The Good Wife: Dear God, Please Make Them Stop

The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)
The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)

Everyone assumes Alicia is running for State’s Attorney, but can anyone make her stop protesting too much and just get on with it?

This week on The Good Wife: everyone (still) assumes Alicia is running for State’s Attorney. Frankly, I’d be glad to see Alicia try out another career path, because she and Diane are really terrible lawyers. Or perhaps they’re great lawyers for whom Finn Polmar is kryptonite. I’ve lost track of how many times one or both of them have shown up to court without knowing the purpose of the hearing. That seems like it should be a fireable offense, or it would be I suppose if Cary had anyone else he could rely upon. But who cares about details, amirite?

The A-Plot

Cary’s out of jail, but not for long if Castro and Finn have any say in the matter. Cary meets with his pretrial service officer (PSO), who’s responsible for ensuring he stays within the bounds set for him by the conditions of his bond. She gives him a hard time about everything: not being able to name his employer (he technically doesn’t have one, being a partner at his own firm), drinking A Beer after his release, being vague about the number of people he celebrated with that evening. Via flashback, we learn that person was Kalinda, and I for one would prefer to forget the details of that soiree. When questioned about how work is going, Cary glosses over the tension and chaos, saying that everything is going well.

Joy Grubick, PSO extraordinaire, questions Alicia, giving her a hard time about everything: Cary not being able to name his employer, and the fact that she really doesn’t need to hear the threats Castro was making against Alicia and Cary.1 When questioned about how Cary is doing at work, Alicia glosses over the tension and chaos, saying that everything is going well.

Diane’s turn to be questioned! Joy gives her a hard time about everything: her having fired Cary not once but twice, and how secure is his job anyway, and hasn’t he lost a number of clients, and isn’t the firm a bit cash-strapped as a result? Diane deflects, downplays, and glosses over the tension and chaos with the best of them, saying that everything is going well.

Meanwhile, on the court side of things, Diane gets some good news: the state’s attorney has lost their star witness, the confidential informant from Bishop’s crew. Trey’s gone, or dead — no one’s sure, but the important part is he isn’t around to testify. Finn pulls everybody into court to drop yet another bombshell: after Cary “met with” Kalinda the night of his release, Kalinda (actually) met with Trey. Castro and Finn want to use this to nail Cary for witness intimidation, and successfully lobby for a revocation of bond hearing.

During the hearing, Trey’s wife Stacie testifies that he disappeared right after an Indian woman warned him that someone wanted to kill him. Kalinda confirms (not directly, but by refusing to deny) that she did warn Trey. It wasn’t about Cary, though — it was about Bishop, who knows Trey is the CI. She wasn’t intimidating Trey, she was saving his life. But the State’s Attorney has an incriminating photo and a different theory, one that our heroes need to overcome. Kalinda goes digging and finds Trey’s wife had a man on the side with a violent record. Diane suggests that Stacie’s lover might have removed Trey from the situation, and while she doesn’t have much evidence to support the theory, neither does the state.

The judge declares a tie, with the tiebreaker being the PSO’s report. As Joy approaches the witness box, Cary assumes he’s screwed, and as she begins to describe how much of a flight risk he is, it looks like that’s exactly the case. After a moment, though, Joy begins to describe how hard he’s working to get his life back together, and summarizes by asserting he has neither intimidated a witness nor otherwise broken the conditions of his bond. Cary gets to stay free, for now.

The B-Plot

In the case of the week, John-Boy Walton got all growed up, changed his name to Ed Pratt, and registered himself a patent for some GMO seeds that his neighbor, Wendell Keller,2 is illegally saving and replanting from year to year. Cary’s conditional bond precludes him from fully representing Mr. Pratt, so Alicia and Dean do the lawyering while Cary supervises and make recommendations. Alicia, Dean, and the opposing attorney Carter Schmidt3 quickly get into trouble with the judge for bickering. While they’re distracted, Ed and Wendell sneak outside the courtroom and agree to resolve the matter using the Matthew process, a Christian form of binding arbitration.

The arbitration process is led by one Del Paul4, who is very polite and kindly but unwilling to put up with the legal maneuvering and tactics these lawyers are used to employing. Instead, he relies upon the Bible for guidance, and sincerely asks that everyone should Just Be Honest! Just Answer The Question! Carter takes advantage of this early; while Alicia and Cary are celebrating Wendell’s admission that he had indeed replanted seeds, Carter uses a well-timed Bible verse to convince Del that Wendell’s intent (or lack thereof), which would have been irrelevant in a court of law, should be taken into account here.

Alicia decides they needs help and pulls out her secret weapon: Grace! Who has apparently been lounging in her room this entire time becoming a ridiculously well-versed Bible scholar! Grace encourages her mom to stop nit-picking, but Alicia’s instincts and training are too deeply-ingrained, so they end up making a list of cherry-picked verses she can rely upon. Alicia (and Dean, who considered becoming a priest right out of high school) use a few verses of their own to convince Del that sin is sin, regardless of intent. Wendell finally admits he was wrong, and that he lied, but after another timely Biblical argument from Carter sends the whole cadre back to bickering, Ed and Wendell once again sneak off to arrange an agreement. Wendell will buy seeds like he’s supposed to, and Ed will give him a discount. Meanwhile the lawyers get nothing for their trouble, excepting the memory of having tried a case on the stage of a megachurch.

Other Action

Construction on the FAL offices appears to be wrapped up, but with the arrival of eight new lawyers when they were expecting only one from LGC, they’re in desperate need of additional space. The next floor up in their building is available, and Diane and Dean are willing to finance a year’s rent of that space via personal loans to the firm. They want something in exchange, though: an executive committee made up of three partners from the original Florrick Agos crew, and three of the new arrivals from LGC. It seems obvious that Alicia and Cary will take two of the FA spots, and Diane and Dean will take two of the LGC spots. But who will fill the remaining spot from each?

As for Alicia’s campaign, Eli continues to put the pressure on with a coordinated campaign to convince Alicia to run.5 He got Steve Inskeep to talk about it on Morning Edition, which of course meant that everyone from Cary’s PSO to the national Black Caucus leader now think they have the scoop. And don’t they? Well, not really, because Alicia’s still denying and deflecting.

But then two things, or really two people, happen. First, Alicia runs into6 Gloria Steinem. In the space of seventy seconds, Alicia goes from “GOD, THERE IS NO CAMPAIGN” to “I’m not sure if I’m running, I’m overwhelmed” to “It wasn’t my idea” to agreeing with Ms. Steinem when she says “If you would do a good job, you should run. We need more good women to run.” Alicia then proceeds to have the most narcissistic Gloria Steinem daydreams, which made me a little nauseous.7 Later, Castro pokes the bear and suggests that Alicia’s only running to get revenge for Will Gardner’s death, because weren’t they lovers? Or so the rumor mill says. And doesn’t she blame the State’s Attorney for that? Between Castro and Steinem, Alicia’s being pushed right where everyone wants her to be: on the campaign trail. And oh, what a dirty rotten campaign it promises to be.8

Missing in Action

Robin was nowhere to be found. Come to think of it, was anybody around from Florrick Agos Lockhart, other than the partners and Dean?9  Peter was heard (opening remarks at the reception) but not seen, while the folks from … Canning and Associates? … were neither.

… of the Week

Supporting Actor: Nicole Roderick (or the voice thereof) as Nora, Eli’s assistant. Nora informs Eli of Alicia’s arrival well after Alicia’s already disturbed him from a stretch on the couch. You think that was an accident?10


Kalinda Moment: All of Kalinda’s moments in this episode were in service of Cary11, and I refuse to pick which of those was the least terrible.


Eli Moment: He’s got Alicia hook, line, and sinker — and he knows it.

The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)
The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)

Cameo: Lots of big-name competition showed up this week: Robert Sean Leonard as Del Paul, John-Boy “Bill Denbrough” Walton as Ed Pratt, Gloria Steinem as herself. The honors go to Linda Lavin12 for her turn as Joy Grubick, Cary’s no-nonsense, disgruntled pretrial service officer. I especially loved the way she played Joy’s nerves on the stand … clearly this is a person who’s used to asking the questions, not so much to answering them.

Mr. Agos, let me give you some advice. I do this because I care. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but that’s just the way I talk. You can’t just have A. Beer. You can’t just associate with your old friends. You need to treat this seriously, or you will end up behind bars again. You understand?13

The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)
The Good Wife (Screen: CBS)

Quotes:

The more I live, the more I realize everything is Kafka in action.

Very few saints survive oppo research.

No, Alicia, not everything is about you.14


Reader-Submitted Resemblance: Presented without comment.

The Good Wife (Screen: CBS) and The Hobbit (Screen: Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Good Wife (Screen: CBS) and The Hobbit (Screen: Warner Bros. Pictures)
  1. Castro reminds Alicia how bad this will look for her campaign and offers a plea bargain for Cary if he testifies against Bishop. Alicia reminds Castro that there is no campaign, and get out of my face please thanks buh-bye.  
  2. played by Robert Joy of “You Probably Don’t Know Him Unless You Watch Too Much CSI” fame  
  3. played by recurring guest star Christian Borle  
  4. played by Robert Sean Leonard of “The O Captain My Captain Movie” and “That Thing You Sing” fame  
  5. To be clear: we don’t actually KNOW that any of this was Eli, he continues to protest his innocence. But c’mon now, it’s him, and even if we don’t KNOW, we know.  
  6. Read: Eli orchestrated that she should run into  
  7. Not as much as Kalinda and Cary, but close.  
  8. Can’t wait to see if, and how, this parallels with a potential Presidential run in 2016 for Hillary.  
  9. The others were in the background of the flashbacks Cary, Alicia, and Diane had when talking to the PSO, but I submit that totally does not count.  
  10. Nope, neither do I, and good for her. I’m sure he deserved it.  
  11. *Sob* Why, Kalinda? WHYYYYYYYYYY please make it stop  
  12. She’s known to many, although not me personally, for her role as the lead in the 70s/80s series “Alice.”  
  13. TELL IT, JOY GRUBICK. Could you have a little chat with Kalinda, too? Plzkthxbai.  
  14. Except when it is, and in her mind, that’s all the time.  

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  • bsawhill

    Excellent Eli gif. His eyebrows should be nominated for an Emmy.

    In the opening flashbacks to Cary and Kalinda I found myself uttering the title of the episode far too often. Deaaaaaar God Kalinda wake up and smell the latte. Mr “my shirts are too big hey! remember I was in prision” is just not a good idea. I know we are supposed to see the human, vulnerable side of Kalinda in this, but I for one just want to see Kalinda kick ass.

    Plot flaw: if the State’s Atty office if following Kalinda so closely, how is it that they did not have pictures of the evening with Cary? I mean, they were very busy while also being on/in/on top of a city-facing window for goodness sake. Puhleeese. Oh to have seen Diane’e reaction if those pics had shown up in court.

    Linda Lavin is awesome as the “I am so bored with my job” bureaucrat. I wanna know who she was arguing with on the phone. I’m thinking Castro who wants to nail Cary. But that seems too simple. Oh but wait this is a show that brings in Gloria Steinham in a cameo to remind Alicia that she is a woman-hear-me-roar.

    Del Paul was also on House, I believe.

    And see? Alicia does have children! As soon as there was a mention of god we knew the lovely Miss Grace would make a cameo. I predict some sort of computer meltdown, file sharing crisis in the near future so that young master Florrick will re appear from his very long roadtrip before his freshman year at college and save the day.

    And a week without Robin is, well, good. Still waiting the music to kick in. I remain hopeful.