For an episode with no case of the week, this hour was stuffed full of plots and characters and all kinds of goodness, no?
The madness all takes place during the party that Alicia hosts for the affianced Jackie and Howard. Visitors come and go, phones chirp, relationships shift, and secrets tumble out. In fact, with so many disparate plot threads, let’s take them from least to most wild:
It’s a mess. The florist sent a bereavement array of funereal flowers, and the cake says “rest in peace.” The guests all arrive early, and the food’s not ready to go. Jackie invited Alicia’s mother, Veronica. (“Why? You guys hate each other?” Alicia asks. “Oh, Alicia, sometimes you’re so innocent about women,” Veronica replies. “She invited me so she could lord it over me about her new husband.”) At least Alicia seems to have bought out the wine section of a liquor store, and Jackie adores the flowers.
Alicia and Peter’s divorce
The Florricks have decided on an agreed divorce and generally act like mature grownups about it. Peter’s sad, but Alicia shrugs it off as “that’s what happens.” (That’s what happens when you sleep with prostitutes? Have a few boyfriends on the side? Live apart in a name-only marriage? Actively fool Illinois voters? Take your pick!)
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Unfortunately, Veronica tries to score points on Jackie by “accidentally” spilling the news about the impending Florrick divorce, surprising Jackie (ha ha!) and Grace (oh, honey). Petty revenge is only fun when it’s the in-laws getting hurt, Veronica. A shocked Zach and Grace press Alicia for details, and Zach isn’t pleased to hear that Alicia has an investigator, if you know what I mean, particularly when Alicia and Peter freak out about the little surprise he has for them.
Yep, Zach’s marrying Hannah, the preternaturally possessed redhead he brought home. She’s three years older than he is, applauds Alicia as a harbinger of a new feminism, talks about Zach’s intellectual reach, and lectures Diane’s husband Kurt on the second amendment. Oh, and Zach’s dropping out of school, marrying Hannah, and moving to France with her. He also asks Alicia for a glass of wine. They grow up so fast!
NEXT: More love[pagebreak]
Alicia and Peter react to Zach’s news with horrified amusement, and Alicia (understandably) mocks Zach’s plan to move to France to be a househusband and write his memoir. Alicia asks him not to move until after his father’s trial. “It’s what you do for family.” I mean, that’s a hard-and-fast rule in my house: Don’t leave the country when a relative is close to being convicted in a messy, politically motivated case that involves prosecutorial fraud and an NSA wiretap.
Then, bless her heart, Hannah sits down with Alicia, assuring her that she and Zach are in love and marriage is no big deal. Zach can come home if he doesn’t like France, or leave her if he falls in love with someone else. “Marriage should work for us, not us for marriage,” Hannah says.
“If it isn’t permanent, why get married at all?” Alicia asks.
“Taxes,” Hannah chirps.
Alicia and Jason’s relationship
Speaking of relationships, Jason didn’t react terribly well to Alicia’s confession last week that she was getting divorced. He wants to clarify that the divorce isn’t happening because of him, “because that would be a bad idea.” They agree that they don’t know what their relationship is, but Alicia says she doesn’t want to regret not saying something important or waiting for a better moment to do it. (How heartbreaking to know that she learned this lesson because of things left unsaid with Will Gardner.)
Jason doesn’t want to talk about their relationship, so he bolts, but not before giving Alicia a gift that he apologetically explains was supposed to be a joke: a deed to 500 acres of land on Mars, which he bought for her online and named the Florrick Homestead.
Alicia and Grace try to be practical about her Martian land.
“I mean, 500 acres. That’s a lot of acres,” Grace says. “You could ranch there.”
“I could raise a family!” Alicia realizes.
But it’s clear when she talks to Lucca that she’s freaked out by all of it. “I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Or why I thought that I loved him,” Alicia says. What? I wish somebody would give me a deed to 500 acres on Mars!
Lucca urges Alicia to give Jason a chance, or at least return his calls. Then Alicia gets an eyeful of Diane and Kurt being the A+ couple that we all know they are. To them, Alicia says, “Maybe one day you can teach me how to be happy.”
She then takes what could be an important step toward that happiness by letting Jason drag her out of the party to talk to her privately. He says he handled her divorce announcement badly; it’s just that he gets itchy and wants to move on after staying in one place for too long. Alicia tells him to go ahead; she’s not stopping him.
“Yes, you are,” he says firmly, and then spells it out: “I want you, too.”
So Alicia tells Jason she needs to wrap her head around the idea that he’ll eventually want to go somewhere else, and he’d like her to come with him, although not necessarily right now. Oh, and the Mars land? “It was just supposed to be this fun thing,” he says. “I like stuff about space.” Um, show of hands if you’d go to Mars with Jeffrey Dean Morgan on a moment’s notice?
NEXT: Everyone says goodbye
Peter’s legal woes
Eli’s concerned that the plea bargain Connor Fox is offering Peter doesn’t make sense, so he asks Jason to prove that Peter’s guilty. Jason tracks down ASA Brody to ask if Peter tanked the prosecution of Richard Locke, who was accused of killing his girlfriend, to satisfy a donor. Brody says the case was a slam dunk until Peter got involved and the case ended in a mistrial.
Jason’s further investigations reveal that Peter went to the Locke crime scene, although nobody knew why; that he questioned and then vetoed the blood spatter evidence that would’ve convicted Locke in a slam dunk; and that the bullets went missing from the crime lab when Peter was the last person to sign in.
Jason explains all this to Eli, who goes straight to Peter to ask why he vetoed the blood spatter. Turns out, Peter was at the crime scene because he knew this would be their O.J. Simpson case (timely reference!), and he wanted it done right. Also, that lab tech had a history of sloppiness that had lost Peter trials previously, and Peter gave the missing bullets to a ballistics expert to check. That expert? Mr. Diane Lockhart himself, Kurt McVeigh.
When Eli offers Peter’s explanations to Jason, Jason’s still skeptical, and Eli essentially fires him. Nevertheless, good guy Jason does more digging and re-interviews the lab tech, who does indeed have a long history of screw-ups. He accuses her of lying to set Peter up and warns her that she’ll get popped for perjury if she testifies thusly.
Every other lawyer in Chicago
After his meeting with Jason, Brody tracks down Cary Agos to warn him that they could end up the scapegoats since they were both prosecutors on the Locke case. “In my experience, whenever there’s a battle with truth and power, truth loses,” Brody says, which is depressing and true. Depressingly true.
Cary immediately gets Louis Canning to represent him in Peter’s case. Canning then calls Diane, who represents Eli, to suggest they work together to form a coalition of the innocent. Diane, meanwhile, is showing off the new Lockhart, Florrick & Associates letterhead to Alicia, who approves of this Amazonian approach with an all-female partnership.
Next, Mike Tascioni calls Eli to announce that his dog Tom had a nervous reaction to medication, so he won’t be able to represent Peter after all. Eli’s worried about Peter, of course, but I’m distraught about Tom. NOT TOM!
Finally, Canning calls Alicia and warns her that she waived her spousal privilege in the grand jury, so the prosecution could come after her, “which is why you need to think about giving Peter up,” Canning concludes. So. That sets us up for many, many interesting threads that could all get tied together (or get messily unraveled) when Peter’s case finally goes to trial.
And then we come to the sweetest part of the episode that, presumably, serves as a literal goodbye for some of our favorite characters as they leave the party.
A law school-bound Marissa Gold hugs Alicia “in case we die tomorrow.” (She’s a little wine drunk.)
Veronica (also quite drunk) tells Alicia what a good daughter she is and exuberantly hugs Alicia and Owen. Also, “I’m glad you’re leaving (Peter) and going with the hunk,” she confides. So say we all!
Jackie thanks Alicia for the beautiful party and, since she’ll soon be the ex-mother-in-law, says goodbye with the old “we’re not so different, you and I” speech. Alicia’s quietly appalled.
Zach and Hannah leave together with Alicia’s blessing for their French adventure.
And the episode ends with Alicia and Peter sitting on the bed, surrounded by picked-over funeral arrangements, drinking wine, and ignoring the kitchen full of dirty dishes. They toast to their divorce. Unspoken are the questions about the rest of their uncertain futures. Two more episodes, people!