So the question is, does she want to safeguard Kalinda's interests badly enough to risk that ugly feeling and -- knowing Kalinda's magic powers -- possibly pissing K-Sharm off in the short term? Yes, of course. Yes, this whole episode and this whole season are about that question -- and the other half of this episode is going to turn even that concept on its head by the end, making it more important than ever -- so yes, of course.
This show has always been about watching Alicia take steps -- first shaky, then proud -- into new worlds and new areas of sunlight, you know, places she's afraid of, places where she sets her cap and stiffens her lip and eventually learns to be that shape too. So yeah, Dark Knight is going to be a little wobbly. Most real-life people can't really handle that one -- a disturbing amount of viewers are starting to talk about her like she's this Nancy Botwin monstrosity lately, but to be honest that's probably just Cary fans for the most part; I've been doing this job a long time and I know how this shit eventually shakes out -- and most real-life people aren't half as Nice as Alicia either, which makes it even tougher. But she's Kinder than most real-life people, too, which is why you can trust she'll always get there, eventually. And hopefully drag the rest of us along.
Liz Lawrence (the always impressive Audra McDonald) is a former classmate of Alicia's from law school, who brings with her that extra twelve years in a courtroom that used to be such a big deal and now hardly registers, but who also brings a sharp little pang of competition that we rarely get out of Alicia. It's interesting, because the people you generally think of as bringing out this side have been the kittens and the babies -- Nancy Crozier and folks like that; Cary from day one; the immense pride she gets out of beating Louis Canning even though her limbs are reliable -- and now it's the bitches she went to school with. Neat.
Cary: "Who were you just talking to?"
Alicia: "Liz Lawrence, my Actual Nemesis from law school."
Cary: "Is she good?"
Alicia: "At working my fucking last nerve, yes."
ibid.: "...Also at being a lawyer. To be fair."
Alicia: "This isn't about Mr. Bishop's comfort level, Your Honor, it's about his kid. Whom he hasn't seen since the arrest."
Liz: "Then he shouldn't have killed one of our confidential informants!"
Alicia: "Rude. And also, her boyfriend beat her like a million times."
Liz: "Prove it? We've been hearing about this 'boyfriend' for months."
Alicia: "Um, he drove a motorcycle. I mean, come on. But yeah, we have evidence and we'll present it. I want to get back to how AUSA Lawrence is using this custody thing to be mean to my client..."
Liz: "He's a flight risk. Fuck him, yes, but also that."
Judge Bebe Neuwirth: "Fine. Two hours a week, in the presence of a US Marshal, at the prison. Chung-chung."