"Tracks" is a watered down but endearing episode that is all owed to '90s film star Matthew Lillard, who reprises his character of the lovable and ditzy musician, Rowby. It may not have been strategic, but bringing in Lillard's aloof humor and cuddly comic timing to ease the withdrawals of the exit of Jason Crouse was a wonderful idea.
Crouse commanded every scene he appeared in during his short but memorable co-starring role that ended in the 10th episode. It is to note that both men have aged beautifully and both have dimples.
The show starts out with a decent little Marx Brothers-esque routine where Alicia's clients and colleagues all end up going to the wrong apartment after her building changed the order of the numbers on the elevator. The woman who owned apartment 603 becomes angrier and angrier as people and deliveries continue to unknowingly intrude on her privacy in search of Alicia's legal services.
Rowby returns with a music licensing issue as his children's song, "Good Morning, Magic Sunshine" goes viral and his label pursues full ownership of the track. Alicia and Lucca take Rowby on, Lucca a bit more than Alicia as she seduces him after the lovable Rowby admits he'd fallen in love with her upon their first meeting at a negotiation at Cary's firm.
Alicia and Lucca agreed to team up with Cary because he and Alicia represented Rowby together in Season 5, and Rowby insisted he obtain the same lawyers.
Yes, it's all one not very happy but not super-awkward reunion with Cary and Alicia. The show had a chance to amp up the complexity of the professional relationship between the two, but chose sex over storyline as Rowby and Lucca share a couple of on screen kisses and intimate scenes.
Cary does end up asking Alicia and Lucca to work for his law firm as Florrick & Quinn have quickly become a direct competitor of Cary and Diane's at Lockhart & Agos. Alicia abruptly turned down the offer, selfishly stealing Lucca's opportunity to fully consider it.
Alicia ends up losing the case for Rowby and in the midst of this overarching storyline we have some serious emotional pain lurking in the seams of the show. A couple of episodes prior, Eli admitted to deleting a voicemail from Alicia's serious love interest, Will. Will confessed his love her and Alicia never got the message. Upon Eli's confession of wrongdoing, Alicia seethed with anger and has been unable to forgive him ever since.
Eli's daughter steps in and asks for Alicia's forgiveness on behalf of Eli but in a very rare and emotionally moving scene Alicia admitted that she couldn't forgive Eli because "I hurt." Her eyes teared up on cue, and we see her cold demeanor fall away for just a few seconds. Nonetheless, those seconds were TV gold and a glimpse of how the show used to shine in its heyday.
Alicia deals with a lot of personal pain and the underlying "curse" on her love life due to the meddling of Eli and Peter's campaigns leave her not only alone, but socially and emotionally manipulated and stolen from.
Just the short admittance of her pain brings all the history of what Alicia has been through over the past seven seasons rushing back to your mind. All in all, this episode wasn't half bad, but if we could get back to exploring Alicia as a complex emotional being now that she's back on her feet professionally, it would be really nice.
We'll see what happens.