E: For yet another Alicia lite episode, I quite enjoyed this break from major angst. It’s always a pleasure to see our lawyers outside of the office, and boy did we get a lot of that! Not one but two utterly overbearing sisters for Will (one high powered, one a bit daffy) with some quick insights but also some rather wonderful misunderstandings. We had a moderately interesting case and a lot of internecine power moves in what, let’s face it, could have been the best uses of the glass walls all year.
After the Fall begins with a waterfall, snowy white against mossy cliffs and a cold gray sky. This episode focuses on many falls and their aftermaths – most significantly Will’s suspension by the Bar – but most of them are metaphorical. The waterfall, however, not so much. We’re clearly watching a documentary, because we suddenly have a narrator explaining the scene to us. “This was the morning of Cara Anderson’s death.” The Parents, a legend writes, and the screen flashes to two utterly bereft looking people. The father moves his long face to tell us he should have known something was wrong when his daughter didn’t want to leave her room. “I didn’t know she was saying goodbye,” he mumbles. The mother, who looks like she’s on the verge of keening, doesn’t speak. The Boyfriend, says the screen, and then a glum looking youth tells us “I asked her about studying together, but she wanted to be in the sun all day.” He gulps and nods. On that day? That’s suspect. What sun? To the sound of aching music, a young woman walks out onto a footbridge that spans the chasm in front of the falls. “It was the morning of Cara Anderson’s death because she chose it,” the narrator tells us.
As if to give the lie to her boyfriend’s comment about the sun, the young woman is wearing a full length wool coat. It’s not buttoned, but still. She’s carrying a backpack, and she looks over her shoulders out onto the lake. As the music swells, the girl (who I’m assuming is an actress employed for the documentary) climbs over the wrought iron fence, and looks out into the tumbling water. We see her running as a little girl and wearing a homemade mask as an adult. She looks up at the camera, and it focuses in on her face.
And the screen freezes.
Will frowns and starts scribbling down notes. The doorbell rings, and at his invitation, Kalinda lets herself in. “Hey,” she says, dressed all in black, her heels clicking on his floor. And that’s where we are, in Will’s (massive) apartment! He’s watching the documentary on his laptop, balanced on his coffee table. We’ve seen his bedroom a couple times before, but I don’t think anything else. So, cool. It’s an open concept space, probably a loft, with lots of exposed brick and bright wonderful floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s not too bachelor looking; there’s no chrome and black leather, but instead soft beige or ivory couches with clean lines, and chocolate brown and red accents. His taste is not too different from Alicia’s, and I’m sure that’s not an accident on the part of the design staff. It’s full of interesting and eclectic decorator knickknacks – brass stars rest on the coffee table next to small worn bowling pins resting in a holder. There are piles of coffee table books, and bright abstract art on the walls. And something that looks like a giant brass floodlight, a stout shiny barrel over a black tripod. What on earth?
“Boy, you look pretty good for an out-of-work loser,” Kalinda says, plopping herself down in one of his camel colored chairs. He snickers appreciatively. “I’m almost done. You heading straight to court?” She is. He writes furiously, and she peers over at him. “So, how you handling it, one week in?” “Devastated,” he claims in a tone that says the opposite, “getting up at 9 instead of 5, going to the gym instead of racing to court, I miss the law too much.” She smiles. “You’re not coming back, are you?” “I haven’t checked my cell phone in two hours, d’you know what that feels like?” No, she probably doesn’t. But don’t protest too much, Will.
“Well, you are missed at work,” she says. Will doubts that; “David Lee’s probably calculating my square footage right now.” Yeah, that’s a safe bet. Will explains that he can consult on any strategy they came up with before he left, but not after – even if it’s his case. “So tell Alicia I made notes on this petition, but I can’t on this one.” He hands over the petitions (one covered with sticky tabs) and clicks off his pen. Of course the one he can’t look at is the one Alicia needs help with, but them’s the breaks.
“How’s she doing?” Will asks. “Uh – worried,” Kalinda sighs. “Overwhelmed.” “Tell her Judge Serena likes women more than men anyway,” Will offers. “And watch out with the client. He’ll talk too much and get pretentious on the stand.” Kalinda stands to go. “Will, when I leave, you’re not going to curl up into a little ball and cry, are you?” Hee. I love the fake-nastiness of her tone. “Tears of joy and relaxation!” he smiles. “You really think you can do this for six months?” Oddly enough, he does. He is sticking firmly to that party line. “Okay,” she says, “Call me when you crash.”
I love these two. Will is so great with Kalinda and Diane both.
He clicks the video back on, and that aching music is back again. There’s that documentary footage again, the reenactment of the suicide, replete with heavy strings that accompany the slow motion descent. Cara Anderson steps into the void, her wool coat swelling up behind her like a cape. The camera angle switches so we can see her fall the tremendous distance into the mist, and Will’s face grows distressed. It’s probably a good thing Kalinda wasn’t there to see that look. He stops the film before she hits the water.
And in court, we see Nancy Crozier freezing the film in the same place. She visibly tries to compose herself. “I’m sorry,” she begins. “This is hard for me, and I’m just a girl from Michigan. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you,” she sniffles to her witness (though really to the jury). Alicia rolls her eyes at Michigan. Yay, Nancy Crozier! Last week, Mamie Gummer’s mom won her third Oscar (and I am still dancing about it, thank you very much), and this week her little girl is working her own magic on TV. You’ve got a lot to be proud of, Meryl Streep.
Anyway. Cara Anderson’s long faced father is on the witness stand. “It’s just the thought of my daughter, out there in this movie,”he mumbles, jerking his head toward the screen. “But you agreed to an interview,” Nancy notes. She’s wearing a black cardigan over a fuchsia dress with a prettily folded neckline. “Our daughter had just died, and he…” It takes a moment for him to continue his thought – his eyes keep flicking at the screen. “He said that this documentary was an attempt to keep people from committing suicide.” But clearly you don’t believe that anymore. We see the filmmaker sitting beside Alicia; he reminds me a bit of Guppy from Bleak House (or Owen from Torchwood, if that helps more). “And – it’s just to make money!”
Alicia objects – this is just his opinion. (Where’s Judge Lessner when you need her?) We see the grave, pale face of Judge Edward Serena consider this challenge. (There it is again – Edward, pale faces, slicked back hair – must I see vampires everywhere?) “To me, Your Honor, this is the whole point of the case. This is a wrongful death suit, and he sold this movie as an anti-suicide documentary, when in fact it was intended to induce and encourage suicide.” “Not in fact, Your Honor,” Alicia objects again, “in opinion!” (Over on Suburgatory, you can imagine Ana Gasteyer pulling out her hair.) “And I wish you would admonish Miss Crozier for constantly summarizing her case to the jury.” Nancy, who’s been doing just that, looks affronted. “This is the equivalent of advertizing through repetition!”
“I don’t even know what that means,” Nancy protests. Right. Because they don’t have advertizing in Michigan. Or repetition. “I…I’m just speaking from the heart.” Oh, she’s so good. I love it. Alicia’s furious. “Thank you very much, both of you, ” Serena steps in. “I take your objections to heart. Legally, you’re on equal footing, and so I think we should continue with the testimony.” Alicia can’t quite believe it. “Thank you, Your Honor,” Nancy replies, her voice low and emotional. “We would love to continue with the testimony.”
Alicia turns around to see Kalinda, who hands her the petition and the news that Will couldn’t look at both of them. “How is he?” she asks as she flips through his notes. “Good, strangely good. He was wondering how you’re doing,” Kalinda reports.
“So when you decided to speak to him, you didn’t know he had filmed your daughter committing suicide,” Nancy asks Mr. Anderson. That’s right, he says.
Wait, WHAT? That’s actual footage? (Actual fictional footage. You know what I mean. Real within the confines of the story.) You’re kidding! How is that even possible? The genuinely didn’t cross my mind for a moment. I think I’m going to be sick.
“He lied to us.” “And that would have changed your mind about the interview?” Definitely. “We didn’t want our daughter’s death to be turned into a circus.” Ugh. Mrs. Anderson, small and shriveled, stares out of the gallery with red eyes. “Now, I’m going to play it again, just up to – there. What is your daughter doing there?” Nancy focuses on the moment that Cara looks up at the camera, which closes in on her face. YUCK. “She’s staring into the camera.” Alicia searches frantically through Will’s notes, and the documentarian watches her do it, unimpressed. Had Cara ever expressed suicidal thoughts before? Never. So why did she jump? “Because there were cameras on that bridge.” What, a happy person took her own life just to be on camera? I know you want answers, and it certainly doesn’t look good, but could that possibly be enough of a reason? “He wanted her or someone like her to jump so he could film it and sell his film.” Well. Alicia objects, of course, since clearly Mr. Anderson can’t speak to the film maker’s motivation. “Calls for speculation!” Nancy wisely withdraws the assertion.
“I’m sorry, Frank,” she says, “I know it’s difficult after everything that you’ve been through not to speak from the heart, but in court we do have to go by the rules. Let me ask you something I think Mrs. Florrick will allow me to ask. Do you see that there?” She clicks the film back on. He does. What is it? The camera zooming in. “And what does that tell you?” “That he was more interested in getting a good shot than in saving my daughter’s life.”
Let me say it again. That hurts. It’s ugly and there has to be at least a level in which part of it is true.
Filmmaker Guppy looks grave.
“Just listen, Aidan, she’s going to try to draw you into a conversation about film-making,” Alicia tells her client out in the hall. He’s ignoring her and looking at Kalinda. “Don’t go there. The jury won’t like it if you talk about shots.” He turns to her, frustrated. ‘I have to answer the questions.” “You have to answer yes or no,” she explains, “you don’t have to elaborate.” Right. “Talk about why you made the film,” Kalinda adds, “talk about why you care about suicide.” Maybe, he tells Kalinda, we should delay the case until Will gets back. Good luck with that. And ouch, because the replacement lawyer you clearly have no confidence in is standing right next to you. “Aidan, listen to me. I’ve worked on this case as long as Will has. He’s given the case to Alicia because he trusts her.” Alicia squirms, but Aidan isn’t looking. “The judge doesn’t trust her,” Aidan replies, once again ignoring Alicia. “It doesn’t matter,” Kalinda declares, “it matters who the jury trusts. That’s why you need to…” She raises her eyebrows at him, giving him the opening, and he responds, nodding and annoyed. “Not get drawn into a conversation about aesthetics.”
“Good,” says Alicia, “Okay take a deep breath.” She sees Eli popping in, and heads over to him.
“Eli, I am already triple tasked with this trial as it is, I can’t do anymore.” Indeed, she looks nearly ready to cry. Someone’s going to be hitting the red wine tonight! I’m not asking you to, he smiles. Hmmm. What’s up, then? “This isn’t about work. This is about you and Peter.” He still smiles, but Alicia looks wary instead of stressed now. Do we have to do this now, she wonders? “We are meeting with Donna Brazile now. She is gonna decide if Peter is the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention.” Alicia’s so impressed, smiling in wonderment. “Really?” “Really,” Eli confirms. “Hey, I’m a good campaign strategist. But I need to know if you’re divorcing Peter.” The pleasure seeps out of Alicia’s face. “Donna Brazile will not agree to the keynote if you are.” No pressure or anything. Also, damn it, Eli, you knew this months ago.” “She… won’t – ah – it’s none of her business!” Yes, but this is the game, Alicia. You become public domain. Surely you know that by now.
“David Lee said he’s your divorce attorney,” Eli pushes. “Wait – he – what?” Eli repeats himself. “”Two weeks ago. He said that due to attorney client privilege, he can’t say much.” Alicia’s aghast. “He can’t say anything,” she cries. Clearly that anything includes the fact of being her attorney. And really, he did know better. That was part of their agreement from the start, that it was covert. they had code names and everything. But I guess he just hated Eli too much to sick to that. “I know,” Eli agrees, “and I think you know David Lee’s not the greatest respecter of the niceties, so – I just worry that if he tells me, he tells more people.” He gives a big sigh and a sympathetic head tilt.
This earns him a fierce glare from Alicia. She tilts her head, too. “What?” he asks, as if he doesn’t know. “Alright. We’re back to you manipulating me,” she replies flatly. “No! No! I just thought you should know what David Lee’s saying behind your back.” Right. Hon, that overly empathetic look is only going to get her angry at you. She nods and rolls her eyes as she walks away.
‘I’m just saying, I discussed it with the disciplinary board,” Diane says into her phone in her office. “due to the fact that you are a name partner, and have business interests here, they have allowed you access to your office.” There are other people here, buzzing around the halls and Diane’s desk. “So, come back, little Sheeba.” Hee. “Do you hear that sound?” he asks, “That’s the sound of chapter five being finished. A Failure of Principle: War’s Impact on Supreme Court Decisions.”
“It sounds like a best seller,” she observes dryly as minions set a flurry of papers in front of her. Really, it’s dizzying. “Why don’t you write your magnum opus here? We miss you, Will. I miss you.” He’s been writing on what might be either a desk or his dining room table, but the doorbell rings, and he stands to get it. It’s not still open, waiting for Kalinda? “Come by here! It’s quiet, peaceful.” He slides to the hall, grabbing a blue bag. Dry cleaning, maybe? Do people pick that up from your house if you have enough money? Probably. “I’m tempted,” she says, “We’ll talk.” She hangs up. “Okay, one at a time,” she demands of the minions.
But guess what? If there are fairies who pick up your dry cleaning, it is not one of them knocking at Mr. Gardner’s door. It’s a woman with a round face and a guitar. “Hey, Willy, guess who?” Willy? Will cannot believe what he’s seeing, any more than I can believe what I’m hearing. “What are you doing here?” She hugs him, and he hugs back, fiercely, even if he’s half embracing the guitar. “Making you feel better!” she growls over his shoulder. “I heard you got fired.” She’s played by Merritt Wever of Nurse Jackie and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. “I didn’t get fired,” he protests calmly. “So I got on a plane and I rushed out here. That’s what sisters do.” His sister? OMG! “And how long are you…” “Thinking of staying?” she finishes for him. “As long as it takes to get your back on your feet.” He blinks as she walks past him into the apartment, and you can hear what he’s thinking; I am on my feet.
Also in the OMG file: Will’s shirt? Is sparkly. Seriously. And he’s got a baby grand piano off by the windows. Puh-leeze tell me we’re going to get to see him play that. C’mon, guys, you didn’t furnish that big big space just for this one episode, did you? I LOVE seeing into the character’s personal spaces. I want more!
David Lee walks on little cat’s feet around Will’s empty office. There’s David Lee, just as predicted, ogling Will’s square footage, and of course there’s also Julius Cain in the conference room, ogling David ogling Will’s office. This little interlude is set to some fun music – lots of drums, hand drums, it sounds like – and there’s more squinting and swaggering than you could shake a stick at.
“Diane, do you have a minute?” Diane’s still taking papers from her flurries minions as Julius walks into her office. She’s wearing a black fitted dress with white irregular shapes trickling down from the neck. “I know,” she says, “we’re all under stress. We’re looking for someone to join you in litigation.” “No,” he says, holding out his hand as he finds a seat, his internal script thrown momentarily, “well, yes, that’s part of it.” “I’m hoping to hire someone in the next two weeks, we just have to push for as many continuances as we can.” Gosh, how many trials could Will lead at once, anyway? Don’t they normally go one at a time? (I mean, no offense, I’m sure he’s totally busy, but even when he’s officially working he can still only be in one place at a time.) “And, ah, fortunately we haven’t lost any of Will’s clients,” Julius exclaims, making a show of his disapproval. “Mmm,” says Diane, finally directing her attention to him. “So that’s part of it? What’s the other part.” She’s whipped off her reading glasses in true Caruso style. “Nature abhors a vacuum,” Julius begins, “so does our letterhead.” Diane gets it. She settles back for the pitch. Julius squares his shoulders. “I want to take Will’s place on the letterhead. And I want his office.”
Sigh. There it is.
“Really?” Diane smiles faintly. Julius squirms a little. “Yes. I’m taking on half his load, a third of his clients.” How does that math work out? Oh, whatever, I don’t care. “And what about Will?” Diane smiles again. “Well,” Julius brazens it out, “I think it’s just realistic to assume that when he comes back he’ll have to struggle to reclaim the respect and business of his clients.” Diane blinks at him. “So you want to be a name partner.” “I do. I think I’ve made that clear from the beginning. I think this is an opportune moment to make that shift.” Opportune is sure the right word, Julius. Diane nods.
David Lee turns around from ogling Will’s office to ogle Julius tucked away with Diane. He squints and puckers his toady mouth. At this moment, Goldilocks sails in (which is to say, his niece Caitlin) and he greets her. “I think I’m gonna need your help in the next few days,” he says. Sure, daddy-o; whatever you need!
“Yes,” Aidan tells Nancy concisely from the witness stand, having clearly taken Alicia’s advice to heart. Nancy’s clearly annoyed that he’s not rising to what must have been bait. “But didn’t you want the images to have the beauty of your hero, Martin Scorsese? Right? That’s what you said in your deposition.” Alicia nods encouragingly to Aidan, who looks glumly impassive. “He did Hugo, right? Oh! I loved Hugo!” Ha. Gloomy Aidan very nearly rolls his eyes. “Yes, he did do Hugo.” Why such contempt for your hero, sir? Nancy capitalizes on this immediately. “But he also does very violent movies that you love. Gang movies…”
“Yes, he does gang movies,” Aidan states the obvious. “And is that what this is about? The beauty of violence?” Kalinda looks on from the gallery. “No,” Aidan says shortly. Nancy contorts; she can’t believe he’s not more expansive. I bet he was eloquent on this point during the depositions. “Could you extrapolate?” “No,” he says again. She gives up.
And now Alicia takes up the reins. “Aidan, was your camera man zooming in on this shot instead of keeping Cara from committing suicide?” No, he wasn’t – there was no camera man, just a fixed camera that sent a digital feed back to the editing room. “Well then how is it zooming?” It’s not, he says; “we did that in the editing room. we can digitally make it look like that, to imitate a zoom.” Nancy looks annoyed, but this must have come out in the deposition, too. (Gah. Must stop taking show so seriously that I’m inventing scenes to clarify the backstory…) You didn’t want this to happen, Alicia notes, and here Aidan finally sounds like he cares. “No. My aunt committed suicide. I found her dead in our garage when I was 8.” He gulps, looks over at Mr. Anderson. “I know what you’re going through. That’s why I wanted to make this movie, to wake people up to the warning signs that someone in their family might commit suicide.”
“And what did you do,” Alicia asks him, “when you saw on the digital feed that someone was intending to commit suicide?” Again, he sounds like he cares. “I called 911, of course!” Nancy objects; how do we know he did that? “Your Honor, counsel has produced no record of this call. It’s not in evidence.” Um, okay. The judge thinks this is a reasonable objection. Really? “Bring in proof of this 911 call. Then you can put it in the record.”
Okay, Aidan Stoddard, excellent job – although I didn’t think you just say no when asked a question on the stand. Of course, wasn’t the word Nancy was looking for “elaborate” rather than “extrapolate”? She wanted him to explain more of what he meant, not guess at what he meant.
Anyway. Out in the hall, Alicia and Kalinda conference on how to get that proof. Oh, I don’t know, the phone records, maybe? But apparently they don’t think that’s enough. “The difficulty is, the city erases all 911 calls after 30 days.” Really? You need the transcript or tape, not just the fact of the call and maybe its length? If he called 911 at all, can’t we just assume there wasn’t another emergency at the same time? “Can you get it from the 911 operator?” “Possibly,” Kalinda sighs, “but I’m not getting much cooperation from Cook County.” But – wait, I thought you just said Cook County would have deleted it. “Even Cary?” Alicia wonders. “Especially Cary,” Kalinda grumps. What, you’re not mad at Kalinda for taking down Wendy and Dana, are you, Cary? I kind of felt like you were happy about the charges against Will being dropped. But hmm, maybe he doesn’t want to be seen to be happy about that.
“I’m not going to talk about my marriage,” Peter declares to Eli. We’re shown a city building with nice stone arches. “I know,” Eli persists, “but when she asks about your marriage, say every relationship has a few bumps, but you’re working things out.” The building’s a restaurant, and they’re heading toward the back (and for the record, it doesn’t particularly look like the same place from the inside – the front is all windows, and no arches to be seen). Peter stops to glare at his strategist. “Peter, do you want the keynote?” Eli attempts to bring Peter’s focus back. “I wanna not sound like an idiot,” Peter grumbles. So say it your own way, Eli fusses, “but be vague.” Peter grumps again: “I’m not gonna lie!” It’s not a lie, Eli huffs. “Aren’t you working things out?” Peter looks back again. “I don’t know what we’re doing.” “That’s working things out,” Eli insists. Bwah.
“Mr. Florrick, how’re you?” Donna extends her hand, and Peter takes it. “Ms. Brazile,” he smiles. “Call me Donna,” she invites. “Donna, I respect you mightily,” he replies. Ugh. What a clumsy flattery that is! “Oh, come on, you do not – I’m just a pain in the ass.” She’s not an actor, clearly, but she has a great voice, Donna Brazile. They sit, and he laughs. “I respect pains in the ass the most!” Just shut up, Peter, okay? “Speaking of Eli, hello Eli,” Donna cuts in smoothly. “Yes, sure, make me the butt of your jokes,” Eli grumbles.
“So, Donna,” Peter says without preamble, “I want the keynote. What do I have to do to get it?” “Impress me,” she says seriously. “Why do you want it?” He’s got a good answer waiting, of course. “I want to talk about a country that gives second chances. That gave me a second chance to do some good.” She stares back, impassive.
Later we see Peter chatting up the room as Donna and Eli watch from the table. “Why do people not like him?” Donna wonders. “Peter?” Eli turns to look at Peter, surprised. “People like Peter.” Donna is unmoved. “I called around to check up on him – no one speaks up for him.” Depends on who you ask, Eli suggests, but Donna disagrees. “No it doesn’t. I called his supporters. Or I thought they were his supporters.” Who, Eli asks suspiciously. “I’m not doing your job for you, Eli. Help me out. I want him to speak at the convention. But you’ve got to get some people to support him. Support breeds support.” Huh. That’s odd.
Back in the lap of luxury, Will and his sister are playing the blues, guitars in their laps, smiling at each other across one of his large couches. Will finishes a little run, looking mightily pleased with himself. His sister, who is curiously lacking in sympathetic joy, has an odd plan. “We should start our own music group. A brother and sister music group.” He dismisses the notion, but hey, it happens. You don’t want me to bring up Hanson, do you? “You don’t like being a lawyer, anyway.” He protests this assessment, but she’s not buying it. “No you don’t, you never did. You only did it because Dad wanted you to.” Continuing to pick at the strings, Will keeps denying this. “I did it because it was a smart thing to do.”
Huh. I can’t help thinking there’s something to what she’s saying. It’s not that I don’t believe he likes it now, lives it fully. It’s just – he can’t quite defend the original reasoning, can he?
“So you did it, now do something else,” she says, implacable. “You know I have a big firm now. I know you guys just think I’m some schmuck in Chicago” – what, why is Chicago the home of all schmuckness? – “but I have three hundred employees waiting on my word.” He drinks instead of delivering that lofty word. “Sounds great,” she snarks, and he almost snarfs his mouthful of beer. “I swear, I could win the Nobel Prize and you’d still think I missed my calling,” he laughs. Hon, I get your concern, but he’s relaxed, he’s writing a book, isn’t that a good thing? Will, why don’t you just tell her that? Maybe because then she’d want to read it and rip it apart…
In the middle of a classic blues riff, Will suddenly stops. “You didn’t call Sara, did you?” What, Sara our sister? the still unnamed Gardner replies. No, Sara Barielles. “Why would I call her?” “You did,” he realizes. “I didn’t,” she denies. “Come on, Aubrey, I got work to do around here, she’ll just boss me around.” Oooooh, he does not look pleased. Also, thanks! I wanted to know her name. Aubrey’s an unusual name, especially for someone in their 30s whose parents went with William and Sara as their other choices. “I didn’t call her,” Aubrey denies a third time, but now she turns to her guitar, and he knows, for sure. “Okay, I did – but I knew if I didn’t she’d kill me.” He seemed mostly pleasantly baffled about what to do with Aubrey, but there’s no such wavering – or happiness – when it comes to the approach of apparent ball-buster Sara. Turns out she’s arriving in an hour, and Will’s supposed to pick her up at the airport. Are you kidding? Jeez. When were you even going to tell him, Aubrey?
The phone rings. Is it Sara, off her plane early? No. It’s Alicia with an update from court. “Hey. It’s me, I’m just checking in.” Excellent. “Hey, how’s it going,” he says quietly, setting the guitar in a stand. “Good. Our client did well on the stand. Thanks for your advice,” she says. “No problem,” he replies. Aubrey twigs to the change in tone. “Who’s that,” she calls from the couch, “you got your sweet voice on.” (HA!) Alicia can hear something in the background, and Will’s horrified. “Shush,” he hisses at his sis, “I do not!”
“Ummm,” Alicia collects herself to reply, “I think they’re putting the editor on next. You think it’s an easy objection?” “Tyler vs Hasselback, it’s a cinch.” Alicia doesn’t look so sure. Poor honey, she rarely shows her nerves this badly. She says a shaky goodbye and hangs up.
“So you edit this stuff together. The film,” Meryl Streep’s little girl asks the current witness, faking ignorance of the production process. The witness does edit “the stuff.” “Yes,with the director. We place the music where it is, and we also manipulate the images.” Well, yes, and you choose what pieces of film to use, and from what angle – saying that would have sounded a lot less shady, dude. But I guess that’s why they didn’t have you say it. “Can you tell us how some of the images were manipulated?” Alicia objects to the relevance of this. They changed the images to make suicide look more romantic, Nancy contends, and Judge Serena is staring so dreamily at Miss Crozier that Alicia has to call his name before he remembers she’s objecting. And of course she’s overruled.
Let me just say it. Judge Serena? Dude is weird. Seriously. What’s up with that vacuous look? If I were Nancy, I’d be creeped out rather than flattered.
So, okay. The uncomfortable truth the editor is telling is this: Aidan Stoddard was worried because the footbridge was turning out not to be such a great target for a film about suicide. In the year before he arrived, there were 15 suicides; after they set up the cameras, there was only one in 9 months. Nancy has film of that suicide too – Cynthia Carasetti. Yuck. And that’s when they created the Youtube “promo,” Nancy says. What might that be? Cynthia’s suicide, set to music so people would notice. It was just to get financing, that’s all, Aidan whispers to Alicia. Yeah, that’s not helpful.
“So how did you manipulate the image of this young woman committing suicide?” Nancy asks. Somehow the editor is deaf to her disgust, but I’m sure the jury isn’t. “We digitally enhanced the sky, making is softer, bluer.” Mr. Anderson closes his eyes, ready to weep. “Those clouds were added, and we added some greenery to the trees.” I see, says Nancy. “Was this the original image?” What she shows us darker, a winter’s day – although I would call these clouds softer; this sky is more vaporous, more white. The new clouds are fluffy and distinct. “Yes, oh, and we added mist to the waterfall.”
“Excuse me,” Aidan Stoddard can’t help but interject, “that’s what filmmakers do, beautify…” Oh, so not helping your cause. Judge Serena looks shocked (woah – an actual emotion!) “Mr. Stoddard, that’s enough, please!” he protests. Ah, Alicia. As if you weren’t stressed out enough about having this case dropped in your lap at the last minute.
Let’s talk about the music, Nancy picks up. “How did Mr. Stoddard pick the music?” Aidan looks pained. “He wanted the most romantic and sad music possible.” Well, I see what she’s getting at, but is that so wrong? He wants the audience to feel something. “And how many songs did you try against it?” “Oh, I don’t know, thirty? We tried the Celine Dion song “My Heart Will Go On,” but it was too expensive.” Well, duh. Also, gross. “And after this Youtube video was posted on the internet, how many suicides were there?” Nancy narrows her eyes to ask the question. “Our cameras caught five in the next two months.”
Alicia closes her eyes.
“Come on, Horton,” Eli challenges the suit sitting across from him in Eli’s office. “I’m not saying I did, I’m not saying I didn’t,” Horton who is not an elephant chirps, a low rent Dr. Seuss character. “Which means you did,” Eli surmises. Horton smiles slowly, nastily. “Donna Brazile called me and I was honest. I used to like Peter but I think he’s lost his way.” “How has he lost his way?” Eli snaps. “He thinks he can go it on his own, so be my guest.” “Meaning he didn’t offer you a position in the State’s Attorney’s Office.” “He didn’t offer me anything,” Horton claims in righteous indignation. “It’s a bad economy. I had to accept a job at a think tank.” Eli makes a tut-tuting face. The horror! “It isn’t just me. There’re a lot of people who got Peter Florrick elected, and he didn’t return the favor.” How much do I hate this guy right now? And Donna Brazile, for not understanding the subtext of all those phone calls?
“He’s trying to run a clean office, Horton. He’s basing hiring on merit!” Eli replies. “Well that’s how you offend a friend, isn’t it? I guess I don’t merit. They call it patronage for a reason, Eli. You want a favor. You want me to praise Peter to Donna Brazile. I want a job.” Well, you couldn’t have made that any more clear. Integrity up for sale – who’s buying?
As Horton exits Eli’s office, we see Caitlin’s glowing golden curls bouncing their way across the hall to Alicia’s. Do they do that naturally, or is this some trick of the editors to beautify the images? Or does Anna Camp have a special curling-bouncing walk?
“Mrs. Florrick, you needed me?” Caitlin asks, knocking on Alicia’s door. “Yes, Caitlin. You know how we’re all short handed here with Mr. Gardner out and everyone picking up the slack?” Yes, Caitlin asks, her whole being twitching with her sincere concern, how is he? “He’s good,” Alicia says shortly, “you’re up on the Aidan Stoddard case?” “I am,” Caitlin smiles proudly. “I think it’s fascinating.” “Good,” Alicia replies, “I need you in court today.” Caitlin blanches. ” In what capacity?” “Cross examination,” Alicia answers brightly.
Interesting that she sensed this coming; Caitlin is not excited by the idea. More like terrified. “Mrs. Florrick – this’ll be my first time.” I know, Alicia smiles with sympathy, “You did well in arbitration, and everyone needs a first time. Caitlin? You can do this, believe me.” Caitlin takes a deep breath and squares her shoulders. “Okay, if that’s what you want.”
PERFECT! Alicia, you are a genius. You’re going to out-sweet young thing and out-blond Nancy! I freaking love it.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Will agrees over the phone. “Is she ready for court?” In his kitchen, skinny, dark haired Sara (Nadia DaJani, of a million guest appearances and mediocre shows) is grumbling. “You don’t put fruit in the refrigerator, Will, you just buy more fruit!” What? What? What the heck kind of rule is that? Watch me get pissy with you because you’re not wasting enough food? Wow, that’s a character introduction for you. No wonder he didn’t want her to come. But Will doesn’t hear anything. “The key is getting the Facebook evidence in,” he says. Aubrey’s biting her thumb, inexpressibly pleased. “Good,” he says, and hangs up. Oh, poor Will.
“Who was that?” Sara asks. “Someone from work. Am I going to recognize my kitchen when you’re done, Sara?” “I hope not,” she sneers, and yes, I still don’t like her. Aubrey’s still grinning around her thumbnail, perhaps waiting for one of the others to notice her glee. They don’t. “You put the coffee filters by the coffee! Doesn’t that make sense?” She demonstrates, leaving the box on the spectacularly clean counter next to the coffee machine. “The problem is he needs a girlfriend,” Aubrey bursts out, but Sara ignores her. Did he even fight the suspension, she snarls. Will looks in his fridge (there are the grapes that offended Sara so). “It wasn’t something you fought. Where’s the beer been reorganized to?” Oh, don’t even tell me you’re skunking his beer, Sarah. Talk about wasteful.
“I could have Roger make a call,” she says. Do they even know why he was suspended? Yikes. I’m glad they’re not lecturing him on that. This is irritating, but not as emotional as a discussion of his embezzlement would be. “Sara, your husband’s a port master. Will’s not trying to locate a boat.” Bwa – good one, Aubrey! I love it. Sara shrugs. “He knows people, that’s all I’m saying. And it’s better than sitting around all day playing guitar.” Aw, poor dude. The funny thing is he didn’t seem to be in a funk at all – but now he’s really, really annoyed. “Maybe you could get another job,” Aubrey suggests.
Will’s had enough. “You do know my firm has 38 million a year in assets, don’t you?” Sara blithely ignores this. “Roger could call his friend at the Bar Association. He knows people!” She’d ever so proud of Roger. Seriously, I want to take her out. “You know I’m fine. I have money…”
Sara cuts Will off in the middle of a gesture clearly designed to show how stable and ample his fortune is. “Or,” she suggest, “he could refer you to someone to get another job.” “I just said that!” Aubrey complains, “Why do you always take what I say and repeat it?” Will leans down onto his kitchen island counter. “It doesn’t matter who said it, it’s true,” Sara talks over Aubrey. What the heck kind of job do they think he can get for 6 months, other than oh, writing a book? Extra help at Macy’s for the holiday season? He’d do so well on the lingerie floor.
Anyway. Sorry. If they’re driving me this batty, you can see how poor Will’s going to end up. “Yeah, but I said it,” Aubrey whines in that way that only a little sister can whine. “Okay, I’m going to go over here and talk to myself,” Will mutters. Ah, but now they’re paying attention to you again.
“Wait,” Sara calls after him, “what about a girlfriend? What – why aren’t you seeing someone?” “He is,” Aubrey surmises incorrectly, “it’s that woman on the phone.” Will smiles to himself slightly, as if he’s not entirely horrified Aubrey noticed. “Who is it?” Sara wonders. “Some lawyer,” Aubrey says dismissively. “Makes him upset when we talk about her.” Hee. Both women follow him out of the kitchen over to what’s either his dining room or his office. Or both. “Does it, Will? Who is she?”
“How long are you two saying?,” he asks. “Where’s your yearbook? There were some girls in high school, remember?” Well, wrong school, but whatever. “No, he likes younger women!” Aubrey grouses, running after Sara as she searches. Oh, Lordy.
“Your Honor, not only is this Facebook page irrelevant, but it’s a bit of a desecration of poor Cara to use it in court.” Judge Serena looks up from his seat in chambers at Nancy. She pretty. Me listen? Alicia gives Caitlin the go ahead with one pointed look. “Your Honor, I think I need your help.”
This has his attention. “With what, Miss… ?” “D’Arcy,” she supplies. “I don’t understand how this evidence pertaining to the cause of Cara’s suicide can be irrelevant when that ‘s what the plaintiff is suing us for, for being that cause.” Nancy immediately sees that she’s being out aw-shucksed. “But that’s not what this is,” she insists, attempting to win back the judge’s attention. I guess Will’s not the one who likes younger women, is he? “This is Kara’s Facebook page. And to make it seem…” “Like her thoughts?” Caitlin interrupts. “Just before she died?”
“No,” snaps Nancy softly, “that’s not what I said.” “I’m sorry, I interrupted,” Caitlin confesses. “Yes you did,” Nancy agrees. See that it never happens again. “I’m sorry – uhdt – if I could continue…. it’s a desecration.” “Yes, you said that,” the judge replies, suddenly without sympathy. Damn.
Nancy walks out of chambers in a fury. “Nicely done,” Alicia tells Caitlin. “You take the questioning.” Caitlin breathes hard, as if before a battle. “She doesn’t like me, does she? “Not one bit,” Alicia smiles, very pleased her gambit has worked. As they sit, Nancy glares at Caitlin with the fire of a thousand suns in her eyes. Oooh, the evil eye! No, she really doesn’t like you, Caitlin. Excellent.
“You started going out two years ago?” Caitlin asks “the boyfriend,” now on the witness stand. Yes. “And you were her tutor before that?” Yes. “And after that, every Tuesday and Thursday.” Huh. So formal. “Now you claimed in your testimony that, um…” Oh, dear. Caitlin’s a deer in the headlights, unable to remember her question – or pretending to be to garner more sympathy from the judge. She begs for a minute and goes back to her table. “Go right for the Facebook,” Alicia instructs; Caitlin looks serious and focused, so I’m guessing it was a ploy. It’s so hard to tell with her; it all looks real and unreal at the same time. In the background, the judge strokes his chin with concern.
Caitlin turns back around, radiant. “Sorry about that, Your Honor,” she dimples up at Judge Serena, “my first time in court.” He beams back at her, his whole face going pink. “Objection, Your Honor,” Nancy stands, “do we really need the personal touch?” You’re one to talk, Miss Michigan! “No,” the judge realizes, almost shaking himself out of a Goldilocks induced trance. “Sustained.”
“Sorry about that,” she waves at Nancy, “I’m just nervous.” “You’re doing fine,” Serena beams again. Hee. “Thank you. Now, Derek,” she begins again, as Nancy pinches her lips together in annoyance (and looking quite a bit like her famous mother when she does so). “You claim that Cara had never considered suicide until she saw my client’s Youtube preview of a suicide?” At the back of the room, Diane arrives, checking things out despite her demonstrably full schedule. Yes, he says, it was right around then.
“Do you recognize this?” Caitlin says quite confidently, handing him the computer print outs. He does. It’s Cara’s Facebook page. “Could you read the quote she posted?” He does. “Down in the graveyard, they’re all quiet, and the women have got to hold their tongues.” He doesn’t look like he enjoyed the taste of that. Turns out that’s a quote from Ethan Frome, which Caitlin describes as a “novel about hopeless lovers who resort to suicide.” Yes, among other unpalatable things. “And she added this to her Facebook page six months before she saw the Youtube video,” Caitlin adds.
Nancy objects, smiling. “Your Honor, is Miss D’Arcy really trying to blame a novel?” Caitlin turns back to Nancy. “Seems to make about as much sense as blaming a video!” Too right, young lady, too right. “Well,” Serena quavers, “I see both your points…” he takes a long look at Caitlin, “but I’m going to have to overrule that objection.” Riiiight. Hee! It’s working, Alicia! It’s working like crazy. Appalling, but at least it was a clever solution.
“And five months before seeing the Youtube video, what did she write on her Facebook page there?” Derek reads again. “For her life, which will be so much happier without me.” Ick. “And that’s from Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, isn’t it?” What an ass he was, to say such a thing about his daughter. That was about his daughter Frances, right? Cause she’s so much better off with Courtney Love alone? Sorry. 90s flashback. Diane’s interested enough to sit. “And finally, three months before she saw the Youtube video, could you read that?” Caitlin’s smile here is actually a bit nasty; I don’t know if I noticed it at the time, but I’m sure seeing it in review. He can’t read it.
“I understand,” she says, “I’ll read it.” She takes the paper back out of Derek’s hand, and Alicia nods, pleased. “Every time you leave me, you push me closer to the edge,” she reads. “And that’s under a photo of you, isn’t it?” Youch. “She took that down right after she wrote it,” he cries, distressed. Argh. That’s how much privacy you really get on Facebook – nothing’s ever really deleted or inaccessible. Oh, interesting, they said Facebook, not Facebranch. But – oh, now I remember. They can say the real name, just not show the site.
Anyway. “Wouldn’t you say that reflects suicidal tendencies?” Derek most decidedly would not. “She talked, she always talked, but she didn’t really want to do it until she watched his video.” Did she says that? How does he know? “She played it over and over.” “Just as she read Ethan Frome over and over?” I cannot even imagine that. Yuck. “It’s not the same.” “Why is it,” she wonders. “I don’t know – one’s a book and the other’s a video, it’s just different.”
Nope, don’t see that at all. Diane and Alicia exchanged very pleased looks.
“Derek, you and Cara were supposed to go out the weekend before she died, weren’t you?” They were. “What happened?” she wonders. “Why?” he asks, cagey. “I mean you didn’t go out, did you? Why?” I was busy, he says. “I didn’t even speak to her that weekend.” Oh, awesome. You look so good here, dude. “Because you were actually on a last minute skiing trip with friends, weren’t you?”
I told you the whole “spending the day in the sun” thing was a crock.
“That had nothing to do with this, nothing. She knew I was going.” I’m astounded that he’s not plagued by the least bit of guilt, that he can say this without the tiniest worry that his absence might have at minimum made things worse. “Every time you leave me,” Caitlin quotes to devastating effect, “you push me closer to the edge.” “I did not cause this,” Derek insists, finally upset. Mr. Anderson’s leaning forward in his seat. Caitlin is done, and Derek blows out an unhappy breath.
Diane, too, leans forward in her seat. “Wow, that was amazing, Caitlin.” “Thank you, Miss Lockhart,” Caitlin smiles. “We’ll have to talk,” Diane smirks, and heads out. Will you check that out? Alicia doesn’t look entirely pleased with what she’s wrought, does she?
In Peter’s office, Eli is having a knock down, drag out, come to Jesus fight with the big man himself. “Then be clean,” Eli’s muffled voice comes through the door, “I’m not telling you how to run your office.” “You are telling me how to run my office if you’re telling me to hire someone who’s inadequate!” Peter charges around his desk, maddened. “He’s not inadequate – Horton Baker’s one of the best lawyer’s in town.” Eli’s doing his whole “mad for show” thing, but Peter is actually genuinely pissed. “Horton Baker’s a friend of mine, I told you that I wasn’t hiring any friends.” Good for you, Peter. “Do you see how crazy this is?” Eli tries to do a back bend, he’s so annoyed. “Your friends get passed over and your enemies get promotions.” Touche. There’s always Wendy. “Eli. We have to make a separation between what you do and what I do. I have to run this office. You have to get me elected.”
“And I can’t do that, Peter,” Eli cries. Peter’s eyebrows shoot up, and he stops as if Eli’s wounded him. Eli blinks a little. “That’s why I’m coming to you, I can’t do it.” Peter’s stunned; now his eyebrows are contracted. “You’re not getting the keynote.”
Peter, let me say, looks anything but indifferent.
“Why? I thought that was a good meeting,” he gasps. “It was a good meeting,” Eli replies, “Donna Brazile likes you. But your friends…” Eli fishes for the right words and comes up with something civil, which rather surprises me. “… are speaking ill of you.”
Peter looks wrecked. Good and truly wrecked.
“There’s still a shot at a convention slot earlier in the week,” Eli mumbles. Peter rolls his eyes, stepping away, but turns back. “Prime time?” he wonders. Oh, Peter. He gives up and sits down. Are you really going to betray this clean start for the chance at a smaller prize? “You need friends, Peter. You need people to speak up on your behalf.” I don’t think I’d call that Horton guy a friend, not if his friendship depends so heavily on your hiring practices. “It’s not unclean to offer patronage; it’s the way things are done. It’s the way things have always been done!”
Peter holds his hands up; he gets it. “Thanks, Eli,” he says quietly. But before Eli goes, he’s got one salvo left to offer. “Peter, if you’re not taking the governorship seriously, I need to plan my future.” Wow, he’s like a high maintenance girlfriend, looking for a ring. The two men stare at each other. “How much time?”
Elsewhere in the State’s Attorney’s Office, Kalinda’s asking Cary’s to look into the 911 call. She figures that they have a copy, even though the city deletes them after a month, because the SA’s office is prosecuting a robbery from the same night. “So send a subpoena, you know the drill,” Cary tells her. Gosh, gorgeous dress, Kalinda. It’s sheer black along the neckline and arms, but bright blue below. Super pretty. The wearer of the dress explains they don’t have the several weeks that would take. She has to fight for his attention, which is drawn to Eli exiting Peter’s office. “I’ll look into it,” he agrees.
And we’re back to the bridge, this time with softer, less emotional music. And this time it’s Kalinda walking the bridge, looking it over. She has on a black coat and a pretty scarf – the bright colors next to her face make her look so much warmer. She notes a blue sign that bears the words “If you are feeling hopeless, please pick up the phone and call.” She picks up the yellow emergency phone; it’s not working. She sets it back down and calls 911, claiming that she sees someone about to jump on Glenhurst Bridge. “Please hurry.”
“It took them 42 minutes to send a patrol car?” Alicia reads of Kalinda’s report in shock. “And I discovered that it takes the police 48 minutes on average to respond to a call.” Damn. That’s horrible. And the suicide hotline phone on the bridge are out of order.” ‘We can include the city,” Alicia realizes. “Make them our codefendants.” “And give them incentive to move faster on the 911 call,” Kalinda notes. Righto! Strategy selected. Kalinda really is Santa Claus. “Good work,” Alicia says. “Thanks,” Kalinda replies.
“One more thing,” Alicia asks, a bit awkwardly. She bites her lip.”I’ve been reassigned your tax case,” she begins, and Kalinda looks down at her lap. “The one Will was handling.” Because she has so many tax cases? “The IRS is claiming that the businesses you reported receiving income from don’t exist. ” Kalinda finally looks Alicia in the eye. “Well, they’re wrong,” she says simply. “You have proof?” Alicia wonders?
You rang, David Lee leans in the door to ask. Okay, no, not literally, but that’s what it amounts to. He’s wearing a black shirt with a tie. It all says undead butler to me. “I just had a question,” she tells him. Kalinda says she’ll get the proof, and gets out of dodge.
Good timing, too. “I’ve been looking over my priorities for the year, David, and I wanted to thank you for looking over my childrens’ trusts. But… I won’t need any more help.” David Lee closes the door. “You’re dismissing me?” he asks, dangerously calm. “No, I’ve decided not to divorce.” Dear God. Really? What on earth? Tell me this is just about getting the tattling, indiscreet Mr. Lee out of your personal business – because I’m sorry, but after Peter confessed that he misused his office to prosecute Will just because he was jealous of him? I don’t know how she could be softening toward him. Seriously, she can only be saying that to mislead David Lee, right?
“Really,” says David Lee, his eyes never leaving her face. “It’s a bad time,” she claims, and I suppose it is. “Well, we can wait till it’s a good time.” She looks at him and smiles meanly. “No. I’ve decided to go another way.”
Oh my God, Alicia.
“Sure. Why not. The customer’s always right,” he mutters as he walks to the door. “Thank you, David, for all your hard…” “Alicia,” he cuts her off, “Look at me. I don’t give a damn.” But when he closes the door and his back is turned to her, oh, the fury on his face!
That’s so not good, Alicia. Was that really the way of handling it, so Lady of the Manor dismissing a servant? Maybe I am too much for the honesty but why not say ‘I can’t have you using me as a pin ball in your war with Eli, this is too important’? Instead of making it about what he did wrong, didn’t she just make it about exercising her power over him, something that’s guaranteed to turn him against her? And oh yes you do give a damn, David. And maybe you don’t know why, but you know the author of this change. There’ s Julius in Eli’s office. David Lee pulls up a chair and sits outside, glaring at them through the glass wall.
“Will is gone, and Diane is alone at the top,” Julius begins his pitch. “That’s bad?” Eli wonders. “That’s an imbalance. This firm needs two at the top.?” And why is that? “Because Diane is an ideologue. She pursues cases that cost us money because they are right, not because they are worthy.”
And that’s when Eli notices David Lee.
“So you’re looking for me to support you in a vote to replace Will?” Yes. “And, in turn, I will support you,” the supplicant offers. In whatever you want. Well, that’s a loaded promise, Julius. “You and David Lee don’t like each other,” Eli observes. “I, uh, don’t think that has anything to do with this,” Julius fusses. Don’t be prissy; it’s a bonus, Julius, and you can’t imagine how much. The enemy of my friend is also my enemy? Something like that?
Eli stands. “You get enough votes together, I’ll support you.” Good, Julius smiles. “Thank you Eli.” They shake on it. Julius, because his back has been to the glass wall, remained oblivious to David Lee trying to burn through the glass with his eyes. Until now. “Let’s just keep this between you and I,” he flutters. Julius is so funny when he’s self conscious. Eli nods, but as he walks Julius out the door, he sends a parting line: “keep me in touch on this, Julius!” Oh, Eli. The crisis manager peers down at David, who’s remained seated. “You want a magazine or something?” Bwa!
In a cafe, the Gardner sisters have hot drinks and hot loving (or at least life-organization) on their minds. “Who was that lacrosse player you dated senior year – Jane Trout?” Really, there are people named trout? Wow. (No offense meant if any of you are named after fish.) Sarah the practical one somehow thinks this is genius. “Jane Trout – why?” “Just seeing what Jane Trout is up to these days…” Aubrey mutters into her laptop. “Are you guys trying to find all my exes online?” Maybe all the ones they know about, anyway, although I can’t really guess why they think that’s the best place to look for love. “Didn’t you give her your class ring?” Sarah remembers, eyes narrowed.
“Give her my class ring,” Will replies in disbelief, “she stole it, she was a kleptomaniac! Why don’t we look up someone for you, Aubrey?” Chiefly because they’re here to torment you, Will, but she does have another reason: “because I’m a committed Buddhist.” Well, you’re wearing a nice scarf, anyway. Sarah smacks her in the arm. “You are not, you’re making that up.” “And since when have Buddhists been unable to date?” Will follows up.
“See how he did that?” she smiles, “how he changed the conversation to me?” She makes a circling motion with a finger. “He did that,” Sarah agrees. Well, he is a lawyer. “How’s the job going, Sarah?” “Oh, no,” she squints. “Here’s the thing. I’m taking a break. From the law, from dating, from even thinking about dating. I like not thinking, just for a moment.” And I like that idea for you, Will, I really do. I’m excited about it. Sarah, not so much. She notices a woman walk by in a maroon sweater. “She’s cute,” she smiles. “Go for it. I promise not to tell your husband.” With that shot, Will gets up. Refill on the coffee, perhaps? A gag?
“So who was this woman on the phone?” Sarah asks. “No idea,” replies Aubrey. “someone on the suicide case.” She shrugs. Sarah gives and expressive look; Aubrey delves back into her lap top.
Peter Florrick sits on his desk, tapping his finger tips together and swinging his legs like a little boy waiting to go into the principle’s office. Oh, Peter. Cary arrives, and we see just how much Peter wants the governorship. “Yeah, ah, so, we need to make room for a new ASA.” Peter’s so embarrassed he can’t get the words out easily; he also can’t meet Cary’s eyes. “I didn’t know we were hiring,” Cary responds in surprise. “We weren’t; now we are. We need some new blood in this place.” Okay, says Cary, I’ll send out some feelers. Not necessary, Peter informs his subordinate shamefacedly. “I already hired someone. Horton Baker.” Peter Peter Peter.
“I see,” says Cary, taken aback. “You see?” Peter replies sharply. “I see you needed to hire someone,” Cary says blandly, but you know that he has a much better idea of what’s really going on. “What department?” he asks. Horton’s the incoming head of Felony Review (whatever that is). Something that makes Cary look like he’s bitten into a worm-filled apple is what. “Yes sir – do you want consultation on that?” Which is to say, that’s a terrible idea; may I tell you why? For the first time, Peter looks Cary in the eye. “No, I don’t want any consultation. I want you to do.” Well. Okay. That’s clear. Peter might feel guilty about it, but he’s going to stick to this plan. “ASA Pine is the current head of Felony Review, I’ll have to move her out.” Ugh – no wonder Cary’s not happy with that particular transfer. “Move her out,” Peter agrees. And with a wave of his hand, that’s her job, vanished. Poof. “I’m on it,” Cary says unhappily as he heads out. Slowly, Peter lowers himself into his chair, and rests his head on his hand.
Damn. You know, Cary wasn’t in love with Will’s prosecution, but he still respected Peter. He seems to know exactly what this is, however, (Baker must have a reputation) and he’s looking quite upset about it.
“Your Honor, the defense is just trying to shift blame,” Nancy protests in Judge Serena’s chambers. “Yes, to the guilty party,” Caitlin cries, turning first to Nancy and then to the judge. “It was the city’s negligence that was responsible. All we ask is that they be made a third party defendant in our suit.” “Because of the broken hotline?” the judge wonders – which makes me wonder how they could prove when it broke – but Caitlin has more for him. “And the delayed 911 response time. Here are the timelines from five separate incidents,” she says, laying a paper before him.
Alicia pipes up with support. “The city has also refused to put barriers on the bridge. They’ve prioritized aesthetics over saving lives.” Like your client is accused of doing; check. Nancy’s having none of it. “This is a bald attempt to force the city to hand over a tape of Aidan’s 911 call.” Oh, so you believe there’s a tape? That’s quite a good point, actually. Caitlin absolutely beams. “We’re just trying to help Miss Crozier and her clients punish the true culprits here.” “Thank you,” Nancy says tightly, “I think we’re doing just fine on our own.” Judge Serena looks up from the timeline; “It really takes them 48 minutes?”
Yeah. It’s that appalling.
Diane’s called Alicia into her office to discuss protegee Caitlin. “She’s shown tremendous promise, and you’ve been an exceptional mentor.” She really has, hasn’t she? Alicia, I mean, despite not wanting to hire Caitlin in the first place. “Thank you,” Alicia smiles. “That’s why I want you to be the first to know; I’ve decided to make Caitlin a full litigator.” Alicia’s countenance opens up in surprise. “I know it’s fast,” Diane adds, preoccupied by another minion shoving papers at her, “but with Will gone, we need everyone to step up.” Alicia still labors for words, and when Diane looks up, she notices. “You don’t agree?” “I think she’s good,” Alicia counters. “I think she’s very quick. But I think she needs time to get comfortable.” That’s fair. She was very nervous about her first trial. On the other hand, she’s responded incredibly well to the challenge. (Of course, we know she’s plotting something; that’s really what makes this seem like a bad idea.) “I threw you in over your head and it didn’t take you long to get comfortable,” Diane smiles at Alicia. That’s true, Alicia agrees, nodding. (Though to play devil’s advocate, Alicia wasn’t without experience, and she was at the very least 15 years older than Caitlin is now.)
“Good, then can I ask you a favor? Do you mind sharing your assistant with her, just until we get one?” Heck yeah she minds! Again with the shared assistant? But Diane’s said it in a tone that doesn’t make it optional. Diane has to give Alicia the eye until she remembers herself. “Sure.” Diane smiles. “Good. It’s just for a few weeks. And it’ll give you a chance to help supervise her.” Oh, Diane. I love the bronze jacket, by the way, but what’s the macaroni necklace? (Come on, tell me that necklace doesn’t look like dried pasta that a little kid painted for his mom.) Putting a very fake smile on, Alicia walks out; the smile disappears as soon as her back is turned. Is it me, or has Alicia spent this entire episode looking unhappy?
“Hello there,” Mr. Lee smarms at Diane’s door. “And, David,” she says. Yep. She’s been expecting you! Whatever do you need? “I have never shown an interest in management,” he begins, pacing. “No you haven’t,” she agrees, although since he runs Family Law, his current job can’t be entirely without managerial duties. “I like doing. I don’t like helping other people do – but I am stepping up, because I think there are people who have an eye on Will’s office. They pretend to have the firm’s interest at heart, but what they really want is their name on the letterhead, and an equal vote with you.” Hee! How selfless! I love the whole innocence of his pitch; “gee, I think somebody might be steppin’ out ‘o line, m’am!” Ha. If Diane’s amused, she restrains herself. “And you’re stepping up for…?”
“Taking Will’s place,” he says plainly.
She laughs; it bubbles up out of her, burst by burst.
“You’d hate it. You hate people,” she laughs. “I don’t hate people,” he claims. “I hate … some people.” Ha. “I’m being selfless here.” Now this is the point where I would have been laughing full out, but Diane’s better at this than I am. “Let me consider it,” she says. “Now here’s the thing,” he starts pointing, “When Will comes back, you know I’ll give up the seat – I don’t want the seat, so you know I’ll give it up.” He points first at her, then himself, then at her again. They stare at each other. “Thank you, David,” she says, clearly done with the conversation. He retracts his finger.
“I heard the 911 tape miraculously surfaced,” Kalinda calls out to Cary in the courthouse hallway. “I told you I was looking at it,” he replies gloomily. “Yeah – I just thought you needed a little… nudge.” She’s trying to be cute, but he’s not having it. “Next time, don’t drag the city into your mess.” Her mess? “You’re in a bad mood,” she observes, and he laughs a little to himself before throwing out his arms and admitting it. He waves the envelope with the tape at her, dangling it like a carrot to extract a promise that they’ll leave the city out of the suit.
In court, we hear the tape as Aidan Stoddard sits in the witness stand again. There’s a girl, on the Glenhurst bridge. She’s going to jump; she’s over the railing, and I can’t get to her. Please hurry. Nancy’s not willing to assume the tape is genuine, but it’s good enough for the judge that it came from the SA’s office. Nancy asks for a short recess, and Caitlin – who might just be sitting in the lead attorney’s chair now that I notice it – turns to Alicia with a grin. “She’s scrambling!” What’s with you, Alicia? Caitlin’s pleasure totally rubs Alicia the wrong way.
Speaking of things going wrong, check out Geneva Pine’s livid face. ‘You’re the one who screws up a grand jury investigation, and I’m the one getting the demotion?” Oh, Geneva. I’d say she didn’t respect Cary enough as a boss to consider how she speaks before him, but I bet she’d say the same sort of thing to Peter. What a contrast to buttoned up Alicia just a few scenes ago! “It’s not a demotion,” he protests vainly, but that’s only true in the sense that she’s a victim of circumstances rather than someone specifically targeted or punished. She’s furious to be moved out of her department. We want to free you up more for court, he claims, (to which I say HURRAH!) but she stares at him and his babbling dies down. “Did your girlfriend put you up to this?” Ouch. That’s a fierce leather jacket you’re wearing, laser-beam eyes. “ASA Lodge is not my girlfriend, and it is my decision,” Cary insists. Which is interesting. Why is he taking the fall for Peter here? Is he too trying to protect Peter’s reputation? If Donna Brazile only knew what real loyalty Peter inspires… “Good thing you’re not the final word around here. Deputy.”
I’d say that went well.
“Lockhart /Gold,” Eli trills, “sounds almost regal, doesn’t it?” Ha! I wasn’t expecting him to take his turn in Diane’s office, somehow, not after his promise to Julius. Because Eli’s not as touchy as David Lee (nor as implacable), Diane laughs outright. “Let me just save you the energy and repeat what I told the others,” she begins, taking off her glasses. “I am not the others,” Eli intones. Ah, he’s not in public relations for nothing! The man can turn a phrase on you. “Eli, you only became an equity partner a few months ago,” she says, a little annoyed. “And Obama was only a US Senator for two years before he announced his candidacy,” he notes. “Eli, you’re going to be running the governor’s campaign,” she reminds him. “I don’t know if I am,” he says, and you can see how bothered he is. Diane can; she looks sorry for him. Quick as a flash, he’s back on track. “Things are in flux.” He nods.
“Well I’m holding the spot for Will,” she tells him, leaning back in her chair. “We can outvote you,” he insists – although that’s quite a fudge, because the voting “we” certainly hasn’t agreed on Eli as its candidate. “We?” Diane wonders. “Me and my fostered relationships,” Eli elucidates. Well, she’ll appreciate that one – and she does. “So you’re not longer the last kid picked for the mutiny. Congratulations.” Now he looks a bit embarrassed. “It’s your choice, Diane. Either you decide, or you let the others decide for you.”
With the ring of a doorbell, Sara Gardner stumbles on a happy surprise. Look, there’s a beautiful woman at the door! Just what my brother needs. Ha. Oh, Sara, if only you knew. “Hi there,” she says, leaning on the door frame. “Will’s in the shower. I’m his sister Sara. Come on in!” She extends her hand for Kalinda to shakes, and I can almost picture her yanking Kalinda in, just to make sure she doesn’t get away. “And this is his younger sister, Aubrey.” They don’t shut the door. I hate it when actors forget to do that. It’s so not normal; no one would just forget to close the door. Aubrey pipes up with a greeting, and Kalinda extends her hand. “Hi, I’m Kalinda.” “Oh, what a sweet name,” Sara trills, and I almost die of laughter. Did she just call Kalinda sweet? Kalinda? “Thank you,” she smiles. It’s hard to imagine the first impression Kalinda could make; she’s certainly trying to be nice. “It’s so odd. William has this whole other life we never get to glimpse,” Sara muses. “Do you work with him?” Aubrey wonders. Kalinda looks as if she didn’t want to admit it. “On this case? On the suicide case?” Yes, repeats Kalinda, even more warily. Sara motions behind her to the seating ares. “Sit down. Here. We don’t bite.” “Not hard, anyway,” Aubrey sing-songs, then laughs at herself. Poor, freaked out Kalinda.
As he’s tossing on socks, Will overhears a third voice in the main room, and he heads out at a run. “Will. We were just getting acquainted with Kalinda,” Sara tells him, lingering on the hard syllables of the investigator’s name. Will rolls his eyes. “She says you’re not dating,” Aubrey growls. “Oh. Dear God,” Will sighs, motioning for Kalinda to come with him. “Do you have a moment,” Kalinda wonders? As many as you need, as long as it gets you away from their prying. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Sara pats her brother on the chest, “you probably want to talk in private.” “Ignore then,” Will tells Kalinda, demonstrating. “Nice meeting you,” Aubrey calls out; Sara’s watching Kalinda with, no lie, her tongue stuck out of her mouth. Kalinda smiles back at them as Will leads her to the bedroom (which, perfect, that’s really going to show them the error of their ways) as Aubrey seal claps.
Will plops down in a chair in his bedroom. The entire wall across from his bed is a built in-bureau. Wow, Will must have a lot of clothes. A lot of drawers for clothes, anyway, which is a little odd because most of his clothes must be the hang up kind.
“So, family, huh?” Kalinda wonders. Will nods, stretching out in the chair. “What’s going on?” Does anyone else find it odd that he’d sit and make her stand? They’re not in his office, after all. “You need to come back to work.” I’m suspended, he says, I can’t. “There’s a lot of movement,” she understates. “Yeah? David Lee and Julius, I figured,” he shrugs. “Eli, too.” Now that does catch him by surprise. “They want to fill a vacuum,” Kalinda explains, “Just show your face.” No, he says. “Thanks, but I need to make a go of this. Everything good with Alicia’s case?” Interesting that it isn’t Aidan Stoddard’s case, huh? The case is good.
She bites back a smile. “You gave her my case too?” He nods. “Will, if this is your way of making things better between us…” He denies it. “It’s my way of trying to save your ass.”
Now she smiles for real. “Your, uh, sisters seem interesting.” That’s one way to put it. “Yeah,” he agrees, looking up at her, “Could you get them arrested?”
From Will’s squint we move to Nancy Crozier’s. She’s got a young woman with a purple suede blazer and an orange scarf on the stand; the colors say artistic but also professional. “Miss Norris, when you worked on this film, were there rules for the crew on how to handle potential jumpers?” There were. “Yes, the rules were carefully spelled out. If someone stepped over the railing onto the ledge, we were to call 911.” I see, replies Nancy, “so if someone was say standing on the bridge, for forty minutes, looking into the water and crying, that wouldn’t trigger a 911 call?” No.
Gosh, that’s tough. I see where she’s going with this, but do you call 911 for everyone? Cara Anderson didn’t look particularly upset (I would have been misled by the backpack; why bring so many accessories?), and if she was there for 40 minutes, we surely didn’t see it. “No, just over the railing.” As you knew she would, Nancy brings up the police’s pathetic response time. Formerly confident Caitlin looks grave, though I can’t help thinking that Nancy would have to prove that Aidan knew about the delay. “If you wait until someone is on the ledge, how many lives did you actually save?” Miss Norris looks understandably upset when she leans into the microphone to say “no one.”
Aidan and the defense don’t look happy, either.
And here we are at another power lunch with Donna Brazile. “It’s nice to hear from you again so soon, Donna,” Peter oozes out his charm. “I’ve been told by your friends that you’re someone to get to know better,” she beams. “They’ve been fillin’ up my phone sheet all week.” And you didn’t think that was suspicious, Donna? Appalling. “I hope they haven’t been too aggressive?” Peter asks pleasantly, wagging his eyebrows. “There’s nothing wrong with aggressive. Long as they don’t start showing up at my house,” she laughs. He guffaws.
“Well,” Peter begins, “I’m an open book. What would you like to know?” Three guesses. “Forgive me for being blunt.” Donna narrows her eyes. “But are you and your wife still living apart?” Eli does a brilliant imitation of a deer in headlights, willing Peter to give the answer Donna wants to hear. “We are at the moment. But we are committed to making our marriage work.” Eli nearly wilts in relief. “I’m glad to hear that. It would be my pleasure to meet her someday.” Eli smiles, his cheekbones round with happiness. Things are no longer in flux. “Maybe some day in September? In Charlotte?”
Kalinda’s walking in the rain, sharing an umbrella with Cara’s boyfriend Derek. “I already said – she knew I was going on a ski trip that weekend.” When she wanted to be out in the sun, right. “And you also said you didn’t speak with her that weekend, and we have phone records that show you spoke with her for 37 minutes. ” Derek looks pained and pale. Nice scarf, though, and the hint of red in the plaid balances out Kalinda’s red leather jacket beautifully. “You argued, didn’t you?” Kalinda insists when Derek falls silent.
“NO!” He stops and turns to face her, outside the protection of the umbrella. “Stop blaming me for this.” “You lied on the stand, Derek. What did you argue about?” Wow, look at his face. He does not want to tell. “We didn’t argue,” he insists quietly.
Kalinda knows that’s not the point to debate. “Alright, then, you talked. What did you talk about?” (This show does not like it’s Dereks, does it? I don’t want to speculate about the writers and their personal lives, but wow.) “She said she wasn’t coming back to school next year.” Because of you, Kalinda suggests. “It wasn’t her choice,” he explains. He looks around, twitchy. “Look, I’m sorry I lied” damn straight you’ll be sorry if they decide to prosecute you, twit, “I just didn’t want anyone to think I was responsible.” Kalinda’s quiet. “Then, who is responsible?” she asks eventually.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Anderson,” Alicia says back in court, ” I know this is difficult for you. I have just one question.” Alright, he says. “When did you inform your daughter you would not be paying her college tuition?”
Hello, smoking gun. Also, how hideous.
Nancy objects, but Alicia cuts her off. “Any financial hardship or pressure placed on the victim is relevant to a lawsuit about what motivated her to commit suicide.” For a moment it looks like those were just too many big words for Judge Serena, but he gets there. “Please answer the question, Mr. Anderson.”
“We had an agreement that she had to maintain at least a 3.8 GPA, but she failed her final exams.” A’s wearing a weirdly flattering black suit jacket with white blurred – I guess they’re polka dots? They looks a bit like fat comets, really. “I understand,” she says, “but my question was when did you tell her you were no longer supporting her?” The father takes a long, sad moment before answering. “Two days before she died.” Nancy knows it’s over; Caitlin watches the jury, who’re looking away from Mr. Anderson with embarrassment and sorrow on their faces.
I’m glad we didn’t see Mrs. Anderson’s face.
As they discuss a settlement in the hall, Alicia offers Nancy a disclaimer at the beginning of the film. “Your client can still be held liable,” Nancy insists, although you know she knows better. “It doesn’t matter who else you try and blame.” “It does to a jury,” Alicia observes. “A disclaimer,” Nancy counters, “plus a donation of half the film’s profits to a suicide awareness campaign.” At this strange offer (because documentaries make so much money they can afford to give away half?), Alicia and Caitlin exchange pleased glances. At least that charity should be something everyone can get behind.
Why are you even trying to work on your book, Will, with the sisters flanking you? “How does Mexican sound for dinner,” Sara asks. Aubrey goes a step further. “Should we make a reservation for 3 or 4?” Will asks in confusion. “PM?” “No,” Sara clarifies, “people.” “My math’s a little rusty, but…” Will looks up when the brick drops, to see the sisters smiling conspiratorially at him. “Oh no. No. Come on.”
Man, they are hideous.
“We want to get to know Kalinda better,” Sara shrugs. “I like her,” Aubrey offers, “and I don’t like any of your girlfriends. ” Oh, let me tell you, sister, you infinitely prefer his actual relationship with Kalinda to a romantic one. “I am not dating Kalinda. I am not dating anyone.” Sara calls bs: “You’re pining for her, I can see.” Well, he’s pining for someone. “You work together. It’s natural,” Aubrey adds. Sara keeps up. “You need someone special in your life, Will, you need organization.”
“You’re not getting any younger. Women think it’s cute now,” Aubrey claims. What do they think is cute, a 40 year old playboy? No, not really. “…but wait until you get a little older.” Well, indeed. A50 year old play boy is certainly a less attractive idea. “Roger did so much for my life,” Sarah enthuses. Will picks up his laptop and heads for his door. “You think you don’t need a spouse,” Sarah follows him. Why is she acting like a spouse is a personal trainer or life coach? “Especially now,” Aubrey piles on. “You’re out of work, you need someone.” So I guess they don’t really think he’s with Kalinda? Or do they just not think he’s serious enough with her?
And that’s when he shows up at the office, nodding to his startled employees.
“You lasted a full week,” Diane gloats as they sit together in her office. ” I’m impressed.” He smiles, hunched over; it’s so strange to see him there in his weekend clothes. “I could have lasted longer. You have my sisters to thank for that.” “I’ll send flowers,” she smiles. “You know I can’t practice law,” he cautions. “I know,” she agrees, “but you can offer updates on you ongoing cases.” Okay. Good to know. I hope he keeps dressing down, don’t you?
He sees Caitlin walking the hall with a moving box in her hands. “Did we fire Caitlin? he asks. “No, I promoted her,” Diane smiles. Then she notices Eli and Julius standing at the door. “Anything else I should know about?” “Just that I can’t promise that everyone will be quite so pleased to see you back.” She nods at the 3 stooges; David Lee, too, saunters up outside Diane’s office. Will raises a mug at them. You can just hear them thinking; curses! Foiled again.
Caitlin takes her things off to an inside corridor to her new office. Alicia watches suspiciously. Okay, I don’t trust her either, but right now, she’s really just walking and opening a door, Alicia. You’ve got to know when to use your super-spy powers – or better yet, Kalinda’s.
Well. So much to talk about! First off, it occurs to me we didn’t see Caitlin actually doing anything for her uncle, even though he made a point of asking her at the start of the episode. What do you suppose that was about? Did it have something to do with the suicide case? How would that even be possible? What the heck is Caitlin’s deal? Is she merely David’s tool, or does she have her own agenda? And when is she going to spring whatever trap it is she’s setting?
Which Gardner sister bugged you more? Or did you find them equally annoying? Man. It was totally intriguing to see them together, but holy crap were they beyond annoying.
The case interested me; they don’t always, but this one did. Well, I shouldn’t say that. They pretty much always do. What I mean is that this interested me more than usual. Did the camera and the Youtube promo play a part in Cara’s suicide? Maybe. Who knows why these things happen; it’s not always to easy to explain. It seems clear Cara was predisposed, and that the school issue put her over the edge. (Heck, I’m sure she was mightily stressed to keep up with a 3.8 GPA in the first place, since that’s not an easy task. She’d hardly need to fail to slip under that status; all A minuses would do that. ) But who’s to say that she didn’t get the idea from the video? That Derek’s calm and coolness didn’t contribute? You can see how the parents would much rather believe that she’d been somehow bewitched by the cameras rather than just heartbroken about leaving school. You can see how they would need to believe it wasn’t their fault.
And finally, have you lost all respect for fictionalized Donna Brazile for forcing Peter to sully his second chance? That was the big thing Peter had going for him, wasn’t it, that he was trying so hard to do better? Will we be seeing a lot of Horton in the future and less of Geneva Pine? And how did that one hire get the rest of Peter’s “friends” to fill up Donna’s call sheet? Politics. Blech.