When last we left Lockhart/Gardner, it was with Eli Gold under the microscope of the Department of Justice for a nonexistent "discounts for donations" scheme. The investigation, intended to scare the DNC about Peter's gubernatorial campaign, has since had two major repercussions: First, Wendy Scott-Carr is the US Attorney now assigned to the case, which means a lot of head games and inner darkness, and the DNC is spooked enough to load Eli up with a second in command: Adorable political wunderkind Jordan Karahalios (TR Knight!). A warning shot from Diane gets Wendy Scott-Carr's dander up, and before you know it she's investigating both Gold & Associates and L/G, meaning that Eli needs to find another lawyer.
Not that Will and Diane have any more time than usual for Eli's bullshit, given that Trustee Hayden is still so pissed about his failed merger that he's requested a mediation to bring them down immediately as managing partners. While faith in both L and G eventually wins out -- they still have a five-week deadline before he can start up his mess again -- the devil is in the details. First, Cary has been tutoring Hayden so he can finally take the bar, which he must admit -- heartbreakingly -- he didn't do in the name of bromance. And the other bit we learn is a bit of a twist: Seems they've got about half of their $60M debt under control, but the remainder has been bought off by a single creditor. As though they have never seen this show before, Will and Diane think that's a good thing.
(But it is not! It is Louis Canning! More head games! More inner darkness! More Louis Canning!)
...Who spends the whole episode dicking Alicia around in even more grandiose style than usual, keeping her trapped at a fancy Minnesota B&B while his client -- the fairly awesome head of a bank who's accused of abandoning their foreclosures to the degree that a little ballerina gets West Nile -- waits for a merger to come through. You've got the intense Martha (of "Marthas & Caitlins" fame) facing off against Cary back in Chicago, while Alicia bums around the hotel getting drunk with Kalinda, responding to Canning's treatment with some truly gorgeous attitude and side-eye, and making friends with his wife. The eventual settlement is a relief, but the reveal that the Dream Team has acquired a major piece of L/G -- and more than likely will be making fast friends with Hayden -- makes all those pathetic fallacy stormclouds we've been seeing lately seem more ominous than ever.
So there's Louis and Patty at the door, and a heartbroken Clarke Hayden right here in the house with them, and then on the other side you've got Wendy Scott-Carr doing her best to use Eli against Peter and L/G both. All in all, a fine beginning to what's shaping up to be a total shitshow. At least we have Jordan now, and Kalinda's been invited to the Drink Entire Bottles Of Wine In Hotel Beds Club... And never forget the fact that Alicia remains estranged from giving a good goddamn about most of this stuff anyway.
Next Week: French people, swimming pools, marital frolics.
Louis Canning scooped up first-year Martha -- with whom Alicia once identified before being told she was actually more of a Caitlin -- and joined forces with Patti Nyholm to take L/G down. Kalinda has rid the show (and maybe the world) of Nick Savarese, but still has a way to go before earning back Alicia's trust and love. Trustee Clarke Hayden has fallen for both Cary Agos and the practice of law, and is still pissed at the named partners for undercutting a merger deal that would have dismantled the firm. The DOJ is showing marked but possibly fake interest in Eli Gold's political work, which is especially bad for our guys, now that the elusive but always troubling Wendy Scott-Carr has joined the US Attorneys.
SPENCE V ATLANTIC COMMERCE
Cary is working a case here at home, against a very pulled-together grownup Martha, involving a young ballerina's destruction at the hands of the West Nile virus, which she contracted from some foreclosed properties. We're suing the bank for not taking the proper precautions: Abandoned swimming pools and water features which ended up hosting the bug that got her. Alicia's out in the field, waiting around a Minnesota B&B for a meeting with the bank president, who is represented by Louis Canning. Because where there are industrial malfeasance or toxic torts, so too will you find Louis Canning.
Sensing a stormcloud gathering, Will Gardner excuses himself from the deposition of the little girl to have a quick skulk with his partner Diane Lockhart.
Diane: "How's the depo going?"
Will: "Martha is like, so annoying. Luckily, so is Cary."
Diane: "Check it. A notice of mediation, on our whole bankruptcy deal."
Will: "But we still have five weeks before we've absolutely proven we ruined this business!"
Diane: "I know, right? On the other hand, that's five weeks to raise a total of $60M, so maybe they have a point."
Will: "Does this mean we have to talk to Clarke Hayden? For being such an adorable little badger I have come to shudder in his presence."
Diane: "Well, if we're getting called to the carpet, so's he. I'd like to see what he looks like afraid. Listen, you just focus on pimping that little ballerina out. We need at least ten million from this one."
Bank Douche: "Sorry we didn't like cover the pools, but it's not like we stagnated the water ourselves. It was already stagnant."