Dunaway: "Mrs. Florrick? You can call me Pete when I'm out of the robes. Anyway, stop trying to impress the grownups and just follow our lead, okay? You don't need to reinvent the wheel."
Like he actually says that -- although fairness demands that I mention he structures it in terms of the new kid at the table, not in gendered terms. She draws him out, in a perfectly choreographed ballet of passive aggression, to make him say it. Every word of it. Her mouth is smiling, but her eyes are knives.
"What? Little old me tryin' to be clever? Surely you don't... Why, I'm just a girl from Michigan, I don't even know what wheels are. Please, explain that shit to me in detail, motherfucker."
It's been an enduring mystery of the show, how much percentage of any given speech act -- on the occasions she deigns to speak at all -- in Alicia's intent is actual innocence and how much is an act. I can imagine seeing this scene in the first season and being like, "Oh girl, he's pulling privilege on you, don't be stupid," but now it's like she's swallowed the tactic and made it her own. You could even draw a line here from Nancy Crozier to Caitlin -- as a sort of transcendent synthesis in the ongoing education of Alicia Florrick -- but either way: She knows damn well what she's doing. It's revelatory and revolutionary and it makes me want to rewatch the entire series without giving her the benefit of the doubt: How Alicia has reinvented the wheel of Third Wave feminism for herself, learned to inhabit the face she's always presented, finally with full accountability.
It's also dark -- dark enough they kick to credits -- and of course it's the Alicia Florrick Equivalent to slapping him across the face with a glove, but in case you forget what this show's really about: She's positioned perfectly, with every word, to keep her eyes just past Dunaway's shoulder. To Mr. Masters' weeping son, still holding himself together.
THE HOUSE & THE HOUSE
It's a funny note on the way individual writers make their stamp on scripts that this one time Horrible Real Estate Agent Marina, who usually gets on my nerves, could be excused for acting like a bitch, but in this episode she is totally awesome and world-wise.
"Well, they turned you down again because you still don't have enough money. I told them you want to close quickly, but they want what they want. Here's my advice: I've been watching them, and the wife is in control. The historically best move here would be to write her a personal letter, handwritten, on [the grossest stationary you can find], making a plea for your sentimental attachment to the house. Moms, right?"