Voters To Alicia: 'You're Likable Enough'
Alicia lets the participants in a campaign focus group get in her head when she's not assisting a college student trying to get her rapist expelled. Meanwhile, Kalinda gets a tough assignment, and Cary tries to get over himself.
Plot Lightning Round
We open on Alicia looking faker than usual in a TV interview -- which, we see as the camera pulls out, is being shown to a focus group Johnny's running. Seven people say that if the election were held today, they'd vote for Alicia, while the other five wouldn't. So what do people think of Alicia? Well, an old lady named Rita likes Alicia because she stayed with Peter even through his gross scandal. Sally, a younger lady, says that's exactly why she DOESN'T like Alicia. A dude named Larry doesn't know what any of that has to do with her fitness to be the next State's Attorney. And Frank Prady? Right off the bat it seems like his name recognition is higher and that people like him more. Eli calls Alicia to try to get her down to see all this, but she tells him she has to work at her actual job sometimes...
...but not today! Owen is waiting for her in her office, looking all hangdog and shit. She's thrilled to see him, since the last time they were together, things ended on an uncomfortable note, what with her telling him to keep his porn star boyfriend away from her campaign and all, and apologizes for questioning his relationship with this Phil, which I feel like maybe she should have tried to do on the phone before this. Anyway, Owen promises that he's not going to hurt her campaign, and hey, while he's here, maybe she can do him a favour? One of his students was raped, and wants to get her rapist expelled. She needs someone to back her up in student court, which Owen claims will only take a few hours and which we therefore know is going to metastasize into a large and serious obligation for Alicia. But Owen has leverage to guilt her with, and guilt her he does!
Cary and Diane have just received the tape from the prosecution, and it's not great. Cary whines that it sounds worse because you don't hear the beginning and end of the conversation, which seems behind the point when we've just heard them tell him an amount of drugs and Cary laugh that it sounds like someone's having a party. Getting Kalinda on the phone, they ask whether she's had any luck finding Dante, the other guy on the tape who hasn't been murdered yet; you're not going to believe this but she hasn't. As Diane and Alicia step out into the hall, Cary asks Kalinda where she is, and she claims she's at home. Before he can question her further about that, she reminds him that there were four guys on the tape: duh, Cary?
In the hall, Diane is telling Alicia she thinks they should advise Cary to take a plea when he comes out, overhears, and refuses. He tells them what Kalinda's just told him, and insists that he has to testify in order to report on the actual content of the conversation that was recorded. Alicia doesn't like the idea, reminding him, "Lawyers make the worst witnesses, Cary, you know that!" Diane, reluctantly, says they'll have to "mock" it. FUN!
Eli is furious to learn that Alicia is taking Owen's student's case. When she tells him it's student court, nbd, just a sexual assault case, Eli sarcastically sputters, "Because rape is never controversial." Meanwhile, in the focus group on the other side of the glass, Johnny's gotten around to asking how these would-be voters feel about Alicia's law partner being on trial for a charge involving a massive amount of drugs. CAN'T IMAGINE WHY THIS WOULD TARNISH A POTENTIAL STATE'S ATTORNEY, PERSONALLY!
Kalinda, not at home, is fooling around with Lana when Lemond calls and tells her he knows she's not alone: "So make yourself alone." When she steps away, he tells her he knows he's under federal investigation, and he wants to know what it's about. She's evasive, but says she'll do some research for him. And when Lana comes into the bathroom and gets all handsy, Kalinda seems...like happy, for real, to be with her?
Which I guess means she's about to get her poor heart all stomped in.
"Objection! I Want To Be Able To Object!"
Situation: Alicia is watching as Owen's student, Jody, testifies about her assault.
What makes it awkward? First, Jody has to tell the story with Troy, her alleged rapist, sitting directly across from her, constantly interjecting contradictions to what she's saying, and two adjudicators (or whatever) between them -- one a student, and one a prof. Second, Alicia is supposed to be her advocate, but she has to sit away from her and isn't allowed to participate in the way she would in a regular courtroom, because student court has its own guidelines.
How is order restored? Alicia requests a break on Jody's behalf so they can go out to the hallway and Alicia can actually introduce herself. She also points out that even though the student handbook DOES allow Troy to speak while Jody's testifying, as the prof had admonished Alicia, he's only supposed to interrupt to ask questions, not make statements, and directs Jody to say so when they go back in. Once Jody's taken her seat back, she does so, even citing the specific section and paragraph that the adjudicators apparently don't know, when Alicia texts her the info. I guess "oblivious to person using phone under table" is the new "people three feet away can't hear conversation" of TV tropes.
"If You'd Like To Find Me Someone Better On Match.com, Go Ahead"
Who called the meeting? Bishop.
What's it about? He knows Kalinda's been seeing a federal agent.
How'd it go? You know, terrifying. Being who he is, he's reasonably suspicious that Lana is running his case and that Kalinda is feeding her information along with the chocolate-dipped strawberries and oysters. He's also not interested in hearing that her relationship with Lana "predated anything to do with Cary, or" with Bishop, and when she says Lana's not working on his case, he orders her to find out what Lana IS working on, then. She nods, reluctantly, and Bishop kicks her out. Hey Lana, start putting your shit in the hotel safe.
Not Rocking The Mock
Alert Type: Mock Trial Alert.
Issue: Cary wants to take the stand in his own defense.
Complicating Factors: Diane thinks it's a bad idea, and has recruited known foe Viola Walsh to play mock-prosecutor to try to rattle Cary -- which turns out to be extremely easy! He doesn't have a good explanation for why he told Geneva Pine, when they worked together as ASAs, that he'd never worked on a Lemond Bishop defense (when he had), and "I wanted to stop her challenges...it's not a lie the way you mean it" doesn't sound great. There's also the matter that his pay dropped precipitously when he went to the SA's office, yet he still paid the $4000 a month rent on his apartment. And what ABOUT that cocaine that just went missing and thus helped Bishop get off scot-free on earlier charges?
Resolution: Diane stops Viola's questioning before things can get any more bloody (and/or before Cary can get any more pissy).
Spoiler: Maybe all he needs is a buck up little camper speech from St. Alicia.
Working Title IX
Jody's case has pretty much been a shitshow for Troy as far as anyone watching is concerned: all he has to offer in his defense is a lot of whining about Jody having consented to sex and then changed her mind (whereas in her story she woke up naked, couldn't find her clothes, and saw that Troy had ejaculated on her). The campus cop who initially spoke to her after the incident tries to make it seem damning for her that she refused a rape kit...until Alicia texts her to ask whether his office even HAD any rape kits, which they didn't, so guh? Troy also gets the cop to say that Jody wasn't crying when he talked to her, and shouldn't she have been if she was raped? Fortunately, Jody has Owen testify that he saw her the day after the incident and that the campus cop "was completely wrong in his assertions": Owen's determination was that she knew exactly what had happened. The adjudicator's like, well, that's enough for us to go deliberate, but Alicia stands and says she wants to call more witnesses. The student, Reena, says there isn't enough evidence to expel Troy, but Alicia has apparently been reading New York magazine and cites Title IX, saying that Jody is entitled due process in campus allegations, so the school is subject to suit by not supplying it. But does Jody even WANT to sue the school? After this complete farce? Yeah. Yeah, she does.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Nothing Gold Can Stay
Lana and Kalinda are having satiny lingerie hang-out times when a phone rings and they're both such hard-charging workaholics that they don't even know whose it is! Turns out it's Lana's, because she's more important! (Except...it's also Kalinda's, with a call from Cary that she ignores.) When Lana steps into the bathroom to take it, she hears Lana urgently saying "We'll use him to get to Bishop," before remembering that she's with Kalinda and turning on the water to drown herself out. At the apparent proof that Lana's been using her sexspionage techniques on her, Kalinda looks rueful but not especially hurt, since Kalinda's done exactly this thing about a thousand times in this fiscal year alone. But still! She likes Lana for real! I think! It's hard to tell!
Jody's case has gone to real court, where Alicia wants an emergency injunction to change the makeup of the university's panel, but it's not going to be that easy because the university has its own shark of a lawyer!
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Soup: There It Is (On Some Gossip Site)
Alicia really thought she was on to something when she got hung up on Focus Group Sally calling her entitled and Finn suggested that she stop thinking about herself for a few hours every week the way he does: volunteering at a soup kitchen! She just apparently forgot who she is and what she's in the middle of doing, and the woman who took a couple of shots of Alicia scrubbing a pot apparently sold them to some tabloid, which is reporting that Alicia wasn't sincere in her charity, given that she was on her phone and scrubbing what they report is an already-clean pot. Now all the goodwill she garnered from Focus Group Sally for representing Jody is gone! (How are these focus group participants coming back for multiple sessions on consecutive days? Do we really want to take the advice of people who have nothing better to do with their time?) Anyway: nice try, Alicia, but there are SPECIFIC WAYS to be altruistic when you're running for office.
Defense On The Defensive
Guess who's not any better in his second attempt at delivering testimony at his mock trial? Hint: he's blond.When's his trial?Two weeks.All right. Diane, we've had our issues in the past -- that's why you've hired me -- but I have to tell you, he is a bad witness. If I'm on the jury, he's going away for fifteen years.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Kalinda vs. Cary
Cary's been creeping on Kalinda, so he knows she's been hanging out with Lana when she's been trying to say she was at home working on her découpage or whatever, so he's somehow gotten himself inside her apartment when she wasn't there and almost gotten the jump on her (and if he'd known she's also been getting uninvited visits from Lemond Bishop, he might not have tried to get cute like this and risk her impaling him with one of her heels?). After she reminds him (and the audience) about the restraining order and he claims no one saw her, he confronts her about lying about her whereabouts. By way of answer, she just starts getting undressed, I guess to fuck the suspicion out of him (another move she's probably pulled a thousand times this year), but he gets all shmoopy and asks her to show him that she cares about him by not seeing Lana anymore. "Cary," Kalinda gently reminds him, "we're not married. We're not even going steady." He plaintively says he doesn't want there to be anybody else between them, and Kalinda breathes, "I do." Cary: "Okay, that solves that. Thank you and go to hell."
Winner: Kalinda, the one who isn't a crazy clingy stalker. GET A GRIP, CARY.
"GET A GRIP, CARY." - Alicia
Who called the meeting? Alicia.
What's it about? How shitty Cary is in his mock testimony.
How'd it go? Alicia starts out making a joke -- "Lawyers make the worst witnesses" -- but then gets into the #realtalk, telling him that even though what's happening to him right now is an injustice, his hurt and defensiveness and general childish puling (I'm paraphrasing) aren't helping his cause, and that the jury will see him as entitled. Cary: "Thank you." And it works: when Cary next sits down opposite Viola, he refuses to fall into any of her traps and stays steady and calm. Good lord, finally.
Place Of Interest
Here Be Monsters
In between figuring out what Lana's working on for Bishop (and...working on Lana), Kalinda's actually managed to fit in a little investigating for Jody, and it's borne fruit: there's a wall on campus where girls write the names of rapists, and the school is in the process of painting over it. But they're not faster than Kalinda, who snaps a few pics and sends them to Alicia, who uses them to move that the complaint be amended into a class action suit against the university for creating an unsafe environment for female students. Louis?
Surrender? Probably Not.
Who called the meeting? Bishop.
What's it about? An update on Lana.
How'd it go? Tough to watch, as usual. Kalinda lies that Lana's working on white-collar crime, but Bishop doesn't believe her, and gives her a white plastic card, the size and shape of a credit card, ordering her to put it in Lana's wallet. Kalinda: "Can I ask what it is?" Bishop: "No." Kalinda vainly insists, again, that Lana's not focusing on him, but Bishop's not listening, and tells her that if she puts the card in Lana's wallet, they'll be "good." I doubt it?
Wrap It Up
Louis meets with Jody and Alicia to inform them that a "random search" turned up a large quantity of weed in Troy's room, so he's getting expelled, which is what Jody wanted in the first place, so...can they please drop that class-action suit? Alicia starts to say there are still sixty reasons to pursue it, but Jody announces that she's satisfied, takes the letter, and leaves. As Alicia tries to recover from the shock, she asks Louis when he's having the kidney transplant he told the judge about. He doesn't know, because there's no donor kidney for him. Alicia asks if there's anything she can do, and he asks her to visit his wife if he dies. HEY ALICIA, IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO BE CHARITABLE AND SELFLESS, YOU COULD GIVE THIS BRO ONE OF THE KIDNEYS YOU'RE BARELY USING RIGHT NOW!
But instead, Alicia just serves soup at a proper photo op, wearing that sweater with the leather sleeves that I loved last season!
The focus group watches a glowing report on Alicia's soup kitchen service that also mentions, in passing, Castro's dropping out of the race! Focus Group Sally LOVES Alicia now! "I think she seems to care!" On the other side of the glass, Alicia is finally convinced that she should listen to the experts she's probably paying a LOT of money to run her campaign!
Kalinda and Lana are lying post-coitally in bed when Kalinda stirs, and promises Lana she's not leaving! As Lana rolls over, Kalinda stealthily grabs Lana's purse and takes it into the bathroom! She gets out Lana's wallet and is about to slide in the white card when she gets an eyeful of Lana's FBI ID, and has a change of heart!
SAY HI TO DEAD TREY FOR US WHEN YOU ARE ALSO DEAD, KALINDA!