E: The Florrick family apartment is getting an inspection. Will the wifi interfere with Peter’s electronic monitoring, should he come home? Are there weapons in the house? (Do knives count? Apparently, because the inspector wants to see the knife drawer.) We see the maids’ room, made up for Peter to sleep in. Just as the family starts to fret over what it all might mean, Alicia gets a call from Diane. We need you here now, says Diane (in full, and very flattering, formal wear): bring clothes for 48 hours and a man’s tie. Wow. Now that could have been a fun party game in other circumstances. We see Diane hugging a hysterical woman named Sonia Rutgers at the office elevators.
Poor Cary has just begun a party of his own. Candles, beautiful girl, and – mushrooms. Oh, dude, you didn’t think you were actually going to get the day off, did you? Will – looking devastating in a casual leather jacket – calls him in. Funny, right, since Cary’s Diane’s boy and Alicia’s Will’s? Anyway. The ‘shrooms will kick in in an hour – just enough time for him to get dressed and arrive at work. Now that’s a recipe for disaster.
Kalinda arrives at Sonia’s house – a gorgeous brick pile in a gated community – amidst a sea of police cars, and skips in with a slimy/sexy detective we’ve seen her charm before. We scratch her back, he says to Lt. Fancy (remember James McDaniel, from NYPD Blue?), and she scratches ours. We find out that Sonia’s babysitter has been brutally murdered – in fact, we get to see how brutally she’s been splattered all over the bathroom. Naked, of course. Kalinda, observant and worth the detective’s time, points them in the direction of the murder weapon – the poker missing from the downstairs hearth. She also identifies a small black disk as the anti-slip pad from the bottom of a laptop. The husband is supposed to be out at a movie, and no one has gotten in touch with him. But because that’s just how this show goes, he and Alicia ride up in the elevator together. They wonder together what on earth has happened – he thinks it’s a disaster with his wife’s company.
Background: the husband, Jason, is a recently unemployed cartoonist and wife Sonia runs an internet company which Diane represents. The murder victim, Lisa Prewitt, babysat their kids who we thankfully never see. One hopes they were asleep during the murder. The body was found by the neighborhood’s security guy, a creepy skirt chaser. The only people with the code to the house? The housekeeper, the babysitter, the husband and the guard. Kalinda looks into the guard as a possible suspect, while everyone else hunkers down. Will gives some alarming speeches about the next 48 hours affecting all of Jason’s life; the police will either charge him or release him. That’s how long they can hold him without charge. Back at the house, the police decide it looks like attempted rape, and despite Kalinda’s attempt to present the guard as a suspect, they rush off to arrest the husband. After telling the police where he was, Will has Jason hooked up to a polygraph to decide how much they can let him talk. Ouch. Looks like he was doing well when the police came in and dragged him off.
Is it just me, btw, or does this theory not make sense? A poker seems an unlikely weapon for forcible rape. Too awkward to hold while also attempting to hold another person, yes? You’d have to posit that she resisted successfully, and he went downstairs for the poker for retribution. It struck me more like something you’d only pick up if your intent was to cause harm, not to threaten it.
Okay. Let’s hop over to the appellate court, where Peter has just told his lawyer Golden that he intends to take the stand. “Would it help if I told you that’s a mistake,” Golden wants to know. “Look – if I end up in a 12×12 cell for the next 9 years, I just wanna know I did everything I could.” Fine, then, but it’s such an ego move on Peter’s part. You know he thinks he’s too smart to get tripped up. And indeed, he claims he “d.p.’ed” the cases (declined to prosecute) only because he had to divert resources to an anti-terrorism case. What a hero. He didn’t bring any of this up at trial because he didn’t want to admit to the sex. Now he’s admitting to it.
Am I the only one wondering if they’d ever let Peter home? I can’t help but wonder if his machinations wouldn’t completely overwhelm Alicia and the life she’s building for herself. He couldn’t work, of course, because he wouldn’t be able to leave the house, but that wouldn’t stop the swirl of plots around him. I don’t know. I’m expecting – well, maybe the appeal won’t fail, so we get to see his retrial, but that they might make him wait from prison? Can they do that? Either way, harder to make the show about her with him out of jail, so the easiest way to balance things would seem to be keeping him in it.
Kalinda interviews the neighbors (who suspect the security guard of breaking into their houses so he could swoop in to their rescue) and Lisa’s college friends. A girl suggests darkly that Lisa was selling drugs, but the tall geeky boy, Max, doesn’t believe it. He thinks it was the father, that Lisa was working on a project with him, stopped, and was afraid of him. This is around the point where Lt. Fancy reveals that the movie playing in China town earlier in the evening wasn’t subtitled, a fact Jason didn’t know, which of course demolishes his alibi. Is it wrong that all I really care about in this scene is Will’s sexy intensity? And Cary, hilariously staring at his tie; Alicia is doing a good job of protecting him from Will’s notice, because he barely speaks and makes these silly moves all night. Will hustles Fancy out of the room. Alicia coaxes Jason into confessing (to her, not to the police) that he had a secret studio to work on his graphic novel. Lisa had been writing it with him.
What if he did it, Alicia asks Will. We’re not here to find the truth, he replies. “We’re here to defend our client… truth is above our pay grade.” That is distinctly less sexy. Pragmatic, but not sexy. Alicia rushes off to case the studio before the police get a look at it; they find out from Lisa’s computer, and she’s got about five frantic minutes to remove anything that looks bad – like, oh, a hairbrush with blond hair in it, and a bra on the towel rack – before the place becomes a crime scene. For good measure, she snags a short story and a lawyer’s card. Could there have been a copyright dispute? Alicia’s completely horrified. She takes the stuff, coached all the while by Will on the phone, but the whole thing makes her feel dirty and vile.
Diane presses Sonia about the studio. Did she know about it? What does she know about Lisa and Jason. “Is he innocent?” Diane really wants to know. “Of?”, asks Sonia. Sonia has been having serious doubts about his fidelity. This is the point where everyone remember that of course Sonia would have the alarm code, too. Now Diane is worried that Sonia might have done it – and not less when Kalinda finds a mail slip and figures out that Sonia hadn’t been working all night but went home for at least a few minutes. Diane even sneaks a peak at Sonia’s laptop, but the pads are all there.
Child has permission to cross examine Peter himself – frankly, I’m surprised the judge didn’t sustain Golden’s objection since the entire defense is that Childs framed Peter to steal his job – and Peter thinks that’s just fine. He’s so smugly certain he’ll beat him. There’s some frank discussion about the 18 assignations Peter had with Amber Madison. (Okay, first, 18 times $30,000, which he claimed to have paid – how on earth does he get that sort of money to just throw around without Alicia noticing? And also, weren’t there supposed to be multiple girls? That was the impression I got in the beginning. Why do we only hear about her?) Yuck. Clearly, Childs believes he can prove that Peter had sex in his home, not just in hotels, and Peter is smugly certain that he can’t be caught in what is certain to be a lie. I don’t get why Peter is engaging in this pissing contest. Does he think that would be the straw that crashed his marriage down? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be bad, from Alicia’s point of view, or that it isn’t scummy, but so destructive that he’d blow his appeal for it? When he’s already been exposed in so many lies? Couldn’t they have Madison refute it? Or use the wire taps of the Florrick’s phones?
Anyway, Sonia was not so trusting as Alicia, and set up a nanny cam in the house to try and catch Jason with Lisa. Kalinda was trying to get a look at the camera when she finds the mail slip and is served. Childs thinks that Kalinda is his ace, and subpoenaed her, much to her annoyance. Is he right, that all it would take is Peter being caught in one lie – however irrelevant to the case it might be – to scotch his appeal? That doesn’t make sense to me. After all, the appeal is about new evidence for a new trial. Does it actually matter where he had the sex? Over drinks, she tells Alicia not to go to court the next day. You don’t want to know the truth, she says. Alicia gulps down her drink. No, she doesn’t want to know.
Cary finally returns to himself, about 36 hours after the ‘shrooms. Why didn’t you tell, he asks Alicia, what with us competing for the same job and all. It boils down to this; she feels like they’re in the foxhole together. “I don’t want you to lose,” she finishes. “I don’t want you to lose, either. I kinda like you. ” “I’m surprised,” she responds, ” but I kinda like you too.” He starts blathering about his competitive nature, but she stops him. Don’t give me that scorpion and the frog story. I hate that story too, he says. Why do people always insist on telling it? To excuse their bad behavior, she believes. Well, there’s a lot of that going around.
After Kalinda proves with the mail slip that Sonia had been home earlier in the evening, Diane and Will decide they need to separately represent Jason and Sonia. One of them will be charged tonight and changed forever. They’re sure of it. Good thing that Kalinda isn’t. She’s called the number on the card Alicia found at the studio, which is for a law office specializing in adoptions. There’s motive for you – Lisa was pregnant and planning on giving away the baby. A man might think that would ruin his life. A man like, it turns out, dorky Max; when Kalinda goes to see him for more dirt, he claims that Lisa told him she was pregnant with Jason’s baby. Kalinda, who knows that Jason had a vasectomy, talks Max into going to the police with his alleged information, and has him bring along his laptop – which, of course, is missing a pad. Turns out that Jason let Lisa meet Max at the studio (it was a love nest after all, just not for the people we thought) and Max tried unsuccessfully to get Lisa to have an abortion. Was their affair so secret that none of Lisa’s friends knew? Huh. Either way, now the poker makes more sense. He didn’t stalk her in order to force her to do anything. He killed her at the Rutger’s to cast suspicion on Jason. Cold blood.
For a group of people who aren’t out to discover the truth, they stumble upon it pretty damn often. Like Alicia and Cary, like the scorpion, I think this show likes to have it both ways – gritty but also, an ending that feels fair. The real villain gets what he deserves. I suspect a lot of viewers like that too. But maybe I just think that because I like it like that, too.
Well, now, this is ugly. Turns out Peter fired Kalinda because she was also working for Childs. That man had his tentacles everywhere, didn’t he? Childs wants Kalinda to help him nail Peter for perjury, which he thinks will scuttle the appeal. I don’t know if I agree, although of course it would be bad and it was a stupid thing to lie about. Instead, clever Kalinda essentially blackmails the judge (Animal House‘s Peter Riegert), indicating that he was the patron #12, and that she’d reveal that information on the record unless he calls the case for Peter, which he swiftly does. I’m not sure this will stop the information from coming out – or that it will save Kalinda from being put in this position again – but it does the trick for now. New trial, Mr. Florrick. Meet your electronic ankle monitor, and welcome home. I’ll admit it – I didn’t see that coming, not the way it went down, or the fact that they let him out. I will be really curious to see how they balance all this, but I have faith in these writers. I can’t wait to see how they work it out.
Some important details we learn from her testimony which no one comments on are that there was a great deal of research done to determine the needs of the person these real estate moguls wanted to bribe/coerce with the prostitutes – though I’m honestly not sure how you’d find out that someone had a southern plantation fantasy. More importantly that if the “client” tried to pay, his money would be returned, specifically to make clear that these guys were owned by the suppliers. If that’s true, then shouldn’t there be an indication that Peter’s alleged money – as mentioned in previous testimony – was returned?
Will and Diane discuss Max’s confession while watching Sonia and Jason through the glass walls. Turns out Jason lent Max and Lisa the studio for their trysts, hence her hair and bra turning up there. The Rutgers don’t look happy, they observe. “I don’t understand marriage,” says Will. “It’s a mysterious institution,” agrees Diane. “You never wanted it?” Will questions. “Is that a proposal?” drawls Diane. “Yes,” comes the clear answer, “I’ve been watching you from afar.”
I love this show. I just love this show.
Alicia, Grace, Zach and Jackie sit nervously in their living room, waiting for the doorbell, waiting for Peter to come home. They’re all tense. The doorbell rings. Alicia rises, then turns back. “I love you both,” she makes the kids know. She fusses with herself in the hall mirror, and then stills herself, annoyed. She opens the door. It takes him a second or two to reach her eyes. “Hi,” he breathes.