“This is a constitutionally mandated necessity, it is Lucille Ball wrapping chocolates on an assembly line, cases get processed, justice is served for the greater whole…I will be damned if I allow you to gum it up.”- Judge Schakowsky
Episode four, Taxed, begins with Louis Canning (Michael J Fox) in court arguing for a physician assisted suicide case. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) is sitting in the courtroom taking notes when Ethan Carver (Peter Gallagher) approaches her on Oliver Platt’s behalf. Remember Reese Dipple from last year? He’s the extremely rich republican client, who Diane brought to the firm after tagging along on a hunting trip with her husband. Ethan coerces Diane to take her clients counsel, a request that ultimately means to argue against her own beliefs. Meanwhile back in bond court Alicia (Julianna Margulies) supports one client’s plea of innocence in a shoplifting case that spurs Judge Schakowsky (Christopher McDonald) to take away all of her other cases that day, “I’m being taxed.” Alicia receives a penalty for still trying to play lawyer in a court system that processes cases like “wrapping chocolates on an assembly line.” In comparison to Diane, experiencing the disadvantage of representing a republican lobbyist-even if he’s their most lucrative client.
“But, who knows the advocate’s case better than the devil?” –Ethan Carver
Louis Canning certainly knows a thing, or two about Diane’s case, as they find themselves on opposing councils. Michael J Fox has made a couple of appearances this season, but this one really stood out, because of his interactions with Christine Baranaski. Louis Canning has become known to use his own illness as a distraction during court proceedings, “Here let me help you with that,” says Diane as Louis fumbles opening his pill bottle. For every distraction attempt Louis makes, Diane meets it with a courtesy. Then outside the courtroom Louis reminds Diane that he’s the one on the right side of this case. “Carver and Dipple don’t care about your client, they just want to raise malpractice rates, and intimidate doctors out of helping people die,” explains Louis. Now Diane may be playing devil’s advocate, but is Alicia working with the devil? Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) returns this episode to help Alicia with her bond court case. He discovers that the store’s security is targeting African American women and framing them for shoplifting. Alicia puts Jason on the stand, only for prosecutor Matan Brody (Chris Butler) to present some startling revelations. Jason Crouse used to be an attorney, got disbarred after assaulting a judge for ruling against his client…more details now please. “Should I be worried about you,” asks Alicia. “Yes, why do you think you got me so cheap?” responds Jason. This kind of tension has been missing from the show since season five, we all know why. Rest in peace, Will Garner. Diane and Alicia’s paralleling cases has Louis Canning giving Diane Lockhart a lesson on hypocrisy; Alicia Florrick becoming a rogue bond court attorney, like her new investigator, Jason Crouse.
“Ouch…ouch, my head is hurting from the wrongness I’m hearing.”-Diane Lockhart
Rewind, back to the beginning of the episode. There’s a small scene between Alicia and Cary (Matt Czuchry) that foreshadows the ending scene. Ethan Carver wants Diane and Cary to convince Alicia to talk to Peter about not supporting the physician assisted suicide bill. Cary offers to speak with Alicia, which makes sense considering how Diane and her left things last episode. “Remember me?” he asks Alicia before strolling into her apartment, where they once went rogue and started a firm together. Fast-forward to Alicia licking her bond court wounds in a bar with Lucca (Cush Jumbo). Alicia’s persistence on her client’s innocence was for not, as security footage showed her client’s mother shoplifting the sweater from the store, “I’ll take the plea.” Lucca explains to Alicia that she’s in the wrong court system to care about her clients. The bond court system is too impersonal for Alicia to handle, “There’s no glory in this slog, you got to shake the trees for better paying cases,” explains Lucca. Now this is the moment we have been anticipating since they introduced Lucca Quinn. “You want to do it together?” asks Alicia. A partnership made in bond court…will they be taxed together next time?