E: I don’t think this show has every made me laugh so much. And when I say laugh, I mean belly laugh, I mean Diane Lockhart, deep, rich, rolling around it in, knowing laughter.
The much vaunted ‘amazing guest star’ episode brings us not 3 but 4 recognizable actors. America Ferrera! Jerry Stiller! Gary Cole! Sure, I didn’t know your name, but I know your face, Dennis Boutsikaris. I was happy to see you, anyway. You were sparky and self-righteous. I liked it. This much is good. After last week’s intensity, Silver Bullet seems a bit light and fluffy, but maybe that’s okay, because what they did was just plain entertaining. I can’t think when this show has sped by so quickly before. I adored the snappy word play, the West Wing-like repetition of phrases, the joviality. I liked everyone trying to be a good mood.
And only The Good Wife can seem light and fluffy while dealing with police malfeasance, the race card, the First Amendment, teenage rebellion, religion and illegal immigration. It’s just your average day at the offices of Lockhart/Gardner & Bond.
“No,” barks Eli Gold unconvincingly from his desk at the campaign headquarters. “Let me try that again. No.” He sounds like he’s ineffectually warning a puppy not to pee on the carpet. “You’re so cute when you’re being emphatic,” a smirking little round-faced pixie declares, her face balanced on one finger, surrounded by cascades of black ringlets. She’s got the look of a puppy about her, actually. “Your brow gets all…” “And the key word here is emphatic,” Eli insists, cutting off a hilarious growly-dad face from the self-confident teen. “Mom said yes,” she smiles as if the question stopped there. “That’s because Mom likes to make me the mean divorced dad; I say no.” How cool is this? Eli’s progeny! I love it.
She’s not so happy about things. “Why no? Because I don’t want some Palestinian version of yourself blowing you up!” And he does seem upset in a whole new way from anything we’ve seen in him. (Get used to that sensation of newness, fellow audience members, cause it don’t stop here.) “Dad,” she laughs, flicking her forehead with her fingers, “it’s a kubutz. Unless one of the tractors explodes, I’m gonna be fine.” You know, she doesn’t look like him in the slightest, but she’s certainly got his snark and assurance. He’s fit to be tied, a hundred different reactions flitting across his face. “Do you know how hypocritical this is? You’re the one who always pushed me toward religion.” She gesticulates with an enormous square ring on one of her tiny fingers; she sees that he’s a little embarrassed about his protectiveness so she’s moved in for the kill. “Of course I know how hypocritical this is. I’m a parent. It’s my prerogative.” Ha. I totally love that line.
Matt/Jeff the hipster pollster arrives to save the day. Eli dismisses the little miss, while confirming their dinner plans for Thursday. “Unless you back out,” she teases. He smiles appreciatively. She stands, barely taller than her seated father. “You look happy,” she notices, surprised. “Are you seeing someone?” “Yes,” Eli replies gravely, “my pollster!” She snorts. It’s just so cute! It’s really cute. They have a nice dynamic – this could have been a loaded, whiny, angsty conversation, and it wasn’t at all. Miss Gold seems to have a kind of droll appreciation of her father that I like tremendously.
Goldilocks runs right into Matt in the doorway. “I’m the pollster,” he explains unnecessarily. “I’m the daughter,” she replies cheerily, and slips out. He watches her go for just a little bit too long, till Eli has to remind his subordinate that “the daughter” is 18. Heh. For the record, she looks 15, so, ew, hipster-pollster. “I didn’t say anything,” Matt defends himself. Eli lets it go: “Is it good?” A delighted expression crosses Matt’s normally blaze face. “It’s the silver bullet,” he expands avidly, “Wendy Scott-Carr the untouchable candidate just became touchable.” Ugh – why does that sound wrong, in reference to a female candidate? Yuck. Eli flips through the manila folder Matt’s presenting. He asks for a name: Natalie Flores, an economics student at DePaul who was with Wendy for 5 years. “Judge Adler was doing her usual vetting, and Wendy tried to hide everything about her.” Before Eli can go “complete the vetting” by talking to the mysterious Natalie, the hipster pollster advises him to talk to “the candidate’s wife” because the press is going to go straight to her. (Was I the only person with the split second response of “but Wendy Scott-Carr doesn’t have a wife!” before their mind could totally make sense of that comment? I hate this whole habit of not even using your own guy’s name.) Eli shakes his head; Alicia won’t help. As long as she doesn’t hurt, it’s good, Matt says.
(By the way, there’s a webisode/deleted scenes which explains where this revelation comes from – Judge Adler had left the judgeship to run Wendy’s campaign, but Peter and Glenn used Adler’s corruption issues to force Wendy to push Adler out. Adler, in revenge, has brought this information to her enemies.)
“No!” barks Diane, “I don’t want a debate, just fix it.” She seems off balance, don’t you think? Is this part of the plan? “And don’t look to Derrick for BP – that belongs to all of us now.” Derrick, lurking in the back of the conference room, is visibly and literally taken aback. Alicia looks apprehensive, but she shouldn’t; Diane compliments her on some recent work.
“We got a problem,” Derrick tells Will, despite the latter being on the phone, “She’s on to us.” He’s swaggered into Will’s office, hands in his pockets. Will ends his call to placate his fretful frenemy. “She’s on to us? Who’s on to us?” Nice downplaying, Will. The Prince of Darkness looks significantly at the conference room. “The way she’s dealing with the equity partners, the way she’s isolating my people – she’s gearing up for a fight.” Will closes his eyes and chuckles. “Get the judge back on the phone!” he hollers to his assistant. “You think I’m wrong,” Derrick acknowledges darkly. “I think I am surrounded by paranoid people. I calm the waters. I stopped her defection. Diane’s behaving as any other name partner would – as you should.” Mr. Bond expresses regret at firing one of his people, and is nervous about his numbers. He’s going to hire him back. Well, that’s a shame. That’s some nice subterfuge wasted right there. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” Will shrugs, but it has to be a blow.
The scene switches to Diane, still lashing out at the poor souls in the conference room. “Where’s Blake?” she demands. “I heard he’s out sick,” Kalinda volunteers, so innocent. Ah, it almost makes up for having to see them touch each other. Almost. Truly, we’ve never seen Diane in such a mood, snapping at her apparently ineffective staff. “Because honestly, what I give a damn about… ” she begins. But her invective stutters to a halt when the Marlboro Man stalks through the glass halls toward her office. She tries valiantly, but finally has to give in to her curiosity and practically runs out of the room. Alicia and Kalinda exchange glances of understanding, and – in Kalinda’s case – adorable glee.
“Hello,” Diane greets Kurt, who checks her out. The cheek! She looks ready to explode. “It’s been a while,” he grunts awkwardly. “Yes, quite a while,” she replies, cutting him absolutely no slack. “Where’ve you been?” Here, there, he mutters. You? Here, she tells him. Diane is so awesome in ball busting mode. “I need your help,” he admits.
Well, I don’t know that’s how you’d most prefer to see an old – boyfriend? lover? – only showing up so you can bale him out of trouble, but groveling is always nice. Then again, he must know a lot of lawyers. The professional respect is pretty cool.
“Ms Clinton seems to be doing quite well for herself,” Kurt McVeigh tells Diane, looking at the framed photograph of Diane and Hilary. “So’s your girl Palin,” Diane replies, generous, “2012?” “That’s the hope,” McVeigh shrugs, which, really? I can’t even go there. Diane can, though. She snorts. “Dear God.” You said it. “Couldn’t be worse than your man Barak,” McVeigh shrugs again (this seems to be a permanent state of being with him) and Diane crosses her arms and lets it rip. “I am always astounded when a man like you expresses such unadulterated drivel.” Me too, Diane, me too. “That’s funny, I’m never astounded when you do,” McVeigh teases. Why is it that insults can be so exciting? The exchange is odd, because this little rehearsal of their political differences masks the real issues between them. She can’t contain her smile at his last volley, and when she does, it releases him to get down to business.
“I’m being sued for 36 million dollars.” Well, yikes. Could he possibly have 36mil? Seems unlikely, no? She indicates that they should sit, and they reverse positions so she’s seated behind her desk, and he’s seated in front of it. She tells her assistant to have Will take over her next meeting, and Kurt thanks her for it. “I’m just listening,” she cautions him. Then her face starts to contort, because she’s so puzzled that someone would be suing him. The answer – one Jason Beltran, who has recently had his life sentence overturned. Due to a mistake at the crime lab, Kurt adds, but Diane’s having none of it. “I think that he was freed because he was innocent and the cops set him up.”
What a surprise – Kurt disagrees. It was a crime lab tech’s mistake. No, it was manufactured evidence. No, it was a mistake. No, it was perjury. Aw, these crazy kids. “Anyway, I didn’t lie under oath, and I didn’t manufacture evidence,” the Marlboro Man explains himself, but because his testimony backed up the discredited lab tech, and helped put Beltran away for shooting a cop during a robbery, he’s being targeted. While Kurt tosses the case file on Diane’s desk, we get to see Will in the background, looking exasperated when he realizes what Diane’s emergency was. It’s really cute.
“Beltran says he was an innocent by stander at the bank, and the cops came after him because he was black.” “He’s lying,” McVeigh growls. Diane shoots him a look of disbelief. She has to think about it. He chews on his inner lip and makes to take back the file, but she stops him. “Our firm benefited from this Cook Country Crime Lab malfeasance. We had two criminal cases over turned – so I need to think about it. It’s not a brush off.” He nods ever so slightly and turns to leave without a word.
“You should have called me,” she tells his retreating back. “When you got back from your case in Florida.” I hadn’t noticed before how schlumpy he seems, especially in that barn jacket, and how straight backed she is in contrast. “You’re right, I should have,” he tells the floor before raising his eyes to deliver an apology. “I’m sorry.”
Will sees the open door, and squeezes past McVeigh. “Bond thinks you’re on to him, so can you stop showing so much intensity in the staff meetings, please?” Dreamy Diane doesn’t hear a word he says.
“You look happy,” Eli notes as he leans against a wall, watching Alicia trip jauntily down the stairs toward her office. “I am happy,” she replies cheerfully, speedwalking. “I’ve decided I’m good at my job.” Which is to say, she’s decided that being good at her job is going to make up for everything else. “You are good at your job, I’ve always said it,” Eli tells her, and the sound of sucking up can be heard outside the building. “What is it?” she wonders immediately, and he smiles. How I’ve come to cherish those little exchanges. We have a silver bullet, he says, just in case we were wondering about the episode title. “Something that will destroy Wendy Scott-Carr – but when we fire it, the press will come for you.” Alicia settles into her desk, but Eli still hugs the doorframe like a vampire unsure of his welcome. Heh. The better to study your reactions by, my dear. “And I will send them to you!” Alicia smiles, gesturing as if that is that.
But of course it isn’t. Eli explains the nature of the bullet: Natalie Flores, Wendy’s nanny. “That’s your silver bullet,” mocks Alicia, clearly unimpressed. “Yes.” “She had a nanny?” Alicia cocks her head, disbelieving. “It’s never the big things that bring politicians down,” Eli grandstands (probably to the wrong person). “She’s an illegal alien. Wendy wants to be State’s Attorney, and for five years, she broke the law – and not just any law. People do not like illegal aliens.” What does this have to do with me, Alicia puzzles. I didn’t get it either, hon, but we both should have. “You were a stay at home mom.” Alicia bursts out laughing.
“Isn’t it great?” he agrees, finally settling into a chair. “You were June Cleaver. For 15 years, you raised the kids, no nannies, no illegal aliens. You’re as American as apple pie.” “I’m so glad those fifteen years weren’t wasted!” Aw, they’re so cute when they’re mocking and are kind of on the same side. “Yeah, don’t say anything to the press like that, okay? You’re the Good Mom.” (And boy, people think The Good Wife is an unsexy title for a show…) “My staff will send over some brownie recipes.” This entertaining exchange ends too soon when Grace’s voice pipes up “Mom, pick up the phone! Mom, pick up the phone!” Cute ringtone, kiddo. I love that little touch, that Grace still programs Alicia’s phone. (Remember the theme Grace used for Jackie in the pilot? Love it.) Alicia dismisses Eli so she can go do some good mothering.
It’s going to be a little tricky today. Grace, it turns out, needs a t-shirt. “It’s not my fault, Mom, the school’s fascist. They won’t let me go back to class unless I change my t-shirt.” Well. That’s some fun for the middle of your day.
A man in a dark suit twirls a small crystal award on Diane’s desk. “Hello,” she says, and he turns, revealing himself to be simultaneously actor Dennis Boutsikaris and lawyer Tommy Segara. Diane’s pleasantly surprised. “Tommy! Would you like to sit down?” “No,” he grumbles, “I would like you to know that Kurt McVeigh is the enemy. So imagine my surprise when I heard who was representing him.” Like the rumors of Mark Twain’s death, Segara’s information is premature. Good, Tommy says, because McVeigh helped the cops frame an innocent man. Diane wonders why he’s suing Kurt. “He’s free. Your client’s free!” And Tommy responds with my argument from the pharmaceutical pollutants case; the city needs to be taught a lesson so it’ll think twice about framing someone again. “I get a big award from McVeigh, that’ll scare the State’s Attorney into settling.” Okay. Makes sense. Sort of. Except aren’t you more likely to win bigger against the entity you know for sure messed up? “We’ve worked on a lot of cases together, Diane,” Mr. Segara gestures sadly, “the grocer’s union, the Houston squatters – this goes against everything you stand for.”
Diane won’t be told what to do, however. “You don’t know everything I stand for.” You couldn’t have scripted a more perfect response. (Oh. Wait.) “They want to use you, Diane, a known and respected liberal. They want to put a pretty face on a racist strategy, don’t you see that?” Who’s the “they” is this scenario? Childs? The police union? Nonsensical. It does succeed in putting Diane’s back up, though, and convinces her to take the case. Reminiscent of Will last season, no, when the warning to back off a case makes him take it? Segara departs in disgust. “You’re going to lose a lot of friends over this one,” he claims, finger wagging. “Then they weren’t really friends in the first place.” She invites him to do his worst, and he promises to.
You know, it occurs to me that Diane isn’t any better at picking friends than Will, is she? First Justice Adler, then Viola, and now Tommy? Not a good track record. They’re each 3 and 0.
Alicia’s frowning at a coral colored long sleeve t-shirt, presumably the one Grace had been wearing, with a cross stitched into it and the words “I Am The Mustard Seed” set inside it – referring to several biblical verses which compare a particularly tiny seed to the strength of one’s belief. She can’t comprehend what the principal is telling her. “The saying – it’s not allowed.” This doesn’t clarify anything. “It’s a Christian saying, right?” “It doesn’t matter. We’ve restricted all sayings on shirts.” Alicia smiles. “Ah, and you don’t think you’ll have a problem with the First Amendment?” “A month ago,” the principal explains, “some kids wore pro-gay t-shirts to school. Then some kids wore anti-gay shirts. This is not about the First Amendment.” Alicia chooses her words carefully this time. “I understand that you have some issues here, m’am. But you don’t just circumvent those issues by infringing on my daughter’s rights.” Grace is wearing stripes out in the hall, sitting on a bench and listening to her mom with delight. “You open yourself up to a lawsuit. My firm is fighting a case like this one, and…” Alicia’s words stop abruptly, and her eyebrows shoot up, as the principal crumples down into a sniffling, weeping mess.
‘I’m sorry,” she gasps, “you just… you have no idea how hard it is, everyone’s threatening me, everyone’s threatening to sue…” She grabs a tissue. “You should sue,” Grace declares passionately as they walk outside the school gates to Alicia’s car. “It’s the First Amendment!” “Are we Christians now?” Alicia wonders instead. “No, they just weren’t letting Shannon wear it, so I decided to wear it to.” Ah. So it was deliberate provocation. Fine, but don’t be whiny when they give you the punishment they’ve already said they will, Grace. Alicia’s phone rings and releases her momentarily from the drama. “Can you just got to school and get an education, please?” the good mom snaps. Then she promises to be right back to the office.
“What if this were another time, and they weren’t letting kids wear Martin Luther King shirts?” Alicia thinks as little of this patched up logic as I do. “What Martin Luther King shirts? Grace, honey, I know you want a cause, but this isn’t your cause.” She’s very snarky and impatient as she says it. “Why not?” “Because Christians are in no danger of becoming a minority class!” Oh, wait, so now this isn’t about the First Amendment? I take it back. Alicia and I don’t have the same problem with Grace’s logic. Alicia kisses Grace on the forehead, and promises they can talk about it later.
McVeigh paces around Diane’s office. Will’s called Alicia in, letting her know McVeigh’s been dropped by his insurance company. Ah. So that’s who Segara thought had $36 mil. “My only worry,” Will explains, “is that Diane will lose her perspective on this one.” Alicia should help her keep it. Okay, she nods.
“How you doing?” Will asks somberly just when Alicia’s moved past him. She spins. It’s clear what he means; his tone of voice makes it obvious. And she smiles every so brightly. “I… never better!” Oh, Will. I’m glad you care, and I like your serious eyes, but I’m a little mad you need to make her lie about this just to make yourself feel better about your own lies. (Oh, I know, I know. No body likes to be the bad guy, and I know he does genuinely want her to be okay. It’s just kind of torturous, you know?) He blinks, looking more than a little bit sad.
Kalinda’s going through the crime scene reconstruction in Diane’s office; she calls it the most complicated one of the year. Alicia silently takes a seat at the table, and Diane doesn’t miss the nuance; she rolls her eyes at Will as he disappears from the hall. “500 rounds fired, lasting three minutes, one police officer killed, four bank robbers…” “Five,” McVeigh interrupts. “Four banker robbers were killed at the crime scene,” Kalinda continues with a look over at Kurt, “and a suspected fifth, Jason Beltran, was arrested.” I feel like I’m being handled here, McVeigh complains, and he doesn’t get any happier when Diane explains what his defense will be: he made a mistake. He guffaws. “What mistake?” “Strategically, the only way we win the suit is to admit to an honest mistake.” Oh, the Marlboro Man (clad in a red plaid shirt like the Brawny paper towel guy and a quilted vest) does not like this. “They need to prove collusion between you and the crime lab,” Kalinda explains, “they have to prove you wanted to get Beltran and they can’t.”
“What they can do,” adds Diane, “is play off your ego. It’s well known you only take cases you believe are ‘true.’ They’ll try to show you skewed the evidence to make the case true.” At this point, an assistant breaks in with a call for Kalinda – a mysterious caller who won’t leave his name. “He said you’d know what it was regarding.” Kalinda asks for him to call back. Ah. Blake, or the husband? My money’s on the husband.
“I understand that you have to fight the best case, not the truest case, but why isn’t my best case that there was no mistake?” The Marlboro Man cannot wrap his head around admitting he was wrong, especially since he still doesn’t think he was. Duh, dude – the conviction was overturned, and they can’t refight that. “That’s why I need you to swallow your pride so we can win.” He grabs his coat, quietly frustrated. “I determined the direction and the caliber of the bullet that killed Office Walter, that’s all. I can’t lie on the stand about a mistake that doesn’t exist. It’s just…” he waves off the question, unable to articulate his way through the mess, and waves goodbye.
Diane sighs mightily. “Find his mistake,” she commands Kalinda. “And if there’s not one?” “He supported the lab tech. There has to be one.” Fair enough. Well, if there was a mistake, we know who’ll find it! Diane turns her attention to Alicia. “Will wants you on this?” Yeah, Alicia admits. Okay, Diane smiles brightly. Man, there’s a lot of that going around. “Help Kalinda.”
Alicia walks out with Kalinda, who’s told by the assistant that hubbie (sorry, the mystery caller) refused to leave a number and will call again. Fine. “Anything you want to share?” asks Alicia. No. Of course not.Kalinda notices the t-shirt, folded so the slogan shows, in Alicia’s bag. “You’re the mustard seed?” “You have a problem with that?” Alicia snarls (touchy!) and Kalinda just smiles pleasantly, having successfully redirected the conversation.
Hands fly over a keyboard, and windows flash in a complicated swirl of charts and graphs to the music of frantic key strokes. Ah, the stock market. It’s so fascinating. Right. It does exert a fascination for one Natalie Flores, however, such that she can’t look away from her screen to talk to Eli, who’s arrived with an introduction from Judge Adler. “Oh, Vicky,” says Natalie. Nice. Even nicer? Natalie’s played by America Ferrera, who, let’s all admit it, is pretty damned awesome. (Betty Suarez! Love you!) She holds up a finger to forstall Eli: “I just.. I just have to get this trade off.” She’s got to get in it now that an exchange (one of the Asian ones?) has opened. Happily, her little graph goes up after it goes down. “My senior project,” she says by way of an apology. “I’m trying to prove that the next big bubble is going to be in pharmaceuticals.” She prattles on about CEOs and FDA approval and is clearly talking Eli’s language of love; he’s eating out of her hand after those 4 seconds of academic gibberish. “Don’t worry, I’m a nanny too. But if you want, I can manage your money.”
Okay, so maybe I’m not turned on by economics, but I love her faith in herself. I believe her, too. Betty can do whatever she sets her mind to. As soon as she’s finished shorting MRG, Natalie turns her full attention to Mr. Gold. What does he need? Well, as he said in his phone call, he’s got two children, ages 6 and 8. Oh dear. Was it smart to use your real name if you’re going lie, buddy? Names? Peter and Alicia, of course. Heh. They’re in a very pretty room which is either part of a library or a computer lab; the golden light and paneled walls suggests library. “And you want tutoring too?” “No. Uh – yes. If that’s possible.” It is possible, Mr. Gold, as long as it works around her graduate degree. (Weird comment, since you don’t have a senior project in graduate school; I’d like to know what degree she’s actually getting here, and also how old she’s supposed to be, but whatever.)
Eli brings up her employment history, and she describes her last job (though she doesn’t use Wendy’s name). “And, um…” he glances around apologetically. “It’s okay,” she says, lowering her voice, “Vicky said I could talk to you.” I feel a momentary flash of anger against Victoria Adler for grinding this poor girl up in her grudge against Wendy. I’ve never liked ex-Justice Adler, and I’m not surprised. It’s politics. But it’s still really unpleasant. Natalie seems terrific, and it’s not just her great hair, or the fact that she’s played by America Ferrera.
She was born in Mexico, but has lived in America since she was two. She’s working on her citizenship. “All I’ve ever known is America.” Well, that’s not exactly the point, is it, that she thinks of herself as American? Is she a more virtuous illegal alien because she’s bright and educated? I suppose the Kings are just playing with the stereotype of illegal aliens. (I’ve said this before, but if you’re interested in this topic, check out The Visitor. Fantastic movie.) Eli wants to check facts with the lawyer; Natalie’s fine passing on his name. “He says it could be a year before I get my citizenship.” She’ll let the lawyer know to expect a call, she says, and rises to send Eli on his way. “I hope you call, Mr. Gold,” she finishes. “I’m very good with kids.” “I don’t doubt that for a second, Miss Flores,” he replies, flustered, but he’s lost her attention to the markets in Asia. “Oh, and good luck with your thesis. I did mine on the Savings and Loan melt down. A loong time ago.” “1986,” she identifies with a smile, happy to find a fellow money devotee. “You were an economics major?” “I was. Many a moon ago,” he smiles, flashing his silver hair. “Do you miss it?” she wonders. “Economics, no. Too messy for me.” Now that’s riotous. “So you went into…” “Party planning,” he finishes, which, ha. Very cute, Eli. Now that I would pay to see. She grins. “I would think that party planning could get pretty darn messy.” “Depends on the party,” he jokes, and she actually laughs. She smiles, pleased, as he heads off.
“Center camera?” Kalinda asks, looking at black and white footage of a parking lot. But no, Cary’s synched up two outlying cameras. “So the front of the bank is here?” Alicia points between the two screens playing images of the same moments, trying to get a clear understanding (and give us one). Cary doesn’t answer. Oh, Cary. Alicia looks at Kalinda, who rolls her eyes. “Oh God, will you two just bury the hatchet?” Um, yeah, some maturity would be nice, Cary. “What hatchet? I was considering Mrs. Florrick’s fine question.” Sigh. (And yet I can’t help but laugh.) Yes, she’s right about the location of the bank, he admits – and Childs wants him to cooperate because the SA’s office is next on Beltran’s hit list, and L/G &B might be able to do the heavy lifting for them. At any rate, they’re in the same boat, and need to work together.
“They were well organized,” he recites, “they had assault weapons, they tried to make off with $800,000. Now,” he points, “there’s Beltran, and there’s Officer Walter.” Beltran, in contrast to the other robbers, is wearing a light colored suit. Walter hides behind a car. “Twelve year veteran, father of five.” Ugh. They always are, right? Awful. We get to see poor Officer Walter gunned down. That’s a deeply creepy thing. Another cop comes over to help, and Cary has hand outs to show the ladies where McVeigh found the fragment of the murder weapon/9mm bullet in a wall. “He determined from direction of the bullet that only Beltran could have fired it. So, either you’re looking at an innocent man, or someone who got away with murder.”
“Think of ballistics both as a science and an art. See, that’s what I say to a jury first. They love it when I compare it to something they know. ” Hee. Cause that’s not patronizing at all. Diane and Kurt are interviewing ballistics experts to corroborate Kurt’s findings. Now that’s ironic, considering how many ballistics experts they went through to get to Kurt in the first place. “An artist works with paints and brushes,” smug ballistics dude tells us, “I work with direction and metal. Bullets!” No, really? He looks ever so pleased with himself for coming to this magnificent conclusion. “You see it’s not so simple,” expert number two tells Diane with a smile on his face, “over 500 rounds.” He’s wearing a thick sweater and sporting a fairly thick Chinese accent as well. “Most crime scenes, there are two rounds, five rounds, what have you. Not so hot.” Kurt can’t handle this guy either. “You disagree,” expert #2 challenges. “I just need to get some air,” McVeigh demurs. “No,” deduces #2, a shrewd expression on his face. “You think I’m unworthy of you.” Well, he wasn’t exactly hiding his contempt, was he?
“I think you have a gimic,” Kurt admits, “I think you play up the whole Ancient Chinese Wisdom thing to deflect from your lack of ability.” Ouch! Diane tries to intervene, but the Ancient Chinese Ballistics Expert is unbowed. “My lack of ability is willing to help you. Do you not want my help?” We want your help, Diane reassures him.
“Ever since I was born, some have tried to control me,” someone half raps, half sings, with the visual of a skateboarder and a logger. Um, right. Interesting combination. Next we flash to a polar bear on an ice floe, and a statute of Jesus on the cross along with some crowd surfing. Okay, we know what thread this is. The name Jimmy Patrick flashes on screen, and a handsome young face (black or biracial) fills the screen. “We are the mustard seeds. Deal with it.” Grace listens curiously, cuddled up in front of her computer. Jimmy’s on vidtrope.com, of course. “Hey, time to get real here. Because Jesus didn’t come to bring peace.” Okay, that’s not entirely wrong. “He came to bring a sword.” And that’s a little more misleading. Demagog. Literal images and words flash to emphasize Jimmy’s points. “Jesus says, ‘For I came to set up man against his father, a daughter against her mother. He who loves his father and mother more than me is not worthy.” Hm. I think it’s Wayne and Garth who use the phrase “not worthy,” not Jesus, dude.
“Last week I told you that Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat. He hates global warming. He hates polluters. Jesus doesn’t want you to stay off drugs, or get an A. He could give a crap. He’s the first rebel! He wants you to question your parents.” (Oh God. Okay, no where in my bible does it say anything about drugs, or school, or global warming, or questioning your parents – though there is the bit about not making things easy and setting families against each other. Jesus was clearly a rebel, though no where near the first one. And just because I agree that the Biblical notion of good stewardship – of humanity being responsible to God for taking good care of his creation – doesn’t mean this turkey’s putting together a logical argument or world view. Oi. This guy is a bit of a dufus. I am all about the view of Christ as a radical reformer who ought to make us question our commitment to the status quo, but this kid is more cliche than clear thinking, and that annoys me.) “He wants you to get in the face of authority. He wants anarchy.” Right. That’s what ‘give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’ was all about, anarchy and overthrowing the government. That’s why Jesus allied himself and all his divine might with those rebelling against the Roman empire. Oh. Wait. He didn’t do that, did he? Ooops. Turkey boy smiles.
The hipster pollster catches Eli finishes up a phone call in the copy room. It’s so odd to see that room without Jimmy Moody in it. Was that the lawyer, he asks? Natalie’s lawyer, yes. Oh, so it’s Natalie now, is it? “He’s toying with her – it’s a citizenship mill, he’s trying to make money out of her.” Wow, that’s ugly. Also – Eli sounds very put out, which is peculiar for him. “But that’s good, right,” Matt reminds Eli, “I mean, it’s better for the story if she’s not a citizen.” Right, Eli remembers belatedly. “She’ll be deported.” “Right, back to Mexico. And?” Matt looks at Eli, appraising this sudden attack of conscience. “You’re right. Do the polling. Get ready.”
Great Googly Moogly, that barn is enormous. 3 stories high and heaven knows how long. That barn could hold about 3 McMansions at the very least. We didn’t even get to see how long that barn is! I knew the barn was large, but seriously. We’re at McVeigh’s barn/lab/office, of course, and he’s shooting at a target in front of Diane. “They’ll put you on the stand first because they want to play on your ego,” she tells him. “They want you to defend your findings. Just allow for doubt in your investigations, that’s all. You don’t have to say you were wrong.” She’s modified her tune. “Just say there was an 80% probability or something like that.” He sets the gun back in it’s slot in his great big wall of guns. “I know this is hard.”
What is this attraction to guns, Diane wonders aloud in the gun room, but of course she doesn’t mean guns, or not only guns, anyway. What’s this attraction to things -and people – that aren’t good for us? McVeigh leans in, brushing along her body, to retrieve the assault rifle. ‘It’s just so base.” He names it, and I’m reminded – what is it with this show lately – of the flashback scene in Casablanca where Isla asks Rick “Is that canon fire, or is my heart pounding?,” and he responds with the type of canon and its approximate distance from Paris. Ingrid Bergman’s voice was throbbing and low, and the nuance (which, let’s face it, was not subtle) sails right over Rick’s head, just as it has with McVeigh, and so Diane is forced to bluntness. “I can’t sleep with you,” she speaks practically into his mouth, as he’s wrapped around her and the assault rifle both.
“Okay,” he agrees. “I’m your lawyer. It’s unethical.” They look at each other. “What’s that piece of paper?” he nods. “The retainer agreement.” “I haven’t signed it. Not yet.” She gulps.
And flash forward to Diane, her hair wild and disheveled, opening the door to his office and shrugging into her coat. “Miss Lockhart!” Kurt says, his shirt curving open over a white belly. “The retainer?” He waves the paper. “Oh,” she replies, adorably trying to maintain her professional composure. “Did you sign it?” He unfolds the paper to look. “Did you sign it?” “Not yet,” he says, arching his brows, folding the paper back up. She pulls her coat back off, and he slams the door.
“Have you met my client, Jason Beltran?” No, Kurt says from the stand, but he saw him in court. Ah, at the trial which has since been overturned, instructs Tommy. Kurt insists on precise language; the trial was “vacated” and the SA declined to re-prosecute, but he admits that vacating the verdict was probably just. Tommy brings up the malfeasant lab tech, along with a helpful photo; Rosalie Torres, who accidentally destroyed evidence from the crime scene and then falsified evidence to frame Beltran. She and McVeigh never met in person, but he had talked to her on the phone, and he knows what she did, and that she’s being prosecuted for it.
“And isn’t it true that when she called you to talk to you about her findings, you changed your own findings?” Ah, the 36 million dollar question. “No.” “So why’d you change your findings?” Diane objects, and her loud cry startles the judge – the Honorable Felix Afterman, played by comedy legend Jerry Stiller, hee hee – from his nap. Cute. “On what grounds?” “Argumentative,” Diane replies, but when Afterman looks at her questioningly, she’s forced to elucidate further; it hasn’t been proved yet that McVeigh did change his findings. “Uh huh. I see. Sustained.” I love the new ways they find to make the judges unique. Alicia, sitting in second chair, and Diane exchange apprehensive glances.
“But you originally concluded that my client did not fire the gun, isn’t that correct, Mr. McVeigh?” Kurt is cool under Tommy’s eagle eye: no, he prefers to avoid making early conclusions. “In all my investigations there’s an element of doubt.” He looks right out at Diane when he finishes, “I’m only 80% sure of anything.” She smiles in appreciation. Tommy changes tactics, and over Diane’s objections, brings up the Tea Party. “It is our contention that my client’s prosecution was racist,” Tommy explains to sleepy, bewildered looking Judge Afterman, and therefor McVeigh’s membership in a racist organization matters. “Oh, come on, the Tea Party is racist?” Diane sneers. (Well, there are the birthers.) Cary looks on gravely in the gallery. “Let Mrs. Lockhart argue the opposite,” Tommy digs. “Miss Lockhart,” she corrects. “Yeah, what did I say?” “Mrs.” “I’m sorry,” he waves, “I was confused.” If you didn’t know, you might believe that, because he doesn’t show any of the malice he must be feeling. Alicia pokes Diane to point out that Afterman is sleeping again. She calls to him, and after insisting that he was thinking with his eyes closed, the objection is overruled.
Segara trots out the remote control again, this time for a picture of McVeigh at a Tea Party rally, standing next to a man holding a “Go back to the Jungle” sign. No, Diane, there’s no racism there at all. Diane argues vainly that McVeigh isn’t holding the sign or even talking to the sign holder, but it doesn’t help to say he’s only standing next to the man. “I think the jury can see that, Mrs. Lockhart,” Afterman grumbles. Yes, the sign is probably a reference to our president. Yes, it’s clearly racist. “How many African Americans have you testified against, Mr. McVeigh?” He can’t say, but Tommy, of course, has his stats. He’s testified against 89 black defendants, and 22 white (“an even 22”). Ouch. “My guess is that my client never had a chance,” Segara thunders. Diane has to wake Afterman again to sustain her objection.
“You have to talk to the nanny again,” Matt tells Eli. “There’s sympathy for Wendy needing a nanny among women ages 18-49.” Well, duh. “Then we can’t use it,” Eli decides. Hmm. That’s giving up awfully easy on your silver bullet, Eli. We can, Matt insists, if we find out that Wendy fired Natalie because of the campaign. “Voters lose sympathy if she fired her for political reasons. That’s the silver bullet.” Eli nods. “It’s always the same – it’s not the act, it’s the cover up.” Eli agrees to ask Natalie why she was fired.
Diane, still resplendent in deep red, rises. “Mr McVeigh,” she begins, “tell me about the Tea Party.” He defines it as a collection of conservatives and libertarians intent to pressure the government to cut spending. It’s not racist, but there are racists and extremists with in the party. She gets her own dig in at Segara by asking if there are racists and extremists within the Democratic party; Afterman is woken again by Segara’s objection. “Sustained. But I, uh, yeah… go ahead.” I’m not finding this exploration of Tea Party politics that compelling, for whatever reason. “Why do you belong to the Tea Party?” Diane asks, and you can see it’s as much for herself as it is for the case. “I believe that the government is encroaching too much into my life.” “Isn’t the Tea Party largely anti-Obama?” No, says McVeigh. “Then why wasn’t it formed under George W. Bush?” Score! Ha ha. Of course, I’m not sure she’s doing him any favors in the case here; I guess the point is to focus on economics, not race. She gets McVeigh to admit something many conservatives will tell you; that they were disappointed in Bush’s fiscal policies, but remained hopeful about him till the end. (“I would admit it was a slim hope and a thwarted one.”) It’s cute to see him so flustered. Also? You can tell he’s totally turned on by her and the experience.
We get a more clear look when they head to the break room. “I think that worked. It was painful, but it worked,” she guesses. He locks the door and jumps her. When there’s a knock, she shouts out “go away!”
“But she hasn’t lost perspective?” Will questions, shaking his head. “No,” says Alicia, “she’s fighting hard.” Will needs her to fight harder at work, too. I thought she was fighting too hard at work?
When Alicia arrives home, before she’s even taken off her coat, Grace ambushes her. “Why do you hate Jesus?” Ha. That’s awesome. Way overstated, but it’s abundantly clear Alicia has a hostility toward religion. Alicia’s staggered by this sudden attack. “I don’t hate Jesus. I think Jesus is someone who lived two thousand years ago, and has very little to do with me.” She sets down her briefcase and heads for the kitchen. “I think you either hate Jesus or you love him.” (And, well, you would be wrong.) “I don’t think there’s an in between. And why do you need wine to discuss this?” Grace’s now doubly offended. “I don’t need wine,” Alicia replies slowly, angered, swinging a large bottle out of the fridge. “I like wine. I like a glass of wine after work.” Well, it is the first she does when she comes home. Every time she comes home. She doesn’t even have her coat off yet. “You talk to me all the time about drugs,” Grace counters. “Wine is a drug.” Alicia’s response? Drinking down the glass in one gulp. She steadies herself on the kitchen island, glaring off in the distance, swallowing her annoyance. This is the woman who wouldn’t explain to her husband who really owned Zach’s condoms; she does not like her integrity being questioned, and she doesn’t like her privacy being invaded even by those closest to her.
“Very adult,” Grace grumbles. “Yep. Over 21, that’s me!” Wow, it’s funny to see Alicia so confrontational. “You treat me like a kid.” “You are a kid.” “I’m not thinking like a kid!” Beg to differ, love; just because you’re thinking about serious topics doesn’t mean you’re approaching them critically. You either love Jesus or you hate him, my fanny. “So you’re a mustard seed?” She’s not so sure of that. She hesitates, but picks up steam once she begins. “I think that Jesus is someone I’d like to get to know. I think that science isn’t taking prayer seriously. I think that global warming is real.” Huh? Just wondering where that fits in with the religious conversion. “And I don’t think believing in Jesus means believing global warming doesn’t exist.” Well, there’s an overlap between religious and political conservatism, but there are plenty of Christian progressives, too, and Christian environmentalists. Does this objection generally make sense?
Alicia rolls her eyes at this whole tirade. And she finds solace in another glass of wine. “Just taking another hit off the crack pipe,” she snarks. Hee hee. Oh, no, I just can’t stop chuckling at that one. Alicia doesn’t get to be funny that often. “I liked it more when you didn’t work,” Grace huffs, and Alicia snaps. “Okay, I’m not not going to work. What is this about, Shannon? ” “Why does this have to be about Shannon? I’m a thinking person.” Grace presses her hand to her heart to prove her sincerity. “I’m thinking about Jesus, okay?” “So, you’re becoming a Christian?” Alicia presses. “No!” Grace replies like it was something bad. “I don’t know. I just don’t like the way you smirk at it.” (Ha! She totally does. She does sneer at Jesus.) Alicia won’t admit it, though. “I don’t think I do smirk at it. I just don’t know with you where one cause begins and another ends!” Grace is self-righteously offended: “Jesus is not a cause! Jesus is the source of all causes.” Heh.
Alicia bites her tongue. “Okay,” she grasps at a straw, “you’re rebelling. That’s what this is about.” Grace sighs at her mother’s waving finger. “So when you figure out what it is you believe in, let me know, and we’ll talk. Okay?” This has been a genius portrayal of how two people talk at and not to each other. “Well Jesus was the first rebel,” Grace parrots. “Well maybe Jesus can pay the rent every month,” Alicia smirks, swaying off to her room with her wine glass. “Consider the lilies of the field!,” Grace offers as a counter to this nonsequitor, “they neither toil nor…” But Alicia’s door closes the conversation.
Kalinda’s back watching the bank robbery shootout footage. We see Beltran in his light suit waving his hands and hiding behind one car as another speeds away. Her phone rings, and it’s Cary. “Okay, you’re not going to like this,” he says flatly, so it sounds like he doesn’t either. Turns out there was another shooting at the bank a month before (attempted suicide by cop, Cary calls it) and the fragment the crime lab identified as the killing shot was actually from the previous crime. (We’re interrupted by the mysterious caller again. Kalinda apparently doesn’t like all forms of cat and mouse, because she insists he cut the crap; “if he leaves me a number, I’ll call him back. If he doesn’t, I won’t call him back.”) The bad news? McVeigh did make a mistake. The good news? He’d have had no reason not to believe this fragment was from another shooting, since it was never even reported. Kalinda doesn’t think McVeigh will be consoled. The assistant brings in the number and she stares at it glumly.
Diane stands dramatically in the doorway of McVeigh’s lab, as he peers into a microscope. “We found your mistake,” she gloats, and then explains.
Back in what I’m now convinced is a library, Natalie Flores types frantically, wrapped in a gray cardigan. “So what are you shorting today?” Eli asks happily. A biomed out of Boston, but she’s not as pleased as she had been, and rather gravely announces she needs to talk to him. And then she takes her coat and leaves. Is everything okay, he wonders, following her out of the building. “What are you really after?” she asks, uncomfortable. He starts making patented Eli faces. “You don’t want a nanny.” “Why would you say that?” “You called my lawyer. You scared him.” Heh. That’s kind of nice, actually. “He says now he’s serious about working on my citizenship. I thought he was serious before. He says now it’s going to take two months, not a year.” Eli nods fervently. “I felt he was cheating you. I called and told him he should not cheat you. And I told him he should not tell you I called.” Look how well that worked out! ‘Yes, well,” Natalie ruefully acknowledges , “he doesn’t seem quite trustworthy.”
“So,” she smiles tenatively, “what is it you want from me?” He doesn’t know. She favors him with a serious, appraising look. “I have a boyfriend.” She pauses, compelled to be completely honest. “Or, I had a boyfriend. He joined the circus.” Ha. Now that’s just fantastic. The deadpan way she says it is divine (and can I say again how lovely it is to see America Ferrera, and how fun it is to see her in a different style, more subtle than the broad comedy and melodrama we’re used to from her). Turns out he’s a contortionist with Cirque Du Soleil; we’ve never seen a more honest laugh from Eli than the one he gives here. “He’s a French Canadian contortionist,” she giggles, “he gets very angry when I laugh at him,” and this sends Eli into further gales of hilarity. She’s doing a very poor job of discouraging his interest here. So what do you want, she asks again. He doesn’t know. “Thank you for helping me,” she shrugs, “but I’m in a very precarious position, and I can’t…”
He knows, he knows, but then his phone rings. He excuses himself for a moment. “You have to go,” she asks when he steps back. “No, no, someone’s canceling dinner plans. Look, I get it. You have a boyfriend, and I am much older than you.” You got that right, buddy. I don’t know how old she’s supposed to be (please don’t say 21), but it’s way, way too young for him, whatever it is. The actress is 26, and the actor, 47, and that, my friends, is bad enough. “And I have a dinner reservation that I should really cancel. And…” He flips his arm over his head as if he has a sudden weird itch. “I know I can’t…” She looks at him like he’s nuts, and, unchallenged. “Sorry, that was me trying to do a contortionist move.” They laugh together. It’s cute. How can it be icky and cute at the same time?
Kalinda’s still in front of the dual monitors, looking at the crime scene footage. She notices that the clock skips from 12 seconds to 14; it’s a neat little image, the 4 superimposed over the 2. She realizes faster than me that the entire digital file is compressed, and calls Cary for the full one. McVeigh never saw everything. She wants the full analog version, so she can study every frame.
“Thank you for coming,” Eli says, as he and Natalie settle into their chairs at a swank city restaurant. He looks thrilled. “You’re young,” he grins. “Yup,” she acknowledges, raising her eyebrows and grinning a little too. “Youth,” she adds. It’s all sort of odd and awkward. Just stop talking about it, Eli! This little would be romance has much bigger problems.
“I want to understand the youth,” Eli deadpans. You talk like a newspaper, she tell him pityingly “Oh, and that’s the worst thing to be, someone who talks like a newspaper?” ‘Well it’s not good,” she flirts. Aaaaand that’s when the daughter shows up. Looks like it’s Thursday night.
Goldilocks stops short, spellbound by Papa Bear having dinner with – well is the objection the lady Bear part in the first place, or is it that she’s more of a Baby Bear? I’m sorry, Marisa, Eli stutters, but I thought you weren’t coming. “Change of plans, Dad.” Natalie and Marisa introduce themselves and shake hands. It’s hella awkward. “So, you’re the reason my Dad sounds so happy?” Goldilocks wants to know. Eli begins to shush her, but Natalie says yes, I guess I am. Hm. That’s totally the kind of thing Alicia would say. “How old are you?” Marisa turns up the grill. Eli bites his lip. “I’m young. I’m oh, so young. How old are you?” “I’m so going to Israel,” Marisa gloats. Natalie invites her to join them at their teeny tiny table, but no, Marisa’s done her work. “Love you Dad,” she smiles, then bends down to kiss him on the cheek. “Don’t forget protection!” Eli closes his eyes in horror as his offspring bounces cheekily off.
But the embarrassment isn’t done yet, Eli. “So is that your 6 year old?” Natalie wonders. (Now, to play devil’s advocate, he could totally have a 6 and 8 year old from a second marriage. He doesn’t, of course, but it’s not impossible, and there wouldn’t be any reason he’d have mentioned his older child/children since they wouldn’t need a nanny. We don’t even know for sure Marisa’s his only child, simply because she’s the only one who’s been mentioned on the show. Just saying.) He closes his eyes and apologizes. “No. I googled you after you left.” Should have used that fake name, you complete nitwit. Why on earth wouldn’t you expect her to google you if she was considering working for you? I’m just surprised she didn’t do it before he showed up the first time. He guzzles his water. She states the obvious. “You work for Peter Florrick. And my old boss is Wendy Scott-Carr.” Yep. She looks hurt. “And your questions about me being a nanny, they’re for this campaign, not party planning.” Yes, he admits, sorrowful, and she still looks genuinely hurt. “What I don’t understand is, why would you pressure my lawyer into helping me, if the whole point was to expose me?” He takes a long time to answer.
“Because I’m a hypocrite,” he says.
“It would have been nice if you were a party planner. I really liked the idea of that.” For a fraction of a second, she looks as if she might cry. Instead she wipes her lips, stands, and walks out. “You don’t have to go,” Eli pleads vainly, impeding her progress by catching hold of her arm. A look passes between them, and she moves his hand, and leaves. He runs his hand through his hair and over his face, as sad and regretful as we’ve ever seen him.
Wonder of wonders – Kalinda has somehow convinced Cary to step into the halls of Lockhart/Gardner, and is showing him the frame by frame of the crime scene videos. We see Officer Walter fall again (it’s like the Groundhog Day of death) and – well, it’s confusing, there’s a robber who is not Beltran with his gun trained on Walter, but from the wrong angle to be the shooter. Cary doesn’t get it, but Kalinda’s found what she’s looking for. “There,” she says, pointing to a passing car.
“A ricochet,” Diane explains to a rather dumbfounded looking Kurt. “How did I miss it?” he wonders, stunned. Diane explains about the compressed video file. He missed it because it wasn’t there in the tape he was given. So what does it all mean? The bullet went through Walter and ricocheted off the truck in which, presumably, a frightened by stander was fleeing the scene. “You had the right conclusion, but the wrong bullet,” Diane finishes, knife slim in black casual clothes. It’s rather like her prison visiting outfit from Nine Hours. Kurt wants to know what happened to the bullet; Diane’s hoping he can figure that out.
“When this is over, let’s go away,” he says decisively. “Away?” she wonders, like it’s something she can’t conceive of. “What, to where?” “Costa Rica,” he suggests, raising his eyebrows in this goofy way. “I like it!” Diane and I both laugh, and her smile is more pure, somehow, and less predatory, than we’ve ever seen it. No, she can’t do that. “You can,” he says. “Well, not now,” she explains reasonably. “I’ve a fight at work, I can’t give up on it.” “If we don’t do it now, we never will.”
“Then, what would we do?” she asks. I don’t know, sit on a beach? Drink something with a little umbrella in it? Hike the jungle? Fool around 24/7? What does one do on this puzzling thing called a vacation, anyway? “Make a life. Put our lives first.” Oh. Ooops. He’s not talking about a vacation, is he? I am slow. She smiles adorably. “Is that a proposal?” He advances on her, and leans in; it’s deeply sexy, even with that ridiculous mustache. “I would like to go away for a while, with you. If it sounds better as a proposal, then it’s a proposal.” She stares up at him, speechless.
Eeeeee! Is it completely pathetic and unfeminist of me to find that adorable? I mean, how often does that extreme opposites attract sort of couple work out? Also, you know it’s never going to happen. Diane can’t leave!
But oh, that’s adorable. Be still my fanciful little fan-girl heart.
Slapping his hand down on the wooden railing of the witness stand, the Ancient Chinese Ballistics Expert begins his pitch. “That is a gun shot. It disturbs all sound around it. Now, imagine five hundred.” The jury looks up at him, rapt. Kurt looks over at Diane, trying not to roll his eyes at the theatrics. “And then, this is what’s surprising. Through all that – your Honor, may I see the new evidence?” This guy must be good, because Judge Afterman is actually awake to agree, and a sheriff brings an evidence bag over to the stand. “Through all that, Mr. McVeigh was able to determine the entry wound was 9 millimeters.” Um, isn’t it the medical examiner who determines that? And it’s not like McVeigh was an eye witness to be confused by the sound. No wonder he thinks this guy is a charlatan. It’s effective drama, though.
“You’re holding the bullet that was just discovered yesterday,” Alicia notes. “Yes,” Ancient Chinese confirms triumphantly. “9 mm. It ricocheted off passing truck.” Tommy Segara drops his head to his hand, and Diane allows herself a tiny smirk. And where was it discovered? In dry wall, plastered over. Impressive. And it came from Beltran’s position? Beltran gives Segara a panicked look. “Yes. Only direction it could be fired from.” Now the Ancient Chinese Ballistics Expert shoots a gloating, knowing glance at McVeigh, before turning to the jury. “Excuse my accent. When I get passionate, my accent comes out more.” Heh. The jury smiles fatuously up at him; they’re eating out of his hands, and everybody knows it.
“No,” Diane tells Tommy out in the hall, “you drop the case.” That won’t happen, he insists, shaking his head. “That will happen,” Diane replies, and we all know it. How can you argue that someone colluded to frame you when they can prove you’re guilty? Beltran’s lucky he’s not back in prison. Unsurprisingly, Tommy does not agree: “It’s not luck, it’s the Bill of Rights. Double jeopardy.” “Then he should count himself lucky, and go home and watch tv,” Diane threatens, moving in on her much shorter sometimes ally. “If he pushes this trial, he’s not only going to lose. He’s going to have the police making his life hell.” “You wanna say that again so I can get that on tape?” Tommy threatens, but Diane will not be cowed, and we can see McVeigh watching her avidly in the background. “No, I wanna say it again so you understand my words. You lost. Beltran is guilty. And he’s not going to make any money from this because I’m going to make it my life’s work to keep him from making money from this. Do you understand?” McVeigh’s face is hungry, completely enraptured. “You’re not the Diane I know,” Tommy sighs. “You’re right about that,” Diane smiles. “Nice to meet you.”
At Florrick campaign headquarters, Eli gravely watches a tv on mute. First we see Wendy, then Wendy and her daughters at the library, then the three Scott-Cars walking with Natalie. Cheers erupt in the outer office. It is done. “It’s out!” Matt says unnecessarily, munching on popcorn in a white paper sack. “I see that,” Eli acknowledges. “It’s even better. She used a friend’s social security number to get into school. Wendy might have helped her.” On Eli’s tv, we see reporters accosting Natalie on the street. Matt looks from the tv to Eli’s face, and becomes solemn. “It was the right thing to do, Eli,” he says seriously. Eli nods slightly. “I’m going to go crack open the champagne,” Matt calls over his shoulder as he runs back to join the volunteers. Eli’s a very dramatic, expressive person, so it’s fascinating, and very sad, to see how silent he goes when gripped by an emotion that actually affects him. He’s not reacting for anyone else’s benefit, and it’s the difference from business as usual that show us how much this betrayal cost.
The volume is on, but now it’s Grace at her computer listening to the same report. She’s wearing the mustard seed shirt. Nanny-gate, they’re calling it, sure to revive the flagging campaign of disgraced former State’s Attorney Peter Florrick. Alicia walks in in time to hear the announcer refer to Wendy as a fallen saint. “What do you want?” Alicia asks, leaning on the wall. Grace turns around in puzzlement. “Religion. What do you want from me?” Grace considers.
“You and Dad don’t go to church,” she begins. “I don’t go to church,” Alicia clarifies, walking into the room. “Dad has Pastor Isaiah.” Still? That’s interesting. We haven’t heard about him since Pastor Father tossed his son out for supporting Peter. I wonder if we’ll see either of them again if that church’s endorsement comes back in play without Wendy in the race? “I want to go to church,” Grace decides. Fine, says Alicia, with a touch of asperity, which one? She looks down at her daughter smugly. “Um, I don’t know?” I’m surprised that Grace didn’t just say Shannon’s church, but kind of pleased, because that makes me feel like she’s thinking at least a little bit critically about this and not just copying her friend. “I want to help you here, Grace, but this is a new area for me.” Alicia is really serious here, the itty bitty smirk completely gone. “And I don’t know why it makes me uncomfortable, but it makes me uncomfortable.”
“It’s because of your generation,” Grace asserts. Really? This makes sense to Alicia, though. “Okay, maybe,” she admits. “You want me to drive you to drive you to church on Sunday?” Okay, sure, says Grace, pleased and smiling. Fine, says Alicia, “you pick a church and I will take you there.” She thinks for a minute. “And here,” she says, handing Grace a small, leather bound Bible. It says The Holy Bible in gold on the cover, and may be the kind that only includes the New Testament. Or otherwise, really really thin pages “I thought if you were going to be serious about this, you ought to read up.” Grace looks a bit daunted by the idea. If this is about rebellion, turning it into homework is a genius tactic. “I’m going to bed, after I score some crack.” Grace snorts, and regards the holy book in interest and alarm.
Aw, Alicia. Thanks for not being so sneery, and for having the big girl guts to admit that religion does in fact make you queasy.
And yes. If you want to know about Jesus, read the Bible, Grace. Get the water from the source. Don’t get snake oil from some dude on the internet who picks and chooses his verses. (Okay, yes, technically every one will have to pick a verse in order to, you know, talk about a verse, but there’s proportion and context, and clearly scholarship and Biblical exegesis is not hot teen Christian dude’s forte.)
Um, also? I totally want that t-shirt.
“Are you sure,” Kurt asks, standing in Diane’s darkened office. The blinds are down, even though it’s night. “Yes,” Diane tells him confidently, wistful but sure of her ground. “I can’t leave here now.” “Then you’ll never leave here,” he replies. “Maybe,” she nods, “but I made that decision a long time ago.” “Come on,” he pleads, “let’s go!” He holds out his hand for her to grab – shade of Aladdin and Sleepless in Seattle and about a dozen other films – so they can start off on a brave new adventure. She smiles and shakes her head; she doesn’t take it. He nods, smilingly sadly. “Then I have to go.” He does. When he reaches the door, she calls to him, crosses the room, and kisses him passionately. “Palin, 2012,” he jokes when they release each other, making Diane laugh. She seeks support from the door frame to watch him go, but in the hall, he turns and points to her. “You’re my hero,” he says, as only a Marlboro Man could. Diane’s visibly moved.
She sighs, taking stock. Then she catches a glimpse of Will and Derrick in the conference room, straightens her plaid suit jacket, and strides off to face down the challenge. Diane brought Bond in, and by God, she should be the one to take him out. “We need all the equity partners,” Derrick’s saying to Will. “Everybody on the same page.” Ummhmm, Will and his furrow face agree seriously. “Hello, Diane,” the Evil One calls out. “Derrick,” she acknowledges crisply. Will rubs his hands together. “We were talking about the equity partners getting together.” “Nothing important,” Derrick adds as Diane sits down, “just the usual house cleaning.” Yeah, cause that’s going to fool her. “I think that’s a great idea,” Diane agrees, tossing her hair. Derrick suggests next week. Diane is down for that. “I’m here,” she says.
And you know what this means. Next week. It is so on.
So. Eli Gold has a heart. Poor Eli, actually liking someone (however inappropriately) and not being able to do anything about it and what’s worse, basically having to wreck that person’s life. So I think we can safely say his is not a heart of gold (I know, I know); he’s got to win the campaign, no matter what the cost to him (or anyone else). Yes, Natalie’s an illegal, though this is hardly her fault. Yes, she faked a social security number to get into college. But yikes. What a waste, what a true waste. Well, it’s not like they don’t have colleges or stock markets in Mexico, it’s just a shame she’s so close to finishing her degree. Also, when something like this happens, do they go and deport the rest of her family, too?
Would you have told Grace about the crying? I am trying to think how I would have responded, as a rather self-righteous but also emotional and empathetic teenager (not dissimilar in that way to Grace) if I was launching some sort of crusade against the school administration and my Mom told me she backed off because the principal broke down in tears in front of her over the whole thing. I immediately wanted to give the poor woman a hug, but that’s today, and that’s me thinking about it from the principal’s point of view. I would have felt sorry for her, but I don’t think teen me would have stopped wearing the t-shirts, or loudly insisting on my right to do so. Would I have gleefully told my friends that we’d brought the staff to tears? Maybe. I’m not very happy about that answer, but it seems likely. So maybe Alicia did the right thing not mentioning it.
I liked where this storyline ended up, and especially the fact that Alicia admitted she’s uncomfortable with religion. And I liked the tremendously real way Alicia and Grace were talking at cross purposes (heh, pun, sorry). It cracks me up a little that Alicia’s way more comfortable telling Grace she shouldn’t believe in God than she is telling Zach that he’s too young to be sleeping with anyone, let alone a shark like Becca, but I guess that’s consistent.
This is a tiny thing, but what’s with this show and similar names? I feel like they must do this on purpose, because it happens almost every episode. It’s Torres and Flores this week. Speaking of discredited lab tech Rosalie Torres, that seems such a sad little story to me – she falsifies evidence, loses her job, and all the while, if she’d just talked to her colleagues and they worked harder together to find the evidence that eventually came to light, she’d still have a job and a cop killer would be behind bars.
There was basically nothing this week for either A/W or A/P, but since last week’s episode pretty wrecked both factions, maybe it’s good to give us all time to lick our wounds. And hey, what’s another thing that made this episode mild and enjoyable? That’s right. You know it. No Blake! Woohoo! Even better, no naked Blake! Thank you, Jesus.