E: Trust Issues: everything you want out of The Good Wife that you never guessed you might get. Half-naked homeless men! Lorraine Joy! Taye Diggs! Hugging! Everything is unmoored, and I’m loving that weightless feeling. Where are our characters going to land? Who’ll be here when they do? What kind of people will they be when it’s over?
Behind a scratched and smudged plastic prison window, Alicia loses herself in melancholy contemplation until Cary’s escorted to the seat across from her. Ruefully, she smiles. “How are you?” she asks, sympathetic, offering a shoulder to cry on, but he’s up-beat and focused. “I’m good. You have five minutes.” Let’s guess how far from five minutes this will actually be. Will it even break two minutes? After shaking herself out of sympathy mode, Alicia flips open her notes, not wasting any time.
“I tried to cancel the Deena Gross meeting, but she insisted” she begins. “Yeah, she’ll be nervous, just tell her…” “They arrested you because you’re working too hard for your clients,” Alicia recites by rote, “I did. She still wants to talk.”
“Fine,” Cary agrees, “bring in Carey Zepps into the meeting. She feels more comfortable with men in charge.” Appalling. Alicia rolls her eyes. “I’m trying to call Neil Gross,” she continues (if she wants men in authority, let’s appeal to a man in authority), but Cary thinks that’s a bad idea. “This is all about his wife. She’s still house counsel for Chum Hum so he’s given her authority over the anti-trust case.” Ah – looks like the title’s actually got an obvious legal (and not merely personal) component this week. I know! Shocking! Cary and Alicia explain together that Chum Hum and “some of the other tech firms” (by which I think they mean social media sites and search engines rather than, say, IBM or Intel), colluded to hold down coder salaries and stop poaching employees; the companies, of course, want make an example of these faithless coders by staving them off in depositions. The aim is definitely to avoid a trial. “If we don’t shut this down, they will leave us,” Cary adds ominously. Well. We wouldn’t want to lose their trust, now would we? “That’s why Deena was meeting with Lockhart Gardner.”
Would it matter if Deena knew Diane was coming over to us, Alicia wonders, which instantly dries up Cary’s river of exposition. “What?” he asks flatly. Choosing to ignore what she must know is his real question, Alicia simply repeats her comment, as if Cary were deaf rather than dissenting. “I didn’t know she was coming to us,” he smiles faintly. “Cary,” Alicia sighs. “What? I’m a name partner, Alicia, you can’t decide this without me.” Just watch her, love. “We have to move forward,” she explains. “And I have no idea when you’re going to get out of here.” Now that’s sad but true. “I’ll be out in twenty four hours,” he bites, but she’s convinced they’ll lose Diane if they don’t decide before then. So, I don’t know, guys. Here’s a revolutionary thought. Why don’t they discuss it for real? Or are they past that point? “Have the equity partners already voted Diane in?” he frowns, giving the desk top a pained look.
No, Alicia admits. They haven’t gotten that far. They don’t have time to fuss over it, she insists, although it hardly seems unreasonable for them to spend the little time they have discussing it. It is a BIG shift. “Will it matter to Chum Hum if Diane is with us?” Cary rolls his eyes, but like a good little soldier, he answers. “It’ll matter to Neil Gross; it won’t matter to Deena. And don’t call her Mrs. Gross. She goes by her maiden name, Lampert.”
And, a guard appears behind Cary. Geez. That took what, 1:53 seconds. “That’s it, get up!” he barks, and Alicia stands along with Cary. “What about the deposition strategy?” she asks, alarmed. “I’ll be out before then,” he insists. I don’t know why he’s that confident – he was at the bond hearing along with Alicia. “In case you’re not,” she pleads. “Why would I not, what’s going on?” The guard backs him away from the desk, and Cary stands as the other man clamps his hands in irons. “Cary, what’s the strategy,” she growls, and Cary relents as he’s being lead away backwards. “It’s too hard to go after all 38 coders. Look at my files, I focussed my fire on the senior coder, Gus Pawlicky.”
“Your Honor,” Diane’s voice complains, “He has spent five days in jail.” The guard unshackles Cary and sends him through a door. “Yeah, because he’s charged with conspiracy to sell heroin,” Finn snarks. “No, because the ASA’s trying to punish him.” I wouldn’t say punish – more like lean on him. The SA might be trying to punish him, though, for working with Alicia. Cary shakes out his hands as he walks into the prisoner terrarium in Judge Karpman’s bond court; wearily, he sits down on a long wooden bench. From this vantage we can see a bright yellow line painted on the floor before the two lawyers, presumably the bar mentioned in the last episode. I don’t know why he calls it the 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 here, Your Honor; the defendant must prove that the bail money is legitimate and does not come from drug proceeds.” Looking irritated, he crosses his arms; in the gallery, Kalinda smiles at Cary reassuringly. “And that is why I have submitted this affidavit from Dexter Rojas,” Diane replies, handing the affidavit over to Judge Karpman, who peers down at it from his great height. “The bail money comes from his business!”
Finn steps forward to join Diane at the bench. “Mr. Rojas, who is intimately connected to Lemond Bishop, the top drug dealer – just allow me to question Mr. Bishop, that’s all I ask.” Oh, that’s all, is it? Sure. Why would he allow you to question someone who didn’t give the money? Stop fishing, Finn. “And what is the harm in that?” Judge Karpman bends down from on high. “The harm,” Diane begins before being interrupted. “I need both of you to step back behind the bar,” Karpman bellows. You know, you really could have said that before you asked her the question, mister. Looking to make sure she lands in the right place, Diane steps back over the line, and Finny quickly follows.
“The harm is that this is a trojan horse hearing,” Diane snaps. “The ASA does not care about the source of funds. He wants to question Mr. Bishop under oath about his business.” Yep. Got it in one. Does it even follow that they should be allowed to call Bishop in to ask him to deny the SA’s assertion that he gave Rojas the funds, before they’ve produced any actual evidence to support the claim? In the gallery, Kalinda curls her hand and waves it; Cary gives her a thumbs up with his bandaged hand. Diane won’t let Bishop appear because he’ll take back the bail money rather than testify, Finn sighs. Duh! So if you know he won’t let you question him, why even push the issue? To keep Cary in jail? To harass Bishop? Rattle their collective cages? “I’m perusing an affidavit here swearing to the fact that these funds are legally obtained,” the judge notes. Kalinda holds up her notebook to Cary with the words “Who did it?” written on them; he shakes his head. “Why doesn’t that suffice?” I believe it is a lie, Finn answers. “Okay,” agrees the judge amiably (gee, that was easy), “so what now?”
“Let me call a witness, a hostile witness, who I think will tell the truth no matter what,” he suggest. Who is this paragon of virtue? Why, it’s Alicia Florrick! From the sour look on Diane’s face, you know she believes in Alicia’s fundamental honesty too. She glances over at Cary, who looks aghast.
“Can she hurt us?” Diane asks, huddled with Kalinda in front of a little desk. “I don’t know, maybe,” Cary speculates. Obviously he doesn’t know anymore than you, Diane. It’s not like he’s been at work this week to see what happened. “We have another problem,” Diane says, exchanging glances with Kalinda. “Oh, good, more,” he snarks. Diane raises her eyebrows expectantly, waiting for Kalinda to speak. “I know what evidence they have against you,” Kalinda speaks up, the words heavy. “Okay, what?” Cary asks, upbeat. “A wire,” she says.
“That’s good,” he replies. “I didn’t tell Bishop’s crew how to break the law.” He looks back and forth between the two silent women. “What?” “You did,” Kalinda contradicts him. “No I didn’t,” he replies, and it seems very clear to me that he’s not lying. Lowering her voice, Kalinda tells him she heard the tape.
Oh. I guess it can’t be Carey Zepps after all. I suppose it was mean of me to want it to be. Also, what?
“You heard a tape of me telling Bishop’s crew how to smuggle 1.3 million in heroin into the country?” Cary asks with some disbelief. She nods. “And how to sell it without being caught.” His eyes bug. He blinks. He stares at the desk in front of him.
“Well then it’s a fake,” he declares.
“Well, we still have options,” Diane moves on. “Wait a minute,” Cary stops her. “I didn’t do this. And I don’t know what you heard, Kalinda, but I was asked questions by three crew members in Bishop’s crew, and I made it very clear that I couldn’t advise them on anything.” But you answered their questions, Diane ducks her head down. “Only their hypothetical questions,” Cary insists, and although I don’t know why this better it gives Diane pause. “Is the tape edited?” she asks Kalinda, who thinks it’s possible. “When then we need the testimony of the crew members. Only those three can contradict the wire.” From Kalinda’s sour expression, it’s clear she understands the problem in that scenario. “Only those two. One of them was wearing the wire.”
“Thank you for meeting us here,” Carey Zepps tells a very blond, very tanned Deena Lampert. There’s a spray of yellow flowers (orchids?) behind her head. “We just want you to know, Mrs. Gross,” Carey continues. “Miss Lampert,” Alicia corrects him, and so he corrects himself. They deliver their prepared remarks about Cary’s devotion to his clients; testy Deena’s not won over. He can’t effectively handle her case from jail! Good point, Deena. “That’s why Alicia and I have taken over deposition prep,” Carey explains. Ah, but she’s not getting all of Alicia’s time, because Robyn (wearing an adorable red striped sweatshirt) starts pointing frantically toward the reception area. It’s another unannounced visit from our most alarming client.
“Hello, Mr. Bishop, do we have an appointment?” Alicia smiles, popping out at Bishop from behind a half wall as he makes his way through the office. “No,” he says, and then politely but firmly waves Robyn off. And then pointedly waits for her to walk out of earshot. “You need an office with a door,” he sighs, exasperated. We’re putting one in, Alicia smiles, and indeed we hear the sounds of construction all over the office. “I understand you’re testifying today about the bail money?” he asks, neatly knocking the smile off Alicia’s face. Diane just called her to let her know. “I want you to know something,” he says, leaning over and starting to look very scary – and not his normal quiet scary, but really loudly pissed off.
And that’s the point where one construction worker busts through a brick wall, and another starts up a dry vac. Nice. Takes the drama out of his delivery, perhaps, but not the threat from his words. “If they make me testify, the bail money goes away. D’you understand?” She nods.
“But hasn’t your state had more murders per capita than any other state, Mr. Governor,” a reporter asks Peter on CBS This Morning; they’re seated opposite each other (really it’s cheated to look like they’re facing each other when they’re really facing out at a slant) in arm chairs. As Eli watches on the monitor, Peter fudges the answer. “I think we have the same gun problem as any large state. I think we try harder to enforce our gun laws.” Eli nods his approval. “Crime will be his undoing, Eli,” a voice offscreen opines. (I’d tend to think his own crimes will be his undoing.) Eli spins and see a woman who reminds me strongly of presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett. Are they introducing a new character based on her? Eli seems taken aback by the unsolicited advice. “You sound like a Republican, Miss Jarrett,” he answers, and holy crap, is that really Valerie Jarrett? Get out of town! I mean, I know she’s as Chicago as can be, but damn. “I sound like a voter,” she shrugs, buttoning up her red power jacket. “A voter,” he sneers. Yeah, yeah, she nods. “How’s Washington, voter?”
“Oh, Eli,” she sighs. “Are you still pouting?” Pouting, why would I be pouting, he pouts. “Oh, wait. Because you didn’t hire me at the White House after expressly promising to do so.” No way! Okay, that is an awesome little bit of history. I love the idea that Eli might be pushing Peter toward larger and larger offices because he got stiffed out of an appointment to the Obama White House. Excellent. Hmm, did we hear something about this once before? That might sound familiar. “I didn’t promise a thing,” Miss Jarrett folds her arms and gives him a lofty look. “That was all in your head.”
“What about your wife’s views on gun laws?” the interviewer asks Peter, and Eli whips his head back to the monitor. “The last thing I want to do is speak for my wife,” Peter answers, and Valerie nods her approval. “Well, she has represented some pretty hardened criminals, hasn’t she?” the reporter presses. “That’s because she’s a good lawyer,” Peter replies smoothly, winning another smirk of approval from Eli. “She represents the sinners and saints…”
“Sinners and saints, is that you?” Valerie asks Eli, who holds his head up high. “I never sign my canvases,” he confesses. Ha. She’s amused. Then he’s got an idea, and gets her to admit to being in town a few days. “You’re into women running for office, aren’t you?” he offers. “What do you need, Eli?” she asks, rebuttoning her jacket. “I need you to help convince a woman to run,” he tells her in that self righteous tone he gets. “Who?” He jerks his head toward the monitor. “Nora O’Donnell?” she nods, surprised. Ah, I thought the reporter looked familiar. (It’s not you, Nora; network news is too theatrical for me.) “No,” Eli smiles. “Alicia Florrick.”
Alicia Florrick, who is right now on the stand at bond court. Cary smiles at her encouragingly, and Finn welcomes her with a pleasant, awkward nod. She gives him a long, smiling look. “Mr. POlmar,” she nods, letting him begin. “Who supplied the $1.3 million for Cary Agos’ bail?” Dexter Rojas, one of our clients, she says. And he’s a business man. Yes. “And a very generous businessman by the look of things,” Finn grandstands. “I can’t speak to that,” Alicia answers, and Finn suggests that Dexter’s relationship with Cary is too slight to support such largesse. (I love that when Diane objects – he’s not asking a question, he’s testifying – Finn uses the same words, simply making it sound like a question. Cute.) How many times have they met, he wonders? Diane’s careful to make sure Finn doesn’t keep pressing on the same subject.
So he switches tactics. “Is it your understanding that Mr. Rojas’ money came from his health clubs?” It is. “Isn’t Mr. Rojas a long time associate of Lemond Bishop?” Diane stands to object due to vagueness; which term bothers you, long-standing or associate, the judge wonders. Both, she snaps decisively, but the judge isn’t buying. “Yes,” Alicia answers. “Mr. Rojas at one time worked for Mr. Bishop.” In his drug empire, Finn prompts. “Objection,” Diane stands again, “not in evidence.” This time, Judge Karpman bellows a hearty “sustained.”
“Mrs. Florrick, when Mr. Rojas gave you this money, was Mr. Bishop present?” Yes, Alicia replies, chin up. God, this was so stupid on Bishop’s part. Like Alicia wouldn’t have know it came from him if Dexter showed up on her doorstep on his own? “He was there, Mr. Bishop was there?” Finn’s eyebrows can hardly believe their luck; Diane, on the other hand, appears shocked. “Yes, but on another matter,” Alicia tries to brazen it out. Aw, honey.
Really, what could she have done about that? There were easily what, 25 other people he could have subpoenaed to contradict her if necessary. If this is anyone’s fault, it’s Bishop’s. Finn just stares at Alicia.
“Ah, does the ASA have any more questions?” Diane asks. “Hmmm,” he mutters as if wondering himself. “Yes! I do.” Ha. Very cute, Polmar.
He walks back to the prosecution’s table, where he picks up a thick document. “Mrs. Florrick, could you tell me…” Finn gets distracted when he sees Alicia’s focus shift away from him to the door, and he turns in time to see Lemond Bishop himself enter the courtroom. He harumphs, but his face becomes serious when he hands Alicia the document. “Could you please tell me what this is?” For some reason, Alicia looks away before taking it – is this an apology to Cary or a question? Cary looks tense and worried. “It appears to be a master membership list for Mr. Rojas health clubs,” she assesses. It is, Finn agrees. “Quiiiiiite a few members,” he observes. “I believe it does very well,” Alicia observes. Oh, very well, Finn snarks, before handing over a much smaller document that Alicia identifies as a death roster from the county medical examiners office. Everyone squirms, because we all know what’s coming. Bishop – or at least Rojas – has borrowed a trick from old time politicians padding their vote count; 20% of the people on Rojas’s membership list are dead.
Judge Karpman, of course, demands to see the two documents. “His business is a sham, it’s a cover for laundering Mr. Bishop’s drug proceeds,” Finn explains. Oh boy. “If I were allowed…” the judge points back to the yellow line, and Finn hops behind it. “If I were allowed to question Mr. Bishop, this would become evident.” Wait, it’s not evident already? In other words: fishing expedition. You’ve already quashed the subpoena for Mr. Bishop, Diane reminds the judge; he’s changed him mind in the face of Mrs. Florrick’s testimony, sadly. Well, okay. This is where the law seems a little weird to me; that information had nothing to do with Alicia, just document headlines she read. But. That’s how putting evidence in the record works, so whatever. “Okay, I’m going to allow Mr. Bishop to be subpoenaed,” the judge decides, and Bishop leaves the courtroom, crisp and displeased. Though I don’t see how she could have done better, Alicia’s understandably unhappy with this turn of events.
“Thank you thank you,” beams Taye Diggs, enjoying the applause. “It feels good to be back home after the wilds of New York. And, you were all missed there. Well, maybe not you, David,” he adds, flashing that million dollar grin. Diggs has dressed to the nines for his homecoming, wearing a red tie, crisp while shirt, glorious gray vest with a curled lapel, and a black blazer with a subtle plaid. It is impressive. He’s clearly well-liked; everyone laughs, even an only slightly reluctant David Lee. “Thank you, Dean,” he nods. “Good to finally have you near. Which brings us to our last item of business today. Diane.” He smirks, folding his hands together.
Diane heaves a little sigh for this momentous .. er, moment. After Dean’s amazing sartorial look, I’m sorry Diane’s choosing to go out wearing a rather old lady-ish blue dress with brass buttons. Good thing she’s not really going out, huh? “Yes,” she smiles at David, rubbing her thumb against her clasped hands, “after founding this firm thirteen years ago, and seeing it go from a corporate non-entity to one of the two top law firms in Chicago, I find that it’s time for me to … it’s time for me to resign.” No one can believe this. Really, it’s a lot of change in a short time. “I’ve given this a lot of thought,” she explains. “I’m married now, and…” Married? What is this, the 50s?
Cutting her off before anyone can get too emotional about it, David Lee explains that Diane’s handing over the managing partnership to Louis Canning, who is perhaps fortuitously out sick. “But let’s give a round of applause to Diane Lockhart!” Standing near the door, Dean does not smile and does not clap.
Instead, he follows Diane to her office, consternation in his face. “Okay, what’s going on,” he frowns at her. Ah. A smartie. “What’d you mean?” she asks. Dean huffs. “Diane. You recruited me. I’m here because of you. And now you resign?” Wow, no one’s willing to let this moment be about her, huh? She gives a look to Canning’s empty office, and thinks for a few seconds before curling her lips into a wicked little smile. She jerks her head for him to follow, and leads.
She leads him, of course, to the elevator, which works both as a soundproof hideout and a metaphor for journeys. Please hold the elevator, a voice calls out, and immediately Diane stabs at the button; sorry, Charlie. “I’m going to Florrick Agos,” she tells him, and he laughs, the sound rich and wonderful. “You’re kidding,” he adds when she doesn’t laugh along with him. “I’m going in a week. No one at Lockhart/Gardner knows.” What about her clients, he wonders; she explains that since she can’t ask them to go, Alicia’s meeting with them all and encouraging it. “Diane, this is crazy,” he insists. ‘You’re leaving the biggest firm in Chicago for a start up?” She can’t contain her smile. “Yes.”
And then she says something that surprises me, even though it probably shouldn’t. “Come with me,” she offers. “It’s a good firm, Dean. Go to Florrick Agos and see for yourself.” Wow. That was trusting. Turning away from Diane, Dean breathes hard through his nose. He does not like this one little bit.
This time, we see Cary’s reflection in the scratched plastic as he waits for Alicia; she’s nervous when she sits down, unable to meet his eyes. “Bishop withdrew the bail money,” he realizes, exhaling. “I’m going to spend a year in here waiting for trial.” Not a fun prospect, that. “I still have other options,” his partner shakes her head; Cary clearly thinks this is a fantasy. “I’m looking into a second mortgage on my apartment.” Now he’s the one shaking his head, admonishing her. “Alicia. You can’t do that.” He looks haunted. “I can,” she says immediately. “I’m meeting today.” “That’s very generous,” he tells her, “but seriously…” Stop it, she snaps. “You would do the same thing,” and she cocks her head, waiting for him to try and contradict that. He can’t.
“You have to take the deposition today,” he says instead. I’ll switch it, she protests, but he insists that if she delays, Deena will bring her business to Lockhart Gardner. “Bring Carey Zepps into the depo, have him whisper in your ear every now and then for effect.” The thought of this chicanery makes Alicia laugh. “Who’s on the other side?” she wonders. Lorraine Joy of Clemens & Holloway, he answers, and she laughs. “You’re kidding!” He’s not. Why?
“Alicia how are you?” the fakest woman in the world pumps Alicia’s hand, over-articulating as always. I’m fine, she says, how’re you? “Good good good!” Lorraine gushes. “I’m excited about facing off finally!” As if I didn’t hate her enough, the way she’s wearing her jacket over her shoulders like a cape? Yeah, that might do it. “I hope that all’s forgiven about me not hiring you,” Lorraine natters on in her over-cafeinated way, “but look at you now!” She spreads her arms. Please don’t try to hug Alicia. “What a perfectly adorable office!” I’m pretty sure that’s a cable hanging behind Alicia’s head. “Should we get started?” Alicia smiles, utterly glacial.
“The first deposition is Gus Pawlicky, he’s the top coder,” we flash back to Cary’s grave face in the prison meeting room. “He’s the lynch pin,” Alicia recalls. “Yeah,” Cary agrees. ‘The rest of the class action crumbles if you destroy him.” And that’s just what Alicia sets out to do. How long did he work at Chum Hum, Alicia asks. “I was fired,” Gus tells her, stuttering a bit. Seven years total, he adds, more on point. “Until you discovered this Chum Hum price fixing…” “Miss Joy,” Alicia interrupts Lorraine’s interjection into Gus’s testimony. “Do you mind?”
“Chum Hum had a handshake deal with other social networking companies,” Gus goes on, again answering a question Alicia didn’t ask. As previously arranged, Carey leans over to whisper in Alicia’s ear. “I’m whispering something that looks important so Deena thinks I’m in control,” he says. “Thank you Carey,” Alicia replies. I’m rather impressed that Lorraine twigs to this ploy. “Do you need a minute with Alicia to … help her?” she snarks, whereupon Alicia tries to murder her using her eyes only.
“His lawyer will try to shut you down,” Cary advises, “but start in with questions about his drinking.”
Okay, I know this can be a stressful situation, but Gus seems more than usually panicky, his eyes a little too wide, too ready to flee. He’s also very buttoned up – no tie, shirt buttoned up to his chin, beard precise and trimmed as Kaiser Wilhelm’s mustache. Actually he looks a little like Kaiser Wilhelm. “My … drinking?” he asks, his eyes leaping from Alicia to Lorriane and back. “Yes. You were pulled over on May 19th?” Alicia reminds him. “Yes, I was upset,” he quivers. “That was the day I found out about the agreement.” The price fixing agreement, Lorraine the re-iterator bunny reminds us. “So because of that discovery, you decided to get drunk?” Alicia asks, contempt in her voice. Oh my gosh! What kind of person drinks when something bad happens in their life? “I had a couple of beers at lunch, that was all,” he stammers. Maybe it’s the shirt that gives him a slightly military air? Alicia points out that the previous week, Kaiser Gus had been given a negative performance evaluation, in which his supervisor noted he had alcohol on his breath. Okay, now that part’s not good. “It’s a lie,” he pleads, “that was a fluoride rinse.” A what? Who’s going to believe that?
“And three other negative evaluations in the months before you were let go,” Alicia adds, putting those papers out on the table. Lorraine squirms. “Repeated lateness, failure to accomplish assigned tasks…” Hmm. “They planted those and they back dated them,” Kaiser Gus insists as Peppy Lorraine starts picking up the many documents Alicia’s spreading out across the table. “Did they also back date this accusation of your sexting?”
“What?” he gasps, and I am now a little worried he’s going to hyperventilate. “That was a prank!” Snarky, Lorraine waves her pen.”Alicia,” she says, “I think your partner wants to confer with you.” Ha ha. “No, we’re good,” Alicia declares, not even looking up. For the first time, you can see respect on Deena’s face. “Let’s go through these sexts one at a time,” Alicia suggests. Oh, goody.
“I told you,” Lemond Bishop frowns, “I don’t want you investigating my crew.” He’s outside, and – how else – very intense, and as is often the case, not sparing too much of his energy for Kalinda. Not that you actually want his full attention directed at you. “This isn’t an investigation, Mr. Bishop. I just need to get statements from three of your crew, that’s all.” Oh, ha ha. Statements. What on earth would make that sound like an investigation? “It’s to back up Cary’s…” “Foul!” Bishop screams. ‘That was a foul, ref!” Ah. They’re at one of Dylan’s soccer games. A row of blond suburban-looking mothers with lawn chairs shoot him a collective dirty look.
He settles himself down. “I heard there was a tape,” he says, sparing her a glance over his shoulder. “Know anything about it?” She thinks carefully before moving closer and lying. “No.” “There’s someone on my crew whose betraying me, I need to… GO, DYLAN!” he hollers as son Dylan dribbles the ball toward the goal. “You got it! Go GO GO!” Dylan’s impressive run at the goal ends in his shot bouncing off the goal post; Bishop howls in disappointment. “Nice try, Dylan! Keep your head up, buddy!”
I love the juxtaposition with this side of him, the terrifying criminal and the loving, devoted father. Talk about compartmentalization. “So, someone’s wearing a wire, I need to know. Me knowing helps you and your lawyer.” Yeah, Cary’s potential witnesses sleeping with the fishes does not help him, Lemond. “I wish I, uh, knew more, sir, but I’m in the dark,” she claims, watching his face carefully. He presses his lips together. “Okay,” he relents. “You can question my three guys.” She smiles. “I have time this afternoon, at five.” Actually, you don’t need to be there, Mr. Bishop, she replies innocently. “Actually,” he turns back to smirk at her, “I do.” The prospect is less than enchanting.
“We need to talk settlement,” Lorraine Joy tells Carey Zepps, an idea he’s fine with. “But you have to raise the amount, I can’t take that to my client.” Alicia sees right through Lorraine’s smirk. “We’ll go as high as four million,” she says. “For Mr. Pawlicky?” Lorraine asks hopefully. “No,” Alicia declares, “the whole class.” After making a show of being offended, and then making a show of ignoring Alicia in favor of Carey, Ms. Joy says she’ll talk to her client. After she’s walked away, Carey and Alicia each unfold an arm for a very dignified high five.
“Alicia?” Robyn calls out. “There’s an Avery Miller-Seigel on line one.” Who? A banker, Robyn gathers. Oh, excellent. Second mortgage time! Avery — who is, to Alicia’s surprise, a woman and not a man — can offer Alicia a second mortgage with one teeny little caveat; Peter has to sign off on it too. No, it doesn’t matter if he’s not really a resident of the apartment. If he’s on the mortgage (and good lord, why is he on the mortgage?), he has to cosign; they’ll messenger over the papers for them to sign tonight.
And once again, Robyn cuts in. “Alicia, Valerie Jarrett’s on line three.” Yes, I’d be that stunned; the loud crashes from the construction work don’t help her absorb this strange news, either. She asks Avery to hold. “Valerie Jarrett, at the White House Valerie Jarrett?” Well, she didn’t specify where she was, Robyn realizes. “You want me to ask?” No. And no, Robyn has no idea why she’s calling. As one does when Valerie Jarrett calls, Alicia tells Avery that she needs to call her back (sadly calling her Mr. Miller-Siegel again).
Alicia composes herself before clicking over to line three. “This is Alicia Florrick,” she answers in her best Name Partner voice. “Alicia, hello, this is Valerie Jarrett,” Valerie chirps. She’s seated at a table, wearing a blue cowl neck dress (what a gorgeous color) with a triple strand of pearls inside the collar. “How’re you doing today?” “I’m… good?” Alicia replies, utterly baffled, and Valerie’s next comment doesn’t decrease the confusion. “Listen, I just wanted to call and tell you that I have been an admirer of yours for many years now.” You can see in her face that Alicia’s wondering when she’s going to wake up from this very odd day dream. “You have?” “Yes, yes,” Valerie goes on, “the way you started your own business, and… what does this say, what does it say?” she hisses at Eli, hovering by her side. Ha. “Stuck by her husband,” he whispers, and Valerie glares at him, her hand clamped over the speaker. “I am not saying that.” Hee. “And I admire the way you’ve set your own course,” she ad-libs; Eli waves his hand in as if to approve the change. I genuinely cannot believe he got her to do this.
“Um, thank you,” Alicia replies cautiously. “Miss Jarrett, have we met before?” Ha ha. Here it comes. “No, we haven’t met, but I heard you were contemplating a run for State’s Attorney.” Frantic, Eli makes the kill sign too late. “What do you want,” Valerie hisses, hand once again over the receiver. “She’ll know it’s me!” Eli fusses. You should have told her that before, you loon. What do you want me to do, Valerie hisses back. “Just encouragement, encouragements.”
Like a good soldier, Valerie presses bravely on. “And I wanted to encourage you to run. The only way women are gonna change the world is if they step up.” This ringing declaration wins a big thumbs up from Eli. “Miss Jarrett,” Alicia responds, her lips pinched, “may I ask – how did you hear I was contemplating running?” How did I hear, Valerie muses aloud. “Through the grapevine?” Eli knows this won’t stand, and indeed, it’s not sufficient. “Ah, see, the thing is, Miss Jarrett, my husband’s chief of staff, Eli Gold, he’s the only one contemplating me running.” Smugly, Valerie points to Eli, letting him know Alicia’s seen right through the ploy. “Actually, it’s the furthest thing from my mind.” Well why is that, Valerie asks.
“Why? Because I hate politics,” Alicia spits out. “I do too Alicia,” Valerie says, sounding canned. Eli dumps his head into his hand. “The last person I’d vote for is someone who liked politics. We have enough politicians.” Ugh. You can’t come up with anything better than that? “We need leaders who understand what it means to be a public servant!” Okay, that’s better. “Listen. I’ve got to go. Promise me you’ll think about it?” I will, Alicia nods, thanking Valerie for the call.
As soon as she sets down the phone – still looking shell-shocked – Robyn scurries over. “What did she want?” she asks. “She wanted me to run,” Alicia admits, dazed. “Run where?” Robyn wonders, and I’m still snickering writing that. Alicia just stares. “I have no idea.”
As soon as Alicia walks out of the elevator into a surprisingly posh foyer, eyes focused on her phone, Dean steps into it. On his heels is a burly man who promptly pulls off his coat and then a thick sweater, standing unselfconsciously in his bare skin next to the rather prissy Adonis. He’s not suffering long, however, because the burly man exits the elevator and pops into a door just next to it. Poor Dean then is actually hit by a large bundle of wiring being removed by a careless, silent workman. “May I help you?” Robyn pops up, apparently doing receptionist duty today (and happily looking more professional in a red sweater). “Ah, yeah,” he replies, horrified. “Is this Florrick Agos & Associates?” It is, she beams. “We’re in the midst of remodeling. Pardon our dust.” Gosh, she’s just adorable. And he needs to be less snooty. The office is thick with employees as well as dust, all walking about purposefully. First he asks for Alicia, who he just missed. You’d think he’d have recognized her on the elevator – not only is she a public figure, but ostensibly worked at the same office for four years. “Mr. Agos?” Not him either. “Do you have any sense when he’ll be back?” he asks seriously. “Five to ten?” Robyn rolls her eyes. Oh, Robyn.
“That’s a joke,” she adds when Dean frowns curiously. “I really can’t say. Were you looking for representation?” As he considers how to answer this query, the burly shirtless man swings out into the hallway by the elevator. “Robyn, the water’s cold!” What? “Yeah, I know,” she commiserates, “they turned off the hot water for just an hour.” Are you kidding, he complains, his Chicago accent thick, and she throws her arms out. “I know, Gunter, we’re all making do!” He slams the door.
“Oh that’s Gunter,” she explains before Dean can even get the words out of his mouth. “We let him use the sink in the afternoon.” Aw! That’s lovely. Don’t you be offended by their resident homeless man, Dean Levine-Wilkins! “So, are you looking for a lawyer?” I was, he replies. Wait, wait, she pleads, flapping her arms. “We’re a good firm. We’re like a funky coffee house, with all the used couches.” she tries to redirect the conversation. “And we make the best coffee. I’ll get a lawyer for you.” She rushes off, and he spins around, frowning fiercely. “What the hell, Diane?”
At that moment, Diane’s in the LG conference room, first Kalinda and then Bishop on her right, and the three crew members across from them. (Note that in reception, the plaque on the wall says LGC, but here the more easily changed logo on the video screen has Will’s LG on it. Subtle defiance of Canning, or continuity error? You decide.) Cary never advised you on how to break the law, she asks them. The three men are lounging back, while the lawyers and Bishop sit straight, socio-economics plain in their postures. “We were telling stories, that’s all,” Silver Teeth replies. He’s the most upright of the three. “Stories that had no basis in truth?”
“Look,” pipes up the guy in the middle. “All we were saying was that if people did the stuff they do in the movies, we’d all be in jail.” Okay. Interesting. This is what he meant by hypotheticals? Bishop takes this in. “And Cary was saying what would be good advice for those people. That’s all.” Huh. Interesting. “The people in the movies?” Diane confirms. “Mmm hmm. Like, if the guy in the movie did this or that, he wouldn’t get caught.”
“Exactly,” Silver Teeth flashes a lazy grin at his boss. “We wouldn’t talk about anything real. We’re not that stupid.” Bishop takes this in, silent and thoughtful. “So you all were speaking in hypotheticals.” “Right,” Silver Teeth smiles. “Hypotheticals only.” He’s weirdly adorable considering the awful aesthetic choice he made about his mouth, like a cyborg puppy.
“The one with the silver teeth?” Diane talks Kalinda out in the hall. “Jim Leonard?” Thanks for supplying his name, Kalinda. “He’ll make a good witness,” Diane assesses. “He’s likable.” I would say so, yes. “So’s Trey,” she adds. This is the middle guy; the guy on the far right in the baseball cap never spoke. “Trey was the one wearing the wire,” Kalinda says, and Diane David Caruso’s off her glasses in surprise. “I thought you didn’t know who was wearing the wire?” She didn’t until she was in the room with them. “His voice was the loudest on the microphone. It’s him, it’s Trey.” In consternation, Diane looks back into the conference room. “Didn’t you say that he’s Bishop’s top man?” He’s also ignoring his boss while Silver Jim chats happily up at him. He is. “And we can’t tell Bishop or he’ll have him killed.”
Peter flips through the second mortgage paperwork as Alicia leans her arms across her dining room table. “I can’t sign this,” he declares. UGH. “Yes you can,” she declares. I love that soft aqua sweater; the color is stunning on her, and a particularly beautiful contrast to her pretty but muted bronze blouse from work. “This is for Cary’s bail?” he asks. It’s money that I’ll get back, Alicia protests. “After the trial,” he pushes. “Peter, it’s a formality. The apartment’s mine.” Were there always this many botanical prints on her dining room walls? Because, damn, there are a ton of them. (I know they’re not new, I just don’t remember feeling like I was buried in them before.)
“Yes,” Peter agrees, “and I’m the governor of Illinois. If I sign off on a loan for an accused drug dealer…” Okay, I could see how that might be a problem. “Cary’s not a drug…” Alicia barks, which is true as well. “It’s not about what he is,” Peter corrects her, “it’s about what it looks like.” No one’s ever gonna know, she claims desperately, which is sheer foolishness. I hate that he’s right. Or, anyway, I would love for him to say that loyalty was more important than appearances, but his threat assessment is on target. “Until they do,” Peter shakes his head. “You should know this better than anyone. Documents don’t go away. Your signature doesn’t go away.”
“You’re punishing me,” she blinks, which is a bit below the belt. He’s being a bit paternalistic, and certainly choosing with his head over his heart (which we’d like to think would have supported his former protégée), but he’s not wrong. “What?” he replies, offended. “For how things have unfolded these last few months, you and me.” Come on, Alicia. I know how desperate you must be feeling – and how frustrated you must be with the fact that Peter can tell you what to do with your own money – but that’s not fair. “You wanna be angry at me, be angry at me, but don’t punish Cary!”
“Okay, okay,” Peter says, hands up. “It was good seeing you.” He stands, and she explodes. “You’re going?” He turns back to look at her. “I can’t sign off on your loan. And neither should you. It’s just not a smart move.” Now that, that was cold. “Maybe I just wanted to believe you’d do the right thing,” Alicia tells him. “Because the man I married would have.” He turns to look at her, his angry response coming out slowly and precisely calculated to hurt. “Well that’s interesting,” he wags his head, “because the woman I married never would have asked.” He shakes his head, disgusted, and walks out.
Okay, time out. First, I have trouble believing that Peter’s willingness not to stick his neck out for a friend is some kind of new development; I suspect she just had an idealized view of him, back in the day. It’s easy to seem generous when you haven’t been tested. Also, what’s he saying? That Alicia used to be too pragmatic – which I doubt – or that she simply would never have bothered her important husband with such a request? Because she should be patting herself on the back for such a change in her, if that’s what it is.
Rant over. Sorry!
So do we have a deal, Carey Zepps asks Lorraine Joy, who has once again flounced into the office with her coat draped cape-like over her shoulders. Oh, Carey. Why ever would you think it would be that easy? “Actually, I think we should continue with our depositions,” Lorraine smirks. Really, Alicia wonders. “Who should we depose?” Her, Lorraine points to Deena.
“That is not a law firm,” Dean protests, pacing Diane’s office. “It’s – it’s a frat house.” She laughs. “They have some issues,” she chuckles, wearing a striking bronze dress. “No no no. Issues can be solved!” he huffs. Yes, and construction projects end, Dean. “I’m talking about structural oddities. I mean, the inmates are running the asylum!” (Well, you might be judgmental, but that’s another gorgeous set of clothes you’re wearing, anyway. Love those thick gray vests.) Off go Diane’s glasses. “Alicia’s been distracted,” she admits, although that has nothing to do with the mess he’s seen. “Because her partner’s in jail!” Dean exclaims, offended. Which is kind of fair, except if the State’s Attorney (or whomever) is going to manufacture evidence then any defense lawyer could be taken out like this simply for having a criminal as a client. Cary’s prosecution should be a cause celebre.
“They’re rough around the edges, because they’re just starting out,” Diane reiterates, “but start ups have their advantages. I mean, don’t you feel stifled here? Wouldn’t you love the opportunity to build a firm like you want it?” I hate to be the one to break this to you, Diane, but you built this stifling firm. What makes you think the next one will go any better? Other than the lack of Canning, which is a real advantage. “Not one that looks like that,” Dean snorts, and wow, the guy is such a snob! “Forget what Florrick Agos looks like now,” Diane sets out a vision. “What can it turn into? A firm with a mission, with a real minority initiative – with women and people of color in authority.” Okay, he’s listening. “What you’re seeing are road blocks. See an opportunity to build our future exactly as we want it to be!” Yeah, she’s got his attention.
I love this, but poor Cary. It was all his vision in the start, his hustle and determination. I just hope he doesn’t end up totally marginalized.
“Poaching was and is a problem in the tech industry, yes,” Deena Lampert answers one of Lorraine Joy’s questions. “You invest time and money in an employee, only to see them leave,” Lorraine nods. Why does this make me think of English country house novels (or Downton Abbey) and the nobility fighting over maids and butlers? The poaching risk would work both ways, however; you could steal an employee someone else put their time and money into as easily as you might lose your own. Deena narrows her eyes. “Yes, but if you’re asking if Chum Hum had a secret agreement with other companies hold down salaries or to clamp down on poaching, no,” she sneers. “Absolutely not.” Lorraine is unfazed by this denial – invigorated, even, which makes Carey and Alicia apprehensive. She thumps down a print out on the table, and asks Deena what it is. Deena smiles. “It’s a copy of an email,” she replies.
“From Patric Edelstein, CEO of Sleuthway, to you.” As is her wont, Lorraine points at Deena to emphasize the word you. Lovely. Could she read what it says? “May I…” Alicia begins, but to Lorraine’s great glee some sort of loud saw buzzes in the background. “See a copy of that?” Alicia finishes, and Lorraine hands one over for Carey and Alicia to peruse while Deena reads it. “About the agreement we discussed, I’m in. I’m sick of losing all my best people to you. XX, Patric.” Uh oh. Here I was thinking that there wasn’t an agreement. “I’m sorry, what does this prove?” Alicia asks, perhaps putting on a brave face since this seems fairly damning to me. “Mr. Edelstein sent her a vague email.” Yes, Lorraine agrees, “but Ms. Lampert forwarded the email to her director of human resources.” Carey and Alicia look at each other. Oddly, Lorraine wants to concentrate on the smiley face emoticon that was the only text in the forward. Lorraine has brought a thick stack – pretty similar in size to Finn’s death roll, actually – of email examples in which Deena has used emoticons to indicate her satisfaction with something. Ick. What an excellent time for Robyn to grab Alicia, who has yet another unknown visitor. “Oh really, how convenient for you,” Lorraine sneers when Alicia shuts the proceedings down for the moment.
“Our life has become more interesting since Cary was arrested,” Robyn declares. Today she’s wearing a cardigan that looks like a blue sky with wispy clouds. Ha! “Who is it?” Alicia asks, having seen the tall man in the reception area. “I don’t know, but he has money,” Robyn enthuses as she leads Alicia to her desk. And look, it’s Director Bertram from The Mentalist! You have to be careful of him – he’s a slippery one. Michael Gaston (also of Last Resort, Rubicon, TURN, Terriers, Unforgettable, and seen this summer shooting stray dogs on The Leftover) rarely plays an uncomplicated nice guy.
“Mrs. Florrick, hi,” he greets her with a firm handshake. “Ernie Nolan, Ernco Properties. We met once at a fundraiser for your husband.” Oh, yes, she remembers; she has a client who rents their offices from him. “It’s a lovely space.” Thank you, thank you, he murmurs. “And may I say that your offices are lovely also.” As he speaks, Gunter walks by, shirtless, an electric toothbrush trilling in his mouth.
And now she will never trust you.
“Well, we are a work in progress,” she gulps. Come on people, that was just gratuitous. “So how can I help you today, Mr. Nolan?” she asks. It takes a moment for his eyes to come unglued from the magical sight that is Gunter, but when they do, he asks if they could talk somewhere alone. Ha. Does it look like there’s someplace here they can go alone? “Actually, Robyn is my most valued confidant, so, no,” Alicia announces as she steps over to her desk. Oh My God I love her; I love the decisive zing of that no. That was completely awesome. Robyn gives Nolan a saucy, pleased look as she moves to stand behind the now seated Alicia.
Less confident, Nolan gets right to the point. He’s heard about her partner’s troubles and he’s here to help. “Curtis Agos?” Cary, Alicia corrects him, puzzled, but the mistake doesn’t phase Nolan. “I want to loan the funds for his bail, interest free.” Say what? “You – why would you do that, Mr. Nolan,” Alicia blinks, standing like a statue behind her desk. “I think it’s disgraceful how the current State’s Attorney is behaving. He’s railroading your partner.” Well, yeah, but there’s a long road between acknowledging disgraceful behavior and $1.3 mil. He pulls a slim envelope out of his jacket. “So here’s a cashier’s check for 1.3 million.” Oh my goodness. He extends it toward her; Alicia makes no move to reach for it.
Robyn surges next to her boss. “Take it, take it!” she hisses. Slowly, as if fearful it would literally bite her, Alicia takes the check. “Ah,” she say slowly, “I’m still confused. How well do you know my husband?” Oh. Clearly, she’s thinking this is Peter making amends for not signing the second mortgage. Going through the banks – leaving a paper trail – just isn’t his way. He always was more of a back room kind of guy. “No very,” he shrugs. “Why?” “Did my husband ask you to do this?” she asks flat out, and answers just as flatly: no. “Then I’m confused.”
He gives her a meaningful look. “I’m not a fan of the current State’s Attorney, m’am,” he nods, willing her to get his drift. ‘The way he’s been treating your partner? It’s the same way he’s been treating the hardworking businessmen of Chicago.” Huh. Now that is interesting. Not Peter — Eli. “We need a change.” Finally, Alicia knows where she stands in the conversation. “I”m not running for State’s Attorney, Mr. Nolan,” she smiles. I know, he agrees. “But when you do announce…” I’m not announcing, she interrupts him. “I’m not running, ever.” Please please please let that not be her protesting too much. “I’m not a politician.” “Right,” he grins softly. “Exactly.”
And UGH for people not believing you mean what you say!
“It was very nice to meet you,” Alicia smiles, dismissing him. “And you,” Nolan agrees. “We’ll be in touch.” “No,” smiles Alicia, holding out the check, “we won’t.”
Poor Robyn almost expires. “Here you go,” Alicia prompts Nolan. “I’m trying to be a friend, Mrs. Florrick.” Yes. Exactly. That’s why your getting your check back, because you don’t buy her friendship. “I know. I have plenty of friends. I don’t need any more.” Now his face goes cold. “You taking money from Roderick Realty?” Wow. He just can’t see outside his little bubble, can he? “Have a nice day,” she finishes politely, and he’s left to flap his check out the door.
And when his back is turned, you can see Alicia’s polite mask collapse. “I, I mean am I a bad person? Take the money, take the check!” Robyn cringes. It’s not free, Alicia points out. She can’t take it. “So? He thinks you’re running for State’s Attorney. You’re not. Take the check. You told him you weren’t running. It’s not corrupt.” Yeah, I’m still with Alicia on this one. “But he’ll expect a quid pro quo,” Alicia insists. “So, there isn’t one,” Robyn shrugs so hard her shoulders practically hit her ears. Then she gets a thought. “Unless you secretly want to run.”
No no no. Don’t say that the only reason to reject the check is the fear it would harm a future campaign. Taking the money would make her feel guilty, would make her feel like she owed Nolan. “There is no campaign,” Alicia growls. “I know, so take the check!” Robyn pleads. Without a word, Alicia heads out. “Are you going to get it?” Robyn calls after her hopefully.
No, she’s going to Eli’s fusty office to give him a well deserves piece of her mind. “Don’t ever use surrogates on me, Eli,” she thunders, the door swinging in her wake. He protests, makes to stand and defend himself, but she holds out a warning hand. “Valerie Jarrett? She doesn’t just make it up in her mind to suggest I run. You put her up to it.” After trying to reply and getting cut off, Eli sits all the way back down and shrugs, admitting it. “I’m not running. I have no interest in running,” she goes on. “There is no wrong I want corrected.” Huh. I think the writers can change that; thanks for giving us her motivation in advance. Except, if whats happened to Finn and Cary isn’t enough of a wrong, then what would be? “There’s no mountain I want to climb.” He opens his mouth again, but no. “Stop getting people to call me, and come to me with money.” Finally, Eli gets a word in the torrent. “What?” he gasps at this last remark. “I’m not running! I’m not changing my mind! And, if I took that money, it’s corrupt!”
“Wait!” he cuts in effectively. “What money?”
Huh. That’s interesting. He seems genuinely surprised by that. “Ernie Nolan’s money!” she blasts at him. “Ernie Nolan of Ernco Properties offered you money?” Okay, he is way too excited about this. “Eli, stop it,” she snaps. “I didn’t talk to him, I didn’t say anything,” Eli grins, his hands out, positively beaming. “I’M. NOT. RUNNING,” Alicia repeats, and then storms back out.
“Wow,” Eli gasps. “That’s interesting.”
Finn Polmar’s in Castro’s office with something odd. “I just saw Diane Lockhart’s witness list for the preliminary hearing.” Castro does not look up from his paperwork as Finn speaks. Remind me why Finn still has a job, after everything that happened last season? “They listed two of the crew members who were with Agos, not all three.” Now Castro does look up. “Who’s the one they left off?” Come on, you know who. Except it seems odd that they’d leave off Trey rather than Silent Bob, because Diane thought Trey was a good witness. And now Finn and Jimmy Castro know that Diane knows Trey is the CI. Clumsy, ladies, clumsy. “How do they know?” Castro asks, rubbing his temples. “I have no idea,” Finn answers.
Dean’s sitting in Diane’s office, waiting for her., staring absently out at the view. “Dean, hello! Is everything all right?” He stands as his mentor enters the room. “I’d like to speak to you about Florrick Agos,” he begins, and she immediately looks outside and shuts her door. “I thought about what you said. Building from the ground up. Starting new.” he confesses. “All my life I’ve pursued the sure thing. The predictably attainable. So it frightened me to think about going after something new.” Diane nods, almost breathless. “But it also excited me.”
Her smile is genuine and enormous. “You’re coming?” Yes. “I’m so glad, Dean,” Diane beams. “It’s not just me,” he adds, nodding towards Diane’s little tucked away conference area. ‘They’re coming too.” Diane turns to see 6 people seated at her table: 3 men, 3 women, 3 African Americans, 2 whites, 1 Asian, all clearly seasoned professionals. Amazing! I guess I wasn’t the only person complaining that Florrick Agos was essentially Alicia and bunch of white boys. “You’re kidding!” No. He’s not. Does he look like a kidder to you? He looks at his feet modestly.
“Wait, what?” Carey Zepps wonders, and a smiling Dean lists the names for him: Cohen and Faber from transactional, Kay Sergeant from tax, Kevin Myers from M & A, and Kristy and Berger from trusts and estates. Alicia and Robyn glance at each other in wonder; looking on, Diane fairly bursts with pride and excitement. “Six department heads?” Alicia asks in disbelief, and Dean again nods modestly. “Two of them David Lee protégées,” Diane smirks. Did any of them look young enough for that? For that matter, how can they all department heads when several of them are from the same department? “Well, ah, where’re we going to put them all,” Carey Zepps asks (which for once is exactly what I was thinking). Diane is undaunted. “It’s a pretty high class problem,” she smiles, and everyone grins along with her.
And that’s when Patric Edelstein walks in, looking like he’s trying not to breathe. The contractors have taken the wall by the elevators down to the studs. That’s Alicia and Carey’s cue to leave.
“Patric Edelstein, CEO of Sleuthway,” Patric tells the lawyers; as was often the case at Lockhart Gardner, we see him start his testimony through a video camera. I wonder if the depositions had to be now because Edelstein was in town? “And an innocent man,” he adds, jocularly melodramatic, leaning toward the camera. Lorraine laughs indulgently, as if he were a cutely troublesome toddler, and thanks him for testifying. “It helps that you’re suing me too,” he quips. Right. “In your capacity as CEO, did you give a presentation at the Beaver Creek Tech Conference last fall?” I did, he admits; Deena approached him afterward. (Man, I cannot get past her tan. What is that?) “She said she was in complete agreement that costs were spiraling out of control.” Aw, poor billionaires, having to pay a commensurate wage to the people who make their businesses work well! I’m so sorry for you. “And did she propose a solution?” Why yes, Lorraine, how did you know? (Seriously, how did she know this?)
“She suggested a deal,” Patric answers, his voice confident and brisk. “Sleuthway and Chum Hum would agree to hold the line on salaries, and not to poach one another’s key people.” Uh oh. Alicia looks over at Deena, nonplussed. “And what did you say,” Lorraine prompts him. “Initially I agreed,” he explains. I wonder if it would be legal if they agreed not to poach? I mean, that seems like something they could fairly decide together, refusing to target each other’s employees, without actual encroaching on employee rights. Anyway. He goes to say that he never intended to keep the deal. Oh, that’s nice. “And I never did. Miss Lampert can be … challenging to deal with,” he adds, drawing an offended snort from Deena, “so I just told her what she wanted to hear.”
“Miss Lampert was serious about this deal, wasn’t she?” Miss Joy presses. “It certainly seemed so to me,” Patric helpfully agrees. Again, Alicia casts a worried look at her client. Well. That’s not good.
Speaking of not good, Kalinda’s ducking under some crime scene tape into an alley, phone pressed up to her ear. “We have a problem,” she tells Diane, who’s on the Florrick Agos elevator with Dean. Remember Silver Jim, our star witness? “He’s dead.” Indeed, there he is, lying on his stomach on a brick patio. Shot in the back, perhaps trying to run into that basement door.
Diane closes her eyes; Dean solicitously asks if she’s okay, but she shakes him off. “Any sense why?” Gee, let’s think. “Bishop. He thought Leonard was the C.I.” I guess all that eye contact and chatter was a bad play; it must have made him look like he was trying too hard, overcompensating. “Damn,” Diane curses. “Yup. He just killed one of Cary’s two witnesses.”
“Hullo?” Alicia rolls over to answer her ringing phone, squinting at her watch. It can’t be that early, can it? The sun’s up. “Yes, Mrs. Florrick, it’s Linda Keating of the Weekly Correspondent.” Okay. “I wondered if you had a quick reaction to the push poll script that was leaked this morning.” Alicia’s rolling her eyes, that’s her quick response. Eli, you’ve got a lot to be worried about. “Excuse me, it’s 7 am,” Alicia replies, shocked. “Yes, I know,” Ms. Keating replies, but she’d like to put something up in their online edition, her tone saying that the timing’s just one of those unfortunate things, there’s a specific online edition, and only one time an article can be posted online? Because that’s how it works in the digital age. Grrr. “Do you have any reaction to the push poll about your candidacy?” Oh, boy. If Eli was looking to infuriate Alicia, he’s found an excellent way. I have an even better idea, Eli. Why don’t you get a reporter to ask Grace what she think of her mom’s candidacy. She’ll love that even more. “I don’t have a candidacy,” Alicia grumbles, thoroughly exasperated. “Is that a quote?” Ms Keating asks as Alicia hangs up the phone.
“I know,” Eli attempts to placate Alicia. “I got the same call. It wasn’t me, Alicia!” He looks way too satisfied for that to be true — he’s especially smirky when she can’t see his face as they walk and talk down a hall at the governor’s mansion. “Eli,” she begins. “Why would I leak a push poll like that? Have you seen the questions?” Of course not! If not you, then who, she wonders. She can’t believe there’s anyone else. “Castro,” Eli hisses. “Right now he’s a shoo-in for reelection, he’s worried about you.” Yeah, not so sure she’s buying that. “Have you read the questions, they make you look bad,” he says again. “‘Do you think the wife of a sitting governor should take advantage of her position to run for office?'” She frowns, whether because she believes him or because she’s offended, I don’t know. “This is Castro, not me, don’t you see?” he turns around to face her. “And I had nothing to do with Ernie Nolan offering you money, he did it on his own. Yes, I got Valerie Jarrett to call you,” Eli admits, embarrassed, “but that was it. This is just happening.”
“Nothing just happens,” she shakes her head, her arms folded defensively. “Yes it does,” Eli insists. “As cynical as I am, even I know that sometimes the world just takes over. People write letters, kids stand in front of tanks, college students vote. And even this crook Nolan, that’s a good sign. I never trust when the good guys support you, it’s when the bad guys come around that you know it’s real.” Er, okay. That is some very particular logic there. “People think you’re important enough to bribe!” Eli grins as if offering her an enormous treat.
She rolls her eyes and walks out instead.
“Did the reporter tell you the polling results?” he asks, chasing her back down the hall. No, and she doesn’t want to know. “It backfired for Castro,” he beams. How did HE get the data? “74% viewed your candidacy in a positive light, even with his wording.” Stop, Eli, she pleads, hand up; he won’t follow her into the elevator. He will shout into the door, though. “Peter would kill for those numbers. Any politician would.”
And, damn it, you can see Alicia thinking about it. She’s thinking about it. Don’t, Alicia! Turn away from the light!
Next stop on the Kick Ass express: James Castro’s office (a spot that definitely qualifies as being away from the light), where he is yet again doing paperwork with his head tucked down. She closes the door behind her; he stands. “Mrs. Florrick. Always a pleasure. Although if this is about your partner’s prosecution, you’ll have to speak with Finn…”
“I’m not running, Mr. Castro,” she declares, shaking her hair off her shoulders. His mouth stays open, mid-word. “Okay, I don’t know where that came from, but good to know…” She sails right over these feeble assurances. “Every dollar you spend polling on me is a waste of a dollar. I’m not running.” “I assure you,” he sighs, patting his belly, “I had nothing to do with that poll that was leaked to the papers this morning. I’m too focused on my own campaign to worry about yours.” There it is again! “There’s no mine,” she bites. “I’m not running.” “Good,” he laughs, sitting down. “It wouldn’t make much sense. Running, while your partner’s going to jail for dealing.” Oh, boy. Now that’s an error. He’s just not good at this, is he? (Which I suppose is to say, he’s really really good at his job, which is making us hate him.) Lightly laying a hand on his desk, she leans over. “I’m not t a threat to you,” she reiterates, and I guess she doesn’t read him well either, because he resents the very implication that she could be. “Oh, I know,” he tells her. “You may be polling at 74%, but wait’ll they find out what your firm’s been up to.”
Oh, God. “I’m not running,” she insists. How many ways does she have to say it? “Good,” he laughs, “then we have no disagreement.” I think we all know that’s not true.
“Why’re you going after Cary?” she asks, because I guess she can’t resist. Just leave, please, Alicia. He frowns, as if this should be obvious. “Drugs,” he says, and leans forward onto his desk. “Why do you think?” She stares down at him. He stares back. When she walks out – slow, dignified – he looks thoughtful.
“Eli,” Peter swings open his chief’s door. “Did you see this?” he brandishes a folded sheet of paper. Eli has a lofty, haughty look which suggests guilt to me. “‘Do you think a prominent politician’s wife with no political credentials should run for office?'” Wow, everyone’s seen this poll suddenly. (I don’t know why exactly, but this makes me miss Zach. I’d love to hear what he and Grace think about this.) “The push poll. I know. It sounds bad, but look at the results!” Peter’s not interested in spin; he wants to talk to Castro, yesterday. “Why?” asks Eli, wary. “”Because I’m going to tell him if he keeps up with this crap we’re getting involved,” Peter threatens. Eli stands. “It wasn’t Castro,” he confesses. WHAT? That sneaky rat. “If it wasn’t Castro, who was it?” Peter bellows, clearly not listening. “First of all,” Eli begins, “Alicia should run. She wasn’t….”
“Stop,” Peter holds up his hands, and Eli does. “You’re kidding.” Nope. Not a bit. “She wasn’t listening to surrogates. I needed to create enemy surrogates.” Wow. Is there a manual for this kind of thing? “Okay!” Peter holds his hands up. “Do what you have to do.” He waves the poll. “Just don’t to do this,” he finishes, tossing on Eli’s desk. And now I am really scared for Alicia.
“You don’t like Deena Lampert, do you, Mr. Edelstein?” Alicia asks. Patric flicks his fingers out, feigning reluctance to speak ill. “Yes I do,” he lies. “In your last deposition, you said she was … difficult to handle,” Alicia recalls. “Yeah, but I meant in business,” he asserts, and Deena looks away. Oh, Alicia answers, it’s not because you used to date, is it? I’m hard pressed to know who looks more shocked, Lorraine or Deena; Lorraine’s enormously thrilled to be privy to such juicy gossip, but Deena’s mad. “I need a moment with my lawyer,” she declares, springing to her feet.
“I never gave you permission to go down this road, Mrs. Florrick,” Deena begins, more pleasantly than I’d expect. (Weird side note: most of Deena’s clothes have been a little on the fussy side, tweeds, rich looking but perhaps designed to make her look older, more responsible, less “pretty girl married to the boss”. This white jacket with a sort of abstracted floral pattern in gray and blue is the first thing that looks closer to her actual age. I love it.) “What do you think that Neil Gross would hate more, finding out that you and Edelstein dated, or losing this law suit?” Deena inhales. Well. While I understand her being publicity shy, I should hope Neil already knows! Just as Cary predicted, she turns to Carey, who nods.
“We used to date a few years ago,” Patric Edelstein admits; Deena looks away, humiliated. “Until your arch rival, Neil Gross, stole her away from you,” Alicia suggests. Okay. Leaving aside the weirdness of her dating Edelstein while working on Gross’s legal team – this just – no, I can’t do it. That makes her, like, the Pattie Boyd of the tech world. Really unexpected. Trying to stave off his own humiliation, Patric attempts a unconcerned laugh, his ploy transparent and awkward. “I wouldn’t characterize it that way.” “You two were supposed to go away together to Belize, weren’t you?” They were. “Here is an affidavit from a Beaver Creek participant,” Alicia says, laying out a paper on the table as Lorraine peeks, “who said you referred to Deena as a lying bitch.”
And now Patric’s looking at Deena somewhat apologetically. “I might have been inelegant in my phrasing,” he self-justifies, causing her to crane her neck in annoyance, “but I thought her price fixing scheme was ridiculous.” I think you’re well shot of him, Deena, if he’s going to badmouth you to members of your industry for having ideas. “So ridiculous, in fact, that you didn’t think she would hold up her side of the bargain,” Alicia suggests. “I mean, she, she’s always flying off the handle saying things.” Not saying things! What will those pesky women think of next? Dropping her pencil on the table in disgust, Lorraine starts pressing her fingers into the bridge of her nose. “If you didn’t believe that Deena would do what she said, then there was no agreement, was there?” Alicia leads Patric triumphantly to the conclusion of his statement’s in the previous day’s deposition. If it was merely a suggestion that no one went along with, then there’s no actual practice of collusion. It’s a weirdly unflattering defense — my client wanted to commit the crime, Your Honor, but no one would go along with her! — but it’ll do. I think Lorraine might gouge out an eye there.
“What – what’d you mean?” Edelstein replies. Let’s just say he’s not as sharp as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. An agreement takes two people, Alicia points out delicately. “If you and the other CEOs didn’t believe that Deena would follow through on her end of the deal, then there was never a valid acceptance.” Lorraine looks pained; Deena swallows a very satisfied smile. “Well, I never…” he swallows. “Actually, I can’t be so certain what Deena would do or not.” Okay, if he pins this on Deena, he looses too. He realizes that, right? To think I used to like him more than Neil Gross. Lorraine plants her arms and elbows on the table. “Let’s discuss,” she admits defeat.
Alicia parts a curtain of cables for Lorraine, who clicks through, annoyed: you can see she thought she had a winner and is peeved to know she doesn’t. She leans up against a desk and folds her arms. “Five million,” she suggests. “Four,” Alicia counters, eyebrow raised. It’s amusing to me that Alicia’s wearing black and Lorraine white here. Is this simply because Julianna Margulies looks fantastic in black, or because the costume department is playing with the absolutes of right and wrong and our preferences for our protagonists to be heroic? Because Alicia might be winning, and she might even be right, but she’s on the side of the corporations looking to crush their workers. Anyway. “They conspired to hold the line on employees pay. They fired anyone who objected.” Yep. Much as we dislike Lorraine, that’s not a position I’d like to defend. “Then prove it,” Alicia shrugs. “4.5,” Lorraine tries. “No,” Alicia replies, using her scary Mom voice. “4.”
“I should have hired you,” Lorraine notes unhappily. “You’re an assassin.” Heh. Alicia’s suit with its slim lines and fitted pants does kind of have a ninja vibe to it. Smiling like it’s the best compliment she’s received all day, Alicia shrugs. “Your mistake.”
“He’s dead?” Cary asks, bleary. Diane and Kalinda huddle together across the plastic wall. “Yeah. Bishop’s tying up loose ends. He thought his enemy was Jim but it wasn’t.” “Cary we’ll do our best,”Diane adds. “The loss of this witness hurts.” Not as much as the loss of the next one or two will! Cary wonders if they’ve talked to Bishop to see if they can stop him from killing the witnesses. Cause that’s going to be an easy and comfortable conversation! But I suppose one that needs to happen.
And there’s Bishop, back on the soccer field. “Jim Leonard was the best witness for Cary we had,” Kalinda tells him. Yikes. This is fun! I love admonishing drug kingpins about how inconvenient their murders are. That’s what I always do on the soccer field… “The one who’s testimony was most likely to be favorable to us in court.” Towering above Kalinda, Bishop gives her a measuring look. “You’re saying he wasn’t the one wearing the wire?” Taking a moment to choose her words, Kalinda replies carefully that she isn’t saying that. “I’m saying we can’t afford to lose another witness.” He nods, as if finding that seems fair. “Okay,” he agrees, “then tell me who Cary needs.”
Oh dear God.
Horror shivers through Kalinda, who simply shakes her head; Bishop won’t let her off that easy. “You don’t want both witnesses to be unavailable? Then tell. me. who. Cary. needs.”
Well, that’s awesome. You pick, Kalinda. Who lives, the one who actually betrayed Bishop (but can help Cary more), or the one who’s done nothing either way? Let the death of the innocent thug be on your conscience, or the guilty one? I’m sure no one is surprised that we don’t see her answer.
Actually, listening to this makes me want to root for Castro to take Bishop down. If Castro wasn’t such an ass ready fabricate evidence to promote his personal grudges, anyway…
“All those in favor?” Alicia asks a meeting of her equity partners, Carey Zepps at her right hand, Robyn standing across from her. She’s wearing a patterned gray suit, which means it’s a new day. “Cary, what’s your vote?” She has conferenced him in from prison. Hilarious. “Nay,” he votes, the handset swinging from his hands. “That’s ten yays and five nays,” she counts, looking around the room; the yays have it. “The motion passes. We are now Florrick, Agos & Lockhart.” The assembled partners clap. “And we’re no longer in debt!” someone – perhaps Carey? – calls out, which prompts some actual cheers. In prison, Cary stares glumly, seeing his control of his own firm slip further away. He tries to join the conversation, but the Cook County Automated Phone System interrupts to tell him he’s exceeded his time limit. Of course he did. Well, he did get to vote, for whatever that’s worth. Dispirited, he hangs up the phone.
The dial tone over their speaker is an awkward reminder for everyone back at the office, too. Crisply, Alicia turns it off and turns to her colleagues. “We have one new item of business,” she declares. “Chum Hum has agreed to an advance on our fees. It was Cary’s case. ” She looks around the room, making eye contact. “I move that we use it to get him out on bail.” Wait, money with no strings? Awesome! “I second!” Robyn chirps excitedly, raising her hand. “Well you can’t second,”Carey complains, “you’re not a partner.” She lowers her hand. “I urge someone else to second,” she replies; she and Alicia give pointed looks for a few very awkward seconds until Carey raises his hand. “I second,” he smiles. Phew! After the trouble getting a second, I’m afraid they won’t all vote to turn over the money, but it looks like they do, because immediately we see a guard walk down to Cary’s cell. “Agos,” he barks. “You made bail.”
It’s a day for endings, and new beginnings: Diane looks at her spectacular corner view for the last time. We look at her spectacular view for perhaps the last time. (I’m having an unhappy thought; I suppose David Lee will inherit her office? BLECH.) It’s not easy to leave this space; it’s truly, truly beautiful. She looks lean and rangy in an animal print dress, predatory in the best way; her hands run over the back of her chair, fingertips skim the red leather blotter on her desktop. On a diamond encrusted watch, she checks as the seconds tick down to five o’clock. One, two, three, four, five. On the very stroke of five, she takes her bag and walks almost languorously toward the door, her gait slow and deliberate and dignified. Is she going to leave all her beautiful things? I suppose movers will get them – or perhaps she’s leaving them all to burn with her bridges.
Wait, no. She stops for the photograph that’s sat there since the first day we saw her; Diane next to Hillary Clinton. Looking even more satisfied, she sashays out her door with the framed photo tucked under her arm.
She nods twice to Dean, who’s waiting silently in the hall; he nods back. He looks over his shoulder at two of their department head colleagues (the white man and black woman) and they nod back. As Diane courses through the hall, Dean falls a step behind her, and the others staggered behind him in classic heroic formation, a phalanx of crusaders setting out to change the world. All they need is wind in their hair. As they step to the elevator and Diane pushes the button, they’re joined by the other four. As the music crescendos, they enter the elevator one by one, each nodding to the person who will follow them. Carefully, Diane enters the elevator and turns around: “goodbye,” she whispers as she looks out on reception. Triumphantly, the doors close on her smiling face.
And the freight elevator at Florrick, Agos & Lockhart opens on Gunter once again baring his curved, hairy belly. Ah, how sweet — he stops the elevator, and the clothing removal — for Alicia.
Oh. That didn’t last long. No sooner has Alicia ask how he’s doing than he’s whipping off his sweater and shirt. “That depends,” he replies gruffly. “D’ya have hot water?” She thinks so. “Then I’m good.” He thinks for a second. “How about you?” She thinks for a second. “I don’t know,” she muses. “The future’s weird.” Don’t you think about running, Alicia! Don’t you do it! Perhaps touched by this moment of honesty, Gunter turns to really look at Alicia. With the air of one sharing a significant piece of wisdom, he shifts slightly closer to her.
“9/11 was a plot,” he confides.
When the freight doors open, they reveal Cary leaning in the doorway, wearing the suit he went to prison in, his shirt open at his throat. Immediately, Alicia’s eyes film over with tears that don’t fall. “You look … thin,” she tells him. “Yeah,” he shrugs. “Diet, fresh air…” They laugh. “Lot of changes around here,” he observes, hands still so coolly in his pockets. “Yeah,” she agrees, and then looks misty again. “We missed you,” she admit, her voice thick. The moment between them is genuine; as one, they move together into a hug. Cary rubs Alicia’s back. “This is the first time we’ve done this, isn’t it?” he observes, chin resting on her shoulder. “I think so,” she agrees, choked up but still not crying, her chin on his shoulder too. After the joking, I assume they’ll break apart, but no — they laugh and continue to hold each other tight. The screen goes black to the sound of Alicia’s relieved, happy sigh. And the sound of power tools.
Well oh my gosh. That was quite the roller coaster episode.
From a conspiratorial standpoint, Diane leaving in such an obvious fashion seems a bit silly, but in terms of the show, I’m really happy that she got a kind of exciting yet dignified exit. I’m glad she’s so invigorated by what’s to come. I hope they can make things work; that they can be a bright place for women and minorities without also squashing Cary, who surely has worked hard enough — and suffered enough — to deserve good things. Right now, I’m just curious to see how they all fit into what’s increasingly feeling like a tiny space! Yes, they laid things on a little thick with the construction and Gunter. It’s still pretty fun, though.
Please tell me Alicia’s not going to run please tell me she’s not going to run… I don’t buy Robyn’s armchair psychobabble about Alicia’s buried desire to run preventing her from taking the slimy real estate developer’s tainted money. I mean, okay, she took Bishop’s dirty money, but she’s already entangled with Bishop, who really does owe Cary. Giving back Nolan’s money was the right move whatever Alicia decides to do; heck, he could have used it to put pressure on Peter, if nothing else. Still. I’m most curious about what Alicia told Eli: I don’t have a wrong to right. I don’t have a mountain to climb. That’s what she considers a requisite for getting into politics? You know I really don’t want her to run, but I’m not at all sure I believe either of those statements is true — that she has no mountain and no wrongs. And if they’re not true now — if Castro’s perfidy isn’t enough — then what will be?
What I want to know: is this prosecution going to make me stop liking Finn? Because, I’m sorry, but defense attorneys and prosecutors are different. A defense attorney has to defend their client whether they’re guilty or innocent. They have to presume, in a way, the innocence of their client, and their feelings about the crime and the criminal are irrelevant. On the other hand, if a prosecutor doesn’t believe in a prosecution? They shouldn’t be making it. You can’t just be doing your job, racking up wins, trying to send the most people to jail. You have to truly believe they’re guilty. If you don’t, you’re monstrous; it’s that simple. And if he carries on harassing Cary with manufactured evidence just because its his job, I will stop liking him, no matter how nice his voice sounds or how soulful his eyes are.
Speaking of pretty actors, Taye Diggs is almost too perfect to be real. Dean is an nicely specific character so far; I wonder how long it’ll take me to see him as Dean Levine-Wilkins, though, rather than just Taye Diggs? And I wonder how long (and how often) he’s going to stick around. Speaking of which, I hope we see Clarke Hayden sometime soon. So many wonderful guest stars, so little time…
What else? Like I said, it’s kind of funny that Deena was at least guilty of attempting to set up an illegal salary fixing agreement within her industry. You’d think that as a lawyer, she’d have known better (or at least known better how to hide it). Ah well. I’ll say one thing for the prosecutor’s office, even if they basically consider everyone they come in contact with to be a bad guy, they do at least get to go after the bad guys and not enable them.
And a final speculation. My brother M made what I think is very interesting observation which I thought I might share; perhaps there’s actual information on this out there, and if any of you knowledgeable super fans know. We’ve all observed the little trick the writers have done with the episode titles – season one was one word titles, season two two, three words for season three, four for four – but in season five, it was back down to three. Now in season six, we’re down one again to two. Will season seven follow the pattern and be one word? And would that mean that it’s intended to be the final season?