E: This is the episode in which Alicia learns to play the game.
The room is madness; total madness. Diane and Will sit at the conference table, looking pained. Diane’s eyes flick wide open in exasperation; Will’s are closed. They cannot believe the zoo they’re presiding over. “I am the one suffering here!” Julius howls, aggrieved. “Oh, yes, tell us your troubles,” David Lee sneers. Why is Diane sitting in the middle of the table instead of the end as usual (other than to frame the shot through one of the glass walls)? The room seems to be full of squabbling equity partners. “I’m handling all of Will’s cases,” Julius continues (which we know is not true; it’s a gross exaggeration of what Julius himself said two weeks ago) “and now we’ve lost Caitlin!” Could they have been that dependent on her already? I still don’t get why they didn’t have her keep working when they’re so desperate; she did offer. Maybe Julius just likes to whine.
“Look, we put someone else into Will’s seat, that’s what we do,” Eli points an aggressive finger at Will’s seat, which is – yes- physically occupied by Will. “Excuse me, I’m sitting right here,” Will replies more mildly than you might expect, “there is no Will’s seat.” “You’re not here as a lawyer,” Eli dismisses this thought, “you might as well not be here at all.” Somebody’s not mincing words today, is he?
“That is not the object of this discussion,” Diane refocuses her bickering boys (I suppose I should say snapping subordinates, because there’s one woman here somewhere, but we don’t know her). “Someone spoke to the Bar Disciplinary Board. Someone said Will was here, working on cases.” Her eyes bore into the table. “Now I’m not going to do something so dramatic as ask who did it, but I will say this – if you have an issue with the way we’re running this firm, you come to me. You do not stab Will in the back.”
Taking her at her word, Eli decided to stab Will in his front. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, look. I know nobody wants to respond cause we don’t want to look like Judases, but Will is working on cases.” “No,” Will insists, “I’m updating associates on the background of my cases.” Okay, you’ve been trying to stick to that, anyway. Plus, look – still no tie! So clearly he’s not really working. (Hmm. Is he still getting paid? And did they take his name off the letterhead?) David Lee chimes in with his unique brand of scorn: “Oh, come on, you call me ethical midget?” Ha! It’s true – none of their moral statures would exactly be towering. “Wait a minute,” Diane again attempts to remain on point, “We disagree with each other, we do it in house. You wanna back-stab somebody, you do it right here.” Eli is happy to oblige. “Okay, I disagree,” he says. “here. And I urge the equity partners to replace Will until such a time…” That’s enough pontificating. Diane snaps. “So marshal the equity partner votes and call a meeting.”
“Are we done here?” David Lee grumbles. “No,” Diane confesses wearily. “Alicia’s asked for a raise. I’m advocating a 10% bump.” She has to clear this with everyone? Bah. David Lee’s having none of it. “No, you have a dozen 3rd years asking for the same thing.” Fair enough, David Lee, fair enough! “Then we lose her,” Eli insists. “And how do you know that?” Julius complains. “Because he’s got a dog in the fight,” David Lee explains. What an interesting way to say that Eli’s invested in Alicia’s marriage and work. “We only want Alicia because of her ties to her husband,” Julius shrugs. That’s odd of you – you’ve worked with her plenty, Julius. Will shouldn’t have to tell you, but he does: “No. We want her because she’s good.” David Lee, who should also know better, snipes “we should take your word on that?” Ew. I’m not sure I like that implication. Is it an implication? I guess he just plays dirty when he’s mad. “Look, we all know we’re going to compromise,” Eli sighs, ” can’t we just compromise?” Diane blinks again.
“Who do you think leaked it?” Will wonders once he’s out in the hall with Diane, away from the still squabbling partners. “Could be any one of them,” Diane acknowledges, which is so very true. I wonder if the actors decided amongst themselves who it was so they knew how to play it, or if we’ll find out later on? “Good thing they don’t like each other – I’d be dead!” Hee. True that, Will. “Where are you going?” he adds. Court, of course. Yet he’s surprised. “Why? You don’t have a case today…”
“Diane Lockhart. L-O-C-K-H-A-R-T,” she spells it out, sitting in the witness stand. Well. That’s not something we see every week. “And can you describe what happened, Miss Lockhart?” Ooooh, check that out, it’s Diane’s favorite process server, the tall, silver and Australian Jack Copeland! Who is apparently acting as his own lawyer. “Yes, I was walking from my car, when I saw you, in the lobby, serving a subpoena to that man.” Oh, fun, it’s the idiot who tried to physically resist the summons. “And did you hear me announce myself?” As Copeland questions Diane, their eyes lock. “Ah, yes. I heard you say ‘Mr. Dobbs, you’ve been served.'” Diane, you big flirt. How did she turn that line into such a come on? “Then what happened? In your own words, Miss Lockhart.” “Ah, well. Ah. that man tried to punch you, and you threw him against the wall.” “In a manly fashion,” he asks. “Yes, I would say so.” Is there a non-manly way to do that? Also, how weird is it that he’s fishing for compliments during legal testimony? “He says I threw the first punch, that’s why he’s suing me.” She smiles. “And that’s not what I observed.” Dobbs calls out to the gray haired judge in frustration. “You two know each other, that’s why she’s saying that!” Not nearly as well as they want to know each other, clearly. “Do you and I know each other, Miss Lockhart?” Copeland asks, preempting a question fro Judge Wayne Decker. “Ah. Well. You served me with a subpoena, so I guess to that extent, we know each other.” Ha! Not quite the smoking gun you wanted, is it, Mr. Dobbs? “Thank you Miss Lockhart. Your presence here in small claims court is a breath of fresh air.”
Ah. Small claims court, where you could pretty easily represent yourself. Got it. That was a fun detour; I love seeing new facets of the legal system through this show’s eyes.
A bearded lawyer in another courtroom stands to object. “Overruled,” a tiny blond judge with over-sized glasses decides. “I will ask you to proceed, Mrs. Florrick.” Alicia, who’s wearing a zip front plum colored suit, stands in front of the witness stand. “So the video was taken from the back of the snowmobile?” she asks, and the youngish male witness answers yes. “My wife was taking it. That’s her cell phone camera.” “You were driving,” Alicia wonders. Yes, at the Rollins Savanna Forrest Preserve. We hear the wife’s delighted laughter as the snowmobile speeds through a sparsely forested field. We see a lot of the witness’s elbow. Then we hear the film zipping ahead on fast forward. “Then what happened?” Alicia asks. There’s always got to be a then, doesn’t there, or else we wouldn’t be in court. Sigh. “The snowmobile, it just started changing direction.” In the background, we hear the wife begin to be nervous: “Okay, Grant, slow down.” Uh oh. “Were you steering it toward the trees?” Alicia asks. No, Grant says, as we see the machine buck and twist. “What’re you doing?” Grant’s wife asks him. The snowmobile shoots off a trail into a more wooded area. Jump off, people! Grant’s fight for words is agony. “The steering column locked and I…” “It’s not funny, stop,” she pleads. Why are you not jumping off? I know these things go fast, but what’s the alternative? “.. I couldn’t budge it.” “Please, slow down,” the wife cries, “Watch out – what’d you do …” The words on the tape devolve into screaming, and the perspective of the film goes wild; we see the ground, then blue sky through grass, water droplets, wispy clouds, tree tops. It’s eerily silent.
The witness, Grant, looks into his lap, tiny lines in his forehead showing us his clenched muscles, his grief. “And what happened to your wife?” Alicia asks gently. Grants lifts his reddened eyes to Alicia’s face. “She was in a coma for a week. And then she… she didn’t make it.” Oh, God. You can see the effort he’s putting into not breaking down. (What is it with you people and snuff films? That’s two in three episodes. Can we be done, please?) Alicia nods, and the light glints off the silver zipper on her suit, glittering as if it were a necklace. “And that’s why you’re suing Snowplane, the makers of your snowmobile?” It is. “Yeah. I’ve never sued anyone in my life. Never had much use for the courts. My parents told me, you have a problem with someone, you say it to his face…” how fitting for this episode! “…but my wife… she was the best thing in my life.”
Peter Scanavino, congratulations. You just made me cry. There’s something about watching somebody struggle against tears and lose that just slays me.
“Okay, let me interrupt right here,” the judge interrupts. The glare of her enormous glasses is blinding. “Mrs. Florrick, Mr Heinz, why don’t you come up here and we’ll talk?” They do, with Julius in tow. “Here’s the deal. First of all, good morning to you. We’re going into chambers for a bench supervised negotiation.” Opposing counsel Heinz – who looks a bit like Toby from The West Wing with that beard – is unnerved. “Your Honor, that’s not necessary.” “Counselor Heinz, it is. Your case here is obviously to delay until Mr. DeVurney gives up.” Heinz is all “who, me? never!” “But I’m not going to be a party to that! There are no real legal issues to dispute, so here is my order. Marshall your settlement arguments and meet me in chambers in one hour, understood?” Understood.
Wow, that’s refreshing! I’d have thought the facts would be what they needed to dispute (was the snowmobile defective or not) but that’s just me. Of course, I’m not really sure how anyone could tell from what we saw that the snowmobile was malfunctioning, but I guess we should assume it was clear (perhaps from prior testimony?) or the judge wouldn’t react that way.
“I think I might try my hand at this lawyering,” Jack smiles at Diane. “Very impressive,” she compliments him. “So I have to thank you. There’s an art show or something or other near here,” he says. Hee. “You’re not really into art,” she scoffs happily. “No, but I don’t actually dislike it,” he grins. “I’m sorry, but I have to go back to work,” she confesses. “But you have to have lunch,” he insists. “Actually I think someone’s waiting for you,” says Diane, noticing the tall young woman glaring at her aggressively – maybe possessively – from the doorway. Hmm. That’s interesting. What’s that about? “Okay, then. Tonight. I’ll call you.”
What to do, what to do? Alicia stares at the picture of her old house on her tablet, waiting in the courtroom hallway. “You thinking of buying?” her client asks from a bench a few paces down. “Ah, I don’t know what I’m thinking. Everything’s so expensive these days,” she says, turning her quandary into a more generalized one. Grant, however, speaks from emotion.”You know, one thing I learned is that life is short. You get a chance to bring yourself some pleasure, you do it.” Did he deprive himself before? That snowmobiling looked like a lot of fun until the steering column froze. Alicia’s still not sold. “Even if I had the money, I don’t know. It’s my old house. It doesn’t make sense to go backwards.” “Look at me,” the client sighs, “I’d give anything to go backward.” Ah, there it is. Poor guy. A bailiff calls them in. “Here we go,” Alicia smiles.
In her chambers, the Honorable Sally Rigby rifles through her filing cabinets. “What is it about glasses? I seem to walk into a room and they disappear.” I’m so with you, sister. “Your Honor, this is not just about one suit. This is about the class action that Lockhart…” Is it? Really? “No, it is about one suit,” Julius contradicts his opposition, “We’re asking for five million for pain and suffering, loss of spousal support…” “I used to carry 3 or 4 pair of glasses,” the judge interrupts, now seated at her desk and digging in her purse. “At the end of the day, I was like a drunk looking for a bottle.” Snort. “You’re going to pay, Mr. Heinz,” she says in an abrupt switch of focus, “From the evidence I’ve seen, you’re paying. The only question is how much.” Well. That’s calling it like she sees it. “But you haven’t seen this evidence,”Heinz insists, proffering some folders. “What is it?” “Grant DeVurney’s medical report.” And the point of that is? “From 2009? Before the accident.,” Alicia reads in confusion.
“Yes. But after his career as a professional hockey player.” Okay, still confused. “What’s that have to with anything?” Julius wonders, head up. “”Modified comparative negligence. If your client contributed to the accident – in fact, if he contributed more than 50% to the accident, then he can’t sue us.” What? Really? “You’re saying that he’s responsible for his wife’s death?” Of course they are. He was driving after all. What other case do they have? What I don’t get is, how was the judge so certain before it was a mechanical problem, and yet now she’s not? “I’m saying that given his mental capacity after 86 games as a professional hockey player, body checks and fights, he had no business getting on that snowmobile.” Can you imagine the guilt if that’s true? “Your Honor, this is despicable,” Alicia gasps. “And yet, legal, counselor. You’re saying, Counselor Heinz, that the plaintiff caused his own accident by steering into a tree?” “I’m saying it contributed. The plaintiff’s apparent condition – chronic traumatic encephalopoly – was more than 50% of the problem.” Convenient. How did you prove the percentage of responsibility? “Okay,” says the judge, “I’ll be ordering an independent neurological evaluation on Mr. DeVurney. We’ll see where that takes us.” She pats the top of her head in case her glasses are there. Ha.
“Basically, we’re in trouble,” Julius declares in the conference room. We hear Diane’s voice over the speaker. “How can we be in trouble? We were in negotiations!” You step into small claims court for an hour and the world goes crazy. “They’re going after his hockey career; Judge Rigby’s given them some room.” Diane walks in, snapping her phone shut. “So there’s truth in their charges?” Kalinda has the low down, of course. “Grant played 86 games as a professional hockey player.” That’s not a lot, is it? It wouldn’t even be a season of baseball. (Okay, I looked it up – 82 games in a regular season.) “and in his 86th game, he was in a fight on the ice, he ended up in the hospital, and he never played again. His motor functions are impaired.” Uh oh. How impaired is impaired? “So there might be some truth is it,” Alicia exclaims, concerned. “How did we not see this coming?” Diane cries, outraged. Will clears his throat. “Can I speak to your for a minute?” He gives Diane a significant look.
“So this was my case,” Will begins. Does that mean you saw this coming? “Yes. It was supposed to be a winner,” Diane snaps. “It still is,” Will proclaims, ” But I have some strategic information I could… share with you.” “If not for the restrictions of your suspension,” Diane says for him. “Yes. As I understand it prevents my talking to you about future strategy but not…” He waits for her to finish his sentence. She does. “Past – that would be updating?” “Which is within my rights,” he notes. “Yet we seem to be in here whispering,” Diane observes. “Consulting,” Will whispers. Hee.
“If professional hockey is responsible for 50% of his injury, he can collect.” It’s Diane speaking, but Julius sees Will pull the strings from his chair against the wall. “And this is your strategy?” “It is,” she says. “Well, Diane,” Julius snaps, looking right at Will, “this is a mistake. Hockey will never pay. To pay would be to open themselves to hundreds of lawsuits from former players.” So true, but Diane clearly likes Will’s idea. “That’s part of the strategy. Pull hockey into this. They’ll want to bury it quickly and quietly.” Alicia gets it. “We found our deep pocket,” she gasps. “Yes, and in addition, the APHL lawyers will delay, so we’ll get a three month continuance to build our case.” Won’t help Will get back on board, but it could help in general, I guess. “You want me on it?” Kalinda asks. “I do, but low priority. And Alicia, do you have a moment?” As the women leave, Will aims a feral little grin at Julius.
“We want to keep you happy here, Alicia,” Diane says, ushering Alicia into her office and leaning on the closed door, “We value all your hard work these last few months.” But not before? Alicia smiles. “Thank you.” “Given that,” Diane begins, moving to sit behind her desk, “the equity partners have agreed on paper to a bump in your pay.” Diane’s dress has an exposed zipper in the back; how fashion forward of her. “Great.” “Ah, yes, but we want to be clear. There are 11 other third year associates; we can’t afford an across the board raise.” Indeed. “I understand,” Alicia agrees. “So here’s what we’re offering,” Diane says, handing up a paper with the offer on it. ” I cannot believe how unhappy she looks at a ten percent raise! How many jobs are there where you can even get that kind of raise in one shot. Okay, I get it, she’s disappointed that it’s probably not enough for the house, but don’t look so sour! “I know it’s not as much as you think you deserve,” Diane mentions, noting the look on Alicia’s face (which, OUCH!) , “but take it as a vote of confidence in your future.” Alicia nods and tries to smile. I really want to smack her around for being such a baby, I really do.
But maybe that’s not fair. Of course, Alicia has never said what she thought was fair, but I’m not thinking. Of course the equity partners didn’t give her the full 10%. Why did it take me so many viewings to remember that? Granted, even a 5% bump in the middle of the year is nothing to be scoffed at, but maybe I was a trifle harsh. Perhaps when Diane said it wasn’t what Alicia thinks she’s worth, she really meant it wasn’t what she wanted to offer.
Kalinda swishes into Will’s office, a beer in each hand. “Hey, I thought you might want something to…” “No thanks,” he says, cutting her off, heading out. “You don’t know who’s leaking to the Disciplinary Board, do you?” “No. You want me to look?” “No,” he says, “just if you hear anything.” “You in trouble?” she wonders. “Sticking to the letter of the law,” he smiles. “You gonna leave me here with two beers?” she sasses him, wiggling the bottles. ” You’ll find somebody,” he smiles, unconcerned. Kalinda thinks about it, and takes a deep breath.
Alicia stares at the listing for her old house; Oak Brook. 1.9 million. Ouch. Just a wee bit more expensive than her apartment. She crunches the numbers on a legal pad next to her laptop; 3300 plus 500 plus 5200 monthly expenses. “What’s up?” asks Kalinda, plopping down. “Want a beer?” She sets Will’s beer on Alicia’s desk. My heart leaps up into my throat; in some ways, their friendship is more important than anything else on this show. Could this be the moment? Clearly Kalinda’s decided to brazen things out on the chance that Alicia’s ready to pick up their old habits – very brave, but also very Kalinda to just try without talking it through first. Alicia’s face has not lost its sour expression from the woefully inadequate raise; she’s freaked out and hostile. She slaps the laptop shut. “No thanks,” she replies, disdainful. I want to hide. “You sure? It’s open,” Kalinda offers, even though she clearly knows the gig is up.”Kalinda, I’m sorry. I can’t help it, I wanna move on but I…” Oh, oh, honeys. “Yeah. I – I get it.” Kalinda immediately tries to let Alicia off the hook. “Look we’re working together, that’s good enough, isn’t it?” Damn. Cold. Kalinda nods. “Yeah.” “It’s just not easy for me,” Alicia can’t stop explaining. “It’s okay, Alicia, I get it.”
Kalinda stomps out of Alicia’s office, slamming the bottle onto a counter with spray of beer like a fountain.
And I’d like to cry a little for that, now.
“I’m Louis Canning, Your Honor. I’ll be representing the interests of the All Professional Hockey League.” Of course he is. Of course he is. “Welcome, Mr. Canning. You saw the amended complaint?” How awesome that they’re not doing his little “this is my disease” routine any more! Not that it wasn’t funny the first couple times. “I did, Your Honor. And a Baroque piece of work it is.” The judge raises her eyebrows. “Baroque? And yet, if Snowplane insists on a modified comparative negligence defense [say that five times fast!] I see no other option than to offer the plaintiff a chance to combine charges of negligence. Darn.” Have I mentioned yet how much I like Rigby? Awesome. “Yes, Your Honor, we accept the modified complaint,” Canning replies agreeably. “Then I expect you’ll be asking for an extension.” Ah, but with Canning, you have to expect the unexpected. “Oh no no, we’re ready to go. Right now. In fact we welcome the chance to defend the honor of professional hockey.”
“He thinks you’re unprepared,” Will insists as the team speedwalks out of court. “Excuse me, Will, you can’t be saying anything! We need to move quickly on all fronts. I’ll get on with Kalinda,” Julius replies. He’s so fun when he’s being prissy.
Of course what follows next is footage from an APHL hockey game. Oooh, lots of extras and fake ads. As the announcer points out, our man DeVurney gets slammed into the boards. “That’s Cameron Raker,” Kalinda explains, “Minnesota’s enforcer.” Both men tear off their helmets (Bad. Idea.) and barrel toward each other. “You just had to expect this, there’s a lot of bad blood between these teams,” the announcer sighs. Then he exclaims as Raker delivers the massive blow. “Oh, my, Raker landed one straight on, he’s flat on his…” Belly, I’d say, but the sound cuts off. Alicia’s not paying attention; she notices Will meeting up with a surprising visitor; ex-girlfriend Tammy, fetching in all black. What’s she doing here?. He kisses her on the cheek; they’re both smiling. Alicia’s distinctly uncomfortable and, dare I say it, displeased. “There was an investigation in 2009 but charges were never brought,” Kalinda finishes. “It’d be helpful to get that investigation,” Diane realizes. “I’m on it,” Alicia volunteers. Huh. That’s different. “Good. And Will has a friend who’s a top neurologist at Northwestern, a Dr. Wed. He specializes in sports injuries. He’s agreed to testify as to how the team doctors mishandled Grant.” Well, good for us. Julius is interested and I think pleased. “I’ll prep him,” Kalinda speaks up. Curiouser and curiouser; isn’t that usually Alicia’s job? What’s with the switcheroo? Well, best if Kalinda stays away from the SA’s office, anyway. “Great,” Diane smiles. “Mr. Canning thinks he’s caught us off guard. Let’s show him he hasn’t, hmm?”
Alicia heads back to her office, phone to her ear. “Hi, Marina,” she says, introducing us to her real estate agent, “I’ve decided against the house. I just don’t have the down payment.” Ah. Well, that’s too bad and not. Impressive that she could swing the payments, though. Crossing the hall, Alicia peeks over at something we can’t see, which is presumably Will and his old flame. “Yes, I’ll call if anything changes, but I don’t think it will.” Sigh.
“This is me in reporter mode,” Tammy tells Will. She’s sitting in his office and he’s looming over her, the better to see down her plunging neckline. (Okay, fine, I’m sure that’s not why he’s not sitting with her, but it’s quite the ‘kiss my grits,’ ‘look what you missed out on’ outfit.) “Oooh, impressive,” he coos, and again, I’m sure it’s not just her cleavage he’s talking about. She looks in her lap, smiling. “How was London?” “London was London-y,” she quips, “how was here?” Oh, honey, you have no idea. She fishes for her tiny recorder and a pen to go with the pad of paper on her lap. “You’re looking pretty casual today,” she observes. Yes, yes he is. “A lot has happened,” he understates. Can she tape their conversation, she wonders? Sure. “But I don’t have much to say,” he warns in another gross understatement.
“Sporting News has me covering this hockey lawsuit, and I was wondering,” she says, leaning forward, elbows on her lap, affording him an even better view of what’s he’s no longer getting. “Are you crazy? Going up against hockey?” Is hockey that powerful, that she should be shocked? It’s not like it’s football. Or baseball. Or basketball. (No offense, but it’s not.) Will’s mightily amused.
“Here’s the problem. Miss Linnata. It was my suit, but I’ve had a little…” he bobbles his head from side to side. “…legal trouble of my own, and I’ve been suspended for six months.” Tammy’s eyes go round. “Really? What happened?” He tries to charm his way out of it; no painful truth-telling for her. “I cut some corners,” he lies. “I’m a corner cutter.” Um, no. But that’s fine. She’s not his girlfriend anymore. That’s good enough for everyday. “Ah, so this is a 12 step program?” she jokes. Or I think it’s a joke. “Yes, ah, step 3. I’m admitting my faults.” Hmm, how does he know the steps? (Oh. He doesn’t. That’s step five. I kind of love that he got that wrong.) “I had to hand over the case to other fine lawyers here. So you probably want to ask Julius Cain whether he’s crazy to go after hockey.”
“Who’s the other lawyer,” Tammy wonders, studiously scribbling on her pad. He’s puzzled – and delaying. “You said there were two lawyers, who’s the other lawyer?” Well, good for you, Nancy Drew. He didn’t say there were only two, but you know without being told, don’t you? Probably because he didn’t say. She spins her hand, prompting him, pretending not to care. “Alicia Florrick,” he admits quietly. “Oh. Yes. Alicia. How is she doing?” Good, he says. “Good. I’m so glad … for her.” Oh dear. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that gladness. She raises her eyebrows at Will, who smiles ruefully, not denying anything. “Well, it was good seeing you, though” she says, rising, “you’re looking good.” “You are too,” he replies. She’s slim and standing in a sort of Angelina at the Oscars stance; her black leather jacket is fierce. “Good luck with your other 9 steps,” she sends as a parting shot as she swaggers out, proud of herself.
“The League ended up suspending Cameron Raker for the rest of the season,” Cary says. He’s sitting in front of a gray wall, which looks like… hmmm. Like his old office. “The State’s Attorney at the time, Peter Florrick,” he explains with a little nod, “thought it wasn’t worth pursuing.” His emphasis on Peter’s name is of course for Alicia’s benefit; she’s sitting in front of another gray wall and a wooden door. Yep, definitely his old office. She nods, then truly considers his words. “But what was the charge going to be? ” She’s truly puzzled. “I mean, why was this treated different from any other fight on the ice?” Good point; the police don’t usually get involved in these things, although sometimes there’s talk of it. “Well, the concussion was severe, and we were looking into it being a premeditated hit.” Ah. “Raker targeted our client?” Alicia asks. “The whole team targeted your client.”
Oh. Ouch. “Any chance I could see the investigative report on that? Just a peek?” Cary grins, lips pressed together, showing no teeth. Then he turns to his computer. “Funny that they’d send you instead of Kalinda,” he observes. “I volunteered,” she tells him as he taps away at his keyboard. “Really?” He’s very surprised. When he looks at Alicia, she tilts her head. He can’t help asking why. “I don’t know. How’re you doing?” she asks him seriously. “Well. I’m not in the deputy’s office,” he notes. “I know. I wasn’t going to say anything…” she begins, prompting him. “Things’ve changed. Self inflicted wound.” Oh, Cary. But good for you for insisting on the right thing. “Are you safe?” Well, he still has a job. “Nobody’s told me otherwise, and that usually means no.” He smiles faintly, handing over a print out. “Thank you,” she says, and her eyes are filled with empathy.
Ladies and gentlemen, Cameron Raker is on the stand, and a very self satisfied, hairy hockey player is he. He’s also a professional left winger. “And you’re the team’s enforcer,” Alicia adds. Louis Canning objects. “Your Honor, that term is not an official hockey position. Mrs. Florrick is just using the term to bias these proceedings. Delicate Judge Rigby doesn’t get what he means. “An enforcer is someone on a hockey team,” Alicia explains, “who responds to supposed dirty plays from the opposing team by attacking aggressively and violently…” Canning cuts her off. “Thanks to Mrs. Florrick for that biased definition!” But her response couldn’t be better; “Well, do you want me to explain the bias or not?” she snarks. Love it! Of course, you could just recommend she see this Canadian blockbuster. Or read the book. “Thank you. I am enlightened without bias,” Judge Rigby declares. “Mr. Raker, what is the official title of your position?” Left wing, he says. “Okay, that’s what we’ll call it from now on, left wing.” Judge Rigby, you rock. Ms Tammy Linnata steps into the courtroom and slips into a seat. “I, um, Mr. Raker,” Alicia starts, thrown by the presence of her former rival,” in your capacity as a left winger, did your coach ever ask you to respond violently to a dirty play?” “Yes, we had to check offenders who cross the line, you know?” He waves casually, his Sergeant Pepper hair bobbing along with the movement. “Has he ever asked you to take a player out?” That’s right. Sweep the leg, Johnny, sweep the leg! “If you mean out by checking those offenders legally, then, ya.” My, how Canadian he sounded just then. And so coached.
Alicia clicks up a video of Raker’s Minnesota teammate, Christian Lund; the star player on Minnesota’s team, in fact, worth 6 mil a year. “I’m sorry, okay, I’ve got to come closer,” the diminutive and glassesless Judge Rigby declares, hopping out of her seat and walking as close as the bench allows. Alicia rolls tape, and someone rolls over Lund. “And who is that, running over your star player?” “Him,” Raker waves at Grant. “And the best man on the ice is taken down by a fourth liner,” the hockey announcer proclaims. “Was your team outraged by this hit, Mr. Raker?” Alicia wonders. “I wouldn’t say outraged,” Raker lies badly, “They were concerned. Lund is pretty important to us.” Right. Hockey players are so sensitive with their concern. “But did you see this post game interview?” she presses. She then plays the interview, an older man (presumably the coach) with close cropped white hair practically ranting in his rage. “You hit us like this, it’s not over.” He’s standing in one of those concrete hallways, rather like a tunnel; players walk behind him, including one with a familiar goatee. “We’ve got your number, DeVurney.” He points at the camera. “We’ll see you in February.”
Dude, you really shouldn’t have taken off your helmet. I know the title of the episode is gloves off, but that doesn’t seem to be the protective gear most in need here.
“Nope. Didn’t see it!” Raker responds brightly. “But isn’t that your jersey in the background, within earshot of this interview?” Ha. As Judge Rigby squints at the screen, we see how perfect Alicia’s work is with the remote; there’s Raker, right in front of the retreating coach. And you’d be hard pressed to imagine that was the only time someone that mad mentioned this vendetta. “Aaah, looks like it. I don’t remember,” he waffles. “And by “I will see you in February” did your coach mean the next time you played my client’s team?” “Ah, I dunno. Could’ve meant anything, really.” He seems to think this is a reasonable answer. “But didn’t it mean this game, on February 15th?” We see Cameron pummel Grant again. The judge gives him a sharp look. “I dunno. Maybe. I guess.” Canning, he is not pleased. Boom! Grant gets dropped to the ice again.
“We’ve got a problem here,” Kalinda sighs, charging down a city street. Still loving the bright scarf! “No, it’s your neurologist friend at Northwestern. Dr. Wed, the one we wanted to hire for the trial? He says he’s never heard of you.” Wha huh? “He what?” Will looks out his office window, puzzled. How kindergarten is that, pretending you don’t know someone? It’s not a very effective excuse.”He said he couldn’t talk, and then he rushed right out of the office.” Will sits. “You know what I think?” Of course she does. “Yeah, cause I’m thinking it too.” Will crosses his legs, shakes his head. “Canning got to him.” “Paid him off,” Kalinda agrees. “Do you have a second best option?” She keeps walking. “No, for hockey impact studies,” he replies. Yeah, that’s probably an unfortunately narrow field when you need someone local.
“We may have another play, given that I can’t suggest new legal strategy, I think you’ll know what I’m about to say.” Oh, she can. “Find out if Canning paid him off, see if we can prove fraud?” “Obviously I can’t comment,, but it sounds like you’re in movement.” How’s that for a double entendre? Will nods. “I am. Following your neurologist friend to see if he’s gonna meet up with Canning.” We see a middle aged, dumpy man in a camel coat walking down the street ahead of her. “Obviously, I can’t comment,” he says. Hee. So lofty and above it all, that Will. “I will keep you in the loop,” she tells him. “Not at my urging,” he replies formally, and she snickers.
“Okay,” Alicia says into her cell, sitting on a hallway bench at the courthouse, scratching her shin. “Let me know when you find out anything,” she nods, hanging up. She’s startled to see Louis Canning slide onto the bench next to her, and it’s such a Marty McFly move it makes me catch my breath. Slowly she lowers the phone, glaring at him. “Back to our old ways, are we?” she says flatly. “And what ways might those be?” he wonders. “Paying off our neurological expert,” she grouses, flipping through her phone. Did she just let him know she knew? Why did she do that? He laughs to himself, silently. “Are you happy at Lockhart /Gardner, Mrs. Florrick?” he asks. Interesting that he didn’t care enough about her accusation to answer it. “I’m happy,” she says flatly, still flipping through the phone. “You don’t look happy,” he observes. Which, duh. “Uh huh,” she says. “Why are you second chair to Julius when you’re doing all the heavy lifting?” Now that’s a home question. “Because he’s an equity partner,” she replies, finally looking away from the phone. He points at her. “And you’re not, why is that?”
She sighs. Because she’s only a 3rd year associate? “Okay. Here’s the problem. I see how we treat lawyers who are poached. They’re the first ones out the door. They’re the ones we don’t trust. And that is why I will not be poached.” Plus, you wouldn’t want to have to work with mini-me Martha, would you? He’s pleasantly dismissive. “The problem at Lockhart/Gardner is that they treat it like a family. They treat loyalty as an absolute good.” He lifts a hand to indicate how high the quality ranks. “And it’s not?” To to him. “Naw, at home it is, but at work, it’s talent and professionalism that matter. That’s why I don’t hold a grudge.” Hand to his heart, Alicia! Also, he just started his firm here, so most of his staff is probably poached. It’s probably the truth. “You come and work for me, and you’d be judged on the value of your work and only your work.” She inhales deeply. “I wanna make you an offer,” he declares. “No,” she answers quickly. He makes a crying child face and uses a silly, fake high pitched voice. “Afraid Mommy and Daddy at Lockhart/Gardener will get upset?” She laughs. “I’ll see you in court.” “I’ll see you in court,” he whimpers.
“And Dr. Rubic, as the team doctor, you were the first to assess Grant’s injuries?” Wow, the bright blue eyes on the team doctor! He looks like a Paul Newman, or one of those guys in the Just For Men hair commercials – elderly male model perfect. He’s on the stand, in case you were wondering. And he might be the devil, if he’s the kind of team doctor who cares more about getting the players on the ice than about the players themselves. “Yes, I examined Grant in the dressing room right after the fight.” And did you test him for a concussion? Yes. “How long was the examination?” “About 15 minutes.” And he was cleared to play? “He seemed fine.” Riiiight. “He made a pretty hard check in the last three minutes, saved the team a goal.” Yep, there it is. Cares more about the game. “And yet three days later he was in the hospital and never played again?” So he’s been told. What notation did he make on Grant’s chart about his head injury in his exit physical? “I didn’t write anything,” he says, shaking his head, ” I saw no need to.”
“Dr. Rubic, what’s a baseline test?” Canning paces in front of the witness stand. “It’s a neuro-psychological test which we run on players at the start of a season, in case they suffer a head injury during a game, we can determine if it’s a concussion by comparing the results.” Huh. So, is this a CAT scan? An MRI? Why do I think not? He ran such a test on Grant after he was “knocked down” by Cameron Raker. “The results were identical to the baseline. There were no signs of brain trauma.” Huh. “So in other words, you did your job.” Rubic laughs. “Yes.” “Thank you, doctor.” Canning has nothing further.
Alicia whispers to Julius. “We need the neurologist.” “Kalinda thinks he’ll meet with Canning after court,” Julius whispers back.
Through the dark, busy city street, Kalinda follows the camel colored coat. He walks into a busy pub, with conveniently large windows, where he sits down at a table with – Fred Dalton Thompson? Immediately, she’s on her cell with Diane. She explains that the meeting’s not with Canning after all; it’s with Frank Michael Thomas, the show’s thinly fictionalized version of Fred Dalton Thompson. Did we know the characters name before? I seem to remember a lot of “it’s you!” going on. Who is currently taking a photo with the waitresses. “What, the actor?” Diane puzzles, sitting at a table in a pub herself. “And the lawyer.” I love how they use FDT’s real weird cross-over career (In the Line of Fire, Law and Order, the Senate, campaigning for President) for his character. “What’s he got to do with hockey?” “I have no idea, but I thought maybe you should come down and talk to him,” she suggests. Diane looks around the bar. “No, I can’t right now. I…” she’s getting a call from Tall Dark and Australian Jack Copeland on her phone. Good. “I just … take some pictures. Do what you usually do. Get Will and Alicia on the phone.” Woah. That’s not like Diane; Kalinda’s confused.
“Hello, Jack,” she purrs into her phone, “Shall I assume you’re 40 minutes late because of Australian standard time?” Ha! I love her so much. “I wish it were the case. I also wish you won’t hate me when I tell you I have a complication.” Doh. Diane’s eyes close in frustration. “Another time, Diane, I promise. Just tell me you don’t hate me.” She nods silently. “I don’t hate you. Go uncomplicate your complication.” She hangs up, and we see she’s seated near a neon lighted window – the letters spell out “BAR” backward. That’s so not her usual thing, though in general I wouldn’t call it a dive; the exposed brick and the tables are nice enough. She taps her phone on the table – it has a Lockhart & Gardner wallpaper, hee, which means the name change idea was just talk – and then clicks a button. And she gets a voicemail message for someone unable (much to her annoyance) to answer the phone. Kurt McVeigh’s voicemail! Ha again. At the risk of sounding really crude, did she just try to make a booty call? Damn! She sets down her phone, blowing out a big breath of air. “Can I have the check please?” she calls.
And, woah. She’s knocking on Kurt’s door! I can’t believe it. (I thought this might have been when she was going to pick up that younger love interest they’d talked about last year in the casting news – but apparently not.) A young, pretty woman answers the door. Oooops. What is it with her guys and these much younger women? Diane even stammers with self-possession. “Are you here to see Kurt?” the woman asks. “Ah, yes,” Diane smiles. “I hope I’m not…” “No, come in,” the woman says pleasantly. Gosh, I hope she’s his daughter. That’s when Kurt walks into his log-walled living room, beer in hand. “Diane!” he says in complete and utter surprise. “Hello,” she says, “and surprise.” Cute. He’s now leaning against the log wall. “After what, a year?” Which is apparently how much she needs a booty call. Crazy. “You just happened to be in the neighborhood?” he waves his beer. (“I was just no where near your neighborhood” – points for knowing the 90s movie that swoonworthy quote comes from!) “No, but I think I should call the cab back and return to mine,” she says. He smiles, and raises his eyesbrows. “It’s a 40 mile drive.” He jerks his head toward the living room. In surprise, the young woman turns to close the door.
Our view is still Kalinda’s, from the front windows. “And that’s when I found my voice. Acting is all about the voice,” Frank Michael Thomas grins widely at the giggling waitresses, still clustered around him. The crowd is young, lots of professionals. Then he sees something. “Well, Will Gardner! How’re you doin?” Yes, he really does drop the G, but in a Southern way, not a New York one. “Good, sir,” Will replies, “until I found out you stole our neurologist.” “Really?,” FMT bluffs, “Didn’t realize he was in a position to be stolen! Nice to meet you, ladies,” he finishes, a clear dismissal. They go, and he waves Will and Alicia to sit. “So you’re working for Louis Canning now?” Alicia asks, richly suggestive. Nope. Will narrows his eyes, sizing up the situation. “You’re suing hockey?” he realizes, and his opponent grins with pleasure at being caught. Thomas employs that famous voice – the drawl combined with the clipped syllables: “Yep. Class action. Seven players.” Will nods. “Head injuries?” “Yep. The APHL been mishandling head injuries since the first time they strapped a metal blade to the underside of a boot. I’m trying to make it right for these players.” Oh, spare me that faux home-spun speech you politicians are so good at.
Alicia flicks her bangs out of her eyes. “Then join us. Pool our resources. Make the league fight a multi-front war.” He leans forward. “Well, I appreciate the offer, but my answer’s gonna have to be… not a chance in hell. Louis Canning’s using your case as a legal precedent to fight mine.” So JOIN THEM! It’s so obvious. Ugh. I mean, okay, they’re not as committed to this cause as you are, probably, but the money will get them there. Alicia wrinkles her nose in annoyance. “Whooping you will make it easier to fight me.” Do I have to say it again? Really? “Which is why he was prepared, and so eager to rush to court.” Yep, Will’s figuring everything out. Eventually. “Yep! Good luck. Hockey will be fighting you to the last man.” He winks at them, then stands. “And you’re gonna lose. You’re gonna lose bad.” Will and Alicia sit glumly next to each other, arms pressed together, listening to Sonia Leigh wailing about money in the background.
“At least we’re offering a choice,” Kurt’s – daughter? – tells Diane proudly. “Unlike your socialist, fascist campaign, ours is a horse race.” Yikes. Diane nods and smiles. “With four hobbled horses?” She’s a very polite debater. “Not too hobbled to beat your man Obama. Did you think we’d listen the gray hairs, trying to hand it to Romney? Bloody battle’s healthy. Fires people up.” And she is in fact sitting in front of a fire, settled down into a wooden arm chair with a beer. She kind of looks like a younger Elizabeth Reaser, actually. “Yes, particularly the billionaires putting down payments on candidates.” Hee, Diane. “Ah, the Highland Park liberal calls foul about the Republicans superpacs as she writes a check to Obama’s.” Kurt’s head whips back and forth, and Diane’s white silk blouse shimmers in the firelight. Diane’s so not Highland Park. “Shall we drink to your non-activist Supreme Court?” she offers, raising a bottle. Right. “Scalia, Alito, the rest of the big scary five.” Four, Diane corrects: “We’re wearing Kennedy down. All part of our clever, Highland Park liberal plan.” Hee. It’s true Kennedy’s not what the conservatives wanted when they appointed him. Kurt quirks a smile in appreciation.
“Well, as much as I’d like to stay here proving you wrong, I have an early forensics class in the morning. And my instructor here,” she nods at Kurt as she gathers herself, “gets surly if we’re late, so… It was nice meeting you, Diane.” Diane looks at Kurt in surprise, then smiles up at his student. “And you, Miranda, keep breathing that fire.” Miranda – who, hmm, is not his daughter but definitely young enough to be – tosses her coat over her shoulder. “Goodbye Kurt, see you tomorrow.” There’s a beat of silence as she leaves.
“Well, she’s wonderful,” Diane observes, clearly lying. Snort. “Crack shot, too. Crime labs’ll be climbing all over each other to grab her,” Kurt offers before taking a swig of the beer. “So she’s your… protegee?” Diane lets a good long silence hang before she lets out that last word. Kurt tilts his head, considering. “You could call her that,” he allows. Oh, I’m not at all sure I like this, Mr. “I won’t represent a guilty client”- please tell me you’re too principled to sleep with your students. She leans forward. “Well, you two certainly are of … like mind.” He mirrors her posture;”Except I like a good argument. Consensus is less… interesting.” She considers this for a moment. “Hello,” she says softly.
He snorts. “Is this a regular thing for you, dropping in on men you haven’t seen in a year?” Well, you were the one who told her that she had to come on vacation with you or drop you altogether. For an answer, she leans forward and kisses him.
They break apart, look at each other in silence.”I could use some direction here. What is this?” Um, lust for another man? “It’s me missing you,” she says, her voice low. His hand rubs up and down her back. “And hoping you feel likewise.” He opens his mouth as if to speak. He doesn’t.
Those are pictures of Alicia’s old house, room upon lovely room. Grace (her hair bumped up cutely) sucks in a breath, remembering something.”The real estate lady called. She thinks that they’d take 10% down.” You know, if Alicia just happens to have 190k sitting around. Alicia rolls her eyes, and puts her face in her hands. “What?” Grace wonders. “The ‘real estate lady’ should not be telling you that. She’s calling here because she wants to get you two excited about the house.” Bingo! “No, she’s just being nice.” No, Grace, she really is not just being nice. Marina’s really passive aggressive. “You’re really trying to make it work, aren’t you?” Grace realizes. “I don’t know,” Alicia sighs, looking at that number – 1,900,000. Ouch. That’s a lot of zeros for a house you can’t entirely stand to walk through.
“I knew they’d come after me. I was a marked man,” Grants smiles ruefully, back on the stand. “Because of your check in that first game on their star, Christian Lund?” Yes. Alicia takes a nervous, totally obvious look over at Louis Canning. Julius points out that Raker’s 6’3″ and 220. “How big were you, Grant?” 5’11”, 190. Tammy – this time in a tight white button down – slips into court, notebook in hand. “Yet when he goaded you, you fought,” Julius commends him, pointing. “I had no choice. If I hadn’t fought, they would have gone after one of our star players.” How could you know that? “Cause we’d have done the same thing. It’s the game,” he explains as Tammy settles into her seat. She makes eye contact with Will, seated on the opposite side, and they smile. That’s all Julius’s got.
“Please let me start by saying how sorry I am about your recent medical developments,” Canning begins. Rather than his much more recent loss, right. “Can I offer some advice from personal experience? One day at a time.” Right. “Julius and Alicia roll their eyes at each other. “Thank you,” Grant responds politely. “So, this baseline test that the doctor gave you at the beginning of the season?” Alicia’s eyes bulge from the surprise; I’m surprised she doesn’t object to the question. “I, uh, I don’t think I understand the question.” And right – how could he do that? See, this is why they need scans if the tests can be faked. “Were you told by a teammate to fake the test, you know, tap on the keyboard a little slower, or mix up the numbers on a test grid. That way if you suffered a head injury during a game, the team doctors would see similar results and clear you to play.” Wait, that’s what they do with an injured player – make him sit at a keyboard? Jeez.
Finally, Julius gets off his duff. “Objection. Hearsay!” Will, who’s been tying himself in knots in the gallery, flicks his fingers out and rolls his eyes. “My apologies, Your Honor, I should have submitted this into evidence. A deposition from one Mr. Anthony Marulo, who was his roommate during the early season.” Grant looks down at the paper, frightened. “Mr. DeVurney, one more time. Did you fake your baseline test?” Oh, crap. He swallows, deeply upset. Yes. Julius’s furious. “So if you hadn’t faked your test, they would have been able to diagnose you and treat you properly?” Will walks out. “Objection!” Julius jumps up, “beyond the witness’s expertise!” Canning withdraws his question. And he’s done.
“Grant, why did you fake your baseline test?” Julius asks, still standing. “For the same reason a lot of players do. I was afraid of losing my job.”
Will’s in the hall on his phone. His shirt (open at the neck) is light purple. “What’re you doing right now?” he asks Kalinda. She’s walking down the hall with the bookshelves, wearing a shiny shiny blouse. “Diane has me on something. What do you need?” He stalks down the hall. “How quickly can you upload a video online? No fingerprints.” So much for not helping on cases.
And there’s Alicia’s silver car. Did you notice how nice and close we got to the company’s symbol? Alicia clicks her key fob and starts to hop in. “Mrs. Florrick,” Louis Canning calls. “My driver is still at the … dentist.” Ha. “Can I get a lift?”
They sit in silence, staring forward, not moving. “How much flexibility is there?” she turns to him to ask. “Well, we offer telecommuting, and then there’s day care at work.” Somehow I don’t think she needs that (but wow, that’s actually quite awesome). “No, um, I have an issue. My apartment has gone condo, and I have the possibility of purchasing a house.” Canning’s not his position for being slow. “You need money for the down payment,” he realizes. “Yes. And consistent higher level in pay. I have private tuition and I’m trying to save up for college.” Wow. She seems really serious. Would she actually go there? He takes it in. “I’ll work up an offer,” he offers. Then she freaks. “No, no, I’m fine,” she says, her eyes going a little nuts, like a trapped animal. “No, you’re not fine or we wouldn’t be sitting here.” “Mr. Canning, seriously, I’m fine.” Ugh. “Alright, let’s leave it at this. I’ll work up an offer, we’ll think about it, we’ll talk on the phone later. And that’s it, no pressure.” She stares out her windshield, unhappy. “Nobody’s doing anything wrong here, Alicia. This is how America works.” She nods, clearly lost in thought.
Heavy metal music blares as the soundtrack to a montage of hockey fights. Alicia cuts the film – from a website, whose logo is emblazoned on the top corner of the screen – and turns to the latest witness on the stand. “So you’re familiar with this website?” “Yes, RinkFight.com,” a middle aged suit tells her. “It’s not sanctioned by our league.” “Well then you’re aware,” she says, “that it lets fans get to vote on who wins the fight? That the players actually have fight cards, with win/loss records?” The judge raises her eyebrows. The suit does know it. In the gallery, FMT is pleased. “As APHL’s chief administrative officer, you have the final say over league copyright issues, correct?” It is. “The clips the website plays are game broadcasts, do you grant them permission to use these?” Absolutely not. “As I said, this is not an APHL sanctioned website.” He puts up a finger to demonstrate his sincerity.
“Let’s talk about another website that uses your clips.” She clicks on a game. Canning looks annoyed. “This is a recent Boston/Detroit game; it was posted online yesterday by an employee of our firm.” Ah. Interesting. Kalinda’s little mission. The clip is posted on VidLook, one of TGW’s faux-YouTube sites. “”Do you know how long it took the webmaster to receive a cease and desist order from your office?” He shakes his head: no. “Two hours.” He blinks; he can probably see that he needs to be worried here. Will nods in the audience. It’s all going according to plan. “In the 8 years since RinkFight.com has been online, how many cease and desist letters have you issued them?” He narrows his eyes, displeased. “None.” Canning watches Judge Rigby’s face.
“Is that because you encourage fan’s enthusiasm for fights?” Alicia asks placidly. “Of course not!” the executive exclaims. (Which, ha!) “Then why aren’t you removing the fight videos?” FMT chuckles to himself. “Well I guess we’ll start. Thank you for the encouragement.” Alicia walks away. “And thank you for that damaging testimony.” Hee! It so is. Canning’s inevitable objection is sustained, but the judge clearly found the comment funny. Good. Alicia gives Canning a saucy little smile.
FMT stands in the corridor, the world swirling around him. He lets our team come to him. “I think we should all have a little sit down,” he declares. “About?” Julius asks, squinting, and oh, but that yellow shirt and orange tie were a mistake, mistake, mistake. “Helping you win this thing,” Thomas gloats.
Alright! Let’s get moving, then!
Awkward! Why’s Tammy in Alicia’s office? Oh, right, the article, and today’s testimony. “The truth. Are you in bed with him?” she asks. Well, that’s a loaded opener. “Am I in bed with him?” Alicia repeats, confused. “Yeah. That’s what I’ve been hearing from unnamed sources.” O-kaaaay. “I can neither confirm nor deny that we have any formal agreement with Frank Michael Thomas.” Ha. She smiles, which pretty much gives it all away. Tammy jots that down. “And you don’t think suits like yours and Mr. Thomas’s will hurt the sport of ice hockey?” Not nearly as much as the lockouts did! “No,” Alicia answers quickly, “Is fighting essential to the sport of ice hockey?” Tammy shrugs. “Some think it’s a safety valve – without it, you’d see a lot of sticks out there.” Alicia has a quick counter argument. “Not in college hockey, not in the Olympics. You would get ejected.” Good point. The league really is complicit; it’s about the entertainment value, and in the end, the league reaps the benefits, and the players pay the price.”Aren’t the stakes a little higher in the pros? The players livelihoods are on the line.” You know, I don’t accept that. Higher than the glory of your country in the Olympics? Or when you’re fighting to get noticed and win a slot on a professional team? Oh no. “Then why are there no real fights in the Championship series?” Alicia smiles, confident of her logic. Tammy smiles, too. “Sounds like your closing argument,” she says, reaching for the recorder she’s placed on Alicia’s desk.
“Thanks,” Tammy adds, waving the recorder before stuffing it into her bag. “No problem. If you need any more you should talk to Julius.” Interesting that she didn’t, isn’t it? Alicia looks for a minute before making small talk. “So you were in London, weren’t you, setting up your magazine’s operation for the Olympics?” Tammy looks up, quickly, then snorts. She was. “How was it?” “Rainy. You slept with Will after I left town, didn’t you?”
Oh, hello. She’s barked it out, without transition of subject. Alicia blinks, and then leans back in her chair.
“I promise you he didn’t tell me.” Suddenly Tammy tone is much nicer, friendly rather than hostile. “Will didn’t put up much of a fight when I told him about the London offer, and then I emailed him right after I got there, and no response. I chalked it up to his being so busy, but Will never not responds.” Alicia looks away. “I knew you two had history, so, 2 plus 2.” Alicia’s in an agony of embarrassment. Mortified is probably the right word. “I think that’s a conversation you should have with Will.” Now she’s lost Tammy’s good will by refusing to talk about it; Tammy’s mouth hangs open for a second, and then she gets up in a huff. “You’re right,” she sneers, “inappropriate of me.” Alicia glares at her. Yikes, ladies. (You have to know Alicia, though, Tammy. Hell, she didn’t talk about sleeping with Will with Will.) Slinging her bag over her shoulder, the reporter heads out. “For the record, it wasn’t over between Will and I when I left for London. Then you slept with him, and it was over.” Alicia sighs as Tammy struts out.
And who’s sitting in line of vision Tammy’s just stepped out of? Since Caitlin is gone, it’s Kalinda. Kalinda, whom Alicia’s refused to forgive for sleeping with Peter. You can see on Alicia’s face that she’s feeling the comparison. Is Tammy’s scorn justified? Is she the other woman? Alicia swallows. It’s not a pleasant thought, and you have to wonder whether it’s ever occurred to her before.
“We appreciate the change of heart. We could use whatever help you can give us,” Julius confesses frankly to Frank Michael Thomas. Kalinda joins them in the conference room. “Shouldn’t we wait for Miss Lockhart before getting to brass tacks? I understood she was going to be part of this.” Julius looks at Kalinda, who shrugs. “Diane got pulled away on another case…” or something “but we’ll bring her up to speed.” “So be it,” says Thomas, reaching for his files as Alicia joins the meeting. She gives Kalinda a very self-conscious, covert look. “Don’t look at this as a benevolent gesture. I just think you folks did a heck of a job in court today, and it looks like helping you will actually help me after all” Good on you, Alicia! Kalinda excuses herself to take a phone call. “Just do me a favor,” Thomas says, pushing the massive file across the table, grinning like the shark he is, “when you use this against Canning, try to draw blood.”
And from Thomas’s face, we got to Canning’s. He’s sitting where Alicia sat a moment ago; his tremors have been pretty pronounced all episode. “We’re adding a new witness, Dr. Andre Wed,” Alicia says carefully. “And you’re telling me in accordance to court rules. How very honorable of you.” Dr. Wed is a neurologist, Alicia begins, smiling in her silvery suit. “Who has repeatedly lambasted the league for it’s approach to head injuries. I’ve read all his articles. Dr. Wed has a unique gift for repeating himself.” “What Dr. Wed is testifying to isn’t in any of his articles,” she smiles. Wow, she really looks great as a shark. “Really?” “Dr. Wed approached the league with a rigorous protocol for evaluating and treating head injuries.” Uh oh. “One that would not scare players into faking baseline tests. Had the league not dismissed Dr. Wed so quickly, Grant DeVurney would have been properly diagnosed and treated.” Uh oh. Did I say that already? Uh oh. “I can show you the rejection email Dr. Wed received from the league VP. ” She puts the single sheet in front of him. “It’s a quick read.” She’s drawn the blood; he folds the paper in half, not bothering to do more than glance at it. “I’ll run it by the league, see what they want to do.” He stands. “Oh. One more thing.” He sets an envelope in front of her, taps it. “You have 24 hours.” Alicia picks it up quickly, fascinated.
“Fishing!” Diane cries into her phone. “At Horsetail Lake. We make it a day trip,” Kurt McVeigh suggests, standing in front of his big stone fireplace and roaring fire. There are snowshoes crossed over the mantel. “Kurt, have we met?” Hee. Diane is just killing in this episode. “I’ll do all the baiting,” he offers. Ha. “Kurt, would you have it any other way,” she snarks. Oh my God I love them. “We pack a lunch, we make it a day, we rent a boat…” Well, yes, you’ll need the boat. “We breath something other than car exhaust for a few hours. And the good news for you,” he says, finger raised, “cell phone coverage.” She laughs. And then her phone rings.
“Hold on a second,” she tells him, still snickering. “Hello?” she says in a mostly composed tone. “You don’t hate me, right?” comes the Australian voice she clearly never thought she’d hear again. Her eyes bulge. “Ah, Jack. Hello.” “I said I’d take you out some other time,” he says, “I’m calling to find out that other time.” Oh, Nelly. “Ah, wa, when do you have in mind?” Friday night. “Unwind after work?” Her mouth hangs open. “I, uh – can you hold on for a second?” He can. She hits the other line. “Kurt?” But no. Since we’re kind of in a Nancy Meyers movie now, it’s still Jack. “Who’s Kurt?” “He’s just a, ah, business associate. I will be right back, ah…” “Jack,” Jack supplies. “Jack,” she repeats, and then actually manages to get Kurt.
“Hello?” she says, not wanting to make the mistake again. “Look, if Horsetail Lake doesn’t cut it for you,” Kurt begins. “No, “she stops him, “sounds fun.” Now that I would pay to see. “When were you thinking?” Oh my Lord, her face.”Saturday morning. I’ll pick you up at 8.” She relaxes into a happy smile. “Perfect. I’ll see you then. Bye!” She clicks back to Jack, still smart about her phrasing. “Still there?” Yep, he is. “Friday night sounds good.”
And that’s what you do when you have an Emmy winning comedienne in your cast. Outstanding!
Will watches the bustle of the office from his lonely room. “It’s pretty darn hard being on the outside looking in, huh?” Eli crows. You’re just so pleased with yourself, aren’t you, now that you’re involved in the fight? “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels turn round and round,” Will smiles. “What’d you need, Eli?” Eli stands with his arms crossed. “I did not leak to the Bar Disciplinary Board.” Oh, here it goes. “But you’re going to tell me who did,” Will surmises. “I can tell you my suspicions,” Eli grins. “David Lee,” Will deadpans. “Yup!” Eli exclaimss triumphantly. “That’s funny,” Will replies, crossing his hands, “David Lee was in here yesterday, saying you did it.” While I think he’s totally capable of both going to the Board and telling Will that Eli was the culprit, Will’s got his court face on, and I don’t really believe him. Eli doesn’t either. “He did not,”Eli smirks uncomfortably. “He did,” Will insists. “No, now you’re playing us against each other. As long as we’re fighting, you’re safe.” Will goes quiet, and he says what might be the truest thing we’ve ever heard from him: ” I don’t think I’ll ever be safe.” Then he smiles. “It’s good talking to you, Eli.” Knowing he’s been dismissed, Eli raises his eyebrows and goes.
Diane the heart breaker heads for the elevator. “Excuse me, Diane,” Alicia calls out, stopping her boss as she’s pushing the button. Diane rolls her eyes before slowly turning around. “Ah, yes, Alicia?” Surreptitiously, Alicia steps forward. (Is she wearing black tights? How edgy of her!) “I have received a formal job offer from Louis Canning,” she admits awkwardly. “Canning?” Diane smiles, not quite believing it. “He approached me several months ago, and I declined, but … he’s been persistent.” Diane squints, surprised. ‘And you’re considering it?” “I want to stay,” Alicia confesses, “but his offer would go a long way toward helping me make a mortgage payment.” “It wasn’t Louis Canning who gave you a chance after 13 years away from the law,” Diane reminds her subordinate softly. Well that’s a home point. It looks as if it’s tearing her apart, but Alicia hands over the letter. “This is his offer. If I stay with the firm, it has to be more.”
Diane raises her eyebrows at the amount. She hands the paper back. “You’ll give me to the end of the week?” “No,” Alicia replies, quiet but hard. Diane’s surprised. “I can’t,” Alicia swallows. Obviously, she doesn’t understand that Diane has to go through the partners. The elevator doors open as Diane nods to herself, smiling dangerously. “Everybody changes.” She looks Alicia over, straightening her spine. “End of the week, Alicia, or you can clean out your desk right now.” She strides into the elevator, and Alicia’s left to reflect on her gamble, contracting her brow, shaking her head.
“We’ve heard nothing?” Julius asks Alicia as they head to the courtroom. “No texts, no emails, nothing,” Alicia tells him. Today it’s a light purple jacket with another black skirt. “I would have thought Canning would want to end this – keep the league from getting skewered in court. Fine, put Dr. Wed on the stand.” At this moment, Heinz, the lawyer for Snowplane, walks up to them and asks for a moment. “Can’t it wait until after court?” “No,” he says, “there is no court. I just spoke to Judge Rigby. The Snowplane corporation has reevaluated it’s position on the original case. We’re now prepared to settle.” Julius and Alicia look at each other – and look at that, the purple stripe in his tie matches her blazer exactly. “Wa, weh, well, we’re way beyond that point, Mr. Heinz,” Julius answers, picking up steam as he goes. “The only acceptable number is the full five million.” “Good,” smiles Heinz, “because that’s what we’re offering. Talk to your client and let me know.” Heinz leaves, Julius squints after him, and Alicia’s mouth flaps before she game get any words out of it. “What happened?” she finally asks. “I think we just won,” Julius realizes.
Yay for us! And yay for the hockey league paying Snowplane to take the fall. I had almost completely forgotten the snowmobile part of the story.
And, we’re back in the monkey house. “No no no no! No bonus!” David Lee barks over the howling. “She just won a case,” Eli counters. “Alicia did not win a case, she was handed a settlement,” David snaps, unwilling to give his newest nemesis any credit. “Which we wouldn’t have gotten but for her performance,” Julius says. Wow, that’s really generous of Julius. I’m not sure that’s true, but I love that he’s not jealous. And it’s quite a change in tune. Has he really changed his mind, or is he just being a contrarian? Or is it that he really doesn’t want to lose any more litigators? “Oh, forgive me, Miyagi, I forgot who was guiding Alicia.” Oh, David. You hate everyone now. You’re lucky you’re funny. “And since when do you have a problem with winning money for clients?”
Eli waves his hand. “Who cares about the clients. Will, tell them how disastrous it’s be if Alicia walks right now.” Will sits down, raising his eyebrows but not deigning to enter the fight. “I don’t care what she’s paid, I just can’t afford to lose another body right now,” Julius insists. “Look, we all know the issue,” David begins with mock reasonableness. “Why don’t we put it to a vote?” A man behind him nods. “All in favor…” “No,” Diane interrupts abruptly. She’s been tweedy and silent until now. “She’s getting her bonus. I’m invoking managing partner prerogative.” David laughs evilly. “You cant be serious?” he asks. “What’re we talking about?” Eli wonders. “The firm’s by laws allow the managing partner to act unilaterally,” Will explains. “Under extenuating circumstances,” Julius Cain adds.
“We must have missed the memo,” David Lee complains theatrically, “Apparently we’re now Stalin and Associates.” Nice. “Well, if it means Alicia stays, I second it,” Eli proclaims, waving his phone. “You can’t second it!” Lee sneers. “The matter’s closed,” Diane bites out. “Any other business?” Will watches her leave, awed.
He follows her out into the hall. “You just stuck your neck out for a third year associate,” Will observes. She nods her head. “Your suspension has left us exposed. I stuck my neck out for the future of this firm.” Nice. “Hi,” she laughs into her cell phone, “no, I don’t know what time I can get out of here tonight.” Is it Friday? Wow, I cannot wait to see this play out. She closes the door in Will’s face; he walks on, then watches her laugh from further down the hall. Nope, you’re right. She usually isn’t haven’t that much fun.
“But thank you very much, Mr. Canning,” Alicia declares primly from behind her desk. He shimmies, and smiles to himself. “Is something wrong?” she asks. “You used me!” he realizes. Oh, the horror! Where’s the whole “this is how America works” line now? There’s nothing wrong with talking? No pressure? “No,” she replies, stung. “The firm made it attractive for me to stay – it was unexpected.” He keeps laughing.”Unexpected as a knife in the back.” Damn, he knows just how to play her, doesn’t he? Her face falls. “You should be still be pleased. You did well for your client. Whatever deal you cut with Snowplane deflects any liability away from the league.” And because it’s Canning, he has to explain how his loss is really a win (and her win, a loss). “No, I’m pleased,” he says, “I had to smoke Frank Michael Thomas out, find out what he had in his class action against the league, and thanks to your good lawyering, now I know.” Yep, that hit home too. “So I guess what I need to say to you, Alicia, is thank you. Thank you.” Oh, yes, it’s all part of your master plan, isn’t it? You can never stand for someone to think they beat you. This trick is getting a little boring, Louis. She shakes her head to clear it.
And that’s when she notices Kalinda.
“Anything you have would be really helpful,” the investigator says to whatever source she’s on the phone with. She sees Alicia walking in, even before we do. “Okay. Okay, thanks,” she says, hanging up the phone.
Alicia takes a big, steadying breath. “The other day when you brought the beer, I wasn’t” Kalinda tries to wave her down. “It’s alright,” she says, “they were warm anyway.” Alicia overlooks the attempt at humor. She’s not going to be let off the hook. “Look, I can’t go back to the way it was before, there’s just been too much.” Kalinda nods, unhappy to have to go there again. “I know,” she sighs. There’s little she likes less than an emotional confrontation, talking out your feelings, that kind of thing. “But I’d like to try to make it work.”
Oh, that’s surprising. “It’s just that …” she pauses, leaning on the table, looking for the words, “everything has to be on the table.” She makes a kind of “you’re out” baseball gesture with her hand, indicating everything laid out. “I can’t be the only one being being forthcoming. I can’t be the only one being honest. Can you do that?”
Kalinda has tears in her eyes.
“Yeah,” she breathes, nodding.
“Okay,” Alicia replies, barely able to look at Kalinda, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” She leaves.
Kalinda catches her breath and blinks.
So first let me say, YAY!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, now that I’ve got the fangirling about Alicia and Kalinda out of the way… actually, no. This is how awesome this is. I mean, of course it’s awesome that they’re going to try to be friends, but I like that Alicia’s grown enough to demand an equitable relationship. I don’t even know that I’d thought about it before, but Alicia had been so desperate for a real friend that she was willing to put up with the inequality. Well, I mean, I’d thought about it, but now it’s clear how much Alicia has grown that she can make that a condition of their “trying” – and what a mind-boggling concession from Kalinda! Come on, party with me a little. This is pretty awesome. They’re growing! Alicia, Will, Kalinda, Cary – it’s awesome to see.
I can’t help being a little less pleased with the case, though. Oh, I really enjoyed Canning, Grant was an appealing client, and Fred Dalton Thompson is always a bonus. And sports medicine interests me. I mean, have you ever seen a former hockey player? They’re wrecked; you see guys in their 40s or 50s walking like the extreme aged. But really. Either they could prove a mechanical defect in the snowmobile (maybe all of Snowplanes snowmobiles), or they couldn’t. I’m not sure I buy the tangent – and let’s face it, this entire episode was a tangent – that Grant’s poor motor reflexes could be responsible for the accident at the same time as the mechanical failure. Either the thing was built wrong, or it wasn’t. Also, I have trouble imagining Grant would take his manly independence and contempt for the court system, and then agree to sue hockey. It seems inconsistent. But as always, I enjoy being taken along on the ride.
So Alicia steps up to the big leagues, forcing the firm to raise her salary! I hope she doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for Canning, who took a risk and lost. That’s his world; he just tries to make her feel guilty about it because he knows he can, because he hopes to affect her behavior. Do you think Alicia would have jumped ship if they failed to meet her demands? In some ways it comes down to how much she wants that house, but when she threatened Diane did she cross a line? Was that irreversible? Was her little hesitation in the car real (saying that she didn’t want the offer), or was that all about playing Canning?
Now that there seem to be no barriers, does anyone actually think Alicia’s going to buy her old house? Are we really going to lose out on the gorgeous apartment of gloom? I genuinely can’t decide what I want her to do here. For her kids, I want the house. But for her, I don’t know. Maybe it’d be good for her to reclaim her past, make peace with it. But could she re-start her life in there? Does that matter, or would those sunny rooms be filled with ghosts? Thinking of the way she couldn’t even enter the master bedroom – I don’t know. I don’t see what’s going to stop her now that she’s got the bonus she wanted, though. I can’t help thinking there might be some sort of surprise involved here, and I’m excited to see where it goes. So, what do you think? How will the remaining episodes play out? Will we ever find out who ratted Will out to the board? Can David Lee actually cause Alicia harm? Have we truly seen the last of Caitlin? How freaking awesome is Diane, and is she really going to keep dating both Jack and Kurt? Do you want to see them fight it out over her? And what’s with both of them and those much too young women? Is it just for the pleasure of seeing that the men want Diane more?