Viola Walsh returns as Will and Alicia represent an Internet startup, and Eli Gold tries to avoid a major scandal for Peter's campaign
Where there’s a political campaign, there’s a scandal not far behind just waiting to be uncovered. And in “Two Girls, One Code” Eli Gold was trying to avoid just that in the form of a magazine story that would likely harm Peter’s campaign. Local reporter, Mandy Post (Miriam Shor), was hounding Eli for face time with Peter and Alicia. She claimed to have solid information of an affair, and was going to go to press with the piece in less than a week. So Eli went into damage control mode.
First on the agenda was the awkward task of confronting Alicia about her relationship with Will. Mandy Post had acquired a hotel receipt that pointed to a past Will and Alicia encounter. Eli acknowledged that it could all be a bluff, but pushed Alicia to check out the timing anyway. In a perfect Eli/Alicia moment, he asked her if she would tell him when their relationship stopped. Alicia quickly ended that conversation with a simple, yet firm, “no.” I love those two.
Alicia went to Will to ask him about the date of the aforementioned hotel receipt, and he agreed to look into the date. You could tell Will wanted to comfort Alicia, but in a really telling moment she quickly moved away as he reached for her hand. As it turned out, the potential scandal was mostly a false alarm. The affair in question was not Will and Alicia, but instead Peter and a campaign worker. Alicia heaved a sigh of relief that her own affair would remain hidden, but she was clearly troubled by the news about Peter, regardless of their separation. Eli stood by the fact that another Peter affair was pure fiction.
Understanding how serious the accusations were, Eli even sought out Kalinda for help. He knew Kalinda wouldn’t help Peter specifically, but thought she might be willing to investigate the situation to avoid any further embarrassment for Alicia. That angle worked. Kalinda pretended to be Eli’s assistant, as she listened to Mandy Post’s claims about the hotel-room affair, while Post was still pushing for Peter and Alicia face time.
NEXT: Alicia and Peter happy again?
Later, Peter went to Alicia to discuss the rumors. He said it wasn’t true, and Alicia pointed out that that was the same thing he said the last time they went down this road. Because of his past transgressions, all his denials looked like lies. I thought Eli’s conversation with Alicia was pretty awkward, but I think having Peter and Kalinda in the same room wins the awkward award for the episode. Eli brought Kalinda to the campaign bus to tell Peter she was investigating Post’s claims. “You know her, right?” Eli asked Peter. Ummm. Yeah. Something like that.
Eli and Kalinda finally found the female campaign worker in question. She admitted to sleeping with Peter eight times, including twice at his apartment. Then she claimed to have seen Alicia who she said told her it was no big deal, and that she and Peter had an open marriage. Clearly a bunch of hogwash. Alicia would obviously never condone an open marriage, separation or not. Crisis averted. The whole almost-scandal—and episode—concluded with Alicia going to Peter’s campaign bus and kissing him!! What?! These two keep having happy moments on that campaign bus. And at this rate, will they have to get a room by season’s end?
For the case of the week, the financially burdened Lockhart/Gardner represented two women from Margarita Motions, an Internet startup company that developed a voice recognition software. At the center of this legal battle was Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey) and his lawyer, Viola Walsh (Rita Wilson). We’ve seen Neil Gross a few times before in the court room representing Chum Hum, a Google-esque search engine. Margarita Motions was suing Gross & Go. because they had been the No. 1 result when someone searched for voice recognition software. But a week after they turned down an ad sales representative from Chum Hum, they dropped to the 28th page of results—essentially rendering them non-existent. Margarita Motions went bankrupt and decided to sue Chum Hum for damages.
Making the case particularly damning against Chum Hum, Wicked Savage Designs, a similar voice recognition service, jumped to the No. 1 spot after they purchased ad space from Chum Hum. Let the negotiations begin. Viola Walsh started her settlement offer at $123,000, and echoing last week’s episode, Will quickly declined. None too pleased with Will’s stubbornness, Viola sought out trustee Hayden to try to get him to sway the negotiations. But he stood his ground, telling her she had to discuss all offers with Will.
NEXT: Viola and Will continue to battle in court
Back in court, Will and Alicia’s case took a hit when Viola proved there was no link between ad sales and search engine results. But after Gross explained that their search algorithm needed daily attention and revision, Will and Alicia were able to use that to their advantage to subpoena Chum Hum’s algorithm as evidence. Unsurprisingly, Gross and Walsh balked at turning over what they deemed a trade secret.
Viola upped the settlement offer to $160,000. But Will declined again when he learned that Mr. Gross messed with the algorithm because Gross had secretly bought out Wicked Savage Designs, Margarita Motions’ main competitor. And back and forth the prosecution and defense went with a series of claims that would help and then hurt their case.
Meanwhile Cary noticed Viola getting chummy (pun intended) with trustee Clarke Hayden. So he went to Diane with his concerns. She accused Hayden of sabotaging Will’s negotiations. And he finally showed his loyalty to the firm. He told Diane she was just being paranoid, and seem to truly believe in the firm’s success. I think I buy it too, but maybe he’s just fooled me? Last week I wasn’t sure whether or not we were supposed to like Hayden or not. And I think I’m on the like side this week. Thoughts?
Later on, Mr. Gross used the first amendment so he wouldn’t have to release his company’s algorithm. And in more back and forth, Will was able to turn their argument against them, holding them liable for all the millions of pages featured on Chum Hum. Viola went back to Hayden to up the offer to $1 million, and he told her to talk to Will. So Lockhart/Gardner went into final negotiations with a sure-to-be home run. Instead, they was thrown a curve ball when they were informed their clients were bought out by Mr. Gross.
NEXT: Nick and Kalinda play with breakfast food
This was all foreshadowed by an earlier conversation Will had with Neil Gross. Gross said he had a tendency to buy out his irritants. Last season Lockhart/Gardner lost one of their top clients—and one of Gross’ main competitors—Patric Edelstein, It seemed as thought Will was trying to convince Gross to hire Lockhart/Gardner. But Gross made it clear that that wasn’t in the cards.
Over in Nick and Kalinda world, the unhappy couple continued their bizarre dance of hatred toward each other. This week that entailed crushing eggs all over the place, which isn’t a strange sexual euphemism. They really crushed eggs. This led to knives being drawn, and Nick giving Kalinda a speech about how he was the husband and she was the wife, and they needed to be together again. That conversation essentially drove Kalinda right into Lana Delaney’s arms…or her bed, rather. And in a stroke of intuition, Lana told Kalinda she felt like she’d been coming over so Lana could warm her up for someone else. If she only knew. Nick unsurprisingly followed Kalinda, and learned of her lady friend. That can’t be good.
And it wasn’t. Kalinda met up with Lana again, only to find that Nick had been chatting Lana up at the bar. The Mr. and Mrs. snuck away for a moment so they could discuss their predicament. Nick called her a dyke, so naturally she punched him! Lana remained none the wiser. Later on, Nick continued his you belong to me speech, and essentially threatened Lana, should Kalinda not give up her “college dorm stuff.” Kalinda wasn’t too worried about his threats, particularly since Lana is a federal agent. But so far, Nick doesn’t seem to be full of empty threats.
So now it’s your turn. How funny was it that Hayden rented out the Lockhart/Gardner conference room? Do you think Hayden can finally be trusted? Talk about the hand-holding snub Alicia pulled on Will. And what about Peter and Alicia? I can’t really believe that they would get back together, but they are just separated, not divorced. Bonus points to the writers for throwing in Will Gardner’s Chum Hum search: Did you mean Will Gardner Disbarred Lawyer? Amazing how those search engines work. Sound off in the comments below.