This week was all about battles: Cary vs. Howard, Alicia vs. Nancy, son vs. mother, Eli vs. Ruth. It was also about the introduction of Jason Krause, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, which only helped to further prove my theory that Jeffrey Dean Morgan makes everything better.
Let’s take this one battle at a time: Alicia vs. Nancy/Son vs. Mother
We kick things off in Alicia’s new home-away-from-home: bond court, where she takes on the case of “Male 209,” better known as Eric, the young man who attacked a piece of art at the Chicago Museum of Fine Arts. Only, when Eric reveals that the picture he destroyed with a hammer was a naked photo of himself as a child, Alicia’s interest in his case grows.
After deciding to take on the case, Alicia realizes she needs a good investigator. Lucca gives her three names, and despite the fact that Jason Krause nearly charms the pants off her, she goes with the cheaper option, a woman named Amanda. And let’s just say this: By the end of the hour, Amanda’s gone and Jason decides to work for Alicia despite the fact that Diane offers him more than double the salary. (Potential romance, anyone?)
On the case, Eric explains that his mother took the naked photo when he was 8 years old. Apparently, there’s an entire series of photos his mother took of him and his sister. They had followed him around most of his life before dying down. But now that she’s selling them to the Chicago Museum of Fine Arts for their permanent collection, he can’t get away from them.
Bad news for Alicia: Representing the museum/mother is none other than I’m-so-innocent-I’m-from-the-Midwest Nancy, who continues with her dumb act whenever it suits her cause. When the museum offers to drop the charges if Eric publicly embraces his mother’s work, it’s official: We’re going to trial.
After Lucca joins Team Alicia — she handed her the case in bond court, which entitles her to 50 percent — they decide to go for the no-consent angle.
Standing before an awfully zen Judge Dunaway, Alicia argues that Eric never wanted to be photographed, and he never gave consent, therefore, the photos can’t be sold. But given that Eric was a minor, it’s decided that his mother was allowed to give consent on his behalf, so the copyright interest holds.
Sadly, Alicia’s next attempt to prove that the photos caused Eric harm — they did get him his first email from a pedophile — also fails.
In the judge’s quarters, where we discover the reason for his new attitude is that he’s converted to Islam after having a heart attack, Alicia’s consent angle is definitively crushed when the other defense finds Eric’s sister first (hence Alicia firing Amanda). But once again, Lucca saves the day by requesting a separate ruling on the right of publicity. Basically, the museum can show the work, but they shouldn’t be allowed to use it for commercial purposes (translation: in the gift shop).
At court, the judge rules on every item sold in the museum gift shop … until Nancy brings up the fact that the photos were taken in Maine, which does not recognize a right to publicity. Again, Alicia loses. The museum can sell it all.
But after sexy Jason steps in — as Kalinda taught us, all investigators should be sexy — Alicia calls someone new to the stand: a man who was convicted of possessing child porn and was an active member of an online community. When asked if he’d seen Eric’s picture, he said he and his friends had traded them back and forth for years for the use of “personal sexual gratification.” According to him, he doesn’t see a difference between Eric’s photo and child pornography.
When even that fails, Alicia tries for child labor — Eric was a model but wasn’t paid — but in the end, the scuffle ends with Eric mother extending a hand and him taking it. (I have no idea what that means, to be honest.)
Next: Eli Follows