In case you all didn’t know, this season, we’re dealing with “New Alicia.” Here’s what we know about her:
• She reports only to herself.
• She has swapped wine for tequila.
• She’s much calmer than Old Alicia.
• She has no problem using Peter for sex.
• She’s clearly a little turned on by danger (especially when it looks like Jason).
And you know what? I like her. As Lucca can attest, it’s hard to imagine that Alicia used to be even more tightly wound than she is now, but it’s about time. After seven seasons, there’s only so much Alicia can do to handle the circus that constantly surrounds her life, so why not drink tequila and go with the flow? Now all we need is for Eli to join her.
This week, the central case brings together Louis Canning, Diane and Cary, and Alicia. Canning is representing the victim of a car accident who’s now paralyzed as a result of the crash. Diane and Cary are representing the CEO of the car company that created some super-fancy self-driving car that was involved in the crash. And then there’s Alicia, brought into the fold by Canning, who’s representing Tim, the man behind the wheel of the self-driving car at the time of the accident. Now, it’s time to play the blame game in depositions.
But not until after Alicia sits in for the first time on the Chicago Election Board. Remember when Frank Landau told her that her first vote would have to be a no? Well, this is what he was referencing. And turns out, the vote is about election machines. Craig Hallman wants to replace the current contractor — KLT — for election machines with a new one. Frank, of course, wants to keep KLT. Alicia does as she was asked and votes no…but that’s only the beginning of this madness.
More on that later. First, Alicia has to deal with two things:
1. Jason, whom she invites over for a drink.
2. A new article that’s (correctly) reporting that she and Peter haven’t shared a bed in three years.
First up, Jason comes over and joins Alicia for some tequila, where she asks him to sign a release for liability. You know, in case he hurts himself. (Read: Beats someone up.) Of course, Jason sees right through it, but he signs it anyway. And once that’s out of the way, Alicia invites him to stay for dinner — frozen tacos, to be exact. (Any man who can make “frozen tacos” sound sexy should definitely stay for dinner.)
But because Peter is the worst, he shows up just in time to ruin the evening. Yeah, Alicia might want to check her messages, because if she did, she’d know that Peter’s going to be staying with her through Friday. As for Jason, we get this oh-so-sexy exchange:
Alicia: “We’ll talk, right?”
NEXT: Jackie has an announcement to make
As for why Peter is crashing at Alicia’s, well, Courtney Paige (Vanessa Williams) — a powerful CEO looking to back a candidate — is in town and will only back Peter if she believes that his marriage with Alicia is still strong. Eli, ready to prove the impossible, sets it up for Courtney to come over to the apartment for dinner…to celebrate Grace’s birthday (which is in March.). But this is politics, so what does truth matter, right?
Speaking of politics, it doesn’t take long for Craig Hallman to show up at Alicia’s apartment and ask her to vote against Landau on the board. Only he’s offering for Alicia to replace Landau as chair. The twist? Alicia doesn’t want to be chair. And thanks to some investigating on Jason’s part, she quickly learns that Landau’s wife has a connection to the current voting-machine company, while Hallman has a connection to the new one. So basically, everyone is corrupt. And that’s probably why the episode ends on the board calling a vote and Alicia not knowing which way to go. (If only that were her only problem.)
Heading back to the case of the week, Jason discovers that the car company recently introduced something called a “fuzzy driving feature” to make the car more human/less safe. Jason also discovers that the car’s hard drive was erased after the accident. Back in the deposition, Diane introduces Mr. Dudowitz, the original developer of the car.
Thankfully, Jason recognizes the guy from a TED Talk — there is no end to the mysteries of Jason Crouse — and tells Alicia to ask him about artificial intelligence taking over the world. Long story short, she gets him to admit that the car COULD have caused the accident that put Canning’s client in a wheelchair.
But that’s not where the case ends. Instead, after a ride in the car, Dudowitz realizes that hackers were behind the accident. And because the hackers came from inside the company, it seems Diane and Cary have lost this one. Better luck next time, guys.
Back at home, Alicia has a celebratory tequila with Peter before using him for sex, an image that throws Eli for a loop. Meanwhile, there’s a line that throws me for a loop.
Alicia: “It’s always sexier not to care.”
Peter: “Why is that?”
Alicia: “Because sex is sexier without love.”
Honestly, if any one line has demonstrated the effect that losing Will has had on Alicia, it’s this. Remember when she could have sexy sex with someone she loved? Yeah, now I’m depressed.
With that out of the way, it’s time for Grace’s fake birthday dinner with Courtney Paige, which quickly develops into Eli’s worst nightmare when Jackie shows up with her new fiancé, Howard! That’s right. These two are officially going to start offending everyone as a team. On behalf of everyone everywhere, Alicia has the perfect reaction: Laughing uncontrollably.
However, despite Eli’s fears that the evening became much too “real” for Courtney, she assures him that she found Alicia and Peter incredibly boring…like a real married couple. So she’s going to back Peter. (Who knew all he had to do was be boring?)
All in all, this New Alicia is really working for me. What about you? Hit the comments with your thoughts on the episode, or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.