E: Fictional world, you are breaking my heart. Why must you hurt my poor Alicia so? Almost every element of this episode has been designed to pick at the cracks of Alicia’s facade, to curl strong fingers around the edges of her protective armor and pull. This show, in essence, boils down to the fundamental questions of how to live in this world, and how to do good when the templates for behavior fail or conflict. Should Alicia be a “good” old fashioned wife – should she stand by her man as Peter and Jackie want? Is her empathy her greatest gift, her loyalty, or her intelligence? Should she leave Peter and be the strong modern woman who’s nobody’s doormat? What do her vows mean, and what is her responsibility to her children? After nearly a year of holding those conflicting roles together, and withstanding crushing pressure, Alicia’s emotional resources seem nearly used up.
The episode begins as it should, with Zach and Grace listening through a crack in the door. Zach’s eye appears between the door and the frame; Grace is listening, too, worried and tense. We hear Peter and Alicia fighting in the background. Grace is convinced Alicia’ll divorce Peter, despite Zach’s attempts to stay positive. I have to say, Alicia comes out sounding pretty bad. If you don’t know the context, if you don’t know what he did, if you’re just two frightened kids desperately wanting their old lives back and wanting their parents to love each other, and you hear your Dad pleading with your Mom to stay, to help him, to work on their marriage and she coldly says no – well, it’s going to freak you out. And they were seriously freaked out.
And the freakage hits a whole other level when the alarm goes off.
As the “previously on The Good Wife” scenes reminded us, Peter needs to answer the phone by the 5th ring to assure the police that the monitor is going off by accident, or they’ll show up and he’ll be “terminated from the program.” They race into the front hall, and Zach charges to the elevator. Peter’s gone.
Alicia walks into the dark outside to hail a cab, telling Will over her cell that she’s trying to be spontaneous. He’s putting on a brand new shirt (or perhaps a fancily cleaned one – otherwise he’d need to iron it after taking it out of the packaging), and has reservations for them in 40 minutes at a cafe. He’s clearly excited. Alicia’s halfway into the cab when Peter runs out after her. She’s horrified. “Peter, no!” We’ve never heard this level of panic and fear in her voice. “I love you,” he says, intense, passionate. “You can’t be down here!” she begs. “Please don’t leave me.” “You have to be upstairs, Peter,” she says, looking away. “I can’t lose you. I can’t lose Zach, I can’t lose Grace.” She grabs him by the hand and drags him back inside speed-dialing Golden as they go. “Tell him it’s an emergency – Peter’s going to be arrested in 20 minutes!”
The scene shifts to a panicked Grace and Zach running around the apartment in the vain hope that Peter might be, perhaps, hiding in a kitchen cabinet or under his bed. The doorbell rings; Anil Verma, the son of the building manager, is investigating noise complaints by the neighbors. (Or at least that’s what the imdb says his name is – I swear it sounds like Amol or Amal to me. I’d even buy Anmol. Anyway, I’m reluctantly sticking with the imdb, since I’m not sure of how to spell it the other way, but this would hardly be the first time they were wrong about guest roles on this show.) I can certainly imagine no one enjoys listening to that.
And then the phone rings.
Zach wants to answer. Grace doesn’t. They agree to pick it up and lie, and they do. He’s in the shower, Grace says unconvincingly, calling out, closing doors in a desperate attempt to buy time. She’s close to tears. He’s not there, is he, says the voice on the phone. Yes, yes he is, she pleads, but they’re not buying it. They’re going to take Dad back to jail, she quavers – and Zach does a little quick thinking. He grabs his skateboard, smashes the monitoring machine, and then skates up into it, up into the bookcase. He flies back and lands heavily on his right arm.
Alicia stairs woodenly at the door of the elevator. “What do we do, Peter? You’re going back to jail.” “I know,” he says. They step off the elevator to find Zach still lying on the floor, clutching his arm. Grace is still trying to talk the police out of coming. “No, he’s here,” she says, “it was a skateboard. He’s with my brother – he’s bleeding.” First the shower, now the skateboard injury – you can’t blame the police for being suspicious (even if that is their natural state). “What are you doing,” Alicia hisses. “Keeping Dad out of jail,” says Grace.
When we’re back from the title sequence, we see a red haired woman in black high heels and a grey pantsuit (with an orange shirt) taking pictures of the apartment. Anil corroborates the story with the police, who ask for his license. Alicia (still stunned by Zach’s actions) is distracted by the woman taking pictures of her living room. The stranger starts fluttering on oddly about the bookcases.
The policeman who installed the monitor wants Alicia to comment on Grace’s story that Zach was attempting a “crooked grind” – hee – and broke the machine. Nice. “Sheriff, she’s just a kid,” Alicia responds (why? is she going to tell the truth?). “Meaning, what,” he snorts, “she’s lying?” Very good question, sir. It’s nice that Alicia’s instinct is for honesty, though. The red haired woman steps in, still chatty and personable and a little goofy, to say that she’s Elsbeth Tasioni, Daniel Golden’s partner and all questions to should be directed to her, not the family. When the sheriff offers to bring Peter down to the police station to question him instead, she reminds him that Peter was home when the police arrived. Why would he have left the apartment only to come right back? No, of course he never left. She then takes the officer to task for not properly installing the units with the correct amount of clips to hold the wires to the wall, implying that he’d be liable for Zach’s fall. He folds. Quick thinking, Elsbeth Tasioni. (Nice work, Carrie Preston! Speaking of getting the names wrong, the imdb has her listed as Elsbeth Mann. Bah.)
Will calls from a table for two at a candle-lit restaurant, wondering where she is. Oh, poor Will. You’re just no match for Peter’s theatrics. Alicia lets him down as gently without actually saying anything. He’s typically gracious, but not happy. He sits for about ten seconds, listening to the soft jazz, looking at all the other diners holding hands, before calling the woman he was supposed to have dinner with. He uses his sexy voice. His emergency fell through, he says. Is she…? She’s still available, she says, but at a price.
Alicia takes a look at the new monitoring machines, its cord now clipped to her bookcase ostentatiously, and heads out to work. In the lobby, she sees the police back. Panicked, she follows them back into the elevator and asks what’s wrong. We’re not going towards your floor, the monitor installing officer says gruffly. But it IS Anil’s floor, and she’s justly alarmed that the cops could be grilling him about the childrens’ lie. She nips into the kitchen with Anil’s mother Simran, the building manager, and helps her bring in some tea for the cops.
Turns out when the sheriff’s office ran Anil’s idea, they found a red flag. Turns out there are a ton of passports and credit cards in his name, and that’s got an nasty AUSA named Belkin wondering if Anil isn’t involved in some sort of identity theft ring. Alicia tells them that they don’t have to answer questions if they don’t want. Belkin has a few more questions, but Simran politely asks him to leave. Anil swears he didn’t do anything wrong. Alicia thinks the fed are fishing, but gives the Vermas her card anyway. Hmph. Bet that’s not the last we’ll see of them, huh?
Alicia wants to talk to Will and explain, but it turns out he’s out doing volunteer work for a few days, according to his new assistant. What happened to the woman from Doubt? Not that I care tremendously. The “mock” of the title ostensibly refers to a mock trial Will is helping preside over, at the behest of one of his many – ladies on a string? Or one of his ladies on no strings? Sadie – another college friend, it seems – is a law professor at DePaul, was his second choice dinner date last night, and it’s her students he’ll be holding court for. The idea, of course, is to give law students something akin to real world experience arguing cases. There are jurors, witnesses, clients, the whole shebang. The cases may be silly (this one aims to hold Hansel and Gretel responsible for eating the witch and destroying her gingerbread house) but the grades they get are very serious. The sassy defense attorney is one Giada Cabrini, played by Karen Olivo, who won a Tony for her role as Anita in a recent Broadway revival of West Side Story. (Sorry. I wish I could see musicals on Broadway, because I’m that kind of girl, but since I don’t live in NYC and have unlimited funds, I watch the award shows, so I remember her from the Tonys. She originated a role in In the Heights, too.) She has a bit of the young Sydney Tamiia Poitier about her. She likes to grandstand, too. Why do I get the feeling that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her, either?
In an S, L &G conference room, Cary and Alicia spar over citations in a brief for some gamer clients when Alicia notices Anil and a young woman walking towards her office. She leaves and Kalinda follows her, reminding her that Cary’s winning the fight for billable hours and she can’t give away her time on charity cases for neighborhood kids. Alicia owes here, big time, and she can’t say no – not that I can see her doing so anyway. The girl is Anil’s sister Frida, and she’s pretty alarmed. Actually, I’m understating things. An hour after Belkin left, men in a van abducted Simran as she walked to the grocery store, leaving only a business card behind. Immigration. Anil knows this is simply a tactic to apply pressure on him, but Simran isn’t here legally, so it’s a very serious threat. Kalinda offers to pack them off with the promise of actual immigration lawyer contacts, and they wilt, and file out like good little children. That was a little awful – all of their trust and hopefulness just deflated. “You’re such a pushover,” Kalinda tells Alicia. “I am not,” she says, “I’m responsible.” For their Mom giving up on citizenship after one lawyer stole her money? No, she’s responsible for the Feds finding them at all. Kalinda doesn’t get it (a rarity), but Alicia’s guilt is sort of warranted here. Alicia wants to go find Simran, and asks Kalinda’s advice on where they might hide her. Turns out there are lots of places – it’s a shell game, Kalinda asserts. (God, but that’s appalling.) And she doesn’t want to help, either. “So you’re the push over, and I’m the one who does all the work?” Of course not, says Alicia.
The next scene, however, is Alicia, Kalinda and the kids at a prison. “My good deed for the year,” says Kalinda. A guard walks Simran in with his hands on her shoulders. There’s a minute long closed circuit video link trial from a judge in Miami whose main focus seems to be getting through his docket as quickly as possible – and making sure Alicia doesn’t speak too loudly. Simran checked off the voter registration form on her drivers license application, and that turns out to be a false indication of citizenship and a federal crime. Ouch. Alicia flaps a bit about Simran’s American born children, hardships, good citizenship, but the judges rules against her without even looking up. Simran’s going to be deported. End of story. Talk about a mockery of justice.
While we’re on the topic of deportation, can I recommend The Visitor to anyone who hasn’t seen it? It was one of my favorite movies of 2008. If you’re a fan of this show, you already like mature, closely observed stories that involve legal intrigue, wrenching emotional drama, and brilliant, nuanced, naturalistic acting. And that means that this movie is for you. Richard Jenkins (whom you’ll recognize even though his name might not sound familiar) was nominated for an Oscar for his beautiful work, but he’s not the only cast member deserving of praise. Just saying, it’s worth your time.
As a bewildered Simran is literally dragged off by the prison guard, her children screaming, we see Belkin lurking in the corner. He gives Alicia a significant look. “I’m not a criminal!” we hear Simran exclaim. Oh, poor lady, caught up in someone else’s agenda. Alicia knows how that one feels. “It would have been better if you’d just let us question him,” Belkin smirks at Alicia. Why, that weasel. That’s so low! He postures on about identity theft, and the righteousness of his cause which apparently gives him the right to play God with the innocent in order to achieve his larger ends. Anil will need to do his “patriot duty” and help Belkin take down a major player, so that Belkin can put in a good word for Simran. “That’s the problem with good deeds,” says Kalinda disapprovingly, “they multiply.”
Diane sashays into Will’s office, laughing at the dry cleaned judges robe hanging from his coat rack. (Apparently it used to belong to Professor Sadie Heart’s ex-husband. Perhaps it was a bit fusty from storage? Otherwise Will’s looking rather fastidious.) She laughs at the fairy tale case, which he attempts to spin as a tale of murder, larceny and intrigue. Then the new assistant pops in to say that Alicia had wanted to see him. “We’re going to have to deal with that, too” Diane smirks. “That?” “The junior associate’s position,” she says, surprised. Oh, please, Diane, we all know how you meant that to sound. “Alicia and Cary. We said six months and it’s been seven.” “Next week,” Will promises. Ouch. Next week? I hate this. I can’t imagine that Alicia will leave, but I don’t want Cary to leave, either. I don’t want him on the show working for Stern, or Childs, or any other awful thing. I don’t want them to become mortal enemies. And I don’t want either of them to have to do something rotten, like Alicia sleeping with Will just to win the bake off (I don’t think I think that poorly of either of them, do I?) or either Cary or Alicia betraying someone. Ugly. So, please don’t happen! I also don’t know why they need to do this when they just fired those 10 litigators. You’d think that would have freed up a little extra cash, no?
Alicia has Frida and Anil in her office, and explains that Belkin will get their mom a visa if Anil does some snooping on his employers. Belkin thinks the Pujari Brothers Travel Agency where Anil works is a front for an identity theft ring, did I not mention? They need him to download three specific files. You have to, Frida says. I know, says Anil, but you don’t know what these guys are capable of. He’s pretty panicked. That seems to be the word for this week, doesn’t it? As the siblings fight, Alicia quizzes Kalinda over her lack of sympathy – particularly puzzling to Alicia because of Kalinda’s immigrant family. What, Kalinda says, because my family came here legally I should be more sympathetic to illegals? My mistake, says Alicia. Yeah, and it was kind of a dumb one.
Cary skulks by, thinking they’re working on some aspect of the gamer case he isn’t familiar with, and angling for a piece of it. Kalinda lets him think what he wants. Just then Will walks down the stairs. Don’t you love that S,L & G is designed for fascinating sight lines? Well done, set designers, well done. Will and Alicia meet in his office. I’m sorry I didn’t call you back right away, he says, with some prevarications about the mock trial. She wants to make sure they’re okay – and just as she asks, 3 chirpy young assistants with long hair and tiny salads bust in. Does he have some sort of lunch club in his office? What on earth? He asks them for a minute. Okay, that just weirds me out. No, they must not be in his office – it must be the break room, and we’re just not seeing enough of it to tell. Whyever would they go there for that sort of conversation? Dumb.
Anyway, we’ve got one of their stumbling, say nothing, significant look filled chats. He says everything’s fine, that they’re good, and he wants her to believe it, because he’s lying far more effectively than he does whenever anyone asks him about Alicia. He was pushing, he says, and it was wrong. You weren’t, she says, her voice flashing with more emotion than usual. It’s fascinating – she weaves back and forth between worrying over her job security and worrying about her mixed signals with this man she wants, maybe is in love with, and can’t have. The man she sometimes wishes she could have. And he knows she’s hurting and wants to be strong for her. And who knows, maybe he’s also looking for an out from the drama.
Alicia coaches Anil for his little act of espionage. He’s got a flashdrive, but he’s definitely afraid to use it. The feds are here in force, she says, but they don’t want to arrest anyone, they just want the files. Kalinda is waiting when he walks in (looking ridiculously self-conscious, dropping the flash drive, sweating and stage whispering and generally panicking) and helps him through. “Have you ever known someone to calm down when you tell them to calm down?,” he asks through gritted teeth. Nice one! She blocks his computer screen with her pocketbook, then asks him to turn the monitor towards her so she can see some flights. He makes it through, but as he does, the bosses get a text and flee. Kalinda, who’s noticed them looking in a small box and then hiding it, steals it as soon as the men are gone. And outside, the Feds see them fleeing, and move in. Damn.
Giada follows Will into his “chambers” to ask what she’s doing wrong. He thinks she’s doing just fine. “38 objections and I lost 34 – I’m doing something wrong,” she says. “Right now what you’re doing is playing to the ref,” he responds. “Tell me – teach me,” she begs. Have I mentioned that she’s pretty gorgeous? She peppers him with queries about judges and objections and charm and humility. “So you’re saying you don’t like me?” “So you’re saying I need to be more charming?” “God, you’re like a three year old with the questions!” He’s overconfident. She whips out a note pad to record every word he says. Well, it is a teaching exercise, you can see him thinking. Oh, Will Gardner.
Back at the office Cary hilariously introduces himself to Anil – who he still assumes to be from the gaming case – as “the thumbmeister”, a master of Grand Theft Auto. That figures. And also, awesome. Anil takes his card, but clearly thinks he’s insane. Would it be incredibly politically incorrect of me to call the feds Indian givers? Belkin says that he’s deporting Simran back to India despite having a deal in writing, because they wanted the Pujari brothers’ buyers, not the brothers themselves. They blame Anil for tipping his bosses off – something we know he didn’t do, since Kalinda (and the audience) was with him the whole time. Couldn’t they verify that? You have to think they don’t want to. Mockery of justice again, with Belkin sanctimoniously hiding behind the letter of the law.
And oh, lord, who should show up but Gerald Kozko? Lovely. Yet again? Alicia has no energy left for this, especially not after what’s happened. He wants her to tell Peter that his son had nothing to do with his deal with Childs. He’s cleaning up his own mess. Please leave his son alone. Her frustration peaks, and she throws the message back in his face. She won’t be his go between, she says; if he wants to talk to her husband, he should pick up the phone. (Erm, is it still tapped? Wasn’t it? She knew that, right?) It’s rare we see her take her frustrations out on anyone. Mrs Florrick, you don’t realize. Yes, she says, “and I don’t want to realize. I’ve had enough of everybody.” Still he pleads with her – I don’t have anybody, he says. What, to send a message? “You know what? I don’t care.” Too many fires to put out, too much to feel guilty about, and too many people presuming she owes them. It’s all becoming too much. She steps into the elevator. ” I don’t know you. You don’t know me.” Honestly, I don’t blame her for being upset here. Her skin must be crawling, thinking about whatever schemes this guy was up to with Peter and the pain it’s brought into her life. “Help me,” he implores. The elevator doors close on her angry face.
Back at the Florrick apartment building, Alicia calls a family meeting. The meeting (which takes place in what appears to be Grace’s cute, brightly colored – yet still age appropriate – bedroom) includes only Alica and the kids. This isn’t about him, Alicia tells Zach when he remarks on his missing parent, this is about us. And it’s about telling the truth about things like skateboards and mysterious packages. There’s silence. “Okay,” Alicia says, “I’ll start. I’ve been very angry at your father, and I almost walked out a few nights ago. But we’ve been talking, and we’ve decided to give it a go.” She says this in a very perky, un-Alicia way. “In separate rooms?” Wow, Zach really can’t get over that. I guess I get why it matters, but it also is a little uncomfortable that he’s so invested in his parents’ sex life. (Oh, fine. What he really means is that his parents sharing a room would prove that they were a normal family again. It’s just still a little invasive, him always asking about it.) Yes, she says, and essentially tells him to suck it up. “You’re almost grown up. You’ll realize that adults have complicated emotions.” Like teenagers don’t? Please. Then she passes the baton to Zach, who comes clean about Becca. That he’s dating her, not that he’s – I think – sleeping with her. I hope to heaven I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am, and I would like to say for the record, gross. You know what I do like, though? Grace’s curtains. I can look at those behind Zach’s head and just ignore the fact that he’s been taken in by that totally obvious ho. Alicia – who has clearly bought a ticket on the honesty express – tells him she doesn’t like Becca, but that she’d like to have her over for dinner to be introduced properly. That’s very civilized of her – honest but smart, because throwing a fit about it wouldn’t get her anywhere. Though I honestly can’t think why there hasn’t been more fall out over the whole tweet issue.
Okay, Grace’s turn. Who’s Will? Good question, but also a tricky continuity question. If Grace truly doesn’t know who Will is, then why did Becca know enough to be tweeting rumors about Alicia and Will? One assumes that she had to have gotten that info from Zach, but why would Zach know and Grace be completely in the dark? Just wondering. Will Gardner, Alicia says, my boss. Why were you whispering to him on the phone? At night? So maybe that’s more of the question – not so much who is he, but how is your boss someone you whisper to in the middle of the night? Grace is clearly upset, and yeah, that’s legitimate. And here’s where we know Alicia’s really on board that train. “He’s my boss, and we were friends in college, and [deep breath] we thought that we were attracted to each other, but it’s over. ”
Grace is confused. “What’s over?” “Thinking that we were attracted to each other.” Really? Has she had this conversation with Will? Is she lying, or is she assuming his whole “everything’s fine” shtick meant that he was passed thinking something could happen? “But he’s still your boss?” Grace is still confused. “Yes,” says Alicia positively, as if this poses no issues at all. “So what happened?” Zach wants to know. Alicia steps off the express here, which – I don’t know. Now they’ll wonder how much she might have to hide. On the other hand, if she told them about the kiss – which would be really uncomfortable to begin with – then Peter’s bound to find out. And that’s not going to be good. It’s even possible that Peter could figure out that she slept with him on the rebound, as it were, from Will. “Your father and I have agreed to make this work, and I’ve agreed to trust you again!” she says with a big fake smile. “So, goodnight!” “It’s getting to her,” says Grace. “Definitely,” agrees Zach. Too damn right, kids.
Next stop, Peter. Oh – wait – a phone call interrupts Alicia’s purposeful walking. Very West Wing, that. It’s Kalinda, working late on “some good deed somebody saddled me with”. It’s hopeless, says Alicia. Maybe not, Kalinda thinks, tipping out that little box she snagged from the travel agency. Which appears to be full of dark blue sapphires. Youch!
Alright, back to Peter. I do honestly wonder that she took his running out of the apartment at face value, as a mad declaration of love rather than an act of manipulation. At any rate, she tries to clear the decks. “Did you threaten Kozko?” is her first salvo. “Yes,” he says, without a trace of remorse. He confirms that it happened in the church building. My next question would have been whether that was his plan in arranging the trip to church itself, and how that squares with his allegedly sincere new spiritual questioning. “Do you want to know why?” he asks. Yes, she does. “He was wearing a wire. He made a deal with Childs for immunity.” That part she knew. What she wants to know is why. Does Childs want Kozko because Peter is guilty of steering investigations away from him? Peter doesn’t want to answer; it’s not that simple, he tries to say. “Everybody has friends. Everybody has enemies. [Really? Everybody? Enemy is a strong word. Also, thanks for breaking things down into such tiny pieces. It’s very helpful.] I did things for Kozko as a friend.” Seriously, if Kozko was actually a friend, how come Alicia never met him? Peter promises the “things” weren’t illegal, but “the line gets fuzzy.” Is that just a way of saying that they really were illegal, but he still considers them to be moral? Or that they’re normal things folks in government do for each other that they usually don’t get called on? Something that might be considered an ethics violation, perhaps? You can see she was wishing for more clarity, but part of her doesn’t want this to be his true answer. I suppose that makes it even more frustrating, actually – she’s steeled herself to ask and he can’t come right out and say one way or the other. She hands him back the bracelet, the one with the store receipt in Kozko’s name, and asks who bought it. I did, he says indignantly. Kozko loaned him the money, because he didn’t have enough to get her something really nice. Was it illegal? “It was… fuzzy.” Does he know her so little? In a million years, Alicia would rather a lesser gift than a corrupt bribe. Ah. Maybe this had more to do with Amber and his guilt than what Alicia might actual want. Overcompensation. Misdirection.
“Look, Alicia,” Peter says, “I want to run again.” Oh, cause that’s a good idea. She looks utterly charmed. “I want to do it right this time. Nothing fuzzy.” Oh, cause that’s going to happen. Threatening and blackmailing Kozko isn’t fuzzy? “And I only want to do it if you’re with me. If we’re in this together,” he says, as if she’s going to strap on some pom poms and lead a cheer. What does that mean? Does he want her for his moral compass, since his own is so skewed? I don’t expect he’d get more out of her than a grudging “whatever makes you happy,” and I think that he’d be just fine with that no matter what he says. He wants to do what he wants, and he wants her to fall in line. For a smart man, Peter just does not look that closely into things. Chris Noth really excels that sort of character. He can play smart, dense and selfish brilliantly. Alicia looks away. We don’t see her answer.
Kalinda questions a merchant in Little India, in a store filled with stunning saris and fabrics. He doesn’t have anything to say about the jewels, but he knows just where the little red box came from. Cool. From the brightly colored store (man, this episode has way more saturated color than most of them) to the sterile environs of the mock trial we go. Will the defense make it’s case? Yes. And Giada’s case is that Will needs to recuse himself, because he gave her advice when she approached him after the last session. You’re biased in my favor, she says. Oh, clever. Sadie is horrified and drags him back to her office. “I think we’re in an awkward area here,” she says, and asks for the robe back. Will is offended that she’d think he was biased, and a bit outraged that he was set up. “Yup. Men and 25 year olds. Same thing happened to my ex.” I wouldn’t say that Will got tricked because he was talking to a hot 25 year old, exactly, but he certainly underestimated her because she was a law student.
Alicia tells Simran, through the glass at the visiting center, that they believe the Kasmir sapphires are payment for the faked ids. Wow. How do you get that many sapphires, I wonder? No, maybe I don’t know want to know. They may be able to trace the sapphires to the buyer, and if they find the buyer, Belkin will get Simran her visa. But they’re sending me out on the next transport, Simran nearly wails. And who knows when that will be? Kalinda’s on the case, but can she do it in time? (Well, she is Kalinda.) I don’t know anyone in India, Simran says. Will she even be able to see her children before she goes? There’s no guarantee. How beastly is that? Sarita Choudhury acts the heck out of this scene. She asks Alicia to get her some sentimental items from her apartment. She has a list. “And will you tell Anil it’s not his fault?” she pleads. Simran tries to contain the rush of tears as she leaves. She fails.
Alicia, of course, goes right to their building. And while she’s searching for Simran’s special things, she stumbles across more sapphires. She calls Cary, who has finally gotten in on the case, and is trying to find Kalinda at the box store. What does she need him for? I think he’s bringing the box from the office. Cary’s getting lost driving a really nice car; Kalinda emails the directions directly to it. When Cary hears that Simran might actually be involved with the Pujari brothers, he’s not happy about it either. He and Kalinda check out the box shop; the shop owner starts talking excited to a puzzled (and atypically uncomfortable) Kalinda, who doesn’t understand Hindi. “What do you mean you don’t speak Hindi?” “I didn’t grow up in India.” Their interviewee doesn’t speak English, and can’t quite believe Kalinda doesn’t understand him. Neither does Cary. “Aw, Kalinda, where’s your cultural identity?” It’s Cary who cracks this case this time – he notices the picture of the employee of the month, who is also the guilty party – sister Frida, not Anil or Simran.
Diane notices Will looking pensive (not to mention being in the office at all), and comes in to hear the sad story of his recusal. “You recused yourself from the prosecution of Hansel and Gretel?” she snorts, wearing a leopard blazer that owes far too much to the 80s. They share a nice laugh over his alleged affair with Gretel. Then Gretel is announced – which is to say, Giada Cabrini, there to gloat and charm and bring him gingerbread as a peace offering. He’s actually thrown, and studies where he should sit and how in the ten seconds before she can see him. Fascinating. He’s much cooler when she arrives. She delivers the gingerbread, and asks him to dinner as well. Who’s the wolf in this scenario, I wonder? “How old are you?,” he asks. “Twenty five. How old are you?” “Not … twenty five, ” he answers. Will may long for something more, but this game – this dance of suggestion and body language – this he understands. Let me think about dinner, he says. Okay, she replies. And sits down to wait. She’s got moxie, and he likes it.
In the conference room, Alicia has everyone assembled. After some balking and fussing about what’s within his power to promise, Belkin says he can get Simran a so-called snitch visa if they can give him the Pujari brothers contact in organized crime. And Frida can. She’s terrified, but she does it. Anil – filmed from the same angle as his sister was when she implored him to save their mother and get the files – reminds her that he’s already sacrificed. Now it’s her turn. She was the one who sent the text, she admits, and she was well paid to be the Pujari’s courier. Belkin agrees to get the visa – this time before getting the full information out of Frida. I’m glad you learned from the last time he’s not to be trusted, Alicia. So Frida will do time, but she’ll have a family to come home to, provided of course that the unnamed dangerous men don’t kill everyone. Let’s hope they don’t. I like the Vermas a lot. Alicia turns around just in time to see Giada leave Will’s office. He’s smiling fondly after her, and Alicia doesn’t look particularly happy to have been replaced so quickly.
Cary and Kalinda drop off Anil to pick Simran up from detention. This was nice, Cary thinks. No big case, but we did some good here. Actually, Kalinda shuts him down (and rightly) – Alicia and I did some good here. You just drove the car. While he protests the unfairness of this assertion (since he did notice the picture of Frida – not like Kalinda wouldn’t have, it was right over the boxes) Kalinda shushes him, trying to listen to something quiet on the radio. Cary rewinds it. Must be a satellite radio, and if so, I have to get one of those. I always want to rewind the radio. I’d say it was a product of living with a dvr, and that’s certainly why I try to rewind my car radio before I remember I can’t, but really, I’ve always wanted to be able to do that. Don’t you hate missing the title of that song you liked a lot, or the other half of a sentence because someone in your car yelled at an inopportune moment? Anyway, what’s relevant is the news on Cary’s radio. Gerald Kozko has been reported missing, and is presumed to have thrown himself off the bridge where police found his car. The police are dragging the river. The scene switches to the Florrick apartment, where Alicia’s seeing the same news on tv. The look on her face… oh, honey. Zach and Peter cheerfully call her to dinner, but guilt and horror are fighting her for control. We all know she can’t catch a break, but yikes. How much more can she stand? Is she always going to be left feeling like everything is her fault? Oh, my poor Alicia.
Oh, damn. His car? It’s a Buick, a sponsor of the show, and the radio thing isn’t satellite per se, it’s a special Buick-only radio. The things you find out watching the episode online! So I’ve just been giving a commercial for them? Damn it. Now I feel all slimey. I’m not going to take it out, though, because I do think that feature is awesome. It’s not like I’m going to be buying a Buick any time soon. Do they even make minivans? Anyway, they wrote it in smoothly enough. I guess that’s why Cary was in this episode at all. I’m not going to complain, exactly, because worming his way in to the case is certainly like him (not to mention entertaining), but – eh. The joys of product placement.
Still, it’s little enough to grouse over in a really terrific episode. Not the most electrifying, but I can feel that electricity building. I can’t even imagine what the next three episodes will bring, but I’m sure it will be a firecracker of an ending. Are they saving the results of the bake off for the season finale? I can’t wait to see how they’re going to pull all this off, what they’ll choose to solve and what they’ll leave for next season. I’ll leave you with this question; if Alicia does lose her job, don’t you think there are other places she could work? She’s great at her job. Stern’s offered her a place, even. And I can’t imagine that there aren’t plenty of other firms willing to take her name even if it doesn’t come with as much experience as she’d like. I know she feels at home at Lockhart Gardner, and that’s Stern’s not a solid prospect (perhaps less now that she’s exploited her knowledge to beat him) but are they really her only choice? Let me know what you think!