The Good Wife: The One Percent

E: Picking perhaps its most hot button topic of the season, The Good Wife takes on the haves and the have-nots.  Except that part’s just the window dressing in an episode about the mechanics of crisis management, outspoken clients, jury selection, the perils of press interviews, extreme office politics, and politics politics.  Oh.  Yeah.  Then there’s that little thing about opening an open marriage.

Ooh, cool, baking!  The One Percent opens with a marble slab scattered with flour, and a man’s thick hands making a cream pie from scratch.  The filling looks unpleasantly lumpy, and the whipped cream work haphazard, but okay.  We alternate our pie-making with views of a man’s hands adjusting cufflinks, eating a pastry while using a tablet, being served coffee by a manservant wearing white gloves, all on what appears to be the same marble slab.  All of this happens in seconds to the chirpy notes of a ska tune Google’s never heard, by a band that sounds like Bowling for Soup. “You think that you got it made, that you’re running the game, but you’re being played.  And you think you’re bulletproof, but just you wait till the roof comes crashing in on you.  You’re gonna be sorry that you ever saw my face.  You’re gonna, get get what’s coming to you, get get what’s coming to you.”

Turns out that the man with the tie clip and cufflinks is Tom Skerrit’s James Paisley, head of the Paisley Group, the client Cary famously stole from Lockhart/Gardner in We, The Juries.  Paisley’s conducting a large meeting, standing at the head of a large marble table. “Paisley Group already leads the other fortune 500 companies in a global and industry trend toward consumer use of green products, while providing competitive advantages in efficacy and safety.”  Well. Impressive. I didn’t realize they actually created anything, the Paisley Group. “Now this doesn’t mean…” and here he’s interrupted by a blaring horn (a vuvuzalia, maybe?) and some protesters chanting.  “Ah, sounds like our protestor friends agree with us. Now is not the time for brunch!”  The couple dozen men and women surrounding the table laugh over their plates of pastries and fruit.

“In short the merger of our two great companies will insure our competitive edge,” he goes on.  White gloved servers roam the room, checking coffee levels.  (It should be noted that there’s a much higher percentage of minorities among the wait staff than the board members at the table.) “More important for the pensions funds you manage, it’ll mean a greater return on your investments.”  Yeah, that’s more along the lines of what I thought his business was. “Now, are there any questions?”

There are, as a matter of fact.  So they’re not entirely sycophants there to rubber stamp Paisley’s every whim.

“Yeah, Mr. Paisley,” one of the few women at the table calls out.  “How much domestic workforce would you anticipate shedding as a result of this merger?”  You sound like one of the protestors out there, he replies, but she still waits for a real answer. “Regrettably,” he purses his lips, clasping his hands together, “could be as much as 20% stateside.  We’re gonna hope to hold to that line.”  He doesn’t look sorry at all. The board members (or shareholders, or whatever) nod sagely and make a note of this number.  Mother of God.  In case you were wondering about the title, there it is, in that supreme unconcern, that ruthless, pragmatic indifference.

There is another question: what about that wrongful termination suit by your former CFO?  Ah. “Well I’m not stupid,” Paisley guffaws, “I’ll leave that to my lawyer.”  He sweeps one arm Vanna White style to introduce Alicia, who’s been sitting off by the window in a stunning silvery blue dress.  Again, the crowd laughs.  “Yes, we’re confident that this suit has no merit,” our heroine tells the assembled, stepping up to the head of the table. The CFO claims he was fired for being gay; Alicia’s certain she prove he was fired for cause. “He was attempting to sell trade secrets to a competitor.”  Well. That’s cause for sure.  The grim looking questioner isn’t so sure the picture’s that rosy; what if the suit drags on and brings down their stock price? “Well, we’re in negotiations now, and we’re confident that this suit will settle…”

And that’s when Paisley gets hit in the face with a pie. THE pie.

“Down with corporate imperialism!” the pie-throwing waiter yells, clearly thrilled at having penetrated the corporate defenses, white-gloved fists raised over his head in an adrenaline-fueled salute.  As he backs away to the return of our ska soundtrack, he’s sort of tackled by a fellow servitor.  Paisley blinks his whip cream-covered eyelashes, then belly laughs as he sees that Alicia has taken a collateral hit to the shoulder.  Oh, her gorgeous dress!  “Didn’t I tell you this was gonna be fun?” he crows. She’s not so sure.  “You’re gonna gets what’s coming to you!”

That’s something of a grisly lead in for the dying Mr. Canning, who’s waiting for Alicia at Florrick/Agos.  “So this is what a start up looks like,” he notes, checking out the office space. “Yep,” agrees Cary with no small degree of pride. “35 employees, 7 partners, 21 million in yearly billing.”  Love those waggling eyebrows, Cary. “Another five million and you’d be able to afford doors for your conference room,” Cary snipes.  Ha.  “It’s a design choice,” Cary laughs back. Canning actually snorts. “It’s a design choice that lets other people listen in on your meetings.”  Huh.  Good point.

And that’s when Alicia arrives, asking someone named Lindsay for her cardigan.  That poor dress.  (Or, that bedraggled and very expensive dress.)  She walks over to join the two men, a white cloth napkin pressed to her shoulder. “Oh, Mr. Canning, are you ready to put this to bed?”  No, he’d rather honor their trial date tomorrow, actually.  Of course he would. “My goodness, what happened to you?” he asks, pointing to Alicia’s shoulder. “Or is that another design choice?”  Ha ha.

“It was a mishap,” she replies as Cary walks off. “We, ah, considered your clients most recent demands, and our top offering is $150,000.”   We like our chances in court, Canning answers, sounding full of bravado rather than confidence, his hands his pockets, body swinging side to side. Good, Alicia grins, that was short!  See you tomorrow.

Ha.  Predictably, Canning is by no means done. “He was fired because he was gay, how’s that going to go over with your fund managers?” Ah, so that’s what they were?  Not well if it were true, obviously, though I’m sure their concern is more for public relations than ethics. She thinks about it for a second. “Like extortion,” she says (ha!), “you’re lucky to get a $150,000.”

“200,” he looks at her, wiggling, and it’s instantly clear she has the upper hand. “No. $140,000.”  Not the way he wanted negotiations to go, is it?  “You have changed,” he observes. “Yes, I have,” she bites back, barely paying attention – she’s craning her head around looking for someone. “I liked the old Alicia better!” he sings. “The #200,000 Alicia?”  Heh.  Ah – she seems to have found who she was looking for, a man in a silver suit at the front desk. “Alright,” Canning concedes. “I’ll talk to my client, you can talk to your … corporate overlords, and, in the meantime you clean that up cause it’s gonna leave a stain.”  Nice trick, trying to play the populist, Canning. Yeah, thanks, she says, walking off.

“Finn, what’s up?” she asks the man in the silver suit.  Wait, what?  What did you do to your hair, Finn?  Did you need a whiffle cut to fit in with the rest of your Little League team?  (Sorry, but he scalped himself!  I kind of want to cry.)  “I’m sorry, am I early,” he wonders.  She’s completely forgotten they were supposed to be meeting with Eli about the governor’s announcement.  I can’t decide if she would have admitted to forgetting the meeting to someone she wasn’t friends with.  “Okay,” he says, mesmerized by the enormous blotches on her shoulder, and, er, kind of on her chest, which is a little uncomfortable. “Oh, yeah,” she shrugs as Eli charges off the elevator. “Someone hit me with a pie.”  His eyes widen (which is a trick, because the hair cut makes his eyes look enormous, which would normally be a good thing but here it just makes the rest of his face look wan and gaunt) . “It’s a long story.”

“Good news,” Eli trumpets. “Great news!  Where can we talk? How about your desk?” He points a pair of documents toward Alicia.

“I got an early copy,” he crows, throwing the two papers down on Alicia’s desk, “it comes out tonight, and  it couldn’t be more perfect.”  Wow.  When have we last seen him this happy?  Um, what are you talking about, Alicia asks, picking up one of the papers. “Oh,” he realizes, his voice thickening to a low croak, “you probably shouldn’t read that. It’s the report on the Jeffrey Grant shooting.”  I’m fine, she reassures him, what does it say? “Well, it clears Finn of any wrong doing,” he begins, but is distracted by her chest. ‘What happened to your…”  “Pie, Eli,” she cuts him off (HA!), “what’s it say?”

“It clears Finn of any wrongdoing and lays the blame clearly at the foot of the State’s Attorney.”  Huh.  I know we like Finn and hate Castro; it’s good, but is it completely fair?  Anyway. “It’s good,” Finn nods. “It’s good?  It’s Great!” Eli bellows, before switching subjects. “How’d you get pie on you?”  Alicia pays no attention – with Eli, it’s a matter of driving right to the point. “So Peter will reference it in his public statement?”  This is so funny.  It’s like Alicia’s become Finn’s campaign strategist or something.  Was she ever this involved in one of Peter’s campaigns?  Also, it’s so odd how this came together.  Is there some sort of implication here that anyone would want to be the person in charge – that as soon as the opportunity fell into his lap, Finn was on board?  For something that starting off as gaming the system, there’s never even been a discussion of this turning quite as serious as it has, and yet both Finn and Alicia seem really invested.  “How’d you get pie on you?” Eli wonders.  Obviously she doesn’t answer.

This is the most dangerous time for you, Eli goes on to tell Finn; Alicia explains that Castro will need to strike back after the report, try to regain his momentum and sink Finn’s.  He’ll try to do it by exposing something on you, Eli adds. “That’s good,” Finn replies, “there is nothing on me.”  Eli winces. It sounds like it’s not so much as skeletons in his closet as spin. “Your sister’s overdose.  Your wife’s miscarriage.”  What?  “What’s wrong with my wife’s miscarriage?” Finn asks, and yes, it’s hard to see how that could be a liability. “You divorced her after the miscarriage.”

Screeeeeeeeeeech.  Hold your horses.  Finn’s divorced?  Now, okay, I wondered why his assistant and not his wife was taking care of him at the hospital but oh my gosh.  No no no.  He showed Will pictures of his wife and kids!  No no no. A divorced Finn becomes someone we have to take seriously as a love interest for Alicia instead of simply someone who’s there to help her heal.  No no no.  I’m not ready for that.  I’m not ready to care if they sign Matthew Goode on as a full cast member or not.  No no no no.

“Why don’t we do this another time,” Alicia shushes Eli. “I didn’t divorce her,” Finn corrects softly.  (God, his voice, it just hits me in the stomach and winds me.  It’s not that I don’t love him; I’m just not ready to think about Alicia loving him, because Alicia’s not ready, not nearly nearly ready.)  And, wait,does that mean they’re not divorced or that they are and his wife left him.  “Oh, come on,” Eli sneers, “you don’t understand, this is not about the facts.  This is about what the facts can be made to look like.”  Yes.  Rather like the law in that way, politics.

“What do you need, Eli?” Alicia asks, bringing Eli in line once more.  It’s fascinating to see her protecting Finn; I think I like Alicia in lioness mode almost more than anything else.  “Castro is going to get in touch with you with whatever he has,” he tells Finn, “a photo, a xerox, something from your past. Bring it to me. Whatever it is, it’ll make you angry, but bring. it. to me.  Okay?”  Eli finishes this dire warning with a bright grin. “Okay,” Finn mutters, alarmed.

“I’m going to go,” Eli tells the other brightly, but stops, looking out at Alicia’s offices.  “I still can’t get used to this place,” he sighs, turning back. “You need more walls.”

Walls?  All the walls at Lockhart Gardner were made of glass!  This series is not exactly known for its walls.

Anyway.

“Well he’s a barrel of laughs,” Finn says, his head craned to watch Eli go. “Yes,” Alicia agrees, flipping through the report, “he takes his job very seriously. And there’s no one better at it.”  Quite.

Back at Lockhart/Gardner, Canning waddles down a glass hallway, advising his client over the phone to avoid court. Ha, I didn’t think he was his normally overconfident self.  Mid-sentence, he notices Diane holding court in the conference room, forgets about his phone, and toddles over to ask Howard Lyman about who she’s with. “Some lady.  She doesn’t like men.”  What?  Is that the lady or Diane?  “I mean who’re the people?” Canning gestures at the conference room. “The people?  In there?” Howard repeats.  Oh, lord, I am pulling my hair out. “Yes.”
“I don’t know,” Howard shrugs, before grimacing. “What do I call you?  Is it crippled, or handicapped, or … what’s that other word?”  His hands start spinning along with his thoughts. “What do you call me,” Canning asks, stunned. “How about Louis?”  No, no, Howard frowns.  What’s the other word?  “When I’m talking to other people – what do I call you?”  Part of me wants to give him points for asking, but no. Not possible. He smacks his hands together when the inspiration hits, absolutely beaming. “Challenged.  Isn’t that the word?  Challenged?”  The diminutive lawyer stares up at Howard, agog. “D’you like that?”  Yes, Canning answers without skipping a beat.

“Diane, do you need me?” Canning asks, popping in the doorway, sounding plaintive and maybe even hurt. In the conference room, Diane and – what? a very familiar face turn in surprise. “No,” Diane answers, annoyed.  “Mr. Canning?  Hello, I’m Rayna Hecht,” the rainmaker of Chicago introduces herself immediately, causing Diane to roll her eyes in greater annoyance. “Miss Hecht!” Canning shakes back, “From Hecht & Tascioni.  You run a tight little shop over there.”  We try, Rayna smiles.  “So, what’ve we got going,” Canning wonders, insinuating himself further into Diane’s business.

“Class action,” Rayna explains. Oh, how nice to see Diane involved in something so Diane-y again. “Kale Pepper.”  What? That seriously can’t be the name of a company. “That was, that was terrible,” he replies, suddenly looking a lot less sleepy.  In fact, he gives Diane a rather pointed look. “I didn’t know we signed it.”  Rayna asks us to be her co-counsel, Diane explains.  Interesting.  Well, you know Diane. Always up for a good class action. “Good luck,” he says, twitching. “Terrible thing.  All those children.”  Wow.  What the heck happened?  Once Canning’s off on his merry way, Rayna sends a bemused look after him.  “Is there something going on?” she leans in.  Office politics, Diane shrugs.  Snorting, Rayna smiles. “Oh, I know that tune.”

“So,” Rayna leans over to address the people seated at the table. “I know it will be difficult talking about the illnesses, but the stories you’ve told us you’ll have to repeat.”  Ah.  Like the Civil Action class action?  As she’s saying this, Diane walks out into the hall to snag Kalinda.  “Something is going on in that little head of his,” Diane jerks her chin toward her new partner. “Can you find out?”  Canning, Kalinda wonders, as if it actually needs confirmation. “Yes.  He came in here, heard about the Kale Pepper class action, and then rushed off.” Kale Pepper.  Seriously.  Why not Beet Onion?  Radicchio Eggplant?  “I’ll find out,” Kalinda nods.

“Good things come to those who wait?” a voice questions over the theme music to Financial Watch Daily.  Wow.  That sounds totally fascinating and awesome.  Back stage, James Paisley’s having his face powdered as Alicia explains the settlement she and Canning have agreed upon. “I don’t understand why I have to pay him a cent, he’s a thief,” he complainspm8. “Because we have a court date set for tomorrow if we don’t settle this,” Alicia explains, drowning in an enormous ribbed cardigan, “Mr. Paisley, the merger is worth 3.7 billion. A hundred and forty thousand is nothing!”  It’s not nothing, he grumbles. It’s a lot of money. “To me, yeah,” she shrugs. “To you, it’s what you made while you were sitting here.”  God, that’s depressing – although not to Paisley, who laughs.

“I like that sweater,” he chuckles. “Send me the cleaning bill.”  She smirks; she’d be happy to pay her own bill if he’d only agree to the settlement.   He laughs again; a PA calls for him to go into the studio, and the make up artist scurries over to whip off the smock that’s covering his no doubt preposterously expensive suit. “You know what I like about you, Alicia?” Paisley chortles. “I have no idea,” she replies dryly. “You don’t take this stuff too seriously. You and me together on the barricades, huh?”  Nice Les Miz reference, except if you’re on the barricades, you’re on the wrong side, dude.  “Hold off the hordes?”  He looks up at her expectantly. “Hundred and forty thousand dollars?” she asks again. He stares a moment longer. “Pay him off,” he relents. “I don’t want to think about it again.”

“It’s called Merger Insanity,” the host, one Steven Lewis, announces portentously.  Bah. I am so not a cable news person; it’s all so overblown, and they’re always trying to trademark everything. “The new wave of big ticket deals sweeping the bio-tech industry.” You know, I’m fairly sure those deals do not have a collective title.  Behind him we see a busy city street.  Louis Canning watches attentively in his office. “And the newest merger has an old, respected name at the helm: James Paisley.”

“Hi there,” Kalinda smiles, seated across from Canning.  Ha. He’s so stunned by her presence this close to him that he doesn’t just jump, he tosses his pen across the desk.  “Jeez, Kalinda, don’t startle me like that,” he shivers.  Well, hey.  You’re sitting in Will’s desk.  You deserve a few nasty shocks. “Got a minute?” she asks primly. “For you? All the time in the world,” he replies.  Which is kind off when you think about it coming from someone with less than a year to live, but I guess you don’t stop using cliches just because you’re dying, and cliche is Canning’s mother tongue. “What’s wrong with the Kale Pepper class action?”  Say that five times fast!  Seriously, I love that so much.  I’d make up a fake name (Like Leek Asparagus) but there’s no way that any fake name could be funnier than Kale Pepper;  I just love listening to them all say it. “No,” he blinks, “is there something wrong with the Kale Pepper class action?”

See?  Love it.  So great.

“Louis,” Kalinda admonishes him, hands clasped, best school marm face on. “This relationship here, the one between us, is only gonna work if we can be up front with each other.”  He shakes his head, disbelieving. “Diane has asked me to find out why you have a problem with her class action.  Now, I can investigate…”  As you did with my health issues, he whines.  “…or, we could be adults,” she continues. “Just ask questions, and talk.”

He leans forward, balancing on his his crossed arms over his desk. “I’m in the process of signing Kale Pepper labs,” he admits.  WHAT?  I should have known.  Someone does something nasty – especially if they happen to be in a scientific field – and Louis Canning steps in to defend them. “Now, we can’t represent the company and the people suing the company,” he explains (duh), “so I have to figure out a way to … wait … he’s saying something.”  Good ears, Canning.  He turns up his computer monitor just in time to hear a question for Paisley, who’s appearing on a split screen. Oh.  Which means the studio’s probably in New York City, like it looks, and he’s being patched in through a local station; I was kind of wondering about that.

“I understand there was a bit of drama at your presentation to the top pension fund managers, ” Lewis asks stiffly. Turn it up, Alicia tells Cary back at their office. That was quick. “Oh, you mean the pie incident?”  Cary obliges, so we get to hear the summary of the incident. “Not even a very tasty pie, I might add,” Paisley jokes. I’m not surprised. “And was this to protest the fact that this merger would be sending jobs overseas?”  Ah – Paisley’s being shot against a backdrop of Chicago’s skyline; there’s a city bus behind Lewis. “Honestly, Steven, I don’t know what it’s about,” Paisley whinges; he raises his hands, and Lewis raises both eyebrows. “I’m standing in my board room, and people downstairs are handcuffing themselves to the receptionist’s desk, honking horns, not letting us out of the building. It felt like…” he searches for a metaphor. “Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis.”

Right.  That’s totally the metaphor you were searching for.  Nailed it.

“No,” Alicia cries, reaching out her hands as if she could reach through the screen to stop him.  Maybe you should have stayed in the studio, Alicia. Back at Will’s desk, Canning can’t control his delighted laughter.  It may be the most honest reaction we’ve ever seen him have. “That’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?” Lewis asks. “Really, ” Paisley continues. ‘I feel this country’s turned on its head.  Tom Perkins may have put it inelegantly , but he wasn’t that far off.”

Don’t say it, Alicia instructs her client through the computer screen. “Don’t say it!” At Lockhart/Gardner, someone else is praying, too. “Go for it go for it say it!” Canning pumps his fist. “The one percent is the new hunted minority in this country, not unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany.”  Turning to share the moment with Kalinda, Canning points two fingers to the sky in victory.  “Goooooooal!”

Moaning, Alicia whips out her phone. ‘Don’t call him now,” Cary advises, his tone sour. He’ll only know you’re on the ropes and up his price.  Fair point, but she has (obviously vain) hopes she can get to him before he hears about this and lock down the deal before he sees her public relations nightmare.  “Doesn’t change the facts,” Cary shakes his head, feeling that they’d still be okay even if Canning forces a trial.  “Taints the jury pool,” Alicia frowns.

Canning smirks at the phone ringing on his desktop. “I wonder how long I should make her wait?” he gloats.  Just before it happens he senses Kalinda going for the phone, but his reflexes are no match for hers.  “He saw the interview,” she spits out. “Kalinda?” Alicia asks, surprised. “Yeah.  He saw the whole interview,” Kalinda repeats, before handing Canning back his phone. “That was really crappy,” he pouts, hand over the receiver. She knows.

“Hey Alicia,” he puts the phone to his ear, “what do you think of our chances in court?”  Your case is weak, she insists, a Jedi master to her adversary. “We all know it’s not about the case at this point. It’s about jury selection.”  She shrugs. “And, ah, it’s gonna be over before you can say ‘Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury.'”  She frowns. “We’ll go up to 200,000,” she offers, but no, his ask is now 3 millions.  What?  She mouths this horrific development to Cary, who recoils as if slapped, scrunching up his face adorably. “Then we’ll see you in court,” she replies, trying to sound chipper. “That’s my line,” he says before hanging up.

The oh so wonderful James Castro walks into Peter’s office, closing the door behind him.  “Thanks for seeing me on such short notice, Peter,” the State’s Attorney says, oozing onto one of Peter’s couches. “Jim,” Peter waves at the couch, so curt; no patented Florrick schmoozing for you, Castro!  “So,” Peter begins, sitting in a slipper chair perpendicular to the two couches. “What can I do for you?”  He doesn’t make the smallest effort to disguise how quickly he wants this over with. “It’s about the State’s Attorney race. And Finn Polmar.”  You don’t say. “Well, I figured as much,” Peter smirks. “You referring to the Attorney General’s report?” Castro asks. “Apparently the worst kept secret in Illinois,” Peter jokes.  To no one’s surprise, Castro’s not laughing. He draws a deep breath.

“I did approve the charges,” he admits.  Big of you. “I thought they were justified.”  Well, the DNA evidence was pretty alarming, but the way you guys went after Jeffery was pretty gross.  “But I certainly never put a gun in Jeffrey Grant’s hand.  I think the voters will … see that.”  Could be. “Well great,” Peter pushes out his lips. “Great, great. It was good talking to you.”  He stands, and extends a hand to hasten Castro out the door.  You can wish, Peter.  Instead of extending his own hand, Castro sighs, hangs his head (grrr, I hate his showy attempts at a conscience), then holds up a manila envelope as if offering his sword to his liege lord.  With a strange, puzzled look, Peter takes the envelope and opens it.

“It’s a picture of Finn Polmar coming out of your wife’s apartment building,” Castro explains.  Old political hand that he is, Peter laughs. “That’s really pathetic, Jim,” he turns to say, his crinkly eyes devoid of humor. “I didn’t take the picture,” Castro defends himself as if the distinction were important.  If you didn’t take it, you smarmy little bottom feeder, you still looked for it. “It’s from a surveillance camera.”

“Yeah, well I think you’ll see that I was there also,” Peter smirks. “Two months ago.  My wife was representing Finn.  Against you, I believe.”  Squirming in his seat (again with the calculated show of regret), Castro says this photo is from two weeks ago. “I’m not gonna use it, Peter,” Castro laughs as if the idea were unthinkable.  Oh, how generous of you.  You’re such a good person!  Wait, I think you just did. “But it will come out.”  Staring up at Peter, Castro manages to look both small and small minded. “Finn’ll be asked about it. Your wife will be asked about it.  You’ll be asked about it.”  Yeah, I’m sorry, you think after what he’s been through a few questions from reporters is something that’ll phase him?

Or maybe Castro knows Peter better than that.  Maybe he’s betting on that jealous streak.

“How do you think it’ll look, that you endorse your wife’s lover?”  Ew.  I hate the way he lingered on that last word.  After tossing the photo onto the opposite couch, Peter pours two small glasses of water, making Castro wait for his response.  Oh boy.  He stands up, drinks from one glass, and then starts as if remembering his manners, and turns to give the other to Castro. “I know it’s hard,” Castro starts, which is a fatal mistake.

Because that’s when Peter tosses the water into his face.

“Seriously,” Castro snaps, pulling off his glasses. “That’s your…”

And that’s when Peter throws the second glassful into his face.

YES!  Think you can copy Diane’s glasses move? Think you can just walk in there and make gross insinuations about Alicia?  Think again, asshat!  For a moment, Castro simply drips and fumes.  Finally, he shoves the water off his eyes and stands, livid. “Well, it was good talking to you,” Peter says as if nothing as happened.  Castro nods, a bead of water falling down him cheek; then he shoves on his glasses and stalks out. “Have a good day.”

Ha ha ha ha ha.  That was truly satisfying.  Not smart.  But even so, really satisfying.

“So how are we with the endorsement, want me to polish it?” Eli asks, popping into Peter’s office.  He gets a long look from his boss. “No,” Peter declares. Sigh.  That’s not predictable or anything; yet another of Peter’s gut decisions. Although, I’m confused.  Why are we talking about an endorsement?  Peter’s already endorsed Finn. “Who told us about Finn,” Peter frowns.  I did, Eli answers.  When Peter explains he wants to know who convinced Finn to run, Eli ridiculously confirms Peter’s dark suspicions by saying Alicia. Come on!  It’s like he doesn’t know her at all.  They’re not getting a divorce because they’re too professionally and politically valuable to each other; why would she immediately muck with that by embarking first on an affair and then a plot to use Peter to give her lover a higher profile?  Can I smack him upside the head?  She would never.

“Let’s wait on the endorsement,” Peter waves his hand, sounding strikingly similar to the day that he decided not to give the judgeship to Diane. Maybe it’s because he’s not being honest about it?  Why not, Eli blanches. “I just don’t want to make a big deal of it,” Peter shrugs.  “Eh, Peter, just so you know, you have already endorsed him, you just haven’t appeared with him.”  Ah.  Good reminder, Eli.  I suppose Finn can muddle along well enough with a promise ring instead of a big diamond. Or, what would we call this, the engagement pictures?  “Yeah, I know,” Peter explains. “But let’s hold off on it, okay?”

I guess this reminds the writers of Diane, too, because it’s to her office we go next. “We have a problem,” Canning proclaims, lurching through the door. Ah, here it is, the showdown over Kale Pepper; they can’t represent both sides of the class action. Who signed who first? Joining them with the facts, Kalinda asserts that the class action was signed earlier. “Kalinda, jeez, you pop out of nowhere!” I’m starting to think that degenerative hearing loss might be part of Canning’s illness, but either way I’m glad to see a layer to his character that isn’t just five smug steps ahead.  He’s a little more human this way.

Anyway, after much back and forthing about Kale Pepper and its motivations, they establish that Kale Pepper would be the more lucrative client, perhaps because they’re also bastards. “Their facility polluted the ground water, they poisoned those kids.”  Ah.  That’s what was so terrible. Definitely very Civil Action. “That’s debatable,” Canning argues. “No it isn’t,” Diane snaps.  Whoa.

“Diane, if you represent only the innocent, you go quickly out of business.”  I’m not sure that’s true, but I get his point.  Furious, Diane demands that Canning drop Kale Pepper; he wants to set it before the executive committee, who of course will vote with their profit participation. “I gotta go,” he barks, late for court, spinning right into Kalinda. “Boo!”

Ha.

As he trundles out, he notices his new friend Howard Lyman. “Are you Jewish?” the new name partner asks.  Ha. “Am I Jewish?  Yes,” Howard frowns, confused. “I need you to sit second chair,” Canning decides.  Ha.  That’s so Canning. I can loathe him but still appreciate him. “On what?” Howard wonders.  Do you care, Canning wonders, and no, of course he doesn’t.

Our old friend Judge Parks is running the voir dire for the Paisley lawsuit.  Two jury selection episodes right in a row, that’s a lot.  As the judge gives his rote speech to prospective jurors about their importance to the process, Alicia leans over to Cary. “Canning is right. This trial is over in voir dire.”  For his part, Canning looks past Howard to tell his client that all they need is seven jurors predisposed in their favor. The first one to seven jurors gets the upper hand in negotiations, Alicia reminds Cary, for our benefit rather than his. Tag teaming the exposition, Canning adds to our store of knowledge as well.  Those seven jurors, he tells his client, could be the difference between $200,000 and 8.5 million.  Holy crap, where did he get that number?

“What do I do?” Howard frowns, which I sure gives a lot of confidence to the client sitting on his other side.  For a minute, Canning just stares. “Look wise,” he decides.  It’s so entertaining to see how the various lawyers (Will, Damian, Canning) use Howard as a prop. “And whenever I touch my nose,” he lowers his voice, “whisper in my ear.”  You can see from the look on Howard’s face that this didn’t clear anything up at all.

“Miss Economis,” Canning asks a striking woman, perhaps fifty, with straight black hair and large dark eyes, “in your capacity as a human resource manager, do you have access to what other people make?”  Ah.  No question where he’s going with this.  She does. “And does it rankle you some times, how much more executives get paid than other employees?”  If she’s paying attention it certainly should. “The CEO of your company, for example – how much more does that person make than the average claims adjustor?”  Cary and Alicia exchange concerned looks. “I mean, 500 times?” That’s when Alicia objects.

“You Honor,” she begins in a side bar, “I believe Mr. Canning is trying to prejudice our jury against our client using out of court statements.”  Yep.  Judge Parks saw the interview, too, and he agrees with Alicia’s assessment. Oh, I’m just trying to see if this juror can judge a man who makes thousands of times more than she does, he says; Alicia and Cary moan.  It’s hilarious, actually, how heightened their response is – court is like basketball where everyone’s faking a foul. “You’re worried about jurors being fair to our client?”  Cary smirks. Okay, says the judge, stopping the argument. “I’m ruling that any out of court statements having to do with class or economic differences are irrelevant.  Now step back.”

Miss Economis, take two.  Canning wants to know how much of a reader she is.  “I guess as much as anybody else,” she replies, thrown. “I read a lot in college,” she adds, clearly self-conscious. “Have you ever read The Diary of Anne Frank?”  This time both Alicia and Cary leap to their feet in protest.

“Mr. Canning, I warned  you not to continue with irrelevant questions,” the judge chastises Louis in his chambers. “With irrelevant economic questions, You Honor, this was not…” Canning begins, virtually stabbing his nose with his finger until Howard leans over.  As Howard turns his head, you can see here’s got a yarmulke perched over his bald spot.  One of his bald spots.  Knowing just how valuable anything Howard says would be, Alicia shares an eye roll with her partner.

“Are you sure?” Canning asks Howard with a straight face; Howard nods. “Your Honor, we’d like to amend our suit to include a claim of religious discrimination. ”  Oh God.  On what grounds, Alicia groans. “Mrs. Florrick, that’s my job,” Judge Parks cuts in, but doesn’t repeat the question.  Turns out that the gay CFO also has some Jewish ancestry on his father’s side.  He’s not Jewish, apparently, but there it is – and here’s Canning’s amended paperwork to go with. “And Mr. Paisley’s insensitive remarks last night about Anne Frank and her tragic ordeal have served to illustrate the anti-Semitism…”

Can you really be retroactively harassed?  Cary would clearly argue no, but to Parks, it’s a clear matter for the jury rather than for a judge to decide.  Which means our team is out of luck. “You may think it’s a facade, and I may agree with you, but that’s what a trial is for. Very well, Mr. Canning. You can ask your questions after lunch.”  Nice work, Howard, Canning says, reaching up to pat the older man on the shoulder; Howard does a little fist pump. “You need to talk to Paisley,” Cary hisses to Alicia.

“I’m not going to apologize,” Paisley declares, shocking everyone. “They’re using it to get the jury they want,” Alicia prompts him.    “Yes, but I told the truth,” Paisley claims, signing a document for an assistant. “That being surrounded by protestors was like Anne Frank?”  Alicia can’t quite believe he’s that much of an idiot; I like that she’s not afraid to show him that. “I was being hyperbolic,” he whines. “Then apologize for that,” she leaps in. “No, Alicia, you’re trying to get me to apologize for the Nazi reference so that people will think I’m apologizing for the whole thing.”  Yes, heaven forbid people think you’re not a clueless, self-absorbed idiot.

She stares him down. “Mr. Paisley.  You said that the one percent were like Jews in Germany,” she cringes while she repeats it. “No,” he scoffs, leaning forward. “I said Tom Perkins made a good point.”  I totally missed that controversy back int he fall. “You know who called me this morning?  Neil Gross from Chum Hum.” Oh, right, because that’s the moral compass you’re looking for. “He said thank you, it’s about time somebody told the truth.”  Oh, that’s right.  It’s about time someone stood up for the people who refuse to pay decent wages or safeguard their workers jobs so they can skim more and more off the top. Paisley wags his head as if this line of argument is unassailable. “Mr. Paisley.  Can I have you meet someone?  It’ll only take a second.”  I’m not going to change my mind, he warns her.

And that’s when she welcomes in Mr. Fishbein, the Holocaust survivor from The Bit Bucket.  “Where is this putz?” the elderly gentleman asks as Alicia gently leads him through the door; at the first sounds of the thick Yiddish accent, Paisley hangs his head. Oh, nice move, Alicia.  She leaves them alone to talk, and quick as that, Alicia’s off talking to Finn on her phone.

“I just wondered if you knew why they were delaying the announcement?” he asks, sitting in his desk, looking like a lost little shorn sheep. She has no idea. “Are we delaying the announcement?”  My office just got a call from Eli, Finn explains, looking around, nervous about being overheard.  You know, I’d love to see him making these calls from the broom closet or something. I mean, talk about a lack of privacy in your office! Understandably, Finn’s wondering if something has changed, since Eli is now avoiding his calls.  Bah.  Well, there’s an easy end run around that.

“No, I think it’s just a temporary delay,” Eli confidently announces, doing his best West Wing imitation at the governor’s office. “You think?” she wonders. “Yes. We’re trying to schedule it for a different day.”  Having known him far too long to buy this, Alicia lowers her voice, genuinely worried. “What’s going on, Eli?”  And with that, Eli can’t lie any more.  (Chew on that.  It’s pretty amazing.)  He doesn’t understand why Peter’s balking, but he’ll press and see if anything comes up.

As he hands up the phone, Eli hears giggling.   Narrowing his eyes, he takes off for Peter’s office.  Even more alarming, we hear Peter’s laughter rolling out of the room. “Peter!” Eli barks, clearly annoyed. “No no no, come on in, it’s fine,” Peter waves Eli in as if Eli had been apologizing instead of admonishing him. The governor’s seated at his desk, his suit jacket off and his sleeves rolled up; a young red head stands next to him in a coral cardigan over a white patterned blouse and dress shorts. “Eli, you know Lauren, she’s one of our interns.”  “I haven’t had the pleasure,” the Chief of Staff replies, cold and disdainful. “I get your coffee every morning, Mr. Gold,” she smiles.  Awkward!  “Lauren has started a blog,” Peter goes on.  OH GOD. “Ex-Journalism Major?”  “Journalism Major in Exile,” she corrects.  Ah.

“Anyway, she was hoping to get an interview with me,” he explains. “Just a human interest piece,” she tells Eli, before turning to Peter and narrowing her eyes flirtatiously. “Find out what makes you tick.  All that.”  OH.  Is that all?  “Yeah, I like it,” Peter declares. “Put her on the schedule.”

Remember how last week we were saying that even Peter knew you didn’t just flirt with random strangers in a restaurant?  Oh my God.  Oh my God. An intern you don’t know who wants to be a journalist. Well that makes her perfectly trust-worthy!  Oh my GOD, Peter, how is it possible to turn off your brain that completely?

Lauren practically squeals in delight. “Thank you, Mr. Florrick,” she squeaks. “Governor Florrick,” Eli corrects humorlessly.  “Governor Florrick,” she repeats, good little school girl. “Thank you.”  She’s already brushed past Eli when Peter calls out. “Don’t worry. It’s not too red.”

Well.  That was cryptic.  Her laugh – it’s so exaggerated, as if he’s said something unutterably naughty.  Not professional at all.  How did this girl get hired, seriously?  “What’s not too red?” Eli wonders as soon as she’s gone. “Her lipstick,” Peter admits.

When Eli leaves the room, he shuts the door so hard I think for a moment he’s going to knock the art off the nearest walls. Click clack he clips down the hall, his fury evident in every step, every precise swing of his arms. He finds Lauren in the hall, gossiping avidly with a brown-haired intern. Good call, Peter.  Really smart. “You can go,” Eli nods to the brunette, “you stay.  What’s your name?”  Lauren, she repeats.  “Take a step back,” he instructs her. “What?” she asks, shocked, and he repeat his comment more harshly. “Take one step back.”  She does.  “You are now fifty feet from the governor’s office.”  Ah, so the step wasn’t arbitrary. “Don’t you ever cross this line again. You are not to talk to the governor. You’re not to look at the governor. If the governor talks to you, you smile, nod, and say you are needed in polling on the third floor.”  I didn’t do anything wrong, she claims.

“You asked him if your lipstick was red enough. Just for future reference, that’s wrong.”  Ha!  And so true.  If you think that’s professional behavior then you need to rethink your career choices even further. “He complimented me on it,” she replies like a bit of a scared rabbit, her shoulders hunching further and further up. “Lauren!  Do you want your job?” Yeah.  I kind of wish you’d just fired her straight out, Eli. At any rate, she draws a frightened breath. “This line. Fifty feet.  Got it?”  Yes, she gasps.

Eli’s work here is done.

Or so he thinks.

And here’s James Paisley, back on Financial Watch Daily, apologizing for his “unfortunate choice of words” from the day before.  Good job, Cary tells Alicia; this time she’s seated in front of a laptop, and he’s standing behind her.  Oh Lord. Why are you not in the studio with him?  Did you learn nothing from the last time?  “How’d you do it?” Mr. Fishbein is her secret ingredient, she explains; Cary laughs. “Obviously comparing myself or anyone else to Anne Frank was extreme and ill-considered,” Paisley continues, “and I want to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my insensitivity.”

Canning’s watching online as well, with Howard peering his shoulder. “”Alicia got to him,” Canning grumbles; Howard wants further explanation, but he doesn’t bother. “I understand you’ve come on tonight after meeting with a Holocaust survivor,” anchor Lewis asks. “Yes,” Paisley agrees, “and I will say that it was an enlightening experience. But he understood that these were the words of a self-educated man who who was struggling for a metaphor, that’s all.”  Good, Alicia smiles, happy in her office.

“He also understood my frustration with the protestors,” Paisley continues, because he can’t leave well enough alone. “No, no,” Cary mutters, bending down over the desk, hoping that frowning more closely at the computer screen will make his client more circumspect. “The backlash against the one percent?” Lewis prompts, clearly hoping for another slip. “Is that what I am?” he muses. “I always thought I was a guy just trying to make a living.”  Oh lord. I think you passed ‘making a living’ a long time ago. “Stop it. Just stop talking!” Alicia hisses at her screen. “And your frustration, as you put it, is with those who don’t?”  Oh, Steven Lewis.  Man. “Look, a man has to pull his weight.  This is America.  And there’s a reason for this being the greatest country in the world.”  Alicia cannot even believe the apology’s headed right back off the rails. “We reward winners. This is not Italy or Greece. We do not reward the lazy.”

Now that was further off the rails than anyone was expecting.

“Oh dear God,” Cary hangs his head. Yep. “God, somebody just throw a blanket over him.”  Do we have any Greeks or Italians on the jury, Alicia wonders. “So, what do you think of Tom Perkins’ suggestion that voting rights be tied to tax brackets?”  Lewis presses; Louis Canning chortles with absolute delight at this further escalation. “Well, I probably shouldn’t say this,” Paisley begins. Then don’t! “Oh, say it, say it,” Canning pleads. “But I think there’s some merit to it.” He said it. Canning pounds Will’s desk in pure joy.

“Well,”Alicia notes dryly, “we just lost juror number four.”  She moves a little magnet from one section of a board to another, “and number two, and possible two others.”  Do you want me to talk to Paisley, Cary wonders. (Yes, please, give him something to do!) “No, I will,” she sighs, before grunting in complete frustration.

“Don’t babysit me, Eli,” Peter sticks his head into Eli’s office door, waving an angry finger at his chief of staff.  How does he know about this?  Did Lauren appear to make her case, or did he try to contact her on his own, or is there gossip about the event?  “If I want Lauren to avoid my office, I will tell her myself.”  Yeah, because you were acting like such an adult before! “Are we talking about that intern?”  Eli asks from behind a file. “Yes, we are talking about that intern.  I will handle my own life. I don’t need you to be making decisions for me.” Oh, I think you do, Peter.  You’ve shown remarkable judgement up to now!

“Peter,” Eli begins. ‘You are a politician with a reputation.  You can either put that behind you, or…” Eli rears back in his seat when Peter yells back at him, cutting him off.  “I will not be…” Ah, but there Peter loses his steam.  He notices the open door behind him, thinks better of his volume level. Once he’s shut the door, he’s no less emphatic but definitely quieter.  “I will not be contained in a bubble!  I have to be with people. That’s who I am.”  Um, what does that even mean?  “Okay, if this was a normal conversation, I would now make fun of you for saying that Lauren the intern is people, cause I can find you people in the supermarket or the Shop N Save, but this doesn’t seem to be a normal conversation, so what’s going on?”  Indeed. “Nothing’s going on,” Peter lies, “I’m just tired of being cooped up.

“So plan your vacation with Alicia,” Eli suggests. No, Peter bites, turning away. “Oh come on, Peter, you deserve it.” What?  Eli has definitely noticed something’s been off between Alicia and Peter lately.  I mean, wouldn’t he know they’re seeing less of each other?  Wouldn’t he know where Peter’s sleeping?  It’ll be perfect, let me call her, Eli offers, and when Peter says no quietly and even adds in the word please, Eli gets really worried. ‘Why not?”

“Well, Alicia and I,” Peter begins, like a father telling his kids that he’s getting a divorce.  You can see that’s just where Eli’s mind has gone. “Augh,” Peter growls, waving his hand and leaving the room because the words are just too hard to say. Horrified, Eli whips out his phone and reaches out to the Florrick he’s come to count on the most.

“Mom, do we really need to do this right now?” Zach complains; Alicia and Grace are beaming at his bedroom door. “Come on, it’ll only take five minutes!”  I love seeing Alicia in a casual sweater (more color blocking in beige and white, so pretty).  It’s like she’s people. “Come on! Your Grandma wants a picture of you!” Grace teases in a silly voice (pretending to be Veronica or Jackie?) and Alica swats her on the arm, both of them grinning. “I’ll get it,” Grace says when the doorbell rings. “Oh, it’s probably Eli,” Alicia remembers as she waits, practically bouncing up and down, in front of her son’s door. “Great,” Zach grouches, still unseen, “someone else to make fun of me.”

It is indeed Eli at the door. “Hey, Mom’s in here,” Grace says, leaving him in the doorway.

And, cue the aaawww; Zach bursts through his own door in a maroon graduation cap and gown; Alicia gasps, on the verge of happy tears, clasping her hands together. AW!  (She genuinely looks like she’s seeing Grace in her wedding gown.) You look great, she sighs, teary. “Well,” he says, throwing his arms out, “that’s enough.”  No no no! His mom flutters, waving him out into the living room for a picture. “What’s up Eli?” she asks brightly. Oh, nothing, nothing.  Just came over here late at night for no reason at all.  “Zach, Grace,” he nods as Alicia positions Zach in front of the mantel, and Grace snaps a picture. ‘You sound so formal,” Alicia observes, but her eyes are all for her eldest child; as soon as Grace has clicked her phone she rushes forward and throws her arms around his neck, squealing. Not me, he says. “Just watching a family… be a family.”  A family without Peter, is that what he’s thinking, or is he moved by them on their own, these folks who bear the burden of his political choices for Peter and feel such love and appreciation for each other?  “Okay, okay,” Alicia waves at her giggling daughter after she captures one more photo of Alicia and Zach. ‘We’re done.” That look on Eli’s face – he’s smiling so sincerely that it’s painful.

“Want some?” Alicia asks Eli, pouring red wine into the first of two glasses. He declines, tapping the island counter top nervously.  After carefully re-stoppering the bottle, Alicia asks what they have to discuss privately.  Eli leans forward, as awkward as we’ve ever seen him. “Peter and you,” he says, and wow, she’s so different these days. ‘Okay, shoot,” she says, as if there weren’t a big weird thing hanging over her marriage. “What’s going on with Peter and you?” he asks, and she smiles softly, swirling her wine around in the glass. ‘Why?”  He raises a single eyebrow. “Because I get the sense that something’s going on.”  Yes.  You’re rather late to that realization, but yes. “Why, did Peter say anything?”  No, Eli replies, Peter specifically did not say anything. “Then why are you asking?”  Didn’t you even hear him?  Because of the way Peter said there was nothing wrong!

Hesitantly, Eli looks at her, and when he speaks there’s a tone to his voice we’ve never heard. ‘Because I care,” he admits. Surprised, Alicia blinks exaggeratedly takes a drink rather than answer.  What, he complains.  Even on the most cynical level, their marriage is important to him. “Then ask Peter,” she shrugs.  He did, and Peter turned into an inarticulate cave man.  “Is this about Will dying?” Eli pushes, not letting her evade the questions. ‘This is about everything,” Alicia replies, no longer toying with him.  She sighs. “I’m just tired, Eli,” she admits. “I’m just done.”

Consternation clouds his face.   “Are you getting a divorce?”he asks, hands clasped. “No,” she chirps.  This is so weird.  How is she going to explain this? “Then what?” he wonders. “We’re staying together, but that’s it,” she says.  “Whatever Peter does…”  Eli’s eyebrows head for the roof. “I don’t want the kids to find out,” she finishes in a whisper. “Oh my God,” he leans back. “I can’t believe … this is crazy.”  YES!  It’s totally crazy. Maybe she’ll listen to you, Eli.

“I have to go hem a robe,” she says, immediately shutting down in the face of criticism she can’t answer. “It was good seeing you, Eli.”  (Hem a robe?  She knows how to hem something?  Seriously?  What, did Veronica teach her that? Unlikely. Can you imagine her and Jackie, sitting around a sewing machine together?  Argh. ) “Alicia, you’re hurting,” Eli practically lunges forward, desperate to make her see. “That’s all!  I’ve been watching you over the last year with Peter. You love him!”  Alicia retreats somewhere inside, her face so stony, so removed that Eli doubts himself. “Or if you don’t, he loves you.”

No.  She smiles, on the verge of something, and leaves Eli alone in her kitchen.

“No.  Not buying what you’re selling, Nate,” our old friend David Lee scoffs into his head set. “Uh huh.” He wanders the conference room, holding up a hand to Diane. “Just make it fast,” he finishes, hanging up and turning to Diane. “You need me?”

“What’s he offering you?”  Who, David wonders.  Ah, the white suit on Diane indicates it’s a new day. Canning, of course. “To vote his way against my class action.”  Nothing, David says. “We share a philosophy, that’s all.”  Let’s guess what that is.  “Money trumps everything?” Diane asks. “Well, it is why we’re in business, isn’t it?” he snaps.  “Fine,” she tells his back. “Two words. Rayna Hecht.”

Ah.  Now that has his attention; looking up as his face, the two people working at the conference table scuttle out..  The suit is Rayna’s; if they can woo Rayna away from Elsbeth, they get her considerable portfolio. “She told me she’s finding life with Tascioni a bit too, um, constricting.”  That’s so disappointing.  I hope someone’s lying about that; I don’t care if it’s Rayna or Diane. Either way, in two days Diane and Rayna will present their case for the class action to the executive committee; “if that’s true,” David raises his eyebrows, “I’m all yours.”

“Your Honor, we have no objection to seating Mr. Risardi,” Canning proclaims. “He seems like he’d make a great juror.”  Ha!  There’s a short man in the jury box with Albert Einstein hair wearing a mechanic’s (or janitor’s) jumpsuit, his name embroidered on the pocket.  Perfect.  He’s Italian and minimum wage; at this moment, he’s Canning’s perfect man.   Of course that makes him Alicia’s nightmare, so she exercises a peremptory challenge. “For what, why, what’s wrong with him?” Canning asks, apparently hoping to get Alicia to somehow reference her client’s offensive views in front of the other jurors. “Nothing’s wrong with him,” Cary interjects as Alicia shoots Canning an outraged look. “That’s why we’re exercising a peremptory challenge.”  Which is to say, they don’t have to explain why.  “It’s because he’s Italian, isn’t it?” Canning mutters.

Alicia explodes. “It is our right to object to any juror…” she stars, banging her hands on the table, and soon even Howard’s on his feet, and Judge Parks has to bang his gavel to calm them all down. “Mr. Risardi, you’re excused,” he says, and little Risardi shuffles off. ‘He’s still up by two jurors,” Alicia whispers to Cary, perfectly calm. “Unless we can disqualify one,” Cary thinks hard, biting his lip. “Your Honor,” he says, standing, “may we approach again?”  The faster the better, Parks says.  Come on.

After apologizing, Cary suggests that one of Canning’s – excuse me, one of the other jurors – might have been biased by Paisley’s latest gaff. “That’s outrageous,” Canning protests. “We’ve already agreed on each one of these jurors.”  “Outrageous, we say!” Howard repeats, totally throwing Canning off rhythm.  Ha. yes, Cary says, but if a statement has appeared in the press that would render a juror incapable of considering the evidence clearly. ‘It’s like Mr. Canning said, we all want a fair jury.”  Ha ha ha ha.

“So Miss Economis,” Cary asks the first juror back in the judge’s chambers.” You heard my clients latest comments in the press?”  She thinks about it. “No,” she replies. “I mean, I didn’t hear them directly.” She turns to the judge. ‘A girlfriend of mine mentioned something about them.”  I see, Cary nods. “So, as a Greek person, how did you feel about his comments about Greece as a country?”  This is ridiculous, Canning fumes. “I’m from Skokie,” Economis blinks.  Ha.

“Yes,” Alicia interjects, “but your heritage, it’s Greek, isn’t it?” Well, yeah. Both sides. “Well,” Cary smiles, “You must have been offended when Mr. Paisley said if America started rewarding losers instead of winners, we’ll end up like Greece.”  She consider this. Yeah. “You know, now that you mention it, it was very offensive.” Canning grabs his nose with his whole hand, but Howard’s not looking.

“You have an agreement?” Eli asks Peter, who’s looking out through the blinds behind his desk. “You and Alicia?”  Peter throws up his hands. “You talked with my wife?”  Well, duh.  Does this surprise you in some way?  And hey.  If you wanted him not to talk to Alicia, you should have told him yourself. “I did,” Eli replies without a trace of guilt. “That’s why the intern.”  Ew ew ew ew ew.  Also UGH, so stupid.  Gross and stupid – the perfect combination.

“Eli, I don’t pry into your life,” Peter declares.  That’s because I have no life, Eli counters. Your life is my life. “Well, then let me live,” Peter replies.  Does he even hear what an idiotic teenage brat he sounds like?  “So, no divorce,” Eli tries for clarification instead of confrontation, standing in front of his boss with his arms crossed, “and you and Alicia can do whatever you want as long as no one knows?”  Peter frowns. “Is that what she told you?”  (That’s what she said!) “Just so you know, Peter, I’ve worked for politicians who’ve made arrangements to keep their extra-marital activities from becoming public.  It doesn’t work.”  Looking down at his desk, Peter starts to pace. “It will always come out.  It doesn’t matter who.  An intern, a donor…” I don’t know why he thinks an intern would be a better alternative.  Seriously.  “Your biggest fan.”  He shakes his head. “They all wanna talk. They’ll promise not to, but they will.”  Ah, and blogger girl has already asked to use him to advance her longed-for journalism career.  Is he working with a head injury here??????

“Yeah,” Peter says, pulling the photo of Finn out from inside his desk, no longer in the manila envelope. “And sometimes things come out when they don’t talk.”  Ugh.  “Where’d this come from?” Eli asks, picking it up, but the governor snatches it back. “What was that,Peter?”  Because he is a thirteen year old child disguised as a functioning adult, Peter refuses to say.  “Forget it, Eli,” he declares (UGH, the passive aggressive!). “We have work to do.”

Speaking of work, Alicia’s sitting down with James, joy of joys.   “Alicia. Do you have some Greeks and Italians for me to meet?”  You know, I get that he meant something about their politics and not Greeks and Italians as a race, but what did he think was going to happen?  “I probably shouldn’t say this” is never the way to begin a sentence, least of all to a reporter.  “You’re going to put out a statement saying that you’re donating a million dollars to charity, and that you do not believe voting should be tied to a person’s tax bracket.”  Yep.  All for something he could have gotten over with for 140k.  “What if I don’t believe that?” he asks, taking off his glasses, and she stares at him, astounded. “You think that I should have less of a vote than you?” I’m sure there are some of the one percent tired of being hit up for money by politicians who’d prefer to just buy them outright and above board. “Well, I don’t know. How much do you make?”

Uuuuuuuugh.

“Mr. Paisley, I know you,” she says. “You like to think of yourself as blunt, and direct. But this isn’t just blunt.”  Um.  Yes.  So much for America being the greatest country in the world; you can’t really think that if you don’t actually believe in democracy. “No, you don’t know me. You think this is hubris. I built a business from nothing.  In ’99 I lost it in the tech bust, and I built it up again. From nothing.”  How’d he do that with no money, I wonder?  Clearly convinced a bank to extend him capital, which the average person would have been denied – or, more likely, venture capitalists who knew and approved him despite him losing his previous business.

“You’re not poor now, Mr. Paisley,” Alicia replies in adequately.  Would he have surrendered his vote in 99, I wonder?  What would he have to get to buy it back? “Neither are you,”he laughs. “I’ve seen your bills. You may choose to disguise it in all these earthy surroundings, but you are the one percent.”  Oh, she doesn’t like hearing that.  Even though she knows she has a weakness for money and power, she doesn’t like being confronted with it.

“Did you know my company is developing a gene that will prolong a person’s life?  We are.”  For a massive fee, no doubt. “The one percent!”  Don’t try and tell me you’re doing it out of altruism, or that everyone will be able to afford it. “Then what are you worried about, you’re winning. You have a lot of things, Mr. Paisley.  Why do you feel so cornered?”  Good questions, Alicia. “Because there are a lot more people who want than have,” he replies, which is also reasonable.  Of course, if you weren’t taking so much more than one person’s share maybe it wouldn’t be such an issue.

“Read Ayn Rand,” he suggests, and Alicia loses it. “Oh dear God!  Have you read her books? They’re awful.”   Well, they weren’t meant to be Moby Dick,” he rationalizes, “they’re meant to make you think.”  Because those things – good story telling and philosophy – are mutually exclusive?  Moby Dick made me think.  “A guy bombs a building, the rich go out on strike, it’s a twelve year old’s view of the world, it’s like basing your philosophy on the books of John Grisham.”  Except Grisham’s a better storyteller than Rand, as I understand it.  Anyway.  Her vehemence in the defense of literary merit and democracy has shocked Paisley. “Ah, you should re-read them,” he says.

“Mr.Paisley.  You’ve always told me that you’re a bottom line kind of guy.”  I am, he agrees. “So here’s the bottom line. We’re losing jury members. And the fund managers are getting nervous.  If it continues, they may not support this merger.” Ruefully, Paisley shakes his head. “And what’s worse, you’re in a media death spiral. No matter what you say, you will never get a fair interpretation.”  Now that’s true enough, and it’s something he’s likely to hear. “You have to put out a statement.”

“Another apology,” he winces, his eyes closed. “No,” she insists. “A statement. We’ll hire a p.r. firm.  We’ll use a focus group to find the right wording.” As long as I don’t have to answer questions again, he replies, and I think everyone in the world can agree that more of that would not be in his self interest; Alicia certainly does. “And as long as you give it for me.”  She’s distracted by Eli being escorted in.  Mmm, she says. “I’ll be right back.”

Scooting across the office, she comes to a halt behind her desk; he’s seated across from it. “We’re seeing a lot of each other, Eli.”  I’ll say this, he doesn’t mince words. “Are you sleeping with Finn Polmar?” Well.   Slowly she sinks into her chair, stunned.  Eventually she turns a baleful glare on him. “Ask me another question,” she demands. “I don’t have any other questions,” he replies, mild considering the situation. “Then go to hell,” she snaps, and he hangs his head.  I’d like to think he was ashamed of asking it. “There is a photo of Finn leaving your apartment,” he says by way of explanation.  Okay.  I guess he does feel badly about the suggestion.

“Where?” she asks, toneless, which confuses him. “Outside your apartment.”  No, where’s the photo, she explains.  “Peter had it,” Eli says, and Alicia just cannot believe it.

“Now, I have some worries here,” Eli goes on. “Peter, you, Finn, the mix of all three.” In all this, Alicia sees the author of her unrest. “Castro?”  Yes, agrees Eli, although I’m not sure how he’s figured that out.  “This was the response we were waiting for. But instead of sending it to Finn, he sent it to Peter.”  It’s interesting, that: Castro proved he has no talent for persuading people to his side.  It seems, however, that his talent for turning people off can be extended to turning people off his enemies.  He can make you offended by anything.

Heaving out a breath as if she could expel her burdens with the carbon dioxide, Alicia defends herself. “I did not sleep with Finn.  He came over to my apartment the morning of his appearance before the integrity panel so we could get our strategy lined up, that is all.”  This news is a profound relief and embarrassment to Eli. “I am sorry for asking,” he tells her formally. She knows, even smiles. “That’s okay.  We seem to share everything these days.”

After their last, botched attempt I wasn’t particularly expecting to see Kalinda atopt Cary any time soon, but there she is.  Oh, goody. We’ve barely heard from Kalinda all episode, and now what we get is her chastising Cary for answering his phone in the middle of sex.  Not that she’s wrong – it’s rude and definitely an odd choice, one that she of course makes harder (ha!) by continuing to move as he sets up a meeting with Rayna Hecht for the next morning at 10.  Belatedly he apologizes; he can turn the phone off now.  “You’re meeting with Rayna Hecht?” she asks, and he freezes.  “Kalinda, I’m not doing this anymore,” he stutters.

What?  Sleeping with her?  Trading secrets?

“Hello, you’ve reached the voice mail of Rayna Hecht.”  It seems that Rayna was supposed to meet Diane – pacing in a white dress with a black lace waist – at noon, and it’s now 1:30.  The executive committee is seating themselves in the conference room behind her. “Please call!”  She hangs up, and immediately asks her trusty investigator when Rayna’s meeting with Florrick/Agos was again.  UGH.  Will you quit the sex-spying, please?  10 am, Kalinda repeats, and Diane essentially dismisses her.

Once Kalinda’s gone, it’s time for David to storm up from the other direction. “She’s not coming, is she?” he rages. I don’t know, Diane replies, weary. “Is she still in play?”  Turning to face him, Diane has nothing to say. “Diane!” David bites. “I understand,” she nods. “Let’s get this over with.”

Poor Diane.  No Rayna, no righteous class action, no way to fight Canning and his evil polluters.

“it’s not what you think,” Eli tells Peter, whose office is so dark I’d think it was night. “You talked to Alicia?”  He did. “And it is not what you think.”  His chin balanced on one hand, Peter has recovered his calm. “And what do I think?”  That Alicia is sleeping with Finn, Eli comes right out and says. “She’s not.  She represented him on the day of Castro’s hearing.  She was running late because she…” he chokes on the rest of the sentence. “Mourning,” Peter understands, waving away the awkwardness. (I mean, hell, how could the conversation get any worse?)  “Will.”

“Exhausted,” Eli substitutes, not meeting Peter’s eyes. “Finn went over there to meet with her, that’s all.”  I’m curious to know if this match’s up with Castro’s timeline, the two weeks versus the two months.  It seems unlikely that it would. “Okay,” Peter nods, “thanks.”

“Peter,” Eli leans forward, sensing that this hasn’t made the difference he hoped. “No no no, it’s okay, I get it,” the governor asserts himself to calm his Chief of Staff. Silently, Eli nods and leaves.

So. Will Finn have to make do with the promise ring, or are we shopping for diamonds?  Is the endorsement on or off?

“So, what do you think of option number two?” a young woman in a fitted white blouse and tight black skirt asks a group of people crowded around Florrick Agos’s conference table. Cary and Alicia sit behind the table on a couch, beers in hand, pizza boxes on the coffee table in front of them. “So we have a winner,” Cary smiles. “Have you ever focus grouped an apology before?”  No, Alicia replies. She did send through a marriage proposal once, though.

“You’re kidding me?” Cary laughs, delighted. ‘It was a comic book writer,” Alicia remembers. “He was terrible with women.  It was David Lee’s idea.” That boggles the mind. I could write a page on each of those three sentences. The woman conducting the focus group hustles over to say that option two is the winner. Ah, the one he didn’t like, Cary mentions, presumably meaning Paisley. “He doesn’t get a vote,” Alicia shakes her head, pitiless.  Yes.  His instincts haven’t exactly been on point. “And two people suggested ‘backed into a corner’ instead of  ‘pushed.'”

“No,” Alicia says, thinking it through in her head, “pushed is better. Backed is too passive.”  Not to mention more of a cliche. “Okay, what’s the final version, Cary asks, taking the folder from their consultant. “Hmmmmm. ‘Anyone who knows me know I have a tendency to bristle when pushed into a corner…’ ” He touches her arm lightly, affirming the word choice. “‘I end up saying things I not only regret…'”

“But truly do not believe,” James Paisley nods, sitting on a white sofa with an exposed brick wall behind him. “My comments were thoughtless, and I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”  We see this playing online, Canning watching, with a tag reading “previously recorded” on it. “And the point – and I want to be clear – it’s no one’s fault if they are poor.”

He so does not believe a word of that.

The image switches immediately to a split screen, the Financial Watch Daily host on the left and Alicia on the right. Paisley CEO apologizes for “loser” comment, reads the legend at the bottom of the screen. “And you feel like that’s a sincere apology, Mrs. Florrick?”  Yes, I do, she answers, because what else can she say? “Mr. Paisley’s feelings were summed up by the words he spoke today – words that he has lived by his entire life.  Not by a few sentences he spoke two days ago.”  Huh – now that we’re seeing the picture full screen, it’s clear the FWD host is a different guy this time. “You’re a paid flack, don’t you have to say that?” the guy snarks.  That’s rudely said but true.

“I’m his lawyer, Steve,” she replies snootily, because lawyers don’t get paid? “Donald,” he corrects her, just as contemptuously. “I’m the other one.”  He turns to smirk to his right, and his camera pulls back to reveal that he’s sitting next to Steve Lewis, the original host. “My apologies, Donald,” Alicia replies smoothly. “In my own experience, Mr. Paisley is a sincere man who spoke today from his heart.”  She sounds canned, and Donald keeps shooting Steve looks. “But let’s be honest.  The poor aren’t the only ones he’s disparaged,” Steve picks up the hatchet. “Isn’t he being sued for firing someone who’s gay?” And here it comes.  “That’s not true, Donald,” she replies.

“Actually, this is Don, Donald Keats,” anchor number two introduces himself. “Steven is the black guy to my right.”  Oh my God.  Oh my God. Her face wipes clean. “Um,” she panics, “my apologies, I don’t have a monitor here.”  We see that Alicia’s sitting alone in a leather chair in front of a green screen. “Why don’t I just stop using names?”  “Sure,”  the host replies, his tone oozing sarcasm. “If that’s easiest for you.”

Later Alicia watches the report online, just to torture herself. “There wasn’t a monitor in the room, I couldn’t see them!” she fumes to Cary. “You don’t have to convince me,” her ever supportive partner replies. “Yeah, but they’re making me out to look like a racist.”  Oh yeah.  That looked really really bad.

When her desk phone rings, we hear James Paisley laughing through the receiver before it even reaches her ear. “Oh, boy,” he guffaws. “I think you should be working up an apology, Alicia!”

Yeah, well.   The poor woman is utterly mortified.

“Thank you, Ms. Bouchard,” Cary says, taking notes during voir dire. “Your Honor, we’re fine with this juror.”  “Miss Bouchard, you are impaneled,” Judge Parks informs her; a woman with a straight blond bob smirks. “And that, amazingly, completes our jury selection process. We’ll take a short recess. Thank you.”

“Okay,” Cary tells Alicia, “she puts us over the top seven to five.”  Alicia’s wearing the same silvery blue suit she wore on air; I sort of assumed that was an evening show but it must be a morning one.  Cable financial news is definitely not my poison, but apparently this is not true of the jurors: Alicia notices a black female juror giving her a death glare. “Uh, I don’t think so,” she quakes. Man, that’s uncomfortable.

“Well I’m afraid by my count that makes us deadlocked, six to six,” Canning stops by to say. Yes, I’m sure you’re really sorry about that. “What do you propose, Mr. Canning?” Alicia asks him. “Five million dollars.” Yikes!  “I think Mr. Paisley will find that cheaper in the long run.”  Could be, but the prospect clearly leaves a bitter taste for both Cary and Alicia.

“Hey, have you seen the news?” Cary asks Alica back at their offices. “Oh God, what now?” she wonders.  Indeed, I’m waiting for the enormous scandal in the local press at least about the First Lady being a racist. And oh my gosh, I’m so confused, because she’s in yet another suit – black with a white lapel. No, it’s good, Cary grins, and types something into his laptop, which brings up a news click from the ubiquitous WEQT. “The State Attorney General’s Office expanded its investigation of the pharmaceutical industry to include Kael-Pepper Labratories, a multinational company that’s been accused of price gouging their patients in the distribution of their Aids medication…”  Huh. According to the screen, I’ve been spelling it wrong. So, not the vegetable?  “What am I supposed to be seeing?” Alicia asks, watching a stock image of pills spilling across the screen. Just wait, a gleeful Cary advises.

And there he is, Louis Canning, hand out to block the cameras. “No comment, no comment, no comment.”  Oooooh, what exciting footage. Beneath his image is the legend: Kael-Pepper price-gouges AIDS patients. “Oh, that’s good,” Alicia replies with a wicked chuckle.

“Very clever,” Canning says back in court.  Was their short break yesterday an overnight one?  I give up. “But it’s not going to work.”  What’s not going to work, Alicia asks mildly. “Juror #7.  Just because he’s gay, you think that he’ll hate that I represent a firm that’s accused price-gouging AIDS medication. But you forget that he worked on Occupy Wall Street for six straight weeks.  He slept in a cardboard box.  That’s what he cares about.”  So, Paisley’s scandal trumps yours?  I don’t think you can assume any of that.

“He’s gay?” Cary shrugs.  “Huh.  I didn’t know that.”  Hee. “That’s not the juror you should worry about, mr. Canning,” Alicia adds quietly. “It’s Juror #5.  Joanne Hoenig?”  He turns to look at the jury box. “You don’t remember?”  We see a dark haired older woman in a pretty aqua cardigan. “Her son died last year.  AIDS.”  Rutroh!  “It’s a tragedy,” Cary adds, which makes me want to smack him a little because it is a tragedy even if it’s helpful for him. “Two million dollars,” he offers. “$500,ooo,” Alicia counters. “One million, and it’s a drop in the bucket. Besides, none of us knows what these jurors are going to do for sure, anyway, do we?”  No.  You don’t.  Cary and Alicia turn to Paisley, who’s seated next to them; she raises one finger, and he inclines his head, giving his permission.

“It’s a deal, Mr. Canning,” Alicia declares. “Stick to it this time.”  Having just secured his client close to ten times his original get, a victorious Canning gives a firm nod in Paisley’s direction.

“Miss Lockhart,” Rayna Hecht begins, “I’m sorry.  I don’t think it’s gonna work out.”  That would have been helpful news yesterday; now Diane’s just pissed.  “I don’t understand,” she asks, livid, hard. “I have concerns,” Rayna confesses, heaving a monumental sigh.  Her peachy-tan leather jacket is very pretty; I’m fascinated seeing people other than Kalinda pull off this outerwear as office wear look.  What concerns?  “Just things I’m hearing,” Rayna replies.  You know, Rayna’s the one that’s starting to seem pretty unreliable to me.  Trashing Tascioni, not showing up for meetings and waiting 24 hours to even explain why.

“Such as?” Implacable, Diane refuses to let Rayna off the hook. “Such as, you’re not able to put Will’s death behind you. You’re stepping away from the day to day management of the firm.” Gee, who does that sound like?  “You’re losing clients.” None of that is true, Diane replies; she’s practically pinning Rayna to the glass wall, her gaze is so direct and unwavering. Again, the rainmaker heaves an exaggerated sigh. “Lyle Pollard?”  Yep, that’s some gaslighting at work. “I withdrew from that case to avoid suborning perjury, you would have done the same.  And where have you been hearing all of this?”  She’d rather not say. “Was it from Florrick/Agos?”  Really?  Diane, think about it.  How would they know about all this?  “Is that where you’re going?”

“I don’t know where I’m going yet,” Rayna admits. “I’m sorry.” Yeah, whatever. “I wish it could have worked out, Diane. I’d like you to keep the class action.”  Um, that’s weird.

“You don’t understand,” Diane’s voice dips low. “Without you I’ve lost the class action. Without you I didn’t have the votes.”  This puzzles Rayna. “What votes?”  It doesn’t matter now, Diane says, taking off her glasses.  No!  Tell her!  Ugh, Diane!  Rayna should know about Kael-Pepper and Canning, right?  I mean, if Alicia’s jury keeps close tabs on the financial news, why wouldn’t Rayna? She’s going to feel dumb when she eventually finds out. “If you would like, I will help you find new counsel,” she offers.  Rayna looks ready to speak. “Diane,” she says, “I am sorry.”

Yes.  Which is worth what, exactly?  Diane hangs her head.

And then she stalks elegantly into Florrick/Agos. “Why’d you do it?” she demands, finding Alicia. “Diane!  Why did … what’re we talking about?”  The older woman steps in. “You wanna make a play for Rayna Hecht, by all means, have a meeting and make your pitch.  But to denigrate me, and spread lies about my dedication to my firm?” Quickly, Alicia’s shadow walks up behind her. “Diane!” Alicia gasps, sincerely upset. “We had a meeting scheduled with Rayna,” Cary joins the conversation, pressed up against Alicia’s shoulder. “I mean, she was here, but the meeting never happened.  She left.”   Diane’s eyes flick from Cary to Alicia and back. “She left?”  “Yes,” Cary says, “She got a call from Canning. I just assumed she made up her mind to go with you.”

Yes.  Diane, you really should have seen this coming.

Closing her eyes, Diane lets out a breath. “Canning poisoned the well,” she realizes. “At his own firm.”  I really don’t understand why a dying man does any of this.  It’s baffling. “So you’re being marginalized with the partnership at Lockhart/Gardner?  Well I know what that’s like,” Cary can’t resist getting that little dig in.  Alicia lays a hand on his shoulder. “Diane,” she offers. “If there’s anything we can do…”  Cary reprimands her. “Alicia, this is not our fight.”  When she starts to contradict him, Diane steps in. “No. He’s right.  You’re right,” she says, her volume increasing. “It’s my fight.”

And as she walks off, I’m conflicted. Because I really want her to work with Cary and Alicia, but on the other hand, I also really want her to just grind Canning up into little tiny pieces and eat him on some toast.  I want her to squash him like the invasive little bug he is. I want her to stomp him flat.

Angrily, Peter shoves a manila envelope – the manila envelope? – into his brief case, and closes down some emails.  His clean up routine grinds to a halt, however, when he sees the wallpaper on his computer – a candid photo of Alicia in her living room, giving a sly glimpse out from under her hair, looking away from the camera.  She’s in a sweater, barely wearing any make up,  and you can see why he would love the picture because it’s the real Alicia, the woman behind the walls.  Except, how can this be his wallpaper, just her face, for what might be as much as two months after she shut him out of her life?  He sits down so he can stare at the intimate photo, and slowly, deliberately, closes his laptop.   Standing, he loosens his tie and gathers up his things. There’s a knock on the door. “Not now, Eli,” he calls out, sad and weary.

But of course, it’s not Eli.  It’s Lauren the blogging intern in a coral dress and black cardigan, who opens the door and leans against it in clear violation of Eli’s 50 feet order. “Do you need anything else, sir?”

He’s so still, and yet suddenly so alive. Slowly, Peter turns toward his temptation.

Nooooooo!  Peter.  Oh my gosh.  I mean, really.  What is he thinking?  Is he genuinely that lonely and, ahem, hard up, that he’d risk everything in such a foolish way?  How can he possibly imagine he can trust her?

Here’s a funny thing about me.  I care a lot – the most – about the morality of a situation.  I loathe this idea of a fictional marriage between Alicia and Peter, not only because it’s unworthy of both of them, and can only serve to institutionalize unhappiness, but because it’s perpetrating a fraud on voters and clients.  It’s gross, from every angle.

Yet somehow, and this is typical of me, the part that I can’t help thinking and talking about first is the stupidity of it all.  How could anyone possibly think this is a good idea, either the open marriage or this intern?  Unbelievable.  No one has thought any of this through, not one tiny bit.  Awful. Except for Eli, obviously, and no one is listening to him. I mean, come ON.  She’s an intern.  Monica Lewinsky has a freaking book in stores right this very second to remind us what a stupid idea that is.  And to boot, the girl’s a wanna-be journalist?  Is Peter so starved for sex and affection that he’s turned his brain entirely off?

I mean, okay.  There’s Bill and Hillary, who may or may not still be married in the traditional sense.  Not that it’s any of my business, and not that it would alter my feelings about her as Presidential candidate either way.  And you do hear rumors that lots of politician cheated in the distant past (John McCain) or have long standing affairs (George Bush Senior) without it blowing up in their faces.  But it does blow up on so many people that it’s hard to fathom why they don’t all expect to get caught.

Also, I hate the implication that Peter’s cheating because he’s really pining away for Alicia.  Like it’s her fault.  I’m so, but if he’s really pining away for Alicia, he should have told her so once the whole emotional disaster passed – and then he should have demanded a divorce if she’s convinced they can never reconcile.  Be a grown up.  Don’t put your choices on anyone else. This kind of life structure virtually guarantees that there will be scandals.  As much of an asset as Alicia is to him, she’s also a grenade waiting to rip apart his political life.  From a political standpoint, I can’t help thinking they are better off divorcing.  They have to be.  I mean, look at the way those snickering reporters were salivating over the chance to catch someone in an inelegant phrase! If Castro can pull up a picture of Finn walking outside Alicia’s building, how much worse is an actual work place liaison going to be for Peter?

Speaking of the reporters, I don’t think there’s any way that could happen and not have there be more repercussions than simply a dirty look from one juror.  That would have been a full blown thing, although likely just as quickly defused when it was made public that Alicia couldn’t actually see who she was talking to. But it could also bring up Peter’s questionable history with race at the State’s Attorney’s office.

And that brings us to Finn.  Oh, Finn, how I love you, and how I long for your hair to grow out again.  I really enjoy your rapport with Alicia, and I think you might even make a truly good State’s Attorney.

BUT.  What’s this retroactive divorce?  You showed Will a picture of your ex-wife while he was dying?  You comforted Alicia with stories about your ex-wife’s grieving for her miscarriage, all while calling her your wife?  What is that?  I am not ready for Finn to be a Will substitute.  I’ve been taking this easy, doing my best not to anticipate and just trust the writers, but this worries me, and it makes me think too much about the future.  Is Finn going to be added to the cast as a regular?  Is he going to take Will’s place at the corner of the love triangle?  Is that something we should want?  When will we know what’s going on?

Is there much to say about the case?  I don’t particularly follow financial news, so I hadn’t heard anything about Tom Perkins and his appalling views on democracy.  The spiral in the press was amusing, Tom Skerrit’s earthiness is a plus, and I quite enjoyed the issue forcing Alicia to confront (if only a little bit) her status as a member of the, well, top five percent, anyway, and what that might mean. On the other hand, I was not pleased to see the re-ghettoizing of Kalinda.  Again, it’s the stupidity of it that annoys me the most; she can’t even investigate Cary properly when she’s investigating his physical assets, as it were.  That’s two strikes at least!

To sum up – lots Diane, lots of Eli and Peter, which is all good.  Peter’s water throwing was a particular highlight.  Not enough Cary and Kalinda – or at least, not enough of substance from either one.  I know it’s a big cast to juggle, but they can do better than this.

So tell me.  (And seriously, please do – you guys have been kind of quiet lately and I miss talking to you!)  Am I making too big a deal about Finn’s alleged divorce?  Are you still frustrated we don’t have any better understanding of Canning’s end game?  Are we all better off without Rayna Hecht?  Is there a snowball’s chance in hell that Peter stayed away from Lauren Lewinski? And who’s going to slap some sense into these idiots for thinking that an open marriage is a workable idea?  Just one episode to go, and Season Five is history!

 

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9 comments on “The Good Wife: The One Percent

  1. angee says:

    E! I can’t say it often enough but I love and your reviews! Peter and Alicia both need to be grown ups and get a divorce NOW! Political careers can survive divorce, I live in a very conservative southern state but we have had a divorced governor and another governor who divorced while in office. That said, I loved Eli even more this week, trying to be the only grown-up in the middle of the mess and I believe Eli when he says he cares about them both.

    • angee says:

      I meant to say I love you and your reviews!

      • E says:

        And, thanks. 🙂 I think the best part of doing this is getting to talk to you and other people who love the show.

    • E says:

      Hey Angee! It’s awesome to hear from you!

      And, yeah. You’d think that 34 years after Reagan was elected the first divorced president, we’d be over this! Of course Alicia wants the political connections (so hard to fathom after the way it horrified her to ask for help in season one!) so it’s not just Peter, but, yikes. I feel bad arguing for divorce but it seems preferable as an alternative to what they’re doing.

      Eli was so lovely this week, wasn’t he? I absolutely believe he cares about them and their marriage, that it’s not merely pragmatism or self interest. I wish they would listen to him!

  2. Angee says:

    Thank you! Real life and Will Gardner’s death have kept me from posting much this season but I read your recaps/reviews every chance I get. I love your fairness, humor, and cultivation of civility. People can be so mean-spirited and closed minded in fandoms sometimes, that can be depressing or upsetting to participate in the discussion. So my thanks to you for making this a fun, welcoming and relaxed space for your followers. Your reviews/recaps are the most comprehensive intelligent and entertaining critiques of television I have ever read and like I said I truly love and appreciate you for it. Sometimes I enjoy your critique better than I liked the episode LOL! They always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud and I really need that right now. On another unrelated note, when did Tom Skerritt get so old? Yikes, I feel like the last time I saw him he was playing Shelby’s dad in Steel Magnolias.

  3. inrima says:

    Can I just say thank you for this recap? I love your observations on everyone and it’s why I always make sure to read your recaps. Also, and I just want to echo what Angee said, thank you for making this such a relaxed place. I love how you don’t take sides in a recap and you don’t have any hatred for ANY of the characters.

    My observations: I really hope that Finn and Alicia become friends. She desperately needs one and he seems like a good fit. I also think it’s a good subject for this show to explore – can men and women be just friends? I say YES but so many people say no because there will always be a romantic element. And already I see other fans lining fans lining Finn up as a potential romantic interest simply because they’re both…there.

    Florrick family – the graduation gown? So cute! I die of cuteness! I love seeing the family element of this show. I think that, and especially the presence of Zach and Grace, seems to humanise everyone who comes in contact with them. People go from cut=throat lawyers and politicians to actual people. For example, Will adorably meets Zach and morphs from a high powered lawyer and ladies man into an dork. Peter, the disgraced politician and convict on home arrest, plays video games and eats pizza with his kids. Alicia goes from an ice queen into a teary-eyed and proud Mom. Eli sees the kids. The baby lawyers from Florrick Agos take 1 look at Grace and…y’know what? Let’s not go there! Eli sees this kids and remembers – this is a family. This isn’t just a political journey, this is a family!To all intents and purposes within this show, this has also been his other family. Of course he’s invested and of course he cares. These 4 people who have been through so much hurt, and so publicly, are possibly going to go through some more. Possibly? Almost definitely. after all, this is a show by the Kings.

    Diane – she is everything I want to grow up to be. I adore her. A sad Diane makes me sad. I am so looking forward to seeing what happens in the finale! This is not a woman who will just take that kind of crap!

    Canning – I kinda love that it’s hard to figure out what the end game is with him. But I absolutely LOVE that they’ve created such a complex character and I love that he stays in character, even while dying – there’s no redemption here! I love it!

    Tom Skerritt was wonderful and I fully enjoyed his character and performance.

    Peter – he gets the most bad ass scenes lately. It must be fun to play because it’s definitely fun to watch!

    Alicia – somehow, somewhere, we are gonna get a ‘racist First Lady’ storyline. I can just feel it!

    Peter and Alicia – it seems to me that this is a marriage between two extremely complex people. Each of them brave, smart, shrewd, ambitious and emotional, yet very reserved with about 100 different layers to them. but they also don’t communicate their feelings. Not in words. Maybe the feelings are too complex, too heavy to be summed up in mere words? Maybe they hurt too much to think and feel, let alone say? I don’t know. But what I see is two people, both hurt beyond belief and unable to talk to each other. Alicia because the man she didn’t realise she loved was taken away, Peter because the wife he believed was fully committed to him was completely broken by her former lovers death and essentially ended their marriage (which must be devastating for a man who was *this* close to having his family back). It’s sad to watch but I think it’s wonderful for the story.I’m also of the opinion that Alicia loved both Peter and Will but that’s because I believe that it’s possible to love more than one person at a time. You pick which love story you want to live out (both her options were equally beautiful and loving). Alicia made her choice between 2 men she loved, but to have one of those loves taken away so violently? I can’t imagine the emotions she’s dealing with.

    Anyway, I’ve written a novel. I guess it’s to make up for lurking for so long!

  4. […] “Clarke, I’m responsible for 60 people.”  Wait, wasn’t it 35 last week?  (It was.) “This is a decision I made because I don’t want to see those 60 people out of […]

  5. Alexandros says:

    As a Greek who has never missed an episode of The Good Wife since the pilot and as a Greek who has watched her beloved country being ridiculed in not only one but two episodes, I cannot help but wonder ” is Tom Skerritt’s character what Aaron Sorkin mentioned in Season 1 , episode 10, of The Newsroom as…”The American Taliban”?
    I thought Americans were not racists.
    What is happening to the world?
    Is the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her goebelic methods, turning -subconsciously-and that’s even more dangerous- the public into acting and feeling like some form of a neo-nazi?
    Is it acceptable to speak about other countries using degrading adjectives when at least those who are educated know that small countries like Greece are used and abused in the hands of those who were after all responsible for The Holocaust during the 1940s ?
    And even before that , for the 1st W.W?
    One would expect from a German to act and react and think and speak like a Nazi.
    I would never have expected the same attitude by an American.
    Come to think of it, I should.
    After all, Aaron Sorkin described that same kind of “person ‘ in that episode of The Newsroom.
    I just didn’t want to believe that he was right.
    Until now.
    Now I do.
    Thank you.
    You’ve opened up my eyes…

    P.S. We, Greeks, have given so much to the whole world and for such a long period of time that maybe we just got tired and needed some rest.
    Or we just thought we deserved a break.
    We should have known better.
    Small countries never rest.
    They keep on working 24 /7 and providing for bigger ones-like Germany.
    Of course the Germans, aside from the fact that they’ve destroyed the world not once but twice, have never paid any of their debts, ever, especially not to us Greeks… and there are even states in The US which have gone bancrupt, but nobody ever speaks ill of them as they are supported by the Federal Government , but we Greeks should not think about those things…
    We are a small country.
    We should know by now that our fate is work ,pay our debt to the last cent and not receive ever what is rightfully ours. The money the Germans owe us, the Parthenon Marbles that Elgin from Scotland stole and in doing so butchered and destroyed…and so much more.
    You’d be surprised to know that we Greeks have said that too centuries ago before the writers of The Good Wife.
    If you open The History of The Pelloponesian War by Thoukididis , you will see that,
    Come to think of it you should open any book.
    Chances are, if it’s any good, it was written by a Greek.

  6. […] once mouthed off about Israel, not (somewhat surprisingly) because of the one percent thing or that time she ended up looking like a racist.  That matters in a State’s Attorney’s race, she asks, surprised. “Israel […]

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