THIS GOOD MAN
Alicia stops Ira on the way out to thank him for everything, and he's just a little sad.
Ira: "You don't have to thank me. I wasn't the one who played them."
Alicia: "We... That's not why we won..."
Already, she knows what he's talking about. Already that secret smile is fading. It's when you call her out that she can feel herself slipping; as long as it's a secret she can do what she wants. As long as it's polite, unstated, as long as you don't show her what she's doing. But he holds up a mirror, for a split-second.
Ira: "You won because of the facts. You got your client rich because you played them. And me."
Alicia: "That's not fair..."
Ira: "It is fair. It may not be polite, but it is fair."
Gravity. The ground comes up to meet her.
Ira: "Don't worry about it. If I needed a lawyer I'd probably hire you, too. Very nice to meet you."
And all those desperate people, flailing around in a world where they have to know these things all the time. Where the image and the reality are the same thing. Where this man can point out the difference between behavior and intention: To say out loud that excusing yourself for doing the thing is not the same as not doing the thing. And worse: To know that this man, this good man who taught her a little bit about the world this weekend, that she liked, this father of two whose values she shares and whose values she manipulated?
This good man has just put her in a box.
Zach, in bed, sleepy: "Hey, Mom."
Alicia: "Just wanted to see how you were doing."
Zach: "How's your thing?"
Alicia: "It was good... I don't know, I go back and forth on work."
Zach, smiling: "Yeah. Same with Dad."
And if she rushes upon him, then, without warning, to kiss him on the forehead, can you blame her?
Owen: "I'm getting boring."
Owen: "I mean, when did this happen? You're the one out having sex with your boyfriend..."
Owen: "...And I'm the one at home with the kids..."
Alicia: "And it's much appreciated."