Michael J. Fox is one mean bastard!
It's such a treat whenever he appears on "The Good Wife" as the wily, charming Louis Canning. And it seems we'll get to see more of him in the second part of this season, since he buys Lockhart Gardner's debt.
While Will and Diane are happy for the possible reprieve from their bankruptcy deadline, Alicia is all too aware of just what kind of trouble Canning might bring to the firm.
Forget their creditors and Clarke Hayden ... allowing Canning into the firm could very well spell its doom.
Lockhart Gardner is representing a girl named Kaley who contracted the West Nile virus from mosquitoes around abandoned pools of foreclosed homes. They're suing Atlantic Commerce, the bank who foreclosed the homes, for leaving the pools unattended. The case could bring in a good settlement, $15 million, which is needed to help the firm's bankruptcy problems.
Alicia is in a remote area of Minnesota to depose the bank's president, Wilkes Ingersol, who's represented by her nemesis, Louis Canning. Ingersol's been dodging deposition for 14 months, and when he finally sits down with Alicia, he leaves after a few minutes, claiming an "emergency."
Back in Chicago, the case hits a bump when Kaley admits she climbed over a fence to swim in a pool -- she trespassed, which means the bank isn't liable.
This is too important financially for Lockhart Gardner to give up. Cary argues that the pool was an "attractive nuisance," so they still have a case. Still, they really need to talk to Ingersol to discover what he knew about the pool problems.
But Ingersol continues to give them the runaround, clearly with Canning's encouragement. A frustrated Alicia waits for several days, even meeting Canning's beautiful and sweet wife, Simone.
When Alicia asks how he landed such a wonderful woman (when he's so awful), he says, "Women like bastards. It fits in with all the fairy tales you grew up consuming."
Canning might be a liar, but there is some truth to that.
Shot across the bow
As the firm battles the bank, Will and Diane get served with a mediation notice ... from Clarke Hayden! Turns out he's still upset that they torpedoed his merger deal from a few episodes back. Clarke argues that they should be removed as managing partners.
Their mediator "goddess," Seraphina, listens to testimony from Cary, who reveals that he's been tutoring Clarke for the bar exam. Cary says he didn't feel he had a choice, since Hayden held such sway over their firm. Clarke looks hurt, then establishes that he attempted to pay Cary for the work and never implied any preferential (or penalizing) treatment. Seems like this bromance is over.
Will and Diane aren't the only partners in trouble. After the raid on his office, Eli gets a visit from Landau, the Democratic Party operative. He isn't suggesting that Eli step down, but he does want a backup to join the team: "boy wonder" Jordan Karahalios (T.R. Knight). Jordan immediately causes Eli's hackles to go up, especially when he snidely notes, "I like to learn from my elders."
Eli decides to file a harassment suit against the DOJ, but he and Diane are shocked to meet the government's counsel: Wendy Scott-Carr! "No one disappears," Eli mutters. "They all come back, like zombies."
Wendy insists she's not biased, but Diane decides to pass on a warning through her former campaign manager. The "shot across the bow" just provokes Wendy to confiscate Eli's files from Lockhart Gardner -- which means Diane has to step away from his case.
Oh, Eli, haven't you learned? Don't poke the bear. Especially when you previously humiliated and beat the bear.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Alicia decides to play Canning's game. She brings in a maid and a front desk clerk, who testify that Canning deliberately stymied the deposition. The judge orders him to bring in Ingersol or face contempt.
Kalinda shows up with Alicia's clothes and "incidentals" (i.e., alcohol), and they share a drink in her hotel room. Kalinda remarks on how quiet it is there, and Alicia reminisces about how she used to revel in the silence (and a glass of red wine) every day at 3 PM before her kids came home from school.
"I miss the silence," Alicia says wistfully.
"I miss this," Kalinda replies, adding, "I'm sorry."
Alicia nods. "I know." (Kalicia forever!)
Kalinda asks about the calls Canning made from his room -- three to Ingersol, one to a local number. She discovers Ingersol is seeking treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; that's why he's been dodging the deposition.
The next day, when he finally shows up, Alicia gets right to it: It's a violation of SEC regulations for him to keep an illness from his shareholders. Ingersol tries to deflect, but with the bank facing an upcoming merger, folds. Atlantic Commerce offers a $12 million settlement.
Will and Diane take the news to their mediator, along with the revelation that someone has purchased their debt. Seraphina gives them five weeks to resolve their bankruptcy woes, after which Clarke can seek a merger with another firm. A relieved Will and Diane hope that the new creditor will delay their deadline.
In Minnesota, Alicia gets ready to go home and bids farewell to Louis and Simone Canning.
"I'll be seeing you soon, though," Louis says, and then reveals that he bought her firm's debt.
Louis Canning now holds her fate in his hands.
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"The Good Wife" airs Sundays at 9 PM on CBS.