E: You know how, when you watched Titanic for the first time, and you knew the ship was going to sink and most of the people were going to die, you cried like a baby anyway because it was just so sad?
Yeah. It’s kind of like that.
As with the story of Cinderella, we’re brought into this episode by the pleasant chirping of birds. (Trust me. I’ve just watched it with my three year old. Twice.) Behind a “Fine Homes of Oak Brook For Sale” sign, there’s a really gorgeous old yellow house with twin peaked roofs and white trim, green shutters and a circular drive. There’s a portico, probably for a time when carriages rolled up to the front door; underneath the portico, the driveway is brick. It’s all lush and tasteful. The front door, now that I’m looking at is, is on the side, and instead of Cinderella in a carriage, Alicia drives up in her sedate gray sedan. There are rockers on the porch.
Alicia, resplendent in a red wool coat, pops out of her car, her cell phone sandwiched between her ear and shoulder. “Can we do this later, Eli?” She shuts the car door, looking behind her at a smiling woman in a pepto-bismal-like pink coat (eep) who’s just walked out of the house. “I’m sorry, the traffic was crazy,” she apologizes to the woman. Her client, perhaps? “Peter wanted me to check out this house on my way to work, so please…” Oh, Alicia, really? You don’t want a big new house! And you don’t want that crazy drive everyday, do you, or to make poor Grace switch schools yet again? I thought we discussed this! Eli’s not done with her. “I just wanted to warn you, the press might call. Wendy Scott-Carr’s husband is doing a spousal interview,” Eli warns from his office, where he and Frank Landau are watching the interview on his big screen. Looks like somebody kissed and made up. “With kids.”
“We discussed this, Eli, I’m not going to do an interview,” she snaps. I know, he says. “I’m not saying anything, I’m just saying you might get a call.” “I’m going now,” she tells him as she ascends the curving brick steps into the gracious old yellow house. “Wait, you and the kids are coming to the Highrate (?) tomorrow night for the returns, right?” “I am,” comes the reply he’s not pleased with. Does it really matter? I mean, at that point it’s all over with, right? I admit, pictures of the happy family celebrating might play nicely in the newspapers (and if I were Grace and Zach, I would so be lobbying to go) but does it matter that much? Eli still really wants the kids. Goodbye Eli, Alicia tells him, and stands looking at a very pretty foyer with a glossy baby grand piano, bright red rug and hardwood floors. The walls are crisp white, but behind where Alicia’s standing is another room painted red. The colors are striking.
“It’s a 4 bedrooms, five and a half bath 1932 Colonial revival,” the smug pink real estate agent begins her pitch. A house that size with only 4 bedrooms? Okay. “Stanley Meyers interior.” Alicia smiles to herself and shakes her head. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” asks the pink lady. It is. “You have to see the formal dining room,” says the Pink Lady (who actually has Rizzo’s haircut, now that I think about it), walking at a good clip through the red room. “Original hardwood floors. It’s 2.4 million, but I’m pretty sure I can get them down to 2.1. It’s a quiet neighborhood, close to very good schools public and private, and it’s a divorce so they’re very motivated.” Alicia, why are you doing this to yourself? You didn’t want the big house and the commute. Don’t get me wrong. I love the house. You can see that Alicia loves the house. It’s just – it’s not necessary. It’s not the stuff that makes her happy, either. The camera lingers on a family portrait over a mantle piece. Husband, wife, son and daughter in easier times. It feels like a bad omen.
“So the votes tomorrow, huh?” the agent smiles ingratiatingly, “Mrs. State’s Attorney? Sorry, is that jinxing it?” Even though you can tell it’s a job, this real estate agent is good at it. She’s smart, familiar but not too personal. But before Alicia can answer, her phone rings. “Alicia Florrick,” she says. “Mrs. Florrick, this is Andrew Wylie, I’m an investigator with the state’s attorney’s office,” says the investigator, his hair plastered to his forehead, pushing the ubiquitous stroller. Ah, Andrew! He’s looking rather grim – as well he might, the little bastard. Okay, I’m sorry for the language, but I used to really like the aggressive little bull terrier, before he lost all sense of proportion. I cannot even believe he’s calling Alicia, for instance. She tries to put him off by saying she’s busy. “I won’t keep you. I just need to ask you a few questions about my investigation.” Cause that wouldn’t be keeping her, not at all.
Alicia crinkles her eyebrows as she walks through the absolutely stunning kitchen. White cabinetry, glorious golden granite counter tops, large island, stainless steel appliances including an absolutely massive stove. I’m drooling. Though, come to think of it, not very big considering the size of the house. Alicia’s confused (rightly); isn’t the investigation over? “The Kalinda Sharma investigation was concluded, this is a new one.” Is it? Really? Is it that different? Doesn’t it feel like the hydra – you cut off one head for two others to take its place? “When can we talk?” he asks. How about never? You know she doesn’t have to talk to you. “Well, I’m – that’s my call waiting,” she sighs. “Why don’t you – I’ll have my assistant call.” “Okay, when,” he asks, relentless. “Soon,” she promises, and hangs up. Is it odd that it’s raining where he is (presumably downtown Chicago) and sunny out in the suburbs? Was that a deliberate contrast, or did it just turn out that way?
“Alicia Florrick,” Alicia Florrick says again, picking up the call from her assistant – who is not (as we might have expected) the long lost Courtney. “Mrs. Florrick?” asks a flustered looking Natalie Flores. Huh? “It’s Natalie Flores. I’m the intern you hired for a month. The one with the immigration trouble, who worked as a nanny for Wendy Scott-Carr, and was fired after…” Alicia, looking around a pretty sitting room with a fantastic wall of windows, cuts through the exposition. “Yes, Natalie, what?” Pink Lady directs Alicia to the study, while Natalie flutters. “Maybe nothing, or something. I, I don’t know the protocol here.” Alicia prompts Natalie for speed. “I’m sorry – this contract you asked me to translate for the deposition today, I was looking at the 2007 extension.” Natalie looks deeply unhappy. “Not the extension,” Alicia grouses, trying to concentrate on sunlit rooms and molding, “we already had that translated. I wanted the side letter translated.” She’s a little exasperated. “Never mind,” Natalie stammers. We see her through the vertical blinds of Lockhart/Gardner’s inner office, much gloomier than Alicia’s potential new home. “I’ll just wait till you get here.” Ah. In other words, you’re unsure of yourself and it’s tricky to explain over the phone, but you are too bright and conscientious to let something go, because you really do know it’s something.
“No, I’m sorry, it’s been a crazy morning. Natalie, what is it?” There. That’s why Alicia, for the most part, would be a really good boss. “Well, I know I’m just an intern here, and I don’t want to get anyone in trouble here, but I think your translator mistranslated it.” Alicia surveys another lovely, well appointed room (gorgeous wooden chairs, more big windows, another fire place), and takes it all in. Beep beep! “Oh, that’s my call waiting,” she says, “I’ll be right in.” And after Natalie, who’s the 4th call in 2 minutes? “Alicia Florrick!” “Alicia, sorry to bother you at home, but can you come in early? We’ve got a problem.” The two walk through hallways, dark and light. “Sure. The deposition?” “No,” Will replies, “the client. He had a heart attack.” His daughter’s arrived with the news. Alicia’s shocked and distressed; she sits down at the kitchen table, the better to digest Will’s words. “Oh my God, when?” “Last night. She says he’s conscious. He’s in the ICU, but he wants us to continue with the depositions.” That’s not what Alicia was expecting to hear, either. “How?” “That’s what we’re trying to figure out. Can you come in?” Of course she can, Will. Whatever you need.
“Her father always said this was a cursed suit.” Alicia points to the table for emphasis. “There’s no such thing,” Will deadpans, “but don’t say it. Because it’s unlucky.” Hee. Alicia smiles. Then she hangs up, sighing and looking around. Behind her there’s a patio with tasteful furniture and blooming bushes. Has spring sprung? I’ll never figure out what the timing is on this show.
“I thought of you, it’s like your old house,” the Pink Lady smiles, leaning on the island. Alicia looks around, mellow, her lips curving. “Ever miss it?” She’s recalled to the presence of the other woman by the question. “The old house? Sometimes.” It’s been a while since we’ve really thought about what she gave up, the privileged life that was ripped away. “Well this one is better,” the real estate agent asserts, chipper. Alicia snorts. “I have to go,” she admits ruefully. The agent complains she hasn’t even seen upstairs; Alicia says she’ll come back. “I am tempted,” she confesses. “What’s wrong with being tempted?” the agent grins. Oh, honey. Goodbye, beautiful house, with your lovely mill work and your copious, stunning flower arrangements. Even the fruit bowl compliments the color scheme. I can’t decide if I’m sorry about this or not, but I have a feeling I won’t be seeing you again.
“It was hard, I won’t lie,” Mr. Scott-Carr tells the camera, his two daughters perched next to him. “These flyers tried to make our love … ugly.” He’s very soft spoken, just like his wife. There’s a split screen so we can see the odious “is she one of us?” racist flyers. But I can’t really think about that. I’m just so horrified that he – that she – let their children on television to talk about this! Yuck! Horrible! How can he? I’m appalled. I’m angry, even, that they would subject the kids to that. “And our daughters were the ones to bring them home.” A pretty young reporter looks on with false compassion. “Did it make you cry, Elyssa?” Why, those monsters! The reporter and the parents both. How can they? These are kids are maybe 8 and 5. Maybe. Eli, still watching with Frank Landau, rolls his eyes. “Yeah, I guess, but Mom and Dad explained it to me.” “My God, we’re screwed,” Frank grumps.
“You’ve had a strong marriage for over a decade now, Spencer. What do you think of the troubles in the Florrick marriage?” Eli the drama queen kvetches some more: “Oh dear God almighty!” Spencer, who looks a bit like Ralph Macchio, is not only as soft spoken as his wife, he’s also just as saintly sounding. “Any marriage that stays together is to be respected. Admired. Every marriage needs some space.” Eli paces, looking at his phone. “We’ve got to do some polling.” Yay, Matt! (Ugh, will this be Matt’s last episode, or will he stay on to do polls if Peter wins? I like Matt. I hate losing terrific supporting characters.) “No, we’ve got to get Florrick’s wife to do the interview!’ Sorry, Matt, but Frank is pretty adamant. “She won’t,” Eli says.
“I don’t think you get it, Eli, or she doesn’t get it.” Why are we listening to this complete dufus again? Do we not remember last week? And the throttling? “You’re in a race that’s tied with one day to go, and he just hit a home run for his wife. Alicia Florrick doesn’t have the luxury to say no.” Um, guess what? She does. Oh, but she does. “And you don’t have the luxury to protect her,” Frank finishes. “I’m not protecting her,” Eli lies unconvincingly. Actually, maybe it would be convincing if we didn’t know it was a lie. “I promised her I would not ask her to do this.” “Oh, my God, you promised her? Why didn’t you just say that?” Hee. I can’t stand Frank, with his reactionary (and not very thoughtful) machine politics, but that was pretty funny.
“I’ll be ready in a minute, Andre,” Natalie says, riffling through papers on a table in what might be one of the small conference rooms. “I have to get these to my boss. ” “We have better health care, too,” a seated young man with a French Canadian accent explains to her. We can see Alicia arriving through the glass walls. “Canada has the best health care in the world.” “I like it here, Andre, I like the U.S. I’ll be right back.” Ooops. Well, I guess that would be one way to solve the immigration issue, assuming Canada wouldn’t deport her. Natalie rushes over toward Alicia’s office. “Just come look at Montreal,” handsome Andre says, leaning back in one of the swivel chairs, “America is dying!” Oh. My. Good morning to you too! “Hi, show me as we walk,” Alicia asks Natalie, who duly passes over papers and information. Yay, for West Wing-y conversations! “They do bilingual contracts, one in English, one in Spanish. They’re supposed to be identical,” Natalie continues. “Okay,” says Alicia. “But they’re not.”
Ah ha! Looks like Betty Suarez saves the day once again.
Natalie’s explaining specifics as the two walk upstairs toward the main conference room. Suddenly, a voice calls out. “Alicia!” It’s the client’s daughter, Aida, who is (surprise!) young and pretty, her black hair in loose curls, wearing an informal olive colored blazer. “He’s alright,” she begins. “What happened?” Alicia’s upset. “He was looking through their stock report, trying to find things to refute them, and then I told him he should just stop, he should rest for today, and he just blacked out.” In the main conference room, a man – gray temples, but not old, in a conservative and uninspired suit – sits down. “I drove him to the hospital.” “You should be there with him, Aida,” Alicia says, concerned. “No,” Aida replies confidently, “he insisted I be here in his place. He wants me to phone him every hour with updates. This isn’t just about the money anymore, Alicia.” We get a moment of Alicia’s lovely, sad face (framed by a dark suit and a tiny necklace) till Aida notices Natalie in the background. Alicia introduces her. Just saying, awesome boss. Natalie Flores and Aida Rios shake. Then daddy calls again.
“Can you stay for the rest of the day?” Alicia asks. “Me?” Natalie says in surprise. Yes, you, kiddo. “Um…” Alicia lets her off the hook immediately, saying she can just give the info to a paralegal (do they wear badges, do you suppose?) but Natalie takes it back. She’ll do whatever Alicia needs. “I just need to tell my boyfriend.” You know, I’m not even going to try to figure out what time of day it is that she might be expecting to leave when Alicia’s arriving.
“Aida! I am so sorry,” the suit exclaims, “your dad is a tough old cuss, he’ll be up and around in no time.” “Thank you,” says Aida Rios, adding a dirty look to her cold tone. I guess it’s good that he can be civil? They can be? I guess? He smirks. “Thank you, Mr. Francis, for coming,” Will adds, pulling up his chair next to the camera. “After I year, I thought we’d never see you.” “Then perhaps you should use your time more fruitfully,” suggests the beautiful latina lawyer next to Mr. Francis. “Thank you Isabella,” Will replies pleasantly, refusing to rise to the bait. “So your company, Platico Stillman, made how much in profits last year, Mr. Francis?” “Domestic and worldwide? 6.7 billion.” Yikes. “Wow! Woof! The oil business’s proven to be quite lucrative these days, isn’t it?” Yep. Just look at the prices at the pump. “And how much did you pay Luis Rios and his company Latin Star Drilling?” “I think you can read the documents, Mr. Gardner,” Isabella drawls slowly. Heh. Why yes, little lady, he sure can. “Zero. And how much did the contract specify you pay my client?” “If Latin Star Drilling fulfilled its contractual duties, 86 million.”
Well, that’s a tidy sum of money. What’s the hold up? Ah, those pesky contractual duties. Aida glares at Mr. Francis. “The contractual duties were to set up and operate oil rigs in Venezuela.” “Which he did,” Will notes. “Not within the time specified. His company promised to deliver in May 2008. Instead they delivered in September.” Four months, Will muses. What about the Brazilian facility that went 8 months late, or the Nigerian one that was a year over due? Platico Stillman paid both.” “Yes,” Francis brazens it out. “We had agreements allowing for late delivery.” “Agreements – good. Where are they?” “Handshake agreement,” Francis qualifies. Will guffaws. “Oh, I thought you were joking.”
Natalie scurries in, trying to be unobtrusive. She hands some papers to Alicia and sits near Aida on a chair by the wall. Will, meanwhile, is expositing that the “refusal to pay Aida’s father has nothing to do with the contract and everything to do with the changing political climate in Venezuela.” Francis won’t cop to it. “But you closed your offices in Caracas in 2008 claiming ‘the socialist politics of the current president Hugo Chavez have proven unfriendly to American business.’ And one week later you refused to pay my client’s Venezuelan subsidary.” Through it all, Aida glares at Francis from behind Will. “Now it looks to me like you wanted to get out of Venezuela and you skipped on the bill.” Girl has a serious glare.
“Looks to me?” Isabella quotes with flat, dry sarcasm. “What is that, one of those newfangled legal terms?” Alicia steps up to bat next with Natalie’s findings. “Mr. Francis, the contract with our client was executed in both Spanish and English, is that correct?” It is. “You speak Spanish, don’t you, sir?” “I do, fluently,” he boasts, as Natalie Flores watches him through narrowed eyes. “Um, what does the word ‘excito’ mean?” Alicia clearly does not speak Spanish, as her attempt to pronounce the word shows. “It means success,” Francis explains. “And yet it is often mistranslated as exit, isn’t it? And exit is sometimes translated as ‘excito’, probably because the two words are so alike.” It’s Isabella’s turn to narrow her eyes. “Thank you, Rosetta Stone.” Ha. Nice line. It’s particularly funny from someone who was just fussing about Will not using precise legal terms. “What do you have?”
Alicia hands over the papers. “Here, in the US copy, it reads ‘exit strategy.’ And here, in the supposedly identical Spanish copy, ‘exit strategy’ is translated as ‘estrategia de excito’ – success strategy.” Isabella looks concerned; Will looks excited. Natalie looks deeply nervous. Mr. Francis looks just plain pissed. “That is such utter…” Happily for the censors, Alicia cuts him off. “Delivery side letter is now void because the client never agreed to your ‘exit’ delivery date.” Francis has totally lost his cool. “That’s a technicality,” he hollers, thrusting his finger at the table. “He knew what he was signing!” Isabella puts a restraining hand on his arm. “Okay. Okay. Give us an hour.”
Aida hangs up her cell phone, her grin wide. “Dad laughed. He was sitting up in bed.” Will’s still cautious. “He knows we still have a long haul?” “He does,” Aida agrees, shrugging, “it’s just the first time I’ve heard him laugh in a long time.” Will smiles, too. “Good job, Alicia.” “Actually,” says the world’s best boss, pulling Natalie forward, “it was…” Everyone’s focus is distracted by raucous laughter. Towering over a group of admiring young men and women is – former Senator (and Law & Order DA, and one time presidential candidate) Fred Thompson? Woah. Crazy. It looks like he’s signing autographs. What on earth? It’s like the Lou Dobbs sighting, only even better. Is Thompson playing himself, or acting? His career fascinates me; it’s so puzzling to me that he can flip back and forth between professions without losing the public perception of gravitas. Will walks into the hallway, mesmerized. “Politics is just as challenging as acting,” Thompson expounds genially. “Always has been. What’s really hard is fly fishing.” He follows that bit of wisdom with a folksy chuckle.
The minions notice Will, and finally so does Thompson. “Well hello there! And you are…” “Will, Will Gardner,” the partner says (no where near as suavely as James Bond would have). The minions disperse. “Glad to meet you,” Thompson smiles, pointing at Will’s chest, “Gardner/Lockhart.” Will can’t help but correct him. Thompson really does not care. “Are you here to see Diane?” “No. I’m here to see you.” Oh. Well, that’s interesting. We see the trio of brunettes over Will’s shoulder. “Are you? Really?” Will’s at a loss. “Well. I’m here.” Fred chuckles, flashing his perfectly even white teeth, and Will chuckles with him awkwardly. “Why are you here to see me?” Will asks, sensing some ominous undertone. “Well, I hate to say it, Will, but I’m replacing you.” Say what? “The Platico Stillman suit? I’m the new plaintiff’s attorney.”
Will walks back to the waiting area between his office and Diane’s. “Aida, what’s going on? Is your dad firing me?” Aida’s just as puzzled. “He’s hired an actor?” Thompson follows Will into the waiting room. “I’m not just an actor, Will – I’ve been a lawyer for 42 years.” Well, yikes. That’s a lot of time. “Just like that, he’s firing me?” Will asks Aida, hurt. “He’s not firing you,” Thompson finally explains, “he’s no longer the plaintiff.” He calls a few more people into the room. “This is the Counsel General of Venezuela. And this is, ah, somebody else,” he waves at a uniformed military man. “I can’t remember his name, but they’re representatives of the Venezuelan oil industry.” Um, okay. “And your client’s oil facility has just been nationalized.” Oh no, Alicia sighs. “Sorry to do this, but they just nationalized Latin Star’s drilling subsidiary. So that means that you’re no longer the plaintiff, m’am, and you’re no longer the plaintiff’s lawyer.” Nice. So nice. “They are,” he says, pointing to the Venezuelan contingent, “and I am.” He flashes that enormous grin, as if he expected Will to say thanks.
Damn. Fred Thompson – seriously, is he playing himself? Senator and actor Fred Dalton Thompson. A slightly fictionalized version of himself? He doesn’t just play a lawyer on tv – he actually is one. Man, the levels of meta here are seriously freaking me out. I notice no one is using his actual name, or any name at all, but they’re clearly trading on the actor’s fame.
“Not to sound too melodramatic,” Will declares, getting right up into Thompson’s face, ” but over my dead body.” “Not to sound equally melodramatic,” Thompson grins jovially, “but let’s dance.”
Wow, talk about whiplash. Last day of campaigning, emotionally loaded house hunting, interview pressure, client in the hospital, and case (and property) stolen by a foreign government? Good lord. I challenge another show on tv to do so much in their whole hour, let alone the first ten minutes.
“You don’t understand, they polled within a point, and that’s within the margin of error!” Eli gasps, sprinting down the hall after Alicia. And so begins his campaign. Forgivable? Would he always have gone there? Well, at least they’re still walking and talking. Alicia won’t be intimidated. “No, you don’t understand. We just went from a case we were winning, to a case that isn’t even ours.” “I know,” he admits (does he?) “and I said I would never ask you to do an onscreen interview, and for nine months I haven’t, but we need you. Peter needs you.” She sets her things on her desk and turns on him fiercely, flipping her hair. “To ask once is still to ask,” she snaps. He turns away as if to avoid being slapped. She’s gather up materials from her desk. “I know, but I promise I’ll never ask again – the election’s tomorrow, so even if I wanted to there isn’t time!” She shoots him a deeply unimpressed glare; it’s quite an awesome, intimidating look, actually. “It’s just that he did the spousal interview – and it’s not just him giving the interview, it’s about you not.”
Alicia rears back, dignified and infuriated. “Don’t put this on my shoulders, Eli!” She stalks out of the office, leaving him flurrying in her wake. “It is on your shoulders. Peter’s indiscretions are front and center because you won’t speak.” Interesting – I can’t quite decide. Of course I’m mad on her behalf, but this might just be the price of staying with him and letting him run for office again. The public will look to her to know if Peter’s worth wading through the scandals for. “I agreed to leave you about of the politics because you didn’t want to comment, but now your absence is the comment.” Gosh, I hate to say it, but that does make a certain amount of sense. I’d like to think that the fact of her staying ought to be enough for the public, but maybe it’s not. “That’s not fair,” she says. “Of course it’s not fair,” he replies, “politics is not fair.” Life isn’t fair either, and she knows that better than anyone, Eli; what she’s saying is that she’s not going to just submit to it.
They see Fred Dalton Thompson chatting with somebody’s minion’s at the end of the hall. “Is that?” Eli wonders – and they still haven’t named him, interesting. “Yes.” “Why…” “Do you really want to know?” Alicia flicks her hair back, and glares at him again. No, not if you put it like that he doesn’t! Still hilarious to see Eli so taken aback by someone’s appearance. “You don’t want to think three days from now that you cost Peter the election,” he cautions her. She blinks. “Wow, you are really laying it on.” And he does. “I believe in Peter,” he states. “I believe he will be better than Wendy Scott-Carr.” “Why?” Alicia asks. Eli sputters for a second, mouth open, and then inhales. “Because she is more idealistic than practical, and the world chews up idealistic people.” Damn, that’s the most depressing reason to vote for a candidate I’ve ever heard. Alicia looks depressed, but thoughtful. “Peter will not be chewed up,” Eli explains. Well, they already tried that, didn’t they, but he’s proven pretty, er, digestive acid proof. Or something. “All I need is two hours this afternoon.” “Even if I wanted to,” she lays into him, “I work. This case has been bubbling along for a year. It’s here. I can’t abandon it, especially when the client’s in the hospital and Venezuela is trying steal our it. I’m sorry.”
She leaves him looking puzzled and alone until suddenly Natalie Flores comes into view. And like a miracle, the confusion clears from his face, and he moves toward her like someone in a dream. It’s seriously like he’s running through a field of flowers to embrace her, his demeanor is just so radically softened. They smile hello. “How’re you doing here?” he asks. “Good,” she smiles. “I love Alicia.” As well you should. “Thank you for making this work.” “Oh, no, they’re the ones that needed you,” he lies, but you know, she’s proved really valuable so far. If she wasn’t so in love with economics, she’d be easy to see as a lawyer. Eli asks after her father, and she explains that they’re quizzing each other for the citizenship exam. Did Eli know that there were 27 amendments to the US Constitution? Um, yes, yes he remembers hearing something to that effect.
Andre appears behind Eli’s head, looking very artsy in a black turtleneck sweater and gray coat. He’s got sort of sculpted hair; he’s looks a little Beat Generation, the thick hair and pale skin with the dark clothes. Also, he’s got one of those tiny little mustaches, the ghost of a mustache gently clinging to his upper lip. Natalie immediately remembers she needs to go. Come to the party we’re having tomorrow, Eli asks, or what will be a party if we win, anyway. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, but thank you.” Eek. That was abrupt. She joins Andre, leaving Eli alone and adrift again.
Ah, but she’s not really joining Andre, either – just a kiss and a promise that when she’s done with work, she’ll see him. Now it’s Andre who looks shell shocked and alone. Eli walks past him to the elevator, and the younger, much taller man follows him. “So you are Mr. Gold?” Eli (who was facing the opposite direction, so didn’t see the kiss) favors him with a contemptuous look. “Who are you?” “I am Andre,” says the tall, accented contortionist. Hee. He raises his eyebrows, shocked that Eli isn’t making the connection. “I am Natalie’s boyfriend, she said she met a Mr. Gold. That is you?” “Yes,” he says briefly, “it is me.” “We’re in love,” Andre announces. Well, alrighty then. Aside from being extremely forward, does this seem like he’s got enough of his marbles intact to make a go of it with Natalie? “Okay,” Eli says, clearly uncomfortable and thinking Andre might be nuts. “You’re older than she is.” Gosh, how much did Natalie tell Andre to make him this jealous? “Am I missing something here?” Eli asks, not willing to be as clear. “I’m just talking,” Andre responds. Riiiiight. Eli warily boards the elevator under Andre’s watchful gaze.
“This is absurd. Venezuela just nationalized our case?” Diane wonders, pacing around her office in a dress made out of upholstery. Blech. Seriously. In a word, yes. “Should I tell my dad?” Aida asks fearfully, “I’m just afraid of how he’ll react.” Alicia thinks it’s too early to pass on the bit of news. “And our options?” Diane wonders. “We fight it. In Federal Court,” Will suggests. “Or we could delay it,” Alicia offers. How? Alicia looks to Natalie. She has to ask twice. Oh, come on, Betty! You can talk at the meeting. Slowly she rises. “I, er, well, the thing is, Hugo Chavez tried to nationalize Cemex, a Venezuelan cement company, but they sued successfully for a delay to have a fair market value assessed.” Aida’s confused. “Okay, and how do we know this?” Will’s a bit confused, too. “Well, when I shorted Cemex on the Caracas exchange, I took a bath. Won’t be doing that again.” Diane hilariously suppresses laughter, and Will stops pretending he knows what’s going on. “Okay, who are you again?” “Natalie Flores. You hired me as a temp, but I was a day trader before that, so if you want me to manage your money…” There’s silence. “That was a joke.” Yeah, it worked better on Eli. Poor kid. “Not the part about the day trading, that was real.”
Diane explains that they’ve hired Natalie to help with her immigration status. “Tell them about Cemex,” Alicia prompts, “what the assessment did.” Oh yes. Thank you. “Well, it bought Cemex time, to bargain for a better deal.” “So we delay and try to bargain with Platico Stillman?” Diane wonders. “Makes sense,” Will agrees. Suddenly we see – God, who else – the relentless crusader Andrew Wiley and his floppy bangs and puppy dog eyes; an assistant points Alicia out through the glass. “They’d rather make a deal with us than Hugo Chavez anyway. Good job,” Will nods at Natalie. That’s got to be pretty inspiring feedback to an unsure kid. Awesome. Way to mentor talent, guys!
As Alicia walks out of the room, she’s immediately accosted by the sweet looking investigator. “Mrs. Florrick, Andrew Wiley.” “Oh,” she says in surprise, “yes, my assistant was going to give you a call.” “Yes,” he replies, rushed, “I decided to save her the trouble.” His words tumble one after the other, as if he’s just so eager to get to her answers that he can barely restrain them. “Well, I’m a little busy,” she understates. “Just quickly, m’am,” he pleads, trying to leap right into it. In the hallway? Out in public? Seriously? My blood is starting to boil. “I’m not here for Childs.” Really? Then why are you here? Because you can’t help yourself? “I’m following up on an interview given to one of our ASAs by an investigator here, Blake Calamar?” Which matters, why? Because you have to know everything? Because you can’t have ends that don’t fit together? “Oh yes. Blake no longer works here.”
He knows. But of course he doesn’t care. “But, you see, some of the pages of his interview are gone, and I’m trying to hunt down what he said.” Why? Honestly, why does it matter so much to you? Is he saying that Childs has called off the investigation, and doesn’t even know he’s there? Why is it okay for you to grind up her life in your quest for the truth, and exactly why should she help you do it? “Don’t you think you should be talking to Blake?” She laughs, and tries to excuse herself, but he actually leans into her space to stop her progress, which totally weirds me out. “I can’t. I’ve hit a dead end, and I don’t like dead ends, and I wonder if you could explain to me why Blake was talking about you.” She looks at him, stunned, and over at the papers he’s been waving. “Me?” “Yes. You see, I’ve found a portion of the preliminary notes, and the subject line for the interview is listed as Alicia Florrick. So I wondered if you might know what he might be discussing.” The subject line is Alicia Florrick. Why the heck would that be true? Shouldn’t it have been Peter? Or Kalinda? No, sorry, I don’t buy that. Will, back in his office, notices something amiss.
“No, I don’t,” she says. “You sure?” he wonders, giving her something rather like the fish eye. “I have to go,” she says, swaying past him. He watches her go, assessing her reaction to his bombshell.
“So we’re not going to act like gentlemen?” Thompson wonders. You mean, they’re not going to play nice and let you take away a man’s livelihood? “Funny, I think this is how gentlemen handle it. We just filed suit contesting the Venezuelan nationalization of Latin Star. Until the World Banks ICSID assesses value for the company.” “No no no no no,” comes a disembodied voice. “Strike three, birdy (bendy? I can’t tell). You struck out.” “I’m sorry, Mr. President,” Thompson inquires of the projections screen. On the screen, there’s a table with men around it, and a pacing, heavily accented man in a red zip up sweatshirt, who is apparently supposed to be Hugo Chavez. Damn! The video camera cuts off his head. He starts addressing them in Spanish, and Alicia waves Natalie (who was walking through the hall) in to help them out. Fred Thompson folds his hands. “My Spanish may be a little rusty, but I think President Chavez disagrees.”
Wow, I love headless Hugo Chavez. Now, that’s really funny. “Tell them, DA! You’re the DA! You tell them.” “Ah, now I told you that,” Thompson wags his finger at the screen, “I’m not an actual DA. I used to impersonate one on tv.” “Phone Sean Penn,” Chavez insists next. “Phone him!” Alicia sits back in shock. Chavez launches into a tirade, which Thompson translates. “Mr. Chavez wishes you to understand that he is now the sole owner of Latin Star, and has rechristened it the Love, Drilling and Oil Company.” Aida glares fiercely, and Will motions to Natalie. (And, hmm, I thought nationalized meant that the state owned something, not the head of state. I guess that’s the trouble with dictators. Natalie begins translating, to hilarious effect. “Um, the Americans again want my oil. They thirst for it, all Americans. Except Courtney Love, not her. Even now, she is not appreciated in her country. Where is her Academy Award? Where?”
Wow. I don’t know much about Hugo Chavez, and what I do know is more about his policies than his personality, but they’re really making him look like a complete (thought highly entertaining) loon. Will there be a backlash here, as their was with Steppenwolf? Or does a Chicago theater troupe have more advocates? Alicia makes a fantastic face of disbelief here. She’s really so on in this episode. “President Chavez thanks you for your service, and just asks if you could step back from the case.” Thompson says this like it’s the most reasonable thing in the world. He’s not asking much. Just this guy’s company, his life’s work, and the $86 mil he’s owed. ” The only problem is that the law of his own country requires a three month waiting period to assess the value of our client’s company.”
We hear furious Spanish behind Diane’s objection. “He’s changing the law,” Natalie translates. “What?” “The Enabling Law of 2008. The Venezuelan National Assembly voted to give the President power to change the law if it protected Venezuelan interests.” Jeez, talk about enabling. ‘Spect that’s not how they meant it. “Oh, my God,” Will complains. “It’s like being in a Woody Allen movie.” Heh.
“Have everything ready for court by 1,” Will instructs the team. “You too. Good job!” The good job is directed at least in part at Natalie, but I’m not entirely sure if he’s saying “two” as in, good job to both Natalie and Alicia, or if it’s “too”, as in, Natalie should also be ready to go to court. Probably two? “Thank you,” Natalie replies. Diane snags Alicia for a private moment, leaving Will to face Isabella, who’s encamped in his office. Ah. I almost forgot about her, tell you the truth, what with the whole Fred Thompson show. Nice to see you again, snarky lady! She looks pointedly at her watch. “So who am I negotiating with her, you or Venezuela?” She throws up her hands in disgust. ‘We’re going to court right now to find out,” he explains. “Well, unfortunately, you lost your window, Mr. Gardner.” Her arms are crossed, and she looks annoyed. Did he? Well, that’s a shame. “Platico Stillman’s a very busy company. So, uh, why don’t we pencil in depositions in 2012?” Nice try, sweetie. “You mean after you’ve bankrupted my client? No. We’re going to continue these depositions this afternoon.” “You’re not going to be ready this afternoon.” He turns back to look at her, and walks toward her with a swagger, leading with his pelvis. “We’re going to be ready this afternoon.” She sways toward him, tossing her hair a little bit. Why do I feel like this is a very hair tossy episode? “You know there are other ways to attack this. Contractual law’s just so bloodless, don’t you think?” Oh dear. What does that mean? “See you this afternoon,” she says; he watches her walk out of his office, his eyes narrowed in contemplation.
Tell me what you think. Both female lawyers who’ve gone up against Will in the last few weeks gave him sex eyes. Oh, alright, maybe Isabella isn’t giving sex eyes, exactly, but she’s certainly flirting. Is this because of his rep as a lawyer, or because he’s hot, or because he’s flirting and not putting out a “taken” vibe? And is that just part of his style, or is that yet another reason to be worried for poor foolish Tammy? I wasn’t sure at first, but upon review, I think there’s definitely a sexual charge to his bravado here, and I find that notable, given his romantic situation.
“Take this afternoon off,” Diane tells Alicia. What? “Go ahead. Take the afternoon off. You deserve it.” Diane says it all very causally, walking around her office. “I – uh, thank you, but this is my case. I’m committed.” “I know,” Diane says – again, rather too casually – “and you can continue with it tomorrow. We’ll be fine without you in court.” Famous last words, Diane. “This isn’t a punishment. We – we have too many voices right now, so just take a break for a few hours.” Diane sits at her desk, waving away Alicia with one hand. “This afternoon?” Yes. Alicia’s starting to get it. “Who talked to you?” Diane’s head lifts up. “Who talked to me?” she asks disingenuously, and Alicia’s voice is suddenly confident, almost pitiless. “Yes. Did Eli call you?” Diane gives her a look to indicate how thick she’s being. Which, of course, is not the same thing as denying it. “Alicia, take the afternoon off. Come back tomorrow for the depositions.”
Alicia heads down the hall in a cold fury, dialing her phone, shaking her head. Eli picks up, walking through the campaign headquarters. “Hey Alicia, how are you? You sound a little…” She cuts him off. “This is my life, Eli. You don’t meddle with my life.” Her voice is practically shaking; she sounds like she could yell, or cry, or possibly both. “Okay, Alicia, what’s wrong?” he wonders gravely. “I have been working on this case for over a year now, and you do this? Well, you can forget it. I’m not doing the interview. I don’t care if Peter blames me for the rest of my life.”
Well, alrighty then.
In Federal Court, we hear the dulcet tones of – guess who -Patrice Lessner! “I understand that you’re asking for an emergency injunction.” “Yes, Your Honor. We were in the midst of a settlement negotiation with Platico Stillman, and in our opinion Venezuela has no standing in this suit.” Diane begins. “Oh, we’d agree that the President of Venezuela has the right to change the laws in his country,” Will notes, “but in our opinion those powers should not affect a law suit in this country.” “The President hasn’t changed the laws of the United States, Your Honor,” Fred Thompson objects, “he’s changed the laws of Venezuela, and they just happen to impact the lawsuit here.” “Was that in your opinion?” Will snarks. You can hear how pleased he is that Thompson can expecting a tongue lashing. “Your opinion. You were expressing your opinion,” the Lockhart/Gardner team notes. Oh, dudes, don’t get so puffed up! Don’t count those chickens!
“Your opinion. You were expressing you opinion, right?” “I just don’t know what you’re getting at,” Thompson does his best to sound bewildered and humble. “It is just such an honor to have you in my court,” Lessner gushes, cheeks pink and eyes bright. Oh no, he replies. “It’s my honor, Your Honor.” Hee. “I don’t know how many young people you encourage with your show.” She’s a fan. Hee! Somehow this makes her less annoying than usual. “”Well, thank you, but it would probably be a mistake to call it my show,” he chuckles. “And so humble! I must say, you look taller in person.” He favors her with a beatific grin. “Well, now, you’re embarrassing me, m’am.” And he blushes. “Just one woman’s opinion.” Diane finds it necessary to remind Judge Lessner that the case isn’t about Thompson, but about Hugo Chavez. Lessner is not pleased.
“I disagree. It’s about the rule of law in Venezuela.” Oh, lordy. “It’s about the new rule of law,” Will cautions. “This law was changed a half hour ago, Your Honor, in my opinion, and therefore it is an ex post facto law.” “Unfortunately, Mr. Gardner, Miss Lockhart, I’m a judge in Chicago. I have no jurisdiction over Venezuelan law. I do understand your argument for emergency relief, so I will freeze Latin Star’s assets until ….” Will cuts her off. “Your Honor. It has taken us a year to get Platico Stillman to the negotiating table. Our client has had a heart attack due to the drawn out nature of this fight.” Thompson isn’t happy either. “A freeze wouldn’t be in the interest of Latin Star or the Venezuelan people, Your Honor.” Judge Lessner suggests they work together; “you both have reason to want a fair settlement.” She spears them all with a stern look. “In my opinion, the best outcome would be for you, Mr. Gardner, Miss Lockhart to represent President Chavez too. ” She then spares a fond look for the actor/lawyer. “And thank you, sir, for doing all you’ve done to inspire the youth of America.” Thompson gives a modest, charming smile. “Great,” Will mutters to Diane, “We have a dictator for a client.”
“Well, here we are,” Thompson observes as they sit down again at the main conference table. Chavez laughs uproariously in the background, which brings out the school marm in Diane. She turns to Natalie. “What is he saying?” “He, um, likes your dress,” Natalie smiles. “Well how nice,” Diane smiles, slightly mollified. Hugo Chavez likes Diane’s dress? It looks like an old lady’s curtains. It looks like something Jackie would have in her sunroom. “This doesn’t have to be bad,” Thompson tells Will. “There’s certain advantages to being on the same side.” Will’s not buying it. “Such as?” Before Thompson can expound on his feelings, the defendants arrive. “Well, it appears that everyone kissed and made up,” Isabella snarks. “Can we continue?” Yes, and Thompson would like to start off the cooperation by adding a witness; Juan Perez, director of the Venezuelan interior. “A present from President Chavez, how nice,” Isabella can’t contain her enthusiasm. Chavez belly laughs. “And what might he swear to?” “He’ll swear that your client, Platico Stillman, admitted cheating Latin Star out of its fees.” “Really! My goodness, what a revelation,” Isabella snarks again. “Mr. Gardner, I guess dictatorship has it’s privileges.” “You can always make a deal,” Will smiles. “Well, we have four names we’d like to add to the witness list. Remember when I said we had other ways of attacking this?” “How could I forget,” flirts Will.
“Platico Stillman doesn’t owe Latin Star a cent. I’m sorry,” she adds, nodding to Thompson, “a red cent. Because our boiler plate charges prevent us from compensating companies that commit human rights violations.” Oh come on, says Diane. “These four men will testify to life threatening conditions that they personally witnessed on the Latin Star rigs in Venezuela.”
Back in Will’s office, the team discusses this development. “My father says his rigs have a perfect safety record – not a single violation or infraction.” Well, much as I’d like to believe our clients were never guilty of anything, I suppose that could mean they’ve just never been caught. Kalinda makes her first appearance of the episode; Will needs her to look into the four witnesses. “Any direction?” “We reached a stalemate with Platico Stillman,” Will admits, “they’re lying about human rights violations. Find out why.” It’s interesting that they call them human rights violations rather than unsafe working conditions, no? Anyway. Kalinda can do.
She meets Alicia – back in her red coat – in the hall. “Hey, why weren’t you in there, I thought you were on Platico Stillman?” “I’m on leave,” Alicia bares her teeth unhappily. “Leave?” Kalinda wonders. “Just for the afternoon. Do you know an Andrew Wiley at the State’s Attorney’s office?” Does she ever. Well, by rep, anyway. “The investigator, yeah, he works with Cary.” “He was asking about a last interview Blake did, an interview where he talked about me?” Are you putting together Andrew and Cary’s comment about Blake’s last interview yet, Alicia? Kalinda inhales with a tiny flash of horror, but covers it up quickly. “Did Cary mention this?,” Alicia wonders. “No. Probably the State’s Attorney’s last gasp.” “Yes,” Alicia nods, sarcastic, “an attempt to intimidate me.” She heads off, but Kalinda’s not done. “Alicia!” she calls. “Yeah?” Kalinda starts, but is taken aback by the people getting on and off the elevators. “I need… can we talk?” “Any time. I’m on leave.” Alicia turns to go. Stop her, Kalinda! Talk to her now! Damn it! Famous last words, those. That’s when I really know that yes, the secret is definitely going to be revealed, and soon. You should have taken the chance when you had it, Kalinda.
Instead the investigator chooses to go. Alicia runs into Aida in the hall, and has to lie awkwardly about her absence from the latest meeting. “How’s your dad?” “Good. I had to tell him about Hugo Chavez’s involvement. He was confused.” “Yeah, I am too,” Alicia confesses, but then excuses herself, because she’s seen Diane talking in her office to someone familiar. It’s not Eli, however. It’s Frank Landau. Oooooh. Eli didn’t call Diane, Frank did. And of course long time politico Diane would know Frank. Damn.
I seem to be saying that a lot today.
Frank runs into Alicia outside Diane’s office, and foolishly takes the opportunity to introduce himself. ‘We’re all rooting for your husband, m’am. Take care. Nice to meet you.” Alicia heads into Diane’s office. “Diane, sorry, just quickly…” “Yes. I thought you were taking the afternoon off?” “Yes,” Alicia says, about that. “I am, it’s just – was that the chairman of the Democratic Committee?” Diane nods. “Ah, yes. Frank. An old friend.” Diane walks back to her desk. “He was worried we were representing Hugo Chavez these days.” Alicia sees right through that thin excuse. “He was the one who asked you to give me the afternoon off.” Diane doesn’t deny it. “I wish you wouldn’t worry about, Alicia,” she says, “it’s not a punishment.” “I know,” Alicia insists, “but Frank Landau asked you, didn’t he?” After a hesitation, Diane nods slightly. Alicia thanks her for the truth.
Back in the conference room, Isabella introduces Latin Star employee/recent emigre Carlos Santos. Santos looks terrified. Chavez asks for his name, and when Thompson supplies it, Santos’ eyes widen in horror. “So you say you witness human rights violations on the oil rigs in Venezuela, Mr. Santos?” Will asks, but Santos can’t take his eyes off of headless Hugo Chavez. Santos’ eyes glaze over, though he tries to shake it off. Natalie leans in to explain Chavez’s patter. “I’ve been awarded the Al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights by Colonel Qaddafi. I would never stand for human rights violations in my country, never.” Qaddafi gives a human rights award? Now that’s something to be proud of. That’s just outstanding. “So tell this Santos he is lying.”
“Do you refute that, Mr. Santos?” Santos shakes his head no. He’s shaking a little. “Do you have family still in Venezuela, Mr. Santos?” Isabella asks gently. “Si,” he answers quietly. A wife and two kids, Natalie translates. We cut quickly to a stricken looking Mr. Polito also changing his testimony. “I guess you have family in Venezuela too,” Isabella says bitterly, shaking her head. This is a weird turn of events. Of course seeing people threatened by a dictator is awful, but it’s also uncomfortable to think that Platico Stillman is putting them into this position just so they can lie. (Although, gah, is the original testimony the lie, or the recanting?) Weird, right?
“No, no, wait, Kalinda,” Will says over his cell phone, now in his office. “You don’t need to look into three of the workers. They recanted. Just one of them is testifying. He doesn’t have family in Venezuela.” Ouch. That’s so ugly. She asks for the name; we don’t hear him give it, because our perspective changes to a rainy street and Kalinda standing under a black umbrella. “Hey,” she says to someone approaching, wearing a camel colored coat and matching umbrella. “I need help with just one of the names, Esteban Gonzalez.” It’s Cary, of course. He gives her a long, wry look. “Walk with me, share your troubles,” he says. They walk.
Kalinda sighs and asks about Wiley. “He’s not my investigator. I don’t know, why?” He must mean he doesn’t know what’s going on today, because he clearly knows in general. “He approached Alicia,” Kalinda admits quietly. “He doesn’t know,” Cary assures her. “I know, but he approached Alicia.” Yeah. It’s straining a bit of my credulity, but yeah. “I can’t stop him,” Cary confesses. “The more I try to stop him, the harder he digs.” Kalinda takes another deep breath. “I have to talk to her,” she assesses ruefully. Cary whistles. “Yeah, that’s a hard one. ‘By the way, I slept with your husband.'” Kalinda shoots him a pained, reproachful look. “Oh, sorry, is that too blunt?” “It was before we met,” she explains. “Okay, well then maybe she’ll understand,” Cary laughs without mirth. Kalinda favors him with another pained, even incredulous look. How can he not be sensitive to her extremely thorny position? “You know what?” Cary says, stopping. “Before you talk to Alicia about your issue, ask her to smooth things over between me and Peter.” Are thing rough? Has Peter dealt with Cary in any way? Not that I can’t see the value of Alicia interceding for him. Kalinda looks appalled that he’d ask now. “Well, you’re always asking me for favors, this is mine! If Peter’s elected I don’t want to be summarily fired because there’s bad blood between us.” I kind of wonder how Alicia would have responded to Cary asking her this himself? “So you’re going to stay at the State’s Attorney’s office?” Kalinda wonders. “I like it there,” Cary shrugs. “Don’t tell Alicia you slept with Peter until you put in a good word for me, okay?” Kalinda gives him an exasperated, fond look.
Ah, poor Cary. You don’t know it’s already too late. Kalinda had a chance, and didn’t take it, and in tv land that can mean only one thing. Doom.
Eli’s on his phone, as always, but he hangs up as he sees Alicia walking through the campaign office. “Mrs. Florrick, hello! Peter isn’t here.” He’s so formal suddenly. Poor man – he really had no idea what he’d done to offend her so, seeing that he wasn’t the one who actually did it. Can I just say now, where the hell is Peter? Shouldn’t he be there?
“I’m sorry,” Alicia apologizes, “I thought it was you.” Eli looks at her stiffly, blankly. “What was me?” “I was excused from work for the afternoon by Diane, and I thought you were the one who arranged it.” That was hard for her to say. “No,” he replies fervently. “Never.” “I know,” she agrees, “it was Frank Landau.” Eli does one of his wonderful subtle eye rolls that isn’t even quite an eye roll but totally conveys his exasperation. “Sorry, he’s a little… worried.” “I know,” she smiles tolerantly. He nods. “I’ll do it,” she smiles. “It?” he asks, suddenly on fire. “The interview,” she explains, and he scrambles for his phone. “If it’s not too late.” Of course it’s not too late. “Sorry,” he says, waiting for whoever books guests on that channel to pick up. “It’s my decision,” she smiles again. She looks at him, and inhales in nervous – but excited – anticipation. “Thank you,” he says.
Is she doing this as an apology to Eli? I kind of feel like this is more about Eli than Peter. Of course, she’s had much more of an onscreen relationship with Eli than with Peter lately. Eli’s practically a go between in their marriage. If she’s doing it for Peter, there’s no contextual reason for her change of heart.
Will’s sitting down in his office as Kalinda reads from her little black notebook. “The witness Estaban Gonzalez was injured in an oil rig accident. There are hospital records in both Venezuela and Chicago.” Aida doesn’t like this news at all. “That’s untrue, my dad said…” Kalinda waves her down. “It’s not from your dad’s rig.” Thompson looms in the corner. “Now, the hospital records show that he had salt water in his lungs when he was admitted. Which is odd because all Latin Star rigs are land based.” Aida closes her eyes in relief. “It was offshore drilling” she says, angered. “Yep. And you know who has offshore rigs.” Diane nods her understanding. “Platico Stillman.” ‘It looks like we have something to discuss with our adversaries,” Thompson agrees.
“It’s a performance,” Eli explains, pacing around a waiting room as Alicia gets her make up done, “a show, and you’re the wife.” Gee, Eli, thanks, that was so insightful. “I know, I know, but people don’t listen, they watch, and they want to see you at ease, calm, loving.” Well, his freaking out wouldn’t be calming me down if I were her! “So,” he folds his arm, going into debate practice mode. “Do you forgive Peter?” “I think Peter’s my husband,” she says, matching him in stating the obvious, “he’s the father of my children, and I watch him every day trying to make amends for his past mistakes.” “So that’s a no?” Eli wonders. “No, that’s a yes.” Yeah, that needs to be clearer, hon. “Good.” The make up artist finishes dabbing her face, and she leaves with Alicia’s thanks.
“Is it true?” Eli asks quietly. Alicia’s sort of affronted by the question, but also a little amused. “Did it sound true?” Now that’s a playful tone she almost only uses with Owen. Eli smiles – and then composes himself to play reporter again. “Did you know Peter slept with Amber Madison on 18 separate occasions?” Alicia just stares. “She’s gunning for you on that,” he explains by way of an apology. How can they not make some questions off limits? “I do know that,” she admits. “Does it bother you?” “Does it bother me? It horrifies me.” Now she’s angry. “Okay, okay, just – a little less,” he cautions, stung by her tone. “But Peter and I discussed it. It was a difficult time in our marriage. Peter was at work so much, and I was… at home. A marriage needs constant attention, and we allowed our attention to flag.” I’m not sure that difficult is the right word for that. Good, Eli says. “So why will it be different this time if Peter’s elected?”
She takes in a breath, closes her eyes briefly. “Because Peter has seen the inside of a prison cell.” Eli nods cautiously. “He’s found an enduring faith. And he’s seen the hurt he’s done to our children.” Eli keeps nodding. I can’t think that she believes the bit about his religious conversion. “Good. Tell me about your children. How’ve they handled it?” He’s crossed him arms again. She considers the question. “They,” she begins, but chokes up a little, the words catching in her throat; she waits to compose herself. “They’re the best people I know. I would do anything… to see them not hurt.” Aw. She’s awesome, even if that’s a little sentimentalized. She glances up at Eli, tears in her eyes, her voice thick, but nothing spilling over. “They love their father and they have stood by him throughout.” Okay, says Eli, uncrossing his arms. “Emotional, but not too,” he tells her gently. She nods and composes herself.
“Tell me about your work. Do you worry that it takes you away from your children?” “I do,” she says,” but I needed to work to support my family.” “So will you stop working when he’s elected?”
“No,” she answers, quickly and emphatically, then glances for his reaction. “I care about my work, I care about my clients, and I think my children support what I do.” “You think?” Eli snatches up the least confident word. “Yes.” “You have to be more definitive,” he instructs. She crinkles her brow. “Any anecdotes of the kids you can relate?” “No,” she says, straightening her spine, “that is definitive enough. ” Hee. That’s totally a Temperance Brennan line. Love it. Hmm. I’m just noticing – she must have gone home to change her suit. Heaven knows why, or what was untelegenic about the other one. “Good,” says Eli as she stands up from the makeup chair. “Let her be the bully. The viewers want her to ask the tough questions, then they feel guilty and start blaming her. So just stay cool. And real.” They’re ready for Alicia now. “Thank you Alicia,” Eli tries to put his gratitude into words. “I just wish this were all easier.” She shrugs. “Well, if it were easy, everyone would do it.” Hee. Because no, not really. It’s enough to make Eli smile, though.
Aaaaand, her phone rings. As always. “Alicia Florrick!” “Mrs. Florrick, it’s Andrew Wiley, about my investigation, do you have a moment?” says the tenacious investigator. Damn. That man. His timing is epically bad. “No I do not,” she snaps, walking toward the cameras, “and if you contact me one more time without any real evidence I will sue your office for harassment, do you understand me?” She doesn’t wait to see if he does or not; she just hangs up. You go, Alicia! Wiley keeps walking through the rain, looking puzzled by her unwillingness to be at his beck and call.
Back in the L&G conference room, Isabella holds court with Mr. Francis by her side. “This means nothing,” she declares, tossing her hands free of some paper work. I like her style; it’s soft, but supremely confident. Will, smiling, begs to differ. “It means everything. It means Luis Rios never had a human rights problem on his rigs, but you did, Mr. Francis.” Isabella thinks that’s a stretch, but Mr. Francis screws his mouth up, like he knows he’s been caught and doesn’t like the taste of it. “Let’s see how stretchy it is so the press, and your shareholders.” Raucous laughter follows Will’s words; it’s fictional headless Hugo Chavez, of course. You know, now that I say that I wonder why they actually used a real person and not a totally fictionalized South American dictators. “First I beat George W. Bush, then I beat you, Mr. …” Ah, no idea what he’s calling him here. And, when did he beat GWB? At what? Oh, whatever.
Isabella clears her throat. “50 million, with a gag order, but we have to close right now.” Will and Diane smiles at each other. “No!” declares Thompson. “Ah, I think we need a minute,” Diane responds in surprise. “No we don’t,” he says, “you’ll have to do better.” Will leans over to whisper “this is not the time to play good cop/bad cop!” Thompson – in full, stentorian voice – declares that he isn’t. He’s so pleasantly intractable, that Thompson. “50 million is not acceptable.” Mr. Francis loses it. “Oh, come on, President,” he snarls out. Wow. That’s not very deferential, but perhaps heads of oil companies don’t think they have to be polite to heads of state? “This is ridiculous!” Headless Hugo Chavez thunders back in Spanish, and Francis proves his claim by responding in kind. “He’s saying he knows what you want and you’re never going to get it,” Natalie explains quickly. ” Diane and Will just stare at her. “Wait, who,” Will wonders. “The CEO is telling Chavez he’s never going to get it, and the president is saying it was mine anyway, you stole it.” We get a look at Headless Chavez, his hands gesturing broadly in front of his round red belly. What in the world? Crazy. All this is about something else between these two men, and poor Luis Rios might just have gotten ground up in the middle. ‘What? What did they steal?” Diane wants to know, just like you and me.
We don’t have long to wait. Will explains everything to Judge Patrice Lessner back in Federal Court. “A geophysical surveying map of the untapped oil reserves in the Orinocco belt,” he informs us. Ah. Now that’s worth some crazy words. “President Chavez,” Diane continues, “wants the map to know where to drill for oil.” Well, duh. Of course he wants it. And of course Francis didn’t want to give it to him, and even pulled out of Venezuela all together so he could preserve it. You idiot, Francis. You can afford the 86 mil fee. Why didn’t you just pay it and protect your more lucrative assets? Moron. (Ah, but if all people were reasonable, there’d be a lot less lawsuits, and no dramas about them.) “And Platico Stillman commissioned the report and considers it proprietary work product.”
“And what does this have to do with your lawsuit?” Lessner asks. Will extends his arms. “Nothing in our opinion, Your Honor, and that’s why we ask you to sever the two cases. President Chavez has a conflict of interest here.” Fictionalized Fred Thompson chews on that unhappily. “What he’s asking for won’t benefit my client in the least.” Boom goes the voice of Fred Thompson.”There is no conflict of interest, Your Honor. The President is trying to negotiate a better settlement, that’s all. We all benefit from a greater settlement!” He too extends his arms, asking one and all if his way isn’t the most natural, the most reasonable thing in the world. I love his goofy, hopeful smile here. It’s very little boy – he’s hoping charm gets him by where the facts won’t. Patrice Lessner stares at him flatly. “Don’t we, Your Honor?” She doesn’t answer, and he assays a little charming smile. “Your Honor?” “Is that in your opinion?” Diane purses her lips and raises her eyebrows, looking over in triumph at Will. He gives a tiny smile in return. “Yes, in my opinion,” Thompson replies.
“So, we’re back to square one,” Thompson declares back at L&G. It’s dark out by now. “Okay, here’s the deal,” Will offers, standing behind Diane with his hands deep in his pockets. “You want the surveys? We want the money.” They’re in Diane’s office, and Natalie and Aida are seated on the couch by the door. “We drop the case,” Diane continues – I love their one/two punches, it’s so good to see Will and Diane back on form – “and you settle with Platico Stillman for the survey maps.” Okay, says Thompson, suspicious. “And what do you get?” Will hands him a sheet of paper. “Transfer of 86 million dollars to this Latin Star account by end of business day today.” Woohoo! (And here again, I can’t figure out when the heck all this is supposed to be taking place. When Alicia was at that house this morning, there appeared to be flowering shrubs outside, but unless it’s midwinter, it shouldn’t be dark before the end of the business day. Silly. Why not just say within the hour?) Fictional Thompson huffs. “You were willing to take 50 million from Platico Stillman!” Will leans against the window. “Just consider that the standard surcharge for dictators.” Nice. I love it, Will.
Thompson gives the paper a pouty face, but eventually sighs and says he’ll take it to the President. He turns on his way out. “You know he’s really a nice person once you get to know him. Sings like an angel.” Will and Diane laugh. (That’s so funny. Could that be true, that he sings? Like I said, I know very little about Chavez, but now I’m curious about the goofy but diabolically serious picture they’ve painted here.) “Good job, Natalie,” Diane says, grinning. Wow, internships don’t usually work out quite this epically well, huh? It took Betty a lot longer to get noticed for her brains at Mode. “You can manage my money any time,” Will jokes, which seems really sweet to me, considering how awkward she felt about the failed joke in the first place. Their kindness really paid off in spades here. Put Natalie on the case, after a year of work, and she finds the keys to solving it in a day. They couldn’t have done any of it without her close textual readings or skill as an impromptu translator. She’s beaming. “Thank you, for everything, really. This has been… cool.” She grins and head out, where she passes Aida, who’s on the phone reassuring her father that it’s not a dream. “I’m not saying it to make you feel better,” she grins. Aw. Good stuff! Go break out the champagne, guys!
Alicia’s got a fake sunset (or sunrise?) behind her head. She’s smiling, composed, a little awkward. Brace yourselves, guys, it’s the interview. There’s a CBS symbol in the corner, and it’s claiming to be live (which, given the lack of daylight, seems unlikely but I’ll run with it). “I think he’s a good man,” she says. “I think he’d be the first to admit he has flaws, but I wouldn’t be here if I thought otherwise.” The screen pans out so that we can see the legend beneath her: Alicia Florrick, Wife of State’s Attorney Candidate Peter Florrick. All things considered, that could have been a lot worse. Will watches from the conference room, a high ball glass filled near his hand. “So you think there’s no connection, then, between a person’s public persona and their private one?” Will drinks. “No, I definitely think there is, I just think it’s easy for people to judge, and I think it’s harder for them to forgive.” Will watches the interviewer pounce on this opportunity. “So you have forgiven him?” “I have,” she concurs as Will smiles faintly. “What is in the past is in the past.” “And your children? Have they forgiven him?” Yeah, I’d say that was much easier, actually. “My children love their father. They would do anything for him.” Eli watches on a monitor. “And I think the hardest thing for Peter has been how much he’s hurt them. Believe me, he will do anything not to hurt them again.” Eli looks alarmed suddenly, his brow furrowed, though I can’t really see why.
“What about you, Alicia? Do you have any designs on a political career?” Alicia can’t help herself; she laughs. Her laughter is rich and inviting, warm. She’s so much more real than Spencer Scott-Carr. “Is it really such a strange question?” the interviewer insists. “You’re smart, you’re eloquent, well known, well liked – my guess is better known than your husband.” Eli smiles. “I don’t think so. I’m not built for it. I don’t like getting up in front of people.” Except the bit where you’re a trial attorney, dear. I admit it’s not the same. “You could have fooled me.” Alicia laughs modestly. “Thank you.”
Will’s still watching Alicia’s smiling face. “But I’m enjoying my job too much, and, and being a mother. That’s what I’m good at.” Will’s look is measuring. “And don’t you think we need more women in politics – wouldn’t women make a bigger difference?” Well, she might think that, but she sure as heck can’t say it flat out, what with her husband’s opponent being a woman. We mostly miss her answer (along the lines of gender not mattering) because Kalinda steps into the conference room doorway. “What do you think?”she asks.
Will smiles fondly at the television, and takes a moment to answer. “I think she’s fantastic,” he admits. What’s this? A reawakening of his feelings for Alicia? Perhaps he’s admitted to himself that as much as he wanted things with Tammy, his heart isn’t there? “I think she just won him the election,” Kalinda volunteers. Will jerks his head to the side in agreement. Then he drinks. “Probably.” “You should tell her how fantastic she is.” Ever the matchmaker, Kalinda. He snorts quietly. “She knows.” Kalinda’s face here is a study. “You should tell her. People like to be told.” Yes, yes they do. Will turns back to look at her unexpected sentimentality. “You’re in a weird mood.” “I am,” she says sadly.
The fake Chicago CBS news gives election updates. “In a year of scandals, the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s race is one we plan to follow as precincts continue to report results.” The news voices over plays as Alicia deliberates over her own ballot, her pencil poised between Wendy Scott-Carr’s name and her husband’s, grinning delightedly. Wouldn’t that be a funny thing if she didn’t vote for Peter! I guess it makes sense that she’d be ambivalent about him winning. There are several other races on the ballot, by the way. Childs is not on it. There’s no Republican running for State’s Attorney, though there are some on the ballot so it’s not just a primary. “Peter Florrick has kept a slight, but consistent lead,” the talking heads continue. The numbers come up on the screen. Um, 60/40? There’s nothing slight about a 20% lead! Where did that news director learn math? That’s a not so slight landslide. Where’s Matt the hipster pollster when you need him?
The Florrick suite explodes with cheers. There are fist pumps and high fives, and someone takes pictures, and someone else serves canapes. So seriously, where’s Matt the hipster pollster? And how can he not be here? Are we even going to need him again? Or could they not afford to have him if he wasn’t going to particularly do anything? Sorry, but he and Jimmy Moody needed to be there! Pastor Isaiah really ought to be here too. This is bumming me out. Unfair! But for that matter, I suppose if Peter himself isn’t here, we can’t expect the lesser staff to show up either.
Eli and Frank are there, however, and Alicia arrives with the children in tow, despite her previous protests. “The candidate’s wife, everybody!” some yells, and there are huge, enthusiastic cheers. “Mom, they love you,” Zach leans in to say. “It’s election night. Wait till tomorrow,” she laughs. Staffers want to shake her hand, congratulate and thank her. “Alicia Florrick had been out of the public eye through most of the campaign,” the female anchor recites, “some local pundits believe this actually hurt Peter.” Hmm. Alicia has clearly gotten past her reservations about drinking; she tosses back some wine as the male news anchor reports Orland township going Florrick. The room erupts into cheers once more.
Eli and Frank are drinking together in front of the tv. “You need to get him to start thinking about the next,” Frank insists. “Let him win this one first,” Eli guffaws. Seriously, where is Peter through all this? “Come on, Eli. You rest tonight. We start tomorrow.” Thank you, I was hoping for a reason to keep Eli around. But, really? I guess they have to do something to justify their existence, but really? “On?” “The US Senate.” Eli’s eyebrows go up, sort of like he was expecting a corvette and got a porsche instead. “Don’t act surprised. It was the goal all along.” I take that back. It’s more like Frank just proposed. Eli looks at his feet modestly, smiling. “And the Democratic Committee will stand behind him?” Frank seems to have a very short memory; he’s all soft and glowy. “That’s a good boy you got there, Eli. People like him. They like your story. They especially like his wife. The comeback is one thing, but one year after being convicted, to get this… phew.” Frank almost whistles his admiration. “And that’s a testament to you, by the way.” Frank clinks his drink against Eli’s shoulder. “So you’ll support him officially?” Eli, you have pinned the butterfly down. “Let him get his feet wet first. You start lining up donors, and sure, we’ll be there.”
“Alicia! There you are!” Frank’s made his way through the crowd to Alicia, who’s wearing a red dress under a gray coat, the reversal of yesterday’s outfit. “I’ve never seen Erica eat out of someone’s hand like that,” he compliments her, shaking her hand and his head. (Turns out that the interviewer is a real journalist, one Erica Hill.) She smiles. “Mr. Landau. Where’s Peter?” Frank laughs. “Ah, like the bride before the wedding, indisposed.” Indisposed? What the frak does that mean? Puleeeze tell me it doesn’t mean he’s with a hooker. He congratulations her again, and moves on. Suddenly, Alicia sees Eli in the crowd. They raise their glasses to each other in a silent, wordless salute, staring into each other’s eyes in the crowded room. Which really goes back to the fact that we see much more of her relationship with Eli than with her husband. I can’t say that it means more, but it feels like that, because there is no Peter to put the emphasis where it ought to be.
Oh, sweet mother of God, that’s Jackie singing by the piano, which some unknown gentleman is thoughtfully playing. Is that Danny Boy? I know that bit about the sweet flowers by the meadow. Oh, is it Irish Eyes Are Smiling? “Grandma’s drunk,” Zach notes with relish. And glee. Alicia looks impartially. “I think that’s just her.” Jackie joins her daughter in law and grandchildren. “Alicia, isn’t it wonderful?” Nope, Alicia, Zach’s right. Totally drunk. “And you kids. You’re so special. Grace, look at you. You’re growing up!” Alicia and her children fail miserably at trying to contain their smiles.
Jackie points to Alicia, her tone more serious. “You made me proud. Your interview made me cry! Now I want you to have fun tonight. I’ll take care of the kids. We’ve got rooms down the hall.” Jackie looks at her significantly. You know, Peter would have to actually show up in order for that to happen, Jackie, and I’m not holding out hope. Plus, there’s the other thing. What with the foreshadowing, fun doesn’t really look like it’s in the cards. The clip about the slight lead plays again, which is peculiar. Why would they use the exact same totally incorrect phrasing? The slight but consistent 20 % lead. Slight but consistent is like 2%, not 20%, people. More cheering
Eli once again catches someone’s eye across the crowded room, but this time, it’s Natalie. She looks a little rueful. “You came!” “Just for a minute.” Would she like a drink? “Andre told me he talked to you,” she admits, embarrassed. “I’m sorry. He can be pretty insensitive.” She’s laughing out of humiliation. He tries to get her to come into the party proper. But under the cover of the next round of cheers, she slips away. He follows her. Is he meant to? I can’t tell. He was. She stops in front of an enormous, amazing wall of flowers. “The opposing lawyer yesterday, Mr. Thomas” (ah – NOT Fred Thompson himself, then, just a character trading on his real life) he hired me to be a full time translator.” Smart move, Thomas/pson, smart move. Eli says that’s great, which is a total lie. “Yeah,” she says, “it means being in DC. ” “Oh, well, that really is great,” he lies. “Yeah,: she says. “Now when you get in trouble, you can come to me for help.” He gets that joke too. Natalie gives Eli a longing look. She reaches out to touch his arm. “If this were another time,” she says wistfully. Woa. Really? Wow. They nod, and she walks away.
The male anchor is discussing rumor of Peter’s larger political ambitions when the female anchor interrupts him. “I want to confirm this before we can report it. Okay. WVBM can now report that Peter Florrick is the next…” and her words are drowned out by the roar of the partisan crowd. Grace and Zach jump up and down and hug Jackie. That’s right. Grace spontaneously hugged her evil grandmother. It’s really cute. They look around for Alicia, who’s sitting in a back bedroom, listening to the noise of the crowd and smiling to herself. And to her wine glass. Why is she not off with Peter? You have to admit, it’s very unlikely that Peter – social networking king Peter – wouldn’t be working that room. Or if he was really that sick, that he wouldn’t want his family at least with him.
Anyway. Mrs. State’s Attorney isn’t about to miss out on her private celebration. A man in a barn jacket turns at the door, sees her, and comes in. OMG, Andrew Wylie, seriously? Talk about myopic. He’s like this bedraggled evil puppy, hell bent on ruining things for her. I wish she’d just call security.
But, of course, she doesn’t. “I couldn’t get a hold of you. I’ve been trying your cell,” he confesses in a rush. She looks at him like bug under her shoe, and I really have to agree. I can’t believe his heartless gall, forcing his way in here. “Yes,” she sighs instead of kicking him to the curb, “I’ve been ignoring your calls.” “It’s not bad news,” he insists. Well, bully for you, buddy, but why do you have to gate crash in order to force feed the not bad news down her throat? Are you feeling bad for harassing her, or are you really hoping to learn something from her to further the investigation? To think I used to like him. Ken Starr indeed.
She smiles, a little drunkenly. “I’m a bit busy here, Mr. Wiley.” “Yeah, looks like, he says, glancing out at the celebrating throng. “I was feeling bad,” he says. Turns out that Blake’s interviews don’t all hold water – shocking, no? Since he’d already figured that out about Kalinda and the planted glass, he shouldn’t be surprised. “Something he made up.” Well, this is not news to Alicia, but just how does he know that? “And you came over here to tell me that?” Yeah, he did. He sits down. “Okay. Thanks,” she says with a wary smile, tipping her glass to him sarcastically. We can see her dimples. “It was a rumor your husband slept with one of his coworkers two years ago,” Wiley explains seriously. You ass. You total and complete ass. He gives her a sad, sorry look. “Rumor didn’t pan out.” Oh, I’m so terrible sorry for you! What a shame that the lack of scandal disappointed you. But how does he know? How could he have found the truth, let alone verified or failed to verify it? Alicia sets down her glass. “Why are you telling me this?” She’s sarcastic, even brittle. “I wanted you to know,” he insists, and I want to smack him for it. “I – it’s always better to know the truth, whether it helps or hurts, do you believe that?”
She does. “I checked the woman’s name, the coworker he supposedly slept with? There was no one in the department of that name.” He seems aggrieved. She make a cute kind of “ta da!” face, and hops up to leave him behind.
“Leela,” he says, and she freezes as her world cracks apart. Again.
“But she doesn’t exist, unless you’ve heard of her, have you heard of her? Leela?” Andrew follows her out of the bedroom, a bloodhound on the trail of misery. She steadies herself against what might be a door, her face largely obscured. “You alright?” In the main room, Frank Landau introduces Cook County’s next State Attorney, Peter Florrick! He’s caught up in the joy of the moment, they all are. A pathetic stand in for Chris Noth glad hands supporters with his back to us. Alicia stands as a statue in the back of the room. Jackie leads a round of “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” that actually tops the general din. Alicia finds a side door, somehow without the tenacious homewrecker Andrew Wiley on her trail. I can’t think how that happens, since he’s proven his ability to barge his way into anything, and now he must understand that Leela is very real.
And yet, Alicia walks out alone. She’s trying for dignity. Maybe she’s a little tipsy, maybe she’s trying not to run, maybe she’s afraid the ground won’t remain solid beneath the crushing weight of this newest burden. You can see her fight the tears by the way she’s holding her mouth; it’s not just tears that are coming but sobs. Oh, that face. That face. Her bottom lip is trembling, like a child, like an utterly bereft child. We see the tears. We see the tears begin.
And, wow. So much to talk about. So much to say. So much to hide your head from. Mostly, I loved this episode. I loved Fred Thompson, I liked Aida and Isabella, I enjoyed seeing Judge Lessner again (and I don’t always, but she was perfectly used here, I thought). I love the Alicia/Eli dynamic, and I thought the whole bit with Natalie was fantastic. And when you think someone is fantastic, you ought to tell them (or at least tell the internet), because people like to be told. I like the picture of a certain kind of heaven – light, bright, airy – in the house in the beginning, which contrasts with the windowless hotel suite and the darkness of the city – and by extension, the renewed darkness of Alicia’s life. I loved the acting here, from pretty much everyone but particularly, of course, JM. Wow. The last scene was just heartbreaking. We’ve seen a lot of angry tears, but the despairing ones are much more rare, and she’s just so emotionally naked here. It was horrible and glorious to watch.
Weird fact: the name Leela (as I found out on last week’s Top Chef Masters) means ‘moment of enlightenment.” Not that this is the kind of enlightenment that anyone wishes for, but it turns out to be a very fitting name. I’m sure that can’t be an accident. Also, am I remembering correctly that Platico Stillman was the sort of go to background case for several episodes, one they’d gotten rid of Murphy/Gomes? Must look that up.
And now for some of the problems with the episode.
So, I get that they’re saving Chris Noth’s limited time for the next episode, but are you freaking kidding me? The entire election episode without him? I see they wanted it focused on Alicia, but would she really be so diminished by him being there? Do you think it’s in his contract that he can only appear in a certain number of episodes? Because the amount of time he needed to be here was not large. The very idea of the stand in walking through the crowd at the party (which, let’s be honest, doesn’t even look like it could contain the staff from headquarters, let alone donors and volunteers, and was conspicuously missing Jimmy Moody and Matt the hipster pollster) … Seriously. No, there has to be some sort of weird scheduling thing, or money issue, because this was lame beyond reason.
Also, I just don’t know how Andrew became largely omniscient, and also, weirdly cruel, and I have nightmares – never the same dream, but always the same pattern. They’re like The Terminator; something is chasing me, and no matter what I do to get away, whatever it is just keeps coming. Well, that’s Andrew Wylie. I get that he’s Kenneth Starr-y, but how does it make any sense? He couldn’t know what he knew. And even if he could, why would he ever hunt Alicia down so he can break apart her life? There is clearly something very, very wrong with his social skills. Also, doesn’t it seems implausible that he’d just say “Leela” and not “Leela Baloo” or whatever? Would we really be so thrown to hear her last name? Not that it matters. Clearly the other stuff is what strains believability in this otherwise intriguing and deeply moving episode.
The Kings have said that they wanted this revelation to give the show a “reboot quality.” So what’s that going to mean? Will we come back to a whole new world? Peter’s in office, which we’ve never seen, so of course that’ll make things different. But will Lockhart/Gardner be the same without Kalinda as Alicia’s confidant and support? Can Alicia forgive Kalinda? Can she forgive Peter? Is she even going to try? I genuinely have no idea how she’s going to respond, and I’m fascinated by that. I suppose we’ll all find out in a few weeks. I’m telling you this, though; there damn well be a lot of Peter coming up to make up for this!