E: To end the first season, we had a thrilling last minute decision about a political career, and a passionate declaration of love. In the end of the second, we had the struggle for control of a firm, the dissolution of a marriage, and a passionate, torrid elevator ride. To end season three, we had a fake lawsuit, an awkward meeting in a lobby, and the riveting, fateful choice of pizza or no pizza.
(Oh, alright, alright, the Kalinda plotline was insanely intense and awesome and I’m stomping on the ground about not having more of that.)
If – as has been reported – The Good Wife is built on a five season plan, and if you look at the five seasons as a work week, then wow, was that hump day. You know what I’m saying. The one you have to get through to get to the other side.
Eyes trained forward, expressions miserable and awkward, Kalinda and Alicia sit next to each other at the bar. Oh, girls! You’re so cute! Kalinda needs Alicia to know that Cary invited her. “I know,” Alicia agrees with what sounds like pity, “he’s just on a call.” She gestures vaguely in his direction. The bartender supplies a shot glass. As he pours, Alicia thinks of something to say. “So the IRA agreed to an offer in compromise.” Well, that is news, but what does it have to do with Kalinda? “On your tax case?” she clarifies when the investigator doesn’t respond. Bwa! Alicia, you sounded so sober. Awesome. Kalinda’s mouth curls up. “The IRA?” Snickering at herself, Alicia restates the name, this time correctly. Hee. “You’ll have to pay a penalty, we can get into that later, but you have some uncashed checks in your files, you should take a look at those.” Alicia nods earnestly. She’s so funny tipsy.
“Thanks,” Kalinda smiles, then takes a beat before adding “I’m not gay.” Um, okay. Even before this announcement, Alicia was tapping the side of her glass from the awkward; now she looks utterly befuddled. She turns to Kalinda, questioning. “You asked whether I was gay,” Kalinda explains. “Yeah,” Alicia concedes, “two years ago.” Ha! “I know. I wanted to answer,” Kalinda says with warmth and openness. Hee. “I’m not gay, I’m….” she considers her word choice, finally landing on “flexible.” Too right.
Alicia swallows. “Okay,” she says, not looking at Kalinda but signalling the bartender for a shot of her own, “Flexible. Okay. Good. ” Kalinda smirks to herself. “And, ah, Lana Delaney, this FBI agent, that’s – ‘flexible‘?” She makes funny twisty gestures with her hands. Kalinda nods, still smirking. “Yeah. Sort of.” Sort of is right. The two make faces in turn. “Because as your lawyer,” Alicia grimaces, “I wouldn’t…” But then she backs down, biting her lips. That’s right. You can see her thinking through the fact that Kalinda’s dating life is a mystery she can’t even begin to unravel. “You know what, it’s your life, you do what you want.” She tosses back the shot as Kalinda smirks.
And, Alicia’s phone buzzes. She looks at it as she sucks on a lime. What, Kalinda wonders. “It’s the Vericene case. The judgement’s in. We get to hear it tomorrow.” They were working on something else? Her eyebrows compress. “That’s good?” Kalinda offers. “I don’t know. I’ve got a bad feeling about this one,” Alicia glowers.
“How is everyone this morning?” the Honorable Judge Trent Wynter asks. Everyone is good. Judge Wynter? Wait, as in the third allegedly bribed judge? Are we finally meeting him? “I see we have a designated hitter in court today,” he says, sitting. Trent there looks like John Corbett with slicked back hair, don’t you think? Diane rises to explain that she’s subbing for Will (so, wow, how long has the court been sitting on this one if she has to make the explanation now?) but the judge interrupts, saying he knows all about Will’s suspension. If he’s that Wynter, damn straight he does! “How is he?” the fellow asks. “Very well. Thank you for asking. Like a kid with five days before Christmas.” The judge guffaws, making Louis Canning (Canning!) look a little peeved. As he huffs out a breath, he crosses off the number $1.3, writes 4 instead and circles it.
“Well tell him he’s missed,” Wynter continues. “Shall we get started?” Diane and Alicia stand, as well as the fellow sitting between them. Slowly Canning follows suit. “The plaintiff alleges that Vericene, a drug for the cure of acne, caused Mr. Goode irreversible sterility.” Eek. That’s one way to make sure the uncool don’t inherit the earth; sterilize them. “I am awarding for the plaintiff in the amount of twenty five million dollars in compensatory.” Mr. Goode inhales like he spent the last several minutes underwater and had finally hit the surface, and Alicia’s jaw falls open. “I acknowledge that this amount is in excess of the 18 million requested by the plaintiff,” Judge Wynter explains as the plaintiffs team exchanges astounded, joyous glances, and Canning (whose 4 million dollar worst case scenario has suddenly become a gross underestimate) stares in a different kind of disbelief, “but I find the actions here particularly heinous.”
“Your Honor,” Canning says, running a hand through his hair. “Yes, Mr. Canning. You want to appeal?” Wynter guesses, twiddling his thumbs. “Oh, I do,” Canning breathes, “vehemently.” “As is your right,” Wynter allows graciously, before turning to the plaintiff. “Mr. Goode. I want you to know. No matter how things end up, justice was done here today.” Okay. For the record, his skin looks quite clear. As Wynter brings his gavel down, the courtroom explodes with cheers, clapping, hugs and general elation. Diane keeps repeating “wow, oh, wow” which, let’s admit it, is not quite her usual cool cat m.o.. “I am rarely speechless,” she grins, gripping Good by his shoulders, “but I am speechless!” “Thank you, thank you both,” Goode enthuses. As Canning glowers at his table, Diane cautions Goode not to get ahead of himself. They’ve appeals to go through.
Alicia can’t get over it; she was convinced it was going the other way. “Sometimes fate smiles,” Diane grins, dialing her phone as Alicia texts. “Will,” Diane says, “are you standing or sitting?” Neither. He’s lying on the couch in his office. “Which one do you want me to be?” he snarks. And then he’s silent for a moment.
And then he sits up. Shocked.
“You’re kidding,” he gasps. “You’re kidding.” Diane laughs into her hand. “Do you know what this means?” She’s still got her hand curved over her mouth as she pushes the courtroom door open. “That we can pay off our balloon payment!” Will realizes. Um, okay. I think we’ve discussed this, but honestly it’s never seemed like something oppressive before – even though Diane says it’s going to stave off the executioner for another quarter. What happened to not counting those chickens, Diane? They quickly determine that they ought to get a good settlement out of Canning with the 25 mil hanging over his head.
A little further down the corridor, Peter walks purposefully toward Alicia. “Peter, you okay?” she asks, creamy white (with Snow White’s black hair) against his dark suit. He blows out a big breath.
“We have a problem with the house,” he tells her, the two of them facing each other in his office. And what would that be? “We?” Alicia asks sharply. “Jackie,” Peter confesses – and what a shock, Jackie’s screwed things up. “She paid ten percent cash on the down payment.” Are you kidding me? Oh my God, that woman. Remind me again how she got access to Grace and Zach’s trust? And does Peter know about that, because, seriously, she ought to be prosecuted. “Evidently she was bidding against someone,” he adds. “Me,” Alicia grinds her teeth, and I have to respect how well she’s holding it together. I’m livid on her behalf. “She was bidding against me.” Peter laughs. I suppose there’s not much else he can do, but again, I’d probably be more annoyed with him than Alicia is. She is such a fair person; I try to be fair, but I fear that is a league I can’t compete in. So, Peter says, he’s going ahead with the sale but will flip the house in a year.
So, um, nobody wins?
“Okay,” Alicia says, measured. “Are you moving in?” He is. “Just temporarily. I think I could get more money for the house if I did some work in the back yard.” Er, okay. It’s so funny to think of Peter as a handy-man (although clearly we’ve seen it, what with the mail box and all). It’s a good thing he’ll have so much free time coming up. Her face is a little chilly. “Why’re you telling me this, Peter?” she asks flatly. “Look,” he says, “I don’t want you to worry about these… decisions.” Good luck with that. “This is all temporary. I’m not trying to…” “Colonize our past?” she interjects helpfully. Oh, nicely academic phrasing, Professor Alicia. She smiles, a bit snide.
He blows out a laugh. “Well, I wouldn’t put it exactly that way, but yes, I don’t want these decisions to be misunderstood.” Okay. I respect that. He’s trying to be a grown up. I get it. She sucks in her disapproval and genuinely smiles. “Okay, I won’t,” she decides once the effort is expended. “So,” he answers, “we’re making this work.” It’s as much a question as a statement. “Oddly, yes we are,” she laughs, shaking the ends of her hair. They walk out together.
“I heard Cary is back with you guys,” Peter offers after a minute. Yeah, cause that’s not awkward. Although I’m not sure either of them knows how awkward it really is – that Alicia did the poaching, that Peter fired Cary when he found out. “Yup, starts today,” Alicia agrees, stopping (as Jane Austen famously said) to look at the question. “He’s a good guy,” Peter nods, obviously wounded, “I wish him luck.”
Cary’s law texts slam against a table. “So we’ll need you out here until we get an office cleared off. You’ll be alright with that,” Will tosses over his shoulder in a busy conference area. What? This is such a hazing. I don’t buy this for a second, not when Caitlin had multiple offices (and he’s essentially replacing her), not when Alicia and Cary both had offices as first years. Dude, I get that you still don’t forgive him for trying to send you to jail, but jeez. Sure, Cary says, playing along. What else can he do? It’ll just be for a couple weeks, Will adds. A couple of weeks? Cary sits, at a loss amidst the chaos, just him and his books and his purple tie. He watches Alicia walk into her large, airy office, and you can see he’s even more bummed.
In that office, Alicia’s flipping through Kalinda’s very thick file. She’s looking at the checks, and accidentally drops one onto the floor. It’s a check from a Canadian construction company, dated 10-2-07, and when she sees it’s for $21,000, she almost gasps. Sure, it’s not 25 million, but it’s a lot for someone to have hanging around uncashed for 5 years. And immediately, she goes for the phone. Mistake.
Mistake number 2; instead of using her office phone, she calls F &C Construction on her cell. That’s right, when her office phone is sitting there within easy reach. Wouldn’t you choose to do business on your business phone instead of your personal one? What do you even say to that? “Yeah?” a voice answers, a clue that this isn’t a professional line. “Is this F&E Construction?” Alicia asks, undaunted. “Hello?”
“Who is this?” the man asks suspiciously. “Uh, I’m a lawyer following up on an uncashed check from F&E Construction. Unfortunately, we’ll need you to reissue the check,” she tells him. Right. I’m sure it’ll be that easy to get a stranger to give you 21k without even introducing yourself. There’s a moment of silence. “Who is this?” the man growls. “Ah, is this F&E Construction?” Alicia asks instead of answering. It’s like a game of identity chicken; isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you get on the phone, say who you are? “Yes,” he replies shortly. “I don’t recognize your voice.” Why would he expect to? “I’m a lawyer, representing…” and here Alicia gets belatedly cautious. “… someone who, ah, has an uncashed check from F&E Construction, and she can’t access her funds unless you reissue, so…”
“Who’s the check made out to,” he says in a much more normal voice. “Cash,” Alicia reads. Well, that’s odd; that’s got to make it a lot harder for her to get reissued, right? The mystery man laughs, and something about it – the fact that he’s laughing, the creepy tone – gets under Alicia’s skin. “Where you callin’ from, lady?” he asks with what suddenly sounds like a hint of the American South. She does not want to say. “Can you just reissue the check, sir?” she asks, letting her annoyance show. “Sure,” he agrees smugly. “Just give me the check number.” You know what? She’d rather not; Alicia’s slowly waking up to her mistake. I’ll call you back, she tells him, hanging up before he can reply.
So, alright. I know she’s weirded out by him from the very beginning of the call, but when you make business calls, don’t you usually introduce yourself? I would surely do that before asking someone to send me 21,000! Hello, my name is Alicia Florrick of the law firm Lockhart/Gardner; I represent a client who has an check from your institution and I was wondering if we could get it re-issued? Of course, I probably would have been all “excuse me, I hope you can help me, I think I need to talk to your accountant, could you help direct my call?” because people tend to be more helpful if you’re polite. And usually receptionists aren’t the ones who issue checks. Of course, since the check was made out to cash, I’d have asked Kalinda about it first (whatever the amount) because you know even if things are on the up and up, no one is going to reissue even a small amount of money to an unknown person without more information. I get that this is all dramatically necessary (and it’s not like my way would have been any better in the long run), the whole thing just seems weirdly impulsive and ill-executed on Alicia’s part.
Without transition, we hear a big whistle from Cary. “Wow,” he adds, looking around her office. Not nearly as big as your deputy one over at the SA’s, but it’s kind (and hopefully not too jealous) of him to say. “Oh, hi Cary,” Alicia greets him, too distracted to notice the compliment. “How’re you doing?” “Good,” he says, looking around, “you seem to be too.” She blushes. “Oh, it’s just from being liaison to Eli Gold. When he’s back on the campaign trail, I’ll be out there with everyone else.” She points over to Eli’s office and then to the folks at the long table in between. How soon will that be, I wonder, when he’s on the gubernatorial campaign full time? “Where’re you?” “Out there with everyone else,” he smiles. What, did all the 3rd years get kicked out of their offices? Or is it Eli’s people? Crazy. And surely that would make for a supremely messy public space instead of the gleaming bare table we see. Alicia laughs. “Well, then you’ll have company.”
Diane strides in the door. “Canning,” she says shortly, although she takes a moment to greet Cary and shake his hand. I seem to remember – from Will’s early plotting with Howard – that Diane’s the one in charge of room assignments. So what’s up with this lack of office business, anyway? “We need you,” Diane commands Alicia, and then leaves. The Vericene case, Alicia tells Cary. “Yeah,” he agrees, excusing her from more small talk and from walking him out. “I know my way around.”
We’re not committed to a number, Diane explains from behind her desk, beginning negotiations with Canning; make us an offer. He checks his phone instead of answering. Alicia walks in to stand at Diane’s left hand, puzzled by the silence. Diane peers forward. “Mr. Canning, are you with us?” she prompts her adversary. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he says, “I was just texting my lawyer.” He’s wearing a purple v neck sweater under a brown plaid jacket with a coordinating purple stripe. “It’s funny, isn’t it, lawyers having lawyers? I bet my lawyer even has a lawyer. We should all be getting progressively smaller, like Matryushka dolls.” Hee. Cute. I thought those were the coolest when I was a kid. “Yes,” Diane humors him. “Are we negotiating, or, what’re we doing?” Ha. Oh, we’re negotiating, he says, flipping through his things (which he has left on her desk), I do have an offer for you. He scribbles. “A one time offer for you,” he offers, and holds up a small pad of paper with a zero on it.
“Zero? Really?” Alicia sneers. Yes, really. “You have five minutes to decide whether to take it,” he claims, setting it on Diane’s desk. Right. 25 million, nothing, such a hard choice! What’s this a precursor to? Obviously they’re not going to take it. What’s his point? “I see,” Diane tells him. “And if we don’t, you have a bomb or something?” I love the way she makes the word bomb explode out of her mouth – excellent. Something like that, he agrees before talking to his lawyer. “Hi, we’re all here. Where are you?”
“Just changing,” says Patti Nyholm, who is changing her latest baby’s diaper under the abstract painting in the little couch filled nook in reception. She’ll just be a sec. “Rash is back, Michael,” she says to the handsome guy beaming at her toddler. “I know,” the hottie sighs (that dimple!). Patti’s – husband? boyfriend? manny? – has been putting the ointment on three times a day. As she coos to her infant about instituting a ban on spicy Thai food, a baby-faced dude in a suit grimaces at the diaper. “Oh, come on, it’s just poop. You shovel this stuff all day, buddy!” Patti calls after him. Hee! “Oh God,” passerby Will freezes at the sweet sound of his adversary’s voice. “Patti Nyholm,” he nods, walking toward her.
“Look at you,” she says, standing as Michael scrambles to get the baby off the couch. Um, not cool; just hand him the baby, lady, it could have fallen! “And you,” he says, “poster child for motherhood today.” Ha. What with almost letting the baby fall off the couch and all. “You have no changing tables in the rest room, Will,” she informs him. “It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.” Gosh, that blue is such a gorgeous color on her, and I love the new hair. Also? Put a changing table in the bathroom, Will. Sure, maybe most people don’t take their babies to their lawyers’ offices, but it’s better than having to disinfect the couches in reception.
“Yep,” he says, “we’re doing our part to suppress the birthrate.” Ha! Hire uglier lawyers, then. “So I need some legal advice on my contract,” she begins, then brings her hand to her mouth in a vintage Patti display of drama. “Oh my God, wait. You can’t practice law anymore! What was I thinking?” Ha ha, Patti. You know, there really is no one like her. She waves the diaper at Will, who declines it. So she tossed it to her boy toy, saying she’ll be right back.
And, ah, how I love it – they’re walking and talking. Is it weird to enjoy witty repartee on the move? “That must be really hard on you, Will,” she faux-sympathizes, “just sitting around watching all these lawyers while you’re, what? Surfing the web? Clipping coupons?” You got it, Patti; he’s such the super-couponer. So on target. “What’s up, Patti?” he asks. “The lawsuit,” she says brightly. Which lawsuit? “The new one. It’ll be great being on opposite sides again, dusting it up,” she faux-enthuses. I love how coy she is, how fake every word that comes out of her mouth sounds. “Oh, wait,” she faux-remembers, putting a hand on his chest, “you’re not a lawyer anymore.” Her faux-disappointment is typically dramatic. “I keep forgetting.
“Sorry I’m late,” she coos, popping into Diane’s office, Will on her heels shooting laser beams out of his eyes. I really really love that dress – I had one in a similar color, so I guess that follows – with the cream-colored cardigan and the belt. Sooooo pretty. But, er, what’s she doing here again? Why does Canning need a lawyer? “Here’s my lawyer now,” he declares, standing, “Miss Nyholm, I think you know everybody?” Why yes, I think she does. Will stands at Diane’s right hand, and all three glare at their visitors. “How’s your negotiations going?” Patti wonders. Eh, he says, I don’t know. Their five minute consideration time is up now. Canning sits, and Nyholm fishes something out of her purse. “We’re suing you,” she informs them briskly.
Turns out LOC Pharmaceuticals – makers of Vericene and Albutol – and their insurer LifeState (represented by Patti back in Heart) have tired of getting clawed to shreds by Lockhart/Gardner, and have called upon our favorite nemeses to make it happen. “We joined forces to sue you for fifty million dollars,” Patti beams, first at Canning, and then at her adversaries, “for fraud and malicious prosecution.” Hee. I mean, holy crap, that’s awful, but also, hee. “Come on, that’s harrassment,” Will sneers. “Is that your legal opinion?” Patti snarks, trying to entrap Will. “No, it’s mine,” Diane interjects. “If your company doesn’t like being sued, stop making products that kill and maim people!” Yep, that’d be a start. “Here’s a better idea,” Patti whips back, “stop intentionally and wrongfully instituting legal proceedings you know are without merit.” Alicia brings up the twenty five million, which makes that case seem pretty meritorious. “Sounds like legal bribery to me,” Patti leaps in.
And that shuts everyone up.
Except Canning, that is. “Ooops! That a sensitive topic?” Nice Dr. Evil impression, Canning. (No, I’m sure it’s not intentional. It’s totally something Dr. Evil would say, though, isn’t it?) “This case was built for a jury. You requested a bench trial,” Patti explains. I guess I’ll take your word for it? “It’s a million dollar case, and your basketball buddy awarded you 25 million,” she laughs scornfully. “I was cleared by a grand jury,” Will defends himself. “No,” Patti snaps, “you weren’t indicted by a grand jury.” Hmm. “You gamed the system. I know you, Will. You can’t do that with me,” she says, getting up. “Or with me,” Canning adds quietly, hands in his pockets. “That’s right,” Patti smiles, nudging her shoulder into his affectionately, “we’re the Dream Team.” And – eeee! – they share a Wonder Twins fist bump! Wonder Twin powers, activate! Oh, that’s awesome.
Er, very very bad for our lawyers. But just too delicious for us.
Lying in her enormous hospital room, Jackie’s watching an old film noir movie; soundtrack with heavy use of strings, a man in a dressing gown, sweat. “Mr. Gold?” she asks as Eli steps into the room. “Hi,” he says quietly. “Peter told me you were here.” He seems to be bears an odd corkscrew plant. Curly willow? I don’t know. I’ve seen it before, but I don’t know what it is. There are no flowers. “Shouldn’t you be in synagog?” she asks, and he sneers at the thought. (We know he does actually keep the sabbath, so I’m not sure why he’s sneering; did she get the day of the week wrong? Probably.) “How’re you feeling?” he asks. Better, she nods, which pleases him, because it allows him to lower the boom as he’s apparently come here to do. “Then I won’t feel bad about saying this. Your son is going to lose,” he says, setting down the plant and gripping the ends of the hospital bed. “Without Alicia, your son is going to lose the governorship.”
Well, that’s some plain talking.
Jackie splutters, perhaps attempting to pretend she doesn’t understand. “She was on our side, Jackie. Alicia was offering to help Peter and then you got involved.” Do you think the public’s going to have the same response to Alicia that they did last year, especially when it becomes common knowledge that they’re separated? Will she be as big of an asset to the campaign as Eli thinks? I know the DNC loves her, so maybe that’s enough. “How did I get involved?” she wonders. Which is mostly bull, but there’s also a level where Jackie absolutely sees herself as a victim and has no insight whatsoever into how she fits into the scheme of things. “This friggin’ house!” Eli thunders. “My God, I’ve never heard so much real estate talk in all my life.” Ha! You’re not alone in that sentiment, Eli. “If their separation goes wide, everything collapses.” What does that even mean in this context, wide? Goes public? (Because how could it not?) Or does he mean the civility of the separation? Probably the later.
“Eli,” Jackie begins, annoyed, “what’d you want?” He crosses closer. ‘I want you to apologize to her.” She sighs deeply. “You son will not win without Alicia. And I will not manage his campaign without her.” Wow! I guess that’s how seriously he believes Peter’s dependent on Alicia. Huh. “So apologize to her, even if you don’t mean it,” he insists. “Bang bang!” goes the dressing gown man’s gun, and the sweaty-faced man falls to the floor. “I dreamt I died,” Jackie confesses, the bitter taste in her mouth obvious. Eli’s uncomfortable. “Everybody just did what they always did.” Ah. King of a Scrooge dream, huh? “They didn’t care,” she nearly sobs. Well, that’s what happens when you’re a harping, scheming meanie. People don’t like you. “Do you want me to get a nurse or something?” Eli asks, grimacing at her emotion as if it were a banana slug crawling across the bedclothes.
“Are you religious?” she asks him. “Am I, um,” he stammers. “I thought Jews believed in God,” she says, and I kind of want to hit her, pathetic and bedridden as she is. Only Jackie could think that not only was that okay to think, but okay to say. She’s mind-boggling. “Yes, we all do, every one of us,” Eli hisses. Ha. “I don’t want to die,” Jackie hisses back. Well what do you think he can do about it, Jackie? (Not to be unsympathetic, but good luck with that one.) “I’ll get you a nurse,” Eli says, backing away. That’s right, the nurses will deal with all that icky messy stuff. “I don’t want to die,” Jackie keeps repeating, “I don’t want to die!”
Not that I blame her.
“It’s a scare tactic,” Diane declares, clad in a new white dress for a new day. “Look at Ketterson Holdings. They sued the lawyers bringing class actions against their artificial knees in order to scare them off.” Someone’s pacing in the back of the office, but it isn’t Will, who’s seated next to Alicia. “I think it’s more. I think Patti’s in the suit to fact find.” For an appeal? Yes. Howard sits behind Will, while Eli leans against the window. “Look who they’re deposing. Kalinda. Me. Patti doesn’t have enough, so she’s using the suit to find out if we did anything wrong.” Okay. But how does that help us? “I wish I could agree. But if the law taught me anything,” Howard proclaims, “it’s to never, ever trust a man with a limp.” What on earth?
Oh! He means Canning. I honestly did not get that right away. I don’t know that the people in the room did, either. Probably because it makes no sense. “Look,” Will ignores this useless comment, “if they want to find out more about our tactics, turn it back on them.” “Right,” agrees Eli, “every time they ask a question, ask for more detail. What did you mean by that? Can you explain?” Good, Diane says, pleased. “Anything else?” There’s a resounding crash, and then a tinkling, insipid version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” playing as Patti’s older daughter Bite Me crashes her walker into Diane’s glass door. Michael, baby number 2 strapped to his chest, corrects the toddler’s course. Why is he not watching them at home, again? (Also, I thought we were supposed to stop buying walkers because it’s too easy for the wee ones to roll themselves down stairwells in them?)
“Okay, I will sit in with with Will,” Diane refocuses everyone’s attention, “who do we have for Kalinda?” She can’t do both? Most of litigation was on this case, Will tells us all, “so they’re all subject to being called.” All but one, Alicia notes. Ha ha ha ha ha. That’s great.
And sure enough, there’s Cary the former prosecutor sitting next to Kalinda as she’s deposed. “Miss Sharma,” Canning begins, “have you ever misrepresented your occupation in order to interview a witness?” Only a dozen times a day. But strategy being strategy, that’s not what she says. “Could you be more specific?” I think you’ll find that he can. “Sure. Have you ever misrepresented your occupation in order to interview a witness, as you did with my wife to get into my house?” Ooops. Cary objects; how can that relate to Vericene? “Well, Miss Sharma claims she’s never broken the law in pursuit of a case. I have first hand knowledge of such… lawbreaking.” Is lying against the law? I had no idea. Ooops. “So Miss Sharma, could you please just answer the question?” Cary and Kalinda look at each other. “Could you repeat the question?” she asks.
“Sure!” perky Patti smiles, “Were you Kalinda Sharma’s direct supervisor here?” Will frowns. “We don’t have direct supervisors here,” he shrugs. “Did you tell her to investigate on the Vericene case?” Patti restates the question. “In what way, investigate?” Will asks. Patti pats her notes lightly. “Okay, Will, I get it. We can do this all day – you obfuscate, I pull the judge out of court, he wraps you on the knuckles for being unresponsive. And all you’ve done is waste half a day.” Diane takes offense. “And remember. I’m not the one with the balloon payment on his office,” Patti snipes. Um, yeah. There’s the rub, isn’t it? Will glances over at Diane. How did Patti know? “Ooops,” Patti purses her lips, “was that the elephant in the room?” Elephants are so pesky, leaping out in front of cars like that. Patti gives a happy little smile.
Alicia walks by bitsy Bite Me in the hall (all alone – not cool, Michael!) when her phone rings. “Hello?” she answers. “You were going to get back to me,” the ominous, gravelly voice tells her. “Who is this?” “F&E Construction,” the voice says, “you wanted me to reissue a check.” “Yes, I did. I said I’d get back to you, though.” This exchange stops Alicia cold. See, love, there’s no secretary on your cell phone; yet another reason you should use your office phone to make work phone calls. Someone else can lie and say you’re not available to be harassed. “I know,” he says, “but you didn’t. So I decided to call you.” What was I just saying? Argh. “Okay, well, let me get all my ducks in a row, sir, and I’ll get back to you,” she says brightly. “Sir?” “No you won’t,” he growls, his voice full of angry menace.
Again, she stops. “Excuse me?” “You won’t call me back,” he says. “You have no intention of calling me back.” Shudder. “I said I would and so I…” she begins, but changes her mind, getting angry herself. “Actually, I think we’re done here.” She nods decisively. “No we’re not,” he replies, dismissive, and hangs up. Sigh. You should have been the one to hang up, Alicia. You don’t tell someone you’re done and then wait for their answer! Ugh.
“Could you be more specific?” Will asks Patti. Hee! They’re in Diane’s office at her conference table. “Did you introduce judges to bookies at your Wednesday night basketball game?” Patti asks. Ugh oh. From her high horse, Diane objects. “Relevance!” “Isn’t Judge Wynter relevant?” Patti smirks, “the man who awarded you 25 million dollars?” Will rolls his eyes. “Isn’t he one of the judges you introduced to bookies?” Diane thunders another objection. I thought there was only one bookie? “And weren’t you confronted about this at the grand jury?”
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech. The proceedings come to a sudden halt; Will narrows his eyes. “Excuse me,” Diane interjects, “Miss Nyholm, you’re referencing proceedings that ended in a sealed transcript.” Yet Patti brazens it out. “But Mr. Gardner can answer to his own testimony.” He can? Why ever would he? “This question requires your knowledge of the grand jury investigation,” Diane doesn’t let go. “No,” Patti insists, “it merely requires Mr. Gardner’s knowledge of the grand jury investigation.” Um, seems unlikely. I mean, sure, she could be extrapolating, but that’s not what it sounds like. “We’re taking this to the judge,” Diane snaps, slamming her binder shut.
And would you listen to the furor in the judges chambers! Everybody’s in new clothes for a new day, and Patti’s yellow plaid dress is much less successful than the other two we’ve seen. Per usual, the judge is sitting at his desk, and the lawyers are standing. “Okay, okay, okay, you are all new to me, so my apologies if I need to be reminded of your names,” says – oh my gosh, it is, isn’t it? Mark Linn-Baker, who played persnickety cousin Larry (straight-ish man to Bronson Pinchot’s wacky Balki) on Perfect Strangers. Oh my gosh it’s a perfect storm of 80s sitcom stars. (Okay, fine, Martha Plimpton wasn’t a sitcom star then, but she was in Goonies. And the totally wonderful Running on Empty and Parenthood – if you haven’t seen those, you really need to. They show you a completely different side of this actress from the terrific work we’re seeing here.) Sorry. This is making me a little giddy.
“But,” the judge continues. “Ms…” “Lockhart,” Diane supplies her name. “You are arguing the only way these questions could be asked is if they were taken from sealed transcripts?” Yep. He flips through the paperwork. “Someone is leaking them grand jury testimony, and we would argue this line of testimony should be stricken.” This is the moment that the judge wheels himself out from behind his desk. The look on Canning’s face is a ruby beyond price; quickly, he moves in on the judge.
“Look, Your Honor,” he begins, “We’re merely asking questions based on our own knowledge.” The judge looks up at him. “And if you can allow me an explanation, these movements that you see, these random movements,” he goes off on his patter; I;m won’t make you listen again, but Alicia and Diane do, and it makes them roll their eyes. Judge Larry favors him with a stony glare. “I just didn’t want you to misinterpret any of my movements.” Canning reiterates. “Okay,” comes the deliciously flat answer, “I won’t.” Oooh hoo, someone’s not buying. “I’ve had this condition since childhood,” Canning continues. “Are you going someplace with this, Mr. Canning?” Larry snaps. Diane smirks quietly to herself, but Alicia looks as if she’s going to burst.
“No, I just wanted to explain,” the chastened Canning slouches away. Alright, grumbles the judge. Ha! I love it. Don’t look for pity just because he’s handicapped, Louis; looks like you’re less likely to get it. Larry’s going to allow the questions, however, and I don’t love that so much. But if they can actually prove the questions come from sealed grand jury evidence, he’ll change his ruling.
Will’s play, of course, is for Kalinda to find the leak. Yep, that’s the standard response. “No,” Diane stops him, “we need to talk settlement.” What? She sighs. ‘Will, we’re vulnerable.” “No we’re not,” he hisses. “There’s nothing there.” “But what is there doesn’t look good,” Diane admits. Sigh. That’s true. But still! “You played basketball with him, you introduced him to a bookie, and he awarded us 7 million above our ask.” Okay, here’s my question. He did this after the grand jury. You could argue that Will’d be crazy to continue with this alleged bribery after being hauled in for it by an SA who’s clearly going after him. But I suppose you could also argue that the grand jury’s failure to indict made them reckless. So, I don’t know, maybe it would still look bad. Will paces the courtroom hall, unhappy. “Here’s what I suggest,” Diane tells him. “We offer to drop the Vericene class action.” Boo. I don’t like that at all. “It’s what they want anyway.” Damn, curses Will.
“I know,” Diane soothes, her voice low. “but it’s the smart move – we need to get this behind us. The balloon payment, our clients, Patric Edelstein is making noise.” Off in the distance, Alicia looks up at that. “I mean, he’s 20% of our quarter.” Oh dear. “Everything’s falling apart as we fight this.” They notice Alicia, who tries to give them more time to talk. “No, it’s all right. We’ve just been riding close to the edge this whole year.” Which makes it different from any other year how? “It’s not for anyone to know,” Diane cautions Alicia – a totally unnecessary precaution. Ruefully, Will agrees to Diane’s proposition. “Let’s make this go away.”
And there are all the players in the big conference room. “They brought out the buffet,” Patti snarks to Louis over the fruit plate, “this must be serious.” Shockingly, no one rises to the bait. Will makes their offer. Patti picks up a little plate. “Fruit?” she asks Canning. “Please.” Now I’m expecting her to go all British and ask him if she should be mother (ie, pour the tea) but I guess there isn’t any. He grabs some green grapes for himself. “Ah, no, but thank you,” he answers Will. “Don’t you want to take it back to your client?” Alicia asks, suspicious. “No,” says Patti, picking at berries with a fork. “We’re not dropping the appeal,” Will warns. Patti knows. “You have no case without some grand jury leak,” Diane tells her.
“You don’t understand,” Canning waves a grape at them. “This isn’t about some case. You – you wanna tell them?” He turns to Patti, who graciously declines. “No – no! You’re much better at the nasty stuff,” she laughs ominously, holding her hands out. Really? Because we know you to be pretty good at being mean.
“We’re not here to settle. We’re here to destroy you,” Canning says, popping the grape into his mouth.
Um. Oh. That’s not good.
“Our clients are tired of being sued by you,” Patti brings her own nasty to the party. “Four class actions in two years? They’ve taken it personally.” Ha! “Look at you! Hi, boo boo!” she squeals at Bite Me outside the glass wall. “Our clients have laid aside a large sum of money to defeat you. That’s why we’re here, to make an example of you.” Wow. Well, that’s definitely nasty. “You’ve seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?” Patti asks. “We’re the super-posse,” she giggles, jerking her thumb to indicate herself and Canning. “So thank you for your offer,but no. We’re getting paid a lot of money to make you go bankrupt,” Canning says, standing. “Thank you for the fruit, though.” In silence, Alicia, Diane and Will watch dumbfounded the others leave, watch Patti give Bite Me an exaggerated hug; as one they look up when the light above their heads flickers out. How inauspicious. All three look back down in perfectly timed – and perfectly glum – coordination.
Inevitably, the next scene finds us following Kalinda as she follows Patti into a playground. The hideous yellow cowl neck is gone, but Patti’s still dressed for an office rather than a park, with glossy high heels and a dress under her coat. Is it not spring yet in Chicago? Kalinda crawls down onto the ground, playing with a young girl drawing with sidewalk chalk as someone pushes another stroller toward Patti’s. And, there it is. Behind his own double stroller is everyone’s favorite zealot, stay at home dad and part time investigator Andrew Wiley.
Of course he notices Kalinda crouching on the pavement. (Which is more than I can say for that little girl’s mother, by the way.) She’s been caught, but it hardly it matter now that she’s got the information she needed. She shakes her head at them, and plunks herself down on a bench to wait. The parents push their double strollers toward her in perfect synchronization. Ha! It’s evil genius. (Weird, though – in my memory Wiley had two girls as well, but his youngest is dressed like a boy. Oh well.) Kalinda waits, confident. The two splay the carriages apart so they can smirk at Kalinda unimpeded. “Hi, Kalinda, funny meeting you here,” Andrew smiles. “Yeah,” Kalinda replies from behind enormous shades, “almost as funny as seeing you here, with Miss Nyholm, leaking grand jury testimony.”
“Mr. Wiley is legally sharing his own testimony before the grand jury,” Patti nods. “Really?” Kalinda scoffs. “Yeah. The State’s Attorney wasn’t interested in pursuing the case against Will Gardner. Miss Nyholm is,” Wiley nods. What were we saying last week about nothing being more dangerous than a true believer? That’s Wiley all over. “Yeah. And our kids love playing together. So it’s all perfectly legal.” Right.
And, woosh! We rush in toward Cary, descending on him as he sits at that conference table. Now him I could excuse for using a cell phone for business calls. “Hi,” he says cautiously, looking up at Diane, Kalinda and Will. “Cary, we’re having trouble with Andrew Wiley, an investigator from the state’s attorney’s office.” Yes, they’re familiar with each other. “He’s the one working with Nyholm and Canning,” Kalinda explains. Cary tilts his head, surprised. “I doubt that. Wiley doesn’t break the rules.” Well, hate to tell you, but he’s doing it. “Unless he’s using his own testimony,” Cary realizes. “Yep,” says Will, “so we need something from you.” That freaks Cary out. “You know that I can’t share what I know about the grand jury, because that would be unethical.” Ah, but that’s not exactly what they want. “Yes, but you can use your knowledge in another way,” Diane nods.
So, that’s going to be interesting.
Speaking of which, Alicia sits on a chair in Jackie’s mammoth hospital room. You could probably park a car between their heads; the room’s so enormous and the animosity between the women so clear. “Thank you for coming,” Jackie smiles wanly. Oh, she’s such the martyr. “It means so much to me.” Right. Alicia – dressed like she’s going to ride in a fox hunt – snaps. “I didn’t come here to visit, Jackie. I came here to recommend that you retain a lawyer.” Oh. Yeah. Releasing the hounds, are you? I can’t help wishing this was one of those things she talked about with Peter first- his mom, suing her will piss him off, and he’s always better at dealing with her. Unless she wants to sue Jackie; I would get that. Like I said, I’d personally prefer to see her prosecuted. At any rate, if it was necessary to convince Jackie that she’s wrecking things between Peter and Alicia, it can’t be anymore.
“You – why?” Jackie flutters weakly. “You took money from my children’s trust so you could outbid me on my family home,” Alicia replies icily, in case we needed a reminder. “I intend to sue you.” Jackie gasps for breath and words. “I’m sorry, Alicia,” she cries. Alicia narrows her eyes. “This family’s been through so much, and I thought I knew best,” Jackie continues. She sounds close to tears. If this is all performance, Jackie’s doing a great job. Is it possible that she’s actually searched her conscience and realized that if she doesn’t change her behavior, she’ll have alienated everyone she loves? (Not that Alicia’s on that list, but could Jackie actually understand that she needs Alicia to keep everyone else around?) “I’m so sorry,” she gasps.
“Jackie, please,” Alicia scoffs, “what’d you want?” Um, maybe not to be sued? Or to have Peter yell her into another stroke? Or face her own mortality? “I want you to accept my apology,” she mews. “No you don’t,” Alicia replies, suspicious. “I want to make things right. It’ll be good for Zach and Grace, and, and – Peter,” she sighs. Now Alicia laughs. “You want Peter to win, that’s what you want.” Her smiles flashes bright. “Eli was here, wasn’t he?” Damn, she’s good. Because I knew Eli was there and I still thought there was a level of sincerity to that performance. Actually I still think there is. “I, I, I don’t know,” Jackie fumbles, and suddenly the same film noir shooting replays on her TV, the sweaty face, the man with the gun, the music, the gun shots, distracting Jackie but not Alicia. It’s playing on the TV which didn’t appear to be on. “He can’t do it without you.”
Standing, Alicia lays out her terms. “Here’s what I want, Jackie. You sign the house over to Zach and Grace. You put it in their names. I won’t sue.” Oh, that’s a good idea. So is restructuring the trust so Jackie can’t access it. Jackie opens her mouth as if to protest this appalling treatment. And then she looks over at the TV.
Which is off.
Jackie stares at in confusion. Alicia cranes her neck to get her mother-in-law’s attention. “You want me to accept your apology, you better show me you mean it. Sign the house over to the kids.” Jackie looks up in confusion, her response formless.
And it’s pandemonium again in Judge Larry’s office. (According to the IMDB his name is Linden, though I haven’t seen a name plate or heard anyone address him by it yet, so I think I’ll just keep calling him Larry.) “Excuse me, excuse me, watch your toes everyone,” he warns, rolling through to his desk. I wonder if he always uses the same courtroom, or if he has a portable ramp to get him up on the bench? “Please, indoor voices.” Canning pitches right in. “Your Honor, like you I look at life a little differently, a little more caution, a little more quiet.” “Why like me?” Cousin Larry wonders, deadpan, glaring up above his glasses, hands clasped. Oh my gosh I love it. He’s like Canning-kryptonite. I don’t even know why Canning’s bothering to play the handicapped card after the last time. Canning splutters. Patti purses her lips. Delightfully, Larry will not let it die. “You said ‘like me,” what did you mean?”
“What we mean,” Patti rescues her colleague, “is that this motion is a desperate ploy to avoid responsibility…” And here Cary, the ace in the hole, steps in. “Mr. Canning asked Miss Sharma one question that couldn’t have been in Mr. Wiley’s grand jury testimony – the 2 thousand dollars in cash which Mr. Gardner gave to a judge, money that was supposedly for UNICEF.” “Was for UNICEF,” Will interjects; don’t forget what side you’re on, Cary! “That was evidence Mr. Wiley personally witnessed, Your Honor,” Patti rightly notes. “Yes,” Cary continues, “but the question isn’t whether he personally witnessed it or not. Andrew, did you testify to it, or did you witness it?”
Okay, I understand the distinction, but why ever would it matter? Why couldn’t he testify to his personal experience that – well, I guess because it was used after his testimony, and not by him, but by Wendy when she was cross examining Judge Parks, so he could have talked about it, but not in the context of the grand jury? Okay. I get it. Clearly it does matter, because Canning tries to stop Wiley from answering the question. “You can’t talk to our client!” he whines. How is Andrew their client? They’re representing their witnesses? That’s weird and flimsy. “Andrew, which did you do?” Cary asks, implacable. And he knows Andrew. “Oh my God,” Wiley says, putting his hand to his forehead.
“Andrew, stop right there,” Patti commands, but he doesn’t. (Ha!) “He’s right!” Wiley cries, annoyed with himself. “I, I just witnessed it.” Now it’s Canning with his head in his hand, and Cary smirking, and Patti shaking her head, and Diane’s asking the judge to throw out all Andrew’s evidence. “Your Honor, I want to add another name to our witness list,” Canning steps on her words. Interesting timing, but clearly a sign he’s not ready to give up the fight even if they lose the grand jury evidence. “Alicia Florrick.”
Breathing deeply, Alicia looks into the busy conference room. “I have to witness prep you,” Kalinda says, standing next to her, eyes forward. “They’re coming after you. They have to get to Will bribing judges another way.” Yeah, but Alicia can’t actually give them that, can she? “I know,” she says. Then she peers at Kalinda without turning her head. “F&E Construction.”
Kalinda turns to look at her, pale. “What is it?” Alicia asks, immediately concerned. “Why,” Kalinda asks, in a voice we’ve never heard. Alicia explains about the check. “Yeah,” Kalinda says, “that shouldn’t be there. That should be in my person file.” But it’s so much money, Alicia can’t help but mention. “That would go a long way to pay your tax bill.” She owes more than that in taxes? Good grief! “I know,” Kalinda nods bravely. Obviously it’s very important to her not to use this money – so why did she not keep it in a safer place? Why does she have it at all? “Do you have the check?”
She might have given Kalinda the fish eye over it, but Victorian Alicia hands it right over, back in her office. “Thanks,” Kalinda smiles, “it’s it’s complicated.” What in your life isn’t? She folds the check up, composed again. “I called the number on it,” Alicia confesses sheepishly. Kalinda freezes. “As part of your tax work,” Alicia justifies her actions, “I called employers for updated checks.” I guess when you put it that way, you could see that it could have been a rational action. But she knows that Kalinda changed her name between now and 2007; I can’t help thinking that shouldn’t have been something she did on a whim.
“When?” Kalinda asks. Alicia stares at her; she called on Tuesday. “Did you … speak to anyone?” Yes, Alicia admits. Kalinda audibly sucks in her breath, and does this funny thing with her mouth. She wonders who, but of course Alicia didn’t get a name. “He asked for the number on your check,” she adds. “Did you give it?” Kalinda asks, pained. Looking at her with soft, steady compassion, Alicia says no. Kalinda smiles, but I can’t help thinking too little too late. “Thanks,” Kalinda says, smiling and tapping the check against her hand. As she’s leaving (trying to think her way out of it), Alicia hits her with more. “He called me back,” she says, and the fear on Kalinda’s face… Alicia’s very straight, very poised, very Mom, a little patronizing, but also very self-conscious. I can’t help but think she knows she messed up or at least stepped into something weird, but still doesn’t want to admit she’s done the wrong thing. She shrugs.
“What’s going on, Kalinda?” Kalinda struggles for the words. “It’s just – an old thing,” she shrugs. “An old thing? Is it Lemond Bishop?” Alicia doesn’t want to leave it. “No,” Kalinda denies quickly, “I’m going to take care of it,” she adds. “Kalinda,” Alicia tries. “Yeah?” After considering, Alicia backs down. “Nothing,” she says. “I’ll be back, I’m gonna go and take care of it,” Kalinda finished in a hopeful way. But the moment she turns back around, her face is serious. And the soundtrack is serious, the base loud and throbbing. She tucks the check into her bra and stalks out.
Next we see her in a hardware store. Buying a sledgehammer that the staff thinks is far too big for her. “No, this one’s fine,” she says, as a chubby schlub tries to help her, leaving him calling out in her wake. The beat pounds us. The hallway in her apartment building is a forest of birch trees on an almost neon green backdrop. The music has an industrial feeling to it – we hear chains, metal, grinding. The inside is white and bare, half filled with shadow. She continues her driven, purposeful walk to the bedroom, turning on the light, considering angles, setting a line of sight from the vent. She carefully removes a mirror from the wall, then tosses it on her bed. She measures a spot somewhat shy of four feet high – and slams the sledgehammer into her wall. Then again. And again.
She tosses dusty packages onto her bed, retrieved from the gaping hole in her wall. The first three are handguns in ziplock bags; the rest are cash. She unzips her jacket and tosses that on the bed, too. She stuffs the packages in a duffel bag, then shoves in clothes. She takes several orange-tan books from a drawer and adds them too – her work notebooks? They can’t be diaries. Then the frenetic activity stills, and she sits, panting, on her bed, thinking. What will she do? A moment ago, it was clear she was going to make a run for it – but that driving certainty has left her.
But only for a moment. She wraps her arms around the bag and rushes back out.
Some guy looks out on a spectacular twister. “And it’s not just the sink, it’s the shower, too,” Zach calls out from the kitchen island. Alicia and Grace are scarfing down popcorn, cuddled together on the couch watching some sort of storm chasers show. Yeah, that’s the problem with condo conversions, she says; they don’t want to fix anything in the hopes of forcing you to buy. “Are you gonna?” Grace wonders. Alicia thinks about it, but she doesn’t have an answer. It’s true; now Peter really is going to be living in the other house, and she still needs to find a place to live. She shrugs. ‘I like it here, but, maybe there’s better.”
Zach gets up to join them. “Dad wants you to buy the house.” Alicia looks up in shock. “He?” “He told you he wanted to sell it, didn’t he?” their son says, plunking himself down next to her. “Would you? Buy the house?” Alicia looks so cute and young with her face scrubbed clean of make up. “No,” she says decisively, tossing a kernel into her mouth. The kids are surprised (not without reason). “You were going to!” Zach puzzles. “I know, but, everything’s up in the air right now.” Oh, is she worried about her job? Interesting. “You got a raise,” Zach scoffs. “Yes. But getting a raise means that you cost more, so when they’re looking to downsize, it’s easier to fire you than someone cheaper.”
“They’re not looking to downsize?” he pounces immediately, a throw pillow clutched to his chest. “No,” she says, like it was silly of him to ask, “but – we’re just going through a bad spell.” Right. “You should move in,” Grace offers through her popcorn. I’m enjoying this whole loud talk and chew thing. It’s very light. “We should all live in one house.” Alicia bites down on her lip, trying not to smile. “What?” Grace asks. Aw, poor kiddo, what do you think? Of course you want that, but eh. “Not like you guys are married. Like a commune,” she suggest. “Mmmm,” Alicia nods, and they both burst into a fit of giggles.
Alicia leans in closer and rubs Grace’s shoulder (wrapped in a pink bathrobe – a new one, I believe). “I’ve grown to kind of like you,” she says, smiling. “Not Zach?” Grace laughs. Alicia thinks about it. “No, not Zach. He’s getting too big.” Aw. She pushes at him with her other hand. “Hey,” he laughs. They are just so cute together.
And then the phone rings.
“You shouldn’t answer it,” Grace advises, “it’s probably work.” Sighing, she throws off the soft red throw, slaps Zach on the knee, and levers herself off the couch. ‘They can’t fire you if they can’t find you,” he offers. Hee! “Very funny,” she says, whacking him on the leg. She heaves a big sigh, and answers. You can see she really, really wants her day to be done.
“Hello?” she says. “Alicia Florrick?” comes the voice over the line. She whips around, her hair flying in a neat circle. She knows that gravelly voice. And of course hangs up immediately. She stares at the phone, perhaps looking at caller id. “Was it work?” Grace calls out. “No,” Alicia replies, shell shocked, “wrong number.” Do you think their home number is unlisted? That’d be reasonable, considering everything – but I can’t imagine she’d have been that hard to find, considering that she did in fact call him on her own foolish phone in the first place. Immediately, thoroughly weirded out, she dials Kalinda, but gets her voice mail and hangs up. She breathes in deep, trying to calm herself.
“You ready for this?” Will asks her, speed walking together toward her deposition. “I hope so,” she says. “Don’t worry about it, it’ll all be about me,” he tells her, “just tell the truth.” Is it just me, or does him saying that make you automatically think he’s wrong? They have to step over itty bitty Bite Me and her loud walker on the way. Seriously, that’s crazy. Alicia asks after Kalinda, who hasn’t shown up for work. Will’s not worried; he doesn’t know yet that he needs to be. She could be long gone by now.
“You were second chair on the Vericene case, is that right, Mrs. Florrick?” Patti asks, settling in on her own books. She was. “Did you have ex parte communication with Judge Wynter during the trial?” Nope. “And you have no personal relationship with Judge Wynter?” That’s right. “But someone you know does,” Patti glares. Alicia assumes she means Will. “No,” Patti says to Diane’s surprise, “I mean your husband, Peter Florrick.” Oh. Okay. Are they suggesting that Alicia’s the corrupt one now that they can’t get Will? The look on Alicia’s face is classic. “Ah, um, I have no idea.”
“You have no idea if your husband has a personal relationship with Judge Wynter?” Canning asks, disbelieving. “I know that he knows him, but I don’t know the extent of the relationship,” she shakes her head. Diane looks deeply suspicious. “Did you know that your husband met with Judge Wynter three times in the week leading up to the Vericene verdict?” By the shocked look on her face, I’d say she didn’t. “No,” she says. Patti scoffs, insinuating ruthlessly. “Really? On the eve of Judge Wynter’s decision to award you 25 million dollars, your husband met with him three times, and you had no idea?” No, she really didn’t. Diane has to interject. “Are we working off the assumption that they did in fact meet? How do we know this?” “Because we’re going to subpoena Peter Florrick,” Patti announces. That’s not how you know, it’d be how you might confirm what you seem to know for the record. Alicia’s aghast; Diane can’t quite believe they’re going after the State’s Attorney, either. “We already have,” Canning gloats.
And indeed, as Will gets into the elevator, who should arrive a few seconds later, calling out for him to hold the door, but Peter? Hello, awkward. “Thanks,” Peter grimaces. “No problem,” Will grumbles. Hee. “28th?” “Yeah.” The two stand, hands clasped (er, each clasping his own hands, that is). Aaaaaawkward. And even better? The elevator’s not moving; Will keeps poking the buttons while Peter just waits. Will gives Peter a look like “these machines these days, what can you do?” Ha.
When the doors eventually close, Will’s the one to make small talk. “So you seeing Alicia?” If only. “Am I seeing Alicia?” Peter repeats with a little bit of scorn. “No, actually, I’m being deposed.” Surprised, Will? Sigh. “Although it occurs to me I’ve never seen where Alicia works.” Yeah, that’s odd, especially since you spent a lot of time on the campaign trail last year when you could have popped in with lunch. Will’s surprised. “Does she know that you’re coming?” Peter glowers at Will. “Well not that it matters, either way,” he shrugs. “I don’t know,” Peter answers. ‘So you must be looking forward to getting back to the law? ” Will is. “I think convicts call it short time,” he snickers to himself, trying to be funny.
“Really?” replies Peter, “I never did.”
Okay, that made me laugh out loud.
Will, on the other hand, gulps a little, and kind of rolls his eyes. It’s so funny to me that a guy who can be such a slick player in court and with women fails so utterly with the Florrick men. And, ding, the door opens. And there’s Alicia. Perfect.
Peter’s head is down and he’s glaring; Will’s self-conscious and trying to be too cool. Alicia’s just flummoxed. “Well,” she says, eyes flickering rapidly between one man and the other, ” hi.” “Hi,” Will replies, “look who I found.” Yes, she says, “Welcome.” Welcome? Is she a flight attendant? What is that? Other than incredibly uncomfortable, of course. “I thought I would come and meet you.” Which one, Peter rumbles, and she gives him an annoyed but fond look. “You, Peter.” Because, duh! “Thought you might want to see my office.”
“Hello, Eli,” Will says, stepping away from the elevators so Eli- who’s engrossed by his phone he doesn’t realize what he’s stepped into – can push the button. Hey, yeah, Eli somewhat belatedly calls out; then he looks up. Hee. His startled face is awesome. He looks at the row of people standing before him one by one: Peter, Alicia, Will. “Hi! Hello, everyone.” Oh, Eli. “Hi,” Alicia greets him in return. “I was just showing Peter my office. He’s here for a deposition.” Really, Eli says, don’t nearly as interested in that information as he should be. “Good,” he says, “great.”
And who joins the party now to complete the perfect awkwardness, but Cary, carrying a crate. Of casework? Possessions? It’s not clear. Peter greets him first, and they shake. “How’s it going here?” Peter wants to know. “Lockhart/Gardner? Good. I mean, I love the State’s Attorney’s office, but there’re a lot of smart people here too.” For a guy who’s (maybe more than) a bit of a suck up, that’s quite the corner to be placed in. He can’t say “oh, it’s not like home,” which maybe he would have if it were just Peter. Funny. And, cue baby Bite Me! A tinkly version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” follows in her wake. “One of our new associates,” Will quips. Good one, Will! High five! Now, what could make this moment more cringe inducing? Ding goes the elevator, and who can it be? Kalinda!
What a view for her when those doors opened, seriously. Eli holds out his arms, and I think I heard a hint of Alan Cummings natural brogue when he smiles “It’s a surprise party for you!” Heh.
“I’m impressed,” Peter says, surveying Alicia’s office. Oh, bite me. I get that you guys are all very ambitious, but is that really the be all and end all, the size of your office? “What you have done in three years is amazing,” he cheers, pointing at her. “Thank you,” she smiles. “Okay,” he says, clapping his hands in anticipation, “I guess I should go meet my executioners.” “Oh, Peter,” she sighs, “you didn’t have to do this. You could have blown it off. It’s a stupid nuisance suit.” Could he just have blown off the deposition? Also, it’s interesting that he’s there without representation, right? “I wanted to get out and stretch my legs,” he jokes. “Hey,” he adds, pointing at her again as he backs toward the door, “come over tonight.” I have to work, she replies quietly, not meeting his eyes. “Just to see the house, stay for five minutes tops,” he pleads. Buddy, she’s seen the house. “I wish I could,” she lies. He throws up his hands; what more can he do?
“Peter,” she can’t help stopping him, “have you checked in on Jackie lately?” She walks closer to him; he has. “Why?” Oh, no reason. Except she’s crazy. And not the normal Jackie crazy. “I’m worried. She seems confused.” She’s getting older, Peter nods. Yes, but there’s older, and then there’s older. “Hey,” he tells her by way of goodbye, “you made it!” The moment he’s out of sight her sweet smile disappears, leaving confusion, annoyance and a strange sort of sorrow. Eli waves and waggles his foot (seriously!) from his own office, oblivious.
“Do you need money?” Will asks Kalinda as they sit together in what’s probably a bar. There are these glorious leaded windows – at least, I think the Greek key designs around the edges are lead. Very cool, whatever they are; it makes the bar almost look like a church, in a good way. “Just an advance on the work so far,” she answers, haltingly. “Why?” He’s baffled. As well he might be. He’s surely not expecting her to say she needs to run away. But now he’s worried. ‘Kalinda, what’s going on?” “I – I have to go,” she tells him, taking a drink. “You have to… Why? I thought you were liking it here?” He drinks. She smiles. “I am. Liking it here.” “Okay,” he replies, “so you can understand my confusion. We’re in a bit of trouble,” he admits. “We’re short on receivables. Patric Edelstein is delaying his monthly, and we have some long term suits that haven’t paid out yet.” Ah. We always end up back here, don’t we? “I can get you some. Not everything.” Okay, she nods.
“This goodbye?” he asks, peeling dollar bills off a thick stack to pay his tab. “For a little bit,” she replies. Then how’s he going to get her the money? “You gonna make me cry,” he snorts, half laughing. She gives a sad smile. “It feels like things are falling apart,” he says seriously, and he tosses back more of the drink. “You build them back up again,” she answers. “That’s what you do.” Right. That’s the grown up thing. What he does is now leave.
“And you met with Judge Wynter three times before this last Thursday, the day of the verdict?” Canning asks Peter. Ah, depositions. So fun. Yes he did. “Is that a lot for you?” Patti wonders. It is. “In fact, before these three meetings, you had only met him once, in 2008, at a judge’s lunch, with twelve other judges?” she presses. Yeah, that sounds about right. Patti’s eyes look like they’re about to bug out of her head, which is pretty hilarious. “So why’d you meet with him?” Canning asks. “Those three times? I like him,” Peter replies. Patti has trouble controlling her smirk. “Did the subject of your wife’s lawsuit come up at these meetings?” she asks. The emphatic answer is no. “Really? At the same that you were meeting with him, your wife had a suit in front of him, and the subject never came up?” That’s correct, he says. It’s not as if the Vericene case was in court that week; Alicia was busy getting Judge Cuesta off. In fact, it seems clear that our lawyers hadn’t had interaction with Wynter in the four plus months since Will’s suspension, which seems nuts. Not that Peter’s meetings don’t still look suspicious…
“This grand jury investigation into Will Gardner’s supposed bribing of three judges, including Judge Wynter,” Canning changes tactics, and Diane immediately objects. ‘We are not referring to the content of that investigation,” Patti proclaims, her hands up. “Just to Mr. Florrick’s supervision of it.” Peter wants to offer a correction: “Miss Scott-Carr had supervision of it.” Yes, Canning agrees, until you “removed” her. Of course I would have added that he was her supervisor and thus ultimately responsible. “I removed her because the grand jury had concluded,” the explanation comes. “But the State’s Attorney can bring charges again,” Canning suggests. “He can” Peter agrees coolly, “I chose not to.” “You also chose not to bring charges against the three judges in this bribery scheme,” Canning adds, waving his hands to indicate the largeness of said scheme. “Supposed bribery scheme, yes,” Peter parses his words. “Why not?” Patti demands. “I didn’t want to. I thought Miss Scott-Carr had gone beyond her directive.” And hadn’t proved her case, he doesn’t say.
“So when you met with Judge Wynter,” Patti suggests, “he owed you.” Oh. That’s where they were going with this. Interesting. Peter glares at her. “Did you not want to answer?” she prompts. “Oh,” he replies, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know that was a question.” Ha! Right, because it wasn’t. Diane smiles to herself. “Did you ask Judge Wynter to make this verdict for your wife as a quid pro quo for dropping his investigation?” Was there ever an actual investigation into the judges? Anyway. Peter says no without hesitation. “But isn’t that a fair conclusion?” Patti asks. Um, how do you remotely think he’s going to answer that? Isn’t it fair to think he’s corrupt? Right. “No,” he says (surprise!). “And why was that?” Um, because he’s not that corrupt? He resents the implication? After a tiny hesitation, he answers.”Because my wife and I are separated.”
Everyone’s eyes go wide. Canning’s jaw actually drops. It’s a beautiful moment. Did Diane really not know this, or is she just shocked he’d admit it? Did she think that Will was getting it on with Alicia while she was still living with Peter? Damn. “Then I…” Patti stammers, taking a moment to compose herself. “That is news to me.” Peter holds up his hands; he can’t help that. “Then what other reason could there be for these meetings?” Gee, let’s think. “His support for my campaign,” Peter states. “So I guess you could accuse me of being corrupt for myself.” Ha! He wrings his hands. “But not for my wife.”
Through her glass walls, we see Alicia working on a file. “How’s it going?” Kalinda asks her. “Good,” Alicia replies, “you?” “Good. I just wanted to say goodnight, I have to head out for the night.” You mean you wanted to say goodbye forever before you run away! I don’t even know why she’s still here; trying to get more money from Will, clearly, but when that didn’t work, what’s kept her around? Maybe so she can hear this from Alicia: “That man – F&E Construction? He called me at home. And he said my name.” Oh, Alicia. If you look up “reverse phone directory” online do you know how many listings you get? And that’s assuming that caller i.d. didn’t do the job in the first place. I’m not saying it isn’t weird and creepy that he did it; it just doesn’t make him a criminal mastermind these days. Kalinda walks into the office. “He said your name?” Yep. “Did you give your name?” Nope. This isn’t happy news. “Kalinda, who is this man? We said we’d be up front with each other.” I know, says Kalinda, walking right up to Alicia’s desk. “Is this man dangerous?” Alicia asks straight out. “Yeah,” Kalinda breathes, and Alicia rears back in surprise and anger. “Well who is he?” Alicia hollers. Taking a moment first, Kalinda replies in a tone we’ve never heard. “He’s my husband.”
“Come on!” Diane snaps, whipping around to face the dream team, who’re sitting down in front of her desk. “You don’t have anything. The State’s Attorney just told you there’s no way he could have done this for his wife because they’re separated.” Will catches this, and looks not merely vitally interested, but perhaps also surprised the news is out. Well, it’s been a year. It had to come out sometime, didn’t it? “And he’s done this with some considerable effect to his own career, because it’s now in the record that they’ve separated.” She closes her door. “So, what do you have?” “A passion to see this through,” replies Patti. Doesn’t sound like much; even she seems more interested in her cell phone than in the conversation, showing something to Canning. “We take back our offer to drop the class action,” Will growls. What, you hadn’t already? “You lost. Face it.”
Canning and Nyholm look at each other, aglow with secretive smiles. “They’re right,” he says. “We lost. We should just go.” Oh, right, like that’s how it’s going to end. “I think,” she agrees, and they begin to stand up. Nope, they’re sitting down.
“Here’s the thing, though,” Canning says. “We were the distraction.” If possible, Will furrows his brows more. “You were the distraction, what does that mean?” “Have you checked in on your top client, Patric Edelstein?” Uh oh. “He’s no longer your top client.” “He’s ours,” Patti tells them. (Not to be too distracted myself, but Patti and Louis work for different firms – why would he split his business like that?) “We just got the text.” Oh. Hence the phone. There I was thinking it was a cute picture of Bite Me. “He’s been unhappy with Will’s suspension, and your distraction with this law suit,” she teases Diane. “It was slight of hand,” Canning explains, waving his hands to demonstrate, “you were watching the right, you should have been watching the left.” Damn. That’s cold. And impressive. And not cool, even if I didn’t love the compromises they had to make to keep Edelstein happy.
“Mommeeeee!” Bite Me coos through Diane’s glass door. “That’s right, we’re done here!” Patti croons in her cutesy Mommy voice. “Mommy’s coming home!” The Dream Team gets up to leave, their politeness on the way through the door exaggerated and gloating. After you – no, after you. As Patti squeals with her child, Will and Diane move close to each other for a sort of comfort.
“Ooops,” Will says. Ha.
Diane notes that it’s too late to call Patric. I don’t even get how that’s possible – they’re clearly not talking about time of day, because in California where Patric is based, it’s two hours earlier than in Chicago. And it’s still light in Chicago. Maybe Patric has a very particular personal schedule? “They planned on that too,” Will realizes. They stare, unhappy. “So,” Diane begins, drawing in a deep breath through her nose, “Tomorrow?” Tomorrow, Will agrees.
So not good. I suppose it’s too much to ask for Canning to drop his Vericene appeal?
Alicia’s just hit the elevator buttons when Will joins her. Will! And Alicia! In an elevator! Not quite like last year, is it? How cutesy. He stares straight ahead for a moment. “How you doing?” he asks as she watches him. “Me?” she wonders, as if there’s someone else there. “I’m, ah, okay.” That sounded like the big fat lie we know it to be. “You?” The same, he says, snorting, and she gives a ghostly smile. “That was weird,” he notes. “With Peter today?” she realizes, and he nods his agreement. “Yes it was,” she sighs. The camera closes in on his restless face. He turns to her, and I genuinely think for a moment he’s going to kiss her. She looks back at him, and I catch my breath, wondering.
Then he turns away. “Do you think it was a mistake?” he asks, mouth curving into an almost smile. Her brows furrowed, she stares at him. “No,” she says lowly, with complete conviction. He refuses to look at her again; walks off the elevator, in fact, with her staring him down and his face resolutely forward. “Good night, Alicia,” is all he says. “Night Will,” she calls after him. The camera closes in on her, leaning back against the elevator wall, sighing.
Okay. That was oddly uneventful.
In her white apartment, Kalinda stares at the duffel bag on her bed from her living room. Then she rushes into the bedroom, and, to the gentle strains of somebody’s falsetto, dumps the contents out.
In the Highland Park house, Alicia smiles over Grace’s glee at her still-broken doorknob. Just as in the elevator, she’s still pinning herself against the wall. “How about some wine,” Peter asks, a stemless glass of red in his hand, leaning opposite her. “No, I have to get back,” she smiles. “They didn’t change much,” she adds, even though this can’t be news to her. “The house? Yeah,” Peter says, turning to the side. “They tried to flip it, but they didn’t put any work into it, so nobody wanted it.” Oh, was that the problem? He turns back, facing her. “Thanks for today,” she says. “I think you stopped the suit.” Well, the suit’s stopped, anyway. Would they have gone ahead if they’d been able, or was it all a distraction destined to go away anyway?
All I did was tell the truth, he says. “That’s bigger than you think,” she smiles (which he should know, after she tossed him out last year as much for lying as for having strayed). Suddenly I’m wondering if they’re going to kiss each other. Woah. Could they? Again, my breath catches in my throat. A bell dings, and Grace calls out that the pizza’s ready. Microwave pizza? How appealing. Peter ask Alicia to stay. “No,” she says, “I have to get up early for work tomorrow. Things are in flux.” More than you know, honey. Peter steps forward. “When are they not?” he half-grins, and again, I’m weirdly wondering if something’s going to happen between them. She smiles, and they sort of stare at each other for a moment.
He moves away. “Hey, come say goodbye to your mother, she’s leaving,” he calls out to the kids, and she kind of falls off the wall. That was oddly uneventful, too.
With the lights off, Kalinda pushes a large white chair so it faces the door to her apartment. As she sits, she pulls a handgun out of the back waistband of her skirt. The music swoops and soars as she loads the gun and jams it between the arm rest and the seat cushion. Damn. Now, at least, my pulse is racing. She crosses her arms, breathing hard, waiting.
“I love you,” Alicia says, her arms around Grace, “I’ll see you in a few days.” Zach smiles at her. “Stay, Mom,” he pleads. “No one will think it means anything, just – have some pizza.” The sweet hopefulness in his face slays me. Of course you’ll think it’s something, Zach. You all will. “Then you can go.” Alicia looks at him fondly, then enfolds him in a hug. “You’re getting big,” she sighs into his neck. They’d probably be the same height if she didn’t have heels on, and he’s starting to put on muscle; he is getting big. “I love you,” she whispers, touching his cheek. She’s starting to become emotional; of course she is, being the one who leaves her children in their old home. “I love you too,” he says, and she flees in as dignified a manner as she can. Once outside, she can’t make it further than the thick welcome mat beneath her feet.
In her dark apartment, Kalinda watches the door. Suddenly the light’s blocked at the crack by the door handle. Someone knocks three times, slowly, clearly, deliberately.
Alicia watches through the window as Peter, Zach and Grace sit down with their microwave pizza. She looks over at her product placement car. And then she looks back with a softened expression. Will she join them? Is there enough terrible pizza for all?
Wait, that’s the end? That was it?
I’m sorry to be a downer. This show has a lot to live up to in terms of staggering season finales, and I did like this episode better on a second viewing, but it simply did not pack the punch I was hoping for. What besides Kalinda’s situation is going to keep us buzzing all summer? I’m honestly staggered that the combination of Canning and Nyholm (and Wiley!) didn’t send me over the moon. Not that I didn’t like them, of course, but that they weren’t enough. I guess the thing is, how much do I really care that Will and Diane lost their biggest client? I mean, obviously I understand it as a problem, but there’s no emotional resonance to it. I’m not going to cry into my pillow or obsess about it. They were beaten in a clever way; I can appreciate the skill that took, but it’s hard to really enjoy watching your peeps get played. It’s not devastating (like Alicia finding out about Kalinda and Peter, or even Will being suspended) and it’s obviously far from triumphant, so, what was the point?
Good things, good things. What did I like? Obviously Kalinda deciding to stay and fight (perhaps particularly to protect Alicia) was thrilling. I can’t wait to see where that goes. Also, I loved that magical moment of stroller power, with Wiley and Nyholm advancing on Kalinda as a coordinated phalanx of all that is not cute and cuddly. I especially loved Canning trying – and failing – to forge a bond of shared victimhood with the wheelchair bound judge. Glorious. And how much do I love that they cast another 80s sitcom star opposite Michael J. Fox? Seriously, that’s fantastic. The episode generally seemed to be filled with intentional little treats for fans (look, Peter and Will in an elevator! Cause, you know, elevators! Wink wink wink.). But most of these felt too cutesy for me, like the final moments of classic Star Trek episodes where everyone stands on the bridge and roars with laughter at something that isn’t funny. It wasn’t what I wanted from a season finale. Series finale, maybe. But this isn’t a denouement. If you want to put these people together, awesome. But you can’t just have them standing awkwardly around a lobby. Use them for something meaningful, damn it! How much would you have loved to see a longer alliance between Patti, Andrew and Louis? I guess it’s not practical (what with Patti actually having her own show now) but I would have loved to see it.
Random bit of trivia? At first I assumed that the fateful check from F &E was from October of 2007. But then it occurred to me to wonder whether Canadians (F&E/whatever it fronts being located in Toronto) write the date like Americans (month-date-year) or the British (day-month-year). So is it October 2nd, or February 10th? The best answer I can find is that both methods are acceptable in Canada, which seems like it’d be incredibly confusing. So, who knows? It doesn’t sound like a regional preference, but if there’s a specific standard in Toronto and one of you knows it, I’m always happy to learn something new!
Also, Jackie and the phantom movie? She couldn’t have taken part in a murder that’s now haunting her, could she? Naw, that’s probably too literal. It’s most likely that she’s just losing her grip on reality, right? As with Kalinda’s jaw dropping storyline, there’s a lot left to learn here.
Since I’m stretching to say something positive, I think this finale was appropriate (much as I’m let down that it wasn’t more breathless and thrilling). The central problem is probably this; it wasn’t all that much about Alicia that was exciting. This episode, like the season itself, featured her colleagues in more interesting ways than Alicia herself. Clearly the stars of the episode were Kalinda and the Dream Team. During the first half of the season, we got a lot of Alicia and Will, but while Will came to terms with his emotions, Alicia really didn’t. Will moved forward through his trial. Peter moved forward (and backward, and sideways too), Kalinda moved forward. But despite her risk taking start to the season, Alicia floundered. And she though she’s grown in confidence in her work, she still doesn’t know who she is. I don’t know if this sounds odd, but she’s still not ready to star in her own story. She’s embarrassed by her success, and she’d rather think about other people. Should she buy back her old house for the kids or not? Should she support Peter’s campaign or not? These plotlines weren’t as compelling as many we’ve had in the past. Last year, everyone’s plots intersected. Now, not so much, and Alicia kind of ended up with the short end of the dramatic stick. (Obviously Grace got the real short end of that particular stick – religion? crazy tutor? some consistency, please! – but she’s not supposed to be the main character, so it’s easier to forgive.)
Of course they’ve set up issues for next season; Kalinda and her husband, Kalinda and Bishop, Peter in the house and in his campaign, Eli maybe leaving L&G and sending Alicia back to obscurity, Jackie losing it, Will ending his suspension and staying with Callie, the firm once again desperate for money. At some point we’ll see more of Lana, no doubt. Maybe Lemond Bishop and Kalinda’s husband will start a war; that’d be spectacular stuff. He seems to be some sort of mobster, right? I really can’t see her as a gangster’s moll. That’s so weird.
Am I too late to find out what you guys thought? If you’re still out there, let’s talk!