The Good Wife Recap: 7×16 “Hearing”

Y’all probably know if you’ve read our other recaps that I will wholeheartedly approve of anything that involves Stockard Channing. She’s back in this episode—and so is our long-lost Owen! Hi, Owen—and I have to admit, all the shenanigans made me laugh as hard as I ever have at this show.

But were there, perhaps, too many shenanigans and not enough actual stuff? (Objection: leading question.)

 Previously on The Good Wife: Alicia and Jason made out. Cary and David Lee started running around like chickens with their heads cut off because they had developed a group hallucination that there was such a thing as an “all-female firm” and that Diane wanted to be that thing. Peter was in legal trouble, and it probably had to do with a rich donor, not with his vote-rigging, and thenceforth became boring to me. Elsbeth was brilliant yet unhinged and had an equally brilliant yet unhinged ex-husband. Oh, and there was this guy named Will Gardner who we have to try not to think about, in order to take seriously Alicia’s attraction to Jason. (By the way, I SAW JOSH CHARLES ON THE STREET THE OTHER DAY. It was everything.)

Madoffed, Maybe

The episode starts out with a Jason-and-Alicia-having-a-fling montage. When we open, the new lovebirds are eating chips and watching a movie that, presumably, if I were Alicia’s age, I would know. It’s called Roar. And it has… Melanie Griffith in it? “There was like seventy injuries during the making of this,” Jason says gleefully. Screaming and roaring continue on the screen while Alicia flirts with Jason, “You are weird.”

TGW 716 jason and alicia

Why are they watching a lion snuff film? Unclear.

Suddenly they’re making out in the shower and Alicia’s ignoring her phone.

Time for a post-coital snack: they share a pint of ice cream, and Alicia asks him why he was investigating her. (She also makes an unexplained allusion to their “twenty-four hours of honesty.”) This was apparently not from last week but from the beginning. He explains that he wanted to make sure he’d been paid. “I’ve been screwed over by a lot of people.”

Suddenly they’re cuddling in bed, and Alicia says, “Like who?” This is a thing TV shows do that I’ll never understand. Yes, there was a jump cut between locations so to us the conversation makes sense, but did they just not speak in between putting the ice cream away, having the sex, Jason putting his hipster glasses back on, and Alicia resuming this conversation? It makes no sense. Speaking of the hipster glasses, why does this guy think he hates San Francisco again? He legitimately IS San Francisco, he is like a walking avatar of that city.

Anyway, Jason gets all squirrelly. Alicia explains, amusingly, “I’m not trying to interrogate you. I’m just trying to have a conversation? I talk, you talk…” At least she somewhat understands that this man is an unreasonable human being. He tells a story about someone borrowing money and not paying it back. “Never been screwed over in love,” he says. Alicia gives him a kiss that he interprets as pitying, which is probably the only likeable thing he does in this entire sequence.

A pizza guy shows up and cracks, “Nice robe,” at Jason’s pink bathrobe. (If it were me I’d probably have said, “Nice happy trail,” because that bathrobe tie is barely holding things together over Jason’s burnin’ loins.) “Thanks,” Jason says and slams the door. I think this is supposed to illustrate that Jason is too manly to care what a rude pizza boy says. Jason is secure! He wears pink bathrobes after seducing their owners! What a MAN he is!

Next up, they’re eating the aforedelivered pizza, and Jason asks her to explain whether her husband would “look askance” at the activities of the day. She explains that they just need each other for their careers. Jason gives yet another cryptic expression. “What,” Alicia teases, “that doesn’t meet with your approval? I can read the non-verbal Jason signs now. One eyebrow up, ‘Do you really mean that?’ One eyebrow up, with a smile, ‘That sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?’ Use your words, big man.” OK, but he had two eyebrows up, though. Also, please don’t ever say the phrase “big man” again. On the other hand, I very much appreciate the fact that Alicia isn’t entirely taken in by Jason’s cool-guy act.

They’re back in bed when the doorbell rings. Alicia jokes about hiding, but the ringing doesn’t stop; and then her mother yells through the door that they need to talk. Alicia tells Jason to stay right there and goes out to meet her mother—but not before dragging a chair in front of her bedroom door. I feel like that’s not a very effective hiding-the-man-friend strategy? Like, wouldn’t it be a lot less suspicious to just close the door, instead of putting furniture in front of it that conspicuously doesn’t belong there?

Her mother insists on coming in, and also announces that she is both crying (which she’s not) and distraught (which I suppose she is). Hello, Stockard Channing!

“I was Madoff’ed,” she cries dramatically. She’s barging straight for Alicia’s bedroom when she sees the chair. I guess this explains why Alicia couldn’t have just relied on the closed door to keep Veronica out. Alicia says she’s painting the room, so Veronica launches into a story about an investor who told her he could double her money. Then she suddenly bursts into Alicia’s room, supposedly to see the paint job. “Oh. Hi. This must be the painter,” she says approvingly when she catches a glimpse of Jason in all his tattooed, naked glory. They quickly get acquainted; Veronica starts musing on how much she loves the color of Italian skin. You can see why Alicia doesn’t welcome these guest appearances, but I do enjoy them, even if it gets a little one-note sometimes.

Just as Alicia’s trying to break up the party, the doorbell rings again. Veronica calls Owen in, and he announces he has bagels. Alicia tries to get him to stay out in the hall, and pulls her mother out of the bedroom. “Only if Jason promises to join us in the kitchen,” Veronica insists. “Oh, I promise,” Jason says, which earns him an exasperated-mom look from Alicia.

“Alicia has taken a lover,” Veronica announces gleefully the minute she sees Owen. Hah! When he hears how good-looking Jason is, Owen wants to get a look at him, but he has the self-restraint to wait till Jason comes out to join their bagel party. Veronica gives him more dirt, meanwhile: he’s Alicia’s investigator. “That is so sultry, that is so essence of New Orleans,” Owen says, charmingly and nonsensically.

Alicia tries to keep everyone on topic with the scam. Apparently Veronica lost a hundred grand, to her children’s shock. “Well, look, I didn’t ask him to lose it, he was going to invest it,” Veronica says. She gives them some paperwork: the investor’s name is Gino Davidson. The kids both roll their eyes, like well of course someone with that name lost your money, which is so amusing. It reminds me of a time my mother managed to figure out she was being phished, but only because the guy who called her told her his name was Sean Penton from Philadelphia in a thick Indian accent.

TGW 716 owen

Owen can barely contain his drool when he sees Jason.

Just then Jason comes out. “Didn’t I say?” says Veronica. “Yeah, but I didn’t know how much to believe you,” says Owen in a trembling voice, as if he’s gazing upon the statue of David for the first time. Alicia points out that he can hear them, and says, resignedly, that this is her family. As Veronica and Owen urge him to stay, the doorbell rings again.

Alicia asnwers it, looking a little nervous to leave Jason alone with her voracious family. Turns out it’s Eli and Mike Tascioni (with his dog Tom, of course). From offstage, Veronica yells, “Who is it? It’s not Peter is it? That would be awkward!” I love it. She’s such a disaster. Eli manages not to freak out at this, instead launching right into asking Alicia to show up for Peter’s grand jury hearing tomorrow. Of course Mike, who shares a lot of characteristics with Elsbeth, interrupts everything with a question about who did Alicia’s interior decorating. Once she hears this non-sequitur, Alicia immediately figures out why his last name sounds familiar. Heh. I like how they share those conversational patterns.

Resigned to a disaster of a Sunday, Alicia invites Eli and Mike in for bagels. She also saves Jason from having to hear Veronica finish the sentence she’s in the middle of, which involves the word “orgasm” and therefore would probably be terrifying. “Eli, here we are again,” Jason greets him. Alicia gives Eli a dirty look to warn him away from commenting, but Eli was too recently in the doghouse to allow himself to react now. Alicia is still wearing her striped bathrobe, which is the most awkward part of this whole scene to me. Just excuse yourself to put on clothes, Alicia! Even if Veronica talks more about orgasms, it would be better than you walking around in your post-sex deshabille!

Mike interrupts everything to remark that no one is at church, even though it’s Sunday. Alicia gets that weary look she sometimes gets when she’s talking to Elsbeth. Jason says that he goes at night on Sundays, and that he’s Greek Orthodox. I legit can’t tell if he’s joking. I also don’t really care.

The bell rings again. It is, of course, a process server for Alicia. “Come on in, we’ve got bagels!” Veronica yells. The server actually agrees, which is kind of funny. Just then, the act-in ends, so we don’t have to witness the ensuing awkwardness.

The next morning, in the offices of Lockhart Agos Lee, David Lee, Veronica, and Owen have called Alicia. When David Lee steps out, Alicia begs them not to give away that they know about Jason. “Alicia, please. I’m not a dummy,” Veronica says. Then he shows up and Veronica immediately says, “Hey, Jason.” Well, that didn’t last long.

Owen rolls his eyes and trots out a lame cover that Alicia just told Veronica his name on the phone. or some reason David immediately leaves again, this time to bring Alicia onto a call in his own office with Cary (more on that below).

Now that Jason’s sicced on the case, he does one of his patented home visits to Gino Davidson, who lets him right in. Luckily for Gino, Jason’s not holding any blunt instruments, so I guess this is more of a friendly house call than most of Jason’s little visits.

Jason asks Gino, who’s being very friendly, about his promising to double Veronica’s money. “No way, man,” Gino says. “I did the opposite of promise her. I told her it was a high-risk investment.” He explains that he put some of his own money in on a riverboat casino and that Veronica wanted in, but he was clear what she was getting into. “Look, I’m telling you the truth,” he concludes.

Jason looks convinced, even though I feel like people say that mostly when they’re lying. He calls Alicia and says Gino seems honest but stupid. “So you’re asking if my mother’s dumb enough to give a hundred thousand dollars to an idiot?” Alicia asks. “Yes, well, she is.” Jason sighs and says then there’s no issue: it was just a bad investment. Alicia offers to talk to her mother, but Jason says he’ll talk to David and Veronica, which is wise since Veronica will be too busy drooling over Jason to be that upset about her money.

Alicia asks Jason how he’s doing, re: their “lost weekend.” Didn’t you hear, Alicia? Nothing you do affects Jason. He is always fine! Why even ask? Anyway, he says he’s fine (shocker) and points out that they didn’t even drink. “Sex is a good substitute for alcohol!” Alicia says in a voice that implies she’s joking, though she’s not. Uh, I don’t think that’s in the AA handbook, Mrs. Florrick. Anyway, they banter a bit and she laughs and hangs up.

In the offices of Lockhart Gardner, Jason presents Veronica—along with Owen and David—the contract she signed with Gino Davidson, whose name continues to be fun to type in full, where she was informed of all the risks. She protests that she was tricked into signing because the print was too small. Owen, in a hilariously accurate family moment, points out that she once said she was tricked into giving someone her social security number. Veronica yells a defense she’s obviously had to give him before: “He said you were in trouble! I couldn’t get ahold of you!” Hee.

David points out that Veronica still has a little investment money, while Owen freaks out about having to pay his mom’s mortgage. “I did nothing wrong here! I was cheated,” Veronica says before stalking off. Well, let no one say she’s a lady who can’t stick to a story. But Jason has sniffed out something suspicious: he asks about the guy who got her social security number. “I need to check out something,” Jason says. “Something that’ll get her money back?” David snarks, as if that’s a completely unreasonable idea.

TGW 716 dirty talk

“I want to take you right now.”

On his way out of his meeting with David, Jason runs into Alicia and she greets him happily. They shut themselves in her office and she asks him, “Would you be offended if I said I … want to take you right now?” OK lovebirds, I need both of you to please stay far, far away from each other so I don’t vom on this keyboard. Anyway, he says he wouldn’t be, and then they both stare out the glass walls of her office for a second, as if they’re actively considering banging in her transparent office in the middle of the day. Thank goodness, Alicia returns to business after a moment and asks him to look into something for Peter’s grand jury hearing. She asks him if he’s OK with that, and he says, “It’s just work.”

See? Always OK. In other words, does not give one real shit about you, Alicia. Remember that.

Jason explains to Alicia that he thinks that Veronica was the victim of a scam where people trade social security numbers of easy marks. They’re both too busy glowing to be properly outraged about this; he walks off smiling, and she smiles after him like a schoolgirl. It would be cute if it hadn’t already become so disturbing.

Later, Owen and Veronica go to visit Gino, and Owen begs him to give her money back. But they have a plan: when Gino refuses, Veronica says ostentatiously, “Owen, it’s not going to work. We’ll just invest it somewhere else.” Gino’s ears perk up, and Veronica says that she has her husband’s pension to invest. He almost immediately starts selling them: he has other, safer investments for Veronica’s husband’s pension.

Jason’s waiting outside when Owen and Veronica emerge, bragging to him that they were very convincing. “I have my husband’s pension, I gotta invest it,” Veronica mimics herself in a valley-girl voice.

TGW 716 jason wins

Jason puts his smug smile to good use as he traps Gino Davidson into returning the money.

Later, Jason goes back to see Gino, and the look on his face now makes Gino immediately nervous. He tries to weasel out of seeing Jason, but Jason muscles his way in and plays Gino a recording of himself soliciting Veronica, promising a government-backed, 14-percent-yield investment. “That’s illegal,” Gino says. “You can’t use that in a court of law.” “I don’t plan on using it in a court of law,” Jason says; where he’ll use it depends on where the money is.

That night, the TV is roaring again when Alicia enters her bedroom in a button-down shirt … and nothing else. She grins at Jason and climbs in beside him. “Long day,” she says. “Let’s make it longer,” Jason suggests. That’s what she said!

Ew, I just grossed myself out.

Then the bell rings again. It’s Veronica. “Oh, come on!” Alicia says. Veronica yells through the door that she wants to thank Jason. Jason laughs, and they just kiss and listen to lions attacking people as the door keeps ringing.

Eavesdropping Eli

At the first day of the grand jury hearing, the day after the bagel party, Eli is waiting outside the courtroom and radiating tension from every bone in his body. A bearded, handsome, milquetoast man comes up to greet him, introducing himself as Connor Fox, from LA. I thought maybe he’d been on the show before, because he looked familiar, but it turns out it’s Matthew Morrison from Glee, who I guess is kind of a big deal? Anyway, he does admit to Eli that he’s thinking of prosecuting Florrick, but not what for. “You have to figure out, of all the dozens of cookie jars Governor Florrick has his hand in, which one we’ve caught.”

Just then Connor notices Mike giving him a beatific smile and back-handedly compliments his dog, which Eli insists is a service dog. “Lawyering by loitering?” Connor asks. Mike says yes: they’re going to question the witnesses as they leave… or maybe they’ll just time the witnesses as they leave. And Connor can’t stretch out his questioning, because he’ll anger his grand jury by wasting their time. Connor looks frustrated. I guess LA lawyers aren’t quite as cunning as Chicago lawyers.

Alicia shows up too, as requested. Mike explains calmly to Connor that they wanted the jurors to see her support. “Well, that is a strategy,” says Connor; this is his one rhetorical trick, back-handedly insulting something by saying it is that thing (he also does it earlier with the choice of hiring Mike himself).

Anyway. Ruth shows up to the grand jury hearing and Eli hisses with his trademark dramatic passion, “Don’t tell me you made a deal.” Ruth points out that that would be kind of a black mark on her resume, testifying against a client. “I’m answering questions, Eli. Same as you. Same as anyone.” But Mike’s dog (who elicits an amused, doubtful “Hello…” from Ruth) barks, and Mike announces, “She made a deal.” Ruth insists towards the dog, “I didn’t make a deal.”

After she goes in, Mike asks, “How could she hurt us?”

“In ways I can’t even imagine,” Eli intones ominously.

Later, after Alicia finishes telling Jason that she believes her mom would give money to an idiot, she hears something coming faintly out of a vent in the disabled bathroom: dialogue that sounds awfully like a grand jury hearing.

She dashes out of the bathroom doing a funny hop-walk that’s not quite a run, and pulls Eli away from Mike. “I’m a lawyer, and Mike is a lawyer,” she says under her breath. “I can’t get too involved in… this.” But she’s apparently allowed to become involved enough to drag him by the hand to the bathroom, under the vent. “I AM HEARING THE GRAND JURY ROOM?” Eli yells. Wow, Eli, you’d be a really bad detective.

TGW 716 alicia and eli

Yeah. This seems ethical.

Alicia, who is still holding onto some shred of delusion that she’s acting within some code of ethics here, insists, “You found this on your own.” I guess dragging someone to something and then pointing at it is fine as long as you don’t literally say the words, “Look at this magical way I found to eavesdrop on the grand jury room!”

“Oh my God, you’re great,” Eli beams at her. Suddenly they are the same level of ruthless. I like it.

The camera zips right through the vents into the various rooms whose conversations are filtering in to Eli’s greedy little ears. Ruth is testifying, and meanwhile in a different room, some facilities staffers are arguing about a job they’re working on

Locked in the bathroom, Eli pulls a trash can up beneath the vent, trying to hear Connor as he interrogates Ruth. But the sound is soft and muffled (we can’t hear it either; like Eli, we are hearing only the vent-filtered version, although often the camera is visually placed in the courtroom, which is a neat little trick). Eli manages to catch the name “Mr. Garber,” but is interrupted by someone in a wheelchair who’s annoyed that he’s hogging the disability-accessible restroom. Eli yells “Dammit,” but tries to save face by limping on his way out, so I guess he’s at least somewhat aware of social norms.

He runs back out to Alicia and Mike and says he wants to tell them something, and that he can’t tell them how he knows. It has to do with Lloyd Garber and the year 2012. “So we think this is about corrupt fundraising practices?” Mike surmises. “Yes,” Eli says hesitantly. When asked if there’s a danger there, he says, “I know what I did, I don’t know what Peter did.” Hypothesis: everything terrible.

Alicia sees that the disability-accessible bathroom has opened up and suggests to Eli that he go and find out more from the unnamed source that she and he both obviously know about. Eli dashes off to the restroom as the woman in the wheelchair emerges, only to be beaten to the punch by yet another person who actually needs the bathroom. Mike says “There’s something here I don’t want to know about.” Mike, when you’re standing near Eli it’s pretty much guaranteed there’s about twenty things you don’t want to know about.

Roland Lavin shows up. “Oh! Mr. – is it still Lavin? Mr. Lavin, and are we admitting we’re an FBI agent today?” Alicia greets him with exaggerated politeness. Heh. Mike, as any Tascioni would, immediately comes up with a scheme to get more information out of Lavin; he starts by bringing up the 2012 issue as if he’s simply a nice old man with no filter. Alicia looks alarmed—but so does Lavin, who gets noticeably unsettled. “This 2012 event with Lloyd Garber. It was completely innocent… and you should tell [Connor] that we’re prepared to show that this is a witch hunt.” Mike says.

Alicia started out watching him in horror, but her face turns to contained excitement as he keeps going. But Lavin totally falls for it, and interrupts, “Even the payoff?” Mike tries not to look pleased as he says, “Even the payoff,” as if he knew about it all along.

When Lavin goes into the grand jury room, Mike tells Alicia—who says she has no idea if there was a “payoff”—that she’ll have to be prepared to refute it in her own testimony. They look over to the bathroom, where Eli is unwillingly holding the door open for a man on crutches. Meanwhile, Alicia says they’re going to need an investigator. And since there’s only one investigator in Chicago, I guess she gets to hang out with her new weekend buddy!

So she goes off and asks Jason to look into the Lloyd Garber in 2012 theory, in between making yucky suggestive comments. Sidebar: I cannot work up even a smidgen of curiosity about this mystery. All they know is a year and a name, and neither of those are significant, so while everyone runs around yelling about Lloyd Garber and 2012, what is the audience supposed to feel? The show hasn’t done enough to create a sense of danger—Alicia’s career doesn’t seem to be threatened, we obviously don’t care if Peter gets into trouble because he’s the worst, and there are definitely not enough juicy details about the possible crime to feel interested on a tabloid-headlines level. We have NO IDEA what is going on, and that’s not the kind of mystery that tends to generate a lot of suspense. It’s all manufactured tension; we’re watching Eli run around freaking out, but I personally am like, “Who is Lloyd Garber and why the hell should I care?”

TGW 716 workers

Connor is drowned out by the workers.

Anyway. When Eli finally gets back into the bathroom, he starts listening to the proceedings. Lavin is on the stand now, and Eli can make out that they’re talking about an investigation Lavin has done. But the facilities workers who are in the other room are talking too loudly and drown out anything Eli can hear. Another neat camera trick shows both the workers and the lawyers in the same grand jury room, visually displaying what Eli can hear: the workers superseding the lawyer visually as their conversation drowns out the hearing. Eli is able to make out the words “V-lock” and “corruption,” but then the workers start hammering and it’s all over.

Eli walks out of the bathroom. “V-lock,” he says to Mike. They agree that they don’t know what that is and then stare intensely into the distance so the music can get all loud and tense.

And again, without some sense that the word “V-lock” is dangerous to Alicia or some other character that we care about, this is not a particularly intriguing development.

Alicia and Eli call Jason, who’s still outside Gino Davidson’s apartment with Veronica and Owen. Eli starts blathering about V-lock. “How was it [the word] used?” Jason says patiently, to no avail. Mike Tascioni asks if possibly it was State of Illinois v. Locke. Jason says it sounds interesting. (I wouldn’t exactly use that word, but OK.) Jason says he’s on it, and before he can hang out Veronica and Owen yell to her, “We kicked ass, Alicia!” Aww.

Back at the office, Eli asks Cary about a case he’s found out about—the People versus Locke. It was a murder trial where a kid named Locke was young, working class, yet had an amazing defense team. Cary doesn’t know for sure who his defense team was, but says there’s a rumor his father was “someone who mattered.” Eli almost asks a question, then realizes that he needs to stop because they will get subpoenaed.

Again, I feel like we’re not getting enough information to find this exciting. I do like the idea of Cary having a storyline where he actually does work instead of freaking out about uppity women, though.

Speaking of which: 

Patriarchal Paranoia

So the call that David decides to make right in the middle of his first consultation with Veronica is about this same cracked-out idea of a “female-run firm.” He picks his office on purpose to be seen conferring with Cary in front of Diane, so that he and Cary can continue to cook up unnecessary drama about their weird, paranoid fear of Diane’s lady-power.

TGW 716 david and cary

THE LADIES ARE COMING FOR US OH NOES

Alicia insists Diane hasn’t approached her. “She’s lying,” David Lee says hilariously while his phone’s on mute. These guys are so absurd. Alicia promises she’ll tell them if Diane does approach her. Why isn’t she laughing at this idea? She and Diane were last seen practically tearing each other to pieces.

Meanwhile, Diane sees Cary and David from her own office, as they intended. She gives them a suspicious look, but does nothing—for awhile.

Near the end of the episode, though, Diane asks Alicia to go to lunch, and they end up at a super fancy restaurant, awkwardly staring at menus. “It’s been a bit of a ride, hasn’t it?” says Diane. Though it’s been tense, she continues, she’s glad Alicia’s back. Alicia is like, me too, and also are you trying to take over the firm with your lady-power.

Diane says this isn’t true. Alicia reminds her of that thing she said a year ago about making an all-female firm. “I have become more temperate,” Diane says (meaning, she’s basically a Republican at this point?). “But what do you want?”

“I want to be of use,” Alicia says.

Diane laughs outright at this and says she knows Alicia too well to believe that. “You hide your ambition under a bushel, but it is a very bright lamp.”

TGW 716 diane

Alicia smiles as if flattered but adopts her politic voice, saying that she was happy on her own and she’s happy now. “You may be suspicious of me, but all I want is to be of use.”

“I’m not suspicious of you,” Diane says. “I want to join forces with you.” She explains that though she respects Cary, he’ll never be Will Gardner. Alicia could fill Will’s shoes. There’s a sweet, sad note of music at this time that I really like—at the moment that Alicia realizes she’s carrying on Will’s legacy in a way. “You can slice an opponent to shreds, smiling the whole time, and they come back thanking you. I want someone I can work across from who I can respect, who I think can outrace me. Cary is not that person. And anyone who is not that person is holding us back.”

I like this scene because it’s obvious that Diane is not trying to push out men, specifically. There is nothing particularly female about what she and Alicia admire in each other. Her equating Alicia with Will is proof of that; the quality of ruthlessness and charm that Alicia possesses is one that she shares with Will, not with “women” or “female lawyers,” and in fact, I think, I think the quality is what she learned from him. Because slicing people to shreds was not Season One Alicia’s specialty. She grew sharper and more dangerous as she worked alongside Will.

And the fact that Cary and David are worrying about Diane on this silly level is so ironic. The minute they see the women at the firm getting attention, they fear that their grip on power will slip—a classic reaction from people who, often unconsciously, know that the patriarchy gives them a lot of power and privilege, and don’t want to lose that. Yet while they are massively, panickingly threatened by the idea of a gender war, they are not threatened by the fact that she’s a better lawyer than they are—probably because that’s a possibility they rarely consider about female lawyers. But from Diane’s perspective, the important part is that she and Alicia can keep up with each other; if Alicia were a man, she’d still want to do this.

Anyway, Diane says she is only proposing they work together to buy Cary out. “This is not about a takeover, this is a way to sharpen our advantage.” She foresees a winnowing of Chicago firms and thinks that she and Alicia can be competitive. Her smile is very charming and self-assured. Alicia is obviously thinking about it.

Lucca makes an appearance, finally, in Alicia’s office when Alicia is apparently telling her all about Diane’s master plan. Something tells me this was not a secret she had Diane’s permission to tell, but I guess we’ll see! “So an all-female firm,” Lucca says and asks if anyone wants that. WHY DOES EVERYONE KEEP SAYING THIS? And Alicia also seems to be kind of missing the point of Diane’s speech: she explains that some people think by hiring a woman they’ll get a softer, more hand-holding lawyer. Both Lucca and Alicia roll their eyes at this idea. Lucca, always in touch with Lean-In feminism, asks if there’s more money. Alicia says at least she herself would earn more. They laugh.

Lucca starts to say that she likes Cary, and Alicia agrees, but there’s a “but.” “Before I left here,” Alicia explains, “Jason wanted me to be name partner.” She looks unsettled when she realizes that she said his name instead of Will’s. I also feel unsettled by this. Is nothing sacred? Must we besmirch Will’s memory by associating him with Jason? Lucca teases her, “Jaaayson,” but they quickly return to the question. Lucca thinks Alicia should tell Cary what’s going on. Alicia’s surprised by this, and, because it’s too difficult a problem, she says she’s turning her brain off and going home, even refusing Lucca’s offer of a drink. Wow, she has changed!

To me this storyline, though it was only about five minutes of the hour, was the most serious one in the episode. Though I do enjoy Veronica as a character, I think the balance in this episode shifted too much to wacky hijinx (Eli in the disabled bathroom! Veronica ogling Jason! Owen ogling Jason!) and didn’t stay grounded enough in serious drama. Which is a problem in a regular episode and an even bigger problem when you’re looking at only half a dozen or so more episodes of a very serious, and usually excellent, show.

Maybe this episode was filler that’s setting up something truly earth-shattering, like this Lloyd Garber thing. But I definitely hope to see more emotional content, and more plot movement, in the next episode.

 

So what did you think of this episode? Should Alicia tell Cary what’s going on, or should she cast her lot in with her former mentor? Am I being too hard on the Jason/Alicia pairing? Let us know in the comments!

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