Call Me Maybe
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Old Spice, outside of Elsbeth’s direct quote to her flame Perotti, refers to the enticement of old memories and the past. Diane and Alicia find themselves back in the offices of Lockhart Gardner, having successfully evicted Louis Canning, David Lee, and team from their offices (is this the last of these two? NO!). Diane finds herself back in her old office and Alicia in Will’s. The past is never letting these two go, even though Diane touchingly offers to take Will’s office instead of Alicia. And now, when the embody the very establishment they had run so far away from, how do they leave the old spice behind and create something new? How do they escape the past and step into the future? But that expression on Alicia’s face of a triumph mired with tragedy is so powerful that when her and Diane connect from their respective offices, there’s at least something resembling an acceptance of the past and a readiness to move on.
It has a catchy tune, but I’ve always found the song “Call Me Maybe” to be a bit more than tantamount to ear surgery. Without anesthesia. But it fits with Elsbeth so fastidiously it’s hard to fight the show’s decision to make her fall in love with the song. This week she’s a lot more punctual and sharp, a much more welcome turn compared to last week, where half of the time it rang false that she’s an accomplished lawyer. The case from last week continues, ending with Elsbeth pulling one over on Perotti in a supremely satisfying moment. The case ends with victory for Elsbeth and Alicia, with the latter and the client looking at the former with something resembling outright admiration. It makes it obvious that the case was created for the purpose of filler, but at least this week you’re not slamming your head about half of the time.
Easily the best portion of the episode outside of the ending is the interview in which Alicia has to talk about religion and God. She can’t declare that she’s an atheist on national television while running for office, because based on insipid fears, American voters won’t vote for an atheist, no matter the candidate’s qualifications. In the interview, Alicia notes how she’s struggling, her expressions selling the politician’s lie incredibly effectively. And when the interviewer brings up Will’s death, the expression of joviality is wiped clean from Alicia’s face and Julianna Margulies plays that moment with incredible effectiveness. “I don’t like pretending to be someone I’m not,” she notes dully, her eyes glazed over with the realization of her hypocrisy. “You seemed to be good at it,” Marissa notes without skipping a beat. And this is only the beginning. The most notable thread about the use of religion here besides its incredible authenticity is how it has allowed for Alicia and Grace to bond so effectively. “Do you judge me?” Alicia asks quietly. “No, of course not. I love you,” Grace responds with an air of authentic surprise that Alicia would even consider that. In hindsight, I take back the meaner things I’ve said about this religious storyline in the past. It’s clearly paying off in dividends here. And when Grace is surrounded by her prayer group, wondering how she got her mother to change her mind, the lies of it all are clearly read on her face. She doesn’t like the falsehood of the struggle any more than her mother does. Few people truly like lying. But everyone does and sometimes it’s inevitable. Isn’t it?
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Why milk?”; “Why not?”
+Marissa’s line about Orthodox Jews was so inappropriate but so hilarious at the same time.
+The recurring “In my opinion”
+“This was a supreme waste of time.”
+Howard as the lifeline
+ “Religion is in my life again.”
+Bringing defense contractors, China, and the CIA into the same case is kind of brilliant
+Grace and Alicia.
+Cary’s “This is stupid” line reading was pitch perfect.
+Kalinda now has to interact with people outside of Cary
+Kalinda’s use of the OSHA trick and legal technicalities to get the original Lockhart Gardner offices
-The Perotti and Elsbeth sex scenes were kind of tied to the case, but their romance in general is kind of exasperating.
Title: Old Spice
Written By: Leonard Dick
Directed By: James Whitmore, Jr.
Image Courtesy: Kurcheff Standy @ YouYube