Image credit: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS
MOMMIE DEAREST Stockard Channing reprises her role as Alicia's kooky mother and makes a surprising move to support her daughter.
Back in court, with Jeffrey Tambor's Judge Kluger presiding, Lockhart/Gardner had to change its approach in the Chumhum suit since prior restraint wasn't applicable. This time, they accused the NSA of selectively enforcing its gag orders. And they used the testimony of Patric Edelstein (Jack Carpenter) to prove it. So the NSA called a brief SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) where they could discuss with the judge classified information. As with Alicia and Cary, we weren't privy to that discussion. But whatever AUSA Hortense (Brennan Brown) said behind closed doors was enough to convince Kluger to rule in favor of the government.
Their final option was to sue for money. They asserted that Chumhum's forced association with the NSA had cost the company $3 billion in damages. Lockhart/Gardner tried to link Chumhum's sizable loss of users with the Edward Snowden leak earlier this summer. But AUSA Hortense countered with evidence of an organized boycott of the site that was unrelated to Snowden on the same day. But Kalinda turned up Chumhum's involvement with North Korean Freedom Fighters. This warranted another visit to the SCIF, this time for the Lockhart/Gardner team. The North Koreans backed out of the deal because they were afraid of the NSA, which cost Chumhum $14,000 in damages. It was significantly less than the original $3 billion they were seeking. But it was substantial enough for Judge Kluger to make his final ruling: The NSA's gag order would remain in place. Chumhum was, in fact, damaged in the amount of $14,000. And there was a gag order on any and all discussion of damages. Neil Gross was able to use these terms to his advantage when he was able to tell his users that he won a major court victory. He couldn't discuss the terms of the judgement, but they were pretty happy with the result. It made it look better than it was.
Meanwhile, Cary, Alicia, and the other fourth years were trying to secure office space for their new firm. But they ran into problems with their bank loan. The bank wanted to speak with their current employers, but since Will and Diane don't yet know of their plans to leave, that was out of the question. The fourth years would have to come up with $140,000 or lose the $60,000 they'd already put down.
In other news, Peter and Eli were trying to get Chief Justice Ryvlan (Jeffrey Demunn) to support Diane's nomination for the vacant Illinois Supreme Court spot. Unfortunately, Ryvlan took issue with Diane's continued support of a "corrupt" Will Gardner. The meeting with Ryvlan took us on a little side story when Eli couldn't find the engraved gavel the Justice had gifted to Peter. The assumption was that a former intern stole it and was trying to sell it online. But when Eli set up a meeting with the seller, it turned out to be Zach's old girlfriend -- and Eli's former teenage nemesis -- Becca (Dreama Walker). Eli asked Alicia to talk to Zach, but Zach made it clear that he'd moved on from Becca and his ex, Nisa. This, of course, didn't explain where the gavel came from. But a cutaway shot showed Grace Florrick video chatting with Becca. So oddly enough, Grace is the likely connection that led to Peter's stolen gavel. (If you're reading this, Grace, don't be friends with Becca! She's bad news!)
NEXT: Stockard Channing returns as Alicia's mother