The CBS’ drama’s latest installment, “Cooked”, was a twist-filled episode that continued some of the great work the show’s been doing this season. Through the use of space, the episode drew some interesting to parallels between Alicia and Eli’s current situations.
It also explored the fragility of Alicia’s relationships with the women in her life. Most importantly, however, the show managed to do the impossible: present a Howard Lyman plot that wasn’t insufferable.
The case of the week
This week, Alicia takes on the case a young man who arrested, along with his drug dealer, and charged with intent to manufacture and sell GHB. She and Lucca, who is defending the drug dealer, team up to get the case dismissed.
When their case gets off to a rough start, Lucca devises a strategy that will require Alicia to suggest — without actually suggesting — her client lie on the stand. Unfortunately, that plan fails. But, it doesn’t matter because midway through the case Alicia, with some help from Grace, discovers that her client isn’t who he says he is: He’s working with the FBI.
Aside: Grace is magically good at investigating, but I’m not going to argue with it because the show has finally found something that works for the character, so let’s just go with it. End of aside.
It turns out that the client Alicia wants to tell the judge, but her client forbids her and threatens to tell the judge she told him to perjure himself on the stand. This threat is delivered in a small holding cell, which highlights how Alicia is trapped in this situation and has very few ways to escape. Her client’s threat also makes Alicia suspect that the FBI is targeting her, and she immediately suspects that Lucca might be in on it since she’s the one who suggested that Alicia’s client lie.
This case presents the first test for Alicia and Lucca’s budding relationship. The fact that Alicia was so quick to jump to conclusions about Lucca’s motives points to how much her engagement with politics have changed her in the past few years. She doesn’t hesitate to accuse Lucca of trying to screw her over.
As luck would have it, Alicia’s client isn’t after her. He’s an undercover FBI agent who is after the Judge Schakowski for corruption and is trying to catch him accepting a bribe.
Eli, who Alicia told about the FBI’s sting, ends up tipping off Schakowski because he needs his help taking down Frank Landau.
Eli is the God of mischief
Sunday’s episode casts Eli as the Loki or Puck The Good Wife‘s world — he’s cleverly pulling strings behind the scenes and causing a bit of mayhem in pursuit of his own goals.
Ruth instructs Eli to run Alicia’s rehabilitation campaign from the Governor’s mansion and provides with him an embarrassingly small office. It’s a rather cliché move, but it works because of how the show plays with small spaces in this episode to draw parallels between Alicia and Eli.
Similarly to Alicia and the holding room, Eli’s small office symbolizes how he’s trapped in this small role in the campaign, with very little room to maneuver. However, he doesn’t let his literal and metaphorical small confines stop him from pursuing what he wants.
Ruth informs him that Alicia and her mother Veronica (The West Wing‘s Stockard Channing) must appear on a reality show where Veronica teaches Alicia how to cook a meal. Eli knows how volatile their relationship is and uses that to his advantage to ruin Ruth’s campaign. Alicia and Veronica’s appearance involves Veronica bringing up Alicia and Peter’s marital issues and devolves into a fight, which is exactly what Eli wanted.
Howard Lyman Finds Love
Meanwhile, everyone’s least favorite Lockart, Agos & Lee partner, Howard Lyman, approaches Alicia about representing him in ageism suit against the firm because they’re trying to push him out. Alicia turns him down because he doesn’t have a case right now, but she counsels him on how to build one.
She suggests that he improve his performance at work, so that when they try to fire him, they actually won’t have cause.
As he leaves her apartment, he runs into Jackie and the two hit it off right away. I don’t know why, but I don’t object to these two as a couple.
The two go out on a date and, by the end of the episode, they’re kissing and Jackie has helped Howard bring a huge client to the firm.
Meanwhile, Diane is disappointed by the summer intern’s lack of commitment and interest in her mentorship, which makes her long for the days of mentoring Alicia. This moves her to mend things with Alicia, and the firm decides to give some its overflow cases to Alicia.
When Diane pays Alicia a visit with the firm’s offer, it’s clear that things are still awkward between these two women because of everything’s that happen. Neither one seems comfortable in the other’s presence. But Diane’s generosity is a step in the right direction toward mending things.
Unfortunately, David Lee finds out that Alicia coached Howard on how to build an ageism lawsuit and tells Diane. Naturally, Diane feels betrayed.
Alicia tries to explain that the misunderstanding, but can’t elaborate because of attorney-client privilege. Thus, their relationship is even further away from being mended.
- Thank god, by the end of the episode, Alicia and Lucca have made up. Although, now Judge Schakowsky is showing favor to Alicia after Eli’s tip.
- Where was Jason Crouse this week? We need more Alicia-Jason chemistry.
- The aria playing during Howard and Jackie’s date is “Deh vienni alla finestra” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and was very apropos.
- Do you think Ruth has watched It Follows yet?