E: The deep web, as in the seamy underbelly of the internet. The deep web that’s spun around political candidates. The deep web, as is the complicated layers of feelings centered around Alicia’s personal life, and the way it intersects with her professional one. The deep web of lies between family members. What do we really know about the world around us? What do we really know about the people we love? What do we really know about ourselves? “The Deep Web” discusses these issues and more. Oh, and Alicia seems to be in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Welcome to the Darknet, folks. It’s pretty murky down here.
Here’s something we don’t see in every episode: a courtroom unpeopled by lawyers. There’s one man heading out of a back room bearing an odd plank of wood that looks like a very large ruler on a stick, but there’s no judge, no jury, no prosecutor, no attorneys as far as we can tell but Alicia, who sits amidst dozens of others in the crowded gallery, texting and pretending that no one else is there. Or at least she is until an old lady in a pink cardigan walks in, and no one thinks to squish over in their benches to make room for her. No one, that is, until a handsome man stands to offer her his aisle spot on other side of Alicia’s row. Look, it’s Nestor Carbonell of Lost and Suddenly Susan and his distinctive “it’s not guyliner, it’s just my face” eyes. He stands in the aisle, consulting his own phone.
Whether it’s because she’s inspired or simply attracted, Alicia – who is not even sitting at the aisle – notices a very aggravated, very pregnant woman wandering around looking for someplace to rest her enormous belly, and immediately stands and offers up her space in the row. And then stands in the aisle right next to Carbonell when she has the whole room to pace instead. He jokes about their situation; she laughs in that way that encourages more conversation. “Ah, they can’t take all of us, can they?” he muses. “No, 5%,” she replies.
Surprised by her specificity, he raises his eyebrows. “Any tips for getting out of jury duty?” he wonders. Ah. Of course. “Yeah, tell them you’re a lawyer,” she suggests. “Do I have to,” he winces, adding that his name is Daniel. “Alicia,” she says, shaking his proffered hand. “So what do you do, Alicia?” he asks. “I’m a lawyer,” she replies, grinning. Heh. Ooops, he laughs. “Bad experience with lawyers?” she wonders. “Ex-wife,” he answers shortly, by which I’m not really sure if he means Lawyer Ex-Wife or Ex-Wife’s Evil Divorce Lawyers. There’s no time to investigate, however, because her phone rings, and she’s forced to excuse herself. It’s Eli, and she always takes Eli’s calls.
“Hello?” she begins. “Where are you, you’re not at work!” Eli snaps. Oh, Eli. Her job does require quite a lot of running around. (You don’t think he’s worried she’s had another break down, do you?) “Nice to talk to you, too, Eli,” she replies. Eli, as ever, is pacing the halls of the governor’s office, and oh my goodness. You really can tell that he’s dyed his hair black for Cabaret; it’s quite a change, no matter how they try to salt and pepper it. “I’m at jury duty,” she explains, “what’s up, Eli?” Oh, now that’s funny. “They put you on a jury?” he’s distracted by the surprised of this, and she refocuses him. As she walks through the hall, I’m really struck by how gorgeous her color blocked suit jacket is – black on the shoulders, beige in panels in front and back, with white under her arms. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing. “What’s up, Eli?”
“Your friend Finn, the one who’s running for State’s Attorney, he’s losing.” This brings derision from Alicia; how can he be losing already? “Alicia,” Eli begins in a hilariously pitying tone. “The campaign started when Peter vouched for him.” At he walks through the offices, Eli goes through mail with Norah (fetching in a floaty, 60s-70s inspired dress). “He needs to win. His competition, Castro, is out there getting endorsements. People don’t know who Finn is. Who’s his campaign manager?” He doesn’t have one, Alicia answers. Don’t you feel like this might be a good time to mention that Finn does not actually want to be State’s Attorney? Gah. Apparently not. Seriously, how has this not come up? Well, not that Eli would care about his feelings. “I’ve set up – NO!” Eli barks at a minion. “…an interview with WEQT to introduce him. Talk to him, Alicia.” What? Why is this Alicia’s job? “Ah, no thank you,” she rightly replies, and then pretends that she’s being called back to duty. “No one’s calling you in!” Eli realizes, but it doesn’t matter; she hangs up, leaving him blowing out his lips and staring, frustrated, at his phone.
“Finn,” the man himself answers, standing in the LG waiting room. “This is Eli Gold calling from the governor’s office.” Poor Finn rolls his eyes. “Yes, Mr. Gold, hello. Look, I’m a little busy.” Busy? Ha. Not now that Eli’s declared himself your unofficial campaign manager you’re not. “I’ve set up and interview today, a local station, WEQT at 6pm.” Poor Finn’s at a loss. Why do I get the feeling I’m going to be calling him Poor Finn a lot? “You’re running for State’s Attorney, I set up a TV interview, be ready at 2.” He sips some coffee. Mildly, Finn points out that the interview was at 6. “The interview’s at 6. My prep is at 2. It’ll take an hour.”
Oh, goody. Luckily for Finn, the elevator dings, and he has the perfect excuse to get off the phone.
And that excuse involves him literally chasing down Diane, who’s taken off at a sprightly clip. “Miss Lockhart! Hello, I’m Finn Polmar.” Oh yes, she says, shaking his hand, clearly happy to be hiding behind her enormous insect eye sunglasses. “So, where can we do this?” Ah, he’s lost her already. “Where can we….?” she wonders, clearly confused. “The questioning,” he explains insufficiently. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she tells him.
“The firm invited us to conduct the Pollard questioning here. So we’re here.” Huh. Okay. Seems like the kind of thing she ought to know. “I, ah, could you give me a second?” she asks, but immediately changes her mind. “Actually, come with me. Please.” Finn, two plain clothes detectives and a uniformed cop follow. Youch! That’s some entourage!
Diane pops her head into Will’s old office, where Louis Canning sits; they greet each other formally. “I have an ASA and 3 policemen waiting for me?” she asks. “Oh, that’d be for the Pollards.” Lyle Pollard, she wonders. “He called this morning, he said that the police were at his house, wanting to talk to his grandson. Kid was out, so I suggested we meet here and we’d supervise the questioning.” “Regarding?” she asks. “What?” “The questions are regarding…” she prompts. “Oh, ah, I have no idea.” Seems like something he should have asked about, no? Also, something he should have called her to explain before she arrived?
Diane leaves, but comes back. This something of theme with her this morning. “Mr. Canning, why are you talking to my clients?” Good question. “Well, your assistant couldn’t find you this morning, ah, and she said it was an important client, so I just took it. Next time I won’t if you don’t want me to.” Huh. Does he think there was something helpful about the way he did this? Is Diane coming from another meeting, or is she just coming in now? “Let me think about that,” she replies.
“Juror 68, you are excused; also juror 72,” a blonde lawyer calls out. Looks like jury selection has started up at the courthouse. “You look familiar, Alicia,” Nestor Carbonell/Daniel/Man Candy squints. He and Alicia have found seats together by this point.”Why do you look familiar?” I don’t know, she smirks primly, knowing full well. “I’ve just got one of those faces.” It’s nice to see her having a little fun for once, not to mention enjoying anonymity. Someone – the sheriff, perhaps? – tells them all to move up a row. They stand. “Could I get into trouble if I said I was a lawyer?” Man Candy wonders. “Ah, if you’re lying you will,” Alicia snorts. “So I probably shouldn’t,” he guesses. “Depends on your taste for adventure,” she grins.
Ding goes the elevator at Lockhart/Gardner, and Diane’s liberal law school buddy and oldest friend Lyle surges out of it. “Diane, thank God. Is he here?” Huh. I didn’t really think of him as a client – not when she introduced him to Kurt as her oldest friend – but I guess it makes sense he could be both. Makes sense for the couple not to represent themselves. “Robbie, no, not yet,” she answers. “What happened?” Lyle’s outraged. “They say selling pot. Do you believe, Robbie, selling pot?” There’s a pale faced young woman standing behind Diane, soaking it all in. “Do you know why all the police?” Diane wonders. Oh, he does. “Yeah, sure, you know why. They’re still after me for the work I did in the ’68 Convention, they drive by the house everyday.” Well. That seems incredibly unlikely. Paranoid much?
“Oh, here he is, Robbie,” Lyle greets his grandson, a sweetly nerdy-looking young man in a maroon sweater and plaid button down. “Don’t worry, I just went to the bathroom,” Robbie says, and at first I wonder if this has something to do with an anticipated drug test until I realize he just meant that’s why he wasn’t in the lobby. I guess now I’m the paranoid one. “We need to talk,” Diane insists, and with one hand on his shoulders she steers him through the office. Robbie walks balanced on two crutches, a brace on each arm.
“Just to be clear,” Diane says, “I am allowing my client to answer a limited number of questions to aid your investigation as long as the conversation is proffer protected.” It is, Finn nods. “Do you know what Silk Road is, Robbie?” Robbie does; it’s a black market site. “Yeah. It’s a marketplace for the sale of drugs – marijuana, cocaine, MDA, heroine.” You can order that online? I guess it makes a certain amount of sense but I wouldn’t think it’d be that easy to operate in plain sight. Clearly named after the old Silk Road – the route the Europeans traveled to Asia for spices, silks and yes, drugs. “Assault weapons, even murder,” Finn continues, pulling it up on a lap top; you can see the categories like Mercenaries and Drugs (8165 vender options) on the left side of the screen. “What Amazon is to book clubbers, Silk Road is to criminals.” Thanks for the exposition, love.
“Have you ever logged into it?” Finn asks Robbie. “No,” Robbie replies in almost exaggerated innocence, his eyes wide, his voice young and blooming with sincerity. Not even to peruse it, Finn presses, and Lyle grumbles that he’s already answered. “Well 1.2 billion dollars in illegal goods are bought and sold on Silk Road, now that makes a Class 1 Felony for anyone involved in running the site.” Running the site? Whoa, hold on here. “I’m not hearing a lot of questions here, Mr. Polmar,” Diane warns (which is delightfully meta when you think about it; move on from the exposition already!). “We traced money from Silk Road to your computer,” Finn drops his bomb.
“You traced money? What money?” Diane asks. “65 bitcoin, worth approximately $39,000.” Yikes. “We found it in Robbie’s digital wallet.” I’ve never bought or sold anything on Silk Road, baby-voiced Robbie not quite answers the question. Even worse than the initial revelation – somehow Finn’s convinced that the bitcoin was paid by Silk Road to an employee. “Robbie’s in college, he’s graduating in May, he’s writing his thesis,” Lyle explodes. (I can’t decide how old Robbie looks – is he more the grad student type? – and I haven’t been able to find precise biographical info on actor Christopher Imbrosciano, either.) “We’ve worked on bitcoin before, Mr. Polmar, and it’s an anonymous currency. You can’t trace it.” According to Finn, that’s actually changed since the breakdown of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox back in the fall. Now the government has access to the exchange servers, and so they managed to trace Robbie’s bitcoin back to Silk Road. “Now, this one felony, Robbie? Four years. 2.5 years in prison.”
“Let’s talk in private, shall we?” Diane asks. Absolutely he will. “Mr. Canning, you have a minute?” she asks, not stopping for his answer but walking instead straight into her own office. “Why aren’t you arresting him?” she demands of Finn. “I wanna know what he knows,” Finn explains himself. “What, so you’re looking for a plea?” He is. “Yeah, yeah, one year jail time for getting to the top dog at Silk Road.” Whoa. That is ambitious, going after the entire site. Doesn’t internet stuff get prosecuted more often on a federal level? Also, a year in prison for that kid? Diane looks away. “And yet you’re questioning him here, and not at the police station?” That’s true, Finn agrees. “You don’t want to be seen strong arming the kid with cerebral palsy?”
Oh. The canes. Got it.
“Oh, come on,” Finn rolls his eyes. “Especially one who has an attorney like Louis Canning,” she continues as Canning limps into the room. Diane, girlfriend, you are diabolical. “Hello, I’m Louis Canning. Nice to meet you,” the man himself replies calmly. “This is A.S.A. Polmar,” Diane introduces Finn. “Ah, why don’t you describe your disorder, Mr. Canning?” Oh I love her. Hilariously, this throws Canning off his stride, and he stumble through the now familiar patter: tardive dyskenisia, it’s neurological disorder…” “Which plays well on camera,” Diane snaps. “Especially if he has a client with cerebral palsy.” Oh oh oh! I can’t even explain how much I love this. Canning used for good!
“Your client is involved in one of the biggest criminal conspiracies of the twenty first century,” Finn counters. “All you have is a few bitcoin,” Diane sneers. “And you’re running for State’s Attorney, aren’t ya?” Canning, wow. Nice to see you tagging in. “What does that have to do with this?” Finn shoots back uncomfortably. ‘Well,” Canning answers, “you don’t want to be seen falsely accusing another young man…” Oh, hello, they went there. “Especially since your last wrongful prosecution resulted in the death of an attorney and a witness,” Diane adds, ramping the tension level up to eleven.
Eventually, however, Finn has more of an answer than the initial haunted, complicated silence would suggest. “I have a witness.” To what, Diane wonders, genuinely shocked. “Your client participating in Silk Road, but you have other problems. Lyle Pollard. He’s one of your richest clients, isn’t he?” He is, apparently. “Well, Robbie worked on Silk Road in his grandfather’s basement.” Diane’s even more shocked. “That means I can freeze his grandfather’s assets.”
Oh my. Guess she can’t intimidate her way out of that one.
“Juror 499, please state your name,” the blonde attorney asks. Wow. We’ve gone through more than 300 potential jurors since our last visit in? “Daniel Irwin,” Man Candy names himself. He’s now seated in a jury box. “And your occupation?” Wouldn’t he have put that on the form? “I design batteries.” Oh, cool, really? “What does that entail,” the attorney wonders. “Ah, well, I’m working on a new lithium battery that’s 2,000 times more powerful than current batteries. It’s for use in computers and cars.” Damn. That’s super cool. The attorney thinks so too. “That’s very impressive. Do you think that you could judge this case of indecent exposure fairly?” Oh, man. There’s nothing like sitting around all day and getting put on a dull or trivial case. “I don’t know,” he stammers. “I have friends who are … friends with lawyers, and it might influence me.” Alicia smiles. Nice try, buddy. “The defense has no objections to this juror, Your Honor,” the blonde attorney smiles. I’m glad to see they didn’t cut him for being smart. His card gets put into a slot in that wooden ruler-like sign.
“Juror 503, please state your name.” Were 500-502 no shows? “Alicia Florrick,” our girl announces, her posture perfect as ever, and all heads turn toward her. She stares straight ahead, a smirk on her lips; she knows she’s got a get out of jail free card. “I see, ah, you are the governor’s wife.” I am, she agrees. I think this is the least complicated enjoyment she’s ever got out of her status as First Lady. “And you’re a lawyer.” Right again. Her smile has graduated to full on cat-eating the canary. “Well, ah, it’s very nice to meet you, Mrs. Florrick. The state would like to exercise it’s peremptory challenge.” What a surprise! Okay, the juror is excused, a voice calls out from off screen. “Well, it was very nice to meet you,” she whispers to Daniel. “Next time, I’ll say I’m a lawyer,” he grumbles, amused. “Good luck,” she leaves with a sardonic smile.
“That’s it, I’m done. No more jury duty,” Alicia exalts to Cary via cell phone. “That was easy,” he smiles in characteristic good humor, shrugging off his suit jacket. “Yeah,” she agrees. “I’m coming in. I’ll see you in a few minutes.” Nope, he replies, and she’s baffled by him. “You’re not coming in.” Huh? “Cause I’m forcing you to take a day off.” Minions ply hims with coffee; he’s happy and in charge, almost glowing with it. It’s wonderful and a bit funny at the same time. “Cary,” she laughs, “I have a lot…” No, he insists, you don’t. “Seriously, how many days have you had off in the last five years?” Uh, I assume we’re not counting her catatonic bereavement period, or that college trip with Zach, or helping Owen move? “I don’t know,” she answers, puzzled. “I do. The same as me, none. So today is your day off, my gift to you, take it.”
She smiles. “Thanks, Cary, you’re a good man.” Naw, he waves. “I’m a good partner.” Okay, she declares. “I’m taking the day off. This is me, taking the day off.” She’s trying to say it like she means it
Aw. That’s very sweet. Not that an actual vacation to an actual destination wouldn’t be better, but cool.
Speaking of sweet, poor sweet Robbie Pollard has tears in his little eyes. “I didn’t do it,” he pleads. “I know. But how did this bitcoin end up on your computer?” Indeed. “They use zombie computers, maybe it was that?” Lyle can’t stand it. “He’s been busy doing his graduate work, he’s had no time for…” Cutting him off, Diane asks him to leave. Reluctantly, protesting, he sets his hand on Robbie’s shoulder in support and goes: as Robbie pats his grandfather’s hand, a complicated expression flits over his features. Annoyance, maybe? While I’m busy recalculating Robbie’s age (he must be in graduate school, but no one ever says they’re in college when they’re in graduate school; I feel certain it’s not the first time that this show has made that odd mistake), and Louis Canning is soaking in Robbie’s odd look, Diane literally pushes Lyle out the door. And then goes back out the door to prevent him from lurking on the other side of the glass wall; she forces him to wait in reception.
‘Robbie,” Canning begins. “Everyone wants to rebel. Me, for me, in college, it was girls.” I’ll bet; he’s a long-practiced professional at combining guilt with charm. “The key is not to let if affect the rest of your life, Everybody wants a clean slate; this is your chance to make this yours.” Diane and Kalinda exchange a glance, I think impressed. “Tell us. We’ll find a way to tell your grandfather, he will understand, believe me, I promise you.” Robbie inhales deeply, his eyes fluttering shut. “I write reviews for them,” he confesses. For Silk Road, Diane confirms. “Yeah. They wanted business. They paid me to write client reviews, to get sales moving.” ‘You didn’t sample the product?” Diane questions. “No, they weren’t real reviews. They were just planted. You know, like ‘great high, fast delivery.'” Ah, like Will’s client in Red Team/Blue Team. “I created a rating system for the quality of the high. Five William S. Burrows. It was a … joke.” What a delicate voice he has, so plaintive. No one’s laughing, though.
“That’s what you’re paid for?” Canning says, and indeed, that does seem improbably lucrative. “Yeah,” Robbie replies, before twigging to the undercurrent of disbelief. ” What? I never did anything. I just write reviews.” Ah, poor silly baby. Diane has to break it to him. “But you aided 1.2 billion in drug sales. It makes you an accessory.” Oh, crap. “Who paid you?” Kalinda asks, and Diane has to explain who she is to the startled Robbie. “I don’t know,” he quavers, “It was all done anonymously.” And now it’s our turn to drop Finn’s bomb. “They say they have a witness, Robbie. Who can that be?” I don’t know, he tells them, tearful. Except wait, he does. “What?” Kalinda asks, alert as they all are to the change in his demeanor. “There was this girl…”
Ah, the excuse that sank a thousand ships. There was this girl.
“I was just talking to her, near school. I offered to write her a review if she ever got on Silk Road to sell anything.” How the heck does that come up? Was he buying from her? “And what was her name?” Kalinda demands.
We immediately cut to the investigator knocking on the door of an apartment; it’s opened by a brown haired girl chatting on her cell phone. “Hey, um, Corsica, sorry to interrupt you,” Kalinda says once inside. Corsica is super friendly and utterly unphased by a complete stranger showing up her door; I suppose it’s an occupational hazard? “Yeah, yeah, come on in. I’ve got two new types, Norther Lights and B52, here on the coffee table.” Nice, Kalinda declares appreciatively. On the coffee table there are small zip up bags with gnarly, lumpy pot leaves, each one identified by one of two stamps – a red daisy and purply-blue tropical flower. We see her stamp set, too. Corsica hurries off the phone, better to deal with this promising new customer.
“So, whatcha looking for?” she smiles up at Kalinda from a wicker chair that fans out behind her head; she has a nose ring, and a knowing expression. “Actually, I’m looking for information on Robbie Pollard,” Kalinda explains. Her smile gone, Corsica starts to play with her hair. “I have nothing to say,” she claims. “Oh, I think you already had something to say. To the police,” Kalinda’s accusation is pointed. “You’re not in any danger. I just want to know what you told the police.”
“They were going to arrest me,” Corsica relates. “All I did was give his name.” Did she give any other name? “No,” she says. “I’ve never met anyone else from Silk Road. I told them Robbie offered to write me a review, that’s all. I didn’t tell them everything.” Uh oh. As Kalinda’s paced the room, we see Corsica has bookshelves full of tchotchkes, and a cute, bohemian sofa, strew with brightly patterned pillows and backed by a pretty quilt. Yes, there’s a hippy vibe, but in a clean, pleasant way. “What do you mean by everything?” Kalinda wonders. “You know,” Corsica intones, her voice low. “That Robbie invented Silk Road.”
Oh my goodness gracious. That’s not what Kalinda came there to hear.
And, hmmm. Obviously Corsica could be lying to save her own skin, but it’s interesting that she didn’t pass that accusation on to the police. Obviously it’s improbable that the wildly anti-gun Pollards would potentially produce a grandson who not only facilitated the selling of hard drugs (you know Grandpa at least toked up), but also the sale of illegal firearms and the services of mercenaries? Wow. Did sweet little Robbie tire of being sweet little Robbie, and become a criminal mastermind instead? It seems unlikely – although what trips me up about it the most is his age. Even if he’s a graduate student and not a “college” student (ie, undergrad) he looks like he’s in his early to mid twenties; would he have had enough time to invent Silk Road. Okay; my research reveals that Silk Road began operation in 2011, so I suppose that’s possible whether he’s 21 or 25. Or, I guess, he could be the “inventor” of the newest incarnation of the site, which has reappeared since getting taken offline in 2013.
“Look,” Robbie explains to his legal team, ” I told Corsica I invented Silk Road, but I didn’t know she’d believe me. I just said it. I was just… she was pretty,” he confesses, sounding vulnerable and small. “And I was trying to impress her.” Well she believed you, Kalinda tells him. She didn’t tell the police that, Canning notes. “No,” Kalinda agrees. “She said she was worried that Robbie would hurt her.” That I would, Robbie wonders in a little boy voice, as if he couldn’t imagine anything more dreadful someone could think of him. Then don’t pretend you’re the Dread Pirate Roberts! (Huh. I wonder if that’s where they got the name Robbie? If it’s a play on words?)
“She said that you were in charge of Silk Road, that it was your invention, and you had 100 million dollars in bitcoin hidden away in Iceland,” Kalinda reports. If he was capable of that, would he really get caught with a paltry 65 bitcoin? Also, is Iceland the new Switzerland or Cayman Islands? “Robbie, if you aren’t in charge of Silk Road,” Diane begin, and Robbie tries to interrupt her by saying he isn’t. “.. then you have got to give the ASA something he can use. Do you have anything that would lead to someone higher up?” NO, Robbie cries, it was all anonymous. “How did they contact you?” Kalinda presses. “The leaders of Silk Road?” Through email, Robbie explains, “but it was over TOR, everything encrypted.” Show me, says Kalinda.
In order to show her, Robbie straps on a headset; he’s got voice recognition software because he can’t type. “Computer, launch TOR,” he says. “Go to Cloak and Veil.” The bare bones home page (which for the first time this episode seems like it’s not a real thing, or at least not accessible to non TOR users) proclaims “Welcome to the Anonymous Internet.” As this all occurs, Diane notices a large yellow flower arrangement heading through the halls to her office. Intrigued, she follows it.
I think I’ve forgot to say, but Diane’s been wearing a very pretty dress in a dark purple with a surprisingly full skirt that swishes when she walks. It’s great. She’s also wearing one of her typically enormous necklaces, three strands of huge purple beads. My friend Mah had me in stitches saying she wanted to sneak into Diane’s house and see how much space her jewelry collection takes up. It’s true; she almost never wears the same one twice, and they’re all massive. Does she have a jewelry room? I could see it.
Anyway. She runs into Finn in the hallway, because of course she does. “Where are we, Diane?” Trying to come up with something you can use, she says. “Good,” he nods, utterly sincere. “We want the guy who runs it.”
The arrangement is very modern and clearly very expensive, a dozen perfect yellow roses below a curved structure of palms and a spray of yellow flowered branches. “Diane, Thanks for all the hard work, Roger Lux” reads the card. A lux arrangement from Lux? Funny.
“Roger, hi, thank you for the flowers,” she tells Mr. Lux over the phone. He’s effusive in his praise: “No, I wanted to thank you. Great work, some of your best yet.” Oh boy. “Thank you,” she replies, clearly thrown, “I’m just, ah – which work are we talking about?” Listen to you, so humble, he laughs. “Business plan! Talk about going the extra mile.” Oh dear. “Well, I, I, I’m glad you’re happy. So, um Roger, I don’t remember you asking me to do this work. When did you call?” Ugh. You need to be a little more subtle, Diane. “About a month ago,” he reveals. “Did we talk?” No. “You were out. Your assistant sent me on to, um…” Louis Canning, she assumes, but no. David Somebody. David Lee? Why yes, that’s the very one. “Funny guy, David. Said he’d give you the message.” Well, that’s it, she lies, before heading to the conference room to snag Kalinda. Huh. The dress has a weird tie in the middle of the belly. I still like the dress, but the tie’s the kind that would pop out of sweatpants or gym shorts. It’s all “look at my belly!” and who wants that? Really odd.
Anyway, on her way back she turns to the girl with the pale, doughy face from earlier, seated in the desk outside Diane’s office. “Pauline, you can go home now. You’re fired.” The pale face gets even paler in shock.
“The emails are anonymous but there’s a message at the bottom of each of them, ‘prepare to be amazed,’ it’s a signature of some kind,” Kalinda explains once inside the office. Ah. That’s handy. “You’re seeing if you can find it anywhere else on the web?” Absolutely, boss. “Somewhere unprotected.” Diane’s full skirt swirls out around her as she moves. “Good. I need something else. You said you could help me when I needed it?” Kalinda, who definitely remembers, walks closer. “Could you find out if moves re being made against me?” Moves, Kalinda wonders. “It might be nothing, but, my assistant was sending client calls on to Canning and David Lee.” ‘Well that sounds like something,” Kalinda notes dryly. “Yes. It does. But I want to know what before I act.”
At this, Kalinda smiles. “You seem different, Diane,” she observes. “Different good or different bad?” Different good. There’s something very vulnerable in Diane’s expression. “Kalinda I feel like I’m channeling Will’s ghost,” she confesses. “Well, then, take care of him,” Kalinda says with a smile. Aw!
Just don’t sleep with Alicia. That’s all I ask.
And check it out – the door to the Florrick apartment! Our heroine sits in her den, a bowl of popcorn in her lap. More Darkness at Noon? Before we can tell, we have to go through a preposterous segue where Zach, via telephone, talks her through fixing some disconnected cables. Frustrated, she looks into a box of remotes. “Zach, which one?” she asks. “The black one.” They’re all black, she replies. “The one with a million buttons,” he narrows it down – except not, because they all have a million buttons. Oh, come on. We’ve all been there; it’s just usually with someone else’s entertainment system and not your own. But perhaps Alicia doesn’t watch enough television for her home system to even qualify as her own. What I really can’t believe is that she’s going to lounge around eating popcorn in that perfect, exquisitely fitted love of a jacket. Mother of God, that jacket.
She cycles through several remotes – includes the blaring stereo – until arriving at a smart menu, which features icons for our favorite GW specific options like Chum Hum, WEQT, Facebranch, Vidlock and Scabbit, as well as something called The Daily Lib (a Daily Kos substitute?) which I’m not sure we’ve seen. The Universal theme music begins its triumphant march, and a movie loads all the way to 95% buffering.
And then it stops. And goes backward. And disappears.
Clearly having decided that she sucks at time off, Alicia shows up at work in the elevator, where she’s blocked by Cary. Was this a happy accident, or does he have spies at the entrance? (I’m kidding.) “Oh no no,” he smiles. “Cary, I just need to get something,” she lies. What could that be? Her scarf. Right, because I’m sure she only has one of those. “And my laptop.” Ah ha. Now we’re on it. “Stay here,” he instructs her. “Kim can you get Mrs. Florrick’s scarf?” he calls out. “And my laptop!” Nice try, Alicia. “Nooooo,” grins her partner. “Cary!” she protests. “That’s work, and you’re not supposed to work.” Pouting, she tries to get info out of him about a case. “I’ll tell you tomorrow,” he promises. “No. Have fun.” What is this fun you speak of? This concept is unfamiliar to us.
But there is someone in the Good Wife-verse who does know how to have fun, and as luck would have it, she’s calling Alicia’s phone right now. It’s Veronica! Woohoo! At first, Alicia actually pretends to be too busy to meet her mother for lunch, but then realizes there’s no point to such a charade, and agrees to meet up. “Wow,” she says to herself once she’s hung up and the elevator door opens, illuminating her face, “you really are bored.”
The restaurant Veronica chose has the air of an incredibly modern dentist’s office about it – slick plastic surfaces, gleaming white, toothpaste green. “I’m so sorry,” Veronica says, extending her hand toward her daughter and folding her in a one armed hug. “Thank you, Mum,” Alicia replies quietly, both hands on her clutch purse. “Will was such a special person; he made me laugh,” she remembers. “Thank you,” Alicia murmurs again. “Alicia, no,” Veronica frowns, leaving Alicia puzzled. “No, what do you mean?”
“The way you said ‘thank you,'” her mother explains. “When your father died, at one point I was just all cried out and just wanted people to SHUT. UP.” Ah. Yes. She does rather sound like the bereaved at a wake, giving their thanks over and over to a lengthy line of mourners. “No, it’s just I…” Alicia begins, but before she can explain herself, Veronica sits in their booth and pulls her daughter down with her. ” It’s just what?”
Taking a shuddering breath, Alicia leans against the seat back. “It’s unreal.” What, Veronica prompts. “Like he’s still there, you know, or he was never there at all.” Oh yes. I know, agrees her mother. “”That’s the worst part. When you can’t remember what they look like. The thing you do is pray.” Say what? I’m not more surprised than Alicia. “Yeah, pray. Talk to him. Talk to Will. He’ll listen. He may not answer, but there’ll be things, middle of the day, seems like he’s answering. Balloons in the blue sky, leaf on the tree…” Instead of mocking her mother as a sentimentalist, Alicia blinks away tears. “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, Mom,” she whispers, her voice raw. “Working seems so pointless.”
“You’re smart,” Veronica encourages her, “you’re going to figure it out.” Leaning toward her mother, Alicia makes a deeper confession. “I don’t know if I wanna be a lawyer anymore.” Interesting – I sort of thought Finn’s hearing moved her past that particular doubt. Because her work made a difference there, something tangible and real. “What’re you gonna be?” “I don know,” she shakes her head, trying to explain it. “It’s not gonna be, it’s, I don’t know if I can…”
“Hey, there you are, Veronica!” a man grins. Are you kidding me with the timing? I am dying here, wondering what she was going to say! What did she mean? “I thought we said 1:30?” Veronica reacts, surprised. “I got off early, so…” the man bends to kiss Veronica’s cheek. So you just assumed she’d be at the restaurant waiting for you that early? “Hi, Logan,” Veronica finally says, before introducing him to Alicia. “Logan wanted to join us for lunch.” Having been on the verge of a soulful confession, Alicia has trouble walking her emotional state back. As salt and pepper haired Logan greets her and compliments her mother, Alicia recovers herself enough to claim she’s gotten a text, despite not having her phone out. “They need me at work, I’ve got to go back to work. It’s nice to meet you, Logan.” Her mother’s latest gentleman friend is wearing a silver turtleneck. He’s politely sorry she’s leaving. Halfway out of the restaurant, Alicia looks back at her mother laughing with Logan instead of listening to her, and she can’t stand it.
But what on earth is she doing back at the courthouse? She walks up to the double doors, takes a deep breath as if steeling herself to enter, and then turns and walks away. “What’s wrong with you?” she asks herself out loud, taking out her phone, rolling her eyes in frustrating. “Alicia Florrick!” comes a voice, and turning in panic, she sees Daniel “Man Candy” Irwin sitting on a bench. “I thought that was you,” he smiles. Hey, she mutters, her smile too bright. “D’you get on another jury?” he asks. “No,” she tells him, searching frantically for a reason to be there. “I just thought I left something in court. My wallet.” Oh God. You are a hilariously bad liar, Alicia. Did you find it, he wonders; no, she must have left it at work. He nods, and then has an inspiration. Would she like to get lunch? He’s got 90 minutes. We freeze on her panicked face.
‘He’s worried about what you think of him,” Diane tells Lyle softly. “Did he do these reviews for money?” the stunned grandfather wonders. “Yeah,” Diane agrees, “and adventure. He’s a good boy. He’s very embarrassed.” He was paid, but did he really need the money? I doubt it, somehow, although I’m not sure how Lyle got so rich being an activist lawyer. “And if he turns on these… Silk Road people, will he be in danger?” Good question. There are a lot of unsavory aspects to that site. “The police don’t think so,” Diane claims. “These buyers and sellers seem to be pretty innocuous.” Er, that seems a presumptuous leap. Lyle grunts. “You’ll keep him safe?” he asks.
Just then, David Lee sticks his head into Diane’s office, interrupting the tet a tet between the old friends. Can he have a moment? Diane stands and walks out into the space between the two name partner offices.
“You fired Pauline,” David accuses. What, you’re suddenly concerned about the support staff? That’s a new one. “My assistant? Yes. Why?” “She wasn’t doing anything wrong,” he claims. Snort. “What are we talking about here?” Diane asks sharply. “She sent your client calls on to me because I asked her to. I also asked her not to tell you.” Right. Totally not a reason for fire her. If you like her so much, David, you can make her your own assistant. “And why did you do that, David?” Diane bites. “You’ve been missing things,” he claims. “Since Will died you’ve been missing meetings and you haven’t been returning calls. Clients are starting to comment.” What clients, she snaps. “You’re coming in later,” he continues, “people are saying you’re not answering your cell…”
Which clients, she repeats, steely. “Roger Lux. Vito Conning. I did it as a favor, Diane. I, I wasn’t trying to horn in on your business, Diane. I did this work without any credit.” That last is weirdly true. What the hell? “I, I said it was you!” Thank you, David, she growls, walking back to her office. “Okay, that’s the last nice thing I do. From now on, take up your own slack!”
“Here and here, you see,” Kalinda says, pointing to laptopl screen. She’s sitting next to Robbie, with Diane and Finn standing behind them. Whatever happened to Finn’s little army of cops? “The sender from Silk Road had a phrase, ‘prepare to be amazed.’Now we can’t trace these emails back, but Robbie was hired because of his reviews on Amazon, and so we scanned the reviews and we found this. It’s a review of an Ayn Rand book, and there it is again – ‘prepare to be amazed.'” Ha. Love this, because the real Silk Road was apparently begun by a Libertarian. Dainty Robbie chimes in, pointing. “This one has an ip address.”
“One year probation, no jail time,” Diane tells Finn, her arms crossed. Nodding in agreement, Finn assents as long as they can convict this guy. His name pops up – Jeremy Barba. (This is what it says, although everyone actually says Barber.) He’s a local, Kalinda adds. Convenient.
Soon enough, the police are identifying himself on the other side of Barba’s door, an old wooden one covered with thick, dingy, scuffed white paint. When he doesn’t answer their summons, the police break open his door. Just steps into the apartment, they discover – what is going on with the show suddenly? – his dead body lying face down, hands tied behind his back, a heavy clear plastic duct taped around his neck. Finn’s pointy dress shoes approach Barba’s head, and he squats down next to it, his police badge (I had no idea prosecutors had police badges, but it’s all pointy corners, very Old West) dangling from his neck. Something about his hair or the bullet proof vest completes the picture of an old fashioned law man. He sighs. “Damn it!”
A camera flashes on the #2 evidence marker placed next to Barba’s head. His mouth is open, of course, his bangs, plastered to his forehead. Other than that, he looks peaceful – not at all like someone who died in agony. “Is that him? Is that Jeremy Barba?” Kalinda wonders, stepping over the threshold to stand in the doorway with Finn. “Yeah,” he agrees. “Kalinda, why do people let you into crime scenes?” Heh. He’s got coffee now. “Oh, you know,” she shrugs. “Cops like me.” Looking around the room, she notices some of Corsica’s flower-stamped product on a sideboard, the bag nearly empty.
“How well did you know her?” she asks Robbie back in the conference room. “Corsica? She was nice to me,” he replies in his babiest baby voice. “She reported you to the police,” the voice of reason insists. “She was in trouble,” Robbie frowns, offended at Kalinda’s suggestion. Wanting him to know just how serious this is, Diane leans forward. “Robbie. We think she may be connected to this man’s death.” Kalinda, too, leans down. “When I questioned Corsica, she said she didn’t know anyone at Silk Road, and yet, her pot label was found at the crime scene.”
“They’re not honoring the plea bargain,” Diane adds urgently, “We need something on Corsica.” Some of the women’s intensity rubs off on the young man. “How many times did you meet her?” Just that once, he confesses. Wow, that was some impression they seem to have made on each other. “And did you bring up Silk Road, or did she?” He doesn’t remember, and Kalinda leans down all the way, elbows on the table. “Now listen to me,” she instructs him, “Either this woman Corsica set you up, or you run Silk Road. This is what the police are thinking right now. So you help us, or you go to jail.” Fiercely, he presses his eyes shut. “Those are your options.”
“Robbie, you need to help them,” grandfather Lyle adds his voice to the chorus, and Robbie looks at him. Then he shakes his head, unhappy. “I set up a cloud for her computer,” he offers. Kalinda looks up to Diane. Could it be enough?
Though the Lockhart, Gardner Canning crew’s having a bad time of it, Alicia and Daniel yuck it up uproariously over lunch. Huh. As the laughter dies down, Daniel gives Alicia a smoldering look. “So the governor’s wife,” he nods. “Yup,” she agrees, popping the P sound. “What’s that like?” Now there’s a loaded question. She struggles not to giggle. “Clarifying,” she says, and they both break out into peels of laughter. Four seriously-looking men in a booth to the back shoot them looks, and Alicia’s taken out of the moment. Do they know who she is? Are they watching, judging her? Honey, you have to think about this. You can’t just flirt with strangers.
“Are we being too loud?” he wonders; she claims no, but changes the subject, wondering who the greeting card he has on the table is for. Turns out it’s his about to be 15 year old son. “He’s amazing. He writes these little stories – they’re like New Yorker stories.” Well. That would be amazing. “You have any kids?” You’d think he’d know that, but certainly it’s polite to ask, and so she tells. Hers are 18 and 16. Damn, seriously? I wonder where Zach’s going to college? (And, hmm, I wonder why graduation activities weren’t on the calendar she set up with Peter…) “16 and 18? When did you have ’em, when you were twelve?” She tilts her head, acknowledging and gently mocking his flattery; she laughs, though, to make sure he knows she likes it. “Well, I’m glad you came along, Alicia,” he sighs; her attention is transfixed by his hand, tapping the greeting card’s envelope.”I thought this day was going to be a waste.” Then he catches her drifting.
“Are you alright?” She asks to be excused. I’m not entirely sure what this is – is she shocked by her physical response to him? In the tiny and extremely yellow bathroom, she grips the side of the sink. “What’s wrong with you, just tell him you have to go!” Tearing off some paper towels, she blots her fact and neck. “I’m so stupid,” she tells her reflection, making the word sound like a curse.
And then they’re left to fight over the check, her enormous new re-engagement ring flashing aggressively in the light. Can we at least split it, Daniel asks (enlightened, I like it) but Alicia – having utterly forgotten her panicked excuse from earlier – pleads for the chance to pay, and pulls out her supposedly missing wallet.
“I thought you lost your wallet,” he observes, because, duh, and she has another moment of complete and obvious panic. “My other wallet,” she lies. Right. He snorts, and flutters his eyelashes, glancing down at the table and then back up at her face as she sets down her card. “Alicia, you know, I don’t have friends,” he begins, “I work a lot, and I’m private.” I’m not sure you cast the right guy if that’s what you were going for, workaholic nerd rather than heartthrob/charmer. “So, what I’m about to say, it doesn’t mean anything. Anything serious,” he clarifies. She smiles, quirky and honest. “Jury duty takes me till 6:30. I was planning on coming here, getting a drink. Meet me here at seven.” He reacts quickly to the look of complete dismay on her face. “Just a drink, nothing more.”
I can’t, she says softly. “You can,” he insists. “I know you’re married. And kids… I’m not into getting tangled up, either, but I still wanna have a drink with you.” Why? He laughs. “Because I like you, I think you’re funny.” She looks away, embarrassed. “I’d want to drink with you if you were a man or a chimpanzee!” And maybe if she were a man or a chimpanzee, she’d believe that.
Let’s leave it at this, he finishes. “I’m coming back here at 7 – great wine list.” Oh, he’s speaking her language. “If you’re here, I’ll be very happy. If you’re not, I’ll be less happy.” She smiles down at the table. “But then this was a nice lunch.” Okay. He smolders at her. “I have to go,” she decides. She’s really good at running away, isn’t she? What about your credit card, he asks – the waitress hasn’t come yet. Alicia casts an alarmed look around the restaurant. “I’ll pay. You go,” Daniel offers. Why is it that the nicer he is, the more he feels like a player to me? After some hesitation, she takes her card back with thanks. “Remember, seven o’clock,” he says, and she stands without even looking at him, walking off without saying goodbye.
“I’m Finn Polmar,” Finn introduces himself, hands and elbows on the table in front of him, composed, “and I’m running for State’s Attorney because I think the office is currently being mismanaged.” Good, decides Eli, but in what way mismanaged. “James Castro is a good man,” Finn begins. “He’s not a good man, what does that mean, a good man,” Eli sneers. Well. How much time do you have? “James Castro is a friend of mine,” Finn tries again. “Nobody cares!” Eli rolls his eyes and practically his head. Hey! I care. “What can you do for me?” Eli wags his head, meaning me the voter. “Stop serving political interests and convict criminals,” Finn declares, sincere and clear.
“Are political interests being served?” Eli wonders. “Yes,” Finn answers, “for the past three years….” Screech! Back up. You can’t say the past three, because Peter was in office for two of those years. “But it’s the truth,” Finn replies, shrugging and waving his thumbs. “Are you under the impression that this interview is about the truth?” Eli glowers. Ha. Also amusing – there are two tall yellow flower arrangements behind both men that look like they come from Roger Lux’s distinctive florist. Amusing if you’re me, anyway. “For the last year,” Finn corrects himself, “the office has been mired in…” “Good,” Eli interrupts him, looking at his finger nails, bored. “Tell me about being shot.”
Man. Eli. You are something. I love you, but you are something else.
“I’m sorry, what?” Finn blinks, and something about his tone makes it clear that he heard Eli, he’s just waiting for him to say something different. “This interview is to introduce you. Tell me about being shot.” His mouth open, Finn looks down at the table, and when he starts to speak his voice is clipped. I don’t even know why he’s going along with this. “I was in court. A defendant took a sheriff’s gun. Killed a witness.” Over and over his head shakes, ever so slightly, side to side. “Then tried to shoot himself.” “And you’re already back in court, prosecuting cases,” Eli notes. He is. “That’s my job.” Good, Eli approves, then gives Finn a measuring look. “People say you’re a hero.”
Unsettled, Finn looks away. “Do we have to do this?” They do. No one will remember your five point plan, Eli explains. “They’ll remember a hero trying to save a dying man.” Finn looks down, the shadows under his eyes deepening. “I wasn’t a hero. Will Gardner was the hero – when Jeffrey Grant started shooting he tried to take the gun.” Good, Eli nods again. “Say that.” Furrowing his brows, Finn tries to follow. “That Will was the hero.” Er… “Humility,” Eli explains. “A hero doesn’t brag. A hero deflects, but he still has to describe.” Finn looks just about ready to vomit. “People need to hear the horror,” Eli adds, relishing the idea, and now Finn really does look sickened. Not to mention mad.
“Do you have some comment to make, Mr. Polmar?” I love that Eli can make that name sound like an insult. “That’s the reason the governor’s endorsing me, the shooting?” Ah, if only it were so simple. “No, the governor’s endorsing you because he doesn’t like Castro. I’m establishing your value through the shooting. If society valued kindness and a good haircut, I’d establish that.” Well. I value kindness and a good haircut, so I’m thankful that the powers that be brought us Finn, who has both.
At this opportune juncture, Finn’s phone bleats, so he stands creakily and tries to muffle his answers against the wall. It’s Diane, with information about Corsica. “I gotta go,” he tells Eli, phone still at his ear. “The interview’s at six. Be on time.” Well. I don’t think I’d enjoy being on the receiving end of the glare Finn gives Eli on his way out.
“What?” Corsica asks Finn, sitting on her couch with those cute bohemian throw pillows. “Jeremy Barba is dead. Do you know who that is?” She ducks her head. “You said you didn’t know any other names connected with Silk Road.” Oh, I really really like the printed throw tucked along the back of the couch. “I didn’t wanna get him in trouble,” she says, playing with her fingers. “What happened?” He was murdered, Finn explains, hands in his pockets, pacing. “Oh my God,” Corsica replies, wringing her fingers more intensely. “There are a lot of services sold on Silk Road,” Finn notes. “Smuggling, kidnapping, also murder for hire…” He sits next to the couch, and she shakes her head. “It was Robbie. He’s trying to get rid of anybody that can hurt him.”
“Or you are,” Finn replies quietly. Frowning, she shakes her head. So then Finn holds up one of her little flower stamped pot bags (too full to have been taken from Barba’s apartment). Yeah she recognizes it – what of it? “And these?” He shows her two photos of dead Barba, one of him on the floor where we first saw him, and another on the white tile of what’s perhaps his own bathroom? Odd. “I don’t know them,” she frowns, outraged. ‘These photos were found on your cloud account. And there was an encrypted email to one of the hitmen.” Well I’m being set up, she replies. “You have to believe me.” No, he actually doesn’t.
On the other hand, if she couldn’t set up the cloud herself, how likely is it that she can send encrypted emails? Maybe? No? That doesn’t matter to Finn, who arrests her. “It’s Robbie, not me,” she protests angrily.
“She’s lying! She says I’m setting her up?” Robbie tells Finn back at Lockhart/Gardner, similarly outraged. (And if he were, is he be doing it from Diane’s conference room? That’s really pretty crazy.) Who is this girl, Lyle growls. Diane explains that there’s evidence at the scene and in her cloud account. “She claims you ran and created Silk Road,” Finn adds. He was concerned about Jeremy Barba turning on him if he were arrested, so he had him rubbed out. And, of course, he has access to Corsica’s cloud account so she could plant the evidence there. Kalinda notices David Lee and Louis Canning skulking through the hall together; it’s amusing to see David walking with someone so much shorter than him. “Is there an arrest on the horizon?” Diane asks. No, he’s arrested Corsica, Finn explains, and Robbie exhales. “But I might need Robbie’s help to testify against her.”
Ha. He’s stopped breathing again.
Diane and Kalinda take off for Diane’s office. “You asked to see us?” Canning asks from one of her two comfy chairs. “Are we being scolded?” David sneers from the other one. From her position between the two men, Kalinda gets out her notebooks and starts flipping through them. “You need to stop courting my clients,” she tells Canning. “I’m not courting anyone,” Canning protests. “You need to take better care of them!” David Lee grumbles. “No David,” she replies firmly. “That won’t work with me.” What won’t? “Trying to make me think it’s my fault,” she tells him, head up. “Kalinda?” “You’ve met on 8 separate occasions outside of work in the last two weeks,” she tells the two men. “We like each other,” David answers. “You don’t like anyone, David,” Diane replies, raising up her chin.
Hee. I was going to say that he likes Veronica, but maybe not after she bought that lease for Alicia.
Reading from her notebook, Kalinda tells us that both men have been looking at the firm’s books, at billable hours and partner compensation. “So what would you conclude from that, Alicia? Um, Diane,” he fixes the slip (or was it?), shaking his head. “You’re isolating me. You’re gaslighting me. You’re trying to take over the managerial spot.” Yep, that sounds about right. She glares at them, arms crossed, walking back to her seat and waiting for someone to confess.
“Tell her,” Canning turns to David. “You sure?” Yeah, Canning answers after a minute.
“We’ve been estate planning,” David turns to Diane. “That’s why we met 8 times outside the office. Actually I think it was 9,” he glares up at Kalinda, “my assistant gets things wrong.” Hee. All the more reason for you to hire your darling Pauline, then. “Estate planning?” Diane asks, arms still crossed. “What’re you two, getting married?” Ha. “I’m dying,” Canning sighs; Diane’s eyes widen. “Doctors gave me twelve months to live. I have, a children and a wife, and I need to get my affairs in order.” David turns a reproachful look at Diane. ‘That’s why the urgency of the estate planning.”
“That’s why I came here,” Canning adds. “I wanted a home. Somewhere I could make amends.” Uh, that makes even less sense now. “How long have you known this?” Diane asks, stunned. “Two months,” he says, and then he winces. “I really don’t want anyone else to know, and I don’t want any pity, and I don’t want anyone crying…” Do they really know you that well? Do they love you so much already? “I just… do me a kindness.” I will, Diane nods, shocked and sorry. “I’m sorry.”
In his own stilted way, he stands. “It has to happen to all of us,” he says, and walks out, David following in his wake. ‘He’s a good guy,” the family law specialist tells Diane, before giving Kalinda a triumphant glare too close to her personal space.
As they stare at each other, Kalinda walks up to Diane’s desk; her boss leans forward, elbows on the desk’s glass surface. “Believe it?”the investigator asks. “I did until he said he didn’t want pity,” Diane replies, which Kalinda allows makes sense. “D’you want me to find out?” Yep.
With one eye on her ultra modern chrome clock (it’s nearly five, two hours to her showdown), Alicia stands in her den and watches Darkness at Noon. It doesn’t disappoint. “Sex,” Scruff cop intones, shirtless, his hairy chiseled chest bathed in red light. “… is a chimera. I saw a crack whore eat her own arm.” This line makes me laugh every time. “I saw a baby drowned like a cat.” Alicia raises her eyebrows in disgust, now awkwardly sprawled on her couch (but still garbed in that amazing jacket). Sex… just keeps us occupied.” You can see Alicia wondering about this. Is it true? “Because reality? Can’t be endured.” Alicia has reality with current hope of sex. Unendurable? A woman perches on top of him; we see her back in the red neon light as she takes off her bra. “Even this,” he narrates, but breathily as if between kisses,”will end in smoke.” A knock at the door calls Alicia away from this morose pretension.
“I didn’t know he’d get there so early,” veronica apologizes. “I thought we’d have more time for lunch.” She’s so sincere, and so apologetic that I just want to hug her. “Hi mom,” Alicia says, her smile rueful and full of love. “Whatcha doin?” Alicia shakes her head and gives an existential rather than literal answer. “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Well, declares Veronica, stepping into the apartment, “whatever it is, I’m going to do it with you.”
“Yes, for the last 12 months the office has been mired in sloth and politics,” Finn tells the camera, sitting in front of an American flag and another arrangement of yellow flowers. Oh, okay, it’s that same conference room at the governor’s office. The interviewer, on remote, asks a question we can’t understand. “Yes, that was terrible,” he agrees. “In your own words,” the female voice asks, “what happened.” If he’s going to be using someone else’s words, he’s sure not going to say so! “A defendant took a sheriff’s gun. Killed a witness. Then tried to kill himself,” he answers, the words coming with less emotion that previously. A split screen show us that, improbably, his interviewer is magazine writer Mandy Post. Not that I object to seeing Miriam Shore, but it seems silly, what with her being a print journalist and all. “Did you think you’d make it out alive?” she asks; beneath their pictures reads the legend “Hero runs for office” Hidden with the camera, Eli urges Finn to answer properly. “Well there really wasn’t time to think,” Finn answers, “there was a man bleeding in front of me.”
“This was the opposing attorney?” Yes, he’d been shot, Finn nods. “And you were trying to cover him, even though you were wounded?” Back with the camera feed, Eli cheerleads. “Come on, come on, you can do it!” “Mandy, I’m sorry,” Finn replies according to truth and script. “Will Gardner was the hero. I was just lucky.” Crowing, Eli fists pumps. “Why’s that?” she wonders. “He tried to get the gun away from Jeffrey Grant. I just, ah…” Mandy gives a knowing smile. “You just tried to protect Will.” Looking hollow, Finn nods. “I wish I’d done more.
“This wasn’t your first brush with tragedy, was it, Mr. Polmar? ” Mandy’s next question wipes the smile off Eli’s face. “Your sister Leah committed suicide a few years ago, after a long battle with drug addiction.” It’ll be three years in June, he confirms. “I understand your family took a tough love approach,refusing to help her those final days,” Mandy notes, and Eli starts to freak the heck out. What’re you trying to do to us, he hisses at the young woman behind the camera. “As any family who’s dealt with drug addiction knows, you try everything because you desperately want to save them,” Finn explains calmly; Mandy nods. “Rehabs, psychiatrists, interventions and yes, tough love.” Would you say this was an instance where tough love failed, Mandy suggests. “Addiction is an insidious disease,” the cool cucumber replies. “I think the hardest lesson for all of us was that no matter what we did to help, ultimately it wasn’t up to us.” Eli beams like a proud papa, before shooting the camera woman a dirty (yet also triumphant) look.
“How’d she know about Leah?” Finn asks Eli, pulling the microphone off his jacket and straightening up. Eli’s guess is Castro, which seems reasonable given their formerly close friendship. “You did well,” Eli tells the candidate, who has no idea what high praise this is. “No I didn’t,” Finn says, unable to meet Eli’s eyes. “I should have told her to go to hell.” Um, no. On live TV, that would have been bad. I know you’re a reluctant candidate (and exploding at Mandy would have been an nicely passive aggressive way to get out from under this) but you behaved like a grown up, and you shouldn’t be sorry for that. “That’s when you know you’re a true politician,” Eli nods, “when you don’t.” You can tell he thinks he’s delivering a compliment – and also that Finn’s choking on it.
Another dead body? Seriously? A young woman (clad only in a bra and hot pants) stares up at a ceiling, her eyes unseeing. “You didn’t deserve this, Norma Jean,” Scruff cop tells her, poking a stick into the wound on her temple. (I hope he’s measuring the size of the bullet hole.) Nice movie reference, though. “You called me!” Veronica declares, wine glass in hand, but no, her daughter says. It was Owen. She thinks. “Oh you’re right,” Veronica says as her daughter keeps talking. “He called us both, because he was staying at Dad’s that weekend.”
“Owen started crying,” Veronica recalls, hand to her forehead, “Dad is dead. Oh, I remember. I couldn’t catch my breath, I just couldn’t breathe. I thought he’d live forever.” Alicia drinks. “I thought he’d live longer than you,” she confesses, wondering how her mother will take this. Well, it seems. “Daddy was strong as an ox, wasn’t he?” she remembers, patting Alicia’s hair. “I always thought you would get back together,” Alicia recalls, again nervous about the reception of this. “Oh, we tried,” Veronica moans. “Some people are just better off as friends.” Is this a nod from the writers about Will? Trying to be surreptitious about it, Alicia checks her gold wristwatch; it’s 6:15.
“Why’re you looking at your watch? Are you afraid that the kids are going to come home and catch both of us drunk?” Yeah, not stealthy at all, Alicia. You’re no ninja. “I’m not drunk,” she evades the question. “Then why are you checking your watch?” It’s on my wrist, she explains, Veronica still stroking her hair.
Then she turns a haunted face to her mother. “I’m like him, aren’t I?” she gulps. “What do you mean?” Wait, you loved your dad in what feels like a much less complicated way than you love your mother – so why is that a problem? “Stuck being the good one,” she looks up, eyes wide. Oh, honey. “He’d talk about work. How he’d always stay late cleaning up after everyone.” Yeah, that fits. “Dad said, ‘there are people who make the mess, and people who clean up.'” Is this what’s plaguing you – that you can’t go meet up with Daniel and make yourself a nice thoughtless mess? “And you two are the cleaners,” Veronica realizes.
“I don’t know what I am anymore,” Alicia sighs, exhaling a long breath. “Nothing is as simple as it used to be.” “What’s going on, Alicia?” Veronica begs, knowing how momentous this is, that Alicia’s finally ready to let her in. “I’m spinning, Mom,” Alicia shudders, her face red in the light of the television. “I can’t stop. I shouldn’t have stopped working.” Tenderly, Veronica continues to spread Alicia’s hair out against the couch, soft and soothing. “Oh, honey, you’re just hurting. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.” “I don’t know what to do, Mom,” Alicia cries, tucking herself into her mother’s chest; Veronica curls her arms around her daughter. “Oh, shush, shush,” she murmurs, rocking Alicia, “Oh, baby, nobody does.”
At Lockhart/Gardner, Kalinda has her laptop open to Cloak and Veil. “Anything on Canning?” Diane pops in to ask. Shaking her head no, Kalinda still looks worried, and she calls Diane back before she can leave. “Diane. If I had information that would make you withdraw as Robbie’s attorney, would you want it?” Well, when you put it that way… I suppose there are other people who would say no, but not Diane Lockhart. “Yes,” she says, walking back into the room. “I was looking at emails from Corsica’s cloud storage,” Kalinda explains, fussing with her bangs with uncharacteristic nervousness. “This is an email request for Jeremy Barba’s murder.” Damn. I doubt that’s why tough girl Kalinda’s freaked, but I would be freaked. Diane sits next to her, the better to see.
It’s a message from one Flowerpot (ha) to an UnhappyEndings. “She told him she wanted to purchase something – except she wrote perches, like the fish.” Huh. “It’s an autocorrect glitch,” Diane squints at the screen, peering over the top of her glasses. “No,” Kalinda disagrees. “It’s not spelled anything like the fish.” That hasn’t stopped autocorrect before. “But they do sound alike.” Oh. Oh crap. I see where she’s going with this, and so does Diane. “Voice recognition software.” Yeah. “It’s a speech recognition glitch, and it’s the same one that shows up four times on Robbie’s Silk Road reviews.” Oh, sugar. “It looks like Robbie did set up Corsica.” Which also means he had Barba killed. Dramatically taking off her glasses, Diane gives the understatement of the episode. “Well that’s not good,” she says.
“Finn,” Diane declares, looking at the prosecutor; her office windows show full darkness. ‘I’m sorry, but something’s come up. I’m going to have to withdraw myself from this case.” Really, he replies, hand shoved in his pocket like a model, “Why is that?” There’s a conflict, she says. “That’s all I’m able to say. I’m sorry.” “What’s going on, Diane?” he wonders aloud. “I’m referring the Pollards to another law firm. Thanks for coming over here.” Huh. I wonder if Lyle will try the case himself?
Very suspicious, Finn gives Alicia a call. She’s out on the streets of Chicago, though given the light it has to be later than 7. “How’re you doing?” she asks, and maybe it’s the way the wind is blowing it, but I swear her hair looks longer than it did at the start of this episode. “It’s been a long day,” he confesses. “Here too,” she agrees, almost laughing but not. “I’m on a case,” he says, hitting the elevator button and looking around to make sure he’s not overheard. ” Lockhart/Gardner is on the other side – or was, Diane withdrew herself from the case for no apparent reason. Is that like her?” Well, Alicia prevaricates. “Do you feel comfortable discussing this?” Oddly enough, she does, and yes, it’s very unlike Diane, especially considering she’s close friends with the Pollards; Alicia actually knows them, though not Robbie.
“Is there a chance the client intends to perjure himself?” Finn asks. “Well, I can’t say for certain,” Alicia hesitates, “but it would be one reason Diane would back out. She would never suborn perjury.” In the conference room, Robbie checks his email; Finn sighs. Well, thanks. “Hey – it sounds like you’re on the street. Are you alright?” Ha. “I had a day off,” she rolls her eyes. He smiles. “Sounds good.” Well it would have been if she could have thought of something to do with it, like go to a museum or a movie or shopping or running or take her kids out for some spontaneous fun. “Ah, did Eli get a hold of you?” I’d have liked to see them talk about the election and Peter’s endorsement, but I guess that’s too obvious for this show. Poor Finn has never looked so uncomfortable – he just does not know where to look. “Yeah. He’s determined to make me a hero.” Alicia smiles, totally happy, and it’s a nice contrast to her flirting with Daniel – it’s more real. “Yes, that’s right. Eli is good at that.” That’s right, Finn fires back, he already turned you into a saint. “Yep,” Alicia agrees. “Talk to you later.” Before he leaves, Finn catches Diane having the big talk with Lyle.
“How can you just withdraw?” he asks, aghast. “It’s best for Robbie that I do,” she tells him, as honest as she can be. “Why? Tell me why,” he pleads. “I can’t,” she says, firm in her choice. “Diane, you’re abandoning us,” he says, sad and horrified.. “My apologies,” she replies, because what else can she say? Your sweet, crippled, beloved grandson is going to perjure himself on the stand and I can’t let him do that? Oh, and there’s a good chance that even if he’s not the founder of Silk Road, he’s hired mercenaries to kill people and ruthlessly set up others for his crimes? And it looks like he did it while we were all sitting here. Oh, thank you very much, Lyle snaps bitterly. That really helps. Poor Diane just looks at him; there’s nothing to say.
I don’t know what a friend does here, I genuinely don’t. Should she have confronted Robbie instead, forced him to confess? It’s not like she doesn’t routinely represent guilty people. But what can she do if he won’t be straight with her?
When Lyle leaves, Canning takes note. Or maybe he’s paying attention because Kalinda swiftly takes Lyle’s place. “That sounded like it went poorly,” she observes, shutting the door behind her. How else could it have gone? “Not great,” Diane sighs, and then catches sight of Kalinda’s expression. “Do you have something?” She does. “On Canning?” Yes. Diane crosses her arms. “So is he dying? Or is he trying to screw me?”
“He’s dying,” Kalinda answers, much to Diane’s shock. “And he’s trying to screw you.”
Both! Both! Excellent!
From Will’s desk, Canning blinks in owlish innocence.
Lonely, friendless Daniel Irwin drinks alone at that restaurant by the courthouse. That certain of her, he has a glass of red set out for Alicia, who is no where to be seen. Or at least, he doesn’t see her as she watches him from the window outside, her face pale in the darkness. Looking at where she stands, I can’t help but think that if he turned his head, Daniel would see her there. “It’s one drink, why is that a problem?” she asks herself, as if she didn’t know why. The wind ruffles her hair; she sounds ready to cry. “Who am I being faithful to?”
Daniel doesn’t turn his head, and Alicia – the one who cleans up, the good one, the responsible one – walks off across the street.
So, wow. That was a lot going on. So many questions.
I don’t quite know how I feel about Diane dropping Robbie’s case. Yes, he lied to them at every turn, and no, she’s not supposed to put someone on the stand she knows is lying. (The ethics for lawyers are so funny, aren’t they?) But, I don’t know. I get that she can’t tell Lyle, but what a heinous position for her to be in. I’m not even sure the episode emphasized enough how bad that would be, in that it focused on Lyle as her oldest richest client rather than one of her closest oldest friends. Was there anything else she could have done? Could she have confronted Robbie one last time and made him cop to it, and plan her defense around that? Perhaps she never would have been able to trust that she’d gotten down to the core of the truth, rather than simply his various covers.
I do think they hit it out of the park with Robbie; Christopher Imbrosciano was a real find. Now, okay, he didn’t present quite the stereotypical appearance of cerebral palsy, but he was still shot believably. (Note they never show us his hands so we can’t see whether or not they’re shaking or twisted.) The way he (and the show) took advantage of our impulse to protect him was masterful; talk about a Keyser Soze role! Really good. terrible to think, really, of this smart boy who’s been patronized all his life; perhaps, like Alicia, he’s struggling with this image of himself as the good one, the reliable one, the weak one. He wants to do something powerful, something bad that no one in his life would know about or even suspect. It’s chilling, really. Also fantastic: Kalinda solves the crime! And not with her lady parts! Huzzah! Please remember that her brain is genuinely the sexiest thing about her, writers; we love to see her use it.
The gaslighting of Diane – love that. Love the reference, love the conspiracy; it’s so conniving and so Canning. Canning is dying? Wow. I’m even more confused by his notion of our firm as his home now! I can’t wait to find out what his play is. Despite himself, Finn Polmar seems to have a talent for – if not politics, then at least using his words wisely. But is he really going to be able to defeat Castro? Will he stick around? Clearly his heart’s not in it. I still can’t believe Alicia didn’t apologize, but just seems to be laughing about it; you’d think she’d feel guilty over inadvertantly putting him in the position where Peter could do that. No, she’s not responsible for Peter, but still.
Do we want to talk about Daniel Irwin? While I have trouble buying his showily charming character as a loner – and buying Alicia flirting so obviously with him in the beginning – mostly what puzzles me is that her confusion masks all the important things here. Yes, okay, it’s good that she recognizes the confusion of fidelity. When she decides she can’t, is she thinking of Peter or Will? But common sense should have told her she couldn’t. She’s a public figure. She has a family. How did she think a fling would work? Does she really think she’s emotionally ready for a fling? Is she that type at all? If she’s the type who does the cleaning up – who can’t help think through all the work after the mess – then she’s doing a good job of not thinking about and dealing with the emotional consequences, let alone the prosaic practicalities of it. I know she said that it was just a drink, and perhaps that’s as far as it would have gone, but she wasn’t freaked out by it because it was just a drink. She can’t step completely over the line, even if it’s one she drew for herself. It’s odd, though. There was that guy in season one, but we have literally never seen her even look at a guy who wasn’t Will or Peter since. Doesn’t it seem forced that she would be interested in someone now? Maybe it’s just that it’s rare for her to click with someone, but when she does, it’s intense?
Oh my gosh, I’m dying over Alicia’s touching conversations with her mother. We’ve never seen them so tender or so connected, and it was beautiful. I am intrigued, however, at how much of Alicia’s personal turmoil – she’s lost Will, she’s left Peter – comes out to a professional confusion. She’s doubting everything about her life – and apparently no longer finding purpose or satisfaction in the one component that’s going well. I thought she was back to enjoying work, but apparently not? Maybe I overstate – parenting seems to be going okay, as far as she knows, except for the kids obvious resentment of the Bill & Hillary set up. And Zach’s potential pot addiction. And Grace’s potential sex life. No, I guess I don’t overstate. Her kids seem to be doing well on the outside, but how’s the inside? It’s a mystery. Sounds familiar…
Anyway, I really really loved seeing Alicia be a little girl again (and what a great contrast with Robbie, who plays a little boy to cover his malfeasance with the family that failed to take him seriously), lying in her mother’s arms. How I wish she could have explained her feelings of confusion more; what is it about her lucrative, challenging, powerful job that she’s lost connection to? Is it that it all feels so ephemeral? One damn thing after another, adding up to nothing, until one day someone shoots you and you bleed out on the courtroom floor? What’s it all for? Fascinating that she didn’t react more strongly to Veronica’s way of talking to the dead.
So tell me. Did Robbie really order the hit? Was the crime scene excessively gruesome? Would you lobby for Matthew Goode to joining the cast full time – and if he was wanted, would he stay? Would Alicia really pick up a stranger during jury duty? Was Daniel a good guy or was he playing Alicia? Having her wine ready – was that too presumptuous for you, or does it come across as thoughtful? Did you wish she’d gone through with it? Is she doomed by this notion of being the cleaner, or does she just need to let go of the idea that it’s a bad thing? What do you think?