For someone who has known Alicia for as long as Eli has on The Good Wife, he is an expert in how to push her buttons and not in a good way. There has always been a bit of a push/pull between these two characters with Eli trying to work the best angle for the campaign while being more than aware that Alicia isn’t just going to drop everything and say yes. Some of this has been discovered the hard way and he knows better than anyone not to try and use the Florrick kids in any capacity without checking with their mother beforehand. It gets a little murky when Alicia’s love life comes into play and he has definitely overstepped his bounds long before “Discovery” with both Will and Finn. When Ruth comes to him regarding her Jason fears he does what Eli does and pisses Alicia off; ending the episode with a wordless reply and a door getting shut in his face.
Eli has intimate knowledge of Alicia and Peter’s complicated relationship; the affairs that both of them have had, their living situation and even their most recent hook-up. It is actually a very bizarre set-up when you consider all of this and when he tells Courtney that you have to be obsessed with your candidate he is skimming on the thorough and kinda creepy details. Okay the word “obsessed” has those connotations and he is maybe one step away from having a photo collage wall, except that wall is in his mind and files that they gather on the candidate and all their associates.
It is why it comes as a surprise to both Ruth and Eli that he missed the Jason thing (he has seen Jason, right?!). Ruth notices straight away and the way the camera lingers as Jason shows Alicia something on his phone and she puts on his glasses might as well have been Ruth seeing them going at it in the hallway; she is viewing it through salacious smut goggles. AKA what a lot of the audience (myself included) wants to see happen. Please don’t let this be a repeat of the Finn Polmar non-affair.
To give Eli some credit, I guess he is very reluctant when asking these awkward questions and maybe (okay definitely) a little intimidated by Jason, who also happens to have no time for Eli’s not so subtle attempt in telling him to back off. Although it does work because Jason goes from grufty warmness to grufty at a distance and Alicia is pissed. She’s still making homemade margs (and getting better) and alcohol is required to deal with this level of interference from Eli especially when he is giving his rules speech. It also doesn’t help that when he mentions hotel bars all I can think of is the season 2 finale and Will. And now I’m feeling a whole lot of things.
There are ulterior motives at play and full disclosure is not something Eli is offering as he is using the Courtney funded Alicia focus group as a way to see if she is a viable candidate for a Senate position, when Courtney just wanted to see if the Saint Alicia brand had been resurrected for this presidency campaign. Eli has moved beyond his sabotage plan, but the self interest level is still at play. One tactic he employs which is so dumb for everyone involved is sending Nora on an interference mission. When he sells it to her it sounds like it could be something which has a lot more value than cockblocking and after one awkward interruption Nora is no longer up for serving as Eli’s stooge.
Nora happens to interrupt a deep and meaningful about Jason’s previously uncomfortable life – flashback montage please – and now he likes to keep things simple. He is quickly learning that by spending time in Alicia’s orbit things are far from this state. Although he should have known that from the investigation he did on her and like Eli I don’t really buy his excuse of checking out his new boss. Alicia looks concerned by this discovery (drink because I just said the episode title) and it is unclear what she is going to do with this information. Probably start by drinking another margarita.
There are a couple of interesting Alicia costuming touches to note such as the leather and lace combo that comes after Eli’s chat; she certainly isn’t going to tone her wardrobe choices down and in fact this up the sex factor.
The case this week has Alicia representing an old client with a new boss as Piper’s brother from Orange is the New Black is the new COO at Chumhum with Lockhart, Agos representing the opposition. This is a Canning case and they know it will look better with Lucca as part of the team because the case is about race, which she is obviously not so thrilled by. Somehow they find a way to have both sides win, but it leaves an unpleasant taste in the end because of a) what Alicia and Lucca had to do at the behest of the dude paying their bills (bury evidence) and b) Diane and Cary also kinda lost because the restaurant in question was failing before the app was launched.
We also get to hear Cary spout a whole lot of white male privilege and I’m not entirely sure if this was out of character or completely in line with what he actually thinks. Cary has been used so little this season it is hard to tell who he is in a post-Kalinda Good Wife as he was so defined by that relationship. Now he is going dancing with Lucca and I would be way more into this if there had been any sense of a build-up; they have gone from pretty much zero non-case based interactions to this in no steps at all.
This season is still trying to figure out exactly what it wants to be and as we near the halfway point it is a little concerning. With one episode left before the break (airing December 13) I hope it figures things out soon.