Gloves Come Off - Recap

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The scene opens with squabbling in the Lockhart conference room, first about whether or not they should replace Will during his disciplinary time out, then about giving Alicia a raise. And then there’s the little issue of who has been leaking about Will’s involvement in firm business to the Disciplinary Board. “Good thing they don’t like each other,” notes Will. “I’d be dead.” Diane dashes off to small claims court to testify in favor of flirtatious process server Jack Copeland; accused of manhandling a guy he served. Alicia is representing a client whose wife died on his snowmobile when the steering wheel locked and they ran into a tree. He’s suing the snowmobile maker. The judge wants them in chambers to negotiate, just as, outside the other courtroom, Jack asks Diane to dinner.

Alicia sits mooning over photos of her old house, wondering it’s a good idea to go back. Her client tells her he’d give anything to go back. In chambers, Lockhart wants $5 million for pain and suffering, the other lawyer says no, their client was a professional hockey player whose injuries contributed to the accident. The judge orders an independent neurological evaluation. Will sneakily from his sideline suggests bringing the hockey league into it; if the hockey injuries are responsible, they will have to pay—or more likely “bury it deeply and quietly.” Aha! says Alicia. “We’ve found our deep pocket.” Diane assures Alicia they want to keep her happy, but offers her a crumby pay bump—“a demonstration of our confidence,” making it impossible to make the down payment on the $1.9 million house.

Kalinda brings a couple of beers to Will’s office, but he declines. She takes them to Alicia, who bristles and tells her, “I’m sorry. I have to move on.” Kalinda nods and walks out, slamming her beer on the counter. And now representing the hockey league is Lou Canning who, alarmingly, wants no time to prepare. A nervous Julius tells Kalinda to review tapes of hockey games. Will’s girlfriend Tammy returns from London in reporter mode for The Sporting News, conveniently assigned to the hockey beat. Will tells her he’s been suspended for six months and she has to talk to Julius or Alicia. The hockey case gets murky when they find out that their client might have been targeted for injury. Not wanting to deal with Kalinda, Alicia goes off to meet with ASA Cary Agos, who slips her notes on the case that was never pursued. In passing, Cary confirms that he has been demoted, “a self-inflicted wound,” and his job probably isn’t safe.

In court, there’s a lot of back and forth about an “official hockey enforcer,” aka Left Wing, assigned to respond to supposedly deliberate blows at a team. Tammy, watching the proceedings, makes Alicia nervous. Kalinda discovers that Will’s neurologist friend isn’t: He claims he doesn’t even know Gardner. Will says Canning probably got to him. Canning wants to know why Julius gets the big bucks when Alicia’s doing all the heavy lifting. Once again, he invites her to join his firm. Alicia, says she sees “how we treat lawyers who we poach: They’re the ones we don’t trust and they’re the first ones out the door and that is why I will not be poached.” Canning argues that he doesn’t bill his business as family, that’s a load of crap, “I just judge by talent and professionalism. You come to work for me, you’ll be judged only by your work.

Let me make you an offer.” When she says, firmly, No, Canning mocks, “Afraid Mommy and Daddy Lockhart will get upset?” On the stand, the neurologist testifies that he cleared Alicia’s client to continue playing three games before he could never play again. He’d done a baseline and when he compared, there were no signs of brain trauma. Following him from court, Kalinda discovers a meeting with not Canning, but actor/lawyer Frank Michael Thomas. She calls Diane, who brushes her off—“do what you normally do”—for a phone call from Jack, who’s standing her up. Will and Alicia interrupt Frank’s restaurant pontificating —“acting’s all about the voice”—to discover he’s representing seven players in a class action against the hockey league; that’s why he stole their neurologist.

But he doesn’t want to pool resources: “Lou Canning is using your case to make it easier to fight mine. …Hockey will be fighting you to the last man and you’re going to lose. Lose bad.” As Alicia and Will sit deflated, Diane pays her wine tab and, heads for Kurt McVeigh’s house. Once there, however, she’s greeted at the door by a hot young thing. Diane, who hasn’t seen Kurt in a year, says she’ll call a cab and go back, but he says no, it’s a 40-mile drive, come in. “Highland Park Liberal” Diane is subjected to nonstop right wing banter from McVeigh’s student. “Your protégé?” Diane asks when she leaves. Sort of, he says, then ventures that he likes a bit of argument; “consent is less interesting.” She leans in and kisses him and the night is on! At home, Grace nags Alicia about buying their old house. In court, Canning gets her client to admit he faked his base line test.

If he hadn’t, hockey doctors would have been able to diagnose and treat him better for his injury. Alicia, still worried about funds—for a house, private school tuition, college savings—has another little chat with Canning. He says he’ll work up an offer, “no pressure…this is how America works.” When Kalinda digs up some damaging footage from, where people watch and vote on the fights, evidence turns against the hockey league: They have never asked the site to take down the clips, indicating tacit support. This turn makes Frank change tactic: “Let’s have a sit down,” he tells Julius, “about me helping you win this thing.” “Are you in bed with him?” Tammy asks Alicia, jarring viewers if not Mrs. Florrick. “I can neither confirm or deny that we have an agreement with Mr. Frank Michael Thomas,” she answers.

But after a bit of “will this damage hockey” banter, the reporter gets to her real point: “You slept with Will after I left town, didn’t you?” As Alicia turns green, Tammy continues: “He didn’t tell me,” but she knew “you two had history,” Will didn’t respond to her calls, and she figured it out. And, “for the record, it wasn’t over between Will and I when I left for London. Then you slept with him and it was over.” With new evidence against the hockey league—a neurologist will testify that they rejected rigid protocol for evaluating and treating head injuries—Canning says he’ll go back to the league and see what they want to do. He drops an envelope with a 24-hour offer of employment on Alicia’s desk. Back on the Diane dating front, Kurt asks her to go fishing while, on the other line, Jack wants to reschedule their thwarted dinner. Back-stabbing and power plays continue at the firm as Eli tells Will he didn’t rat him out to the disciplinary committee—David Lee did.

Funny, Will says, David told him it was Eli. No need to tell Gardner to watch his back. Alicia stops a frustrated Diane at the elevator, telling her about the offer from Canning. Diane tries to bully and shame her—“It wasn’t Lou Canning who gave you a chance after 13 years away from the law”—but Alicia gulps and stands firm: If she stays, Lockhart has to offer more. Diane says she’ll let her know at the end of the week. When Alicia says 24 hours, the Woman of Steel counters: “End of the week or you can clean out your desk right now.” While Canning and the hockey league stay curiously quiet, the snowmobile makers suddenly offer to settle—for exactly the $5 million Lockhart was seeking. Case won. And we end as we began with conference room squabbling, again over Alicia’s raise. Diane pulls a fast one: A little known clause gives her, as managing partner, the ability to hand out a bonus.

Mrs. Florrick gets her bread. “You just stuck your neck out for a third year associate,” marvels Will. But Diane’s mind is on other matters, and she’s soon off giggling on the phone with Jack. “You used me,” says Canning, when Alicia reveals that Lockhart made her a better offer. Not that it matters: He used her to flush Frank out, “to see what he had ready for his client. Thank you.” Alicia approaches Kalinda to say, “Look, it can’t go back to the way it was before… there’s just been too much… but I’d like to try to make it work. It’s just that everything has to be on the table. I can’t be the only one being forthcoming, honest. Can you do that?” That’s asking a lot of the enigmatic investigator, but Kalinda swallows hard and says, “Yeah.” The episode ends on this note.