Bob Balaban! Carrie Preston! Aaron Tveit! For an episode with no Finn, this episode sure had great guest actors -- not to mention the funniest five seconds of Julianna Margulies's entire career. The main case was super interesting this week...
Wait, hang on. I'm getting ahead of myself. Obviously the most important thing here -- the thing that you'll want to hear about first -- is the thrilling cliffhanger of whether or not Dana left the SA's office for her defense job, and the answer there is: No. She is still at the State's Attorney's office, having been dicked around about the job for crappy reasons. She is still someone we met five seconds ago and don't care at all about, but it's crucial that you know her career remains in the public sector.
Meanwhile, Kalinda was less of a character and more of a Kalinda-shaped blur this week, tossing off her two lines of dialogue from the middle of what seemed to be a sprint. Maybe doing some non-Peter business for Eli that we'll just have to imagine for ourselves instead of getting to see it.
Anyway, the case was interesting: A citizen claiming the US government tortured him as a terrorist suspect ends up bringing the Treasury, the DOJ and the DOD into the mix, and before you know it Alicia's been ordered to spy on her client because the eponymous order supercedes privilege, and at some point she realizes that her association with this guy is ruining her standing with Lockhart and Gardner (the old "if she becomes a liability" thing is getting more and more obvious) so she goes outside the firm.
Alicia hires Peter's beautiful red-headed ADD fairy lawyer from last year to mesmerize the Treasury monitor with her Jedi mind tricks. (In the end, he is stymied by the adorable attempt at dissembling by Alicia mentioned above, a five-second voyage into her secret Maya Rudolph insanity world that I may have rewound and watched a good twenty or more times.) The guy gets off or the US settles or something and Glenn Childs is creepy and there are lots of military guys running around feeling conflicted. But mostly it's about everybody at L/G acting super adorable, and everybody at the SA acting sleazy as shit.
The latest random thing Peter Florrick's obsessing on: Getting rid of all long-term cases that aren't about either drugs or Homeland Security. What this means, of course, is that though he's building a RICO case involving the many sins of Lockhart, Gardner, his real aim is the meth dealings of, you guessed it, Lemond Bishop. He sends Cary and Dana over to intimidate him Will with the facts about that embezzlement, which we know now took place in Baltimore fifteen entire years ago. Peter and Will come very close to blows, and nearly have an actual conversation about Alicia and Will dating, but then don't.
Who does, though, is Diane, who -- thanks to that hyper-annoying "Mom pick up the phone" ringtone with Grace's voice -- figures out the deal and then does the most Diane Lockhart possible thing: Schedule a mandatory sexual harassment seminar, complete with corny cheesy training videos. Diane was awesome in many, many ways this week. That's merely one.
Another one is how easily she's falling under Caitlin's spell, just like everybody else... Although I must say that as a Kalinda, she makes a very good Caitlin. For the second week in a row, that crucial Final Clue has been ridiculously misguided: This week, Caitlin counts the letters in a common adjective redacted throughout a transcript and realizes it's been automatically censored, because it's also a man's name to whom they're referring in the words themselves. Which is clever, a cool idea. Except when we meet the guy, it's his last name, not his first, so the whole thing -- "curt" is both an adjective and a man's given name, therefore we know who to subpoena -- makes no sense. Whatever, we'll get Ms. Sharma back eventually, I'm sure of it.
What else happened? Grace is back into Sexy Young Priest Who Can Vlog To The Young, who's always a treat. Jackie stickers her stupid nose in to mess with that for about one second, and then dumb old Grace earnestly volunteers to act as her father's moral compass, which was as grody as it sounds. I guess the deal there is that it's time for the kids to do their usual switcheroo and Grace will decide that divorce is evil, putting her on Peter's side, while Zach's epic and never-ending exploration of sexual shame continues to keep him on Alicia's? I'm guessing. I feel like the show is always teasing with the idea of Grace just tipping into outright priggishness, just Humpty-Dumpty off that beautiful wall forever, so I'm excited by any kind of puritanism coming from her.
Next week: Saucy sexpot Chris Matthews throws his weight around in a sensual, low-key fashion; Kalinda "meets her match," whatever the hell that means -- I'm assuming it means a great white shark riding a motorcycle that also flies and is on fire and shoots guns out of its mouth -- and Alicia learns one more time about how defense law often involves guilty defendants. I love it when she learns that very basic lesson over and over, don't you?
Our client Danny Marwat is an Arab-American, second-generation maybe more, who worked as a translator in Afghanistan back in 2007. For some reason he was arrested and tortured the day after the Marja offensive, which is where we get our first objection from Aaron Tveit's character, an AUSA named Zschau, because of the Classified Information Procedures Act. Which is funny, considering the US says the torture never happened anyway, so the lawyer tells him to answer. It's pretty ugly shit. Suddenly, good old Glenn Childs shows up in the courtroom, looking dour as usual, and it turns out that he's an AUSA now too. Did we know that? I guess he landed okay after Peter won his office back.
Diane: "What happened at Camp Whitcomb after you were arrested?"
Danny: "All kinds of horrible shit. America can get kind of weird on you."
Diane: "What were they looking to find out?"
Danny: "If I ever met Satar Yusuf-Khel, a tribal leader with connections to al-Qaeda. A person I have met, but am lying about, under oath, to make this episode longer."
Diane: "Why are you suing now, in 2011?"
Danny: "My government tortured me. They won't even acknowledge that they did this to me. I don't want this to happen to anyone else. This isn't about the money."
Childs: "Good. Then let's all go home."
Judge: "Still a cocksucker, I see."
Team USA: "Since we're blocking L/G from getting access to our secret court proceedings, and thus they can't even prove he was ever at Camp Whitcomb, we would like you to dismiss this case. Basically, we are in charge of everything. Including how creepy we are."
Alicia's Sense of Justice: "That is not justice."
If you were wondering what it says on the giant Doomsday Clock here in TWoP offices as to when Dana Lodge's last day at the SA, I will tell you that tomorrow is her last day. If you were wondering who the hell Dana Lodge is or why we care, you are not alone. The show has tried to Inception you into thinking that we are old friends with Dana Lodge, but in fact we've only just met her. Downside, it makes the show feel less trustworthy, especially considering how many SA ladies we've already dealt with this season, and asked to care about, who then disappeared without explanation. On the upside, Dana Lodge is pretty awesome.
Along with the appearing and disappearing personnel, we also have Peter Florrick's continual onslaught of policy and operations obsessions. Like first he was all, "No plea bargains!" and then he was like, "Cary embodies white privilege!" Now it's about reviewing all long-term investigations that started under Childs, and cutting all the ones that aren't about drugs or homeland security.