The Good Wife: Ham Sandwich

E: God I love this show.  This mean, vicious, brutal, wonderful show.

So, one of my favorite authors has this great rule for causing drama.  Think of the worst thing you could possibly do to a character.  Then, do it.  Last season it became apparent pretty early on that the writing staff of The Good Wife adore this approach.  Poor Alicia was beset from pretty much every possible angle.  This season, however, she’s recovered a bit of her footing.  Though disappointed romantically, she’s found a way to make her life work for her.  To her battered senses, it’s been stable enough.

Well, not anymore.  This one  – the big secret that was revealed this week, to us though not yet to Alicia – has the potential to knock her down like we’ve maybe never seen.

Instead of the usual “previously on The Good Wife” scenes, we begin with Cary’s face. He’s explaining to someone (and to us) that they’re testifying in front of a grand jury.  The witness is not a target, but could have a lawyer present if desired. I understand, says a male voice, who is revealed to be none other than our very least favorite character ever, Blake Calamar.  He spells his name for the record, just so we don’t forget it.  He’s wearing a suit, which looks really wrong, like he’s dressing up in his dad’s clothes.

Blech.

“Have you and I ever met before?” Cary asks, eyebrows raised. I love Cary in sardonic mode. “Yes, we have,” Blake admits, “when you searched my apartment and threatened me.”  No, actually they’d threatened each other a few times before that when Cary noticed Blake was following him.  But I guess Blake doesn’t want to get into that.  He twitches uncomfortably, adjusting his jacket, but still as smug and self-justified as ever.  Cary watches him with amusement spread over his features. “Have we kissed and made up?”  Ha.  Not really, huffs Blake.  “But I intend to tell the truth here anyway.”  “Because you’ve been granted immunity,” Cary clarifies. But no, St. Smugness would tell the truth without any incentive, even “a little immunity never hurt.”  He shoots this aside to the jury, who seem to find his boyscout act adorable.  I have trouble imagining this because I find him so insufferable, but there it is.

Glenn Childs, who’s been watching over the proceedings as if that were a normal thing for someone of his stature and responsibility to be doing, pulls Cary aside to ask him about the line of questioning.  “I’m showing how he has knowledge of criminal activity,” Cary says. “They don’t give a rat’s ass,” Glenn responds dryly, “so get on with it.”  And we do, establishing that Blake is no longer employed at Lockhart/Gardner & Bond.  As Cary describes Bond’s arrival and ouster, we see a flashback to Bond angrily departing his office.  As Blake names Will and Diane, we see them looking satisfied and closing Diane’s office door.

Cary wants to know what other work he’s been doing in Chicago.  “Supplying support” now and in the past to Lemond Bishop, Blake admits to the backdrop of a nattily attired Bishop standing at the L/G&B reception desk.  “And what is Mr. Bishop’s business?”  He has several, Blake explains, tenting his fingers – dry cleaners, health clubs…  “Isn’t he also the top dealer of illegal drugs in Cook County?”  Oh, but sweet honest boyscout Blake wouldn’t know anything about that. (Just so we do, and to continue the flashback rhythm, we get a clip of a drug transaction as Cary speaks.)  “And didn’t you also work for a time protecting his interests in prostitution?”  The flashback this time is to the moment Kalinda caught him hanging out with street walkers. This is an unusual choice for them, integrating the scenes we need to be reminded of instead of a “previously on,” and it feels weird to me.  “I was a part of his security detail.  I just went where he told me.”  Riiiiiight. Childs looks grim. “And you brought his business to Lockhart/Gardner?”  “Yes, his legal business.”

“Let’s turn to the target of this grand jury.  How do you know her?”  “Kalinda Sharma?  She’s an investigator at Lockhart/Gardner.”  Cary looks pained. There’s something very tortured and Victorian about Cary having to prosecute Kalinda. Now, granted, he’s the one who brought up how good she was at her job, but not because he wanted her hamstrung; because he thought the State’s Attorney’s office investigators should be working as hard. So anyway, it’s twisted and fitting that he should be stuck with this job.  “This is where you were witness to her illegal activities?”  Yes.

Back at Lockhart/Gardner, the activities going on are of a different kind.  Security is escorting out a short, pale faced employee.  Looks like we have a bloodbath of Derrick’s people going on.  Alicia watches him go, looking awkward and a little sorry.  Kalinda sidles up to her.  “It’s a new day,” she notes. “You sound… sarcastic,” Alicia says wearily. “No,” Kalinda says, wide eyed, “that was me being genuine.”  Who can tell?  Alicia considers this. “Bond is gone, Blake is gone, so what’s wrong?”  She’s turned to study Kalinda’s face. Kalinda looks up at her, a bit plaintive. “What makes you think something’s wrong?”  She puts the lie to those words almost immediately, however. “Ever get the feeling that something bad is going to happen?” You and every character in the Star Wars movies, honey. Alicia’s face breaks into an enormous smile. “All the time,” she laughs.

And, yeah, that pretty much sums up Alicia, doesn’t it?  The entire time we’ve know her, the poor woman has just been waiting for the next bad thing to happen.  Oh, you poor honey.  Bad luck isn’t finished with you yet…

A pacing Will tells a conference room full of assembled extras (er, lawyers) that in this vulnerable time, they need to pretend to clients that losing Bond makes them stronger instead of weaker.  You have to make sure all your clients are still on board, Diane adds.  If anyone looks wobbly, let us know and we’ll put on a big show.  Go forth and retain!

Somehow, the task has fallen to Alicia to pitch to – of all people, seriously – Lemond Bishop.  Does he count as her client, because he approached her the first time?  Remember the paper bag in her office of cash?  “It’s about a law firm with a sphere of influence,” she says, flourishing her hands.  It’s about DC and Chicago.  No, Bishop replies as he lounges, it’s about meeting in the biggest conference room.  Lovely.  Well, he does like the trappings of influence, Lord Bishop does.  Message received.  And like magic, here we are in the larger conference room, with Diane in attendance and Will arriving to curry favor, cutting right through Alicia’s pitch yet again.  Derrick wanted me to go with him, Bishop smirks.  Will, of course, wants him to stay.  “And we,” Will embellishes this sentence with finger guns, which is hilarious, “want to do everything we can to make you happy.”

“Are we happy, Dex?”  Bishop asks a young man, currently pacing the conference room. “We’re getting there,” Dex confirms, and is rewarded by an enormous smile.  Mike Colter is so well cast as Bishop; he manages to be cultured and predatory at the same time.    “Well good,” Diane nods, smiling, “because we’re here for you.”  Ah, how low the lofty have fallen, Diane.  I thought you weren’t swayed by all his pot scented cash.  “Good to know,” Bishop smiles, leaning forward, elbows on the table and hands clasped, “because I do have something… unusual I want to ask of you.”  Will and Diane exchange a look of horror; Josh Charles does a particularly excellent job letting us see how alarmed Will is while still putting up his game face. Bishop swings his gaze over to Alicia. “And her,” he adds, much to Alicia’s consternation.

Matt the hipster pollster slides some papers across Eli’s desk.  Eli, of course, is on the phone. “Look, Diane, I’m in no danger of leaving you guys.” Shouldn’t it be Alicia who’s calling him?  “I never liked Bond, and… HOLY!”  Oh, Eli, how I love you.  Read the polling numbers, did you?  “Look at the comparison,” Matt encourages.  Eli shoves Diane off the phone as quickly as can be without actually hanging up on her. “NO no no no – we just closed within a point of Wendy Scott Carr.”  Hee!  Well, it is a new day, isn’t it?  Looks like they didn’t expect to pick up that many of Childs’ voters.  “We’re going to win!” Matt exults to Eli’s distress. “Don’t you say that!  Get out of the room and come in again!” Ha!  Awesome.  I love that he gave Matt the hand.  Eli apparently also moonlights as a highly superstitious old woman.  Get the DDC on the phone, the joyous campaign manager barks. “They’re here,” a passing assistant replies.  “They’re here? Who’s here?”  “Frank Landau, of the Democratic Committee.”  Matt trots in and out of the door frame.  Heh.    “And the mountain comes to Mohammed,” Matt intones coolly. “Well, this should be fun.”

Frank – remember bald, sweaty Frank? – strides in, tossing his briefcase in front of him.  “Eli Gold!” Franks reaches out his hand, and Eli shakes, futilely attempting to introduce Matt (whose last name turns out to be Becket), but Frank has no time for such lesser persons. “So you did it.  You got rid of Childs.”  Eli fakes modesty, but Mr. Landau is supremely uninterested. “We’ll support you – we’ll come on board.  But we’ll need a couple of guarantees from you and Peter.  We have a couple of people on Childs staff, we need to make sure they stay…”  Something breaks Frank’s concentration and he looks down.”What are you doing?”  “Nothing,” says Eli, as he loosens his belt.  Frank goes on.  “You’re not outsiders anymore, so… Eli, what are you doing?”  Eli’s got his back turned toward Frank now, as Matt smirks in the background. “Lowering my pants,” Eli bites. “Why?”  Really?  Frank, you are so slow for not seeing this coming.  Didn’t Eli unbuckle his pants practically the first time we met him?  Fine, Frank’s probably used to more deferential treatment, but come on.  Ah, what joy. It’s been much too long since we’ve seen you offer to disrobe, Eli.  “So you can kiss my ass,” Eli explains.

Frank is displeased. “Do you think I’d get a warmer welcome from Wendy?”  “Sure you will,” Eli snorts, “right up until the day they get elected.”  Yep.  That’s why Frank is here.  Old boy network, and hurrah to more of the same!  Now, we know Wendy is not above rolling around in the mud, but it makes me like her more thinking how afraid of her the establishment is.  “What do you want?”  Eli squints. “I’ll think about it, and give you a call,” he nods.  He’s got to be loving this chance to toy with the people who tried to shove them out of the race before.

Lemond Bishop sits in Diane’s office, his legs wide apart.  He’s staring at the rug.  “Just to be specific, Mr. Bishop, we need to be cautious in the way we discuss your … street level holdings.”  It’s Will who speaks, but you can tell from the women’s faces it’s what they’re all thinking.  Bishop raises his face, which is scrunched up in pain. “My wife is divorcing me,” he says.  Behind Will, Alicia cocks her head in surprise.  Diane leans forward to express her condolences.  “She had a divorce lawyer call. I’m embarrassed to say, I was surprised.”  Alicia’s distracted from this tale of woe by a man handing a white envelope to Kalinda, out in the hallway.  “I love my wife.  I love my kids. But my business sometimes takes me away from home.”  He nods, and Diane nods back, sympathetically. “Of course,” nods Will.  “I hope… there’s some way to work this out,” Bishop continues. “It’s better to be careful,” Will replies quickly, looking alert and protective.  “Yes,” Bishop agrees.  Alicia watches Kalinda glance at whatever’s in the envelope and toss her arms out in disgust.  Bishop’s afraid that his business will make a divorce messy and complicated. “We’re a full service firm, sir.  We’re in your corner.”  Bishop rises, rejuvenated.  He sees himself out so that Will and Diane can snicker into their hands. Drug dealers get divorced too!  They assign Alicia and David Lee to the case.

“So politics is the politics, but the business of this office still continues,” Glenn Childs tells his assembled minions from his usual perch on the State’s Attorney’s desk.  “And don’t worry – all salary and job commitments will be honored.”  “For the lucky few,” Geneva Pine mutters under her breath. Care to share that with the entire class, Miss Pine?  Heh, Geneva Pine is not afraid of being called out in front of the class. “Sure,” she says, folding her arms across her chest, “the new State’s Attorney cleans house, you know that.”  Interesting.  Didn’t you get the impression that most of the staff had also worked with Peter?   There’s just no money in the budget for anyone to start over, Glenn says. “And every person in this room has a commitment from this office.  And you’re a survivor – are you telling me that none of those sick days from last month were spent interviewing?”  Heh.  The assembled minions laugh, and even Geneva is fairly good humored about being called out.  For a pompous, paranoid twit, Childs has a nice rapport with his people.   (For the record, though, didn’t Geneva once express her support for Peter to Alicia?)

“You’re wrong about one thing, though,” Cary says, moving forward to meet his mentor as the others melt away, “not everyone in this room has a commitment.”  Your salary bump is coming, Childs promises, but the movement feels slow to Cary. “I’ll get it moving fast.  I want friends in this office, Cary.  I won’t screw you over.”  Oh, interesting.  Why does he want friends here?  What’s his end game?  Contacts for when he’s working for a firm?  “Just don’t screw me over,” Glenn adds.

Alicia and Kalinda review Lemond Bishop’s financial state.  Things are not going well. Kalinda’s distracted, and Alicia has to call her attention back to the task at hand – seeing how the drug trade is all that’s propping up Bishop’s legal businesses.  Kalinda put s a bottle of beer in front of Alicia, who demurs.  She’s trying to abstain.  (Good for you!)  “My daughter.  She thinks I drink to much.”  “You know what your problem is?”  “I don’t drink enough?” Alicia answers, still concentrating on the financial records. “You didn’t get your tubes tied.”  Both women giggle.  Kalinda tosses something in front of Alicia, still smiling.   Alicia stares at the white envelope as if there were snakes in it. “I saw you get this upstairs, what’s in it?”  Just open it, Kalinda replies, so she does.  Kalinda watches Alicia’s face as she unfolds the papers.

“Oh my God,”  Alicia breathes.”Yep.  It’s my grand jury summons.”  Alicia stares at her friend, who tosses back some more beer. “Kalinda, why’re you being so calm?”  Kalinda sets down her beer carefully. “I’m not.  It’s just, it’s been a long time coming.”  What has, Alicia wonders.  “State’s Attorney thinks too many people leak to me,” Kalinda explains.  Well, that’s been a long time in the making, maybe, but Blake setting you up for attempted murder has been a little less so.  This is happening Wednesday, Alicia notes, and you need to call a lawyer. “Yeah, I did,” Kalinda nods.  “Who?”  “You.” She smiles slightly.

Aw.  The girls, as a team.  Love that, even if Alicia’s still horrified.

Skate boards, crowd surfing and statues can only mean one thing – handsome Jimmy Patrick is back to fill Grace’s mind with his own unique brand of  Christianity. Fact of the day?  “Jesus was black.  There’s goes another Sunday school lesson down the drain.”  There’s a thoughtfully supplied drain sound affect to accompany his words. Sigh. “All those preachers saying Jesus was as white as Billy Graham?  Nope.  Sorry.”  Well, I’m with you that far, anyway.  Patrick raises his forearm, which – for the record – is extremely light. “See this skin,” he says, stroking down to his elbow, “he was darker than me.  Middle Eastern.”  He nods fatuously.  Well, that part doesn’t absolutely follow, but he is very light skinned.  Grace starts giggling at the shock of it all, as Patrick continues “That’s right.  The son of God looked like Chris Rock, not Lance Armstrong.”  Wait, Chris Rock is Middle Eastern?  I don’t get it.  And for the record, Lance Armstrong probably has darker skin than Jimmy Patrick.  Just saying.

From Grace’s happy face, we switch to a monitor bearing the likeness of morose Glenn Childs rather than handsome Jimmy Patrick.  Childs is throwing his weight behind Wendy, and gee, what a surprise that he would pick anyone but Peter.  Still, Eli’s pissed, and throws some papers at his enormous tv.  “You need to change your campaign strategy, Eli.  You know it.” This bit of truth comes from grumpy Frank Landau.  Indeed, a two person race has different calculus.  “We were never going to get him anyway.”  That’s for damn sure!  “Doesn’t matter,” Frank insists dryly, “look at the polls.” “You’re not counting the youth vote,” the hipster pollster disagrees, but Frank’s set in his assessment. Wendy has the black vote and the liberal whites, so Peter needs the blue collar whites.  “You mean the racist whites?” Matt snarks. “Your politics is getting in the way of your polling,” Frank replies, and man, that’s the most perfect statement of what’s wrong with the process of politics I’ve ever heard.  “You need blue collar whites, soccer moms, you need a new message – bring back the old Chicago.”  Ugh. What Chicago is that?  The old Chicago of crime and corruption?  Wouldn’t that particular slogan play right into Wendy’s clean sweeping hands? Not to mention seem pretty damn inconsistent and pretty late after his whole “embracing his inner convict,” youth oriented strategy.

“Why not ‘Save Our Neighborhoods’?”  Matt suggests, his irritation injected into his tone. “Sure, but I know you think that’s obvious, and unhip.”  “And racist,” Matt adds.  They’re votes, Frank insists, and if you can’t get them, you lose.  Well, indeed, but how far do you pander to get them?  Is the good you’ll do in office worth the harm you might do to get there?  Are there some lines even a politician won’t cross?  Frank sums it up.  “Read the projections.  You need to take the black faces off the website.”

Ugh.  Double ugh. Eli and Matt look at each other, clearly upset.  “So what’re you gonna do, Eli?”  Frank asks.

“Look at me,” pleads the soft, loving voice of drug kingpin Lemond Bishop.  Tiny depressions appear on Mrs. Bishop’s face, just above her eyebrows; she’s pained. “I made a mistake.  I said I’m sorry.” Woah.  Where have we heard those words before?  I thought her leaving was this shocking thing.  The stress marks on her face get deeper, but she speaks softly. “It doesn’t change anything.  You slept with her.”  Well, okay. This sounds pretty much exactly like Peter and Alicia.  “She didn’t mean anything,” Lemond contends, his voice taking on a wheedling tone.  Well, if she didn’t mean anything, then you shouldn’t have slept with her and blown up your marriage for nothing, now, should you?  When will cheaters learn that this is not a good defense?  “I’m in love with you.”  He’s hunched over the table; she’s leaning back, her arms crossed defensively. “You don’t cheat on the person you’re in love with.”

Lemond sticks his neck out, pleading. “I said it won’t happen again.”  The camera pans out so we see that the Bishops are in the smaller L/G conference room along with their legal advisers. Bored David Lee plays with his smart phone, and Alicia’s looking embarrassed.  The young fellow with the slicked back hair who’s representing Mrs. Bishop just looks stiff.  “It’ll happen again,” she says, soft but firm, her voice low, “because the easiest thing in the world is for you to say it won’t happen again.” Lee, who’s now playing with his pen, rolls his eyes.  He’s so not interested in the emotional stuff.  “Let’s just ask these lawyers to leave,” Bishop pleads. “No,” she says shortly, “let’s begin.”

And into the breach goes David Lee. He suggests mediation, one veto a piece for mediators. “At alternating sites?” Mrs. B’s young lawyer stipulates. “You mean in your mother’s living room?”  My, David Lee, that’s so school yard of you.  The tall young man – who looks a bit like Christian Bale, actually,  being rather spare and angular with prominent cheekbones – glares up from his legal pad and gives a somewhat unfriendly smile. “We rent space from a legal firm in the Loop.”  Lovely, Lee replies, asking for his card. “I imagine you’re too new to be in the phone book.”  (I kind of want to make a crack about only old people using phone books anymore, don’t you?)  The young Christian Bale hands over his card; he and the extremely skinny Mrs Bishop leave as Lemond glowers at them.

“What do you want, Mr. Bishop?” Lee asks his client.  That’s almost the right question.  It’s more like, what does he want that you can give him?  He throws up his hands. “I want her not to leave me.” “Sometimes the best way to put out a fire is to starve it of oxygen.  In a divorce, oxygen is money.  If she doesn’t get your money, she won’t leave.”  Does he really believe that?  Alicia doesn’t.  That’s not why she stayed.  But I guess not all people are like Alicia.  Would he even want her to stay if it’s just for the money?  Now that’s a question I’d like to have him answer. Also, I’d love to hear him ask Alicia how a cheating man gets his wife to stick around and hear her answer. If I were Bishop, I’d be asking for her advice rather than Lee’s. “Do what you need to do,” Bishops says instead, and leaves.  The two remaining lawyers exhale.  “I guess it’s sweet – a drug kingpin in love.”  Yeah, maybe.  Alicia heads off without comment.  Lee squints at the card.

“She really had a hard time finding a lawyer – this guy’s barely out of law school.”  Alicia turns (and Jane Austen famously put it) to look at the question. “It’s not the safest thing for him to do, helping her divorce Bishop.”  Well, yeah, that’s true.  It makes me like him, slicked back hair and all.  David Lee wonders where Kalinda is with info on Bishop’s financial state:  Alicia replies that all his holdings (which also include golf clubs) are on the verge of chapter 11.  “He’s propping them up with his other info.”  “Good,” he leers, “let her try to go after his drug trade. That’s a battle I am prepared to win.”

Alicia sits back down with Kalinda.  It looks like it’s night time.  Alicia pats her leather folder. “Whatever they say, you plead the fifth.”  Kalinda doesn’t respond, so Alicia breaks it down for her. “The only reason I agreed to be your lawyer, is if you do as I say.” Kalinda sort of nods. “They get you talking, they win.  You defend yourself, they win.”   Oh, like she’s ever going to be silent.  Not a chance. “Okay,” Kalinda spits out unwillingly, and Alicia opens up her notes.  “The questions are designed to make you look bad.  So no matter what, you say…”  Kalinda – who so is not the kid in school who would fill in the blank for the teacher – takes a moment before replying on cue “I refuse to answer on grounds that it may incriminate me.”  Sigh.  Is there anything as incriminating as pleading the fifth?  I’m sure Alicia knows what she’s talking about, though.  “Good. Now, a Chicago grand jury would indite a ham sandwich,” Alicia explains flatly.  Ha!  I love it.  Episode title for the win!  Seriously, I think this might be my favorite title ever.   I’ve been wondering for weeks what on earth that sandwich might symbolize.  “Don’t say a thing. Don’t make their job easier.”  Alicia’s animated, but Kalinda stares at the table, looking defeated, and that just hurts my heart.

Alicia has the same response. “Kalinda, what’s going on?  I can’t help you unless I know!” Kalinda finally looks up. “It’s about Blake.”  Her brown eyes are open wide. “Dr. Booth from last year.”  Yes, Alicia, the psychiatrist from the case against big pharma.  “Blake broke into his office and beat him up. That’s how we won.”  Alicia’s aghast.  “He set me up by leaving my fingerprints on a glass.”  Intriguing that they’re still empaneling the grand jury when Cary literally knows the glass was planted, but of course pursuing criminal action against Kalinda was never Cary’s idea.  Why would Blake do that, Alicia wonders, along with the rest of us to whom his hostility makes little sense. Kalinda sighs. “He’s not a very good person.”  Alicia bites her lip, nodding in frustration at that bit of not-news. She measures her words carefully. “I don’t want to pry,” she begins, “but you have to trust me.”  Kalinda nods. “I do trust you.”  “More than usual,” Alicia says emphatically.   It’s Kalinda’s turn to look down at her lap. “I’m not, um…” She licks her lips, trying to find the right expression. “It’s not in my nature to talk, Alicia.  I’m not hiding anything.” I hate to sound like House, but everyone’s hiding something (or, as he would say, lying), and that’s more true for Kalinda than most.  Alicia studies the conference table, yet again.  “Can you keep me out of jail?”

Well, I was wrong.  It’s not night time; Pastor Isaiah stands in front of the fireplace in the Florrick’s sunny living room.  “I’m home!” Grace calls out, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone there beside her father’s spiritual adviser, waiting for his moment with the candidate.  She greets him with a friendly smile.   “I’m Grace,” she introduces herself.  He knows, of course.  You can see the wheels turning in her head; here’s a perfect opportunity to talk to an adult who won’t shoot her down and would actually enter into her interests.

“Do you think Jesus was black?” she blurts out. He starts in surprise, but then considers. “Do I?  Yeah. He was dark skinned, being a Middle Eastern Jew.”

Okay, seriously?  Yes, I think he was black because he was a Middle Eastern Jew?  What in heaven’s name does that mean?  How are those two things related?  I’m half Middle Eastern.  Am I black and nobody’s told me?  Are my Jewish friends black and no one’s told them? This line of reasoning – and it’s not a new one – has always confused me.  Jesus (as I understand it through my western civ and art classes) has been portrayed as not just white but light haired since Charlemagne, who wanted to give his Holy Roman Empire a sort of Christian credence, to suggest that his rule was ordained by God.  Charlemagne wanted to link his political ascendancy to Christ’s religious one.  In a way, that’s also very Good Wife-y.  I think that the portrait of the blond, blue eyed Jesus is most likely (from a historical standpoint) to be completely wrong.  But it doesn’t make more sense to say he was black.  What is so wrong with admitting that Jesus was Semitic?  I find this line of reasoning very puzzling.  I don’t mean to offend anyone (however you picture Jesus); it genuinely doesn’t make sense to me.

Alright.  Anyway.  Sorry for the ranting.  Back to the show!

“Doesn’t it make you mad when people picture him as white?”  Pastor Isaiah isn’t going to be drawn into judging. “I think people want to think that Jesus looked like them.”  (And hey – maybe that’s my bias.  Maybe this whole thing bugs me because I think he looks like me, and what’s wrong with that?)  Grace is still in the judgey phase of life, where you figure out who you are by seeing where other people must be wrong. “But isn’t that bad?” “Sometimes,” Pastor Isaiah agrees. “Sometimes not.”  Grace, fascinated, puts down her school things.  “Do you believe in global warming?”  He certainly does.  Why does she think that Christians don’t believe in global warming?  That is so confusing.  Is that one of those weird places where conservative politics get justified by a certain type of conservative Christianity?  Is this what people who aren’t religious think of us?

“What about politics?” she wonders, shrugging off her coat. “Are you a Democrat?”  “I try not to answer that question,” Isaiah answers her like a politician.  “Yeah, but you’re an African American, so it makes sense to be a Democrat.”  Ooh, stereotype much, Grace?  On the other hand, I guess it’s impressive she’s ballsy enough to say that to his face.  His mouth hangs open for a second. “I think a lot of things that make sense are not true.”  Excellent.

Into this intriguing conversation (and I really would love to hear Grace talk to Isaiah about religion more deeply) the growling voice of Eli Gold bursts like a bombshell.  He’s having quite an unhappy phone call with someone or other.  The man’s body follows his voice into the room. “Pastor Isaiah, I’m so sorry, Peter told me to tell you he can’t meet today.”  Ah.  Right.  What I want to know is whether or not Peter knows he’s canceling this?  Blast Chris Noth for not giving this show his full attention.  Bah.  He probably does.  Peter can cave to what he considers political necessities as much as the next man.  Isaiah’s gracious and understanding. “Oh  It’s you,” Eli notes of Grace, quite the contrast to Isaiah’s willingness to treat the girl as a real person. (Of course, Eli treats plenty of adults that way, too, with deliberate and unwarranted contempt.)  “We were just talking,” Grace makes small talk.  “How nice,” Eli replies insincerely, but she’s not willing to be brushed aside. “Do you believe Jesus was black?”

Ha ha ha ha ha.  Man, I love Eli’s face here so much.  His jaw drops and wiggles around, and his eyebrows – oh, I just love his eyebrows.  “We thought he was black.  Or dark skinned.  He was a Middle Eastern Jew, so it makes sense.”  Ah.  So she can talk African-American stereotypes with Pastor Isaiah, and she can tell Eli what Jews should look like?  Nice.  We think it makes sense.  Of course you do. “Sure,” he nods as if trying to pacify the inmates in the asylum, “he must have been something, right?”  Then he asks Grace to leave. “I liked talking to you,” she smiles to Isaiah.  “I liked talking to you.”  Well, that’s all good.  You should do this again.

“Peter asked me to tell you that in the last few weeks of the campaign, I’m going to need him full time, so could he have a rain check on your spiritual guidance days?”  Eli’s not very conciliatory when he says this; I wonder if it’s because he knows it’s distasteful?  Isaiah is clearly twigging to the problem; he finally takes his hands out of his pockets. Have I mentioned recently how gorgeous and beautifully fitting the mens clothes are on this show?   The tailoring is just stunning.  I can’t think of a better dressed cast on tv, and considering it’s almost all business suits, that’s a particularly impressive feat.  Lemond Bishop’s shirts and ties in this episode alone…  Gorgeous.  “Is that what Peter wants?”  “Oh, and, the prayer breakfast.  My mistake.  We have a scheduling conflict.  Peter has a speech at his son’s school.”  We see Grace hiding in the hall and listening in.  She knows something’s wrong, too.  “You understand.”  Isaiah pulls his coat up on his shoulders, resentful. “I think I do.”  “It’s just until the election.” Eli shrugs, and yes, he definitely looks guilty.  “After that the schedule opens up.”  “I’m sure it will.”  Grace yells out a goodbye, and Isaiah answers her.

The mutually agreed upon mediator begins a session with the Bishops and their lawyers. “Please, call me Fred,” he enthuses.  He’s got a sort of hippie, lovey dovey aura to him, which is really amusing.  He’s also tremendously wrinkled for a guy who isn’t that old.  “I want to assure both sides that I’m here to help you reach a yes.”  Is there a yes possible when one person wants a divorce and the other one doesn’t?  “Are you kidding?” Mrs. Bishop cries out. “This is crazy,” agrees the lawyer, “you expect us to believe Mr. Bishop’s almost broke?”  “You can believe what you want,” David agrees, “but he is almost broke.”  “Before we move on to specifics,” Fred interrupts, “let’s share a few thought on what we want to get.”  Mrs. Bishop wants money. “I helped you build that business.   I put my life on hold for it.”  “And what business would that be, m’am?”  David Lee snarks. “Oh, come on.  If she goes to jail for it, he goes to jail for it.”  The conversation devolves into threats and accusations of threats, and Fred the wrinkly mediator raises his hands.  The words “stupid mediation” float up.  “Now, it’s not wrong to express feelings, but let’s all take a breath.”

Mrs. B’s not having it. “You owe me half,” she insists. “Half of what – chapter eleven?” Lee snorts.  “We’d like to call a witness,” Christian Bale says. “It’s our right.”  Hee.  Oooh, you’re so assertive, and you really know the law!  And we jump right to it.  His witness?  The very nervous looking FBI agent who’s been investigating Bishop.  Nice.  Lee thinks it’s a joke.  The agent and Bishop greet each other shame facedly.  It’s hilarious. Christian Bale asks for a recent valuation of the drug empire.  David Lee wants it clear that this is the “conjecture of a man who would arrest my client if he had any proof.” Well, indeed, good point. Fred wants it clear that they can talk about uncomfortable things; he’s not going to arrest or subpoena anyone. He just wants info, and so he wants the agent to talk.  But when the valuation comes in at 88 million dollars, Fred almost chokes on his good will. His bug eyed double take is pretty fantastic. “Oh, now you’re dreaming,” Lee snarls. “The FBI doesn’t dream” the agent retorts sternly. “Oh really?   What were you doing on September 11th?” Ouch!  “That was not us, that was the CIA.”  Oh, dude.  Nice work derailing the conversation completely, David.  If it was your aim for mediation not to work, you’re on the right track.  Fred has to stand to prevent Lee from crawling across the table.

Next up, Dex. “You’ve kept the books for how long, Mr. Roja?” Alicia wonders.   “Three years,” he says, “but I wouldn’t exactly call them books. I keep count.”    “And is 88 million a correct valuation?”  He laughs and then whistles. “I wish!  That may be what the FBI sees coming in, but there’s breakage.  You know, how much product and cash just walks out of the door.”  Mrs. Bishop’s young lawyer looks a bit queasy. ‘We have payments that we have to make, regularly.”  Um, okay.  Whatever.  Fred almost asks a question about this, but thinks better of it. “And the economy,” Alicia wants to know?  Contrary to what we might think, economic downturns are hard on drug lords, too.  Well, sure they are.  Less disposable income, especially from their “high end” customers.  So what’s his estimate?  “Three million a year growth.” Mrs. Bishop thinks that’s ridiculous, and I don’t doubt she’s right.  Even after paying for staff, supplies, and “break downs,” how can  88 millions turn into 3?  Plus, 3 million growth?

“You calling me a liar?” Dex asks dangerously. They overlap, and when Fred tries to interrupt them, Mrs. B serenely tells him to shut up.  Ha.

The scenes switches again, though we’re still in mediation.  Now Kalinda is picking listlessly through an artistic arrangement of m&m’s in a footed triffle bowl.  “No!  I’m going to call your bluff!”  Lee’s angry at someone.  “She is not walking away with 1 million dollars,” Christian Bale refuses the offer.  (No, I know, he doesn’t look that much like Christian Bale.  I wish they’d give him a name, though!) “So they both end up in jail,” Lee retorts. ‘My client doesn’t want that,” the young lawyer says.  “My client doesn’t want her to have a cent,” Lee hisses. “He’s in love, and people in love do desperate things.”  Alicia looks down at Lee. “Oh, is that a threat?”  “It’s a fact.”  “You don’t realize,” Bale says, snapping his folder shut. “Mrs. Bishop has the kids.  And she doesn’t have to go to court to keep him from the kids.”  “That,” David Lee points, “what’s I call a threat.”  “Yeah,” the young fellow agrees, “Tell Mr. Bishop to come up with a number.”

“A million bucks on the table and she threatens him with the kids.” Lee is surprised. “Find out why she’s going scorched earth.”  “Okay,” says Kalinda dully, and walks off without another word. “What was that about?” he asks Alicia.  Another case, she explains.

And with that, Cary’s face swims once more into our vision. “Are you comfortable?”  “I am,” Kalinda replies. Ouch. It must be Wednesday. We pan back to see Childs sitting at the head of the room, and Alicia sitting next to Kalinda on the witness bench.  The grand jury members are sitting where the gallery would be in a regular courtroom.  “I see you’ve availed yourself of an attorney, Miss Sharma.  I would advice her, per Illinois state statuettes, that she may advise you but she may not speak at these proceedings. Is that understood?” “Yes,” replies Alicia, immediately breaking the no speaking rule.  How is she supposed to communicate with Kalinda if she can’t talk?   Or is the point that she’s only supposed to talk to Kalinda and not address the court?  Alicia favors Cary with a large bright smile.

“How long have you worked at Lockhart/Gardner?”  Kalinda looks at Alicia, who nods. “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me.”  Cary stares at Kalinda, then looks over to his boss. “I see. Is that how we’re going to handle this?”  Alicia – who really took that no talking rule to heart – asks that the SA accept a blanket statement of fifth amendment protection.  In other words, why go through all the questions when she’s telling you right now, she won’t answer even the most trivial and innocuous?  Glenn Childs asks Alicia to not speak.  “Did you beat the psychiatrist Dr. Booth?” Cary starts up. She doesn’t answer, so he asks again, and she uses the formal words again to refuse to answer. “Were you ordered by your superior, Mr. Will Gardner, to beat Dr. Booth?”  Alicia’s ears prick at this odd question. Kalinda refuses to answer. ‘Were you ordered to beat Dr. Booth by your superior Diane Lockhart?”  Again, she pleads the fifth, but looks are starting to fly between Alicia and Kalinda and Childs. Kalinda scribbles something frantically on a piece of paper.  “It’d make sense that you’d only act at the behest of your superiors,” Cary continues.   “Would you care to share that note with the rest of us, Miss Sharma?” Childs demands. What, she can’t talk to her lawyer or write her notes? “It’s attorney client work product, so we politely decline,”Alicia replies politely.  “Was there a systematic plan at Lockhart/Gardner to break the law when pursuing cases?”  Kalinda, once more, refuses to answer.

The words on the paper?  I’m not the target.

“They can’t be coming after us,” Will declares as he, Diane, Kalinda and Alicia stride down toward Diane’s office, “Childs is a lame duck.” “That’s exactly when he would be coming after us, he doesn’t have to deal with the political heat!” Diane’s on point and pissed.  She closes the door behind her colleagues. “Could still be about me, overcharging at the grand jury,” Kalinda offers, but we all know that’s not the case.  Otherwise, why the questions?  Why ask her anything at all if you know she won’t answer?  “No,” Alicia assesses, “Childs is communicating through us to you two.  That’s the only reason he hauled Kalinda in. So we’d hear their questions.”  Well, he probably dislikes Kalinda, too.  Diane and Will are baffled. “So what’s the next step?” Diane wonders.  “The grand jury is questioning their star witness again.  Blake.”  “Blake,” Will repeats with a dangerous darkness in his voice.  He shoots Diane a look.

“What is this?”  She knows immediately that something’s off. And it is.  Blake can hurt them.  Most of what he did was unsanctioned, but Will basically told him to go to his limit with Booth.  I still keep hoping he didn’t realize what he was doing, but it’s hard to defend.  “Maybe you should talk to him.  Blake.” Kalinda’s voice calls Will back to the room. “Maybe you should,” Diane agrees.  Will looks like the very idea tastes awful.

Peter Florrick’s image is superimposed over an enormous waving flag, with a faded red white and blue color wash. This is his website; in the section entitled Friends, we can see studio portraits of smiling people – a woman in her 60s or 70s named Edna Spence who claims he wants to bring back Frank Landau’s Old Chicago and make the city safe to live in again.  After Edna we see a raft of smiling faces, all overly posed, looking like the pictures that come inside photo frames when you buy them at the store.  There are families, young couples, old couples, a minister in a pulpit.  It’s a ridiculous Caucasian overload; they’re not just white, they’re all upscale and so blond you’d think it was Scandinavia.  Seems a little off target to me, actually, if you’re aiming for blue collar Democrats.  Wasn’t Judge Adler worried about Lockhart being too English a name to resonate with the Chicago Irish?  Hargraves, Spence and Kranepool don’t sound very Irish to me.   Anyway, it certainly sets off alarm bells for Grace, the one surfing the website.  Looks like Zach isn’t the only junior investigator in the Florrick family!

“Tell me about your dad,” Fred the moderator asks a young boy (perhaps 7?) in a striped rugby shirt.  “Anything at all.”  “My dad’s my best friend,” the little guy proclaims, which, aw!  “He takes me to school, he helps me play baseball, and he taught me how to make sloppy joes.”  Aw.  Lemond Bishop’s not just a drug dealer in love, he’s a really good dad.  Except for the role model bit.  “The secret’s brown sugar,” he finishes confidentially.  Bishop grins.    Fred’s affirming, but clearly searching for a way to get into the uglier stuff. “You feel like you can count on your dad?”  The little guy, who is a little tentative as a speaker, maybe, but very sure of his ground here.  “Uh huh. One time I ate a peanut.  I was in the hospital for three days.  My dad slept in my room.”  Alicia looks over at David Lee.  Again, aw.  Turns out for his birthday, his parents rented an ice cream truck so the little guy (and hopefully some guests) could have whatever he wanted.  The Bishops smile at the memory.  But Lemond’s smile is wiped away by the next question.

“Dylan, what is your dad’s job?”  Dylan sneaks a look at his father. He scrunches his features together a little. “He’s a business man.” Okay.  “Have you ever seen your dad on tv?”  young angular lawyer asks.  Oh, dude. “I don’t think that’s relevant,” Alicia jumps in.”It is if you’re making a custody determination,” the young lawyer rightly notes, but oh, this isn’t good. “Dylan,” Fred says slowly in his best Mr. Rogers imitation, “what did you see?”  “I saw this man.  He said my dad did bad things.”  Dylan sucks on his lips and looks over at his dad, his hero.  It’s clear he doesn’t want to repeat these things.  “But my dad, he said it was a mistake.  He said not to watch.”  Quite right, Mr.Bishop.  Although whenever he finds out what you are, it’s going to destroy him.  And eventually, he’s going to find out.

“What else did the man say about your dad?” Bishop cuts his wife’s lawyer off. “Enough,” he says quietly but firmly. He pats down with his hands.  “Mr. Bishop, your lawyers will have their chance,” Fred says – badly misreading the situation.  No, that’s not what he wants.  “Dylan, you don’t have to answer any more questions,” he tells his son. “Was I bad?” the little boy asks, brown eyes even wider (if that’s possible) than before. “No, you could never be bad,” his father reassures him.  Alicia smiles to herself.  “I’ll talk to Mommy,” Bishop finishes.

When Dylan’s out of the room, Mrs. B’s counsel is clearly gearing up for a fight. “21 million and joint custody.”  His whole posture shows his confidence, his rush of adrenaline.  Alicia looks away and David Lee laughs. “You don’t want me to take that back to him.”  Kalinda lurks in the background. “Then let us bring his kid back in for questioning again.”  “How can she do that?” pleads Alicia.  “How can she do what?”  “Put her son up there like that,” Alicia can’t stand it.  A flicker of shame passes over the opposing counsel’s face. “She doesn’t want to,” he admits, but they’re both willing to do that if that’s what it takes.  And it’s true; if the money is his version of oxygen, the kids are hers.  ‘That’s why she has me.  Tell him 21 million and he has joint custody.”  With that, slicked back boy is gone.

Lee squints, and wonders if Kalinda has – per usual – gotten the real scoop.  And as usual, she has. “She’s having an affair.”  What, her husband being a cheating murdering drug dealer wasn’t enough to get her to leave on its own?  “With who, the lawyer?” Lee wonders, watching the guy gently up Mrs. B’s elbow.    “I don’t know,” Kalinda admits, but it turns out Mrs. B’s got a rendezvous set up for this weekend at the Rolling Crest Suites in Lake Forrest, room 333.  “That would explain why he’s fighting so hard,” Lee says, convinced it’s the lawyer.  Interesting thought. “Bishop doesn’t know yet, does he?” Alicia guesses. Kalinda doesn’t think so.  Right, because the lawyer/lover would probably be sleeping with the fishes if he did. God, is it their responsibility to tell him?  Since it impacts his case?  Even if it will get that poor idiot (who ever he is) killed?   What’re the ethics rules for lawyers on stuff like that?  Yikes. “It’s only a matter of time,” Kalinda sighs.  She and Alicia watch Bishop squatting down, smiling at his son.

Alicia heads over to talk to Bishop as Dylan leaves.  Lemond watches his son fondly. “Everything alright?” Alicia asks.  Bishop watches his wife and son leave, nodding, with a peculiar smile on his face. “I think I’ve just been cured of love,” he tells Alicia. “Oh, no, it’s not her,” Alicia defends (interesting since she was willing to criticize Mrs. B to the lawyer, but needs to protect her now), “lawyers can make things… ugly.”  But Bishop shakes his head, sniffs.  “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my business, lawyers don’t act on their own.”  That’s the one thing you’ve learned?  Somehow, that surprises me.  Alicia watches him in distress.

“Wait!” Grace yells as the elevator dings, running to catch the door. “One second!”  She pulls the door open to hold Eli captive. “Have you met Zach’s girlfriend?”  You can see from the look on Eli’s face that he’s thinking “for this she’s holding me up?”  “No, why?” He hits the elevator button again. “She’s black,” Grace says hilariously – she’s leaning against the door, swaying back and forth, clearly relishing making him uncomfortable.  He shoots her a dry look. “Becca?”  Ha!  Becca’s the whitest person ever.  She’s so white she could be made of marble.  She’d totally belong on Peter’s new All Aryan website. Grace laughs. “No, Neesa.”  Now Eli’s paying attention.  Who’s Neesa?  Why, the girl Zach’s been dating since November. “She’s really sweet.  I think her dad’s from Somalia or something, but her mom’s from over here. Zach’s going to bring her to Dad’s speech at school.  He really wants Dad to meet her.” How has he not met her?  What the hell does he do with his days, anyway? He’s not at the campaign office, he’s not at home… Please tell me he’s not off with more hookers, or playing the ponies.  Eli looks like he’s breathing in sewage.  Ah, those meddling kids are going to muck up your new strategy!  Grace goes on a hilarious riff about this cute guy Jimmy Patrick she’s met online. “He’s black too,” she sighs. “Okay, you’re making this up now,” Eli growls. “No, I’m not,” she lies, “the Florrick children just really love black people.”  Ha!  That was so awesome.  Totally outstanding conversation. She skips off with a smug look on her face. “You kids are evil!” Eli snarls as the door closes.

It took me the second viewing to think of this but, okay.  I hadn’t been sure that Zach and Neesa were dating, but you know what this means?  That Zach cheated with Becca. Ugh.  As if that whole encounter wasn’t bad enough!  Maddening, because Neesa really is sweet.  Zach, don’t make your dad’s mistakes.  (He’s not married, it’s not the same, but ick.  It’s still being unfaithful and hiding it.)

Next stop, a gym, where Blake’s furiously pounding a punching bag.  Too late, dude, you already had (and failed) your shirtless moment.  Or do you need extra muscle to keep those pesky hookers in line?  Now that you’ve lost your cushy legal fixer job, at least for the moment. “Mr. Gardner,” Blake calls out in greeting as Will walks through the gym. Will doesn’t bother with the niceties. “Why’re you doing this?”  Blake plays coy.  “Grand jury.  What’d you want?” Blake laughs and pretends not to have an agenda other than this overwhelming passion for the truth.  Sure. “Kalinda didn’t hurt that doctor.  You know I didn’t order anything.”  I hope that’s true, Will, but if even the people who like you aren’t sure…  “That’s not really true.  You told me to go knee cap him. I’m guessing you told Kalinda the same thing.”  With anyone else I’d say that it should be obvious that Kalinda’s methods don’t include violence, but I guess it might be harder for him to know that he gets special attention from her.

Will rolls his eyes and plays with a fingernail. “That’s what you’re hanging your hat on?  An inept metaphor?”  Sweaty Blake advances on his former boss. “I don’t work in metaphors.  Kind of like at your old firm, how I was told to cover up your theft…” Will’s face goes white and still.  Oh my God, what did he just say? Will, what is he talking about?  Oh my God!  Will steps right to Blake’s face. “Okay, now you’re getting into dangerous territory,” he threatens, low. “I remember using a lot metaphors back then – I was your life preserver, I was your ace in the hole…”  Will looks pale and pained. “We agreed. I paid my debt.”  Oh, Will.  Blake huffs, like he doesn’t have the breath to laugh. “I’ve been subpoenaed.  Gotta answer honestly.”  The look on Will’s face…

We catch up with Eli and Alicia in the latter’s office, debating Zach’s appearance at Peter’s speech. Eli (having taken Grace’s bate) is arguing against. “I don’t think you quite realize how Zach could be involved in the story.”  How could he be?  She’s been poo pooing him, but with that thought he’s got her attention. “You said you didn’t want them involved, and I am trying to honor that.”  Alicia’s puzzled. “Okay.  Thank you.”  Eli notices security escorting another fellow out, this one sporting a jaunty hat.   Are they letting all of Bond’s people go? Not that it matters exactly from an audience point of view.  They’ve all been faceless, interchangeable suits other than Blake, so I suppose I don’t care.  Could you trust any of them?  But they’re selling the DC perspective, and that means they’re holding on to Bond’s DC assets, so they have to be keeping some of his people there, right?  How else will they staff both offices?  Oh well.  It matters not.

Eli sits down in Alicia’s extra chair, and she slowly tears her eyes from her work, wondering why he’s still around. “How’re you doing?” he asks, making an effort to sound like he cares.  She’s even more weirded out.  She’s fine.  “I hear it’s a new day here.” “It is,” she confirms.  “And Peter too. He’s winning.”  Eli bobs his head back and forth. “It’ll still be close. Chicago!” he says, as if that were shorthand for everything important. “Do you know where you’ll live?”  Now he’s caught her; that’s a question she hadn’t anticipated. “After the election?  You’d be able to afford more.  You could move out of the apartment, get back to where you were before.”  I don’t think he realizes he’s upsetting her; he thinks he’s offering her something nice, a renewal of her former status.  She looks stunned and lost; I get worried that she’s about to hyperventilate.  But happily, Kalinda breaks up this little party.   She taps her cell phone, and Eli realizes it’s time to go.  Turns out Kalinda’s got a call from Cary.

Mr Agos stands in front of the Cook County seal in Childs’ office, looking quite pained indeed. “That’s our deal,” he says. “You do realize I’m an attorney with Lockhart/Gardner, don’t you?” Alicia says, sounding stunned.  Glenn Childs is sitting at his desk. “I do know that.  This is the deal I’d advise Kalinda to take.”  Cary continues. “We have a witness who can nail Kalinda for putting Dr. Booth into a corner.”  I’ll say it again; Cary’s own investigator threw water on that fire.  But obviously that doesn’t fit with Childs’ agenda. Cary and Kalinda exchange looks. “Two years minimum.  On the other hand, you testify against Lockhart/Gardner we’ll grant you full immunity.”  Oh, Childs.  Why do you want L/G?  I thought you wanted to take down Kalinda, and I know you hate Alicia.  Why look to destroy the whole firm? “You lost, get over it,” Alicia snaps. Glenn props his face on his fist and sighs. “Mrs. Florrick is incorrect in thinking this is about her husband’s campaign.  I’ve not made it about her husband’s campaign. In fact, I have been meticulous about keeping the two separate.”  Alicia laughs silently. Oh yes, so meticulous.  “Kalinda Sharma, on the other hand, has a decision to make. Testify against Lockhart/Gardner, or be indited and spend two years in jail.”  Childs stares out at Kalinda from the shadows.

Oh, right.  Excuse me for wondering, but isn’t there such a thing as a trial which comes between the indictment and the sentencing?  I seem to recall that’s so.  How much would you love to see Alicia demolish Blake on the stand?  Of course, there’s the whole Will thing, and that’d be a problem.  Not that she knows that.

“Hi Mrs. Florrick!” Neesa calls from the living room; she and Zach are studying at the computer desk.  “Hi Neesa, how’s everything at school?” smiles Alicia, putting down her things work things. She does not run straight for the wine, I’m noticing. They prattle a bit about the school, and a petition about the length of the day.  “Dad’s coming to campus on Monday,” Zach mentions, excited.  Ah, yes, Mom wants to talk to you about that, Zach.  (You know, considering that this is a school with highly involved parents, you’d think more of them would be upset about Peter speaking.  What with the well publicized hookers and everything.) She pulls him aside into his room.  “The press might want to ask you some questions on campus,” she begins.  “I don’t want to get you involved, so I’ll ask Dad not to point you out either, okay?”  What, is that going to stop the press from know who he is?  “Okay,” says Zach, unconcerned.  “Nobody’ll care, though.”  “I know,” she smiles, “but I’ll care. I haven’t wanted you guys involved in this.”  Way, way too late for that, honey.  Did they not tell you about Zach and Becca taking out Childs’ campaign?

“Eli told you to talk to him about it, didn’t he?” Grace’s voice comes from her own room next door.  “No one’s talking to you,” Zach yells back, exasperated. “No, you don’t understand,” says Grace, charging into the room in a fuzzy floral bathrobe.  “This is not about Zach, it’s about his girlfriend.”  In the living room, Neesa looks up.  Alicia hisses at Grace and shuts the door, and you can see Neesa’s considering getting up to listen at it. Where’s a pair of extendable ears when you need them?   “Eli doesn’t want anyone involved who’s black.” Alicia rears back in surprise. “I told him Zach has an African American girlfriend.  That’s why he talked to you, right?”  Alicia’s at a complete loss for words. “This is about Neesa?” Zach jumps in. “No!  I… I… I don’t know,” Alicia splutters. “Because that’s so…  wrong,” Zach adds, and yes.  Deeply wrong. “You should tell Eli off,” Grace offers.  Alicia tells the kids to calm down.  “What can I tell Neesa?” Zach asks, and I’m a little alarmed at how politically he’s phrased the question.  “Neesa, can you stay for dinner?” Alicia asks as she leaves Zach’s room.  Neesa will have to call her parents. “What’s up?” she asks Zach.  As he fumbles for an answer, we hear Alicia leave a very queenly voice mail directing Eli to meet her at her office the following day.

Oh, Eli.  Manipulate her by using her kids?  Mama no likey.

David Lee’s reading off a  long list of assets (house in Boca Raton and Lincoln Park, for example), to Mrs. Bishop and her pleased looking lawyer. Also, spousal support of – get this – 100,000 dollars a month until the kids “reach the age of majority” – AND shared custody.  “I think it’s too generous, but, there you go.”   Young lawyer waggles his eyebrows, smiles, and shocks everyone by passing on the offer.  Really? That’s got to be at least moderately close to the 21 mil you wanted, right?  We saw what at least one of his properties looks like, and it was pretty palatial, and then there’s maybe 12 mil (depending on the ages of the kids) in support?  “Well, do you have a counter?” Alicia asks; David Lee is too shocked to speak. “Vastly improved numbers, for one thing.” Young lawyer sees this offer as proof that Bishop can indeed afford what they really want.  Mrs. B looks less sanguine. Oh, kid, do you really want to be that greedy when it comes to a drug lord’s money?  It’s making me nervous for you, very nervous. “She gets primary custody, he can see his kids two weekends a month. ”

Oh my God.  Dude, you are suicidal.  What are you thinking?  Why are you cutting down his time with his kids?  He’ll never go for that.  You’d have to get him jailed before you did that.

“The offer is not going improve,” Lee admonishes them. “We’ll see what a court has to say,” the foolish young lawyer replies lightly.  Mrs. B, on the other hand, looks hard and cold.  Alicia leans across the table. “Katrina, this is not a good idea. ”  The fool looking for a fall tells Alicia to talk to him, not his client.  Dude. Do you not see the look on Bishop’s face?  I would be way more serious about this.  And, good grief.  Is he chewing gum?  Seriously. “Down the rabbit hole we go,” Lee shudders, throwing up his hands.  The judicial system will take over, and that won’t go well for the wife money-wise.  Somehow – and this I don’t understand – Alicia thinks they can get his criminal empire left out of it.  I dunno, don’t you feel like Mrs. B could use her insider info to get sole custody?   “And my son?” Bishop cuts to the chase.  (Wait, they did say they have other children, right?)   “At trial?  Will he have to testify?”  David Lee and Alicia look grave. And they look away.

When Alicia returns to her office, her quarry’s seated there, and she just lets him have it. “You crossed the line.”  Damn straight.  “Which one?” Eli wonders. Yes, I’m sure there are ample lines he could have crossed. “You don’t want Zach being seen with his black girlfriend?” Eli heads over to shut the door behind her. “It’s not what I want.  Polling shows that Peter will lose if we don’t have the blue collar and the suburban vote.”  In this context, is it a compliment or an insult that he tried to manipulate her into doing something he knew she’d be too moral to agree to?  “And they don’t like black girlfriends?”  Eli breathes hard. “They don’t like people they can’t relate to.”   Oh, I love that Eli’s explanation here goes back to the whole black Jesus debate.  People are more comfortable with what they know.   I don’t like it; I just admire the writing. “It makes you look too… cosmopolitan.”

Alicia tosses her head, her words coming fast in his disgust. “You don’t know what voters want or think or anything. You just make this stuff up based on whatever biases you have rolling around in your head at that moment.”  People aren’t that predictable.  Eli disagrees.  “I wish that were true.”

“Well you know what’s true?”  Oh, Eli, you better duck. “Zach is going to Peter’s speech with Neesa.”  Eli starts to leave and then thinks better of it.  “Do you know how crazy this is?  For the last six months I’ve been asking you to put the kids in front of the camera and you’ve said no.”  Wait, I thought their deal was that he wouldn’t ask? “Until I want them not in front of the cameras and now you want the opposite.”  “Yeah, Eli, it’s all about you,” Alicia jokes. Eli’s mad. Really mad. I’d like to think knowing he’s in the wrong like seven times over is contributing to that.

Outside the courtroom, Fred apologizes to Lemond Bishop for his failure to achieve a solution through mediation. “Oh, you tried your best,” David Lee tosses off, his eyes glued to his cell phone.  Funny how something can seem affirming but totally not be, right?  “I hope it hasn’t soured you on the need for compromise,” Fred continues to Bishop, who’s staring at his own phone. “I always tell myself, say a yes for every time you say a no, it’ll make you a happier person.”  Huh?  “You understand what I mean?” Fred leans in.  No, Mr. Bishop doesn’t, and neither do I, actually.  Fred begins to explain (much to David Lee’s disgust) when the foolish young lawyer arrives.  David Lee sees something in his lumbering walk and frozen face that gives pause.  “You killed her.”  Alicia tips her head. “You did it.  She o.d.’d last night.  She’d been clean for ten years, and what, she just decided to start using again?”  He’s got his finger point right in Bishop’s face, and he anger has mastered him. “Oh my God,” Alicia moans.  “Okay, where did you hear this?” Lee asks, but no one listens. “You killed her.”  Bishop’s starting to look pissed off. “I’d watch my words, friend,” he says, smooth and threatening.  “I didn’t touch her.”  “But you get everything now, right?  You get full custody, you get the cash…”  Lee tries to get everyone to at least get out of the public hallway.  “You’re a murderer.”  Lee steps up to the lawyer, hissing “stop this!”  You can see the young man’s eyes are red as if from tears.  Maybe he really was Katrina’s lover.

Bishop walks slowly over toward the taller man, deliberately moving around Lee.  The entire room (er, hallway) goes silent. “Did you have something else you wanted to say?”  The threat is electric.  The lawyer bites down on his anger and pride to save his own life.  “Good,” Bishop says, and he leaves the court.

Man.

Back at the Grand Jury, Kalinda’s taking the stand again.  And again, Glenn Childs is in attendance, which really should have told all of us how bogus and personal this was from the beginning. Yes, she swears to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Which is funny, since she plans to continue saying nothing.  “Now, we’re asked Blake Calamar back for another day of questioning, but you don’t disagree with his characterization of  the conversation?”  What conversation, Cary?  Oh well.  Kalinda’s not answering anyway, and Alicia asks, again, for the State to just admit she’s going to plead the fifth on everything.  No such luck. “Mr. Calamar testified that you beat Dr. Booth with a bat.”  Why, that bastard.  Not surprised, but still. “And then you gave that weapon to him to hide, is that true?”  Cary sits down next to Childs. Kalinda pleads the fifth. “You then, according to Mr. Calamar, took that same bat back from him after knocking him unconscious, is that true?”  Another lie.  She incapacitated him, but he was very much conscious.  Again, she refuses to answer.  “And, since that time, have you ever tried to contact Mr. Calamar?”  Suddenly, she unleashes a classic spelling bee stalling tactic. “Can you ask me that again, please?”

Oh.

Glenn Childs looks up from his notes.  Alicia looks up from hers.  The grand jury looks up from theirs.

At Childs’ nod, Cary asks the question again.  Kalinda looks over at the jury.  Yes, she whispers.

Alicia wants to speak to her, but Childs says she can’t.  What’s the point of letting attorneys be present if they can’t speak to you or their clients?  “I tried to speak to him a few days ago.  I followed him to a hotel, but he was meeting someone.”  Cary wants to know what hotel she followed him to.   Rolling Crest Suites in Lake Forest – room 333.  Oh.  Where have we heard that before?  Alicia’s spidey senses are a tingling.  “You said you tried to speak to Mr. Calamar,” Cary asks.  “So, what prevented you?” “I saw Mr. Calamar was meeting with an African American woman.  So, I did not attempt to contact him.” “And why did you try to contact him?” Cary wonders. “I wanted to ask him why he was lying about me to a grand jury,” Kalinda replies.  That sounds sensible, but it’s so not the situation. I guess everyone’s going to be lying to this Grand Jury. “My guess is Mr. Calamar won’t even return here after he hears my testimony.”  Well, that’s probably a good bet.  Cary looks up and smiles ever so slightly.

As the women walk out into the hall, Alicia stares at Kalinda.  “Did you really just do what I think you did?” What, accuse Blake of being Katrina Bishop’s secret lover to get him off your back?  Keeping herself out of jail by just possibly signing someone’s death warrant?  “Look, the lighting at the Rolling Crest was so dark, it could have been Blake.”  She’s swinging her arms lightly, but Alicia looks at her, horrified.

Alicia’s phone is ringing just as she arrives back at her office.  “Alicia Florrick,” she answers it. “This is Cary Agos,” drawls the young prosecutor, “How is your day going.”  I just love his sense of humor.  It’s so weird.  She sinks into her seat, rolling her eyes. “Fine, Cary, how’s yours,” she sneers insincerely. “I think I got a cold coming on,” he answers genially. “Well, I’m really sorry to hear that.  Another subpoena?”  She’s quite grouchy.  “Well, oddly, no. Blake Calamar, during his last visit to the grand jury, was asked some follow up questions based on Miss Sharma’s testimony, and you’ll just never guess what happened.”  Cary’s smiling as he says this.  Alicia starts smiling. “I think I have an idea.”  “He asked for a brief recess, and didn’t return to the grand jury room.  Now, he’s our only witness against Miss Sharma, so for now, we will not need her to return.”  Alicia exhales in relief. “Thank you Cary, I’ll let her know,” she smiles. “Do,” he replies happily.

They stay on the phone for a few strange, contemplative seconds.  “How are you, Cary?” Alicia asks, the sarcasm gone. “I don’t know,” he replies honestly. “It may be tough sledding here for a while.”  Because of the election, or this grand jury loss?  He’s still smiling, though. “Well good luck,” she finishes.  And with thanks, the conversation ends.

Oh, I love this scene, Cary and Alicia remembering that they do actually like and respect each other, getting past the mess. Finally!  Even if it’s only for a few moments, I like it.

Kalinda and Alicia are out at a bar.  “Look at you,” Kalinda laughs, gesturing at Alicia’s highball glass, “your daughter’s not going to be happy with you.”  Nonsense, laughs Alicia. “That was wine.  This is tequila.”  Heh.  I love Alicia when she unbuttons her sense of humor.  “Cary was in on, wasn’t he?  He knew what to ask you?”  Alicia’s not one for conversational foreplay, is she?  Let’s leave out the preliminaries and just get down to it.  Kalinda shakes her head a little. “Cary’s a great guy.”  Alicia drunkenly pounces. “Ooooh, listen to you!  Kalinda and Cary sittin’ in a tree!”  Heh.  That’s great.  “Hey, I’m just shoring up friends.” “For what?” Alicia wonders sincerely. “For the end days,” Kalinda jokes.  Alicia chews on that for a second, but is distracted by her own worries.

“I have to buy a big house.”  “You have to?” Kalinda’s a little puzzled.  “For appearances, I don’t know.”  Kalinda lets her own drink sink in for a minute. “I have to stop life from just happening, don’t I?”  Damn straight!  Thank you, Alicia.  Yes, yes you do.  “I don’t want to buy a big house.  I like my apartment.”  Kalinda likes it too.  “I used to have so many friends.  Where are they now?”  Now she’s lost Kalinda, who drinks again. “Back then, my old life, the big house?  I had all these … mom friends.”  She says it like it’s an insult.  “All talking about our weight..”  They laugh.  Would she really have considered them friends, and not just friendly acquaintances?  Oh well.  It’s hard to imagine that the Alicia we know had so many connections that were so shallow.  “Yeah, I wish I knew you back then,” Kalinda says, pondering what this old Alicia might have been like. “No,” Alicia insists, “I was different, we would have hated each other.”  Really?  That’s so odd.  I mean, I could see Kalinda dismissing Alicia – she certainly had a chip on her shoulder when they met – but would Alicia have been so quick to judge?  Kalinda doesn’t look like she believes her. “Life changes, doesn’t it?” Now that Kalinda will agree with.  “We can change it back,” Alicia muses. “We can do what we want.”  Hmm, Kalinda replies.  Do you want to change it back, Alicia?  What do you want to go back to?  The illusion of control?  The faithless friends?  The apparently loving – mostly loving, but secret riddled – marriage?

Kalinda’s phone beeps.  And guess what?  It’s Blake.  “He wants to meet.”  “Well you’re not going to,” Alicia snorts.  Kalinda raises her eyebrows.  Isn’t she?  But then she shakes her head.

The next time we see Kalinda, it’s heading down into a parking garage.  Aaaand there’s Spawny, walking toward Kalinda.  Quickly she ducks into her car and pulls out the baseball bat, advancing on him with intent.   He backs off immediately, his hands up.  “Hey slugger!” Blake jokes. “I thought you were leaving town.”  Oh, he is, but not without making the time to say good bye to you, my dear. “Yeah, thanks for that.”  “I thought you needed a little encouragement.”  “Yeah, well, having Bishop after you for sleeping with his wife … that’s, that’s encouraging.” Right.  “Don’t be a sore loser,” she scoffs.

“Well, I finally got Leela,” he shrugs, in his weird and exaggerated passive aggressive way. “I finally understood.”  “Well good for you.  It’s a little bit too late, you know?”  She starts advancing on him again. “Not really.  Met with an ASA this afternoon.  One last interview to fill him in.”  She considers. “What do you want, a medal?”  (And the fans wish he had a chest to pin it on.  Thank you, I’ll be here all night…)  He starts blathering – in true villain monologue style – about how he thought she had some deep dark secret in her past, but no, it really is just that she got bored and wanted to change her life. “Yep, that’s me – boring,” she replies. “But then I realized it wasn’t about why.  It was about who.”  Now she looks worried.  Who helped her change her name?  There were no clues – and that was his clue. “The biggest clue of all ended up being you, though.” They’re circling each other.  “You have a tell.”  “We into tells now?” she scoffs.  “You overreact.  So,” and he’s laughing a little, and so slimey, “I thought back to all the times you overreacted.  When I told Alicia about Leela you destroyed my car.  When I asked you what Alicia knew, you went psycho.  Alicia.  It’s about Alicia.  That’s what you care about.”  Now she’s backing away from him, looking deeply unsettled. “Go home,” she insists lamely. “Peter helped you change your name at the State’s Attorney’s Office when you worked there.  Peter helped you change your name.”  He pauses, dramatically.  “And then you slept with him.”

She doesn’t bother to deny it.  Her guilty face says it all. Oh, oh no.  Oh, no.

“Peter covered up everything for you, for Leela, and you slept with him.”  Blake’s words drip with contempt, and each word stabs at Kalinda with all the malice he intends.    “You’re wrong,” she whispers unconvincingly. The sound is barely a breath. “That’s good.  Because I told the ASA, and in the process, they’ll probably interview everyone involved.  They’ll get it all straightened out.”  All we see is her guilty, stricken, devastated face.  “See you around, Kalinda.”

Finally, he’s gone, but oh, what a parting gift he’s left.

Okay, I’m going to talk first about the case, because that’s the least significant thing.  You know, you can see  where Bishop’s anger comes from.  Mrs B, using their son like that, letting it happen just for money?  That’s horrible.  It’s very judgment of Solomon.  And yet, seriously, dude?   No matter what you think of your wife, do you really think your son will thank you for taking out his mother?  How can testifying in court possibly be any more brutal a blow to his innocence?  But I guess if he had a more conventional moral structure, Lemond Bishop wouldn’t be a drug kingpin, would he?  And gosh, it’s so hideous to think that it was probably the lawyer pushing too hard that got her killed.  Just awful.  Bishop is a great character, but, yuck.

And, one good thing?  Yes, Alicia!  There’s no reason to buy a big house.  There’s no reason to give yourself a long commute, to pal around with people who won’t be there for you.  That’s an amazing apartment, and I’m honestly not sure it could be all that much less expensive than the house you left, not when it’s in the downtown of a major city and that large.  If you care about status, that is, and I sort of don’t feel like you do.  This was an interesting glimpse into what her life was like before, volunteering and keeping in shape.  Odd.  How could she have liked all those people who didn’t have her back?  Did she really think they were her friends, or were they just the people she spent time with because they happened to live in the same neighborhood or had kids in the same schools and activities?  That happens.

And, okay.  I have to ask.  Why was Will stealing?  Can we assume it was money?  What did he need it for?  Who did he take it from?  Oh my God.  Do you suppose this has anything to do with his father, the one who bankrupted his company?  I would never have suspected Will of something like thing – embezzlement, I guess?  Man.  I think I’d be really wrecked by this if I weren’t more wrecked by the other, exponentially more hideous revelation.

I’m certainly glad Kalinda won her case!  Or not case, as the case may be.  I’m glad she went to Alicia for help. That fits really nicely in their relationship. She could have gone to Will or Diane or someone else higher up in the firm, rather than the person who would piss Cary and Childs off the most, but she didn’t, because she does trust Alicia.  Of course, that just makes what comes after even more distressing. And I loved the scenes with Kalinda and Alicia relaxing. The bar was hilarious.  It’s okay – it’s tequila, not wine!  It might sound weird, but I think it’s less worrisome that Alicia might get tipsy every once in a while than her relying on the wine to loosen up when she gets home.

Now, oh, God, Kalinda.  And Peter.

Well.  It’s not the first time this idea has come up.  I certainly wondered about  it early on in the first season, and I’m pretty sure Alicia worried about it too.  I don’t think anybody meets Kalinda without thinking about sex; it’s inevitable.  And back when we started this little ride, Alicia pretty much assumed Peter had cheated with everyone who came into contact with him.  But she’s past that.  She doesn’t think of Kalinda that way, and certainly not as someone who would hurt her.  So of course this is the most of awful of awful things they could pretty much do to Alicia.  Peter didn’t just dally with hookers, he was boffing his coworkers, too.  And the one she knows is about is pretty much the only friend she has, the only person she trust – especially since Will put the breaks on so forcefully, the only person she counts on.

And what I can’t figure out is, which relationship this sabotages more.  Can she possibly forgive Kalinda?  Kalinda didn’t know her back then, so it wasn’t a purposeful violation in that way, but can she get those images out of her head?  Peter is the one who owes her; Peter is the one who made a vow to her and broke it.  But she’s forgiven him (at least on paper) before.  Will this be her tipping point, the last measure of pain that she just can’t take?  I kind of feel like crying, just thinking about how Alicia’s going to feel when she finds out.  I’m terrified of it, but it’s also almost intolerable that she doesn’t know.  The tension is going to be unreal.

This would explain, of course, Kalinda’s constant cheerleading for Alicia & Will; it’s guilt. Guilt which would be alleviated by Alicia cheating.  And of course, she’d have reason to know just how unfaithful Peter was, and perhaps she genuinely thinks Alicia’s better off without him.  But oh, poor Alicia.  You can just see she’s going to be rethinking every interaction they’ve ever had.  (And hey, doesn’t it make you want to rewatch the first season?  You’ve got to imagine this has been part of the backstory all along.  (Yep, it has.)   Kalinda seemed pretty disdainful of Alicia at first, but then eventually, you could see that she was won over by Alicia’s intelligence and compassion.  Or at least, that’s what I thought.  Now?  Now I’m doubting what I thought I knew.

Is anyone else curious how Cary will react to this when he finds out?  Do we think there’s anything going on with Cary and Kalinda, more than what we’ve seen?  Have we ever actually heard her refer to someone as a ‘great guy’ before?  Weird, that (and how funny was Alicia’s reaction?).

I don’t know if Blake’s reasoning actually makes sense – how could Kalinda change her name while working at the SA’s office?  Other coworkers would know her name.  Not unless she showed up there using the name Kalinda Sharma without having actually changed it legally?  Also, it seems more likely that they were sleeping together, so he helped her cover things up rather than the icky idea that she slept with him as payment for services rendered.  Gross.  But clearly Blake’s right about the most meaningful bit.  I’d hate to say that about something trivial, and this is as far from trivial as it gets on the show. Peter and Kalinda.  Kalinda and Peter.  Oh, God.

I can’t even think about it.  It hurts too much.

You know, Blake makes a certain amount of sense to me as a catalyst for drama, but (as we’ve discussed so many times before) he just doesn’t work as a character.  His relentless need to control his surroundings and to one up Kalinda defines him.  We don’t ever see, I don’t know, that he likes coffee, or loves dogs, or exists outside of doing a very specific sort of ugly job.  (Well, actually, I guess we do know he likes Georgia O’Keeffe, but we don’t ever get to see him being enthusiastic about her.)  For a villain to be believable, they can’t know they’re a villain; for the most part, they need to be able to justify their own actions, believe in themselves.  But Blake never had anything except a complete lack of morals and the dictates of his job.  I don’t think we can blame it all on Scott Porter, although that’s part of it; Blake sticks out because he written with as much nuance as the rest of our characters.  We don’t ever see regret, or a conscience, or anything other than the desire to cause trouble.

So good riddance to bad rubbish!  I get the impression that this is the last we’re going to see of Blake, at least for now.  I’m too busy being freaked out for everyone involved to celebrate the way I thought I would.  I adore the way Kalinda got rid of him, though. Even if it is kind of evil.   Blake better hope that Bishop will be satisfied with running him out of Chicago, because Baltimore is not so far away, and I’m willing to bet Bishop has goons who know how to drive a car.   Either way, the Evil Boyscout has left the building.

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25 comments on “The Good Wife: Ham Sandwich

  1. Kiki says:

    “I can’t even think about it. It hurts too much.”

    Yup this line basically sums up how I feel. For two days now, I keep asking myself why ruin such a great relationship? why build them up so much to then crush us like that? Honestly, E, I still do not get it and do not understand. It felt unnecessary, and wrong. And like you I feel like crying, and you are right, not sure which relationship it hurts more. But I know one thing, as much as I love A/P, A/K HAVE to get through this. Kalinda is the only friend she has 😦
    I hated the twist mostly cause it ruined the two things i love the most, A/P and A/K. Seriously broke my heart, honestly no way A/P recover from this? I mean this is probably her tipping point. And A/K, well thats gonna be so hard, Alicia is never gonna be able to get the imagine out of her head. She will never be able to trust Kalinda that much ever again?
    One thing that bothers me, is that the writes might play this idea that Kalinda motives where out of guilty. And that I do not agree with, I think she learned to appreciate Alicia, sure there was guilt at times, but their friendship was not built on guilt, I refuse to believe it was, there was so much more to them.

    I just keep thinking, how devastated Alicia is going to be, so much pain. Alicia cannot catch a break? just when she was better, they do this to her? why? I can just imagine the scene she finds out, is going to be heartbreaking 😦 😦 I do not even think, I am gonna be able to take it.

    I love TGW so much, but damn they broke my heart. Now lets just wait and see how things develop. Its going to be one rough next season for Alicia. Who will she talk to now? Will? Man, I kind of wish we could go back and that plot never was even thought of, I just find it so painful. But I guess thats drama? (also did you see the Kings interview talking about it?)

    Well, enough with my ranting and sadness. Great review as always E! Now we wait and see how things develop…..

    • E says:

      Oh, this is a wrecker of a storyline for sure. On the one hand, it’s great drama. On the other, it totally sucks.

      Do you wonder what would have happened if Kalinda had admitted this to Alicia back in the beginning? Would they not have become friends? It’s not consistent for Kalinda to talk about her romantic entanglements, but I think it’ll be harder for Alicia that things have gone on so long, that they’ve developed such a level of trust and reliance.

      And yeah, it’s really only going to leave Owen for her to talk to. (How much would you love to see Alicia go out drinking with Owen and Kalinda, btw? Now that’d be a party I’d want to go to. Of course, now that’s a lot less likely to happen.)

      I did read the interview, and it certainly has me excited about how the rest of the season is going to come together. I’m not entirely sure how this revelation is going to pull together all the plot threads they’re talking about, so I’m interested to see. But I figured that they must have had this planned all along. And yeah, I’m so dreading this coming out. I can’t even imagine how Alicia will respond. Will she be cold and underreact, will she break down – I just don’t know. And part of me wants her to know right away, because it’s sort of intolerable that this is out there and she doesn’t know, but then I also just don’t want to see it.

      I totally agree that Kalinda isn’t friends with Alicia simply out of guilt. I think, for Kalinda, that would have been a reason to avoid and even dislike Alicia. It would have been a reason for her attitude in the beginning. I still feel sure that Alicia won her over, that their friendship is real. But it’s not going to feel like that when Alicia finds out.

      • Kiki says:

        Oo E! I know right! Part of me wanted Alicia to know YESTERDAY but part of me is so terrified on how she is gonna take it 😦
        I too am excited to see how the rest of the season develops, but the other part of me feels like that was just a cheap shot to take…but I guess it does create drama and momentum.
        Damn, Tuesday seriously cannot get here fast enough!
        Did you see the promo? (upside, scenes with K/P, I always wanted them, but not this way lol)

  2. E.L. says:

    Not just Alicia. I know I’m rethinking all their interactions in the past in this new light. Kalinda’s scenes with Peter as well. A lot of things seem to make more sense now with this new added perspective. Like you mentioned, and others as well, the thought had crossed my mind early on at the beginning of season 1, because the show alluded to it briefly one or two times. But like Alicia, I quickly dismissed the idea as paranoia on her part, side effects of her traumatic discovery of Peter’s indiscretion, because I was lulled into a false sense of security by Kalinda and by the show. So I was still taken off guard on Tuesday. This really is the best kind of dramatic revelation, one that makes complete logical sense in retrospect, but still manages to surprise you.

    • E says:

      E.L., I absolutely agree – that’s exactly what makes something a great twist. You should be in suspense, and then when it happens, you think “oh, of course, that’s exactly how it had to be.”

      Man, I’m really going to have to find the time to go through last season for this stuff. So completely brilliant and evil of the writers. All Kalinda’s interactions with Alicia, Peter, even Childs…

  3. marilyn says:

    ON A/K… I was totally devastated, first of all and mostly for them, but for A/P -bec I don’t think they (alicia) can survive this. I saw the connection, but I did not think it included sex, just that K knew about some of Peters grey stuff while in office. And I am ticked off bec I had thought at least until recently(Net worth) there was some hope for the marriage,but Alicia really never invested herself in mending it; “she observed Peter”, JMs words, and she turned out to be right. She now has a great excuse to leave Peter..even though she should have bef this if she didn’t love him. I do feel somewhat cheated by the Kings , who originally sold the story differently : now it turns out they planned this along! So not sure I can blame CN for not being around as much!

    I am upset about this bec again, Peter is being used as Mr Evil, and he not sure he can come back from this..also think they are setting up bad power Peter.
    Will is being painted too, but somehow Peters indescretions are always worse..LOL!

    Agree with Kiki that they could have tested A/K another way, why this..esp after all that has happened to Alicia…I do not believe A/K was entirely fuelled by Kalindas guilt..maybe that is how it started,of course but after 2 years, you can trace how the relshp between A/K honestly was built up and is genuine, based on mutual admiration..also think this relshp will def come back, maybe after a while, but it will. But oy, the angst in the meantime. Alicia is not vindictive..
    I think they will mitigate this indescretion(got this from the Kings)..it was a one time thing..K was really in trouble ( I am guessing fleeing an abusive rlshp)..not that it lessens the cheating..but then A will have to come to terms with K’s character, bec I think they will show how she does use sex in her rlshps. It is sad for both of them, but also shows why K never really confided in Alicia.
    One thing that bugged me is Alicia’s disparagement of her former life… maybe it is to show how she doesn’t want to go back there( why would she have to???).. I get why she loves her work life, her brain is being used, she is strongly valued. I also get that she sees her former friends were shallow ( were they all that bad..makes no sense)..I can see why she now sees her former life was not great, but why disparage it so much.. supposedly the marriage was happy-but more to the point, we had the impression it was not just about Peter, but her desire to raise her children when they were young ( no nannies)..did she see no value in that???.Hope they are not going down the revisionist history route.

    • E says:

      Hey, Marilyn!

      You know, I don’t know if it’s so much that she doesn’t see value in raising her kids as the connections she’d made, all the other aspects that filled up her day now seems shallow. It seems so harsh, though, huh? But of course, they all abandoned her, so I can see why she thinks the connections must have been meaningless. I think that’s the key. It kind of hurts my heart for her, still, and makes me really mad at her friends. I wonder, actually if the friends would have stuck by her if she’d left Peter? Or stayed in the big house as a single mom? Was it the scandal they couldn’t stand, or that they couldn’t understand her sticking through it?

      And yeah, it seems like the Kings are definitely going to use this to explore the way sex for Kalinda seems to be always about something else and not so much just about sex. It’ll be interesting to see if you’re right, that the revelation will help Alicia (and the audience) understand Kalinda more – because if that’s true, maybe it won’t ruin the friendship?

      I don’t know about Peter, though. The most fascinating thing about this twist is that I can’t even tell which relationship it’s going to hurt more. Because Alicia stayed through the worst of the public mess, what kind of thing would it take to make her leave? Especially since this happened in the past. Is it fair to leave him now if he’s still reformed? Or does that wreck the little trust she was rebuilding so badly that she has to admit defeat?

      BTW, as much as we can say “if she doesn’t love him anymore, she should have left” I can really understand it. I think she didn’t – maybe still doesn’t – know. Her trust in him, her understanding of their marriage, was too wrecked for her to know if she could ever move past it. None of that is stuff she can figure out quickly. I admire her for staying and seeing if her emotions could calm down (even though I can’t imagine how I’d react in the same situation). She may even still be hoping that the trust will return – and to Peter’s credit, he’s been true to his word, and remained faithful.

      • marilyn says:

        Just to throw in: I think that the tryst with Kalinda will not be the downfall of the A/P marriage..suspect they will mitigate ( to the extent one can )with a compelling context … it wasn’t good, but not as sleazy as doing trading favours. I think they will show Peter cannot avoid the lure of power and what it entails;that will be the last straw!

  4. John Graydon says:

    A great episode, with some great performances. The looks on their faces!

    All those people who have been trying to convince themselves that Peter isn’t really so bad (all while they struggle to find fault with Will) have got a lot more to think about now. Should she really want to save this “marriage”?

    If Will was a desperate young lawyer, whose practice was going bankrupt like his father’s business had done, I could imagine he might do something wrong, out of desperation. He said he’d “paid his debt”, though. Doesn’t that sound like restitution? And at least theft is a non-violent crime.

    But it turns out Peter is an even sleazier creep than anyone else had thought. I’ve always thought he was a reptile, but because we hadn’t heard about him doing anything LATELY, people were starting to forget all about that. And now they’re reminded! (All these weeks we don’t see him? What do you really think he’s been doing? He’s not at campaign headquarters, by the looks of it….)

    I’m really not surprised at all. But it sure won’t be fun for Alicia when she finds out — which is inevitable….

    • E says:

      John, I wonder if Will’s thievery might relate even more directly to his father. That’d certainly be a interesting touch-back to his father’s financial irresponsibility; perhaps he took money to pay back his college/law school loans so his parents didn’t have to? You’re right, it does sound like he made restitution, but I still am shocked.

      As for Peter; I’ve felt like the writers have been focusing on Amber so much that they’ve almost created a fiction that he only had the one mistress, when we were certainly given the impression at first that there were lots of hookers. But yes. Kalinda – having an affair/fling/whatever with a colleague is a different thing entirely, and oh, God, I can’t even imagine. Poor Alicia when she finds out. And yeah, of course she’s going to find out. The question is how soon?

  5. Cantremembermyname says:

    All through the ep, each A/K interaction made me (involuntarily) think louder and louder: A why are you letting K manipulate/use you? Why are you so passive? and then Blake tries one last trick to trigger K into telling a truth and blows everything up. I feel like I’ve been smacked in the face. I’ll never get tired to say that most of the credit goes to archie panjabi s excellent acting.
    Also the fact that k used bishop’s wife murder showed how far she can go, I thought she killed her herself to set up Blake.
    In season one, I understood that k owed peter, that he helped her but I thought professionaly.
    When A said “I was different we would have hated each other” from k’s facial expression you’d think they were not that different and maybe that’s why she changed her life and her name. Isn’t k a fascinating character? Now about A: so many doors closing, who does she have left she can trust? Her brother maybe?
    She’s been played by so many people, it’s getting dangerous.
    Is she the only person with no ulterior motive? Well yes she’s the good wife 🙂

    • E says:

      Cantremember, I think Alicia’s passivity is one of the more interesting facets of TGW. It’s frustrating, but if she were decisive, there’d be show! 🙂 Kalinda really does manipulate Alicia in the biggest way;it’s like Alicia is her kid, actually, and she gives her whatever snippets of information she thinks she can handle, and withholds whatever she thinks will be too hard. And she doles out those bits of info whenever it’s convenient to her.

      Wow, I totally don’t see murder as Kalinda’s style, so I don’t think she would ever take out Bishop’s wife. Or at least, I can’t see her taking out someone to achieve her ends. On the other hand, she could have potentially condemned Blake to death by her testimony (depending on how touchy Bishop is and how much evidence he needs to kill someone) so I can’t say she’s incapable of it.

      And mmm, I love your image of Kalinda/Leela as a bored housewife. So crazy to think about, right?

  6. CMR says:

    Amazing episode…great review! Blake’s last scene with Kalinda is the most competent performance he has given all season (where has this been?). Kalinda’s devestation was palpable and my heart broke for her. Please hand Archie Panjabi her Emmy now. Thank you…

  7. Liz says:

    So. I stumbled upon this blog from imdb. You have some followers here, well done.

    I like your recaps. Very, very detailed. Your conclusions are also in line with what I tend to pick up on. Thank God. So I went back and read all of your earlier ones that I could.

    I have to ask you. Why the hate for Scott Porter? It’s odd to me because most of the folks I know really enjoyed him, yet there is this odd shephard/sheep mentality in your followers of your blog about him. You call him names. Your followers follow suit and a lot of hate and blame is placed on him. I hated Blake, but I really enjoyed Porter because of it. Am I wrong for that? I think I’m actually in the majority…

    This episode was the payoff that I’ve been waiting for all year. I’ve enjoyed the back and forth, the punches and counter-punches and I have followed TGW since day one. No one has stood up like this to Kalinda/Archie and it was refreshing that she wasn’t just an annoying super-heroine on an otherwise really genuine show. She has the SWAT team and the cops and the FBI eating out of her hand. She solved every case. She bugged me.

    Anyway, I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to put you down I just wanted to share an opinion that I think differs from yours. I applaud Porter/Blake because he wounded this invincible woman. And I think he did it very well for what was a 2D character on the page, IMO. I wish they would have given him a chance to really show his range, because I have seen it. Plus I just started watching Friday Night Lights, so I’m a little biased for each of the actors on that show, you should give it a try.

    Thanks for the recaps. I’ll keep reading. But be nice to “spawny” or “the evil boyscout”. He’s actually pretty good in my book and I want to see him back with Will.

    • E says:

      Hey, Liz, nice to meet you! Thanks for coming over and commenting.

      I’m so not offended at your defense of Blake (or rather Scott Porter). I guess I go back and forth, but I think my main problem is, as you say, that the character was written with much less dimension and nuance than the show’s norm. I kept waiting for something that would happen to stop me hating him (as it did with Cary) but to my frustration, he really seems more like a walking plot device than a real person. To me.

      Now, I think you’re totally right that as a plot device, he’s brought a ton of great drama to the show, and that it’s been awesome to see Kalinda throw curve balls. It’s good to see her with an adversary. (I wasn’t annoyed by her, but I like to see her rise to a challenge, because honestly, the cops and the SAs always got it wrong last season, and that gets old.) I was really excited about the prospect of a love interest/foil. But the character of Blake never took off for me. He’s too completely evil. He goes for the violent solution immediately, and I hated having him on our team. And there was never any real rationale for his targeting of Kalinda. It’d make sense if Bond had ordered it, because he thought she might catch on to their games, but if that’s true it’s never been articulated. I get him escalating the fight (and he’s right, she really did overreact to his little games) but I don’t get him starting it. Well, actually, even though trashing his rental car was way overboard, I don’t think almost killing someone and then framing her for it was a reasonable response, either. It just took the show to a level of Ick that made me really uncomfortable.

      From what I’ve read, I think public opinion on the character is pretty split. People who are already fans of Scott Porter, or who think he’s got great chemistry with Archie P think his stuff is fantastic and sexy; a lot of people who didn’t know him before, or don’t buy the chemistry, fall into the other camp. I can’t imagine I could influence anyone else’s opinion on the character, though. Maybe for whatever reason, the people who comment here tend to fall into the same Blake-hating camp.

      Anyway, I can’t promise to be nice to him in the future unless he starts showing some depth! Then I will gladly change my mind. But I’m more of the opinion that he’s finished his use as a plot device and will be hiding in Baltimore for good unless the writers decide to delve into Will’s secrets through him.

      Either way, I hope we can still be commenting friends. 😉

      BTW, I hear fantastic things about Friday Night Lights, but when I watched the pilot, I couldn’t deal with the shaky camera style. Is it always like that? I can usually handle that for a two hour movie (usually – I spent half of The Constant Gardner – which I loved – with my head between my knees), but not for an entire tv show.

      • Liz says:

        Of course we can be message buddies! Ha.

        Friday Night Lights shaky camera style is exaggerated in the pilot moreso than the other episodes. It’s still does not look like regular television with your static shots and push ins and close-ups though.

        I’d say to give it a shot for episodes 2-5. They’re only 40 minutes, not 2 hours, and maybe the camera will lighten up for you? If you can stick with it, it’s worth it. Like I said, it lightens up as they get into the series more.

        I had some girlfriends who had serious issues with it as well. It’s definitely a style a lot of us aren’t used to.

        • E says:

          You know it probably sounds silly to say I can handle it for a movie but not a tv show, which is obviously shorter – but if I get involved in the tv show, that dozens of hours, where as the movie is over and done.

          I’m glad to hear that it’s less shaky after the pilot;my brother has been after me for years to check it out. Maybe I’ll netflix it this summer, once TGW is off the air and I need some good drama in my life!

    • E.L. says:

      *raises hand* Someone who doesn’t hate Blake here. I am in agreement with E, however, that he was underdeveloped, more of a plot device introduced to make trouble for Kalinda and force her secret out into the open than a whole character. But then, I would not hesitate to say the same for several of the recurring, secondary characters on the show, including Derrick, Wendy, and Childs actually as well. I don’t think it can be helped. Such is the fate of secondary characters. Especially when the actors playing these characters are being cast as regulars on shows of their own. I’m sure that’s not doing the writing any favors.

      In light of last Tuesday’s revelation, I can see now why the writers decided to introduce Blake’s character in the first place, and having established the character’s purpose on the show, I am willing to overlook the flat characterization. After all, the development of secondary characters should not come at the expense of clarity or economy in the writing.

      That said, what does irk me a bit is the missed opportunities the writers had with some of these characters to develop the main characters more. Derrick, especially, I felt could have been used to greater effect in articulating nuances in Will and Diane’s characters. I know the writers introduced him to create friction between the two and to throw the politics and the balance of power at the office into disarray, but as the new third partner, he was in a unique position to play foil to both characters. I feel like seeing him in action in court would have revealed interesting differences among the three characters in the way they all view and approach the law and their profession. And his character could have been used to help bring some of the paradoxes in Will’s character into focus more. He and Will are both ruthless types, but Derrick is more subtle, cautious, and suspicious (in this he is more like Diane), and this contrast brings into relief Will’s surprising naivete sometimes when it comes to people, especially close acquaintances. Comparisons would also clarify for audiences what Will’s scruples are, or if indeed he has any when it comes to protecting his own interests. And a bit more information would have helped round out Blake’s character too, since the relationship between the two was always only vaguely defined. One gets the feeling he doesn’t really like Blake either, but he helps out and hires him anyway…

      Similarly, Wendy’s character could have been used to add new dimensions to Peter. And Childs is directly tied to the unresolved corruption/FBI investigation plot from last season that the writers seem to have put aside for now… We still don’t really now what happened with Peter at the states attorney’s office that landed him in so much trouble. Remember both Stern and Childs said that the prostitution scandal was just the tip of the iceberg. And Stern also suggest that the scandal only came to light in first place because other people looking to cover for themselves made Peter the scapegoat. Whatever happened to that ominous plotline? After all the time spent on it in season 1, it seems too big to just drop, but are we going to be able to revisit it if Childs is not going to be around?

      • E says:

        YEs, yes, yes! EL, I love your whole analysis. I particularly love the breakdown about Will and Diane. The Kings should hire you for the writers room. 🙂

        To me, of the three Derrick had the most unrealized potential, and I sorely wish we’d gotten to see more of him in court. Why did we only see that once? Really, it’s odd, even considering that he spent a lot of time at the DC office. One of my favorite aspects of the show is the way so many characters give us such wildly different courtroom techniques, and I was eager to see what Derrick had to offer in that way.

        Derrick was particularly frustrating because he’s clearly written as a smooth, courtly fellow who plays everything close to the vest, never revealing his intentions. At least in the end, we got to see his endgame which made sense of odder pieces of behavior (like, say, the employee evaluations) in retrospect. And it becomes clear that, while Blake does all the dirty work, Derrick is the puppet master.

        Still. Sometimes this show is so good at distilling a character into a very few scenes that I’m really sorry these guys didn’t get better integrated into the show as a whole.

        And wow, what a great thought that Wendy could have been used to get into the whole corruption issue with Peter and the mysterious benefactors who paid for Kaya (and perhaps Gold and Golden?) last season.
        Maybe they’ll go there before this season ends? I’d like to see it. They’re promising more revelations to come, and they brought in the Federal wiretapping long after I’d give up that they would.

        I love Childs, so I certainly hope he sticks around like Cary did. Childs to me is the most developed character you mentioned; I feel like I understand why he does things. Rage, paranoia, revenge – it’s all there. (I find his paranoia particularly delicious.) It’s hard to imagine him switching sides and becoming a defense attorney, though, isn’t it? Do you suppose they’ll get him to go work for the Feds? Now that could be fun.

        All that aside, it always astounds me how much they manage to get into each hour. There’s hardly a wasted second, so rarely a scene that I look at and think, naw, they didn’t need that. So I guess I shouldn’t be too picky; as you say, that’s how it is with secondary characters!

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