so much as an assassin (fascinating thought), but that hardly renders him harmless.  Zach finds another article with an identifying picture that he reads as Grace peeks out around the edge of the door.  “An ex-Bishop captain who spoke off the record said ‘Stay out of Charles Lester’s way. Whatever you do, don’t give him your name.”  Gee, cause that’s not menacing at all. Grace squints, disbelieving.

Ah, here we are, back at the governor’s office.  “I’ve read your investigative report, Marilyn,” Eli spits into his phone, grinding his teeth, “All two pages of it!”  He tosses the offending document to the side.  “I told you, Eli,” Marilyn begins, her words punctuated by the sharp clacks of her heels on pavement, “I could on report what I could clearly confirm.” Seems reasonable to me. “You’re hurting Peter with these games,” Eli snarls.  It’s not her job to protect him, Eli, and do you really think bullying will change her mind? “This is not a game, Eli!” she replies, sounding a little hurt. “You stonewalled me! I can’t write a report…”  Okay, let’s be fair.  Who did the stonewalling?  Peter.  Not Eli. “Peter needs you to clear him,” Eli hisses.  Yeah, but that’s not her problem. “Jim Moody acted alone, that’s what you heard.  Peter never saw this tape until you showed it to him.”

Well, indeed.  But that’s not the whole story, either, and you know it.

“We’d like to see an amended report by tomorrow night.”  Oh, give it a rest, Eli. “This is not just…” she says, then huffs with disgust when she realizes he’s hung up on her.  As she frowns at her phone, tires squeal behind her. She turns, and holy crap – there’s a huge black van and a black SUV, with men in black spilling out of them.  The man by the van opens a door to the back, and an Elliot Gould look-alike leans out. “Hello, Miss Garbanza,” he says.  Holy crap, that’s creepy.  “I’m Nelson Dubeck from the Office of Public Integrity,” he adds, holding up a badge that says DOJ.  That’s a thing, the Office of Public Integrity? (Yes.  Sort of.)  Damn.  Does that sound Orwellian to anyone else?  When he invites her to join him, some sort of operative moves up behind her.

So. Totally. Creepy.

Instead of getting a peek inside the van, we follow Cary into Lemond Bishop’s bond hearing. “Did you see who’s here?” Alicia leans over to ask once her partner reaches the defense table.  We all have: it’s Will and Diane!  Awesome. “They represent Bishop’s legitimate businesses,” Cary sighs, looking down at the table instead of at his former bosses, trying to play it cool. “We can’t get away from them!” Alicia hisses, much more obvious about her irritation, “We see more of them now!”  Cary chuckles in appreciation of the irony. “We have to stop sharing clients,” he agrees.

That’s when they’re advised to stand (a pointless ritual because they’re all already standing) for the Honorable Judge George Kluger.  “Uh oh,” Alicia pales when she sees who they’ve drawn.  “I have a lunch with him.”  Yes, and that’s especially awkward if he wants to join their firm, as I theorized, or hit on her, as she feared.  “Okay,” the judge begins with dry efficiency, “we have a probable cause hearing. Mr. Bishop, I’ve seen you in here before.”  Lemond nods and sits, dignified and suave as ever. “Your Honor.”   “And, Mrs. Florrick,” Judge Kluger calls out, and Alicia too nods. “Mr. Gardner, Miss Lockhart, and ?”  Mr. Agos, Cary reminds the judge, standing and smoothing his suit. “Mr. Agos, sorry,” the judges apologizes for not remembering his name. “We have a full cast of characters, like a clown car.”  Indeed they do. “And you sir, you’re a new lawyer here?”  Charles Lester rises and introduces himself. “You step in if one of them dies?” the judge jokes in his bone dry way.  Oh God. Lester grins broadly. “Let’s hope that won’t happen!” I’m going to guess that Alicia doesn’t find that funny; her ashen face’s a bit of a tip off.  “No,” he chuckles, “I’m just Mr. Bishop’s personal attorney.”

“And the federal government?” Kluger asks, with our view shifting to Jack Davenport sitting alone.  Jack Davenport!  No way!  Derrick Wills!  Lloyd Simcoe!  Bruce Miller!  Norrington!  Awesome.  “You have no one to hold hands with over there, Mr. Asher?”  Jack – er, Mr. Asher – slowly rises. “I hold hands with Justice, Your Honor.”

Bwah!  No he did not!  I love that so much. He grins, clearly pleased with himself.

“I see,” Judge Kluger replies quickly, “how does Justice feel about that?” Now Asher looks a little embarrassed. “Was a joke, Your Honor,” he says quietly. “A joke, I see.  I’m going to have to watch out for you, you wag.”  Aw.  No need to be mean.  You don’t have to be the only funny person in the room. Judge Kluger inhales. “Let’s dig in. Whadda ya got?”

Asher reads from his notes. “Ah, Your Honor, it’ll only take a few minutes to establish probable cause in this case, as the evidence is overwhelming.”  Yeah, you can wish. (He does an excellent American accent, Jack Davenport, though it sounds so wrong to hear him use it.) “Really,” wonders the judge. “Mrs. Florrick?”  She’s ready, but Diane stands and beats her to the punch. “Your Honor, according to the DEA’s own search warrant,” she says, “it stemmed from a single eye witness.”  Whom you’ll be wanting to hear from, he guesses, and this time it’s Will who stands and answers that they definitely do.  Shaking his head and frowning, Cary mutters to Alicia. “You have to jump on it.  They want to impress Bishop, win back all his business.”

Prosecutor Asher has one Ms. Moretti on the stand.  “What were you doing at 4:10 in the afternoon on February 26th?”  Perhaps 30, Moretti has dark hair and nice clothes. “I was in a condominium unit across from the Bruckman Building.”  Asher establishes that Bishop owns the Bruckman Building; Moretti’s quite proud of having sold it to him. “And what did you see from the window?”  “I was getting ready to show another unit,” she explains, “when I saw three African American individuals getting out of a black SUV.”  Lester leans forward, plucking his chin down on his fist, frowning in concentration. “Was the defendant among them?” Yes – he stood watch in the alley while the other two were carrying duffel bags into the back entrance.  I saw one of the bags zipped open, and there were white packets inside.  Like bricks.”  Cary takes notes, and Lester leans over to talk to Alicia. “How far away was she?”

“Cary’s questioning,” Alicia whispers. “And these bricks,” Asher continues, “did they look like drugs to you?”  How would she know?  “Objection,” Cary interrupts, “calls for a conclusion.”  It sure does, agrees Judge Kluger.  Will seems lost in his own world, his eyes narrowed; if nothing else, he’s hearing something very different from what I am. “I will sustain that,” the judge agrees.  Will bursts out of the courtroom to put in a call to Howard Lyman.  Really?  In what sort of situation could Howard Lyman possibly save the day?

Back in the shiny black van, Nelson Dubeck asks Marilyn if she’s comfortable. Through the open door, we see some of his goons lounging outside.  Seriously?  Is she comfortable?  “Reasonably,” she replies quietly. “You scared me to death.”  Sorry, he shrugs without sounding remotely regretful. “The black van tends to intimidate.”  Which is clearly your intention, or you wouldn’t use it, asshat.  “We need your help, Miss Garbanzo,” he adds, spearing her with what he clearly intends to be a sincere look.

“Ah, Miss Garbanza,” she corrects, and again he’s quick with an insincere apology. That’s right.  Who would ever confuse her with the bean?  “We’re looking into your boss, m’am.”  Eli Gold, she wonders.  Um, no.   He says it like it’s obvious, like she has to know better, and maybe she does.

“Why?” she asks. Voter fraud, he says. “I can’t help you,” she says. “Yes you can,” he insists. “You’ll think you can’t because of your loyalty to Peter,” he presses. “You mean Governor Florrick,” she corrects again.  “But you’ll soon realize you’re vulnerable,” he talks right over her niceties, not bothering this time to apologize for it. “Do you want to know why?” She doesn’t, but he’s going to tell her anyway. “You have no attorney/client privilege.” He lets that sink in. “Everybody else is a lawyer – the world is full of lawyers.”  Ha.  On this show, anyway.  “You’re the type that goes to jail.”  Wait, what?  That can’t be right.  “For what?” she wonders, gulping a little. “Conspiracy to defraud the public,” he answers, and she stares at him hard.   “Please open the door,” she insists. “But there’s another reason you’ll talk to me, Marilyn.”

“I said open the door,” she repeats, eyes narrowed. “And let me out.”  He doesn’t. “It’s the right thing to do,” he insists.

YIKES!  Let me just say – I’m not a lawyer, as you know, but I can’t think that he’s got that right about her being the only person open to criminal prosecution.  First of all, Eli may be a lawyer, but he’s not Peter’s lawyer, and so is not protected by attorney/client privilege. Right?  That will only apply to Will, Alicia and Diane – and technically Will was the only lawyer who knew anything at the time.  Not Jim Moody, not Kalinda, not Eli.  Also, it’s her job to investigate possible ethical violations, and that’s what she’s been doing.  I don’t have any idea what the rules are for ethicists – who they turn their reports in to, what they may or may not be obligated to turn over to police – but she damn sure would know that.  She would know exactly where the legal lines are and where she would stand in relation to them, no matter how intimidating that black van is.

If the pseudo-kidnapping of a pregnant woman set you on edge, relax; the comic cavalry has arrive. Bumbling Howard Lyman is here to soothe your frazzled nerves.  He sits on the stand, picking at his tie, chuckling and fussing with his suit jacket.  “What’re you doing?” Alicia hisses to Will.  Her ex-lover ignores her, and Charles Lester asks why she’s upset. “Well,” she replies delicately, “he’s not the brightest.”  Oh ye of little faith! “Mr. Lyman. As a Lockhart/Gardner lawyer, were you assigned a task on Mr. Bishop’s case?”  What, we’re not calling it L/G anymore?  Thank God. Anyway, Howard certainly was. “And could you tell us what that was?”  I could, Howard smiles, looking around the room.  I’ll say this for Howard, he’s got everyone’s rapt attention; Alicia and Lester look at each other in disbelief as their witness remains silent. I can hear my school teacher mother saying “Would you tell us?” but Will prompts his colleague differently. “Which was?”

Howard takes a deep breath. “I was to assess the property that Mr. Bishop was going to purchase.”  Okay. “And were you assessing properties on February 26th at 4pm?”  Yes. “I know all about the dates.”  Will gives him no time to meander. “But on that date, were you assessing a property on 1677 South Oakley Avenue?”  He was. Is that anywhere near the Bruckman Building, where Miss Moretti testified to seeing Lemond Bishop unload white bricks?  No.  It’s 20 miles away, even. Why is this relevant?  Because it was Miss Moretti who showed him the other property. Bam!

Ha ha ha ha!  Howard really did save the day!

“Your Honor,” AUSA Asher stands, “the only proof is this man’s opinion?”  I’d hardly call that his opinion.  Will asks if he can continue, and is granted permission.  It turns out that Howard took pictures (“panoramic pictures!”) of the South Oakley condo, which are of course time stamped and include Miss Moretti.  Ha!  Legitimate businesses for the win!  Asher confers quietly with another fellow who stands in the gallery.  Diane, Lester and Bishop all smile in victory.

“AUSA Asher, do you and Justice have anything to offer?”  Asher backs away from his frantic conference, awkward. “I’m sorry, Your Honor, this is Agent Keswick.  He’s not from Justice, he’s a DEA agent.”  Kluger gives him a pained look. “I was referring to your holding hands with Justice.”  Ha.  Not one to let something go, is he?  “I, uh, I’m sorry, Your Honor?”  he stammers. “Do you guys joke much over there at Justice?”  All the time, Asher blinks. “Good.  Your friend. Over there. The DEA.  Does he have anything to offer?”

The DEA (in the person of Agent Keswick) speaks. “Your Honor, I think I can clear up some confusion here” he says, hand extended like Moses raising the Red Sea. “I was just rushing over here after interviewing Ms. Moretti – and she apologizes, but she made a mistake. She saw the defendant transporting drugs a day earlier, on February 25th.”  What, seriously?  Are you kidding?  The defense explodes, all five lawyers rising to their feet and protesting separately.

Kluger bangs his gavel and then points it at the defense team. “Have a seat,” he instructs them, gavel pointed in their direction, and they do without a word. He leans back in his chair and turns his attention to Agent Keswick. “You’re just rushing over here?  You don’t seem very out of breath.”  Snort. Keswick smirks. “I’m a good runner.”  And a tool, apparently.

Are you?” Kluger raises his eyebrows.  He just might be my favorite judge ever. Certainly this season. “Well here’s what I’m going to do.”  He clears his throat and points to the defendant. “I’m gonna free Mr. Bishop.”  Now it’s the prosecution’s time to explode out of their seats. “GUYS!  This isn’t Crossfire.  I’m going to free Mr. Bishop on a hundred thousand dollars bond.” Bishop’s expression sours. “I’m not dismissing the charges. We’re gonna go to trial. But I’m going to tell you something, guys.”  Alicia smiles in anticipation. “You can’t do this.  You tell a story, and you stick to it.”

Too right!

Back at their office, Alicia confesses to Cary that she’s nervous about meeting with Kluger while she has a case with him, even if all he wants is her help with a book he’s writing about lawyers. It just doesn’t feel right, she says, grasping to explain herself.  “I think I should cancel.”  Cary looks at her and opens his mouth, but nothing comes out, so she asks after his objection. “Well, you don’t want to piss off a judge,” he shrugs, hands in his pockets. Always the pragmatist, Cary.  I can’t even explain how much I love their partnership.  “Not one we’re arguing in front of.”  Indeed.  As she considers this piece of wisdom, the elevator gate opens to reveal Charles Lester and then Lemond Bishop.  What a funny pair those two are – Bishop so tall and elegant and beautiful, Lester a gnarled gargoyle with a maliciously comical smile, so opposed in style and yet so attuned in villainy.  “Mrs. Florrick!” Lester asks pleasantly, “do you have a minute?”

His idea of a meeting, as it turns out, involves riding the elevator together.  Eek. “There’s no way the real estate agent could have seen moving product on the 25th,” Lemond states without preamble. “Because you’re innocent?” Alicia asks in a baby voice. “No,” he replies coolly, “because I was moving product on the 26th.”  Well, points for honesty, anyway.

“So you’re saying they got their facts right, but the witness couldn’t have seen it?” Alicia realizes, and Lester confirms her surmise.  “She wasn’t there.  And she couldn’t have seen it on February 25th because it wasn’t happening.” Huh.  What’s that about, then? Alicia stares. “You think they don’t want to reveal the reason they knew about the drugs?”  Yes, Lester replies patiently.  Alicia’s eyes flicker between the two men. “A confidential informant?”  Hmm.  We’ve been there before.  They’re considering the possibility, Lester says, but when Alicia presses for a name, he turns the question back to her; “when Mr. Bishop was here last week, who was in the meeting?”  He pulls out one of those ubiquitous scraps of paper, and Bishop gives her his most commanding glare.  Oh my God.

“No,” she says.  Despite Lester’s absolute insistence that the meeting was the only time they mentioned the February 26th transaction, she won’t believe her staff had anything to do with it.  Oh my gosh.  I don’t care how much money he has; it can’t possibly be worth this level of anxiety. I’m having a heart attack and I’m not even there. “It had to have been someone else.  Someone from your crew,” she jerks her chin at Bishop, who glowers at her. “No!” Lester laughs. “Mr. Bishop kept his location private.  But he did share it with your firm in case there was trouble.”  Oh God oh God oh God.  “You were the only ones who knew where he was.”  Bishop nods. “So… could you give me those names?”

Oh dear God.

When the elevator cycles back around, Bishop suggests with polite imperiousness that the folks waiting at the elevator take the stairs, but that sly devil Charles Lester recognizes an excellent opportunity for getting information, and introduces himself to Clark Hayden and Robin.  It’s nice to meet you, he smiles after Clark introduces himself back. Were you at the meeting last week?  I guess he doesn’t write everything down on those slips of paper after all.  Despite Alicia trying to pull him away, he takes a moment for the investigator. “And you must be Robyn, the bubbly one.”  She laughs and extends her hand. “Well I don’t know about that…”  And what was your last name, he squints, and that’s when Alicia grabs him by his elbow and closes the gate of the elevator, much to Cary’s puzzlement.

Okay, she declares, “I will investigate.  If there was a leak – and I very much doubt that there was – then I’m responsible.”  Alicia!  Dear God.  That’s very good of you, Bishop replies (yeah, good that she’s literally willing to fall on her own sword for her coworkers because it just might come to that!), but Charles will work with you.  He rubs Lester on that back, which is freakishly adorable.  “Mr. Bishop,” Alicia begins, “this is my firm.”  This is my life, he counters, which is hard to argue with even if it’s really alarming. “And if this goes wrong, you won’t be the one doing fifteen years in Pekin.”

“I thought you liked working with me, Alicia,” Charles Lester smiles.  There’s something ghoulish in his grin that’s just daring her to say no, toying with her.  She’s half in light, half in shadow; the whole sequence is visually striking.

Clasping his hands together like a school child, Clark Hayden turns his puppy dog eyes on Alicia, who is clearly conducting the required investigation. “Did I do something wrong?”  No, no, she murmurs at him from the other side of the conference table.  “But after the meeting, did you talk to anyone?”  I wonder why Clark the numbers guy was in on that meeting in the first place?  After the Lemond Bishop meeting, he clarifies. No.  “I mean I did talk to people, but not about the meeting.”  And did you take notes, she wonders.  He did.  They’re in his desk. “I lock my desk,” he adds.

And that’s when Charles Lester scurries in, muttering apologies for his lateness. This must the be next morning, then. “I couldn’t find a cab, I don’t drive,” he blathers, sitting the head of the table, sitting in judgement on both of them. Ha – Alicia’s so done with his schtick. We were just finishing up, she informs him, her voice crisp.  “Really?  Darn,” he replies, making me snicker. “Maybe I can just listen in on the end.”  He and Clark greet each other, and Alicia summarizes: “you were just saying that you didn’t tell anyone about the facts of the Bishop meeting, and that you didn’t show anyone your notes.”

“Actually, I didn’t say that. About the notes.”  Poor Alicia nearly hyperventilates. “You…” she looks over at Vizzini – er, Lester – who cocks his head, listening attentively. “Are you sure?” Alicia asks, clearly envisioning Clark’s bloody corpse lying in a seedy back alley.  “So you showed someone your notes???” Lester prompts, eyebrows up.  “No,” Clark replies.  “I locked them in my desk.  I just wanted to be exact.  I just hadn’t said it yet.”  Oh God, Clark.  “Thank you,” Alicia breathes, tense muscles visibly slackening in relief. As she snaps her folder shut, Lester interjects cheerily that he’s got a few questions of his own. Somehow managing not to look judgmental, Clark raises his eyebrows as Lester piles his slips of paper on the conference table. “Did you do a cost-benefit analysis of Mr. Bishop, sir?”

The person there to answer, unexpectedly, is Cary. “Of all the clients, yes. Why?”  Oh, I don’t know, grumbles Vizzini, I’m just nosy. “Who did you share this analysis with?”  Just the partners here, Cary replies.  No one else. “Now. You have a friend from high school who works for the Drug Enforcement Agency,” Lester notes.  Sigh.  I didn’t leak anything to good old Howie, Cary replies – and they haven’t seen each other since 2002.  “What about your father?  When was the last time you saw him?”  Uh oh.  Now we’re playing dirty.

“Mmm, like a month ago?” Robyn guesses, and then she smiles. “He reminds me of you, actually.”  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  Lester must remind her of her dad – she doesn’t spend time with her dad thinking about some client she met once at work.  Anyway. Lester acts pleased, which was no doubt the point. “A handsome devil, eh?”  They all laugh.  Ick. “He wanted to be a lawyer,” Robyn shrugs, “but they were kind of the turn-on/drop-out sorts.”  “Did your dad have any drug arrests?” Lester wonders. “Oh yeah,” Robyn nods, very casual about it all. “More than one.  He grew pot in our back yard for a while.”  So that’s odd, you becoming an investigator for Treasury,” Lester notes – because yes, it kind of is if you assume all kids take after their parents.  Which would be wrong. Oh, she replies blithely.  I needed a job. Student loans. “And you had lunch with a friend from Treasury just last week,” he adds, which catches Robyn’s attention. “Yeah,” she admits, surprised. “How’d you know that?”  Vizzini smiles. “I know everything!”

Alicia watches the two of them laugh uncomfortably, no doubt seeking to prevent a land war in Asia. But you didn’t tell your friend anything about your work, did you, she asks.  At first Robyn is slow – her pal thinks working for a start up sounds like a kick – but eventually Alicia steers her wayward subordinate to the right testimony. Of course she’d never divulge specifics about cases!  “That never leaves these walls.”

It’s not one of us, she tells Mr. Lester. “Those are the three most honest people I know.”  Really?  Clark for sure.  Robyn lies, but perhaps Alicia doesn’t know about that.  But Cary?  He’s honest in his way, but he can be manipulative and deceptive too.  I love that she believes that, though. “I know a lot of honest people,” Lester replies, clasping his hands together, “but I don’t always trust them because they talk too much.”  Oh no, Alicia assures him. “That’s just Robyn’s way.  Trust me.  The leak is elsewhere.”  Right.  He’s totally going to trust you.  That’s his thing, trusting people.

“Okay, now,” he says. “I wanted to clear everyone before I asked you firm to do this, but events are moving too quickly, so … I have to ask you to keep this completely to yourself. We need you to be on call at, uh, three tomorrow.”  Why, she wonders. Huh.  Her hair looks very flippy in this scene, no?  “Well, Mr. Bishop is delivering something to O’Hare.  In case of trouble I need you on call.”  This doesn’t sit well. “This is not a good time for Mr. Bishop – I would urge restraint,” she cautions.  Would that they could, Lester implies. Just be on call at 3.  She agrees reluctantly – and then checks her watch to realize how late she is, and rushes out.

“Judge Kluger, I am so sorry,” Alicia collapses into the seat opposite the judge in yet another swanky restaurant, dimly lit.  Anyone else disconcerted to see him wearing a suit?  Like he should go around in judges’ robes all the time, as if he were a wizard or something?  Since I’m getting so far off topic, I’m going to gush about having Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Colter, Wallace Shawn, Jack Davenport and Nathan Lane all in the same episode; our cup of guest star blessings runneth over, don’t you think?  “Please, it’s no problem,” he says, looking up from the book he’s reading.  Of course he’s got a book, not the phone I originally assumed.  I love it. He asks how she is, and she confesses to being busy.  “I got tied up with a client,” she explains to excuse herself. “Yes, I figured,” he says. his smile overly large. “Tied up and gagged, to keep you away from me.”  Oh my God, he is SO awkward. How do you respond to that?

She laughs to cover her confusion, flipping her flippy hair a little, and changes the subject. How’s the book going?  “Good, ah, good,” he says.  And then things get even weirder. “Unfortunately, another judge has just called me, and I’m going to have to cut this short.”  Thank heaven, but, huh.  Does the other judge need him for something?  That seems odd.  “You – ah, now?” she replies, shocked. “Yes, unfortunately it’s an emergency.”  Such an emergency that he sat there reading instead of leaving?  He could have called her to reschedule, or even told the restaurant that he couldn’t wait.  No, that’s clearly a big lie.  “Okay, well, let me – can I call, and schedule another time?”  She stands with him. He keeps glancing oddly between the book in his right hand the phone in his left.  No, she shouldn’t walk him out – he’s got to start talking on the phone.   “Stay and have a drink,” he offers, not even looking at her as he goes, leaving her stammering in his wake. “I’m so, so sorry!” she calls after his retreating back, but he doesn’t turn around.

Ugh!  It’s clear she thinks she’s done something wrong, but  – does he like her?  He must, right?  Was that his odd little attempt at flirtation failing?  Or just that he’s finding he can’t talk to her in a social setting after all?  He’s behaving just like a 15 year old with a crush that he can’t handle; he thought he wanted to see her – he desperately wants to see her – but when he’s finally in her presence, it’s just too overwhelming.  Am I over-thinking this?  Any other interpretations of his behavior?

Huh.  Speaking of fractious relationships with romantic overtones, Cary’s drinking next to Kalinda in a bar.  Also, talk about awkward.  They drink and peer at each other out of the corners of their eyes, and smile, and glare. “What’s going on, Cary?” Kalinda asks, proving herself to be the grown up of the pair. “Uh, I’m drinking,” he sighs.  He’s loving making her chase him. “Is this some kind of punishment?”  No, he lies. “You asked me for drinks. I’m drinking.” He smirks, pleased with himself, and she smirks back. “Funny,” she nods before tossing back her drink and stalking off.  As he stares, his gaze covetous, she turns and walks back to him. “You want to get me to talk, just say talk.  Don’t play games.”

Oh yes. Because Kalinda, she’s all about the honesty.

Marilyn Bean, on the other hand is all about her big decision;  she watches the stuffed ballot box leave the white van on repeat. Slowly, she walks into Peter’s office, and sighs when she sees that he’s not there.  She sits, breathing hard.  I can’t help noticing how thick her glasses frame are before – they verge on being hipster glasses.

Eli fairly bursts into the room, and she greets him, grumpy. “It’s just you and me today,” he smirks, clearly pleased with himself.  “Peter asked me to take this meeting,” he crows, hands on the back of  two wooden chairs.

She just stares at him.

“What?”  Eli pretends not to know that Peter is avoiding Marilyn.  While I’m sure it’s not really a scheduling conflict, it’s just as possible that Eli’s withholding Peter to punish Marilyn.  I’m not sold that Peter knows anything about this.  (Of course we all know what this really is – Chris Noth’s shooting schedule issues.  But whatever.  It works.)  “For the last three meetings?” she asks, properly disbelieving.  “He’s busy!” Eli crows again. “Maybe you haven’t heard.  He’s governor.”  Right.  You have no idea how badly this could backfire on you, Eli; you want to win her to your side, not bully her into caving.  Staring at him in disgust, Marilyn sighs. “You have a great talent for turning friends into enemies,” she observes, and turns to go.

“Issue a report supporting the governor,” he demands.  She turns. “And I’ll be back in his good graces? No.”  Eli, why do you do this to yourself?  Why do you do this to the people around you?

So it should surprise no one to see the shiny black van once again parked on a street corner, or Marilyn sitting inside it again.  Nelson Dubeck tents his fingers nervously, but Marilyn’s worlds away, still wrestling with her conscience, and doesn’t see his weakness. She purses her lips, and sets a blue flash drive on the table between them.

“What is it?” he asks. “Video of a stuffed ballot box,” she admits reluctantly.  Huh.  I thought she’d just give him a copy of her report, but  I suppose she doesn’t want it traced back to her?  He hoists it up, waves it in the air. “Thank you Marilyn.  This is the first step towards clean government.”  Oh, whatever.  People have been trying to clean up the American government basically since there was an American government.  Certainly since Tammany Hall.

“You really never drive?” Lemond Bishop asks Charles Lester – the latter sits in Bishop’s passenger seat, hilariously attired in a black knit cap.  Somehow Bishop’s looser with Lester than we normally see him, driving through the rain with his top aid. “Never. Have you seen the statistics on roadway deaths?”   He has. “Yeah, but the same statistics apply when I’m driving.”  Ha. True, Lester agrees – “but that’d be your fault, not my fault.”  Ha again. If you’re dead, do you really care whose fault it is?  Wouldn’t you rather control your own fate?  Ah, and there’s a siren.  Of course there is.

A policeman steps out and knocks on Bishop’s window, which he rolls down. “Sir, do you know why I stopped you?”  Bishop almost rolls his eyes; I have no idea, he answers. “You were driving recklessly. Across the median a few times,” the cop lies.  We can see a second cop standing in the some chunky rain on the passenger side as well. “Oh,” Lester chortles. Something funny, sir, the cop wonders. “Yes, I find it funny,” Lester replies. “Do you always conduct routine traffic stops with DEA agents in tow?” I find that funny too. There’s Keswick, stepping out of yet another black SUV.  Is there ever a point where federal agents feel like a men in black cliche, or do they embrace it?  The cop is unbowed by this revelation, and asked Bishop to step out of the car.

“Sir, we see what appears to be cocaine in plain view in the rear of your vehicle. ”  Bishop, resplendent in his camel colored coat, smirks. “That gives us probable cause to search.”  Right. “Now opening up the trunk of your vehicle,” he recites – I suppose this is being recorded? And, yes, there in the back are huge navy duffel bags with big “bricks” (clear bags) of white powder poking out of them. Damn.  Not being very subtle, are we?  There’s snow on Keswick’s close cut hair as he trills “Hello, Mr. Bishop!” like it’s the best day of his life.  “Agent,” Bishop nods, dignified. As they spread out the bags on the hood of the cop car, Keswick gets cocky. “You wanna tell me what that is?” he smirks. “That, sir?  That’s pancake batter.”  What, really?  Because batter has the wet ingredients mixed in; the powder would be called a mix.  (E, shut up!)

Unsurprisingly, Keswick doesn’t have a sense of humor or any questions about Lester’s word choice, and instead gets all Schwarzenegger up in his face. “It’s 100 grams – that’s 10 to 50 years.”  For Bisquick, Lester asks with mocking incredulity. “Take a look in the trunk,” Bishop advises, mild as usual, and after a hard look Keswick jerks his chin at the first cop, who lifts up the false bottom of the trunk…

…where they find dozens of flattened out pancake mix boxes. Damn, that’s funny.  They’re not the ubiquitous yellow boxes and I don’t see any Box Tops so I don’t think it’s actually Bisquick, but that’s fine; you can see photos of pancakes very clearly on the front.  I wonder if they shopped the storyline to Bisquick?  It’s a dubious honor, being a substitute for coke.

His shoulders now covered with snowflakes, Keswick stomps over to the patrol car, no doubt to taste the pancake mix; Charles Lester, too, is dusted with the snow. Lester and Bishop smirk, pranksters together.

Back at her office, Alicia’s grumbling into Robin’s voice mail;  where is she?  “I’ve left three messages!” Alicia complains. We see their snowy building first, and then Alicia as she wanders through the office asking after her investigator. “Mr. Hayden, have you seen Robin?” she asks, catching Clark at the elevator. “There,” he points as the gate opens to reveal the young blond, dressed in only a hoodie despite the weather (or being at work).  “Where have you been?  Why were you not answering your phone?”

“At lunch,” Robin frowns. “Mr. Lester said not to take any calls this afternoon.”  Huh?  Why would that be?  That’s very odd, even coming from Charles Lester.  Alicia and her enormous fur collar wonder why. “Mr. Bishop was taking something to the airport at 5, and they might need me.” So you can’t take calls?  What, does he not know about call waiting? No, at three, Alicia corrects before Clark jumps in and says no, at seven.  Oh boy.  Easy to see where this is going, especially after the prank. The three frown at each other, and it’s expressive Robin who appears to figure it out first.

What a gorgeous street that is, all those brightly painted row houses, all that wrought iron covered in snow!  Alicia sits in the back of Bishop’s car; Lester and Bishop look back at her.  “Mr. Bishop,” she snaps. “We’re your lawyers. You need to trust us or find other representation, but this childish test…”  I was just pulled over on the way to the airport, he explains.  Oh snap. That’s right, Alicia.  Not so self-righteous now.  “We told four different people at your office four times for Mr. Bishop’s delivery,” Lester explains. “1pm for Mr. Agos, 3 for you, 5 for Miss Burdine, 7 for Mr. Hayden.”  Now her eyes are going wild, trying to calculate where the leak came from.  If Robyn was just getting back from lunch, it couldn’t have been five or seven. She shakes her head, unable to comprehend it all. “Don’t you want to know when we were pulled over?” Bishop smiles. “No,” she cries, her face pale.

“Three o’clock, Mrs. Florrick. Your time,” Lester adds.  Alicia’s eyes flick from one hard, unforgiving face to another.

Trapped in the car, decked with fur, Alicia looks something like a wild animal.  “Mr. Bishop, I didn’t…”  there’s outrage in her tone to cover the panic on her face. “We told you, and only you, that I was dropping something off at the airport at three. After you told us you met with Judge Kluger.”  Bishop’s recitation is calm, factual.  “To discuss his book at lunch!” she cries, defensive. “Did you tell anyone, either in person or on the phone?” Lester asks, his avuncular veneer striped away.  No, she yells.  “Did you text anyone, or email?”  No, I didn’t, she cries, wild – but then a memory stops her. “I…”  Yes, Lester asks, milder. “I left myself a voice mail reminder,” she recalls, ashen, and Lester flicks his eyes toward Bishop, who bends down for something.  “Did you ever talk on the phone about Mr. Bishop’s apartment prop house?”  Yes, she remembers, with Cary.

Bing goes a cell phone, and Lester snaps. “Lemond, don’t use the phone!”  Don’t worry, the kingpin says coolly, hand up. “It’s a burner.”  He’s calling the ever reliable Dex, to drop off more burner phones at Florrick/Agos.

So they’re not going to kill her.  That’s a relief.

But there’s a green wiggly line on a black screen.  “We have a problem,” continues Bishop, “the DEA is tapping them.” And you too, apparently, as part of that three pronged warrant. Middle Eastern music pops up, and as the camera moves back we can see the bright white cube farm at the NSA.  Holy crap!  “Drop everything else and get over there now.”

“Hey, this is funny,” the dude with the scraggly beard says to his colleague. “What?” says his fellow analyst, who is not the same guy as the last time. “They think it’s DEA surveillance.”  Old Beavis and new Butt-head snicker madly.

Because the idea that their victims fear being tapped for something Lemond Bishop has actually done – versus something Danny Marwat was cleared of doing two or three years ago ?  That’s freaking hilarious.

The packages for the new phones spill over the conference table. “Burner phones again,” Cary notes ruefully.  “You’ve done this before?” Clark asks in surprise. “No,” Alicia sighs, “when we were leaving Lockhart/Gardner – this is different.” Which is to say yes. “How long do we have to use these?” Robyn wonders, taking a phone and squinting at it. “We don’t know,” Alicia explains, hair in her face, still handing out phones even though there aren’t that many people working on the Bishop case. “The DEA is getting to Bishop through us, so any business calls use these – and be careful, the packaging can cut.”  Cary frowns; he wants to go to court and get a preservation order.  A what now?  Alicia thinks that won’t be helpful, but Cary disagrees. “It will with the judge.  He already thinks they lied about the real estate witness, so it will show that they lied to protect their wire tap.”  Good thinking, Cary – not that I understand what they’re hoping to preserve yet, but cool.  “That was … almost Will-like,” Alicia replies slowly, impressed. “Thanks, Diane,” Cary quips. Hee.

At that moment Alicia’s desk phone starts to ring.  “Be careful what you say,” Cary cautions her as she walks toward it. “Hello!  This is Alicia Florrick.”  Eli’s voice comes through the receiver; “Wow, that was formal.”  Oh, great. “It’s Eli.  I wanted to talk to you about this voter fraud investigation.”  Oh, great.  I can’t believe he just said that. Two green graphs bloom on a monitor back at the NSA.  “Actually, Eli, let me call you on another line.”  Tweedle Dum (that is, the bearded analyst from the previous episode) has a slinky curled around his hand, but he picks up immediately on Alicia’s too-conscious tone. “Why?”  I’d rather talk to you on another line, Alicia insists.

“Yup, she’s on to us, she’s switching numbers,” Dumb calls out, dropping the slinky and typing frenetically. “Who’s she on with?” the new Tweedle Dee wonders, and Dum explains – Eli Gold.  “Right, one of mine,” Dee notes, “We can trace it back through his line.”  Oh crap, really?  Immediately a diagram pops up linking Alicia and Eli with several other people – Gardner, Will and Florrick, Peter.  “Oh, and I just sent you something.”  Is it goats?  Please don’t be goats. Immediately Dumb clicks over to his second monitor, but then thinks better of it.  “This isn’t one of the things where the guy jumps out at you?”  He waves an admonishing finger at his colleague.  “No!” Dee says, sincere, “it’s pets riding a rumba – it’s very cute, watch it, it goes fast.”  With an air of Charlie Brown rushing toward the football, Dum clicks play and leans forward, listening to the whine of a rumba on a clean floor.

And that’s when the ghoulish hooded visage pops up into view. Tweedle Dum jumps a mile.

“Damn it, I hate those!”  New Dee smiles slightly to himself.  “I got her on Eli Gold’s line,” he reports, making up for the trick. “Hey Alicia, what was wrong with your line?”  Nothing, she lies, “we’re just having some issues.  Have Peter call me on this line when he wants to talk, okay?”

And there it is – he’s isolated the number of the new phone.  That took all of a minute. “Got her burner number, I am sending it to you.” This kills me. “Glad to see you two are working,” their pudgy supervisor notes, walking by their desks and nodding his approval.  Wait, they say, so he sits in a convenient empty chair and they roll their chairs toward him.  We have an issue with Marwat warrant, Tweedle Dee says, but Boss Man doesn’t remember what he’s talking about until he clarifies that it became the Florrick warrant.  UGH.  “Right.  Lawyer who’s married to the governor,” the supervisor remembers.  I wonder if he still calls them Frick and Frack now that one of them is different?  Probably.  Frick/Dum explains that Alicia has a drug dealer client, and she’s figured out that she’s being tapped because of a botched DEA raid.

“They what?” Middle Management Man leans forward. “They just realized we’re listening,” Frack/Dee repeats.  Thanks, genius. “Well, actually, they think it’s the DEA, but they’re still changing numbers.”  How did they realize this?  “We don’t know.”  So of course the real question is whether they can get around the new numbers. “No problem,” Frack shrugs – they’ve already done it – but he’s still worried. “We’re not sure how we got exposed.”  Yeah, Middle Management Man has some ideas on that front. “Come with me,” he tells them. “Let’s go.”

The two follow him through the cube farm. “It wasn’t our fault!” one wails. “I didn’t say it was,” Boss Man replies, indifferent.  It’s interesting that the words “fraud investigation” didn’t pique their interest at all, isn’t it?  “I have a translation to do!” Frack whines. “It can wait,” the Boss deadpans.

“Okay, what’d we have today?” Judge George Kluger asks, elbows out, hands on top of his head. “It’s come to our attention, Your Honor, that our phones are being tapped by the DEA,” Cary rises to say.  “Excuse me?” AUSA Asher cries. “Hold on, Frank,” Judge Kluger waves the prosecutor back (he has a first name!).  “It’s come to your attention how?”  Cary explains about the set up bust.  “Well that’s exciting,” Judge Kluger says; Alicia watches Asher confer with Agent Keswick, who sits once more at the edge of the gallery. “Frank, is it true?  Is your friend tapping their calls?”  Just one second, Frank Asher pleads. “Okay,” Kluger replies with surprising restraint. “What relief are you looking for, Mr. Agos?”  Cary wants the DEA to preserve the wire taps.

Ah ha.  That’s what a preservation order is. I guess I was a little slow on that one. “For future discovery?” Kluger assumes. “We believe that this – this real estate witness, I forgot her name…” Cary starts. “Oh, I forgot her name,” Kluger agrees, “screw her!”  Cary laughs.  “We believe, Your Honor, that she lied to protect the real reason for the warrant – the DEA’s wire tap.”  Well, huffs Kluger. He whistles for Frank’s attention.  “Ah, Your Honor, how could we possibly preserve a wire tap when there isn’t one?”  He smiles hopefully at the judge as if attempting a “wink wink nudge nudge” moment which he won’t get.

“Your Honor, that’s a lie,” Alicia stands up. “The DEA showed their hand…”  Frank Asher cuts her off; “But to suggest that a U. S. Attorney would stand in open court and knowingly deny the existence of a wire tap is preposterous.”  To my shock, Judge Kluger agrees; if the DEA were wire tapping Florrick/Agos, they’d be obligated to say so.  (Does he mean in general, or in court? Either way, fascinating.)  “Or they would go to jail,” he adds.  Incensed, Alicia snaps. “The prosecution has been lying since they stepped into this courtroom!”  Her objection holds no weight with the judge, however. “I am going to deny the preservation order because there is nothing to preserve.”

“Well, then,” Cary stammers, “again we ask, Your Honor, under these circumstances,  that this warrant based on supposed testimony be thrown out!”  He builds up speed and confidence as he goes. “And the charges brought against Mr. Bishop be dismissed.”  Alicia watches as Judge Kluger excuses himself to think about Cary’s request before making a ruling.  When he leaves, she and Cary sit. “He’s ruling against us,” she guesses glumly.  Why did he take time out of court if it’s a forgone conclusion?  Cary sucks on his lips, peeved.

“Here’s a difficult decision.  Do we tell Lockhart/Gardner?”   Cary turns to Alicia, surprised. “Tell them what?”  That they’re being tapped, obviously. “I mean if we are, they are!”  Yes, although because Diane was on the original Marwat wire tap with Alicia, not because they represent Lemond Bishop.

“I did nothing wrong,” Agent Keswick tells the very unimpressed Middle Management Man.  So, wait, that means that the NSA building has to be in Chicago!  Fascinating.  “I used it exactly the way I said I would.”  Consider your honor not defended, asshat. “You endangered an NSA warrant,” The Boss says glumly.  We can see that Frick and Frack are seated around a table in between their Boss and the disgraced DEA agent.  “The subject knows she’s being surveiled!”

“Look,” says Keswick, folding his hands together, “you were encouraged to share your intel with other departments.”  Ah. “That’s what you did. In case you didn’t realize, there’s still a drug war going on in this country.”  Oh.  So they should be happy to see you mess up their (admittedly groundless, civil-rights destroying) warrant so you can what, fail to snare Lemond Bishop?  He leans back as if to say, boom! “The drug war didn’t bring down the Twin Towers,” Boss Man offers. Oh, not this again, the DEA sneers.  “Do you guys love pulling that one out!  This has gone way beyond terrorism, and you know it.”  Not that I agree with this crap warranting, but can you really go “way beyond” 9/11?  That’s a tough sell.

“I know we can’t do our job if you keep making mistakes,” Middle Management Man observes rightly.  He lifts an eyebrow at Frack.  “Tell him!”  “The subject is changing her numbers,” Frack explains. “She’s being more cautious.”  Keswick leans forward. “But about us, the DEA, not you guys.”  So that’s your defense?  That your incompetence only screwed up your own investigations, not theirs?  Awesome. Frick thinks about answering, flicking his fingers, but after a look from his boss slumps back into his seat instead.

“We’re cutting you off,” MMM proclaims.  You can’t do that, Keswick pleads. “I just did.  No more tidbits about where Bishop is picking up his drugs.  Do your own homework.” Ha.  “I would if we were given the power you had…” Right.  You’d do your own homework if only you were allowed to cheat. I don’t think you understand the concept of homework, buddy. The Boss walks out on Keswick’s pleading. Somewhat adorably, he has to return a moment later and snap for Frick and Frack, who didn’t realize they were supposed to join in his dramatic exit.

“The only explanation that makes sense is that the DEA are tapping our phones, and they’re probably tapping yours too.”  Ah.  The better angels won out, I see; Cary’s seated in front of Diane’s desk before the Queen herself.  Will and Kalinda perch by the window.  “But they denied it in court,” Will notes. “Yeah,” Cary agrees, “and they lied in court when they put that phony witness on the stand.”  Indeed.  Frank Asher’s not exactly the model of probity, is he?  “Well, thank you, Cary,” Diane nods. “We appreciate you … sharing with us.”  Just for a moment, Cary looks like a child in the principal’s office; he clears out with as much dignity as he can.

Will waits for him to be out of earshot before he asks the women what they think. “I think it would explain how the DEA got their information on Bishop,” Kalinda inhales. “It could also be a Florrick/Agos attempt to undercut our business,” Diane considers.  “We have to divulge to our clients, our clients worry about our security.”  Do they have to divulge?  If they do, so do Alicia and Cary, so I don’t really see the usefulness of that as a ploy to win over clients. “Kalinda, why don’t you find out if Cary’s telling the truth,” Diane instructs. Sure, nods Kalinda.  Ah, a chance to see her investigate again!  Wonderful.

“The motion to dismiss the charges is denied,” Judge Kluger recites without looking up from the surface of his desk, “we’re going to go to trial, any other motions, cause of actions, speak now or forever hold your peace.”  Alicia and Cary look sour. “Your Honor,” Frank Asher stands. “I have a request for substitution of counsel.”  Huh?  Is he trying to get Cary or Alicia thrown off the case?  “AUSA Alvarez will be stepping in.”  A woman with thick, sleek hair and large eyes stands up. “Why is this being done now, why not in the probable cause hearing, why is this being done now?” Judge Kluger wants to know. “I’m resigning, Your Honor,” Frank explains.

“You’re recusing yourself?” Judge Kluger guesses. “No, I mean I’m resigning from my position as U.S. Attorney,” Asher explains.  Oh.  Cary and Alicia exchange shocked glances. “Is it something we said?” Kluger wonders. Alvarez and Keswick both look extremely self-conscious. “Your Honor, it’s not you.  This is an … interoffice matter.” Huh.  Maybe he is the model of probity after all.

“What’s going on?” Cary wonders as he and Alicia ride up to their offices. The red wool coat she’s wearing today is so much better than the wild and furry one. “I don’t know,” she admits. “Some inter-agency battle?”  Cary pulls the door open and – oh, crap.  It’s Integrity’s Nelson and a flotilla of goons. “There you are!  We were just leaving.”  Do I know you, Alicia wonders, queenly as you please. “Not yet,” he threatens. “Nelson Dubeck, from the Office of Public Integrity.”  Shudder. “And this is John, Ron, and Patrick.”  Do we have an appointment, she wonders. Heavens, no.  He doesn’t go in for things like appointments, or respect, or dignity. “I’m sorry, we didn’t have time.”

“What is this regarding,” she asks coolly. “We have a videotape we would like to show you,” he nods. And that’s the end of her patient disinterest, because she knows.

Head tilted, eyes glazing over, Alicia stares at her laptop as the ballot box recording plays on its loop.  “You look like you’ve seen this before, Mrs. Florrick!” Dubeck proclaims too loudly.  “Really?  What would I look like it I hadn’t seen it?”  Ha. “Well, in my experience, when a wife sees evidence that her husband has stolen something, she is surprised.”  Oh, replies Alicia. “I see.”  She peers at the screen again, scrunching her eyes up exaggeratedly. “Which one’s my husband.”  Ha.  I love her refusal to be intimidated.

If possible, Dubeck glowers at her more. “This is serious, Mrs. Florrick.  If I were you, I would take this seriously.” Is there another way you take anything, Mr. Dubeck?  Because you kind of give the impression that you’d find raisin bran to be serious.  “Mr. Dubeck, my husband has spent every day of the last four years being investigated, every single day!  Actually, I’m wrong.  There were six months he wasn’t being investigated. The six months he was in prison.”  Yeah, actually, I’m sure someone was investigating him then too.

Dubeck shakes his head as if appalled by her. “You’re not inspiring confidence, Mrs. Florrick. ‘The only time my husband didn’t do something wrong was when he was in prison?'” Which is not what she said at all – his misinterpretation would rattle a lesser person (like me) and put them on the defensive.  Thankfully, Alicia doesn’t fall into this trap; she merely tilts her head and quirks one side of her mouth. Dubeck falls for it; is something funny?  She laughs – you can almost hear it. “I used to be like you,” she snorts. “Certain, deferential to authority.”  “Is that what I am?” he wonders, sounding like a therapist this time. “Thinking everyone being investigated is automatically guilty,” she finishes. “It’s only a matter of time.”  Ah. She fixes him in a weighty stare. “You should be investigated. It changes you.”

YES!  I love seeing her so confident.

“You know what’s different this time, Mrs. Florrick, from all the other times your husband has been investigated?” Gee. Let me guess. “This time, you were his lawyer.”  Oh.  Huh.  I thought he was going to say it was different because he was the one doing the investigating.  Uh oh. “Yup.  On election night.  This time, you can go to prison yourself.”  So much for the vaunted attorney client privilege preventing everyone but Marilyn from going to jail. He pulls the flash drive out of her laptop. “That’s what will really change you.”

Are you serving a subpoena or not, she asks.  No, he says.  Just seeing if you would break without one!  “Thank you,” she smirks, “but no.”

He stands up.  “I’d get my affairs in order if I were you, Mrs. Florrick,” he threatens. “You’ve got kids to think about.  Your new law firm.”  I’m not sure there is a law firm if Peter and Alicia both end up in jail, but thanks for the concern.  She waits until Dubeck before pouncing on her phone; the minute her hand touches it she thinks better of the idea and fishes through her purse for the compromised burner phone.

“Eli, where’s Peter?” she asks, the phone crackling loud enough to make Eli squint at his. “Where are you calling me from, China?”  Har har. When he explains that Peter’s on Broadway (er, sorry, in a meeting) she catches him up on the situation.  The Office of Public Integrity has the tape!  They have the tape!  Red Alert!  At first he declares it to be impossible, but when she insists that she’s seen the tape, he barks at Nora to fetch Marilyn, now.  Though Alicia can’t quite believe Marilyn would narc on them, Eli understands too late that he’s probably burned a bridge he needed.

He shuts himself into his office and whispers into the phone. “I need to ask you a question,” he breathes. “Marilyn was under the impression that an old … friend of yours could hurt Peter.”  Oh, God, you foolish, trusting people, SHUT UP! Alicia blinks. Who?  Eli had been trying to be sensitive – would that she had picked up on it! – but no, he has to spell it out. “Will.”  How long will it take before Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum pick up on this?  She doesn’t understand how this relates. “He found the video.  He was the one who told Peter the votes were fraudulent.”  I don’t think that Alicia knew that, did she?  That Peter knew before the newspaper managed to get a hold of the tape?  “The feds have nothing unless they have him.” God, what a way to say it. Tweedle Dum spins a pen between his fingers. “Do you have any … influence left there?”  Ha.  Now that’s funny. “No,” she admits.

Tweedle Dum mutes the conversation and smacks his pen against the glass wall separating him from Tweedle Dee.  “You get more on that drug dealer?”  Tweedle Dum grins maliciously. “Better!”

A phone rings, but all we know is skin and sheets and a woman’s hand with a ring grasping a man’s forearm,  her voice saying don’t.  Oh God, not Isabelle again.  I am so not interested in her epic tantric sex fests with Will.  Oh! Wait! The woman is Kalinda!  My first muzzy thought is that Kalinda’s sleeping with Will, which is so wrong I think my brain just broke.  But then Cary asks “What if it’s important” and Kalinda smirks that then he’ll miss an important call, and it still takes me a minute to see him as Cary because we were talking about Will before the scene transition, and lets face it, if someone’s going to have a sex scene on this show it’s usually Will or Kalinda.  But not both together, ew!  Anyway.  Sorry.  That just freaked me out a little.  A lot.  Enough to forget that I’m not really happy to see Kalinda and Cary in bed, either, what with the friendship and the work thing and the espionage and the using.

The two of them move beneath a striped sheet tent, and Kalinda hovers slowly on top. “Why were you giving me the silent treatment?” she wonders, looking him right in the eyes.  “I can’t trust you,” he shakes his head, looking right up at her.  Man, this must have been awkward to film.  “Why not?” she asks, and he laughs softly. “Well I can’t trust you either,” she laughs. “That’s true,” he nods, more serious. “Mutually assured destruction,” she quips, and he chuckles in agreement, and they kiss, and when she pulls back she goes in for the kill.

“Were you telling the truth about the wire tap?”  Damn it, I thought we were going to get to see her do her home; why are the writers only using her for her body these days?  He exhales one of his almost laughs, bringing his hand up to her cheek.  What a moment for a grilling. “That Lockhart/Gardner is being wire tapped?  Yes.”  What’re you doing about it, she wonders.  Um, what does that mean?  Is  she implying he should somehow save L/G from this fate?  “Buying burner phones.”  Oh.  I see.  Sorry.  “Did you alert clients?”  Seriously, who the hell talks like that during sex?  “We talked about it,” he admits. “But you haven’t yet?”  He takes her face in both hands.“We’re getting our house in order. And you should too.”  She searches his face, and his palm opens so his left thumb pulls back from her cheek. “Kalinda, I’m telling the truth.”

And the next thing we see is Kalinda in an emerald blouse,  opening Diane’s door. “He’s lying.”  Snort.  What a bad time for your radar to malfunction, Kalinda.  I liked you much better when you were smarter than everyone and not just sexier. “You’re sure?” Diane wonders.  She is.  Immediately, Diane picks up her compromised phone and dials her partner.  As she lays her glasses on her desk, she brings him up to speed. “We’re okay,” she says, her voice transformed into a green wiggly chart on Frack’s computer screen.  Well, you can’t say you didn’t try, Cary.  Maybe that’s what Kalinda saw – that he was trying too hard to seem trustworthy?

“Cary wants us to chase our tails?”  Will guess, and Diane agree that it looks that way.  Frack listens intently, shaking his head, and as the camera pulls back I can see he’s wearing a white t-shirt that says Bazinga! in big cartoon letters – which, amusingly enough, is something his predecessor wore.  Or at least, it was a t-shirt with that same bit of onomatopoeia on it.  “Wow,” he grins, tossing a what looks like a really large hackey sack in his hands, “it’s almost fun to watch.”  Frick, who’s now wearing a dark denim button down (so formal!), has hoisted himself up on Frack’s desk, one elbow leaning on the divider. “I think Will and Diane end up getting it on,” he muses dreamily, like he’s in the middle of binge viewing a television show and is speculating on how it all ended.  Frack sneers. “What?  You’re crazy.”  Listen to them, Frick insists. Frack wrinkles up his nose. “That is not sexual attraction!” He chucks his ball at Frick.  “You need a life.”

So true.  Of course, you could say the same of fans.  Not that I would, but I can see the case for it. What’s worse, treating fictional characters as if they were real, or treating real people as if they were fictional characters that exist largely for your amusement?  I know where I stand.

Robyn’s leading a briefing on the new AUSA, Theresa Alvarez.  Texas Tech undergrad, Northwestern Law, used to specialize in tax fraud. “Where was she born?” Charles Lester wonders, peeling something with a small knife and putting slivers of it in his mouth.  A pear?  Cheese?  It’s pale and thin, whatever it is.  “Where does she live?”  We don’t need that, Alicia shuts him down.  Yes we do, he insists. Ah, it’s an apple.

“We should look into Asher,” Cary cuts the argument off. “Find out why he resigned.”  Now that’s smart. “He’s a law and order type, so, my guess is that when he heard about the wire taps, it didn’t sit well.”  Cary shakes his head as if to clear his thoughts, but Lester smiles. “A crisis of conscience?”  Right. I’m sure you can’t imagine such a thing, but they do exist. “Only one way to find out,” Cary argues, and Robyn nods her agreement.

“I am not answering that question,” Frank Asher smiles. “Sir, if you’re aware of illegal activities…” Robyn begins, doe eyed and sympathetic.”What I’m  aware of is that my responsibility to this office doesn’t end with my departure.”  They could argue that in exposing illegal prosecutions and practices you’d be ultimately protecting and promoting your office, but she and Charles Lester are not quite going that persuasive route. “It ends if someone in the government committed a crime,” Robyn declares, pointing a finger and smiling in triumph. “Hey!  How’s Taius!” Lester grins, pointing at Asher’s desk. What kind of name is that?  “Excuse me?” the ex-prosecutor wonders. “Your son, Taius.  He goes to Tisch right now, right? My nephew Akiva goes there, he loves the place.” Dude, you are NOT threatening his family!  That’s so the wrong tactic here.  I can’t even believe Alicia and Cary let him go without them.  My son is fine, Asher says.

“And your daughter, Scarlett, she plays on that AYSO team, am I right?”  Oh God. Asher has heard enough. “Alright,” he snaps, moving out from behind his soon to be former desk. “This is what’s going to happen, Mr. Lester.  You are going to leave my office, or I am going to call the marshal and have you arrested.”  Yeah, that was predictable. You’d think that Lester would have been smarter than that, but perhaps old habits – or entrenched ways of seeing the world – die hard.  Poor Robyn tries valiant to pull something, anything, out of the ruined meeting. “Sir.  I’m sorry.” She crosses her hands over her heart. “I used to work as an investigator for Treasury.  So I get what you’re going through.” He gives her a patient, almost pitying look. “Sometimes you see something that doesn’t make sense.  Something wrong.  And you can’t participate.  But it’s also wrong to pretend it didn’t happen.”

And, thank you.  That’s the avenue you should have been pursuing from the beginning.

“Nice try using my conscience against me,” he sneers. Oh well.  It was a good try, a better try than any other method they used, certainly.  Asher begins to take items from around the room and pack them.  “Lemond Bishop is a scumbag who should be dropped in the deepest hole of the U.S. penitentiary service.”  I can’t help laughing at the way Lester’s jaw drops, as if he’s somehow shocked to find anyone thinking this way (or maybe just willing to say it?) about his boss. “But this isn’t about him, or the DEA.”  Robyn wrinkles up her entire face. “The wire tap isn’t?  What’s it about?”  Suddenly conscious that he’s said too much, Asher tries bravado. “If I have a confession to make, I’ll make it to my priest,” he tells them, and then walks out the door. Robyn and Charles Lester look at each other. “This isn’t over yet,” he declares, pointing at her.

And there’s poor Frank Asher on the witness stand in Judge Kluger’s courtroom. Lester’s doing the cross. “Mr. Asher, the warrant … strike that.  Given that, um … strike that.” He crinkles a stack of lined yellow pages between his hands. “Did you prepare the warrant that is the subject of this probable cause hearing?  That’s the one!” Congratulations for asking the right question, buddy, but it’s not going to make us underestimate you.  Alvarez, of course, objects: the prosecutor’s work product shouldn’t be admissible. “Yes, until he resigned two days ago.”  He’s still privy to our trial strategy, she declares, but that’s not what Lester’s asking about, he promises. “This is about the prosecution perjuring themselves.” Kluger purses his lips. “Ouch. In what way?”  We believe there’s an active wire tap, he explains; Alvarez makes it sound like this is the product of his imagination. “This is a fishing expedition!”  Yeah, the judge agrees, but it’s actually pretty specific for a fishing expedition.  He’ll allow it. “But be ready for a great, Monty Python-sized boot coming down on your head, Mr. Lester, if you stray too far afield.”  Ha!  Awesome.

What he wants to know is if the warrant was based on the sworn affadavit of Lee Keswick.  Reluctantly, Asher answers yes. “Are you aware of any wire taps that were actually the undisclosed basis of this warrant?” Again Alvarez objects (no foundation).  Lester gapes like a fish and so Alicia steps up (and in). “Of course there’s no foundation,” she counters the argument. “If the warrant was fabricated, the foundation’s been concealed.”  Lester shoots her a pleased and grateful look, and Judge Kluger overrules the objection. Twice, he instructs a contemplative looking Asher to answer – and instead, Asher pleads the fifth.  NO!  The defense lawyers exchanged surprised glances.

“Well,” declares Judge Kluger, “we have ourselves a ballgame.”

As you knew she would, Alvarez objects.  You can’t draw an adverse conclusion from someone invoking the fifth. You can wish, lady. “Thank you, counselor, I’m actually familiar with the constitution,” the judge shuts her down.  Ha.  “Do you have any further thoughts?”  Lester gapes, again. “No, Your Honor.”

Poor Frank Asher walks out of court, past Alicia, Cary and Robyn caucusing in the hallway. “Well that went better than expected,” Alicia observes. “Robyn, what’d you say Asher said about the wiretaps?” Cary wonders, an abstract look on his face. “The thing about it not being about Bishop?” she floats.  He nods. “Or the DEA, right?  Have you ever heard of parallel construction?”  Nope.  “Well,” he says, pulling his phone out of his pocket. “This is a Reuters article on the NSA.”  The NSA, Alicia replies, shocked. “Yeah. They’ve been handing tips, gleaned from their surveillance, on to other departments, including the DEA.”  Both women stare at him, stunned, as the NSA’s music starts to play in the background. “What?” Alicia gasps. “Yeah. So, according to this article, the DEA can’t use classified information to build a case.   So it creates a new evidence trail.” Like the real estate agent, Robyn realizes. “Yeah,” Cary agrees, putting his phone back in his suit jacket pocket. “That’s parallel construction.”

“So,” a baffled Alciia tries to work her way through this, “you’re suggesting that the NSA is surveiling Bishop.”  Yeah, Cary says for the fourth time, ” Or us.”

Which brings us to Middle Management Man, sweating the details back at the NSA.  He’s opening up a laptop in the little conference cubicle. “”You know we’re trying to fight terrorists here,” he confirms, not wanting to be scoffed at again even if the link here is embarrassingly thin. “I do know that,” a deep voice answers. “It’s a very important job.  You’ve also been asked to assist our investigation.”  Damned if it isn’t the chief bully of the moment, Nelson Dubeck. “We have a leak from this warrant,” MMM cautions. “Not from our department,” Dubeck replies with utter certainty.  No, but that’s not the point. “The target knows she’s being surveiled.” The bully is peeved. “Well again that’s not…” and here he modulates his voice back to an even tone, “my department.  What do you have?”

After a measuring look, MMM replays the conversation about the Feds having nothing if they don’t have Will.

“Yes,” Dubeck nods, “that is interesting.”

“You know, this is one is tough,” Judge Kluger says, walking into his courtroom.  “Because – thank you,” he waves them all back into their seats, “on the one hand we have a quantity of cocaine found on the defendant…” Wait, we do?  If they have the cocaine why are we arguing about when he moved it and whether he was involved?  Alicia stands and interrupts him, which seems like a bad idea to me. “Your Honor, we would dispute..” but he keeps talking right over her, and so she just stands, looking foolish. “And on the other,” he says, holding a brief up in the air, “we have a witness who can’t seem to tell one day from another, and a prosecutor who just won’t talk.”  Now it’s Theresa Alvarez’s turn to attempt to stay the judge. “If I may,” she asks. “No, you may not. This is when I talk,” he declares, giving her a glum look over his glasses, “and you listen. Despite Miss Alvarez’s admonition, the court may and does draw an adverse inference from Mr. Asher’s performance. I find the warrant at issue to be compromised, and therefor the motion to quash is granted.”  He bangs his gavel as Alvarez hangs her head in defeat.  Bishop and his team stand, thrilled; he slaps Lester on the shoulder and shares a firm handshake with Cary and Alicia.

“You can’t cross the line and act like you didn’t cross the line!” a man from that hideous fake AMC show says, a gun pointed at the blonde from the first preview.  The speaker clearly subscribes to the James T. Kirk school of acting, his phrasing full of strange and inappropriate pauses. “Then shoot me,” she insists, walking right up to the gun and pressing it to her sternum. “Who’s that?”  Maybe it’s not the girl who was slamming the homeless-looking guy into the police cruiser at the beginning of the last episode, then. “It’s his girlfriend.  She’s pregnant.”  Oh.  Looks like excellent parenting material there! “Well, why does he want to kill her?” Alicia asks, lost. “She was with his partner,” Grace explains, utterly rapt.  “Okay,” Alicia says slowly, “I think this will make more sense if I get more wine.”  No, but it’s definitely true is that you won’t care if it doesn’t if you have enough wine.

In the kitchen, Alicia stands next to the wine bottle and picks up her phone instead. “Kluger!”  Huh.  “Hi,” she smiles,” Judge.  Alicia Florrick. I hope this is a good time.”  What can I do for you, he asks, sitting at his desk in just a button down and tie, papers spread out in front of him. “Oh, I wanted to reschedule our lunch.”  “You did?” he asks.  You did, I wonder?  “Yes, I wanted to talk about your book?”  Oh, that’s very kind of you, he says crisply. “I’ve decided not to write that book.”  Well.  That’s a brush off if I’ve ever heard one. Maybe he’s figured out that she’s still wire tapped. “Oh,” she says. “See, publishing, it’s a mugs game.”  Huh? “I’m learning Mandarin.”

“I see,” she smiles, and tries again. Oh, girl. Leave it in his court. (Um, so to speak.) “Well, we could … ”  “Yes, and I’ve mastered a new phrase,” he says.  “Tsai Jing.  It means ‘good night.'”  Seriously, could he be any clearer?  Or more rude?  Frick sits at his desk, shaking his head. Returning to his seat, Frack notices that something’s wrong and asks about it. “Nothing, I just feel bad for her.”  No way! Is that a speck of human kindness?  Surely not.  “The Florrick lady?” Frack asks. Yep. “Don’t worry, she’ll be alright.”

“You think so?” Frick asks seriously.  “No,” Frack sneers. “I don’t know. It’s none of our business, anyway.”  And with that, the Lockhart/Gardner elevators ding open to reveal Nelson Dubeck, crusader for integrity, followed by John, Ron and Patrick in a perfect pyramid, the NSA music rolling behind them.  The office is dark, but of course Will is still in his office. “Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Gardner,” Dubeck says. “Yeah,” says Will, backing away from his bar with a drink in hand, “I had a feeling it was one of those ‘speak to me now or speak to me later kind of things.” Heh.  Well, unlike Keswick, we can see that Dubeck does know how to do his homework, and he’s done it quickly, sniffing Will right out. Just a few questions, Dubeck says, sitting while his goon squad looks intimidating flanking the door. Will prefaces his involvements with this: “If any of these questions touch on Governor Florrick’s or the time I represented him then I am bound by attorney/client privilege.”  Ah.  Anticipating him, are you?  Let’s hope this decision tree works out better for you than the last.

“You are not bound if you are asked to protect an on-going conspiracy,” Dubeck asserts.  How fascinating it is that he has all these reasons that his victims should cooperate – Marilyn, Alicia, Will – and they all operate on different legal theories.  Or, well, maybe Will and Alicia’s are the same, but he’s arguing them differently.  “What ongoing conspiracy?”  Will wonders. “The election fraud this video depicts,” Dubeck tells him, waving the flash drive, “and the ensuing cover up you participated in constitutes an on-going crime.  Now if you answer my questions, I can offer a grant of transactional immunity.” He lets the words sink in. “But you have to cooperate fully.”

Will looks at him for a moment before reciting his answer. “If any of your questions touch upon Governor Florrick or the time I represented him…”  Dubeck cuts him off; he’s like the Terminator, relentless. “I was under the impression that Governor Florrick’s wife stole some of your top clients,” he offers.  Ha.  We’re giving Will a chance to let someone else punish Alicia for her betrayal?  That’s never going to happen.  He’s incapable of it. Will just stares. “You’ll really do hard time for him?”  No.  Not for Peter. He stares, and then he says it again, his mantra: “If any of your questions touch upon Governor Florrick…”

“Alright,” Dubeck admits defeat and pulls out a blue document, folded in thirds.  “This is a subpoena.  Let’s see how your resolve stands up against a grand jury.”  Cornering Will and calling him out?  That’s so not going to work, no matter how much he hates Peter. “Or, you could talk to me now.”  He holds back the warrant, just in case. Will stares a little more. “It’s nice meeting you, Mr. Dubeck,” he dismisses the man.  “And you,” Dubeck says, standing. “See you again very soon,” he finishes, tossing the subpoena down on Will’s desk. “Can’t wait,” Will replies, bringing his drink to his lips.  Dubeck walks out.

And, damn.  That was so much!  I mean, seriously, what a beautifully orchestrated piece of television.  So many working pieces, so much plot!  Bullies on top of bullies, liars on liars, questions about human compassion and connection and standards – who has them, who doesn’t, courage and pragmatism, who you are when the chips are down and how different that might be from what you imagined.

First off, Darkness at Noon.  I love the way Alicia’s baffled by the serial aspects of the show, the deep and complicated relationships between the characters. I love the parallels to our characters with line crossing. For all I get frustrated with him for acting like a cave man – like he owned Alicia even when they were separated – Peter’s the only one honest enough not to pretend that lines got crossed.   And man, lines got crossed all over the place.

What a great perplexing character Judge Kluger is.  This is the role that finally converted me to a Jeffrey Tambor fan; I’ve always thought he was overrated, but wow.  Of course the role is beautifully written – he’s so sharp edged, so twitchy, so mercurial – but that’s a lot to pull off.  And Wallace Shawn.  He’s just so great.

I can’t be the only one maddened by the way they’re using Kalinda this season, can I?  Seriously, there were so many ways she could have – should have – looked into the possible wire tapping.  Talked to Robyn, looked into the case, shown up at court for the rest of the sessions (unlike Will and Diane, who apparently stopped caring about getting Bishop’s drug money midway through the episode?), anything. Now, okay.  Just like Eli with Marilyn, it serves the story for her to make a mistake.  Leaving aside whether Marilyn would have caved and given Dubeck the flash drive – she seems to well informed about her rights and her job to buy his line, especially when he didn’t even offer her the immunity he offered Will – it serves the story.

But really, the meat of this episode is the NSA wiretapping; I almost called it an investigation, but it honestly doesn’t look like they’re looking into anything.  They’re just listening.  Other people do the homework part.  It creeps me the heck out, but it’s such a compelling, squirm inducing story.  To use the cliche, I can feel the noose tightening around Alicia like it was around my own neck, and it’s terrifying and awesome.  I don’t know how anyone is going to get out of serving jail time this time, but this is what the show does so well, and I am loving it.  And hating it, because man does it wind me up, but mostly loving it.

What about you guys?  Still thinking about this week’s episode?  What’d you think?

*Adding two fun TGW links.  First, an old Buzzfeed post ranking guest stars.  It makes me think about how different my own list would be.

Also, there’s this gorgeous print ad campaign, starring Julianna as today’s Grace Kelly: I happen to have a poster sized copy of the second to last image from last week’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Not to mention this news – get ready for Season Six!

 

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2 comments on “The Good Wife: Parallel Construction, Bitches

  1. Kiki says:

    E!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Our show is back and S6 is a go!!!!!!!!!

    So glad to see your review. I am not sure I can even comment on last week, cause I am still recovering from last night HAHA!!

    Great review as well!!

    I love that you link to the Julianna AA ad heheheh <3

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