E: I love this merry war so frickin’ much. Okay, no, not that it’s merry for the participants, but the constant skirmishes between Lockhart/Gardner and Florrick/Agos are just so much fun.
Barely a moment after she wakes, Diane pulls her glasses off her nightstand and begins studying cue cards, sitting up in bed in cute pajamas, leaning against her padded headboard. The background music is bright and invigorating. New husband Kurt, already dressing for the day, smiles at her nerves. “It’s like I’m a first time lawyer all over again,” she sighs. “How many cases have you argued?” he asks. 423, she answers. So this is nothing, he tries to reassure her while tucking his shirt into his pants; nothing but her last case as a lawyer, she counters, and she cares passionately about getting it right. Oh Diane. “I just don’t want to finish by embarrassing myself,” she tells him. “Then don’t,” he answers simply.
She shakes her head. “You’re always so good with the pep talks, aren’t you?”
The Beatles-esque “Make way for Captain Sunshine” continues to play as Will Gardner opens his eyes, staring up at a bedroom ceiling just as Diane has done. While Diane startled fully awake, Will blinks at the ceiling, lying against plain cream colored sheets in his white undershirt from the day before. “You want a tattoo,” the woman lying next to him flirts, her tattooed arm reaching out over his chest. She’s young and blond and fit and wears matching black underwear. “I wanna tattoo?” he repeats, confused. “Hmm,” she grinning, swinging up over him, her long straight hair and her turquoise beaded necklace swaying as she moves, “because it’ll hurt so, so good.”
Well. Confident Sex Lady has his number.
“You know what I feel?” he asks her. She doesn’t. “Awake,” he declares, running his hands over her preposterously toned stomach. “Probably best when your eyes are open,” she snarks. “No,” he shakes his head, “Really awake. Like I haven’t been in a while.” Her left hand traces down his arm, covered with chunky silver rings.
“What’re you doing tonight?” she asks, shifting gently back and forth. He has no idea. “I wanna see you again,” she grins. “See me now,” the playboy challenges, and she huffs. “No, I’m serious,” he says, sitting up and pulling her back down with him. “See me now.”
And there’s Alicia in a beautiful royal blue negligee, but her eyes are not open; Grace has to startle her awake, shaking her shoulder. It seems that everyone’s already here, and Grace has to leave for school. “Oh my God, I overslept,” Alicia gasps, struggling to sit up. Poor Grace wants Alicia to know she tried knocking. “I was really out!” Mom replies, surprised and laughing at herself. You did have a pretty busy day yesterday. “You probably just needed to sleep. I have to go. You be good today,” Grace says, leaning over to kiss her mother on the forehead.
“You’re the mom today,” Alicia smiles. “Ah, brush your teeth, and do not loose any more clients,” Grace suggests. Ha! “I’ll do my best,” Alicia sighs.
And as soon as she’s out of her room, game’s on; the apartment boils over with lawyers and electricians and delivery men. “Where did you say you wanted this?” Cary asks of a folding table; in front of the fireplace, please. How did she possibly sleep through this? “We had to start early, the workers were here,” Robyn explains, rushing after them. “It’s a go,” Carey Zepps pops up, “we got new offices.” It seems that the tax law firm Wallace & Fray is breaking up, and the survivors want Florrick/Agos to fill out their empty offices. “Wallace & Fray, that’s great,” Alicia muses. Hmm. I don’t know. Sounds like a fusion of Game of Thrones and Braveheart to me, which I do not find encouraging. It’s all about the medieval warfare, kids! “Not that I don’t love you all here,” she adds disengenuously, waving her hand to encompass the remains of her living room.
And the doorbell rings. “That’s probably the broadband,” Robyn guesses, and Alicia heads off to the door. She prods Extra E for details on the lease, which he’s still trying to hammer out.
And, hmm. That’s not broadband. That’s our favorite Chick Pea; I knew it wouldn’t take long for her to reappear after that press conference. “Good morning,” she tells Alicia, looking beautiful and polished as ever. “Good morning,” Alicia replies a bit coldly. “You’re….” “Marilyn, yes,” Ms Garbanzo answers, “The chair of your husband’s ethics committee.” I know who you are, Alicia corrects, but I don’t know why you’re here. “Oh, I’m sorry to throw myself at you like this, Alicia, but I only discovered today that you’re starting your own firm, and I wanted to catch you…”
“Before I make too many mistakes?” Alicia replies, her arms crossed over her chest, her tone hostile. “No no no,” Marilyn soothes, “It’s just that the ethics rules for the governor can be quite… counter-intuitive. You know, they’ve changed a lot, even in the past few months.” Who sets those rules? Is it the state legislature? Just wondering. To be honest, Alicia’s not really paying attention; several workmen have stepped off the elevator, and she guides them in to install extra broadband connections. She’s just asking if Marilyn could come back at another time when she notices a woman wandering the hall – in her early thirties, long wavy hair pulled back from her forehead, conservative clothes.
“Heather? Hello!” she calls out in surprise. “Alicia, oh my gosh, what happened?” the woman asks. “I’m so sorry, did you go by work?” Alicia replies. “Someone else is in your office – a man who told me to get lost.” Well. Someone didn’t get the “we want to keep our clients” memo, David Lee. Ahem.
Poor Alicia closes her eyes in embarrassment. “I was going to – Marilyn, could we do this another time?” As another workman squeezes past, the ethicist offers to come back in the afternoon. “No, let me figure it out, okay?” Alicia asks. “Definitely, I’ll drop by,” Marilyn smiles and waves.
Wow. Pushier than I was expecting.
Poor Heather’s utterly bewildered as she follows Alicia into the bustling apartment; Alicia turns and squares her shoulders, happy to make the explanation. “I wanted to tell you I left Lockhart/Gardner and started my own firm.” Sadly, this doesn’t clear everything up; Heather continues to look around, puzzled. “Here?” No, Alicia laughs, this is temporary. We move into office space Friday. Is that wishful thinking?
“But shouldn’t you be in court?” Yes, Heather replies, hesitant. “It’s just I’ve mostly dealt with you, Alicia, not Diane, and I’m a little bit confused.” “Well you are in good hands,” Alicia replies kindly. “It’s just – I’ve worked a lot on your case, and I’m quite familiar with it.” Ha! Impressive, the way you just lead that witness, Alicia.
And there’s Diane, comically running through her yellow note cards again. Or at least, it’s comic in the sense that I have to laugh so I don’t cry. “Your Honor,” she begins, “I find the defense’s motion to dismiss galling.” “Oh, I’m sorry,” Nancy Crozier replies delicately, “I didn’t mean to gall you.” Nancy Crozier! YES! Ah, I already love this episode to pieces. “She’s suggesting that there is no way ever to sue a gun manufacturer.”
“I’m suggesting that Congress passed the Lawful Protection of Commerce and Arms Act,” she notes primly. “A reprehensible law,” Judge Alan Davies – eeeh, Richard Kind, I’m dying! – volunteers. You may think so, Nancy replies as Diane smirks, but it is still the law. “And if I may, Your Honor, if you don’t feel like you can judge fairly…”
Good luck with that, chica. He’s not recusing himself for the world. “I can judge very fairly, thank you, no matter how destructive your client’s product is to America.” Ha! She looks away, peeved. “Your Honor, it is true that the law passed by Congress outlaws lawsuits against gun manufacturers,” Diane begins, and – WHAT? Is that a real thing? It is. Wow. Why did I never hear about that? “But there are exceptions. This gun – a Decatur 38 Lobera – misfired and killed the husband of my client.” Diane turns for a board with a picture of the gun to the gallery, where client Heather is not sitting. Her absence utterly startles the nervous lawyer.
“Your Honor,” Nancy responds, “even if she can prove that it was defective, the gun was fired during the commission of a crime. Therefore the manufacturer cannot be sued.” Well, that’s an uphill battle, then. No wonder Diane’s so daunted. She explains that the gun belonged to the victim, who was attacked at his place of business by two robbers. Which was a criminal act, Nancy repeats. As they argue this interesting and odd little point of law (I could see how being shot by a misfire – an accident – could be legally different than being shot purposefully), Judge Davies looks over a note. “Thank you,” he cuts them off. “I’ll have to ask both attorneys to join me in chambers.”
“Um, why?” Nancy asks, a little snippily if you ask me. An administrative issue, he says.
And I know you saw this coming, too, but poor Diane did not. She knows for sure, however, when she and Nancy follow Judge Davies into his chambers, where Alicia and Cary wait with client Heather, and she stops, stunned. Absolutely stunned. I love Diane, and I don’t want to see her in pain, but I can’t help a teeny moment of enjoyment at seeing her complacency punctured.
You can see Alicia’s self conscious and putting on a particularly tough face to counteract her discomfort; Cary, on the other hand, looks the same as ever. Sighing because she knows what’s coming, Diane takes a seat at Judge Davies’ request, while Nancy looks on in utter puzzlement. “Just take a breath before we start in on this,” he asks. “Before we start in on – what?” Nancy squeaks, and for once her delicate phrasing is not just for effect. He pats a chair for Nancy to sit next to Diane, who looks down at her lap, trying (and failing) to hide her distress.
Deep breath before we begin, Davies instructs them. “I’ve received a request for change of representation from you, Heather, is that true?” In the corner, a court reporter types down his words. Yes, Heather answers, wringing her hands. “Your Honor, my firm recently fired 10 lawyers who were poaching clients,” Diane begins. Though he can control his expression, he can’t seem to control his mouth – Cary has to lean over and snap that they didn’t poach anything. “What would you call it, then?” Diane replies, dignified. “You were negotiating with our top clients behind out back.” Nancy Crozier could not be more delighted to see her opposition crumble from within.
The judge calls for their attention. “Clench your fists, okay? Look at your fist. Squash it.” What? “Come on. Squash,” he commands, smacking his fist against his desk with his open hand. “I work with kids in gangs. That’s what we say; squash it.” Cary looks askance at the request (likely embarrassed at being compared to a gang member), but complies.
“Now, Diane, you have something to say?” Yes, Your Honor, she says, shaking. “I am personally offended. I’ve been developing this case for two years.”
“No you haven’t, Diane,” Alicia replies calmly. “We have. Cary and myself…” “I took on this case,” Diane’s voice throbs, and she holds up a threatening finger. “I brought it to this firm…” Alicia hands over the billing for the case to the judge so he can see who actually spent what hours on it. “Where did you get those?” Diane asks, panicky. “Billing is not an effective way to determine work.” At this bit of sophistry Cary and Alicia burst out laughing. It’s the way you taught us, they scoff.
“Okay, okay, everybody, please please please. We were doing so well,” Judge Davies draws down his eyebrows into a sad face. “Come on. Squash it. Everybody!” It’s quite loud, the way he does it; I can see how the noise alone would feel satisfying and help refocus you. (Seriously, try it, it’s kind of fun.) He looks over at Nancy, too, who makes a fist and a face like it’s going to hurt her to do it. Awesome. Grudgingly, Diane gives in; Heather just looks lost.
“Heather, it is unorthodox to switch representation on the first day of motions, especially with Diane already commencing. So I’m going to ask you. Diane? Or Alicia and Cary. What is it?” The three lawyers look at Heather; Heather looks at Judge Davies’ desk. “Heather I’ve made it my life to fight for gun control. This is the wedge issue to drive into the PLCAA.” Heather can’t quite meet Diane’s eyes. “Alicia and Cary,” she frowns quietly, and Diane looks away as if slapped.
Er, why is it not the LPCAA? Sorry, but I had to ask.
“Your Honor, we have an immediate request for your assistance. The clients files – all two years of files. We need to have them transferred to our law firm.” What law firm, Diane snaps, standing wearily. “You’re working out of your apartment.” Before Cary can get into the fact that David Lee screwed them out of their office space, Alicia talks over him. We need the files, she says, and they don’t belong to Lockhart/Gardner, they belong to the client. Agreed, says the judge, who instructs Diane to send them on. “When can we expect delivery?” Cary drawls as she storms out, the door slamming behind her.
“How’d it go?” Will asks mildly when he catches Diane between their two offices. She stops to look at him, enraged. “They took it,” she declares, her voice throbbing. “My case!” Will frowns, uncomprehending. “What? Who?” “Who do you think?” she snaps, on the verge of tears. What did you think was going on here, Diane? Did you think it wouldn’t affect you? Determination plain in every step, Will stalks past Diane. “‘Where are you going?” she asks. “To get it back,” he informs her.
And we’re back in the madness of wire and uniformed male that is the Florrick apartment. We’re largely good, Red Shirt tells Cary and Alicia, but we’re having problems with the kids’ toilet. Man, that happened during the campaign too! Alicia rolls her whole head, not just her eyes. How was court, Grace chirps. “We got it!” Cary proclaims to general cheers.
“How much does Wallace & Fray want for their lease?” Alicia asks, ever mindful of getting the firm out of her house. Well, I was a little bit wrong about that, Extra E confesses. I’ll bet; never trust a Fray in parlay. They want us to join them, apparently, and be a new firm together. Well, you knew it wouldn’t be that easy to get out of Alicia’s living room. “We split the office space, the lease, the clients…” Your throats when you refuse to marry their daughters… (Sorry, sorry, I can’t get over the Frey/Game of Thrones/Red Wedding thing.) “Do we want that?” Cary asks. I don’t see why you would! And, er, what happens to Veronica’s deposit on the other office if they totally give up on it? “No, they’re tax attorneys,” Red Shirt dismisses them. Excellent.
“With office space,” Alicia counters. I know she wants them gone, but that doesn’t seem like good long term thinking. You don’t even know these people, Alicia! I see the short term benefits (enlarging the firm, having an office) but it hardly seems wise. Maybe she’s drunk on the risk tasking, the adrenaline rush of the last few days, making huge choices without any time for thought. “Yeah,” Cary points out, “but we just got out from under Lockhart/Gardner – do we really wanna throw ourselves back in another corporate situation?” Wait, how are they not being corporate? They’ve dressed like bankers to sit in Alicia’s living room! “I don’t think so,” Red Shirt agrees.
That’s when Alicia notices Marilyn Garbanza drinking water in her kitchen. I don’t think I mentioned how much I love the sheer blouse with her black suit – it gives her this disarmingly ethereal look that feels perfect to me. “Marilyn? Hello,” she calls. “Oh hi,” replies the slightly embarrassed ethics watchdog. “I hope you don’t mind. I needed a glass of water.” No, replies Alicia patiently, the word “but” hanging unspoken in the air, “I thought you were calling this afternoon.” Calling? My, that’s so Downton Abbey. “No, I hope – I was just dropping by – I hope this doesn’t inconvenience you,” the pretty blond sputters. Why so twitchy, Marilyn? “What do you need?” Alicia asks flat out. Ah, don’t you love the way she’s got no use for games? She’s so steely and direct; she uses a machete to cut through red tape.
“I just need to take your firm through a short power point on the ethical rules for start ups.” There are ethical rules for start ups run by the governor’s family members? Yeah, I guess there’d have to be. I’ve heard all the rules, I’ll tell them, Alicia declares, we don’t have time. I’m not sure that could be true, that bit about being able to pass on the rules; she heard the rules for established companies. After all, Marilyn didn’t even know about Florrick/Agos when she gave the other presentation. And that’s when Marilyn starts to gag.
“I’m sorry to be rude,” she gasps, “may I use your restroom?” Of course. “Will you show me?” She does, one arm around the other woman’s back. Marilyn flings the master bath door shut behind her and retching noises immediately issue forth from behind it.
“Miss Garbanza? Hello, are you alright?” Alicia asks before boldly walking in on the other woman; of course she finds Marilyn with her head in the toilet. “I’m sorry,” the ethicist gasps, her hair tumbled over the top of her head, obscuring most of her face. “No, not at all, can I get you something?” Alicia asks. Maybe a hand towel? It’s done. “Is it food poisoning?” Alicia wonders.
“Morning sickness,” a rather embarrassed Marilyn admits.
Morning sickness! Wow. I guess she’s not perfectly made to be Peter’s mistress after all.
“Really?” Alicia asks, a huge delighted grin on her face. (Though I’m relieved to see her removed as an impediment to Alicia’s marriage, I don’t think that has anything to do with Alicia’s response; first, she wasn’t privy to Peter’s attraction or their flirting, but second, I think she’s genuinely secure in his affection for and attraction to her. I don’t think her mind would go there at all.) “Congratulations!”
“Have you read What to Expect When You’re Expecting?” Marilyn asks, looking and sounded exhausted. Alicia laughs her yes. “It’s awful, isn’t it?” Hee. “Well, they don’t sugar coat it,” Alicia smiles. “Did you read the chapter on pregnancy complications?” Oh, you shouldn’t read that, Alicia says, but you know it’s impossible not to. It’s like gawking at a car wreck or playing with a loose tooth or flirting with someone who likes you even if you don’t like them back; it’s irresistible. “Everybody gave me a copy, I have 8 books, I couldn’t not read it.” Well, it’s better than this book, which has a new horrific complication for every single week. “I’m sorry I came by. I know you’re very busy.”
Ah, but that was the perfect pitch. There’s no way Alicia could deny the pathetic, miserable woman looking up at her from the bathroom floor. “That’s your job,” Alicia replies gently. “Yes it is,” Marilyn agrees. “What a silly job, making sure that other people follow the rules.” No, she can’t resist. “How long will it take, your power point?” A mere 20 minutes.
Cary knocks on the door, and both women freeze from the awkwardness of being caught together in the restroom. “Alicia! We need to get to court!” A horrified looking Marilyn attempts to smooth her hair. “Yeah, one minute,” Alicia calls out, before telling Marilyn to come back at 3 the next afternoon. Grateful, the gravid woman just wants a few minutes to sit in quiet. I’ll bring you some water, Alicia promises, and heads out. “Alicia?” Yes, the governor-elect’s wife turns back. “You’re very nice,” Marilyn tells her, big doe eyes looking up from just above the toilet bowl. Alicia laughs. “I’ll be right back,” she promises.
And check it out, at the door there are three couriers bearing boxes. “You’re kidding! I underestimated them,” Alicia cries, pleased. And that’s when Red Shirt opens up a box and pulls out a large rubber rat.
“Or over estimated them,” Carey Zepps snarks. “To Florrick/Agos,” Robyn reads from an accompanying note, “We are doing out best to process your request, and in the meantime, please accept the contents of your desks as a good will gesture. Will Gardner, managing partner.” Lovely. (And, huh. Funny to see his name as managing partner, isn’t it? Did he become the managing partner by default?) Carey Zepps is appalled. “I can’t believe they’d endanger their own clients just to get back at us,” he snaps. “It’s not their clients anymore,” Alicia observes, ” and they don’t give a damn.” She looks over at Cary. “Come on,” she says. Where, to court, Robyn wonders. “No, he’d be expecting that,” Alicia replies darkly.
In the Lockhart/Gardner conference room, Will’s assembled the partners. “The plan is simple,” he begins. “We’re in a superior position to branch out from Chicago to New York and then L.A. But we need to act now.” Huh. Is that true, or is it just that he needs to act now, to distract himself, to release all this energy? “I have clients wondering about our lawsuits,” David Lee grumbles. “David, when I’m finished you can talk,” Will stops the little troll (wow!) and tosses a stack of bound dossiers onto the table. “First move is to destabilize our competitors. These are the top 12 litigators at competing firms. I want you to select 1 name and target him or her for acquisition. You understand?” As they pick up the files, I can’t help wondering if those names include Elsbeth Tascioni, Patti Nylholm and Nancy Crozier; I suppose Viola and Canning couldn’t be wooed since they have their own firms. But how hard would that rock?
And speaking of hard and rocking, Will’s Rebound Tattoo has just shown up and is waiting outside the room. He looks momentarily panicked, and excuses himself immediately. “David, you can talk now. I’ll be right back.”
And there he is, playing a loud and sloppy game of tonsil hockey in the middle of his office. Ew! I know he’s in a bad place, but that’s so unprofessional. “Mr. Gardner,” an unsuspecting assistant with red hair and hipster bangs stops short after stumbling upon this unexpected display. “Ah, this came for you.” Diane slinks over in her twisted rope wrap dress. “You got a subpoena from them?” she asks in a tone which implies she can’t believe they’d dare. Oh, yes, those common people are so pesky, refusing to roll over and expire when you tell them too.
He snickers, impressed, and doesn’t stop when David Lee joins Diane in the room. They want their files, he laughs. “And they’re taking us to court for them?” Diane restates her comment. “No, the ACDB,” he explains. “What the hell is that?” David asks, because it wasn’t enough of an explanation. “The Disciplinary Board,” Diane tells him. “Oh,” he realizes. “That’s the board that…” “Suspended me,” Will finishes. His fling still stands in the background. “Alicia does have a sense of humor, I’ll give her that.” Don’t let her get in your head, Diane warns him. “No,” Will disagrees, confident. “That’s where I want her.”
Um, if you say so.
Nancy Crozier begins this session in court. “Thank you, Your Honor. I know that the plaintiff’s team is somewhat in flux, so if you’d like me to summarize my motion again…” Ha ha. “No, Nancy, we read the court transcripts. And we ask Your Honor to deny her motion to dismiss.” Judge Davies is curious what Alicia’s tactic is. “You’re rejecting the Protection of Arms Act?” No, Cary explains. “Your Honor, it’s the law of the land.” I’m not sure that helped. “Your Honor, I know that your sympathies tend against my client,” Nancy goes off. “Yes, stop playing me,” the judge snaps. Ha! “Sorry, I’m not,” a flustered Nancy replies, looking for a proper response before settling on the slightly self righteous “I was speaking from my heart.”
Snort! She is such good value for the money, Nancy Crozier. Alicia rolls her eyes at Cary.
“I myself have never fired a gun in my life. What matters to me is justice.” Good for you, the judge snaps. “The difficulty I’m having, Alicia and ….” Cary supplies his name. “Cary, is that Nancy is right on the law. If the gun is fired during a the commission of a crime.” Ah ha, and you have just discovered Alicia’s loophole of the moment. “We don’t know if it did go off in the commission of a crime,” she posits.
“They were holding up a car wash,” Nancy complains. “They were accused of holding up a car wash,” Alicia counters, “One is dead and the other is currently on trial in Cook County criminal court; a determination’s being made on his guilt or innocence.” The judge is impressed by this line of reasoning, and prompts Nancy for a counter argument. “Your Honor, he’s being prosecuted!” she calls out as if that were proof positive. Yes, Alicia agrees. “And if he’s found not guilty, then it is up to His Honor to decide whether there was or was not a crime.” When people talk about lawyers manipulating words, this is just what they mean.
“That’s exactly right,” Judge Davies agrees, pleased. “We will wait for the decision from the criminal court. In the meantime, we will address the question of the product’s defects.” Immediately Nancy turns her back on the judge and confers with three older men in dark suits in the gallery. I doubt it’s an accident that Nancy and her silent co-counsel are both young women; they put a much nicer face on the issue than these stiff old suits. “Nancy? Nancy? Do your friends in the front row agree or disagree?” Ha. “Well, Your Honor,” she turns to say, “if that is your ruling we have choice but to acquiesce.”
Ha. Cary and Alicia confer. “I’ll take criminal court,” he says – because duh! – “I know how the SA will prosecute this one.” Great, agrees Alicia. “And I’ll go to the disciplinary Board and get our files.” Cary shoots her a look. “Will will be there, are you okay with that?” “I’m great with that,” she grins, relishing the combat to come.
“Your Honor, this is a signed confession by Lee St. George, the accomplice to this man,” Geneva Pine points out, dropping the confession off in front of the judge and waving at the defendant. “Objection! Mr. St. George hanged himself while in Cook County jail, so we have no way to corroborate this,” the plaintiff’s lawyer complains, a thin blond woman in a maroon suit. You can’t cross examine the dead. “Your Honor, it doesn’t matter,” Geneva opines, “he confessed to robbing a car wash.” Her eyes bug when she sees Cary walk into the courtroom.
And now we get to see him walk out, calling after the defense attorney. “Olivia, you got a second?” Um, maybe not. “I’ve got a 19 year old kid who was duped into a robbery and is facing 20 years, what do you think?” I think I can help you, he says. “Really? Why?” she wonders. “I think your guy is innocent.” What, really?
Olivia laughs. “Oh, come on, Olivia, I know we’ve butted heads in the past, but let me help you. Geneva Pine likes to sit on some of her Brady material.” Now this does get Olivia’s attention. “You think she’s withholding exculpatory evidence?” He wasn’t kidding when he said he knew the prosecutor. “I think she like to build momentum in her case, and then let the evidence magically appear.” But as he’s positing it, wouldn’t that only work if it was evidence that helped her? Or is his point that she holds onto the evidence until she has too strong of a case, too much momentum, for it to matter? Because that’s kind of evil.
Will, David and Diane range themselves on one side of a wooden table. Alicia sits on the other. “Hello everyone. Welcome to the Attorney Compliance and Disciplinary Board, where we handle disputers between lawyers in a collegial manner,” Lionel Deerfield – Grandpa Gilmore! – tells them. “And welcome back, Will. I hope this visit to our sanctum will prove more fruitful.” Or something.
“Can we ask Mrs. Florrick why she chose this venue for a complaint instead of a court subpoena?” Will wonders. Since he knows the answer to that question, he must somehow think that this will help soften Lionel’s antipathy toward him, the knowledge that Alicia’s playing the system? “We can,” Lionel says, and does. “Mr. Gardner has already shown his true stripes to this board, and we thought you would be best to discuss a pattern of abuse.” Ouch. “Oh, go to hell,” David sneers, “she’s using Will’s disbarment as a…” Lionel cuts him off and tells him to wait his turn. Ha! Excellent.
“Mrs. Florrick has already admitted she’s hoping this board will be biased against my firm,” Will begins. “Not your firm,” she replies maliciously, “you.” He’s a bit taken aback by her vehemence. “We would only ask that this complaint be quashed until the court’s jurisdiction is set,” he counters, as if that were so reasonable.
“We are in active litigation at this moment, Mr. Chairman,” Alicia explains. “After poaching my case!” Diane snaps, and Alicia is once again required to point out that Heather came to her. “Mr. Chairman, we need all the case files so we can properly represent our client’s interests, and Mr. Gardner and Miss Lockhart are actively delaying…” “What, I don’t rate?” David Lee interrupts. I so badly wanted for her to say “you don’t” but she grits her teeth and adds him to her list. “And Mr. Lee are actively delaying the delivery of these file sin an attempt to win the client back.”
“Is this true, Will?” Lionel asks, shocked. Ah, he’s such an idealist, Lionel. “Um, no,” Will lies. ‘We are carefully culling our records for the files.” Alicia steps in. “There’s no need to cull,” she explains. “This isn’t the 70s. Lockhart/Gardner’s IT department keeps a careful, ongoing record of all its cases. All you have to do is type in this code.” She passes a slip of paper to Lionel with the number on it. “And hit return.”
“How do you know that?” he wonders, bemused by all this modern technology. “I used to work there,” she replies, staring daggers at Will.
“Will, you were suspended for this kind of nonsense,” he grumbles. That’s not right, though; Will was suspended for “borrowing” money from a client. He’s certainly guilty of nonsense, though. “Get her the files, or be sanctioned.”
After, in the hall, beneath a statue of blind Justice and her scales, Lionel calls after Diane. “Oh, we’re handling it, Lionel. Don’t worry.” Oh you are? I’m not impressed, Diane. “Oh, no,” he shakes his head, “I just wanted to say, I told Florrick’s people that you would make a far better justice than Blair Coderbash.”
There it is.
“I’m sorry?” Diane asks. “The governor’s people called to vet Coderbash and I said they were crazy not to nominate you for the Supreme Court seat, but I’m sure everything will be fine.”
He presses the elevator button, and as it dings, we see Diane pop out of the elevator back at Lockhart/Gardner. “Well, how long until the meeting’s over?” she asks her phone. “Well just tell Mr. Gold to call. Kalinda!” she barks after hanging up. The two confer in reception. “I need help. Peter Florrick is vetting another candidate for the Supreme Court. It may just be for show. He might just want it to look like a fair process.” Because picking her was unfair? “Or it could be because of … events here.” Ya think? “I’ll find out,” Kalinda promises, glowing in a red leather jacket. “Good. Bill me personally,” Diane nods before taking off down the hall. Kalinda watches her go, her dark, knowing eyes wide.
Husband Kurt is waiting in her office. When she sees him, she tosses her purse (shades of Miranda Priestly!) and surges forward to embrace him. “Bad day?” They kiss. “I found your defect for your gun case,” he offers to cheer her up. She makes a choking noise somewhere between tears and laughter. Oh, the painful irony! Because it’s all happened so fast, poor Kurt has no idea, and looks down at his wife like she’s crazy. “You want me to come back?” he asks. “No,” she replies, “it’s just it’s not my case anymore.”
“It’s too bad,” he observes, “it’s winnable.” That’s got to hurt. The red headed assistant in the reception area between the name partner offices takes note.
“Hello?” Alicia voice comes over the phone. “Hello, Alicia, it’s Gina,” the red head says. “At work. I mean, your old work.” Yes! I love it! “Oh, hi, Gina,” Alicia replies pleasantly. “How are you?” Good, says Gina, before changing her automatic pleasantries for the truth. “Ah, actually, not so good. They’ve stopped paying for teleconferencing from home and I have child care problems,” she confesses. Alicia has child care problems of her own; she’s slowing imploding, watching Grace lean against a door frame and flirt with Carey Zepps. Also, she sees where this is going. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she says. “I would have called, but we’re not hiring assistants right now. We’re still looking for office space.”
It’s true. They’d have needed the assistants by now if they were able to move into the real space. I can’t help observing that there are way more than the 10 lawyers Diane mentioned at the apartment; Alicia, Cary, Carey, John and Red Shirt were fired along with 5 others including the remaining woman from the original conspiracy and two men we haven’t seen since David Lee booted them out of their desks. Huzzah, there’s actually another woman here now, too!
Anyway. “What if I gave you something that would help win your gun case?” Gina offers. Oooh, a double agent! I love it! Respect the support staff, Alicia. “What? What is it?” the lawyer cries. “No. I need my same salary, 2 days at home, 1 year guaranteed,” Gina bargains. Looks like she learned quite a bit about negotiations from working with lawyers, huh?
Meanwhile, Carey’s making some sort of hand gesture to Grace that seems to have to do with chains? “Carey, do you have a minute?” Alicia calls out. Oh, boy. “Everything alright?” he asks, leaving Grace behind. “Yeah, just … what did Grace want?” I know he’s a bit of a twerp, but Grace isn’t even 16. Does she really think so ill of him? “Oh, she just wanted to know if I was converted in Campus Faith or if I was always a Christian,” he explains. How did they even get on this topic? Oh, probably because of the Bible study.
“Okay,” Alicia starts. “here’s the thing. I don’t want my family life overlapping with my work life.” Then have Peter keep the kids at the big house while this is going on! Easy peasy solution. “So if you don’t mind, the next time Grace wants to talk to you, could you tell her you’re busy?” Carey resents the implication, as well he might. “It’s completely innocent!” he proclaims. “I know,” Alicia lies, “I just don’t want my daughter distracted. I want her to do her homework.” Okay, sorry, he replies, hands up. “No, everything’s fine,” she lies, trying ever so slightly to dig herself out of this hole, but watching Grace move on to flirting with Red Shirt. You can’t win, Alicia!
“Um, I have to go and get us a ballistics expert,” she says, “I’ll be back in an hour. Grace…” she beckons, and Grace comes.
The tension between mother and daughter fills Alicia’s car. “I wasn’t doing anything,” Grace pouts angrily. “I know,” Alicia lies as usual, “I just wanted the pleasure of your company.”
“Alicia’s going to want us to join Wallace & Fray,” Carey Zepps tells his brother in name only. “I know,” Cary Agos agrees. “They’ll want a portion of our Chum Hum fee. We need to out vote Alicia.” Well, maybe. “Find us a new office space,” Cary suggests. “This is all about us invading her home.” He notices Marilyn at the kitchen island. “Find something and we won’t need to outvote her.”
On to the next! And this case, that means the stranger quaffing water at the kitchen island. “Hi,” she responds to his greeting, “I have a meeting with Alicia at three, but I think she’s a little late.” Hmm. First it was three today, yes, but now it’s three tomorrow, and she’s supposed to see everyone. So, weirdness. Why’s she here again? “Actually, she had a meeting to go to. I’m her partner, Cary Agos. May I help you?” They shake. “I’m the chair of the governor’s ethic’s commission,” she introduces herself. “I just had a few questions.” She grabs a pan out of the sink and clutches it to her chest.
“And you’re making soup?” Cary asks, sardonic. I love his sense of humor. “I just never know when I might feel sick,” she says. “So you’ve acquired Chum Hum as a client? That’s a great account!” It is, Cary nods. ‘It’s just a Midwestern business, but it’s pretty big.” Marilyn almost hurls, perhaps offended by the slight to the Midwest. “But it didn’t look like the account would always go your way,” she adds. “Well,” Cary explains, “We had a battle with Lockhart/Gardner, our hold firm, over it.” Dude, you are not paying attention. “And then Peter Florrick heard about your troubles with the account?” she wonders. Oh my goodness, she’s turning on those doe eyes big time. “Well, he was here, so I guess he did,” Cary answers, thinking it over. Marilyn’s eyes widen. “He was here? At the apartment? When you heard about losing Chum Hum?” Yes, Cary answers, officially spooked. “Why?” He’s catching on, if slowly. “No reason,” she lies. Now I’m starting to wonder – because yes, I am that paranoid – if she was playing Alicia with the whole pregnancy thing. “So you were surprised when Governor Florrick made a speech about internet taxation, I mean that speech really turned the tides for you.”
Now he gets it. “You work for Mr. Florrick,” he smiles. “Governor Florrick,” she corrects, which is weird first because it’s similar to her conversation with Eli, and also because it’s factually incorrect at the moment. “I mean, after that speech the account really…” He cuts her off. I think we better wait for Alicia to return, he wises up. “Maybe she should help answer your questions.” Yes. Again, Marilyn looks ready to hurl; she stares longingly at the pan and excuses herself.
Sitting at his desk, Kurt McVeigh loads a handgun. “Just so I understand, Mrs. Florrick,” he growls. It’s clear from the cement blocks surrounding them that she’s in his bunker/test facility. “You took this case from Diane Lockhart.” Yeah, it’s quite ballsy of her to approach him. “No. The client came to me of her own free will. I didn’t take it.” Does that helps as a distinction? You don’t want to imply that his wife is incompetent, after all. “I was hired by Lockhart/Gardner,” he points out. Now he’s holding a rifle, which I’m finding rather intimidating. Wisely, Alicia focuses her eyes solely on his face. “I know. And we would like to hire you too. We’ll pay your usual fee, and ask nothing more than your usual good judgement.” Good judgement, he repeats dangerously. “Mr. McVeigh, I know you’re married to Diane. And I don’t want to cause problems. But I know there’s a defective gun out there, and I know that means more to you than anything.” More than anything? Hmmm.
“You know what means more to me than anything?” he asks angrily. “Not being used.” Uh oh. “I’m not using you.” Well, at least not in another sense besides the obvious (paying him for his services); she’s not using him to get at Diane. “All I’m asking you to do is tell the truth in a case.” You’re not after the truth, he snaps, and now I’m a little offended. How does he know that? For all he knows, Alicia could be as passionate a gun control advocate as Diane is. She’s certainly spent more time working on the case than Diane did.
“Forget about our issues with Lockhart/Gardner,” Alicia suggests with admirable restraint; with someone else, this interview would have gone south right there. “Mrs. Sorrentino is an innocent woman who deserves justice. That’s the truth.” Kurt looks down at his Desk O Weaponry. What would we do, he wonders, and as the two begin to discuss the case in earnest, the camera brings us back to Grace, lurking in Kurt’s weapons locker. Rifles and handguns line the spaces, hung up on gray peg board framing out three walls. Her Capstone Prep uniform makes a nice contrast against the gray, and it adds to the whole school girl fetish feeling, somehow. She takes in the guns, the triggers, the microscopes, all of it, before bending to peel back a white sheet that rests over a red mannequin – torso and head only – with a large bullet wound in its forehead.
“There were a lot of guns,” Grace observes on the way home. “He is a ballistics expert,” Alicia deadpans. I know, Grace grumbles, annoyed. “Really elaborate.” Indeed. “It’s alright for him to have them,” Alicia suggests, “but guns are dangerous.” See, that strikes me as the way you’d talk to a much younger child. Her head lolling back against the seat, Grace gets a dreamy look on her face. “I wanna fire one sometime.”
Alicia’s head whips to her right, and then she shakes it, blowing out her lips. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she says. “Have you ever fired one?” Grace wonders: the answer is no. “I want to sometime,” Grace responds, as if her mother’s lack of experience has made the idea all that much more attractive. Alicia blinks.
Back at the apartment, we see at least six brown boxes. “They sent the files? I can’t believe it!” Alicia crows. “Don’t,” snarks Zepps as he, Cary and Red Shirt each read various documents from inside. “They redacted them,” Real Cary explains. They did not! What’re they, the NSA? “You’re kidding,” Alicia asks in disbelief. “Nope. They’re toying with you,” Zepps responds. With all of you, you mean.
Once more the sun rises to the tune of “Captain Sunshine.” Rebound Girl does yoga topless, her back to the camera, in front of an opaque window ; the neon “Tattoo” on the outside of the large paned window suggests that this is her place, not his. It’s quite pretty; there’s iron scroll work on the wall, a bench covered with shimmering red fabric, and a gorgeous carved wooden chair. Will stretches and yawns, his black work out clothes a start contrast to the creamy yellow sheets, then winces when the action pulls on his brand new tattoo. He traces the lines in wonder – a small but beautifully intricate turtle, just above the crook of his elbow. A turtle. Really? My 8 year old would love that. Ow, he mouths, tracing its outline.
“I want a baby,” Yoga Tattoo declares off camera, stopping Will in the middle of his meditation. “What?” She’s got her right leg practically up over her head, as if she were an ice skater or a ballerina. A naked ballerina. “Don’t worry,” she continues blithely. “I don’t want you, I just want your baby.” Oh, I’m sure that’s very encouraging. “You don’t have to be the dad,” she adds, picking up a black tank top and pulling it over her head, “I don’t want you to stick around.” “Isabelle, I’ve known you for three days,” he blinks.
“Right,” she agrees. “This isn’t about commitment, or wanting to live with you. I want you to get me pregnant, and go away.” She advances on him. “I gotta go to work,” he announces, panicked. “That’s a no?” she asks. “It’s a ‘I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,'” he says, gently brushing a strand of hair out of her face, “but I wanna return to people who make sense.'” She pins him to the bed, wheezing with laughter.
“You really think I wanted a baby?” she asks, chortling. “I did,” he admits, grinning back. “Psych!” she cries, and he flips her over. “Come on! Get me pregnant, Will!” she coos. “Bye crazy lady,” he says before kissing her and crawling off the bed. “But I need your baby inside me, Will,” she calls after him, craning her head up to see if he’ll react.
Another kind of pillow talk wakes Diane – and it literally wakes her, because her eyes are closed when Kurt informs her that he’s been asked to testify in the Sorrentino case. “You’ve been asked? By whom?” (I love Diane for properly using “whom” even as she’s lying in bed half asleep. Also, I really love her silver paisley pajamas, even if I could never sleep in something with a ballet neck.) By Alicia Florrick, of course. “And you’re asking me if this is all right?” she wonders, struggling through the bed covers to sit up. “No. We said when we got married we wouldn’t have veto power over each other’s cases.” I don’t imagine you thought such an instance would come up just two days in.
“So you’re just informing me,” she realizes. Yes. “That was my case!” she snaps, petulant, even angry. “I know,” he replies calmly. “It’s winnable.” It’s kind of intriguing that he’d want it to be winnable. I mean, they’ve said he wants bad guns off the street with is both laudable and consistent with his character, but still, you’d think he’d worry about this eroding his precious Second Amendment protections. It seems that he’s got more integrity than that. He’s an idealist, not a strategist. “Winnable for Alicia,” Diane complains. Wow, that is so petty.
“No,” Kurt replies. “Winnable for Heather Sorrentino.” That is not fair, Diane tells him after shooting over a long, dirty look. Um, that’s him as your spouse telling you to be the bigger person and get over yourself, Diane. If you care about the case, it shouldn’t be a low blow to point that out. “How’s that not fair?” he asks. “Well, you’ve already made up your mind,” she grumbles. “So go. Go do it.” The gun is defective, he explains. “It should be taken off the streets.” Exactly. “Go. Be a hero,” she tells him. He goes, and I’m left to admire her hair rather than her reaction to the situation.
Oh, I know, I know, she’s had a bad couple of days, but that was pretty petty.
“They’re called junk guns,” Kurt explains on the stand, “that’s a term that law enforcement uses for cheaply made handguns. You see a lot of them because they’re easy to buy.” Alicia, in a red blazer over a black top and skirt, presses him. “Did you see the Lobera 38 that killed Tim Sorrentino?” He did. “Yes, and I compared it to 5 Loberas that I bought from five different stores.” (I should note that the Lobera doesn’t seem to be a real gun; no doubt the program doesn’t want to be sued for slandering an actual firearms manufacturer.) Now why did he do that? To ensure that my test sample was random,” he tells her. So. What did he find?
“The trigger mechanism had a faulty spring, and the distance was 75% less than normal.” Uh oh. That’s really bad. “So with this kind of hair trigger, could a gun discharge if it hit the ground?” I’d be surprised if it didn’t, he says, and Alicia thanks him for his testimony.
Nancy Crozier bites her lips before standing up to cross examine Kurt. “I don’t know much about guns,” she begins, straightening her purple knit dress, “but my Daddy does hunt a little bit.” Cue Alicia’s patented eye roll. “And he told me that there are other factors that can contribute to a fire arms’ performance.” Right. I’m sure he used just those words, too. “Um, such as weather, right?” Sure, Kurt agrees. It turns out that on June 18th – the day of the shooting – it was 98 degrees in Chicago. Doesn’t this seem like something an expert as thorough as he is would have looked into? And it also turns out that the moisture from a car wash could affect performance. “So if I kept a gun locked in a drawer in a damp environment in 98 degree heat, could that cause a hair trigger?” It could, Kurt the ever honest agrees. Kurt McVeigh does not flinch before the truth. Alicia does as she sees his testimony evaporate, though.
Of course, if he had the same finding in the five other guns, it would suggest that the gun is at the very least pre-disposed to the hair trigger. We know he stores his guns in a controlled environment, for one thing, so I’m not sure Alicia couldn’t fix this on cross. Either way, I understand why she’s trying to hide her dissatisfaction.
Diane meets Kalinda in the lobby of a building with a gorgeous old wrought iron entrance. It’s quite spectacular, giving an effect somewhere between a castle and church. “You, ah, asked me to look into the vetting process of the governor-elect,” Kalinda begins as Diane reverse-carusos off her sunglasses. “It’s real,” Diane nods, looking vulnerable, fearing the blow that’s about to come. Kalinda nods. “Yeah. They’re, ah, vetting Blair Coderbash, Thomas Veracruz and Janet Suzaki.” Diane stares down at the investigator. “I’m out?” she asks, and Kalinda squirms a little under her gaze. “I … I can’t say that,” she shrugs, not from apathy but from concern.
Diane looks away, and watches Cary walk in. This must be the ACDB building. “Thank you,” she tells Kalinda, her voice coming as if from far away, “that’s – that’s what I thought.” She walks away, dignified. She walks into a bathroom with marble walls, and slumps against a wall, exhaling hard, before her bottom lip quivers and a terrible cry, almost a sob escapes her. It’s followed fast by a second, heart-breaking sob; Diane raises a hand to her lips to hold it in.
That was incredibly painful to watch.
Being Diane, she’s cool and collected once more when she arrives at Lionel’s conference room, but she looks away as Cary explains to Chairman Deerfield that he’s here because Alicia’s in court. “Lionel is fine,” the older man leans over, smiling, causing Cary to grin back. “And what seems to be the problem now?” “This is what Mr. Gardner and Miss Lockhart have sent us,” Cary says, handing over one of the redacted documents. Seriously, the time it must have taken to do that! Avuncular old Lionel flips through the pages. “Ah, Will,” he groans, exasperated. “Will!”
“We sent over every file we were legally required to, Mr. Chairman,” Will replies, all innocence. No wonder Lionel hates you, Will. You’re hardly doing yourself favors in his eyes with this juvenile stunt. “They’re trying to bleed us out of this case,” Cary suggests. “That is not true,” Diane lies. “Florrick & Associates…” she begins, and Cary’s forced to correct her, “are legally entitled to client files. They are not legally entitled to work product.” Wait, what? And everything that’s redacted is your work product, Lionel asks. Yes, Diane insists. Surely the law takes that into account? How do you separate those two classifications out? It seems unlikely that there’d be so little left that wasn’t work product, no?
“Our personal notes! Our observations! Our, our legal strategies.” Cary’s quick to respond. “Not your legal stratagems, OUR legal stratagems, from when we worked at …” “Yes,” Diane agrees, “from when you were a Lockhart/Gardner employee – in other words, our work product!” Now, come on, this can’t be the first time this has ever happened. “Your Honor,” Cary counters, “we’d like to call a hostile witness to prove this isn’t true. I mean, Mr. Chairman.” Hmm. Will and Diane look hostile enough for everybody.
I don’t know who I was expecting, but it wasn’t Kalinda, who bites her lip and looks down at her lap uncomfortably. It should have, probably. “Miss Sharma, you conducted investigative work on Heather Sorrentino’s suit against Decatur Firearms?” She did. “And what questions did you ask them?” She was trying to determine if they knew that the Lobera 38 was defective. “And what did you conclude?” Diane stings with a waspish objection; he’s just fishing for content for his lawsuit! “Get on point, Mr. Agos,” Lionel cautions, folding his hands beneath his chin.
What Cary really wants to know is whether or not Kalinda took notes of her interviews. Yes. What did she do with them, then? “I shared them with Miss Lockhart and then put them away in their files.” Clearly these notes are part of the client files, Cary opines, but they have been redacted.
“Just a few questions,” Diane leaps in. “Kalinda, did you write anything else in your notes besides the employees answers?” She did. “Comments and observations.” Such as, Diane prompts. “I wanted to look into one of the lab employees, who I suspected was an alcoholic.” So you didn’t just record objective facts, Diane notes. “You memorialized subjective opinion. Follow ups. Strategies.” Yep.
And that’s when a perky blond pops in. “Hello. Hello!” Lionel calls out to her, annoyed. “Hi, I’m Robyn Burdine, the Florrick/Agos investigator.” Diane and Will wince to see her; really, I could watch Will’s grimace on loop. Excellent. She sets some paperwork in front of Cary, and then stops short as if surprised to see Kalinda. “Hi,” she says in a subdued but friendly voice; Kalinda returns the greeting, sounding like a high school senior who doesn’t want to admit she knows the freshman greeting herbut not quite rude enough to give the cut direct.
“I just have a quick follow up,” Cary says, sliding an invoice in front of Kalinda. “Miss Sharma, what is this? Kalinda doesn’t look too pleased with the question. “It’s, um, it’s an invoice to Heather Sorrentino for my services.” Your investigative services in connection with the case, Cary clarifies, sliding the paper across the table to Lionel. “But this is not a Lockhart/Gardner invoice. This has been issued by you personally.” Indeed, we can see that this is so because the invoice has Kalinda Sharma written across the top. “”Is that because you’re an independent contractor engaged by Lockhart/Gardner and technically not an employee of the firm?” Will and Diane squirm, because they know they have been caught; Kalinda, on the other hand, smiles in appreciation. “Yes.” And no one can contest what that means; her notes are the client’s property.
I still can’t believe they’re able to get away with redacting the rest of the files, but at least this is something. Look at the glee the Florrick/Agos attorneys show as they open the boxes! It’s like Christmas. And those are a pretty decent number of boxes, too. “At least there are no rats,” Robyn laughs. “I think we got the real files!” someone calls out – and hey, that’s the short, Toby Jones-like guy who David Lee fired. Nice to see some continuity with the extras. “No redactions,” Zepps smiles. “Good job, you two,” Alicia pats Robyn and Cary on their shoulders.
Zach weaves his way into the crowd to tell Alicia that there’s someone at the door. And to everyone’s surprise, that someone is Kurt McVeigh. Alicia’s at a bit of a loss. “You got a minute?” he asks. Sure, she says, bowing to the side so he can enter the apartment, in regards to what? “My examination of the 38,” he answers, refusing to cross the threshold.
“Oh, it’s okay, we have other evidence,” she says, assuming he’s come to apologize. “When I first examined the firing mechanism, it was easy to access. There was no need to take it apart.” O-kaaay. I love seeing Alicia trying to look like she not only understands what he means, but why it’s relevant. “But I was thinking about the environmental conditions mentioned in court, so this time I wanted to be sure.” The man is maddening. “Sure of what?” Alicia asks, taking the small baggy he’s proffered. It’s full of – small metal pins? “These are?” He smiles and heads for the elevator. “What you need to win,” he grins.
Okay, that’s taking the whole silent cowboy thing a little too far.
“That’s interesting,” Geneva Pine says, “because when I hear someone yell ‘just give him the money’ I assume they’re conducting a robbery.” A man in an orange prison jumpsuit shudders at her intensity, and defense attorney Olivia of course objects. “Argumentative! Mr. Rolf already explained he was just trying to get the victim out of there alive.” That’s not supposed to be the 19 year old, is it? Because, no. Withdrawn, Geneva replies, and walks neatly back to her desk. Cary whispers to Olivia, who stands and asks to add a witness.
“The gun had bad pins,” Kurt McVeigh proclaims on the stand. “In what way,” Cary hisses, and Olivia delivers the question. “This is a standard cocking cam pivot pin,” Kurt explains, clicking up an enlargement of the perfect pin on a screen next to the witness stand. “It’s kind of a link between the trigger and the hammer.” Okay, we’re with you so far. He clicks up two pictures at once, the enlargement of two different pins labeled “damaged” and “undamaged.” “This is the pin that was in Tim Sorrentino’s gun,” he says, pointing to the “damaged” image. Geneva Pine rolls her eyes. “It’s defective. That’s what caused the hair trigger.” So, what does this have to do with the murder case? With Cary playing Cyrano to her Christian, Olivia asks “in your opinion, what caused this defect?”
“The gun was new, so owner misuse wasn’t the problem. That leaves a flaw in manufacturing.” Smiling Cary Agos doesn’t have to feed her the next line. “So it was already damaged before it was installed in Tim Sorrentino’s gun, and a gun like this could discharge if it hit the ground?” Yes, Kurt nods, definitely. “So a murder charge against my client would clearly be unwarranted,” she offers to a very sympathetic looking judge. Hmm. Does that follow? Just because it could easily have been an accident doesn’t mean it was; I suppose that corroborates Rolf’s story, though. “Objection!” Geneva Pine cries. “Your Honor, beyond the scope. Beyond the sense!”
“I’ll withdraw,” agrees Olivia, “and rest my case.” Thank you, she whispers emphatically to Cary as she sits down beside him. “All in a day’s work,” he smirks, giving Kurt a nod of thanks.
“Nice job you did there, Cary, getting them that witness!” Geneva folds her arms across her chest, glaring. She looks perfectly and classically Geneva – gorgeous beige leather jacket as blazer, high ponytail, fierce. Having an innocent man always helps, Cary opines. “We’ll reduce to involuntary manslaughter,” she tells Olivia (dispensing entirely with the niceties). “This is the best I can do.” As Olivia opens her mouth to reply, Cary steps in. “This isn’t about having a plea bargain, Geneva” he says. “This is about clearing Mr. Rolf of all charges.” Wait, and Heather Sorrentino really wants that? She’s more upset at the gun manufacturer than at the robbers?
The bailiff holds Mr. Rolf as the lawyers discuss his fate. “Five years,” Geneva offers as if it hurts and infuriates her to give out such a deal. “Good time credit you’ll be out in three; you have ten minutes to decide.” Rolf looks back and forth between the lawyers, eyes wide with hope and confusion.
“Alright,” says Cary as the two step toward Rolf, “it’s not what we hoped for, but we can still beat this in the courts.” Olivia picks up her briefcase. “Take it,” she instructs her client as if Cary were insane for suggesting anything else. “What? Wait. The ASA is just playing a game of chicken.” The two jostle for Rolf’s attention. “And she won. Take it, Adam. You don’t take five years, you’re likely facing twenty. Take it.” Man, little Olivia might be short, but she is right up in his face.
“He took the deal?” Carey Zepps looks glumly at Alicia’s living room floor. “He didn’t want to risk twenty years,” Cary sighs. Well, yeah. That’s a huge gamble. “We need to find a new strategy,” Alicia looms over them, “because his guilty plea just gave Nancy Crozier her criminal act.” Well, you had to know that getting him exonerated was a long shot.
Grace, meanwhile takes this moment to make sure Alicia knows that she’s going back to her room to study. And, oh yes, that she’s totally resentful and pissed off. Thank you! “Good, thanks,” Alicia snarks right back. And so, in search of a new strategy, Alicia heads into the kitchen where she sees her new shadow, Marilyn Garbanza.
“Sorry I missed you earlier,” Marilyn apologizes breathily. They’re talking in what seems to be their special place, Alicia’s spacious master bathroom. “Yes,” Alicia replies, with fury plain in her crossed arms and hardened expression. “But it seems you got your answers from Cary instead.”
Marilyn looks at Alicia for a moment before responding. “Yes. He mentioned that Peter was here when you found out the Chum Hum account was in trouble.” Yeah, she’s not embarrassed by this at all. “Peter did not know that,” Alicia tells the other woman. “But he was here,” insists Marilyn. “Yes,” Alicia replies, “Having sex with me.”
Unable to meet Alicia’s gaze, Marilyn looks down at the toilet. If only she knew what’s gone on on that toilet!
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…” “Pry?,” Alicia offers, her face queenly and unforgiving. Yes, that, Marilyn agrees quietly. ” Alicia nods and sucks in her cheeks a little. “Here’s what I’m wondering, Miss Garbanza. Who’re you really working for?” Mmmm, good question. “The governor, of course,” an abashed Marilyn replies. Gah! We didn’t miss his inauguration in the last 24 hours, did we?
“Really?” Alicia sneers. “So that’s why you hid the fact that you were really here to snoop around about Peter’s internet taxation speech?” Okay, first of all, that speech is a long term disaster for everyone concerned, and OF COURSE she’d be worried about it; this makes me think the Bean’s not the prim little show pony she first appeared and has an actually functioning mind. It does make me wonder if she’s really pregnant, however, or if she was just faking the sickness to worm her way into Alicia’s sympathies. If I were going to be paranoid, that’s the direction my paranoia would run in.
Anyway, the toilet seat goes up, but Marilyn rests her head against it instead of actually hurling. Then she backs away and throws up her hand instead. “I, uh, I had a tip,” she confesses. Who needed a tip? “Someone called my office anonymously saying Peter used his bully pulpit to help you sign Chum Hum.” Hmm. Will? David Lee? Probably the latter; Will’s not a stool pigeon. “I wanted to investigate in order to protect Peter.”
“You mean Governor Florrick,” Alicia replies. (No, it’s Governor-Elect Florrick.) Geez, these people and formality! I guess it’s the implication that Marilyn has Peter’s interests more at heart than Alicia that has Alicia’s hackles up? Yes, of course, Governor Florrick, Marilyn repeats, wringing her hands. “And how does this investigation protect him?” Marilyn gives Alicia another measuring look. “When I write a report clearing you and Governor Florrick of wrong doing, it will inoculate you against future investigation.” Well, that’s optimistic. No one ever questions the official version of events!
Trying to decide how she feels about this, Alicia stretches her head from side to side. “You’re right not to trust me, Alicia. My job is both friendly and antagonistic. But I’d like to tell you where your story is weak,” Garbanzo Bean offers. Alicia considers it. I don’t know, the whole thing? “Go for it,” she decides, still clearly peeved. Yet again, Marilyn gives a cagey look before committing herself to words. “You should warn Cary against talking to outsiders. You should warn the Governor not to intervene in your business again.”
“He doesn’t!” Oh, Alicia, please. “He does,” Marilyn replies steadily. “When it comes to his family, he does. And that’s what will eventually…” she pauses to inhale sharply, clutch her stomach, “hurt him.” I love Alicia’s expression; she’s so thoroughly annoyed that Marilyn makes sense. “Okay,” she shakes her head. “I need to go. Can I get you anything?” This time she’s the one not really meeting Marilyn’s eyes when she makes the offer. “The second trimester?” Marilyn replies weakly, before picking up the toilet seat again.
Which is such a perfect segue to the four pizza boxes being set down on the kitchen island by a delivery guy. For real? Three pizzas for a minimum of 14 people? Zach could probably eat one of those himself. Even if we posit that Alicia, Grace, Robyn and the other woman are too Hollywood skinny to actually consume more than a slice each, it seems a bit ridiculous. “Well, we could put the plant manager on the stand,” Extra E suggests as he moves towards what might be extra cheese. “He must have known about the defective pins.” Maybe, but how does that do an end run around the commission of a crime? He’ll just deny it, Real Cary shakes his head.
“Then we need to try another PLCAA exception,” Alicia declares as if she can’t quite remember the acronym correctly. Fine, then which one? “Breach of warranty?” Robyn suggests, picking up a pizza box. Everyone looks at her, intrigued. “It’s a stretch,” Cary says, but with hope and excitement in his voice, “a big one.” “McVeigh gave us the defect,” Alicia realizes, ‘we need to demonstrate how it violated the warranty.” Robyn eats her slice crust first. God, this is making me hungry. “And no one’s ever tried this before?” Other Brother Cary asks. “No one’s ever had Judge Davies,” Alicia notes as a woman we don’t know – yay, another woman! – picks up the penultimate pizza box. “He wants to rule for us. Look, we’ve gotta give him something!”
Okay, warranty violation, Cary agrees. “Only problem? Lockhart/Gardner has the manufacturers warrants documentation.”
Of course they do, Cary, of course they do.
Well, at least they can’t argue that those are work product. I think we’re be better off getting them from the manufacturer, don’t you?
Isabelle grins over Will in his car, her maroon sweater slipping off her bare shoulder as her hands work out of frame. She looks up momentarily at a police siren, then smiles even harder. “You’re wearing me out,” he tells her, shaking his head. He looks exhausted. “What if I did want a kid?” she sighs into his face, blissful. “What, are we joking now?” Will asks in utter confusion. “We’re joking,” she nods agreement, “And not joking.” There’s something vaguely Helen Hunt about her, don’t you think? She’s like an elongated Helen Hunt. She kisses him. “I gotta go,” he whispers, and he rushes out of the car, leaving her beaming fatuously in at his retreating back.
Ah, that’s the gorgeously old school Disciplinary Board building. “Hi,” Will says, scuttling past Alicia and Cary and Lionel to take his seat next to Diane. “Oh,” Lionel voices his displeasure, “We were about to start without you.” I’m here, he grins. “Rock and roll!” As he sits, Alicia gives him a sharp look; it’s like she can smell what he’s just been doing – or perhaps recognizes that very chipper expression – and is looking for evidence to support her intuition. “Florrick/Agos is in the unfortunate position of coming to you, hat in hand, asking for relevant documents piecemeal,” Lionel explains. Will smiles pleasantly. “As of today, that ends.”
“Mr. Chairman, we ask for sanctions,” Alicia asks calmly. Is that wise? “The chair agrees,” Lionel assents. “Every day that files are kept from Florrick/Agos, a fine of $20,000 will be levied.” Yikes! Diane practically explodes. “That…” is easy to fix, since with the single code they could send it all today – but Will pats her hand. “That won’t be necessary. We’ll turn over everything immediately.” Huh. What’s that about? Alicia can’t believe it. “Once we’re properly compensated for our time and effort.”
What now? I knew there was a catch, and here it comes. “Your what?” Cary asks. Opening his folder, Will removes a copy of their standard retainer agreement. They were hired on contingency – which means that they worked for Heather for free on the understanding that they would take their pay from an eventual monetary settlement. “Since we’re no longer the attorneys of record, we’re entitled to compensation for our work product to date.”
Hmm. Could that possibly be true? I mean, I could see them claiming a share of an eventual settlement, but this? “At standard rates,” Will points to his file, “that comes to a hundred and forty five thousand dollars.” Holy canoli, for real? “We’re on a contingency basis,” Cary explains, “and our client doesn’t have that kind of money.” Lionel looks pained. “Well,” Will shrugs, “once someone cuts us a check for a 145 Gs, you’ll get your files.” Alicia pushes off from the table in disgust. Playing the innocent, Will raises his hands as if to ask “what? what’d I do?”
“Objection,” the dulcet tones of Nancy Crozier reach out to Judge Davies. “Your Honor has already ruled. The accused Mr. Rolf was sentences yesterday. To involuntary manslaughter.” Which is by definition an accident, but okay. Her smirk is pissing me off. “A crime! Thus the plaintiff cannot sue because the gun was fired during a crime.”
“Which is why we would like to amend our suit from product liability to breach of warranty.” I love Alicia’s brown suit; it was too dark to really see in Deerfield’s lair, but that neckline is so gorgeous. That’s when someone hands a paper over to the judge. “I’m sorry,” Nancy begins. “Mrs. Florrick is obviously playing a game of musical PLCAA exceptions.” Ha ha ha. Yes she is! Judge Davies has his head in his hand now. “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to stop you right there,” he announces over Alicia’s response to Nancy. “Mrs. Florrick. You’ve been replaced as plaintiff’s counsel.”
“I’ve been replaced?” Alicia pales, and Cary leaps to his feet next to her. That’s when Diane leads Heather back into the court. “Heather?” Alicia questions. “They have all the files, Alicia,” poor Heather rings her hands together, “I just wanna win. I’m sorry.” Understood. “Permission to be seated, Your Honor,” Diane calls out loudly. Damn. Well, I guess it’s nice to see Diane recover a little bit of her damaged dignity, even if it comes at our expense. “Permission granted,” Davies waves his hand. Diane sits, Alicia and Cary stand. “Well, here we are,” the judge snaps angrily. “Exactly where we were two days ago. Congratulations!”
“Mrs. Florrick!” Diane calls out. When Alicia turns, she holds out a manila envelope. “Don’t want you to forget this,” she smiles meanly. Alicia steps forward slowly to take the package, and as she does Diane’s smile morphs into a Stepford-like mask. “Have a nice day,” she finishes.
“Your Honor,” she turns to say, her hesitations gone, “I would like to amend the suit from product liability to breech of warranty.”
How did she even know that?
Taking large, deep breaths, Diane steadies herself to receive Peter Florrick’s inevitable phone call. Sigh. Well, her hair looks amazing, and the staggered neckline of that suit is super cool. So at least there’s that. “Okay,” she calls out to the assistant who took the call, and without too much hesitation picks up the receiver. “Hello,” she says.
“Hello, Governor,” she squirms. What’s up with that? They’ve made such a point out of saying “governor-elect” up to this point! But that’s my problem. We know when the destruction of Diane’s dreams hits because she closes her eyes. “Yes, I understand,” she tells him. “I… appreciate the honor of even being considered.” Oh, Diane. You did this to yourself, but it still hurts to see it. “Yes, that’d be great,” she says, licking her lips. “I’ll have my assistant call.” She takes a deep breath. “Yes, all the best to you too, Peter.” We’ve never heard Diane assent to anything so easily in five seasons. She lets her hand slip down toward the desk, and I am afraid for a moment that she might cry again.
Instead, she walks toward Will, who’s in his black work out clothes and lacing up his sneakers despite the clearly late hour. “So you’re going running now?” she asks. The assistant who put the call through is no where in sight. “Yeah,” he answers, not looking up. “I’ve got this energy; I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I’m gonna ride it.” Hey, get down with your bad self, Will Gardner. Just don’t knock up the Yoga Ballerina. “What’s up?”
“Nothing,” she lies, her hands twitching as she watches him. “So we got Heather back,” she observes instead. He looks up, happily startled. “We did, didn’t we? Feels like old times. I was angry, you were calm.” Hmmph.
She raises her chin. “What would you say if I stayed?” she asks bluntly. He blinks before giving her a shrewd look. “Peter screwed you over,” he realizes. Yeah. That’s not entirely fair, but I can see how a shared enemy might come in handy in his situation. She nods. “It’s an odd psychology, isn’t it? He can hurt his wife all he wants but let anyone else try and he goes absolutely tribal.”
Yep, that’s a fair assessment. Also, I hadn’t really thought about it but that’s incredibly old fashioned of him.
“Bill and Hillary on steroids,” she snorts. Um, considering that she was a presidential candidate and secretary of state, I think Bill and Hill are clearly the steroid version in this scenario.
“I’m taking this firm to the top, Diane,” Will declares, closing up his gym bag. “We’re gonna rip through our opponents. No votes, just decide and go.” He stands and looks her in the face. “And it won’t be polite anymore. Anyone in our way, we kick their ass, fire them, or buy them out. Can you handle that?” I’m through being polite, she agrees. “Good,” he says. “Then welcome aboard.” She grins, and heads back to her office, restored and rejuvenated.
Arguments race around Florrick/Agos headquarters. Alicia’s still in the midst of it all, leaning against a door frame; she looks on in horror as Grace pulls mayo and mustard out of the refrigerator. Not condiments! Oh no! Seriously, is she expecting Grace to never leave her bedroom? I totally understand her plight but she’s got to ease up a little or she’s going to create more problems than she’s already got.
“Okay,” she calls out. “Ssh! We need to decide! We looked like idiots today.” Eh, you’re being over-sensitive. “Screw them,” Red Shirt scoffs. “They’re tax attorneys.” “They’re tax attorneys who’re offering us office space,” Robyn grits out between clenched teeth. It should be noted that Robyn is seated between at least five people we don’t know, with at least another five standing behind them, in addition to Cary, Carey, Alicia and the Red Shirt on the other side of the room and more folks out in the kitchen. I wish they’d picked a number of lawyers and stuck to it.
Anyway. Again, sorry, that’s just me. “I’ll speak for myself,” Alicia begins, “I was impressed with their offer. Wallace & Fray will not touch the first three years of Chum Hum money, that is all ours.” Yeah, but think what you might be signing away after that! Cary and Carey are unconvinced. “That’s a good deal!”
“Yeah,” Real Cary cautions her, hand out, “but we’ll share voting rights. Our ten partners with their ten partners, do we really wanna do that?” Frustrated, Alicia rounds on him. “We wanna do something. Look, we need to get out of here. This isn’t just about me,” she declares. Really? I think she undercuts that argument by grabbing Zach as he passes, at this critical moment, and hissing at him to get Grace out of the kitchen now.
“Look, Alicia,” Red Shirt begins. “if this is just about your apartment…” No, she cries passionately, her face contorting in frustration. “We are not a real firm until we have real offices. We can’t meet with clients here! We can’t meet with Neil Gross here! And Lockhart/Gardner is gaining initiative while we’re sitting around squabbling!” Some of the extras nod in agreement, but not Cary. “We shouldn’t commit to Wallace & Fray for their office space, or we’ll end up top heavy like Lockhart/Gardner, which is exactly why we left them!”
Alicia curls up against the wall. “Okay, you know what? We can debate this until we’re all blue in the face. We’re all partners here, let’s just take a vote.” No no no, Carey resists the idea, but Real Cary consents. “Alicia’s a name partner. She’s calling for a vote.” Meanwhile another partner has a relevant phone call, and Robyn points it out, stopping a vote which looks like it’s going to go for Wallace & Fray.
Cary walks back into the living room slowly. “What’s going on?” Robyn asks him.
“They’ve been bought out,” he replies, stunned. “Just now?” Robyn asks. “By who?” Whom, Robyn, whom. As the episode’s theme song starts to play again, Alicia leans back against the wall, smiling to herself in appreciation of the ploy. She doesn’t have to ask the question.
“I’m so glad you came on board, we need tax attorneys,” Will nods into his desk phone, still in his workout clothes. “And we have the infrastructure.” He snorts. “Yeah, Florrick/Agos is a joke. They’ll be out of business in a month. Right, thanks.” He hangs up the phone and raises his body into the umpire’s sign for a touch down, just as the lyrics hail victory. “Make way for Captain Sunshine!” “Yes!” he cries to himself, pumping his arms to the thrill of victory.
So, okay. Let me say these things. First, the show is as energized by this change as Will seems to be. Second, Diane. We knew last week, but when she found out, she broke my heart. Huge kudos to Christine Baranski; Emmy voters take note. Third, are we going to get some real Kalinda time at any point this season? Fourth, what’s with the fluctuating numbers of Florrick/Agos staff? Five, is Will going to hire any guest stars we like? Please? Fifth, Peter Florrick was not inaugurated between the last two episodes. I shouldn’t be so annoyed by this stuff, but seriously, I probably spent as much time with these words as actual employees of the show and when they don’t line up, they bother me.
Since I’ve interspersed a lot of commentary through the whole, I’ll end on an entirely different note I can’t help thinking about. We know, right, that Will has spent his life building this business as a sort of surrogate family, the mom and pop organization. It’s his response, in a way, to his father’s failures as a business man. And of course, it took the energies he didn’t put into starting a biological family; he couldn’t have Alicia, but he could have this, and he fused the two. He integrated those paternal feelings into his work; he wanted to be fair, protective of his own.
Well, after Alicia’s betrayal I feel like he’s cast off all that pretense of a work family. It’s as if he’s truly given up on her, and so given up on that part of himself utterly and completely. As if without the Alicia he’s had enshrined in his head all these years, that gentler side of him can’t even exist. I think the weirdness with Isabelle and her quest for a baby daddy points to this explicitly. Does that make sense to anyone who’s not in my head? He’s not Pop running the store anymore. He’s recasting himself as a tyrant, someone who rules through brute strength and savage cunning. It’s quite fascinating.
And there it is! Let me know what you guys thought of this brave new world, will you?