E: Oh, Good Wife. I want to gather you into a big warm hug. You’re back, you’re back! It’s been so long. But please. You’re not going to break my heart again, are you?
Oh, what the hell. Break my heart. Just don’t keep leaving me.
We see the bottom of a man, bearing luggage, as he walks to the threshold of Alicia Florrick’s office. As the camera focuses on his sandals worn over white athletic socks, we know: Owen Cavanaugh is back.
He sets down his suitcase, and then his duffel and a paper shopping bag, and peers quizzically around the room. He takes in gruesome crime scene photos, as well as cute shots of Zach and Grace on Alicia’s laptop, and then sits down at his sister’s desk, straightening his back like a good little boy, an excellent imitation of how his proper older sister might sit. You can just imagine how it would make her laugh if she’d see it.
She doesn’t get to see it, however, because (fitful child that he is) he can’t hold the pose long enough. He puts his feet up with a law text – the better to figure out what Alicia’s highlighting – but a phone call breaks the spell. What should he do? Should he answer it? Of course he should. A very puzzled Diane asks for Alicia to call her back; as she explains to Julius, they need Eli’s business enough to risk Alicia telling Will. Ah, so we’re back to this, are we? I’m with Julius. Telling Alicia is a risky, risky move. Her natural instinct will be to warn Will, so why even bother? There’s no way she’s coming with you.
Will sticks his head through a doorway, which thankfully turns out not to be Diane’s. “Alicia’s not here,” Owen informs him, completely blaze. Ah, that’s Owen for you. Will can see that she’s not there. “And you are…” “Alicia’s brother Owen,” Owen introduces himself (with a little contempt in his tone, as if this should be obvious.) “Oh!” exclaims Will, and he really does exclaim it. It’s cute – his tone brightens right up, and he becomes not only warmer, but also clearly desirous of Owen’s good opinion; he’s a bit like the college kid meeting the family of the girl he loves. They shake hands. “I didn’t know you were … I’m Will. Her… boss.” “Her boss? Impressive.” declares Owen, which is interesting, because – well, because I doubt the verity of pretty much everything Owen says. He’s just not that straightforward. “I try not to flash it around,” says Will, who does no such thing. I’m in love with this conversation. Owen finds it all hilarious.
“How’s my sis doing as a lawyer?,” he wonders. “Good,” replies Will. “Great, really.” Owen scrunches up his face. “Don’t tell her that – she works best when she’s worried she’s not living up to other people’s expectations.” Will’s tickled. He’ll remember that. It’s not a bad insight, actually, even if it isn’t the complete story.
Alicia walks down the stairs with a handsome model/assistant/associate, but freezes as she promises him some new information, because she can see through the glass walls that Owen and Will are chortling together in her office. She half runs across the floor. “I brought you a present from Botswana,” Owen smiles at her, holding out the paper shopping bag. Alicia’s stunned; she wasn’t expecting him for another two weeks. “We’ve been getting better acquainted,” Will smiles. “Okay,” responds Alicia, twitching from all the good feeling, “so that makes me nervous.” It’s so cute. Will’s going to leave the two to talk, but first he’s got a mission for Alicia. Remember Murphy Gomez, the oft discussed mystery case that’s taken up so much of their resources? Well, Murphy’s son was just picked up on a drug charge – prescription stimulants, “apparently quite the thing during finals week.” He’s got no priors. Could Alicia run over and sort him out? It’s a 1410 at worst. Of course she will, Will. She’ll take care of it for you, don’t you fret. Will favors Owen with a firm handshake and some manly puppy dog eye contact; Owen pretends he doesn’t know Will’s last name.
Alicia’s lips crimp into a smile; she’s amused, but she knows Owen’s messing around, so the look she gives him is a challenging one. “That’s a familiar name,” Owen drawls, staring right back at her. Oooh, interesting. Just what does Owen know or remember about Will? Drat her, Alicia changes the subject. Why is he back so early? “I thought you were supposed to be on vacation.” Owen sighs, and speeds through an explanation. “Okay, I broke up with Kevin. Its not a big deal, and I didn’t want big harangue about it…” “Aw, Owen, I thought Kevin was the keeper,” Alicia interrupts him. Owen sits back down. “He was. He’s not anymore.” Well, I guess that’s how that works. What happened, Alicia wonders. “He cheated on me,” Owen explains, and Alicia’s stunned. “When – on vacation?” Little bro doesn’t want to get into it. Hmm. “I’m just going to live alone, like an aging writer with dogs. Open your present,” he finishes, handing her the paper bag. I can’t help but think of Bridget Jones, being eaten by Alsatians. As Alicia opens the bag, they establish that Owen will be hiding from Kevin by camping out on Alicia’s couch.
And what’s the present? Well, Owen has been in Botswana, remember. It’s a wig, an enormous beaded wig with large fluffy bangs, which African women allegedly wear while they’re working. Working at what, I wonder? It hardly seems practical. It looks quite heavy and elaborate, a sort of African version of Marie Antoinette’s head gear. Perhaps it’s what wily locals tell tourists they wear, just to make a sale. (Of course, being me, I tried to verify the authenticity of this, but without success – tell me if you have better luck!) “Put it on!” Owen says gleefully. “How thoughtful,” Alicia lies with her eyebrows knit down.
Her phone rings, and it’s of course Kalinda, who’s located Jonathan Murphy, 22. “They won’t agree to a 1410 until he i.d.s the dealer.” Alicia’s concerned. “What, why?” Kalinda shrugs it off. “It’s a slow Friday, they’re being hard asses.” Alicia heads off to the station at the corner of Drexel and 60th. She tosses Owen her keys. “Don’t pick a fight with Peter. I’m only an hour behind you.” Owen sounds impressed. “Look at you, going off to war.” She smiles. “Don’t forget your headdress!” Oddly enough, she does forget it.
The next thing we see is a two hands clasped around a third. “Two?” Alicia wonders as she and Kalinda watch a pair of young lovers through a glass wall. His girlfriend of six months Alexis Symanski (though it’s pronounced more like Zumenski), Kalinda says, explaining the obvious. The pair holds their heads together, anguished. Alexis (blond, thin, clad in a jean jacket) has no lawyer and she can’t afford one either. She’s the one rubbing Jonathan’s hand. Kalinda asks the passing detective what the hold up is; turns out he can’t wipe his nose, he growls, without ASA involvement.
“We’ll be okay,” the boy says, his arms around the girl. He’s very preppy (brown bomber jacket, button down under a thin sweater) and kind of Zac Efron-pretty boy like. “It doesn’t work that way,” she cries. “Yes it can,” he tells her reassuringly, “and since when did I become the optimist?” Despite his confidence potentially coming from his family’s riches, he seems quite likable. Alicia apologizes for interrupting their moment, and introduces herself as one of his father’s lawyers. Jon, as he likes to be called, responds pleasantly. Alexis turns her face to Alicia, and we see that it’s 27 year old LeeLee Sobieski playing the role of the impoverished college senior. “I can also process this for you if you like,” Alicia tells her. She likes.
Alicia asks them for their story, and the conflicting tales begin. They were both picked up for having prescription drugs, which they were intending for private use, Alicia begins. No, says Alexis, it was me, I needed the extra boost, I work two jobs and I’m studying for finals. No, says John calmly, she doesn’t take drugs, it was me. I was the one who suggested it. Alicia smiles at this behavior, clearly finding it a little cute and romantic.
“Okay, what you did there, it was fine for me,” she tells them sweetly, maternally, “but don’t do that in front of the police.” “Okay,” breathes Alexis, who is clearly terrified. Jon has a firm hold on his own panic; he’s only thinking of Alexis. Alicia explains that the ASA will offer the aforementioned 1410 option; they get probation, the case is still open, but they don’t serve any time. Will he have a record, Alexis asks? We both want to be lawyers, Jon adds. We can’t have records. Well then. Should have thought of that first, guys.
And with that, Alicia heads out to chat with the ASA. Who might that be? Well may you ask. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to make your life hard, I just need an i.d.” he says. “Are there any other ASAs in the entire State’s Attorneys office, or are you the only one?” Cary grins. “I’m the only one assigned to Lockhart/Gardner cases.” Well. It’s nice we’re being honest about something. Kalinda walks up; she and Cary share – I can’t quite define them, but they’re really conscious looks. Cary will let the kids do “drug school” (a lesser alternative to the 1410 which won’t leave a record) if they i.d. his dealers. “Why?” Kalinda wonders. “Why can I agree to that – do you want me not to agree to that?” “I want you tell me what’s up.” “Well,” Cary elucidates, ” we think this dealer killed a pharmacist during a burglary last night and we think these kids can help us catch him – or her.” The drug dealer just might be one of Lemond Bishop’s crew, and that makes Alicia nervous for Jon and Alexis’s safety.
“Make the deal,” Will tells them over the phone. “Cary can make their lives miserable, charge them with possession.” He’s walking down an outdoor corridor of stone arches, the likes of which you might find at Hogwarts or your basic cathedral. “Bishop won’t touch Murphy’s son.” But there’s the girlfriend, Alicia reminds us. “And she’s our problem why?” Will wonders. Well, they come as a package. “Have Kalinda look into their anti-gang protections and make the deal.” Will walks into a courtyard where Tammy, in a long shiny black trench, is resting against a slick sports car surrounded by basketballs. There are lights, and people milling around, and what might even be a fog machine; Will has stepped into a photoshoot.
“Will Gardner, lawyer extraordinaire!” Tammy greets him. She shoves him playfully. “So, can I kiss you here, or is that unprofessional?” he wonders, and she grabs him by his new tie and lays one on him by way of an answer. “So are you ready?” She asks. “I was born ready,” he tells her with swagger. “Thank you for setting all this up.” All what, exactly? She calls over a guy named Rodney, who refuses to shake Will’s hand because he’s a lawyer. Tammy seems to think this is a funny joke. “Derek Rose already has an agent, a manager, 3 lawyers and me – why does he need a fourth lawyer?” Ah. So that’s why he’s there – to pitch some sort of basketball star as a client. Career longevity, insists Will; Lockhart/Gardner can take Rose through books, movies, whatever his plans after basketball are. Okay, fine, whatever. Don’t know why his three other lawyers couldn’t do that, but okay. Rodney will put the question to Derek. Also, Derek hits on Tammy through Rodney. That’s a slightly funnier joke. Will watches Derek walk away. Looking to get his attention back, Tammy grabs Will’s lapels. “I wanna get your pants off,” she says. Wow. Definitely no worries about looking professional there.
As Owen fumbles to set Alicia’s key in her front door lock, Jackie forestalls him and opens the door. “Oh,” she says. “Yep. Oh.” agrees Owen, his head nestled in so many layers of scarf it appears to be floating, Cheshire-cat style. Hee. “It’s me.” “Alicia’s not here,” Jackie says, not letting him pass the threshold. Damn, but the woman is rude. “Yeah, I have her keys,” Owen points out. “I’m here to stay the night. Note the suitcases.” She regards him, defeated. “Well then. You better come in.” He blows out a breath. “Fun times,” he mutters, shutting the door behind him.
“Him,” Alexis says, pointing to the second of four line up photos. “He looked different, though, without the sideburns,” Jon adds. Alicia takes notes feverishly. That’s helpful, Cary tells them, and asked if they saw him on that particular corner around 11 the previous night. “No,” they say. “So you two weren’t near that corner?” Alicia’s not quite paying attention yet. “No.” Jon explains – it’s not that he wasn’t there, but we weren’t there to see him. Now Alicia’s spidey senses are tingling. “You were… where? Where were you too?” The library, claims a terrified looking Alexis. “Both of you?” Yes. Why? “No reason,” Cary claims. Oh please. Cary doesn’t sneeze without a reason. He laughs, and asks them to stick around for – perhaps – a line up.
When he makes for the door, Alicia follows him. Knowing better than to ask him for information, she heads outside to call Kalinda. I was just trying to reach you, Kalinda greets her. “Something’s wrong here,” Alicia tells the investigator, but of course she already knows. It turns out there’s no effort to set up anti-gang protections for Alexis. “It’s all a scam to get our clients talking.” Alicia rushes back in to stop their talking. Cary takes this moment to announce his intention to try them both for the murder of the pharmacist.
Tammy lays on her stomach on a pretty, upscale bed in a brightly lit room, avidly watching a TV. Will’s leaning on the headboard, messing with his ipad. “How long have you known Derek Rose,” he wonders. Ah, you’re jealous, she says, how charming. “I have a better average from the free throw line,” he insists, neither of them looking up from their screen of choice. He’s cute. Now she turns. She thinks it’s funny. We see a snowboarder performing an aerial trick when she turns and the TV’s shown in the background. She’s got on a maroon tank and some sort of incredibly voluminous blue skirt. “You know, if it were between you and Derek Rose…” she cuddles up to say. “Derek Rose,” he guesses, looking up briefly from the ipad. “Yeah. Sorry.” She wrinkles her nose cutely. “A girl has to keep up her standards.” He’s still entranced by his computer. “But you and me, we’re having fun, right?” Hmm, why so serious, Tammy? “I’m having fun,” Will insists, “are you?” “That’s why I’m still here,” she purrs. His eyes narrow a little in understanding.
Then his phone rings.
He looks. He sighs. He starts to move for the phone, and she grabs his arm.
“I have to get that.”
“I know,” she grins, “then do.”
He leans over to grab the phone. “Derek would have no problem with that,” she teases. He snorts. “They’re being accused of murder,” Alicia tells him without preamble, and explains about the pharmacist who surprised burglars and was shot. The drugs in their rooms have been traced to that pharmacy. Will swings his legs out from under the covers. Kalinda’s on it, but Alicia needs back up; she’s alarmed by how quickly it’s all going and knows she needs to make the right moves now. Will’s on his way.
“You’re on your way,” Tammy repeats with mock sadness. Will promises he wouldn’t leave for anyone who wasn’t really important. (Hmm. Isn’t it the charge more than the client that requires his immediate attention? Also, it’s the middle of the day. A work day. Is he really apologizing for having to work?) “I think I’ll give Derek a call.” Nice, Tammy. Also, nice to the be the boss, and be able to take long – er – lunches.
Julius and Diane are touring an office space – one of those enormous white rooms, filled with tapered columns and flooded with light, that might be a trendy spot to host a wedding reception. Diane finishes a phone call, promising their immediate attendance. “Have you asked her yet,” Julius wonders, misinterpreting the purpose of the call. No, she tells him – it’s about Murphy Gomez. (Well, kinda, Diane – but that sets up how you’re going to play it.) “Murphy’s son is being accused of murder.” Julius is shocked, but he recovers quickly. “Murphy Gomez would mean a lot if he came with us.” Diane nods, and stalks off. “We’ll be in touch,” Julius tells the real estate agent. Better be quick, says the agent, it’ll go fast. “In this market,” Julius shoots him down, “I doubt it.”
Back at the police station, Alexis and Jon are being hustled – literally dragged – into separate interrogation rooms. “It’ll be fine,” he says again with blind optimism – or a blind need to be manly and calm her down -that’s sweet and sad and pretty deluded. Maybe he’s just trusting to the truth? These two are really unlikely killers. Although, they’re awfully freaked out for innocent people. Or is the innocent ones who freak out? The young and innocent ones, maybe. “I love you,” Alexis cries, desperate, terrified. “I love you too!” Jon answers. The doors slam on their frightened faces.
Alicia exhales; you feel like she stopped breathings as she watched. She turns in time to see Will striding toward Cary. “I’m just holding them, I haven’t charged them with anything.” So charge them or let them go, Will says, but Cary says it’s a no go when they’re looking at murder one (murder committed during a felony). Your evidence is weak and circumstantial, Will scoffs. The pills in Alexis’s room were still in boxes from the pharmacy, Cary says. Hmph. Well, that’s something, certainly, but it’s still not anywhere near conclusive. Well, that only connects her, not him, says Will, but the search of her room lead to a search of his. Why was her room searched again? Julius and Diane arrive.
“Searched?” Diane wonders, sneaking up on Cary. “Did the police have a search warrant?” “Hey, it’s a reunion,” Cary enthuses. Turns out it was the campus police, who do not need a search warrant. Interesting. “Yeah, that’s right, get Kalinda on it,” he snarks. Oh, like Kalinda couldn’t blast holes in your case, Cary? Come on, Cary, says Alicia – didn’t the kids i.d. Bishop’s men as the drug dealers? Well, that’d be helpful if the photos he’d shown them weren’t all of Bishop’s dead dealers. Yes, that’s right, a total set up. “Nice sleight of hand, Cary,” Will shakes his head. “Hey, I learned from the best,” Cary deflects the praise. And then he sets up the device around which the rest of the episode will revolve; one of the two clients – these college kids, these lovers – can plead out to burglary, as long as that one’s willing to flip on the other. Otherwise, they both get charged with murder. “So who wants to get out for their 22nd birthday? And who wants to get out for their 48th?” With that cheery thought, he leaves them.
Ah, Cary. You’ve got everyone singing your song.
The team closes in together. “We play this out,” Will says, and so draw Cary out, find out what he’s got on them. “We don’t say a word. The right to remain silent doesn’t mean the right to not listen.” Hmm. That’s an awkward phrase. He sends Kalinda off to see what she can see; Diane direct Julius to call in Blake. “We need to keep her on the reservation,” Will notes astutely. Cary’s determined to to have the two kids racing to flip; working together, we prevent that. Diane and Julius will cover Alexis; Will and Alicia will take Jon. “If we both remain silent, he has to make a case – and he doesn’t have one.” He couldn’t be more right.
“And Murphy’s son,” Diane asks, “what if he’s the trigger man?” Will looks around. “I think you know who we need to protect here.” Diane receives the message, but Alicia’s visibly horrified.
“Is Alexis all right?” Jon asks Alicia, who responds in the affirmative. “We’re going to represent both of you.” Jon’s gratitude overwhelms him. “Look, Jon,” Will begins. “Your first instinct here will be to lie to us. Your second instinct will be to lie to us, too. So we need your third instinct.” He leans forward, hands clasped on the table. “We’re not your confessors.”
“We’re not hear to judge,” Diane tells a stricken Alexis. “We’re your lawyers. We just need the truth in order to know how to act.” Diane’s preaching to Alexis’s back. “So what happened?” “Nothing,” Alexis says, waving her hands. “It was stupid. We heard about a place where you could go get something to stay awake.” She looks like someone who can’t figure out how it’s all gone so wrong. “So we went. For finals. A lot of kids were doing it.” Diane considers. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Is she saying they went to the pharmacy, or someplace else?
“He’s lying,” Will says decisively back out in the office. “I don’t know why. I don’t think they did it. Maybe he’s protecting her.” “Or she’s protecting him,” Diane counters. “They’re going to protect each other right into prison,” Julius sums up. Yep, Julius, that is the deal.
Owen and Jackie sit at the island in the Florrick’s kitchen. They do not speak. After several uncomfortable beats, Jackie puts down her wine glass. “So how do you know you’re gay?” Owen considers the startling question. “You mean before or after I fellated my first guy?” Jackie takes a swig of her wine. “I hate that word.” “Fine,” says Owen, “before or after I fellated my first man.” Jackie sets down her glass, stares at it. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want.” Huh. She peeks over at him. She seems oddly vulnerable, and really, the invitation to talk about himself is irresistible. “I knew from a very young age. High school.” Huh. Is that young to know? “So you think you were born gay?” Jackie’s still staring at her wine glass. Owen practically stutters over his answer. “Do I think I was born gay? Yes I do think.” “I don’t understand,” Jackie begins, and you know, I’ve actually heard other people make this argument as well (though never to the face of a gay person), “why it’s so important to say people were born gay. If it’s so good, people should be allowed to choose it. It wouldn’t be forced on them, they should just prefer it.” For once, Owen is just talking, without posturing, and it’s so fascinating to see these two people having this particular conversation. “But it isn’t about should, it’s about biology.” Now it’s Jackie who’s stuttering. “Well, I don’t think it is. I think people want to think it is.” Owen nods, recovering his snarky tone. “Okay, my turn. Why do so many old people read Reader’s Digest?” “The big type,” Jackie answers without flinching. “Isn’t this fun? We’re sharing deep truths.” They drink. Jackie puts down her glass again, swallowing, thinking hard.
“I saw Grace holding hands with a girl from school.” Oh, get out of town! Here I was, thinking it was all about the Florrick family antipathy to religion, and it’s actually that Jackie fears Grace is getting it on with Shannon? That’s what she thought was happening when she caught them praying? That’s hilarious. I love it! Man, I didn’t see that coming, I truly didn’t. “OH. MY GOD.” “You can make fun,” Jackie sniffs, ” but I think it’s too early for her to know if she’s gay or not – I think she’s making a choice that she’ll regret.” Aw, silly grandma. I almost feel bad for her, getting all concerned about the wrong thing. And really, there’s plenty she could be concerned about, what with the trackers and the fake website and the skanky vile ex-girlfriends – stuff that’s actually going on.
“Regret?” Owen asks, eyebrows raised. Owen, you’re funny, but you can’t raise eyebrows like your sister. “Don’t take it personally,” Jackie tells him – I wanted to say she snapped, but she’s actually being quite mild here. She wants him to keep talking. “Sure. Why would I?” He relents, however. “Look, they were holding hands. Girls hold hands.” Yes, particularly if one of them is teaching the other to pray. This totally kills me. “In Grace’s room.” Owen takes a swig of wine. “Girls hold hands in rooms.” “On her bed. After a sleep over.” Huh. Now she’s got him wondering.
In the concrete hallway of a Cook County College dorm, Kalinda starts to spin a tale for the man in charge. Don’t worry, he says, you have full access. You can see everything. “ASA says you’ll find it anyway.” Cary, you are so right. Exhibit one; student i.d. which has to be swiped to get into the library. And here’s the list of people who were in the library last night. “I’m guessing this isn’t going to end well,” Kalinda says, thumbing through the list. “It will for me,” the detective grins Jon hasn’t been in the library for a week. Okay, that’s not really normal for the week before finals, is it? Alibi disproved. (Hmm. Also, that’s interesting. Depending on the school, you could argue that someone held the door for them, a common problem in college security. If they didn’t have subway style turn styles, then there’d be no way to tell for sure.) That’s not good. The person prowling around the dorm room turns out to be the campus policeman who found the drugs. “They get older every year,” Kalinda snipes. “It was a legal search,” the cop insists. Me thinks the gentleman doth protest too much.
“Damn,” exclaims Will, the wind blowing through his hair, walking along the police station’s front steps, “I thought at least their alibis would hold up.” It’s night now. “I’m talking to the campus police. They’re always good for an infraction.” Will’s called away from Kalinda’s theorizing by a thin, worried blond woman who turns out to be Alexis’s mother.
“We’re doing this pro bono,” Diane tells her inside, “free. Because we have a relationship with the Murphy family.” “It’s serious,” Will adds, ” but right now we can’t tell how much is police overreach.” “Overreach?” asks the poor bewildered woman. “Overcharging,” confirms Diane, “Is it just a drug charge that they’re inflating into a murder?” Elisa Symaski sinks onto a bench. Alicia offers her water, which she refuses, distracted, confused. Her whole world is collapsing. “She’s a good girl. She would never do anything like that!” Cary watches them from the elevator, sizing up the situation. “That’s good to know,” Diane says soothingly. “I just want you to know, Mrs. Symaski, that we are on the case. You could go with the public defender, but we will put all our resources into this.” Oh, Will, that’s a little rough. She’s befuddled, too much to speak. “I think I will take that water,” she finally asks.
As Alicia heads toward the water cooler, Cary takes the moment to talk. “At a certain point you have to wonder if this is right. Tricking that woman into thinking you’re on her side.” Alicia smiles at Cary’s clear attempt at provocation. It’s not quite that he’s wrong, but if there’s a conflict of interest it’s largely because he created one, and hopes to exploit it. “Let me get this straight,” Alicia asks, “you’re criticizing us for using tricks.” Are they tricking Alexis and her mom? Is Alicia actually okay with that? You’ve brought your so called concerns to the right person, Cary, as you well know, no matter what she says now. “I won’t apologize for lying to two punk kids who killed a man.” Oh. I see. So it’s only a trick if the person is demonstrably and irrefutably good. “Two punks kids? Have you looked at them?” She’s got a point, Cary; they certainly don’t look like punks, and you really don’t have a good enough reason to assume they are. “We’ve both dealt with enough criminals to know the killers look exactly like the victims.” Oooh. Now that was a good rejoinder. It’s just a plain good line. And it makes Alicia think.
Over at Cook County, Kalinda’s thinking on her feet. All the campus cops have master keys for every room, the smug and self-satisfied red head cop tells her. He’s puffed up on his triumphant find, and okay, it’s not every day you catch a potential murderer on a college campus. He’d gone in looking for prescription drugs. The detective sits at Jon’s desk, listening in. “Other students had reported prescription drugs being sold by Mr. Murphy,” he explains. Seriously? First, didn’t Cary say they searched his room only after finding drugs in hers? I suppose if you really did rob a pharmacy, you wouldn’t want all those drugs for yourself, but I still don’t get it. Why rob the pharmacy? Why start dealing? What would he have needed the money for? It seems so unlikely. And not just because he’s rich. Colleges are full of rich prats. He just doesn’t seem like that kind of kid, somehow. “Sold, not used,” Kalinda asks. Yes, says Red the campus cop. “Congratulations, Kalinda, you just added a year to their sentence,” the detective joins in. “And where’d you find the drugs?” “There,” Red tells her, pointing with his chin, “under the bed.” “Under the bed,” she repeats, and he confirms it. He even agrees to show her how he finds the drugs. He walks out, walks back in. “I see the gym bag there,” he points to the bag halfway under the bed, “I zip it open,” he mimes the action, “I find the drugs.”
If Kalinda was a rabbit, her ears would have been standing straight up. “You zipped open the gym bag?” The detective lets out a big sigh. “Yeah,” says Red, confused. “Why?” “The search of the dorm room was legal. But the moment you unzipped Mr. Murphy’s bag, the search became illegal.” Well. The things we do not know. “Better phone Cary,” she tells the detective as poor deflated Red shakes his head, watching his golden moment slip away. “Thanks. It’s going to be a long night.”
Cary gets the detective’s call from a pay phone at the police station. Really? His iphone not working anymore, or can he not afford it on an ASAs salary? Seriously, what’s that about? Even if the detective didn’t know Cary’s cell number, surely there’s a central phone back at the precinct he can call. Just weird. Kalinda has clearly passed on the good news to Will, who is dancing inside. He’s practically beaming. “1410 probation for the both of them.” It’s a technicality, Cary insists. “You guys just love saying that,” Will laughs. “The whole Constitution’s a technicality.” “Three months. The first one who flips gets three months.” Well, got to give him credit for sticking to his guns, as it were. “Cary, think about it. Why would we do that? Diane’s in one room, I’m in another. You lost. Don’t let your ego do the thinking.” Will salutes him with his phone.
Even a setback like that can’t hold Cary down; he doesn’t whine a moment before he’s set his eyes on Mrs. Symanski, and argues her into cutting Diane and Julius loose. Masterfully played, Cary. He pretends that he doesn’t know Will and Diane. He brings up his plea offer, of which Mrs. S had been ignorant. He implies – rightly – that L & G have more interest in the Murphys than in Alexis. They came to you with terrible tales of the public defender, didn’t they, but there are other firms that do pro bono work. I could give you a number, he says sweetly. Oh, Cary, you little devil.
And who did Cary call? No. You remember that guy who Will got into a fist fight with in VIP Treatment? That’s right. Wilk Hobson, played by Frederick Weller. Tall, dark, and smug. Self-satisfied, smirky and loathsome. Awesome. Do you think he’s actually friends with Cary, or is it just that Cary’s heard about the fight and wants to unsettle Will? I’d kind of love it if it were both. Aaaand – you’re fired. (Although, can the mother technically do the firing? Alexis is legal, isn’t she? She’d practically have to be, right, even if she’s not as old as Jon?) “I think it’s for the best,” Mrs. Symanski says diplomatically. “Yeah, it’s for the best. Thank you for all your hard, self-less work,” Smirky agrees. “I’ll take it from here.” “8 months to the one who flips first,” Cary says, bopping Will on the shoulder with his fist, “good night.”
Oh dear. Well, that’s one strategy down the tubes.
And everyone’s followed Cary’s lead, because now Alicia’s pounding on her apartment door because she gave Owen her keys. As she’s calling out for Owen to open up, the door swings wide to reveal not Owen but Jackie. Jackie, wearing the African beaded headdress.
Alicia looks like she’s been shot, and the pain hasn’t kicked in yet and the complete and utter surprise is all that exists. “Hello!” Jackie says, in a quietly perky tone. “Hello!” Alicia struggles to control her face. She won’t let herself laugh, but it’s a close thing. “Having fun, are we?” ‘I’ve had a drink, but I am fine. I’m doing laundry,” she says significantly, and with magnificent poise carries herself away. “Okay,” Alicia agrees, and runs with it. “What have you done to my mother-in…” she calls out to Owen, but cuts herself short when she sees he’s on the phone. “No,” he tells the caller, “that is your perception.” Oh. Ugh. Alicia wisely heads to the kitchen and pours herself some wine. “Oh. Well. I can’t help you with that,” Owen snaps. It’s interesting – Owen’s usually in control, when he’s being outrageous or provocative. This is something different and childishly self-justifying. “Yeah, okay, believe him and not me, that’s fine.” Alicia doesn’t want to be listening. “That is great.” “Hey,” Owen sighs to Alicia, having abruptly ended his call. Her face is alive with consternation. “How’d your thing go,” he wonders. “Not well,” she understates, and really, it’s hard to imagine how that could have gone worse. “Was that Kevin?” “Yeah,” says Owen, passing on his greetings. “I drank all your tequila, I’m sorry.” What, in addition to the wine? No wonder Jackie’s doing laundry in a ceremonial headdress. “When did you start drinking tequila anyway?” Alicia seems to be screwing herself up to say something. “You should go to him.” “To Kevin? No! Why?” “He didn’t cheat on you, did he?” Owen opens his mouth to refute the notion, but can’t. “Just go to him and say you’re sorry.” “Well what if I’m not,” Owen asks defensively. “Lie, and say that you are” insists Alicia. Woah, Nelly. Now, that’s not right. It does actually matter if he’s sorry, Alicia, and you of all people must know that. Gosh, does that mean she doesn’t think it matters if she believes Peter’s sorry? Damn.
“Come on Alicia, we don’t all have to be like you. Not everyone’s required to be committed for life.” She sniffs, and takes a swig of the red wine. “Oh really,” Owen asks, narrowing his eyes, “the silent Alicia treatment? Really? Is that what we’ve descended to already?” You can just imagine this being typical of their childhood; his solution to her silence is an ice cube down the back of her suit. She slips away, he brandishes it at her, and they wrestle. “Not funny, not funny!” she yells, but of course it is.
Tammy’s out cold in the big fluffy bed – presumably her big fluffy bed – where she and Will were playing earlier in the day. Huh. I totally pegged it as a hotel room. And it turns out that what I thought was a long puffy skirt is actually her comforter. Live and learn. “Did you save the world,” she asks as he slips into bed beside her. “Nope,” he says, kissing her shoulder. “Tomorrow.” She grins. “Oh, it’s you!” Ha. “Anything from Derek?” he wonders with false casualness, quite interested in the answer. “Nope. Rodney called. He says Derek is out; he heard Lockhart/Gardner’s breaking up.” She yawns. Will stops in the middle of folding his suit jacket, stunned. “You serious?” “Yeah, I’m serious,” she says, lifting her head off the pillow, “Diane Lockhart’s been lining up clients for a coup.” She snuggles back down into her pillow, utterly unconcerned. “I’m going back to sleep now, making little kitten noises.”
Which, really, is this woman tone deaf or stupid in some way? I know she’s not interested in the law, and that’s fine (even if she’s a little rude about it), but for real? I’m going to tell you that your business is – at best – reputed to be crumbling, and I’m not going to show the smallest bit of concern? Even if this were unfounded gossip, it’d be a problem for Will’s career if it prevented him from landing desirable clients. And clearly it has. But if it’s real, how much worse is that? You just casually hand a man the knowledge that his professional life has been stolen out from under him. She says she’s there for the fun, and boy, it looks like she really means it if she can’t even muster the teeniest bit of interest in his life getting wrecked.
Okay, sorry, but that made me mad.
Diane’s seated in an interrogation room. Will frowns down at her. “That’s blood in your car, Jon,” Cary tells him, “and I’m guessing when we test it it’s going to be the pharmacists blood.” Really? I just have the worst time believing they’re guilty. That’s crazy. I don’t get it! Maybe this happens in the law – you might not get to know why every time – but this drives me nuts, it seems so unlikely. “Inadmissible, Cary, and you know it – fruit of the poisoned tree. The only reason you searched the car is the illegal search of my client’s dorm room.” Cary doesn’t care if he can prove it in court as long as he can make Alexis or Jon thinks the other has flipped on them. But why would they flip when faced with such a weakened case? The camera cuts to Alexis with Hobson, who’s sick of the melodrama. Cary keeps up with the hard press. The deal will go away when we find the gun, and we will find it, he declares. “Make it 8 months probation and we’ll talk,” Hobson laughs. “Then I’ll just walk across the hall and offer the same deal to your girlfriend,” Cary continues. It’s so smooth, the way the scene toggles back and forth between the two rooms. “Go ahead,” says Alicia contemptuously. “You wouldn’t be hear if they hadn’t said the same thing.” Fine, says Cary, I’ll leave – but these lawyers are gambling with your life, Jon. His next tactic? Dad Keith Murphy has given a large campaign donation to Glenn Childs. (Really? That’s fascinating.) Cary insists to Alexis that this means Glenn will want to save Jon over her; to Jon, he claims that Glenn will be motivated to seem fair and so go after his benefactor’s son. Right. “Are you listening?” “Yes. But you don’t understand. Alexis won’t turn on me, and I won’t turn on her.” Are you sure, Cary wonders. I think his high priced lawyers are wearing him down. “I don’t believe you,” Alexis practically spits in Cary’s face. You have to respect them for the way they’re holding up through this ordeal. It’s pretty awful. “Do you think love can conquer all? Even a 25 year stretch?” Cary leaves Alexis alone to cry to her lawyer.
“Well that’s good,” Diane huffs at her phone. She turns to Alicia, just stepping out of the police station. They’re both buffeted by the wind. “Jonathan’s dad just flew in – maybe he can talk to him.” Or maybe Kalinda will have some luck looking for the gun – but would that be a good thing? Diane looks measuringly at her employee, and then steels herself for the big plunge. “I need you to keep something confidential.” “Okay,” Alicia answers brightly. “Can you do that?” Alicia’s confused by her tone. “If you ask me to,” she says again.
“I’ve come to respect you mightily as a lawyer,” Diane begins. We see dimples come out as Alicia smiles and thanks Diane. “David Lee, Julius and I are starting our own firm. We want you to come with us.” Alicia’s stunned. There’s a lot of that going around this week. She’s breathing a bit hard. “As you can imagine, this is very difficult. I have genuine feelings for Will. He and Bond are taking the firm in a direction that leaves little room for me, a woman.” Diane looks up, considering. “Does Will know about this?” Alicia asks. “That we’re leaving? No.” Alicia breathes out her distress, sinking down a little. “And I know you have a close relationship. That’s why I’m asking you – whichever way you choose to go, you must keep this conversation confidential.”
Mr E had stopped in to watch for a few minutes, and I have to tell you, he was pretty outraged at this. It’s an awful position to be put it. She gave her word. But she owes Will. Diane was smarter than I thought, coming to Alicia.
Suddenly Will appears. “He’s having his third instincts,” he tells them, encouraged. He smiles. “Then here we come,” Diane steps up, and as she walks past Alicia, shoots her a deeply serious look. Alicia receives it. She doesn’t make a move to pull Will aside, but she’s still not happy.
“Alexis has a friend,” Jon tells them, looking at the ground, wringing his hands, rubbing them together. “Jenny. Salerno. From the neighborhood. She phoned. She was in trouble. She needed to be picked up so – so we drove her. She had blood on her shirt and her shoes and she had a gun.” Alicia looks to Diane and Will, eyes narrowing.
“Did you touch the gun?” “Yes,” Jon admits; Will explodes out of his seat, and Jon recoils. “We helped her get rid of it.” Diane leaves the room. “Okay. I need you to tell me exactly where you got rid of it.” Jon’s crying. “Hey Blake, we need you to locate a Jenny Salerno,” Diane speaks into her phone outside. Will and Alicia shoot by her, out to look for the gun themselves. Why? Diane watches them go, troubled, wondered if she’s set the firm’s dissolution in motion too soon.
The Evil Boyscout (ah, it’s been so long. Why must you keep turning up?) stands at a brick wall, looking like he’s up to no good. And of course that’s the case. He idles up to the door, and then – looking around to make sure no one’s looking – pulls out some sort of telescoping blackjack to break through it. The music is tense, and the atmosphere more so because the house looks rather cheery. (Though, I can’t help noting that there’s a pink geranium in the window box by the door. Since everyone’s dressed for winter, and it’s finals time, I’ve been assuming that it’s mid-December. So why are there fresh flowers growing outside?) A wrought iron mailbox on the other side of the door bears the name Salerno in bold letters. Blake pops the door open, looking into a pretty, bright house with nice furniture – and Kalinda sitting at a table with a young woman, taking notes. “Come on in,” she waves. Ha. I’d want to laugh at him looking like such a fool if he wasn’t also so dangerous.
Police comb the rocky shore of Lake Michigan, systematically looking for the gun. They’ve a large audience of urban kids, as well as Alicia and Will. “Yep, they’re doing a quadrant search. He said it was right up over here.” Now, how did the police know to be looking what’s generally the right place? Weird. Is that where the pharmacy is? Alicia drives off. They find the gun beneath some rebar, on the large rocks of a sort of breakwater. There’s bright red blood on the handle. I cannot imagine why anyone disposing of a gun in such a place wouldn’t just toss it into the lake. It genuinely defies logic. It’s on the wrong side of the breakwater to have washed back up. Stupid.
“So what do we do?” Alicia, I’m with you. Why even go looking for the gun if you can’t do anything with it when you find it? Because you found it and here you are. “It’s illegal to take it.” “So we just leave it? Hope maybe the police don’t find it?” Will considers. “It’s not technically part of the crime scene,” he theorizes. “The police haven’t found any evidence yet. And who’s to say this gun was the gun?” Alicia stares down at the bloody weapon. Will gets involved in the story he’s concocting. “We took it into our possession. We were in a crime ridden neighborhood, and were concerned someone would take it before the police were contacted.” Right. What with the police being actually in sight and all. Alicia gives him and his nonsensical story the fish eye. “It’s evidence,” he shrugs, giving up. “We can’t alter, conceal or destroy evidence.” “So that’s it then,” she says. “Yes,” he agrees, and she heads back to her car.
They drive back out past the quadrant searching cops. Pull over, Will asks Alicia, and he calls out to the nearest of the young men. “Hey!” “Hey to you. We’re not selling.” “No,” says Will, “we, ah – back by the rocks over there – we just found a gun. We didn’t know if it was one of yours… maybe not.” The kid regards Will coldly. “Okay,” he says, and he gestures to his friends to walk with him toward the shore. “Was that legal?” Alicia wonders, her tone dangerous. “That was… on the line,” Will decides. “Uh huh.” Alicia doesn’t think much of that line.
“She said that? She lying!” Jenny Salerno shrugs. Her bright purple cardigan’s a vivid contrast to the yellowy green walls of her living room. “She also said that you wanted to get rid of your gun, and that you sold them some prescription pills.” Um, Alexis didn’t say that, did she? I mean, there’s no way our team would have been allowed to confer with her. Not that I should be shocked by Kalinda lying, but it’s interesting that she chose to pretend the story came from Alexis instead of Jon. “What?” Jenny says in outrage. “It was the opposite – I bought some of those pills from them!” Campbell’s Soup Spawn glares down at Jenny, measuring the situation. Then he brings his batton straight to her throat, knocking her backward. Kalinda watches closely to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. “The question: Thursday night, 11pm. Where were you?” At an atm, she says – and wow, could she have picked a more verifiable place to be? Doubtful. He asks for her wallet, and she tosses it to him. I really hate the Evil Boyscout. Hate. Have I mentioned that lately? Upon repeat viewings, he seems not to be trying to hurt her, but jeez, did the extreme tactics even get in any new information? No, just the same story she was telling. You can’t really make a case for violence being justified here.
Uck. Okay. Moving on.
Kalinda hands Diane the atm photos, which clearly show Jenny where she said she was, too far away to be the killer. Alexis and Jon are lying to us, Diane realizes, but it’s worse than that; apparently Jenny knows the real story. Or at least what these two told her; they robbed the pharmacy, Lightbox the pharmacist surprised them, he had a gun, Alexis saw him about to shoot Jon, she wrestled with him, and killed him. Wow.
“So Alexis killed him to save Jonathan,” Blake sums up (thank you, Blake). “So we need him to take the plea,” Will states the obvious, standing in front of the police station with the city behind him, “we need him to turn on her.” Good luck with that, buddy. “How’re we going to do that?” Blake wonders. “There’s only one reason he hasn’t turned on her yet.” Will pauses for emphasis. “Love.” They all look very serious with the wind in their hair. The camera swings over to Alicia, whose presence we weren’t aware of before. “You’re going to break them up?” Will nods. Alicia is not pleased. “No one said it would be pretty,” Diane agrees, shaking her head.
And, okay, that was stupid. Why send everyone to Jenny when she’s clearly not going to send herself to prison to save the two of you? When she’s the person who knows the truth and will be strongly motivated to tell it? Of course, she could be lying, but I don’t see how this has advanced Jon’s defense at all. So what was he thinking would happen? I think it’s a cheat to say he didn’t know what he was doing, because he’s had a lot of time to think of a better trick than just landing the truth in their laps. If he wanted to hand them the truth, why wouldn’t he just tell them? It’s a puzzle.
A tall gray haired man walks into the police station. Look, it’s the infamous Mr. Murphy! “Where’s my son,” he barks, and Alicia, Will and Diane move to his side. Will introduces himself and begins to take lead, but Murphy shuts him down. “Diane, what’s going on?” Not fun to be left out in the cold, is it, Will? Cary’s offer is now at 4 months. Why all the bouncing around, Cary? 3, 8, 4, what’s next? Diane explains that it looks like “she” is the one who shot the pharmacist. It’s interesting that Alexis doesn’t have a name anymore, now that she’s the enemy. Alicia realizes that Mrs Symanski is within earshot, and suggests they move away. I suggest they not talk about their client’s guilt in the middle of a police station, surrounded by cops who are much nearer than Mrs S, but hey, apparently that’s just me.
Will lays down the situation; Jonathan won’t take a plea out of concern for Alexis. Well, duh. He’d have to be pretty cold to turn in not only the girl he loves but someone who’s in trouble for saving his life. “We’re going to need him to rethink that concern.” Keith Murphy pins Will down with his stare. “What was your name again?” Will repeats it. “Do you have a plan for doing that?” “Yes, but it would help if we had some ammunition.” And it looks like there is some. About a month ago, Jon emailed his mother that he couldn’t sleep because he was afraid Alexis was unfaithful. Huh. “She was talking on the phone to some guy named Neil, that’s all I know.” Sigh.
“I’m on it,” says Will, and Alicia steps away with him as he goes to sic Kalinda on Neil’s identity. Will glances toward her. “Do you think this is a mistake?” “I can’t tell what’s a mistake anymore,” she confesses. “He didn’t do it,” Will says, clinging to that (which I suppose is some comfort). Alicia’s not swayed by this argument. “But she did it to save him!” Alicia’s totally lost Will’s attention, however. He’s mesmerized by a scene at the police station entrance – the young black man from the lake shore, now dressed in a college sweatshirt and looking much less urban. “Damn,” he says, “it’s the kid with the gun.” “Kind of fortuitous, isn’t it?” Cary pops up to tell them. “This kid just showed up with the murder weapon.” Will’s thrilled, of course. “Yeah,” Cary shrugs. “Turns out he’s a sophomore at CSC and he just found the gun, called it into the police.” Cary points to the kid: “That’s a real good Samaritan. It’s a good thing he pointed us toward the gun, because we never would have found it.” Naw, that’s not true, but Cary sure knows how to twist that knife, and Will is definitely feeling it. “Not only that, but we found prints on it.” The lab’s expediting them, so they ought to make the deal within the next few hours.
Ha. That’s what you get for racial profiling, Will. I don’t feel even the tiniest bit sorry for you.
“Do you really think he’s going to hold out much longer?” Cary asks Alexis. “He is negotiating with us right now to get the plea down.” Alexis doesn’t look any more panicked than she’s looked all day. It’s still a lot, though. Her elbows are still on the table, and her hands grip her thin arms above the elbow. “I don’t believe you,” she says, closing her eyes. “I love him and he loves me.” “Well, I hope you’re right because I just found the murder weapon, and I’m guessing it has both of your prints on it.” Hobson comes to life at this point, and shows Cary the door so he can do some pleading and badgering of his own. “I know the lawyers over there, Alexis. I know how they work. They’re doing what I’m going to do right now; plead with you to take this deal. I know you think love lasts forever. It doesn’t. It wilts in the face of 25 years. And then it will just be you and a prison cell. Listen to me. Please. ”
Do you think the urgency is warranted here? Both sets of prints will be on the gun. Quite possibly, however, the location of those prints could prove who the killer was. Would it be better to just let things work themselves out, and assume that the ASA’s office won’t charge the kids equally when faced with the evidence? I wonder how concerned with the truth Hobson is. Does he know that Alexis is (it seems) guilty? I’m sure she hasn’t told him, and obviously Will and Diane haven’t. If he knew, would he be urging Alexis to take the plea and lie? It’s a different dilemma for each kid, isn’t it – she’d have to lie to take the deal, but all Jon would have to do is tell the truth.
“Here’s Neil,” Kalinda says, holding phone records up against the outside wall of the police station. “She phoned him three times in one night, and five times the following week.” “Good,” says Will, taking the papers, “great.” He takes off with his ammunition.”No, it’s not what you think,” Kalinda intervenes, calling Will back. “It doesn’t matter,” Will tells Kalinda and Alicia, “we can leverage this.” Ah, but it turns out that Neil is Alexis’ ob/gyn. Oh, crap, I see where this is going. (And, ugh, she better have been dealing those pills and not taking them herself!) “And she’s phoning her ob/gyn because she’s pregnant.” Will leans back against the wall, distressed. This is a great twist, even if I don’t think it’s normal to call your ob by their first name or call them 3 times a night.
Will looks to Alicia. And then he leaves.
“Look, she phoned him seven times. Neil Osseola. Neil Osseola. Neil Osseola. You see?” Okay, first of all, 3 plus 5 does not equal 7, and also, is this wise? A month ago Jon didn’t know who Neil was, but the pair are pretty devoted to each other now; does Jon really seem like someone who’s been living with a month of doubts? I suppose it’s possible that her saving his life would have calmed his doubts, but just don’t see why Will is taking the chance, trying to play Jon like this. “That’s the woman you’re throwing away your future for. That’s the man she’s been cheating with.” Alicia can’t believe he’s doing this either. Will looks at her, and they exchange one of their amazing eye contact conversations, though it’s not so much unquestioning reassurance they’re passing along now. She walks out. Will looks back at Jon, who is shaking, making calculations inside his head. Then we see the phone records, with Neil Osseola underlined and printed out in red.
Alicia leans against the wall inside the station, thinking and watching Mrs. Symanski and Mr. Murphy, who wait, separately. “Sorry I have to be tough,” Will tells her. Sorry you have to be wrong, Will. And would it even be worth it if you weren’t? I won’t say it isn’t worthy to save a (relatively) innocent man from spending 25 years in prison, but oh, it’s not an easy call. None of them are thinking about Jon for his own sake, are they, or what it would cost him to betray Alexis? They’re thinking of Murphy’s business, and assuming that Murphy doesn’t care as much about his son’s honor as he does his freedom. “People decide their future in a heartbeat, and they don’t know how important that heartbeat is.” Well, true. Of course, the real heartbeat here is apparently the one where Alexis and Jon inexplicably decide to rob that pharmacy. Or maybe even the moment their child was conceived. “Wilk’s doing the same thing in his room.”
“I understand,” says Alicia wearily, still leaning up against the wall. “I just don’t have to like it. But I understand.” She nods.
“Do it, Jon,” Keith Murphy tells his son. “It’s not right, Dad,” Jon insists. His profile fills the screen. “No, what’s not right is having your mom visit you in prison for the next 25 years. What’s not right is throwing away your future.” Already done it, Dad. How do you think he’s going to live the next 25 years if he barters her freedom for his own? Do you think he’ll just head off to law school and forget? Alicia looks on from the background, tired and sad. “Dad, I can’t turn on her.” “Son, she did it. She killed a man.” Is this supposed to be news? Who knows that better than Jon? “She killed a man to save me. The only reason we were there was because of me.” But why? I don’t understand that bit, I really don’t, and I’m really annoyed they’re not explaining it. “You won’t walk away from that. You’ll be sentenced for burglary, you’ll have a record…” “Dad, I love her,” Jon declares, his voice low and throbbing. Will shakes his head. Alicia lowers her eyes.
“Do you love me?” Keith Murphy asks his son. Oh, ouch. Of course he does. Keith puts a hand on the back of Jon’s neck. “Then please, do this.” Father and son look into each other’s eyes.
Keith rubs Jon’s back. “Get him in here,” he commands gruffly. Will goes. Cary’s waiting in the hall. “Have you made a decision,” he asks. Jon nods.
“I wanna confess,” he says.
Mr. Murphy closes his eyes and turns his head away in distress. Alicia’s eyes widen.
Everyone’s out in the station room, looking dejected – even Cary, for some reason. Does Cary know the truth? The silence is sliced by a scream. “No!” cries Alexis from her interrogation room. Jon runs out of his, handcuffed, an arm pinned behind his back by a police officer. “Alexis, it’s okay,” he shouts at her door. “No!” she screams out her anguish again. “Let me out! Let me out, let me out, let me out,” she wails, and Cary stops Jon’s progress through the office and brings him back. “Let me out, let me out, please.” He opens the door. She rushes out, shaking off Cary’s steadying hand. “Why,” she begs, weeping. “Why did you do it?” She throws her arms around Jon’s neck and cries into his shoulder. “We’re having a baby.” They murmur words of love and pain almost incoherently. Cary leans forward, silently signals for the officer to release Jon from the handcuffs, so he can hold Alexis.
“I can’t have you on the inside,” he tells her, both hands on her beloved face. “Look. You did this to protect me. That’s why I’m doing this.” “No,” she cries, and they kiss. The officer breaks the kiss to pull Jon away. Alexis cries and pleads, to no avail. Her mother moves in to hold her, while Alicia looks over at Will. Nobody looks particularly pleased with themselves here.
“I understand,” Diane tells her phone. She’s back at her desk in the office, city lights behind her. “No, I do. Thank you.” She hangs up the phone and reaches for a wine glass. “It was Murphy,” Will guesses from the doorway. “Yes,” she says briefly, drinking her wine. The open bottle sits on her desk. She doesn’t look up after putting the glass down. “He wants another firm to handle his son’s appeal.” Well, I guess we can all understand that, can’t we? I don’t know what the right way to handle this would have been, but clearly, L/G & B handled it wrong. She looks up at Will, standing in the shadows of her doorway. “He wants to take his business elsewhere.” She moves papers from her desk, her back toward him.
“Then he’s going with you?” Will asks.
Diane straightens her back, and slowly, slowly turns around. “With me,” she inquires, not giving anything away. He shakes his head. “To your new firm,” he grinds out. His tone is scathing and deceptively soft. She walks back toward the desk, her lips curled, the slightest swagger in her steps. The game is on. “You wanna have this out now?” “We’re both here,” he says calmly. “Who told you,” she wonders, “Alicia?” His composed expression takes a hit, becomes colder, more still at this betrayal. “No. She didn’t tell me. In fact I didn’t even know she knew.” “I’ve asked her to join me,” Diane tells him defiantly, which comes close to being a taunt in my book. He nods, derisive, and you can see he’s working up to an explosion. “And she’s considering it?” “I think so,” Diane says, whether or not she believes it. “Who else?” He moves into the room. “Why? So you can weed out the betrayers?” Well, yes, Diane. Of course. We know from experience that this matters to him. She’s still sipping her wine.
“You should have told me, Diane,” he says dangerously. “If I was considering this, I would have told you.” Do I believe that? Diane doesn’t. “Are you serious?” she asks contemptuously. “You and Bond have been plotting for months.” “Oh my God, you’re paranoid,” he talks over her. “And I’m right,” she says, getting in his face. I don’t know if Will’s been plotting, but Bond has, and Will knows it, so at least in that sense she’s right. He still looks pretty offended. “Tell me I’m not right.” “I’m through telling you. I’ve not made one single move against you, not one.” Well, you did make her drop Joe Trippi. “So you never knew Blake? Kalinda found out. You’ve known each other for years. And you and Bond have been systematically turning the equity partners against me.” Now that can’t be true, can it? “You are only happy when you think people are lined up against you,” Will raises his voice. “So have it! Happy birthday! It’s my present to you.” He delivers the last words with a world of scorn. “Gorge on your own paranoia, but don’t come in tomorrow.” “It’s my firm as well,” she tells him. “No it isn’t,” he thunders, and she swallows his anger. They take a moment to face each other down. “And tomorrow, I’m going to have guards outside your office doors. And I’m gathering the equity partners.” He turns to leave. “To vote me out,” she says in bitter triumph, pursing her lips and nodding her head, as if this were his plan all along, as if she’s left him any choice. “Tell me my concerns weren’t real.” “You made your concerns real,” he says, still walking, his back to his old partner. She shakes her head, and drinks her wine as the soundtrack swells.
Owen’s sitting in the dark nibbling something; he looks up, almost as if he’d been caught doing something wrong, when he hears the door. I think guilty is one of his default expressions. “I’m in here,” he whispers loudly, his face lit by the lap top he has balanced on his knees. “You’re up late,” she says. “Yeah,” he agrees, setting the lap top on the coffee table. “Eatin’ Halloween candy, do you want some?” He waves a small white bowl full of candy corns at her, but she’s good. Too good for candy corns? Wow. Impressive consider she’s had a real binge-inducing kind of day. She sits down beside him, a bit morose.
“I’m never going to find love,” he grouses. Ah, Owen. Not going to ask her how her day went? I get it that he’s hurting, but he’s comparatively very self-involved. “What? What makes you say that?” Alicia’s startled. Um, I don’t know, Alicia, maybe because he thinks true love ought to be like magic, and he doesn’t believe in magic? “I’m hard to live with. I get sick of people. They get on my nerves.” He stares straight ahead, as if looking into his bleak future as an old writer with dogs.
“You called Kevin,” big sis diagnoses correctly. He did. “I apologized. I was very convincing.” He shrugs. “I even convinced myself. But – he said it’s over.” She puts her arm around him and her compassionate face on. “It’s all right.” She cuddles in and rubs his shoulder. “The scary thing is, I felt relieved.” She stops rubbing. Well, but I can see that. It’d be harder to stay, knowing you were the betrayer, knowing the other person had something on you that they could unfold at any time and toss in your face. “Love just doesn’t seem to last with me. They should put you in a museum.”
“Thanks,” she says, but you know, the way he said that was weirdly cute. It wasn’t an insult, he’s quick to explain, though he struggles to articulate just how he meant the words. “It’s this ability you have – how do you make love outlast passion?” Her face is a study, in surprise and even painful self doubt. “Is that what I do?” “I don’t know. You tell me.” He really does want the secret, want it to be magic. “I think it’s not just about the heart, Owen.” Her answer, of course, isn’t that it’s not magic – it’s application, discipline. “I think sometimes the heart needs..” she fishes around for the right word, “steering.” His cheek twitches.
“I thought you were going to say something profound,” he complains, breaking the seriousness of the moment. She laughs. “What was wrong with that?” He imitates her, still staring straight ahead, his tone infused with a mock solemnity. “The heart needs – steering.” Alicia laughs again, loudly, and Owen laughs with her. Quickly, too quickly, she realizes where they are, that her family is sleeping around them, and hushes him. “I’m going to stay here for a couple of days. ” “Okay,” she says happily. “I mean, you can say no.” “Can I?” she wonders. “No,” he replies. “Okay. So.” She looks into his eyes and makes a tiny production out of asking sincerely. “Owen, why don’t you stay here for a few days?” Finally he turns to look at her. “If you insist,” he says. She bites her lip, but whether to hold in laughter or tears I can’t say. “Will you make cooing noises so I know that everything’s going to be okay?” Oh, dear God, please let her make cooing sounds. I would love to hear that. She nods. He nods. As the screen fades to black we hear what might be humming.
I liked the emotion and the ideas played with in this episode. Will tries to break up the loving young couple; Diane and Will break up the firm. As Alicia says, you don’t just need love, you also need steering. Jon chooses to stick with Alexis; Diane chooses not to stick with Will. And, of course, I thought the acting was terrific, and I really liked the way certain long gestating plotlines sped up. We finally meet Murphy of Murphy v. Gomez! Will finds out about Diane’s new firm! Someone remembered that Derrick exists! (Actually, I’m not so excited that Derrick exists. Maybe I’d have rathered they keep forgetting about him.) But I do have issues. Alicia was essentially a bystander, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m curious what she would have done with the situation if the strategy had been up to her. I guess that’s fine, though. I’m having the most trouble getting over the idea of these kids pulling this robbery. They want to be lawyers, the boy is rich and could buy them drugs if they needed it, so what the heck? I don’t even get why they needed the drugs in the first place, I genuinely don’t. Was one of them about to fail out? Cary makes good sense when he says that villains don’t wear capes and snicker darkly at us. It’s not that I don’t believe serious, academic minded kids could turn to crime. It might find it unlikely, but certainly possible. I just don’t believe they’d do it lightly, and we really didn’t get any reason to believe they needed to do what they did. Now, it wasn’t clear to me; did she shoot the pharmacist with his own gun, or did she have one of her own? And if she got this gun to commit this robbery, and there was intent to distribute instead of simply looking for a little boost during finals week, well, that makes it a whole other story. Why would you rob a pharmacy for a few pills? Was it really Jon’s idea to knock over the pharmacy to sell the pills, and why? Why does he need the money? I keep coming back to that. These questions kept it from being a top flight case for me.
That said, I loved seeing the team out at a police station (I love the office, but new locations are a treat), and I loved the trickery with Cary, and of course the interweaving of L/G’s internal strife. I did like seeing Lockhart/Gardner have a rare loss, and I perhaps perversely enjoyed seeing Will’s clever shady moves come up short. I thought the actors playing both Alexis and Jon were wonderful. And of course I loved the return of Owen, and particularly his scenes with Jackie. That was such a delight. Jackie thinks Grace is gay! I could laugh for a week. And the visual of Jackie in that wig (obvious sight gag that it was) will bring me smiles forever.
But does any of that really matter, in the face of this episode’s explosive conclusion? I don’t know how to feel about Will and Diane. Their scene was beautifully played, and my heart breaks for Will. Can they take this back? Will they be able to make it right? It’s going to be really upsetting if they break the firm up for good, and yet I don’t know how they get back to good now. I just don’t know. I will be really sorry to see Will and Diane as constant adversaries. Is there any way to avoid that at this point? And what a dreadful position all of this puts Alicia in. It’s organic, and well set up, I’ll give the writers that, but it’s fiendish, too. Will she go with Diane? Is Will going to even want her to stay, now that he knows that she knew? Is it a way to complete the break between them? Is she safer working for Diane, removed from temptation, or would leaving his employ actually allow Will and Alicia to be together? And is that a reason for her to go to Diane, or to stay with Will?
So really, I just need a new episode to happen right now. We can work that out, right?