The last frame of this episode had me shouting, “Wait, WHAT?” I’m getting a little weary of the election stuff, but it’s made for some intriguing changes to Alicia’s character, and I can’t decide if she’s going to turn into Peter or Will or… her own being. I hope for the latter, fear for the former, but still enjoy the metamorphosis.
And now for your Power Suit Ranking. We begin with an old friend:
17. ASA Geneva Pine
Oh, Geneva. Your career is coming as undone as your muddy jacket, aptly chosen because you are the ground being stomped on right now. In the interest of keeping spoilers off the main page for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, I’m going to stick the jump here and then press on after you’ve clicked.
OKAY. You clicked. Thank you. (This must read weirdly if you did not, in fact, arrive at this recap via the home page.) But I’ve stalled enough: This week, Cary gets sprung from jail. And in the process of it happening in an above-board way — I will explain later — it instead occurs due to A WEB OF LIES, which I will also explain later, that gets ASA Pine and the entire office a massive slap on the wrist from Judge David Paymer. He is so incensed he almost willfully told her the wrong ice cream flavor to go with her trout almandine. (I realize it’s the other brother in City Slickers who has this skill, but years and years ago I remembered it wrong and have never been able to think of David Paymer as anything but Rum Raisin ever since.) Geneva stands by haplessly and hopelessly, watching as her feet are held to the fire and start smoking from the burn.
16. Finn Polmar
This absurdly seaworthy dreamboat has little to do this week, and I’m very concerned Matthew Goode is going to become in demand for movies or something (he’s in The Imitation Game) and run out of time to have sex with Alicia. Note to the producers: If Finn has to leave the show, ever, for any reason, LOCK IN THE BONKING FIRST. During Alicia’s debate prep, Eli needs a worthy stand-in for Niles Crane. And in sweeps Finn, doing an amazing job going after Alicia per Eli’s instructions — and he is careful to tell Finn to bury Alicia, and I wonder if he’s because he hopes it will quash the lust, when in fact, the two of them will never be happy until the only verbal sparring they’re doing is of the tongue-duel variety.
BUT: Peter shows up and starts poking holes in Finn’s performance, so Finn ends up leaving. And good for him. He’s not Peter’s punching bag. He didn’t get paid to do this. That juvenile stopping-and-starting wasn’t helping Alicia’s prep, and if Peter needs to measure his peter against something, there’s no reason Finn should be his huckleberry. Sadly, Finn does not lick Alicia from head-to-toe before waltzing back to his office.
In the course of trying to pick apart the prosecution’s case against Cary and how it was presented, Kalinda ends up Skyping with a very nice official in Canada who confirms for her that the drugs Cary was convicted of helping smuggle into the U.S. were ALREADY THERE and actually marked for EXPORT into Canada. The officer wrote to Detective Prima about this issue, but never got a reply, and boy, it sure did rankle his hide. But lest you think that Canada has just freed Cary Agos from jail, it turns out that Canada’s e-mails all end up in Det. Prima’s junk mail folder. So, for the purposes of this TV program, Canada is spam. This is not a portrayal of Canada that I endorse, although I would like to point out that one of my favorite Kids in the Hall bits was about a takeoff on SPAM called POR-EEF, so there’s some synergy there.
14. This Sandwich (or Burger) and Fries
Cary is locked in a hotel room, with mere hours to go until he’s sentenced and carted off to the pokey. And what is he given to eat?
Room service. Which has its charms, but not when part of The Afternoon of One’s Last Supper As A Free Person Who Can Eat 80 Lobster Rolls If One Wants, unless you are eating said room service off of Finn Polmar’s chest.
The fries look good. The rest, I don’t care for, because it looks so cookie-cutter and if it’s a burger I just KNOW it has “Special Sauce” on it that’s basically Thousand Island dressing with maybe one pinch of something else stirred into it so that they can pretend it’s home cooking. I am so tired of that. I prejudge thee, Sandwich Or Burger Of Dubious Nature.
And, Cary, I know we haven’t gotten to you yet, but your Last Day of Freedom suiting needs work. That shirt really is fighting a losing battle to contain your pecs.
13. Professor Fluke
I love the naming of this character. He’s played by Chris Elliott, whose name it took my brain an embarrassingly long time to come up with, and he speaks Middle English. Which is how you know the needle barely jumps on the Power Scale, in terms of clothes or otherwise. I once had a professor who spoke Old English fluently and made us recite portions of Chaucer in the original tongue. It did not improve “The Friar’s Tale,” let me tell you. ANYWAY, although he begins gamely and acquits himself well, one stern look from Alicia sets him off on a giggling tangent he can’t overcome, and they realize he’s baked out of his mind on supposedly medical marijuana. (“I’m not high! I’m pleasant!” he insists.) It was Professor Fluke, with the blunt, in the prep room. He gets the boot. But at least he gets the dignity of not being harangued by Peter.
12. Dominic Lombardozzi
Dominic here plays Cary’s How To Get Away With Jail consultant, full of kicky tips about what to do when stuck in the slammer. He’s gruff but lovable, and ultimately just spends the hour freaking out Cary for no reason. And then offering to get him hookers if Kalinda doesn’t come over, which I guess is awfully sporting of him, in its way.
I’ve left out Eli’s daughter — whom he made Alicia’s “Body Woman,” which is sort of a nebulous title that is ostensibly “assistant” but which in Eli’s mind also includes “spy” I think — because, while I like her, all she seems to do is toss off little sarcastic comments so that the other actors have something to play off of when needed. However, I did enjoy that she randomly asked Alicia if she wanted a pre-debate glass of milk, which was the ultimate verbal shrug, as if she was like, “I’m supposed to say or do something supportive here, and… whatever.” And when Eli ordered her to get Alicia’s head in the game, she retorted, “I’m her body woman, not her fluffer.” I don’t really buy the actors as father/daughter — maybe the characters aren’t meant to have that kind of a relationship even if that’s what biology says they are? — but I LOVE how they react to each other, and that Marissa can throw him off his game with just one word.
She is very much a kept woman in this episode. You think she’s going balls-out Full Kalinda Awesomeness, but in fact she always ends up under someone’s thumb, or other body part.
We begin with her at Lemond Bishop’s house. For some reason, she was already outside it when Cary calls and asks her for help — basically, Dominic Lombardozzi has told him that he needs a white buddy on the inside who’ll look out for him when things get tough, and Cary figured Kalinda might know someone. So she goes into Lemond’s house, after putting her gun in the glove compartment, and stands there looking like she wants to throw up all over the kitchen counter. (The last time she was there, she blackmailed Lemond, which led to Cary being forced to take the plea.) Lemond tells her he’ll gladly help out, as long as she agrees to accept a phone call on his behalf. He doesn’t tell her when it will come, or what it will say; just that it’s coming. Then he hooks her up with a dude on the inside who, as they chat about Cary, inadvertently reveals the true location of the heroin in question.
THAT sets off the whole episode’s chain of events. So good for Kalinda’s ears for pricking up – but she’s still essentially subservient to Lemond here. When Kalinda investigates Officer Canada’s tip about the e-mail and realizes it was never read ever, and there’s no way they can bring it into court and claim it was buried evidence. A dead end.
And just at that moment, Dominic Lombardozzi calls her and tells her that as Cary’s girlfriend it is her job to show up to his hotel and have sex with him, so that he has a happy memory to take with him to prison. She does it, because she thinks Cary is screwed and either pities him or cares about him, or both. And this is what she looks like afterward:
As they lay in bed, Kalinda basically promised Cary that she’d wait for him. She said she’d be there for him when he got out, hat she wouldn’t leave. Which is lovely. But then when she leaves, she stands in the hallway looking clammy and queasy and disheveled (as the MOST gothic, dramatic violin music plays). I’m not sure if we’re meant to believe she just realized she loves Cary and meant it, or if she knows she only said it to make him happy and just wrote a check her body and soul can’t cash, or… what. The trouble with Kalinda is, I liked her initially, but in the show’s attempts to make her this mysterious omnisexual love machine with a magic vagina, it’s become impossible to tell what she really wants. Maybe that’s because SHE can’t tell, but usually in those cases the audience can go on the ride with the character a bit more wholly than I think we’ve done here. Kalinda doesn’t pull me in, intrigue me with her complex feelings, and then leave me torn as to where I want her to go; instead she speaks in vague terms and then gets squirmy and slams the door in my face and leaves me very confused and also possibly thirsty because she was supposed to bring me a Diet Coke first.
This is what goes down: Kalinda has decided to pull out all the stops to keep Cary from going to prison, either because of Feelings or because she knows she’ll bail on him while he’s inside and doesn’t want that guilt. So she asks her tech expert to explain to her how he would, in theory, hack into the police’s e-mail database and change the information so that it looked like Detective Prima DID read it, which would therefore suggest rather strongly that the prosecution buried evidence. She completes the hack — apparently it involves four easy keystrokes; it’s the Dump Cake(s) of computer shenanigans — but then of course finds a legitimate trail to follow instead… only to arrive late to court and realize Diane has already presented her illegal and ill-gotten evidence. As Cary celebrates, Kalinda can only imagine the size of the mansion she could build with the number of bricks she’s laying in her chair.
She doesn’t do much except look groovy in glasses. I am, however, extremely skeptical of those stripes on her jacket. They’re a bit… Flight Attendant. Diane Lockhart points out lighted exit doors for NOBODY.
She does get endearingly excited at the prospect of saving Cary’s bacon, and in the scene where she rallies the troops to pore through every last bit of prosecutorial minutiae, Christine Baranski begins her lines sounding faintly out of breath, which is so realistic – from the rushing, from pure adrenalin — that I want to hug her for being the best. Alas, as with much of the time she’s been on this case, most of what she actually does in court hinges on other people, so she’s not stomping around in there delivering a blistering helping of Diane Lockhartitude.
But let’s discuss the thing she DID do of her own accord: With Kalinda out and about investigating stuff, Diane had to go to court, so she… somehow… went onto Kalinda’s computer and found the metadata and printed it out and brought it with her. This is very proactive of Diane. But Kalinda never told Diane to grab anything from her computer, or, more importantly, what to look FOR even if she did. This presumes that Kalinda had magically saved this potentially catastrophic crime on her desktop as ImportantEmailCodeThatWillExonerateCaryOPENIFDESPERATE.doc. Come on.
After Peter chases Finn out of the building, HE steps in as Alicia’s opponent. But first, she asks him for a greasy favor: She wants him to ensure that Cary lands in a minimum-security prison, rather than being shipped to max for overcrowding reasons. He won’t do it, and after a second, she relents and apologizes for even asking. Then she eviscerates him during their mock-debate — essentially throwing Peter into Peter’s own face, as an example of how she would refuse to be — and is cleaning up so thoroughly that Eli calls a halt to it, just so that Peter can coax his cowering testicles back into place. Go get him, Alicia.
7. Judge Rum Raisin
He is none too pleased to be dealing with any of these people again in Cary’s case. But Diane has proof that the drugs in question were already in the USA before Cary allegedly counseled Trey Wagner on how to get them there, and Judge Rum Raisin decides she has to prove BEFORE Cary’s sentencing that the prosecution KNEW that and buried it, or else Cary can’t rescind his plea and will go to prison as scheduled. This puts a ticking clock of Six Hours And Counting on the entire thing. Diane later appears in front of him again to ask him to let her search through police e-mail records, and when he points out that time is not on her side, she all but winks, “It’s very dramatic,” to which ASA Pine objects that Diane is playing on Rum Raisin’s well-known affinity for drama, and he’s all, “I know, and yet…” I enjoy you, sir.
However, he also gets points for potentially being nobody’s fool. Kalinda and Diane are scrambling so hard to get their acts together that they are openly hopeful the judge will be delayed. And POOF, suddenly the judge has been delayed by a guy who wants to discuss appointing him to the Illinois Supreme Court, and the whole thing puts him a very thrilled two hours off course… until Peter Florrick calls the phone of the person he’s meeting with; Rum Raisin knows Peter has no particular affinity for him, and he puts two and two together that he’s being delayed under false pretenses and on Alicia’s behalf. I’m not sure if that’s ACTUALLY what was going on, but it certainly seemed like it was a deliberate move, because the dude couldn’t even string a sentence together when Rum Raisin called him out on his bull.
There was a moment in the episode where Cary checked his bank balance and it had more than $200,000 on it. He also was talking about Spain, which is where Lemond Bishop was offering him a job. It seemed like Cary was going to take the money and run, rather than go to jail.
But ISN’T HE GLAD HE DIDN’T? This was lovely — the pure joy in Baranski’s face, the pure shock in Cary’s, as Rum Raisin apologizes for the last six months and an overzealous prosecution that backed him into an unjust corner. Cary is Free To Go. He dressed well for his moment, and he did not take Bishop’s bait. He is STRONGER THAN MONEY.
5. Carey Zepps
It’s worth noting that Carey Zepps is the one who finds the evidence trail that helps Cary on LEGITIMATE grounds. Basically, Prima’s former partner, Kevin Rodriguez, was taken off the case or shushed or something, and deleted from the transcripts (all his words were attributed to Prima, without changing any pronouns giving away that two cops were in the room). When Kalinda praises him, he’s all, “Hey, when I apply myself…” It’s cute. Come on, kids. WIN ONE FOR THE ZEPPER.
He can snap his fingers and get Finn in the room — although maybe that’s more Alicia’s power at work, indirectly — and he can shut things down and he can yell and he can stomp. He can also wear good ties. We know all these things about Eli; he is the puppet master and he is the one hitting all the operatic high notes about the goatherd.
But here, Elfman challenges him. He’s enraged that Eli stops the practice debate just to spare Peter’s ego — and on his way in to yell at Eli, Elfman gets in Alicia’s ear and says, “You just graduated. That was amazing” — and rants, “Don’t try to save your boy at my girl’s expense.” It leads to a shouting match wherein Eli points out to Elfman that he should be more concerned about protecting the Florrick marriage, or image thereof, because if they’re married Alicia will win. Elfman tells Eli to get the hell off his campaign, and Eli responds, “This is NOT. Your. Campaign.” Finally, Eli says out loud what everyone knew to be true. He is just that little bit more in charge.
So why is hasn’t Elfman appeared on this list yet?
THIS IS WHY. If Elfman can get lip lock that’s long been denied to another VERY IMPORTANT PERSON, he’s got some pretty potent damn pheromones indeed. At the end of the hour, after Alicia finds out Cary is free, Elfman is in the parking lot and pays her another compliment, and she marches up to him with the sexiest damn swagger and PLANTS ONE ON HIM and after I screamed, “WAIT,” I then yelped, “WHAT ABOUT FINN??????” And I did use all those question marks. I really did. Because WHAT ABOUT FINN?
And yet, I have to say, it was kind of hot and I’m not mad at it.
BUT WHAT ABOUT FINN?
Here is my decision: It’s because Alicia is not in a position where she can do anything meaningful with Finn. He’s already on the opposition’s radar, and she doesn’t want to shack up with him in the middle of her fake marriage. And so when Alicia was feeling hot and bothered and flush with success — Cary’s win, her verbal garroting of Peter — Elfman, who had just been so enthralled with her and supportive of her, was a) there, and b) someone she could plant a celebratory, horny kiss on with almost no consequences. He’s never going to bust her, because he’s her campaign manager. I guess he could cry harassment and quit, so she may have been careless on that front.
BUT WHAT ABOUT FINN? I feel like she just cheated on him. It is unreasonable to feel that way. And yet. Finn. I swear to God, if this is because they somehow need a new option for Alicia… if Matthew Goode has interfering job offers… YOU TWO HAD BEST GET NAKED FIRST. DO NOT TAKE ME ON THIS ROLLER COASTER AND THEN JUST ESCORT ME OFF OF IT WHEN IT BREAKS DOWN. I WILL WAIT FOR YOU TO REPAIR IT. DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHTS. JUST LET US WAIT FOR OUR SWEET SWEET PAYOFF.
And yet, I’m totally okay with some temporary Elfman sex.
2. Lemond Bishop
I mean. He’s mixing patterns wantonly and it still works. He also does this stealth, creepy thing where he walks into his kitchen, walks out of it from another door, then re-enters through the original door, which throws Kalinda off her game entirely because she has no idea what the hell he’s doing or what his angle of re-entry is going to be. And of course, he manages to freak her out and place her in his debt. He is so cunning. When will he fall from grace? And when he does will he leave Finn all his ties?
1. Alicia Florrick
I’m giving it to the Margulies this week. Her character is the one who pays for Dominic Lombardozzi, so that Cary can be coached on how to fight in the slammer and how to eat his food while also testing to see if there is a piece of glass in it, etc.
She is wearing a jacket with weird sleeves and more hip detailing that matches. I am not loving that at all. If she had to be stuck in the same outfit for 43 minutes, could it not be foxy?
Also, Alicia TRIES to take action to help Cary, but everyone else basically thwarts her: Diane obeys Eli’s request to freeze her out so that she can focus on the debate, and while that seems like a loss of power, I actually applaud her for being dogged in her attempts to contact other people and keep a toe in the pool, while ALSO doing a baller job at her prep session.
However, I am giving her BIG Power Points for twisting up the sins of Peter’s career and ramming them up his arrogant backside in one eloquent swoop. It was a delight to behold.
As was this:
That cranberry coat is everything. And it worked on a sexpot level, as well, because of COURSE she was wearing it when she got the news about Cary that so enflamed her loins that she marched right up and macked on her campaign manager. It’s perfect. It announced her change of mood, and when you saw her in that sucker and heard the music strike up saucily as she marched toward Elfman, you knew where it was going even if you didn’t believe it.
Is she turning into Peter, aroused by success and power, and feeling like she is above risk? Or does she just really, really, REALLY need to GET SOME ALREADY. Girlfriend has a garden that needs tending. SOMEONE has to do it, if it can’t be Finn. WHY CAN’T IT BE FINN? I get it, though, I do. BUT WHY.