E: How do you win friends and influence people? In some ways, this episode is an exercise in the art of motivation, in the intricacies of influence. How to do you persuade people to do what you want when they don’t want to? Do you befriend them? Feed them information? Seduce them? Do you cajole, paste a smile on your face, play by the rules? Do you exert your political influence in non-political situations? Do you hold grudges? Do you threaten? And if you do, with what?
As with last week’s episode, we begin with Alicia’s face; she’s in court, not in bed, and merely distracted, not asleep. She might as well be dreaming, however; Diane has to call on her 3 times to get her attention. After the third mention of her name and a sharp, exasperated glare from Diane, Alicia hands over a file. “The trial is over, your Honor,” Diane explains, “The jury has heard the evidence. The arguments are purely about your jury instructions.” “And that’s what we’re arguing, your Honor,” Cary snarks.
“Mr. Agos,” Judge Peter Dunaway glares down through glasses perched low on his nose, “I know that interruption is a standard trope of today’s modern discourse, but do you happen to remember what I said about it?” Cary looks properly chastised. “You said you didn’t like it,” he recalls glumly. Diane smiles a tiny, happy smile. “And if you did it again…” Dunaway leads. “You said I’d have to go sit down.” That’s right. And Cary does. Hee! Excellent: Dunaway’s like a super strict English professor.
Diane loves this turn of events. “Thank you, your Honor. The prosecution fears they failed to make their case for first degree murder.” The now inevitable Dana Lodge and her side pony tail look annoyed and upset. “We sympathize. We don’t think they made their case either.” Oh, spare me. “Our client is innocent. Officer Fisher didn’t kill her husband.” That must be the completely freaked out looking woman at the defense table; she genuinely looks as if she was going to jump out of her skin. “She didn’t take her service revolver and shoot him in the head.” Eek! Thanks for sharing that, Diane.
Dana’s hand shoots up over her head. At least someone knows they’re in school! The teacher calls on her. “Yes, I see your hand, counselor. Are you finished, Miss Lockhart?” Why yes she is. Slowly, slowly, he turns to Dana and permits her to speak. “The defense is forcing the jury into an all or nothing deliberation,” Dana protests. “First degree murder or nothing!” “You’re the ones who fought the all or nothing prosecution…” a familiar voice interjects. Looks like Lockhart/Gardner isn’t the only team at the party; it’s Mr Coyne! Hurrah! Judge Dunaway’s not as pleased as I am, however, and he bounces Coyne for talking out of turn.
“Thank you, your Honor. The evidence at trial is what should guide your decision,” Dana insists. As she argues for second degree murder to be included in the deliberations, Alicia receives a call from Capstone Prep School, and sneaks out of the room. “Miss Venegas! Yes!” Alicia smiles and whispers. A brunette strongly reminiscent of Mary McDonnell in Secretary of Education mode from Battlestar Galactica (the suit, the glasses, the hair) glides through a busy school, her hair big and tousled. “Yes, I’m so sorry, m’am, I received your message, but I can’t accommodate you.” She actually fusses with a passing student’s hair. “We limit enrollment to the beginning of the year.” Her round tones would make Lina Lamont’s vocal coach proud.
“I understand,” claims Alicia, still looking for special treatment, “it’s just … I know occasionally you make exceptions?” Miss Venegas waters her plants. “For legacy students, yes,” she declares loftily. Seriously, I wouldn’t want my children anywhere near this supercilious bureaucrat. “My children were students at your elementary school before my husband and I moved away.” Swish swish goes Venegas’ little spray bottle on the plants. There are a lot of them.
This confession is clearly not having the desired effect. “He’s the new State’s Attorney, you know.” Alicia whispers this last tidbit. “Oh, Peter Florrick,” Venegas cries, taking off her glasses. “I wasn’t making the connection!” Alicia rolls her eyes; well, don’t use the tactic if you’re not prepared for the response, Alicia. (Also, how many Florricks would there be? Surely this school would be especially aware of them.) “Yes, and he would be thrilled if we could work this out. Let’s just meet to discuss,” Alicia pleads. As long as you understand I can’t make any promises, Venegas cautions. “Oh yes,” declares Alicia, watching Diane tap her phone. They set up a meeting for the following day at 10.
Her next call is to Peter, telling him about the meeting with the headmistress. “Really? I thought they said no,” Peter replies. “Yes, but they were open to a meeting,” she explains. “It wouldn’t hurt if you gave her a call. She seemed… persuadable.” He says he’ll come to the meeting;she says it’s not necessary, but he wants to. “And, um, I think she liked the State’s Attorney thing, so, ummm…” “I’ll play it up,” he grins, setting the phone down to talk to other supplicants; Cary and Dana.
He throws up his hands, displeased. “What happened?” Cary looks glum and apologetic. “The judge won’t instruct on second degree murder.” “It’s Judge Dunaway, you said he leaned toward the prosecution,” Peter puzzles. “He used to,” Dana explains gloomily. Where’s the jury? “I don’t think we convinced them on first degree,” Cary shakes his head. What does Dana think? “I think the jury likes her. I don’t think we made the sale on premeditation,” she confesses. “So why didn’t we?” Peter wonders. “We had a witness that fell through, and some of the motions … just didn’t go our way,” Cary reports unhappily. Peter paces around his desk, hand over his face.
Dana bites her bottom lip, watching for Peter’s reaction.
“Make the deal,” he says.
“They’ll want manslaughter,” Cary cautions. Manslaughter, Peter says, is not the deal. Second degree murder is. Four years. “Where the hell are all the tough on crime judges these days?,” Peter complains angrily.
Alicia takes a deep breath. She stands, worried, in front of Will’s office, waiting. Will charges forward, head down, but looks up from some paperwork in time to see her. There’s a moment of shock and awareness between them. His assistant starts in, but he holds up his finger. “Just a second,”he asks, and then steps forward toward Alicia, smiling. He doesn’t want things to be awkward, he says. “I so don’t want things to be awkward,” she agrees fervently, unable to look at him. “Good,” he smiles again, “then they won’t be.” Well, he’s better at this dating thing than she is; lots more recent practice. “So that’s it, then, isn’t it?” she asks. What? “We just decide and it’s so?” Her voice is low, intimate. Yep. “We’re adults,” he says, and of course, because that’s been his little black book style all along. No faults, no messy emotional entanglements.
Diane calls across the waiting area. “You’re needed,” Will reminds her, stepping out of the way. “I’ll get back to work then,” Alicia adds, but she watches him over her shoulder as he walks into his office, and can’t resist a last word.
“Thank you,” she says. He shakes his head. “You have no reason to thank me, Alicia. No reason at all.”
She’s not quite sure what that means. I’m not either. No reason to thank him for stepping back when she asked – something perhaps he sees as cowardice? For being with her in the first place, which wasn’t exactly something she had to drag him into doing? For giving her up, which will make his life easier in a lot of ways he’s never mentioned to her?
Oh well. Alicia can’t even make it all the way across to Diane’s office without looking back to watch Will and his assistant go over work.
In Diane’s office, Coyne and Diane have Cary on speaker phone. “Well fought, Cary. You’ve become quite the litigator.” Nice let down, Diane. “Thank you, Diane, we try to keep you guys honest.” Right. Coyne motions for him to hurry up, and finally Cary spits out the 4 year/second degree murder offer. Diane makes a hilariously thrilled face, and she and Coyne silently slap hands. “Diane, are you still there?” Cary wonders, back in his office with Dana. “Ah, yes, I’m here. We’re just… thinking it over,” she says. “We’ll take it to our client,” Coyne adds. “She’ll be much more inclined if you offer probation.”
“It’s not going to be probation.” Dana shuts that right down, “She killed her husband for the insurance money.” “He committed suicide,” Coyne counters, bending over the phone. “Oh come on,” Dana sneers, “he committed suicide with her service revolver?” Well, why not? I mean, there’s a gun in the house, was she going to be able to make it impossible for another adult to find it? Dana, that’s ridiculous. It was her gun so she must have been the one to use it? No wonder they think they’ve got a good shot. In fact, I’m not even sure why you’d be excited about the plea if that’s all the state’s case consisted of. Not that they’re going to get into the whole case now, of course. It’s just that I’m so sick of the SAs being morons.
“Too bad you couldn’t shake the alibi,” Coyne taunts, but Diane puts up a hand. There’s no need to go over this again. “We’ll take it to our client, okay, Cary, that’s all we can do.” Fine, he cautions her; just know this is their best offer. He hangs up, and Diane and Coyne dance little jigs and throw their arms around each other, bouncing with jubilation. “Well done!” Diane crows.
“They’re offering second degree murder,” she says, much more soberly, in the gray prison visiting room. Two tone gray walls, lighter gray linoleum floor, darker gray trim. Very very gray and very gloomy. The prisoner, sallow in khaki, doesn’t look so thrilled. “Four years?” she gasps. “It’s the mandatory minimum. You’ll be out in one. It’s a good deal, Lauren,” Coyne explains. He’s not jumping for joy anymore either. Lauren looks worried, shaking her head from side to side. “They’re worried about their case, that’s why they’re making an offer,” Coyne furthers. She looks up, excited. “So I should wait for a verdict,” she declares hopefully. “I don’t know,” says Diane, who like Coyne is sitting at the small table across from Lauren; Alicia’s by herself several feet behind. “Juries are unpredictable.”
“You’re not saying much,” Lauren notes. “I don’t have much to say,” Alicia stutters. “Well what should I do,” Lauren asks. “A year in prison or roll the dice with the verdict?” Alicia takes a second to answer. “I think you need to make that decision, Lauren. You can’t defer to anyone else.” Diane favors Alicia with a small smile. “You know what you did. You know what you didn’t do. You also know that sometimes that doesn’t matter.” Lauren sighs. Especially as a cop, she would know that. “It comes down to two things,” Alicia continues, “the skill of your lawyers, and the jury. You have good lawyers. The trial went our way But the jury?” She shrugs. “Is an unknown. They’re your peers. And – I’ve never understood my peers.”
Lauren sits back, shaking her head. “I didn’t do this,” she says firmly. “That’s why I’m gonna pass on this deal.” Diane closes her eyes. “I can’t spend another year in prison for something I didn’t do. I’ll roll the dice.” “Okay,” Coyne nods, “then we sit and wait for the jury.” Everyone nods nervously at each other.
“Oh yeah, ” Peter says, leaning against his old front door, “that headmistress? She’s a real piece of work.” Alicia laughs ruefully. “We’re going to split the cost,” he adds. “No, I got it,” she demurs, like the extra 30-60 thousand dollars a year is nothing. “We’re going to split the cost of private school, Alicia. That’s non-negotiable.” He says it with a mocking grin, but she knows he’s serious, so she smiles her assent. “Okay, thanks.” David Lee will be pleased. They’re very, very cordial and relaxed. It’s nice. It’s also interesting that Kalinda’s still getting the icy cold, but Peter gets the (relatively) warm fuzzies.
“Where we at with Grace?,” he asks. “No tv,” she begins, “no computer except homework, no calls except to us, and no calling Jimmy Patrick.” “That that Christian kid she was talking with?” he wonders. It is. She’s going to talk to him. “No no no – I’m going to talk to him,” Peter insists, with a voice that sounds like he’s going to show up for the talk with a loaded gun. No, Alicia replies, not assenting gracefully as she did with the money issue. “I will.” Peter grins appreciatively.
Grace pushes by. “I’m just bringing my computer for my homework,” she justifies its presence. She’s surprisingly not petulant. “Dad’s going to check,” Alicia notes. “And Dad’s a lot meaner than Mom!” Peter threatens. “Dad, can I drive?” Zach asks as he too brushes by his parents. In answer, Peter tosses him the keys. Wow. Zach and I are both surprised. “Call me on the way to school tomorrow,” Alicia insists. The children call out love to their mother, and the parents give a genial goodbye.
Alicia, warm in her red knit top, closes the door to her now empty apartment. She looks at a loss. She looks in the fridge. She loads the dishwasher. She folds the laundry. She vacuums the rugs. She looks in the fridge again, but doesn’t eat. She tries TV to no avail. Look, she’s so much more virtuous than you, she not only works a high powered job, raises two teens and keeps a pristine and beautiful house, she doesn’t snack, is super thin and toned without the need to work out, but she’s even above watching television! (Sorry.) I’m enjoying the promo that plays on her television for a randy version of Joan of Arc, which seems to include sex noises over the soundtrack of “Ave Maria”. Ha! That’s so many kinds of wrong. Love it. I swear someone says something about insufferable pastry.
“Hi, it’s me,” she says into the phone. “I know I shouldn’t have called.” She looks hesitant, awkward. “Are you sure it’s not too late?”
And the next thing we see, she’s waiting in a bar. You didn’t just booty call Will, did you? Clearly we’re meant to think so. But no. She might be giving a sultry stir to her drink, but the man she throws her arms around turns out to be her brother.
Ah, any day Dallas Roberts is on The Good Wife is a good day.
Also, making a clean break is good, too. Yay, will power!
“You’re lonely,” he declares a little later in their talk. “That’s the problem.” She nods her agreement, earnest and completely drunk. “I’m lonely. I know I’m lonely.” “So? Go call him!” But who? “Will!,” Owen says, in a voice which proclaims her a dummy for not knowing. “Owen, you’re not listening to me,” she leans forward, insistent. “I have kids.” “You don’t have kids,” he answers, “they’re with Peter.” She snorts. “What? Do you suddenly become a non-sexual person just because you have kids?” She denies this. “I am a parent. And I have to stop being irresponsible.”
She throws back a shot.
“How are you being irresponsible?” her brother wonders. I wonder too. “I’m married,” she counters. “Then get divorced. You’re not Catholic. Nobody’s going to send you to hell.” (Okay, I’m not even going to touch that one.) “Are you in love with Will?” She looks at him for a minute. “No, I don’t think I am.” “Seriously?” he asks. Seriously? “Seriously,” she answers. That’s both easy and hard to believe. (Let’s see how long that assessment lasts, especially when he gets back in the saddle and she has to watch.) “I think I was in love with it,” she explains, “you know, the attention, the…” “Raw, animalistic sex?” Owen suggest wryly. “Yeah,” she agrees, wistful. Hee. “But, I didn’t like the lying. And I didn’t like – I mean, he’s my boss.” Yeah, and you didn’t even know half the lying that was going on, Alicia. Right or wrong, Will covered up a lot of crap and a lot of his feelings to keep things light and easy for you. (Actually, I’m inclined to think she’d have stayed with Will if she had, if she knew the way he was being harassed for being with her. Not that it matters now.)
“Then quit,” Owen suggests. “I don’t mean quit working,” he explains after she gives him a look. “I mean quit that job, get another one.” We know you’ve had multiple offers. So she changes her tune. “It’s too complicated, I don’t like complications,” she shrugs. Well, it is that. “I need friends,” she realizes. Yes! You do! “Then, get friends,” Owen nods in agreement, “You had good friends.” Did she? Wouldn’t she still have them if she did? Well, I guess you can grow apart from your college friends, between distance and careers and kids, and we know her “mom” friends turned out NOT to be good ones. Of course, we might have different definitions of what makes a good friend. “Yeah, I did, didn’t I? Where are they all?”
“Probably on Facebook,” he answers. HA! I love Owen. And man, but that’s true. Alicia makes a face. “Try that tennis woman – what was her name? It was like a governmental agency…” He gestures as it trying to waft the answer to his nose and inhale it. Seriously, it’s a great series of movements. Big sis laughs. Fema? Seema? “She was nice, wasn’t she?” Owen protests. As the two snicker, Alicia’s phone buzzes. “Uh oh. Oh, this can’t be good,” she declares. Looks like the verdict is in.
And anyone who reads the tea leaves, or the structure of the episode (starting with what should be the ending of the case), or watches the trailers, or has seen the title of the episode knows what’s coming next.
“I’d like to thank the jury for their diligence, and staying past dinner. I understand we have a verdict?” Judge Dunaway addresses the court as Alicia (who has gone home to change) hurries into the courtroom. They do. The bailiff hands the judge the verdict; he opens the folded paper and then snaps it closed again. I’m sure they’re not supposed to give anything away, but he doesn’t look happy. The bailiff takes the official paper back to the foreman.
“Mr. Foreman, you may read the verdict,” the judge instructs. Lauren stands bravely straight, her chin lifted. “We the jury find the defendant Lauren Fisher guilty of murder in the first degree.” Diane gasps; Alicia’s jaw drops. “No,” whispers Lauren, her eyes no longer seeing what’s in front of them as she falls back into her seat. “Get Kalinda, she’s on her way in,” Diane instructs Alicia, reaching out to brace Lauren. Alicia speeds out of the room while Cary and Dana whisper in happy surprise.
“Kalinda, it’s guilty,” Alicia calls out around the corner and then turns around; Kalinda takes off after her at a run.
“Your Honor, we ask…” but Coyne stumbles over what, his hand clenched into a fist. What do they ask? “Would you like me to poll the jury?” Dunaway suggests. He would. “This isn’t over, Lauren, not by a long shot,” Diane declares, gripping Lauren’s hand tightly in her own. As Dunaway explains to the jury that the defense wants to make sure they’re really all on board with this shocking choice, Kalinda pulls out her notebook and makes 12 circles, one for each juror. As they go down the line one by one, proclaiming Lauren’s guilt, Kalinda crosses off each one that seems emphatic and sure. “Guilty!” calls the foreman. “Actually, sir,” corrects the judge, “you have to say guilty of murder in the first degree.” So he does. Each repetition of the phrase makes Lauren shudder. Juror number 2, 3, 4 all stand and proclaim her guilt without question.
“Juror Number Five, what is your verdict?” A sweet looking woman in her twenties with golden brown ringlets looks down, hesitates before standing. Kalinda, Alicia and Diane all notice and light on her with hope. She gives an apologetic little grimace before declaring Lauren guilty of murder in the first degree, and barely makes eye contact as she does so; her predecessors on the jury have all easily looking at poor wrecked Lauren when they doomed her. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she murmurs as she sits down. Kalinda puts a big fat question mark in that circle. The recitations over lap until we finally reach Juror Number Twelve. “Not guilty -Guilty in the First Degree,” he fumbles, sneezing. The judge doesn’t ask him to clarify this (I would have!) and but he, too, ends up as a question mark on Kalinda’s chart.
“Well thank you jurors, that ends your service, we will reconvene on Friday for sentencing. Good night.” Dunaway bangs his gavel to send them home. “The judge isn’t happy,” Alicia observes. “I know, we might have an opening,” Diane agrees. “Lauren, we might get this overturned.” “A mistrial,” Coyne expands on Diane’s comment, “or a judgement not withstanding the verdict.” A bailiff pulls the stunned, unresisting Lauren away, back to jail to consider her ill fated roll of the dice. Diane’s stumped. “I’ve never seen anything like it, that verdict doesn’t make sense. “Something happened in that jury room,” Alicia agrees. “I gotta get moving,” Kalinda tells them. “Right,” agrees Diane, “we want a reversal, something before that sentencing on Friday.” “We have a sympathetic judge,” Coyne reminds them as he shrugs into his coat. “Right,” says Diane, ” let’s find out what went wrong.”
At a glass door bearing the legend “Jury Room, Cook County, District Court,” a bailiff appears with a trash bag. “Thanks, Brad,” says Coyne, taking the bag and handing the man – oh my God, is that cash? – “it will be put to good use.” Coyne – he did not! He just bribed a bailiff to get the trash from the jury room. Damn.
Out in the garage, Kalinda’s taking pictures of license plates. Did you know that Illinois license plates have “Land of Lincoln” written on them? I did not. I’m not sure I’ve ever paid that much attention to the Illinois state license plate before. It looks like the parking garage has a section explicitly marked for jurors, which is certainly a hand thing for Kalinda and her cell phone.
“Sorry to bother you, ” Alicia hustles up to the foreman, “perhaps you recognize me from the defense?” He nods. “It really helps us evaluation our performance to hear from the jurors what they think we did right and wrong,” she pitches, “so if you don’t mind talking?” “Ah, I don’t think I’m supposed to,” the man grimaces. “No no no,” Alicia cries, while Dana listens back by what’s either an elevator or stairs, “that’s during the trial. You have the right to say anything you want after the verdict.” Alicia smiles; Dana runs back up into the building.
Cary’s meeting with someone else, but Dana bursts in and starts talking anyway. “It’s not over!” “What’s not over,” Cary wonders, unshaken. “They’re meeting with jurors,” she cries. “They’re going for a reversal,” he realizes, grabbing his suit jacket as he leaps to his feet. Sorry, dude with the folder, but you’re going to have to wait. “Or a judgement not withstanding,” Dana nods.
“It’s kinda late,” the foreman tells Alicia, who’s trailing him to his car. Boy, he really doesn’t want to talk her. She knows it’s late; if he’d just give her his number, she could call him tomorrow. “Ten minutes tops,” she promises. He struggles with his keys.
“You don’t have to talk to her!” Cary calls on, running down the ramp in the garage, Dana behind him. “He’s well within his rights, Cary, I’ve explained it to him.” “Yes,” Cary says, “but have you explained that he doesn’t have to talk to you at all? Just so you know, sir, defense attorneys are going to attempt to contact you and compromise you verdict.” Alicia glares while the Foreman nods. “I’m doing nothing wrong, Cary.” Cary hands a card to the Foreman. “Here’s my number if they do,” he says. “You can bring them up on charges of harassment.”
Dana takes off on her own vendetta. “What’re you doing there, Kalinda?” Looks like she’s got her little diagram out, and is consulting it as she looks at the jurors’ cars. “How’re you, Dana? I was just enjoying the night air,” Kalinda replies drolly (which, ha! there’s little more noxious than an underground garage), standing in what might be the most wicked stiletto heeled boots I’ve ever seen. Awesome. “It looks to me like you were taking pictures of the jurors license plates,” Dana charges. “Really? I thought I was taking notes that were both legal and legally obtained,” Kalinda replies. Girl knows her rights, prosecution intimidation be damned. Dana takes a step forward to step it up. “I’m warning you, Kalinda. If any of those jurors calls harassment on you, I’m personally throwing you in jail.” Kalinda opens her mouth, thinks about it. “I feel warned. Thank you.” She smiles and leaves, writing furiously.
Coyne spreads the contents of the jury room trash on a table. Alicia, now in a red suit, lays out yellow slips of paper, clicking in dismay. “Last round of voting, twelve guilty verdicts,”Coyne observes, “and my guess this would be dinner,” he adds, waving two small pizza boxes. Certainly not for twelve people! Not even for six. They sift between cups and cup holder trays to find more slips. “Here’s a not guilty,” Alicia exclaims, laying them out in another row. “And another! Second to last round, looks like we had 2 hold outs.” These pages (clearly torn from a legal pad) are stained with grease and drink. One of the guilty ones had a ring on it, where a drink sat for a long time. “Ugh – Chinese.” “Ew,” Alicia agrees, “looks like we hit lunch.”
So not cool.
Alicia gingerly takes the next set of slips, which are white and splattered with food. Even less cool. “Not guilty,” she reads, setting them out, “not guilty, not guilty, not guilty! Nine not guilties in that round.” Huh. Odd. “We went from 9 not guilties to ten guilties in that round,” Coyne sums up for us. “Wow.” “And that was just after lunch,” Alicia realizes. “What happened at lunch?,” Coyne wonders, along with the rest of us.
In front of us is a board displaying 8 buttons in three rows; it’s quickly followed by 4 similarly displays. “This is a livery horn button, 1840s, perfect back mark.” Kalinda’s in a hall, peering at row after row of button board framed on both sides of a hallway. “Wow, that’s beautiful,” she says politely. “Do you collect buttons?” Juror Number Five turns to her in delighted hope, her ringlets flying. Look at Kalinda, seriously. She’s got the old red leather jack on, one of my personal favorites. If this woman collects anything, it’s kneecaps and broken hearts. She knows how to push buttons, but she does not collect them. “Noooo,” Kalinda replies delicately, “but I sure can see the fascination for them.”
Nicely done. But of course it was. Juror Number Five nods enthusiastically. “I guess I’m a bit obsessed. That’s what everybody says.” Kalinda gets a text with the pertinent info about the lunchtime switch. “I have my own button blog. Lisa’sWorldofButtons? All one word,” she explains. Ah. Okay. Well, that’s what the internet is for – all our weird obsessions which the people in our lives might mock. Now Lisa doesn’t feel alone. “You must blog on there a lot,” Kalinda comments, turning a little figurine around in her hands, which turns out to be made entirely of – you guessed it – buttons. Props to the prop masters for that little knickknack. “Oh, yeah. I’d go crazy if I didn’t blog, twice a day,” Lisa sighs, “crazier than I already am.” She’s making tea. Kalinda asks if she can record their discussion, and Lisa assents happily. “But I don’t see how I can help,” she adds, handing Kalinda a mug and sitting down across from her at a small kitchen table. “Well, you seemed really upset when you read the verdict. Did you feel pressure to vote with everyone else?”
“Oh no,” their greatest hope replies, “no, no, I just don’t like to get up in front of people. I get a little bit dramatic,” she confesses. “That must have looked awful. I cry at the drop of a hat,” she finishes. Well, I can relate. I’d feel bad sending to someone for prison for life, too. “So you don’t regret the verdict?” Kalinda wonders, as if casually. “Oh no,” Lisa crushes our hopes, “no, I didn’t trust that lady. She killed her husband for the insurance money. I couldn’t think of anything worse.” Ouch. I’m struggling to think why Lauren wouldn’t look trustworthy. I mean, we didn’t see the trial, and mostly we saw her look terrified, but she didn’t seem shady in any way. “You must have made a very convincing case to the other jurors to get them to change their votes,” Kalinda says, looking at a button under a magnifying glass from the table, “I understand… that is beautiful, isn’t it?” Kalinda sighs, looking at the button, and Lisa leans over toward it, beaming. She’s a big beamer.
“I understand that they were leaning toward not guilty,” Kalinda finishes. Lisa immediately looks uncomfortable, fiddling with the back of her neck. Yes, they were. “Am I supposed to talk about this?” “Oh, the other jurors did,” Kalinda lies smoothly. “They said they changed their votes just after lunch. What happened?” Lisa still looks twitchy. She shrugs. “Nothing. We read the testimony, the Foreman thought we should.” “What testimony,” Kalinda wonders, looking down at another button. “The other cop? The partner, the one who said he was with her?” Lisa’s making a face. ‘The alibi witness,” Kalinda says. Yes. That one. The one Coyne said the prosecution couldn’t shake. “You didn’t believe him?” Still, Kalinda doesn’t look away from the button. She’s so good at being unobtrusive, just letting people talk. “Naw. He was so full of himself. And that uniform?” Wow, what on earth could have been offensive about his uniform?
Wait, I think I can guess. It was the state of his buttons, wasn’t it? Or the bland homogeneity of modern factory made buttons altogether. “Wait. Would you like to see a 1780s Georgian militia button? Mint condition, mint.”
“Sergeant Alden?” Diane’s voice expresses her shock. “He was our best witness!” “I know,” Kalinda agrees, out on the street. “She didn’t believe him. They reread his testimony after lunch and it turned people toward guilty.” Back in Diane’s office, Coyne’s beside himself. “That makes no sense,” he cries. “You might also want to get someone to look at her blog, Lisa’s World of Buttons. She’s on there twice a day, she might have updated something about the trial.” Diane hits a button on another phone. “Alicia, can you get on that?” “Yea, ” says Alicia, standing amidst a sea of school children, “in about half an hour.” Diane looks livid.
“Where are you, Alicia?” Does she suspect backsliding on the affair? “A prior engagement. I’ll be right back.” Wow, I’m impressed that she doesn’t actually explain. “Kalinda, what’re you doing now?” Diane switches phones. “The Foreman. He seemed open to talking.” Fine, says Diane. “And Alicia, let’s talk when you get back.” Oooh, getting called in to the principal’s office! And literally. She’s headed into the headmistress’s office. How funny that (given Diane’s worry) she’s with her husband, not off with Will.
Peter’s laughing with Headmistress Venegas, who’s giving him a coy head tilt. “Well I do hope you consider moving back into the neighborhood,” she smiles. Man, but I hate her. I’m really not sure I’d consider sending my kids to her school (even if I could afford it, which I’m sure I couldn’t). “I’d love to,” he claims, “but you know – civil servant pay!” He puts an open palm out toward her. “Oh my goodness. I do,” she nods, “I used to teach public schools. Social studies.” Right. Alicia returns to the conversation, all apologies for stepping away. “Sorry about that!” “Usually it’s the husbands ducking out to take calls,” says the woman who runs a school. Um, okay. Have I mentioned how much I hate her? Because it increases with every word out of her mouth. “We take turns,” Peter grins. Awesome. Peter and Alicia grin at each other.
“Well, I hope you’ll make an exception for our kids, because you’ll really love Zach and Grace,” Peter says as he stands buttoning his suit jacket. “I’m sure I will,” she says, shaking their hands, “I very much want to. Let me see what I can do.”
As Peter shuts the door behind them, now on the other side, Alicia smirks. “I forgot how good you were at that,” she tells him. He’s puzzled. “At what?” “Charming the teachers,” she says smugly. (I’m glad that’s where her mind went, because honestly, mine went to him charming women in general at first, which would result in a much less comfortable conversation.) “It’s the height. They respect the height.” Alicia laughs, but I don’t doubt that helps. He’s a commanding, manly, confident figure, and the height is certainly part of it. Have we ever seen the two of them have such a light, fun conversation?
“So’re we gonna let Zach drive all this way?” “It’s only another twenty minutes,” she shrugs. Yeah, but 20 minutes in a city can be some seriously complicated driving. “And Grace? What about Grace?” “She made a mistake,” Peter shrugs. Well, he’d know about mistakes. “I worry that we screwed up our kids,” she shakes her head. Oh, honey. “You worry that I screwed up our kids,” he laughs. Which is certainly true enough, but I’m glad he can admit it with a smile. For the record, I don’t think she was trying to guilt him; she feels enough guilt for the both of them. But she takes it lightly and smiles. “It’s true,” she admits.
Damn. It’s like they’re so over the end of their relationship – so far past the stress of trying to make it work, no longer tiptoeing around each other – that you can see what it was like when it was working. Lively, fun, honest, enviable. This makes me happy and sad at the same time. It reminds me very much of this song.
A man cuts an enormous branch off a large old tree. “What did you say?,” the foreman calls out as he’s lowered to the ground from the bucket of a truck. Kalinda just doesn’t understand; “sometimes you see slips pointing one way or another, but to see a complete turn around from not guilty to guilty in a matter of hours… it just seems odd.” She’s admitting to seeing the slips? “I guess I must be odd, then, because I was voting not guilty,” the foreman says, chainsaw in hand, leaning over the edge of the bucket. There’s a seal on it – parks department for the city, maybe? “When you read the testimony of the alibi witness,” she prompts. “Yes. It just didn’t add up,” he says. “I think when you have a policeman there in uniform, in person, you get persuaded, but when you read it out loud…”
“Okay. Kalinda.” Cary’s voice reaches our ears. He’s arrived with a uniformed cop in tow. “I already warned you once. You’re under arrest.”
“For what?” she asks calmly. “Section 4352 arrest: when a jury member is…” Kalinda interrupts (Judge Dunaway would so not approve) to ask the foreman – whose name is Mr. Alvarez – if he felt she was harassing him. “It doesn’t matter what he says. He’s a public employee, and his supervisor over there says you’re getting in the way of him executing his duties.” “You serious?” she asks. “I’m very serious,” he replies, intense. He nods to the female cop behind him, who comes forward to cuff Kalinda. Damn. He advises her to place her hands behind her back. “This won’t hold up,” she insists. “It’ll keep you out of circulation for a day or two,” he shrugs. You really have to wonder how much satisfaction he’s getting from this, and what kind.
As the officer jerks Kalinda away, Cary picks up a call from Dana. “They supposably have something for a mistrial,” she says, speeding walking through the court. “When?” Cary wonders in disbelief. “Now. Get in here.” She follows Alicia into Dunaway’s chambers.
“There you are, ASA Lodge. The defense claims they have evidence of jury misconduct,” he says, settling back into his chair. “The defense is desperate, your Honor,” Dana bites out. Well of course they are! They lost! And they really don’t think they should have! “At a certain point, justice has to be done.” “It’s being done,” Coyne insists, “This is how justice works.” Dunaway glares at Coyne, who takes himself off to the sofa for a time out.
“What do you have, Miss Lockhart?,” the judge asks. “Improper contact between a juror and non-participant is considered jury misconduct,” she spells out for us as Dana scowls. “Discussing a case with friends, family, during the trial or deliberations.” Thanks for the law lesson, Professor Diane. “One of our jurors has done just that.” “Which juror?” Of course, it’s Juror Number Five. “Lisa Banner. She’s written on her blog during deliberations.” “Oh, come on,” interrupts Dana scornfully; Dunaway shoots her a look so fierce she practically steps back. “‘In case you’ve been wondering why I’ve been away, I’ve been on jury duty,'” Alicia reads. “‘A murder. I know it’s supposed to be exiting’ – I think she meant exciting,” Alicia notes, and Dunaway agrees. “‘But you can’t believe how long this is taking. I sit in this room staring at these people who can’t make up their minds.'” Alicia hands Dunaway the print out while Dana waves her hand like she was Hermione Granger.
“Yes, I imagined you’d have something to say, Miss Lodge,” he snarks. But before she even gets a word out, Diane breaks in. “Your Honor, Miss Banner has broken a key rule of deliberation; she has discussed the case with those outside of the jury.” He reads, squinting at the paper in annoyance, light reflecting off his shiny bald head. “Her blog received 45,000 individual hits on the day in question, so Miss Banner shared her view with 45,000 non-jury members.” 45,000 hits? Holy crap, really? Can I just say, damn! The internet really is the place for all interests – and that’s a lot of interest. “God, how I hate that word ‘blog’,” Judge Dunaway sneers. Dana steps into the breach. “Your Honor, this gives new meaning to reaching. That blog entry was generic, unspecific, and … unknowing.”
Dunaway sighs deeply. “I regrettably agree, Miss Lockhart. Miss Banner’s banal observations hardly rise to the level of improper contact. Though I’d love to jail her for syntax alone.” Hee. Dana presses her advantage. “Your Honor, we would ask that you censure the defense. They are sifting through the personal lives of the jurors on a fishing expedition for a mistrial!”
“No, Miss Lodge,” the judge proclaims, his voice serious. “This was an unjust verdict. You know that and I know that.” Well, if she knew it, she wouldn’t have been prosecuting the case, would she? “That’s not true,” she insists. “It is true. But the law was followed. I would looooove to overturn this, but you have to give me more.” Wow! Diane looks crestfallen, and Dana and her side ponytail are outraged. “Your Honor, I would like to get your comments on the record,” she declared, posture straightening, back up. “They are on the record,” he informs her dryly, “That’s what Judith is doing over there. What’d I say, Judith?” Judith’s sitting next to Coyne on the couch. “‘They are on the record,'” she reads, “‘That’s what Judith is doing over there.'”
Dunaway beams at them. “Bring me something more, Miss Lockhart. The law’s the law.”
Dana’s the last one to leave his office, and she’s clearly furious. She can’t believe, just can’t believe, that the judge would question the verdict. She stares at his door, thinking hard, and then rushes off until she runs into Wendy Scott-Carr. “You know our investigation into Lockhart/Gardner?” She sure does. “I think I may have just stumbled across another judge they bribed.” Wendy looks both ways before beckoning Dana into her office.
Now. You said WHAT? Somebody needs to knock that chip off Dana’s shoulder so she’ll start to realize that people don’t have to be corrupt to be pro-defense in any given situation. Because seriously, OH. MY. GOD., she did not just make that assumption! The side ponytail gives it away; she’s not reasoning any better than my six year old. Of all the petty, short-sighted, annoying …
Wow, that is just irritating. It might be a good thing for the general flow of the show, but ooooh, it just made so mad!
“I was so thrilled you called. I was wondering how the old gang was doing,” Alicia’s lunch date says cheerily, taking a bite of salad. “You’re not in touch with anyone?” Alicia wonders. “No,” the government-agency sounding lady replies with a wave of her fork, “I got divorced, moved across town. How are you and Peter doing?” Alicia pales, and then lies with a smile. “Well!” Well, they’re doing well for two married people who aren’t living together anymore, anyway. Salad lady’s impressed. “Great, you’re our Bill and Hilary! Mmmm – have you heard of the Mosues?” Unsurprisingly, Alicia hasn’t. “The Mosues. They’re these people in Southeastern China who organize their lives around a woman’s sexual desire.” Ha! That’s so not what Alicia’s looking to hear right now. Not since she’s just re-arranged her life to avoid her sexual desire.
“They completely separate sex from family. The Mosue women get to decide which men they sleep with, how long, how many.” Fema lady follows the last word with a rich chuckle. Wow. This is rapidly turning into a spectacularly friend date fail. Maybe you should have contacted a nun, Alicia. “All the Mosue men coming knocking on the doors of their badugas at night – that’s their flower rooms – and the women decide which ones to let in. And when they’re done, it’s up to the women whether the men stay or go.” Are they making this up, or did someone dig up this bit of anthropological detail just because it would make Alicia profoundly uncomfortable? “And that’s when I realized what was missing from my life – control!” She points at Alicia with another fork full of greens. “You have to read this book, it’ll open your eyes!” Alicia looks stricken. “So how are you doing?” Fema asks around some salad. “Good! Good,” Alicia pretends.
Yeah, Alicia’s not really looking for control. She had it, but she didn’t like it.
“So, try one of your other tennis buddies. They can’t all be like that,” Owen opines over the phone. He’s walking down a hall which looks like a dorm, but is more likely an academic building. There’s some sort of mural along the beige walls. Alicia, meanwhile, is walking up stairs next to a gratified skull. “Yeah, but what if they are? What if I’ve spent the last decade of my life making the wrong friends?” Well, you have to come to terms with that, Alicia, since they all abandoned you (or you froze them out) during Peter’s scandal. Didn’t we decide long ago that all your old friends are awful? “Start making new ones,” he declares rightly. “Nothing’s over till it’s over!” Quite so. Try your college and law school friends, too! Some of them must be normal, and chances are you had a deeper relationship with them than the people you played tennis with. “Well thank you,” she smiles. “I have to go yell at someone now. Talk to you later.”
The place of the skull turns out to be an indoor skating park, with at least one half pipe. Neat! She moves over to the front desk – do you book time here? rent bowling shoes? – and the desk clerk leans down, smiling, his voice jovial. “Hello!”
It’s Jimmy Patrick.
“Hi. I’m Grace’s Mom,” she says. He bites down on his big smile.
“I already talking to Grace,” she tells him. They’ve moved over to a more private area, which is nice. “I don’t want her contacting you again, and I don’t want you contacting her, do you understand?” Sexy Mr. Jimmy does. “But just so you know, Mrs. Florrick, I thought she had your permission.” “She didn’t. And she doesn’t,” Alicia barks sharply. You know, I really don’t know the point in being rude to him. I guess she’s just generally suspicious. But he’s a stranger! He doesn’t owe her anything! She doesn’t get to yell at him and determine what he believes or says on the internet, and it’s only by a sense of honor (which she’ll be lucky if he has) that she can affect his choices about talking to Grace at all. “Okay,” he says, “but she really should be going to church.” Ah, you’ve lost me there, Jimmy, pressing where you shouldn’t. “That is up to me. That is not up to you,” Alicia declares. Well, the one it’s really up to is Grace, right? You don’t get to exert mind control over your kids, or decide what they believe,and eventually, if she wants to go to church, she will.
“I don’t want you contacting her again,” Alicia reiterates. “She already told me,” he says, “don’t worry.” She? You can see Alicia thinking, Grace told you? When did she tell you? “You talked to Grace?” she asks. “No, I mean your assistant. She already told me.” Now Alicia’s really confused; I, on the other hand, am jubilant. So that’s why we’re really here! Alicia’s going to find out. “My assistant?” “The one who came for Grace, at the church? The one who ripped into me?,” Jimmy laughs. “What’re you talking about?” Alicia just doesn’t get it. “Your assistant at work. Kalinda,” he explains. Alicia’s floored. “Kalinda? She -I don’t understand.” She shakes her head, but the cobwebs don’t clear.
“She came and got Grace, and said I should never talk to her again. Or she would hurt me,” he adds, still a little alarmed. Awesome. Alicia’s so shocked she forgets to be reserved and hide her thoughts. “I… I don’t understand. How did she find Grace?”
“She told us not to say anything,” Zach explains from home. Alicia’s back in the office. “Yes, but now I’m telling you to say something. What happened?” How did she know to have this conversation with him, and not Grace? “She used some software to trace Grace’s cell phone, but it was dead, so she drove to see where Grace was,” Zach tells his mother. Alicia’s stunned. “And why didn’t she want you to tell me?” she asks. “I don’t think she thought you wanted to know,” he volunteers, filling up his backpack. “Mom, I have to get to class.” Diane knocks on the glass wall in Alicia’s office; Alicia holds up a finger to indicate she’ll be there in a minute. “Zach, listen. I’m not angry, but we don’t keep things from each other, okay?” “Okay, Mom, sorry,” he says, heading for the door. “Okay. I love you,” she replies.
Alicia passes Coyne, who’s set up with the trash on the conference table next to Eli’s office. He pulls out a small white slip of paper with the words “be sorry” on it. That gets him looking at the rest of the white paper till he finds the rest of the sentence; he gives it an admonishing look.
Diane thanks Alicia for coming to her office. “We just don’t talk as much as we used to!” Er, did they ever really talk. I will say, we don’t see as much of you as we want, Diane! Let’s change that! “It’s been busy,” Alicia assents gracefully. “And you’ve been distracted,” Diane says boldly. Alicia looks shocked for a moment. “Well, I was just dealing with some home issues, but that’s all taken care of now,” she claims. “Good,” says Diane, and they sit. Let me take this moment to say I love Alicia’s high necked dress; it’s so very buttoned up without literally being so. It’s very much “I’m not having sex” sexy.
“You’re valuable to us, Alicia,” Diane smiles. “When I worked with Stern years ago, we were very close.” Oh holy cow, is Diane copping to an affair with Stern? Really? Or just comparing? “And as a woman, it was helpful to be that closely associated to a powerful man.” Okay. Odd way to put that, and I’m not at all sure that’s the right way to say that, but okay. Alicia looks highly displeased with this lecture. “But only to a point. People tended not to give me credit for my own successes.” Alicia tries not to say something, but there are spots of pink growing on her pale face. “All I’m saying is, women need to help women. The way you’re helping Caitlin. The way I want to help you. I want you to get serious about the partner track.” She nods decisively.
Alicia raises her eyebrows. “Really?” “Yes,” Diane says. “I’ve been watching you. You have it in you. But you can’t let yourself get distracted. Not with family, not with… friendships. Here, you have to keep your eye on the ball.” “I can’t change that I have a family,” Alicia replies with a touch of annoyance. “No one wants you to,” Diane claims (which, whatever). “But rising to a certain level as you have, Alicia, there are only two options open to you. Rising even further, or falling to earth – and that’s why I want to help you. To offer you my friendship. And my advice.”
Wow. Diane’s everyone’s best friend and confessor, suddenly! I can’t help remembering the cautions about her in the first season – that she talked a good game, but liked being the most powerful woman around and saw other women as threats – and hoping that this offer is about more than keeping Alicia out of Will’s bed. Or at least, that it’ll be helpful in more ways than that.
Coyne picks this moment to walk in the door. “Okay,” Alicia whispers. Hey, you did ask for friends. “We got something from the jury room!” Coyne cries. “Oh, good, something from the trash,” Diane grouses. “No,” says Coyne, “this is a threat from one juror to another. Look,” he says, handing Diane the two pieces of paper. “Change your vote or you’ll be sorry?” Diane reads aloud. Oh, my. “The problem is, we can’t use this.” “Yeah,” Coyne snorts, “we’re not even supposed to have this trash.” Now that’s a double edge sword! Can we figure out who wrote it, Diane wonders. “I mean, if we could question these jurors, we could get it out of them.” Alicia suggests comparing the handwriting. But you don’t know who wrote the different samples. Doesn’t that make it tricky?
“Where is Kalinda?” Diane asks. “She was arrested” is Coyne’s shocking answer. “When?!” Diane questions, stunned. “About an hour ago,” Coyne explains. “A friend at the courthouse just called me – she’s being held on a juror harassment charge.” Alicia’s silent. “Okay, well let’s bail her out!” Diane insists. “I’ll do it,” Alicia volunteers immediately. Is she sure? She’s sure. “Yes, I’ll go.”
Judge Dunaway’s not sure what he can do for Wendy Scott-Carr, who is just so pleased he has time for her. “Well, your Honor, I was assigned a case on judicial corruption,” she begins. “Oh really,” he says, insinuating. Wendy, you better step lively here. “And I was wondering, as part of my investigation – has any lawyer approached you about a bribe?”
Oh my heavens. She did not just come out and say that! Wendy, you are usually way more subtle. Have we ever heard her just blurt something out, rather than delicately beating around the bush for a few minutes? Maybe she’s intimidated by his office. They stare at each other for a moment. “No, no lawyer has.” What did she expect him to say? “Good!” she chirps, her smile stiff and frozen. “That’s good to know.” She hesitates for a moment. “You know that bribes aren’t always in the form of cash. They can also be in the form of gifts, or even the forgiving of debts.” He stands, and pulls a thick stack of loosely bound papers from his book shelf. “Harvard Law Review,” he announces, waving the papers at her. “This is my article on judicial misconduct,” he says as he sets it in front of her and sits down. “Worth a read sometime.”
Okay, now she’s extra nervous. Have we ever seen her so flustered? I don’t even know why she would go to him rather than just investigate the situation.
“Please don’t confuse my meaning, your Honor. Due diligence requires some uncomfortable questions.” She smiles her old, winning, sanctified smile. “Yes,” says the judge, “and so does undue influence.” She smiles, almost blushing. “Are you suggesting that I’m influencing you?” she demurs, as if it were a ridiculous thought. “No, I’m suggesting that you’re attempting to influence me,” he smiles. “You were close to Will Gardner,” she cuts to the chase. “You used to play in his Wednesday night basketball games.” God, the woman is tenacious. And so wrong headed. “We have pinpointed these games as a prime nexus for illegal gambling and bribery.” Oh, God. I’d love to know why you think that, I really would. “And I’m friendly to his partner, Diane Lockhart, in this current case, isn’t that what you’re suggesting?” Dunaway comes alive under threat. It’s pretty striking. Wendy’s face freezes for a second. “Yes,” she admits. “And you are trying to use your position as a special prosecutor to pressure me to decide for the prosecution in this ongoing case!”
“Well, that’s where you’re wrong, sir,” Wendy smiles. Doesn’t her face hurt from all that smiling? My face hurts just looking at her. My hands are tired of typing the same phrase; Wendy smiles, smiles, smiles. “There is no ongoing case. The verdict is in.” Right. You’re going to get far with that argument. That must come as such a shock to him the verdict being in. He glares at her.
When Dana walks over to the holding cell, Kalinda gets up. Is she still cuffed, even in the cell? “How’re you doing?” she asks. “Cause you’re looking a little pale.” Kalinda shakes her head, annoyed. “Yep,” Dana notes as Kalinda stands with her back to the cell door, “hands behind your back. “An officer unlocks the door and takes her out.
“Kalinda Sharma. She was brought in here a few hours ago,” Alicia asks at a desk. “Oh, I’m sorry, m’am,” says the desk clerk, “but Kalinda Sharma’s been transferred. “Where?,” Alicia asks calmly. “She took ill, and was transferred to a local hospital for treatment,” the clerk reads. “Oh, come on. This is a game,” Alicia declares rightly. (And how funny that it was Kalinda who taught Alicia about this game, back when it was Alicia’s neighbor being bounced around by immigration.) “That’s all I know, m’am. Take it or leave it.” Oh, Alicia’s going to take it, all right.
And she’s going to leave it right on Cary’s desk. She bursts into his office in high dungeon. “Let me put this to you simply, Cary. Unless you want a law suit the likes you’ve never seen, I would stop this shell game with Kalinda. Because I have three pro bono clients who’ve suffered the same transferring of relatives and loved ones, and if I can prove a systematic effort to elude arraignments and bail hearings, well then we’re talking about damages in the millions. And more importantly, I’ll be naming you personally in that law suit.”
“Hi, Alicia,” he nods up at her, displeased. “Hi. I am not joking, Cary,” she replies. “You bring Kalinda to me, now.” YES!!!!!!! There’s nothing quite like a properly applied threat.
Alicia and Cary wait, leaning back against an olive colored wall for Kalinda to be brought out. When she is, Cary gestures to the guard to let her go. Kalinda and Alicia stare at each other warily. Kalinda leaves, and Alicia follows.
The two women silently buckle themselves into Alicia’s car. It’s not until Alicia’s ready to back out that Kalinda simply says thanks. Alicia puts the car back in park. “You found Grace?” Alicia says curtly, looking forward. Kalinda doesn’t answer, so Alicia rephrases. “You found my daughter?” “She wasn’t lost,” comes the response. “You brought her home,” Alicia notes. “She would’ve come home on her own,” Kalinda explains, which is odd. But why did you tell my children not to tell me, Alicia wonders. You know, the thing Kalinda does next best after bad ass is pleading and vulnerable, and that’s what she looks like now. “I don’t do mess,” Kalinda offers by way of an explanation. “What mess?” Alicia wants to know; she turns for the first time to look at Kalinda.
“Alicia, I haven’t changed. I’m the same person. I knew I could help, so I helped. That’s all.”
Alicia turns her face forward again. “Thank you,” she says simply. “You don’t have to…” Kalinda starts. “No. You didn’t have to,” Alicia says clearly, still looking forward. “That’s why I’m thanking you.” “You’re welcome,” Kalinda replies, quiet, honest. Alicia nods, and pulls the car out of the spot.
“Here we all are again! What do you have for us today, Miss Lockhart?” Judge Dunaway asks as he hangs up a coat or sweater, looking over at the assembled lawyers and – hmm – the juror with the cold. Diane’s wearing one of her more daring ensembles – a large print purple plaid – and she answers the judge with her usual confidence. “Juror Number Twelve, Mr. Grant Rudnick, your Honor, he has something he wanted to say.” Rudnick grips the chair back in front of him as Judge Dunaway turns to him in surprise. “Yes, your Honor, I’m sorry, I should have said something before. This note was given to me before, in the jury room.” He places the taped up threatening note on Dunaway’s desk.
“Oh, come on, your Honor, this is ridiculous,” Cary huffs. Coyne quotes rule 5324A about jury tampering or bullying, only to be on the other end of Dunaway’s glare. Again. “I know. I interrupted Mr. Agos. I will go sit down now.” Heh. He does.
“The jury has decided, your Honor,” Cary continues. “The defense shouldn’t be allowed to keep throwing crap against the wall.” “Thank you, Mr. Agos,” Dunaway snaps, “but I think it’s my job to figure out what is crap. Mr. Rudnick, did this threat change your view of the case?” Diane steps in, because she knows the answer. “Your Honor, that’s not the point. The mere fact of …” Ruthlessly, Dunaway cuts her off. “Miss Lockhart, I didn’t ask you a question.” They stare at each other, and she backs down; I notice, however, that he doesn’t send her off to the couch. “Mr. Rudnick, did this note change your mind about the case?” No, Rudnick snuffles. “So when I polled the jury in court and you said guilty in the first degree, were you telling the truth?” Dana nods. “I guess so, sure,” Rudnick says unconvincingly. “Miss Lockhart, Mr. Coyne, again, nice effort, but I deny your request for a mistrial. And I ask that you be more circumspect in the future in your approaches to jury members.” Ouch.
“Damn it,” Coyne growls as he leaves the judge’s chambers. “What happened?,” Diane wonders. Did you figure it would be easy because you know he’s on your side? “He’s afraid to go out on a limb,” Coyne guesses. So should we assume that Wendy’s little chat had some effect? “Who threatened you, Mr. Rudnick? Diane asks, and I just about fall over. What are you people, amateurs? How could you not ask that question before? And if you were going to find the person who wrote the note by the handwriting, how did you end up with the recipient instead? Oh, whatever. You people are annoying me. The foreman, he says. “I forget his name, I’m sorry. I didn’t take it seriously – I thought he just wanted to get finished up that night.”
“What I don’t understand, ” Diane turns to Coyne, “is that the foreman was one of the not guilty votes.” So ask the juror standing next to you, you moron! Why aren’t you asking #12 this? How can you speculate right in front of him and not ASK? Oh, you superior idiots. “And then after lunch, he not only changes his vote, he pressures another juror to change his vote?” Rudnick looks twitchy and full of information, but Diane calls Kalinda. At least Kalinda wouldn’t ignore the avenue right in front of her, but gosh, this makes me crazy. “Kalinda, what’re you doing?” Diane asks. “Anything you want,” Kalinda replies, walking the halls of Lockhart/Gardner. She’s on her way.
Her way to Lisa Banner’s button heaven, that is. “Three Decan buttons, all with irises,” Lisa explains, showing Kalinda another button board. “Oh, I like the middle one especially,” Kalinda exclaims. This is so wacky, watching Kalinda in this situation. These button are rather pretty, though. “Oh thank you – me too!” Lisa enthuses. “So did you talk much about the case during lunch?” Kalinda wonders. Truly, she is a master at setting people at ease. When you contrast her methods to Blake last season with his threats and burglaries and brute force, her skill is even more apparent. “No, we honored the judge’s instructions.” “And was Mario with you? He’s the foreman,” Kalinda explains for our benefit.
“Most days he was during the trial, but deliberations, no, he said he had to do something next door.” Really. Hmm. That’s interesting. “Next door to what?,” Kalinda asks, still appearing completely absorbed by the little painted buttons. “Chopsticks Shack. We went there every day!” Lisa groans. “Do you remember what was next door?” Kalinda asks casually, still captivated, tilting the button board to look at them from every angle.
Mario, it turns out, used an internet cafe next door to the Chopsticks Shack. Naughty naughty, Mario! “He had to pay with a credit card, so I was able to find the computer he used, and this is the cache of searches he ran,” Kalinda says, setting down a folder on Diane’s desk. “What was he looking for,” Diane wonders as Alicia watches – wearing, I have to say, a spectacular brown velvet jacket over a mocha silk shirt. Gorgeous. “Articles on our alibi witness, Sergeant Alden.” Diane looks shocked. “What was it, a grudge?”
“No,” Kalinda explains, “Alden shot a Hispanic youth in 2002.” Coyne, who’s seated across from Diane’s desk, says “uh-oh.” Yep, Kalinda agrees. “He was cleared of all charges, but there was a lot of controversy because the youth was unarmed. Many members of the Latino community accused him of lying to the inquest.” Yeah, I can see how he’d be an unintended lightning rod. “And Sergeant Alden is black, not a lot of love lost there,” Coyne contributes. “So you think that he changed his vote when he realized it was the same officer?” Alicia guesses. “Yeah, but I don’t think he realized until he was in the middle of deliberations. He checked, and then he persuaded the other jurors,” Kalinda explains her theory.
Well, there you have it. That’s what went wrong.
“We have to take this to the judge,” Alicia cries. Which, duh! But Diane shakes her head. “No,” she declares. “Why? This is exactly what Judge Dunaway was talking about!” “No no no , something’s changed there,” Coyne perceives. “We need more.” Has something really changed? Did Wendy really work some magic with her threats? Should the intimidation note have been enough to get the mistrial? This information seems like a slam dunk to me. I’m with Alicia. I get why Coyne and Diane are hesitant, but what is going to be better than this?
“We could get affadavits from the jurors,” Diane suggests. “If they’re willing to swear that the foreman persuaded them, that might help.” Kalinda’s on it. Well, and the foreman and the other jurors all seem twitchy when they talked to Kalinda; maybe they know they have something to hide? “I’ll help,” Alicia makes her choice quietly, and the voices of a thousand fans cry out in pleasure. The dynamic duo! Back together again! Halleluiah! Kalinda smiles her Mona Lisa smile.
Alicia gets a call as they’re moving out. “Alicia Florrick,” she answers. “Mrs. Florrick! I was hoping to get your voice mail,” Miss Venegas replies awkwardly. (Oh, that’s so not good. Also, who says that? What a coward! Could I like this woman any less?) “I just wanted to apologize. It doesn’t look like it’ll work out for your kids after all.” Venegas twirls her pencil. How bad is that public school for you to choose to work with this woman instead? Yuck. “Really? Why?” Alicia wonders in total surprise. “Well first of all, I’m so sorry to disappoint you,” Venegas claims. “I’m just trying not to set an unfortunate precedent, I hope you understand.” You know, if what she means is, she doesn’t want to make policy exceptions for children of the powerful, I appreciate and approve that. But the supercilious way she says it stops me from liking her or giving her credit for honor. “Mrs. Florrick? Hello?”
Next, we see Peter picking up Alicia’s call. “Hey,” he says. “Alicia. What’s the matter? What?” He looks up from the papers in his lap. “Alright. Don’t worry. I’ll handle it.”
You know, I’d worry. Just how’s he going to handle it? Alicia, don’t revert to the person who doesn’t ask questions!
Kalinda’s asking questions, that’s for sure; she’s back again at Lisa Banner’s door. “You’re back again,” she brightens immediately. “Couldn’t get enough of my buttons!” Oh, honey. Kalinda laughs awkwardly. “This is my colleague, Alicia Florrick – you might recognize her from the trial?” She does, and graciously motions them in. “I always liked what you were wearing,” Lisa smiles. And no wonder! “Miss Banner, hi,” Alicia begins (wouldn’t thank you have been a better opening?), “we were trying to get in touch with the other jurors, we’ve talked to three or four, and we were just wondering if you had the names or numbers of the others?” Am I wrong, or is that a large vase entirely covered with buttons on top of Lisa’s button cabinet? Wow. Just, wow. The prop department really outdid themselves. Lisa, anyway, is delighted to help. “I do, I friended them all so we could stay in touch,” she says, sitting down to her computer. “I’m having a display of my buttons at the Indiana State Fair,” she tells them proudly, wiggling in her seat, “and I wanted to keep them all in touch. Here, here you go,” she announces as her Facebranch page loads. Alrighty.
“They didn’t all want to be friended, but that’s half of them, anyway.” She smiles up at Kalinda as Alicia peers on the page. “Thanks, that’s so helpful,” Kalinda says. “Um, Miss Banner,” Alicia begins. “Lisa,” Miss Banner corrects, smiling over at the lawyer. “Lisa,” Alicia assents, “Is that Peter Dunaway, Judge Dunaway?” Why, so it is. Ha! “I sent him a friend request, too. He seemed like such a nice man.” That’s what you think, but you might not if you heard his strictures about your syntax. “And he friended you back?” Alicia asks, incredulous. “Yes. Why?” Lisa raises her doe eyes up Alicia. “During the trial?” Alicia asks. “Yes. What’s wrong?” Kalinda smiles. Poor friendly little fish, swimming with the sharks. “I think we have our mistrial,” Alicia observes.
Sigh. You know, they sold me that Lauren is innocent and the jury was tainted, but it would have been more satisfying if they’d been able to prove misconduct on the foreman, rather than a foolish slip up on the part of the judge.
“I never used to bite my nails,” Lauren Fisher remarks, holding out her hands. “Now look at them. They’re bleeding.” “We have some hope,” Alicia understates to her client. “Thank you. Thanks for coming by,” the other woman says, a bit listless. “I’m sorry,” Alicia shakes her head. “When you asked me about whether to take the deal before, I’m afraid I was abrupt with you.” You were? I don’t think so. “No, it was the truth,” Lauren replies, becoming more animated. “No – yes, it was, but … sometimes the truth can be more adorned,” Alicia explains her unease.
Lauren can’t stop shaking her head. She leans forward toward Alicia. “I don’t have a lot of friends coming by to see me. I thought I would, I have a lot of friends.” She nods, and her words hit Alicia where she lives. “This really gets you thinking about how people say nice things, smile, and then never came to visit.” Oh, does Alicia know that one. It’s almost too anvilicious. She smiles in recognition. “I think I can deal with things less adorned.” Lauren nearly smiles when she says it. “I hope this works out,” Alicia says, shaking her head. Now Lauren’s smile blooms. “I do too,” she replies.
Miss Venegas brings a file to her desk in her airy, plant-filled office. She stops for a moment in surprise, to see a figure in her elegantly paneled doorway. “Oh, Mr. Florrick, how are you?” “Good, m’am,” he nods, not stepping over the threshold. “I wish you’d made an appointment. I just spoke to your wife.” Believe me, he knows. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any room for your two children.” Her bright blue suit matches his tie perfectly. “But, I was saying, beginning next year…” Her voice trails off as he steps in and closes the door behind him. “Ahem – at the start of next year, we should have room.”
Silently, he sits down. “Do you know what one of the advantages to my position is, Miss Venegas?” “No,” she stammers, “I – imagine there must be many.” “No, not really,” he informs her, exuding a quiet menace. “But background checks – thorough background checks – are one of the great advantages.” She sits down on her desk, her lips compressed. “As I was perusing through some of these background checks, I was somewhat surprised to find that many of your teachers had … issues.” Her eyes widen. His use of eye contact here is so sporadic as to be quite alarming; nothing, nothing, nothing, and then an intense glare. “Of course I was only checking as a concerned parent thinking of sending his children here. Luckily there were no sexual charges, but there were quite a few felonies DUIs, check kiting and … drug charges.”
“You are the State’s Attorney, sir,” she replies uncertainly. “Yes, I am,” he drawls. “That’s why I’m going to say this to you very slowly. I’m the State’s Attorney. You don’t say no to me. And you especially don’t say no when it concerns my children. Do you understand?” She looks back at him like a frightened deer. “I think the word you’re looking for is yes.”
She nods fervently.
He nods back.
“Good,” he says, rising, “so, we’ll be hearing from you.”
1. Why do they want Zach and Grace to go to this school so badly that they’re willing to threaten and intimidate people to get there? Especially when it’s staffed by drunks who can’t balance their checkbooks? 2. Much as I can’t stand this woman, I don’t like Peter’s misuse of his position of power either.
Is the third time the charm, Judge Dunaway wonders? Oh, I guarantee you are not going to find this charming. “That is our hope, your Honor,” Diane asserts. “Well I should warn you, my patience is wearing thin,” he announces. Hmm. Maybe Wendy really did get to him. I thought that they were overreacting the first time I watched this, but maybe not. Does he not care anymore that there was a serious miscarriage of justice? Diane reads from the Illinois code of judicial conduct: “Judges should refrain from all individual contact outside the presence of the court during trial and deliberations.” Cary and Dana squint, wondering just what the point of this is. Judge Dunaway wants to know, too. And he’s a little amused. “Yes? Have you detected some contact I made with jurors?” “You friended one. Juror Number Five, Lisa Banner, of Lisa’s World of Buttons.” Alicia places some print outs before Dunaway. “I didn’t friend her,” he claims, putting on his glasses to read the papers.
“You did, your Honor,” Alicia contradicts him. “She sent you a friend request three days ago, and you responded in the affirmative.” He throws up a hand. “Because I’m running for re-election,” he explains. He assumes all requests are from supporters. Well, that’ll teach you! “Your Honor, this is..” Cary begins, but Dunaway cuts him off, wincing. “I know what this is,” he acknowledges, holding a hand in front of his face. Embarrassing, that’s what. Diane presses on. “This is serious grounds for a mistrial. Unknowingly or not, you made contact with a juror during the trial.” Dunaway wraps his hand around his chin and mouth. “This is a serious ethical breach,” she finishes. Dunaway slams his open hand down on the table, unable to contain his frustration over his mistake.
He shifts unhappily in his seat. ‘I used to find this job eternally enlightening, even enjoyable,” he snaps. “Not anymore! Not a single day.” Dana tries to interrupt, but he won’t hear her. “No,” he cries, angry and bitter, “I declare a mistrial. Let’s take it back into court and make it official.” Wow. Saved by Facebook (branch). That can’t happen all that often. He grabs his robe and stomps off. Is this the sort of case Andrew Wylie will assume is crooked?
“Good job,” Diane whispers to Alicia. “That’s what I was talking about. That’ll get you partnership.” As they file out, Alicia smiles.
Will shoots baskets by himself, the gym echoing and shadowed. The camera walks toward him, along with Wendy Scott-Carr. “So you chased them all away, huh?” he calls out without stopping his practice shots. She laughs as he wiggles his butt, setting up the next shot. “I don’t believe I did anything of the kind, Mr. Gardner. They found the better part of valor.” Okay, that’s a completely ridiculous thing to say. I’m really hurting for Will here, though;he loved that game. “Here’s your problem,” he says, readying his next shot, “You don’t have any evidence, lady. You have accusations, and you’re trying to sweat me. Well, I don’t sweat easily.” He demonstrates by shooting and making the basket. Nice focus, Will. “Then let’s talk,” she says. “That’s all I want to do, just talk.” Riiiiight. He’ll buy that for a dollar. “I’m not after you,” she claims. “I don’t think you know who you’re after,” he says, making another basket. “Oh,” she says quietly, “I know who I’m after. Somebody who used to be involved in your basketball games, years ago. ” “Who’re you talking about?” Will scoffs, preparing to shoot.
“Peter Florrick,” she says quietly.
Oh my God, what?
Will does not shoot the ball.
Wait, Peter was in Will’s basketball game? That seems unlikely, doesn’t it? Oh, I’m not even going to nickpick, this is just too rich.
Will spins the ball in his hands. “That’s right. It all comes full circle, doesn’t it?,” she says, finally making him look at her. This is a surprise. I guess it fits – there were all those rumors about Peter and corrupt judges back in the first season – even though I still can’t believe the games are where it starts. “Wow. Only in Cook County. Peter puts you in charge of an investigation into me, and you turn it back on him. I… I’m speechless.” He’s also smiling in appreciation, his mood lightened, utterly mistrustful and utterly baffled. “Peter’s clean this term. But he wasn’t his first term, was he? And you know where his weaknesses lie.” Wow, that’s a big leap. The ballsiness of this move blows my mind.
“Well I know a lot of things,” Will tells her, calculating. “Then let’s talk,” she says softly, moving closer to him. The soundtrack starts to clap. “No,” he says.
“Yes,” she counters, confident, “it’s the smart move.” “No,” he says again. Will’s getting the surging, heroic soundtrack. “I’m hiring myself a lawyer, and then we’ll talk.” Oh,please hire Elsbeth Tascioni! Wouldn’t you pay money to see her go up against Wendy? “When next we talk, it’ll be in front of a grand jury,” she warns him. Really? But you have to have evidence to go in front of a grand jury, and you don’t. That we know of. “Okay,” he replies calmly, “so be it.” He leaves her his ball, and goes home, head held high.
Alicia, on the other hand, isn’t at home, but out drinking. And the one who joins her, smiling, is Diane. Ha. I should have known from the enormous flower arrangements at the end of the bar that this place is more Diane’s style than Kalinda’s.
So, that’s interesting.
Gosh! That’s a lot to process. I will say, I do not want Will to go to jail, but I don’t want Peter back there either. Granted, I don’t want him using his superpowers to intimidate prep school principals – that’s sort of gross – but I like him being generally upstanding and so far at work he mostly has. Other than when it comes to Will. Of course, if Chris Noth really does want to leave the show (as has been rumored) that’d be a way to get him there which would make sense. And does it serve him right in a way, pursuing this case against Will? Ugh. I still don’t like it, even if it’s a great and completely unexpected twist. Oh, poor Eli! There’ll be no key note for either of you if your candidate’s under indictment.
So is Diane becoming the glue that binds everyone together? Will, Eli, now Alicia? I love seeing her take charge and take control of her environment like that. Now all she needs is a line of men outside her flower room. And wow, wow, I know she’s reaching out from self interest, to sort of safeguard Will and Alicia from each other, but I would love to see the two women become actual friends!
And halleluiah, Alicia and Kalinda are talking again! Yes! What a profound relief that is. What a beautiful scene, and how in character for the both of them! Such good stuff. What else is there to say besides Yipeeeee! Okay, I know that things aren’t hunky dory, but maybe they will be soon? That’s our Christmas wish, Kings. Make it come true!
I liked this case. I liked sardonic, olive colored Dunaway, another original and interesting judge. I’m sorry to conclude that he bowed to pressure from Wendy, but I enjoyed his griping and his righteous indignation and his putting lawyers in time out. I liked chirpy little Lisa Banner and her world of buttons. I was fascinated by the idea that one of the jurors ended up knowing something about a witness which caused him to torpedo the entire case. And I like the cases that come from unusual angles. I really liked all the different layers of personal connection – Mario holds a grudge because of Alden’s past and so persuades others of Fisher’s guilt. Wendy crusades to knock down her former rival when he puts her in a position of power. Will finds his strength in knowing he’s being used. Alicia sifting through her past, auditioning old friends and possibly making a new one. Look at sweet, perky Lisa Banner with her online readership, and Lauren Fisher with fellow cops who won’t visit her in prison. How do we relate to each other? What motivates us? As Alicia observes, what do we really know of our peers? What mysteries we are to each other, what strangers, what worlds apart.
And on that cheery note, I want to wish you a wonderful end to 2011, fellow Good Wife fans! It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to talk to you this year. Best wishes for the holiday season and a terrific beginning to 2012! See you in the new year!