Alicia returns to Lockhart, Agos & Lee, and the FBI returns to investigate Peter
Heading into this week knowing that this is the final season of The Good Wife, things that already felt like they were coming full-circle hit even closer to home. Whether it be the FBI looking into Peter, or Alicia’s return to the 27th floor of what is now Lockhart, Agos & Lee, you can tell we’re in the final stretch with these characters. But that’s not to say that the drama’s rounding down. Quite the opposite, actually.
Let’s begin with the case of the week, which comes to Alicia just moments after she finds her new office. (Clearly Cary and Diane didn’t get the memo that she’s less of a wine drinker now and more of a tequila drinker.) After Cary makes a racially insensitive comment about how Lucca should meet Monica — the only other black woman at the firm — because she’d like her, Howell from I.T. barges in asking for Alicia and Lucca’s help.
It seems he was at some sort of nerdy after-party when his girlfriend discovered a Foil on the ground. The Foil is the new Chumhum tablet, which doesn’t even hit shelves for another two months. So in other words, they discovered a prototype. And after Howell tweeted a photo of it, he has tech blogs coming at him trying to buy it. He wants Alicia’s help with whether he can sell it, and if he can, if she’ll help him negotiate the sale.
Instantly, Diane and Cary don’t like the idea of this case. After all, they have a long history with Chumhum, and Diane doesn’t think it’s worth risking a lawsuit simply to do a favor for an employee.
However, when Lucca calls them all into a room to talk to Chumhum customer service, she gets the representative to say, on the record, that “whatever you have, you can keep.” With that, Lucca says they’ve given constructive notice and are now in finders-keepers territory. And yet, Cary and Diane still need to discuss it among themselves.
So while they do that, Jason pays Alicia a sexual tension-filled visit in her new office. After they grin over the fact that they kissed and agree to avoid planning their future, Alicia asks if it’s going to be weird for them to work in a corporate setting now. But as Jason puts it, “I’m freelance.” Yep, it’s official: That man can make anything sound sexy.
Just as he leaves, Alicia gets an email from Cary — who’s one floor up but still feels the need to send an email? — saying that they’re dropping the Howell case. They don’t want to poke the Chumhum bear. But they might not have a choice considering that something called the TAPS Unit just entered the building and arrested Howell for the possession of stolen property.
At the police(?) station, it’s Neil Gross — Chumhum founder — who walks in to interrogate Howell, which only makes things more confusing. Gross agrees to drop the charges if Howell returns the Foil and gives up the name of the person who gave it to him. But considering Howell’s girlfriend is the one who discovered it, that’s unlikely.
To an ant-infested court we go! (Seriously though, this ant subplot was my favorite part of this episode.) Apparently, TAPS stands for Technology Allied Protection Service. It’s a multi-agency task force that works with Silicon Valley’s biggest companies to clamp down on technology theft. So basically, it’s Neil Gross’ personal police force.
After Diane calls Lucca back to the office — they’re really set on separating her from Alicia and pairing her with Monica — Alicia serves as Howell’s lawyer, trying to prove that TAPS has no probable cause and should release Howell. To start, Alicia goes with the angle that Gross controls TAPS and therefore, this is a massive conflict of interest. But as the judge points out, conflict of interest is an argument more suited to trial. The question here is whether there’s enough evidence to hold Howell.
Alicia’s second angle involves bringing in Anthony Dudowitz, who testifies that this entire thing is nothing but a marketing stunt, and he knows it because he and Neil Gross talked about doing the same thing with their first product launch. He doesn’t see any reason as to why Gross would let a prototype out of his sight if it weren’t for publicity. And for now, that argument seems to be working.
NEXT: It’s time for Alicia to cash out…
Well, at least until the TAPS Unit shows back up at Lockhart, Agos & Lee with a search warrant to look for the Foil. The good news: They won’t find it because Lucca has it. When Howell was arrested, he stashed it in her cubicle, which means it’s now bound in attorney-client privilege.
With that, Diane asks to talk to Alicia about fitting back into the firm. Basically, she wants Alicia to realize that she has bosses now and she can’t just decide what case Lucca’s going to work on. Lucca is the firm’s associate, not Alicia’s associate. After Diane demonstrates her bias toward bond court attorneys, Alicia vouches for Lucca’s skill, but Diane’s only response is that “the partners will consider” Alicia’s input. (Ugh, can’t you two go back to drinking at a bar and commiserating over Will?)
Back at court, Gross gets on the stand to explain that losing the Foil is no marketing stunt because he does not launch defective products, and he claims that the prototype’s swipe function is messed up. And so, the judge finds that there’s probable cause to hold Howell and sets a trial date for six months from now.
But when Alicia discovers that a tech blog site recently upped its bid to $250,000 — the exact price of Howell’s bail — she goes to find out who’s been negotiating behind her back. The answer is no one. It’s simply that when Howell tweeted the picture of the device, he tweeted it to his 419,000 followers. And now, Alicia has an idea. (Seriously though, how did Howell get so many followers?)
Returning to court, Alicia argues that Howell is a citizen journalist and is therefore entitled to protect the person from whom he obtained the Foil and do as he pleases with the device. The tweet can be categorized as shared information in a public forum, so despite how many exclamation points or poop emojis it had, it sparked public debate. And because his tweet added to the public discourse — “flaming poops notwithstanding” — the judge declares Howell a journalist and lets him “go free and go crazy.”
Afterward, Cary stops by Lucca’s desk to give her props on the journalism angle … right before he puts her back on the same case as Monica. Sigh.
The other story line this week begins with Marissa — yay! — who’s working at a juice bar when FBI agent Roland Hlavin rolls up and asks her to lunch. But the moment he starts asking questions about Eli, Marissa begins recording the conversation. She then takes the information straight to her father, who has literally never been so proud. My favorite quote of the hour? “Now I get why people have children. They can admire themselves in someone else.”
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Eli heads straight to judge Schakowsky who says that the FBI asked him about Alicia. And that takes Eli to Alicia, who warns her that the feds are looking into her (before making me die laughing with the way he says, “Your chair is tilted”).
But when Ruth shows up in Eli’s office with a grand jury subpoena from the FBI, things only get more complicated. Eli assures her that he’s not setting her up and then quickly calls Marissa to get her to set up another date with Roland. Only this time, Eli shows up. First, because he’s the best, Eli defends Ruth before threatening Roland that there’s a fine line between investigation and intimidation. And when Roland drops the line that he has the full resources of the FBI and the justice department at his back, it clicks. Eli realizes that they’re going after Peter.
Ruth wishes Eli luck — they knew Peter would have a target on his back — before she visits Alicia at her new office with the thing Alicia really wants: tequila. Ruth warns Alicia that Peter might love her, but that doesn’t change the fact that he can hurt her. Sticking with Peter could destroy everything Alicia’s done and everything she wants to do. Ruth’s final words to Alicia: “Cash out while you still can.”
Amen, Ruth! Seven seasons later and somehow Alicia is still married to that man, so yes, I say it’s time to cash out!
What did you all think of the hour? Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.