Ah, the holidays. Squabbling relatives, sniping in-laws, secrets revealed, nerves frayed ... it's enough to drive anyone crazy.
Or, in Alicia's case, into the bathroom for a little nookie!
Alicia's mother, Veronica (the superb Stockard Channing), is in town for Thanksgiving to settle her dead (third) husband's contested will. Alicia resents her mother's two-year absence; Veronica acts like she's never been gone, giving her daughter unwanted advice about Peter, Will, her hair, the placement of the furniture, etc.
So, Alicia relieves the tension by jumping Peter. He's still her husband, after all.
The bonds of matrimony
Alicia and Diane are defending the CEO and CFO of a tax-return-software company, who have been accused of filing fraudulent claims.
Opposing counsel Bucky Stabler (Brian Dennehy) wants to play a wiretap between the CEO, Vance, and his wife, but Alicia and Diane call upon spousal shield.
Unfortunately, that doesn't apply to the CFO, Dale, and his husband because the federal courts do not recognize same-sex marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The case against Vance is dropped, and Dale becomes the sole target.
As Diane and Alicia ponder their strategy, in sweeps Supreme Court superlawyer Jeremy Breslow (Bruce McGill). He wants to use Dale's case to take down DOMA.
"He's Barnum and Bailey," Will warns of Breslow. "He'll swallow this case whole."
During the trial, it's clear that Will is right about the supercilious Breslow. He doesn't seem to want to win, making hardly any effort to cross-examine witnesses.
When Alicia uses Vance's wiretap (now admissible, as he's no longer a defendant) to prove the CEO knew about the fraud, the government offers Dale a plea bargain. Breslow convinces him not to accept it, though. He wants to take this baby all the way to the Supreme Court.