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Over the last 2 seasons it’s Robert Goren who we have seen suffer personal hardships. Alex Eames only gets to do that occasionally and only for a single episode. One of the first episodes I can recall this happening in is Vacancy in Season 5.
Alex is annoyed about one thing or another during the whole episode; most of the time, with reason. She gives away a lot of herself and her personal feelings in Vacancy. Goren notices right away she is out of sorts and even fills in for questions she fails to ask.
Alex is annoyed at Alice (acquaintance of the victim) for looking to Goren to be her white knight. I get that. Knowing Alex, she would feel Alice should be responsible for herself and not go looking for a man to save her.
Alex is also annoyed with Alice for looking specifically to Goren. Alex must be feeling particularly territorial that day! Goren is very funny during that scene.
Alex is even mad at the awkward way Goren handles Alice.
Alex particularly dislikes Alice for being an irresponsible drunk with nothing but excuses. (We find out why when Alex explains to Goren in the hallway. )
She then becomes really annoyed at herself…
…For being so transparent in her hostility for the drunken Alice in front of Rainey.
…Which then leads to possibly messing up the case as Rainey's bail is lowered and doubt to his involvement rises.
…Which then leads to confessing her weakness to Goren, who was rather inept at consoling her when she broaches the subject. (HA! It was probably an act of self-preservation for him. But he also might have been surprised that she even needed his consolation.)
And all this made everyone (Deakins, Carver and who knows who else) notice it was she who may have caused the case to fall apart.
Yup. Alex was pissed. She hates being wrong. Surprisingly she did soften up to Alice and reassured her, which then annoyed Carver! She just couldn't win and she knew it.
This is all very unusual behaviour for Alex. The episode title, Vacancy, as it relates to Alex? Her normal practical sense had vacated her. Okay, I’ll say it. We might have a case of PMS. And that is probably what really ticked her off most.
A) that she was showing it and
B) that it was noticed (and no doubt commented on by her male colleagues).
Yes, Bobby was probably safe to stay as quiet as possible. She carries a gun. Did you notice he did acknowledge some responsibility for what happened by saying "He faked *us* out"? Sweet.
I really enjoyed seeing this more vulnerable side of Alex. She usually has it all together for both of them!
Just an aside: Fast forward to Lady’s Man in Season 8 and the scene in Ross’s office when he wants to take her off the case….
"A murder victim is a murder victim, our personal feelings about them don't matter. At least that's the way I've always worked a case" Hmmm, not quite Alex. You're busted! (even though Alice is not the murder victim in Vacancy, Alex has still has let her personal feeling affect the case) Poor Alex! I'm sure she'll hate being reminded of this! At times like this she's happy she's fictional!
Vacancy was written by Gina Gionfriddo.