The Good Wife: The Line

E: I won’t lie to you.  As with last year’s NSA wiretapping, this is the kind of plot line that makes my innards rise up and choke me from inside my throat.  The little guy at the mercy of an uncaring system, intent on eating him alive. Cary, his eyes haunted, pale and alone in prison.  Cary, unjustly accused, ground up between the State’s Attorney and Lemond Bishop.  Cary, holding his bloody hand.

I’m impressed, Kings.  If you wanted to get me behind the idea that we need an ethical State’s Attorney to counter Castro’s machinations?  The bile I can taste in my mouth says you hit on a better bid to change my mind than I could ever have imagined. Now, I still think the idea itself is flawed – considering what Alicia’s been willing to do as a defense attorney, we have no evidence to suggest that she would be a much more ethical State’s Attorney than Castro – but who knows how overwhelming the need to get Castro out of office will become?  Or maybe it’s about Alicia.  Maybe I’m just willing to welcome anything that this point that might wake her up?

As the mournful, almost elegaic tones of “O Mia Bambina Cara” play softly in the background, Eli Gold leans back in one of Alicia’s dining room chairs, and stares at his hostess in increasing amazement.  As the realization hits him, his eyes widen and his mouth parts softly.  “Alicia,” he asks in quiet excitement, catching her attention. “Would you wanna run for State’s Attorney?”  What, she responds, confused, as if it weren’t a straightforward question. He repeats himself, leaning forward. “Would you wanna run for State’s Attorney?”

“I,” she begins, and then snorts out a little laugh, her face contorting at the absurdity of this.  “NO!” Now there’s the answer I was looking for. Why not, he wonders. Would you like me to list the reasons, Eli?  “Why not – Eli, are you serious?”  He is, and the situation definitely calls for a good mouthful of red wine.  Unusually, Eli’s voice is soft; there’s no posturing. “Yes,” he repeats. “I’ve been watching you for the last five years, and you’d be perfect.”  That calls for a second swallow. “We need a woman, and people respect  you.  They like you.”

No, she can’t even stand to be in the same room as this foolishness: she reverts to domestic duties . “I’m not a politician, Eli,” she proclaims flatly, taking a set of plates into the kitchen.  (Is it wrong that I’m momentarily annoyed at him for not helping her? So few men understand how many points they could score by helping carrying their own load.) You have political instincts, he claims, scrambling after her. “You’re a brand!  You’re Saint Alicia!”  Sometimes I wonder about you, Eli: you can’t imagine that’s a positive in her mind!  Laughing in disgust, she looks back at him over her shoulder. “You said yourself you want something new,” he continues. “The empty nest syndrome.  Zach is gone.” Glaring, Alicia reminds Eli that she does still have another child in the house.

Well.  I’m glad someone finally remembered Grace existed, after all the preposterous empty nest chatter in A Weird Year.

“Is this about Peter?” Alicia wonders, turning to Eli, who looks down at the island instead of his boss’s wife. “Did he tell you to ask me?”  No, no, Eli shakes his head.  Of course he wouldn’t. You could almost call the look on Alicia’s face the begins of a smile: her expression is soft and fond. “Then why are you asking?  I’m never saying yes.”

Now he does turn to face her, and speaks clearly so we can hear over the running faucet and the music. “Because you could win,” is the fervent answer. There are no more sacred words in Eli’s vocabulary.

Her phone rings, and he wags his eyebrows at it as if the act of its ringing somehow substantiates his claim. “Hello?” Alicia brings her phone to her ear. Yeah, it’s me, her partner identifies himself wearily, so wearily that she wonders aloud what’s wrong. “Nothing,” Cary says, walking briskly through their darkened office, “we need to talk.”

“We did talk,” Alicia replies coolly. “You yelled at me, I yelled at you.”  Now why would that make Eli think she’s talking to Peter?  Too funny.

“Diane called, she wants to meet for breakfast to talk over terms,” Cary continues, closing the elevators doors.   Great, Alicia replies, what time – but Cary’s uncomfortable with the whole idea. “She wants to bring us 38 million in business, I don’t see the downside,” Alicia counters, walking away from Eli.  The downside, as Cary is quick to point out, is in culture and autonomy. “So we’ll have the breakfast, and then we’ll decide if we want to be co-opted, okay?”  I know you’re still mad, but don’t patronize him, please.  She’ll call and set it up.

Shuffling through the shadows, Cary makes his way toward his car. Shaking his head and sighing, he dials a preset number.  “Hey, where are you,” he breathes into the phone.

Kalinda, of course, is sitting at a bar.  It’s a new one.  It’s a pretty nice. “Why?” she asks with a definite chill. “I wanna talk,” he answers. “You did talk,” she replies, and, ouch. “Will everyone just give me a break?” he laughs, and I love that about Cary, his ability to distance himself from a situation and laugh at it.  “Sure,” she replies, unmoved, “Maybe you should call everyone.”  Ouch.

“Look, I made a mistake,” he admits. “Things have been a bit out of control lately, but I want to make it up, okay? ” He nods vigorously. “Coral Bar, at 10,” she relents. “But you better hurry up, cause I’m not waiting.”  Good, he agrees, putting his key in the lock. “I’ll see you at ten.”  He doesn’t reach his hand up to shut the phone off when she hangs up.

“Don’t you dare turn around!” someone screams, and just like that my heart is pounding, because there’s a gun pointed at each of his temples. Awkwardly, he cricks his neck as the instructions buffet him. On your knees!  On the ground!  Hands behind your back! Oh my God. He drops to his knees. “Or I will put one in the back of your head.”  Oh my God.

Wait, what?  The camera pans back to reveal that Cary’s muggers are – cops?  Clapping him in handcuffs?  What on earth?  He winces, as one of the policemen threatens to break his arm.  Why are they doing this at all, let alone in a dark parking lot, late at night, as if they expected him to shoot back?  They’re lucky he didn’t have a heart attack.

Next, the men want to know what he has in his pockets. “Anything that’s gonna stick me, anything sharp?”  No.  “Are you sure?”  Yes, Cary replies, bite in his voice. “Lose the attitude,” one man instructs, picking Cary’s pocket. “Just a wallet,” he tells a third man in plain clothes and glasses.  The man rifles through the wallet. “What’d I do?” the lawyer asks. “Shut up,” return cops, who drag him off.

Because she hung up that one second too soon (or I should say, because the cops waited for the dial tone), Kalinda has no idea why Cary is late, and she checks her watch, annoyed.  Her phone buzzes,  and she frowns at the number. “Hey,” she offers. “How are you?” the woman on the other end of the line asks. “Who is this?” Kalinda wonders. “Damn, Kalinda, I’m offended!  You really don’t know who this is?”  Kelli Giddish’s Sophia Russo pushes her way through a crowd of hulking cops; back at the much more decorous Coral Bar, Kalinda stands, smiling. “Yeah, don’t sound so surprised, where are you?”  Me, Kalinda wonders.  Where are you?  “I am finishing up a case. I feel like celebrating. Keep me company?”  She leans up against the bar, a sea of brawny men around her, colorful Christmas lights decorating the ceiling and a honky tonk song playing. “No thank you,” Kalinda replies quietly.

“Kalinda!” Sophia warns. “I’m meeting somebody,” the investigator admits, so no insult is implied. “Who?” Sophia pounces. “Somebody,” Kalinda smiles, evading the question pleasantly. “A guy,” Sophia surmises, as if annoyed by the idea.  Wasn’t she married to a guy when we saw her last? “Okay,” she nods, quickly considering the idea. “I can take you both on.  Where are you?”  Wow, what DID happen to her husband? Kalinda’s hanging up now. “Come on!” Sophia pouts. “I’m lonely.  And horny.”  Right. Too bad there aren’t any people where you are.  “Yeah.  Good luck with that,” Kalinda smiles, and now she does hang up the phone.

As soon as she’s hung up, she calls Cary, whose phone sits between the two uniform cops.  “I was supposed to meet someone, can I just tell them I’ll be late?” he asks. “Oh sure,” the driver answers, his voice dripping with false solicitousness. “I’ll pull right over.”  What the heck, seriously. “You want some ice cream?”  Both cops find this hilarious.

Frowning, Kalinda puts down her phone.  She thinks about it for a whole half a second before calling Sophia back. “Still wanna meet up?”

Cary’s now being held in a narrow, brilliantly lit room; a cop sleeps at a desk across from the holding cell. And – wow, this is a thing?  His left hand is still in the handcuff, now hanging from a ring on the wall; he’s a medieval prisoner manacled to his cell.  What on earth?  Similarly linked up is a bushy-haired fellow in a t-shirt, drunk or high, who moans awake. “I think I’m gonna throw up,” he complains muzzily, swaying.

“Hello!” Cary calls out, seeing the man in glasses approach.  Wow, they’re not even in a cell – they’re on a tiled bench built into the wall. “Detective. I haven’t had my call yet.”  The man ignores him, searching desultorily through the items on a desk. “I know my rights.” He checks his watch. “I’ve been here… six hours, and I haven’t had my call.”  The detective makes no answer, but he does walk over and check the men’s hands. “Thank you,” Cary sighs, assuming he’s going to be unshackled, but instead, the cop was just looking at each wrist to find Cary’s watch, and pull it off. “Really?”

“I have a sixth amendment right to be informed of the charges against me,” Cary complains as the detective puts the watch into a bag with the rest of Cary’s things; honestly, it looked like he was pocketing it. “I have the right to an attorney!”

“You know who has the hardest time getting arrested?” the detective grumbles, his voice raw and low. Gee. Let’s guess. Lawyers?  “Lawyers.  You know why?”  He picks up a clipboard, still refusing to look Cary in the face. “Because we know our rights.”  “No,” the man answers. “You think you’re at the Four Seasons.  You asks for your rights.  It’ll come, just not right away.”  Because waiting six hours is looking for immediate gratification?  I suspect patrons of the Four Seasons would not think so. “The kitchen is a little busy.”  Which is why that other duty cop is ASLEEP.  Because dialing a telephone is so hard. Right.  “It’ll take a little while.” He does finally spare a glance for Cary, his gaze shooting out over his glasses and clipboard. “Meantime, be patient.  We’ll get to you.”

Asshat. Pissant high on your own power and jazzed to be dictator of your little domain.

“This is harassment!”  Cary yells, frustrated. “No, it’s worse,” the detective shrugs, tossing the clipboard onto a uniform cop’s desk. “It’s inefficiency.”

Whatever you want to call it, it’s beastly and embarrassing. It’s clearly designed to make those caught up in the system feel insignificant, inhuman; apparently its lawyers who fight hardest to believe they still have dignity and consequence. What unsettled me the most about the NSA storyline was the contemptuous indifference not merely to the human rights but to the basic humanity of those being surveilled; with this plot, it looks like the show is making a general study of the legal system’s contempt for anyone who comes within its net.  Talk about an unconstitutional presumption of guilt!  And this forms all a marked contrast to the glittery restaurant where Alicia and Diane sit, waiting for Cary and their breakfast, where no one would wait for six hours and lose their watch for complaining.  Of course, even if that happened at the lowliest diner, that customer would still be back with the cops complaining they’d been robbed.

Sorry!  Clearly they’re playing on my sympathies, and succeeding very well.   Heck, I’m horrified that it’s morning and Cary is still in jail.

Ignorant of this fact, Diane stares at Cary’s seat, clearly peeved, clearly imagining that Cary’s skipped the meeting out of his disdain for the idea. “Should we do this another time?”  She’s wearing a really odd black dress with these bright art deco designs on the front that have the effect of a mermaid’s shell bra.  “No,” Alicia decides, setting down her coffee next to a plate of fruit. “I’ll fill Cary in when he gets here.”

Quickly, Diane scoots her chair closes, folds her arms and leans in. “I have forty five clients I intend to bring to Florrick Agos.  I lose twelve to Lockhart/Gardner.”  Only twelve, Alicia wonders skeptically.   “Won’t Canning and David Lee come after the rest?”  Not if I don’t tell them I’m leaving, Diane answers.  Slowly, the corners of Alicia’s mouth lift. ‘That sounds familiar,” she smiles, looking down at the table. Indeed it does. Didn’t go so well the last time.

“I have demands first,” Diane cautions; Alicia grabs a  binder out of her bag and opens it up. “Kalinda,” Diane begins. “She needs to come with me.” Duh.  “We have Robyn,” Alicia counters. So?  “Kalinda’s better. It’s a deal breaker,” Diane holds firm, and even though this is kind of dictated by the structure of the show (Kalinda’s a main character, we can’t leave her behind) it also feels true to the recently intensified bond between the two women, and I love Diane for it.  “I’ll have to ask Cary,” Alicia replies, “they have a … relationship that might prove difficult.” What, seriously?  Diane’s bringing in thirty eight million dollars, and you can’t keep two investigators?  Greedy morons. “If the answer is no, I need to know right away,” Diane insists, and Alicia promises she’ll have that answer by the end of the day.  Or so she can wish.

“Good,” Diane nods as Alicia takes notes. “Here’s the big one.  I expect an equal vote with Cary and you.”  Well, of course she does.  Why would Diane possibly come over for anything less?  Somehow, however, Alicia looks shocked by a condition she ought to have anticipated. “You can still outvote me two to one,” Diane reminds Alicia (though let’s face it, chances are good it’d be Alicia and Diane outvoting Cary, right?), “but I bring prestige, and thirty eight million. I expect an equal vote.”

“I can’t decide that on my own,” Alicia replies. “It’ll matter to Cary.” Yes, because he knows he’ll be the odd man out, but I digress. “Like this meeting mattered to him?” Diane’s quick to point out.  I hope you feel sorry about that crack later, Diane; for now, Alicia just looks away, embarrassed. “Alicia. We have the opportunity to make this the largest firm in the country run by women.”  Ugh, is she advocating to push Cary out?  “Think about it.”

Poor Cary’s asleep with his hand still shackled above his head; his phone rings just feet away, but completely out of reach.  When he doesn’t answer, Alicia leaves an angry and even threatening message about how he needs to grow up, stop ignoring her, or she’ll have the partners vote without him at three.  Wow.  She’s going to feel bad about that one when she finds out he’s been mouldering in a jail cell, too.

“I was awake,” the poufy haired man tells Cary, who isn’t. “I was awake,” he repeats himself gleefully.  “Okay,” Cary mutters,  his eyes not even open. “And you weren’t, and I  heard the charge against you.”  OH.  Slowly, Cary lifts up his head in disbelief. ‘You did?  What?”  Poufy nods enthusiastically. “Drugs,” he smiles, and Cary just frowns at him in utter confusion.  He’s still frowning when the detective arrives to unlock him – although I admit, I wasn’t ready to get my hopes up that he really would unlock him and not just Poufy.

He does, though, and both men are loaded onto a little transport van. So, not that much of an improvement. “Did you guys get any breakfast?” Poufy Dude asks the grizzly-looking fellows already seated on its benches.  Next, Cary peers out around Poufy in a line of awkwardly moving prisoners, trying to see where he’s going.  Quickly, the prison guard at the back of the line scurries up to him, grabs him by his suit shoulder, and jerks him back toward the wall. “What did he just say?” he barks, stopping the entire line which is chained together. What, Cary repeats stupidly. “What the hell did he just say about where to walk?”  As he bellows directly into Cary’s face, the guard turns bright red, a thick vein standing out at his temple. I have no idea, Cary starts to mutter, and Mr. High On His Authority slams the lawyer into the wall. “You stay to the right, jackass,” he demands, accusatory finger in Cary’s face. He then point the finger to a scuffed yellow line on the floor. “That side is for the people, that side is for the scum, do you understand me?”

When he leaves, Cary shrugs his jacket back over his shoulder. “Just do what I do,” Poufy whispers, as if the situation weren’t humiliating enough.

All the men are unchained, and sent into a monstrously ominous windowless room with flickering fluorescent lights. Back at Florrick/Agos, Alicia watches in disapproval as an assistant sets work on Cary’s empty desk. “Where’s Cary?” she asks Robyn.  I have to keep reminding myself they had a huge fight the night before to stop myself from feeling like she’s heartless for not calling hospitals and police stations by now.   “Breakfast with you, I thought,” Robyn answers in surprise; when Alicia explains that he missed it, she says she’ll call him at home.  And that’s when Alicia thinks to check the parking lot, where she sees Cary’s car in yesterday’s spot.

This is where I would totally be calling the police.

In the flickering dark, Cary catches a brief glimpse of a face he recognizes – a heavy young man in a striped polo shirt. “Hey,” he says, walking up to the kid, “I know you.”  (Gosh, it’s like a super creepy prison disco, except instead of a DJ’s beats there’s the occasional arrestee hocking a lugee.)  “I didn’t do anything!” the young man proclaims reflexively, and who can blame him?  If someone surged up to me in the dark like that, I’d freak the heck o ut. “This is totally my space,” he continues (which makes me want to cry a little) but no, Cary wants to talk because he recognizes Striped Polo as a Lockhart/Gardner client. “What?” the kid answers, completely taken aback.  Look, Cary says, stepping closer. “Do you wanna make a hundred dollars?”

This is yet another this I’d be horrified to hear in central holding, but maybe that’s just me.

And, now we’re in court for processing. “I hate this, why am I doing this?” David Lee whines.  Oh, Lord, David Lee!  Of all people! “He’s the son of a top client,” Kalinda explains (and thank God, Kalinda), “Canning couldn’t make it.”  They glance back at an area that looks like a sort of human sized terrarium; a clear plastic wall full of tiny holes, off to the left of the judge’s bench, with a prison guard patrolling the corridor behind it.  “Here he comes,” Kalinda notes as Striped Polo trudges down the terrarium corridor.  “David Hale.  Mail fraud.  Third offense.”  David Lee’s appalled.  “Dear God.  I can understand the second time but the third time? You’d think he’d catch on!”   The two almost trip several times moving across the crowded room, but soon they’re close enough for Hale to see them.

“David!” David Lee calls out in his enthusiastic schmoozing voice, as if they were meeting at a country club instead of a – whatever this place is exactly. Court house. “How are you?  I’m David Lee.  I represent your family law business…”  But here Striped Polo – who towers over both Lee and Kalinda – cuts him off. “I’m supposed to give you a message,” he insists, sounding a bit lobotomized.  “No, I’ve been asked to handle your bond hearing,” David Lee insists, talking over him.  Oh God.  What if he doesn’t listen?  This is too horrifying. There’s a lawyer in lock up who wants me to give you a message, Hale insists, and immediately David Lee snaps at him.  “Only one of us can talk at a time!”  You are killing me here, people.

“What lawyer,” Kalinda asks, and praise heaven for that woman. Except we’re still not in the clear, because David Hale has a memory like a sieve.  Perhaps this is why he’s been caught at mail fraud three times?  “Ah, it starts with a C?  Craig?  Lans.”  Lans?  That’s a name?  Kalinda repeats his words, puzzled. “No, Vargas,” he guesses, and Kalinda’s eyes go wide.  Thank God. “Something,” Hale mutters, panicky as David Lee rolls his eyes in frustration and fury. “Ah, he’s a lawyer. And he’s in lock up.  But he works for another firm.”  Wait, no, I thought Vargos clued Kalinda in, but it hasn’t, she’s just nodding pleasantly.

“Cary!” Hale remembers, and now Kalinda gets it for real. “Cary Agos?” she asks. “Is that the name of the lawyer?” “No,” says Hale, as alarmed as if she’d threatened him, “Cary Lans.”  I want to bang my head against something.

“Is Cary there, Alicia?” Kalinda calls our girl from the other side of the courtroom. Oh, thank God. “No.  Why?” “Is there any chance he was arrested?”  Alicia looks stunned but runs with the idea; we see her calling Finn to see if Kalinda could be right.  Finn!  How nice to see you!  I guess it’s supposed to be the next day, so it’s probably irrational of me to be so sorry your hair hasn’t grown back yet, huh?

Finn stands in that crowded holding room, looking at the judge as he bangs a gavel, looking for his next meal. Er, case. Thank you so much for doing this, Alicia gushes, clutching his arm from behind. “Alicia, no problem, but I don’t think you’re gonna wanna thank me,” he says as they move toward the bench. “Why?”  “I just found out,” he tells her, “I’m the ASA.”  On Cary’s case, she asks, turning to him with a huge smile.  Which part of this are you not understanding, Alicia? “Across from me?”  Yeah, he confirms. “Well,” she smiles a shark-y smile, “this should prove interesting!” In the terrarium, Cary appears, looking far better than I’d have imagined, hands in his pockets, shirt open at his throat.

“Oh, thank God,” Cary groans, leaning into the clear plastic wall. “How did you know?”  Kalinda, of course. “Okay.  It’s a drug arrest, that’s all I know, but the last time I used drugs was the mushrooms four years ago.”  Ah, the mushrooms. Right.  But what’s with the egregious hiding of the arrest, and the guns to his head?  Does that seem proportional to anyone? “Do you have enough for bail?” he pleads. “I polled the partners,” she tells him, calm and soothing. “I have five hundred dollars. First offense, no flight risk, it shouldn’t be a problem.”  The court clerk calls his name, and we’re away.  “No matter what, I talk,” Alicia warns him before heading over to Finn.

“Well, I see we’re enjoying a visit from a special ASA,” the mellifluous tones of the judge begin.  “Is this some sort of a VIP engagement?”  Somehow, Alicia still thinks this is funny. Oh my gosh!  The judge is Fred Melamed, the voice over guy! Recently from The Crazy Ones (weep) and In A World Where – though this character, Judge Alan Karpman, has actually appeared on TGW back in season 3’s A New Day. Love him.  “This is not just another arrest, Your Honor.  Cary Agos is accused of a super x felony, and is…”  “WHAT?” Alicia interrupts, stunned. “It is a non-probationable offense,” Finn continues, his tone flat. “With a sentence of fifteen years.”  Cary and Alicia look at each other, their mouths hanging open.

“My goodness,” Judge Karpman replies, smooth and conversational. “Cocaine or smack?”  Heroin, Finn supplies. “How many grams?”  900.

OH. MY. LORD.

Somehow this makes Alicia laugh like Eli couldn’t. “Are you kidding?”  Hardly.  With a small smile, Finn asks for bail set in excess of 1.3 million dollars.

Caught in a nightmare, Cary thumps his forehead against the wall.

And, does that mean what I think it means?  Did they just accuse Cary of being a drug dealer?

“I imagine you would like bail set at an amount lower than the ASA’s requesting,” Judge Karpman asks Alicia.  Why is he standing up?  He’s not towering over them enough while sitting?  “Yes, Your Honor,” she agrees. “Clearly, the State’s Attorney is overreacting.”  How I wish I were, Finn shakes his head, “but in Illinois, bail is tied to the street value of the substance. On or about May 25th of this year, Cary Agos conspired to transport and sell $1.3 million dollars…” What the what?  In the terrarium, Cary frowns, confused.  Alicia tries to cut Finn off, saying that Cary has a clean record, that he has strong ties to the community and “is as far from a flight risk as it is possible to be.”  Cary knocks on the plastic wall, mouthing words to his partner. “And he was an ASA!” she adds, “Thereby making him subject to retribution in jail.”

Sounds reasonable, right?  But because we’re living in a total nightmare, Karpman thinks that this would simply give Cary an overwhelming motivation to skip town.  Rather than prove himself innocent?  Okay.  Sounds like that presumes his guilt before he’s even been charged. Either way, he’s sticking with the street value valuation. “Your Honor, I will be filing a motion to reconsider,” Alicia says as soon as Karpman’s gavel hits his desk. “When you file, I will do just that. Bail is set at $1.3 million.  We will reconvene for a preliminary hearing in two weeks time.”

Two weeks?  Oh my Lord.

Immediately, Alicia charges across the room to Cary,  who’s staring at the floor, stunned.  Two weeks?  $1.3 million dollars?  Dear lord.

“We’ll gather the partners for bail,” Alicia promises. “This has to be about Bishop,” Cary assumes.  Right.  Bishop.  That makes sense. The guard starts to move Cary down the corridor, and Alicia runs along side him. Was he with Bishop on May 25th?  “I never heard about any drug trade,” he replies, which isn’t quite what she asked. “They’re going after your legal advice, trying to suggest you broke the law.”  Right. Okay. As he’s being lead out of sight, Cary points at Alicia. “You need to get to Bishop before he hears about my arrest!  He might think I’d flip!”  Oh God.  Right.  And have him killed before he could do it.  Oh God. “I’m on it!” she promises.

Speeding out of the court house parking, Alicia calls the kingpin. “I’m on my way to see you now, Mr. Bishop, if you could just give me ten minutes.” Bishop’s cool, courtly tones come over the speaker. “Regarding?” Yeah, she’d rather not say on the phone.  After the NSA wiretap, you can never be too careful. You know it’s important if I’m coming to  you like this, she adds.  She’ll meet him as he picks up Dylan from school.

Quickly, she calls Robyn and asks her to gather the partners for a meeting in an hour.   ‘Course she can! “Is this about the Diane vote?”  Poor Alicia’s completely forgotten the Diane vote.  “And can you find out how much the firm can borrow?”  Robyn’s rushing around the office, laden with heavy books. “What do you mean, for maintenance?  We have a$ 600,000 line of credit…”  Oh, that’s no where near enough.  “No, Cary was arrested last night, for his bail.”  It takes a second for this improbable event to register. “Oh my God. How much is bail?”  Gripping the steering wheel tightly, Alciia takes a deep breath. “I need you to keep this between us, Robyn. We need to raise 1.3 million.”  That’s when Alicia’s call waiting kicks in, so she tries to end the call, but Robyn’s just catching up, barely stopping herself from repeating the number aloud. “Yes,” Alicia confirms, “and there’re no bail bondsmen in Illinois so we have to do this on our own, I gotta go.”  Thanks for the legal exposition there, hon.

“This is Alicia!” she answers the next call, trying for an even and enthusiastic tone. “Okay, I’ve slept on it, and I’d like permission to poll on your campaign.” Oh, Eli.  Why did you even pick up the call, Alicia? “God, Eli, no, there is no campaign!”  “I know,” Eli smirks happily, “that’s why we have to poll.”  He’s looking out a very high window, to a view we haven’t seen before. “Eli, this is not the best time. I have to go and meet…”  He cuts her off, saying that authorizing the poll wouldn’t obligate her to run.  Just get on my treadmill, you can get off any time, it’s totally easy!  “I’m hanging up! No polling!”  Vainly does Eli insist that it won’t cost her a thing (nope, just the taxpayers).  She still hangs up.

“I liked your old office better. This looks like a dentist’s office,” daughter Marissa Gold complains.  Er, okay.  I love her, but that’s a lame insult.  It’s much too traditional to look like a dentist’s office (not to mention the total lack of medical equipment).  She should have said it looked like it hadn’t been updates since the Lincoln administration or something. “We’re saving money,” Eli offers by way of explanation. “I thought Chicago was corrupt,” Marissa counters, waving the Red Bull in her fist as she talks, “can’t you just steal more?”

Ha. Much better. Welcome back, sassy Sarah Steele; we’ve missed you.

“Don’t you have something else to do today?” her father narrows his eyes, pacing his large office. “I don’t, I was fired,” she grumbles.  Still, Take Your Daughter To Work Day seems an unlikely choice for either of them – not that I mind her presence, of course. “From the agency?” he pauses to wonder. “The juice bar,” she admits, causing him to grimace in a disgust he (wondrously) fails to turn into words. “What’re you doing now,” she asks, distracting him from her unsatisfactory career prospects. “I’m looking out the door.”  Why, she wonders. “I’m surveying the troops.”  “Why?,” she asks, bored. “Is it about the intern not wearing panties?”

Oh, God.  The look on his face.

“What?”  Marissa gestures with her Red Bull. “The intern not wearing panties, is that why you’re worried?”  Well now it is!  Now his panties are in a bunch. “Which intern is not wearing panties?”  Her, Marissa points with the can again into a clump of workers. “Bertha?  She’s a grandmother!” Eli protests, appalled, remarking on the woman in the front of the clump.  (Well, I hate to get all technical on you, but you do have to have sex to become a grandmother.  I mean, failing to wear underwear to work is completely gross, but let’s not be ageist about it.)

Of course it’s not Bertha – it’s the woman at the back of the clump, red headed blogging intern Lauren, Peter’s presumed new mistress, resplendent in forest green.  “Oh dear God.  How do you know she’s not wearing any panties?”  Really, Marissa couldn’t be more enthusiastic about discussing his pantiless employee with her dad.  “I heard the guys talking about it.”  That’s kind of a long dress.  How do they even know? Also, ick for the unprofessionalism on the part of “the guys.” Oh, and perfect timing – Peter walks over to chat with Lauren. “Uh oh,” Marissa notes.

Eli sighs. “Maybe he’s telling her she has to put on panties,” Marissa shrugs. “Really, I have to wear panties in the governor’s office, are you sure?”  In the outer office, Lauren’s replying very earnestly to a comment of Peter’s. “For decorum’s sake, yes,” Marissa pitches her voice low to mimic Peter, “If it were up to me you could wear what you wanted. Ha ha ha ha ha!”  When Peter and Lauren laugh, it’s like the end of a 60s tv show.

I love this girl.  More, please!  She ought to be your new intern, Eli.

Papa Bear Gold narrows his eyes as Peter leaves Lauren and makes his way into the office.  “Don’t say anything,” Eli warns Marissa, “this is not the time to be funny.”  Rushing in, hand extended, Peter has eyes only for his second in command. “I have to talk to you,” he says, but then gets distracted by the charming young stranger. “Hello,” he says, confused, and that’s when Eli introduces her.  How is it possible they’ve worked so closely together for four years, and yet Peter’s never even seen a picture of Marissa?  Wow.  “Marissa,” the governor greets her, extending his hand. “What a pleasure.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Marissa smiles back.  “I voted for you.”  Seriously, the number of times people must introduce themselves to politicians that way… “Absentee ballot in Israel,” she finishes, which is probably more rare. Proud papa Eli smiles in her direction. “She spent two years with the IDF.”  She was a soldier?  I knew she was in Israel, but I wouldn’t have guessed the military.  “That’s impressive,” Peter beams. “I want to steal your dad for just a second,” he adds, grabbing Eli by the elbow and pulling him through the doorway.

“Um,” he rubs his lips, pitching his voice low in the chaos of the outer office, “you asked Alicia to run?”  Wow.  Word travels incredibly fast. At Eli’s shocked look, Peter gets louder and grouchier. “My wife, Alciai Florrick. You asked her to run for State’s Attorney.”  Well.  Just so we’re clear.  Peter leans in. “Jackie overheard you.”  Ha!  I bet Jackie just loved that.

“Okay, Peter, here’s the thing,” Eli begins — and I’m sure he’d meant to broach this in a much more thoughtful way. “Eli,” Peter stops him, hand on his heart, “she’s my wife.”  Well, sort of.   Either way, Eli is aware of this. “And she can win,” he insists.  This seems so premature. “It’s not your job to be doing this,” Peter leans into Eli’s face.  “It is my job, Peter,” Eli hisses (because, duh). “Why do you think I’m fighting so hard to get a friendly face in the State’s Attorney’s office, because you have problems there. Because someone could … dig up old skeletons.”  Fine, fine, admits Peter;  it is Eli’s business.  But it can’t be Alicia.  “Find another friendly face.  It’s not going to be my wife.  End of story.”  As Peter charges out, Eli chews that directive over.

“Thank you for seeing me, Mr. Bishop, I’ll make this fast” Alicia tells the back of the drug kingpin’s head; he’s too focused on the door of his son’s school to turn around.  His focus is the right one, but as ever it emphasizes how out of their depth all these lawyers are around Bishop, how awkward and at his mercy. She can’t just walk up to his side; she’s not his equal.  “Cary Agos was arrested last night.” She waits a beat, expecting him to turn around. He barely flicks his head to the side. “Who’s he?”

Not the dramatic response she was expecting.

“My partner, your other lawyer,” she reminds Bishop. “Oh, the kid, right,” he nods. “We wanted you to hear it from us first, they’re saying that he helped transport 1.3 million in heroin on May 25th.”

Now this does make Bishop turn around, slowly and dramatically, suddenly a tense predator. “We want you to know that we’re handling this,” she tells him, head straight. “What’s that mean?” he asks darkly.  Man, there is something beyond alarming in his combination of manners and intensity. “We’re putting together his bail, and I’m representing him.”  She dares Bishop to suggest that this is not enough.  I’d ready for him to bring in Wallace Shawn, personally.  “What’s his bail?”  $1.3 million, she says, and he turns back to watch the school door, where nuns direct children to their parents. “Again, I want you to know that attorney client privilege covers all his dealings with you.”

Bishop turns around again. “Not illegal dealings,” he corrects he softly. Alicia catches her breath: “It’s my considered opinion there were no illegal dealings.”  Mine too!  I can’t imagine it.  Of all the lines they’ve blurred or crossed, I can’t see them transgressing this one. “Also, Cary would never make a deal with the State’s Attorney, ever.” While she had to say that, I doubt very much this is a persuasive assurance; I mean, Cary has to beat this rap or he’ll never work as a lawyer again, which is hugely important to him, but why would Bishop see “the kid” as tough enough not sell him out?

Thinking on it for a minute, Bishop comes to a realization. “They’re using him to get to me. That’s why the bail amount.”  Yes, Alicia agrees.  “And we’re handling this.  Cary will not turn on you, Mr. Bishop. Believe me.”  Oh, honey.  Do you really think Lemond Bishop is just going to trust you?  A boy – who doesn’t at all look to be the adorable Eric Ruffin, boo – waves to Bishop from the front of the school.  “Okay,” he says, moving forward. “Keep me posted.”  Oh, she will.  “Dylan!” he waves, rather unnecessarily, since Dylan has already waved to him.  “Over here!”

“If you have any drugs,” a guard tells a line of shirtless prisoners, “or any thing in any orifice, now is the time to tell me.”  Oh my God, is Cary going to be cavity searched?  YUCK. Yuckitty yuck yuck yuck yuck. “Shoes off by the toes, pull out your insoles NOW!”  Shudder.  Cary’s at the far end of the line, and stands out for his washboard abs.  “Let’s go let’s go!  Now bang those shoes together.”  I feel incredibly guilty that while I’m watching his humiliation I can’t help noticing how ridiculously toned he is.  Ugh!  Why are they banging their shoes together with their shirts off? Is it so we can see every single one of Matt Czurchy’s muscles move?  “Now put your arms out! Put your palms facing the ceiling!”  The guard struts down the line as prisoners raise their arms to shoulder height; it’s like a bizarro version of the Rockettes.  With a marker, he writes a number down Cary’s left forearm, making me think of concentration camps and Les Mis. “Do not smudge these,” he bellows, “or you will have my full attention.”

“Cary Agos,” another voice calls out, and the Welcome Guard waves him on.  “This is your new home,” he continues his speech. “This is where you will live.” Damn, I thought Cary was getting called out because Alicia had somehow managed to raise the bail, but  no, he’s just collecting his beige prison uniform, the letters DOC (Department of Corrections?) stamped on the front.  “I am your landlord!  Do not make me angry!”

The balding hipster detective grips Cary by his left arm, bringing him down the hallway.  Don’t smudge the sharpie, dude, you’ll get him in trouble! “Number Five,” he tells Cary, and the camera points out red numbers on the floor next to seats and a visitor’s wall.   Balding Detective pulls him back.  “Hey,” he grunts, “five minutes.”  When he reaches number five, the cubicle in the middle of the row, he sees Kalinda smirking on the other side, and I think for a moment that he’s going to cry.   They sit, and you can see him balanced on the edge – will his emotions spill over or not?  “You stood me up,” Kalinda starts, and so he laughs instead. “Yes,” he chuckles. “Between having a drink with you or spending the night in jail…”  She giggles, and he takes it as the present it is.

It can only hold off his despair for so long. “So,” she begins for real, “the charge says on or about May 25th…” You know I always complain about the show’s incomprehensible timeline, but the last episode aired on May 17th, and this is supposed to be the next day.  “What happened on May 25th?”  “You working this?” he asks, surprised. “You want me working this?”  He does.  Oh, how he does. They smile at each other softly, and he looks away, because it’s too much. “Thank you,” he tells her. “You don’t have time to gush, okay?  What happened,” she prompts with a sweet smile.

“We were worried about losing clients,” he answers.  We were?  “Cary, lean in,” Kalinda instructs him, and he does so that the detective can’t hear.  “We were worried about losing clients so I met with Bishop on the 25th.”  Okay.  Just Bishop, Kalinda wonders – and no. “In his kitchen, while I was waiting before, there were three crew members.”  Up close, we see quite a lot of blond stubble on his cheeks. “Remember any of their names?”  Scrunching his eyebrows together, he dismisses this idea; it’s not like they introduced themselves. “One had silver teeth, top row.”

“What did you tell them?” she asks, cutting the heart of the case against him. “Nothing,” he shakes his head. “No legal.”  Hm.  “You know, the charge says that you told them how to elude arrest,” she explains, in that Kalinda tone of pity and understanding. He didn’t, and he doesn’t think that you could reasonable construe instructions out of anything he did say; there’s no question.  Her smile is fond. “Show me your arm,” she says, and so he holds out his new number, 869-C, which she understands to mean C Block room 869. “That’s five,” the detective insists, stepping in at precisely 1 minute and 29 seconds after telling Cary he had five.  (I get that they don’t have five minutes of show to hold this conversation, but it still pisses me off on Cary’s behalf.  Well, really, all shows with prisoners do this and it always prickles at my sense of justice.)

“Any advice?” Cary asks, standing. “Yeah,” Kalinda grunts. “Find a friend.”  Don’t only depend on those of us on the outside, I suppose that means. The detective leads him off, but Cary leans back. “Thank you,” he says again.

“You’re kidding, right?” Louis Canning’s highly recognizable voice precedes our view of his disbelieving face.  His head swiveling, he tries to get a bead on Diane. “You’re retiring?”  Yes, she tells him. Ha ha ha.  What a great cover. “At the end of the month. I want to keep the general managership until then.”  How long does Canning have, again?  Isn’t it just months?  You’d think those weeks would matter to him.  Then again, he’s already tried to pry her out of that position without success. “After that, you can have it.”

David Lee opens the door to Will’s – that is, Canning’s office.  “Diane is retiring,” Canning announces. “What?  Why?” David wonders.  Well, let’s think.  “Huh,” she snorts. “You’re kidding.  You’re forcing me out. I’m sick of fighting.”  She’s still wearing the mermaid shell dress, leaning on Will’s bar with one hand. “Yes,” Lee acknowledges, “but not so you’d retire.” She smiles. “Where’re you going?”  No where, Canning answers for her. “She’s retiring.”  Huh, David Lee replies.  His mouth forms a little o, but then he thinks better of whatever he was going to say. “Well I’m sorry to hear that,” he replies, as if at a wake. “Well it’s time,” Diane smiles brightly.  “I want to have time with my new husband.”

“You’ll put in a good word for us with your clients,” Canning asks.  Why the hell would she do that?  I feel like it’s a tactical error that she says she will as long as they don’t chase the clients until after her retirement.  She should have put him through hoops, distracted him by making him work for it.  That would have been a lot of fun and it might have given him less time to work against her.  “I want this to be a dignified exit,” she finishes. “Oh, ah, absolutely,” Canning lies – I mean, replies.  Slowly – with great dignity and no hurry – she walks out of the room.

“Do you believe her?” David asks. “That she’s retiring?” Canning replies, taking a moment to think about it. “I don’t know. Where would she go?”

“I thought Diane was retiring!” a tall elderly man says, surprised, sitting next to his wife in Alicia’s office. “She is retiring, from Lockhart/Gardner. And coming here, to us,” Alicia declares brightly. The couple turn to look at each other, not believing a word of it.  “Why didn’t she tell us, she’s our lawyer,” the man wonders, and his wife nods silently over her tea cup.  “Yes, and due to her fiduciary duty to Lockhart/Gardner, she can’t tell you a thing.”  Are you kidding me?  Why are you even bothering?  There’s no way they’re going to believe you.  I wouldn’t believe you.  This sounds just as fishy as your brave assertion that you could handle paying Cary’s bail – which might be what the Other Carey, Robyn and the merry men are discussing right now in the conference room.  “…including the fact that she wants you to follow her here, to her new home.”  Okay, I know your transition did not go smoothly, Alicia, so you’re attempting to do better, but this feels so ham-fisted.

It’s probably not any better that she immediately excuses herself to join the fray in the conference area, either.

And it really don’t seem to be going well. “We can’t let Cary rot in prison,” Robyn snaps at Other Carey, who wants to know why the rich Agos family can’t kick something in. Alicia’s called them and they’re seeing what they can pull together, she says. It’s just a lot of money, Carey complains – and it is, no question.  Robyn’s word from the bank doesn’t make anyone any happier; they’d need to borrow $200k of it against the firm, and the partners would all have to give up their yearly draw.  You can imagine how well that goes over.

“Hey, guys, this is what we do,” Alicia breaks into the discontented murmuring. “When one of us gets in trouble we pull together!”  Yeah, Robyn agrees, “and Cary’s not a flight risk!  The money, it comes back to us.”  Yeah, in two years, when the trial’s over, Carey Zepps grumbles, his arms crossed mutinously. “And we go bankrupt.  And in the meantime, I need that draw to pay my rent.”  He’s sorry, Robyn still thinks he’s selfish, and it’s an all around disaster.  How does this ever work without bail bondsmen?  It all sounds ridiculous – as does holding Cary responsible for $1.3 million in street value when — even if you assume he colluded with the sellers by advising Bishop’s goons on avoiding capture, which I don’t — he was never going to get the full proceeds of the sale.  Yet another complete disaster from the war on drugs.  “Okay,” Alicia’s voice cuts through the din once more. “Let’s vote.”

So far Cary doesn’t seem to be taking Kalinda’s advice; he’s holed up in the corner of a large holding pen while tens of other prisoners talk loudly around him. A big man thumps into him purposefully.  Cary ignores it.

“Are you a lawyer?” a voice from across the room asks. He looks up.  I can’t decide if copping to this is smart or not. Plus, why would anyone know that?  Frowning, Cary slows walks across the room, where a shorter man stands, confident, arms crossed, head tilted. “Yeah. Why, you need one?” He laughs. “Depends on how much you charge.”  Cary laughs back. “I’m pretty reasonable.”  In here he is, anyway. “What’d you need?”

“Yeah, I was there,” nods a young guy with a row of totally hideous silver teeth.  If he’s older than 20, I’d be surprised. “You were there with Cary Agos?” Kalinda asks. “Bishop’s lawyer, yeah,” the boy shrugs. “The 25th of May?”  Right. “Around then. That’s when I was at Bishop’s house.”  “And this lawyer, he didn’t tell you anything about how to break the law, is that correct?”  Yeah, Silver Teeth agrees again, “what’d you mean?”  Would he testify to that?  Anything for Bishop! Kalinda gets out her little red leather notebook; could he write down the names of the other people who were there?  Sure, he says, taking the notebook, so agreeable.

And that’s when Bishop shows up. “Excuse me.  Kalinda?” he asks, and then gives her this look, like she’s disappointed Daddy by not knowing better.  Oh dear.

After shutting her door just a little too hard, Bishop leans in the drivers seat window. “You can’t do that,” he smiles, venom and steel in his eyes. “Talk to my guys without my permission.”  Gulp.  “May I have your permission?”  No.  Ouch.  There’s bite in her tone when she answers, carefully expressed but still passionate and dangerous.  “This is to help Cary Agos.”  He nods; he does understand that. “No.”  Sigh.  Try again. “If it helps Cary, it helps you,” she tries again. “Because Cary threatens me?” he asks, coolly. Oh God.  Kalinda actually gulps, acutely aware of the trouble a badly worded response might cause. “No,” she explains, “because Cary had a private meeting with three members of your crew, and suddenly he’s under arrest.”

You can see Bishop soaking this in, although frankly I’m surprised he didn’t get there first. “Someone is collaborating with the police,” she finishes, and he sighs, deeply unhappy. “If that’s true,” he tells her, “I’ll handle it.”  Which is not going to help Cary at all, is it?  “I’m going to say this very carefully so that you understand,” Bishop turns the full force of his attention onto Kalinda. “I do not want you to pursue this line of investigation.”

OH MY GOD.

“Do you understand?” You can see that she’s struggling with something else to say, some way to plead with him, but she can’t. She does, she tells him.  He stares into her face for another long, painful moment. “Good talking to you,” he says before walking away.

And from this moment of terror, we leap frog to a chirpy voice over series of a bright graphs.  “These represent our most recent numbers in the state’s attorney race,” a woman says; on the circle graphic, we see Florrick, Jenlowe, Bainwright and Castro.  No Polmar?  Then it’s on to competing bars of red and blue. “In a hypothetical race between the current State’s Attorney, James Castro, and the governor’s wife, Alicia Florrick, Mrs. Florrick wins by eight points.”

Oh, awesome — the new pollster is Samantha Mathis!  Apparently continuing her career from The American President.  Too funny, that.  Also, that margin of hypothetical victory really makes Eli’s day.  His eyebrows leap with joy, and she nods. “Margin of error?”  Three points, she replies, her hands clasped on top of the conference table; Nora takes notes at Eli’s left hand.

“How many people were sampled?” he wonder, but before Ms. Matthis can answer, Marissa ambles in wearing a black jumper over a white and blue patterned blouse (which honestly kind of looks like she would have worn as a toddler back in the 90s) letting us know this must be a new day. “Just ignore her, she’s my daughter,” Eli waves, not that Samantha was even looking. “Just ignore me,” Marissa agrees, plunking into a seat at the table.  4,000 responders who were likely voters, Samantha continues as she pulls out the relevant papers from her collection of data, cell and landline. “Mrs. Florrick is well-liked among female voters, liberal and conservative, that’s very unusual.” What’s also unusual – the most excellent way she says lib-ber-ul.  Too funny. “Older female voters like that she stood by her husband, younger that she started her own business.”  Eli nods, cautious about showing the extent of his excitement.

“You needed me, Mr. Gold?”  Ah, perfect timing.  It’s Underwear-less Girl, wearing a cute blue a-line dress with a skinny yellow belt. Ha ha.  This is absolutely the last thing Eli would want to do with his time. “Actually, Nora wanted to have a conversation with you.”  Nora, fabulous in a brightly patterned dress, gives him the most hilarious stank face of disbelief. “No I don’t,” she frowns. “Yes you do, you said you needed to ask Lauren a question,” he insists, trying to intimidate her with his eyes and failing utterly.  Finally, he has to ask Lauren to leave the room so he can be explicit.

“I can’t ask her,” he whispers,  “it’s sexual harassment!”  Bless her heart, Nora tosses this back in his face. “And me asking her isn’t sexual harassment?”  So Nora did know what he wanted, she just didn’t want to do it either. Not that I blame her. “Oh good God,” Marissa sighs, and you can hear her rolling her eyes.  Eli and Nora don’t even notice her getting up. “You can bring up panties in a much more efficient and … less offensive way than I can,” Eli insists, and while we know very little about Nora I haven’t the smallest doubt that this would be true.  I mean, I can’t think of many people I’d less like to discuss my panties with than Eli Gold.

As they debate, Marissa reaches Lauren at the edge of the outer office. “Are you wearing panties?” Marissa asks, her voice pitched to carry, and  Eli buries his face in his hands. “What?” Lauren gasps, and so Marissa repeats herself, and as Lina Lamont might say she’s good and loud.  “Some of the office workers are saying you’re not wearing panties.”  Lauren, who towers over the very petite Marissa, gives Eli a knowing look over his daughter’s head.  And then she hikes up her skirt and flashes them.  From Eli’s vantage point, we can see Lauren’s entire left hip, right up to her waist. “Does that answer your question?”

OH MY GOD.  Well, genuinely, that could not have gone worse.  She could be arrested for indecent exposure (not to mention the complete lack of professionalism and normalcy), but then she’d probably sue them for asking.

A horrified Eli turns to his pollster, holding himself stiff like someone who was just drenched with cold water. “Bonita, I need you to do another poll, this one about the governor.”  Personal or professional, Bonita’s crisp voice wonders.  Personal.  Definitely personal.

From one disbelieving face to another: Alicia’s on the phone, and doesn’t like what she’s hearing. “Your son could stay in prison for a year, sir!” she cries, clearly pleading with Cary’s father.  Oh, you’re barking up the wrong tree there, Alicia.  Don’t expect normal human feelings out of that narcissist.  He’ll probably enjoy making Cary rot in jail. “A full year, awaiting trial!”  He makes some sort of inadequate response, and she thanks him and hangs up as Robyn frowns in consternation.  “He can go as high as eight thousand dollars,” Alicia fumes. “You’re kidding,” Robyn looks as angry as we’ve ever seen her, “I thought his dad was a lobbyist.”  Yes, exactly. “He said it’s a bad time of year,” Alicia growls, clearly not believing him.

Disgusted and disheartened, Robyn slumps down into the chair across from Alicia. “Okay, now, we have a hundred from the firm.” Oh, that’s not good.  “We have 8 from the family, Cary has 200 saved.  We’re 900 away.”  Not good, not good, not good. Is this the right time for me to rant some more about the absurdity of this law?  Who could afford this kind of bail when even the rich and well-connected can’t? “No, we’re a million away.”  No, insists Robyn, because she’s got fifteen saved up and her parents loaned her ten.  God bless them, her mysterious parents loaned her more than Cary’s father would spare?  You can’t, Alicia tries to stop the investigator, concerned. “Of course I can,” Robyn insists. “Cary would do the same for me.”  Alicia smiles, almost teary and definitely proud, and we all know it’s true.

“We’re still 975,000 short,” Robyn ends the happy moment. Alicia thinks, and then picks up the phone. “Who’re you calling, Bishop?”  No, Alicia says.  That’s a tough call, right?  I mean, you could make a case for Bishop owing Cary, since Cary’s being essentially tortured or at least harassed as a stepping stone to Bishop (which is completely vile), and you could certainly argue that he’d be less likely to flip if he weren’t in prison. And obviously Bishop has the money. But if Bishop pays the bail, doesn’t Cary look guilty?

At any rate, an inspired Alicia’s calling to find out if she can take out a second mortgage on her condo.  Wow. Robyn cranes her head in disbelief; “Hey, it’s only money,” Alicia replies, making light of the situation.  But Carey Zepps has Judge Karpman’s office on another line, and she has to get off hers quick and go straight back to court; you can hear her hope that the judge, as she petitioned, reconsiders the bail amount.

“Here we go again,” Finn mutters as Alicia walks around him. “Maybe you can raise the bail to three million,” she sasses him, walking around him and looking up into his face.  Way up – I didn’t remember him being that much taller than her.  “Why didn’t I think of that?” he snarks back.  They’re cute.  It’s nice to see banter somewhere, especially in this frankly horrifying episode.

“Ah, counselors,” the mellifluous tones of Judge Karpman intrude on this reverie.  “I understand that you wish to review the Cary Agos situation.  Is that right, ASA Polmar?”  The direction of this remark disconcerts Alicia. Aren’t they there to discuss her motion to reduce bail?  Finn has the grace to look a little embarrassed. “Yes, and your motion was denied,” the judge replies severely.  Er, shouldn’t she have had some notice of that? “Mr. Polmar?”  Damn.

“Yes, Your Honor,” Finn begins. “Mrs. Florrick works as Cary Agos’s partner, but she also represents Lemond Bishop, a drug dealer complicit in this matter.” Oh God.  He isn’t. Alicia turns to him, her mouth open. “So you wish to disqualify her in this matter?” the judge wonders. Finn looks Alicia in the face. “Yes, Your Honor.”

“Your Honor, Cary Agos chose me as his lawyer, and he’s waived all concerns about conflict of interest!”  Everything sounds pretty when Fred Melamed says it, even awful things spoken in a disapproving tone of voice. “Yes.  But the court has not. The prosecution’s motion is granted.”  Finn nods decisively as the gavel comes down; Alicia still has her mouth open.  I guess she was expecting him to be a little nicer, given that they’re friends?  “Wow,” she breathes, “I didn’t see that coming.” He shrugs. “You should be honored. I didn’t want to go up against you.”

When Finn walks off, and Alicia’s still standing in front of the bench, off kilter, she makes a mistake. “Is this about your sister?” she wonders, stopping Finn cold as he walks in front of some poor hairy prisoner stuck inside the terrarium. Oh, honey.  What a thing to say.  And what remotely makes her think the prosecution itself is coming from him? He’s just doing his job, and doing it well. “Is what about my sister?” Backpedal, Alicia, backpedal! “Cause that’s what I need,” he smirks, hands in his pockets, suit jacket rucked up behind his back, “a motive to bring down the top drug dealer in town.”

And there it is, out in the open. “Cary Agos is not the top drug dealer in town,” Alicia reminds him. “No, but he’s enabled the top drug dealer in town,” Finn replies.  In the sense that he’s his lawyer?  I want her to dispute the charge, but she embraces it instead. “As have I,” she points out, and it bugs me because it’s not only legal to defend someone who’s immoral, it’s a key feature of our legal system.  I get that lines are blurred, but you can’t hold a lawyer responsible for a criminal’s actions. “Is this going to get in the way of our friendship, Alicia?” Finn wonders, and I like that he’s not dancing around the issue. Honesty is good – and especially good for Alicia. He smiles a little, and she smiles a little back. “I hope not,” she answers. “Good. I don’t want it to,” he agrees, picking up his briefcase. “Me neither,” Alicia replies, extending her hand. “My apologies.”  The mistrustful look he gives her makes me snicker, but in the end he shakes.  “Okay,” he agrees, and there’s a touch of humor in his tone that says he’ll just wait and see.

What’s with her suit and the shirt that doesn’t fit under it?  I hate that look.  Awful, both on the lapel and the cuff, with her shirt puffing out over her wrists.  I get that it’s intentional (they did this with Elspeth last year), but I hate it.

“I need you to represent Cary,” Alicia tells Diane, sitting across from her inside her office.  Well. That’s going to be interesting.  I’m not sure it’s a wise long term choice, either, assuming that Diane comes over to Alicia’s firm in a month, at which point she too will be one of Bishop’s lawyers; they might even be able to disqualify her because she represented Bishop’s legitimate businesses now.  “He was arrested. One of Bishop’s crew is claiming that he told them how to avoid detection on a drug shipment.”   This is still so hard to believe.

“How large was the shipment?”  When she hears the number, Diane’s appalled. “That’s not good!” she replies, and it’s such an obvious remark that it confuses Alicia. “It’s not good for Cary, or it’s not good for us?” she wonders, having clearly expected more support from Cary’s old mentor. “Both,” Diane replies. “My clients won’t want to see my new name partner under arrest.”  Well, there is that, but Alicia at least finds the circumstances mitigating. “He was arrested for fighting for his client.  He puts his life on the line for them!”

There it is, the line again.

Canning and David Lee stand like gargoyles, staring out of Canning’s office into Diane’s.  These glass walls can be really creepy when you don’t trust your coworkers.

“Okay,” Diane agrees, leaning back into her chair.

“She’s going with Florrick/Agos,” Canning realizes. “No,” David Lee disagrees. “Too small potatoes.”  Staring as Alicia walks out the door, Canning’s still on target. “Appeals to Diane’s romantic soul,” he assesses.  In the assistant’s area between the offices, Alicia nods to the watching men.  I love the detail on the bottom of her jacket – I guess I like the look over all – but those sleeves, ugh. “Then there’s an opportunity,” David leans down to whisper in Canning’s ear.  What?  “Cary Agos was arrested a few days ago. ” Canning turns to look up at his partner in crime. “A drug charge,” David enthuses.  “Oh!” Canning rounds his mouth in happy surprise.

“I need your help, Kalinda,” Diane tells the investigator over the phone. “Cary’s been arrested.”  Old news, boss, old news. “Oh,” Diane replies, surprised that her most trusted employee had her fingers in this pie already.  “It has to do with Bishop,” Diane goes on, but when Kalinda doesn’t answer Diane does it for her. “You knew that too.”  Yes.  Now, Diane’s mind goes where Kalinda’s first did (interviewing Bishop’s crew). “Bishop wants us to defend Cary another way,” Kalinda explains diplomatically. She’s walking down a wide city street, next to a cruiser. “Look, I have an idea, but I’ll get back to you, okay?”

As soon as she hangs up, Kalinda calls out loudly to catch the attention of Sophia Russo. Huh.  Wearing a form fitting blue dress, Sophia shimmies  up off the vintage blue convertible she’s leaning on, sashays over to Kalinda and kisses her slowly and deliberately to the cheers and wolf whistles of the uniform cops behind them.  Unsurprisingly, Kalinda pulls back.  “What?  I’m just giving the boys something to fantasize about.”  Ew.  Just ew. Although that pretty much answers my question about her marriage.”What’s up?  What do you need me for?”  Smiling, Kalinda makes a point that surprises me. “Why did you call me Thursday night?”  “Why did I call you?  I thought I made that pretty clear,” Sophia answers. Huh. “First time in three years, you just decide to call me?”

“Yeah,” Sophia flirts. “At the exact moment Cary Agos was being arrested?”  Wow, she’s terrible at lying with her face. “You’re working with the police, you knew about the arrest, and you knew I’d get picked up, too, so you kept me occupied.”  Sophia looks a little embarrassed by this, but cops to wanting to keep Kalinda out of trouble. “What evidence do they have against Cary?” Kalinda asks flat out, and at first Sophia tries to put her off. “Is it someone undercover in Bishop’s crew?”  Putting her hands on her hips, Sophia flirts again. “And what makes you think, even if I knew, I’d tell  you?”  “Because,” Kalinda says, showing us just how serious she is, “you could get into trouble with your P.I. firm for warning me about the arrest.”  Wow.  It’s not like her to threaten a friend that way.

“Really?” Sophia wonders, taken aback. “After I help you, keep you safe, out of the goodness of my heart, you’re going to use that against me?”  Whatever it takes. “Who’s the C.I. in Bishop’s crew?”  She can’t tell you that, Kalinda.  It’ll get him killed!  But it’s clear Sophia knows that Kalinda means it.

The phone rings on the State’s Attorney’s desk, and James Castro hurries to pick it up; because it’s a corded phone, he has to stay leaning across the desk to put the receiver to his ear.  It’s a nice mark of his character that he doesn’t think his way through to a more rational position before answering it. “Eli.  I’m surprised.  How are you?”  I’m surprised, too.

“Good, good, Mr. State’s Attorney,” Eli enthuses, flipping through documents in the outer office, the state seal behind him. “I have some great news for you.  The governor has reconsidered.” What? “He wants to endorse you.” Castro tucks his tie out of the way. “Well, that is music to my ears.”

“When did that happen?” Marissa wonders loudly, and her father shushes her. “There’s just one thing I need you to do for me, James,” Eli claims as the State’s Attorney scuttles around his desk, his ear nearly touching it in his quest for his chair. “Peter’s a proud man. You’ll need to ask him again.”

This pulls Castro up short (though it’s really up tall, since he can finally stand again).  Why?  “He can’t be seen to reverse himself without you making some effort,” Eli beams. What’s he up to? “I’m not going to kiss the ring again, Eli,” Castro growls, sitting down on his desk. “I know, you don’t have to. I’ll arrange for a meeting tomorrow after. Trust me, it’s just a formality.  I’ll see you then!”  Marissa stares up at her dad, utterly bemused.  She smiles. “Okay, huh?”  He bends down. “Your father’s a smart man,” he tells her modestly.

If you say so!

And my heart weeps, because there’s Cary sitting at a cement table in on open prison room, worrying at his face.  At first I assume he’s waiting for his lawyers, but no, he’s waiting for his new prison friend. “How’d your preliminary hearing go?” he asks the man, who enthusiastically hops down onto the bench opposite him. “I told my lawyer what you said,” the man reports. “He said he’s try it. Thanks.”  Hey, replies Cary modestly. “Sometimes the law’s just calling the other guy’s bluff.”  Huh.  Potential Friend laughs.

“You could help me with something else, Cary,” Potential Friend grins. “What?” The smile disappears.  “Bishop, he wants me to cut your finger off,” Bad Choice As A Potential Friend explains, setting a wicked looking shiv on the table between them.  My fight or flight instinct kicks in; I don’t know how Cary manages to stay at the table.  He does, however, holding his ground, meeting the other man’s eyes. “I told him you were okay, I didn’t need to.” You can’t maim Cary!  Oh my God. “You knew who your friends were.”

“I do,” Cary whispers, looking again as if he could cry.  How is this his life now?  “He said I needed to remind you.  I mean, you talk to that ASA, you ask about any kind of deal, you’re dead. You understand?”

OH MY GOD.

“I do, I do,” Cary answers quickly, looking away. “Definitely.”  Bishop’s Friend nods. “Now, I got to do this, d’you understand?  You fell down against the bars,  you cut yourself.”  Does he mean he’s really going to cut off his finger? “What?” Cary asks, in shocked disbelief. “Even to your lawyer that’s what you say, you fell down against the bars, you cut yourself,  you’re not sure how.”  Oh my God oh my God.  “Just yell ‘guard’,” he instructs. Cary’s quivering. “What?”  “It’s a test,” Not His Friend makes plain, and this Cary can understand. “Bishop needs to know he can trust you.”  Okay, okay.  Cary nods, quivering, water in his eyes, trying to still his panic, trying to take it. “So count to four, and yell ‘guard’.”  “I I I…” Cary sputters helplessly, and quick as a flash the knife flashes out. We hear a squirt.  Cary reaches over to his right hand with his left, holding it, and as the camera spins we see the blood pouring down between his fingers – yes, all five fingers – as a vein stands out straight down the center of his forehead, and his face reddens in his effort not to cry out. There’s a long slice down the center of his palm, oozing.”Guard!” he croaks, “guard!”

“I just fell down,” he lies to Alicia, his bandaged right hand resting on the bars between them. It’s nothing serious.  On the other side of the bars, Alicia cannot contain her disbelief.  “You cut yourself falling down?”  He puts on a very wide eyed defense. “Against the bars, yeah.”  Alicia flicks a look at Diane. “Cary, are you being intimidated? Because if you are we can get you transferred,” Diane offers.  If it were only a case of him being threatened by folks he put in prison, that might help, but where can he go that Bishop won’t find him?  No, no, Cary insists that he’s fine.  “Everything is good.” Oh, yes, certainly. Couldn’t be better!  “What else do you have?”

“Well, we wanna win this in preliminary hearing, but we don’t know what the State’s Attorney has,” Diane admits. “Bail?” Cary asks hopefully.  (Actually, he’s playing this very cool, very tough guy, but you can hear the longing beneath the surface.) “We’re working on it,” Alicia replies, since she doesn’t have good news. ‘How much does Florrick/Agos have?” he asks. “A portion,” Alicia replies carefully – clearly not wanting to disappoint him with the low number, and he sighs, knowing this can’t be good and knowing it’s time for tough measures. “Ask my dad,” he instructs them.

Oh, honey.

“I hate asking him, but he might come up with the rest.”  Alicia looks away, and Cary reads her easily. “You already asked him?”  And so she lies. “No no no, I’ll ask him.”  She smiles bravely, and he buys the lie. “Okay,” he nods, and walks off.

“Did the dad offer anything?” Diane asks, her arms crossed. “Eight thousand dollars,” Alicia sighs in disgust, and Diane shakes her head. “I’ll see what I can come up with.

Aw!  The burden of this pisses me off, though.

“A thousand registered Cook County residents all considered likely voters,”  Bonita Yarrow recites to Eli and Peter, sitting in the governor’s office on his striped couch, flipping through her latest poll. “Castro polled better than your three alternates, Jenlowe, Hart and Barnright.”  How much better? Twelve to fourteen points.  Yikes!  Did you poll any one else, Peter wonders, hoping there’s some good news out there. Bonita looks to Eli as if to ask permission. “What?”

“Your wife, Mr. Governor,” she admits, chin up. “Eli set that up,” Peter frowns. “The poll was already in the works,” Eli cautions (mean, in the works before Peter told him not to press the issue). “I don’t care, she’s not running,” Peter insists, like it was his choice.  Not that I want her to run, but ugh. “You don’t want to hear the results?” Eli shrugs, wagging his head. “I can guess,” Peter snorts. “She did well.”  Heck yeah, she did well. She’s a brand. So what?”  What does that mean, she’s a brand?  Does he mean that HE’s a brand, and she’d be riding his coattails, or that she’s her own brand?  Either way, Eli’s not going to let that ‘so what’ stand. “She polled eight points higher than Castro,”  Eli gloats. “She beat him in every demographic.”  The prim and theatrical Ms. Yarrow hands Peter the data.  “We polled every political name against Castro, and she is the only one who won handily.”  I can’t imagine that “every political name” was really just those three people (why not, I don’t know, Geneva Pine or Matan Brody?), but this news still makes Peter screw up his faced in annoyance.

“And her favorables, Bonita,” Eli asks. “She’s at 80%.  She’s the most liked name in Chicago.” Woah. “Well that’s because she’s not in politics,” Peter explodes, tossing the polling packet onto his (gorgeous) coffee table. “Put her in politics, and she becomes a politician. People hate politicians.”  I’m with you, Peter; you’re dead on.  “Bonita, will you step out for a second?” Eli asks, smirking.  With a word, she does.

Both men stand.  Surprising me a little, Eli’s in high dungeon. “Peter, I am your chief of staff. It is my job to keep you from getting hit by the knowns and the unknowns.”  Er, okay.  Are we talking about Alicia’s unknowns?  Or her knowns?  Because there’s a lot of stuff I’m sure she doesn’t want dragged through the public eye. “What’re the unknowns?” Peter asks, even though by definition Eli could hardly tell him. “Your intern not wearing any panties,” he thunders.  OH.  We’re talking about this, huh?  Although after she flashed the entire office I’m shocked it took another day for this to happen.  The comment is so completely unexpected that Peter bursts out with a belly laugh. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Your intern comes to work sans panties, and lifts her dress up in the middle of work,” he first bellows, then whispers.  Sans panties!  No wonder Peter is laughing. “Well then tell her not to,” Peter smirks.  Not to not wear panties?  “It’s your intern, Peter,” Eli pleads. “Lauren. The one you wouldn’t let me fire.”  Peter denies all responsibility. “I told you not to fire her, Eli.  I didn’t tell you to let her run around like a cat in heat.”  Okay, ew, I kind of want to smack him for that.  (And I want to shake Lauren for all of it.  Ugh!)  “I have no control over someone I can’t fire,” Eli complains righteously. “Someone  you’re…”  He stops himself, and Peter looks away, embarrassed, because even with Eli these are the Things We Don’t Talk About.

“Look, what does this have to do with Alicia running,” Peter asks, not denying anything but softening his tone. “I did scandal polling,” Eli admits, and Peter explodes.  I used fake names, Eli explains, but he wanted to know if Peter could weather another sex scandal without Alicia at his side. “You know what?  This is sick,” Peter snaps.  In which aspect?  That Eli’s polling on your personal life, that he’s treating Alicia as a function of your perpetual campaigning, or what?  “What’s sick,” Eli thunders, “is that I’m the only one trying to keep Alicia on board.”  “Yes,” Peter tells him, patronizing, “because you’re not married to her.”  Exactly, Eli snap back.  Sigh.

While he’s got Peter flustered and confused, Eli pounces with phase two of his peculiar plan. “Castro wants to meet,” he changes the subject.  Grateful for the shift, Peter looks at his chief of staff.   Why?  “Castro wants to make another case for your endorsement; he pleaded with me for a meeting.”  Ha.  You tricky dog, Eli. He shrugs. “If we’re not having Alicia run, you should listen to him.”

“Alicia!” Robyn catches our heroine at the elevator.  Why is there something, I don’t know, romantic about freight elevators?  Especially on film.  They just look great, opening in the wrong direction. “We have some clients here,” she whispers, but Alicia – dressed in a gorgeous gray pant suit over an amazing black top with a sheer neckline- wants to talk about the money Diane’s going to put in to Cary’s bail fund. “Alicia wait,” Robyn grabs her and physically preventing her from going around the corner. “Bishop is here,” she hisses. “Why?” Alicia wonders, aghast, but Robyn has no idea. The women peek around the corner, and there he stands, apart from his flunkies, resplendent in a light gray suit, bright pink shirt and purple tie.

Walking quickly around the outside of the office, Alicia makes her way to her scariest client. “Mr. Bishop, hello, you should have called ! Is everything all right?”  Yes, he smiles. “Thank you.  I’m here to have a general conversation about my business holdings.”  Um, okay. That was formal even for him; he sounds like he believes the room is bugged. She just gapes up at him. “Okay,” she shakes her head, trying to clear it. “I – I’m not … How can I help you with that?”

“Actually,” Bishop says, “why don’t I wait here while you deal with the gentleman at your desk?”  He steps back to dramatically reveal a much smaller fellow seated across from Alicia’s desk, looking back at them nervously. Okay, Alicia replies, still puzzled, and walks to her desk.

As soon as she does, the small man stands, all nervous formality, and it turns out he’s a familiar face. “Mr. Rojas!  Hello.  How can I help you?” she asks, extending her hand. “Yes.  We’ve met before, Mrs. Florrick,” he begins what’s clearly a rehearsed speech; he doesn’t notice that she’s already called him by name. “I own a string of businesses, that includes dry cleaners and health clubs.”  Yes, I know, Alicia reminds him, taking her seat. Rojas folds his hands together. “I have decided to pay your partner’s bail.” Oh, hello!

For a second, Alicia’s at a loss for words. “You decided?”  At her words, Rojas stands and reaches for a gym bag on the floor next to him, which when he sets it on her desk and opens it, turns out to be filled with cash.  Oh my lord.  “1.5 mil. That should cover the bail.”

Alicia just stares.

“The bail is 1.3,” Robyn observes, her head basically retreating into her neck.   “Oh, ah, okay,” Rojas mutters before quickly removing perhaps ten packets of bills.  “Okay, 1.3 mil,” he says, stuffing the other 200k into a different bag.  Oh my God.  “I would suggest that you take that to the bank and get a cashier’s check,” he advises, giving Alicia a firm nod.  He straightens, and has to ask Robyn to step back so he can head out. “Excuse me,” he nods at both women by way of goodbye. The two are left to stare uneasily at the bag full of cash.

“Just so you know,” Bishop informs them, popping up out of nowhere, “I was here to talk over my … business holdings.”  Oh, we get it, mister.  “I had nothing to do with Mr. Rojas’s … business ventures.  Do we understand each other?”  Yes.  Why yes we do.  When Bishop walks off, Alicia presses her fingers to her lips.  This is reward for Cary’s silence, paid for in his blood.

And speaking of epic confrontations, Eli seems to have just ushered a very awkward Castro into Peter’s office, where the latter sits on the edge of his desk. “Why don’t you two talk?” the chief of staff smiles, leaving them together like two kids on a blind date, unable to look each other in the eye.  Finally Peter bites his lips and looks up, and Castro moves in closer; because Peter’s sitting, the height differential isn’t so obvious.

“So,” Peter begins, tilting his head, “you want my endorsement?”  Castro tilts his head in the opposite direction. “Actually, I was told that you had a change of heart.” Peter blinks up at him, disbelieving.

“So what does this do?” Marissa wonders, seated at a desk with her chin in her hand, watching the door to Peter’s office. Her father sits on  the desk.”Castro thinks Peter wants the meeting, Peter thinks Castro wants the meeting, they’re both prideful, and…” And that’s when they start yelling at each other, that’s what.  Eli listens for them to cross the line where their relationship sours beyond repair; Marissa beams up at her dad. “I wanna learn your job,” she declares, impressed. “No you don’t,” he snaps without thinking. Yes please!  I wanna see that! “I think I’d be good at it!”  I think you would, too.

And that’s when the door bursts open. “Thanks a lot, Eli,” Castro whines from the doorway, calming himself so he’s ready to be seen. Eli gives his daughter a little triumphant eyebrow wave before heading back into Peter’s office.

“Everything all right, Mr. Governor?” he asks, enjoying himself way too much.  It takes Peter a minute to turn around and face the question.

“Um, find out if Alicia wants to run,” he says.

“All right,” nods the perfect servitor.  Later he can deal with the fact that Alicia finds the idea laughable at best. What he is now is extremely pleased with himself.

Back at Lockhart/Gardner & Canning, David Lee passes two bowls of candy to the prissy elderly couple that Alicia had been pitching for Diane in the beginning of the episode.  Yeah, you could see that coming.  The man’s confused.  Is Diane retiring, is she moving, what’s going on?  David, of course, uses the opportunity to paint Florrick/Agos as an “outlaw firm”  and particularly poor Cary in the worst possible light.  Well, I would have expected no less.  Honestly, it’s hard to get too fussed over David Lee while Cary’s still in prison.

“Nice offices, Kalinda, very impressive,” Sophia Russo coos, standing in LG&C’s main conference room. “Can I get some bottled water?” At first I think she’s being rude, like she’s expecting Kalinda to wait on her, until the camera angle shifts and we can see that Kalinda standing right next to a clump of bottled water at the end of the table.  In answer, Kalinda sends the nearest bottle sliding down the table so Sophia can catch it. “You want some ice?” Kalinda snarks, wearing a rather odd and overworked orange leather tunic. “How about you tell me who the C. I. is?”  I can’t do that, Sophia says, taking a swig from the bottle, because of course she can’t.  The confidential informant will end up dead.

Okay, replies Kalinda, quickly dialing a number on her phone. “Who’s that?” Sophia wonders. “Your boss,” Kalinda replies. Ah. That again.  “I’m telling him you warned me off so I wouldn’t be arrested.”  Sophia puts down the bottle, her tone much colder. “That’d be a bitchy thing to do,” she snaps. “Hi, can I speak to Mr. Redmund, please?” Kalinda begins when someone, presumably, answers the phone. No, don’t, Sophia insists. I can help if you hang up the phone.

She does, and immediately Sophia repeats her earlier comment, that she can’t give Kalinda the name.  The investigator brings the phone to her ear again, and Sophia quickly defends herself with what we all know; if Kalinda tells Bishop or if he learns the identity in any way, the C.I. is dead. “But there is a C.I.,” Kalinda presses. “Your friend Cary?” Sophia begins instead, leaning into Kalinda’s face. “He’s guilty.”  Shut up, he is not. “He’s going away for, what, 20 years?”

“Guilty of what?” Kalinda plays along. “Telling Bishop’s crew how to avoid getting arrested for the latest shipment.”  Yeah, whatever. “That’s conspiracy.”  “That’s according to a C.I.,” Kalinda scoffs. “A C.I. who has reason to lie.”  “No, it’s not,” Sophia insists. She holds up her phone. “It’s according to this.”

Say what?

No way.  Nope, no way. A shocked Kalinda looks  up as Sophia wiggles her phone. “There’s a recording.”

“$1.3 million in bail, you should frame this,” Judge Karpman says, taking the cashier’s check from Robyn’s hands. “I know,” she sighs.  Crazy, that.  “I feel the same way.”

“As you can see, Your Honor,” Diane begins, standing next to Finn in a flowered suit, “as angering as the defense has found this extortionist bail, we have met it. Cary Agos should be released.”  Cary himself stands in the terrarium, terribly stiff with hope. This all seems in order, Judge Karpman agrees, unless the SA has any objections.  And that’s when Finn turns around to confer with James Castro, fresh from his humiliating outing to Peter’s office and clearly not above using his old friend to shame woman who beat him and whose husband rejected his bid for power. Oh my GOD.  Diane and Alicia confer fearfully.

“Your Honor, we object to these funds, and we…” Finn turns around to say this, and Diane cuts him off. You object?  How can you object? “Yeah, and we ask for source of funds, Your Honor,” he adds.

Oh no.  There is no end.  There is no end to this nightmare, is there?  Because those funds will not stand up to any kind of scrutiny. Much as Diane contends that this is a delaying tactic, the judge buys Finn’s argument that the money is probably drug money.  (Had to be drug money — who else could afford to pay the bail?  And that makes it pretty useless.)  Alicai stares at Castro as Finn and Diane argue about Cary’s relative innocence.  Cary’s accused of facilitating the transport of judges; Finn asserts that the bail money is a payoff for that.  Well, sort of. “There are so many suppositions in that argument, Your Honor, I don’t even know where to begin,” Diane snaps. God, I love this woman when she’s arguing a case.

Well, why don’t we begin with the source of funds?  Again and again, Finn insists (and he too is able) that the only way to know that it’s not a pay off is for the defense to reveal the source of the money.  Diane thinks the entire prosecution’s a way to get a defense attorney to flip on his client.  “No no – no no no!  Both of you, step back behind the bar,” the judge cuts in, annoyed with their bickering. “Behind the bar!” Reluctantly, and with some confusion, they do.

“Given the size of this bail posting, I will schedule a source of funds hearing, one week from today.”  Quickly, Diane asks that Cary be released until the hearing. He will remain as our guest until we can establish that this isn’t drug money, the judge replies, so that’ll be pretty much forever, then. The look on Cary’s face!  Oh God.  Once Karpman’s banged his gavel, Alciia rushes over to Cary. “Is it from Bishop?” he asks. Not directly, she replies.  I’m sure it’s not clean enough to pass muster, though.  “Cary, we’ll get you out soon,” she promises, calling out after him as the guard hustles him back into holding. “Stay safe!”

In the hall, he stays on the scum side of the yellow line, keeping his head down – that is, until he sees Kalinda and Sophia pass by on the other side, so oblivious to his presence that he might as well be another species. He tries to call out to his friend, his lover, immediately bringing down the ire of the always furious guard. Kalinda, meanwhile, has passed by with her eyes glued to the papers before her, debating with Sophia, not so much if she were deliberately ignoring him for his own good, but as if she really didn’t see or hear him, as if Cary were a ghost. Did you hear what I said, the guard thunders, smacking Cary into the wall once more. Do you understand?  Oh, he does, Cary murmurs.  He understands.

Well.  They certainly have a new direction for this season, don’t they?  It’s probably the most surprising season opener they’ve ever had.   In a million years I never expected Cary’s attackers to be police, let alone this whole tremendous plot to be swirling around him. And seeing him in jail, so shadowed and haunted, is brutal.  It’s riveting, stomach churning, and all in all makes me wish I could just watch the whole damn season right now!  Has the wait for a new episode ever been so agonizing?  Okay, maybe.  But the waiting is so hard!

Poor, poor Cary always gets the short end of the stick, doesn’t he?  I was convinced a couple of years ago that he was going to end up in jail accused of killing Kalinda’s late, unlamented ex-husband.  Yes, yes, I know, we don’t know if he’s actually dead or not, but nobody has a better idea of why he simply disappeared. It’s like they picked up that dropped thread – prosecutor in prison for a crime he didn’t commit! – and applied it to a new plot.  I will say, though, that as harsh as it is for Cary, I love that Matt Czurchy’s getting such a rich storyline.  What’s tough on a character tends to be more exciting for the actor, and in one episode we’ve already seen Cary with not only an abundance of screen time but with several utterly mesmerizing, heart-wrenching scenes. Maybe this’ll be the year Czurchy finally gets the Emmy nomination he’s long deserved. (Yes.  I am talking Emmy during the first episode of the season.  It was that good.)

We’ve always know that it was dangerous to take on Bishop as a client, but greed (and the writer’s need for drama) won out.  In a way, I think it’s cool that the firm’s being made to pay for that greed; it’s even cooler than the danger comes just as much from the police than it does from Bishop himself, who we would have imagined to be the greater source of trouble.  I feel a little unclear on how this all came together – has there been a long-running sting on Bishop’s organization?  And if so, what are the police trying to gain by going after Cary that they don’t already have?  Is this retribution for Alicia opposing Castro in his various fights against Finn?   Payback for Peter not endorsing Castro?  It can’t be normal to hunt down criminal’s lawyers, can it?

Speaking of which, I hope we see Wallace Shawn’s Charles Lester, post-haste.  I honestly don’t know why we haven’t seen him yet.  Alicia seems out of her depth here, fighting against the machine; I want reinforcements!

And what about that evidence against Cary?  There’s no way he’s guilty.  There’s no way he’s really been recorded doing that.  So, what do they have?  Is it a complete forgery?  Is it wrong to hope that the speaker’s actually Other Carey?

I still think it’s a bad idea for Alicia to run for State’s Attorney.  Heck, leaving aside that she’d be abandoning Cary and Diane and her new company, that there’s no guarantee that being a prosecutor would make her any happier, that she’d be more of an administrator than a courtroom lawyer, and the massive number of (mostly marriage-related) skeletons in her closet, let’s just think about what Lemond Bishop would do if his lawyer became his prosecutor.  Nothing enjoyable comes to mind, does it? I do not even want to contemplate the compromises that she would have to make just to come out alive.

Does it seem interesting to anyone else that we begin this season with Alicia’s partner – her work husband – in prison?  I can’t help thinking there’s a sort of neat parallel here with Cary’s mentor, Peter.  I mean, not neat in the sense that the whole plot line makes me want to vomit, but an interesting challenge for the new Alicia.  Especially as she’s being pressed to move on either with Diane or into politics, I wonder what her faithfulness to Cary will look like.

I’m just going to roll my eyes at the envelope pushing near-nudity and ignore it.  It’s too ridiculous. Funny – somehow the word ‘panties’ is always funny – but way too ridiculous. Marissa was a great addition, especially in an episode so desperately in need of humor. I love that they gave Eli someone he can bicker and bond with, and also show off to. Actually his fight with Nora was pretty cute, too. Nora gets to speak!  Excellent. In a show where the assistants come and go weekly, it makes me happy that Nora’s been with Eli almost since the beginning.  Samantha Mathis’ Bonita Yarrow could be an interesting addition to the revolving cast; while it’s a slight, fact-based role so far, she has a nice little dramatic flair and a rich, fruity vocal delivery I quite enjoyed.

Finally: if you’re a true fan of this show, and you didn’t manage to catch The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on PBS last week, you need to rectify that omission right away.  If you ever wondered whether a marriage of political convenience could actually be a good thing, that’s where you look.  If you want to see a wife shocked out of domesticity by her husband’s infidelity, who goes on to live a separate personal life yet still tremendously influential, entwined altruistic one, well, look no further.  If this topic interested you enough to make you watch The Good Wife, it should definitely lead you to the Roosevelts as well.

And with all that, welcome back, friend and fellow fans!  Looks like season 6 is going to be a fascinating ride.  I’ve missed being on the roller coaster with the rest of you.

 

 

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19 comments on “The Good Wife: The Line

  1. Kiki says:

    WE ARE BACK E!!!!!!

    Great review!! This was a surprising premiere for sure, I was like OMG NOO POOR CARY!! I want to hug him soooo badly!!

    This season is going to be so intense! I love Alicia doing all she can to help Cary, lovee this!!

    Kalinda/Cary was great!!!

    I want Cary to get out of there, I feel so bad for him!!

    • E says:

      HI Kiki! Great to hear from you – I hope you had a good summer. I’m really excited for this season and for tonight, it was a great start. I only hope my stomach can handle it – so intense!

  2. Pat says:

    Great review, as usual! Wow. They completely pissed me off last year with that season finale…and now they had me excited again with that premiere. How evil.

    • E says:

      Pat, I’m so glad you wrote in, I really was wondering how you felt now! It’s such an interesting story line and such a really meaty one for Cary. Good stuff (if horrifying). I can’t wait for tonight!

  3. Alice says:

    Hi, I’ve never posted here before but I’ve read all your reviews and I love how thorough they are!
    Not to annoy anyone but I’m not liking the Cary/ bishop thing because I just don’t like the Bishop character, it’s not the actor or anything just the character, whenever he is on I find it hard to root for or sympathize with Alicia I just find her slimy and immoral, and frankly I can’t sympathize with her, or any of them.

    • E says:

      Hi Alice! I totally get that reaction, but that’s kind of what I like about this plot. They took Bishop’s money knowing he was incredibly dangerous and imagining nothing would ever go wrong. Now it has, and they’re having to deal with the fact that they really are aiding a killer.

    • E says:

      (So hopefully this is going to make her reconsider whether the money is worth the moral compromise.)

  4. M says:

    Just had to chime in, a year after my last comment on one of E’s brilliant Good Wife posts. My previous comment was on last season’s premiere, and was:

    October 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm
    M says:
    Quick thought on the title lengths… maybe it’s foreshadowing. Maybe they are only planning on three more seasons, so this season’s titles will be three words, next season two apiece, and the seventh and final season back down to one. Just a thought.

    How many words are the titles this season? Just sayin’, enjoy the show while you have it, might only be another 2 seasons.

    • E says:

      Okay, my conspiracy theorist brother, that is actually a really cool observation. Is it a reverse count-down clock?

      • M says:

        Not that I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but this is more me being a mathematician, seeing patterns and trying to predict them. However, I hope for your sake that this one’s a wave, not a bell curve, and that after they get back down to one word next season (which I would put money on at this point) that it goes back to two and then three, instead of ending the show.

        • E says:

          Now I’m going to shock you; if they have a plan to end it well, I wouldn’t cry that 7 seasons was too short a run.

        • E says:

          I mean, while I don’t expect the quality of the writing to decrease, I do fear actors getting restless and departing. They’re a busy group. What I don’t want is a repeat of last season.

          • M says:

            Doesn’t shock me. We’ve seen shows hang around too long. We’ve seen shows like LOST get lost (pun intended) trying to figure out what to do with seasons and characters because they don’t know how long they have to tell their story, then really crush it when they set an end date.

            • E says:

              Like I said in the preview, Alicia’s passivity has been the frustration of the show. I’d love to see her really choose for herself, and I don’t know if that happens without an end date.

  5. […] in series history.  And for the sense of impending doom I can only compare it to Hitting the Fan, The Line and Nine Hours.  Either way, it’s magnificent. This place between public image and private […]

  6. […] liar as well as a complete dick (don’t think I’ve forgotten how he treated Cary when he arrested him), it seems that he didn’t perjure himself to save his sorry […]

  7. […] bar, which made me expect a railing: maybe it would have been too on the nose to refer to it as a line?  And we want a source of funds hearing, Finn reiterates.  “The burden of proof is reversed […]

  8. […] crime nonsense,” Eli thunders; Ramona just looks terrified. How did she raise a daughter that confident, I wonder? “You think this has to do with the Supreme Court rejection?” Peter asks, and […]

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