Continuing with this season’s trend, this episode had minimal overlap between Alicia and Lucca’s firm and that of Lockhart, Agos, and Lee. And also, as per usual, Eli’s schemes are right in the middle of all of the action. Yes, the format works. It works well, But as much as I love the new dynamics this season, I will say that I could use just a bit more overlap.
Let’s start with Eli this week, shall we?
After asking Alicia for a “truth-adjacent” quote about the best thing about Peter for his bio, Eli informs Alicia — and all of us — that Peter’s truly awful campaign slogan is “Service above self.” Let’s all take a moment to let that one sink in.
And we’re moving on. Heading to lunch with Ruth, Eli expects another scheme but instead finds a seemingly kind Ruth waiting with two Alabama Slammers. She’s here to inform Eli that Peter has just experienced another four-point bump, which means they have a real shot, and not just at the vice presidency. Peter is now officially going for the presidency.
Poll: Who’d make a worse president: Peter or Trump?
With that in mind, Ruth thinks it’s time that she and Eli learned to work together. In other words, the vice presidency wasn’t all that important, but now that the presidency is on the line, she doesn’t have time to fight with Eli. (No offense, vice presidents.) Plus, Peter now needs Alicia more than ever before, so Ruth and Eli need to learn how to trust each other.
Of course, the only thing Eli takes away from this conversation is that he can now ruin Ruth in an even bigger way. Heading to Alicia’s, Eli informs her of the latest decision. And you know it’s bad when Alicia bypasses the red wine and goes straight to making a finger margarita.
Eli tells her the announcement has been moved to Thursday and that he’s written her a “very Michelle Obama” speech for the event. Then we get this interaction, which mirrors my thoughts:
Alicia: “You think he has a chance?”
Eli: “I thought Trump would self-destruct, so what do I know?”
Last but not least, Eli informs Alicia of the final piece of his plan: He’s going to have Frank Landau introduce her on Thursday. Alicia immediately knows that Eli is up to something, but quite frankly, she doesn’t care. She’ll be there.
Eli, definitely up to something, now heads to the bond court judge that he tipped off earlier in the season. Cashing in on his favor, he asks for information on Frank Landau and his manipulation of voting machines in the last election. He needs proof.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
With that set in motion, Eli returns to Ruth’s side as she plans Peter’s announcement to look identical to Obama’s. (Yes, because Peter is the next Obama.) Regardless, Ruth suggests that Landau not introduce Alicia but rather that he introduce Peter. So basically, she seems to really be trusting Eli for some reason. But that only makes Eli’s plan better: Frank Landau will now be associated with the biggest moment in Peter’s career…just as Eli is going to reveal that Landau was behind the voting fraud.
The bad news? Landau only arranged the hack of the voting machines after Peter asked him to. Peter, worried that his wife was going to lose, arranged the whole thing. (And this concludes the 1,000th reason why Peter is the worst husband.)
Forced to make a decision, Eli knows that he can’t destroy Peter because it will also mean destroying Alicia. So at least for now, Eli is backing off. As for Peter, well he’s officially running for POTUS. Everyone take cover.
NEXT: Welcome back, NSA
On to Alicia and Lucca’s case of the week — given to them by Louis Canning — they find themselves defending Kristen, a former employee of Running Milk. After suspecting theft, Running Milk forced its employees to take a polygraph, and when Kristen admitted to lying to her company — an old fib she’d told on her resume when applying for the job — she was fired.
So to begin the case, Alicia and Lucca intend to argue that she can’t be fired based solely on the lie detector because the reason for the polygraph was theft and Kristen didn’t steal anything. With that, they send Jason off to find something they can work with, after which Alicia updates Lucca on Jason’s past. For insurance reasons, Alicia agrees to dig into things a bit more by reaching out to the judge that Jason punched.
But when Jason discovers that there was no theft at Running Milk — and therefore no reason for the polygraph — the company agrees to hire the plaintiff back at her original salary. Only, once they hire her, they will submit her to yet another polygraph and, once again, fire her. Alicia and Lucca try to fight it, but apparently, the company’s contracts include that polygraphs are allowed for “national security reasons.”
Things always get fun with the federal government gets involved. As of right now, the judge says Kristen will have to submit to a polygraph before she starts work again. Only, when Alicia asks which of her client’s projects falls under the national security exception, she’s told she doesn’t have clearance for that information.
Naturally, she runs to Cary, who tells her how to purchase a burner phone and how to get in touch with Jeff Dellinger, their former client who also happens to be a former NSA employee. Dellinger records a video for the court, stating that one of Kristen’s apps, Spoiler, was used by the federal government to predict terrorist plots. Long story short, Running Milk sold the app to the government and then fired Kristen so that she wouldn’t profit off of her own invention.
But when Alicia tells the judge that Jeff — who’s currently in Iceland — can’t come in to testify, Kristen is told she still has to take the polygraph.
After the latest setback, Alicia calls the judge involved in Jason’s past. Basically, he tells her that Jason Crouse is a sociopath who will fake being a normal person until he will “eat away your life from the inside.” Honestly, this seems like a lot of anger over one punch, right?
And it only gets more confusing when Lucca claims she found a witness to the altercation who says the judge walked out of the bar without a scrape on him. So we still have no idea what happened to get Jason disbarred…but we also don’t know what happened the other night when he came over for a drink. Personally, I care more about the latter.
Back on the case, Kristen is subjected to an automated polygraph while Jeff acts like a complete idiot and calls Alicia back. Seriously, what happened to this guy being so paranoid about being found?! And he really should be, considering that this call re-introduces the NSA to Alicia Florrick.
Quick note to these NSA kids: “What’s-his-face” goes by the name Will Gardner. Get it straight.
But one good thing does come out of the call. When Alicia tells her opposing counsel that Jeff is willing to talk about Spoiler, they tell her to have Kristen amend her suit to sue for gender discrimination, at which point they will settle for $1.2 million. Only, when Alicia jokingly refers to Jeff as the “next Snowden,” she gives NSA the green light to start monitoring her full-time. Here we go again.
And finally, at Lockhart, Agos, and Lee, it’s associate-hiring season. There are three spots open and four candidates: Three white men and one black woman. And when Diane can’t get David to agree on Monica, the woman, Diane delivers the bad news. Only, Monica doesn’t go down without a fight.
Quickly after telling Monica the bad news, Diane gets an email that includes videos of all of Monica’s interviews at the firm. And let’s just say that Cary, Diane, David, and of course, Howard, all made mistakes when it came to their line of questioning.
It seems Monica might’ve just found her way into a job at the firm. At least let’s hope so, or else thing are only going to get worse.
What did you all think of the hour? Do you wish there were more overlap between characters? Hit the comments with your thoughts, or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.