Cary’s in jail, his bail money is contested, and there’s an audio recording that appears to implicate him. Alicia is faced with a case that could prove deadly for Florrick Agos if she loses. Can she hold it together long enough to save both Cary and the firm?
After a week of failure, Alicia needs to hold it together or she’s going to lose her partner, her best (richest) client, and her firm. First things first, let’s get Cary out of jail!
The A Plot
Alicia is called to testify about the source of the bail money, and Finn wants to prove it came from Lemond Bishop. Finn gets Alicia to admit Bishop was present when the bail was paid, but she clarifies that he was there “on another matter.”1 Just when it looks like Alicia’s gotten herself out of a jam, Finn asks her to identify some pretty damning evidence: the “business owner” who provided Cary’s bail money used the county’s death certificate register to populate his “health club” with fake members. Finn uses this information to get a subpoena for Bishop, who promptly rescinds Cary’s bail money. Whooops, strike one.
Alicia tries another approach: she applies for a second mortgage on her condo, and gets approved. Her loan officer then reminds her that the condo is in both her name and Peter’s, so both of them will need to sign the papers. He argues against the idea. Alicia takes it personally, but for him it’s just politics. A governor (especially THIS governor) can’t appear to be financially supporting a criminal. He refuses to sign, and advises her to do the same. Whoooooops, strike two.
Later, a local businessman named Ernie Nolan shows up to Alicia’s office and tries to pay for Cary’s bail with a no-interest loan. Alicia, befuddled, tries to figure out why he would do such a thing; Nolan confesses that he’s no fan of the current state’s attorney, and would love to see a change in that office. Robin urges Alicia to TAKE IT TAKE IT AND RUNNNNN but Alicia recognizes the expected quid pro quo, and refuses to accept the check. Whooooooooops, strike three, you’re out.
While Alicia continues to fail her way through the season, Kalinda works on proving Cary innocent. She’s heard the audio recording that proves him guilty: it’s from a wire, and it’s been edited. Cary didn’t advise Bishop’s crew on how to transport drugs, but he did answer some hypothetical questions, and his words are being misconstrued. Kalinda meets with Bishop, pretends to be in the dark about the contents of the recording, and gets his permission to interview the three crewmembers in question, as long as he is also present.
In their interview, all three crewmembers corroborate Cary’s version of the story, and all are willing to testify. Kalinda recognizes the voice of the guy who was wearing the wire, Trey, but she knows that telling Bishop who the snitch is will just get somebody (or maybe multiple somebodies) killed.2 Bishop has different priorities, and promptly kills Jim, the best witness of the three.3 Kalinda pleads with Bishop not to kill another witness, but he wants a name: who does Cary need?
The B Plot
For the case of the week, Florrick Agos is defending their top client, Chumhum, from charges that they conspired with their rival search engine, Sleuthway, to hold down programmer salaries and prevent poaching. Cary and Alicia are concerned that if they lose this case, they’ll lose Chumhum, so the stakes are high. Taking over for Cary, Alicia gets off to a great start, deposing and basically destroying the story of the programmer whose fate would make or break the lawsuit.
The opposing lawyer tries to arrange a settlement, but in a bait-and-switch, comes back with a request to depose an additional witness: Deena Lampard, Chumhum’s lead counsel and the wife of CEO Neil Gross. An email chain appears to prove Deena did indeed conspire with Sleuthway on behalf of Chumhum, and that version of events is corroborated by Sleuthway’s CEO. After so much failure in a young season, Alicia finally manages to find and exploit the weak spot: Sleuthway’s CEO once dated Deena, but she spurned him for Neil Gross, and he’s actually just trying to exact revenge via his deposition testimony.
The case settles, and Chumhum remains a Florrick Agos client … but more importantly, they pay their legal fees up front4, and it’s enough to cover Cary’s bail.
Dean Levine-Wilkins, Diane’s protégé (played by TAAAAAAAAYE DIIIIIIIIGGS), has returned5 to Lockhart Gardner just in time for Diane to resign from the firm. He came back from Chicago because he wants to work with her, so she invites him to tag along to Florrick Agos. He visits the firm’s offices, currently under construction and providing bathing facilities to a large (homeless?) man, and is mildly horrified. Diane cheers him up with a “women and people of color in leadership roles” pep talk — even though she’s done nothing to recruit other women or people of color, except to make that speech just now. In any case, it works, and he not only agrees to come, but in the space of 20 seconds recruits a half-dozen other Lockhart Gardner department heads who also would like to come along. The partners vote, and Florrick Agos Lockhart is now Officially A Thing.
Meanwhile Eli continues to scheme about Alicia’s run for State’s Attorney. He’s really working hard: sending businessmen with money to woo her, running polls and then leaking them to journalists, pulling in personal favors from Valerie Jarrett, then angelically denying any involvement in the most gif-able scene of the season so far (see below). Alicia protests6, causing even loyal Robin to question her motives. If Alicia isn’t interested in running, Robin reasons, then there can be no quid pro quo with Ernie Nelson, and there was no reason to refuse the bail money he offered. It seems inevitable at this point that Alicia will not be with Forrick Agos Lockhart for long, but then she’s always been ambitious.
Missing in Action
Louis Canning was out sick, Marissa Gold was nowhere to be found, Neil Gross was out building an atomic bomb7, and Elsbeth Tascioni hasn’t been heard from in FAR TOO LONG. To whomever has kidnapped Elsbeth: I will trade you Robin and Cary if you bring her back. I will also trade you David Lee, Carey, Finn, and Castro if you will bring back Veronica (Alicia’s mom) and Jackie (Peter’s mom). Preferably at the same time. Please and thank you.
… of the Week
Kalinda Moment: Look at the two of them. Now look at the kids. Now look at the two of them and how gorgeous they both are. Now think about how gorgeous their kids would be. VOTE SHARMA / BISHOP 2014. (Also, those boots.)
Cameo: The obvious answer is Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, but the right answer is Gunter, the man that uses the sink at Florrick / Agos and likes to get shirtless as soon as he’s in the elevator8. Gunter has no qualms about complaining loudly, and shirtlessly, about the lack of hot water in the midst of a law office9. Gunter is played by Danny Hoch, whose theater writing has won him a ridiculous number of fellowships and awards.
Supporting Actor: TAAAAAAAAYE. DIIIIIIIIGGS.
Best Costume: After much deliberation, I declare a tie between Dean’s three-piece suit, Diane’s animal-print dress and chain-link necklace, and what a friend and fellow TGW fan described to me as “the outfit that tried to eat Valerie Jarrett.”
- Your princess is in another castle! ↵
- Trey has been Bishop’s second in command for a long time, so he wouldn’t take any accusation lightly. By making that accusation, Kalinda might also be putting her own life on the line. ↵
- Did he think it was Jim? Or did he sacrifice Jim to force Kalinda’s hand, sensing she knows more than she’s letting on?? OH THE DRAMA ↵
- Who DOES that? ↵
- No, you aren’t imagining things: neither Taye Diggs nor this character have ever previously appeared in this series. ↵
- Too much, methinks? ↵
- Neil is normally played by John Benjamin Hickey, who’s currently starring in Manhattan on WGN/Hulu. ↵
- Has anybody else noticed that everything important in this show happens in an elevator? ↵
- I, for one, appreciate his priorities. Good on you, Gunter! ↵