E: From the moment the “Previously on The Good Wife” scenes began to air, I started screaming. The deleted voice mail! Witness beating! Are they really going to deal with two of the biggest threads out there, on this very night?
And then the episode aired. Wait, are they bringing him back? Eeek, and her! And, oh no, what are you thinking! Oh God, he didn’t. He really didn’t.
My poor husband. For the next hour, he was subjected to assorted howls, yelps, and cries of wonder, horror and delight coming from our living room. I’m sure he questioned my sanity and my health. And truth be told, I think my heart might have stopped a few times there. The writers left it all on the floor.
A phone rings, and we hear a voice. “Hello, Alderman?” A line of people sit in a darkened room, listening intently, taking notes from a recorded phone call. There’s a little small talk about a pre-school graduation, disrupted by talk of $50,000 in cash. A helpful poster bears enormous photos of Royce Crombie and Matthew Wade (Mykelti Williamson, who first rose to fame as shrimp-loving Bubba in Forrest Gump). A pointer indicates when each man speaks. There’s also a power point presentation of the transcript, least there be any doubt. We take a quick detour to define a wiretapping term (2518 minimization, which indicates a gap where material was too personal to record; remember this – there’ll be a quiz later) when the conversation turns to Crombie’s ambivalence about reproduction. The sweet looking woman doing the talking is doe-eyed actress Reiko Aylesworth and she’s explaining that political bundler Crombie “bundled” together money in order to buy Alderman Wade’s vote. The people she’s addressing are presumably a grand jury. She can’t indite Crombie, because he killed himself when this very grand jury was empaneled. (Ouch. I’d have felt very uncomfortable about that, were I on that jury.) So she’s coming after Wade, guns blazing.
“Now, I know,” she adds, “many of you might recognize him. Detroit Pistons, 2000.” The grand jury nods. “But I still need you to judge him as a politician. A corrupt politician.” Well, he won’t be the first of those we’ve seen, will he? “Think, man,” comes the laughing voice of Matthew Wade, not on the tape this time, over our parting shot of Aylesworth’s face.
“I thought you were supposed to distract me,” Wade laughs, sweating, looking down at Will in his Georgetown basketball gear (hey, at least there’s no ridiculous sweat band this time). “This is me distracting you.” Will’s intense (how else) but Wade is genial. “What, distracting me with fouls,” Wade laughs, prodding Will’s shoulder with his pointer finger. “You got to protect those knees, old man!” They laugh, and Will steals the ball, and Tammy wolf whistles at him. “Who’s that,” Wade asks. Will only says her name, without explanation or definition. Matthew makes a hand gesture indicating (I assume) her hotness, and Will tries to use the opportunity to score a basket. No such luck. Tammy and Wade wave at each other. “So you really were done, huh? You moved on from your school yard crush.” Eeee! Will has someone he talks to about Alicia? That’s so cool! Except, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to question Will as a judge of character, what with his last basketball buddy being a judge who essentially sold kids to pay off his gambling debts. (Okay, fine, I’m sure that Baxter used to be a good guy, and maybe Wade is too; perhaps the lesson is that all these successful folks walk a fine line, and they’ve all crossed at least glancingly into the darkness?)
Will says Tammy’s an old friend. “I told her to come down her to watch me whip the ass of the great Matthew Wade.” He flips the ball behind his back (impressive!) and passes it to Wade, who presses toward the basket. Both men freeze as Will’s phone rings. “How’d we do,” he asks. No word yet, says Alicia, standing outside the Grand Jury Room. “We’re hearing they may come back tomorrow.” Will hates the idea that the tension might continue for that long. Kalinda will press the clerk for details when he comes out. “How’s he doing?” Alicia asks, because she’s like that. She hands holds even from a distance! Or maybe she’s hand-holding Will by asking about his friend. “He’s better than I’d be,” Will answers, watching Matthew chat with Tammy, reaching into a large paper bag she’s presumably brought snacks in. “You’re a good friend, hanging with him,” Alicia tells her boss, but he won’t take credit. “In Chicago you need your friends three times: at your wedding, your wake, and your first indictment.” Hmm. I suppose, if that’s the inevitable progression, you ought to pray that the indictment does in fact come after the wake. Alicia laughs. “Blake’s here,” she adds.
“Good,” says Will, “have him help Kalinda.” “Actually,” replies Alicia, hesitant, “I don’t know how much those two help each other.” “As long as they don’t kill each other, the competition’s good for the firm.” You can think that, Will, and it might be true to a point, or with other people, but you don’t know how bad things have gotten. Things were bad enough between Alicia and Cary, who are far more urbane and law abiding, but you just don’t know what you’ve unleashed.
Blake and Kalinda lean on the same wall, seething and rigid, staring ahead. “Dr. Booth is, ah, still in the hospital,” she mentions as if casually, eyes trained in front of her. He turns, thumbs in his pockets. “Sorry, that’s the witness that you put in the hospital.” “Oh, yeah,” he says, making an annoying show of puzzlement. “When did I do that again?” She looks back at him calmly. “When you broke into his office looking for evidence for our anti-depressant case, and the good doctor surprised you.” Her gaze is serious. I’d like to think she dislikes his methods and not just him. “Right, right,” he says, mugging some more, “that must have slipped my mind. Because I thought I broke into his office, I found the evidence, and I accidentally left the door open, and then some unknown assailant beat him up.” Oh, yes, that’s very believable. “Sure,” Kalinda says, eyes wide, “when the police question you, I’d stick to that.”
“The clerk just left the room,” Alicia narrates for Will. “See ya,” Kalinda waves dismissively at Campbells’ Soup Spawn (who seems overly peeved not to get the last word) and takes off after her quarry. Will’s lost his court to a team of tween girls in neon orange. He plops down behind Tammy, the better to wait out Kalinda’s information. “Nice guy,” Tammy says – is that a beer in her hand, or just a green glass soda bottle? “I saw him at UCLA in ’97 – he played like a demon.” (Okay, holy cow – my first thought was “’97? More like ’87!”so I looked up him up on the imdb. And the truth is more like ’77 – turns out Williamson is in his 50s! Wow. Talk about a baby face.) Tammy leans into Will as she talks, and he rubs her shoulders. They’re really cute. They watch Wade talk on the phone, telling his wife the non-news. “So did he do it?” she wonders, looking up at Will. “Did he do what?” Will questions. “Whatever they’re charging him with,” Tammy huffs, annoyed at Will’s legal weasel-wording (and, really, it should have been perfectly obvious what she meant without, say, having to get into the definition of what “it” is). “He’s a black Muslim Alderman in the city’s poorest ward. He was wiretapped saying I don’t know what.” Josh Charles somehow manages to give the effect of shaking his head without actually doing it. “My guess is it doesn’t matter whether he did it. The music stopped and he’s the one without a chair.” Tammy feigns sleep, her head slipping down into the crook of his arm. “You’re not interested in any of this, are you?” he asks. She laughs up at him. “I’m sorry, were you talking?” she asks cutely (although, I don’t know, I find that slightly rude – she did ask, after all). He points at her nose in mock annoyance. She turns in his arms.
“I have a surprise for you tomorrow at work,” she smiles, snuggling in toward him. “Oooh, that sounds dirty,” he grins, “what is it?” “Let me explain this whole idea of a surprise to you,” she replies, and they kiss, and it’s really really cute and sexy. They have such fun chemistry together. Will has his hands on the side of her face, stroking her jaw with his thumb; that just melts me. (Also, he has really nice hands.) When the kiss ends, her blissed out haze lasts only a second, and she squints (presumably at the expression on his face, which we can’t see). “The moment you fall in love with me I’m out of here,” she repeats, and I believe her. I know, he murmurs, rubbing her shoulder. “I’m just warning you,” she insists, still giving him the fish eye. I know, he reassures her, and she gives him a jaunty little kiss. They’re interrupted by Wade, who must have been using Will’s phone, because he’s holding the device aloft, saying “Call waiting!”
“The problem isn’t corruption, the problem is terrorism,” Alicia tells Will, clutching her cell phone the packed courthouse hallway. “What?” breathes Will, shocked still as a statue. “They say he took extremist money. Thirty years to life!”
Will, suited up as usual, rushes into Diane’s office; his bearing is electric. “I need you to take this,” he demands as Diane gathers papers up on her desk. “I heard,” she says dismissively, “it’s just federal overreaching.” Oh, that’s good to know – it’s a federal investigation. Hmmmm. I seem to remember a plotline from a few eons ago about federal wiretaps. “I know,” Will says unhappily, “but they may have stumbled onto something they can win. Anti-Muslim bias.” Diane considers, walking around her desk; she’s got on a tight charcoal gray dress, in some very slinky material, that’s a wonder of draping. “Wiretaps are hard. Juries love them.” “I know,” Will replies intently, “that’s why I need you to take this, get it kicked in pre-trial motions.” Will gives her some serious puppy dog eyes, inhaling. Would it be shallow to say here how much I love his purple striped tie? “He will lose in front of a jury.” Diane looks at him measuringly. “And if I advise him to cop a plea?” Will lifts his hands up in a “hands off” motion; “It’s your call.”
Looking immensely tall, Diane strides into a full conference room. “Okay, very simply,” she tells the assembled minions including – hurrah! – Julius Cain and of course Alicia, “the government was embarrassed by the Blagojevich fiasco, and they’re gunning for any Chicago politician they can get.” Hmm. Could that explain their interest in Peter, too. Will walks into the conference room and sits in a chair by the door. “Will has nothing to do with this. He has asked me to lead because his friendship with Wade is a hindrance. So here is our plan.” Alicia takes note. “Get the terrorism charge booted. We do that, we get a thirty year sentence down to six months and change.” Good plan, Diane – there’s quite a significant difference there. “Two fronts: the money,” she continues. Kalinda – wearing an amazing black dress with a ballet neck and cuffs studded with square metal grommets, something we only caught a hint of under her jacket at the courthouse – has been looking into Royce’s financials. “He bundled for a lot of candidates, I’m trying to chase the cash.” Whether it’s software packages or the sub-prime mortgage crisis, bundling suddenly carries this deeply negative connotation. I don’t think Baby Bunting anymore, I think toxic debt and shady dealings, just from the use of that word. “Good,” says Diane, “take Blake.” Both investigators do very subtle double takes, which is a little funny. Until Blake starts smirking, that is. Second issue, the wiretaps. Julius has that under control. Ah, Julius. I’m so happy to see you again. He’s not blessed with an oversized personality, like David Lee, but he’s not the downer that Blake and Derrick are, and it’s just nice to have a little continuity. I don’t want the rest of the office to be faceless, you know? Anyway, Julius’ going to take a team to the feds, and listen to all the tapes, “in their house.” How many hours of tapes, Diane wonders. The answer – 135- makes her whistle. Julius thinks it’ll take a week, with Michael, Alan, Howard and Alicia as his team. “There’s something in those tapes that the government believes makes their case,” Diane explains, “Is it an inaudible utterance, is it guess work? Find it, neutralize it.” Will looks at her with his Very Serious face. “How soon can you go?” “As soon as this meeting is over,” Julius answers, gathering his things. “Good. It’s over.” Diane shoots out of the room. She was so precise and powerful in this scene. I totally love it. Alicia is the only one looking at Will, who’s rubbing his fingers together in worry.
“No paper, no pens, no cells,” Julian’s voice informs us. “The tapes won’t be marked, the calls won’t be labeled. They make our jobs hard because we’re out to destroy them.” That’s all well and good, but the idea that they can’t take notes is insane. In my opinion. Julian’s clearly enjoying this. He’s leading Michael, Alan, Howard and Alicia through a lovely little park (the terracotta fountain is quite nice) to a glass sky scraper. The leaves are green, but the passersby are wearing light coats or trenches. Julius’s team, however, are all carrying full length puffy winter coats. And they actually look like the same coat in different colors, which is a little odd. Did they buy them on the way? None of them could have come to work thinking they needed deep winter gear. “I see you brought jackets – good. The feds keep the room temperatures freezing. It’s petty harassment, but don’t complain.”
His monologue continues through federal security. “Don’t bitch, just work harder. Don’t say anything to anyone but me.” Alicia dumps her wallet into one of those clear security bins. The security guard smiles broadly at her – until, I don’t quite get why this happens, but she suddenly looks nervous, and glances over at Julius; the guard’s friendly expression disappears. The teams follows a gray staircase down to some sort of nerve center with lots of internal windows but no natural light. “Don’t forget,” he reiterates, “you find anything, knock on my door.” An individual security officer lets each lawyer into a tiny, cell-like room with a patterned green linoleum floor; Julius is in the second room, Alicia the third. There’s a built in desk and a rolling office chair; on the desk (which really is just a large ledge) are two lamps, a broken headset, a box of cds, and an enormous antiquated device that looks like a Beta cassette player. Alicia sets down her puffy coat, strips off her wool coat, tugs at her turtle neck. Hmm. Looks like the feds aren’t trying to freeze them out after all; no one likes to be predictable. She inserts a disk. A voice – one that sounds remarkably like Annie Potts – tells us the tape number and the time of the recording. She sits.
And the chair promptly tips forward and pitches her on to the floor.
So, this pratfall from last week’s promo makes sense; in an effort to make things less comfortable, the feds have supplied her with a broken chair. The wheel on one leg is missing. Now that’s a good time. She’s not paying much attention to the recording (she’s trying to figure out the chair) until she hears Wade ask “when does the meter start running, Eli?” She rewinds frantically. We hear Wade again, and what’s clearly Eli’s voice saying “for a friend, when we both agree.” Her eyes are practically twitching; the coincidence is too much. (And it is rather a funny thing that Eli showed up on the very first recording she tried, isn’t it, out of all those discs? What do the chances have to be?) Should she be listening? What will she hear? “I have a meeting with Florrick in ten, so, what do you need?”
Yikes. Now that’s enough to give you whiplash.
Click the login button, little cursor. GJunior, 57 friends. “That’s pathetic,” Becca grouses over a loud rock soundtrack meant to indicate her youth and rebellious nature. “The only thing worse than a fake profile is having no one visit it.” She waves her hand disgustedly. She and Zach are sitting on the Florrick’s couch together, looking at a lap top of the fake profile they set up for Glenn Childs junior. Uck. That is still so uncool. “He need to update it,” Zach suggests, “he needs to comment more on his dad’s race.” “No,” Becca pouts, petulant in burnt orange and sky blue, “he needs to comment on his opponent’s race.” She grins evilly, and Zach shakes his head.”What? We have Glenn Childs Jr saying something racist about his dad’s African American opponent, it wouldn’t be us saying it, it’d be him.” Oh, there’s a lovely little piece of sophistry. Becca and Blake in one episode? It’s a good thing there’s so much else good going on! “Yeah, but it’s still us having him say it, ” Zach reminds his amoral friend. “Plus, it’d just make her more sympathetic.” Now that’s language Becca can understand – the adverse consequences of manipulation. She’s not happy about it, but she accepts his smart advice. Ah, if only you were always that smart, Zach. “So what, then, we need something viral.” Zach shakes his head back and forth like he’s thinking. Dumb, dumb, dumb, Zach. Resist!
But no. The next thing we see is shaky hand footage of a double rainbow over a wooded hillside. There’s a tent. Um, okay. That’s peculiar. “God. Dad. It’s a double rainbow. Get out of your sleeping bag!” (I totally missed it, but apparently this was a viral sensation a few months ago.) Zach’s hunched over clutching a microphone, providing the voiceover, and Becca is snickering madly into her hand. “Tell me dad – what does it mean?” A cut out of Glenn Childs Senior’s face appears. “It means the city is safe,” a voice intones sagely. A goofy little animated cutout of Childs dances across the sky, it’s tiny arms and legs waving like a marionette. They’re falling over laughing. Seems harmless so far, though not particularly funny.
“Why do you need the blinds drawn again?” asks Will – and for perhaps the first time ever, we see that there are drapes fitted to L/G &B’s glass walls. He pulls the khaki colored fabric up to the door. “For your surprise,” she smirks pleasantly, handing him an envelope. “It’s not my birthday, you know,” he reminds her as he opens it. She knows. “You see the puppy?” she asks? He does. “The puppy’s smiling.” Okay… And inside the puppy card is something that makes Will actually lean on Tammy’s shoulder for support. He steps back. “NOoooooo!” he whispers, capering; he literally hops over some sort of ottoman to sit with his back to Tammy. Looking for the good light to examine his present, perhaps? His enthusiasm is adorable, the way men can be adorable when they act like small happy boys. Tammy snickers and begins to unbutton her fuchsia wool coat. He turns around, but he can’t take his eyes off what’s in his hands. “Where?” he asks. “Fifty yard line,” she says. Could they be Superbowl tickets? I mean, he’s not going to act like that over a run of the mill Bears game, is he? He could easily get those himself. “How?” he breathes, absolutely spellbound. Has to be Superbowl tickets. “Magic,” she shrugs, tossing off a bracelet. She’s wearing a short sleeves black dress with a really cool trapezoidal kind of neckline and a front zipper. Ah ha. “I’ve got to admit,” he says, shaking his head, staring seriously, “this is really turning me on.” We can see Tammy’s reflection in his window. “I knew it would,” she purrs, and begins to open the dress. He hears the noise (which is frankly a little like a wetsuit opening up), and bing! His eyes go up from the tickets to her. She unzips more, so he can see the impressive lingerie she’s sporting, and he’s mesmerized. “How much time do we have,” he asks her, mouth hanging open. “Twenty minutes,” she replies with a quirky of her eyebrows, shimmying out of the skirt. Alrighty then, says his expression, and off comes his suit jacket. He tries to undo his tie and crawl over the furniture at the same time, which is not a functional strategy. We don’t see him fall, but Alicia, about to knock on the door, hears the noise, and wisely decides to talk to Diane instead.
“We’re not alone,” we can hear Diane say to the man seated in front of her desk as Alicia steps into the doorway. He stands. That was the shiny bald head of Julius Cain. Interesting. “Something about the wiretaps,” Alicia wants them to know. “Someone who’s on them? Eli Gold.” Diane thinks that makes sense, considering Eli’s job as a “political operative.” ‘Well that’s what I thought at first too,” Alicia hesitates, “but the wiretap’s on Eli’s phone.” Oh, deary. There it is. Diane and Julius exchange covert glances. “Do you think the feds are going after him?” Julius asks Diane. “Six degrees of wire tap. The feds go from Crombie to Wade, from Wade to Eli, from Eli to…” It’s like a hydra – every question broadens the search, and the beast of an investigation sprouts new heads. Diane looks up at Alicia, embarrassed by the next obvious degree. Julius snaps his head over, following Diane’s gaze. Alicia looks standoffish. Diane asks her not to tell Eli, and Julius (sporting a red and blue striped tie with an orange shirt, a color combination I do not approve) offers to let her off wiretap detail. Perish the thought! Why would she want to do that? She might find more fascinating and/or humiliating personal connections on those tapes! “No! Unless you want me off.” “No,” affirms Julius, “you’re doing a good job.”
“So anything on the terrorism charge?” Diane wonders, changing the topic to general relief. “Well, now we know why the grand jury indicted,” Julius tells her, “Wade goes right out and says it. Here’s the 50,000 pay off from Islamic extremists.” Alicia nods. “He actually says Islamic extremists,” Diane says, disbelieving. “Wade says he was joking,” Alicia explains. “Yes,” agrees Julius, “but it doesn’t sound good.” “Alright,” Diane wraps things up, “stay on it, Alicia.”
And just like that, we’re back in the gray halls of the Cook County courthouse. Cary’s berating a defense attorney as Kalinda waits, leaning against a wall, playing with her phone. “I’m not going to cut any corners with you, so get it to me by five,” he finishes, slapping the smaller man on the shoulder. Kalinda walks over, and the small defense attorney walks away. “You sound tough,” Kalinda flirts at him. He laughs bitterly. “Yeah. I’m in a bad mood. What do you need?” Go ahead, cut to the chase. “Crombie’s suicide. I need his movements the last week.” “Oh yeah, the bundler?” snorts Cary, “Shouldn’t you be in federal court?” Ah, but Kalinda reckons that Cook County did its own investigation. “Come with me,” he says. She doesn’t want to. “Kalinda, come with me.” At his serious tone, she follows, puzzled and smiling through her discomfort.
They enter his office where, despite his usual rules, Cary slams the door. “Wow,” Kalinda tells him, taken aback, “you really are in a bad mood. What’s up?” Cary leans against a shelf, shoves his hands in his pockets, throws his head back, and inhales deeply, trying to calm himself, his eyes closed. Finally he looks at her. “Doctor Randall Booth. Do you know who that is?” She’s got a little deer in the headlights look. “I do.” “Thank you for not lying to me,” Cary smiles ruefully. Cary does rueful well. “Well, thank you for having so much faith in me,” she replies, and widens her eyes to ask for a more complete story. “He was beaten to within an inch of his life, after surprising a burglar ransacking his office. Strangely enough, your firm won a case the next day that benefited from that assault.” Ah well. Will she throw the Evil Boyscout to the wolves, as he so richly deserves? Cary pins her down with his stare. “Are you making an accusation?” she asks, brazening it out. She’s not guilty, after all. “No. I saw the assault report, and your finger prints were found at the scene.” He speaks each word clearly, to emphasize the gravity of the situation. Oh, ouch. Her mouth tightens, and her eyes start, and you can see that it’s unsettled her. “What?”
“Now, I told the investigators what I thought. I thought you probably went to the doctor’s office earlier in the day to question him, and that’s how your finger prints ended up there. ” Ah. That sounds a lot like Blake’s excuse, doesn’t it? Only not quite as thin because at least Cary didn’t postulate burglary. “And the police, they wanted to question you. I told them this sort of assault was unlike you…” He bites down hard on each word. He’s really not happy. He can’t even hold eye contact. “…and suggested they look elsewhere.”
She nods. “Thanks.” He nods back, and sits. “But if I were you, Kalinda, I would try and figure out how my finger prints ended up at the scene.” I love him for knowing she wouldn’t have done this. “What did the assailant use?” she asks, and you can see she’s far away, inside her head, thinking the problem through. “The assailant, to beat the doctor?… It was never recovered, but the police think a baseball bat.” Oh no. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Kalinda is.
She walks out on a street, across from a park, her boots click clacking on the sidewalk, walking to a light colored SUV in an alleyway. She clicks open her trunk. Her bat isn’t there. The door slams down on us.
“I was elected by a five point margin,” Wade insists defensively over the tapes, as Alicia (seen from above) sits on the desk and fans herself. “In ward 53? I could get a serial killer elected in ward 53.” (Are there 53 Aldermen in Chicago? Just wondering. Okay, I looked it up. There are fifty; they must not have wanted to offend any of the wards, so they added this one.) “I’ll help where I can, but my hands are full with Florrick.” Annie Potts tells us that a new call is up. We hear Eli fight with his daughter – his daughter? Eli has offspring? – about her desire to move to a kibbutz. That’s awesome. Alicia laughs at the daughter’s headstrong insistence. Wow, it is so weird thinking of Eli with a family, even if it’s likely a broken one. And – 2518 minimization, says the voice. Alicia’s bummed not to hear more. She listens to a lot more of no interest, many different folks calling for one reason or another. She paces, kicks off her heels. We pick up in time to hear Eli insist that Peter doesn’t like to be weighted down with extraneous details. Gosh, this must be fascinating for her, fascinating and really really weird. “He hates details. I’ll ask Alicia.” She looks down at the tape machine in surprise. “What’s up with you, Eli – everything you do, you shoot by the candidate’s wife?”
“No I don’t,” Eli says defensively. Alicia squats down, lays her arms on the ledge, and puts her chin in her hands. “Yeah you do.” “Okay, I do,” Eli admits. “She’s smart.” This wins a true smile from Alicia. Everything you overhear about yourself should be that good! They laugh about some other candidate’s dumb bride. “Does she know everything you’re up to?” Of course not! He’s Eli! But ah, Alicia doesn’t want to think about that. She bites her lip a little. “Alicia? Ah, no.” “You gonna tell her?” How junior high is this conversation? “Well I don’t know, she’s burdened with a – what do you call that thing? A conscience?” Hee. Even Alicia finds that funny. “Oh yeah, that,” laughs the other man, who sounds like Eli’s fellow operative Jim Moody. “Yeah. That.”
The next time a phone rings, it’s Eli’s cell, and he picks it up at his desk in the Florrick campaign office. “Martin, I’m kinda busy,” he grumbles. “What did we say,” an intense little man snarls, from the stone steps of an imposing building. “What the hell did we say?” Eli thinks this is about the debates (they’re going to have debates, really? Okay, that could be fun to watch, if somewhat unlikely.) Eli is wrong. “You know what this is about,” Martin’s nasal voice accuses. “Yes, but remind me.” Hee. “We said hands off family. Florrick has two kids. My client has two kids. They were off limits.” “They are off line limits,” Eli agrees. “Then what am I looking at?” “Tell me, I need guidance.” Eli doesn’t seem worried yet. Oh, Eli. Little did you know the bomb Zach and Becca have set for you. “A fake web profile, a double rainbow video of someone faking Glenn Junior’s voice.” Eli thinks that’s adorable until Martin furiously tells him that the video has father and son sharing a sleeping bag.
Oh, Zach, you idiot.
Eli asks a staffer to google it. “Doesn’t sound like us, Martin, have you checked out Wendy?” “Oh come on, Eli, that only works so many times,” huffs Martin. He’s quite the self-righteous little fellow, isn’t he? (You know, I’m not even sure why I’m so sure he’s short, and yet I am. Is it the way he hunches? I don’t know.) “You know we have stuff we can use, too. ” He moves the phone from his ear so he’s speaking directly into it, over-articulating his words. “Stuff on Zach. Grace. That’s right, I know their names.” The staffer has the video up, and as Martin cants, Eli watches, drawing himself straighter in growing horror. “Don’t do anything you’d regret, Martin.” “Or what? My only regret is thinking you’d stick to your word. You want to make this about families? This is now about families.” He hangs up, in this nasty snitty little overblown gesture. Jim Moody smirks at the double rainbow video. “I don’t know, Eli – it’s not us.” We get a last glimpse of the double rainbow, and then the cut paper doll version of Glenn Childs bounds into the picture. “Let me comfort ya, son!” He runs to the camera and kisses it repeatedly.
Really, Zach, really?
Alicia’s got 5 cds wedged under the broken chair leg so she can sit in it. Heh. Royce wakes Matthew at 5am with news about 30k. “So are we talking Islamic extremists here?” They both chuckle. Alicia’s surprised, rewinds it. “It was a joke,” she declares on the phone, running through the federal building. “They were laughing – I got the original.” Eli interrupts her with a call waiting, and – because she knows he’s being tapped – she puts him off. He’s downplaying the seriousness, and she cheerily insists they talk in person, later.
“All rise, the honorable Judge Lester presiding,” a bailiff announces, and Ana Gasteyer takes her seat on the bench. Ah, how fun to be back in federal court. “We have pre-trial motions,” she suggests, “motions on the People vs. Matthew Alderman Wade, is that correct?” It is. Oh hell, sighs Will when he notices just who they’ve drawn. He hisses to Diane before she can start. “Just keep saying ‘in my opinion’ before everything, okay?” “In my opinion, what?” Diane questions. “I’ve argued in front of this judge before, just do it,” Will finishes, sitting down. Diane heads back to her table, confused but settling herself. “Um, yes, your honor. I, um – we believe the government has padded it’s charge against my client with a ridiculous terrorism count” she pauses, uncomfortable, “in my opinion. And we ask for summary dismissal of this charge.” “The government has ample reason to charge Mr. Wade, your honor,” replies sweet faced Reiko Aylesworth, “in the submitted wire tap he’d mentioned on several occasions receiving money from Muslim extremists.” “In your opinion,” reminds Judge Lester. Ah, it’s so much funnier when you’re in the know. I wonder how a federal prosecutor wouldn’t be, though; don’t they talk to each other? Not that they knew who they were going to get, but still. Poor Reiko does a double take. “Excuse me?” “In your opinion you have ample reason,” Lester explains. Will’s enjoying it this time around. “Yes, in my opinion,” Reiko stumbles.
“The unfortunate thing is, your honor,” Diane interjects, “that the government is attempting to bury the fact that this is merely a joke – in my opinion.” You know, all this reminds me of my freshman year English teacher in high school, who insisted we stop saying things like “in my opinion” in our essays because that’s what an essay is – our opinion – and it ought to be assumed as such. Do you admit your bias? Do you inject yourself into the argument? Does it stand falsely without that acknowledgment? Lester seems to think so. “A joke taken deathly seriously by their client,” Reiko huffs. “I’m sorry, was that in your opinion?” Diane questions, and oh my lord, I want to hug her. She’s evil genius, and I mean that in the best possible way. Reiko’s mouth hangs open, and her eyebrows knit. She mouths her confusion at Diane. “Miss Vashi, was it?” the judge asks, and she seems to be genuinely curious, which is awesome. “Yes, your honor,” Vashi is forced to admit, her head down, “in my opinion.” Alicia enters the room, while Will smirks over the prosecution’s confusion. Diane explains that Crombie and Wade had a conversation (on tape) and Wade’s faith, “and joked that the only people who would contribute money to him were Islamic extremists. This then became their running gag.” “A running gag unaccompanied by laughter, your honor.” Diane will stipulate to that; sometimes they laughed, sometimes they didn’t. That’s the nature of a running gag. She presents Judge Lester with a list of moments when the two men laughed over it.
“It does seem a little odd, Miss Vashi, that someone who was an actual Muslim extremist would refer to associates as Muslim extremists. Do you have anything else?” Woohoo! Score one for our side, which appears to be the side of the angels. Miss Vashi is open-mouthed with indignation, but thanks to her staff in the front row, she’s pulled out more paper and more accusations. “Your honor, immediately after Mr. Wade received 50,000 from a Islamic extremist contributor, he vetoed the city council’s decision,” wait, one guy can do that? “and insisted that the Al Murad Mosque be built.” On, come on, says Diane. “This he did over the objection of his community and the advice of his campaign manager. In my opinion.” “This is a moving target, your honor,” Diane rightly points out. Are they just going to throw charges on the wall like spaghetti to see which one sticks? “In my opinion, it should be rejected.” “The evidence is quite clear,” Vashi snaps. “In my opinion.” Then supply it to the defense, Lester decides, and come back in four days. “They’re going to get me no matter what,” Wade tells Diane. Will furrows his brow.
“Alderman Wade did in fact maneuver the city council to approve the Al Murad Mosque,” Kalinda tells the assembled team. She sits at the head of the table in the conference room, which is surprising? “And he explained why,” Will interjects from the seat by the door. “Yes,” says Kalinda, respectfull giving him the hand, “he did; it was a blighted neighborhood, the building they raised was a squatters’ meth house.” Alicia points out that it’s been helpful to the neighborhood to have the Mosque, “so one could argue that Wade made the right decision.” But, Diane asks. But, that fifty thousand dollars. And he reversed himself on the issue. “It’s a bad fact,” Wills admits, shaking his head. “Yup,” Diane agrees. “Anything good?” Kalinda’s momentarily distracted by Blake, in his helpful scout guise, helping an assistant with heavy boxes. Kalinda doesn’t know about good, per see, but something sticks out; Crombie’d visited the same gas station 6 times the week that he received the money – a gas station ten miles from his house. “You think it was a meeting place for one of these Islamic contributors?” Julius cuts to the chase. I know there’s a Mosque involved, but I sort of wish they’d stop referring to the contributors as Muslims once they knew it was a joke. I don’t know why, but that seems off to me, if for no other reason that that’s their argument, that the donors weren’t extremists. “Or a non-Islamic one,” Will adds (thank you!), turning a baseball around in his hands. Kalinda will find out. Julius says the tapes are going well, and they’re half way through. The meeting breaks up, with Alicia noticing Kalinda staring out at Blake. “Everything alright?” “Yeah, it will be soon,” Kalinda says, eyes trained on the boyscout.
She drags him into an empty room. “So what’d you do with my bat?” ” I took it, because I didn’t want you to destroy my next rental car,” he says, making enormous calming gestures with his arms. Ah, he can’t really do anything without setting my teeth on edge. “Right,” she nods, “so where is it?” He doesn’t answer. “You know what I want, Kalinda? A truce. Because I really think that we got off on the wrong foot.” She is better able to keep her cool than I am, because I might have actually yelled “well whose fault it that?” and that was just at the TV. She smiles slightly, moves in closer, and tells him flat out “this won’t end well.” He laughs slightly. “Well, that’s intimidating.” Alicia watches from the conference room instead of listening to Julius’ instructions on repeated patterns of conversation. Kalinda leaves. Alicia follows her, slowly, and runs into Eli instead.
“Eli! How are you!” It’s funny. It’s absolutely like she thinks someone she needs to impress is listening to her talk to him, and it’s not even on the phone. They do this hilarious “I’m okay – are you okay?” overly polite dance until he finally just spits it out. “There is this tape online” (tape?) “that we had nothing to do with, making fun of Glenn Child’s son.” He warns her that the Childs’ campaign is going to “return the favor.” “Return the – what do you mean?” “I don’t know,” he says, ” but I wanted to prepare you.” Aw, sweet. And smart. His phone rings. Now Eli’s grumbling about Pastor Isaiah losing his church just after endorsing them. “You’re doing everything by the book, aren’t you?” Eli takes another call instead of answering, and Alicia gives a long, thoughtful look over her shoulder.
Kalinda’s staking out the Kinzie gas station Crombie used to haunt, reading a copy of the Sun-Times. She glances at the clerk, at the safety camera, and finally, once the clerk is looking really awkward, heads up to buy the paper. “Lemond Bishops owns this gas station, doesn’t he?” The clerk doesn’t answer. “I recognize you from his crew. I did some work for Mr. Bishop last year.” Woah – Bishop, from the episode “Fleas”, the smooth, lord of the manor drug dealer who almost put L&G on retainer with that big old bag full of hundreds of thousands in cash! “Okay, I know he’s legit now- no more drugs.” The clerk, exasperated, hands her back her change, which she tucks into her bra. “If Mr. Bishop happens to drop in here, will you tell him that Kalinda dropped by? Wanted to talk to him about Alderman Wade?” “He’s not the owner, lady,” the clerk denies. “Just across the street. Parked right there.” I didn’t realize at first she meant she’d be waiting in her car, just across the street, but she does and she will. “I don’t think you’re hearing me. He’s not the owner,” the clerk tells her in a very ‘if you know what’s good for you’ kind of tone. “Have a nice day,” she tells him with a smile, folds her Sun-Times, and heads out to wait in her car.
Somebody awkwardly defaces a textbook with a smiley face. A smiley face with hair. It’s Zach, sitting in a cafe, looking at a pretty girl. “Stop it,” she tells him. “Are you still mad at me?” he fishes. She wants him to study, but he’s bored. “Well, you’ll have to work on that, won’t you?” She’s adorable. She can put him in his place cutely – and it’s not fake Becca cute, either, or at least I don’t get that impression. It’s not Becca over the top, anyway.
And speaking of the bad penny, guess who’s leaning on her car outside? Oh, Zach. He doesn’t quite know what to say. I don’t know if it’s the angle, but his hair is looking disturbingly Bieberish here. “How much would it cost?” he asks his new study partner. Her whole face lights up. “Ten dollars,” she says cutely, pointy little chin on the heel of her hand. Um, what are we talking about? I’m sure my mind just went to the wrong place. “My mom would kill me,” he smiles. “Not if it was just one sweet little stud, right there,” the girl in pink opines, reaching out to – and then kind of caressing – Zach’s left earlobe. He looks as adorably blissful as a puppy when someone pets its ear. I don’t know why this girl wants him to get an earring (isn’t that so 90s?) but they’re super super cute with each other. They can’t get enough of looking at each other, and yet still are a little embarrassed about it, so they sweetly break away. She looks back at her books, and he looks out at Becca. Stay away from the dark side, Zach!
“Who do you think you are, Becca,” Glenn Childs Jr demands, walking up to her from out of our view. The pov switches quickly from inside the cafe to the sidewalk. “You think what you did is funny?” She denies having done anything, of course. “I know you did it, you bitch – I recognize the picture.” “What picture,” she asks, and if you didn’t know better, she sounds pretty sincere. Zach, however, leaps to her rescue. (He’s looking rather hip with that slim fitting purple-y blue hoodie and black jeans, by the way – much more so than Childs junior.) “Who do you think you are?” Glenn yells. “Hey,” Zach interrupts, “she said she didn’t do it.” Um, dude, you know she did, so why exactly are you leading with a lie? How can you stomach sounding so self-righteous when you know you’re guilty? “Oh, I get it – the Florricks,” says Glenn, who somehow knows who Zach is. Most of the kids loitering in the streets are watching them now. You better hope none of them has a cell phone! Becca tries to backpedal, but it’s too late. Glenn shoves Zach; Zach shoves back, and it’s on.
Zach daubs at his bloody nose, checking it out in Becca’s rear view mirror. “Don’t worry, you’re still beautiful,” Becca laughs coyly. She’s so annoying. “He’s such a jerk,” Zach says, though I can’t think why. Was he supposed to like the video? Like being impersonated online? I don’t see that he was so out of line in confronting her, even if his language was less than perfect. “I think you were very brave,” Becca flatters, and again – Glenn isn’t significantly bigger or heavier than Zach, so, whatever. He demurs. “Well, thanks for sticking up for me,” she finishes, but he’s got to run back to the cafe. Becca looks on, annoyed, as Zach rejoins Pointy Pink Sleeved Girl. Wait, can she possibly have been sitting in that window and NOT noticed the fight? Odd.
Back at the Kinzie gas station, Kalinda waits in her car. And finally, her patience is rewarded; she sees Lemond Bishop walking slowly but steadily toward her car. He’s strolling slowly enough for her to grab a handgun from her glove compartment and fold it into the Sun-Times on her lap like Han Solo preparing to meet Greedo in the cantina. “Stay in,” he says through her open passenger side window when she makes to get up. “Oh yes,” he says genially, “yeah, now I know you.” She reintroduces herself as Kalinda Sharma. He mentions the firm: “I thought you guys went bankrupt.” “Not yet,” she says, with characteristic deadpan, “but we’re working on it.” They chuckle together.
“So,” he says, his rich low voice still rippling with humor, “what are we after here?” “Actually, I work for Alderman Wade. It would be really helpful if we could prove that the donations he received came from someone other than Islamic extremists.” He looks suddenly serious. “I’m no Islamic extremist, lady.” “I didn’t think that you were, sir,” she replies, very wide-eyed and serious. The “sir” is a particularly nice touch; he’s the sort of person who likes to have his position acknowledged formally. She explains the problem with Wade’s flip flop on the Mosque. “We just need to show that the money’s irrelevant, that’s all.” Bishop tosses the idea back and forth. “Well, I’d like to help you, but I like to donate anonymously. You know, like the Bible says; do good deeds in private so only your heavenly father will reward you.” He’s patronizing her. “Sure, but we could keep you anonymous. “No,” he says, rejecting the plea. “Thank you, though.” He smiles, at his very most accommodating. “This is what I need. I need you to stop asking questions about my business.” She apologizes. He wishes her luck with Wade. “I always hated the Pistons,” he grimaces, “but I like him.” Kalinda’s left to start breathing again.
Wow, she says to herself.
Since of course she’s still going to investigate – because of course she’s Kalinda – her next stop is the Masjid Al Murad mosque. She stands outside the door, noticing several sets of drug dealers making deals just across the street. She notes several instances of the same spray paint tag, which looks generally like two Ts above three O’s.
Back at the office, she unfolds a large paper on the conference table; it’s Chicago’s “drug map” for the different gang territories from last year, including three different gang areas. “Our old friend Bishop” controls the largest section, at least in this part of town. The next gang down is Kobol 60 (? Can that be right? Is this a Battlestar Galactica reference?) and they ran the meth house located where the mosque now stands. A copy of this year’s map shows that Bishop has taken both of the other gang’s territories. Bishop has it all. “Alderman Wade wasn’t being paid off by Islamic extremists; the mosque was irrelevant. He was being paid off by Lemond Bishop to get rid of his competition’s base.” “What a defense,” worries Diane, her eyes glued to poor Will, hearing such a thing about his friend. “Wade wasn’t working for terrorists. He was working for a drug lord.”
Wade shoots baskets by himself. He doesn’t show any special brilliance. “You took the money,” Will asks, demanding confirmation. “We found out you took the $50,000 from a drug dealer.” There’s real contempt in his tone. Odd, because Will had wanted to take Bishop’s business, but still; it’s nice to know he does in fact have morals and standards. Wade tries to insist Bishop is merely a business man. He’s no more a business man than I am a point guard, Will snarls. “You helped him control territory.” Wade responds with some accusations of his own. “When did the rules get tougher for black politicians?” Um, haven’t they always been? Ugly, but it’s not inaccurate. “I took a campaign contribution. Of course I treated that contributor like a friend.””My God,” says a nasty Will, “you’re like a little kid get his hand stuck in the cookie jar, yelling about racial bias.” Wade rages. “No, I’m like the little kid who had to wait for the white kids to get their hands out of the cookie jar before he could get his in!” “We’re talking plea bargain now,” Will continues, “We can get ’em down to five years. “No!” yells Wade, in Will’s face. “Wade, our only defense is that you’re just as corrupt as any other politician in this damn town.” “So argue it!” Wade bellows, like a bull. “We have no options,” Will says. “We got two wars in this country, terrorism and drugs. You just went from one to the other.” “I’m not taking a plea, ” Wade barks with finality. “Now – you gonna suit up?” Will catches the ball, flings it to the back of the gym, and clomps off. Wade watches him go, bereft – perhaps not of his champion, but of his friend’s unquestioning belief.
A pink sweatered arm pulls open the Florrick’s front door to reveal Becca. But I don’t even mind, because the arm belongs to Jackie! Yes! I have so been missing Jackie. “Why hello, Mrs Florrick,” says Becca as if delighted; Jackie glares at her as if she were selling knives door to door. It’s wonderful. Becca introduces herself, and explains she’s here to visit Zach. Zach, says Jackie, is still at school. Becca insists she has a text from Zach asking her to meet him, although I note she doesn’t show the text to Jackie. Could she wait? He must be on his way. What are you playing at, you slippery little eel? Jackie relents, and returns to a task in the kitchen. Becca stays in the foyer.
“I guess he had to take Neesa home first,” Becca begins. “She’s his … girlfriend.” (Is she, I wonder? They definitely looked besotted with each other, but perhaps more in that deliciously not-quite-defined beginning stage. Not that Becca would remotely care about accuracy.) “So you’re not?” Jackie asks, not quite able to keep the pleasure out of her tone. “Zach’s girlfriend? No. We’re just study partners. I don’t have time for boyfriends. My dad says ‘get in to a good college first, and then we can talk about boys.'” This information wins a slight smile from Jackie, who seems to be pouring tea. “So you haven’t met Neesa,” Becca continues. No, Jackie hasn’t. “Zach is a really sweetie to make her feel at home.” Why, Becca, you little minx. Here comes the killing stroke. “Her family’s from Somalia – and I know how out of place someone like that can feel here.” Oh, yes, you’re a very fountain of sympathy, honey. Jackie slowly, slowly looks away from her tea kettle. This is a shot straight to where she lives; really, Becca couldn’t have done better.
“No,” Will tells Diane as they lead a convoy through L/G &B, coats on, “he wants to go ahead.” “With what?” Diane questions. “With whatever we got – he considers this a racial prosecution.” Will’s supremely frustrated. “It is a racial prosecution,” agrees Diane,”but it’s a racial prosecution we’re going to lose.” We still have the wiretap, Julius reminds them. Perhaps it will be their ace in the hole? “There are a lot of people on them. Campaign operatives. Politicians who seem pretty savvy about the cash.” Will and Diane nod along. “Show the hypocrisy of the prosecution by naming the white participants who haven’t been charged?” “One of them is our client,” Alicia feels bound to note. Hmmm. It seems that Diane has not shared this information with Will, but now she’s forced to: “Eli Gold.” “Well,” Will grins, “it wouldn’t be Chicago if there weren’t a conflict of interest.” Let’s collect the names and see what we can do with that, Diane says, dismissing everyone.
Will stops Diane as she’s leaving. “How long have you known Eli was on the wiretap?” Right. He seemed okay with that, but he’s not. “A few days,” she says nonchalantly. “We don’t share information anymore?” he demands. She just walks away. Will broods, his face darkening.
Julius interrupts another of Alicia’s sessions in her tiny room; fascinating that he wants her opinion. “So what’s up with you, Matthew? I heard you’ve run into a little trouble,” laughs a rich female voice. “Nothing I can’t handle. I’m just wondering if you miss Chicago.” “The restaurants,” the woman laughs throatily. They talk about the failing Chicago machine. “You guys all flee to the White House, and we’re left holding the bag.” Alicia’s eyes widen, and her gaze flicks up to Julius. They both know they’ve hit something big. Alicia doesn’t recognize the voice. “Oh, come on, Wade. You want me to tell Obama that?” Julius nods significantly.
“Ruth Yamaguchi? The actual Ruth Yamaguchi?” Diane repeats over the phone. I’m guessing Yamaguchi might be a fictionalized Valerie Jarrett figure – the ultimate Obama insider. Diane waves a client in to the office. She’ll worry about the brief; they need to keep on with their great work with the tapes. The client, who sits down to join Diane, is Eli. “Good news?” he asks. “The best,” she announces, lingering over the words. She hustles to shut the door.
“I’ve asked you here, Eli,” she tells him, returning to her desk, “because I’m starting a new firm with David Lee, and I want your business to come with us.” Well, she’s come out and said it. Even though we’ve heard the line in last week’s previews, it stings. And I hate the idea that she’s far enough along – that it’s set enough – for her to be soliciting clients. But, hmm, that makes it clear what she was talking to Julius about that she didn’t want Alicia to overhear. I guess we know someone else she’s taking with her. “This move doesn’t seem like you,” Eli opines, and Diane agrees – it’s more like Will. “I know. I discovered Will and Derrick Bond were thinking of pushing me out. So this is me, being pro-active.” Eli ponders the issue. “And this is happening when?” “Soon. In a few weeks. And that brings me to the other, um, thing that I need to ask you. I need you to keep this confidential until we can make our move.” Risky, risky strategy, Diane.
“Where’s Mrs. Florrick going?” Eli inquires. Diane hesitates; how did she not see that coming? Has she been too busy to take the requisite second to remember that’s why Eli is there? You knew this, Diane. “I – I, I don’t know. My guess is she might stay with Will.” Eli narrows his eyes, looking down. “But I’d like her to come with me!” Eli nods. “Thank you, Diane, for this confidence, but I can’t commit to a move. I have to see where the chips fall first.” Diane understands. Is she getting that a lot, I wonder? Will her move depend on how the client meetings go? It would have to, wouldn’t it? Lee’s clients will likely all move with him – I assume he’d take the whole family law department, leaving Derrick and Will with nothing there, and no reason for those clients to stay. But Diane…
“You’re being wire tapped,” she tosses out as a last attempt to win his loyalty. Eli’s dumbfounded. “You need a good lawyer.”
Ah, poor Eli. You knew Peter was under surveillance, but you still felt untouchable, didn’t you?
Back the federal building, Alicia leans against the wall, listening to Annie Potts introduce yet another taped conversation. Wade answers the phone using title. “Alderman Wade, listen to you,” laughs Will Gardner, and Alicia’s boredom evaporates. “Hey, Will, I knew it was you. It was a joke.” “I don’t think it’s a joke,” jokes Will, “I think you turned into ‘Alderman Wade, savior of the 53rd ward.'” Yup,” says Wade, “no time for the little people.” They’re so cute. Poor Will; yet another lost friendship. Who’s out there you can trust or believe in, Will? (On the other hand, this does prove that for all Will’s willingness to step into the shadow, he has firm lines he won’t ever cross; lines it matters to him if his friends cross, too.) Alicia’s uncomfortable listening in; she starts twisting a ring on her left hand. “So, did you talk to her?” Wade cuts to the chase. “I did.” “And?” “Choked,” Will replies. “No, you’re kidding, what’d she say?” “Nothing, she didn’t say anything.” Alicia’s starting to twig that this is a very, very interesting conversation, and the hair on the back of my neck is starting to stand up. So this is how you find out about a deleted voice mail… “She blew you off?” “She didn’t even phone me back, I asked her to phone me back.” “Wuh, wuh, wait a minute,” Wade interrupts, “you didn’t talk to her in person?” “She’s at her husband’s press conference, what was I gonna do?”
Alicia starts forward, her mouth open, her eyebrows raised. What on earth? “Oh, come on, grow a pair, dude!” Alicia scrambles for the machine. “I did, I even called her twice,” Will exposits helpfully, “once I said let’s move on, and then I phoned back to say…” 2518 minimization, says the tape, and Alicia throws her head back in frustration. She flutters her hands, willing the thirty seconds to speed up. We never imagine people discussing us when we’re not there, do we? (At least, we don’t once we get out of high school. When we’re in high school, we think other people are talking about us all the time.) Wade picks up with the tape. “I thought it was obvious – you spill your heart in person, you don’t do it on a voice mail.” Alicia leans in, disbelieving. “I don’t know,” Will sighs, dejected. “That’s why I’m telling you. Now you listen to me. Go to her now, and you’re going to say the same thing. In person.” The camera closes in on Alicia’s face. She hasn’t closed her mouth the entire time. She is literally on the edge of her seat, waiting for his answer. “No,” says Will. “I’m done. I’m over it. And that’s – good. It’s like something lifted.” Her hands start fluttering again. “If I wasn’t her boss, and she weren’t married…” She inhales for what feels like the first time in minutes, closing her eyes. There’s no question – as if there could have been before? – who he’s talking about. “… we’d be having a different conversation. But … she’s right not to phone.” Alicia sighs exaggeratedly, as if she were saying “oh, come on!”; she really can’t believe all this could have happened without her knowing it, without her getting the chance to decide. “And I’m good with it,” Will finishes. The question “you are?” is written on her face.
And then she runs out of the room.
She flees into the FBI hallway, leaving her coat and her things, breathing hard. Finally she stands with her back to a wall, clutching her stomach as if she’d been punched or had run a long way. This is the face of a woman whose reality has cracked apart. She pulls out her phone and slides back through her messages and listens to the one she’s saved for one hundred and twenty three days. She stares at the phone, then holds it next to her heart. She’s still breathing hard. She closes her eyes.
And this, in case you were wondering, was one of the main times when my poor husband thought perhaps someone was torturing me.
“Your Honor, in my opinion,” Diane begins, up at the bench. “No, in MY opinion,” Miss Vashi interrupts, and I could not love this war of opinions any more, I really couldn’t. It’s just scrumptious. Judge Lester (who the imdb refers to as Lessner – has anyone seen an official word on this? It sounds like Lester to me, and the imdb has gotten a fair number of TGW guest character names wrong) slams her gavel down on the bickering, and declares no reason to dismiss the charges. Miss Lockhart will be free to argue her points at trial. Diane, however, won’t leave the judge’s bench when dismissed. “Is there anything else,” Lester asks flatly. “Yes,” Diane responds, “just one more thing, your Honor.” She smiles her cat-who-ate-the-canary smile at Wade and Cain as she saunters back to the table for a file. She wants to subpoena someone “caught” speaking on the wiretaps; Lester doesn’t want to authorize a fishing expedition. Which, great; I wonder if anyone thought of that before they started playing 6 degrees of wiretapping? It’s no fishing expedition, Diane insists. We only want to talk to one person. And hmmm, I wonder who that might be?
“In our opinion there is only one person we need to offer context to the charge that Alderman Wade was bought by Islamic extremists.” And who is that, Lester wonders. “Ruth Yamaguchi,” Diane says calmly, as if it were the most routine, most banal request in the world.
Miss Vashi and her entire team look at Diane in shock and awe.
“This witness is on the government tapes?” Judge Lester asks in a tone of surprise. “Yes, your Honor. Discussing Alderman Wades’ relationship with Muslims.” Vashi’s mouth forms a round little O, like Santa in the famous poem or like “O, that’s the sound of my career tanking”. “Your Honor, just to be clear, Ruth Yamaguchi is…” Miss Vashi struggles to find the proper words to express her horror. “She works at the White House.” “And?” inquires Lester, chin tucked down, glaring through her eyebrows. Vashi stumbles for words again. “Her connection to this case is tangential at best!” Lester raises her head. Aaaaaand, wait for it! “In your opinion?” Lester asks, and has the phrase ever been more relevant? Yes, Miss Vashi reluctantly admits, in her opinion. “Your Honor, we understand that Miss Yamaguchi works for President Obama, and that there may some reluctance to hear President Barrack Obama’s name mentioned in the same sentence as Muslim and terrorist.” Vashi sighs in abject dread. Diane could not be happier. “But in my opinion, that should have no impact on the path to justice.” “I would agree,” Lester concurs, skewering Vashi with her gaze. “Subpoena so ordered.” Miss Vashi and her team need a five minute recess to discuss these events.
Alicia, seated at her desk, plays with her ring again. You can tell she’s not seeing anything that’s in front of her. Kalinda sits next to her, similarly disturbed. “Bad time?” she asks, darting glances over at her friend to see how she is without being too invasive. Alicia remembers she’s there, but doesn’t answer. Will walks through the office, listening to his cell phone. Alicia can’t take her eyes off of him. Kalinda, meanwhile, has her own eyes trained on the Evil Boyscout, who seems to be flirting once more with an assistant. The two men meet, and speak. Alicia turns away. Is anyone other than Kalinda making the connection between Blake and Booth’s coma? Or maybe the real question is, how can they not be? And if they have, how can they keep silent?
In the Florrick living room, Zach and Neesa sit in front of his computer. I still think Becca supposes more than is actually going on yet; they’re sitting a discrete distance apart, eyes trained on the computer screen; there’s no kissing or cuddling or even footsie. She starts playing with her hair. “Brad Pitt has an earring,” she challenges him. What’s up with that? I find this a really odd thing for her to be on about. Must just be her way of flirting. There’s definitely interest on both sides, but it hasn’t gone anywhere official yet. In my opinion. He blushes and smiles. Jackie, oh joy of joys, peeps around the corner worriedly. “We’re studying, Grandma,” he says evenly. “I know,” she pretends. What’s happened to that guy friend of his from last fall? Why are all his so called study partners girls, or is that a dumb question? Neesa smiles and plays with the ends of her hair. “She doesn’t like me.” Zach smiles – perhaps because he’s used to Grandma not liking anyone – and insists that if Jackie new about Neesa’s 4.2 grade point average, she’d quickly warm up. “No. My guess is she still wouldn’t like me.” Zach’s typing rather than watching Neesa rubs the back of her neck.
Zach gets an instant message from Becca with a link labeled “uh oh.” “Who’s Becca?” Neesa asks, proving she really didn’t notice the fight or Zach’s bloody nose or his lengthy absence from the cafe. Young Master Florrick does not deign to answer. Instead, he’s enthralled by a Vidtrope video of Grace, in a cute grey dress, telling a tracker “For God’s sake, it was a one time thing.” (Um, totally inaccurate, but whatever; even if they’re claiming it was only Amber, it was way more than one time.) “It’s over, it’s done.” Whoever has edited the clip puts the word ‘done’ on repeat, as if scratching vinyl. Suddenly there’s a beat, and back up singers saying” beat it”. “Would you just stop following me,” Grace yells. Uh oh indeed.
“That’s your sister,” Neesa questions, and Zach nods quickly. “My dad already said he’d beat it.” Huh? Beat the corruption rap? The video is entitled The Peter Beat, anyway. “He’ll do it again if he has to.” There’s a cut in the clip. “Just like everyone else.” “When did she do this,” Neesa wonders, but Zach is staring too intently to hear. “He slept with one hooker, okay?” The video goes into repeat. “One hooker – one, one hooker” (God, why must they persist with the one hooker thing?) “Hey, that looks like a lot of hits,” Neesa says in soft alarm as “One hooker – one, one hooker – what don’t you understand” turns into a musical refrain. “One hooker one one one hooker!” Grace holds up a single finger at the camera. “I gotta call my Dad,” Zach realizes. Sometimes, Zach, you can be a smart boy. Too bad you aren’t more consistent.
Alicia walks in a slow motion haze: her hair waves, there’s low, tense music and the sound of a busy phone line. She must know, whatever it costs. (She’s got on her typical uniform of a gray pinstripe pantsuit and a necklace with an oval pendant which I find distractingly fascinating.) The violins reach a crescendo as she nears Will’s office – just in time for Julius Cain to reach out from behind and tap her on the shoulder. She leaps up, startled. Her world returns to focus; normal sound and speed come rushing back. “Good job,” he says, grinning, as if she’dt been the one to find the vital evidence and not him. “The government freaked out about the Ruth Yamaguchi subpoena. They’re dropping the case against Wade.” Excellent! Except, you know, that Wade’s guilty. Just of something other than terrorism. She’s having trouble concentrating on Julius’ beaming face. He raises his right hand as if giving her the Vulcan salute, but he’s really looking for a high five. “Come on Florrick, give it up!” She actually turns and walks away – a hilariously rude thing to do to anyone, let alone your superior at work – but he’s walking on air, and merely sends another pleased “good job!” in her direction.
Alicia walks into Will’s doorway, knocks. “Yup,” he says, writing furiously on a pad on his lap (hey, paperless office, Will – Derrick would be upset). Then he notices that it’s her, and his whole tone changes. Her face seems lit up with something like hope. “I, um,” she begins, falters. She closes her eyes, composes herself. She finds words. “I need to ask you a question,” she tells him with a slight smile. His eyes are trained on her face, alight with curiosity, intrigued. “Sure,” he tells her. She starts to smile. She looks alive. She opens her mouth to ask him.
“I hate your towels,” Tammy informs Will as she throws the door open, sashaying confidently into the room in a lovely wrap dress. “Oh hey,” she smiles at Alicia. “What’s up?” Alicia’s face quirks and twitches. She smiles ruefully.
And there it ends.
Oh, holy mother of God, I cannot stand the tension! But in the best possible way! Now, okay. This wasn’t so much a big concept episode, full of weighty legal issues (though I do find the whole wire tap dance intriguing) but by all that is holy, the characters, the recurring guests and most importantly oh dear Lord the progress in the storyline! Blake is framing Kalinda for assault and possibly even murder! Because seriously, no one is going to buy Cary’s excuse if Kalinda’s bat turns up, most particularly if Booth dies. Blake the Evil Boyscout must be stopped! Now, I know he’s a controversial character. I know many people love him, or at least the actor Scott Porter, and at first, I thought he was going to offer up some intriguing conflicts and possibilities. But this is too much. Now I just loathe him. He’s not a person, he’s a walking plot device. Has he shown us a single redeeming quality? Because even Becca, whom I also loathe, is a kid. At least she’s not a physical threat, and you do get the feeling she’s had a rotten home life. Even Jackie is human. The show made us hate and then love Cary. So where’s Blake’s softer side? What’s his motivation? That he’s a competitive amoral jerk who was nervous about his job? Every move Kalinda’s made, he provoked. All his protestations of innocence are clear lies. I’m sick of the poison he spreads around him. I frankly don’t see how the writers can rehabilitate the character at this point, and I just want him gone.
I can’t help but notice, again, that Will equated Alicia being his employee with her being married. I think this reiterates for us how sacred his job is to him, and how deeply he feels his responsibility to the firm. And given that, I just can’t believe he sanctioned Blake’s actions against Booth. Will sees the long view in business. He wouldn’t push so hard to win one case that he’d do something so very out of bounds. Look at his anger toward Wade for taking bribes from a drug dealer! So, no way.
And yet, it bothers me that he hasn’t said anything. He’s not dumb. Kalinda can’t be the only person at Lockhart/Gardner & Bond who can add one and one.
I adored this week’s guest start. Aylesworth I’ve loved since her stint on One Life to Live as the saintly Rebecca, who reformed rapist thug Todd – waaay, way back in the day when Nathan Fillion first made my heart flutter as Joey Buchanon; she’s probably generally more familiar from her turns on Damages, ER and Lost. And no, I’m not generally a soap person, but I grew up with a grandmother addicted to “her story” and there’ve been a few plotlines over the years that have pulled me in. So yay, Vashi – and also, Bishop! And Cain! Jackie! Hurrah! I think Neesa could be an interesting addition as well. Not to mention that jealousy seems to bring out fun nastiness in Becca.
I am trying, I really truly going to try, not to let this whole revisionist “one hooker” thing drive me mad. I’m sorry about Grace, though! And I’m worried for her. She’s emotional, like her father, and idealistic, like her mother, and she feels things deeply. I hate that the trackers have been tormenting her and I hate that they’ve gotten such good material. I don’t really know how she would think that “one hooker” would be some kind of excuse, but I can see people making her mad enough that she’d say anything to defend her daddy.
But all of that brings us to Alicia. Wow. You can tell she wasn’t thinking of anything when she found out about the voice mail – not her family, not her husband, not the consequences. She just had to know. The suppressed Victorian passion thing is so unbelievably amazing. Of course, what with Tammy so firmly in the picture, I’m sure things will go back to the status quo, but I’m glad they rocked the boat a little. This ought to, I hope, give Alicia time and perspective to consider just what it is she wants, and who. If Will did really love her, would she rather be with him? Or will knowing that he’s moved on (as he said he would) push her to recommit to her marriage? Thanks for moving this languishing plotline forward! And kudos to the writers for this fun way of Alicia finding out the truth! I didn’t anticipate it, and I enjoy that a lot.
Of course the biggest question left is – how long are we going to have to wait for a new episode?!!!! I for one will feel cheated if we don’t get to hear Kalinda and Alicia discussing the latest development in Alicia’s non-romance with Will. And what, oh what, is Peter going to do about Grace’s video. Will Zach confess all? I know I can get a little grumbly about Peter’s absence, but I can buy it this week (especially since the episode overflowed with fantastic guest stars and returning characters). He just better be around in the next episode, that’s all!