I would like to say for the record, wow.
So. Ahem. Welcome back, The Good Wife. You made quite the entrance.
We begin just before we left off, with the flashing light bulbs and Alicia taking Will’s phone call in the concrete hallway, backstage at Peter’s press conference; usually backtracking annoys me, but it’s the start of a new season, and it has been a long lonely time without this show in my life, so they get a few seconds of leeway. And that’s all they take. The scene is re-cut to hit the highlights – “I get the romance,” she tells Will when he almost declares himself, “Show me the plan.” We get the addition of Eli, eavesdropping. Has he heard Alicia declare that poetry is easy? It’s hard to say, but he was certainly trying. He directs her toward Peter. Peter reaches out his hand. The phone rings, and it’s Will. Alicia stares at the screen. I forgot just how guilty and stricken her face was as she slowly, slowly looks up at Peter. To me, that’s a look that says “I would rather take this phone call, and I do not feel good about that.”
A hand reaches out for Alicia’s phone, and a flunky escorts her to the stage. Do disgraced former States Attorneys (who, seriously, can’t be anyone’s fresh start) get hulking flunkies? I think not. Then again, it is Chicago. Either way, Alicia gets handled up to the stage; this surprises me a little, not because she went – which I had expected – but that she was hustled into it. I assumed she’d make the choice to go on her own. It’s the reasonable thing to do (personal feelings aside, the event you’re at should trump phone calls, even if it’s the launch of your husband’s comeback that you’d rather he wasn’t making) and the fact that she doesn’t do it automatically strikes me. Of course it means that she’s not an automaton or a total slave to duty, which we knew, but also that Will’s initial call has shaken her self control. That’s not so easy to do.
While she stands at Peter’s side, Will leaves a message.
He’s watching the press conference in his office. He can see that Alicia is on the stage, sees her faint smile, and the flashbulbs, and Peter, and the web around her, and it throws him.
“Look, you’re right,” he shrugs. “I don’t have a plan. It’s wrong. I’m your boss, you’re my employee, let’s just drop this. Okay?”
He shuts off the tv, and moves toward the door of his office. He’s really hung up on the boss thing, isn’t he? I don’t know about you, but I think Peter is a bigger problem. Peter must not be real to him, somehow, or he’d figure more largely into Will’s personal calculus. We watch him through the glass walls, at a remove. Will, you can’t leave it like that. You’re not going to leave it like that, are you?
And then we see his face.
Look at the determination on his face. No, he most certainly is not going to leave it like that.
He dials. Her message plays once more. He slings back the last of Giada’s wine in his red mug.
“No, I’m not just dropping this.” He’s in court mode, in a way – there’s steam under what he’s saying, and he begins gesticulating to his reflection in the window. “You wanna know what my plan is, my plan is I love you, okay?” Woah. He said. He said the words. Woah! He stops and starts several times, looking for the right words or simply the courage to say them.
“I’ve probably loved you since Georgetown. So phone me. I’ll meet you anywhere, and we will make a plan.” He nods along with his words, fervently, emphasizing each one. “If none of this makes sense to you, just ignore it. No embarrassment, nothing. We’ll just go back to where things stood.”
That was – wow. WOW.
And we can’t have that kind of game changer, can we? Equilibrium must be maintained. Who’s here to protect the status quo? Iago. Er, I mean, Eli. Eli Gold, who is not above listening in on Alicia’s voice mail. (Weirdly, the phone insists there were five minutes between calls when there was really, oh, ten seconds?) Oh my Lord. Why, that little weasel. He isn’t. Oh, yes he is. Of course he is. What else would he do? He erases the message. Oh, man! Will pours out his bleeding little heart and Alicia will never hear it! She shoots a mistrustful glance Eli’s way, but has no way of knowing what he’s done.
A title card tells us that it’s one week later.
There’s a flash, and then black. We see isolated pictures – hands gripped tightly, the cuff of a blue suit, the press, a man in front of the Colorado state seal. The fresh faced man stands at a microphone, proclaiming his innocence. He can see how the events of the last two years have been misunderstood, but he has never been unfaithful to his wife. He apologizes to his wife, who takes short breaths through her nose, holding her chin up, holding it together with effort. The camera moves back so we see the legend on Alicia’s tv: White House hopeful denies sex charge.
Alicia listens from her bed; Peter listens outside her door, straightening his tie. He knocks, and she mutes the tv. He’s giving a speech to the policeman’s union; has she read his speech? She has. She hesitates, but then advises him to cut his opening anecdote. I like that. You can see a glimpse of what they were here; he’s trying to include her in his life, putting value on her opinions. “Listen, this,” he says, pointing at the tv with two fingers.
“Peter, it’s not us,” she replies, cutting him off, and he leaves it. (Did you notice they’re dressed in similar colors, though? Both men are in navy, and both women in lighter, brighter blues. That can’t be an accident.) He’s got a free hour today, he tells her, and he’d love to stop in and watch her in court. It’s just a status hearing, she says. Nothing worth seeing. he demurs to her judgment. Well played, Peter. He leaves, and she puts the sound back on the tv.
With a quick jump, Alicia is in court being grilled by a snippety judge. Did you just look at your watch? Am I boring you? Just making sure I’ll be on time for an important staff meeting, your honor. Was that a smirk, Ms Prosecutor? No, just something caught in my teeth. Yikes. This guy is jumpy, and more than a bit of a micromanaging bully. He’s not happy with the status he’s hearing, and wants a quick revision to include court costs. He sends them to the back of the room while he deals with a pretrial motion. As the prosecutor tells Alicia she’s off the hook (seriously, there wasn’t another major sex scandal while Peter was in jail? It’s been a good year at least, right?) , the judge argues with a scruffy, orange garbed prisoner over his right to fire his attorney and represent himself. Judge Howard Matchick (who, come to think of it, is similarly scruffy) doesn’t want the tidy little trial he has planned for tomorrow mussed up or overturned on appeal, and doesn’t want to grant the request. The man insists that he learned to fish in Alaska and hack code on the job; Matchick thunders that a trial for murder isn’t the time to pick up new career skills. To Matchick’s consternation, the man launches into a conspiracy theory about the Pentagon killing his business partner because they posted secret Pentagon files on their website (opensourcefile.com, he is quick to tell anyone listening in the courtroom). He’s being framed. Matchick sighs exaggeratedly and lets his head drop into in his hand. He’s rather dramatic about everything, this one.
Ah. It turns out our old friend Brody is the prosecutor today. He finds all this supremely funny. (He’s lucky the judge is too busy having a bombastic hissy fit to notice.) Matchick tells Mr Sally that his courtroom isn’t a soapbox. The upshot of all this? Instead of making Sally keep the lawyer he has, Judge Matchick decides that Alicia (still working out her case at the back of the courtroom) is the perfect person to babysit Mr. Sally through the proceedings. But I have a trial next week, she protests. What trial? Murphy v. Gomez. Capital murder trumps a civil suit, says Matchick with what I’d call supreme indifference if he weren’t so clearly pleased at being able to rearrange other people’s lives on a whim. “Anything from you, Mr. Brody?”
“The people are content,” Brody says, rising. (Tyra Banks would love it; this guy smizes. You can see the smile through his poker face.) “Of course they are,” nods Matchick, because the guy defending himself is a huge bonus for the prosecution. Of course, none of them are counting on Alicia, and Brody, at least, should know better by now.
Alicia’s running through the glass hallways of Lockhart/Gardener. We can tell that she’s late for that important staff meeting, because Diane is already talking. The name Derrick Bond seems to be coming up a lot. Diane, it seems, was down in Louisiana ambulance chasing fisherman for a BP class action. Nice that they’re trying to be current, and sure, it’s the sort of cause Diane loves, but seriously, you don’t need to try that hard. Why would Louisiana fishermen hire a law firm from Chicago, or one from D.C., for that matter? They have law firms in Louisiana.
Anyway, while she was poaching on the victims of the oil spill, she kept hearing the name Bond: Derrick Bond. (Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.) Bond runs a boutique firm in D.C.. (Boutique implies specialized, I think, but we don’t hear what that area of specialty is. Ecological disasters? Doesn’t seem likely.) And just like that, after the briefest of courtships, Diane and Will have found their long sought partner.
Diane makes everyone laugh, and graciously calls Derrick gentlemanly. He’s got a little beard, too (what is it about this episode and facial hair?) but is very far from scruffy. And he does indeed have a courtly way of speaking, his hands demurely tucked together. He encourages everyone to introduce themselves, and to use the ipad or tablet his people are handing out in leather cases, the better to work toward a paperless office with. They bear the legend “Lockhart/Gardener & Bond. “With our current President’s ties to your town, we’re more together than we are apart.” There’s pleased applause. He hands the proceedings over to Bachelor 16; “I’m never going to hear the end of that,” smiles Will, who doesn’t seem distressed about that at all. He mentions Murphy v. Gomez and some other of their upcoming business. Alicia attempts to get his attention, to no avail.
I love that they’ve just jumped right into this merger. It’s a fait accompli; there’s no hemming and hawing, it’s just a fact. They hemmed and hawed enough last spring for two seasons. I’m not totally clear on the whole DC/Chicago thing; I get the synergy of it, it makes sense, I’m just not sure why everyone seems to have landed in the L/G office. Or, should I say, Lockhart/Gardener & Bond.
Will and Diane gloat in her office. How long should he wait to get his season tickets back, Will wonders? “A polite week,” laughs Diane. “Just so you know, I’ll be playing the disgruntled partner,” says Will, since Derrick was Diane’s find. We can use that to your advantage for better negotiations, Diane generously suggests. Ah, does it always have to be a game? So much for the honeymoon period. Derrick walks in, and Will gets right to it.
Alicia wades through a crowded office. Has Bond brought his whole team from D.C.? Has he done it just to include them? How many staff members is it reasonable for him to insert? Clearly he means to keep his D.C. business and presence, so this seems a little dramatic. Alicia walks into a conversation at a cubicle over the Colorado scandal, in which one assistant (presumably) declares she’d rather have her husband sleep with a prostitute than fall in love with someone. So Mr. Presidential Hopeful is more Mark Sanford than Eliot Spitzer? (I remember having this conversation in English class in high school – God knows why – and our married teacher being very clear that someone paying for the stuff they’re only supposed to do with you is nothing to be laughed off.) They see Alicia, now being painted as the lucky one, and the conversation freezes.
Before Alicia can even enter the door of her office, we hear Eli Gold complaining that she’s removed the couch he loves to lounge on. “I’m redecorating,” she says. He pouts, but jumps quickly into the reason for his visit. He’s sure that Childs is going to set trackers on Alicia, since that’s what he’d do. Trackers, Eli explains to the audience via Alicia, are political operatives planted at rallies or in personal situations with the sole design of catching one’s opponent at a bad moment. Maccacca? Trackers. (At first I thought this was unlikely – how much campaign staff can Childs have? – but all it takes is an unpaid intern with a cellphone, so I guess it’s possible. Plausible? Maybe. Childs has quite the persecution complex for a guy who already has the job.) Alicia is back in the news, and Eli’s sure that Childs will react. Look out for college students in pairs, with cell phones. Wives are no longer off-limits.
Eli and Alicia both declare themselves fine and finished with each other, and Eli leaves, awkwardly passing Will in the doorway. Alicia has texted or messaged Will, who is cool but professional. She explains her dilemma with Judge Matchick, and over her protests, Will takes her off the other case. “We’re not starved for personnel anymore.” She’s not pleased, but she bites it down. He can barely stand to look at her. “Merger going well?” She tries. “It is,” comes the cool response, and then he shuffles off.
A friend new to the show remarked how dour Will seems, and this scene doesn’t help that impression. He’s not icy, but his normal warmth, and the intimacy of their gazes is gone. He’s hurt, and he’s trying to be professional like he promised, never dreaming that she didn’t get his message. She, meanwhile, thinks he shut things down with her. Awkward city. She watches him leave, and slumps a tiny bit down into her seat.
We follow Cary, in a shark gray suit, as he walks through a bright building to a massive meeting attended – though not run – by Glen Childs. A guy who’s clearly Childs’s second hands out assignments. In marked contrast to the ipad bearing Bond, everyone at the State Attorney’s office uses yellow legal pads, and there aren’t enough copies to go around. The folks in the back aren’t very good at sharing, either – or maybe Cary just hasn’t made friends yet. Brody – whose first name appears to be Mattan, did we know that? – explains that murderer-for-money Sally is trying a unicorn defense (I don’t know if that’s code for “secret government assassins did it, not me” or any defense that’s incredibly implausible but weirdly attractive) and that Matchick gave him Alicia Florrick as a wrangler. The second-in-command advises people to attend for the show, but Childs’ Spidey senses are a-tingling. Any mention of a Florrick sends him off his rocker. Despite Brody’s assurances that Alicia was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, Childs argues that there’s no such thing as happenstance in a campaign year, and that clearly Judge Matchick (man, every time I write that I think Matuschek & Sons from The Shop Around The Corner) favors Peter and therefor is giving Alicia a chance to show off to the press. Oh my God, but this man’s mind is baroque. He hails Cary – who’s chatting up a pretty brunette – and puts him on the case as second chair. Brody seethes.
Mr. Sally’s trial opens with some grisly details of the victim’s (Sally’s business partner) wounds and last moments. The detective on the scene administered cpr, but failed to revive him. How often can that happen? Who called the police, anyway, that they arrived on the scene before the victim was dead? No one else seems interested in that. Oh well. I guess they can’t tell us every tiny detail about this fictional universe, can they? Mr. Sally is very interested, however, in making clear what he sees as Matchick’s bias. He’s quickly driving Matchick insane with constant objections and misapplied attempts at lawyering, so he asks Alicia (again) to do the dirty work. “Mr. Sally, let me argue for you. I’m very good at it.” Sally replies that it doesn’t matter how good she is at it, because she can never care about the case as much as he does, when it’s his life on the line. “I’m betting on myself, ” he declares. She sighs. “Just don’t turn your back to the jury,” she pleads wearily.
At this point, the name Chris Sarandon appears in the credits. I watched the whole episode the first time waiting to see Prince Humperdink, and in the end, I’ve realized that it has to be Judge Matchick. Wow. I think my mental image of him is pretty much frozen as the Princess Bride character, so it’s weird to see him this much older, a bit shriveled and very crusty. 1988 was a long time ago.
Brody questions the detective about bullet casings from the murder weapon, a rare Russian hand gun which the defendant happened to own. Mr. Sally claims that agents from the government stole the semi-automatic from him. Brody gives him the rope to hang himself, and so Sally explains that the murder and frame up was a result of a video of an unarmed man targeted and killed by an American predator drone, which was leaked by a Pentagon source to his website (opensourcefile.com, in case we forgot from the last time). He plays a satellite video which shows buildings, a target sign and an explosion. I can’t see a person in the shot, let alone tell whether they might be armed or not, so I’m certainly not impressed. The detective and Sally discuss how a volunteer named Anya sent them the video, and wants to know if the detective looked for her. Mr Brody decides that’s enough rope, and Judge Matchick agrees. The government is not on trial here, Matchick says sternly, you are.
Alicia sits across from Diane, explaining that Sally’s defense isn’t credible – but she has nothing else to try. Diane tells her they’re being more thrifty with Kalinda’s time and this case doesn’t merit her use. The camera pans wide to show us that Bond is reading at the back of Diane’s office. “What’s your strategy?” he wonders. “My strategy? Well, there’s this one juror that I think agrees with Sally. Every time the judge overrules us, you can tell he wants to hear more. He thinks we’re being censored.” And yes, they’ve been careful to show us that this is true, though it’s easier to pick up on now that she’s said so. “Quite a risk, trying to win over one juror,” Bond asks, but you can tell that he, too, wants to hear more. “I only need one for a deadlock,” Alicia tells him confidently, and he nods, hands in his pockets. ” We can give her half a day,” he tells Diane. Hmmm. He’s all ‘power behind the throne’ here, letting Diane run the meeting but then overruling her. It’s a curious dynamic. “To hunt down Pentagon assassins,” asks Diane in disbelief. “To find sand,” Bond replies, “to throw in the prosecutors case.”
And, what luck, Kalinda is just walking by. “Kalinda,” calls Diane, “Alicia needs help fingering the Pentagon for a murder.” “How long do I have,” asks plucky Miss Sharma. “The afternoon,” smiles Alicia. It’s a good thing our ladies like a challenge. They’re off, speeding walking through the office. Alicia almost runs smack into Will in a doorway: “sorry,” he says, without meeting her eyes. Kalinda smiles her Mona Lisa smile, and even though Alicia isn’t looking at her face, she knows the smirk is there.
“What,” says Alicia. “Chicago Magazine? 16th most eligible bachelor.” (Ah, that’s where that came from earlier.) “We’re fine, Kalinda.” “That looked fine.” Hee. How I’ve missed their conversations. It never ceases to amuse me, how invested Kalinda is in getting Will and Alicia together. Why is that, do you suppose? It’s interesting, right? I mean, most people don’t push infidelity on their friends. Or at least my friends don’t. Does she feel like they’re meant to be? Does she even believe in meant to be? Does she dislike Peter? Is she a secret romantic? That must be it. What’s better for a romantic than star crossed love?
“Did you see the photo spread? Will in a swimsuit?” “He wasn’t in a swimsuit,” Alicia says a bit indignantly. “Oh, so you did see it!” Kalinda returns triumphantly. Hee again. “Talk to him.” “He doesn’t want to. He told me. He asked to drop it,” Alicia says, closing her lap top which shows coverage of the Colorado scandal. You know, it’s been suggested that she didn’t want or expect him to come up with a plan, but she doesn’t sound happy about it here, does she? “In voice mail,” Kalinda says with a twinkle. “Anything said in voice mail doesn’t count.” Ah, Kalinda, you have no idea how right you are, at least in this case. Although, man, that gorgeous deleted voice mail counts in my book! Alicia responds by giving her the last known address of paranoid source Anya. “That’s the good thing about amateur paranoids – they always leave something behind.” Kalinda swans out of the office, tipping her head back in for one parting shot. “Talk to him,” she says seriously, “life is short.”
Alicia opens her laptop and watches a body language expert discuss Mrs. Presidential Hopeful. Look, she notes, Mrs. Hopeful has her feet pointed away from her husband, indicating that she wants to flee. Hilary Clinton pointed hers towards Bill. Alicia – and it’s no surprise to us – has one foot in, and one foot out. This indicates ambivalence, the expert explains helpfully. Alicia closes the laptop in disgust. I don’t know that I buy the theory (it’s not as if people stand absolutely still, for one thing – they could be shuffling their feet all the time), but it’s certainly illustrative of fact in Alicia’s case.
It’s not going away, Eli tells Peter as they hide behind gold curtains before yet another speech. “It’s not my scandal,” Peter shrugs. Not so, claims Eli – every time they show him, they show you; every time they show her, they show Alicia. So change the subject, Peter tells him. “Yes,” says Eli in relief, “to Glen Childs’s divorce.” (Like that’d content the national media?) Peter doesn’t want to play that way, and it’s not about being a good guy; if he brings in Childs’ family, Childs will bring in his. “You can’t keep all your missiles in the silo,” Eli growls, “he’s coming after yours either way.” “Then we’ll wait till he does,” Peter says with an air of finality. Good man, Peter. “Let’s change the subject to something positive.” He looks through the curtains at a head table full of uniformed men. “What am I doing here anyway? Get me in front of some women’s group, so we can remind them of the mutual respect.” Um, really? Whatever they thought of you before, the prostitute thing has a funny way of making more women than your wife feel disrespected. Peter stalks out to applause, and Eli gets on his phone to hunt up a proper visual.
Kalinda slinks into a yellow brick apartment building and begins a search for a key. She’s practically on her knees at what must be Anya’s old door when it opens. She stumbles backwards – a rare, ungraceful moment – and starts spitting out apologies. I’m looking for my friend Anya, she says. A strapping, preppy looking guy pops out, saying he’s the landlord, which he seems too young to be. Her super, maybe, but he seems very clean cut for that, too. He’s dressed wrong. He’s taking out a bag of trash, though. She moved out, he says. Kalinda spins a tail about how her friend has her extra room key, and even if the apartment looks cleaned out, perhaps it’s hidden someplace? She pleads, and he eventually lets her in to what’s a pretty decent looking apartment for someone off the grid; small, but with what looks like granite counter tops and nice tile floors. There’s a grate that’s clearly be opened recently, but there’s nothing inside. Happily, Kalinda notices the landlord at the trash cans, and thinks to go dumpster diving.
Kalinda brings a cell phone to Diane’s office, and tells Diane and Alicia how she found it in Anya’s trash. Sadly, the sim card is missing, which makes it a dead end. She knows that someone was there, however, because of the grate. “Yeah, sorry, I should have cleaned that up,” says the so called landlord, now in a chocolate suede blazer. Diane introduces him as Derrick’s in house investigator Blake, who has also arrived from D.C. Seriously, this dual city things is throwing me off. Why would he move everyone here? Don’t they still have cases in D.C.? Not that this is remotely the most relevant thing to be thinking about now. Blake picked the lock and broke into Anya’s apartment, scooping Kalinda. And oh, yes, he’s got the sim card, which he lays onto the table. It’s encrypted, he says. So decipher it, Diane says, but Alicia would prefer Kalinda do it (“she’s done it for me before”) so Diane asks them to work together. They hang their heads like a couple of kids caught being naughty. She walks past him as he leans on the door frame, and he follows her out.
“Ever find your key,” he snarks. “So you knew who I was?” “Yeah,” he says, “I wanted to see how you’d play it.” “Hmm, ” she says, “the man of a thousand faces.” No, he says, “just one,” implying that she’s the dishonest one, which is more than a little disingenuous. “Does that flirting thing always work for you?” Oh, you have no idea, dude. You think that was flirting? Ah, you make me laugh. “Yeah,” she says, “we gonna have trouble?” “No,” he says seriously, with puppy dog eye contact and everything. “No, as far as I’m concerned, it’s your backyard, Leila.” Snap – he did not! She stares him down. “No, I’m sorry, that’s not your name. Kalinda – that’s your name, Kalinda.” Is that intended to be racist (all Indian women are alike) or is he just trying to take her down a peg, and tell her she’s forgettable? Either way, he’s totally wrong. Did she call herself Leila in another version of the scene at the apartment building? Or is it supposed to be like Bacall referring to Bogie as Steve in To Have and Have Not? Still don’t like it.
“Imagine my surprise,” Eli spins a tale to Jackie, who is folding laundry, “when I looked at the membership roll of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Botanical Gardens and saw your name.” He’s working up to having her use her clout to get Peter a “Friend of the Auxiliary” award. Is this really what he wants to do? Not that I’m not pleased to see Poison Ivy tangling with Tiny Tim here, of course – who wouldn’t be – but you can’t come up with someone other than Peter’s mother? I’m deeply unimpressed, Eli. Surely you’re better than this. “Certainly Mr Gold,” Jackie smiles pleasantly. “How’s the campaign going?” Fine, he stammers, why do you ask? “Well, it seems like you’re coming to me more than I would expect,” says Jackie genteelly but firmly. I’m with you, Jackie. (Now that’s a first.) “How much did you expect, Mrs. Florrick?” “I imagine that campaigns are complicated things, ” says Jackie, doing her best wide eyed little woman routine, “maybe you need help?” His eyes almost pop out of his head. “What kind of help?” They’re spinning now. She wants to stay in touch regularly so that she can offer advice and he can asked questions when he is “confused.” Her emphasis here is delightful. Eli, you weren’t so smart with the long range planning here. Jackie’s an old school political wife, and she’s got steel claws. You knew that. You can’t go to her for help lightly. If you do, you have to pay for it. And you’re going to pay. Oh, are you going to pay. It’s a hilarious reversal of Eli’s relationship with Alicia, and it’s a nice comeuppance. “I think that’s a very good idea,” he smiles brightly. “Let’s stay in touch.”
“Objection!” Mr Sally yells. Judge Matchick is having none of it. “Exception!” Oh, Mr. Sally. Brody keeps questioning his witness, a blond forensic expert, who tells him that Sally’s fingerprints were found on the handle and inside of his partner’s Cessna. Why was this guy murdered at his plane? I don’t think anyone ever says, which is a little odd, right? Oh, whatever. They definitely established that he travels a lot.
Anyway. Sally tries ineffectually to find the proper way to ask the witness if she could prove he’d never been on the plane before. Brody, of course, enjoys shooting him down. Finally Alicia whispers the proper form. “Did your investigation reveal that I had been on the plane a week before the murder, and that could be a source of the fingerprints?” Yes. It did. Sympathetic juror – in tweed blazer and black turtleneck today – nods in vindication.
Alicia waves a crime scene photo under Sally’s nose. (You know, I feel weird calling him Sally, since it’s a first name, but there it is, that’s his last name, so what can I do?) It takes him a bit to figure out what she wants him to do, but eventually he asks the witness, Lauren, what happened to the 48th blood sample from the crime scene. There are only 47, she says. Well then why is there a 48th clearly marked in this photo? “It’s outside the designated crime scene.” Brody objects – it could be random – but he’s overruled. Lauren explains that when they tested the sample, it was type O, which is inconsistent with the victim’s blood. Sally forces her to admit that his blood type is B+. Now more of the jury is nodding along; Alicia is pleased, too. Matchick is impressed. “I haven’t said this to anyone in a while,” Sally turns to Alicia, “thank you.” She smiles.
The next scene begins with a laptop screen running encryption programs on Anya’s sim card. ” Crypt-bit encryption? You don’t like Lasermite? ” Blake asks Kalinda as he wanders into the conference room where she’s working. Or does she have an office? We rarely see her settled in, or doing something so mundane as paperwork. He hovers, then sits on the edge of the table. She’s got quite a set up, including a second laptop. “Try combining lasermite and alcosec using binary sifters,” or at least that’s what it sounded like to this lay person’s ears. (Feel free to tell me where I’ve gone wrong.) “They cancel each other out.” “Use lasermite for salting.” She does, and he seems to be right. Boo.
“So – what did you find out about me? Friends in D.C. said you phoned.” “You have enemies,” is all she’ll give him, but he shifts focus because the data finally appears. Same phone number every night, he notices. “You recognize it,” he guess from her silent nodding. “Stan’s Chicken Shack.” (I wonder if this really is a local chain? Hmm. A quick search reveals only a British band called Stan Webber and the Chicken Shack, which is kind of a fun reference, if that’s what it is.) Blake wonders if she’d order their take out in her new place. Sounds like a good thought – detection by hot wing! Kalinda slams down the laptop screens and sashays out of the room. “Hey Leila?” Blake calls to her, freezing her mid-stride. He clears his throat. “We should work together.” She spins right back in. “Stop it,” she says quietly. “Stop what?” he responds, as if he didn’t know.
And then, dear reader, she shoves him. Are you kidding me? She shoved him! Kalinda shoved him! Get out of town! It’s so school yard, so territorial. That was pretty funny. That’s not her usual tack at all, but he did prove immune to her what he thought was her flirting. I wish I found him more charismatic and attractive, though. The situation makes him a total Mr. Darcy, but so far this dude is no Colin Firth. Or Matthew Macfadyen.
From that bit of tough guy bravado we turn to the world of crystal, flowers, clinking china and pastel pantsuits. Ah, it’s Jackie’s Ladies Auxiliary. How lovely. The membership seems to be voting using large black and white marbles, placing them in a golden box; the glass containers are equally full at the moment. Jackie sells Peter to some other auxiliaries while keeping an eye on the voting. It would be such a boost to Peter. He’s had such a tough time. She’s not quite a natural salesperson; maybe it’s that she’s so clearly self-serving. A yellow-suited woman brings up the topic, and Jackie drifts in her direction just in time to hear her say “the daughter-in-law – that’s the one we should get.” Ruth of the patterned yellow wishes Alicia were there. Alicia works, Jackie says brightly, but my granddaughter Grace is here. “She’s thinking of joining our Cotillion.” Oh, mother of God, can you see poor Grace being forced into a debutante program? That’s exactly what she’s hoping for, I’ve no doubt.
Grace, in a very pretty silvery lilac dress, is curled up on a couch with a good book. Poor kid – what a thing to be dragged to. She’s ignoring Jackie’s loud calls. A boy in the inevitable blue blazer and khakis (and less inevitable pink shirt with open collar) plunks down next to her and sighs dramatically. He blows out his breath, clearly trying to get her to pay attention. Aw, that’d be nice, wouldn’t it? A boyfriend for Grace. (Ah, how quickly the mind moves from introduction to admiration to love.) “It’s so bogus, huh?” She agrees. “I got dragged here,” she says. “Yeah,” he responds articulately. “You too?,” she perks up to ask. “No, no, I’m working,” he tells her. He’s a waiter who sits down with the guests? Huh? Or was that a joke? “Doing what,” she queries. “You know,” he answers. Ah, genius. How refreshing. Revising down from possible boyfriend status. Yet, they laugh.
“So, has your mom or dad said anything about this other scandal?” he asks. Hmm. Odd. Does this mean he knows who she is, or is he just making conversation? “The one right now,” she wonders, and he nods. “Naw. We kinda just try to avoid the whole subject, you know.” “Are they still sleeping in separate rooms?” he asks, looking her full in the face. Danger Will Robinson, danger! I guess he does know who she is. She stares at him in disbelief. Poor Grace. Is she used to people coming up to her with these sort of questions? She’s much more polite than I would have been. Well, that’s not true. She’s much friendlier than I would have been, much warmer. Icy would have been more like it. It’s not like he’s even particularly cute. Grace notices another boy, in a blue button down and tie, training a phone camera on them. “Who’s that?”
“Oh. That’s Steven. He’s in film school. So, your parents still aren’t sleeping together?”
Oh. Ew. The dude is a tracker. Well, I was slow on the uptake there.
This makes me furious. Why do these foolish people never assume their kids could be brought into their ugliness? Of course Grace and Zack are easier targets for trackers and opportunists of any kind than someone as savvy as Alicia. And especially after the Becka tweeting mess, how can Eli not think of this? I’m disappointed with him this episode. Not with Alan Cummings, who is a genius, but with the writers for saddling him with this boneheaded award plot in the first place. Think of a better reason to push him and Jackie together, please. They really are a delightful pair, so use them well! And for Gods sake, don’t throw the kids to the wolves! They’re smart and they’re not babies. Childs is going to bring them into this, as Eli keeps reminding Peter; their best defense is not ignorance, but knowledge. Teach them how to protect themselves! Let them know what might be coming! After everything they’ve managed in the last year, haven’t they earned your trust? Sure, they’ll mess up, but does it have to be stuff that could be prevented if people would just remember the kids are there?
Brody’s thumping his chest back in Matchick’s courtroom. (Oh, fine. Not literally.) He’s interviewing murder victim Mr. Kimball’s accountant. She’s so nervous she’s biting her fingers, and the judge has to tell her to remove them so they can hear. What a fun detail. Her name appears to be Terbecken, which of course makes me think of a turducken. Excellent. Terbecken traveled often with Mr. Kimball (as required by their jobs?) and stayed in the same hotels, and witness Mr. Sally fight with Mr. Kimball. She’s specifically seen a letter exchanged between the two which lays out the basis for their fight about the website. Sally, of course, objects, but this time only because Alicia asks him to. She’s written out the cause: “best evidence.” Hilariously, Sally has no idea what this means (the air with which he says is genius) and when Matchick is intrigued, Alicia pulls a Cyrano DeBergerac and feeds him his lines behind her hand. The letter isn’t hearsay, since Terbecken read it, but her recollection of the letter isn’t as good evidence as the letter itself. Sally demands the prosecution produce the letter. Cary takes it all in. Judge Matchick buys it, to Brody’s distress. “We can’t establish motive if we can’t hear that letter,” he says exasperatedly. Not my problem, says the judge. Sustained. Childs, of course, just happens to be lurking in the courtroom at just that moment. Sally floats the phrase “if I get out” to Alicia.
Brody walks with Childs in the hallway. “He’s still trying the unicorn defense – he’s got no case, sir!” “He’s got no case and he’s still beating you,” a grim Childs replies. “Cary?” As Cary walks towards them, Brody pleads his case. Cary’s a first year, he’s too inexperienced. “I don’t care if he’s just out of law school,” Childs shoots back. Cary reaches them. “Can you beat her?” “Um, we just caught a bad break, Mr. Childs,” Cary demurs. “That’s not what I asked. Can you beat her?” “Yes,” says the ever confident – and ambitious – Cary. “You’re first chair,” says Glen, and he walks away.
Brody stares at Cary. It’s not a happy look. “I don’t know how long you plan to stay with us,” he spits out, “but that’s not how you endear yourself to your coworkers.” “Oh,” says Cary, “is that what this is about? Endearment?” His lips are pursed – well, endearingly. You know, if you’re not Brody, who stalks off. I’m with Cary here. What’s he supposed to do? Childs is crazy, no doubt, and utterly paranoid where the Florricks are concerned, so he’s maybe making more of this than it is. But what was Cary supposed to do? Say that he couldn’t beat her? Say he can’t do his job? He believes he can. Sorry, it’s not Cary’s fault. It’s certainly not Cary’s fault that Alicia routinely beats Brody, either, and that has to be in the back of Childs’ mind. I suppose Brody couldn’t yell at Childs about it, though, so he vented his rage on the nearest target, but that’s such an ugly thing to do.
“Oh, one more thing,” Diane’s voice from the next scene begins before the picture catches up with it. Derrick is leaving Diane’s office. “How are you on partner’s offices?” Will explains that Diane has a corner office and Will has a larger partial corner. Does he want them to clear people out for him? They could splurge for either layout. (Who did you put in Stern’s office? Surely he had one. Wouldn’t that do? And that reminds me. We don’t see Julius or Lee in this episode. Please, please don’t tell me that you decided that Bond was enough diversity for the office and got rid of Julius. And by you, I mean the writers, not Will and Diane. Of course, you’d probably have to pay those actors too much to have them simply show up for the staff meeting, but still, it’d have been nice to recognize someone there. Even Courtney.)
“One of the things we did in our old firm” oh, so it IS an old firm and he’s left D.C.? I’m still confused – “was put the partners in the core of the building, and made the outside communal associates offices. It fostered good will.” Will and Diane look like they’ve bitten into lemons. “Do you prefer an interior office?” “Let me think on it. There’s one more thing.” He wants to begin an official mentoring program, because that, too, fosters good will. He thinks the current system of unofficial mentoring isn’t up to snuff. “Oh. There’s one more thing.” One more thing? I don’t like the sound of this already. “Peer review? We don’t choose who to fire. Associates grade each other.” No, I definitely don’t like the sound of that. “It creates community.” “Yeah,” says Will, “like Lord of the Flies.” Diane snorts. Ah, Cary, you were let go too soon. Just think how much more fruitful your slur campaign against Alicia would have been under this system! That’s beyond atrocious. Seriously, what sort of community could it foster, putting highly stressed and ambitious coworkers in charge of each other’s fate? A fake lying community, or a cut throat one? Does he honestly think that’s a good idea? “Let us think on that,” Diane finally forces out through a bit of laughter. “Are we being played in some way?,” Will wonders as he watches Derrick’s retreating back. Good question. I wonder that too. Is Derek just pushing ideas through to see how much Will and Diane will swallow before they choke? “I don’t see how,” says a still tittering Diane. “Me neither. It’s making me suspicious.”
I’m still wondering about this dual city firm. Not that plenty of firms don’t have offices in two places, but how are they planning on making a cohesive firm? Could it be that Bond wasn’t a partner in his old firm, or brought people and ties with him but not real estate? Why bring Blake, for example, when L/G already had an investigator, unless he’s got nothing to go home to?
“Stan’s Chicken Shack!” a voice pipes up over Kalinda’s phone. She’s pretending to be Anya, asking the restaurant to confirm the address on her order since she’s just moved. She’s working her way through local franchises, one by one. This one isn’t the right place, but the next one is, and they read back her address. Clever, clever girl. Careful and controlled, she walks by Blake’s office space, trying not to tip him off.
Cary’s got Lauren the – pathologist? crime scene investigator? whatever – back on the stand. “Ready to have another go at this?” She is. “What is lupus?” Cary asks. She doesn’t get further than “lupus is a disease that attacks the immune system” before Alicia has pointed her pen to paper again. On the paper – ooh, smart – is written “Objection” and then a list of possible objections, so that Alicia can quickly and silently indicate the right one. “Beyond the scope” is today’s answer. Matchick, however, would like to see what Cary’s point is, as would we all. Lauren explains that lupus causes the body’s immune system to attack itself, leading to joint inflammation and tissue damage. It’s found in perhaps 1 in 1000 Americans, making it far more common than I had thought. Mr Sally, she says, suffers from lupus, and since there are no objections forthcoming, I suppose this is true. Interesting that we don’t see Sally and Alicia discuss it, though; did she already know? Anyway, Lauren explains a relevant characteristic of lupus: if a patient such as Mr. Sally were to go off or change his medication, it could actually change his blood type. He could be an O one day, and a B+ on another. Get out of town, really? That’s amazing. I seriously had no idea such a thing was possible. Neither did Alicia, and she’s not quite as fascinated by the news as I am. Do you suppose this was Cary’s brainstorm sent on to Lauren, or did she figure it out on her own and Cary’s just got lucky timing? Sally looks pissed.
“Now, this blood sample,” Cary says, crossing the courtroom to the evidence table for the photo, grumbling about how hard Alicia worked to get it into evidence, “did you expedite a dna test looking for a match?” She did. “And who did it match?” “The defendant, Mr. Sally.” Alicia closes her eyes. “Well, then, the prosecution rests,” Cary says triumphantly. Sally turns his yellow legal pad to Alicia. On it he’s written HELP! in capital letters, underlined.
It’s not really relevant, but a commercial for the local run of Wicked played at the end of this break. What’s the very next thing I see when the show returns? A little dog, and a twitchy, hunched woman in red shoes sneaking out of a basement apartment. Seriously. It has nothing whatsoever to do with The Good Wife, but it made me laugh pretty hard anyway.
The woman in the red shoes, of course, is Anya, and it’s Kalinda who’s found her. Anya denies her identity, but when a helicopter passes by, Kalinda uses the moment of distraction to play on her fears. “They know you’re here – don’t go back in there,” says Kalinda, and hustles her off to a park bench. “You need to tell me,” she says, “Do you know who shot Kimball? Was it the government?” Suddenly a woman walks by with a stroller, which Anya is convinced contains a transmitter and not a baby. The mother sits on the next bench, and starts cooing. Anya seems certain that her source – the Pentagon insider who leaked the video – panicked that the leak would be traced to him, and so killed Kimball. Anya twitches, and worries her chin against the top of her little dog’s head. You have to testify to that, says Kalinda. “He’ll kill you. He’ll kill me too.” “We can hide your identity,” Kalinda tells her. “No you can’t,” twitches Anya. “If you bring me into that court, I will plead the fifth.” She turns, looking towards the cooing mother. “Look at her.” She turns away with contempt. “Like that’s a real baby.” And look, there’s Blake, just walking past. Ah. It seems that private eyes are always watching you.
What, too corny? Sorry.
Why don’t you give me the name of your source, Kalinda begs. That’s the least you can do for Vince. Oh! So that’s Sally’s first name. Ah. Helpful. Anyway, Kalinda says that she’ll take the risk, as long as Anya gives her the name.
Here’s the good news, Kalinda tells Derrick, Diane and Alicia as they’re walking to Diane’s office. The Pentagon source is one Edgar Barkus. “The bad news?” Diane asks. “He’s missing,” Blake answers, following. “Office was cleared out a month ago.” Will takes an interest and walks in. “So what are we saying, it is a government conspiracy?” Diane can’t quite believe it. You know, I love their work process on this show – watching smart people puzzle something out. “Or the Pentagon found their leaker,” Derrick nods. He does this – clasp his hands and nod when he speaks. Hmph. Will asks for Alicia. She walks over with a guarded, inquiring face. “Use her. Use Anya.” “I don’t understand,” Alicia returns. “The prosecution is winning because they’re arguing a straightforward case, straightforward motive. Your client killed over money. Possession of his website. You need a straightforward alternative. Jealousy.” Oh. Interesting, Will. Interesting that that just popped into your head, isn’t it?
“But she’ll plead the fifth.”
“Yeah. So use her.” And the light dawns for Alicia as someone moves in with a paper for Will. I don’t know why she picks this moment, but in a throwback to the body language expert from earlier in the episode, we get a shot of Will’s shoes. They’re pointing straight at Alicia. Even though she’s been feeling rejected, she’s reassured by the interaction and his interest and, yes, his feet. She walks away with a smile.
Will sits in the back of Matchick’s courtroom. As Alicia asks Anya if she’s familiar with Miss Jeanine Terbecken (“what do you mean, familiar?”), Peter walks in. He’s got another spare hour, it seems, and has picked a much finer hour to watch his wife do her job. He slips in behind Will. “This should be interesting,” Will says, and then he stands. “You have to go?” “Take care,” says Will. Hmmm. Jealous much? Or are you so confident in your strategy you don’t even need to see how it plays out? Alicia asks Anya if she knows that Miss Terbecken shared a hotel room with Mr. Kimball. “You didn’t know? But you traveled with them too.” Sympathetic juror makes furious notes. Anya’s eyes are huge, like a mouse that expects to be snatched up by an owl at any moment. Peter watches with rapt attention. “And did you ever fight with Jeanine?” “What? No!” says Anya, taken aback. “You never fought with Jeanine over the attentions of Mr. Kimball?” Cary objects, and the judge sustains. Alicia throws her hands up, as if to distance herself from that line of questioning. Instead she asks if Anya went with Mr. Kimball to D.C. to get the leaked video the week before the murder. Anya can’t decided what to do. “It’s a simple question Anya,” Alicia swoops in. “Did you and Mr. Kimball stay together in Washington D.C.?” Alicia of course is aiming for that jealousy angle – her emphasis is on staying together – but what Anya hears is, where you in D.C. doing the same thing that caused the government to kill Kimball? And so Anya pleads the fifth. “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me.”
The professionals squint at her, lean in, and the conspiracy theorist juror scribbles furiously. You know, for someone with no lines, this guy got a pretty decent role. He’s certainly making the most of it.
“Are you sure that’s what you want to do?,” questions Matchick, rather astounded. “You’re pleading the fifth?” Poor innocent Anya has no idea how guilty it makes her sound, not merely because she’s a paranoid but because she doesn’t understand the law well enough to know what she’s doing. “Yes,” she says, looking back and forth in a bit of disbelief. I sort of can’t believe they were able to hustle her to the courthouse in the first place, actually. You’d think she’d have moved again, what with the helicopter and all. “You’re worried about relating what happened with the victim in Washington D.C.?” Again, Alicia treads the perfect line. To the judge and jury, this sounds like she has something to hide; Anya just wants to hide herself from the government she assumes is watching. “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me,” she says again. Alicia heaves a sigh.
“Miss, I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying,” Judge Matchick leans in. “Your honor,” Alicia interrupts, “the witness has already answered.” “Are you pleading the fifth because you were involved in Mr. Kimball’s murder, or because of the legal…” Alicia interrupts him (and we all know how much he’s going to love that). “Your honor, it’s not your place to ask my witness…” Peter leans forward, stunned. He is literally on the edge of his seat. “Yes it is, Mrs. Florrick,” Matchick replies. “Now, you are taking the fifth…” She cuts him off again. “Your honor, if you compel my witness to answer this question I am moving for an immediate mistrial.”
“Denied. I am asking a simple question.” “You are not, sir,” says an outraged Alicia (nice acting, honey). “You are piercing the fifth amendment right!” Matchick is furious. “Mrs. Florrick, shut up.” Temper, temper. Such ugly words for a judge to use. “No, sir.” Peter’s eyebrows shoot up. “Excuse me?” Matchick’s tone is dangerous. She swallows a bit before composing her reply. “As long as you are attempting to circumvent her fifth amendment right, I will not shut up.” “You will shut up, or be held in contempt!” the judge snarls. “Then hold me in contempt, and I will refer this to the judicial conduct committee for immediate action.” Ah, well played – we know from the beginning of the episode how much the idea of being overturned on appeal bothers our stickler of a magistrate. Being called unprofessional by his peers – being taken to task by them – is a potent threat. Peter is riveted. Everyone glances around nervously for a few seconds. “This court will adjourn until tomorrow morning,” Matchick says finally. Peter grins his feral grin.
Oh. My. Goodness. You know that scene back in “Heart” where Alicia decides to seduce Peter? Where you could see just from the swing in her hips and the controlled, sexy way she walked what was going to happen? Well, you can tell that from the way Peter’s walking now, and the way he pushes Alicia’s bedroom door open. The closer he gets to her, the slower he goes. Alicia’s listening to All Things Considered in her bathroom (which puts the scene between 4 and 6 on a half hour, considering that we’re hearing the theme song) she’s brushing her teeth and heading for a shower. The water runs in the background. Was it dorky of me to get excited about their theme song? Sorry, just another NPR junkie. “I’m almost done,” she says, putting down her toothbrush. NPR proves a poor distraction for me and for Alicia, however, when Peter spins her around. “What are you up to?” She’s puzzled, but not for long as he pushes her up against the wall. “Peter,” she says, in a tone of voice we’ve never heard from her. The camera focuses tightly on their upper bodies. She’s – hmm – I think sitting on the counter between the sinks now. I can’t remember ever seeing her bathroom before, so I can’t say for sure. This is rather the reverse of Kalinda and Lana’s kiss where all we see is their feet, and yet the same; it seems like the real action is going on off screen. Angles shift. Clothing shifts. The edges of her bathrobe, below the belt, flip apart. It’s deeply, deeply sexy. (Fanning, fanning, fanning myself. My, it’s hot in here suddenly.)
“I saw you in court today,” he purrs. “Yeah?” She’s surprised, and flattered, and slipping into this whole other state of being. “You were a-maaaazing.” He draws out the last word. “Peter, I’ve got to.. study” He cuts into the sentence with a kiss. He starts nuzzling. They kiss. They smile into each other’s eyes, not in a goofy puppy love way but with heat, and amazement. They’re seeing each other, for the first time in a long time. It feels like an age.
“Peter, I have to study,” she says, good humored, almost challenging.
“Okay,” he smiles, “let me.” He disappears, and she bumps back into the tiled bathroom wall, and catches her breath. She shuts off the light. Her head tilts back. She exhales. The screen goes black.
Now, I’ve been hearing that there’d be a scene between Peter and Alicia, so steamy it might have to be saved for the season two dvd. I’m guessing they didn’t save it. I have a hard time imagining they could have anything steamier (heh, hot shower, get it) hiding somewhere. It certainly wouldn’t be sexier for showing more skin or – well, more anything. This reminded me a little of Buffy and Spike knocking down that abandoned house, don’t you think? Anyone?
Kalinda watches Cary cross examine Anya. “Let’s go at this from a different angle. Do you know of any reason Mr. Sally might have had to murder Mr. Kimball?” Nice try, but no cigar, Cary. The fifth, she is still pleading it. Alicia smiles. “Now, are you refusing to answer because you were involved with the murder?” Anya is starting to get annoyed at having to repeat herself. Kalinda gets a call and skips out of the room. It’s Blake. “So, you want to follow me again, have me do your work for you?” “Nope,” he answers. “I have something for you. Picked it up on my police scanner.” He’s standing in a overgrown field by a river with a large bridge in the background. “They found the murder weapon down by the river.” “The cops have it,” Kalinda frets. “They’re checking it for prints right now. My guess is your client didn’t wipe it down.” Oh, he’s her client now? I thought he was their client. “How long do we have?” Blake gives them a few minutes. Hmmm. I wonder if they’ve got that phone app which allows police to check fingerprints immediately? That’s the hot accessory for all the cop show lately.
Kalinda rushes back into court with a quick word for Alicia’s ear. She’s momentarily alarmed. Cary finishes trying to slip around Anya, and when the judge asks Alicia to call her next witness, she calmly rests instead. Vince Sally is perplexed. “What’re you doing – we still have to refute the blood evidence!” “Defense rests,” she says pointedly. Cary and Brody recoil. “Your honor, the people are unprepared for closing arguments,” Cary says, hoping to save himself. “That’s unfortunate, Mr. Agos, because I am.” “Well, we request a five minute recess.” “No, Mr. Agos,” says Matchick. Ah, that Howard, he loves to be in control, doesn’t he, no matter how petty the opportunity. “This trial has gone on much longer than I anticipated, and I’m tired. So either you go now, or you don’t go.” Cary takes a deep breath, and begins. “And where does that leave the defense,” he winds up as we catch back up with him. “Their case is in tatters.” He seems to be doing relatively well, considering the lack of preparation. The awaited police officer enters the room, and spins his tale of murder weapons to Brody.
“Your honor, I need to interrupt. The police have just uncovered a new piece of evidence.” Does he sound southern here to anyone else, or is it just me? Not in general, but right now. “Mr. Brody, you know as well as I that once the prosecution starts it’s closing arguments there is no new evidence.” Vince looks around, perhaps figuring out Alicia’s quick moves. “Yes, your honor,” says Brody, annoyed, “but these are extraordinary circumstances.” He stands with his hands on his hips. “Well, that’s unfortunate, Mr. Brody. If the jury deadlocks, you can use your extraordinary circumstances in the next trial.” He instructs the jury to ignore all this talk of new evidence. Man, that’d be tough. You can’t unring a bell, as they say. “You may continue, Mr. Agos.” Poor Cary is stricken.
Derrick is finally sitting down at a desk, with a window behind it. “Hey – about your peer review suggestion,” Will says, standing in the doorway, “We thought we could try it for one year as a pilot program.” Gross. What a hideous idea that is! What were they thinking? Oh, tell me this isn’t going to heap some nightmare on Alicia’s head next spring? Shudder. I don’t like it. Make it go away! Derrick, however, is tolerably pleased, though not as obviously pleased as one might expect. Was that a test they failed? “We’re trying to get you a smaller office without a window, but for now you’ll have to make do with this. Derrick smiles. Will notices a basketball on a shelf. “You shoot the hoops?” (The hoops? Cute.) “Yes,” assents Derrick. “We’ve got a league,” Will offers. That was a league? I thought it was a regular pickup game. “A few judges, lawyers. We could use some Baltimore blood.” He chuckles. “You can’t handle some Baltimore blood.” They laugh, and start passing the ball. Derrick’s eyes look really blue here – are they, or is it a trick of the reflections? We see Diane’s reflection between the two men. “That’s how it starts,” says Derrick. Diane watches them through the glass wall, eyes narrowed, no doubt looking around for Will’s strategy of giving Derek the cold shoulder. How’s that going for you, Will? Whatever you’re playing here, it’s not basketball.
Alicia strides into the nearly empty courtroom, where Sally sits on a bench. You know the gun, he asks her. Feds have a way of making that kind of thing show up when they need them. The state’s attorney’s offering five years, she counters. He can’t believe Alicia wants to fold, when they might actually win. “I mean, we’re not considering it, are we?” Vince says in surprise. Oh, we’re absolutely considering it, says Alicia. It just takes one. “It takes one to deadlock,” Vince remembers, since it’s been their strategy all along. “Yes,” says Alicia with a touch of impatience and asperity, “and if there’s a deadlock the gun is in. A deadlock works against you.” Vince isn’t ready to give up. “I can say the government planted it,” he contends, ready to keep fighting. I’m sure he didn’t expect to get this far, and victory seems possible and close.
“Oh, come on, Vince, you did it.” Alicia’s lost her patience utterly. He gives her a shocked look. They stare at each other. “Right now, you’re in control. When that jury comes in, it’s out of your hands.” She’s impassioned, and ever so vaguely maternal. Well, teacher-like, perhaps, letting a clueless kid know just how much trouble he’s gotten himself into. “Take the five years!” His brow furrows; you can see he’s considering it, thinking it all through.
A man walks through the shadows of L/G&B, hands in his pockets, as Alicia sits in her office. She puts her phone down. “Did he take it?” “The five years, yes,” Alicia tells Derrick. Ah, that’s what this show does so well. Alicia’s brilliant at her job, so she can get a good result out of a ridiculous, unwinnable case – but we have a moral compass, so the murderer doesn’t actually go free. Win win. “It’s a smart move,” Derrick nods. Alicia nods back in agreement. “I’m your new mentor,” he says, without introduction or explanation. “See you tomorrow morning.” There’s a ghost of a smile on Alicia’s face; hopefully she sees the compliment inherent in his choice. She’s taken aback and apprehensive as well, though. And the scene fades around her.
So, fascinating. There was a lot to process in this episode. A merger, a murder case, government conspiracies, cameras in baby carriages (you know, they never did show us the actual baby). But who am I kidding? That’s not what we’re most interested in. (I take that back. We’re interested in the merger. We’re very interested in the merger. I’ll get back to that in a minute.) But oh my goodness. We get a passionate declaration of love – through voice mail. Somehow the voice mail gives it a whole unrequited love/love letter feeling. There’s something Victorian about the fact that she never gets the message, despite the technological aspect of it. (It’s almost an Easter Egg for the audience; we know, and she doesn’t.) He’s loved her for something like twenty years. He’ll do whatever she wants. It’s utterly swoon-worthy.
And to counter that amazing moment of almost chaste longing, we have a marital encounter of unbelievable intensity. What’s impressive again is that so little is actually shown, yet so much is conveyed. There wasn’t much actual kissing, and what there was was brief. Kudos to the showrunners for making married sex so incredibly hot. Also, kudos for showing Peter so in awe of his wife. What turns him on is her mind, her skill at her job, her bravado and her ability to take an enormous risk and play it perfectly. Note that there’s something fascinatingly amoral about this; her impassioned defense of the Constitution was calculated, and intended as a lie, to create a false impression. It was a performance, and it succeeded brilliantly as one. I’m sure she does believe in the right not to incriminate oneself, but that wasn’t what was going on. I think for Peter that makes it all the more exciting; she’s not a naive kid. She knows what she’s doing. She knows the law and how to use it. There’s also an intriguing parallel to “Heart” here; no, not just the sexy walking, but the fact that (there) Alicia used Peter as an outlet for her newly released passion for Will. Here, it was Will’s idea (using Anya’s fear of the government to shape her testimony) that created the opportunity for the spark between Alicia and Peter. Weird to think that Will is responsible, at least indirectly, for the resurgence of the Florrick sex life, isn’t it? The layers of twisted romantic drama on this show really beggar belief.
And that’s definitely a compliment.
What can we say about the merger? I’m not clear about the mechanics yet (does Derrick still have that office in D.C. or not?) but I’m sure that will become clear in time. I can wait a while. I’m not thrilled with the whole BP idea (it’s so obvious) but it can’t overwhelm them, I don’t think. I’d expect it to be one of those things they just talk about in the background, like the class action suit against the insurance company last season. I’m glad they haven’t taken the gloves off right away, but I’m curious to see how much longer the honeymoon lasts. Right now, Diane and Will seem to be bending over backwards to accommodate Derrick, and give him a stake at their new company. I mean, that whole peer review thing sounds pretty risky. And wrong. (Or am I not giving the lawyers enough credit for the ability to be impartial?) I’m curious to see where this new mentorship leads, as well; it could be fascinating to see someone devote time to sharpening Alicia’s game. I also can’t wait to find out if he’s impressed with Alicia’s smarts, or looking to use her as a tool in office politics. I don’t doubt that quiet, courtly Derrick has his own game, and I want to know what it is. No, no, I don’t mean to imply that he’s some sort of villain, but we know nothing about him now. And as Eli would tell us, everyone plays an angle. I can’t wait to see what that is. I can’t tell what Will is playing at, either; Diane might lie to herself, but she usually doesn’t lie to other people, so it’s a bit easier to see where she was coming from, finding Derrick and bringing him in to the fold.
Derrick intrigues me far more than Blake right now. That surprises me a bit. It’s not the fact that he’s pushing back at Kalinda, but the way he’s doing it that I’m not finding as charismatic as I would wish. There’s no guy on this show whose actions I find wholly commendable, or who I agree with exclusively, and yet I find most of them (Cary, Peter, Will) immensely appealing. Not that it isn’t fun to see Kalinda thrown a little off her game. And not that it wouldn’t be fun to see her pushed to greater levels of sneakiness by constant competition. So we’ll see. I need you to be worthy of her, dude, and so far we haven’t seen anyone who is.
And that’s it for now. All told it was a pretty terrific episode, well crafted and thrilling, featuring some of the most searing moments of the entire series. That is a nice present to have after such a long break. Thanks for the gift, guys! We’ll see you next week.