Everything was so iffy! It was awesome and yucky and everything this show has been promising, in both the yucky and iffy departments. Do we need Peter or Eli (or Jordan or Eslbeth)? NO! We are just gross by ourselves, thank you so very much. Do we need Will and Diane fighting each other? NO! But for the three seconds they do, we get David Lee literally pretend-whining about Mommy and Daddy fighting. Do we need Kalinda having creepster sex with her various creep sex people? NO! She's got a whole new problem that is hilarious.
In short, it was an hour of totally creepy things, that felt sweeter than a lifetime of actual creepy things, with continual callbacks to the things that would normally make us feel creeped right out. Everybody managed to act totally in character, while also somehow being their goateed dystopian selves. Except Cary, of course, who -- in his first real episode since his dad showed up -- managed to make "bemused horny awful" a whole new fashionable look.
An hour of Lemond Bishop, yes. That means five dead witnesses and four threatened witnesses and three people already indicted and two people that don't exist and six milkmaids a-milking and five golden rings. But since his personal counsel has been replaced by adorable fucking Wallace Shawn, that means that we -- and Alicia -- just keep randomly hearing about these witnesses recanting and milkmaids a-milking, and even when the camera walks right up alongside adorable Wallace Shawn and he looks in the actual face of Lemond Bishop's sister and says to her face "Would you mind if I came in for a second to explain that you are about to be murdered unless you do what I say," the weird final result is that everybody wins! And even Alicia is so gross at this point that fuck it!
People actually looking St. Alicia in the face and being like, "Are you going to judge me right now, or do we need to talk about your best friend Colin Sweeney?" And Alicia being like, "Yeah, fuck it. I don't even care." AND SHE DOESN'T. And the beauty of the episode is, YOU BARELY DO. And it's not just because her nemesis from law school -- a well-used but always underused Audra MacDonald -- is playing the other side: You legitimately feel screwed when new evidence turns up in that whole car-trunk gym-employee motorcycle case from earlier this season. We -- like Alicia -- just want to explain to Judge Lilith, "I spent all day chilling with him and his kid, please stop pinning all these crimes on him." Which is, of course, the point.
In other news, Alicia fights as a partner to not get Kalinda replaced -- because she loves her -- but then Kalinda gets a lieutenant -- who is adorable and fantastic -- that is now her pet person. She starts a fight with Will about it, and he's like, "Alicia already started shit about this and you're getting a pet person, promise it won't be Blake again," and Diane is like "Trust us, this little girl is not Blake again." (Secretly I hope she's Blake again, but so far she seems like Nancy Crozier crossed with Kalinda's magical powers, so we're cool.) (But who is this girl? Because she is amazing, and I won't hear otherwise.)
Anyway, the body of the episode is those two stories -- Alicia defending some indefensible shit Wallace Shawn does for Bishop, while Cary randomly continues his revolution against everybody, while Kalinda learns to take care of a pet girl -- and on top of it, a thick fucking layer of Diane (hasn't been this cool all season) and Will (relieved enough this week to actually be funny) fiddling while Rome burns in some way they don't know about yet. And the whole time, suspicious Alicia learns more and more to enjoy her new position, even as it calcifies around her.
All in all, a great start to the final third of the season, and an absolutely brilliant "state of the union" for the characters -- Alicia included -- we've most been waiting to declare themselves. Turns out a world without Peter or Eli or Elsbeth is -- lacking, of course, in some ways -- a world that is focused on fucking some shit up. Just right the hell up. What's the opposite of a bottle episode? A Klein Bottle episode. That's what this was. Popcorn on the outside, ethical salad-spinner on the inside. Yeah.
The show only does its own Previouslies when it's Lemond Bishop, but it makes sense because whenever -- say -- Colin Sweeney turns up, it's because he's done something completely new and crazy, whereas with Bishop it's all the same story in little chunks: How he finally went to jail, ironically on the legit-business side L/G handles, for the murder of a CI whom he swears he didn't kill. Remember the one, Kalinda found her body in the trunk of her own car and then Alicia had to wait with his kid while they tossed the house and took him out, and it was grosssssss.
BACK IN THE BLACK
Over a fun little montage of everybody getting spruced-up office furnishings and whatnot, we join the Lockhart/Gardner Steering Committee just now beginning their meeting by welcoming equity partner Alicia Florrick with what else but a round of the applause she keeps getting everywhere she goes.
Item One: David Lee wants to talk about reacquiring the 27th and 29th floors, which we know would have appealed to Diane before she went to war with the idea of Nathan Lane, but now maybe less so.
For: "It's time we look like a real law firm again, and not some Burmese tent city."
Against: "Stay lean, or risk retracing our steps into ruin."
Will's Position: "But the economy! There are dangers in being too conservative with money!"
Alicia: (Wrong. Trust me.)
Diane's position: "Uh, and those would be?"
Alicia: (Yep, you tell 'im.)
David Lee's position: "Oh no, Mommy and Daddy are fighting. Once again. Move to lease them again while we still can..."
Diane: "And when that fails, we can start a subcommittee to study the economic impact?"
It's a tie -- David Lee browbeats someone named "Debbie" to stop sucking up to Diane, but Alicia feels no such pressure -- so Diane nominates Will to head the subcommittee.
Item Two: We need a new investigator to work with Kalinda.
Pro: Kalinda is great and deserves help, although who knows how you help Kalinda.
Con: Blake Effing Calamar.
Alicia: Like, the sole abstaining person because she doesn't want anybody crowding Kalinda even though she is great and deserves help.
After David Lee makes fun of her and everybody leaves, Alicia asks Diane if she can be on that subcommittee, and after the whole Cary Thing -- and apparently thinking they are back to being best buds -- Diane finds it necessary to rather gently point out that Alicia is an equity partner, which means total fairness which obviously you're getting with Alicia, but also she has to lie to Kalinda's face until they work this all out, which obviously is going to make her crawl out of her skin.