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."
Will Alicia be hurt by this guy? She doesn't know. She has no perspective on that. No thoughts to offer. She goes back and forth. She puts it in a box; she takes it out again.
Owen: "You should have rebelled in high school. Then you wouldn't have to do it now."
Alicia: "Is that what this is? Rebellion?"
She listens, when people talk. She wants to know the answer.
Owen: "Or love."
She thinks, she digests. She actually thinks about the answer to this question. She opens the box and thinks about it. Only Alicia Florrick would actually make that face -- eyes up and to the left -- to wonder about the answer to this question. Accidents are unintentional.
Owen: "...It's not love, is it?"
Alicia's not so sure. Not worried; not happy either. Wedding ring on her finger. This isn't about the law; it's not about the image either. It's about gravity.
Owen knows her better than that. That knowing accumulates, too.
"Good. Because that would make it very complicated."
And if she throws her arms around her brother, without warning, and holds onto him like she's drowning, just for a moment: Can you blame her then?
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, Pretty Little Liars and True Blood for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook. IRL work appears in BenBella's SmartPop series of anthologies, most recently A Friday Night Lights Companion and Fringe Science.