Some undercover cops were at the Addison station of the El when they were held up by a two-time felon. Another guy came running at them, convinced that they were mugging the fellow -- since they were in civvies, obviously -- and they shot him. For one thing, a gun was found on the Good Samaritan (as Alicia will call him), and for another thing they sure did warn him several times that they were cops, but apparently he didn't hear them doing that. So it was regrettable, but he was guilty of being black and trying to do the right thing, so IA let the cops off.
While the engine is running -- and the parts are moving fast enough that she doesn't see it happening because she's too busy being a nerd and actually studying the facts of the case as though this is a law job, not an administrative one -- a few things become clear: She's hyperfocused on one thing in particular, that will end up being key to the case; Matthew Perry sees her doing this and knows he's going to have to shut her down; and putting Alicia in the middle of a room of Good Old Boys was a huge fucking mistake this week.
Throughout the episode, they roll-call on each witness in a sort of questioning round-robin: Each panel member has five minutes to ask everybody involved whatever they want; again and again, they simply pass the ball down the line. This first time, Alicia's about to speak, when the collective Male Gaze pins her to her chair and she clams up -- and that's how you know what is going to happen in this episode, because the narrative clarifies itself real fast: This story is structured as a trial for Alicia's voice, and every successive roll-call is about furthering that voice's volume, and her outrage at being silenced, until the grenade finally goes off. And it will.
Everybody's saying this is the best episode of the season, and I think that's a major reason why: It lays bare the essence of the show at its most basic level, justifying and reiterating a lot of the soft-feminism stuff we've been talking about as An Actual Thing That Actually Happens; it makes literal the cronyism metaphor that usually Peter's stories are about, when it's not basketball, and then invites Alicia to play the game; and it shows what happens when Alicia's silence -- a series regular, possibly the main character of the show -- finally explodes.
Or maybe it's just the fact that she's talking to Kalinda again. I can buy that too.
EQUITY PARTNER MEETING
Oh good. Another opportunity for David Lee and Eli Gold to act like fucking babies. This part moves fast, so I'll just run through it. Diane calls the motions -- to remove Will from the firm's name and replace it with David Lee's -- as a single vote, which of course fails because, as David Lee points out, those two things independently aren't nearly as scary as they are together, and nobody wants to be the person who actually voted "replace Will with David Lee," whereas if they'd done it separately, they all could have gamed in between, which is his favorite part anyway.