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Blue Ribbon Panel - Recap

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The episode begins, and when Diane is approached to be the token woman on a panel investigating the police shooting of a civilian, she passes the opportunity on to Alicia: “It’s good for your career, good for the firm.” But the panel, chaired by arrogant Mike Kresteva, seems to have predetermined the outcome. When Alicia breaks form by gently questioning the victim’s son, who denies that undercover officers identified themselves before shooting, the judges on the panel make their irritation clear. “You don’t need to impress us,” Judge Dunaway warns. “You don’t need to be clever. Everybody new to the panel thinks they’re going to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to. It’s a wheel. It works fine.”

Back at the firm, Eli Gold, David Lee and Julius Cain—move to oust Will. But they remain divided about which equity partner should replace him, each of course voting for himself. Meanwhile, Alicia trying to buy back her old house continues, first with the owners rejecting her low ball offer. A realtor’s suggestion that Alicia write a letter to the wife, telling her how much the house means to her, leads to flashback memories both cozy (bath tub duckies) and cruel (news crews on the front lawn). Somehow, Alicia persists in her attachment to the property. Mrs. Florrick gets into further hot water with the panel when she stops at the train station where the shooting occurred to check out the testimony. The judges want to censure her—“We’re not the cops, honey”—but the motion is pulled back. Flustered, Alicia arrives late for Kalinda’s IRS meeting, where she is greeted by an even more arrogant, condescending male who appears to be using the conversation to fish for other evidence. Walking out, Kalinda tells her that the whole conversation was watched by videocam: “They want something from me.” What they get is Alicia, loaded for bear, leaning over the computer to tell off the unknown observer. (“I lost my house and I’m using it,” she explains her uncharacteristic outburst.)

At the firm, Eli and Julius decide to flip a coin to decide who gets nominated for Will’s seat. Gardner himself, suspended from active duty, wanders the halls with fellow exile Howard Lyman, a doddering pushed-aside partner. (“I’m not bitter,” Howard mumbles. “Bitterness is for losers. You tell me. Why give somebody else a leg up?” And: “You got any good porn sites?”) Back on the blue ribbon panel, Alicia discovers that a gun at the crime scene had previously been used in a jewelry robbery—and confiscated by Officer Zimmerman. Had the gun been planted? Panel chair Kresteva cuts short her interrogation of an expert witness—only to have the token black member, Pastor Damon, speak up and give her his allotted five minutes to finish. How ridiculous, Kresteva later explodes, that a cop would hold onto a gun for two years.

“This blows up into a race riot, it’s on your head,” he tells Alicia. “White officer, black victim…And you want to kick that hornet’s nest?” Besides, “Ask Diane what it looks like to piss off judges like this.” And so she does. Diane, is pragmatic: There will be consequences, to the firm and to Alicia’s own career. Will, now on the sidelines, can hold more clearly to the line of truth and justice. Alicia’s terribly busy day continues with a surprise visit from FBI agent Lana Delaney, who wants to know if Kalinda ever did any freelance work for the firm’s drug dealer client, Lamont Bishop. When she sashays out with a “say hi to Kalinda,” Alicia races to find the investigator—only to be caught short by a call from Gilda, her old house’s new owner. After the initial excitement, it turns out that Gilda has been moved by her letter only so far as to offer Alicia the chance to outbid the highest bidder. She can’t afford that, and can now turn her attention to Kalinda (telling her that Delaney dropped by) and expert witness Burke, who has come to find her.

He reveals that Officer Zimmerman had indeed confiscated the gun—but never logged it. The whole gun business leads first to Alicia wanting to recall Burke—who has been denied a second hearing by Kresteva—and swaying the rest of the panel to join her, then to Kresteva threatening her: Peter Florrick, as SA, had all this knowledge yet refused to prosecute Zimmerman, presumably because he did not want a racial hot potato clouding his political future. To further make his point, Kresteva calls Cary Agos in to testify. Meanwhile, Agos (reluctantly) offers that crisis guru Eli Gold had been involved in Peter’s decision not to pursue the case. Kalinda, thoroughly pissed off at her old lover Delaney, meets her for lunch. Delaney wants to discuss the IRS matter in a more intimate setting, but Kalinda says no, here’s fine, and begins to fondle her, freaking out the agent.

To make her point absolutely clear, Kalinda says, “If you want to talk about business, let’s talk about business. If you want to talk about something else, we’ll talk about something else…just don’t mix the two.” Alicia gets an odd call from her realtor congratulating her on getting the house. “I’m looking at [the contract] right now…I mean, how many Florricks can there be?” “Two,” says Alicia. now furious. “Two Florricks.” Peter doesn’t return her calls, so she storms into a room where he is lunching with the kids. Turns out, he thought she was calling to warn him about the panel, which would compromise her. He didn’t even know the house was for sale. “There’s another Florrick,” she says. “It’s not just you and me…Jackie…oh my god…Jackie bought the house!” “Where are you going?” he asks. “To buy a gun,” she says.

Back at the Lockhart boardroom, Eli is interrupted by David Lee: “Is this going to take long?” “Only if it irritates you,” Gold answers, then nominates Julius for Will’s seat. (“Oh come on,” mutters Lee. “You flipped a coin or something.”) But Will rises to suggest that there is “one person in this room who has the most seniority and the most institutional memory to lead us in these difficult economic times. Howard…” “Oh dear god,” Lee explodes. “You can’t be serious,” protests Cain. “Who is that?” asks Gold. Howard agrees, on the condition that “I get the corner office closest to the restroom,” and the firm votes him in. Getting more sinister, Kresteva tells Alicia that he can write one of two blue panel reports; the compromised one protects Peter, the more forthcoming one hurts him.

“Nothing’s simple, is it?” she says. “That’s not true,” he says. “Candy Land is simple.” “I’m recusing myself,” Alicia decides. “Any way I go on this is a conflict of interest.” He leaves her with a poisoned arrow: “That’s too bad. That boy pleaded with you for the truth. His father’s dead and all he wanted from you is the truth.” Meanwhile, however, she’s got a personal battle to wage. Marching into a fancy salon, Alicia interrupts Jackie mid-hair wash. “Do you have a moment?” she asks. “I do,” says Jackie, rising from the basin with a glowingly triumphant face. The episode ends on this note.