Five minutes before a vote on the company Eli and Alicia are helping Colin Sweeney win back, Morena Baccarin shows up, claiming sexual harassment and with a child she claims is his -- but since Colin Sweeney is a weirdo that prefers lying and acting weird to conducting himself in a normal way, getting to the bottom of things is a lot more complicated -- both logistically and ethically -- than it needs to be. And of course, by the end of things, also way weirder. Turns out the woman was working for Colin's rival in the company, there's this whole thing about blowjobs and turkey basters, and the point is she impregnated herself with his semen. But then, because it's Colin Sweeney, he decides that's awesome, and they run off to raise the kid together.
Opting for family life, the return to hearth and home, is something of a theme for Alicia this week, once her apartment goes condo and she realizes they'll have to move again. The Highland Park house where the Florricks lived until everything went to shit is back on the market, which the kids love no end but Alicia's worried about money and unsure how to play her next move, financially. In the end of the episode, she sneaks off to take in a tour of the open house and, confronted with fifteen years of memories, pretty much wigs.
And the financial bits are just the part you can see. Alicia's got herself so freaked out -- about money, about the kids, about the usual stuff she's freaked about -- that she lets the intense office politics get to her, finally going after Caitlin for "undercutting" her and pretty much doing everything exactly wrong. Which, to her credit, she figures out almost immediately, but then it turns out it doesn't really matter, because there is no secret and there is no agenda and it has nothing to do with Alicia or Will or even Diane: Caitlin's leaving the firm to get married and have a baby. A story Alicia knows pretty well, and a stinging reminder that turning on Caitlin is exactly what they want you to do.
It's actually the neatest part of the episode, the conversations Alicia has with her own mentor and mentee, in turn, about whether or not it's politically or personally acceptable for Caitlin to Mommy Track herself. Diane speaks for her generation when she says the cracks in the glass ceiling weren't put there for this, that the personal is political and Caitlin will end up as disappointed as Alicia was. Both of which Alicia correctly answers in the negative, because she's wrong on both counts, and it's not betraying anyone to have a child. And then finally, Caitlin speaks for my generation when she tries to explain she has nothing to prove: That the first question you have to ask is who you're trying to impress.
Powerful stuff. Searching, without being either cloying or cliched and without getting even passively vitriolic. I love the way Diane and Alicia immediately close ranks, like, "We have to talk her out of making this all-or-nothing choice," and the way Caitlin sweetly tells them to go to hell. I just love the idea that all this time Caitlin's agenda was the opposite of an agenda, and it's Alicia who's been connecting every one of those dots. She was a real asshole this week, to be honest, but A) It's Alicia, and B) She knows it. Plus C) Any week with Colin Sweeney, you get a pass.
There was some interesting business developing about minorities getting screwed over at the Florrick State's Attorney's office -- a couple of dudes had sex in Peter's office, for some reason, so one of them gets fired, and Geneva Pine rips Cary a new one about his white privilege -- so then he tries to get Peter to fire or censure him out of some desperate need for the SA to actually follow the rules they're constantly setting and espousing. However, like Alicia's salary concerns, this shift is left on the table at the end of the episode.
We'll miss Caitlin, but the fact that so many characters seem to be in financial straits or dissatisfying places with their careers makes me wonder exactly how tectonic the coming changes are going to be -- especially with Louis Canning set to reappear next week, along with Tammy dropping back into Will's life. Without Caitlin or Kalinda to worry about, and feeling the credit crunch, I wonder if this stuff might end up with Alicia questioning her own loyalty, to Will and Diane, and to the firm as a whole. From last week's snakepit to this week's oddly quaint storyline about bathroom blowjobs and miraculous semen, it seems like she might just need a break period. Or at least a nap.
HERALD EQUITY STOCKHOLDERS MTG
Gerald Drescher: "Stockholders of Herald Equity, I am here to make my rival -- former CEO Colin Sweeney -- look bad. Since he is the most fucked up person that ever lived, this should go pretty smoothly."
Eli, backstage: "He's right. You are a total trainwreck of a person."
Colin: "What if he asks me about how I keep killing people and having weird sex all the time?"
Eli: "...Yeah, he's going to do that."
Colin: "I wasn't asking you, I was asking my legal consultant."
Alicia: "Right, sorry. Forgot where I was. Okay, so just say you didn't kill your wife."
Colin: "Which is true. I killed that other lady I was paying to stalk me, and got away with it."
Alicia: "Well. Don't bring that up?"
There is something so beautiful about the fact that Lockhart & Assoc. sent Colin a team consisting of an associate and a crisis consultant -- and even better that it's Alicia and Eli, for about a million reasons -- but one wonders what else they could have added. Somebody with a taser, maybe. Armed guards with that rolling stand-up face-mask Clarice Starling rig. Definitely a priest.
Alicia: "Right, remember the truth? That thing you hate because you are perverse? Think about saying that. You know, how you are trying to get back the company that was stolen from you, and which has taken a 30% drop since Drescher took over. Facts."
Other Fact #1: Lockhart is going from mutual fund to mutual fund getting their individual proxies together, one by one, so we're getting continually updated on which Whiteguy-Hedgewealth fund is flipping sides at any given time.
Other Fact #2: When this works out, Alicia will have brought Lockhart a 5% stake in the company. Which is exactly what she needs to do in the wake of Gardner's hiatus, and of course in the wake of Caitlin's total onslaught and full-force attempt to ruin Alicia's life and sanity using her blonde wiles and genetic evil and intuitive understanding of how basic internet things work.
Colin: "So that's probably a good thing for you, huh? I do like to help you with your career, Mrs. Faustus."
Alicia: "Frankly I'm just happy to see you."
Colin: "The more cynical you get, the closer you get to becoming my underworld bride."
He takes the stage to boos -- "How gauche!" -- and Eli just stares at Alicia, in her simultaneous equanimity and full-body wiggins.