Diane goes through pretty major shifts this week, as we settle into what this season might end up being all about. While the partners decided not to offer Celeste her “new home” originally, Diane has had quite the mercenary brainwave: A double-dip recession means bankruptcy might become L/G’s strongest division, so when we hear news that Celeste Serrano’s Bankruptcy department is joining Litigation and Acquisitions as part of the deal, Will is dispatched into the hairy world of Celeste’s total crazy. There are all-night poker games, there is a excruciatingly awkward three-way conversation with Peter Florrick, there is recrimination and creepiness of sundry stripe…
And then it turns out the whole thing is a big lie, and Celeste isn’t actually looking to join L/G at all: Those departments are forming their own firm, and want Will to come along. She also wants him to “feed” the eponymous “rat,” which in this context means “be gross like how you actually are and stop trying to impress Alicia, and/or Jesus, by pretending you’re normal.” (One thinks, again, of that chunky stew of the depressed rats biting and ****ing each other to death. One thinks of them, to be honest, pretty much all the time. One is haunted by the biting, ****ing rat stew.) To sweeten the pot, Celeste offers Will a pretty solid line on one day becoming baseball commissioner, so of course he spends the last couple acts brooding and eventually tells her, once again, to **** off.
Off, methinks, she will not be ****ing.
Meanwhile, Diane decides to put a halt to all pro bono cases as part of her sudden fiscal spring-cleaning, which lasts about five seconds until she visits Legal Aid to break up with them in person. After an electrically charged meeting with the head of that motley group (played by fantastic old Romany “Conrad” Malco), she ends up deciding to pull them in-house and stick ’em next to Eli, in one of the most heartwarmingly West Wing True Believer moments of the whole series. Diane’s been so background this season that I forgot how powerful it is when she gets that look in her eyes, like she believes in America and a fair shake. That ERA face she gets.