His phone goes off, and it's Peter -- "I'm here cheating with you," he grins, and Alicia doesn't even know what he means. She's just buzzed enough to make a hilarious face like, "Aren't we scandalous?!" He steps away, and she thinks for just a moment about what he said, before she feels somebody looking at her.
Kalinda's come in, on his invitation. Rapping her shades against one palm nervously, looking everywhere in the crowd, except at her. And then, before she knows quite why, Alicia smiles sadly, and turns a stool to face her, and pats a place for her to sit down again.
Q: Who is she supposed to be? What kind of person is Alicia Florrick? On her best day, when the compass goes spinning, what can she count on? She thought it was St. Alicia, she thought it was honesty, she thought it was integrity, she thought it was a lot of things that turned out to be way more complicated and less safe than St. Alicia ever thought: Virtues that become vices, vices that become armor so you don't have to cry anymore.
Integrity can be a kind of drug, just like any other thing you think defines you, once it stops helping you feel real and starts helping you feel better.
But the real answer to the question comes from the most surprising place of all, if you haven't been paying attention. If you, like Cary, think he hasn't learned anything or become a better man in his time at the SA, you might be surprised to learn he's known the answer all along:The people who judge, they lie the most. And that's not Alicia at all. Not on her best day, not on her worst.
Alicia Florrick is cleaner than that, on any day at all. As are you and I.
JACOB CLIFTON is a freelance writer and critic based in Austin, Texas. He currently recaps Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, and The Killing for TWoP. Jacob can be found online at jacobclifton.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.