The case of the week is a thorny one, with Alicia and Lucca defending a respected paediatric cardiologist who may or may not have been plotting to “KSR” a patient’s mother via a particularly extreme fetish website. It’s a tricky topic: the Internet affords people freedom and anonymity to explore the full spectrum of fantasies they might previously have been embarrassed by, and access to like-minded people to share them with, which is all fine and well most of the time, but when the fantasies are as dark and dangerous as this week’s, questions like where the fantasy ends and when virtual exploration will result in physical, criminal action can be difficult to answer for a legal system conceived long before the World Wide Web.
To the show’s credit, we don’t really get a definitive answer; even Lucca and Alicia aren’t quite sure, and while the case ends in a certain way, that just introduces another layer of ambiguity to the whole thing. Does the judge come down on that particular side because it’s the right thing to do? Or because Alicia’s compromised him and herself, yet again? Whichever it is, nobody comes out of the case looking or feeling entirely clean.
While Alicia and Lucca hold their noses, however, Lockhart Agos face the second mass associate mutiny in three seasons, which doesn’t say much for company morale. The quiet, almost eerie scenes where Cary finds out are great, and his revenge is fun since all the associate seem to be total asshats – why did they hire these jerks? – but it does seem like yet another round of musical lawyers in a show that has already spent way too much time in the past few years shuffling characters and breaking up law firms only to put them back together under different names. The immediate reason for re-purposing this plotline this time seems to be so Lockhart Agos can go ahead and hire Monica but, although she has an entirely valid point about their hiring practices, I really don’t like Monica so that doesn’t help me at all.
The big news this week, however, comes, via the C-plot and a sucker punch from the most unexpected source. Whether any of us believed in Eli and Courtney’s romance, the show seems determined to convince us he did, so when she breaks Eli’s heart, he decides to stomp all over mine and Alicia’s by telling her something that might have helped her six years ago but is nothing but devastating now. WTF, Eli? Confession may be good for the soul but not necessarily for the ear. Or for the viewer who found it impossible enough to get over losing Will Gardner the first time, without you bringing it all back up again. Sob.