The Good Wife: Another Ham Sandwich

E: Last year, we found out that Chicago grand juries will indict a ham sandwich if so directed by the prosecutors.  So when Will Gardner faced the grand jury, everyone was pretty sure what was going to happen.

A totally kick ass episode, that’s what.

Seriously.  I freaking love this show.  It’s not for nothing that The Good Wife is the only network drama nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG or Emmy this year. So.Very.Very.Good.

And the sly, dry humor of the show plays no small part of my pleasure in it; no, the lines on the screen aren’t inscribing another controversial cartoon (as in Boom); we’re looking at a deeply bored grand jury doodling eyes and stick figures and pirates.  Excellent.  What a smart little moment! “You are 16 people who’ve been given an immense responsibility,” Wendy Scott-Carr intones. Genius.  Because, it’s true, it’s an immense responsibility, and look how serious and engaged they are.  Although, to be fair, they must hear a lot of pontificating.  I had a coworker who was stuck on a grand jury once for 18 months.  Seriously.  Just one day a week, but can you imagine?  You will decide a man’s fate, Wendy tells them.  She introduces herself, Cary and Dana (who are sitting at a bench, stage left). “Unlike a trial, there is no defense,”  Wendy tells them, hands clasped.  Well, that’s convenient.  The jurors look down on Wendy from curved desks, sort of like the Romans looking down on the gladiators and lions in the Colosseum.  Ah, how I’d love to see some lions loosed on her now.  Metaphorical lions. “It’s up to us to convince you that there’s probable cause to bring William Paul Gardner to trial.”

William Paul Gardner – his full name, neat.  Not particularly a fan of the combination, but that’s okay.

Lockhart/Gardner buzzes with activity, papers practically flying around the main conference room. “Thanks for waiting,” Diane tells Alicia , closing the door to her office.  Alicia’s wearing a peachy cream colored jacket with that fits tightly, but flounces out at the waist – a peplum jacket, I think that’s called, and it’s a rather new look for her.  It’s very sculptural and definitely flattering. Diane, on the other hand, is wearing upholstery fabric again.  “Is everything alright?” Alicia wonders.  I know I’m stuck on her appearance, but Alicia has little barrettes in her hair. Altogether a different look. “Ah, no.  I wanted to talk to you before I broke this to the equity partners and associates.” Alicia steps towards her boss, almost breathless with distress.  “Is… this about Will?”

“Yes,” Diane explains as they sit, “a grand jury has been impaneled and expectation is he will be indicted in the next two days.”  If possible, Alicia looks even more horrified.  “I….” she stumbles, “what’s the charge?”  “Judicial bribery,” Diane explains, and Alicia’s eyes bulge.  “Of course it’s not true, but the, uh…” Diane freezes for a moment. “The State’s Attorney believes Will arranged bets between judges and bookies at his Wednesday night basketball games.”  Truly Alicia looks like she wants to cry.  The subtext is so rich here; you can see that Diane knows Peter doesn’t really believe that.  (Of course, Wendy seems to, but it’s all confusing – how is indicting Will going to further her stated goal of sending Peter to jail? Are we ever going back there?)

“I – I didn’t know it was that serious,” Alicia gasps. “It is,” Diane replies, watching Alicia’s face, “felony bribery, 3-7 years.”  Alicia closes her eyes on that possibility.  “I really must go,” Diane remembers, heading out of her office, but Alicia stops her with what is, for Alicia, the essential question. “Is it Wendy Scott-Carr or Peter?”  “Both, I should think,” Diane answers, pausing at her door and crossing her arms.  Peter put Wendy in charge, she explains further; Alicia, distressed, closes her eyes again.

“What can I do?” Alicia asks.  Diane’s careful with her words. “I don’t want you to feel responsible,” she says, “or obligated to do anything.  I mean, responsible’s the wrong word.”  My fanny it’s the wrong word. Diane begins again, driving more spikes into Alicia’s tortured heart. “We’ve never considered you an extension of the State’s Attorney’s Office, and you’ve never acted like one, so, again, I leave it to you.”  Oh dear lord.  And with that damning injunction, Diane leaves the room.  Still looking stricken, Alicia’s eyes flick over the chaos across the hall – and then she speeds away.

“Oh, Alicia, hi!” Caitlin calls out, struggling to keep up with her mentor, “would you like me to help Mr. Gold today?”  Yes, yes she would, Caitlin.  “Um, is there anything that you need help with?” Caitlin volunteers. “Um, nope,” Alicia replies briskly, clipping her way into the elevator.  And almost without transition she’s pushing her way into the State’s Attorney’s office,wearing a very lovely navy coat.

This is his office, but Peter isn’t there.  She takes in the pictures of their children, the Cook County seal.  You can see her plans changing in her head, though what she’s hoping to do in all this (yell at Peter?  beg him to back off?) I don’t know.  She leaves the office as quickly as she’s come.

“Alicia! Hey!” Peter calls out from the other end of the hall, folding up his newspaper. Peter!  Yay!  He belongs in this episode.  Excellent.  “Hey,” she says, thrown, ” I was just  – I have to leave.”  “What’s wrong?” he asks her, clearly concerned.  How can he not guess what’s wrong?  How could he not know what’s happening today?  It’s about Jackie, she lies, we can talk about it later.  “Oh, well,” he offers, “8 tonight?”  That’s fine.  She runs away, leaving him looking a bit blank. “Okay,” he mutters, frozen.

A sign warns to us that a grand jury sits within.   Will talks with Elsbeth in the hall (Elsbeth!  I’m loving the supporting cast this week – Caitlin, Peter, Elsbeth – outstanding!), but when a breathless Alicia nearly falls into the hallway, he breaks away from his lawyer.  Not to get all melodramatic on you, but he’s pulled to her as if by a magnet.  She catches her breath at the sight of him – a tiny, involuntary intake – and they move toward each other, never breaking the heart stopping eye contact.  It’s so very deliciously season 1.

He jerks his head to indicate the whole situation.  “I’m sorry,” he says, dark eyes so serious.  “No,” she cries, disbelieving, “I’m sorry.”  If it’s possible, his eyes are more enormous and even darker. “I didn’t want this to become…” She tries to interrupt. “This is legal, not personal,” he claims; is he protecting her even now, or does he hope he’s telling the truth?  He has to know it’s a lie.  “If I told you, it would become personal.”

“Will, I’m a lawyer,” she tells him patiently. “I’m a third year associate in your firm.” She cocks her head and smiles, rather like she did when she took the key card away from him outside that first hotel room. “So use me.”  As he’s digesting this information, Elsbeth joins them.  Alicia greets her warmly. “Hello – again.” Elsbeth tilts her head. “We seem to meet under a lot of circumstances like these.”  Indeed, Alicia’s seen more than her share of legal troubles – but I suppose that’s what happens when you have a brilliant writer’s room to throw legal challenges at you.  “I wanna help,” Alicia repeats, and Elsbeth looks quickly to Will. “With what?”  Ha.  I love her.  So much.  “With what I know about the State’s Attorney,” Alicia answers Elsbeth, looking over at Will.

Man, talk about mixed signals.

Actually, maybe it’s not super mixed.  Will apparently ranks above Peter, at least where Peter is in the wrong, but definitely below Grace and Zach.

“I was hired as an investigator by the State’s Attorney’s office,” Andrew Wiley explains.  Damn, they’re really blowing the guest star budget tonight, aren’t they?  Awesome.  Cary establishes that Wiley was asked to look over Will’s cases (which seems odd – why would they need an investigator to do that part?) and was disturbed by what he found.  Normal firms, he tells us, have a 60% win rate as a ceiling – Will has a 75%.  I can’t help thinking that this just makes him a very good attorney, not a crooked one. But then Wiley brings up the SA’s main case; with the previously mentioned 3 judges (Winters, Park and Dunaway) Will’s win rate is 95%.  Okay.  Depending on how many cases he’s tried in front of those three judges, I can see where that looks bad.  Certainly without clarifying information, it’s damning circumstantial evidence.  And when you add their attendance to that Wednesday night basketball game – well, that’s the heart of the case right there.  Wendy smiles happily to herself.

“So, the strategy is this,” Elsbeth rushes to Will in the hallway.  Diane’s arrival interrupts this conversation; Diane’s the next witness.  “How did the partners take it?” Will wonders.  “They were concerned,” Diane admits. “We’ll work the phones this afternoon to hand hold clients.”  Elsbeth reintroduces the strategy discussion.  “Mrs. Florrick!” she calls out, “you can join us!”  Diane’s face as Alicia joins them!  You did tell her to help, Diane.  “Here’s the thing,” Elsbeth tells them.  “Grand juries indict.  That’s what they do.  Hamburgers and all,” she says, making a sort of “you’re out” gesture.  “Ham sandwiches,” Will corrects gently.  Alicia rolls her eyes to Will a bit, affectionately.  “So, you’re gonna get indicted unless – I like that pin,” she says, a typically quick non sequitor.  The pin in question is black, and pinned to Diane’s couch-dress. “Thank you,” Diane replies, deadpan. “Unless someone pulls the plug,” Elsbeth picks up her train of thought, “someone higher.”  Peter, Will realizes. He gulps, and Alicia watches him do it.  Not his biggest ally, Peter.

“Yes. You have an audience of one in there, Miss Lockhart,” Elsbeth explains.  And who would that be?  “Cary Agos.  He defers to the State’s Attorney.  Wendy Scott-Carr does not.” Alicia continues to pin her eyes on Will’s face; he doesn’t look back at her.  Not personal, huh, Will?  “She’s…” Elsbeth stops, thinking it over; Diane glares. “No, that’s right. She’s her own person.” Hee!  “So you need to keep bringing the testimony back to Peter Florrick.”  Smart, Elsbeth, very smart.  Not that I expected any less. “That’ll get Cary talking to Peter,” Alicia realizes. Will seems to sense Diane objecting and  puts up his hand, but Elsbeth smiles at Alicia.  “The only way to stop it in the grand jury is to get the State’s Attorney to stop it. And he’ll only stop it if it looks like it’ll hurt him.  Do you see?”

“Yes, good,” agrees Will.  A phone rings; Alicia excuses herself while Diane, Will and Elsbeth smile at each other.  Well, really Elsbeth’s doing the lion’s share of the smiling, but it’s all good.  Also, lions.  Yay.

“Hello Eli,” Alicia says.  Eli’s standing in front of an enormous, tastefully lit logo: GLAC – Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Chicago.  Thanks for spelling that out for us.  Literally.  Caitlin’s sitting beneath the sign. “Hello, Alicia,” he sighs with theatrical weariness, “would you like to guess what’s wrong with this picture?”  “I’m not there?” she guesses. “Yes.  I ask for Alicia, I get Alicia-lite,” he snaps, giving Caitlin (who thankfully is looking at paperwork in her lap) a vile look. Hee.  “This is GLAC, Alicia, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Chicago,” thanks, Eli, since we can’t read, “they want someone to campaign against the Defense of Marriage act; I needed YOU.”  Why me, she wonders.  He looks around the room before hissing out the words.

“Because you’re a gay icon.”

Well, that’s unexpected.

She smiles, laughs.  “Excuse me?” “I didn’t decide it,” he tells her in a rush. “Where are you getting this?” She still can’t believe it. “The gay blogosphere,” he shrugs.  Hee.  She rolls her eyes. “You’re one of those spurned wives.”  Alicia and Tammy Fay Baker.  Too funny.  “Oh Lord,” she mutters under her breath. “Your suffering has made you iconic.  They have a lot of money to fight DOMA, this means a lot of money.” And what matters to Eli more?  Alicia’s unmoved. “Eli, as much as I would like to sit beside you signing autographs, you are the one they want.  You don’t need window dressing.”

Now it’s Eli’s turn to roll his eyes.  “Oh, yes, Alicia, give me a pep talk,” he sneers. “Caitlin is capable,” she says instead, “she’s studious. And she’s David Lee’s niece; that means something to Spencer Roth.”  Did Alicia just out David Lee to us?  The implication is at the very least that David’s a big donor to GLAC.  Elis’s stunned by this news, however, and misses its potential.  As he sputters about his nemesis David Lee (and Alicia completely misses the connection, foolish woman), he’s distracted once again by high pitched laughter.  “Oh no,” he moans.

And wow but their regular guest star budget is really blown, because there’s our old friend Amy Sedaris as rival crisis manager Stacie Hall.  “I’ll be waiting by my phone,” she trills, tugging on a fellow’s shoulder, “don’t make me wait, don’t you dare!”  We need to talk, Eli spits into the phone.  She sings out his name.  She’s so perky looking in that bright orange jacket.  They greet each other in their usual style (which is to say, fake fake fake enthusiasm).  “We’re up for all the same jobs,” she observes jovially, as if it had never occurred to her before.  “We should be friends, not enemies!”  Riiiight.  “The best of friends,” Eli answers ironically. “So. The Defense of Marriage Act.  What’s your pitch on that?”

“It’s wrong,” Eli answers.

Awesome.

Stacie laughs, shrugging so hard her shoulders nearly touch her ears. “I wanna learn from you, Eli, there’s so much I can learn.”  They stand smiling for a moment. “I wanna have lunch,” she decides. “Let’s do,” he agrees enthusiastically and insincerely. “No – not lunch.  Drinks.  Hot drinks.” She gives a particularly high pitched giggle.  “They’re these drinks – mulled wine with brandy?”  Now she does this thing with her tongue that has me squirming a little.  Soooo did not need to see that. “They’re amazing.”  She’ll call him.

As she walks away, Eli fumes silently, listening to the young male receptionist take calls. And it turns out that the call he’s taking now is from Eli, saying that he’s Stacie’s assistant, who needs to get his boss a message.  That Rush Limbaugh’s going to be late for their meeting.

Ha.

I must say, this episode has started off well for Eli.  The look on the receptionist’s face is a marvel.

“You and Mr. Gardener have known each other for how many years?” Wendy asks Diane, who’s now sitting in the witness stand.  “8 years,” Diane answers.  8 years?  That’s it? Wow, that’s kind of amazing.  I mean, okay, I knew the firm couldn’t be old, since Will’s only in his early forties, but damn, take the 2 and a half years of the show, knock off a couple of years for them to have worked together for Stern and you get a really brief pre-Alicia history.  “And you were originally partners in opposing firms?”  Yes, says Diane, which confuses me slightly.  Does that imply that they didn’t work together before?  I’m sure we’ve heard them talk about working together with Stern at his old place.  So confused.  “And he told you about his troubles at his old firm in Baltimore?”  Diane couldn’t possibly answer such a vague question (although I do feel like she could have gone off on a tangent about him not feeling fulfilled, or wanting to move to Chicago, or something). “I’m sorry,” Wendy smiles. “you knew that he took $45,000 from a client’s account to pay off a gambling debt?”  Diane raises her eyebrows. “All I knew is what I heard from you when you questioned me in my office, Miss Scott-Carr,and that Peter Florrick, the State’s Attorney, doesn’t think there’s enough evidence to prosecute him.” Cary’s head snaps up at the mention of his boss’s name. Score one for our strategy.

“I can understand your defensiveness,” Wendy smirks. “Really.  I didn’t think I was being defensive,” Diane jumps in, “I thought I was being clear.”  Oh, nicely done, Diane, nicely done. “Then let’s continue to be clear,” Wendy attempts to recover. “Have you ever been to one of Mr. Gardner’s pick up games?”  She hasn’t. “Why not?”  “I don’t play basketball,” she replies mildly, and the jury titters. That gives Wendy pause. “Uh, has he asked you to go?”  He has. “And why would he ask you to go if you didn’t play basketball?”  To network, of course. “He said it was a good place to meet judges and prosecutors who matter.  For example, the new State’s Attorney, Peter Florrick, often participated in the pick up games.”  Even Dana notices the name drop this time, and not because of the continuity issues involved with supposing even a casual pre-scandal acquaintance between Peter and Will.  Diane smiles.

“But you decided not to go to these games,” Wendy says, trying valiantly to the story back where she wants it. “Now wasn’t that because you thought there was something corrupt about these relationships?”  Oh, yes.  Does she genuinely think she’s going to get Diane to say that?  Really, Wendy?  Really?  “No,” Diane answers, “oddly it was because I didn’t play basketball.” Snort. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong for judges and lawyers to unwind over sports,” wow, what really weird usage, “and my guess is the current State’s Attorney doesn’t either or he wouldn’t participate.”  Ah, Diane, you’re so good.   Dana doesn’t get it; “what’s she doing?,” she whispers to Cary.  Dana is dumb.  “Tying Peter to it,” Cary spells it out.

“Let’s talk about one particular law suit – the McDermott case,” Wendy says, bringing the testimony to the case Kalinda shared with Dana. Diane smiles pleasantly. Wendy explains that the McDermotts brought suit after losing a child to food contaminated with peanut oil.  Okay.  That seems like a very Judge Parks sort of case – there’s always a medical element to the stuff that he presides over.  It turns out that Diane brought in the McDermotts, but Will convinced her to let him take over because he has a better rapport with Judge Parks.  Diane looks distinctly uncomfortable admitting this.  And yes, it’s suggestive, but it’s not proof of anything.  Not that grand juries require actual proof. From the way Wendy phrases her questions, asking about things Diane has discussed with others at the firm, it’s clear to Diane that she has insider information.

The music is foreboding when Diane exits the grand jury room. “How did it go?” Will asks immediately. “Will, do you have a moment,” Diane replies.  So not the words he’s longing to hear!

As they walk, she asks the tough question. “Why did we win the McDermott case?”  “They asked you about the McDermott case,” he echoes uselessly. Of course they did.  “They asked me almost exclusively about the McDermott case. Why did we win it?”  She stops and crosses her arms. “It was a good case,” he shrugs. “It wasn’t,” she says, getting upset. “We argued it well,” he shrugs again. “You argued it well,” she replies, “I wasn’t there.”  “Then I argued it well,” he shrugs again.  Not helping yourself here, Will. “They asked me about my conversations with the associates,” Diane tells him, alarmed. “How would they know that?”  Will exchanged charged glances with Kalinda, electric in blue down the hall. “You and I should talk,” he says.

“I don’t wanna see Alicia prosecuted either,” Dana lies to Kalinda as they sit in Kalinda’s car in what’s presumably the court house parking garage. “I need more.  The McDermott file… doesn’t connect the dots.”  I don’t suppose it would occur to you that the dots don’t actually connect?  No, of course not.  Dana turns to Kalinda, who keeps staring ahead, but rolls her eyes and shakes her head. “It’s not me, it’s Wendy,” Dana whines.  Is that supposed to make a difference?  “Give me more, and we’ll tear it up.  The rider evidence that will hurt Alicia?  We’ll tear it up.”  Sure you will.  Of course you will!  Blackmailers are so trustworthy that way.  Kalinda looks down at her lap, her jaw tightening.  She nods.

David Lee, friend of Spencer Roth, plays with his cell phone in front of the pay phones in the court house hallway. David Lee!  You’re breaking the bank, guys. “You gotta smile,” Elsbeth Tascioni tells him, and he looks up in wonder at her presumption.  “I gotta smile?” he sneers. “Well, yes, because the grand jury will perceive your attitude as hostile if it’s … hostile.” Hee!  She’s wearing this ribbed military inspired jacket, perfectly kooky.  Love it. She grimaces.  “Please?”  “Well,” he begins as he saunters by her, “since you said please…”

Hee!  Elsbeth sighs, and then moves on to Will and Kalinda, who’re plotting together.  Will thinks they may need more of something.

“Well,” she says. “We were worried about the McDermott case, and here we are dealing with questions about the McDermott case.”  Clearly she thinks they’re a two bit operation. We were just discussing that, Will attempts to tell her, but she talks over him. “The questions would suggest some deeper familiarity, as if someone were talking to them?” Here’s looking at you, Kalinda.  Will looks back and forth between both women.  “I’m gonna check into it,” Kalinda says, and leaves. “She’s great,” Elsbeth points.  Oh yeah, Will agrees.

Stacie Hall chirps on her voice mail message as Caitlin brings Eli a stack of photocopies.  Wonderful, he says, and then sends her off on another mission. She looks surprised, but cheerily says she’ll be right back with the necessary items from downstairs. “The sooner the better,” he tells her; she passes Alicia in the doorway. “And hello, Alicia!” he bellows. “Hello,” Alicia replies civilly.  Getting close to Caitlin, are we?”  Oh yes.  “She’s a real go getter.  Not a moment of complaint.”  He’s begging her to ask about why Caitlin might want to complain. “She made these copies for you?”  Alicia picks up the stack Caitlin just left on his desk.  Yes indeed she did!  “Very important stuff,” he nods disingenuously. “These are from last year,” Alicia notes tartly. “Yes.  And who knows when I may need them again?”

She tosses them onto his desk, smiling, and sits in one of the chairs across from him. “So who are we acting out against today, Eli? David Lee?  Me?  The concept of first year associates?”  He’s in a fury all right. “Might there be a simpler explanation?”  With you, Eli?  No. “Might I need someone to free me up so I can … work?”  There are paralegals for that, Alicia tells him – and assistants, too, I don’t doubt.  “I like Caitlin,” he bites out.

She gives up.  “You wanted to talk?” she asks, getting out her tablet. “Yes. About attitudes. And let’s start with yours.” She rolls her eyes and stands, having had quite enough of this malarkey already.  He’s quiet but intense, hands on his desk.  “Alicia!  I outrank you.  I am an equity partner and you’re a third year associate.  And I feel …and yes, you are making me resort to marriage counseling speak…” hee! “… I feel that you are treating me with same disregard as when I was your husband’s campaign strategist, and I think that is wrong.”  Wow. Good point.  Eli made a really good point!  Great episode for you so far, Mr. Gold. “Not kill a puppy wrong, but wrong as in incorrect. Working off old information.  And I think that we all need to reevaluate our working relationship here.”  Alicia nods, and considers it. And the brick hits.

“You’re right,” she realizes, and he’s stunned that she hasn’t argued back. “What do you need?”  He doesn’t have a real answer at first. “Oh.  Well. I need you to help me with my pitch.  Spencer Roth has asked us to pitch all of GLAC on Thursday.”    “Okay,” she nods, “let’s get going!”

Wow.

In the grand jury room, David Lee laughs. “I’m sorry, I think I interrupted you?,” he says to Dana.  He is most certainly smiling. “You said in an interview in Chicago Magazine” and here Dana reads off a paper, “what I love about Will Gardner is that he’s as sneaky as I am.”  Lee laughs and smiles again. Oh, I bet this was for the bachelor issue.  Big plus for continuity there! “I think I meant sneakily charming.”  Several members of the jury laugh. “So that’s why the next line reads ‘the sneaky thing is to cross that ethical line and not lose sight of your client.’ Is that what you meant by that?”  One of the laughing jury members jerks up her eyebrows in surprise. “Something like that,” Lee laughs, less pleased. Dana goes on to ask about work Lee did for Judge Parks.  “His wife was ill, and you helped him with the will, and his children’s trusts?”  Lee laughs again.   “If by help you mean that he paid me, yes.”  Ha. “Yes, but he paid you less than what was usual for this type of work?”  David Lee objects to the characterization; “No, he paid what was fair, considering the will and trust were simpler than most.”

Right. So, new tactic.  How did Judge Parks end up as Lee’s client?  Through Will, of course. Now, on it’s face isn’t that the most innocuous, perfectly legal outcome of the basketball game – networking?  “And wasn’t the work a pay off for Judge Parks deciding the McDermott case for you?” Swaggering, Dana addresses this to the jury.  “It’s an odd payoff to charge him for work that I did,” David replies.  “Isn’t that a conflict of interest, sir?,” she presses.  David shrugs. “No more than the trust work I did for…” Lee searches his memory, as if at random. “… Peter Florrick, the State’s Attorney.” HA! Peter again.  I see that everyone got the memo.  Cary smiles to himself, but Dana gets snippy and admonishes her witness to answer the question. “I thought I did, m’am.  I was making an honest comparison to other work that I did for your boss, Peter Florrick, for which I charged even less than Judge Parks.”  Hee.  Wendy’s not as amused as Cary is either, but then Cary’s always had a very particular sense of humor.   And he’s never approved of this prosecution.  “If that’s a conflict of interest, isn’t this?”  He makes a little Betty Boop oops face, which is a bit over the top – but all in all, job well done.

And either way, judges and prosecutors have to take their legal business somewhere, right?

Will looks up from his perch in the hall as David Lee exits the room. “That’s how a pro does it.  You’re welcome.”  Hee.  What did they ask you about, Will wonders.  “You and Judge Parks – it was all you and Judge Parks.”  Right.

Narrowing his eyes, Will thinks for a minute and then takes off, leaving Elsbeth and Kalinda behind him.  He strides into Judge Parks’ office – oh, that doesn’t seem smart.  Especially since Andrew Wiley is crouched on the floor just outside Parks’ door, cooing at his baby.  Crafty as always, Wiley rolls the stroller into Park’s office, where his wee bairn immediately enrapturing Parks’ assistant. He’s wondering where there’s a rest room with a changing table, or so he says.  Despite the fact that he’s just advertized his daughter’s stinky state, the secretary can’t look away from the little tyke, and so Wiley’s able to take a cell phone picture over her back – of Will handing Judge Parks a manila envelope, the perfect size for great big wads of cash.

Dun dun dun!

As a tinkly piano plays “Isn’t it Romantic?,” Stacie Hall’s voice plinks too.  “I have a sweet tooth,” she giggles. “I can see that,” Eli says over his hot drink. “Does it taste better with whip cream?”  She guffaws. “Is there anything that doesn’t taste better with whip cream?”  At first, I assumed she brought the silver canister herself, but that can’t be right, can it?  She inserts the canister into his glass, and presses the lever down.  “Tell me when,” she coos. “When!  When!” he cries immediately.  Somehow I can’t even type that without laughing.  She fills her glass mug, picks it up, and smiles cheerily at him.  “To Eli and Stacie – new friends!” They clink mugs.

She starts licking off the whip cream, practically moaning. “It’s very very sweet,” he grimaces after a tiny sip, setting the glass down. “Wait till you get to the bottom,” she enthuses, still tonguing the whip cream.  “So,” she chirps, “Rush Limbaugh, huh?” He laughs and blushes a little bit. “How did you explain that one?”  But she had a ready answer – she was meeting him to argue against DOMA.  Very smooth, Stacie, very smooth. “Nice.  And they believed?”  “Well, I’m convincing when I have to be,” she giggles, and there are more unpleasant slurping sound effects.  And then Stacie almost chokes.

“Fish!  It’s hot down there!”  “Fish?” Eli can’t help repeating.  “I’m trying not to swear.  Everybody swears these days, have you noticed?” She’s leaning over, confidential.  “Old ladies, you girls, really everybody.”  Sugar is my favorite substitute curse word.  “I have to tell you something,” she switches subjects, looking away. ‘Okay,” he says, sneering slightly. “But I have to steel myself first,” she gulps.  Um, okay.   “I desire you.”  He bursts out laughing (and I burst out laughing), and she looks annoyed. “I’m serious. I desire you, Eli.”  Who says that?  “Every part of you.  Your eyes, your hair – I want to take you right now on the floor of this bar.”  That is just too rich.  Eli’s face is a study; his hair? his eyes? Really?  She’s going to go there? “Well go ahead,” he offers.  “I’m serious,” she growls. “I know you are,” he responds.  And she does in fact look serious, but, seriously?  “So go ahead.  Make the first movie. I’m ready.”  “You,” she pouts. “No. You’re the one who desires me. I’m pliable.  So.  Ply me.”

Oh my lord, I could listen to this all day.  The idea is so horrendous that I can’t stop laughing.

She gives a tiny smile, and does nothing.  He laughs silently.  “It’s Sun Zu, isn’t it?  Destabilizing your enemy?  You know the only problem with Sun Zu?  He never fought the Jews.”  (HA! Now this is the Eli I love!)  “We’re Masada, baby.  We don’t mess around with mind games, we use knives.”  Hee.  I haven’t enjoyed Eli like this for ages.  “You’re Jewish?” she asks, deadpan, and it punctures his self-righteousness.  He laughs.  “You’re a nice girl,” he patronizes her, “with your sweet little drinks and your giggle.  But you’re not playing in the Little Leagues anymore.”  Oh, right, that’s where she beat you from before, the Little League?  I don’t think you thought that insult through.

“Put out your hand,” she demands. He’s reticent. “Put it out,” she insists, and when he does, she puts whip cream on the tips of his fingers. “And this is supposed to – what?” he wonders.  She pins him with her gaze before bending down to suck the whip cream off his fingers.  Ew ew ew ew! Ew!  “Okay,” he stammers, “this is … lacking in subtlety.” You can say that again. “No, tell me about Masada,” she moans, which is hilariously awful. “960 dead.  All those big strong Jewish lawyers…” He can’t help smirking in appreciation.  Heh.  Clever.  Creepy and totally unprofessional and undignified, but funny.

There’s a knock on the door – Alicia’s apartment door.  Now that’s a relief.  She straightens her spine a little before opening the door. It must be 8 o’clock, because there’s Peter.

In the kitchen, she’s brought out red wine.  “I’ll take care of Jackie,” Peter declares as he quaffs his wine.  Don’t you love that Alicia can pretty much always use Jackie as an excuse and there really will be something off with her?  It’s perfect. She’s grateful. “I just don’t want things turning sour,” she adds. “They won’t,” Peter insists (ha). “How are things here?”  Good, she says. And then since he hasn’t come out with it, she does. “Work is hard, of course, because of this grand jury investigation,” she offers. Um, yes.  He looks at her, conscious.  He drinks instead of replying, and she looks at him, implacable.  “What’s going on, Peter?”

He knits his brows for a second. “I don’t think we can have this conversation,” he claims. “Actually, we have to have this conversation,” she replies, leaning over on the kitchen island.  “This has nothing to do with us,” he lies. “Peter, how can it not?” she practically begs.  Which is a damn good question. “Because I won’t let it,” he claims. “That’s why I chose Wendy Scott-Carr, so that it wouldn’t…”  “She’s making it worse,” Alicia pleads, and Peter turns away.  “No she isn’t.  She’s not me.  I don’t control her.”

“But Peter, that’s the problem,” Alicia cries, “it keeps your hands clean at the expense of…”  She freezes, and stares at him.  “At the expense of who?” he bites back.  She looks away. “Will?” he suggests.   “No, my boss,” she clarifies.  “The boss who you’re sleeping with,” he adds – calm but deadly. “Peter, if that’s the issue here, then let’s talk about that.”  “Of course that’s the issue,” he bellows.  Oh my God.  Oh, his face.  Her face. My heart stops.

So much for it not affecting them and not being personal.

She looks ready to cry, and he looks a little ashamed of his outburst, as well he might.  “There’s nothing between us,” she confesses.  Peter turns his face, observing her, canny. “My God, you’ve changed. I used to be able to tell when you’re lying.”  His voice is just so mean, so contemptuous.   I’m amazed at his spite, all things considered. “You think I’m lying,” she realizes, hurt. “I think you’re manipulating the truth like a pro.” Wow.  She can’t resist the cheap shot: “Well you would know about pros.”  He bites his lip.  “Well, you got me there,” he shrugs.  “What do you want, Alicia?,” he wonders more quietly. She doesn’t have to think twice. “I want you to stop this grand jury.”

“No,” he says.  “That’s what I used to do.  Things that worked but were wrong”  No she looks guilty, but I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, since the prosecution itself is a wrong – personally motivated, on spurious charges I don’t think he even believes. “I’m not doing that anymore.”  She’s really upset. “Peter, your problem wasn’t that you did things that were wrong. Your problem was that you did things that were wrong against your family.” Um, those are two problems, not one – his infidelities and his underhand dealings at work. His hands are splayed against the island. “That may be so, but that has nothing to do with this. Will Gardner is not my family.  Good night.”  He makes a dignified walk to the door.

Let’s disregard the fact that sinking your wife’s place of work DOES impact your family.  For me, that was really one of the best scenes the show has ever done.  I mean really incredible.  The pain and betrayal – really just incredible acting all around.  The anguish on her face!  The inflection in his voice when he talks about Will!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s dastardly, and abuse of power and incredibly cold to attack his wife’s livelihood in that way – like a chemo drug, which attacks the tumor (Will) but kills healthy cells too.  And so petty to use his power to go after her (former) lover.  But wow, they just did that so well.

“Please state your name for the record,” Cary asks. “Robert Parks.  I am a presiding judge in Cook County’s third municipal district.”  “Thank you sir,” Cary  says. “Your Honor,” Judge Parks insists from the witness stand, claws out.  “Thank you, Your Honor,” Cary smiles, “would it be fair to say that you are a reluctant witness here, Your Honor?”  “It is fair to say I believe that this is a witch hunt, and I think you’re trying to criminalize behavior that is far from criminal.”  Quite so, Judge Parks, quite so.  “And what behavior is that?” Cary wonders.  Friendships and out of work socializing between judges and lawyers, of course.  “Did the attorney Will Gardner every offer you a bribe, Your Honor?”  Well, nothing like getting right to it, Cary.  Who needs foreplay?  Other than Eli?

Judge Parks takes a moment before reciting, “On the advice of counsel, I am here to assert my right under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.”  Damn!  He’s pleading the Fifth! I was so not expecting that.  “Did you place illegal bets through Will Gardner with the bookie Jonathan Meade?”  And again, he pleads the Fifth.  Man, nothing makes you (and your friends) look guilty like pleading the Fifth.  “My answer to this question and all your questions will be to assert my right under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.”  “I understand, Your Honor,” Cary starts, but is interrupted. “You don’t understand a thing,” Parks cuts him off with all his magisterial authority in his tone.  Wendy looks up in shock.  “You’re attempting to suggest that there’s something nefarious going on here, when you know for a fact that any judge you haul in here will plead the fifth.”

“Excuse me, Your Honor,” Wendy calls out, poised and fresh in baby pink.  “You either take the Fifth or you leave yourself open to questions.”  Cary does not let up. “Did you meet with Will Gardner yesterday?”  Judge Parks looks livid.  He continues to assert his Fifth Amendment right, and then he looks at his watch.  “Is this a photo of you meeting with Will Gardner yesterday?”  Damn.  There’s a nice big blown up picture of Will handing over than envelope.  Gosh, that just looks awful.  Judge Parks pleads the Fifth yet again.

And now he’s barreling through the jury room door.  Will’s across the hall, plotting with Kalinda; Parks get right in his face. “You setting me up?” he asks, livid.  Well, you can’t blame him for thinking so. “Excuse me, Your Honor?”  From yesterday, Parks say, they have a picture from yesterday.  “You brought them to me. Yup.  You go down, you’re not taking me.”

Yikes.

Elsbeth walks over to them, rather nervous. “Okay, I can see that there’s some sort of strategy going on here,” she begins.  Will looks over to Kalinda, and then makes the greatest face – like my two year old pretending she hasn’t just torn up a roll of toilet paper or brushed her hair with Vaseline. It’s completely unconvincing. “I can’t say,” he claims. Unsurprisingly, Kalinda has a far superior poker face.  Actually, that should be surprising since he’s a gambling addict. “I just want to know one thing,” she asks. “Is it illegal?”  No, Kalinda says.  Alrighty then. “You two behave!” she smiles, and leaves them to it.

Will’s phone rings, and he waves Kalinda off.  It’s Alicia, her voice low and husky.  She want to know how he’s doing, and her heart is in her throat. “I’m good. Up next, probably another 30 minutes. “Are you…”  “I’m fine,” he insists.  “No, are you taking the Fifth?”  Her voice get so, so low when she’s talking to him seriously. “I don’t know. Elsbeth thinks I should,” he notes.  “It’s the smart move,” Alicia insists, and immediately you know he won’t.  First, because it’s not dramatic enough, and second because he just can’t resist the temptation to prove that he’s smarter than Cary and Wendy and Dana, smarter than everyone promoting that as a strategy.  “Will,” she practically moans, “I’m sorry.”  Don’t be, he says.  “I am,” she moans again. “Then be sorry because it’s happening, don’t be sorry about anything else.”  Good line. “Okay,” she smiles faintly, “do good.”  “Always,” he says, and even though he means that he’ll always be smart, I can’t help thinking of it as a Snape-like romantic declaration. Not that Severus Snape is my romantic idol, or anything, but it’s a seriously great line.

They hang, both looking thoughtful.  Alicia watches someone walk over to Eli’s.

“Well, if it isn’t family law, darkening my hall,” Eli sneers as his nemesis walks in  .  David Lee knocks a box and an enormous stack of paper off Eli’s desk so he can sit on the corner.  Primly, Eli gets on the phone and calls for – you guessed it – Caitlin to join them.  Although of course he calls his assistant and not Caitlin, because that would be too personal.  “So,” Lee finally speaks. “So,” Eli mimics. “Caitlin’s not cleaning this up,” the doting uncle asserts. “Oh yes she is.  Funny how the double edged sword – nepotism gets you the job, but then you have to clean all the poop your Uncle should.”  Poop, wonders David. “I’m trying not to swear so much,” Eli says, making me laugh again.

“How’s the campaign going for Peter Florrick?” David Lee wonders.  You know, I don’t get why they haven’t brought Eli into Will’s fight more – he could have been a helpful ally.  Unless this is all part of his promise to Donna Brazil to save the Florrick marriage.  At any rate, David doesn’t wait for an answer. “I hope well.  Because his wife and I have been chatting.  As her divorce lawyer, of course it’s attorney client privilege and I can’t share anything, but – I hope the campaign is going well.”  Right.  Well, the party faithful always saying Alicia is Peter’s ace in the hole, so it’s a home point.

And at this point, dear Caitlin appears at the door, wondering what she can do for Mr. Gold.  “Oh, hi!” she smiles. It’s very Snow White, like she could have had Amy Adams’ part in Enchanted.  (Speaking of which, congrats to Anna Camp and the rest of the SAG winning cast of The Help , even if her name wasn’t on the official list.) After exchanging pleasantries, David Lee informs his niece that Mr. Gold does not in fact need her. She can see that there’s weird subtext here. “Okay… well, call if you need anything,” she smiles, slightly nervous, “and I have your xeroxes.”  “Okay, Caitlin,” Lee smiles.  Her golden hair bounces as she walks out the door.

“There’s not much I love in life,” David Lee muses, “I like money, I don’t love money…”  Eli rolls his eyes and throws up his hands. “Is this gonna take long?”  Lee finishes over him. “But I love my niece. She’s all that is good in the world.  And I think you ought to clean that up.”  David Lee hops out of the room, jauntily rebuttoning his jacket.

Will sits beneath a carved panel, and somehow details are clear I hadn’t noticed when the other witnesses testified – there are legs, and a toga, and a walking stick. Somebody’s bottom half, in other words. “Good afternoon, Mr. Gardner,” Wendy begins, and he nods and says her name. “Shall we start from the beginning?”  Well, it is a very good place to start. “Did you meet with Judge Parks yesterday?”  Yesterday hardly seems like the beginning, does it?  You can see Will thinking about it, narrowing his eyes.  Which way will he jump?  Oooh, don’t plead the Fifth!  Nothing makes you look guiltier than pleading the Fifth!  He chooses; yes, I was, he says, looking right at Cary.  “I see,” Wendy says, looking over at Dana and a very concerned looking Cary, “and thank you for not pleading the Fifth.”  You’re welcome, he replies. She then has him identify himself in the cell phone picture. “And what is in this envelope you handed to Judge Parks?”  “Money,” he says.

Um, hello?  It was what?  He said what?  What in the Sam heck is he doing?

Wendy doesn’t know either, but she can’t believe her luck.  I suspect she shouldn’t.  “Was there an agreement between you and Judge Parks based on this cash exchange?”  There was. “And what was that?”  Will stares at Wendy for a moment. “That he would give it to UNICEF for their immunization drive in Uganda.”

Ha.  Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

Wendy stammers, and Cary smiles to himself again.  “And, ah, how much money did you give him?”  Two thousand dollars.  “Two thousand for UNICEF,” Wendy cries in disbelief.  (Yep, the private sector sure does pay better. Dana must want to spit.)  “I mean, isn’t that a lot of money to be giving to UNICEF?”  I love hearing her trip over her words, when she’s usually so supremely self-possessed. “It is,” he agrees.  ‘Then why did you give him that?” she stammers again. “Because I think kids in Uganda should be immunized,” he answers with just the right touch of passion in his voice.

Wendy gives an uncomfortable smile.  You can recover from this, you know, Wendy.  Giving money to a politician’s pet charity is one of the oldest ways to buy influence there is.  Just ask Tom De Lay.  “And isn’t this just a little bit suspicious that you gave this money on the eve of your testifying here?”  She gestures broadly to the jury members. Of course it is!  It’s purposefully suspicious – or, should I say, set up to demonstrate that things which look suspicious often aren’t. “I don’t know,” he lies, shrugging, “I hadn’t thought of that.”  Ha.  “And why should we trust you, that this money was for UNICEF?”

“Because I have a receipt,” he says, pulling a folded sheet of paper out of his pocket.  I could go into all the ways that this is ridiculous (a receipt? from whom?  the judge?  for cash?) but really, it just shuts Wendy down completely, and I can’t help but cheer that.  Wendy, time to change the subject, quick!

“Well, let’s see, I have some notes here,” she stumbles.  Dana hands over the relevant documents. “This is a copy of an email from you to Judge Parks, exchanging information about which settlement would be agreeable to your client.”  Really, asks Will, disbelieving.  “Where’d you get it?”  She laughs, swaggering across the floor, and if I were that jury, I would just hate her. “When I am the subject of a grand jury investigation, you may ask me that, Mr. Gardner.”  Well, this is her smoking gun, and she clearly doesn’t think she needs to justify them in anyway.  This is a ham sandwich, after all. “Is this email from you to Judge Parks?”  Will squints at the paper, and then sets it down.  “No,” he says.  Dana looks up quickly – what’s he up to? Wendy makes Will read the address, and he agrees, it’s Judge Parks. “But I never sent this to him,” he repeats. “Someone must have typed over the real addressee.”

Ha ha ha ha ha.  That’s my girl!

“And why would someone do that?” Wendy wonders.  Gee, I wonder.  I bet every member of that jury can guess why YOU would want to do that, honey.  “I have no idea – you just handed them to me – but the original emails are here.”  He presents them with a flourish, neat crisp copies in a folder clearly prepared for just this occasion.  Wendy spins in place.  “Let’s turn now to Judge Parks,” she says, flustered. “But don’t you want to know who they were originally addressed to?” Turns out she doesn’t.  Cary turns to Dana, surprised, and Dana’s face goes stormy, her lips quivering slightly.  She’s starting to realize she’s been had. “They were addressed to my partner, Diane Lockhart.” Wendy turns on him.  “Excuse me, Mr Gardner!” she snaps, a school teacher reprimanding a wayward child. “It seemed only natural to discuss that  with my partner…”  “Mr. Gardner, that was not my question. Please strike that from the record!” Will folds his hands and shrugs.

That kicked ASS.  (Sorry, but I’m trying to swear more.)  So very clever to give them this little poisoned pill – evidence that seems incontrovertible, so they’re sure to use it, but turns out to be false, and so sinks the case against the defendant.  The prosecutorial mishap obscures whatever he might actually have done wrong.

Quietly, Dana closes the jury chambers door behind her.  And there’s the author of her failure – the source she foolishly thought she could turn.  But we knew better, didn’t we?  Hee.  Kalinda, I love you, girl!  They walk forward, staring at one another, very High Noon.  Dana’s ponytail is on the side away from us, which makes it look even sillier. “You fooled me?” she asks, disbelieving.  “Yeah,” Kalinda states the obvious.  Dana nods.  Really, you thought it was okay for you to blackmail her on the basis of the emotional connection you don’t have, but it’s not okay for her to use you, too?  Go ahead. “What?” Dana growls.  “Go ahead and hit me – it’ll make you feel better.”  Dana’s eyes flick wide at the invitation. She’s practically vibrating with fury.  And then she DOES!  That little bitch baby.  Like I said before, I’m trying to swear more .

Much as I’m enjoying this, we can pretty much guarantee that they’re going to pass the rider of doom on to the Bar Association now.

Will walk into the busy hallway, and flashes a thumbs up at his Girl Friday.  He half embraces her. “I owe you,” he says into the side of her neck.  “No you don’t,” she demurs, smiling. “Okay, you two, it’s not over yet,” Elsbeth breaks into their love fest. “She promises a new subpoena.  What I’m worried is, she…” Her eyes go wide as she tries to work it out. “It’s not Kalinda,” right, because that would have been too smart. “She’s angry now, so she goes where?  The whole firm? ”  Then she realizes.  “Personal. You’re vulnerable somewhere, right?”  Gee, let’s guess. You gave her the McDermott case as some big fat juicy bait, right, so she wouldn’t go after your real vulnerability?”  That’s right, Will confirms. “So who would she go after now?”

Let us guess. Perhaps it’s the woman sitting next to Caitlin in the glitzy GLAC lobby? Caitlin’s red suit matches the tasteful patterned cushions on the sofa-back.  “Any word on Mr. Gardiner?,” the girl wonders.  “Not yet,” Alicia shakes her head; she thumbs through her phone, dark against the bright backdrop. Caitlin begins impulsively. “Did I do something wrong?”  Alicia can’t digest the idea. ” D’you know why Mr. Gold’s being so cold to me now?” she pleads.  “Oh,” Alicia replies, “I didn’t think he was.  I thought he was overworking you.”  Clearly he is, but that doesn’t matter to her. “No – he’s not even talking to me now. Did I do something wrong?”  You mean other than not being Alicia, and being David Lee’s niece?  Frankly I’m surprised he was civil to her in the first place; he never has much courtesy for his own minions, let alone someone else’s.  Still, if his behavior has changed…

“No,” Alicia smiles, “I wouldn’t worry.  He seems distracted.”  And so he is, pacing through the lobby, thumbing through his own phone.  “I wanted to tell him something about the meeting, but he wouldn’t listen.”  Alicia, of course, will.

“Yeah, what’d you need?” Eli barks.  See what I mean about him not being nice?  “Well, I’m in bed thinking of you, ” Stacie Hall chirps.  Ew.  He snorts. “No you’re not.  You know my meeting is in five minutes and you wanted to throw me off my guard.”  Then why pick up the phone, Eli?  Just to show her that she can’t throw you?  “Well, that’s true,” she laughs, “but I really am thinking of you.”  Oh my gosh, she really is in bed.  What on earth?  In bed, in striped silk button down pajamas.  “Of course you are,” he hisses. “Do you hear my voice?  I am not thrown.”  Heh.  “Well, you shouldn’t have wimped out last night, you be right here with me.”   Um, you’d like to think you could keep him away from that meeting, honey.  “I gotta go now, Miss Hall, and kick your ass.  It’s been nice talking to you.”  He snaps the phone shut.  What happened to not swearing?  How quickly they fall off the wagon.

Ah, that’s why he ended the call so abruptly – there’s Spencer Roth, walking over to greet them.  They shake hands and exchange greetings.  “You remember Mrs. Florrick, I promised I’d drag her along.”  Alicia grins, and wrinkles her nose to indicate her willingness to be dragged.  Or perhaps herfond memories of the family dinner from hell in Breaking Fast. “Yes, hello, Alicia. It’s a beautiful suit,” he observes warmly.  Such a smoothie, this one.  Eli could take lessons. Not very gracefully, she asks for a second before they begin, and Spencer leaves them with a smile.

“What the heck?” Eli asks in shock. “Tell him, Caitlin,” Alicia commands.  “I’m sorry, I wanted to get to you earlier,” she begins fretfully. “This is not about the Defense of Marriage Act, Eli,” Alicia interjects. “I’ve been studying up on this meeting, and the one thing that didn’t make sense is why GLAC needed a crisis manager to fight against the Defense of Marriage Act when in fact the National Committee was handling it.”  Oooh, interesting, Caitlin – good thinking.  I love the way she says GLAC – maybe something about the A, or the hard C, but it’s really cute.  “And then I was reading some gay blogs…”

“Can we talk about this after the meeting?” Eli spits out, impatient. “Eli, this is the meeting,” Alicia reiterates. Caitlin picks up her story – it seems that Spencer Roth has been promoting a proposed AT&T and T Mobile merger when he’s also been given a $60,000 grant from AT&T.  Alicia smiles, and Eli’s facial muscles go slack.  “When was this?”  Last week, Caitlin tells him.  Alicia reinforces her protege’s information.  “This isn’t about the Defense of Marriage Act – this is about damage control.”  Well, that would make sense.  Eli’s spine straightens. “The GLAC board doesn’t want to be criticized for it’s involvement in this merger,” Alicia whispers. “Why say it’s about DOMA?” Eli wonders. “Because they don’t want to make it public that they’re shopping for crisis managers,” Caitlin guesses, with a perky little shoulder flip that bounces her flirty flirty hair.

Eli nods fervently. “We have to change the pitch right now,” he realizes.  Well, duh, Eli, that’s why they told you!  Interesting strategy – do they let on that they know?  Is this some sort of test, being able to figure it out?  “Attacking the GLAC board is attacking gays!”  Eli thunders.  The two women look at him like he’s transformed into a fighting robot or some other wildly improbable thing.  “Too cynical?” he asks, assessing his performance.

Alicia flicks her gaze to her right. He doesn’t get it. “Thank Caitlin,” she instructs  firmly.  He smiles painfully, then clears his throat.  “Thank you,” he manages stiffly, just as Alicia’s phone rings.  “Uh oh,” she says, “this is about Will. I’ll catch up.”

But who knows whether she made any of the meeting; here she is instead in the court house hallway.  “I don’t understand,” she tells Elsbeth Tascioni.  “I know,” Elsbeth agrees.  “I thought Wendy Scott-Carr was targeting the McDermott case; I never worked on that,” she flounders.   Elsbeth agrees again. “I know.”  “So, why?” Alicia wonders. “Well, she’ll probably push you on things Mr. Gardner did that should paint as legally questionable.”  I don’t know about you, but my mind goes right to that case on the first season where Alicia broke into the love nest and Will talked her through taking stuff, do you remember that?  Or am I confusing Hi with something else?  There was that possibly gang related one.  Anyway.  Alicia’s clearly searching her memory.  “The prosecutor can ask anything in a grand jury hearing, so, what’d you know that can hurt him?” Alicia’s face goes pale.

And then she’s on the stand, stating her name clearly for the record. “F-L-O-R-R-I-C-K, the same spelling as my husband Peter, the State’s Attorney.”  Cary does not look pleased.  This would be very, very worrying even if we hadn’t seen the previews from last week. “For the sake of disclosure, have we met before?” Wendy asks. “Yes,” says Alicia, “last year, during the State’s Attorney election.  I believe you lost to my husband.”  Alicia smiles.  Zing!  Wendy smiles and nods; touche.  “How long have you worked at Lockhart/Gardner, Mrs. Florrick?”  Two and a half years. “Who hired you?”  Will.  “You were friends in college?”  Yes, Alicia says, at Georgetown. In college?  Why don’t they say law school?  It’s not the same thing, and they’ve been pretty specific about that in the past (their work on moot court, etc).  Of course this isn’t the first time they’ve conflated the two, either.  “How long had it been since you last practiced law?” Wendy wonders.  Ugh. Alicia confesses that it was 13 years.  She looks self conscious. “I took time off to… raise my children.”

“A 13 year lay off!  That was quite generous of Mr. Gardner,” Wendy insinuates, glancing back at the jury with a knowing look.  But why raise this at all?  “Have you ever seen Mr. Gardner do anything that you’d consider illegal?”  “Not that I recall,” Alicia answers.  Just what is Wendy getting at?  Is there actually something specific she thinks Alicia knows?  “Since joining his firm, at any time, have you been engaged in a sexual relationship with Mr. Gardner?”

Oh, crap.

Alicia’s shocked.  “I don’t see how that’s relevant,” she gasps.  Relevant to what?  There hasn’t been anything to be relevant to yet!  “The jury is entitled to know the true nature of your relationship with him,” Wendy insists primly.  Suddenly Cary’s on his feet, whispering in Wendy’s ear. “This line of questioning is inappropriate,” he hisses.  Damn straight!  “”The jury needs to know she has an incentive to protect him,” Wendy believes.  Yes, but protect him from what?  If Alicia won’t betray Will, why is she even there?  At the most, you might prove that she would lie for him if she needed to – but not that she has anything specific to cover up.  Surely Wendy’s going at this testimony backwards. “You asked me what I thought about their relationship, and I told you.  In confidence,” Cary tells Wendy, upset. “If you’re not comfortable, Mr. Agos, you are free to step out.” Ouch!  Wendy really wants to know this.  But how can it be worth it to her case? Cary frowns, looks over at Alicia grimly, and sits back down.

Wendy takes up the reigns once more, patronizingly slow. You could tell she was fishing before, but now she’s certain she’s on to something she’s even more tenacious. “Mrs. Florrick.  One more time.  While working at his firm, at any time, have you and Will Gardner engaged in a sexual relationship?”  Cary looks pained. He and Alicia look at each other.  He shakes his head.

“Yes,” she says.

Oh my gosh, I even can’t believe she answered.

“Is this sexual relationship still active?” Wendy probes. No.  “When did this relationship begin?” Wendy keeps after Alicia. “In the spring,” she says. “And when did it end?”  A few months ago.  “During the course of this relationship with Mr. Gardner, was your office moved to the 28th floor?  The same floor as the senior partners?”  Wendy looks back at the jury again, conspiratorial.  Alicia frowns.  She hates the suggestion that her promotion was a gift.  Of course in some ways it was about who she knew, but certainly not about who she was sleeping with.  Kind of the reverse; it was about Eli wanting to keep her close so he could preserve her marriage.  “And in that time, had you been advised you were on a track to make partner?” The implication is clear; sex for advancement. Though I still don’t know how it would contribute to his prosecution.  Cary gives her a pained, apologetic look, then shakes his head at his notes.  How did Wendy know that?  Alicia stares at Wendy.

And then she stands.

“Mrs. Florrick, would you please take your seat?”  No, Alicia replies coolly.  “I need to ask you to sit,” Wendy insists.  “No, thank you,” Alicia replies.  “The witness has not been excused!” Wendy calls out, her voice rising. “You are out of control,” Alicia tells her opponent. “Mrs. Florrick, if you do not sit down I will have you held in contempt.”  “Fine,” Alicia snarls fiercely, “Arrest me.”

And then she walks out the door.

Breathing hard, looking wind-blown and shocked, Alicia stops for a breath out on the street.  And that’s when Elsbeth catches up with her. “Mrs. Florrick!  You zipped out of there so fast, I didn’t get a chance to do a postmortem.”  Alicia stares off in the distance. “The transcript of the hearing,” she wonders, “it’ll be released to the public?”  “Only if Mr. Gardner’s indicted,” Elsbeth clarifies. “Otherwise it stays sealed. What happened in there?”  “I’ve got to talk to my kids!” Alicia realizes.  She hops into her car and leaves Elsbeth standing on the sidewalk, utterly baffled.

Tinkling piano and clinking drinks let us know that we’re back at Stacie’s stuffy bar.  Eli’s waiting for her with those hot drinks and a canister of whip cream.  Her laughter trills out into the room. “You’re so funny – you’re so spontaneous!” She hops onto a bar stool and beams up at him.  “Like a youth in May.” Ha. “Say when,” he adds, squirting the cream into her drink. “Keep going – that’s perfect,” she giggles when the whipped cream overflows the glass.  He adds a generous dollop to his own.  “So,” she grins, “what’s the surprise?  You called saying you had a surprise?”  She’s like a kid at Christmas. “The surprise is…” he composes himself, “I desire you too.”

She compresses her lips. “Oh, now you’re just trying to throw me off my game.”  “I am,” he nods, “but I still desire you.”  “Okay, ” she says, ‘well then let’s go do somethin’ about it.”  Yeah, right. This is the weirdest, most uncomfortable game of sexual chicken I’ve seen on TV since Phoebe decided to force Chandler and Monica’s relationship out of the closet.  (Or bathtub.)  He leans over awkwardly.  “My apartment’s fifteen minutes away,” he offers. “Mine’s ten,” she smiles.  Why did I assume she wasn’t local?  Maybe her bedroom just looks like a hotel.  Maybe it was because they met her in DC. “You’re playing chicken.”  Yes, he says, staring at her, “I’m good at it.”  “You don’t see me swerving off the road,” she grins. “You’re going to crash!” she warns as they lean in. “Unless you swerve,” he says, and kisses her.

Ew!

They smile at each other.  “I got the GLAC account,” he whispers.  Her smile goes cold. Slowly, they move apart. “I don’t believe  you,” she cries.  “Where’s that desire now?”  he tsktsks her.  “You were expecting a call from GLAC an hour ago. You didn’t get it.  I did.”  “Oh, fish,” she spits out.  “I still desire you, Stacie,” he smiles nastily, “the way a victor desires his spoils.”  Ew.  Don’t gloat, Eli. Well, okay, I take that back. You can gloat – she’s pretty insufferable.  At least he’s honest about his scheming.

“That’s right,” he says. “Get those tiny little wheels turning in your head.  ‘Which way should I play this?’ ”  She looks up at him in a cold fury.  “Contrite and compliant, or tough and brash?”  That’s decided it for her. “Okay,” she snaps, calling his bluff. “Let’s go.  Let’s have intercourse.”  Hee! She stomps out of the bar.  Somewhat embarrassed, Eli throws down cash for their untouched drinks.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” Wendy addresses the panel directly, no coy glances now. Dana and Cary stand off by their bench. “If there are no more questions, the people of Illinois ask that you vote a true bill to indict Mr. Gardner on the charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, and interfering with a judicial officer, class 2 and 3 felonies.  Please signify by raising your hands.”

“I’ve got a question,” a quiet voice quavers.  The jury members look to the back row, where a young Asian woman sits. “Excuse me?” Wendy asks. “You said if there were no further questions. I have a question.”  Hee.  Clearly that was a formality, was supposed to be rhetorical.  Oh well.  “Of course, yes, please,” Wendy waves the young woman on. “Who is this Peter everyone keeps talking about?” Wendy looks awkward (though not nearly as awkward as Eli and Stacie looked at that bar) and Cary explains.  “That would be Peter Florrick, the State’s Attorney.  He hired Miss Scott-Carr to conduct this investigation.”  “Uh huh, okay,” the juror says, “so then isn’t it weird to bring in his wife?” Hell yes it is!  Everyone on the jury turns to Wendy for her response.  It was quite an odd misstep, calling Alicia – what did it prove?  Nothing to do with judicial bribery, that’s for sure.

Because she can’t defend it, Wendy insists instead that she’s only able to answer questions about the facts of the case.  Well, then, you shouldn’t have called a witness with no facts pertaining to the so called case!  “I mean, who cares who she sleeps with?” Well, other than legions of fans of the show…  “If she’s getting some, great.” Hee.  That speaks for a lot of fans, too.  The other jurors laugh. “Here’s what I don’t get,” a white man in his 30s or 40s asks. “When even go after Will Gardner?  Why not go after that judge guy?”  Wendy’s getting really nervous. “Well, again, by law, we are not permitted…”

“At least Will Gardner answered the questions,” he notes. “The judge kept taking the Fifth!” See, there it is.  It really doesn’t mean you’re guilty, but it sure makes it look like it. “I know,” the woman in front of him drawls, “I didn’t get that either.”  The young Asian woman isn’t done. “Maybe this judge knows Peter Florrick.” Uh oh.  “Maybe they should both be arrested.”  Wendy stammers, attempting vainly to control the situation.  “Here’s what I think happened,” the thin white guy breaks in. “Peter Florrick and the judge are in it together!”  In what?  Cary looks pained.  Again.  And the jurors can’t stop talking – this statement sets loose a wild torrent of speculation.

And, oh my heavens, that is a naked Stacie Hall sitting up in bed. EW!  No!  Oh my gosh, they didn’t!  I’m not alone in being squicked out by this, am I?  It’s horrifying and funny and uncomfortable all at once.  Shudder. “Well. That was some good fishing.”  Yuck yuck yuck!  She giggles, and Eli – who’s tucking his shirt back into his pants – laughs with her.  His hair is enormous and wild, while hers still keeps its perfect helmet-like shape.  “Could you grab my robe for me, please?”  On the arm chair where her robe is (and I swear this has to be a hotel room, it’s so impersonal looking) Eli finds a campaign pamphlet for Vanessa Gold.

Snap!

Vanessa hired her!  Oh my gosh.  (I don’t know whether to be proud of Vanessa for going ahead despite the whole Bin Laden debacle or not.)  “Hey what do you think of that?” she asks as he picks it up. “It’s just a mock up.  I told Vanessa a deep blue border would really make it pop.”  Oh, wow.  That was mean.  You can see rage in the lines of Eli’s tense body.  “You’re working on my ex-wife’s campaign.”  “Only because she asked me,” Stacie shrugs, as if that makes a difference. “She threw me a lot of business in DC.” With his hair fluffy and his lavender shirt wide open,  its quite a different picture of Eli than we’re used to. “Is that what I’m doing here, so I could see this?” Hmm.  Does that mean she’d already realized she wasn’t getting the GLAC account and wanted to get back at him, or would this have worked either way?  He stamps around her bed, “Eli!” she complains, “I desire you!”

In her kitchen, Alicia’s huddled in a comfy sweater, and her hands are wrapped around a warm mug.  It’s a very defensive looking posture.  She’s clearly worried, steeling herself to make the unpleasant confession.  Zach and Grace walk in the door, chattering happily.  “You’re home early!” Zach smiles at his mom, who steps forward to greet them. “What’s wrong?”  Grace always thinks something’s wrong.  (Probably because something so often is.)  “Nothing,” Alicia claims, “I just want to talk to you.”  Grace looks up at Zach, but Zach’s carefully watching Alicia’s face.  “What did we do?” Grace is just relentlessly gloomy!  “You didn’t do anything,” her mother says, but before she can figure out how to proceed, her phone buzzes.  “Hi, it’s Kalinda,” the voice comes over the phone.  “I know,” Alicia replies as her children leave the hall, “what’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” smiles Kalinda, standing outside the very chaotic and loud conference room, “No bill.” Alicia doesn’t understand. “They didn’t indict the ham sandwich,” Kalinda clarifies.  Yay!  Yay jury!  Alicia stands, stunned. “You’re kidding,” she says. “No.  Will’s free,” Kalinda smiles. “How is that possible?” Alicia wonders.  “I don’t know, we’re still trying to figure it out.  And – you should come down here, we’re having a party.” Divested of their coats, Zach and Grace walk into the dining room in their matching Capstone uniforms. No, says Alicia, but thanks so much for calling.  Damn straight she’s going to thank you; how much did she not want to tell her kids that she had a relationship after she kicked out their dad?

As Kalinda hangs up, we see Will asking Elsbeth for a dance.  “No, no, I don’t dance,” she cries. “I have to drink a lot to dance, and I don’t like to drink a lot.”  Hee!  She’s kind of frantic.  “Let this be the exception!” he smiles, good-natured, but she’s too freaked out. “No, no, seriously – you do it.”  He backs off graciously, but as he raises a highball glass to his lips, and the stereo blasts out the words “Here I am against on my own” he catches sight of Diane walking down the hall toward him, smiling, slow. He walks past a slow dancing couple.  “Like a grifter I was born to walk alone,” the female singer growls. “That was a close one,” he tells Diane, both of them smiling fondly at each other.  “Yes.  Let’s try to reduce the excitement level around here from now on, shall we?” Her laughter ripples out as the singer moans “I ain’t wasting no more time.”  And then they dance, smoothly, laughing.

They are so damn cute, grooving to the music.

“What is it, Mom,” Zach asks, and Alicia turns to face her children. “Nothing – just something at work.”  She sets down her phone and walks over to them. “Was it good?” Zach wonders. “Yes!” she says, still shocked. “It is, oddly.  Her face here is a wonder; she’s lost in contemplation.  “You wanted to talk to us?” Grace reminds her.  “I did, didn’t I?” Hee.  Alicia opens her mouth, but nothing comes out. Zach waits patiently, but as is her wont, Grace looks worried. “I haven’t been the best of moms,” she begins, and both kids immediately protest that ridiculous idea.  They’re outraged, even.  Seriously, they are the most loyal kids.  She clearly knew what she was doing when she raised them. “Mom,” Zach begins, as Grace wonders how.  She looks for a moment as if she’s going to tell them anyway – clearly thinking that her affair with Will has made her a bad parent.  “I wanna change all that.  I, um… I think I should take a week off work and we should go on vacation.”  What, in the middle of school?  Not that it’s not a nice idea she’s just pulled out of her hat, of course.  Oooh – maybe somewhere tropical?  How fun would it be to see them jet skiing or something?  She smiles.

“Miss Scott-Carr,” Peter says, scribbling furiously, “thank you for your service.”  Is it weird that they all call her Miss, not Ms or Mrs?  Are you a Miss forever when you hyphenate your married name?  Seems weird.  “You’re excused.”  A young man sets more papers down on his desk and heads out.  “Peter, we can still indict Will Gardner, at the next grand jury.  I’ll take…”  No, says Peter firmly, slipping his suit jacket over his shoulders, “No, we’re done.” She’s not pleased.  “There are other ways.”  He looks up at her. “Like calling my wife?”  Oh, dear.  Heard about that, did you?  “It was a strategic move,” she stammers.  It was an all around useless and stupid move, you mean. He just glares – he is the lion in the Colosseum –  and she squirms even more.  “Thank you for your service.  My assistant will validate your parking.”  Oooh, cold!  A clear dismissal if ever there was one.

She begins a dignified exit, but can’t leave it like that. “I’m sending these infractions of Mr. Gardner’s to the Bar Association,” she declares, chin up, daring him to stop her.   He won’t. “If you won’t pursue him, they will.”  He stares at her. “Do what you gotta do.  Now get out of my office.”

She does.

Wow!  I’m not even sure how much I have left to say – I’ve said a lot during the general recapping.  I was truly blown away by the acting, by those marvelously expressive faces.  I mean, wow.  Sure, I can see lots of issues for the characters on the horizon – Alicia and the rider, Will and the Bar Association, Wendy never actually trying to turn Will on Peter like she said wanted to do – but for now, it feels really good.  Dana got spanked!  Will and Diane danced!  The whole sex as a dare thing with Stacie and Eli was incredibly squicky but also totally hilarious; I said it before, but I can’t think when I’ve enjoyed Eli this much.  I thought it was fun to see that totally different aspect of the law – the grand jury.  Wasn’t it odd to see so much testifying without a judge to referee?  It’s not two sides opposed, it’s  – well, a ham sandwich.  Or – well, not to sound like Elsbeth, but what’s the opposite of the ham sandwich in this scenario?

So, what do you think?  Is Alicia just going to pick up and take that vacation?  Is she more of a mountain type or a beach type?  Did anyone else wonder if Alicia would be served by Diane’s handsome Australian friend?  I’ll admit, I was totally expecting it.  I have a lot of trouble imagining they’re going to air a new episode against the Super Bowl, of all things, but who knows?  Either way, I’m sure I’ll be back chatting with you soon.

37 comments on “The Good Wife: Another Ham Sandwich

  1. Kate says:

    what a great episode! thanks for the recap – you captured it perfectly.

    for me the highlight of the episode was alicia and peter’s fight – such a strong scene and such a long time coming.

    also, i don’t think anyone can convince me that alicia doesn’t love Will after this episode – just the tone in her voice when she speaks to him etc. is a giveaway. she clearly cares for him very deeply. so why is she in denial? in order to be a “good mother”, “good employee”, “good person”…???

    interesting that alicia mentions pros in her fight with peter (plural!)

    i loved the grand jury’s response to the charges – that they didn’t respond with the gravitas that we (the audience) expected. i guess the doodling was a (wonderful) clue that they weren’t exactly captivated by the evidence 🙂

    like you i wonder why they keep talking about college! i keep second guessing when will and alicia met … college/law school/college/law school???

    I did think alicia might be served by bryan brown 🙂

    I was thinking alicia might be a european city holiday person – a week in paris or rome anyone? not sure if she’d take the kids there though!

    kate

    • E says:

      Hi Kate! Gosh, we’re totally on the same page!

      Alicia does seen like a European holilday person. I have this half memory of a photo of them skiing as a family; I can’t remember if that’s real or not. So I’m really curious whether they’re a sporty vacation family, or a touristy one. Of course they could go to Europe to ski, too… I think the thing that appealed to me about seeing them in a tropical vacation is that it’s hard to picture.

    • E says:

      PS – The show totally needs to hire us as continuity hawks. 🙂 I’ve got several friends who are lawyers, and I can’t imagine them confusing their college and law school classmates. (Or really anyone who had gone to grad school; I’ve never heard someone say college and not mean undergraduate.) And that’s just in ordinary conversation, not under oath! Granted, you could have gone to Georgetown for undergrad and for law school both, but I really don’t think that matters, and since it’s just as easy to say “you met in law school” as it is “you met in college” I’m really puzzled as to the mistake.

      • Kate says:

        we don’t use the word “college” to describe university in australia so i was getting extra confused. i had thought college meant “undergraduate” school but with the usage on the good wife i began to second guess myself… so i actually did an internet search to see if it could also cover law school!!!!

        i sometimes wonder about where the writers come from?? or if their parents were non-American … because there are other little linguistic differences too (like phoning someone vs. calling them…)

        • E says:

          I absolutely wonder that, too, Kate! I’ve never heard anyone refer to graduate school (of any sort) as college, so it’s very confusing – I’ve wondered if that’s a British construction, except they use “university” instead of college, too.

          And yes, the phoning thing seems to be a general puzzle to fans of the show. These things would definitely make my list if I could ask the Kings questions about the show!

  2. Tvdramafan says:

    This epi was really hyped and not as good as some others(the guests get on my nerves …eg Eli/Stacie did not work for me..need small does o f Carrie P)…. but I agree standout was Peter/Alicia fight. I was REALLY disappointed not in the scene ,but was bad they have made Peters character…earlier, they showed him struggling with going after Will..but this was quite blatant. And it made you wonder why he would do it…it means he realizes he has no chance with Alicia..so then why does he not pursue a divorce…guess he wants to let alicia drive this…and isn,t he concerned about abuse of public office…if he wants to be gov, wouldn’t this make him look bad? Writers are telling us he has not changed…and from interview with kings ,something else that Peter has done will get him in trouble. This is what makes me think CN is leaving the show…I am not sure how much worse they can make him, and even before this incident, I kept wondering why Alicia has not pursued divorce. A problem with this is that Will is looking very very good guy, scrapper who is on the edge but doesn,t do anything wrong( esp to Alicia).. And Peter who continues to give her grief. Whether she loved Will, or not, it was an awful thing for him to do. but they have made P/W too black and white now. I had hoped they would show Peter redeeming himself…have to say the scenes between Alicia and peter are usually great!

    • E says:

      I knew there was more I should have talked about at the end, TVdramafan! The Peter thing is certainly upsetting. The scene was beautifully acted, but pretty heart-breaking, too.

      I had the same reaction as you initially – why is he doing this, does he think she’s going to come back to him? – but now that you’ve got me thinking about it, it seems like revenge is his only possible reasoning. I think that he probably blames Will for the collapse of his marriage (which is mostly, but not entirely, unfair) and I’m sure he thinks Alicia left him to be with Will. In some ways the prosecution is very like him (he’s impulsive, and strongly motivated by his emotions), but perhaps he’d just not admitted to himself what was going on until she asked about it. I’m sure he believes that Will is actually shady, and that Wendy would find real corruption (which of course ought to be punished).

      But obviously it looks as personally motivated as it really is. That’s why I thought Eli would want to stop it, because it would hurt Peter’s public image if it got out (and what in a campaign doesn’t?). Peter’s not always that great at thinking through the consequences of his actions, which is why Eli could have been a great help here. Which makes you think the writers didn’t want Peter stopped.

      So very clearly, they’re pushing Alicia toward Will. And have you noticed she never wants Will as much as when people tell her she shouldn’t? Bad strategy on Peter’s part – attacking Will was a sure fire way to make her defend him. (Of course, that’s what she was like with Peter, too.) Now, on the other hand, I don’t agree that they’ve made Will the white knight. He might not be guilty of bribing judges, but he clearly did introduce them to a bookie, he did embezzle that money, and there’s no doubt he did a bunch of other illegal and immoral things. And I do think we’re seeing Peter trying to change (using Wendy as a shield, and what appears to be a good administration of his office). It’s just that unfortunately, he seems to be failing.

  3. marilyn says:

    Thanks for your comments,E…You are so insightful. True that Will is not a white knight, but a total amateur compared to Peter…his sins seemed to be long ago, and never hurt alicia…while with Peter… there is always something new and awful…Kalinda, intimidating the school director (altho I think alicia wanted Peter to do what he had to!), the Will thing, setting up the firm. Will just seems a little shady sometimes…although I do think in future they will examine how alicia feels about these values in general….

    The other issue a lot of us commented on was that Alicia SHOULD have told the kidsabout Will… now that it is with so many pple, who says it will not get out…it is juicy gossip. It will not be great if the kids hear via social media ( again)… Peter was being emotional , yes. He could have guilted her out about the kids on this issue as well…ie if the gossip gets out, it will not sound great that she slept with her boss ( even grace picked up the boss thing in S1!!!) …of course it does not hold a candle to what Peter did to the family… but I maintain she has left the kids vulnerable on this issue. At one point, Will asked Alicia if Peter knew about them.. and her response was ” he wouldn’t care”…now I don’t think she expected him to do what he did, but she knows Peter very well and she had to know he would not take it well…esp bec of spending S2 in the maids room!!! Actually I think alicia might feel a little guiity…if she had handled things differently, Peter would not have been so vengeful ( or had some reason to be)….

    • E says:

      Hi there, Marilyn! Great to hear from you as always. 🙂

      Oh my gosh yes, Alicia really needs to talk to her kids – although I do really wonder if Zach the quiet manipulator has an inkling (and whether he conveyed it to Grace). Will could easily have given it away by being so incredibly awkward when he ran into Zach at the office. How funny would it be if she totally agonized about telling them, and they were like “duh, Mom, we knew that.” I was kind of stunned at how honest she was with Grace back in season 1 (we were attracted to each other, but now we’re not) because it seemed like a lot more than the kids needed to know based on what they’d overheard. But now when she ought to tell them – when she has the chance to explain that there was nothing cynical going on, that it only happened months after she kicked Peter out, and had nothing to do with that event – she’s silent. Oh, Alicia. You can tell, she absolutely thinks she’s going to lose their respect. I’m sure that’s wrong, but there it is. And of course I still think she’s done the kids an even bigger disservice not explaining to them why she kicked Peter out in the first place.

      I think it’ll be great to see the show have Alicia looking critically at the sort of things Peter and Will both do to get ahead/get what they want, and where she draws the line. I agree that she turns an encouragingly blind eye to a lot of things, because of the value she places on material success. You can see how that got her marriage in trouble. So if she can move on and be healthy – with either guy – it’ll be great to see her being more alive to those situations, and taking moral ownership of her choices.

  4. E.L. says:

    Keeping mum in front of the kids will definitely come back and bite Alicia in the ass, because her admission is now a part of the public record. It’s just sitting there waiting to be unsealed… But then, maybe it’s like you say: her children already have everything figured out, and they don’t really mind.

    Thought the argument between Peter and Alicia was really well done as well. Peter does have a point. Alicia has changed. When she argues that Peter is wrong only when he does things against his family, one gets the feeling she really has crossed over to the dark side. This is something we’ve seen before, but never underscored so clearly. I suspect we will see the writers grapple with this issue more as we head towards the end of the season. Really enjoyed this episode and looking forward to the next one, but looks like it will be an unbearable three week wait this time.

    • E says:

      Wait, three weeks? Does that mean they’re going to air the next episode against the Oscars? What is WRONG with CBS?!!!!!!

      • E.L. says:

        No, no, sorry, I meant 3 weeks between the Feb. 19. For the record, I have no idea what CBS plans to do come Oscar Sunday.

        • E says:

          Oh, that’s a relief – I was thinking you meant three Sundays with no new show. Tonight obviously makes sense to skip, and next week is the Grammys, right, so we should get an episode on the 19th and then not one until March? Silly of them to waste new material against that kind of competition, especially when there’s four months left to the season and only 9 episodes to left to air. Sigh.

        • E.L. says:

          Err, excised part of the sentence above. What I meant to say was that there are three weeks from the air date of Another Ham Sandwich, so we will not get another new episode until Feb. 19.

    • E says:

      E.L., it really is upsetting that Alicia would say that, isn’t it? You have to wonder about her moral compass.

      I’ve been trying to figure out how to make sense of what she said, and this is what I’ve come up with. Now, Peter has said to her that the things he did in the past weren’t so much illegal as they were – what was the word he used, fuzzy? So maybe she’s going on that assumption, that what he did in the past in his job (giving favors to friends, playing the political game) wasn’t wrong. And I guess there’s something of a case to be made there, since the wrong he did to Alicia is a much more clearly defined wrong. I’m sure she would argue that letting Will off the hook – for something she assumes Peter knows Will’s innocent of – wouldn’t be a wrong use of Peter’s power. Especially since this personally motivated prosecution is an abuse of Peter’s power in the first place.

      You have to think- on the other topic – that Alicia sees her affair with Will as a wrong. Not that your average mother wants to talk to her kids about her sex life, but she needs to tell them, and she’s really having issues finding the courage. I know she wanted to provide this example to them of fidelity, but they’re going to have to deal with her choices at some point. It’s funny; in real life, you could assume those grand jury transcripts would stay sealed (or be very difficult to unseal) but not on tv! It’s always been only a matter of time, but she’s so certain she’ll lose their good opinion forever that she just can’t bring herself to go there.

  5. Kate says:

    those words really stuck out to me too – that peter’s problem wasn’t that he did things that were wrong, but that he did things that were wrong against his family… and it is the first time it was underscored so clearly [although i do remember, even in the pilot, or maybe the second episode of season 1, alicia tells peter something very similar. i can’t remember the exact words – it was during one of those early prison visits but it was clear that she wasn’t too concerned about what he had done wrong at work, only what he had done wrong against her. i guess i kind of empathise with her. the things that he did wrong at work didn’t impact on her directly or personally, whereas when he slept with the prostitutes he betrayed her trust.]

    • E says:

      Didn’t he say “I’m not guilty” and then clarified “of the corruption charges” and she was outraged that he thought it would matter to her. Granted, I always assumed that it was more of her focus at the moment, the way he betrayed her. But it’s interesting to think. Does she really not care? She generally seems to have a strong sense of justice, but when it comes to living that out, there’s tension between what’s right and what’s right to do to get ahead. She’s a rule follower, but which set of rules to follow?

      • yvonne says:

        Io remember that prison scene but I read it that he didn’t seem to get the fact that he had hurt her and the family with his actions. His whole focus was on clearing his name to that things “could get back to normal” Alicia hissed that things were never going back to normal. Peter seemed to have missed that point at other times too. When it looked like he might get out of prison and she told him he could sleep in the maid’d room he reacted in astonishment that she could be suggesting such a thing.

  6. akaleikehe says:

    Seeing Peter Florrick in any episode is a treat and this was no exception! I absolutely loved his and Alicia’s confrontation in the kitchen, I live and breathe on that type of emotional display and wonderful acting. I loved the guest stars on the show – you’re right E, they must have completely blown the budget on that! But you will not see me complaining. I’d like to see a little more of Eli and Peter together, it seems that their campaign is a little on the backburner, and although this is not a bad thing we are totally missing out! I love seeing Eli and Peter interacting with one another, and it would be interesting to see if Eli or Peter then mentioned their conversations with one another in passing to Alicia and whether she would struggle with her attitude towards Eli again. Good on Eli for standing up to Alicia on that point! (Although I can’t remember if it was in this episode or last? I just watched them back to back haha) And I’m especially proud of Alicia for taking it in, and actually considering Eli’s words…

    • akaleikehe says:

      … Oh, and can I just say how thrilling “Live from Damascus” looks? Just from the promo I can tell it’s going to be WONDERFUL. At least I hope it is 🙂 Will with that baseball bat… *shudders with excitement*

    • E says:

      Hi, Akaleikehe! It was this episode, and I agree, it was really impressive to see her actually listen to him- because he did have a valid point. I also agree that it’s been a really long time since we’ve seen Peter and Eli together (which feels odd since they spent the entirety of last season together – and yes, I know the campaign is over, but still). I can’t help thinking that Eli’s going to turn out to be involved in Peter’s machinations against Will, so perhaps we’re not seeing them together to hide that. Because otherwise, why would Eli not have involved himself? He’s tied to L&G and wouldn’t benefit financially from Will being jailed or disbarred.

      Gosh, the scene with Will and Alicia was so fantastic, wasn’t it? They’ve done such a good job of being civil, of not hurting each other up till now. You could see them trying even then not to say too much – and then it all falls to pieces. Amazing.

  7. John Graydon says:

    I’m late to the party this week, E., because my browser kept telling me you hadn’t posted anything since Bitcoin, even when I refreshed the page. I thought you must be taking a break between episodes — like the bloody network keeps doing.

    I still can’t believe they shifted TGW to Sunday, where it gets bumped by every football “final” and awards show that comes along. A real slap in the face to a good show’s fans. I’m really angry that they keep us waiting for WEEKS to see what happens next!

    I enjoyed this episode a lot, especially to witness Dana’s humiliation, and watch Wendy’s little “witch hunt” (as the judge so aptly characterized it), go so hilariously wrong. I was chortling with glee! She was NEVER after Peter, she just thought she could get close enough to Will to stab him in the back.

    Eli and Stacy were grotesque but funny, using sex as a challenge and as a weapon. (I think she said, “All those big strong Jewish warriors…”, not “lawyers”!)

    I’m really losing patience with Alicia’s reticence. OF COURSE her kids already know all about Will. Modern teens don’t miss much. She’s telling them she’s ashamed of her actions, when she should have told them honestly why she had kicked their father out, and that she had started to see the man she really should have married in the first place. Breaking it off with Will was the mistake, not getting together with him.

    That confrontation with Peter in the kitchen should have been an eye-opener to anyone who still thinks Peter is the one for her. He’s a sleazy reptile, whose greasy hair and hooded eyes make him even more like a lizard, as he admitted he was trying to attack Will. What a hypocrite. And still Alicia hasn’t divorced the dirtbag??

    I’m starting to think Will should forget Alicia and all her dithering, and take up with Diane. I LOVE them together — but I guess maybe sex would mess it up, like it usually does…..

    • E says:

      Hey, John, it’s great to hear from you! I did indeed get this out within my normal time frame – bummer about the browser issue.

      And, hee, Jewish warriors would make much more sense than lawyers in that context. 🙂

      It really shocked me that Peter not only admitted that the prosecution was personally motivated. You feel things had been going so smoothly between them up til that point that she’d sort of forgotten why it was a good idea to leave him. (And it’s true, we don’t see his temper very often, or how ugly it can be, but boy, did we!) I found the scene absolutely riveting – I was totally mesmerized by it.

      Alicia really makes me want to tear my hair out of my skull sometimes. I understand that she doesn’t want to have to relate such an ugly thing about their father, but she owes them the truth about why she kicked him out. So glad Peter actually manned up and told Zach, and maybe it was better for Peter to admit that, but gosh, I just can’t imagine after all they’d been through that she couldn’t just be honest with them! And she really needs to just come out and explain she was seeing Will. It’s like she doesn’t realize there’s a difference between her behavior and Peter’s. Do I wish she’d waited to be with Will until she could really choose it, with no shame, letting herself actually feel? Of course. But it’s like she thinks they’ll hate her when they know. Does she really think what she did was morally indefensible?

      I just adore Will and Diane together. They’re so much fun. It’d be nice to see Alicia relax like that…

  8. […] think you’d be able to take a big sigh of relief after Kalinda dispatched Wendy and Dana in Another Ham Sandwich, did you?  You didn’t think you’d get to relax and have everything go back to business […]

  9. […] bread – I can’t even stand it!  I don’t remember ever being so delighted with deli meat in all my life.  With typically neat precision, Lemond Bishop cuts the sandwich in half […]

  10. Kiki says:

    HOLLY Guacamole!! I never commented on this episode?? HOW COULD THAT BE? I could have sworn I commented on every single one of your blogs! Wow, I am in shock. And this episode is so good, has such a good A/P scene, how could I have not commented?!!
    Totally feel like I was cheated, maybe my post never post or something LOL this is so strange, it really is.

    • E says:

      That IS really funny, huh? I feel like you comment on every episode, but I guess even you could be busy or sick! It’s funny to look back at this now and see how we’re still talking about exactly the same issues – where do you draw the line with questionably moral work tactics, why isn’t Alicia more honest with the people she cares about, and why isn’t she asking the right questions but instead handing over her moral agency on important topics in her life. That’s consistent writing, anyway!

      • Kiki says:

        HAHA yea, I noticed that my next post, for the next episode, I apologize for not posting. I guess I must have been busy, but I cannot really remember with what HAHAH!

        And yes, its really really funny to go back, and see tha we are still talking about the SAME issues. Alicia not opening up, telling us how she feels, giving us more insight. I guess it is consistent writing, but kind of frustrating as well. But I guess Alicia cannot really be an open book is so unlike her.

  11. […] a buzz around the room at these words, and no wonder.  As this show has aptly demonstrated, no one looks guiltier than someone who pleads the fifth.  Claypool calms […]

  12. Katy says:

    Hi, I realise I’m a bit late to this whole GW shebang; I’ve been reading your comments pretty much since I discovered the very first episode, and I LOVE them! (LOVE the show too – majorly hooked!) Sometimes I get a bit confused with some of the legal jargon (I’m from the UK) so I felt I needed to read a detailed synopsis just after I’d watched it if that makes sense! So I want to say thank you so much for writing this – I love your way with words! It’s actually got to the point where I actually notice things in the episode I know you’ll comment on – like the return of Elsbeth, for example! Your reactions were very similar to mine a lot in this episode, hence why I’m commenting! You are right; the scene with P & A was very emotional; I want to see more between them. It annoys me how Alisha has just gone from loving him and prepared to forgive him for his infidelities to barely talking to him. It’s weird…
    WSC being called Miss always annoys me too; surely she’d be Ms or something! I mean, we know she is married after all that hoo-ha with her husband! Do you think that’s the last we will see of her? I think she’s a good character, and I think she’s going to try and get revenge on Peter. And yes, I totally thought that the Aussie guy would serve Alisha – I was looking forward to seeing him again!
    Once again, thanks so much for writing these! I love reading them! 🙂

    • E says:

      Katy, thanks for writing and thanks for the kind words! I’m glad all the details help – I get worse and worse at leaving them out, so it’s good that they make a difference to someone! 🙂 I’m hooked on British mysteries myself (we’re total Anglophiles here at Relatively Entertaining), and I agree, I’m always amazed to see how different our legal systems are. Not that I’m any kind of an expert on the American legal system, of course.

      This was such a good episode (that scene between Peter and Alicia, oh my gosh – plus Elsbeth and the dancing and Caitlin and Eli; we’re not going to mention Stacy and Eli), but you have a lot of awesome left to go in this season and in season four! Keep letting me know what you think – I’ve been neck deep in the end of season 4 for the last few weeks, so it’s nice to look back.

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