E: This week’s episode begins and ends with Cary Agos. If this were Grey’s Anatomy, he’d be doing the weekly voice over narrative. We get to follow the adventures of Alicia’s favorite professional rival. We see how far he’s come, and in a funny way, how far we’ve come, too.
“Money,” a beautiful woman tells us, stirring her drink, her hair pulled tightly back from her rounded face so what we see are her full, sultry lips and her large, dark lashed eyes. “How much money?,” a man asks her, and if it weren’t Cary’s voice, I’d be thinking this was some sort of Vice sting operation. “Twice what I’m making here.” So okay, maybe not. “And all for the price of your soul,” Cary grumbles, which is cute. “Not my whole soul, just little pieces of it,” the girl jokes. Cute.
“Anyway, ” she defends herself, “I heard defense attorneys have better sex” So she’s a colleague, going out for an after work drink to celebrate her new job? Except, that’s very saucy talk to make with a coworker. Though they’re not at a bar, either – it’s a round table with a red and white checkered cloth. At least I can say for sure they’re drinking. “If you like coming from behind,” Cary replies, his face serious until the woman bursts into giggles; then he smiles into his glass. I can’t helping thinking of Rene Russo in In The Line of Fire here. You know the scene in the bar, when Clint Eastwood plays the piano and does some lame imitations? You could tell, right then, just from the way she laughed that she’d decided to give in to his flirtations. It’s all there. That’s how this girl is laughing now.
She’s bent over laughing. She peeks our from behind her hand, flirting. He stares.
“Okay, no,” she says emphatically, pointing her finger at him. “Oh, come on, Dana, you said no was only for coworkers.” Heh. We haven’t seen this side of Cary in a while – the player. He used to be like this with Kalinda, back in the day. Does that mean he’s over her now, or is he just a bit of a hound dog? Either way, Dana’s the one smoldering. “We’re still coworkers,” she answers. “Yeah, for one more week.” He considers this for half a second. “Not to be too much of a pessimist, but I don’t think you’re going to survive.” “Oh really?” she gets up on her high horse. “Cops, one week left on the job, they all get shot. Can’t risk the wait.” Hee. That’s definitely the movie cliche. You can see she thinks that’s weirdly cute.
“Cary, I have a boyfriend,” she lectures him. So why don’t you start acting like it? “So do I,” he replies, and she giggles again, in a very “I am so into you” kind of way. “Well my guess is my boyfriend’s bigger than yours,” she suggests, and he tries, but he can’t come up with an answer to that one, and they’re both snorting. “Okay,” she says, bending over to her bag to pull out a thick folder, “these cases I can’t finish in a week, I’m leaving them to you.” “Oh great,” he grumbles, “no sex and half your file work, I really feel like I’m losing here!” “Yeah, but you’ll have one less body to step over on your way to the top,” she smiles. She’s kind of caressing the top of her wine glass with one finger. It’s all so very mixed signal-y. Boyfriend or not, coworker or not, she’s definitely flirting with him.
His phone rings.
“Must be your boyfriend,” she teases. “Checking in on me,” he agrees, looking at the screen. “Hello dear, how are you?” As he strides through the courthouse, Matan Brody does not get the joke. “Uh, hi Cary, how are you?” Matan! No way! Interesting that Cary wants to impress this girl so much that he’s willing to give Matan – whose name he must have seen on his phone – the chance to mock him. Dana thinks it’s hilarious that the ‘boyfriend’ is Matan. Which, let’s face it, is pretty hilarious. Matan, who likes to be above such petty things as a sense of humor, explains to Cary that a Lockhart/Gardner case has come up where an SA is needed on scene. Cary gets all the luck. “What’s the legal issue?” Matan doesn’t have a clue (which really sums him up in the one elegant phrase, doesn’t it?). “This sounds like hazing.” Matan agrees, his face dour and disapproving. “It does, doesn’t it? Let me give you the address, dear.”
Okay, that’s kind of funny.
“And that’s all I do?” Alicia wonders, as Zach directs her home computer to transfer a file. It is. “Just hit the return key and it’s on your computer at work.” He stands up from her desk, but she keeps staring in awe. “But why does it seem so simple?” “Because you don’t trust technology,” he answers logically. “Hey, you guys have all your bags packed and ready, right, because your Dad’s going to be here any minute.”
“Hey Mom?” Zach (garbed as usual in a blue hoodie) stops for a second, “what do you do when we’re at Dad’s?” Well, that’s enough to stop poor Alicia short. Ha! Look at how self-conscious she looks! Now, never in a million years would Zach suspect that his mom is carrying on a torrid affair with her boss, but of course she’s overly conscience that she’s got something to hide. “Do? Ah, not much. I miss you two. For about an hour.” She smiles at him fondly. Behind her, Grace looks up glumly (how else?). “Then, I don’t know, I do some laundry, I read for work – why?” “Do you ever go out?” He gives her a sort of measuring looking. “Ah, for dinner, sometimes.” “With friends?” What friends? “Sometimes,” she nods. “What friends?” Zach inquires. Ha! That’s what I want to know, Zach. But wow, this is quite the third degree. “Friends from work, or clients,” she shrugs. And no, Grace, not people you know. Man, Grace is looking pouty these days.
“We’re just worried about you, Mom,” Zach explains as Grace goes to answer the phone. Alicia beams at him: he didn’t guess her dark secret! Plus, he cares and is adorable! Yay! “Honey,” she laughs, putting a hand on Zach’s shoulder. “I’m fine. Really.” Hee. You know, my brother and I used to say that to our parents all the time – you need to have a life outside of us! Also – is her hair shorter? Doesn’t it look shorter when she turns to get the phone from Grace? It’s Will Gardner, by the way. She’ll take it in the bedroom. “Hang up!” Zach hisses at Grace. “I was,” she says.
Man, I really hope Grace’s okay. She just droops, all the time, and walks around with those big sad eyes like the world has bruised her. And yes, I know that’s a normal state for a 14 year old girl, but still.
“I’m sorry for calling you at home,” Will says, pacing through the halls with his suit jacket off and his sleeves rolled up. It’s a good look. “No problem. Everything alright?” Yes. “Actually, this is about work.” “Oh, great,” she enthuses, and she does seem relieved, which is odd. What on earth did she think he was calling about? Is she actually relieved, or does she just not want to sound disappointed? She’s smiling happily at the phone: she must really be relieved. Did she think he was going to break things off? “I mean, I’m here,” she sort of shakes herself back to the present. Wow, that was odd. “The new hire – the first year?” Caitlin? Yes, Caitlin. “A call came in about the Jin-Pyn account, she was the only one here. She went out on it, but I think she needs some hand holding.” And who do we call when we need hand holding? Alicia Florrick! “Well, okay,” she shrugs. “What’s it about?” Will doesn’t know much more than Matan Brody did. “The son seems to be in some kind of legal trouble.” Alicia asks for the address as Grace calls out to let her know Peter’s arrived. Will doesn’t call her dear.
But instead of Peter, we get a party boat in the harbor. “Should have guessed,” Dana notes as she walks through a dark hallway behind Cary. They pass a bundle of green and yellow balloons. Cary’s confused. “Booze cruise,” she explains. “Fifty dollars, all the beer you can drink.” And indeed, a colorful banner outside the boat – now crawling with police – proclaims it to be so. (Also, gross.) On the floor in a dark, wood paneled room (maybe that explains the cover charge – that’s a really nice boat) pastel balloons get kicked around by uniformed cops and crime scene techs. Man, it’s a lot of people. “You do that in college?” Cary wonders. “I did a lot of things in college,” Dana snarks, doing a hideous job of not flirting with Cary.
But the girl stretched out on the floor of another dark room, the girl with the skimpy silver dress? She won’t be flirting, ever again.
Cary and Dana step down a few stairs to reach the body, surrounded by evidence tags, those little numbered yellow signs – 11, 12, 13. Someone’s put up floodlights to illuminate this dark corner. “Only one band,” Dana observes gravely, pointing out the black band around the girl’s right wrist. “Sea sickness band – you wear them in pairs.” Puffing out a breath of air – too respectful to be called snort – Cary shakes his head. “You can’t leave. You’re too good at this.” Dana shakes her head, too. They’re looking at the corpse and not each other. “That’s what they say to the cop with only one week left.” So true! But he doesn’t want you to die. You know, if this were that kind of movie. Neither do I, actually.
“Five miles out, someone found the deceased, a Maya Nichols, below deck, called the police.” The veteran detective from a few weeks back (Wayne Duvall, Robert’s cousin) explains this to Cary and Dana, his overcoat flapping in the breeze. It’s cold out on the water – why am I worrying about that girl and her tiny dress at this point? She’s far beyond feeling the sea breeze. “Witnesses said she was getting unwanted attention from two college kids,” he adds. “I was just about to haul ’em in for a suspect rape exam when this joker showed up.” A suspect rape exam. Huh. That’s a new one to me. Is it rude to hope it’s an uncomfortable procedure? “Are you in charge here?” a heavily accented voice – clearly belonging to the joker in question – asks Cary. He is. “The problem is, Mr. Anders is the son of a Dutch courier at our embassy, so he is covered by diplomatic immunity.” Ah, we’ve run into this fun before. “I vas not there, I vas not!,” the young man in the black leather jacket practically spits.
The embassy official hands over his papers and Anders’. Wayne Duvall- er, Detective Harcourt – explains that the other kid in handcuffs is someone named Jin-Pyn, who also has diplomatic immunity. Damn. “The Chinese ambassador is on his way.” “Per the Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations,” the embassy flunky explains (and really, he’s a hissing little man with creepy, staring eyes), “Mr. Anders is to be treated the same…” Yes, yes, Cary’s already heard you. He’s more interested in finding the Lockhart/Gardner connection. “Yes, me,” Caitlin bounces up, breathless, golden wings of hair floating around her. “I don’t think I know you?” “You don’t. Caitlin Darcy. I’m new as of last week,” she burbles. Hard to believe this was Cary a scant 3 years ago. Okay, he asks dryly, and what do you have to offer? “Nothing! I’m just taping everything you do.” She brings her cell phone right up to his chin. The look on Cary’s face – oh my goodness, it’s a marvel. He has dimples! Did we know he had dimples?
“I’m Cary Agos,” he plays along, speaking into her phone, “and these two youths are under investigator for rape and murder.” The Dutch official has fits. They have immunity, the diplomat howls. Wow, the dutch kid smacks of the whole Natalee Holloway horror, doesn’t it? Cary decides he’s going to take a new tact. “That’s from prosecution, not investigation, so unless they want to confess, I’m investigating.” He waves Det. Harcourt to go on.
“This is illegal,” the diplomat cries, against. “Who’s your boss?” Caitlin Darcy catches it all on tape. “The people of Illinois. Want their number?”
Hee. He’s superhero Cary! Busting chops and taking names, delivering the punchline just like Arnold would have. “Feelin’ pretty good about yourself?” Dana asks the swaggering Mr. Agos as they walk away. “Yeah, but how did it look?” he wonders, ecstatic, grinning.
Blue gloved hands spread out a folded paper sheet, and then tape it to the floor. Crisply, they lay out a pair of boxer shorts, fold them, place them in a bag. The same thing happens to a pair of jeans with a larger bag. Both are sealed with evidence tape. And then the photographing starts. We seem to be in a hospital; Caitlin Darcy stands outside a curtained off area in what looks like an emergency room. I can’t believe I didn’t mention last week (did we not know her last name? is that my excuse?) considering the whole Caitlin/Martha perception v. reality debate, that her last name is Darcy! Which of course is also the last name of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, which is all about – you guessed it – first impressions, and judging people incorrectly before you know them. He’s the one the heroine hates first and loves later.
Anyway. Caitlin stands, tall and willowy, outside the curtained area. “Caitlin, what’s happening?” Alicia rushes in. “Mrs. Florrick, hello, he’s being accused of rape and murder.” I know the recorder thing is preposterous, but being plunked down in the middle of this situation must be terrifying when you’re that new to – not merely a job, but a profession. Alicia stares at her, horrified (though by the situation or Caitlin’s handling of it, I’m not sure – likely both). “Have you told him his rights?” No, they made her stand outside for the suspect exam. “Chen,” Alicia calls, “My name is Alicia Florrick, I’m your parents’ lawyer.” Inside the curtained area, Cary slumps a little in annoyance (clearly he was enjoying bulldozing biddable Caitlin) and we get a look at Chen Jin-Pyn, whose eyes are practically rolling around in his head from terror. “It is your right to have me observe the suspect exam; do you approve?” I do actually wonder if he will – how many people do you want to have seen you naked? like this? – but shaking and gulping, he manages to get the words out. He does.
The uniform cop tries to get Alicia out of the exam area, without success. Technicians obscure – just barely – our view of Chen’s privates. You know you don’t have to talk to them, right, she asks. “I didn’t do it,” he calls over his shoulder. “I know,” she calms him, as much as she can. “I need you to only talk to me, do you understand?” “I promised Dick I wouldn’t talk,” he says, still half looking toward her. “Hair, left earring stud,” Cary notes before exiting the curtained area. “Blond hair, two inches long,” a tech points out to Detective Harcourt.
Caitlin calls for Alicia. “I’m from the Dutch embassy,” a familiar voice insists. In its wake comes Dana and Judge Winter (Peter Reigart, crowned with silver hair like Old Man Winter himself), calling for the ASA in charge. Cary bumbles a bit – no longer the all confident superhero – and Alicia steps in with her pitch of diplomatic immunity. Chen Jin-Pyn, son of a diplomatic interpreter, ought to have immunity himself. “Yes,” growls Judge Winter, “that’s why I was yanked out of my house in the middle of the night! Where is he?” Not ready to give up, Cary starts his pitch about the very strong evidence “that these two young men raped and killed a young college student.” “I’m sorry to say that that’s not relevant!” Winter thunders. Damn. That’s cold. “Given their immunity status, you have no right to hold them. This is a court order requiring their immediate release.” Granted that my only experience with this is as an audience member, but judges don’t usually deliver their court orders in person, do they? Cary looks devastated.
But Dana whispers in his ear. “You can hold one of them,” she says, “Taiwan.” Huh? “Uh, your Honor, I understand that we have to release Dick Anders in his status as a Dutch citizen, but Jin-Pyn in Taiwanese and Taiwan enjoys no such diplomatic status.” Alicia looks worried, not to mention surprised. As the Jin-Pyn’s lawyer, shouldn’t she know that? “How’s that?” Winter wonders. “The One China rule,” Dana notes. “The U.S. extends diplomatic relations to China, but not Taiwan,” Cary explains, his words tripping over each other. “Your Honor, this is a gray area,” Alicia breaks in. “Not in matters of diplomatic immunity,” Dana contradicts her. “Taiwan is the only nation not accorded such rights.” Now, okay, diplomatic immunity is a kind of creepy rule (I get it, but it’s disturbing, especially given an instance like this) but having our policies dictated by China and their creepy One China policy? Not cool all around. Winter chews on his own face a little. “Your Honor, this isn’t the United Nations,” Alicia cries. “You can’t just keep one and let the other go!”
“Actually, that’s exactly what I can do,” Winter grumbles. “I order the release of Mr. Anders, but not Mr. Jin-Pyn.” “That is unfair, your Honor!” she calls after him, frustrated. Anders and his toady bust through, knocking into Alicia and Cary. “Good luck buddy, I’m outa here!” Anders hollers back to Chen. Why does he still have clothes on? They can only strip search one guy at a time? Winter seems just as mad as Alicia is. “Of course it is. When have you ever known international politics to be fair?”
“Well, you really stirred up the hornet’s nest,” Matan glares smugly at Cary across a large table in a busy room. “Well, it was a rape/murder, I held both suspects as long as I could.” And where did that leave them? “No semen, but we believe it was an attempted rape, she resisted and Chen killed her.” And do we believe Chen did it because he’s the one you’re able to hold? That’s a scary rush to judgement, isn’t it? “Murder weapon?” So Matan is Cary’s supervisor? Poor Cary. But interesting for us.
“None found,” Alicia explains to Will and Diane in the big L&G conference room, “but there was head trauma.” Ugh. “What does the client say?” Diane asks. “Caitlin?” Alicia prompts her protegee, who’s wearing a prim grey sweater with a little black bow. “He says they both flirted with the victim, and then his friend Anders went off with her.” Well, Chen at a glance seems less arrogant and entitled, but then we’ve only really met him as a shivering naked mess. “And we can’t get to Anders?” No. “Well that’s not good,” Will observes needlessly. “What else ties him to the girl.”
Back at the SA’s, Cary’s answering the same question for Matan. I really like this back and forth; it makes the exposition less dry. “A blond hair caught in Chen’s left earring stud.” A two inch blond hair, which is weird, right, because while we only got a quick glimpse of the girl, her hair was a lot longer than two inches. “No pubic hair?” On his ear? “None,” Dana answers, sliding up to the table. “Oh, Dana, you’re still here,” Matan observes – technically needlessly, but he’s making it sound like an insult. “Six more days of bliss,” she shrugs. She’s wearing a very Kalinda like black leather jacket. “Any blood spatter?” Not on Chen, Dana replies. “What do you think the defense will be?” “To blame the one that got away,” Cary answers. And even if that didn’t stand to reason, that’s what Chen has been saying from the beginning, isn’t it? So it’s not even like it’s the lawyer’s strategy, it’s what the client claims happened. And it cannot be a coincidence that Anders comes off like a total bad boy, a la Joran Van Der Sloot. He’s an easy target.”Too bad there’s one that got away,” Matan gloats smugly. You know, if you were half as competent as you are insinuating and irritating, Matan, you’d actually be a threat.
“And our strategy?” Diane asks, as if we all didn’t know. “Connect Anders to the rape.” But not the murder? Was there a suspect exam, Diane presses – because right, how can you connect him without physical evidence? And no, he was released first. And so hangs the prosecution’s case – they happened to conduct one exam first, on a kid who happens to be Taiwanese. On the other hand, you have to be able to learn a lot from witness statements, right? “And what about the blond hair on our guy, how does he explain that?” Caitlin takes this one. “They made out. It was consensual. Then Chen went to go buy the victim a drink, and Anders took her below deck.” “A drink?” Diane rightly wonders, “I thought it was a booze cruise?” Oh, silly Diane, that’s beer only. You have to pay for mixed drinks. “We have his credit card receipt. So if the police pin point the time of the murder, we can prove Chen was on the other side of the boat.”
“Eli Gold, ladies and gentlemen!” Diane leads a round of applause for Eli as he walks into the room. Why are we clapping for Eli? He stops, quivering with surprise and mistrust. “You needed me?” he asks.
Cary lets Matan know that he’s displeased as they walk out of the main workroom. “You push this off on to me and then you criticize my handling of it?” Why I never, Matan declares. “Did I give you that impression?” Why yes, yes you did. “My apologies,” Matan walks off, smiling his infuriating smile. Damn it, thinks Cary, I’m supposed to be the infuriatingly smug one!
“What was that about?” Eli wants to know as he walks with Diane into her office. “We’re trying to make you feel a part of the Lockhart/Gardner family.” Eli tucks his chin into his neck. “Don’t you want to feel a part?” Hee. Diane is so smooth. We don’t nearly get enough Diane.
He sits. “Oh,” he says,”I’m okay. What do you need?” Lobbying, she says, leaning on her desk. “The son of a Taiwanese diplomat is being denied immunity due to the One China Rule.” Oi, says Eli, tipping back his head. Hee. “That thicket.” “That thicket,” Diane affirms. “I thought if you could talk to someone quietly?” she gives him a knowing look. “We could make this go away without any fuss. Know anyone in the State Department?” The brick drops, and Eli closed his eyes in response. “Yeeeeess?” Diane prompts. “Nothing,” Eli lies from behind his hand. “How important is it?” He’s kind of biting his lips.”Well, uh, heading into the presidential campaign, my guess is that Taiwan will be spending a lot on U.S. lobbyists.” Heh. No “a man’s freedom is at stake!” to motivate Eli. “Could be lucrative. For you,” Diane drives the point home, playing with the last word deliciously, and Eli gives her one of the most evil stares in his arsenal. “Okay,” he agrees unhappily, “This is not going to be pretty.”
“Sorry you had to see that,” Will tells Caitlin, who leans on the frame of his office, smiling adoringly. Oh my God, that is so not cool. Also,what is he talking about, sending her to the murder scene? “That was definitely not my finest hour.” “No, you were a good judge,” she protests. Huh? “I think the less said about that the better.” “Oh, Alicia, hey! Mr. Gardner was a judge in my intercollegiate moot court.” Okay, that explains it, but intercollegiate? It wasn’t just DePaul? That’s a bit of a retrofit, no? And is there even such a thing? Hmm-it looks like there are intercollegiate moot court competitions. Oh well. That’s the trial he got kicked off, due to a hot and tricksy student whom he later dated, in case you were wondering.
After a few pleasantries, Alicia hustles Caitlin away (“go get orientated!” Will tells her, finger gun pointing the way), and is it just me, or is there a hint of jealousy in her response? I can’t quite think of Caitlin as being part of the same age bracket as Will’s former flame Giada, and I find the bare idea of two of them together quite creepy. (Maybe that’s because actress Karen Olivo, though playing a 25 year old, is in her mid-thirties – although, actually, that doesn’t make her much older than 29 year old Anna Camp. Huh. Guess it’s just the perky v. sultry demeanor, then.) Alicia – woah- is wearing a gorgeous and very low cut black dress. Her black work dresses have always been dramatic, but this one? Youch. She hands Caitlin a folder full of assorted paperwork. “Thanks. He’s nice, isn’t he?” Caitlin has a dreamy, dreamy look in her eyes. ‘Will Gardner? Yes, he is. So is Diane. They’re both also busy. So if there’s anything you need, you come to me first.” Okay, definitely feeling a little proprietary. Hee. Though of course Alicia’s a kind of formal and self-reliant person, so it’s not just the jealousy.
“Oh no, did I embarrass myself?” “No no no, you did fine,” Alicia reassures the girl, but it doesn’t take. “Oh, I did, didn’t I,” she swoons into a chair. Alicia has to pull everything together. Wow, unless she’s totally faking it, Caitlin’s sweetness and good intentions (her need for other people to think she’s good) totally overwhelm the blithe confidence we saw in her interview. “Go ahead, start filling these out,” Alicia taps on the folder to refocus her charge.
And that’s when she see it – a surly looking fellow in a maroon polo shirt sitting at her desk, typing rapidly on her computer. “Hello?,” she asks, using her Queen Mum voice. “Thanks a lot,” the man snarls, not looking up, fingers dancing on the keyboard. Her tone, if anything, gets frostier. “Excuse me? This is my office.” “Then I guess you can do whatever you want, can’t you?” Wow. That was professional. “Excuse me, can I help you?” “Not anymore. The next time you need IT, just call me; you don’t just do it on your own. Look at this! Look!” He turns her laptop in disgust, so she can see the blue error screen. “What did you do?” she asks, horrified. “What did I do? What did I..?” Huffy, ranting IT guy certainly has his blood pressure up. “It’s your cloud, lady. Go live on it.” He bundles up his things and clomps off, leaving Alicia gaping.
Is it just me, or is it odd for an IT guy to show up before you know you have a problem?
“Right there. Her,” Eli commands – is it a taxi or a limo driver? “Closer!” They’re driving by a lush green park. Do I even want to ask what season this is? “Hey!” Eli hollers. “Do you know how to get to the zoo?” The jogger they’ve just chased down (a trim woman in a purple hoodie with a scarf knotted to cover her throat and chest ) laughs happily. “”So you just troll around the lakeside looking for ex-wives?” No, he says, just you. Does he have more than the one? The cab (it is a cab) keeps pace with her running. “Your office told me you’d be here. So. Wow. You’re really slowing down, huh?” She stops, half winded, laughing. She’s surprisingly good-natured, considering she was married to Eli, and is played by Parker Posey (who has played more than her share of high strung shrews). “I’ll just be a minute,” Eli tells the cabbie, and heads out to meet the legend. “How’s the presidential campaign going?” he wonders, handing her bottled water. She goes rigid. “Why, what have you heard?” Now that’s the Parker Posey I know. “Oh my God, you’re paranoid,” he can’t help responding, before offering her a brown paper bag. This must be a couple ritual, or else she has x-ray vision, because she refuses whatever it is; ex-Mrs. Gold has been a vegetarian since the divorce. What on earth could be in the bag? I like that they don’t explain it for us.
“What do you need,” she dives right in. “Do you know someone at State?” he asks. Straight shooting. That’s good. I bet that’s another thing they liked about each other,back when they liked each other. She knows a lot of people. “It’s a Taiwan issue, a poor kid’s been accused of …. something or other, and they won’t grant him diplomatic immunity.” Oh, Eli – I can’t believe you didn’t find out what the case was. I mean, maybe it doesn’t matter, but really? Do your homework! She’ll talk to someone. “Yeah. Really? You’ll do it?” He sure looks surprised. “That’d be great.” He looks awkward for a second or two. “You’re looking great, Vanessa,” he nods, and moves to return to the cab.
“Eli,” she laughs, then jerks her chin at him. “Your turn.” He walks back. “Do you know Kim Kessler?” No. “Who’s she?” Eli squints. “He.,” Vanessa corrects. “A political op out of California.” And guess what? It’s not for the presidential campaign, it’s for – her. Nervously, he laughs. “Seriously, Vanessa? Seriously?” but she is serious. “Yeah, he approached me.” In fact, she’s kind of glowing. “State Senate!” “Oh my God, you have that wild look in your eyes! Rahm gets in, and then everybody thinks they can…” Hee. I can see that – political operative turns candidate. “It’s a good time for a woman,” she chirps. “Is that what Kim Kessler told you, the man with the woman’s name?” Hah ha ha! Just take a dinner with us, Vanessa asks. I need your professional opinion. “Kim Kessler. Kick his tires, see if he’s real, or if he’s selling me a bill of goods.” Heh. Eli’s still stunned she’s considering going there. “I want to do something with my life,” she declares, and his face softens. “You always used to say that,” he tells us. Wow. Touchy feely Eli; I did not expect this when I heard we were going to meet his ex-wife. She puts her hands on his shoulders. “Now I mean it!” They look deeply into each others eyes for a second until she narrows hers. “We’re not having a moment,” she insists. Right. Time for Eli to leave!
Ha! Oh, that is so deeply,deeply delicious.
Alicia stabs at her offensive keyboard to no avail. It’s still got a big giant FAIL written on it. “Mrs. Florrick, can I show you something?” Caitlin knocks on her door to ask. I’m a little busy, Alicia claims grumpily, though I’d think she’d relish the break from being so ineffectual. Can it wait? Well, but it’s just that she might have something on the consensual. You know, how they want to prove that Chen really did make out with Maya (with her permission)? Oh. That. Okay.
“Okay,” Caitlin rushes to sit across from Alicia. “So I was looking on After Death Space for Maya…” Apparently she’s getting the typical blank look from Alicia, because she clarifies this with assist from her ipad. It’s a website where you can share stories and photos about the deceased. Like this? I get that this is a nice thing, like an online wake, but it also creeps me out a tiny bit. Maybe it’s just the name. “And what was cool is that everyone at the booze cruise was tweeting photos.” Wait, you can tweet onto a site besides Twitter? Does that seem right? Anyway, Alicia’s caught up. “And what was more cool? Look. The color of her cup.” It’s red. Um, okay. “It was a stoplight party, not a spectrum party” Say again? “A stoplight party? You carry a red cup to say you’re in a relationship, a yellow cup to say you’re choosy, a green cup to say you’re open.” She smiles broadly, bubbly and thrilled. “But see? This one is from later, an hour after the first pic.” (At first, I was baffled by this – after the first pick? What’s the pick? Only belatedly did I realize she meant pic, as in picture, which is embarrassing because I use that term all the time.) Yep – this cup is green. Hello! Now, that is interesting. Alicia wonders if it could be a mistake. “Take my word for it,” Caitlin puts her hands up, “you know what cup you’re carrying at a stoplight party.”
Yeah, you’d really have to know, wouldn’t you? Frowning, Alicia picks up the ipad. “So, what made her her switch from a red to a green?”
And that’s what Kalinda aims to find out. She seems to be at a swim team practice. Nice. “Hey,” she says to a towering Adonis in a tiny speedo, who steps, dripping, from an indoor pool. “So you’re not with the police?” he confirms. “No. You’re Maya’s boyfriend, right?” “Yeah,” he grumbles, snagging himself a towel. “I was.” He seems pissed off. What’s with that? “I already talked to the cops – I wasn’t there,” he adds, toweling vigorously. But you talked to her the night she died, while she was on the booze cruise, right? He did. “So?” “Well,” Kalinda informs him, her voice cold with disapproval, “You broke up with her on the phone.” He denies it. She leans over. “Listen, you’re safe from arrest – just tell me the truth.” He is, he swears. “She broke up with me. She told me she was tired of me spending all this time with this waitress I know from Raw Sushi.” Kalinda, she is surprised. “She was this mother of three – really nice. I just liked talking to her.” Kalinda nods. “She wanted to be a philosophy major too, back when she was in college.” Hee – he will not stop gushing about the waitress. Kid, Kalinda is so uninterested. She tries to break in. “It’s not like I’m a philosophy major yet.” His arms are crossed to demonstrate the unreasonableness of Maya’s dumping him. He’s aggrieved, rather than bereaved, which seems cold. “I’m still undecided about that. I just like talking to her.” Hee. Don’t worry about that, Kalinda says, attempting to detach oversharing boy from his favorite topic. “You talked to her?”
“Who, the waitress?” Unbereaved Boy wonders. Sigh. Gosh I love this scene. It’s like this little window into this clueless guy’s life. “No, Maya,” Kalinda redirects him once more. “When she broke up with you, you talked to her, right?” “Yeah. I mean, no, no.” Huh? “She left me a voice mail.” Oh. Wow, that’s cold, too. Liquid courage, maybe -which turns out to have been a spectacularly bad decision. (No, I am not blaming her, I just mean as far as the chain of events.)
Now clothed, Unbereaved Boy shares the unpleasant news over his phone. “You are so full of yourself!” Maya spits out. Wow, can you imagine if that was the last thing someone you cared about said to you? What a message. Not that he gets a pass for being unconcerned; now I just feel awful about all of them. “You think I can’t do any guy here?” Sigh. Kalinda thinks she can use this.”Can you email me that voicemail?” He can. “Does that help?” It does, clueless fellow, it does.
“Uh, there’s more if you want,” he adds helpfully when Kalinda would have left. “Your phone keeps cutting me off!” Maya grumps. Gee, she’s kind of an unpleasant drunk, huh? “I just want – hey, I said don’t touch me!” “What? I’m not touching you,” laughs a lazy, Asian-accented male voice. Uh oh. “What’s wrong?” he asks, catching sight of Kalinda’s face. “Nothing. Did you play that for anyone else?” Oh, he sure did.
In his office, Cary plays the voicemail for Dana. “That’s Chen. That sounds like unwanted attention to me!” Damn straight. “And there goes consensual for them. We should make an offer.” Dana’s in favor of the hardline. “Life? No chance of parole?” Ha. If he did do it (which we don’t know, and neither do you), I’m so with you, Dana. Matan swans in to use his lofty voice.”Cary -oh, sorry to interrupt – we’re going to be shuffling around the offices, so if you could get your stuff together and be ready in the next couple of days, okay?” Gah, he’s so annoying. I swear he has his chest puffed out. “Ah, uh, this is from Peter?” “Yeah,” says Matan, heading out, “he delegated to me.” Boo. (Although it’s also a little bit fun to see Cary not able to charm someone.)
“What’s going on there?” Dana wonders. “It’s a guy thing, office jockeying.” It’s a pissing contest, pure and simple, and Matan is letting his petty jealousy get the better of him. “I don’t think they can fit you in any smaller of an office,” she observes, looking around. Hee. “Oh, they can,” Cary shakes his head ruefully.
Ah, Alicia’s poor computer. Will notices someone trying to fix it, pecking at the keys. He steps in and gives a hearty “hello!” “My mom’s downstairs,” Zach explains, his chin resting on his left hand. Eeeeeeeee! Will goes to leave, but thinks better of it. Oh, how I wish he had gone. “You’re Zach, right?” Zach – looking more like Owen than ever – gives him a teeny tiny nod. “I’m Will Gardner, your Mom’s boss.” “Oh. Hey,” is Zach’s scintillating contribution. And – hee! There is Manly Handshaking! I love it. Will’s being a complete idiot. “So. No school today, huh?” He snickers. “No, there was,” Zach replies coolly. Will checks his watch. 4 o’clock. Ooops. (Don’t you have, like, court or meetings, Will, that would orient you?) They both look embarrassed; Zach refocuses his attention on the computer, but Will is not in fact done humiliating himself. “Helping Mom out?” he asks, again, much too heartily. It’s like he forgot how to hold a conversation. “Yeah.” Zach gives him a total “what’re you still doing here” face. “Yeah,” Will says, starting to back out. “Keep on keeping on!” He make a fist bump in Zach’s direction. Oh God. Then as soon as Will’s turned his back, his face crunches in abject mortification. So awkward! Heee! Gorgeous and hideous, all at once.
Dana’s signing papers in the halls of justice. I really love her silver ruffled jacket and her side ponytail. My first grader would look adorable in it. “You should know something about your friend Cary,” Matan swaggers over. Speaking of grade school! “My friend Cary?” She’s got her chin up, imperious. “Yeah, you should know something. He has a thing for ethnic women.” Okay, sorry, junior high. And, hmm. I don’t know if he has a “thing” for Amani or Geneva but the show certainly pairs him with them. And of course there’s Kalinda, who he definitely had a thing for. “Oh. Really.” “Yeah, it’s really obvious. Every black or hispanic woman through here.” I don’t actually have a clue what Dana is, other than pretty. “Wow, well, thank you for the warning,” she -it’s sort of a pleasant sneer, mocking, and Matan actually gets a bit flustered and leaves. She snorts.
“Got it working,” Zach says as Alicia returns to her office, and yes, he certainly does. “You did not!” He did. She rushes over to grab his shoulders and gaze in rapture at the actual documents on her screen. “The IT guy put on proprietary software, so he could charge your firm for every file he stored. That’s why it rejected transferring your files.” He did not! Why, the worm. “What, I don’t understand!” Alicia backs away. Oh, Alicia. “It’s really corrupt. You don’t need to be paying to store files. In fact, it slows the system down.” Zach’s work here is done. Damn, Alicia, you better tell Will and Diane about this! That’s awful. It’s your duty to the firm! “Really?” she says, not concerned with anything other than the files in front of her nose. So disappointing, Alicia. “Oh, your boss was in here – Will,” Zach adds. “Yes,” she says, looking very nervous,playing with her fingers, “I – I saw.” You did? How? She is so, so curious. “Did you say hi?” He did. Well, he better go. “Okay,” she says, not pressing. She never presses. “I love you!” He loves her too.
But Zach stops in the doorway. He turns. He stands, one hip cocked, and stares at his mother. “What?” Oh, he knows, she thinks. Oh no! Will he judge me? “I want a car,” he says.
Bwah! Zach wants a car. She was so not expecting that.
“It’s like Moneyball. Politics doesn’t have to be for the rich.” The sweaty, speed talking man speed slurps his water. Would it were so, fast talker. “It’s the true democratization of power in this country.” Well, how timely a topic. Eli and Vanessa stares incredulously at Kim Kessler as his pitch floweth over. “You have citizen engagement on one hand. Megatrend,right? I mean, everybody’s talking about it!” He’s practically yelling. “Mark Penn, so on – AND, I’m not even talking about RTR!” There’s a fantastic flower arrangement right between Eli and Vanessa’s heads, bright Gerbera daisies in orange and yellow. It’s a nice contrast to this bozo. “I mean, talk about real moneyball!” “RTR?” Eli growls. “RTR – real time response. They hit Vanessa, and bam! We hit back.” He slams the table because the word “bam!” is just not enough. Jeez, and Will thought he made a bad impression… “Bam! We hit back.” Through? Kim points because it’s such a good question. “Micropockets of committed online journalist bloggers.” Oh, right. “Each talking from a subset of their own communities, right?” He starts to get specific – agricultural political bloggers! – and my eyes glaze over. “We also have the urban cities, right?” Oh, are cities urban? So good to know.
“Well that went well,” Vanessa laughs over a drink. Eli laughs right along with her. They really have a much better relationship than I was expecting. “You’re not going with him- that was all a joke, right?” “He was trying to impress you,” Vanessa explains kindly. Well, he sure made an impression. “Oh, my God,Vanessa, he is a clown!” She laughs, sets down her drink. “Then help me,” she asks seriously. Eli scrunches up his eyes. “You were never going with him,” he guesses. “Are you kidding? Citizen engagement? RTRs? He just gave me the bug.” Is that what the desire to run for office is, a virus? Also, go ahead and sneer at citizen engagement. It’s totally hilarious. “So this was all so I would agree to help you?” She nods, smiling. “I’m not going to be your campaign manager, Vanessa.” That would be tricky, wouldn’t it? “I know,” she says, defensively enough to make it clear she didn’t. “Just get me started. Do some polling, see if there’s any interest.” Interest from whom? The money or the much maligned citizens? “See if I have the stomach for this,” she adds. “You don’t,” he replies quickly. “Well then, it’ll be over fast.” Heh. They make great faces at each other.
“So what happened with the State Department?” he asks, changing the subject. “Oh yeah. Good news.”
Cary’s pining pictures to a board (what they call the murder board on Castle): Chen’s mug shot, Maya Nichols’ dead face. There’s a schematic of the boat. Chen’s ear with a ruler measuring the hair next to it. “Hello,” Matan calls, pushing the door open. The murder board is on the back of the door, and the door is blocked by all Cary’s boxes. “The State Department screwed you,” Matan is no doubt happy to inform Cary. “They’re pushing for his release.” Matan hands Cary a paper with the relevant information. “They don’t want to isolate Taiwan. There’s a hearing tomorrow.” Cary’s distress doubles him over. “Damn it, he’s guilty.” Is he? We’re pining something really important on what’s so far very scant evidence. Even if, granted, it doesn’t look great. This program makes me pretty terrified of law enforcement. “We just got this voice mail, it’s a slam dunk!” Really? Don’t you remember college, Cary? Behaving like a complete jackass at a party doesn’t make you a murderer – and it doesn’t even mean the girl won’t end up being drunk enough to hook up with you, either. I’m not saying it looks good for Chen; I just hate the rush to judgement. The idea of the voice mail making his case a slam dunk is pretty scary to me.
“Yeah. Too bad,” Matan offers unsympathetically. He finally takes note of the boxes. “Good, you got your stuff together. I have another office for you down the hall.” Staring at the paper, Cary frowns furiously. Then he closes his office door on us.
That looks like one of those massive hotel kitchens. “So he doesn’t expect me?” Cary asks Dana, who’s leading him through the warren. We hear a speech going on, tinny and static filled. “Naw, but he’s cool. An old family friend. Just don’t get rambly on him.” In other words, don’t act like Will and Kim Kessler. We’re really keeping up with last week’s “first impressions” theme all around, aren’t we? “Uncle Dan! Hey, how you doing?” Dana’s greeted by name, and offered a warm hug from – OMG! Dan Golden! Well, this really is the night to pull out the old first season regulars. That’s just awesome. Dan Golden, who was replaced on Peter’s appeal when he “got the call” from the Obama administration, who was replaced in effect (though not in actual title) by Eli. Oh, interesting! Dana giggles. “Look at you!” Dan breathes, swinging her hands. She smiles. “Dad told me you were in town!” So cute. I feel like hugging him too. “You’ve caught me playing hooky,” Golden confesses. “The same stump speech, the 18th time? You’re allowed a little leeway.” I hope they’re not implying that Obama is in town, because don’t you feel like the whole cast would be at that fundraiser? Also, I know the timeline is whack on this show, but it’s a mite early for Obama to have a stump speech, isn’t it? What with him not facing a primary challenge and all.
Anyway, Cary laughs. “Oh, this is Cary,” Dana introduces her colleague. “Nice to meet you, sir,” Cary shakes Golden’s hand. No where near as awkward as Will. “Oh, don’t mind him, he calls everybody sir. It’s a straight suburban thing.” Cary shrugs, and he and Dana smile at each other. “Uncle Daniel works in the Obama State Department.” As opposed to someone else’s State Department? Although, that wasn’t the sort of call I assumed he got; I guess I would have assumed more White House Counsel. But, wait, why didn’t Eli approach him, rather than Vanessa? “Well, that sounds deathly formal,” Golden responds, checking the television monitor he’d been watching when they arrived. “So it’s true – you did break up with Jimmy?” Ah, Dana. You should have introduced Cary as your coworker, or used his last name. Cary steps back, quite interested to hear the answer to this question. Ha. Her smile goes stiff. “No, we’re just… it’s complicated.” Oh, good luck with that. “Anyway, Cary and I, we work together at the State’s Attorney’s Office.” “Oh, good, Peter!” Dan seems thrilled to hear it. “How’s he doing? We worked together along time ago,” he explains to Cary. Not that long! Also, I’m not sure I’d call being his defense attorney working together. Oh, you know, Peter, he’s good. So good. “But we’re working on a case that involves the One China Rule.” “Really?” Now she’s got him. “Oh, that I have to hear all about.”
I love the perfect unison of the car doors shutting. Cary belts himself into Dana’s car. ‘Good job,” she says. “Ah, thanks. Not too rambly?” Heh. “Surprisingly not,” she smiles, putting the key in the ignition. “So, Matan says you have a thing for ethnic women,” she drawls. She turns to look at him when she’s done speaking, the dim light reflecting off her neck. Cary frowns. “He what?” Dana pins him down with her stare. “He says you have a thing about ethnic women. You just can’t control yourself around us.” Hee. I’m highly in favor of going right to the source like this. “I-it’s not true,” he turns to meet her serious gaze. He measures her expression. “Unless that’s good thing?” She takes a minute to answer, and when she does, swallowing, her voice is very very low. “That depends.” Can he bring his eyebrows any closer together? I don’t think so. “On?” She doesn’t answer. She just stares.
He unclicks his seatbelt. The snicking noise sounds like a challenge. Dana’s eyes go wide; she unclicks hers. There’s no mistaking that slithering noise as it retracts. Eee! Have seat belts ever been so sexy? They almost lunge into a kiss.
And we shift immediately to the former object of Cary’s affections. “I want you to vet my ex-wife,” Eli asks, taking a moment to raise his eyes from his desk. Kalinda emits a silent giggle. “Really?” Yes, really. He explains. “Alright. I have to do some work on Taiwan first, but then I can … How thorough should I be?” Eli looks back up. “As thorough as our enemies would be.” Okay, she says. That’s a good note to leave on. But no, she can’t quite do it. “Um, this isn’t about something else?” Cocking his head, Eli lets Kalinda know he knows what she means. “You mean, am I jealous of my wife and want to see who she’s sleeping with? No.”
Alrighty. Good to know. Eli’s amused by this, until he notices the blue FAIL screen of death. “Oh, come on!” he hollers.
The Hon. Harvey Winter bangs his gavel. “So, this is a hearing into the status of Mr. Jin-Pyn’s diplomatic… status.” How elegantly put, sir. “Don’t worry, Chen. You have the backing of the State Department.” Alicia bends across Caitlin to whisper the words; Eli nods in confirmation from the gallery, seated next to Vanessa. “Thank you,” Chen shudders in his bright orange jumpsuit, “I can’t spend another day in here.” “I don’t know,” Caitlin worries. Today she’s in a fitted top of royal blue. “They’re smiling like they know something.” Well, Cary and Dana have other reasons to smile. And they know quite a few things. But it’s still a good observation. “Let’s begin!” grumpy Winter scowls, “I understand the defense has a witness?” They do indeed. Alicia starts her pitch about the protection Chen’s been denied when the doors of the courtroom open. “To that end, we have asked a spokesman…” Have you somehow misplaced your witness, Alicia? She sees a flunky, standing behind the former Golds in the gallery. “Mr. Golden of the State Department would like to speak with you,” the mysterious gentleman relays, and Vanessa and Eli rise as one. As Dana watches avidly, Cary smiles at Alicia’s confusion.”Excuse me, your Honor, if we could delay…” ‘As long as you want, counselor,” Winter offers generously.
Chen, cowering at the defense table, brings Alicia to her senses. “Actually, your Honor, we ask the court that reasonable bail be set.” Chen’s parents nod fervently in the gallery. “And we would have no objection to make hone a condition.”
“What happened?” Alicia rushes into the hall, Caitlin on her heels. “State worried that extending immunity to the kid would be a slap in the face to China.” Oh, great. Cary and Dana zip out together, animated and smug. “Okay, we have to get discovery,” Alicia tells Caitlin.
Chen’s getting an ankle bracelet fitted. This is quite the episode for skin, isn’t it? Even if that’s just a naked foot. “None of your hair was found on the body, Chen,” Alicia explains during the fitting, “but we did just get the trace evidence back.” Caitlin steps in. “There was a blond hair, not Maya’s, a man’s, on her collar. They don’t know who it matches.” “Anders!” Chen suggests, looking excited. I hope these guys aren’t friends; this is a little ugly, no? Or maybe it’s good,if you think your friend is a murderer? “That’s what we think, but the police didn’t do his suspect exam, so we have nothing to match it to.” “Do you have anything of his?’ Alicia asks as Chen pulls his sock back on, “anything that might have one of his hairs on it – a brush,or an item of clothing?” No. But he might have a better way of implicating his friend. “I know his gym locker combination at school.”
Kalinda offers a story to the desk clerk;she needs to get her brother’s things from his locker. Sure, that’s just fine! Come on in! The kids nods her in, and leans over to watch her rear as she walks in. Inside the locker, there’s a brush completely free of hair, a sweatshirt similarly devoid of genetic material, and – the other sea sickness band.
“It’s the other sea sickness band, Cary.” Ah, our favorite prosecutor is walking the halls with Matan, and so he’s pretty sour. ‘How do I know you didn’t plant it there?” Ouch! “Because I didn’t!” She sounds offended. “Uh huh. And you just happened to know the number of Anders’ locker?” Please. She’s Kalinda. “No, I just happen to be a very good investigator. Look, check if you don’t believe me.” She walks in front of a racketball court. “I’ll get back to you,” he claims.”Whatever,” she snarls, hanging up.
“We’re all having to make sacrifices,” Matan says in his insufferable way, looking into another office door. “But you have a window now, at least.” He’s looking into a decent sized empty room, the chairs wrapped in plastic. ‘That one. The cubicle in the middle.” Cary, don’t bite Matan. He deserves it, but you wouldn’t like being in jail. Also, I’m sure he doesn’t taste very good. “You’re welcome!” Matan smiles.
“Hi!” Kalinda blushes, a tiny bit out of breath. “Sorry to keep you waiting!” “No problem,” Vanessa smiles, “I keep myself busy.” Her office reminds me of Sophia’s, but done up – it’s an inicely repurposed space. There are lots of drum shades as ceiling light fixtures, lots of natural light. “You have a pretty office,” Kalinda offers. “Thanks. At the beginning of a campaign, you live in Versailles. At the end, it’s Motel 6. Nothing against Motel 6! I’m a politician now,” she intones, hand to her stomach. Cute. Sitting down with her notes, Kalinda starts the interview for real. “So, ah, you were married once, to Mr. Gold?” Vanessa moves compulsively around her office, never slowing down. “4 happy years, 8 medium ones, and 2 bad ones.” Ah. “I hope that doesn’t preclude me from running?” “I’m not here to make judgments,” Kalinda waves off the concern, “just ask questions.” So she gets right into the rough questions. Why the divorce? “Ah, I think that was in the divorce settlements,” Vanessa replies, looking down at her shoes. No, no, it really wasn’t. “Just irreconcilable differences.” “Ah, well, that’s what it was.” Okay, this is not going well. Love the sassy/snippy tone, though it’s not very politician-like. Kalinda looks at Vanessa for a moment. “Yeah, but I think we’ll need to … go deeper.”
And Vanessa doesn’t look happy about that at all. Better to find it out now, with someone who’s ultimately friendly. Vanessa sets down her phone and then her backside, across from Kalinda. It surprises me she hasn’t shut the door to the main office, though, if she’s concerned about her privacy. “We were both working too hard, I was having to take a lot of trips out of town.” “Yes,” Kalinda confirms, “Dubai, three trips.” That’s right. “At the time I was doing P.R. for an oil company.” “And who did you meet there?” Vanessa turns to snark again. “Who did I meet? Do you want an itemized list?” Kalinda would, in fact. Ouch. She hands over a sheet of paper and a pen; Vanessa goes ashen. “Just write down the ones you remember.”
“Are you looking for anyone in particular?” Vanessa wonders. “Yeah,” Kalinda answers, reading the name off her notes, “Omar Tate.” She raises her gaze to make eye contact; Vanessa’s eyes quickly drop. Ah. That’s a direct hit. And I’m sorry for it. “You’re doing his dirty work for him, aren’t you?” Kalinda looks quizzical. “Eli’s dirty work.” No, she says. “He told you to ask me that.” No, insists Kalinda, “my vetting is independent of Mr. Gold.”
Vanessa stares for a moment. “I don’t believe you,” she declares. “I understand that, but it’s true,” Kalinda replies. Vanessa inhales. “It was a mistake – Omar was a mistake.” Oh, that’s so sad, so much sadder than just being divorced. Kalinda tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. How many times had she met Tate? “Don’t tell him. Please,” Vanessa begs. I swear she claims to have been young. During the bad 2 years? Which were only a few years ago? Okay. This is just a normal part of the vetting, Kalinda tries to soothe the former Mrs. Gold. “Please?” Awkward!
“Yeah, I was on the booze cruise too, but I just remember seeing Maya by the bar,” a pretty young college student explains. Sigh. This girl isn’t looking very bereaved, either. And how awful is that? Maybe she’s not a close friend. “Did you see her with this man?” Alicia asks, showing an enlargement of Dick Anders student i.d.. “No. I mean, I recognize him from the newspaper.” Oh, she reads a newspaper. How quaint. “I didn’t see her leave with him or anything. We were both worried about getting disconnected at parties, so we kept track.” Okay, I guess she is a close friend. Why is no one crying for this girl? “How did you keep track?,” Caitlin wonders. “You know that app?” the girl asks. What app? “The rape app? Have you heard of it?” I think Alicia’s eyes are going to pop out of her head. Not even technology happy Caitlin has heard of it. Care to share?
Maya’s friend holds up her iphone, which shows a whistle and the lurid slogan “Rape App.” “We both had it installed on our phones to keep track of each other.” (Had it installed? Wouldn’t you just download it?) The girl taps the screen. “See? GPS shows you where your friend is.” Well, on a large, city map. How useful is that for going to a bar together? Caitlin messes with the phone. “But there’s a panic button!” “Yeah, I know,” the friend admits, chagrined. “That’s what sucks.” Sucks? “The phone vibrated when Maya pushed it, but the music was so loud, and I was dancing. I didn’t feel it.” She shrugs.
That does suck. It way more than sucks. Man, that’s dreadful. But on the other hand, assuming there is such a thing, I guess it’s good that girls know the app’s not a fail safe. Also, wouldn’t you be gutted and totally dysfunctional if this were you? I mean, horrifying enough that your friend was raped and murdered, but can you imagine the guilt if it was something you might have been able to prevent?
“It has a history of when Maya pushed the panic button,” Caitlin cries triumphantly. “Yeah, I know, but it doesn’t show were she was,” the “friend” notes – and that’s definitely a minus from a functionality standpoint. Even if she’d heard the call for help, could she have found Maya in time? “I know,” Alicia agrees, “but it shows what time she pressed the button.” 11:33.
“Yeah, I do see it, 11:34pm,” Cary agrees into his phone, looking at a receipt. “Chen bought a mojito at 11:34pm, why does that matter?” He’s sitting in his new desk, amidst the plastic wrapped furniture. So pathetic! “A rape app? No, I’ve never heard of that.” Cary hails Dana, who’s passing out in the hall. “Okay, well, if that’s probative then that State’s Attorney’s Office will question him.” He’s writing something down. “No, ” he laughs as Dana walks up to his new digs, “I think it’s a bit too early to talk about release. Yeah, okay, goodbye.” Dana gives him a questioning look. “What was that?” she asks, leaning on the top of his cubicle. She’s wearing a black dress with a curved, open neckline and (like mostly everyone but Diane) a tiny pendant. “Defense attorneys,” he huffs. “They say they have the time of death via signal sent to a friend on something called a rape app.” Surely not the exact time of death, the time of attack. “Do you believe that?” He doesn’t know. He twirls a pen between his fingers. “Nice office,” she snarks. “Thanks – I get a lot more air in here.” Hee. At least she’s made him smile. He bites his pen, staring at the photocopy of the receipt which he’s pined on the cubicle wall.
He narrows his eyes, then pulls it off for a closer look. Chen Jin-Pyn, it’s signed. (Wow, 20 bucks? That’s an expensive drink.) “Chen did it. He did it!” Cary breathes. Huh? The receipt told you that? “How do you know?” Dana puzzles. “He’s Taiwanese – he would sign his surname first.” Damn! Wow. Cary, you clever boots! Okay, that’s impressive. As Dana inspects the receipt, Cary balances his pen on his upper lip and considers his next move.
“Hey Dick!,” someone calls as Dick Anders-who, it turns out, is being framed by a guilty Chen rather than being the guilty, abandoning one – walks out of a classroom building. “How’s it going?” It’s Cary calling him, waving from a bench. “I hear you stopped going to your anthropology class.” Wha huh? “I don’t have to talk to you,” Anders sneers. He’s got a pencil thin mustache. So, okay, I still don’t like him. “Yes you do, now that you’ve stopped going to your Anthropology class.” Really? ‘What are you talking about?” Anders wonders. He’s so European looking – skinny jeans, scarf, slim cut jacket. “You haven’t been in six weeks. Registrar officially dropped you from the class, so you’re only taking 8 hours worth.” So? “So? Diplomatic immunity applies to diplomat’s children up to the age of 23 provided that they’re full time students. You aren’t anymore.” Rut rho! Cary gets as much in Anders’ face as he can. “I can bring charges against you any time I want.”
Anders swallows, looks down at Cary. “I didn’t do it,” he pleads softly. There’s a big change in tune! “I believe you. But I think you know what happened and I can make a case you were part of it.” Cary, dude, really good work today. You should be proud. “Chen grabbed her sea sickness band when he killed her, and then he slipped it to you to hide it, right?” Wow, Cary’s so intense, so fierce here. “Okay?” he insists, and Anders doesn’t deny it. Then Cary unfolds the receipt. “That’s your signature, isn’t it? You used his credit card to buy a drink, and when you looked up Chen was gone? He followed Maya below deck, where he killed her.” Wow. Anders is still silent. “So. It’s your choice. You want to be a witness, or an accomplice?”
Gee. Let me guess.
Placing her report on Eli’s desk, Kalinda hesitates. “How much do you want me to tell you?” He shrugs. “Enough to know if she’s gonna run or not.” “She shouldn’t run,” Kalinda answers coolly. “Okay, why?” Oh,so many reasons. “Well, she was on the organizing committee for a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich?” Aw, Kalinda, are you trying to protect Vanessa? Sweet. Old news, declares Eli. What else? “She’s had relationships,” Kalinda answers delicately. “I figured,” says Eli, pretending not to care. “A few.” Eli nods. “But not slut level,” he guesses. Um, ew. No, Kalinda agrees. “Then we shouldn’t have a problem.” Except we do. She rolls her eyes, looking for a good way to deliver this blow.
Eli leans forward. “Kalinda, we’re doctors discussing a patient. What?” Ha. Except you’re a patient here too, Eli. “Well,” she starts, “one of them in particular is problematic. Omar Tate. He’s a financier of high end resorts.” “What is it, criminal past?” Eli asks. No, that’s not it. “No, he has a spotless record, perfect credit, actually.” Then why do you look so queasy, Kalinda? “Kalinda, you’re being weird,” Eli says. Hee. She looks at him before plunging in. “Well, Omar Tate isn’t his birth name. It’s Arash … Bin Laden.”
Eli leans back in his chair in horror. “Come again?” She does. “It’s Arash Bin Laden. Osama’s second cousin.” Eli can’t believe it. And wow, Vanessa, Omar definitely was a mistake. “My ex-wife slept with a Bin Laden?” Eli’s voice starts to rise, and Kalinda attempts to defuse him. “Listen, for what it’s worth, Arash Bin Laden has never been linked to terrorist activity of any kind.” Eli’s not as loud or histrionic as you would expect, which is probably a really bad sign. “Oh good! She banged a nice Bin Laden.” Snarf. Oh no, seriously, that kills me.
And apparently it’s killing Eli, too. He struggles for words. When he predicted it wouldn’t be pretty, I’m sure he never imagined this level of unappealing. “This is absurd,” he manages. Which, yes. “When was this?” Yes, there it is. Now comes the real ugly. “And he’s publicly denounced the actions of Al Qaeda.” You know, it can’t be easy to be a nice Bin Laden, though I’m sure the money helps. Eli, he will not be distracted. He holds up a hand. “No, when was this?” “Ah, you know I think the details are, uh…” she claims, avoiding his eyes. He asks again. “2007,” she says, her eyes filled with pity. Eli closed his.
They don’t make a big deal out of it, but she’s seeing the pain of infidelity all around, isn’t she? “She was married to me,” Eli swallows. “I’m sorry,” Kalinda tells him, her eyes large with empathy. Eli nods, forces a smile, and grimly digs into the report. That’s not going to be fun reading. Married 14 years, still together 4 years ago though presumably in the bad years then? Does that jibe with Marissa’s age, or has he been married before?
“Twenty years. That’s my last, best and final,” Cary offers. It’s looking like a good deal to me now for a client who turned out to be a murderer. “That leaves me no where to go, Cary!” Alicia objects. The two are on their cells, walking through their respective work places. “Go to your client, Alicia.” Nice turn of phrase, Cary! “How do you know Dick’s story is reliable?” she asks seriously. “Ah, I don’t have to make my case to you, Alicia. Take it or leave it. But know that’s it a 24 hour clock.” Alicia’s somewhat outraged when Cary hangs up.
Dana’s waiting for Cary, sitting at his desk, smoldering, smiling. “Very impressive,” she coos. “So you’re heading out,” he says. “Yep. Last week, still haven’t been shot.” She stands to allow him into his tiny cubicle, and they perform a very sexy little pas de deux, figuring out which one will move in what direction. So, I guess he’s over Kalinda? I’m kind of sorry. I hope Dana sticks around in some capacity, though. I like her. Good job, Monica Raymund. (Huh. I see she was one of the leads on Lie To Me. Totally missed that.) “Day’s young yet,” Cary cautions. Heh. Dana can’t help but smile.
“Do you think Dick Anders is telling the truth?” Caitlin’s question is real, and you can tell she cares. They must be driving to put the prosecution’s offer to Chen and his parents. “I think he’s afraid of prosecution,” Alicia guesses from the driver’s seat, “and he’ll say whatever they want.” Caitlin shakes her head. “But, it also could be the truth.”
Then she frowns, and scoots forward in the seat. “Is that?” She peers at the car luxury car barreling toward them. “That’s him, Chen!” the bewildered passenger calls, pointing. Alicia spins the car around. Boy, I never thought I’d be writing that. “Call him!” she barks, and Caitlin fumbles for her phone. While she’s struggling with it, Alicia’s rings. “Damn, it’s Cary,” Alicia sees in the dashboard caller id screen. “Hello?” “Alicia, our office was just informed your client just broke his electronic parameters, what’s going on?” Well, it would be the police calling, but whatever, that’s okay. Chen makes a right hand turn. Oh my God, this is crazy.
And I guess there’s no doubt about his guilt now.
“Ah, I’m not sure,” Alicia prevaricates, screeching through the turn. “Alicia, if your client is attempting to flee the jurisdiction, you have a legal obligation to report that.” Her face is focused, vivid, terrified. “I know my legal obligations, Cary! I have not been in touch with my client. I will call him and get back to you.” “Alicia,” Cary says warningly, but Caitlin nods in understanding. “Let me call him, and get back to you,” Alicia commands.
Chen turns at a highway sign that says West 90 O’Hare. Rut rho! Just in case we don’t know what Chicago’s airport is called, there’s a shot of a small green street sign that says “Airport.” Alicia pulls over, slowly. “I – he- what are you doing, we’re not going to know where he is!” Caitlin’s at a loss. “I don’t want to know to know where he is,” Alicia replies, somewhat bitterly. Caitlin shakes her head. Alicia hits a button on her steering wheel which must be redial. “Alicia?” Cary greets her.”I couldn’t reach him,” she says.
Cary tilts his head, frowning at the phone. “Tread carefully here, Alicia, because you’re facing obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting…” She cuts him off. “I have not spoken to my client,” she reiterates. Dana and Cary consider this. “Do you know where he is?” No. “Not for certain.” Cary’s losing patience. “What do you know for certain?” “I witnessed an Audi with a driver resembling my client heading westbound on 90,” she finally admits, and the SAs leap up. Well, Cary leaps; Dana was already standing. “He’s going to O’Hare,” Cary exclaims, getting his coat. “Again, I do not know that for certain,” Alicia disclaims. She closes her eyes and hangs up, thumping her head on her headrest in frustration. Damn.
Lost and shocked, poor innocent Caitlin seems to have had her mouth hanging open the entire time. “I thought he was innocent,” she acknowledges, shaking her head. “I know,” Alicia agrees. “Sometimes the guilty ones look like the innocent ones.” “Well, that’s depressing.” Alicia can’t help but agree.
Vanessa – wearing a black dress with an open neckline and a tiny pendant, the third of the episode after Alicia and Dana – strides in Eli’s office, smiling, her best foot forward. She knows this isn’t going to end well, right? She raises her eyebrows and waits for Eli to begin, but he’s mum, and she breaks first. “So what did she tell you?” He bounces in his chair. “I don’t think you should run,” he says. Why not? He cites the Rod Blagojevich fundraiser, faux chastising her. “I know, it’s dumb, huh?” She’s so relieved. “Voters don’t know you, it’ll define you.” “You don’t think you could leak it, take the sting away?” She’s sharp, of course. It’s not going to work. Still, I like him for trying to hide the real issue. No, he doesn’t think he can.
He’s smiling too much. It’s clear he wants this to be over. “What else, Eli?” “Isn’t that enough?” She’s still got her head cocked to the side, appraising his every move. “No. She told you.” He deflates a little, then pulls in a big breath of hot air. “I don’t even know why I care.” Of course you do! And you’re going to tell her. “The thought that my semen mixed with Bin Laden’s…” Ha ha ha ha! Oh, Eli. Didn’t you take a health science class or something?
“You know how it works. The semen doesn’t just stay in us…” Hee! Thanks for being so forthright, Vanessa. I love this show. I can’t believe they get away with saying some of this stuff on network TV, but I love it. ‘I thought we were happy in 2007.” Aw. He’s angry. “We were. It was a mistake.” So, not one of the bad years? Except really, how good could it have been? Do you cheat during a medium year? “I loved you, Vanessa.” “We never talked,” she cries, tears thick in her voice. “We talked!” Eli protests. It’s never good to think you were happy and know that it was a sham. “About work! About politics! My mother died and you… ” Eli looks absolutely livid at the mention of this, madder than we’ve ever seen him, and we see him over the top upset pretty much every episode. Vanessa stops at the look. “This was a mistake,” she says, meaning talking to him (and no doubt having him vet her).
Vibrating with rage, Eli stands. “Don’t you dare say I wasn’t there for you!” The words hiss out of him like steam from a tea kettle. “I was there for you.” “You were not,” she cries, “you flew out!” “I had to fly out – you said it was fine!” He’s on less certain ground now, his self-righteousness dissipating. “Because what could I say?,” she explodes. “That is wasn’t fine?” he offers. She flaps her arms. “But you were supposed to know that it wasn’t fine!” How, he’d like to know. Ah, that old argument. I’m sorry, dude, but if her mom just died, she shouldn’t have to tell you not to fly out. And for your part, lady, you should have insisted. “Oh, God, it’s like we never left each other!” She flaps around some more. “You know what? Thanks.” Yeah. So not pretty. “I just thought that I had done two years of my life well, that’s all. 2006 and 2007.” Oh, Eli. He looks gutted. “You did do it well,” she says, though I don’t really believe her. “Sometimes it’s too late.” Wow, this is surprisingly affecting. I don’t know if I expected these two actors together would provide a scene that was touching rather than hilarious. And that was hard.
We get to see Caitlin through the glass office walls, flipping her hair and talking animatedly to someone. Please don’t let Will be watching her. “How is she?,” Will asks Alicia. Well, I guess it’s not just him. “Not what I expected,” Alicia reveals. “Is that good?” She smiles. “It is.”
“I met your son earlier,” he smiles coyly. “I know, he said,” she smiles, excited. “I was lame; I was babbling!” Will’s embarrassed. “He didn’t say that!” Well, Alicia, let’s be fair. He really didn’t say anything except that he wants you to buy him a car. “I was,” Will insists, rifling through paperwork, and he’s oh so right.
“So,” he adds slowly, focused on his folders, “do you want me to meet them?” Now Will looks up. Ah, Alica’s not the only one listening to Celeste’s words, I see. Alicia nearly jumps in surprise. “What? No,” she answers. “I mean, formally,” he clarifies. “No,” she says again, blinking like a new born fawn. Will, you’re so not with the not thinking program. Do you think that her kids know about you? Why ever would you think that? No one knows about you! Except for Owen. Now that’s a meet and greet I’d like to see. “No? Because I probably could make a good impression…” he offers with a little smile. Gosh, that’s so cute. “That’s okay,” she smiles. She’s ready to head out. She turns with a huge smile. “I mean, really. Thanks. But it’s not necessary, Will.” Okay, he says. Good. He nods to himself, repeating it. Good. But it isn’t. He feels rejected, you can see it.
Aw! But, oh,oh, Alicia, I am worried about you shutting him out of your life like this. It makes me think you are really not ready to be with him – and in case you haven’t noticed, he’s really ready to be with you.
Caitlin stares adoringly from another door frame. Again. Oh, not good. Not good not good not good. She takes a breath as Will walks into the hall.
“Mr. Gardner!” she calls out. “Excuse me. I’m really sorry about earlier.” For? “Nothing,” she can’t quite articulate it, “I’m still figuring things out here.” “Good,” he says, “but why are you sorry?” Ah, here it comes. “I just didn’t mean to come to you first. Alicia said if I had any questions to come to her and not to bother the partners.” Okay, that was less ‘blame Alicia’ than I was afraid it might be. “Oh, you’re not bothering us. Don’t worry about it.” Oh, is he sure? Yes. Don’t worry about it, little girl. She nearly wilts from relief. I had no idea she was going to be like this. I didn’t expect to like her so much – or to be so worried. “Thank you,” she smiles. “Everybody is so nice here.” Er, have you met your uncle? “Yeah,” Will snorts, “lawyers, the nicest people in the world.” I can’t quite decide what’s going on with her face here. Is she just happy? Is she really as nice as she seems, or does she have a plan?
And no no no no no – do not go after Will, Caitlin! Don’t do it! And Will, you cannot cheat on Alicia. You’ve already declared your intentions, that you don’t want to be with anyone else. If you do this, it will break her apart.
At the end other the day, Cary finds his cubicle being wrapped in plastic, his boxes loaded up on another cart. Not again! He runs after Matan, and he has had it. We don’t see Cary lose it that often (most times we see a calculated show of temper) but he does. “Where’re you putting me now, the parking garage?” Matan, of course, enjoys it. “Excuse me?” Cary’s not in the mood. “I won the Taiwan case, the one that you sloughed off on me.” The one that should have been unwinnable, right, and now you want a pat on the back for it, is that it? “We got Chen at the airport trying to flee, he’s going away for life.” Excellent.
“I’m not moving you,” Matan insists. “Peter’s moving you.” Cary closes his eyes, clearly thinking he’s blown it somehow. “Peter?” he asks, forlorn, “where?” In answer, Matan opens the double doors. There. In the office which reads “Cary Agos: Cook County: Deputy State’s Attorney.”
Cary looks to Matan, then to the door. “I guess if you kiss enough butts, you eventually kiss the right one,” Matan grouses. Well, Cary does seem to be a boss’s pet, doesn’t he? Diane, Glenn, Peter. He stares at his own new set of double doors, his name on the glass. He can’t believe it. It’s more than he dreamed. Cautiously, he pulls on the handles, letting the doors swing wide beside his body, hunched over looking at the large and beautiful office.
The look on his face! Lovely. I absolutely want to give him a hug. Not that Cary’s the huggy type. Still. When you think about how entitled he was back at L&G, and how unexpected this is, and how much it means to him now? I think that’s actually kind of fabulous. Not to say ironic, since he got hired by Glenn Childs in order to hurt Peter and Alicia. It was Cary’s ingenuity that won this case, however, his guts and his tenacity and his instincts, and it does turn out that right was on his side. He got the win, the promotion, and (at least for the night) the girl. Not too shabby.
Now, okay. This is going to sound weird, but I was actually totally fine with Peter not being here this week. While it would have been nice to see him, his presence wasn’t really necessary. The one instance where they could have put him – giving Cary the new office – worked out even better as it is, I think. I mean, how excellent for Matan, who is clearly jealous (and probably moved Cary into the cubicle to torment him while the nice new office was getting prepared) to have to promote Cary himself? Excellent. Really, it couldn’t have been better. This is one instance where having to think around Peter’s absence actually made the episode better.
Eli’s arc was interesting to me. It’s nice to see him with someone he isn’t particularly gaming, someone who’s his equal. And despite the divorce, their connection seems deeper than anything we’ve ever seen with him, even with his droll, ironic, precocious daughter. It’s nice to see that there are people he truly cares about, that he has a core of human vulnerability. It’s nice to see – well, it’s awful to say this, but it’s nice to see that he can hurt.
It’s interesting, right, the thing about politics and candidates. You have a particular kind of scandal, you can’t serve your country through elected office. Leaving aside the question of why politicians seem so incapable of keeping it in their pants, it’s an odd way to judge someone’s competence at their job. Part of me wonders why Vanessa would have Eli, of all people, vet her when she knew there was something to find. But perhaps that was part of her calculation: there’s no one this news would hurt so much as Eli (the man who, ironically, rehabilitates cheaters for a living) so if he could get over it, perhaps the public could too?
What else? Is anyone else nervous about Caitlin and Will? Is Will going to stick around if Alicia continually refuses to let him in to her life? Is he going to press at some point? What do you think about Zach asking for a car? Is Chicago a car-friendly city? Shouldn’t he get a job first?