E: Well that was a confounding episode! I know we all love our ambiguity here at The Good Wife, but there’s a difference between an ambiguous ending and a woefully incomplete one. I’m not going to say I didn’t like it, because a lot of great stuff happened too, but with two major plots left unresolved I definitely feel frustrated! Some very entertaining guest stars reappear. Predictably, lines are crossed (oh, so many lines) and backs are stabbed. Strange threads dangle. We see the return of Zach the secretive computer genius/sleuth. It’s war, and it’s peace. It’s unity and discord. It’s moral dilemmas every where you look. It’s sympathetic clients who apparently lie.
It is, in short, a lot to take in.
What it is to start with is a boy we’ve never seen – a younger, blonder, model-esque version of Guy Pearce – driving a car and trying to learn Italian via a cd. He conscientiously repeats the phrases given, working to get the pronunciation just so, until sirens blare and he’s pulled over.
I checked the odometer, and I wasn’t speeding, he tells the baby-faced police officer who appears at his car door. “Have you been drinking?” the cop asks, and the young man sputters at the shocking suggestion. “No, it’s three o’clock! I’m headed to class.” I smell alcohol on your breath, the cop repeats himself. “Have you been drinking?” No, the student reaffirms, incredulous. “Do you have a cold?” The young man turns to the passenger seat, where two boxes of cold medicine lie opened. He’s getting over one, and yes he knows it can impact his driving. “But, I’m fine. Seriously.”
“Then you wouldn’t mind if I administered a breathalyzer?” the cop asks smoothly. Ha. No, he quakes. “Good. Oh,” the pathetically mustachioed cop notes, looking back at his vehicle, “I don’t happen to have one with me in the car. Would you mind coming back to the station?” The student narrows his eyes in suspicious confusion.
“Lockhart/Gardner!” a chirpy young receptionist answers. “Excuse me, who would you like? Alicia Florrick, hold on please.” She steps away from the desk, where she’s squished in next to another girl, and scurries off to the conference room, where the partners are all clapping. “Excellent news, welcome back,” Will cheers; the receptionist interrupts him as he’s about to begin discussing a malpractice suit. “You wanted me to tell you when any clients called for Alicia or Cary,” she explains, deathly serious. He did.
The caller in question is of course the student driver, one Jeffery Grant, son of a real estate developer who Diane considers a “mid-level” client. The dad was arrested two months prior for assault and Alicia handled it. (As Diane explains this, David Lee has snuck up behind her and Will, and hoists his head up so that his chin practically rests on their shoulders. Glorious.) “We don’t want to lose them to Alicia’s firm,” Diane concludes. Got it, Will replies, and heads off.
“Hello, Jeffery,” Will bellows into his office phone, “This is Will Gardner. How’s your dad?” Seated on a bench in what’s presumably the police station, Jeffrey frowns. “He’s good… he’s at home. Who is this?” Hmm. Maybe it’s not Will’s phone? There are three or four workmen in the room picking up furniture. Could it be Alicia’s old office? Heather said someone was already in there in last week’s episode.
At any rate, Will breaks down the situation; Alicia no longer works there, he’s her boss, he’d like to help. “Yeah, I don’t know, something’s weird here,” Jeffrey explains. “I pulled over for I guess speeding, and they say I’ve been drinking, but I haven’t. Do you have Alicia’s number?” I don’t, actually, Will lies. Jeffrey tells him that he’s been waiting for a breathalyzer at the 29th district station for an hour. It took an hour for him to feel suspicious and call his lawyer? I don’t have a lawyer, but I’d have been on the phone to my family right away. “Why don’t I come on down there and see what I can do,” Will suggests, his eyes glued to Howard and David Lee as they argue emphatically in the conference room.
“Well of course you don’t have malpractices in tax law, who gives a damn about tax law,” David Lee sneers. Oh! So this must be the Wallace & Fray folks we were cheering for. And, um, hello. People with money sure as hell care about tax law; I don’t know why they’d be exempt from malpractice claims. “Okay, stop it,” Will calls out calmly, walking back into the room and spreading out his hands. “Listen to me, all of you.” He waits until all eyes rest on him.
“There are no more fights at this firm. No more internal squabbles. We work together. Now this malpractice suit is a problem, but it can’t slow us down unless we let it slow us down, do you understand? Move together. Act together, or leave.”
Oooh, excellent pep talk!
“That’s all I want, to act together,” David Lee intones piously. Can you see me rolling my eyes at him? “Diane, you take it,” Will directs before heading back to the door. Where are you going, Howard Lyman wonders. “Out to stop a client from leaving,” he says.
The others continue without him, with Diane looking over some paperwork. “So insurance has reviewed the $6 million claim against us, and has denied coverage due to ‘attorney recklessness.'” I wasn’t reckless, David protest, rolling his eyes. “It was a failed adoption. Emotions run high in adoptions.” Um, and that’s a lot of money, too. This was the Gopnik adoption, Diane confirms. “Yes. They adopted a two month old girl, but the genetic parents fought to get her back. I told them it was unlikely that we would win.” “They’re disgruntled. Lashing out. I’ve seen it before,” Howard dismisses it all. Sadly, that doesn’t prevent them from suing you.
“Who was the associate supervisor?” Diane asks. “The depositions start tomorrow and we have to prep someone, so which associate signed off on it?” Because he was so busy with a divorce (and because he doesn’t ever pay attention to the little people) David Lee has to look it up – and just guess who it is?
Cut to Alicia, looking gorgeous but grave. “We’re in financial trouble,” Cary proclaims, standing in the middle of the office/living room. “We didn’t get our bonuses,” a voice announces, and we don’t have to see him to know it’s the Red Shirt. Carey Zepps throws up his hands in exasperation. “Come on, Anthony, will you stop with the bonus talk?” The Red Shirt has a name? Amazing! It only took them 6 episodes to mention it. He’s going to die in this episode for sure, then.
What if we lower our expectations for office space, Alicia wonders, and look further south; Cary doesn’t want to get trapped into a downscale lease. Seriously, what’s going to happen with the original building on Emerson? Have they gotten out of that lease and gotten Veronica’s money back, or could they move in there in 2 months? Or 7 weeks, or whatever it is now. Oh well. At least Alicia’s black and white suit is awesome; I love the way it frames her face. Every upbeat, Cary reminds them that their first retainer from Chum Hum won’t come in for 45 days.
“We won’t see it at all if they realize what a shoe string we’re on,” Anthony complains. I am so over this idiot. I can’t even believe we’re stuck with him. As the principles squabble, Zach sneaks through to his Mom’s room. And then he stops, just past her desk. Hmm. There’s a large monitor on it, facing her bed, and the green light for the webcam is on. Suspicious, he turns, approaches the computer, and checks the icon for the program. It’s not on.
Filled with determination, he heads toward Grace’s room. “We’re a month away from insolvency,” Real Cary’s arguing in the living room, “we need somebody who specializes in exactly this situation.” Gulp. That’s incredibly alarming. How is that even possible? Zach pulls opens Grace’s door; she’s texting on her window seat. “Were you chatting on Mom’s computer earlier?”
“What?” she asks, “Can you knock?” He sticks out his chin, glaring at her, and then knocks. “Were you using Mom’s computer?” No, why, she asks pleasantly, not sinking to his churlish level. “Her webcam was on,” he explains before heading out.
“Look, we all knew this would be hard,” Alicia addresses the troops, holding a finger up so Zach won’t walk into the middle of it. “Every new firm has their struggles. Stern/Lockhart started in a airport hotel room. So hold it together! What we’re going through now will make our firm stronger.”
Ah, I so love the parallel with Will’s stirring speech! The doorbell rings, and she’s off to answer it. And, look, it’s the young process server with the puffy jacket. “Alicia Florrick?” he asks. “Restraining order or subpoena?” she wonders drily. “Subpoena,” he says. “You guys should get an office. It’s hard to find you.”
“Thanks,” she replies, drier than dry. “We’ll get right on that.” She closes the door and opens up her summons of the day. “Lockhart/Gardner?” Cary asks in sympathy, handsome in a purple striped shirt and red patterned tie; I’m actually distracted by this because I’m so impressed he can pull it off. It should be too busy. She nods. “Because I’m thinking we should counter sue. Stop playing defense.” No, she smiles, they’re being sued. So why is she being subpoenaed? “I’m a witness,” she grins, giving her eyebrows a wicked wiggle.
Will runs out of the light up the steps of the police station; Jeffery’s rubbing his forehead, sitting on his bench. They introduce themselves. “You doing some homework,” Will asks, pointing to the textbook open in Jeffery’s lap. “Italian,” Jeffery explains, waving his books. Though he’s seen the patrolman go by, he still hasn’t been tested, which is definitely weird. “There he is,” Jeffery points, and indeed there’s the cop (wearing a vest?) talking to Geneva Pine.
It actually takes Will walking closer to notice Geneva, but when he does, he turns around and sits back down with his client. “Jeffery,” he says, “What did the patrolman say when he stopped you?” That he smelled alcohol, that it might have been the cold medicine, why? “Nothing,” Will says, “there’s an ASA over there talking to him.”
“Yeah,” Jeffery agrees, “she was in the patrol car.”
And now we know for sure something is wrong.
“She was in the patrol car?” Will confirms, and Jeffery slows picks up that this is unusual. “And you haven’t gotten a breathalyzer yet?” Nope. “And they took a cotton swab from inside my mouth,” he adds as an after thought.
“What, they – why?” Will asks. They didn’t say, Jeffery explains. “Should I be worried?” You should have been worried before you gave them your DNA, Jeffery. “Not yet,” Will placates him. “Have you had any other brushes with the law, Jeffery?” He had a DUI in high school, apparently, which is why he would never drink and drive again. “Okay,” Will pats him on the shoulder, “don’t worry. I’ll be right back.”
“Geneva, what’s goin’ on here?” Will asks, prompting the ASA to turn away from her co-conspirator and talk to him. Love that swinging ponytail! “Whadda you mean?” she frowns. “I mean, what’s an ASA doing pulling over a college student on a phony DUI?” It’s an excellent question, one she pretends to be unable to answer. I don’t know why you’re calling it phony, she lies. Um, let’s guess. Could it be the lack of a breathalyzer test? “Every time he pees, your case is literally going down the toilet.” Good one, Will – but somehow, she just looks pleased by this. “But you swabbed for DNA, which is irrelevant to sobriety.” We’re just trying to be diligent, she lies.
“Oh, that’s what its called,” he sneers. “Well, I’m taking my client home, okay? And I want you to discard that DNA, okay? Have a good day.” I don’t think it’s going to be a good day for Jeffery Grant, actually; he’s under arrest for being under the influence. Um, why doesn’t he know that? Don’t you have to tell people that you’re arresting them? Why wasn’t he processed – why’s he’s just sitting in their waiting room?
Of course Geneva doesn’t answer any of these questions; she just claims that they can test for DNA because he’s been arrested for DUIs before, although why on earth that would follow I have no idea. There’s no logical connection there at all. “You’re opening yourself up to a suit,” Will suggests. “I breathe in the morning, I’m opening myself up to a suit,” she scoffs, and Will smiles appreciatively.
Jeffrey closes up his books when he sees Will coming. “Okay,” the lawyer says, “They’ve arrested you – but clearly there’s something else going on here.” “They’ve arrested me!” Jeffrey cries in shock. Yeah, you’d think you’d know something like that had happened, wouldn’t you? Definitely not how this kid saw his day going. “I need you to breathe into this,” Will says, holding out a tiny metal box in each hand.
“Your Honor, the legal limit for alcohol consumption in the state of Illinois is 0.08%. According to this pocket breathalyzer,” Will proclaims in court, holding up the small metal box and his phone, “my client’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.0001.” Hey, it’s snarky Judge Thomas Politi and his thick Chicago accent! “That’s a whole lot of zeros, Mrs. ASA,” he sneers. “Sounds to me like you pulled over the wrong kid.” An apology on her lips, Geneva rises and withdraws the DUI charge. Awesome, answers Will (okay, not literally). Then we just need you to destroy that DNA swab. Would that we could, Geneva laments, “but we’re re-arresting Mr. Grant on a murder charge.”
Ah, you knew the other shoe had to drop sometime, although I didn’t expect it to quite such a weighty piece of footwear. Jeffrey’s eyes bug. “What?” “We’re arresting Mr. Grant for the murder of Danni Littlejohn,” Geneva explains, “a college student who was found outside her dorm at the Chicago Polytech campus last August with blunt trauma to her skull.” Ah, Chicago Polytech, the fictional alma mater of Neil Gross and home of The Dunk. A beefy sheriff grabs his belt buckle behind Jeffrey, ready to grab the little varmint should he make a run for it. “That’s quite a step up from a DUI,” Judge Politi observes, and Geneva agrees.
“And as you can see from this report,” she says, advancing on the judge’s bench, “Miss Littlejohn struggled with her killer, whose DNA was found under her fingernails.” Quickly Will texts Kalinda for help. “Your Honor,” Will begins to object, but Politi cuts him off. He reads through Geneva’s documentation and then hands it off to Will. “We had no match for this DNA until two months ago, when his father was arrested for assault,” Geneva explains. Wait, Jeffery Grant’s father? Yes; as Jeffery frowns and shakes his head, disbelieving, Geneva tells us that Grant senior’s DNA was entered into the state database as a routine result of his assault arrest. “That’s where we got a hit; a familial match for Danni Littlejohn’s killer.”
A familial match, the judge muses. “So the killer could be anybody in that kid’s family?” Anyone male, Geneva corrects. “But Jeffery Grant is the only one at the same school as Miss Littlejohn.” Will’s had enough, and his outrage feels sincere. “Your Honor, this stinks! This phony DUI charge was used to…”
The judge cuts him off. “This is way past the phony DUI charge!” he snaps. How so? Because that seems pretty rotten to me. Two months, and that’s the best thing they could come up, following him around and arresting him under false pretenses? “I will deny the writ of habeus corpus,” he continues, making Will sigh with defeat, “and allow the State’s Attorney their 48 hours upon arrest to charge.”
Will considers this. Is Geneva charging his client now? “No,” she says, “not until we get a match on the DNA.” Then it’s illegal to collect and test Jeffrey’s DNA, he asserts, and though the two shoot examples back and forth at each other (the Supreme Court! Illinois state law!) Politi agrees with Will. “If you two want to debate like law students, go do it somewhere else,” he holds up a hand. “For now, the kid stays in custody, and if you want to test his DNA, charge him.”
“I’ll call your parents,” Will calls out to Jeffery, who is quickly being bustled out of the room by the sheriff. “When can I get out?” he wonders. 48 hours max, Will assures him, which sounds like a terrible over-promise to me. This is a murder charge after all. “Hang tight,” Will instructs, breathing hard, frowning harder.
On the other hand, Alicia’s putting on her queenliest face as she steps out of an Lockhart/Gardner elevator, holding her head up high as if determined to enjoy the exaggerated reactions her presence evokes. The little receptionist stumbles back out of her chair and walks off with her headset, jerking back as it reaches its limit; Alicia smiles with a malicious glee. Beth pales to see her; another woman looks away immediately as she walks by Alicia in the hall.
“David, hello,” she coos exaggeratedly. “What’re you doing here,” he barks, indignant. “Answering my subpoena,” she declares, holding up the envelope. “In reception,” he snaps. “That’s where people who don’t work here wait.”
“You moved into my office pretty quick,” she smiles, refusing to be baited. And, huh. Why would he do that? Didn’t he have his little fiefdom of family law on another floor? Why on earth would he want her office? I mean, okay, I know I joked that he was the one who told Heather to get out, but I’m sort of surprised it really was him. “Yes, after I cleaned the carpets of brimstone,” he sneers. She laughs, and I can’t help laughing along with her. “I’ve hurt you, haven’t I?” she observes mildly, though I’m sure she’s only suggesting that to annoy him more. I can’t imagine it; I’m sure it’s just an opportunity for him to be even more disagreeable.
“Mrs. Florrick,” Diane calls out from behind Alicia, “hello.” The latter turns and smiles, her voice even. “Miss Lockhart. Hello. So. You’re being sued again.”
And of course once they’re in the conference room, Diane and Alicia sit opposite each other, with David Lee at Diane’s right hand. He makes a show of bringing water bottles for Diane and himself only, and snatching the file sitting in the middle of the table away from Alicia’s prying fingers. Sigh. “I’m not sure how I can help you if I can’t…” Alicia begins.
“It’s the Gopnik adoption,” Diane explains. “Myra Gopnik?” Alicia asks, letting go of her queenly voice for a second. “Yes,” Diane agrees, “they lost her to the genetic parents. They’re suing us for six million dollars.” No one makes a Doctor Evil face, though I sorely wish they would. “… saying that we botched the adoption.”
“You didn’t find out that the father was one/eighth Chipewa, so Indian tribal courts held sway,” David lays the blame solely on Alicia. “No, I knew that,” Alicia replies mildly. “You did?” Diane rears back in surprise, “And did you tell the Gopniks?” Staring for a moment at Diane and David, Alicia releases a breath. Hmm. She just can’t recall. It was so long ago! “So much has happened. I’ve been let go. I’ve had my financial requests rejected…”
“You’re gonna blackmail us for your testimony,” David sneers. “No, I’m just telling the truth, it’s hard to remember when there’s been so much tension in my life about money.” Oh, ick. That’s gross, down to the “little ole me” tone she’s taking. “What tension?” Diane wants to know, and Alicia drops the sweet voice. “My capital contribution, the $150,000 I gave Lockhart/Gardner as a first installment when I made partner. The $150,000 that should have been returned to me when I left.”
Oh, now that’s fascinating. I thought she was just out of luck, but they were supposed to give that back to her? I remember Cary’s plan to use all the fourth year’s spurned capital contributions to raise money to open this firm, and I couldn’t figure out how she was going to swing both. But apparently she’s supposed to be able to? Not that David wants her to have the money, traitor that he sees her as. Diane cuts him off – he’s hardly being productive – leans forward and smiles. “You know, sometimes I look at you,” she says, “and I wonder if you’ve changed, or if you were always this way.” Well. That wasn’t productive either.
“I had some of the best teachers int he world,” Alicia replies calmly, maliciously, enjoying herself. “I couldn’t help but change.” Diane smiles and nods. “So you will testify for us if you get your capital contribution refunded?” The rebel pretends to think about it for a minute.
And what will your testimony be, Diane wonders, settling back into her seat. Check first, Alicia demands. “Call me when you’re ready.” She walks out. “She has us,” Diane growls to David.
Okay. That’s tough. First, I was appalled by Alicia’s extreme tactics. Second, maybe it’s fair if she’s being forced to resort to tactics like this in order to recover money which is legally hers? What other leverage does she have? It’s ugly to resort to extortion – which is clearly what this is – but have they given her a choice? Were they really not going to give her back her money? And if they haven’t, if they weren’t, do we blame her for trying to get it? I don’t know. We’ve just seen how much she needs the money, and even if she didn’t it’s not right for them to withhold it, but – but – I don’t know. Is she raising the stakes in this war? It’s not pretty either way.
Ding goes the elevator in Alicia’s apartment building! And – oh, awesome, Clarke Hayden! Before he can knock on Alicia’s door – his fist is raised – Grace opens it. She’s initially cheery (and I love that she actually looks like a kid in her ribbed orange shirt), but frowns. “Are you here to look at the computers?” she wonders. “Um, no,” is his very sophisticated reply. “You’re here for the law firm,” she guesses. He looks her – and her clearly unprofessional attire – over dubiously. “Yes,” he nods.
Perfect, she grins, and walks him into the bustling living room. You know, for people with no clients, they seem pretty damn busy to me. “This is Florrick/Agos?” he asks in disparaging wonder. “Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?,” Grace enthuses. I don’t think that’s what he’s thinking, somehow, but I love that Grace is still proud of her mom despite their issues. “Yes, that’s the word,” he sighs.
And seated the dining room table, Clarke sighs again. “I’ve reviewed your financials, and I’m sorry to say they’re not good.” We’re a start up, Cary defends their position. “A new venture with no offices,” Clarke observes, looking up at them, glasses off, brown eyes wide, “no paralegals, and a high school girl answering the door.”
“There is no magic in the books,” he goes on. “30% of your billables are spent reviewing depositions. This is, uh, unfortunately work you can’t bill at a premium.” We don’t have a choice, Alicia bends over to plead, because it has to be done and there are no underlings here to delegate it to. Exactly. Yes, he says, which is why I suggest Bangalore. Huh? As in India, Cary guesses. “Yes. Law firms there will perform your document review for pennies on the dollar.” Huh. Who knew you could outsource that?
Zach takes this moment to barge in on his mother and drag her off away from Clarke, much to her annoyance. I’m in a meeting, she snaps. “Someone’s ratting your computer,” he says.
She stares at him blankly. “Zach, what does that mean?”
“Remote Access Tool. RAT,” he explains, standing in front of her desk as she looks at her computer in horror. “A hacker infects your computer with it, and they can use your web cam to spy on you.” She grips the back of the soft white desk chair, her eyes a little wild. “Is someone doing that with my computer?” Oh, Alicia. That’s what he said. Very plainly. “Yeah. I came in here, the webcam light was on, and it shut off by itself.” He explains that it happened a few hours ago. “Is there anyone that would want to access your webcam?”
Well, let’s see. Lockhart/Gardner. The NSA. The FBI, looking for information on Lemond Bishop. Any number of reporters or creepy clients. Peter’s shadowy opponents (or, God help us, his shadowy supporters). Where do I even start? Alicia looks at her son in a panic.
“Why’re you out here?” Clarke asks mildly, shutting the apartment door. Ah, it’s so lovely to be out in the hall again! “My computer’s been hacked,” Alicia explains. “By who?” Clarke asks. (He would so have said whom; that bothered me enough I watched it three times to make sure I was hearing it properly. Anyway. Grammar nerd away.) Do you really think they’d do that, Cary asks. “Diane wouldn’t,” Alicia considers. “David Lee might.” And Kalinda would have the expertise, I’m sure, although she’s probably busy with Jeffery Grant. “I was over there today, they’re pretty angry,” she tells Clarke by way of explanation.
“I know a virus expert who can take care of this,” he offers. “No,” Cary replies. “No, let’s use it.” Feed them false information, Alicia guesses. “About clients we’ve signed,” he replies. Clients we’re pursuing, she nods. “Make them chase their tails,” he grins. Ah, I love it when they’re on the same wavelength. “You know you’re running a law firm here, not a children’s game,” Clarke cautions, but they grin at each other anyway, and it’s remarkably similar to one of Will and Diane’s telepathic looks. There’s no way they’re going to pass up this opportunity.
And there’s Jeffery in jail, though not attired in the orange jumpsuits everyone else is wearing. I guess they have to charge him for that to happen? “I don’t know her,” he says, closing a folder on a photo of Danni Littlejohn’s smiling face. “I never met her. I know that she’s at the same school, but I, I, it’s a big school.” Danni was found with ketamine in her system, Will begins, Kalinda seated next to him. “I never met her,” Jeffrey repeats. “and I don’t do drugs, I don’t sell them…” As Kalinda watches the boy closely, biting at her lip, Will cuts him off with reassurances. “We’re just going through the facts here. Now, the original suspect from last year, the professor, did you know him?”
“Dr. Delaney, yeah. I was in his statistics class.” Diane stands above Kalinda, a vivid contrast to the dark prison bars in her gold jacket. The four of them are in a tiny room walled off only with mesh with a low table and some benches. “And this Dr. Delaney, he was having an affair with Danni?” That was the rumor, Jeffery reports, a little bit smug. “Okay, I’ll look into it,” Will nods. We’ll have to get into the DNA, Diane warns.
“It’s not my mine, it can’t be my DNA under her nails,” Jeffery assures her; Kalinda closes her eyes. “We know, Jeffery,” Will reassures him warmly. “But we attack this case from all sides. It’s smart for us to do that.” Tell me about your family, therapist Kalinda suggests. “The men in your family.” They have nothing to do with this, he immediately insists, though Diane – and the DNA – begs to differ. Your family is originally from New York, Will asks; does anyone other than you and your dad live here? Jeffrey rolls his eyes, reluctant. “My sister,” he shrugs helplessly. “It has to be a man,” Diane reminds him.
So which relatives are you going to betray, huh?
“Did anybody visit you at school?” Will wonders. Jeffery scrunches up his shoulders, uncomfortable. Well, his Uncle Jim did stop by once for help on his computer. “I don’t want to get anybody in trouble,” he backpedals. Oh no, Will lies, shooting Kalinda a significant look. “We just need to get a feel of the case.” Which is to same, they need to figure out who else they can blame.
A buzzer goes off, and Diane and Kalinda leave immediately. Will, however, pulls something out of his briefcase. “I, uh, got permission for you to use your textbooks,” he says, handing over Jeffery’s Italian texts. Thanks, he says, looking down immediately. That’s both thoughtful and smart; it’ll give Jeffery something to do. “Finally exam’s this week,” he explains. Ah. (I’ve totally given up trying to figure out when this is all taking place. Spring semester? Trimester system? It’s surely not fall.) You’re really interested in Italy, huh, Will guesses, and Jeffery blooms at the question. “I have an internship in Rome next year,” he smiles.
The comment sparks some warm memories for Will, who backpacked in Italy after college. I so wish I had done that. “Did you like it,” Jeffery wonders. ‘Oh yeah,” Will enthuses, “I always wanted to go back, but never got the chance. Too busy.” I’ve never been out of the country, Jeffery confesses, a little embarrassed. “Huh,” replies Will.
“You think I’ll get bail,” Jeffery asks, serious. We’ll try our best, Will replies. Jeffery should just sit tight and study in the hopes that he’ll be able to take the final. I really like seeing Will with clients; some of my favorite Will moments have been those occasions (as in “Heart” and “Double Jeopardy“) where he really bonds with clients and fights for them. “I’ll see you later, okay,” Will tells him; Jeffery sighs and looks lost as Will goes.
Kalinda and Diane have waited for Will; with Diane lagging just behind, Kalinda and Will walk through an internal prison gate together. “He did it,” she announces. No, he’s just nervous, Will contradicts her. “Nope, he did it,” Kalinda replies, absolutely convinced. Why? “I think he did something,” Diane chimes in. “Maybe had a fight with her.” I have to say, I don’t really see any of it. He didn’t seem guilty to me.
“We need to stop them from charging him and testing the DNA,” Will realizes, considering that his own team thinks the boy’s a killer. Diane makes a sour face and walks off. “Where’re you going?” Will asks in surprise. You don’t want to know, she tells him.
“Oh. She’s gonna help us?” Will realizes. Yes, Diane says, and Will gulps. “It’s amazing what money will do,” Diane smirks.
Ugh. You know, I can see how this looks to them. I even see how it feels. I’m not comfortable with it, but on the other hand, I really don’t like them not paying her the money she’s owed either.
This time, Alicia rates her own bottle of water, and she drinks from it carefully, almost showily, in front of the blinking deposition camera. “Well, hello again,” says Tom from Smash, known in the Good Wifeverse as Carter Schmidt. Ah! Love the returning characters this week, just love them. “How’re the Eisenstadts?” Alicia asks. “Unhappy,” Carter snipes, his hands clasped; Alicia looks down, abashed. I wonder what will happen with their baby. “I’m sorry,” she says honestly.
“Me too,” Carter replies, “and yet here we are with more human suffering.” David Lee has had enough. “Can we get started, or did you both wanna play cards?” he asks, hands tented on the table in front of him. “My apologies,” Diane says, walking in the door, files clasped to her chest. “I had a real case to deal with.” Snap!
“Well,” replies Carter huffily, “let’s see if we can turn this into a real case.” His first question is how long Alicia worked on the Gopnik case; the answer is 4 months. “Were you the supervising attorney?” She did the day to day management, she looked at some of the documents the “younger associates drew up” – ha – but she doesn’t claim full responsibility. “Which documents,” Carter asks, pulling out his pen, “which associates?” John Gottner drafted the initial inquiry letter, and Anthony Wright Edelman filled out their eligibility application. Interesting that they’re both at her firm now. I can’t help but wonder if she’s setting them up to recover their lost bonuses.”But really it was just shuffling paper. Mr. Lee was the partner supervising the case over all.” Mr. Lee rolls his eyes (why, were you expecting her to lie and take responsibility for everything?) and Carter pounces.
“And were you aware that the genetic father of the adoptee was part Chipewa Indian?” She was. “Or, to be more accurate, I became aware of that.” Good, Carter replies. “Accuracy is our friend. And were you also aware – or became aware – that because of the child’s Chipewa heritage, the tribe had an absolute right to block this adoption?” I was, Alicia nods. Fascinating detail, that, especially for such a small percentage; I wonder what the minimum percentage is? “And I became aware of this,” she clarifies. “And, given this awareness, how could you have in good conscience permitted the Gopniks to proceed on this path?” Because I told them of this possibility, she says, and they wanted to go forward anyway.
Are you sure about that, Carter asks. “Mrs. Florrick testified to the fact, therefore she is sure,” Diane steps in, much to the annoyance of the opposition. “My understanding is that you’ve since left Lockhart/Gardner, Mrs. Florrick, and therefore – oh, wait. Did I say left? I think the word I was looking for was fired.” Diane heaves a mighty sigh, understanding that Carter’s trying to prod Alicia into slagging them. “When I left, Mr. Schmidt,” she says instead, “I was a partner. I couldn’t be fired.” My mistake, he corrects smoothly, and Diane exhales.
“I just thought you would welcome this moment as a chance to be – more forthcoming about those who, what is the best word here, pushed you out of their law firm. There must be a German word to that effect,” he muses, and it’s true, the Germans have a word for everything. Diane supplies it: gesundtschrumpfen, which isn’t quite right if it’s really defined as downsizing. Though Diane tries to hustle Alicia out before she gets tempted, Carter’s not done. “Mrs. Florrick,” he continues, “could you please tell me what this is?” This is a photocopy he slides across the table to her. “This is a check for ten thousand dollars drawn from the Lockhart/Gardner bank account made out to the Chipewa Nation.”
Alicia’s shocked, but David Lee reacts even more strongly. Carter establishes that she’s never seen the check before. “Would it surprise you to learn that this was a bribe, intended to convince the tribe not to object to the adoption?” It surprises her for sure, but David Lee objects vociferously to this defamatory line of questioning before she can answer. “And your objection is preserved in the record,” Carter replies coolly. He then produces an afadavit explaining that the check was what turned the tribe against the adoption. Oops. Flinching at this sight of this smoking gun, David and Diane are clearly worried about the future of the suit. And Alicia can’t fix it for them. “I can only say that if the facts you relate are true, then it does surprise me.”
How could it be if you were in charge of the day to day management, Carter wonders. She’s already answered your questions, Diane snaps for the second time. “I just thought that Alicia would jump at the chance to assign responsibility to the firm that fired her,” he turns to Diane maliciously. Alicia looks at Diane, who gulps, before turning back to Carter. “No, I’m good,” she replies lightly.
I’d like to think she would have done that anyway – loyalty is in her nature – but at the very least we can say that once bought, she stays paid for.
“Have them test the audio before hand,” a good-looking man in what I think is a pea coat says into his cell phone. “The last time I lectured there I sounded like Lou Gehrig.” Right, because academics are such prima donas? Will calls out and introduces himself to the fellow, who is of course Dr. Delaney. The Chicago Polytech campus is leafy and green, which I guess suggest that this is the spring semester? There are flowers in the borders, and everyone’s wearing jackets or light coats except Will who’s just in his suit. I’ve left you a whole bunch of messages about Danni Littlejohn, Will explains, which of course causes Dr. Delaney to head for the hills. But an innocent boy could go to prison, Will calls after him. “I have nothing to offer. I was cleared of Danni’s murder. Now leave me alone.”
But before Will lets despair overtake him entirely, an unexpected voice catches his attention. “Hey, I know you!” Owen, Will replies in surprise. “Well, Dr. Cavanaugh here,” he shrugs diffidently. “You’re Alicia’s boss from her work.” Oh, hello, awkward. You work here, Will surmises. (What happened to DePaul? Did we give up on it because it’s an actual university instead of a fake one? Owen moves around more than any academic I know.) “I do,” Owen says. “Mathematical sciences. Professor of the month, actually. I get all the frozen yogurt I want from YouGoGurt.” Ha! I love Owen.
He grins goofily. “How’s Alicia doing?” You haven’t spoken to her recently, Will guesses. “I haven’t, no, why, is everything okay?” I think so, Will says, his mind clearly moving faster than his mouth. “So do you know Dr. Delaney.” He does. Why?
And there they are, back in Owen’s dark wood paneled office. Seriously, that room is gorgeous and huge; with the blackboard behind his desk it looks more like a seminar room than an office. “This is pretty good,” Will says, pointing to the cup of frozen yogurt with a plastic spoon.”Want another?,” Owen asks, opening his mini-fridge, “Cause I got, like, a lot.” Snort. Chuckling, Will turns down the extra treat. “So the cops suspected Dr. Delaney was sleeping with Danni?” he gets his informant back on track. “Yeah, I heard that too,” Owen agrees, sitting down comfortably at his desk. Has he asked why Will wants to know this? “Delaney was going through a divorce at the time, and there were rumors of the – ah, well, you don’t want to hear rumors.” Oh he does. Believe me, he does.
“Well,” Owen moves on with only the slightest encouragement, “he had the B+ club. Any student with a B+ or better got invited back to his house for dinner. And there were rumors – and again I stress they were only rumors – that the kids would use it to hook up, and he would encourage it.” Owen waves his full spoon of yogurt around to emphasize his words. I’m confused. To hook up with Dr. Delaney, or with each other? Is the point that he liked to watch? That the kids would trade sex for a bump up to an A? This all seems pretty dubious to me.
“Do you know a student named Jeffery Grant?” Will asks, casually scraping up another spoonful of yogurt. “I do, yeah. Nice kid. Why?” Still appearing fixated on the yogurt, Will wonders if Jeffery was a part of the club; Owen assumes his grades would have been good enough. “And Danni Littlejohn was too?” MmmmHmmm, Owen replies. “That’s how Dr. Delaney became close with her.” He swirls his spoon suggestively. “Ugh, this is gossip,” he closes his eyes apologetically, “this is professor gossip, it’s the worst kind.”
So, wait, did we just establish that Grant and Littlejohn would have known each other, despite Jeffery’s protestations to the contrary? I mean, do we know they both took Delaney’s class at the same time? Or the size of the class, or the size of these dinners? I’m annoyed by the sketchiness of the details here, not to mention the paucity of them.
Owen takes a decisive bite of the yogurt as he changes the topic. “How’s Alicia doing?” Having gotten what he came for – or perhaps just embarrassed to be stringing Owen along – Will sets down his yogurt cup. “I don’t know, Owen. She’s no longer at my firm.” What, Owen asks, clearly in shock, and yet again, I love how everyone in her life sees this move as out of character. Why? She left, Will shrugs, to start her own firm. When, Owen wonders, his astonishment limiting his responses to single words that begin with W. Three weeks ago, Will says.
Hmmm. That explains the presence of Clarke Hayden (it didn’t feel like we had time to burn through that much money) but it doesn’t explain the 45 days until Chum Hum’s retainer comes in, or why they’re not just waiting for their original offices at this point, or the episode title. In fact it renders the episode title pretty confusing.
“My God, the – I – wha – what happened?” Owen swallows. Will shakes his head, and perhaps it’s because enough time has past or because he can’t be flippant with Alicia’s brother but he doesn’t offer excuses or anger or anything but bare honesty. “I have no idea,” he says.
Kalinda knocks on a thick wooden door, looking for Jim Grant. Who else assumed that the knock was going to be Owen immediately showing up at Alicia’s door to find out what the heck has happened to her life? “If this is about the lawn ornaments, I stopped marketing them online six months ago,” the mustachioed fellow at the door shakes his head. Ha; the porch behind Kalinda is covered with plastic flamingos, reindeer, gnomes and assorted creatures. I love this little back story.
“Are you Jeffery Grant’s uncle?” she wonders to his shock. “Why, is he alright?” She asks about his visit to Chicago Polytech, and the man just stares at her blankly. “Why are you?” he asks; “Kalinda,” is all she’ll reply. Awesome. She uses the police interrogation technique of moving in advance of the evidence. How did he meet Danni, and how did his DNA (the familial match for a male Grant family member) end up under her fingernails? “Wait just a minute,” he says, and returns with a framed photograph of a woman. “This is me, pre-op,” he explains. Well. That’s convenient. Jeffery doesn’t know because it happened so long ago, but let’s just say that “Uncle” Jim’s DNA is not that familial match.
In a bit of embarrassment, Kalinda walks off toward the lawn ornament collection. “You know there’s something else Jeffery doesn’t know,” Jim offers. “He has a half brother.”
Ah. Now that’s helpful.
“No, you know who I’ve been getting interest from? The Paisley Group,” Cary stage-whispers near Alicia’s bedroom computer, which stares out with its malevolent green eye. “You mean Diane’s top client?” Clarke reads off a paper; he’s deliciously bad at it. The two men are keeping scrupulously out of view. “Yeah, yeah, they’re not happy with their representation,” Cary announces, giving Clarke a thumbs up. “Make sure they keep it secret from Lockhart/Gardner,” Clarke adds, infinitely worse than the first time. He winces up at Cary. Excellent. Ah, you guys make me laugh.
In the background, Alicia answers a phone call. “Hello David. I’m not returning the capital contribution, I already cashed it,” she smirks. “Well, you may not want to spend it yet, because you’re going to need to come up with six million dollars,” he drawls, lounging back in his chair and playing with some candies from a bowl on his desk. And why is that? Because despite the fact that she just refused to trash them, Lockhart/Gardner has decided that the best way to get out from paying the six million themselves is to retroactively assign Alicia as the “supervisory authority” because she was promoted to partner while the adoption was going on. Which, if David has his way, will make her personally liable for the entire 6 mil.
Alicia’s kitchen has erupted with words. “Wait,” Alicia attempts to shut down the conversation, “it’s not a Florrick/Agos issue, it’s mine.” No, Carey Zepps insists. “It’s all of ours. If they come after you, they come after all of ours.” Aw. There’s a note of sincerity in his voice hitherto unheard. “That’s sweet,” Alicia replies, “but I…”
“No buts,” Cary tells her, his serious face on. “You would do the same for us.” Okay, I’m getting a little choked up here. Yay, Florrick/Agos! Alicia, who never allows herself to rely on anyone, exhales in surprise.
“I don’t understand,” Clarke breaks in. “They’re counter-suing you?” Alicia explains, putting emphasis on the bribe. “So if the Gopniks win,” which apparently the bribe is going to make probable, “I’m personally liable for the six million.” Ah, saved by the doorbell.
And this time it really is Owen. He’s got sunglasses on, and leans one elbow against the doorframe. “I need a lawyer,” he announces, head back, voice thick, “do you know where I can get one?” Laughing with delight, Alicia welcomes her brother in. She hugs him hard. “Oh wow,” he says, rubbing her back,”seems like somebody needs some loving in her life.” (The first thought in my head here is that for once Alicia seems to be getting plenty of sex, because usually Owen’s all up in her business about her romantic life – but if we’re just talking about affection, then she probably is starved for it. She’s probably too busy, and too busy being powerful, for something so simple as a hug.)
“Who told you?” she smiles. “Who told me what?” he asks, suspicious. “I’m starting my own firm,” she grins. When will she consider it actually started, I wonder? “Mom?” No, although that was a strange omission. “Um, oddly,” he begins, then changes his mind. “Can we sit down?”
Why, she asks, but before he can figure out how to answer he’s made it through the front hall. “Wow, you really are trying to do this from your living room,” he observes. Yep. “It’s temporary!” she cries.
Soon she’s making space for both of them on the sofa. “So. Who told you I left Lockhart/Gardner?” Oddly enough, Owen leans in, it was Will. Alicia reaction simultaneously reminds me of Owen’s to the news of her leaving, and to Will’s when Diane told him of Alicia’s impending defection. The thought just can’t sink in, and nothing coherent comes out. “Well this is very entertaining watching you flail,” he smirks.
“What, he – did Will talk to you?” she finally composes herself enough to get something out. Explaining that Will was on campus for a case, Owen tells her that only when pushed did Will admit she was gone. “Okay,” she says, looking a bit paranoid, “good to know.”
“So, why didn’t you tell me you were leaving?” Owen asks, turning the full brunt of his puppy dog eyes on his big sis. “I was pushed out, Owen, I didn’t have time, Will pushed me out.” Yeah, but if it’s really been 3 weeks… Ah, well, I’m not going to blame her. She’s been busy and she’d had no privacy. “Because you were thinking of leaving and taking some of his clients?” Owen tilts his head and raises his eyebrows. Ah. Did Will tell you that?
“No, no,” Owen denies it, “I’m just reading your body language here, and you’re in, like, warrior princess mode.” Could he possibly have read all that in her body language? That seems awfully precise, even for someone who knows her so intimately. Well, she smiles, “I am kicking ass.” I can see that, he agrees. “I also know why you left, and it has nothing to do with starting your own firm,” he adds, widening his eyes with suggestion. “Owen, can we not do this now?” she sighs. “What? You were afraid of getting close to Will,” he suggests, spang on target. She just does not want to go there. “Hey, do you want something to eat?”
Now that was the lamest excuse for a distraction ever.
“Will you admit it? You were afraid of leaving your marriage for Will, so this is like the nuclear bomb opt… oh, hey, Grace!” he cuts off the conversation upon seeing his niece. “Hey, what’s up?” Grace asks, distracted. Nothing, Owen lies, “just visiting your lovely mother at her new law firm.” Ha. He pats Alicia on the knee. I just love Owen.
“Have you seen Zach, Mom?” Grace asks. “Why?” Zach asks from the other side of the room. She splutters incoherently that she needs him for something, scuttling out of the room. He follows, and Alicia gives her brother a look of puzzlement.
What is it, Zach wonders, as Grace creeps along the hallway like a cat burglar. She puts a hand to his chest to silence him. “What?” he asks. She leans forward so we can see the webcam light shining on her computer this time. Uh oh. “When?” he whispers. About five minutes ago. He frowns, then walks purposefully away.
And now it’s Clarke Hayden, frowning in the hallway. “Is their something else, Mr. Hayden?” Cary asks. Looking first at Cary and then away, Clarke scrunches up his face before admitting that there is. “I think Bangalore, it’ll work,” Cary adds, hands in his pockets. “Yes,” Clarke says, turning, his voice a bit excited, “no it’s about Mrs. Florrick’s lawsuit.”
Giving him a quizzical look, Cary can’t help asking if he knows something. “I worked with the books at Lockhart/Gardner,” he raises his eyebrows. “I know everything.”
“So,” David Lee drawls as Carter Schmidt leans against the reception desk skimming through his messages on his phone, “What special entertainment do you have for me this round?” Carter doesn’t look up, his thumbs flying, his delivery deadpan. “Mr. Lee. Always a pleasure.” Ha. “Why don’t you give up on this suit? You’re never gonna win.” Really? Because it sure looked to me like he was winning. “I like suits I can’t win,” Carter asserts, putting away his phone, “they clarify the mind.” Hmm. Sounds a lot like Season 2 Cary.
“Oh, let’s go do some clarifying,” David groans. One second, Carter delays him. “Just waiting for my next witness.” The elevator dings open to reveal – you guessed it! “Mr. Hayden. Thank you for doing this,” Carter greets the diminutive financial expert, and waves him to the conference room. “Mr. Lee! Good to see you again,” Clarke smiles. He walks past David, who stands frozen with his eyes bulging out of his head.
“And how do you know this, sir?” Carter asks Clarke. “I was the bankruptcy trustee for Lockhart/Gardner at the time of these events.” “Judas,” hisses David Lee, who’s observing next to Diane. Seriously? “Did you get that?” Carter asks the stenographer as Clarke raises his eyebrows at David. “Mr. Lee, in a clumsy attempt at intimidation…” Diane objects. “…might have said it too quietly. Judas, as in Judas Iscariot. The betrayer of Christ.” Thank you, Carter, for emphasizing just how hilariously overboard that comment was.
Anyway, back to Clarke, who was privy to Lockhart/Gardner’s books. When Diane warns him that much of that information is privileged, he responds that the bit he’s going to share isn’t, and here it is: David Lee was assigned to this case as the lawyer of record because of Clarke’s recommendation to Will and Diane that they up the number of partner hours on cases. Which means that he, and not Alicia, is responsible and personally liable here.
That was even better than I was expecting – Clarke saves Alicia with the truth!
Speaking of saviors, Kalinda’s calling Will with an update on Jeffery’s case; “I don’t think he’ll let me cotton swab his mouth,” she says, walking into a warehouse, “but I’ll see what I can get.”
“Hey,” she calls out loudly to a man standing between a desk and some sort of small machine. A press of some sort, maybe? A tough looking young guy with the closely-shaved head’s handling a fat folder, tied up with string. “Offices up front it you want to place an order,” the young man says. She doesn’t need the office, buddy – she just needs you. “You’re Anderson Pricket, right?” That’s some name she’s reading out of her little black book, oddly swank for a secret love child. Anderson, whose sharply drawn features bear some resemblance to Jeffery’s, spits his gum across the room. “And you are?” he asks, advancing on her. There’s definitely the air of a thug to him, from the closely cropped hair to his body posture.
“Kalinda Sharma,” she smiles. Why does he rate her last name when Uncle Jim didn’t? Does she think it’ll disarm him? “I’m investigating working conditions at companies in the area.” She spins a story for him, trying to get him to trust her, as he smirks knowingly. She wants to make sure the management isn’t harassing him. “Harassing me for what?” he smiles. For being arrested for dealing ketamine last year, for one. Ketamine! Bazinga! “You with the labor board?” he asks, backing away.
I also want to make sure you’re not getting your pay docked for sick days, she says. She’s maybe not playing this as well as usual; she clearly knows too much and its setting him on edge. “Your manager said you called in sick last year on the 15th of August. Where were you?” she asks, and he only takes a second before vaulting over the desk and running away, knocking over a tower of crates and nearly toppling Kalinda herself in the process. Shades of Indiana Jones, he actually rolls under the loading dock doors to escape her. Amazing. Of course, she’s not nearly as concerned with following him as she is (clever girl!) with recovering the discarded gum. Excellent.
Back at the Florrick apartment (the apartment part of it), Zach’s scrolling through Chum Hum search results. His query? Grace Florrick. A lot of news articles come up, mostly all quoting Peter asking himself “what would Grace do?” in a given situation. “No, seriously,” several summaries report him saying, “my daughter often is the voice of conscience.” Aw. I love that.
He scrolls through Capstone Cuties (ick), something about Junior Ricky Packer, and on the fourth page, he finds it – Secret Keyhole. “Secret Keyhole let’s (sic) you see Grace Florrick like you’ve never seen her before.” He clicks on the site, which charges $9.99 for pictures of various girls (Amber Medford, Lucy Landers, Jenni Jenloe) undressing. There’s a link to Grace wrapped in a towel. He clicks on it, and there are pictures of Grace in various states of dress, all clearly taken with her hacked webcam. How long has this been going on? Does that mean the ratting isn’t about the NSA or Lockhart/Gardner, but getting a look at Grace’s girl parts? Damn. There’s a gif in which she drops the towel, her body covered by a red bar of text that reads “$9.99 a month!” Wow. If you’re the parent of a daughter and this doesn’t terrify you, you have real problems. Zach immediately rushes into his sister’s room and rips the cord out of the wall. “What’re you doing?” Grace howls in confusion.
“So you acknowledge bringing the Gopnik’s adoption case in the door?” Carter Schmidt asks David Lee in his deposition. David, of course quibbles with the exact meaning of the phrase, but eventually admits to it. “Mr. Lee, I’ve got Mrs. Florrick outside ready to be re-deposed, so can we handle this civilly?” Yeah, David’s not so much about the civility, but he will eventually answer the questions. Alicia sits out in the hall, listening to snippets of conversation as various minions wander in and out of the door, opening and closing the door. “I already said I didn’t send it,” David Lee explains, “but I know who sent it.” You do, Carter wonders, surprised.
Now Will’s voice floats down the hall. “You just saved the case,” he says, presumably to Kalinda. “The brother looks good for this. And the gum? It’s not just something they can… Absolutely. It’s already over there. Geneva knows.” Okay, good. “They’re checking the DNA. 20 hours to go,” he finishes, “I’ll talk to you.” He walks by, ending the cell phone call, and their eyes meet. They stare at each other – first just in surprise. She’s calm, even hopeful of better (there’s no queenly air), but his face grows harder and colder the longer they look at each other.
Then he walks out without a word, and Alicia closes her eyes, sinking down with the weight of his obvious anger.
“I didn’t supervise it,” she hears David Lee say as the door opens once more. “And who was this person, this Anthony Wright Edelman?” Damn it, I knew that idiot would wreck Florrick/Agos. “Oh, one of those little idiots who left with Alicia, the Indian kid,” David Lee dismisses him. How do they even know he left with Alicia? They’d fired him before the bloodletting because he’s a moron. Also, he’s already in Carter’s notes. “You’re saying he sent out the bribe to the Chipewa Council?” Carter asks. “I’m swearing to it,” David Lee finishes. “That’s very convenient for you,” Carter notes.
And back in the Florrick/Agos portion of the Florrick apartment, Anthony admits to it. You know, I knew it was an ill portent that they finally gave us his name. “Yes, I offered the tribe cash to sign on on the adoption,” he reveals, unrepentant. “”What were you thinking,” Carey Zepps asks, arrayed in a disapproving line with Cary and Alicia, all three glaring with their arms crossed. “I was thinking I wanted to win,” the Red Shirt argues. “We lost the adoption,” Alicia points out, because duh, yet he can’t stop justifying his actions. “The adoption was lost, I was making a last ditch…”
“You just screwed over Alicia,” Extra E cries, sounding personally offended. Wow. I might be changing my mind about him; maybe he’s worth having around after all. “Wait, did you consult with David Lee before you sent out the check,” Real Cary wonders. Nope – but when Cary keeps pressing, Anthony recalls that he did, in fact, check with one of the partners; Howard Lyman. Carey Zepps speaks for everyone in the room and in the audience when he asks incredulously “You consulted with Howard Lyman?” Why would anyone ever do that? Astonishing as it seems, he did. I guess he just wanted a rubber stamp? Or maybe those two idiots are peas in a pod. Alicia wants Anthony deposed immediately; Real Cary tells Fake Carey to call Carter Schmidt, asap, and Extra E is on it.
“Zach, it’s on,”Grace calls out. “What’s wrong?” Alicia asks. Nothing, Grace lies, and are you kidding me? They’re going to pull this child detective crap again? TELL YOUR MOTHER, YOU BLITHERING IDIOTS! If for no other reason that you can’t just go on letting her think that she’s the one being spied on. As a favorite fictional character of mine once said, I am utterly at squares with these childish dealings. (And yes, I am aware that they’re children, and sure, I admire their can-do spirit, but good lord.)
Okay. Anyway. Zach rushes across the room, insisting they have homework to do on the computer, leaving Alicia puzzled but not enough to look into it. Zach stops Grace at her door. “Okay, once we go in, just start undressing.” Excuse me, what? “Just take off your sweater or something,” he advises, “You need to keep the hacker online for long enough for us to trace him.” Ah ha! A trap! Zach sticks what looks like a flash drive into the back of Grace’s computer. Excellent. But also, still completely stupid.
Essentially this is where the episode starts to go south for me.
“How you doin, Will?” Geneva Pine asks over the phone. “You know you have five hours left to charge or release,” Will reminds the ASA. “I did know that,” she smirks. “But I thought we’d sit down together and see if we could work out a deal.” Huh? He grins, putting the phone on hold and calling out to Diane, who’s standing outside his office. “They can’t make their case, they wanna bargain.” Diane walks into the doorway, smiling. “Sure, Geneva,” he says, picking up the call again, “You tested the DNA from the ketamine-dealing half-brother, didn’t you? The gum?”
Just saying, if she did, and she still wanted to charge Jeffery, I would lose all respect for her.
“This isn’t about the gum,” she lies, ” This is about saving the state a costly and time-consuming trial.” What, really? I’m at a loss. Why would you possibly want to offer him a deal before you know whether or not the brother is guilty? If the brother’s guilty, shouldn’t you be just releasing Jeffery? And why would Will ever want to deal if that were the case? Somehow Will isn’t offended by this like I am; he snarks “there’s nothing I’d rather do than save the state money,” and then promises to meet her in a half hour. “Get a good deal,” Diane advises him, and they high five on his way out the door.
Is anyone else stunned by this? What the hell is this behavior? Yes, yes, the high five was super cute, but what are they thinking? A good deal for an innocent person – when someone else is proved to have committed the crime – is exoneration, not a deal.
But Will’s life is not all lollipops and roses, oh no, because there’s Owen Cavanaugh leaning up against the elevator bank, arms crossed, waiting for him. “Owen. Hi. What’re you…” I just need a moment, the math professor asks, and Will looks around for someplace they can talk. We’re not looking at Dr. Delaney anymore, he begins. “Um, I’m hear about Alicia,” Owen says instead.
Oh God. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t. Please tell me he wouldn’t.
Will rolls his eyes and presses the elevator button. “I’m sorry, I can’t do this right now,” he says. But having laid it upon himself to do this thing, Owen’s not going to let a little thing like consent or willingness stop him. “Alicia was afraid of falling in love with you,” he begins.
He did. He did it. I cannot believe that.
“That’s why she left, okay?” Everything’s fine, Will tries to break in, desperate not to have this conversation. I cannot even believe Owen is doing this in public, when anyone could walk past him and hear it! I mean, I can’t believe he’s doing it at all, but he’s not even attempting to be discreet. “Clearly not fine,” Owen continues, “I want my sister to be happy.” The elevator finally arrives, and Owen follows Will on to it. Well at least no one can overhear them now.
“You really think she was itching to stat her own firm?” he asks with derision. “She and her partners are reusing paperclips. Alicia was afraid to work beside you, that’s all. It was easier to start hating you than to own the feelings she had for you. That’s why you two are in this, this ridiculous war.” It’s not that he’s wrong, but my God, it’s not his place to do this. Happily for Will, the elevator’s arrived at his floor and he moves to leave. Owen stops him cold, however, when he adds this. “She and Peter are not set in stone.” For a long moment, Will considers this, considers his response. “No,” he finally says. “It’s over. Goodbye.”
I don’t think you would have stopped to listen if it really was over, Will. But ARGH, I cannot believe Owen did that!
With thunder in his expression, a uniformed Zach charges through some sort of lounge at Capstone. “Styles!” he calls out, getting the attention of his player classmate, currently bent over a cafe table looking at his cell phone. “Hey! Seen what Collin’s been sending around?” He waves his phone. “It’s nasty,” he says, delighted, and as I’m trying to figure out whether he said Colin’s or Collins (that is, last name or first), Zach decks him.
“What the hell,” Styles yells, stunned. “What’re you doing?” Zach gets right in his face, pinning him to the wall. “Stop ratting my sister!” he demands. “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about?” Styles protests. “My sister!” Zach grinds out between clenched teeth. “Stop it!” Like a trapped animal, Styles’ eyes go wild for a moment, and then he pushes Zach back, grappling with him and landing a punch to his left eye. The upsurge lasts mere seconds, however; Zach punches back, and Styles slams into the floor.
Girls shriek. Zach stands over the still recumbent Styles, shaking his hand, and stalks off; in the back of the room, Grace watches her knight in knitwear ride off, amazed.
Jeffery Grant, on the other hand, sits in jail talking to Will. “Jeffery, this is good news,” Will says. I wonder if he’s just sprung the family secret on Jeffery? That’d be a lot to take in. “They want a plea bargain, that means their evidence might not be lining up.” I’m scared, Jeffrey squeaks. “No, it’s okay,” Will tells him. “They wanna keep you scared, so you take a bad deal. So you keep a poker face. Listen, nod, and we’ll talk afterwards, okay?” Okay.
And then they’re back in that tiny conference box made of mesh. “Involuntary manslaughter, 2 years,” Geneva offers. What exactly is her theory of the crime here, I wonder? She’s seated across from Jeffrey at the tiny table; Will leans on the mesh wall and looms above them. We’ll think about it, he says. “Its either that or life in prison, Jeff,” Geneva continues to make her pitch. I really don’t get it. If she thinks that the DNA isn’t going to be his, why would she want to charge him with anything? “You’re 22 years old, think about that future.” Okay, we’ll think about it, Will repeats himself. “If you want to see Italy at some point in your life, take this deal,” she adds. This is nonsensical to me. “Time to let us talk, Geneva,” Will insists, and reluctantly the ASA rises.
When she’s out of earshot, Will sits down in her place. “Did you kill Danni Littlejohn?” he asks Jeffery. “No!” Jeffery cries. Will’s gaze is warm and unwavering, and again I’m reminded how much I love seeing him get invested in a client’s life. “Is there any way your skin could have ended up under her fingernails?” No, the student protests again. “You didn’t know her at all, never even met her?” Never. Will searches his eyes for the truth. “Then you’re innocent, and you should reject this deal.” Good, Jeffery chokes, but he looks close to tears. “No. You have to tell me,” Will insists. “I reject this deal,” he waves awkwardly, giggling. “Good.”
“So why do I feel so nervous?” the boy wonders. Already on his way out, Will looks down at his client. “Because this stuff isn’t meant to be easy.” Meant to be? That makes it sound like it’s all a big test of character. And while it certainly is serving that function, that’s not the point of it.
Will sits down in Geneva’s office, while she’s still on the phone. “So what’s this about?” he asks. “A new offer?” She hangs up, saying she’ll call back. “Well, not exactly a new one,” she says, and the kind of laughs. No, she’s okay with calling it new, she decides, leaning forward. “You shoulda taken that two years,” she favors him with a feral grin. “And you should have already checked the DNA on that gum. His half brother did it.”
“We did check it,” Geneva replies. “It’s not him. So I charged your client with Danni Littlejohn’s murder and I expedited his DNA.” She pushes a packet toward Will, and she actually looks a little sorry when she does it. “It’s a hundred percent match.”
Will looks stunned. Will is stunned.
“Jeffery said he never met her, but that is his DNA under her fingernails.” Frowning, Will picks up the test results. “He killed that girl.” Damn it, really? Why? Is there no other way for it to have gotten there? Darn it! Will slumps forward, hand over his mouth, one finger tapping under his nose as he tries to reconcile the science in front of him with the boy back in the holding cell. He folds up the sheet of paper to put it in his jacket pocket. “Sorry,” Geneva says, snatching it back, “you’ll have to wait for discovery.
Again, he looks shocked. As he walks off, furious at what must feel like yet another betrayal, yet another instance of his judgement being totally off, his trust misplaced, Geneva bends her head back to her paperwork. “Don’t be upset, Will,” she calls out. “Clients lie.” He finds this little consolation.
“Anthony Wright Edelman,” Red Shirt tells Carter Schmidt and the Lockhart/Gardner deposition camera as he twiddles his fingers together. Can you say that? Can you only twiddle your thumbs? Diane and David are sitting in as usual; Alicia has a chair in the back against the wall. “Mr. Edelman, were you staffed as an associate in the adoption that is the subject of this lawsuit?” He surely was. “And on March 6th, 2013, did you send Chief Joshua Proudfoot of the Chipewa Nation a check for ten thousand dollars to induce the tribe not to object to the adoption?” Yep, that was him. “At whose direction did you deliver this inducement?” Hmm. That’s an odd way of asking the question, being that we know the answer is that it was his own initiative. “Alicia Florrick’s,” he says.
She leans forward, stunned. Carter is apparently just as surprised, because he repeats her name, questioning it. “Are you sure?” Yes, Anthony lies, his eyes cold, his strange course set. “Mrs. Florrick told me we had to make the payment to facilitate the adoption,” he finishes. “What are you doing?” Alicia asks, unable to help herself.
“I will remind Mrs. Florrick that she is not a party to this deposition,” Diane replies, her voice cold and silky smooth, her suit electric blue. “She’s here as a courtesy.” “And if she interrupts again, she’ll be asked to leave,” David Lee adds; Alicia sits with her mouth hanging open, stunned at such perfidy. “So Mrs. Florrick was the partner supervising you?” Carter Schmidt asks. Yep! “Were you working at any other partner’s behest?” No, the double traitor says.
“You wanna tell me what that was about?” Alicia asks Anthony as he walks out of the deposition. Instead of answering he straightens his tie and walks right past her to Diane’s office, where the name partner is waiting for him, hand extended. “Welcome back,” she greets him. “Thank you,” he replies.
David Lee oozes out of the conference room and over toward Alicia as she stands gaping at Diane. “Isn’t it nice,” he says, fitting his earbud back into his ear, “we had a partnership position open, so Anthony got it.” Seriously? You made that buffoon a partner? If Alicia can get out from under this lawsuit, she’s well shot of him. “I will file a complaint with the ACDB,” she growls. “I will sue you for conspiracy.” He shakes his head slowly, pityingly. “You’ll do nothing but fail.”
They really do play this game on a level on ruthlessness she can’t even imagine. “Stop ratting our computers,” she says, and what we knew already is clear from his face – it isn’t him. So how did they know to buy him off, I wonder? Do you suppose Anthony approached them? I wouldn’t put it past him. “It’s illegal.” “It – what’re you talking about?” he asks in genuine puzzlement. Yet another reason to be annoyed the kids didn’t enlighten her. “Do it again and we’ll bring charges,” she snaps.
“Sure, whatever you say,” he says, flaring his eyes open. She turns and stalks off, and he calls after her. “Good luck with your firm, Mrs. Florrick,” he taunts, “I’d start putting my six million together now.”
“I didn’t lie,” a distraught Jeffery pleads to Will, clad in a orange prison jumpsuit now that he’s been charged. “You’re only hurting yourself. You could have had two years.” “I didn’t lie,” he yells, more passionate and animated than we’ve yet seen him,”I never met her.” Then how did your DNA end up under her fingernails, Will asks reasonably. “I don’t know, I… I don’t know,” he begs, practically panting, his hair standing up off his head wildly. Will’s face is broken and sad. Does he believe him? Jeffrey certainly looks like he’s telling the truth. “Okay,” Will relents, “okay, let me see what I can do.” Jeffrey sits down, slumps against the cement block wall in angry frustration. “I’m never getting out of here, am I?”
“I’m gonna ask for bail, but I don’t know,” Will tells him honestly. “They’re gonna transfer you to County. And don’t talk to anyone,” he remembers, warning the boy about cellmates as jailhouse snitches. “Oh my God,” Jeffery squeals, throwing his surprisingly muscular arms up behind his head, starting to cry and hyperventilate at once. “Look, we’re going to trial,” Will sits down in front of him, trying to calm the boy down. “I’ll try to move fast, but it could take six months.” This revelation only makes Jeffery pant harder, and Will clamps a hand down on his shoulder to steady him.
“I need you to hold it together, okay?” he says, leaning toward the boy. “Jeff, look at me,” Will says, sending out a lifeline with his gaze. Slowly, Jeffery’s breathing calms. “I’m not givin’ up,” he says. “Don’t you give up either.” Jeffery leans back against the prison wall, nodding.
And poor Alicia returns home. It’s been a fairly cruddy day for all our friends at this point. Actually, I guess Diane and David don’t seem to upset, but generally? Not cool. She tosses down her keys, sighs, and tosses her hair out of her face. “Hi,” Carey Zepps walks toward her in the kitchen. “We’re just trying to get our heads around the Anthony thing,” he tells her, shocked and sympathetic. “He blindsided all of us.”
“The question is how much can he hurt us?” she asks. “A lot,” Extra E opines. “He’ll dish on every strategy he was privy to.” Which, let’s face it, was probably all of them. A weary Cary Agos joins the conversation, his tie loosened around his throat; almost imperceptibly, he motions for her to come with him, and as Extra E steps aside he lays as a hand on her shoulder to guide her out of the kitchen. “How’re you doing?” he asks, voice low. Somehow I’m just so touched by the way everyone but the odious Red Shirt is rallying around her. And I love this proof of Cary and Alicia’s closeness. She draws a long breath in through her nose instead of answering.
And look – he’s brought her over to the diminutive Mr. Hayden. “Go ahead, Clarke,” Cary suggests. Clarke nervously worries a folder gripped in both hands. “Mrs. Florrick, even without office space, you’re sinking under the cost of overhead.” She closes her eyes; all she needed right now was more bad news, more proof that she threw away her comfortable life in a terrible, fruitless risk. “Malpractice insurance, staff salaries, marketing costs…” Bringing her hands to her face, she tries to come to grips with this reality.
“Your fee,” she adds glumly, dragging her hands down her cheeks. “Yes,” he agrees, “overhead.” So, is this the end? “What you need to be doing now is billing hours. A lot of them,” he adds. “And without Anthony, your man power crisis is worsened.” Geez, guys, do you want her to fold under this pressure? “He wants us to hire him,” Cary cuts to the chase, and Alicia turns to look at him in surprise.
“I’m a full fledged member of the bar, Mrs. Florrick,” Clarke adds. “And business expertise is something you were sorely lacking.” Yes, but – wow, this is not where I thought this conversation was going. “Mr. Hayden,” she begins, clearly ready to turn him down. “Your books are in disarray,” Clarke cuts her off, “I will get you on your feet financially.”
Cary steps in with the coup de grace. “And he’ll work for free,” he explains. What now? Shocked, Alicia turns her head in suspicion and disbelief. “Why?” she asks them both. “Well,” Clarke stammers, his eyes huge behind his thick glasses. “I like… the law,” he says, as it that explains it all.
Alicia keeps blinking at him. How could this be real? I will only work for free until you’re profitable, he explains, “which I will work day and night to achieve.” And then I’ll take my salary retroactively, he finishes. Ah. He’s a heck of an ace to have in your pocket. Why he would take this risk with them I have no idea, but wow. Alicia smiles and extends her hand; Clarke smiles as he shakes hers. “Thank you,” he says. “No, we’ll be thanking you,” she replies, her voice thick with emotion.
“Zach!” she calls out, noticing her son and his massive black eye in the living room. “Zach, what happened?” He lies, the annoying little twerp, and claims he got elbowed in a baseball game. Are you kidding me? Of course she’d like to fuss over him, but he’s already icing it and everything.
Having secured the ice, Zach retreats to his bedroom and his laptop. Soon enough, Grace knocks on the door. “Thanks,” she calls out without opening it. “Styles is a jerk, huh?” he replies. “Yeah, I know,” she says, leaning against the door, a faint smile on her lips. Why can these people not talk to each other? I suppose it makes sense that Alicia would raise children adverse to expressing significant emotions, but yikes. “But, thank you,” she adds softly, proving me wrong. Twisting his head toward the door, Zach tells her it was no problem. He opens Photobooth to check out his own injuries (what, a mirror isn’t tech savvy enough?) and then freaks himself out seeing the webcam light on. He closes the program; the light goes off, he shakes his head at his own paranoia.
Are you kidding me! I love Zach and Grace, I really do, and I think that he’s smart and what he did to protect his sister was wonderful. But I also think he needed to explain to his Mom what happened – if for no other reason than to stop her making gaffs and to prevent more idiotic skits in front of her computer. No, I take it back. There are other very important reasons. Clearly Grace is not the only girl that Styles has done this to, whether he runs that website or not, and he needs to be prosecuted for it, not just punched in the face, satisfying as that may have been. This is a real family issue, something we’ve seen a lot of in Peter (but also Alicia); it wasn’t wrong because he did it to your sister, it was just wrong. The basic wrong has to be addressed, not just the personal component of it.
And jeez. Is Jeffery guilty or not? Is there an explanation for the presence of the DNA or not? Maybe we’re just supposed to feel like he’s guilty, that the DNA is everything, but it’s hard to when there’s no discernible motive and he seems so trustworthy. But perhaps we only trust him because he’s attractive and clean up and upscale-looking, as opposed to his half-brother? Between that and the 6 million dollars hanging over Alicia’s head, this was hardly a satisfying ending. I’m so mistrustful of the show and its loose ends; we have a compelling storyline in one episode, and then we never hear about it again. It happens over and over again. Who knows if we’ll ever find out whether or not Jeffery’s guilty? My money is on no. Maybe the point was the insight into Will’s mind, the way he trusts people, the emotional connection he makes and how draining it is when his judgements turn out to be wrong. Maybe the point is that Will often chooses unwisely? But Diane and Alicia are worthy people, so maybe Jeffery is too?
So I finally broke down and looked up the actor who plays Jeffery Grant, to see why he seemed so familiar to me. It turns out it’s not because he looks like Guy Pearce, even though he does; it’s because he’s played by Hunter Parish, the young star of Weeds and Spring Awakening, who was picked by many Hunger Games fans as their ideal Peeta, and Finnick when he wasn’t cast in the first film. (He’s too thin for the way I picture the character, but I did really love his gesture of thanks to them when the role went to Josh Hutchinson instead. Also, dude can sing.)
And gah, Anthony! Florrick/Agos is so well rid of him, I can’t even say it strongly enough. But the money is quite a terrifying thing. Alicia simply doesn’t have it. How will she fight her way out of this one? And how could Diane do it? How could they all lie like that? I don’t at all want to suggest I think that Diane and David are evil – odious as he is, David might not have the money either (and the firm is out Chum Hum’s $35 million, a tough loss to swallow). Surely it’s reasonable for him to want to get out of the suit. And you know that I’m uncomfortable with Alicia’s blackmail tactic. But ugh. There’s a difference between twisting the truth and flat out lying.
So tell me. Why is the episode titled “The Next Week” if it’s three weeks after “The Next Day?” Are Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner even in their nasty tactics, or is one more culpable than the other? Will Clarke Hayden put Alicia’s floundering firm back on track? Are you as mad as I am that Zach and Grace didn’t enlighten anyone else about the real source of the ratting? And oh my God, what do you think of Owen seeking out Will and outing Alicia’s real motivation for her move?