E: The second season of our favorite show closes with an episode just as steamy as the one which began it. Oh, Good Wife. You’re pretty sparing with the sex, but when you decide to have it, boy do you decide.
Besides rather a lot of sex, we got a pretty fun case this week, from quite an unusual angle. Always challenging themselves, the Kings, to come up with new bits of the legal process to fascinate us. And so we begin, at the ending of one thing, at the beginning of another, in a peculiar limbo, our moorings loosed, fully adrift.
“Thank you, your Honor. And thank you for your patience and attention. Now it’s time for you to go into that room and judge.” Will Gardner’s making his – yes – closing argument. An interesting introduction to the judge murder trial, no? Perhaps that’s why we ended last week’s episode with the mention of it, so this might feel less abrupt. “So let’s hear the facts. Jake Rickter.” Will rests his hands on the man’s shoulders to suggest their friendship, that Jake’s a good guy. “Family man. Business owner. You’ve probably seen his wife and child here throughout the trial.” And indeed, a young woman with an adorable little boy sits next to Alicia ‘Hand Holder Supreme’ Florrick in the gallery. “So why is Jake here on trial for first degree murder? His 9 year old son died during a routine oral surgery, and a broken-hearted Jake decided to sue the dentist. That’s all.” Wow. That’s a lot. “Jake came to our firm and we helped him sue the dentist. That was a year ago.”
“As you know, that suit was adjudicated by Judge Philip Ellerbee.” Will displays a formal picture of a round faced, well dressed man. ”Judge Ellberee decided against Jake, and that’s where all this should have ended except 2 months later, Judge Ellerbee was found stabbed to death in his home.”
Now we see the round faced man lying on a tile floor, his black blood an enormous shadow swooping beneath him. His body is twisted to the side, and there’s a red puddle where his trench coat bunches under his belly. Ellerbee was stabbed in the stomach, but there’s blood trickling from his mouth, too. Mrs. R, I hope you’ve got your son’s eyes covered! “Now why do I find myself showing you these crime scene photos even more than the State’s Attorney? Because this murder cries out for justice!” There’s a theatrical rage in his tone, wailing and gnashing of teeth. “But instead, Glenn Childs, knowing his term as State’s Attorney would be over in two days…” Childs sits at the prosecutor’s table, but it’s Cary who leaps to object.
A slender judge with short gray pixie cut sustains the objection, and Will rolls his eyes at the jury, as if they were in this with him against everyone. “As has been testified to previously, Judge Ellerbee was wearing both gloves that evening, but as you can see, one’s missing.” They really needed a witness to confirm that, unlike Michael Jackson, Ellerbee wore his gloves on both hands? Whatever. But, really? A bloody glove? That’s so O.J. Simpson. I almost expect a mantra from Will. “The police can’t locate it. Glenn Childs can’t locate it.” Well, that’s something, but it’s not quite “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.”
Alicia’s phone hums, and she exits the courtroom. “You heard testimony from our expert witness that given the direction of the knife attack, this glove would most certainly have the killer’s blood on it. The one piece of evidence that could have lead to exoneration is gone. Why?” Well, by the same token, that glove would be the clinching evidence against the defendant, right? So the SA’s office ought to have compelling reason to produce it. Unless they’re railroading our client. And indeed, we’ve heard nothing but motive, which surely shouldn’t enough to try anyone. ”We’ve also heard testimony that Judge Ellerbee was also involved in several other controversial decisions and has a multitude of enemies, yet Mr. Childs here would have you believe…”
“Okay. How’d it go?” Diane accosts Alicia as she exits the elevator in the Lockhart/Gardner lobby.
“Will’s doing well, but I don’t know. I think we only have one juror, Juror #2. “ Wow, that’s kind of nutty, considering that the prosecution’s facts seem pretty thin. Course it’s not really fair to judge their case without hearing it. Diane shrugs. “People wanna blame someone for a judge killing.” Abruptly, she shifts gears. “Oh, hey, we need to talk.” Immediately Alicia’s apprehensive, but Diane’s expansive smile allays her fears. “Nothing bad. We’re expanding. And I think you should consider taking on a bigger role.” Diane thinks they should save discussion of what role for later, after she’s done scouting for office space on the 30th floor.
As Alicia reflects on this happy development, her phone rings. “Hi, Owen. How’s parenting?” “Oh, it’s rough,” Owen sighs dramatically, lying on the couch with his hand in a bag of chips. You know, the Florrick apartment isn’t really furnished for lounging. That couch doesn’t really fit more than one lounger. It’s somewhat Puritanical that way, as if to inspire a solid work ethic and public virtue in its young people. Just saying. “What’re you watching,” Alicia laughs; she can hear the giggles and roaring surf of some Spring Break looking show. “I’m working hard!” Owen claims in mock outrage. (How else?) “Have you seen reality tv during the day? It’s so, I don’t know, last days of Pompei.” Hee. Love the classical allusion, Owen! You smarty pants college professor. Excellent boy.
As she walks down the stairs to her floor, Alicia’s caught by -Hee! – Courtney! Oh my gosh, have we even seen her in 2011? Awesome.
Not knowing she’s an object of glee, Courtney merely hands Alicia an large manilla envelope. “More on the Rickter trial?” Alicia asks. (Though I swear she gets the name wrong.) “Yeah. Will’s office?” Courtney wonders. “No, I’ll take it,” Alicia decides, concentrating on Owen’s dinner plans – Italian at Johnny’s. Will she be free at 6? She will be. Her tone shifts as she thanks him, seriously, for helping out. “Oh, come on, you’re my big sis,” he demurs. “And you know, don’t worry. They seem fine. Really.” Better news you could not have given her, Owen, though she’s hesitant to believe it. “Yeah. You and I were catatonic when Mom and Dad split.” Oh. Poor little monkeys. Also, it’s true; Zach and Grace are coping very well, better than I would have imagined. Maybe when you live under the threat of something for so long, it makes bearing up under the eventual catastrophe easier.
Like lightning, he shifts topics. “So you’re not telling anyone?” It takes her a second longer to catch up, but when she does, she seems vulnerable, as if someone might over hear. “About the separation? No, not yet.” Not even Will, Owen teases, his voice dipping low.
Alicia, however, misses the innuendo entirely, because she’s tipped the envelope open and its contents dropped onto her desk; the bloody glove topples onto a piece of paper, and she freezes as if it were cursed object from a fairy tale.
“Uh, that was a joke, Alicia,” Owen speaks into silence. “Hello?” Slowly Alicia tells Owen she can’t talk, hangs up, the calls for Courtney to run for Diane. “Tell her it’s urgent!” She stands, unmoving, her arms bent awkwardly, still holding the corner of the envelope and her phone, not daring to move, barely daring to breathe.
Kalinda walks by. Of course it’s Kalinda, right at this moment.
Alicia’s phone rings. Of course. Alicia doesn’t move.
Kalinda walks back the other way.
“Hey,” Alicia calls out, giving in, and Kalinda stops, shooting her a challenging, ‘don’t mess with me’ glare. “Look,” Alicia says simply, pointing her chin at her desktop. “Kalinda raises her eyebrows and steps into the office. The phone continues to ring. Kalinda bends to examine the strange apparition. “Okay, don’t move.” “I’m not,” Alicia replies. “It came in that envelope?” It did. “Keep your fingers where they are.” “I am,” Alicia replies, exasperated. “Courtney’s getting Diane.”
“Did anyone else touch it?” Kalinda “The glove or the envelope?” Alicia asks, and it’s Kalinda’s turn to be exasperated; she means the glove. “No, I didn’t even touch it. It just slipped right out.”
Sophia Russo is packing up her desk when Kalinda calls her. How soon is she moving to the SA’s office? “Why, wanna come work for me?” Hardly. Does her firm still run DNA testing? Why yes. “We want to hire you for a few days, but you have to come here, now. My next call is to the police.” Sophia’s eyes pop. She’s on her way to Lockhart/Gardner, 27th floor; Kalinda’s going to give her a ten minute lead on the police. Alicia rolls her eyes when Kalinda identifies Sophia as a friend, probably because she identifies most of Kalinda’s so called friends as occasional casual lovers.
As Kalinda photographs the envelope with her phone, the phone keeps ringing. Would you please answer, Alicia begs – it’s probably Will, because jury instruction should be over. But it’s not; it’s Eli, bewildered to get someone other than Alicia on her phone. Without even a glance at the caller id, Kalinda hangs up. Hee.
Eli, meanwhile, is besieged by the Democratic Committee. Eek! And, wow, that’s a purple shirt. Yikes. ‘Where’s the candidate’s head on this one?” Frank Landau wants to know. “On running again? He’s not ready,” Eli shakes his head. “He wants to make a good show with the State’s Attorney’s Office.” “Good,” Frank replies cheerily, “he shouldn’t bother with any of this – that’s our job.” Eli squints and smiles, as if blinded by the reflections off Frank’s bald head. (Oh. That was mean, wasn’t it? But he really is acting like he’s looking into the sun.) “And yours. Eli, make yourself comfortable. The Democratic Party takes care of its own.”
A genuine smile spreads over Eli’s face. “Good. I like being taken care of.” Frank’s minions laugh like they’re the bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise at the end of an episode, and Eli fake-laughs back at them. Frank tosses him a list of law firms that will rent him office space and pay him a salary. Damn, playing with the big boys does have its perks. “We need to get you paid between the campaigns.” But, hmmm. What happened to his office from last season? His freaking enormous office with the stunning view? You remember, the one where Alicia went to beg him to transfer his business to Lockhart/Gardner, and so saved her job? I distinctly recall that he’s mentioned having other clients as well. “And you need to take this time to think statewide. Illinois is more conservative than you might think. We’ll need Peter at family events, with his kids, his wife – especially the wife. You should see the polling on Mrs. Florrick after her interview.” Poor Eli looks like he’s going to swallow his tongue. “I don’t think she’s going to want to get too involved again.” Well there’s an understatement. To Frank, that’s hilarious. “Oh, I don’t think that’s her choice, is it?” he chuckles. Oh, I don’t know, Frank. You’d be surprised at her ability to choose for herself. “Look, without her, Peter’s a john who overpaid for a prostitute. With her, he’s Kennedy.”
Eli, the bright and shining star you hitched your wagon to? Yeah. Looking kind of like a meteor burning out.
“And now we leave it in your hands,” Jane Alexander instructs the jury. “If you have any questions, Petey will be at your door.” We get to watch Petey, the bailiff, usher out the jury. Jake Rickter beams at his super cute kid, who brought a great picture he drew of them to court. Who lets a five year old come to a murder trial? Seriously? Will gives him a measuring look. “You okay?” He is. “I don’t want to lose them,” Jake says, nodding at his wife and son. One child’s loss is surely enough. Will leans forward and peers into his clients eyes. “Whatever the jury does, we’ll appeal.” What, even if they acquit him? That’s not quite as inspirational as I was hoping for. Then Jake struggles for words, and when he finds them, bewilders me. “Kids should make it easier. It just makes it harder.” What? What does that mean? I literally don’t understand what that means. What should they make easier? A consolation in age, surely, and a joy, but never easy. What parent would ever say that?
Will’s phone rings, and he excuses himself to take it. “What’s wrong?” He’s coming in twenty minutes. To the office? Huh.
“This is a tough one, because you have no chain of custody.” Right. The voice here turns out to be Sophia’s. “Could be a prank,” Kalinda suggests. Alicia, now sitting but still holding the envelope in exactly the same spot, glares at them both. “Could be someone from the police department who didn’t like the way this went down.” Huh. That’s cool. “A whistle blower?” Alicia interjects. “Yeah,” Sophia shrugs. “I mean, the State’s Attorney’s office is in transition. Anything goes.” Would that affect the police? General point well taken, however.
In the main office just outside Alicia’s door, Diane takes a call on her cell. It’s Will. “What’s going on? I got 8 calls.” “Yeah, we have an issue here,” Diane tells him in the understatement of the episode. “The glove was sent to our office.” Will freezes. “What?” “The judges glove? It’s sitting on Alicia’s desk right now.” “I… who sent it?” No idea. Diane watches Alicia pinch the envelope morosely. The police are on their way; you need to get to the judge, Will. “They’ll say we created it. They’ll say there’s no chain of custody.” Diane knows, but there’s no help for it. “Get to the judge.” After Diane hangs up, Will thinks for a tiny moment, and then flies in the other direction. To the judge’s office? No, back into the courtroom. “Wait a second! Wait a second!” It’s not the judge he’s talking to, but court officers who are hustling Jake away. Will, panting, puts his hand on Jake’s shoulder and leans in close. He pitches his voice too low to be overheard. “Jake I’m sorry to ask you this, but I don’t have time to be diplomatic. Is there a chance your blood is on the missing glove?” Jake doesn’t even understand what he means, but we do. “The bloody glove. There’s a change we have it. Could your blood be on it?” No, says Jake, and we see his eyebrows tighten. No. “Okay. I just had to ask.” Will runs away again – this time, presumably, for the judges chambers. “What’s going on?” poor puzzled, hopeful Jake calls after him in vain.
Outside Alicia’s office, Diane explains her fear to Kalinda – that the State’s Attorney’s office will stonewall them by dragging their feet over the genetic testing. “We have to rush this.” Kalinda nods, and goes back to Sophia, who’s leaning on the doorframe not talking to Alicia. “What’re we thinking?” Sophia looks at Kalinda. “What do you want me to be thinking?” Yeah, these two definitely speak each other’s language. How quickly could Sophia’s firm do the testing? 24 hours. “It’s going to cost you,” she warns, but Diane signals her willingness to pay. “And we need something to test,” Kalinda notes, “and that memo is privileged Lockhart/Gardner work product.” Indeed. There are a few scraps of blood which have fallen off the glove onto the fortuitously placed paper. “Mmm hmm,” Sophia notes. The police are on their way? Yes, though slowly, it seems; there’s enough time for the co-conspirators to pull the paper out and drop the blood into an envelope.
In judge’s chambers, Jane Alexander calmly pours tea. The assembled lawyers go crazy. “Your Honor, this is insane. Ten minutes after the jury’s instructed, Will?” Not my fault, not in my control, Will insists. “But you can control when you send it to yourself,” Cary barks. Ouch. Will’s offended. “You’re saying I created this?” “Absolutely,” comes the forthright answer. “Please,” waves the judge, sitting down with the tea she’s poured for herself (and no one else). “Yes, everybody’s indignant,” the Honorable Suzanne Morris confirms wryly. Snort.
“Mr. Gardner has a point, Mr. Childs,” she continues. “I myself have witnessed prosecutorial misconduct.” Glenn tilts his head. “Meaning what, your Honor?” Relax there, sparky. She thinks Childs is right, too. The jury is deliberating. Will takes that as an opening to ask for a mistrial. Cary howls. “We were not given access to exculpatory evidence. A clear Brady violation.” Will insists. Why would the SA’s office want to frame this guy, anyway? I mean, if they had the glove, which they would have clearly removed immediately (before the crime scene photos, even, which is a stretch) without knowing who’s blood was on it, then why wouldn’t they use it to find the killer? As a frame, it seems weird. Childs wants Judge Morris to believe so, anyway. “Excuse me. It’s not our evidence. We don’t even know what it is!”
“Thank you everyone!” Judge Morris cuts through the yelling. She denies the mistrial request. “But. Bring me proof that this glove is THE glove. That it has been purposefully kept from you – or that it has some probative impact – and I will reconsider. Thank you.” Cary and Glenn beat a quick path out of the office.
“Mr. Gardner,” Judge Morris calls before Will can follow them. “I’m your friend here. You won’t have many friends in appellate court.” Mmm. Curious. She doesn’t look up from her papers; you can see Alexander’s talent and theater training in the drama she creates here, just from withholding her gaze. “I know,” Will nods. “No, I don’t think you do.” Finally, she looks up at him. “Judges protect their own. They won’t be tempted to reverse a guilty verdict.”
Will stares at her. He moves forward, hypnotized. She’s turned back to her pages.
“What’re you suggesting?”
“If I were in a suggesting mood, I’d suggest you use your time wisely, because when that jury comes in it’s out of my hands.” Now Will does understand. “Thank you, your Honor,” he says, standing upright before he turns to exit the room. He’s on his phone before he’s all the way through the door. “We have until the jury comes in,” he says.
Associates file into the main conference room at Lockhart/Gardner. “Well, to say the least,” Diane instructs them, “we’ve had an dramatic turn of events lately, so, we’re having the blood on the glove tested independently, and we should have the results tomorrow.” She explains the firm’s three pronged strategy: watch the jury closely, make an overture to Peter to see if he intends to continue the case if there’s a mistrial, and look for the whistle blower. Will’s on number one – he knows the sheriff. (Oh, the Bob Marley jokes I want to make…) Fine. Childs wants this case as a swan song, so he’s not going to be open to new evidence. (It’s a terrible swan song, but completely in character for Glenn Childs. It’s a bad prosecution, a rush job, a fitting epitaph for his administration.) So, Diane wants someone to prep Peter on Childs’ intransigence (like he’d need it? ha). She gives Alicia a meaningful look. Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest or something, even if they weren’t, you know, living separately and furious at each other? Alicia looks awkward – and away from Diane – and Kalinda bites her lip. Aw. Will steps in to the rescue. He’ll take this prong too; he’s headed to the Courthouse anyway. Alicia shoots him a look that’s grateful to the point of worship.
Finally, there’s the whistle blower. The police say they’ll check the finger prints on the envelope, but Diane doesn’t trust them to be expeditious here either. She’s looking for a little collective brainstorming. “So, how did this envelope get to us?” Alicia’s got the answer, though it’s not the one Diane expects. “It’s not the envelope,” she says. “What?” She’s lost Will. “The envelope the police collected is not the envelope.” Will still doesn’t get it. “What do you mean?”
Courtney speedwalks through the office, Alicia behind her, to find the Lockhart/Gardner mailroom. Wow. The dark underbelly of Lockhart/Gardner! Or maybe it’s the bright white underbelly. A hairy fellow named Bob seems to be responsible for opening the package that was addressed to Will. “The one an hour ago?” he sighs. “Yeah. Why?” Wow, only an hour? I love the speed and intensity of this case a ton. Where is it, Alicia asks, and Bob nods his balding head toward an enormous bin filled with discarded mailers.
One such mailer, in a neat evidence bag, slaps down onto Sophia Russo’s desk. “Well you just can’t stay away, can you?” Kalinda wants it tested for prints. “Sure. What else do I have to do? Want me to do some random urine testing while I’m at it?” Sophia, I highly doubt that it will be you doing the physical testing. It’s not like they’re not paying you for it, either. “No,” Kalinda smiles, “but it’s a long day yet.” Cute. Kalinda’s sprinting back to L/G, but Sophia wants to know if her old pal still goes out for drinks after work. She slinks down into her chair and bites her finger as she says it. “Do I… yeah,” Kalinda answers. “Where?” Sophia wonders innocently.
On his way to the elevator, Will notices Alicia and congratulates her on her envelope wizardry. “I’m heading to the Courthouse now, you looking at suspects?” Yes, she is, so they have people to compare dna with the glove, but that’s not what she wants to talk about. (I don’t think I’ve mentioned, but I love Alicia’s suit – it’s sexier than her usual with the flowy blouse and the deep v neckline. The color is a sort of olive, warmer than all the black she’s been wearing, less severe, less priestess-like.) “But Will,” she starts. The elevator doors open, and she’s caught mid-sentence, flummoxed. “Rise down with me,” Will urges.
Once in the elevator, Alicia finds her tongue again. So to speak. “When you talk to Peter,” she begins. “Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.” “No, no, I know,” she says carefully. “It’s just – there might be tension. I just don’t want you to be unprepared.” He looks at her quizzically. “For?” “We’ve been having some… troubles,” she chooses her words carefully, then smiles, sad. “Oh. I’m sorry.” “No no. Don’t be. It’s, um, it’s a long time coming.” He sighs and puts his hand on her arm consolingly. It’s maybe a good thing he’s looking at the floor and not the big ole dopey smile she’s giving him. He’s so sorry. Again. But when he looks at her face, he reads something into her expression, and realizes there might be more going on. “He thinks?” Will gestures between the two of them. “No. It’s nothing. I’m over worrying it,” she lies. Why warn him at all if you’re not willing to tell the truth, Alicia? Although I suppose it’s possible that she believes Peter only accused her of sleeping with Will to hurt her, that he doesn’t actually believe it. Will gives her his shrewd look. “It’ll be fine.” “You alright?” They’ve reached the bottom floor. “We’ll talk,” she says brightly. Right. “I have to look through some cases.” He squints at her as the doors close.
Does Will’s furrowed brow look remind anyone else of Joey’s “fart smelling” face from Friends? You know, the one he’d end a scene with when he was on that soap? Just saying. That bit was funny because it’s pretty accurate.
“The Democratic Party has given me my pick of Chicago firms to help me set up my political consulting shingle, but I know you’re expanding here.” Diane looks up from her paperwork at Eli, who’s sitting in front of her desk, giving her significant glances.”I also know that one of your most valuable clients, Patrick Edelstein, took his lobbying business to Greybridge & Associates because you had nothing in house.” Now he’s got her full attention. “You’re offering your services?” she smiles. “I’m offering you the change to vie for my services.” Hee hee! Eli and Diane smile at each other; even as she sits, they don’t break eye contact. Nice for Diane to get a fun conversation again, huh? Even if it’s not with Kurt. (Pout.) “And why do we warrant this …largesse?” Eli turns his eyes piously to the heavens. “I think of you and Will as family.” She snorts. “This is confidential, but I want to run my first campaign, in house, from here.” He nods. “Peter Florrick for governor.” Diane strokes her chin as she imagine the possibility. “With Mrs. Florrick here, it feels like the perfect fit.” Yes, purrs Diane. “A strangely perfect fit.”
Kalinda’s got her hands on a stack of folders, containing information on all their possible suspects. “Every civil case Judge Ellerbee presided over in the last 5 years – it’s too much DNA to collect, so we need to prioritize.” Him, says Alicia quickly. “Sal Barberini – his construction company lost a Federal bid, he sued, and Judge Ellerbee decided against him.” And, Kalinda asks? Alicia looks annoyed to be asked. “And Barberini has a history of violence,” she says shortly, waving off the question. Nothing that stuck, but Kalinda’ll check put him on the shortlist anyway. Her phone rings. She smiles cutely, seeing that it’s Sophia, who has the happy news that two sets of prints turned up on the envelope – one ex-con, one ex-military. Either the whistle blower was wearing gloves, or he’s one of those two people. We see Sophie walk off with two files, one with a picture of a guy with a round face and a buzz cut.
The next face we see is Peter Florrick’s. He bites his lip. “I’m not here.” He gives Will a significant look. “You’re not here?” Will’s not quite getting it. “I’m not here officially.” The two men sit opposite each other in a deserted office filled with excess office furniture. Will understands. “All I’m saying is this case was mishandled. Childs wants to go out with a bang, so he’s not thinking rationally.” A man starts to open the door, but Peter holds it closed with his hand and the man leaves. Ah, the perks of power. Peter sighs. “What is rationally?” “Well, if there is other blood on the judge’s glove then maybe it’ll point to the real killer.” “And this glove just wound up on your desk?” Oh, Alicia, you were so not overthinking this. This is not going to go well. “Alicia’s desk,” Will assays, as if that’s likelier to make Peter more friendly. Wrong thought. Peter sighs. “Oh. Alicia’s desk.” He considers this, taken aback, and then smiles. “I just find it odd that it should appear at such an opportune moment.” “Well, it’s not that opportune, the jury is deliberating. Look, just so I’m clear,” Will starts, but Peter slices into his words.
“I think you’re making yourself perfectly clear, Will.” Oh, very creepy. “You’re asking me to get involved in a case that might have been mishandled by Glenn Childs.””Yes,” Will agrees, “and might embarrass him.” “And I’m saying I’ll look into it,” Peter smiles, “when I’m in office.” Cary calls Peter away, and he rises, shaking Will’s hand. “Things are good, right?” Will, you should have left well enough alone. Peter puts his arm up along the top of a cabinet. “Good? Yes, why shouldnt they be?” Will stares suspiciously. “I don’t know.” “Well then they probably are,” Peter smiles like a wolf. His voice gives me chills here. “How’s Alicia?” Will stops, considers the implications. “Good. She’s doing well.” Good, says Peter. “At work?” Peter can’t help but add it. “Yes,” Will replies with some heat, and a lot less grace. Peter sighs, crossing his arms over his chest, walking in toward Will. “It will be funny to be on the opposite side in court.” “It will,” Will agrees, deadly serious. Peter grins, but looks frighteningly thoughtful and imposing. “But not laugh out loud funny.”
Holy crap. The coiled power of Peter, his bitterness, the sense of him as a wounded predator, the way so much roils under the surface – wow. I hate it as character development, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen finer work from Chris Noth. He owned this scene. Much as I lament his lack of availability and what that does to this show, no one else could ever have played this role.
Will’s headed out, looking like he wished he had a map for these sort of conversations, when Petey the sheriff accosts him. Turns out the jury just told the judge they didn’t need dinner. Panic time! They can’t come back now! Will starts a phone call, then sprints back to insist that Petey ply the jurors with coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Um, okay.
Looks like she still trusts Alicia’s judgment, anyway; Kalinda’s out at a construction site, talking to Sal Barberini. He’s not happy about it. Just because he’s an Italian American in construction, he’s “automatically mobbed up?” They’re riding one of those elevated platforms, and the guy is comically defensive. “Italian Americans have contributed to the backbone of America, and this is the crap we get?” Sing it, brother. What’s the big deal asking you where you were the night of the murder, Kalinda wonders. (Um, duh.) “I told the cops already – I don’t hold a grudge! What I did say is I thought the judge was a little disrespectful for delaying court for a personal matter.” The wheels in Kalinda’s head start turning. “Joe Dimagio – Italian American. Bank of America, ever head of that? Started by an Italian American.” Was that product placement? Also, this tirade is reminding me strongly of Do The Right Thing, and it’s totally awesome and completely hilarious. But maybe I just think that because I’m part Italian. And Lebanese. And Catholic. So I know a little bit about culturally acceptable stereotypes. Kalinda wants to know more about the personal matters, but Sal doesn’t know much – something about the judge’s daughter.
“What’re you?” he says instead. “Huh?” “Persian?” She groans. “What if I looked at you and said ‘yeah, she’s a terrorist.” Hee. Sing it!
Back at L/G, Alicia’s on the phone, looking for ex-con Robert Clayton. He’s the dude with the military style hair cut – huh. She’s not having any luck. After she yells the name about 4 times, Courtney pops in, wondering what she’s looking for. “An ex-con whose fingerprints were on the envelope. Why?” Courtney has an odd expression on her face, like she’s not entirely sure what she should do. But she leads Alicia back into the mail room, where it is determined that Robert Clayton is actually Bob the hairy mail room guy. D’oh! “Why? What’s the problem? What’d I do?” Nothing, but Alicia notices the clock behind his head and realizes that it’s 6:30, and she was supposed to meet the family for dinner at 6. Shoot.
Accordion music and red checkered table clothes – hey, we’re back at Johnny’s. That’s where the waitress hit on Peter, right? Owen sits with Zach and Grace at a table for 4. Aw. “How about Buddhism?” Owen asks Grace. “Buddhists love the gays.” Hee! Do they? I had no idea. “Christians don’t dislike gays,” Grace insists rather feebly (we don’t have the best record, that’s for sure) and Zach begs them not to talk about religion. Owen’s phone rings. “Here it comes,” he grumbles, looking at the screen. “the obligatory apology.” Then he remembers his duties as parent surrogate. “But, I mean, she works hard because she has to work hard.” Yeah. But also because she likes it. And because it’s who she is. Owen’s letting Alicia off easy when he notices Jackie – oooh, creepy – smiling from the shadows. She inches toward their table. The timing. It’s like she knew this would happen, that Alicia wouldn’t be there to keep her out. Which, to be fair, I guess they all did. “Oh, they’re fine,” Owen finishes, having promised to get Alicia take out. “Just go save a life!”
“Owen!” Jackie chirps, sizing up her replacement. “look at you, hello!” “Jackie! Kids, look, it’s your grandmother, what a … oh, what a coincidence!” Owen waves before leaning over the table. Hee. “No. I must confess, this was our usual Wednesday night dinner, so I thought I’d stop by to see if you were keeping the tradition alive.” You know, the infantalizing way she talks to Zach and Grace is annoying – but at least they can comfort themselves that she talks to everyone else that way, too. And, points for being honest? I wonder if Alicia’s warned Owen about this. I can’t imagine she’d like it. “Grace, look at you, you’re so pretty. And Zach, taller and taller!” Didn’t she just see them last week? She really is a lonely old woman with nothing to do and no one to love her back, isn’t she? God, that’s so sad. “Would you mind if I join you for a brief second?” Owen grudgingly lets her sit. Clearly not briefed, then.
“Kalinda got his DNA,” Diane tells Will over the phone, “but she doesn’t think Sal Barberini did it.” Will, pacing the Courthouse halls, doesn’t get the thinking. “Construction? Italian-American? Did she talk to him?” Ouch, Will! Writers, that was a cheap laugh at the expense of Will’s morals. What morals? (Sorry, couldn’t resist,I know he has them.) Oh well. Worse yet, at least as far as solid leads to follow, the ex-con actually works for them. What? “Yes, did you know we have a sex offender in our mail room? The baritone at the Christmas party.” “Okay, I – I – I can’t process that just yet.” Will windmills his arm, trying to grasp onto some solid truth and failing. “I’m at the door. I just saw one go in. Ask me about the case.” What? Oh, the case, Diane answers. “Uh, yeah, how is Jake doing?”
Will walks into the men’s room, still talking to Diane. Hee hee! Coffee! Now I get it. Wow, so tricksy. “Jake Rickter? Good. He’s optimistic now that we have a new suspect.” Will is really, really loud. “Oh, really, uh huh, that’s good to know,” Diane plays along terribly. She’s cute. “We needed a break, and this missing glove is it. Now we just need to compare the DNA…” Will turns from checking his tie in the mirror and pretends to notice the grey haired man stepping away from the urinals. Oh no! The horror!
In her chambers, Suzanne Morris pours herself another cup of tea. Glenn, Cary and Will argue about Will’s obvious duplicity – which he, of course, vehemently denies. “He wants to eject this juror so the jury will have to start deliberating all over again.” You know, Will, you can call Childs paranoid, and you’d be right. But he’s also right for once. Funny, that. “Even given that, Mr. Childs, I don’t know what other choice I have than to replace him with an alternate.” “We urge you Honor to sanction Mr. Gardner.” Childs sends his opponent a dark, smug look. “I will resist that temptation,” the judge replies, just as smugly. She must really think the case is bad, too, to let Will get away with that. “But I do understand that there was a second juror in a bathroom stall,” she adds. Will does not look so pleased this time. Shouldn’t have been so loud, Will! “You didn’t know that, Mr. Gardner?” You can bet he didn’t, considering that the juror turns out to be Juror #2. And yes, he heard every word. Good bye, tiny little man! You take our hopes of a hung jury with you. Deliberations will start up anew in the morning.
“My, you got here fast,” Sophia purrs at Kalinda. Well, she’s pretty motivated to hear the DNA test results. And, man, that top is even more low cut than I remembered. Didn’t she tell Kalinda last week this was a conservative corporate environment and there was a dress code? “How do you like mysteries?” she asks Kalinda after handing off a file to a subordinate (“not my problem!”). “Not much,” the professional mystery-solver replies. “You’re no fun!” Sophia complains. “Who’re your suspects for killing this judge, they’re mostly men, right?” Oh. I think I can guess something about the DNA test results then. Kalinda, surprisingly, doesn’t. “Yeah, why?” “It’s too bad. The DNA’s female.”
Dum dum dum!
“Look, it might mean nothing,” Will says solemnly as he leans across the prison visiting room table, “but we think this DNA might possibly lead to the killer.” Jake Rickter shakes his head. “Oh my God,” he says, his hands clasped on the table top. “I just don’t want you to get your hopes up,” Will cautions. “Why not?,” Jake replies, “What do you want me to do with my hopes?” Good point, my friend, good point. Will laughs. “The jury starts deliberating tomorrow with alternates. So we bought some time. Once it goes to appeals it gets more difficult.” Wow, Will really sounds like he’s given this thing up for gone, doesn’t he? It’s hard to form a clear opinion, however, when there’s no actual evidence we’ve seen against Jake. Just motive. Will switches topics. “Did you see your son tonight?” Jake rubs his head. “Yeah. Danny won a spelling bee.” Wow. He doesn’t actually look old enough to spell. “He’s smarter than I am.” Jake’s clean cut and very articulate, really appealing in his modesty and love for his child. Also, dude, if Danny’s winning spelling bees at 6, then he’s smarter than everybody. “And stronger. I don’t know what I would do if my Dad were in prison. I definitely wouldn’t be winning any spelling bees.”
A cell phone buzzes; Cary’s on the line. But the call is to Kalinda, and the first thing we see of her is her red painted toenails. She doesn’t take the call. “Work?” asks Sophia, who’s collapsed, naked, face down on a bed. Kalinda, perched on a pillow (and still mostly dressed) confirms it. “Tsk tsk tsk. You used to be more fun.” Really, Sophia? You look like you’ve had a lot of fun. Kalinda just says “yeah.” “Maybe it was me,” Sophia wonders, wiping drool off her mouth, “maybe I was more fun.” “No no no no,” Kalinda smiles, crawling over to Sophia and brushing up against her back, “it was me.” They’re cute and playful with each other; Sophia half turns over, covering herself, with a playful little grin. “Miss me?” she asks, turning completely over and looking up into Kalinda’s face. Kalinda nods. “Now you gotta kiss me,” Sophia sings, and Kalinda does.
Aaaand the phone rings. “Now that’s mine,” Sophia admits with a moan, and picks it up. She flips over, and Kalinda starts kissing her back. “Yeah? Yeah? When?” Work? Her tone is cool. “Okay, no, I’ll be there. Love you!” She’s stroking Kalinda’s fingers as she says it; Kalinda rears back. Who does she love? Wow. “I have an hour,” she says, flips back over and throws her arms back around Kalinda’s neck. “Who was that?” Kalinda asks quietly. “That was my husband. I have to go pick him up at the airport, he was calling to remind me.” I love Sophia’s odd sing songy way of talking. What she’s saying, not maybe so much.
Kalinda resists being pulled down. “I didn’t know you were married,” she claims. “Yes you did,” Sophia returns, surprised. “No I didn’t.” Sophia’s clearly surprised by this. “Kalinda – at the State’s Attorney’s office, I showed you his picture.” Damn. So she’s had this on and off play time relationship, not even bothering to remember what her marital status was. (Where are they, anyway? Do you suppose this is Kalinda’s new place? It’s pretty lush. The sheets are gorgeous.) “Griffin – at the North Korean border.” Absentee soldier husband, I see. Kalinda draws back, and Sophia laughs. “What, come here, he’s not going to come find you and shoot you.” Kalinda pushes away Sophia’s hands. “I have to go to work,” she lies. “Did you become born again or something?” Sophia asks, offended. “No, I just have to go to work,” Kalinda finishes lamely. But she doesn’t. Sophia lets the lie stand. Kalinda goes out to drink.
And the next morning, there’s water in her eyes as she waits for Will and Diane. She actually has to compose herself for a moment as Will asks her where they stand on suspects. Wow. She blows out an unhappy breath. She thinks they need to widen their search net to more than his cases, and follow Barberini’s lead about the daughter. Well, she is presumably female. That might help. This was a month before he was killed, when she was in rehab down in Arizona. Alicia steps up, and confirms that there are no other cases with disgruntled females around the time of the murder. Hmm. She’s wearing white today, or some sort of pale something – a fresh new start? Interesting.
Where’s the daughter now, Will wonders. Happily for us, at a rehab here. “Well, you two go question her,” Diane orders. “Um,” squirms Kalinda, “Actually, Alicia’s on the military fingerprints on the envelope.” She was able to trace them to the post office two blocks away – you guessed it – from the State’s Attorney’s office. Sweet. “So you think the whistle-blower was an ASA?” Will’s surprised. “That’s the thinking. I was going to go check.” “No,” Diane cuts her off. “I’ll take that. You two go question the daughter.” Kalinda just looks exasperated, but the pouty look on Alicia’s face! Ha ha. That’s just awesome.
They stand at a door awkwardly. Alicia knocks, and the longer they wait, the worse it is. Hee. I shouldn’t laugh at that. It’s a terrible situation. No, no, I shouldn’t laugh. The rehab is full of kids, made out of painted cinder blocks, and looks like a particularly ugly (and tiny dorm room). Hey, maybe it is a dorm room. I guess they didn’t say. A long haired girl opens the door, and they start three times before they can separate out who should be talking when. Hee.
“My Dad is just such a hypocrite,” Miss Ellerbee complains, perched on her dorm room bed. “Coming down to Phoenix like he could change the world. The only reason he sent me to Arizona is he didn’t want his judge friends knowing he had a junkie daughter.” From the way she talks, you feel like she might be friends with Marissa Gold. If not for the whole junkie thing, that is. She gives Alicia a defiant stare. Mrs. Florrick sits primly in a wooden swivel chair, legs crossed, hands on her knees. “Did the police question you after the murder?” “Oh, yeah. But I had an alibi.” Come to think of it, both girls have long curly dark hair. Definitely of a piece with Marissa Gold. “But you had a grudge against your father, didn’t you, Melissa?” “No.” She looks down, discomfited. “I just hated the way everybody treated him like a saint, when he was taking bribes left and right.” Alicia’s mouth drops open. That’s a skeleton worth shaking out, right there. “Is your friend alright?” Melissa Ellerbee wonders. Kalinda, of course, is tossing the tiny bathroom.
Alicia explains that they’ve got this blood – would she mind giving them a DNA sample? You’d kind of think they could run a comparison with Judge Ellerbee to rule her in or out, but maybe they don’t have access to his DNA? Hell no, they can’t. “It’s non-intrusive.” “My body is a temple,” Melissa answers, chin up. Hee. Is that your recovery talking, or your inner snark demon? Alicia doesn’t buy. “And you’re not getting anything from it.
But they are getting something from the illegal search of the bathroom. After looking in some more obvious places, Kalinda finds a bloody needle in the towel rack. DNA, baby! Some temple…
That envelope gets slapped down on yet another desk. “No,” Cary huffs, indignant again. “The postal worker identified you,” Diane smiles. “A postal worker identified me as the person who brought in that envelope,” Cary goes into legal mode, poking the envelope with his pencil. “No,” Diane smiles, appreciating his precision, “I showed him photos of ASAs, and he recognized you as someone who brought a package to the post office that day.” She smiles, clearly believing she’s got him. “That is an air tight case,” Cary observes. Well, it’s far more substantive than the one we’ve seen against Jake Rickter. “He said you would have received a receipt for it that looks like this?” The receipt is white and blue, and has all the tracking information on it, including a prominent bar code. Product placement again? Diane suspects he hasn’t shredded it. “Just tell us who was trying to hide the glove.” That was one of Judge Morris’s requirements, right? Exculpatory evidence –or evidence of a conspiracy.
Cary thinks that this would make him very peculiar, prosecuting Richter on the one hand and secretly working for the defense on the other? “A time honored tradition,” Diane nods. Well, I wouldn’t put that past Cary. He genuinely cares about guilt and innocence, even when he doesn’t always get them right. “The transition dump,” she continues. “Every time there’s a new State’s Attorney, little skeletons gets kicked out the door… so they don’t blow up in the new State’s Attorney’s face. Sorry for the mixed metaphors, but sometimes they’re – apt.” Oh, that’s the time honored tradition, the so called “transition dump.” I thought she just meant whistle-blowing in general. OH. Dumped for Peter? With or without his knowledge?
Waving the pencil, Cary sighs. “As flattering as this is – or maybe that’s not the right word, as offensive as this is, I would never jeopardize a job that I love, or a case that I believe in.” Hmmm. “In the pursuit of truth?” Diane gives him the hairy eyeball. She’s not buying the excuse at all. “I have a niece,” Cary explains, “I sent her a University of Michigan t-shirt in an envelope, and that envelope was about, mmm, ” he picks up the bagged envelope, “was about yeah big. That’s why your postal worker saw me, and that’s why you need to keep looking for your leaker.” Diane smiles, still convinced otherwise. “Come on, Cary. Help us.” He shakes his head at her recalcitrance. “It is always a pleasure, Miss Lockhart,” he says, dismissing her from his tiny bastion of moral clarity. Er, office.
In marked contrast, Alicia stands in Diane’s corner office, soaking in the view and everything it represents in sensual enjoyment. Wow. That side of her is so foreign to us. It’s a bit like the way we saw her appreciating the pretty new house, but this is even more visceral. Diane glides in “I’m sorry to keep you waiting, what a day!” Alicia’s so startled she almost falls, and her bearing becomes demure and subservient again. It’s most peculiar. Diane, of course, notices, but doesn’t say anything.
Alicia composes herself and begins her recitation. “We found the daughter’s works, and we’re comparing the blood on the syringe to the DNA, but …” Diane sighs. “You don’t think it’ll pan out?” “I don’t know,” Alicia explains. “The daughter was talking about her Dad taking bribes, and I’m wondering if he was hiding something.” Hmm. Diane considers the idea. “Good. Probably worth a look.” She tosses off her glasses, and invites Alicia to sit. “You have a good relationship with Eli Gold, don’t you?” “I do,” she replies pertly. “I thought so. I like him.” “Me too?” Alicia can’t figure out where this is going. “Oh, my poor Alicia. You have no idea. “We want you to liaison with his department.”
Alicia does a double take. Oh, honey. “His…” Diane explains that they’re probably going to bring Eli’s consulting firm in house, and oh, bright and shiny joy, she wants Alicia to be the official paid link between them. Great. I know you don’t want to tell people, Alicia, but this might be a good point to start. Diane notices Alicia doesn’t look thrilled at the idea of being “the bridge between the legal and the political.” “You seem startled.” “It just seems so…” Alicia can’t even put it into words. Oh, the look on her face… “Incestuous?” Diane suggests. “No. Sudden.”
“Oh!” Diane grins. If it’s only that… “Well. The path to the corner office is sudden. And incestuous.” Yep, Diane didn’t miss that covetous moment at all. “Grab the chances when they come, because they don’t come again.” Well. What else can she say to that but yes?
“We got a problem,” Will breathes, rushing to the door. “Of course we do,” Diane agrees, taking it in stride. “The jury just called for the judge. They’re calling the lawyers. Looks like the verdict’s in!”
Cary and Childs are smiling at each other. “They look cocky,” a dour Will observes, speaking to a panicky Jake. Kalinda sashays into the gallery. Cary nods toward her, but she doesn’t look. Diane pushes her chair back to the first row of the gallery where Kalinda’s just sat down with Alicia and sundry L/G minions. “Try cases with husband and wife defendants.” “We did,” Alicia regrets, “there were only 8 in the last five years.” Huh. Their clientele wouldn’t reflect it, but it’s sounding like men are more litigious than women, huh? Diane slides back. Jack mutters to Will, unhappy. “You were right. It was a mistake to get my hopes up.” ‘We’ll make this work,” Will insists. This must be agonizing. Jake gets a wide smile from Danny, but it doesn’t calm his pounding heart.
With a sudden flash of inspiration, Diane pushes back to her team typing furiously in the row behind. Recusals. Look into cases where Judge Ellerbee recused himself. Alicia doesn’t understand. “We’ve only looked at cases Judge Ellerbee presided over.” Well, sure. That would make sense, right? But not if he was taking bribes. “If there was a bribe involved, somebody might have been angry that he dropped out.” Right. Good thoughts.
Everyone is requested to rise for Judge Morris, who waives them down. “I understand we don’t have a verdict, Petey, we just have a question?” There’s palpable relief on the defence side, where Jake can’t stop twitching, and annoyance for the prosecutors. Has a case been this tense since 9 Hours? (Interesting. Now that I think about it, this is the third unjust murder prosecution of a black man this season. Is that becoming a mini theme? I’ll have to go through the cases individually to see.) It seems the jury would like to have some of the judges thoughts from the civil case read to them. Is that cool with both sides? It is with Glenn Childs. Diane whispers a reminder of their time crunch to Will, who suggests that “the whole transcript is important in context to the understanding of the case.” “You’re kidding,” Childs grouches. “And therefore, we would ask that the whole transcript be read and not just a portion of it.” “Your Honor,” complains Childs reasonably, “it’s 186 pages.” “The purpose of justice,” Will jumps wildly at straws, “we believe it’s the foundation of our judicial system, as promulgated by our founding fathers…” Oh, God, Will, you’re lying it on just a leetle thick, aren’t you? “…that comprehensiveness be chosen over…” Judge Morris gives him hilariously encouraging looks, twisting her head around trying to will him to an argument she can rubber stamp. Cary collapses snickering face down on the table. “…the opposite.” Oh, Will. That wasn’t very articulate. But happily for you, it was enough.
But it’s enough for pro-defense Judge Morris. “Okay. In the name of comprehensiveness. How’s your reading voice, Petey?” Hee – all 186 pages of it. Awesome.
Will and Diane sprint out of court, guessing they’ve bought themselves around 3 hours. Hmm. Back at the office, Kalinda and Alicia have taken over the conference room with the minions. “Senka Park development suit, husband and wife defendant lost a suit against the city. Judge Ellerbee recused himself for personal reasons.” Alicia pricks up her ears. “He was visiting his daughter in Arizona?” She snaps a folder shut and rushes from the room as Kalinda reads out more about the case. “Defendants were Mr. & Mrs. Gothard of Lincoln Park. We need to get her DNA!” “I’m on it,” Alicia calls over her shoulder. Ah, give me an army of women and I’ll take over the world.
Her hair swings as she turns the hall corner. “I can’t talk, Eli!” “You called me,” he answers in some (justified) surprise. “Yeah, then catch up.” Hee. Back in her office, her fingers flash over the keyboard, and searches – not on ChumHum or Thetapedia, by the way – reveal that there was a $33 million dollar verdict. “It’s ridiculous. It’s unjust,” Mrs. Angela Gothard told the papers. “We’ll appeal.” The articles reveal that Ellerbee seemed to favor the Gothards, but stepped out of the way. Right.
“I thought you’d be happy,” Eli insists. Really? Why? “That you’re bringing your business here?” “Yes. It’s a boost for the firm, it’s a boost for you…” Right. And trying to make sure she stays married to Peter so that he’ll still be Kennedy and not some slime you just hitched your wagon to…”You’ll be my boss, Eli!” Really? Wow, I hadn’t thought about it that way. He’s amusingly dismissive of the idea. “No, I won’t, that’s not how it’ll work.” ‘That’s exactly how it’ll work!”
No, no, he insists as she pulls up a glowing picture of suspects Brad and Angela. “You’ll be a liaison, that’s all.” She turns to look at this prevarication. “You are so transparent, Eli.” Hee. “This is about Peter’s campaign.”
“What’re you talking about?” Eli hisses, shutting the door. Oh, heaven forbid anyone overhear that Peter’s campaign manager has larger ambitions for his client! I love Eli. “He’s going to run for Senate, or governor, or something – you don’t just run for State’s Attorney, it’s a stepping stone.” Heh. Of course she knows this. Eli refuses to admit anything – but Alicia’s more interested in some links she’s found to the Gothards and infertility. She motions to Kalinda through the glass wall. “I’ve got to bring my business somewhere, and this place has been good to me,” Eli insists. Hee. He opens the door for Kalinda. “A profile from two years ago, Mrs. Gothard was at a fertility clinic. Can you get DNA from a genetic test?” Sure can. (I didn’t think places kept that sort of medical waste, but okay, good thinking. As long as you’re not asking for any frozen embryos I’m good.) Kalinda’s off and on it. She’d need the clinic’s name, though, wouldn’t she? Oh well, she’s Kalinda. She can Google at least as well as anyone else.
Eli shuts the door behind Kalinda, standing straight like a good butler. “I’m not doing this, Eli,” Alicia tells him, her tone commanding. “You need to bring your business somewhere else.” “No,” he answers, to her complete surprise. Well, you leave Peter, and his campaign (such as it is) doesn’t have to cow tow to you anymore. “Alicia, I defer to you in many things, but this is a business decision.” Yes, as in, how to get Peter into office. “I am bringing my consulting business here because it is a good fit and you are going to be the liaison because that is a good fit too.” She’s mightily annoyed. “Now you can find any hidden agendas you want…” and how hidden is that, anyway? “but I’m not changing my business plan.”
Is it lame that I was a little impressed with him for not letting Alicia tell him what to do? Maybe, but I still enjoyed it. Is it good strategy? That I’m less sure of. Will he want to be there when things go south? Oh well. I want Eli around, so all in all, I’m good.
In the bastion of moral clarity, Kalinda stands with her back to the door. “Hey,” says Cary as he discovers her. He leans on the door frame. “What’s up? Why aren’t you returning my calls?” Hmm. Has she been making a habit of that? It wasn’t just the once? She seems really awkward, and claims to have been busy. (Getting busy, anyway.) He sputters with laughter. “Okay, all’s forgiven.” What’s he got to forgive? Oh, I guess her ignoring him, because she’s looking so much more attentive now.
So why has she favored him with her presence? She’s got a present for him. “We found the DNA that matches the glove – Mrs. Angela Gothard. She bribed Judge Ellerbee in the Senka Park development suit. He recused himself and she lost. A 33 million dollar settlement.” She looks as excited as if this really were a present; he doesn’t. “We have a jury deliberating,” he says. Dude, if you know that guy couldn’t have done it, doesn’t that give you pause? Seriously? Wouldn’t you rather get the right person than any old person? “Yeah, on a botched case,” Kalinda replies. “That’s a matter of opinion.” Um, Cary, I don’t think it is. It seems to be botched on a rather significant matter of fact, whether or not you’re ready to admit it.
“Well, I think you’d find if you read this,” she tosses him her folder, “it’s not. She rises to leave.
“Talk to Alicia?” he asks. His face is grave, his glance speculative. “Tell her you slept with Peter?” Kalinda decides to ignore him. “Um, you should read the file, Cary.” “So you’re freezing me out because you talked to Alicia?” No, she’s freezing you about because she thinks having any friends at all is a good idea – because she doesn’t want to be close to anyone now that she and Alicia have ripped each other’s hearts out. “I’m not freezing you out,” she declares with a perfectly straight face. “Uh huh,” he replies, eyes narrowed. “This is the usual warm and fuzzy Kalinda?” The girl is all business. “Read it, Cary – it’s the right thing to do.”
Well, yes, but freezing him out isn’t right.
But because he’s Cary, he does read it.
“Court is now in session!” Cary and Glenn Childs stand at the ready, chins up, waiting for the judge, waiting for the end of Childs’ swan song. Judge Suzanne Morris has something to say. “New DNA evidence has surfaced in the Judge Ellerbee murder trial. This evidence has lead me to declare a mistrial.” Will’s eyes close in profound relief. Somebody – Jake? – shouts “Yes!” from off screen. Jake barrels at Will, tackling him as much as hugging him. Little Danny hides his face in his hands, completely adorable in his joy. Alicia smiles widely. “And I would urge the new State’s Attorney to reconsider prosecuting.” Jake hurtles into the gallery to pick Danny up and toss him in the air. All in all, it’s really very satisfying. Judge Morris closes the proceedings with a bang of her gavel, and Will stand by Alicia. She smiles up at him, but his eyes are all for the happy family celebrating nearby.
“It’s nice,” he says. Surely this has to be one of the more satisfying moments of his career, giving his client this. Alicia braces her hand on Will’s forearm. Now she’s the one looking way, and he’s looking down until she moves.
Jakes runs through the hall, jiggling a rapturous Danny (riding piggyback), dodging passersby. And from his shadowy storage room/office, Peter Florrick smiles in satisfaction. He starts tearing up something in his hand, a slip of paper. Peter has the postal receipt! Hah. Justice is served – and vengeance as well. Perfect.
We see the facade of a swank old hotel, brick and uplit Grecian columns and tall, gracious windows. Will and Alicia sit at the bar, doing shots. Will winces and almost spits his out, half choking on a lime. “God, I hate tequila!” he sputters. “Oh, but it’s so good,” Alicia laughs. She looks lady-like as usual. Ha. Don’t be a wuss, Will! “It’s always the good girls, isn’t is? They’re the ones with the deep dark secrets.” Alicia can hold her liquor, anyway. “Yeah, well – because we’re catching up,” Alicia smiles. Will orders two more. “Any time!” the pretty young bartender informs him, which is a little ballsy, consider that he’s, you know, there with another woman. (Also, I love Will, but really? Is this the venue that shows him off to his best advantage? To me, his charms are more personal than obvious; they come out of who he is, his passion and caring, not what he looks like. Though I suppose a bartender might at least see his wittiness.) “You and the women,” Alicia mutters. “What?” “You and the women!” she practically hollers. She’s got her jacket off, and her arms; well, let us just say it is a shame she doesn’t get to show off how toned she is more often, because it’s kind of awe-striking. Will foolishly gazes after the bartender. “Chicago’s 16th most eligible bachelor!” He smiles to himself, a bit ruefully.
“Yeah, women like me. Until they discover the real me.” It’s a very sedate place, don’t you think – tinkling piano music, lush – but not overblown – floral arrangements. Everything’s tasteful and subdued. It’s a staid and genteel spot to slam tequila. Alicia pounces on Will’s bit of self mockery. She juts her head forward. “Which is?” “You don’t want to know.” Now she’s hooked. ” Oh come on. I”m constantly spilling it. What’s the real you?” She nods her head to encourage him, a bit drunkenly; her chin wagging is hysterically unAlicia-like. He tilts his head toward her, and she leans in to hear. “Uncontrollable bladder syndrome.” She cackles. She must really be drunk. (But no, I can see why the build up would make that funnier.) She sways side to side in laughter – then surreptitiously peeks to see if his pants are wet, and now he’s howling uncontrollably. “You have a good laugh,” he notices, and he’s right, she does. We don’t get to hear it much, do we?
When Alicia’s done laughing, she becomes daring. “And Tammy? How about Tammy? How’s Tammy?” Wow, she really does love to hate that name, doesn’t she? Will looks at her. “My girlfriend?” Huh. We’ve never heard him use that word. Alicia nods. “I think she’s in London.” Oh. Wait, wasn’t she staying? He gives Alicia a long grave look. “She called me yesterday after the closing arguments – her bags were packed, I was supposed to rush over there to see her and convince her to stay.” He shakes his head. “And…” “And?” Alicia won’t let him off the hook. He returns her honest gaze. “And I got the call about the glove.” They share a long look – then she blows out her lips and drinks again. OH. That was what the “I’ll be there in 20 minutes” call was. Right.
Will stares off into the distance, into their past. “We’ve always had bad timing, haven’t we?” “We have,” she agrees. For the hundredth time, she flips her hair back over the shoulder with her fingers. “What if we were to suddenly have good timing? Just for, an hour?” Alicia turns toward him, breathless, spellbound. “What would that look like?” She catches her breath, first at the words and then at the internal vision. “I think that … would look like an exceptional moment.” Her face now is challenging, hoepful.
Gently, silently, without even looking down, Will lays two thin fingers on top of hers. Is this delicacy, giving her an out, or can he simply not use the words? He sucks on his lip. She looks down at their tangled fingers in wonderment.
And there they are, at the receptionists desk, asking for a room. Oh my God, they really are. Just like that – two years and fifteen years and one kiss and a broken marriage and who knows how many failed relationships and many many years in the making, just like that. Will leans in to do the asking. Alicia’s got her back leaning against the desk, looking out into the lobby, looking elated by her own daring. The young receptionist chatters on the phone, ignoring them. It takes Will a couple tries to get her attention.
Alicia looks out across the lobby as the young woman smiles at Will. And – oh. The piano player winks at her. Eeek! The saucy gesture marks their obviousness, and it punctures her blissed out, lustful, drunken haze a little.
And, of course, there aren’t any rooms.
Sorry, star crossed would be lovers, but there’s a big convention in town? They look at each other and Alicia nods, as if to say ooops, there’s our luck again? Did the desk clerk say the convention is for a bird association? That could be right, because whatever it is strikes Alicia as funny. Will’s not ready to give up. Is there really absolutely nothing left?
Well, I suppose there is the Presidential suite, admits the clerk, but it’s $7,800 a night. Yikes. Will looks to Alicia, who gives him a sort of “yeah right” look. But no, you can see from his face that he’ll do it (wow, that must be nice) and she raises her eyebrows in surprise. He lays an Am Ex card, no doubt a sponsor, down on the counter, and they’re rewarded by two room key cards. The receptionist beams at them. “The name of your personal butler is Jerome.”
Of course it is. Will and Alicia walk off, suppressing giggles.
The first elevator, of course, is full.
The second contains a conservatively garbed mother and a ten year old girl. No, says the mom, and we see why – the primly dressed daughter (surely to old for such shenanigans) has pressed half the buttons on the massive elevator panel. Will and Alicia will stop at roughly every other floor.
A door slides open, giving us a glimpse of a face, then slides shut. Music accompanies the journey. First Alicia, looking straight ahead. Will, doing the same. Will, turning toward Alicia. The opening and closing of the door tracks their ascension of the building – and also, Alicia’s escalating doubts. After a few floors, her face begins to crack with panic. She’s losing her cool. Are they really doing this? Does she really want to do this? She speaks his name: “Will.” Doors close, open. Will’s face, turning again to look at Alicia.
The soundtrack, like Kalinda, begs her to give in. “And let it all unfurl/into broken remnants…” “Maybe…” she begins, and the doors close on her confusion.
Will extends his hand, not looking, and again I can’t decide if it’s juvenile or just polite, but she reaches out to him, too, and in another moment they’re face to face, and for the second time, just as slowly, he cups her face with his hand, and kisses her, gently. “Smile like you mean it/and let yourself let go,” Mika sings to them. They smile at each other, and the next kiss comes faster, harder.
The violins throb and swell, and Will’s backed Alicia up against the wall; they look into each others eyes, breathing each other in. “Say goodbye/to the world you thought you live in/to the world you thought you lived in.” The doors close.
When the doors open on Will and Alicia again, their hands are moving, their hair mussed. Close and open, and they stare at each other again, and Alicia gives a sneaky, saucy eye flick out the door. Close, open. She’s climbing up into his arms, and for a tiny second I think they’re not going to make it to the suite, and what a very good thing it is that no one happens to be waiting on any of those many stops.
They’re at the suite, finally. Will puts the card in the door. “I tried to live alone/but lonely is so lonely,” sings Mika.
And the card doesn’t work.
He tries again, and again, jamming it in, disbelieving. Somehow forgetting the second card, he pants in frustration. “Come on, please. God, just one hour. That’s all we want.” “It’s okay,” Alicia tells him, soft and low, and you can see he thinks – we think – she means it’s a sign. He wants to go down for another card – he’ll be right back, he swears.
Alicia grabs his hand, stopping him. “What,” he wonders. She cocks her head, her lips curled up, so sexy and confident, and slides the card out of his hand. She smiles at him as if he shouldn’t have doubted. This is their hour. Their time. She’s certain of it. She raises an eyebrow, and he leans against the wall, watching.
Slowly she turns it over, inserts it into the slot – and the light turns green. Alicia grins at Will, and walks in the door.
“Say goodbye/to the world you thought you lived in,” the soundtrack blares, reaching it’s crescendo. “Say goodbye/to the world you thought you lived in.”
Wow, there is a lot to say.
First, let me say I loved the case related theme – what comes after the closing argument, after you make your case, seal the deal, do whatever you can do to influence a decision? The case took place in a sort of in-between space, and it leaves our main characters in a similar spot. What are Will and Alicia to each other now? Is this just their one moment? Is it possible just to get that kind of love or attraction or fascination out of your system? Is this the start of something, or is it just a separate moment in time? As you know, I have ideas about where the writers are going to take things next season. Ideas I hope are wrong, actually.
I enjoyed this case, especially the tension of it. The defendant was so appealing and so clearly wrongly accused that it does bother me a little how he could have ended up in this position – although Childs has a history of landing on expedient suspects despite the truth, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. It occurs to me it still could have been Cary acting on Peter’s orders, but you can bet Diane didn’t show a picture of Peter to the postal clerk. Either way, I loved that twist. It works for Peter, who was hounded out of office by the singularly incompetent Glenn Childs. I’m going to be fascinated to see if Peter’s going to put up as many terrible prosecutions next year, aren’t you?
Maybe this is a weird thought, but I can’t help it. After Amber, and the terrible price in confidence Alicia paid, is the exorbitant cost of the suite a sort of, I don’t know, proof that she’s that extravagantly desirable? That’s – nice? The trick with the card is a little silly, considering that the desk clerk clearly gave them two cards, but it illustrates that Alicia choose this. She had her moment to back out, to reconsider what she wants, and she chooses to act. We’ll leave it to next fall to determine whether this was a good idea or a bad one; there’s still Tammy, and Peter, and the custody battle I’m horribly certain is coming, and Peter’s wrong belief now given substance. Can they leave each other alone after this? Can they go back to the way things were before? Doubtful. Very doubtful.
I suppose there’s no guarantee that in the season three premier (when the show, as you may have heard, is going to be moving to Sunday at 9) we won’t find out that one of their phones rang with some emergency, but right now, for the summer, we’re only left with the afterglow.
I’m a little surprised that I feel an afterglow. I’ve said many times that the thing I’ve feared the most is an affair between Alicia and Will. They’ve just had a fling, she’s still married, he’s still with Tammy who of course will have stayed home like an idiot and not gone to London. It’s not what I hoped for Alicia. It’s not exactly a perfect romance. It could cause her to lose her kids. It’s trouble, I tell you. But they sold it, at least as a personal moment. I suspect the music had a lot to do with it.
Okay. Moving on from my discomfort with the whole separation/lack of divorce issue and sex. I love that Alicia and Kalinda were forced to work together and reminded of how well they do it. I adored that. I also loved seeing how taken aback Kalinda was to realize that Sophia is married – and how it put an immediate chill on her emotions and behavior. I do like Kelli Giddish’s Sophia a lot – she’s capable, confident, funny and hyper sexy, but somehow not as predatory (if that’s not too harsh a word) as last year’s similarly smart and sultry lesbian dalliance, Lana. But I love Kalinda realizing that maybe she doesn’t want to be somebody’s bit of fun on the side if it means the kind of devastation she’s just caused Alicia.
You know, it hadn’t occurred to me before, but Kalinda reminds be a bit of Lisbeth Sander – tiny, determined, walled up, bisexual. Of course Lisbeth’s more of a hacker than an general investigator like Kalinda, but still. I’m sure this is not news, but it just hit me, and I think it’s fun comparison. I wonder if the Millenium series opened up network execs minds about a character like this? In which case I say hurrah! Winning!
And – hmm. Maybe Peter needs Alicia too much politically to engage in the horribly dirty custody fight I’m anticipating? Frank Landau seems to think so. But if she’s burned his political career to the ground – if things become too strained – how low will they go? Will it be a war of threats, or a media one? Is this the absolute end of the love triangle? And if so, does that mean that Will has won, or that Alicia’s going to go it on her own?
Friends, it has been a spectacular season debating and discussing our show and our characters together. Thank you so much for that! I’ll be back during the summer with more on the show, I hope – thoughts about the season, etc – but for now, I’m on vacation! Hope you enjoyed it, guys.