The Good Wife: Great Firewall

E: Well, that was some pretty fantastic internecine drama.  We had a good case this week, with some really nice guest stars, even though all that paled in comparison to the internal theatrics at Lockhart/Gardner & Bond. But, I have to say, I’m ready for a little white hat action, aren’t you?  Of course I like that the show lives in a gray area, but does it have to be charcoal gray?  I’m starting to long for a little of Cary’s moral clarity.  Can we get ourselves a little of that, please?

I had a nanny for five years, Wendy Scott-Carr says, and I loved her, and my kids loved her.  Still, I didn’t do my due diligence.  She’s speaking from a podium, and a trio of lines follow her words along the bottom of a monitor, tracking audience reactions with a “live stat”.  “I didn’t know she was an illegal immigrant, and I didn’t know I’d be running for this office.”  That doesn’t wash, Glenn Childs replies, and we get to see that this is a debate, and the live stat reaction is coming from a focus group, tracking their reactions to each candidate.   This office is about judging people who’ve broken the law, Childs continues, “and you’ve spent the past five years breaking the law.”  Yes, howls Eli outside the focus group room, punching the air, and we hear clapping.   Look at the negatives, Matt the hipster pollster whispers, and indeed, Wendy’s blue line, and Peter’s red one, are holding steady while Glenn’s green one drops sharply.  “They don’t like Wendy,” Eli sums up, “but they don’t like Childs for criticizing her.”

The moderator asks Peter for his response, and Eli pleads with his candidate to stick to their plan.  “The youth vote!  The youth vote!”  Hee.  There’s a moment here where Peter sucks in his top lip and looks like he’s pouting, and it’s this completely hilarious fraction of a second.  Then Peter sticks to the script.  “This is our last debate.  We’re going to be voting in 6 weeks.  So I want to address the young people in our audience.” Matt and Eli hi five. Young people should remember that they are the future.  Yawn.  The focus group starts liking Wendy again.  Eli’s coaching under his breath again. “I know from my time in prison…” and Eli just explodes in joy.

Man, that is the craziest and most hilarious strategy ever.

“I’m a mother first,” Wendy declares, this time from Chicago’s CBS affiliate’s website.  This is playing on Alicia’s desktop, reminding us all that we can go to CBS first for our news and have it streamed where ever we are.  What do you think, is this sucking up to the network, or do they pay for the placement?  Wendy  (who has clearly been listening to her own pollster) thinks it’s hypocritical for two men to talk to her about her struggles.  She’s got her plaintive, quietly righteous tone going; Alicia looks like she’s scrap-booking, putting stickers throughout text in a binder.  The phone rings, and Alicia answers it.

And a second later she’s walking to Will’s office, wrapped in a light gray belted jacket with wide white lapels, overhearing Will placate a fretful Derrick Bond.   It works.  They fist bump, and head out. “Do you have the contracts?” Derrick asks Alicia, but no, Will says, I’m stealing her for my deposition.  Derrick leaves without a word.  “It’s all coming down.  Tensions are running high,” Will explains.  Partners meeting.  Friday.  Does this actually help Alicia know what’s going on?  No. Not precisely.

Will wants Alicia in a set of depositions for an internet suit “Just dropped into our laps. We’re suing Chum Hum.”  Hmm.  I feel like they’ve used that on the show before.  What’s next, Thetapedia?  Anyway.  Will’s looking to get a settlement, and Chum Hum doesn’t want to go to court. “Just look angry and intense,” he instructs her.  “I can do that,” Alicia replies.  Yes, you certainly can.  Think about Amber, Alicia, and you’re on your way.

Then again, maybe she isn’t going to have to fake being angry. “It was a Thursday,” a heavily accented voice recalls as Alicia and Will enter the conference room.  The speaker (Lost‘s Ken Leung) had returned very late from classes.  A falsely sweet female voice begins another question, only for Diane to shut her down so that the speaker – a Mr. Chen Wan – can finish his story.  Mr. Chen Wan was a professor at a Beijing university.  “I was working on notes for a lecture.  It was ten at night.  The phone rang.  It was a voice I did not know. He said ‘are you home?'”  And of course if that was me, I’d have thought it was a prank call, although I am paranoid enough that I also would have been freaked out by it. “I laughed.  I said, yes, of course.  Then he hung up. I thought it was a wrong number.”  Alicia regards him closely, forgetting to look mean in her curiosity.  “Then I was saying good night to my wife. I remember starting to say ‘do you think Tolstoy died happy?'” (See The Last Station! Great movie about Tolstoy’s final days!  Although, what does happy mean in this context?)  Before he could finish the question, ten government agents broke down his door and bound him hand and foot, and dragged him off to jail in his pajamas.

Rita Wilson’s Viola, resplendent in a zebra coat, nods sagely to him.  She offers him cookies. “Internet?” Alicia scrawls on a note to Will (on a legal pad, not an ipad – in with the old, out with Derrick’s new!) This was 2004, Mr. Chen Wan continues, and he didn’t see his wife again until last year.  Damn.  “I was in Beijing Prison #9, accused of inciting subversion.   You see, I had sent a blog entry – I had sent it to a friend here, in Chicago, and I had argued to him that democracy would come to China.”  And how do you know this is why you were arrested, Viola asks. How did I know, Chen Wan repeats, shocked.  Yes, well, there’s no record of your arrest or a trial, so how does he know?  Because the guards told him so as they tortured him for the next three weeks.


And why does he blame Chum Hum, and not the Chinese authorities?  “I do blame the Chinese authorities, but I used your social media website.  I trusted my ideas to remain anonymous, but Chum Hum gave my IP address to police.  This is the only reason I was arrested, imprisoned and tortured for five years.”


28 million, Diane says to open the bidding, “and an agreement not to hand over any more IP addresses to the Chinese authorities.”  Viola finds that hilarious.   “Okay, what else do we have to talk about, then?  Your cookies?” Ha.  Diane, I love you.  Chum Hum does business globally, Viola says, and they have to follow the laws of each place they operate.  “That’s your defense?” Will smiles in disbelief.  “That’s part of it,” Viola shrugs pleasantly.  “And human rights?  They don’t matter?”  Diane sits down to hear the answer, which is mostly snake oil.  “One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. Chen Wan, as sympathetic as he is, was breaking his countries laws. In fact, if we hadn’t handed over his IP address, we would have been breaking their laws.”    Very like the iconic cheese, Chen Wan sitting alone, awkward, on a chair in the hall.

“Yeah,” Will drawls, “ask Yahoo how well that defense worked.”  “Yahoo never got to court,”  Viola counters. “Yep,” Will agrees, “they paid up instead.”  Bingo, says Viola – lower your ask.  Diane won’t.  Okay, then how about this. “Chum Hum could not have anticipated the repercussions of our actions.”  Will chuckles, and Viola awesomely imitates him.  “Yeah, that’s it, the Chinese just wanted his IP address to throw him a little surprise party.”  The meeting breaks up as Kalinda walks toward Diane’s office with intent.

Will motions for Alicia not to follow him.  “Oh, I have a pen, do you want me to sign it?” Viola asks her snidely.  Alicia’s baffled. “Your behind,” Viola explains, pointing to a sticker on Alicia’s posterior, “do ya want me ta sign it?”  She makes exaggerated writing motions with her pen.  Ah.  The scrap booking stickers must have been for Derrick’s contracts, with the stickers indicating where signatures were needed.  If they’d done enough of a close up on the stickers for me to have figured that out the first time, it would have been a lot funnier.  Which is to say, it would have actually been funny.  Not that Rita Wilson isn’t enjoyable, because she totally is, but I thought she was insane the first time round.

Will and Diane want Kalinda to prove that Chum Hum did know what would happen when they handed over the IP address.  David Lee (David Lee!) walks by, twitching his fingers up near his face. “I’m going out, for that… divorce case… we were talking about.”  Right.  Very subtle, David.  Will’s a bit exasperated by this obviousness. “Do you need help with something else?” Kalinda asks.  No, they’re fine,Will reassures her, clapping her on the shoulder.

“We’re like homeless lawyers,” David Lee grouses, huddled over an air vent, on a roof.  “So the vote is this Friday,” Will begins, talking to Diane, Lee, and – miracle of miracles – Julius Cain!  Julius Cain and David Lee in the same episode?  I think I’m going to faint. Derrick thinks he’s up by 3 votes, but one of his three is me, Will continues, “so really he’s only up by one.”  They have a math argument about it, but Will’s right; if Derrick thinks he has, say, 21 votes to Diane’s 18, and you take one away and add it to Diane, you get 20 to 19, which puts him up only by one.  This turns into the frozen comedy hour until Diane bursts. “We need more votes! We need more votes and we’re running out of time.  Julius, where are we on turning Fitzpatrick?”  They’re still talking, nothing definite yet. “Well what have you been doing?” Lee wonders, snide as ever.  “What have I – in case you haven’t noticed, I have a job.”    Lee turns at the sound of a lighter clicking on.  “Excuse me, this isn’t a smoking section, this is a secret section.”

Have I mentioned how much I love David Lee?  Have I said it today? Because damn it, I love David Lee.  We really need more Lee in our lives.  I seriously would watch a spin off show with David Lee and Patti Nyholm running their own snarky, twisted firm.  Damn it, what were you thinking, getting your own non-Patti show, Martha Plimpton?  So unfair.

Ahem.  Sorry.

“Walk away.  Walk away!”  He barks.  Hee.  ‘We still have to talk about how all this is going to shake out,” Julius whines, and David gapes. “Oh, here we go,” and only he could make those words sound like a symphony of varied disdain.  Julius wants some assurances about the minority hiring program, and David’s ready to throttle him with his assurances, until shivering Diane snaps. “All our lives will be better with Bond gone so can we just hold it together?!” You’re not wrong, honey.  Her minions grudgingly assent. “But no more meetings at this vent, please,” Lee grumps. “I walk away smelling like spaghetti.” He stalks off, and after a moment Julius follows him.

Diane wonders what Will thinks. “I think it’s hardly the Continental Congress, but all we need is one vote.”  Or, shivers Diane, add two.  She has a clever idea; it seems that Stern had a bunch of emeritus equity partners, the gang of three, who’re retired, but whose names have never been taken off the list.  “They’re dead, aren’t they, they have to be dead.”  One of them is, Diane says. “Two – aren’t.”  Will can’t contain his glee.

Alicia’s aghast that none of the Chum Hum statements she and Kalinda can find even mention China.  “Here,” Kalinda passes her a bit of paper, perkily. “What’s this?” “A change of address notice.” ‘For who?” Alicia wonders.  Me, Kalinda says, jerking her thumb toward her chest (clad in an excellent bright blue leather jacket).  “Uh,” Alicia splutters, “I don’t think I have your old address.” “Well,” comes the brisk reply, “now you have my new one.”    Alicia tries to control the sarcasm but can’t, and pretends to be choked up: “I feel like we’ve grown closer together!”  Kalinda’s exasperated. “Give it back!”  “Oh, no no no no no,” Alicia replies, clutching the paper to her bosom, “I’m going to put it in my copy of Eat Pray Love.”  Hee.   She does shove it into a book (which somehow I doubt was written by Elizabeth Gilbert), and Kalinda leaps for the it.  Nice.   Now this is what we like to see.  Alicia slaps the book shut on Kalinda’s hand; Kalinda yelps, withdraws the hand, and Alicia apologizes insincerely.  Very cute.

“Peter did well in his debate today,” she says, looking at her phone. “Yeah, I know,” Kalinda replies, “Do you want him to win?” “Yes,” says Alicia so brightly I don’t believe her for a second, “I just don’t want things to go back to the way things were.”  That started out very much the answer of a political wife.  I’m sure she wouldn’t say she wants him to lose, exactly, but she’s certainly ambivalent about him winning. “Why would they?” Kalinda queries. “I don’t know.  Life.” Alicia calls Zach, and Kalinda’s a bit exasperated with that answer.  “I just got Dad’s text,” Alicia tells her son, “I’ll be about another hour.”

Zach moves quietly through the hall, exchanging words of love with his absent mother, heading to the kitchen to pass on her message.  Peter’s there in the dark with Matt and Eli.  “She’s not out,” Peter insists. “Oh, I don’t want to hear anything discouraging,” Eli retorts, gesticulating so emphatically with his wine glass that I wonder about his sobriety. “You slaughtered them.”  “Okay, but…” Matt starts, but Eli wants to appreciate the moment.  But no.  Peter wants the bad news too.  “But women sympathize with her.  With Wendy. Over Nannygate.”  And she gave a good closing.  A very good closing. “I think she stays in the race,” Matt concludes. Eli’s unphased.  “So let her.  She’s wounded.  She’ll limp along.”  Do we have any dirt on Childs, Peter wonders.  What, other than him potentially trying to frame you?  Childs had a Swedish au pair, all legal and above board.  Eli’s peeved. Well, what were the chances you could take out both opponents over the same issue?  Zach listens from the shadows before slipping away, message undelivered.

“But hey, we’re back from the grave,” Eli announces. “We’ve got money coming in, we’ll buy air time…” Yeah, I’m really thinking he’s tipsy at the very least. “With six weeks left?  I don’t think so.”  Peter bites his lip expressively, shaking his head. “We needed to make this a two man race and we didn’t. But it was a good day.”  “It was,” nods Eli, still beaming. “And a good race.”  Uh oh – why is this suddenly sounding like an Irish wake?  Peter raises his glass for a toast.”Gentlemen,” he says, “it was an honor serving with you.” They clink glasses.

He’s going to give up?  Peter!  What on earth?

“Hi, Becca,” Zach says over the phone, as he searches Glenn Childs Jr’s fake Facebranch page. “I was wondering if you still had those photos from drama camp?”  Uh oh. “It’s important,” he adds.

“I’m Neil Gross,” a stubbly man (actor John Benajmin Hickey) wearing casual clothes tells the deposition camera, “I’m CEO of Chum Hum.”  Will smiles. “So you’re the reason Chen Wan was imprisoned and tortured.”  No, says Gross, that’d be the Chinese authorities.  Why does everyone say ‘authorities’ instead of government?  Just wondering.  You gave them the address, Will presses. We were forced, Gross contends. “If the U.S. government forced us to supply the IP addresses of a child pornographer, we would do the same.”  Whoa, Nelly.  Really?  That’s what your defense is?  ‘Wait,” Will’s similarly disbelieving, “so you’re equating a Chinese dissident with a child pornographer.”  What on earth would give you that idea, Gross wonders.  No rational person could take that from what I said.  Oh, of course, because you compared the two cases doesn’t mean that, you know, they had anything in common in your mind.  Asshat.  “Isn’t the motto of your company ‘First, do no wrong”?”   Huh.  Someone’s been reading the prime directive.  Yes, it is their motto.  And does Mr. Gross believe he did no wrong in turning that IP address over?  “I believe wrong is best avoided by being… open.”  Gross tosses his hands in the air with that last word.

“Information wants to be free,” Will reads from his notes.  So to speak, Gross assents. “Information wants to be free, but people… want to go to jail?”  Gross reverts to the party line. “We had no foreknowledge of what the Chinese would do with the supplied IP addresses.”  Right.  And apparently no common sense either.  How old are you, Will asks, and forces Gross to confess that he’s fifty. “Don’t you think it’s a little old to be wearing a hoodie?”  Hee.  Is there any age where wearing a hoodie is appropriate attire for a CEO during a deposition?  “Is there any point to this line of questioning other than to offend?” Viola wonders. “No, not really,” Will smirks again, but no, Peter Pan wants to answer the question. “I think hoodies are practical, I think they brand a lifestyle, and I think I make more in an hour than you do in a year. That help you?”

You know, he was provoked, but that’s just crass.  Also,”brand a lifestyle?”  Bah.  Now he looks like a poser and an asshat both.

“How many IP addresses of Chinese dissidents have you supplied to the authorities?”  Gross doesn’t know. Not in excess of 50, he’d guess. Diane looks up from her notes in horror.  A phone tinkles, and Will asks Gross to repeat the number, and Chen Wan starts hyperventilating in his chair. He shudders, stands.  Alicia and Will look at him; Gross and Viola look away.  He staggers from the room; Will watches. “I think that number surprised someone who was imprisoned and tortured for five years.”

Gross lays it all out. “If the US government thinks we should not be doing business in China, then they have one simple remedy: outlaw it, like they do in Cuba, but they don’t do that, and you wanna know why?”  Will thinks you’re going to tell him why. “Because American businesses in China help open the door.  Just a little bit.”  He pinches his fingers together to indicate how little. “We… let the light in.”  “It also doesn’t help that we owe them 840 billion dollars, does it?”  Gross is aghast that Will would be so cynical. Alicia passes some papers to Will. “I think we’re changing the face of Chinese society.  Look what happened in Egypt.”  Well, someone’s been paying attention to the news.  Did they add that in, or was this episode shot that recently?

Will starts reading off Alicia’s notes. Yes, Gross attended Stanford (and he wore a hoodie there too).  You know, we’ve seen entitled rich mogul done better too recently to be impressed by that, Mister. “In your comparative religions class in 1984, did you right a paper about the arrests and torture of Tibetan activists?”  Heh.  Gross looks aggrieved, and Viola, impressed.

Alicia heads into Will’s office for some hand holding; Chen Wan is stressed out on Will’s leather sofa.  He haltingly explains his absence.  “The guard who took the most pleasure in my water.. treatment” he struggles for the right translation, “it is simulated drowning.  He had a cell phone in his pocket. And it would ring.  And he would stop…”  Chen Wan is gasping for breath now, poor man, flashing back, in the full clutches of a traumatic memory. He points to the conference room. “It was that same ring.  I hear it everywhere.”  Alicia looks at him, full of painful sympathy.  “Sorry, whenever I hear it, I think of that.  It’s an odd way to walk through life.” Alicia (who knows something of haunting memories) shakes her head, and they both watch Diane lead Viola and Will into her office. “My worry is that they will offer money, and not stop this practice.”

“$865,000,” Viola offers.  Heh.  “Your CEO makes more in an hour than I do in a year, and he wants to offer…”  Viola brazenly slices into his spiel, explaining how they arrived at that number.  Chum Hum’s legal department caps everything there, including pain and suffering.  Diane and Will stare at her in disbelief.   “What do you have?” Will asks, and Viola leans in toward him, thoroughly enjoying herself. “What do you think I have?” she flirts.  “Lack of foreknowledge didn’t work for you, so now you’re going to go after Chen Wan?” “Nelson Mandela?” Diane asks. “Vaslav Havel?”  “See ya tomorrow!” Viola says, confident, leaving them to stew. “A bluff or what?”

“You’re kidding,” Becca laughs, chatting with Jackie in the Florrick kitchen.  Okay, now that’s disturbing, but I can see how Becca kind of saving her life might pre-dispose Jackie in her favor.  Also, Becca is wearing the most old lady-like red jacket with shiny brass looking buttons.  “Oh no,”Jackie laughs, “Zach looks exactly like his dad.”  Oh, yes, that’s terribly funny.  Whatevs.  Zach arrives home at this point, and starts glaring at Becca in confusion. “Jackie and I were just having a little chat.”  Oh, Jackie, so blind.  Jackie’s going to let them get to it.  (Jackie, if you only knew what this girl wants to do to your grandson…)  Becca’s really glad they had this little talk.  Nice.

Zach’s weirded out and calls Becca on it, but Becca is innocent of any wrong doing, of course.  “She’s actually pretty cool.  Cool skips a generation. Didn’t you know that?” (Huh?  I thought Becca was fascinated by Peter.) Zach doesn’t believe this rule at all, because he still does have a brain even if he uses it inconsistently.  Becca sits down at the desk with Zach’s computer on it. There’s a bowl of white roses on it.  Sigh.  I love roses.  Becca plugs her flashdrive into Zach’s keyboard (hey, so that’s what the kids are calling it these days) and they start looking through a ton of boring camp pictures.

Turns out Zach remembers a photo of a woman presumably helping Glenn Jr. get his things out of an SUV.  Good memory, Zach.  The camera closes in on a black face and corn rowed hair. “If that’s his nanny, she’s not Swedish.”

Okay, now I grant you that she doesn’t look Swedish, but there are Swedes who aren’t ethnically Swedish.  I had a friend – an au pair, actually – who was a Korean adopted by Swedes, and then of course there’s Marcus Samuelsson.  So I’m not immediately sold that this bit of racial profiling is going to bear fruit.  Also, all this girl is doing is standing next to Glenn at the back of a car.  It’s not clear she’s an adult, even.  It doesn’t feel quite as smoking a gun to me as it does to Zach and Becca.  Of course, Becca’s the one who was there.

Will, Kalinda and Alicia speculate over speaker phone to Diane about Viola’s mystery witness.  Their best guess is that it’ll be a Chinese official claiming there was no torture.  They’re going to line up dissidents to oppose that claim.  Diane says she’ll be off the grid for an hour – and that’s because she’s with the two surviving members of Stern’s gang of three, both of whom are elderly, one with Mad Men style glasses and an oxygen line draped over his face.  It looks like they’re in a deli, perhaps; there’s a bottle of ketchup on the table.  Surely it’s been a while since Diane ate somewhere like this.

She apologizes for the call. “Don’t worry.  We can just sit here. And wait,” the healthier gang member guilts her dryly.  She laughs.  “Well as I was saying, we want you back,” she offers.  Elderly Mad Man cups his hand to his ear. “Back for the next equity partner meeting!” Diane clarifies.  What do we get, the Mad Man wonders.   Diane offers them office space (really? they have that much extra?) and a seat at the table.  Healthy old man wants year end bonuses.  Nice.  Well, he had to be a shark, right?  Diane’s a bit aghast they’d want year end bonuses for a year they hadn’t worked, but honestly.  You’re there to buy their votes.  You know it and they know it.   Take it out of Bond’s salary! Healthy guy (who I totally know but can’t place, grrr) calls out to a passing waitress. “I said I wanted ice cream, you stupid bitch.”

Well, damn.   That’s ridiculously rude. Also, incredibly stupid of him.  Does he know what she can put into that ice cream, without him ever knowing?  Stupid.  Deeply stupid.

Um, sorry.  Back to Statler and Waldorf and their greedy grasping hands. “You’re paying for our wisdom,” Waldorf intones hilariously, but Statler (the mean healthy one) cuts to the chase. “Look, you want our votes, right?  You want both our votes?” Diane nods yes, knowing she’s in for it. “Then we have terms.”

Kalinda’s surprised to see Cary outside what might be her new apartment building, late at night. It could also be the main lobby at work, but I don’t think so.  “So a change of address, huh?”  Kalinda doesn’t understand why this is such a surprise to everyone (“I moved”),  but Cary echoes Alicia, saying he never had the old address.   It is curious – is it a safety thing, that she wants people to know where she lives, or is it a front?  He’s followed her into the building; she stops, and they’re both tense, silent.  She turns around. “Cary, I like you, it’s just…” She shrugs, trying to let him down.  So it must be her apartment building. That’s not why I’m here, he says.

“A grand jury is being impaneled looking into you,” he tells her gravely. “Specifically into me?” Her voice sounds a little plaintive, younger than usual.  He considers. “Well, supposedly it’s looking at corrupt practice of defense investigators, but Childs is focusing in on you, writing an indictment.”  Eep.  Cary steps closer so they’re not overheard, and Kalinda waits until a stranger passes to step closer and ask when. “It’s next week.”  She looks as vulnerable as we’ve ever seen her. “They’re lining up witnesses and exhibits.”  “Can you tell me who?” she asks quickly. He sighs and shakes his head; he shouldn’t have told her this much.  He starts to leave.

“Cary,” she cries out, calling him back. “Why did you send me a change of address notice, anyway?” he wonders, not able to brush it off.  She considers. “I don’t know… it just felt normal.”  Right.  He considers the likelihood of that (not very) and the ghost of a smile passes over his face. “You trying to be normal?”  “Sure,” she answers, brown eyes wide, “I like normal.”  He scrunches his brows together.  He considers.  Then he steps close and wraps his right hand around her neck, so that his thumb runs along her jawline.  Slowly, slowly, he lowers his face, and kisses her quickly, gently on the lips.  He caresses her face. “Welcome back to normal,” he smiles, and walks away.  She stands like a statue, panicked and sad.

Woah.  I just – woah.

Becca, wearing another matronly ensemble (coral cardigan and turtleneck), has taken up a perch at Peter’s campaign headquarters.  “I come in peace,” she tells Eli when he discovers her reading a magazine. “Yeah, like Yasir Arafat?”  Nice, Eli.  I like it. “Are you perhaps confusing my office with the free clinic down the street?” But no, she really does come in peace. “Zach, I found him,” she calls, and Zach pops out of another room, looking (as he often does) like an excited puppy. “Eli, how you doing?  We have something to show you.”  “Zach has something to show you,” Becca parrots for emphasis.  Eli narrows his eyes.

And there’s Becca’s flashdrive in Eli’s laptop.  Oh, the places that flashdrive has been… “You said Childs paid the Swedish nanny in full. If that’s the case, who’s this?”   Zach pulls up the offending picture.  “I mean, she’s not Swedish, she’s black.  Becca saw her bring Childs’ son to drama camp.”  Eli looks up at Zach.  “Dja see?”  “I see,” Eli nods, a bit patronizing, and Zach’s taken aback.  Isn’t this good, he wants to know?  Clearly Zach expected to be petted on the head and cossetted for his find, but he’s not going to get any loving from Eli.  “What’s wrong?”  “What’s wrong is that Eli doesn’t trust me,”  Becca guesses.  “No,” Eli replies, “this is… interesting.  See?  I’m interested.” (Of course, what he actually says is “innerested,” which is interesting.)  He asks for a minute; Zach looks concerned, and Becca rolls her eyes.

And Eli, once the door closes behind him, does a little fist pumping dance around the copy room.  It’s a bit like he’s trying to sword fight, or swat an imaginary fly.  It’s awesome.  He slicks his hair back, composes himself, and heads on out.  Ha!  Someone was more impressed than he’d ever let Becca see.  It’s weirdly reminiscent of Laura Linney in Love, Actually.  I suppose they had to have something more in common than just co-hosting Masterpiece Theater.

“Look, I’m gonna tell my dad,” Zach begins when Eli (restored to his normal suave self) returns to them.   Eli cuts him off. Might they have any way of finding out this nanny’s name?  Well, duh, says Becca’s face.  ‘Then that would be helpful,” Eli nods, sending the two thrilled kids out to play spy versus spy.  Eli raises his eyebrows to the heavens, unable to control his smile. “I am the smartest person I know,” he gloats in what seems like a bit of a non-sequitor.

“No, you cannot have a corner office!” Diane snaps into the telephone.  Hee.  Also, not very diplomatic, Diane. “Because there are no corner offices left!” Diane raises her hands in horror, standing in the middle of her own corner office.  Will, standing in her doorway, raises his hands in sympathy and chagrin, but he points to his watch and runs off to the deposition.  “I’ve got to go,” she tells one of the old Muppet hecklers, but who ever it is won’t get off the phone. “Then go through your Rolodex and see what other firm will hire you!” she shouts, slamming the phone down.  Yikes.

Back at the conference room, Alicia and Kalinda have assembled Amnesty International and two dissidents from the same prison to counter the presumed Chinese official they’re expecting Viola to produce.  Viola shows up to introduce her new witness. “I’m sure you’ll find it illuminating.”  Yes, Will’s sure he will too.  And they’re right about one thing; the witness is Chinese.  It’s Chen Wan’s wife,  Jinghua.


“Okay, it’s just the two of us,” Derrick says, closing his door. “No one’s listening. What should I be aware of?”  Sitting in front of Derrick’s desk is – Julius Cain.  No!  No, Julius, you can’t be!  “You think Will is on your side, that he’s going to vote with you to take out Diane, but he’s playing you. He’s actually on Diane’s side.”  Julius, how could you?  Derrick tenses his jaw. “I don’t believe you.” “Then don’t. I just met with them all yesterday.  Will, Diane, and …” here he heaves a big sigh “David Lee.”  Oh.  But that’s still so wrong. Derrick sits down.  “They’re going to try to flip Fitzpatrick to vote with them.”  Derrick nods darkly. “Why are you telling me this?  What do you want?”  Julius leans forward. “I’ll vote with you.  But I want two things.”  (Can’t you just hear Lee saying “oh, God, not the minority hiring again?”)  Derrick indicates that he’s listening. “David Lee out, and head of litigation.”  Well, that first one goes without saying; Lee wouldn’t stay, and Derrick wouldn’t keep him anyway.  The second… “Moss is doing a superior job.”  “I’ll do a better one,” Julius insists intensely.  Derrick considers, a smile playing across his lips.

“She left when I got out of prison.  It happens to some people after things like this,” Chen Wan explains, literally scratching his head.  ‘We came to America a year ago, and my wife left me.”  Diane can’t believe it. “That’s why she’s testifying against you, saying you weren’t tortured?” “She wants to hurt me,” the dissident snarls bitterly. Will asks him for a minute, but Chen Wan can’t leave without apologizing to Alicia.  Ah, they all bond with Alicia.  Don’t let anyone tell you you’re just there to look angry, love. Will sics Kalinda on the wife.

At what point does Kalinda tell Will she might be indicted, I wonder?

“Are you going home?” Becca calls across the street to Glenn Jr, who’s leaning on his car and perhaps playing with his phone. He snorts. “What?” Becca says innocently. “Becca.  How far do you think I trust you?”  he says frankly. She laughs.  “Not far.”  “What do you want,” he wonders, impatient.  “You know what I want,” Becca leans in, leering comically.  Ew.  And, ew.  Glenn’s totally suddenly interested, or at least faking it. “I thought you were into that Florrick kid.”  “Hey,” she shrugs, “I like politician kids, what can I say.”  Oh, teenage boys.  So sad. Becca adjusts her glove to flash a series of Silly Bandz-like bracelets. “I need one more to complete my … political education.”

Ew.  Can we have a chorus?  All together now. Eeeeeeeeew.

Glenn Sr’s got a party going on in his office, as he sits in the quiet center under the Cook County seal.  “This is Glenn Childs.  Speak.”  Heh.  “Dad, it’s me,” says his son’s voice, and Child’s demeanor totally changes.  Aw. That’s nice, and a little unexpected.  We haven’t remotely seen this side of him – relaxed, happy. “Hey.  Hey, son, what’s up?”  “Something’s weird here.” Glenn says, still leaning on his car, and tells his dad that a girl’s been snooping around.  You know, the girl who’s friends with the Florrick kid.  Senior snaps for silence. “She was asking about Rita.  From a few years ago.”  Glenn Sr looks upset, and the soundtrack begins to build.  “Remember – Rita from that summer?”  His dad remembers. “She wanted to know her name. She said her parents wanted to hire her.”  Didi you give it to her, Senior wonders.  “No, never,” Junior replies passionately.  Good, says Glenn Sr, who needs to start calling other people stat in a scrambling effort to save his campaign.

“We’re negotiating,” Diane tells someone over the phone. “They’re asking too little, and we’re…” Uh oh.  Guess who’s shopping for his corner office?  Statler.  She tosses the phone down and goes running after Statler, crying out “Mr. Lyman!”  Will’s on his phone (heh, I originally typed Josh, because, you know, Josh Lyman, The West Wing – and also Josh Charles, goofy) but he too sprints after the elderly interloper. Derrick catches Will executing a prat fall and then trying to right himself (nicely done, Josh) and beckons Julius out of the shadows. What’s that about, he wonders, watching Diane and Will hustle Lyman away.   “I don’t know,” Julius answers. “I’ll find out.”  Derrick, he really needs to know. He is all about knowing, and he glowers his displeasure darkly.

“It’s freezing out here!” Lyman brays as Diane and Will rush him over to the air vent on the roof.  Well, I guess it is complicated, trying to keep secrets in a glass maze.  “Mr. Lyman, I thought I told you we’d talk on the phone,”  Diane chastises her wayward savior. “It’s Merrick,” he explains, presumably meaning Waldorf/Mad Men glasses guy. Diane drama queens that they can’t take any more blood from a stone, but Lyman is serious and distressed. “It’s Merrick.  He’s dead.”  Oh dear.  Will and Diane are stunned into silence. “He was very nervous, he was going through his Rolodex, the whole thing was too much for him.”  The two conspirators look to the sky in horror. “So here’s the thing.  I’m still on board, but I want everything that you promised him.”  Oh.  Dear.  “You’re quite the humanitarian,” Diane grouses. “Hey, I didn’t kill him,” Lyman absolves himself of any responsibility.  Nice guilting there, Statler.  You really do know how to heckle.  “We’re still down on votes,” Will says in frustration.  No, Diane realizes, they’re tied.  Yikes.    What on earth happens in a tie?  They’re both at exactly 22 votes.  (Could they be inexactly at 22?)  “Either way, I still get my corner office?” Lyman questions.  Blessedly, the secret meeting is broken up by Kalinda with news on Jinghua.

Back between the partner offices Will, still rubbing his hands together to revive circulation, asks for the full story.  Chen Wan was cheating, so the wife walked out on him.  Well, yes, when you’ve stayed faithful to someone through five years of prison and left your country for them, you might be more than usually pissed if he started boinking some “young activist” he met through the free Tibet movement. Will can’t believe they’ve got another John McCain on their hands.  “No matter where you go you run into it,” Diane shakes her head in disbelief, and Alicia looks at the floor.  Kalinda thinks they can still use it.  “We don’t have Nelson Mandela anymore,” Will frowns, disgusted.  Well,  that might have been overstating things. “After years of imprisonment and torture, he hops into the first young bed?”  Alicia still  looks embarrassed. “Maybe we can settle for cash?” Diane wonders.  “No,” Will stops her, fervent,”we have to stop Chum Hum from continuing these practices in China.  That was the original goal of the suit.”  Alicia looks over at Will with stars in her eyes, like he’s the antidote to all this dirtiness.  Alicia volunteers to talk to Chen Wan and ask him to talk to Jinghua.  For a reconciliation, Will wonders?  At least to get her to recant, Alicia says, since we know she’s lying.  Reuniting might be too much to hope for.  Well, you would know, Alicia.

“It’s nothing to do with this,” Chen Wan tells Alicia out in the snow, baffled. If you want Chum Hum to stop handing over IP addresses, Alicia insists, you have to do this. “She’s .. angry. She’s been hurt,” Alicia finishes softly, and then walks off to her car.  Chen Wan scrambles after her, contrite.  “I’ll talk to her,” he pleads.

And that’s when Alicia sees a young man with his hoodie pulled up to shield his head from the snow.   She looks at him in horror.

Then she’s back in the office, scarf still wrapped around her throat, to confirm her suspicions.  Patric Edelstein – sweet, beleaguered billionaire Patric Edelstein – is in Will’s office.

Alicia sits with Zach at his computer, looking up Patric Edelstein together.  Well, I suppose the last few episodes have been Grace heavy.  It’s nice to see Zach and Alicia having a normal interaction, even if she could have looked this up herself. “You represented him, didn’t you?”  Yes, in the suit about the movie, that’s right. “I think I saw him today at work,” Alicia wonders aloud. No, you couldn’t have, he’s in Burlingame, Zach tells his mother, pointing to Patric’s twitter feed.  Presumably that’s the spot in California where Sleuthway has its headquarters. Wait – tweet!  He is in Chicago. But we already knew that.  “He’s cool.  He’s like the fifth richest guy in the world.”  Does he have any business in China, Alicia wonders as if it were nothing.  Zach uses a Google-looking site called Fact Swim to look it up.  Man, they have to keep inventing these sites, now that they’re suing so many of them!  Not yet, but Edelstein’s trying, Zach points to a photo of fresh faced Patric with a fairly young Chinese businessman.

“Is anything wrong?” Zach asks when his mother looks a little too long and hard at the screen.  Thank you, she responds, and kisses him on the forehead.

“This is about Patric Edelstein,” Alicia says as she walks into Will’s office. “Patric Edelstein, the billionaire, the one we represented in his case against the movie about his life.  We’re still representing him?”  She’s worked up, and she’s resting her arms on the chair opposite Will instead of sitting in it. “His Midwestern concerns, yes,” Will says, unable to meet her eyes, looking twitchy, guilty, tapping his fingers on his coffee mug, and Alicia moves in for the kill.  “But this China suit.  We’re doing it Edelstein.  He wants Chum Hum out of China, so he can move in and monopolize it.” She’s confident. “I don’t know,” he says quietly. Don’t you? “But you do,” she smiles, angry but pleased with herself for figuring it out and reading him correctly. “It’s a good case, no matter what” he tells her, and he’s gone all steely and still.  “Chen Wan was tortured and imprisoned.”  “Yes,” Alicia replies, implacable, “but that’s not why we’re pursuing it.”  “Alicia,”Will cautions, laying down his coffee mug. “I just for one minute wanted to think that we were doing the right thing.” She gesture emphatically on the beat. “We are doing the right thing,” Will counters. “But for the wrong reason!”

“Who do you know is doing something for the right reason?” Will asks.  Her face falls.  That’s so not the point, Will.  “I’d like to meet them, because after five minutes of questioning, I’m willing to bet we’ll find the wrong reason.”  There, he’s shocked her. “Do you really believe that?”  Something drains out of his face here, or a sorrow leaches into it, knowing that he’s lost a measure of her good opinion. “I do believe that.  And if you thought about all you’d learned this last year, you’d believe it too.”

There’s a long silence.

“Edelstein moves into China,” she questions, eyes narrowed, head cocked, “what does he do?”  “What do you mean?”  “Does he turn over the names of more dissidents?”  Alicia’s throwing his words back in his face here, challenging him, making him acknowledge the moral bankruptcy of what he’s doing, and his face falls again.  He swallows and looks at her sadly. “It’s the law,” he says.  She nods, smiling in Pyrrhic victory.

“What fresh hell today?” David Lee asks, standing in front of the vent with his fellow conspirators, hands plunged into his pockets.  Clearly he’s trying to avoid the spaghetti smell.  Diane ruefully explains about approaching Statler and Waldorf. Lee laughs.  Not for nothing, but in all the Casablanca references I’ve been throwing around, have I not mentioned lately that he’s totally Ugarte? (Well, no, not exactly – he just looks like Peter Lorre.  But still.)  Will and Julius roll their eyes. “Okay, David, we get it,” Will steps in when Lee can’t stop laughing. “No, I don’t think you do.  You couldn’t have scripted it better.”  He bounces up and down for warmth. “So what happened, did one of them die?”  Will swallows, looks away, and Lee staggers off in peals of uncontrollable laughter. “Yesterday,” Diane explains to Judas.  I mean Julius.  Well, now he’s got something to report to the Sith Lord. “All we need is a juggler and then we’ll have a Roman farce,” Lee splutters, and then barks at passersby for smoking.   Hmm.  I didn’t think any of the Roman comedies survived antiquity.  Whatever.

Will’s glad “Mr. Lee” finds it so entertaining; “it just puts more pressure on you, Julius, to turn Mr. Fitzpatrick.”  Well, that’s depressing.  Can you do it, Diane wonders wearily.  “All I can do is try,” Julius replies. “Oh, yes, please do try,” Yoda – er, David Lee – snarks.

“So they think they’re tied, do they?” Derrick strides around his office like Emperor Palpatine, thrilling in his presumed ascendancy.  Yes, with Statler in tow, Julius says.  Well, I guess with Blake at least temporarily out of the picture, Derrick needs a new apprentice to do his bidding. Julius shakes his head over Stern’s dead buddies. “But your vote puts me over the top?”  “Yes,” Julius agrees, “if…”  “I know,” Derrick says impassively, “head of litigation.”  Julius nods.  Derricks turns to shake his hand. “Congratulations.  You’re our new head of litigation.”

Eli’s smiling as he sets down a telephone, out in the main campaign offices. Matt notices his good mood, and inquires after it. “Childs had another nanny,” he gloats.  “For his grown kids – a Jamaican nanny.”  How many kids does he have?  Matt’s caught on to one detail, and it isn’t the word another. “Jamaican – I thought you said he had a Swedish nanny.”  “It was, but she had to go back to Sweden to, I don’t know, swim in a fjord or something.”  Heh. “That’s Norway,” Matt notes irrelevantly, and Eli thanks him tartly.   Either way, with her gone, Childs needed another nanny and he got one.  Illegally.  “I have to do polling,” Matt says urgently, ready to head out.”Wait there’s more” Eli waves him off. “I wanted to seal the deal this time. So I had someone hint to Childs that we were pursuing the illegal nanny’s identity and he lead us right to her. Childs tried to cover it up.”  Rugh ro!  Matt can’t believe he’d be that dumb. “No, he tried to pay for the Jamaican nanny to leave the country.”  Eli stabs the air with his hand to emphasize each word; seriously, he’s going to hurt someone.  Wow, that is really dumb. “You have it all,” Matt asks, breathless. “Documented and certified.  Do the polling!”  “I’ll do the polling!” Matt agrees.  What a cute little team they are!  He was a good find, Eli.

And also?  That’s why Eli’s the smartest person he knows.  He set Zach and Becca on Glenn Jr to manipulate Glenn Sr.  Oh, no, I love it.  How much do you love it, that Eli deliberately used Becca to send up a red flag to Childs?  So frickin’ great.  I love it.  Nannygate 2.0 is so on.

“Oh, well this is turning into tit for tat, isn’t it?” the falsely pleasant voice of Viola asks brightly. “Yes, and tat’s up by one.”  Heh.  Alicia covertly glances between Viola and Diane.  Viola thinks it’s just lovely that Jinghua and Chen Wan have reconciled.  (Wow.  Am I impressed by that, or sorry for Jinghua?  Chen Wan seems like a nice guy, he really does, but that’s a tough issue.)  “Yes, isn’t it?” Will snarks. “Maybe we should go into couples therapy.”  Ah, somehow him saying that makes me wish that acid tongued Patti was still around even more.

“Well,” Viola drawls, “I have one more name that I’d like to add to our witness list.” She takes a page from her leather binder, and hands it to Alicia, who – surprised – passes it to Diane.  “Paul Haughton?  Of the Bush administration?”  She’s stunned.

“Yes,” says Paul Haughton, “I wrote the memo refered to as the Haughton Working Memo.  It expressed the legal position that certain aggressive interrogation techniques are not torture.”  Now Alicia looks mean.  This is actually a real memo, though the person who wrote the analogous document is John Yoo.   Or they could be referring to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.  Either way, it’s notably ugly stuff.  Paul Haughton, by the way, is played by character actor Mark Harelik, who has cheekbones which look like you could shatter glass on them.  Overall, he comes off as very unfriendly.  “So what are you saying,” Will asks. “Chen Wan was not tortured?”  “No,” Haughton scoffs, “I have no opinion on that. I can tell you the opinion of the Bush administration at the time.”  “Oh, well let’s hear about that!” Viola enthuses silkily.

“Chen Wan was forced to stand in the stressed position during his captivity, is that torture?”  “As long as there was no organ failure or impairment of bodily function, in the opinion of the United States at the time it was not.”  No organ failure?  That’s their baseline?  Mother of God, we suck.  “Chen Wan claims he was beaten and slapped, is that torture?”  Again, unless his organs failed, no.  Seriously, we double suck. Alicia hides her face. None of the political comparisons that leap to my mind here are flattering. “The United States has since revoked your legal opinion, Mr. Haughton,” Diane states icily.  Did Viola encounter Haughton before, back when she was defending Gitmo detainees?  While we’re speaking about wrong actions and intentions. “Yes,” Haughton admits, “in January 2009.”  What a shame, says Viola. Chen Wan’s alleged abuse ended in 2008.  Will and particularly Diane are appalled.  “So, it was the opinion of the United States that there was no torture at the time in question.” The Lockhart/Gardner team answers by packing up their things.

Very, very smart, Viola, and very very nasty.  Of all the ugly defenses that have been argued on this show, this one is way up there.

Will wants Alicia to get Chen Wan to lie. We just need the possibility that it might have happened in ‘9, Will softens the task.  “It’s so weird,” Diane muses, “he needs to have been tortured during the Obama administration or we hobble our case.” “And Edelstein’s,” Alicia snipes. Diane gives her a warning look.  The first time I watched this I thought Diane didn’t know what she was talking about, but no.  She does.  It’s so stinking depressing.  Alicia looks back and forth between Will and Diane, both serious and stern. “Do you want us to put someone else on it?” Diane asks. No.  Of course she doesn’t.  Alicia sucks up her scruples and goes to ask Chen Wan to lie.  The partners turn to see Julius laughing with Derrick.  Well, Julius is laughing, anyway. “What do you think?” Diane questions. “I think we’re fine,” Will says, staring through the glass door, the music swelling portentously.

“I always loved this office,” Peter says from the dark, pacing.  Glenn Childs looks bleak and broken. He’s drinking.  It looks like scotch, minus the rocks. Peter remembers the dart board he used to have on the wall; he could hit the bulls eye from his desk. “I remember that,” Childs says amicably. “In fact,” he points at Peter, “I kept a remnant of you,”; he pulls some darts out of the desk drawer.  Peter laughs wickedly, his grin flashing in the half light, and picks up one of the darts, contemplating it.

“What’s the game here?” Glenn can’t stand it any longer. “It’s over,” Peter says flatly. “You’re out of the race.”  “Really,” says Glenn, faking surprise. “You got a gun?” “Almost as good,” Peter grins. “You see, Wendy could survive the nanny problem.  She’s likable and a mother, and she didn’t try to cover it up.”  Hmmm.  Okay, that’s not what pollster Matt thought at the time,  but okay.     “People can forgive a lot, but they can’t forgive a cover up.”  My dad is always saying this when anyone brings up Watergate: I don’t know if I buy it, but it does seem like brazening it out is often the better strategy. ‘What are you talking about?” Glenn asks, still playing dumb.  So Peter spells it out.  “You hired a nanny for a summer.  You paid her under the table.  Then when you heard we were on her trail, you tried to pay her to leave the country.”  Glenn wonders if Peter’s recording this conversation.  No, Peter says, brandishing a tiny tape. “We recorded the pay off.”  Oooops.

Also, how did they do that and stay within the law?  If he bugged Childs’ phone, couldn’t Childs arrest him?  Jail him for attempted extortion?

Glenn’s still fighting, but his own way. “Then you know it was 3 months,” as opposed to Wendy’s five years. Peter has to state the obvious.  “Yes, but I also seem to recall a candidate at the last debate who said ‘you can’t just say ooops, my bad.’  How do you think that soundbite’s gonna play?” “You’re a son of a bitch,” Glenn bites.  Well, you know, I don’t like Jackie, but what’s Peter doing that Glenn wouldn’t do himself?  He’s just playing the game, exposing your mistake as you would his.  Of course, Childs believes he’s specially aggrieved, and always has. “Yeah,” Peter admits. “Not just that,” Glenn rises to say, sanctimonious, “You belong in the trophy case of sons of bitches. You think I’m in this job just to beat you, Peter?  Just to exercise power?  I’m in this job to do good.”   Peter smiles wryly. “Whadda you think, you’re the only person who wants to do good?”  Get out of here, Glenn snarls.  “Get out of my office.” Peter holds up a hand as he walks out.

“Good afternoon,” Glenn Childs says from a podium. He’s always said that the most important thing to him was his family.  Uh oh.  Cliche alert.  Ah, most favored cover up story of politicians; I need to spend more time with my family.  Right.  “Family first. Job second. Campaign third.  For that reason…” and the entire Florrick campaign staff is waiting for it…”I am withdrawing my candidacy…”

That’s all we get to hear over the cheering, which is followed by loud music and lots of fist pumping, most of which is on Eli’s part.  Heh.  Have we ever seen him so excited?  “Get the candidate!  They’ll be calling for comment!”  Eli yells over the high fiving and jubilation.  Matt wants to know if Eli’s going to tell Peter about Zach.  “No.  I don’t know.  I promised Alicia I wouldn’t bring the kids into the race.”  “You didn’t,” Matt rightly points out before fielding a call on his cell, “they jumped in.”  True that.  “He’s on, he’s on,” Matt thrusts the phone at Eli. “Sir,” Eli beams into the phone, “it’s a two way race.”

Wow, I can’t even believe that Peter took Childs out.  Crazy.  It looks like you can zap both competitors with the same issue.  Who’d have thunk it?

Zach’s watching the press conference on his computer. What, they don’t have a tv?  Oh, whatever.  I suppose if you’re already online, it’s easier to open a new tab than it is to turn on the tv.  He’s thrilled, and puts his hand up behind his head for Becca to high five.  She grabs his hand, then rests hers on his shoulder. “Oh my gosh,” she gushes.  Then her hand starts moving down his chest.  He looks at the hand in surprise.  What’s that doing there?  Eek.  Don’t get tangled up with her again, Zach!  Think about Neesa!  Think about the Holy Spirit!  Think about Coach Bieste!  Think about … “Do you kids want some corn bread?”  The grandmother’s voice jerks both kids back into awareness.  Holy crap, they were doing this with Jackie in the house?  Man.  You’d think that’d be enough of a cold shower, but not, the thrill of public places must counterbalance that.  Zach’s a goner.  Bye bye, Neesa.  “We’re okay, Jackie,” Becca calls out brightly, and then her hand snakes down Zach’s chest once more.

Shudder.  Damn it.  I really hoped that little weasel was gone.

Behind Alicia’s head, the negotiations are going on.  “So,” Viola snarks, “he recovered his memory of being waterboarded in February of 09.”   She’s slunk down in a comfy chair next to Gross. Yes, his pain and trauma stopped him from memorizing fully, Will shoots back, just as snide.  “Well, I guess our friend Chen Wan caught on to America pretty quickly,” Gross grins, looking to Viola to see if she appreciates his wit. “You were a good teacher,” Diane replies, and Gross is ever so slightly cut by her words. “30 million dollars.  And you stop handing over dissident names.”  Gross rises, and stalks over to the window. “I hate Chicago,” he grumbles.  “It’s a mean place.”  Viola is amused. “Unlike Silicon Valley?” Will asks, disbelieving.  “All this architecture,” Gross sneers, squinting in the sunlight. “We know the future, at least. The boundaries are disappearing.  China.  North Korea.  They’re all just concepts.”  To you, maybe, dude.  How myopic.  This is the kind of speech that makes people hate America.  (Well, then again, it might be ignorant and arrogant, but at least it’s not condoning torture.  Now there’s a real reason to be mad at our country.)  “Concepts that are holding us back.”  “From what?” Alicia wonders. “A free flow of power and information,” Gross extols the virtues of his vision, “that is the future.”    Gee, it must be nice to be so certain. “So you guys, you’re just fighting over things.  You have a bag of pennies when everyone else is using credit cards.”  He wags an admonishing finger at Alicia. “Things are dead.  Things are… uncool.”

Okay.  Somebody’s watched The Matrix a few too many times.

“No money,” Viola considers, stroking her pen beneath her lip, “and we’ll agree to stop sending names to China.”  Diane and Will exchange a look. “Really,” Will asks, avid, “what happened?”  “You showed us the error of our ways,” Viola shrugs. Right.  “You’re getting out of China,” Will realizes. “We’re thinking about it,” she admits. Will glances at Diane, who’s smiling behind her hand. “It’s too protectionist.”  Will nods. “Good,” sighs Viola, “then we are out of here.”  She gathers her things, smiles at Alicia, and heads out.

Wow. That’s so offensive.  Chen Wan doesn’t get any money; instead he gets the meaningless assurance that Chum Hum won’t hand over any more IP addresses, as they leave the field open for Sleuthway to move in and do the same damn thing.  Talk about a Pyrrhic victory for Justice.

And with that, the equity partners flood the hallways. “Here we go,” Diane mutters to Will as they watch the tide.  “In ten minutes, either Bond will run this firm, or we will.”  Alicia’s head whips around at the comment.  Will and Diane look down at her, and I know this is going to sound overblown, but they really do look like warriors heading to battle.  There’s a suggestion of armor in Diane’s cream suit, actually, which I would bet isn’t an accident.  Fear and adrenaline grip their bodies.  “Good job,” Will says to Alicia, and he doesn’t break eye contact until he’s through the door.

Alicia walks through the glass hallway in her most successful outfit of the episode, a gorgeous, super flattering royal blue wrap dress with elbow length sleeves.  She sees Derrick, watching the crowd and Julius, chatting amiably with another partner; David Lee sitting down, tenting his fingers, looking shifty.  Alicia’s snapped out of her reverie by the sound of her name; it’s Viola, on her way out.  “You don’t belong here,” the opposition counsel begins.  Alicia’s puzzled. “I think we should talk,” Viola offers.  Wow.  That’s cool.  I’m not sure how she got a sense of anything from Alicia (other than maybe her being unhappy about the case) but why on earth would it make a difference to move from one greedy soulless firm to another?  From that point of view, anyway?  Which makes me wonder if Viola guesses Edelstein’s the man behind the curtain here.  She’s smart, so probably.

Anyway.  “They’re undervaluing you.  I won’t,” Viola finishes.  Alicia’s amused.  “I’m not interested,” she smiles, but Viola writes out some info on a card anyway. “I’m persistent,” she says, and heads to the elevator.  She slides on her over-sized sunglasses, looking oh so very LA as the doors close on her.

The small, nubbly gavel comes down as Diane calls the equity partners meeting to attention.  “Well, here we are again,” she begins, huffy. “On behalf of the name partners I would like to thank everybody for making the time. And I would like to introduce a new face – Mr. Howard Lyman.”  Statler stands to a smattering of polite applause.  “One of the first partners in this business.  He has decided to come back to the fold, and we welcome him with open arms.” And now that the pleasantries are over, let the knives come out. “Now at this point, I must express some bafflement at the cause for this meeting.  Derrick, I think you had some business?”  Diane sits down, and Derrick rises. “Yes, thank you,” he begins smoothly. “Now, we’ve had some troubling reports of your trying to steal clients and partners, Diane, trying to start your own firm.”  We can hear a woman’s voice in the background gasp “what?” as Diane looks calmly up at her adversary.  “Now, the thing we need to value more than anything at this firm, is cohesion.”  Will rubs his fingers together. “…and that is the only reason…”

“What crap,” David Lee drawls. “Just vote.” Snort.  David Lee, I just love you.  I get that you would be a huge pain to work with, but I really love you. Howard laughs. “Thank you David. I would like to call a vote to censure and dismiss Diane Lockhart as an equity partner.”  The buzz in the room grows steadily.  It frankly surprises me that the equity partners weren’t canvased so thoroughly on this issue that it’s coming as a surprise to any of them.  “Would you like me to hand over the gavel for this vote?” Diane questions, sarcasm dripping from her rich voice.  If Kurt McVeigh was there, he would have jumped her in public. (Oh, come on.  You know he would.)  “No,” says Derrick, not meeting her eyes, “keep it.”  Do we have a second?  Yes.  Any debate?  “Just call the question, come on!” Lee breaks in impatiently. “By a show of hands, who agrees to censure and dismiss me?”  Derrick raises his hand, as do many others in the room.  Julias Cain, however, keeps his folded primly in his lap.  YES!  Oh, Julius, you were stressing me out!  Thank heaven.  Derrick notices this, frowning. Julius smiles up at him blithely.  “….19, 20… the motion falls short,” Diane finishes the count.  Derrick drops his hand, stunned. He leans over to Julius, hissing. “You had me fire my head of litigation and put you in.”   Julius can’t contain his glee. “Yeah,” he smiles widely. “Why?”  “I don’t like you,” Julius replies simply.  Awesome.  Julius turns his huge, goofy grin onto Will, who smiles back.

“Are there any other motions?”  David Lee stands. “I move we get rid of Bond and I take his office for my second secretary.” Ha!  I love it.  Bond looks infuriated and panicked, rearing his head back in surprise.  Diane calls for seconds. “Seconded,” smiles Will, and Derrick snaps his gaze toward this latest betrayal.  “With a show of hands, all those in favor?”   “This when I vote?” Howard asks.  Diane nods yes, and they all raise their hands, and it’s enough.  It’s more than enough.  Julius is not the only one beaming. Derrick backs out of the room. “Stupid son of a bitch,” he mutters angrily.  “Yup,” says Will without turning his head.  “…21, 22, 23… the motion passes.”  Oooh, they got votes they weren’t even expecting then. “Derrick Bond has been removed as name partner.”  “And I get his office,” David Lee gloats. Diane slams the gavel down with satisfaction.  Her cat-that-ate-the-canary grin is out in full force.

And, can I say, YES!  Is it too much to hope that with Bond out of the way, we never have to see Blake again?  (Probably too much to have, but not too much to hope for.)

Back in what’s soon to be David Lee’s second secretary’s office, Derrick tossed folders into his brief case. He gives in to frustration for the smallest moment, shoving the case against the window.  He’s always been so contained, so polite and mysterious and soft spoken, Derrick.  There’s been a sense of controlled – well, I won’t call it violence, even, though that’s been more apparent as we’ve come to see how unscrupulous he is and how dastardly his plans are.  A controlled sense of power, maybe.  Will walks into the room – I have no idea what he’s hoping for here – and Derrick ignores him utterly.  Will sits, but Derrick grabs a gym bag off his desk, and strides past Will without a word.   Will is left to survey the larger office, his and Diane’s once more.

He meets Julius in the hall. “Good plan,” Julius congratulates his boss. “Good execution,” Will replies.  Aw.  That’s nice.  This is all such a relief.  I don’t think I was so much worried about Derrick taking over at this point as I was fearing that Julius had gone over to the Dark Side of the Force.  But no.  All’s well.  Julius and his natty ties remains to tangle with David Lee on another day. They played us nicely here, I thought (or at least me) by setting up Julius’ frustrations with Lee.  It lent Will and Julius’ ploy a nice solidity.

Diane holds up a bottle of what looks like scotch – probably expensive stuff, quite possibly a sponsor – and offers Will a shot.  They clink glasses and drink. “We’re the perfect couple,” Diane jokes, and Will titters.  They start waltzing in circles. “Yes,” laughs Will, “in everything but the sex.”  The scene closes on their delighted laughter.

Yet again, we can hear Glenn Childs quitting the race (“family first, job second, campaign third”) as Peter Florrick stands in his shirtsleeves, hands in his pockets. “Zach,” he calls to his son, who seems to be in the kitchen with milk and cookies.  “Hey Dad,” Zach mumbles, his mouth full. “Come here,” Peter commands. “There something wrong?” Zach wonders.  “No,” Peter replies, putting his hand on his son’s shoulder and pulling him forward, “come here.”  The father wraps his son in an enormous bear hug; Zach hugs back.  “Thank you,” Peter breathes into his son’s shoulder.  He pulls back, grasps Zach by the upper arms, and sort of affectionately shakes him, looking deep into his eyes.  “You did it!”  And with that, Peter walks away. Looks like Eli decided to tell Peter, and rightly so.  Zach’s red, and smiling, and swaggering a a little as he walks back to his computer where Glenn Childs lies “I want you to know, I am leaving this race solely because of the pressures on my family.” “Mr. Childs, do you blame Peter Florrick for this?” a voice calls out as the screen goes black. “What are your plans now?” cries another.

Damn straight he blames Peter for it.  I somehow doubt we’ve seen the last of Glenn Childs.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, there’s quite a lot to talk about, isn’t there?  First on the list, I’m going to say that the entire episode, I was going crazy trying to figure out who Howard Lyman was – that is, the actor who played him.  He looks a ton like Robert Loggia, but he’s actually Jerry Adler, who’s starred in The Sopranos and Rescue Me and, among many other things, one of my favorite episodes of The West Wing. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the organizational stuff Julius was interested in.  What’s going to happen to all of Bond’s people – not to mention Bond’s business, like the SuperPAC and especially like LeMond Bishop, now that he’s gone?  Does Julius stay head of litigation?   I won’t mind not seeing Bond anymore – he never fully came together as a character for me – he’s so contained as to remain largely unknown.  Well, I mean, we know he’s ruthless, devious and paranoid, with no scruples to speak of, but we don’t know what made him tick.  Other than Blake, Bond’s people are a faceless bunch.  Still, it might be interesting to see Bond come after them, with Bishop or perhaps allied with Louis Canning.

So anyway, had we known that, I might have been more interested in him.  But as it is, I’m cool with whatever happens to him, be he gone for good or not.  Glenn Childs, on the other hand?  He may be paranoid too, but we do understand more of his motivations.  He’s a richly detailed, enjoyably dark character, and I hate the thought of him leaving.  If he does, will Cary end up back at Lockhart/Gardner, having lost his patron at the SA’s? Could he work under Peter, should the latter win back his old job, or former colleague Wendy Scott-Carr?

Yep, they shook things up but good this week.  The stuff with Childs was masterful, really; who would have thought that the ploy to take out Wendy would backfire and take out Childs instead?  Genius.  I wasn’t expecting that at all, and I love the surprise of it.

And you know, maybe it IS because I’m mother, but I’m sympathetic with Wendy.  Well, no.  That’s not entirely true. I’m sympathetic with Wendy because Natalie Flores is a bright and lovely person, and because that’s how the situation has been presented, sympathetically.

Now – Cary and Kalinda.  I’ve been rooting for them as a romance because they’ve become such steadfast friends, but now that there’s been an actual move in that direction, I don’t know how I feel.  There are – well, actually, I’m sure there’s a dozen ways to read this, but these are the two that are sort of warring in my mind. The first is that the kiss is a sort of declaration of loyalty (as well as the obvious level jumping).  The other is that it’s kind of taking advantage of Kalinda when she’s vulnerable; she owes him.  I would really really like to think it’s the former, but relationships with Kalinda are so tricky.  She uses sex – or flirting, or the tease of sex – for information, and so even when I like the person (Cary), or even when it’s crazy sexy (Lana, hello) I still get squeamish about it, because it’s never just about the kiss.   For all her vaunted independence, have we ever really seen her with someone solely because she wanted to be, and not because she needed something?  Even when she has feelings for the person (Donna, Detective 98 Degrees) there’s still expediency involved.

On the other hand, that kiss was pretty chaste.  It didn’t seem like pressure.  It seemed – sweet.  Was he taking advantage of a moment of vulnerability?  Maybe.  Her walls are so thick.  But how can anyone reach Kalinda, and share something with her that’s real, that touches the real person, without it seeming invasive?

Also, they’re impaneling a grand jury?  Yikes.  We know she’s done things which cross the line (cloning phones, for example, and testifying under the name Kalinda Sharma, which is false) but it’s certainly going to be interesting seeing what they come up with, and what it’s going to do to her ability to conduct her job.  And stay out of jail.

Men.  I’m feeling a little bit done with the men on this show.  Or at least with Alicia’s men.  I kind of feel like last season, the writers trashed Peter and built up Will, and this season, they’ve been slowly building up Peter and trashing Will, to the point where I’m having a lot of trouble liking him. I need to feel like he’s a good person, somewhere in there, and it’s getting harder to remember that.  It makes me feel like Alicia is really well shot of both Peter and Will, and I hate feeling that.  I don’t mind the gray area, but I still want to feel like both her options have something to offer.  She’s made it pretty clear she’s not in love with Peter right now; could that feeling come back?  That motorcycle riding lawyer from the first season is looking better all the time.

I mean, really.  I’m started to get offended on the behalf of the legal profession. The nicest person I know – and I know a lot of nice people – is a lawyer who works for the government.  And she does it to help people, not for any kind of wrong reason.  Wake up and realize you’re choosing the dark side, Will, not having it inevitably thrust upon you.  You know what the motto of Georgetown Law is?  “Law is but a means. Justice is the end.”  What kind of justice is this, Will? I just refuse to believe that corruption is inevitable.

Sorry.  I shouldn’t be so morose.  Now, maybe pretentious internet billionaire #2 is right.  Maybe it’s better for them to have search engines in China than not, even if it means 50 people get tortured every year.  But uck.  I’m so with Alicia when she tells Will that just once, she wanted to feel like they were on the side of right instead of just on the side of money.  It’s so depressing.

Is it weird to say, at the end of all that, that it was a great episode?  I really did like it, and I’m thrilled to have the invader Bond tossed out.  The victory just came with a lot of baggage, you know?


23 comments on “The Good Wife: Great Firewall

  1. Cantremembermyname says:

    I totally agree that bond’s character was never fully developed, we’ve never seen him in court for example, he never mentored A like he told her (looks now like he was trying to “take control” of the most talented junior) and didn’t show much facial expression. I den’t believe one second Blake is gone, bad news. I really frown upon peter involving his teenage son in his dirty tricks, he made his kids a target. But the good news is this gives childs the perfect excuse to seek revenge – more air time for that excellenkt character.

    • E says:

      I think we did see him in court, but only once, and yeah, why is that? I get that they were going for enigmatic, for someone who seemed good on the surface, but still.

      Now Childs, on the other hand, is a fantastically well developed character, and he’s super interesting when he’s holding a grudge (which, let’s face it, is pretty much all the time).

  2. Lauren says:

    Wow, I’m first?! Hi, E. Thank you for the great great recaps every week! Been reading for a few weeks now. Wonderful as always. Oh my…this episode practically got me panting haha. And there are a bunch of awesome hilarious moments. Definitely one of my favorite episodes for this season.

    I hope they’ll save Michael Ealy somehow, though. When the new partner was revealed to be Mike Ealy in the first episode, I blushed and went woowee like a tween girl haha. I’ve been in love with Mike Ealy. But as the story went on and he portrayed Derrick Bond so believably, I realized I couldn’t stand seeing his face haha. Well played, Mike. Now that he’s forced out the firm and his frustration shows, I know I will miss him, though. Awesome casting for the role of Derrick Bond. Having Mike Ealy as this character hinted viciousness right from the first episode. The blue-eyed brown sugar promises the sexy gangsta element for every character he plays, and again, in the Good Wife he’s lived it up.

    Sorry, too many words on Derrick/Mike Ealy hehe. So much to love about this episode. I won’t get over the moments of Eli&the pollster, Kalinda&Cary for a long time. Can’t wait for the new episode. I’m hungry for the yet-exposed dimensions of Kalinda’s. I heard there’d be a break after this episode? How long will that be? Have a good one, E!

    • E says:

      Hey, Lauren, thanks for writing in! I’m glad you’re enjoying the recaps. 🙂

      I think it would be really cool to see Derrick interact with everyone now that he’s been totally unmasked and kind of humiliated. He must be absolutely furious that his gamble didn’t pay off. (And yeah, I was sorry not to like him better, he’s really dreamy looking, isn’t he? They used that to good advantage.) I think if they do keep him around, and we got to see that everything had gotten under his collar, that could provide the most drama from him yet. Most of what he got to was manipulate people, moving them around and looking like he was above it all; it’d be totally cool to see him get grubby. (I loved the episode where Wendy got under his skin – it really gave us our first look at all the nasty stuff roiling under that debonair surface.)

      I’m glad you’re a fan of Eli and Matt, too; I think they’re awesome. They make such a fun team! I hear (from Kiki, who knows everything) that it will be a three week break. That’s a long lonely time with no Good Wife!

  3. Angee says:

    Hi E! Great recap as always. Your recaps make my week complete. This was a very satisfying episode to have before a break. You know I kind of hope Alicia is ready to move on from Will and Peter. I would love to see her stand on her own and I would love more scenes of her with Kalinda! I want to see more Alicia-centered episodes, where Alicia is the focus and not just a critical bystander. I hope with Derrick Bond gone we can get more Alicia. I agree I don’t think we have seen the last of Glenn Childs. Have a great break!

    • E says:

      Angee, it WAS a really satisfying episode to have before a break. I’m really not feeling like Will is worthy of Alicia at this point and I totally agree, I wish she would stand on her own for a while. But even more, I wonder where the Alicia focused episodes have gone? Did JM ask for a break?

      Talk to you in a few weeks! Thank you as always for being so supportive and so great to talk Good Wife with!

  4. Kiki says:

    Hello E!!! 😀 Great recap as always!!

    I thought the episode, was amazing!! Top 5 of the season! Excellent writing, just perfect!! So much intensity, I was on the edge of my seat the whole hour!

    I agree though, the show lives in the gray area, but I sooo love it! makes it so complex and interesting! But you get to thinking, is Alicia too idealist? would she get tired of being in a place like that?

    Also, so true about both men, they are both just not good enough for Alicia. I mean its obviously Alicia was disappointed with Will, because she kind of saw him as a better/different men than Peter. But she is realizing that in a way they are not so different, they are a like. And you can tell that scares her, cause what scares her is power and the abuse of it. They are both disappointing her, because they are abusing their power. Maybe the writers are setting up to have Alicia alone by the end of the season? thats what Julianna Margulies wants for Alicia’s character? (hey at the end of the day is Team Alicia for me ;))

    As for C/K I too found the kiss sweet. But I agree, it did feel like he was talking advantage of her. And she looked so sad and scared, I did not like that. We will see how it develops, I like C/K just not sure if K is the type to be in a relationship, that just not her style.

    So great review hun, like always!! Now lets brace ourselves for a 3 week hiatus 😦
    Next episode is March 22nd and its suppose to be a GREAT one 😀

    • E says:

      Hey, Kiki! A great episode for the show, but a mixed one for romance, right?

      I keep coming back to the Georgetown Law motto. I think Alicia needs to feel like it’s all serving some ultimately positive end, that she’s involved in something which is at least occasionally meaningful. She needs a job, and she loves the challenge of the work, but she wants to feel like at least sometimes, there’s justice at the end of it all, even if you have to wade through some muck to get there.

      So, yeah, I think she had a kind of romanticized view of Will which is now gone. Hurrah, Team Alicia, and standing on her own two feet!

      C/K – I guess I was hoping that the two of them were such good friends, that they had each other’s backs so clearly, that if something happened between them it wouldn’t feel like it was diminishing her. I’m with you, I think it’s just to hard for Kalinda to be in a relationship, at least for now. That kind of bums me out, but there it is.

      Maybe that’s part of the thing with Alicia, too; she still hasn’t recovered from Peter’s infidelity to trust herself enough to make choices.

      I’ve heard a couple things which are vague spoilers for the episode on the 22nd and I’m bracing myself for that even more than the hiatus! It’s going to be nuts, I think. I’m sure going to miss talking to you over the break, though!

      • Kiki says:

        Yup a great episode for the show but not so much for romance hahaha! Well like I said before, TGW is so good it does not really even need the romance or the triangle is good all on its on 😉 😀

        Also Team Alica hurrah! I loved how feisty she was, she rocks! I cannot help but love her! She is just so good! Also good point about Alicia yet not trusting herself enough, Peter’s infidelity really rocked her to her core and made her revalue herself.

        And yea I agree about C/K their friendship is so rich, I wish they do not ruin it. I feel sad for K as well, but thats who she is, makes her that much interesting and a mystery 😀

        Also episode 22, sounds likes is going to be really really CRAZY!
        I am brazing myself for it too!! I am scared haha

        Also, I am totally gonna miss talking to you as well during the break, maybe we can email 😉 you never did responded to my comment a few weeks ago, when I told you I was giving up on AP, maybe you can tell me what you feel hahaha…I am a little better now, but still very apprehensive about AP.

        Well we will make it through this hiatus together haha 😀

  5. marilyn says:

    Really enjoyed this epi..LOVED the humour..yiddish expression alte kockers nearly killed me.David Lee..totally agree.
    Like everyone totally sick of Blake and do think they are almost done with him, but while everyone agrees, all the promo stuff highlighted B/K. Derrick was a big disappointment..not sure if it was the actor or the writing..just never came together.
    I didn’t love Rita W…but I thought the job offer was sowing a seed for the future for Alicia…not with Viola, but to show her how far she has come and that LG does not have to be the end of her work journey.

    I think we are going to see more black of both Peter and Will,more so Peter,as I do think they are moving to have Alicia by herself ..and I hope I am wrong, but not so sure how much Chris Noth will be around next season.Also I didn’t really think Petter intentionaly involved Zach…but he sure gave him pos reinforcement for doing so.
    thanks as always for your recaps…do not know how you do it!

  6. Great review 😉
    I don’t think Cary was trying, even remotely, to take advantage of Kalinda. And it’s not just because the way he kissed her (politely, respectfully, sweetly, etc), but it’s mainly because he had many chances to take advantage of her “before” and he “never” did: he just helped her and never asked for a payoff. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m conviced that he “genuinely” like her.
    As you said the “kiss” was sweet and chaste, and he kissed her after she explained why she send him the COA… I bet he was wondering if she was just trying to use the COA to play him and get info and not just because she likes “him”. But her words seemed really honest and he seemed happy to know it was just a friendly gesture and not an “expedient”.

    • E says:

      Thanks, Falling Skies, and thanks for commenting!

      I don’t think Cary was overstepping purposefully. I totally think he genuinely likes and appreciates Kalinda for who she is, even when she’s beating him at a case. And I was so rooting for them to happen. I just fear that any kind of real romantic emotional contact freaks Kalinda out too much; that look on her face was so sad.

  7. Heather says:

    Thanks for the Recap E
    I was thinking about where A/W were last year. You know when Will was fighting to save the life of that couples unborn baby, when he was feeling like he didn’t do enough to help and they kissed. Contrast to now.
    I was thinking about some of the things I miss about last season – Childs attempting to hurt Alicia and her family and Alicia getting the better of him. I miss some of the Alicia focus and I miss seeing Peter, and Will in angst. I like this season, but just want more ya know?

    • E says:

      Gosh, Heather, I’m so with you. They’ve done some fantastic things this season, but I really miss the focus on Alicia.

      And yeah, this is near the time last season where Heart aired; I can’t help but think about how that kiss happened because Will cared so deeply about the case, and about helping that family, and that moves Alicia so deeply. So that’s why it’s so sad to see him now.

      Of course, he didn’t look happy telling her what would happen when Sleuthway got into China. In this case, he’d totally given up on making a difference.

      Childs was pretty chilling last season, wasn’t he? We’ve gotten very little lately of Peter’s life impacting on Alicia’s, excepting the bit about Zach and the alleged abortion, and that all came from Wendy. I love the other characters, but I do wish they’d shift the focus back at bit more! So yeah, I totally know.

      (I don’t think we’re ever going to get enough Peter. I really wish he was more committed to the show!)

  8. Kiki says:


    just wow…..

  9. […] lifting his hand. Will walks into a little kitchenette I’m not sure we’ve ever seen.  Elderly partner Howard is there, picking through the baked goods,  and Will greets him.  “Can’t understand […]

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