This was easily one of the best episodes of the show, period, so forgive me for going easy on the frivolity for a minute.
WHY SO SERIOUS, ONCOMING HOPE?
That opening scene was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on television. Not only does it set up the case, it answers the very question that the case asks of us: did the drone operator receive the message that there were civilians near the strike target?
I don't know what's more disturbing really: that she does know there are civilians and she doesn't care, or she doesn't know, but drone strikes are still accepted as an honorable/legal form of combat.
But to the show's credit, it never directly addresses the latter point. Unlike last week's heavy handed death penalty discussion (which went something like this: "My name is Saint Alicia, and I've never thought about morality in my 45 years of life"), this episode asks us to judge our defendant on the merits of the law. Who cares if the law stinks.
Which is why Judge Kuhn's final salvo is not even slightly comforting, even though it's 100% truth. This woman has been justly served, but so many other crimes have been let past. That doesn't mean this person doesn't deserve jail, but her conviction will be used as an excuse, as a way to say that yes, the system works.
ON THE "WTF" SIDE OF THE SHOW
Somehow, this show has made the word "cheese" into a swearword, if not a character in its own right. Can cheese play along with those playground bullies, vegetables and fruit? Not while Amy Sedaris is around!
Over at the state's attorney's office, nothing happens but innuendo. And I mean TONS of innuendo. I almost drowned with embarrassment, until it became clear that what we were seeing is Dana out-Kalinda-ing Kalinda. Which makes her a force too frightening to even contemplate.
Speaking of terrifying, it's the return of Wendy Scott-Carr! In last year's political contest, I could never put a finger on what made her so...scary. It's blankness, hidden behind a smile. There's nothing in those eyes but sheer bloodlust:
Diane, proving herself as awesome as ever, sees right through Wendy. There's none of the professional regard she shows other competitors; she sees Wendy for what she is - petty. And she wastes no time in marshaling the better devil: Eli Gold. And she doesn't just ask for help: she lords her superiority over him, basically forcing him to stop being a cry-baby. I have never been more scared of Diane. Or in love. Stacie Hall really will rue the day.
However, by bringing Wendy in, Peter's proven himself the wiliest of devils. It's amazing how the show has made his presence felt, even when he's onscreen for just minutes at a time, if that. But I wonder if using Wendy as a weapon might backfire. It's not a stretch to believe that she'd want to embarrass him.
In other news, Will's having another very bad day. In fact the worst. First humiliated by a military judge, then given a thread of hope by Kalinda, only to have Diana take it all away. I have no idea how this is going to play out, but I can't wait.
You'll notice that I haven't brought up Jackie. I have but one word: awesome. Alicia took her down in the best way possible, and it was AWESOME!
Next week: It appears that Grace has been kidnapped. We, the audience, are...sad?! Interrobang.