Alicia faces a malpractice suit and finally gives in to her feelings for Jason

By Samantha Highfill
February 01, 2016 at 04:03 AM EST
David M. Russell/CBS
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Well, for those of you who’ve waited and waited for the day that Will’s voicemail would resurface, I’d say this episode proved that the wait was worth it. In a way, it feels like this voicemail has affected Alicia much more than Will’s death did. Perhaps because death is the end of something, and this voicemail was the promise of a beginning that she never got to have (and will never get to have). Regardless, all of Alicia’s emotions collided in this powerhouse hour of television. Let’s dig into it. 

We start by getting Alicia back in the courtroom, where she discovers that the second client she ever helped in bond court — back when she was new and not very good — is still awaiting trial. So basically, Judge Don Schakowsky originally set the poor guy’s bail at $150,000 simply because he hated Alicia, and now he’s granted a number of continuances on the case. Unable to pay his bail, Mr. Clayton Riggs has been in jail for the past 8 months…all for a disorderly conduct charge. Yeah, that’s neither “fair” nor “speedy.” 

Just like that, Alicia and Lucca have their case. They want to sue Schakowsky for knowingly violating Clayton’s civil rights. But they won’t be doing it with the help of Jason Crouse. Despite the fact that Jason came back early from California and just showed up on Alicia’s doorstep delivering some oven mitts he bought her, she’s clearly not in the mindest to deal with him, so she pretty much blows him off.

Of course, that pushes to Diane, who could use his help on a case with a college that’s decided to de-fund its school newspaper despite the rules of its student handbook. When Diane takes the case to arbitration, it’s Jason who comes up with the winning strategy: I don’t know much about legal stuff, but basically, they argue that because the school has its own police force, power plant, and so on, it’s essentially its own city. Considering the school a “state actor” means that it can be treated like a public school, and that argument leads to a re-funding of the newspaper.

Furthermore, handing Diane the winning argument earns Jason a full-time job offer at Lockhart, Agos. But we’ll get to that later.

Alicia, sitting in Eli’s office, demands to know exactly what Will’s voicemail said. “I want to know everything he said, word for word.” Proving that he’s thought about it every day — and just generally has an impressive memory — Eli begins reciting, “You wanna know what my plan is: My plan is that I love you.”

From there, he doesn’t remember every word, but he remembers that Will said he’d always loved Alicia, ever since Georgetown. He said he’d meet her anywhere and they could make a plan. And if all of this didn’t make sense to her, she could ignore him and things would go on as usual. In that moment, Alicia realizes that Will thought she’d heard the message and decided for things to go on “as usual.”

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Leaving Eli’s office, Alicia is on a rampage, and right now, the object of her rage is Schakowsky, and she is not backing down. She and Lucca first go to court to argue that Schakowsky’s immunity should be waived, but it’s not as easy as they’d like it to be. Thanks to Bernie, the other bar attorney, who’s deathly afraid of Schakowsky, it’s ruled that Schakowsky can keep his immunity intact. 

And to make matters worse, Bernie then signs Clayton Briggs as a client and decides they should sue Alicia for malpractice for her poor representation of Clayton when he first showed up in bond court. And because they’re suing for more than a million — Alicia and Lucca’s malpractice insurance cap is $300,000 — they really need to win this one. 

At this point, Lucca finally calls Alicia out on why they can’t call Jason. Having had drinks with him the night before, Lucca had attempted to find out what Jason did to Alicia — what with his “smile thing” and his bedroom eyes — but he swears it wasn’t him. So Lucca finally asks, “What’s going on, partner?”

Following Alicia to the laundry machines, Alicia unloads (literally and emotionally). She explains, “I was in love. He died. I found out he left me a message that he loved me, but I didn’t get it. Now I’m sick to death of everything. This apartment. This laundry. The fact that things get dirty. The law. Just standing here.” All Alicia wants to do is go to bed and pull the covers over her head.

She acknowledges that she’s drinking too much, but she only wants more. She’s swallowed up by disgust and can’t figure out what happened to her life. After making a very telling statement about her two kids that she’s not even sure she likes anymore, she tells Lucca, “I hurt and I want it over. I just want it to end. I was loved. And it’s over.” 

NEXT: Alicia makes a move…on Jason!

Before we go on, I just have to say: Julianna Margulies does such a beautiful job of not overacting something that could very easily have been overacted. She’s making the sort of statements here that suicidal people make. This is the lowest most characters will ever get and arguably the most dramatic scene an actor could do, and yet, she stays so true to form, and that makes it even more powerful. Also, for any of you who thought she wasn’t upset enough at Will’s death, I feel like this scene did it all justice, no?

Then, in the first real moment of friendship between the women, Lucca hugs Alicia and tells her, “You are here because I need you here. I don’t like people. But I like you.” As a 30-year-old woman who’s even bothered by her own brother, Lucca is ready to go all in and be Alicia’s friend. She’s committed because friends are the one thing you can choose in this life.

Alicia agrees and says that she, too, is willing to commit to their friendship. Then Lucca asks the important question: “Do you have any guns in this apartment?” Thankfully, the answer is no.

And speaking of friendship, Alicia gets Cary to represent her in the malpractice suit, in which Schakowsky testifies because he’s just THE WORST. In good news, Alicia lets Jason help, and he finds out that Schakowsky’s courtroom reporter records everything he says because he speaks too quickly for her sometimes. And with those tapes, they have evidence of Schakowsky mentioning “taxing” the lawyers (which means he sets their clients’ bail ridiculously high).

And now, for the good stuff. After dropping the good news that he has the tapes, Jason goes to leave Alicia’s apartment, at which point she apologizes for earlier. She wasn’t herself. He tells her that no matter what she thinks he’s thinking, “just know that I’m fine. Even when I’m not fine, I’m really fine.”

Jason then turns to leave, but just as Alicia’s about to shut the door to her apartment, she runs back, stops the elevator doors from closing, and kisses Jason!!! And yes, Jason says he’s still “fine.” (Meanwhile, I’m definitely better than fine.)

(P.S. For all you Grey’s Anatomy fans, Denny finally got to experience the sexy elevator!) 

Sadly, Alicia doesn’t get nearly as lucky in the courtroom. The judge throws out the tapes, which means Alicia either has to go to trial or settle. But when Bernie won’t budge from $1.5 million, it seems like trial might be the answer. Thankfully, Jason’s there to cheer her up. And as to that job offer from Diane, he turned it down. 

But Alicia’s relationship with Jason isn’t the only one that’s looking up. When Eli stops by her apartment, he informs her that, “You did end up with Will.” And not only that, but her knowing about the voicemail would’ve had no impact on what happened to him because you can’t control fate. Eli admits that he almost never apologizes or confesses, but he did this time: “I’ve never been more sorry about anything in my life,” he says.

Just like that, Alicia’s done fighting. “Okay, Eli. You’re forgiven.” He doesn’t believe it at first, but she reaffirms it before saying she’ll see him later. (And we all feel like she meant it, right? Or is she just completely losing it?)

Well, she could be losing it because when she grabs drinks with Cary, he offers her a job as a junior partner and she just starts laughing, so before you know it, Alicia could just transform into The Joker, guys.

What did you think of the episode? How long until Alicia finally takes down Schakowsky? Hit the comments with your thoughts, or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.
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