Category: The Good Wife

Josh Charles Q&A on 'The Good Wife' season finale

Josh Charles and Merritt Wever in "The Good Wife."

The past season has been a rocky one for Will Gardner, the ambitious lawyer and chronic ladies’ man played by Josh Charles on “The Good Wife.” After years of sexual tension, he and longtime friend Alicia (Julianna Margulies) embarked on a steamy romance that quickly flamed out. Then, to make matters worse, Will was subjected to a grand jury investigation for bribery and was eventually forced to accept a six-month suspension. Now, as the series enters its summer hiatus, the firm has lost its biggest client, Alicia looks poised to reconcile with her husband and Will is just barely holding on to his partnership. As he put it in Sunday night’s season finale, “Things fall apart.” Indeed they do. We talked to Charles about Will’s rather tumultuous year, and what the future might hold for his character.   

You’ve really gotten to explore your character more this season. Has that been enjoyable for you as an actor?

Any time you get to dig deeper into your character, you welcome it, especially on a TV show. It’s fun to play a character who lives on the edge, who is an ethical and moral mess, and is paying the price for some of his actions. I really thought it was a big year to learn a lot about him. I’m looking forward to him practicing law next year to see how the experience of the past year affects him.

So is Will a changed man?

Knowing [executive producers] Robert and Michelle [King] the way I do, I don’t think anything’s going to be a complete 180 [-degree turn]. I don’t think he’s going to come out a born-again, but I do think that there are elements of him that have changed. It’s difficult for someone like him who’s such a competitive animal, and you get into the world of law, the game of it really taps into his addictive personality. He has learned some things, he has been humbled, but it will be interesting to see how that plays out once he’s returned to the law.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Confronting the past

The Good Wife Julianna Margulies Finale

It's fitting that the finale of "The Good Wife" hinges on what is, essentially, an elaborate "case of the week," given how this season has lacked a single overarching narrative. After Lockhart-Gardner wins a massive class-action suit against the manufacturers of a dangerous acne medication, their nemeses Patti Nyholm and Louis Canning fire back with charges of fraud and malicious prosecution. The case is ultimately a red herring, used to distract Will and Diane from their biggest client (and then poach him) but, for a while there, it looks like the firm is in huge trouble.

For the show's writers, the case also provides a very clever way to dredge up those never-quite resolved allegations of bribery against Will and to implicate Peter in the misdeeds as well. It's a smart way to cap the season, and to bring both of Alicia's men together, to delightfully awkward effect, in the same elevator.

Alicia finds herself in a rather different situation from a year ago, when she capped a triumphant day in court by getting a hotel room with Will. Months after their breakup, Will and Alicia are just about back to normal -- albeit a new normal with less of all that fun sexual tension. Will has moved on to a new love interest, Callie, one who understands both his struggles with gambling and what it's like to be suspended from the law. But he clearly still cares about Alicia and wants to be reassured that their brief romance did, in fact, mean something to her. Otherwise, why would he ask her if it was a "mistake"? (The elevator scene was a nice callback to last season, wasn't it?)

As for Alicia, she hasn't found a new romantic interest -- next season, perhaps? -- but she and Peter have reached a comfortable kind of marital limbo, and there are signs of a reconciliation on the horizon. I've repeatedly expressed my objection to this idea, but I will give Peter credit for growing up considerably this season. Just a year ago, we saw Peter's ugly side emerge when Alicia decided to leave him. In this finale, we see his more selfless side: During a deposition with Patty and Louis, Peter says that he and Alicia are separated and therefore he'd have no reason to curry favor with Judge Wynter. It's a brave admission, especially since it's likely to endanger Peter's gubernatorial campaign.

Peter's charm offensive isn't limited to the professional realm. He's also being rather chivalrous when it comes to Jackie's purchase of their old house, claiming he's going to do some work and then flip it in a few months. More likely, he's hoping the vision of Peter and the kids sharing a pizza dinner in their old house -- and their children's endless entreaties -- will be enough to win Alicia back.

But is it? That's the question the finale leaves us with. As far as cliffhangers go, it's not quite "Who shot J.R.?" levels of drama, but it's an intensely fraught decision for Alicia -- and for the show itself. Can the show move forward if Alicia moves backward? I tend to think it can, but I'm intensely curious to see how it all shakes out.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Welcome back to the dark side

On "The Good Wife," Cary finally returned to the firm and Kalinda found herself in trouble with Lemond Bishop
Are Robert and Michelle King, creators of "The Good Wife," copping story ideas from their colleagues at "60 Minutes"? A few weeks ago, correspondent Lara Logan reported on the case of Michael Morton, a Texas man wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years in connection with the murder of his wife. The prosecutor in the case now faces charges of misconduct for allegedly withholding key evidence from the defense.

In this week's episode of "The Good Wife," "The Penalty Box," the Lockhart-Gardner gang defended Richard Cuesta, a former prosecutor, now a judge, who is facing a court of inquiry –- which, from what I can gather, is like a court for judges and lawyers -– over his role in the wrongful conviction of a man accused of killing his wife. Chances are this episode was in the works well before the "60 Minutes" report aired, but I'm continually impressed by "Good Wife's" impeccable news judgment. 

The show frequently does these kind of "ripped from the headlines" cases, but unlike other procedurals, it also tends to dig deep and explore the legal and ethical implications of the cases in question, not just use them as pre-fabricated story lines. The show is especially interested in the flaws of the criminal justice system, and it tends to take the side of the underdog (not surprising, given that the Kings’ previous show, "In Justice" was all about a lawyer who sought to overturn wrongful convictions).

This week's "Good Wife" elaborated on the same themes, but it struck a chillingly ambiguous note. For one thing, Cuesta seemed like a jerk; even his grown daughter hated his guts. It also seemed clear that Cuesta was overzealous in his prosecution, and may have even planted prejudicial photos of the defendant in a place where the jury foreman would see them. Initially, Cuesta was reluctant to place the blame on his co-counsel, Lloyd, which is obviously more than a little ironic. But under questioning from "Murph," the latest in a long line of wacky-yet-formidable "Good Wife" judges, Cuesta claimed that Lloyd never handed over key credit card receipts. Maybe Cuesta was telling the truth, but that long, slow zoom-in on his face was hardly reassuring.

As with last week’s case, it was a victory that felt less than completely triumphant, even though, as Will explained, the firm's defense of Cuesta would ingratiate it to other judges. Over beers with her former nemesis and brand-new colleague Cary (don't worry, I'll get to this), Alicia expressed her ambivalence about the win -– and about her job more generally. "There are moments when I think, what the ... what am I doing?” she said, almost dropping an expletive. Cary seemed at least as jaded, claiming that the only thing he's learned in his two years away from Lockhart-Gardner is that "people lie. And the people who judge, they lie the most." Heartwarming isn't it?

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'The Good Wife' recap: Déjà vu all over again

Alicia Jackie The Good Wife

Alicia finds herself back in an all too familiar place in the closing moments of the latest “The Good Wife,” appearing with Peter as he formally declares his bid to become governor. The image of the faithful spouse standing by her man has become a recurring motif in this series, with each recurrence indicating the latest step in Alicia’s personal development. Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

 There was, of course, the iconic moment from the series pilot when Alicia stood, dazed and silent, at Peter’s press conference. And she was there—if rather distracted by her feelings for Will—once again when Peter announced his unlikely campaign to win back the office of state’s attorney. It wasn’t until the end of last season, after discovering Peter’s dalliance with Kalinda, that Alicia finally left her husband to face the public on his own.

But this time Alicia's there to endorse Peter’s gubernatorial campaign, and behind the scenes she’s frantically trying to buy back the house they once lived in together. It’s a state of affairs which, quite frankly, fills me with dread. (My notes on this episode end with this trenchant observation: "UGH NOOOOOOO!") To those on the outside, at least, it looks like she’s stood by her man the entire time, as have so many real-life spouses like Hillary Clinton and Silda Spitzer. But, as is often the case on “The Good Wife,” the circumstances are far more complicated than the triumphant photo op might suggest.

It’s hard to tell what, exactly, is running through Alicia’s mind at this point, but there’s little doubt her well-justified dislike for Peter’s chief rival, Mike Kresteva, is a large motivating factor. Compared with Kresteva, who lies with the chilling ease of a psychopath and is, as Eli succinctly puts it, “like, Blagojevich dangerous,” Peter seems like an altar boy. (Kresteva isn't fooling anyone with all his Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain quotes.) Alicia has always respected her estranged husband’s political abilities, and this time around her role is more active—she’s endorsing Peter, not merely supporting him. (Note how Peter even shows her off to the audience; he knows he’s lucky to have her.) So maybe Alicia just wants what’s best for the people of Illinois, even if that means pretending everything in her marriage is copacetic? If we are to take Kresteva’s warning seriously, the irony is that Alicia is the one who’s going to suffer the most acutely as a result of Peter's campaign.

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'The Good Wife' recap: The old boys' network

Matthew Perry Julianna Margulies The Good Wife
From the very beginning, “The Good Wife” has been an unabashedly feminist show, one that’s uniquely sensitive to the challenges faced by working women and political spouses. Even so, Sunday's episode, which pits Alicia against an all-male blue ribbon panel investigating an accidental police shooting, stands out as a kind of feminist fable: One woman single-handedly battles the racist, patriarchal political establishment of Chicago -- and looks impossibly chic while doing it!

It all starts when Diane, up to her eyeballs dealing with the internal power struggle at Lockhart-Whoever, asks Alicia (Julianna Margulies) to take her place on the panel. Diane explains that it will be a good opportunity for Alicia to network with other lawyers and judges and, besides, the panel needs a woman. From week to week, “The Good Wife” consistently finds new and interesting ways into the procedural portion of the show, and here’s another shining example. Who even knew blue ribbon panels existed — outside the county fair, that is — or that they have the power to sweep huge scandals under the rug with little to no oversight? Not this blogger, that’s for sure.

Neither does Alicia, apparently. Dressed in a fabulous pleated blazer, she joins the rest of the panel in a dark, woody, decidedly masculine space. It looks like a room at the Harvard Club or some other old-school bastion of white male privilege; all that’s missing are the cigars and brandy snifters. The head of the panel is the smarmy Mike Kresteva (played in a bit of type-casting by Matthew Perry), a powerful lawyer with a murky agenda.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Reunited and it feels so good

It was a night of reunions on this week's episode of "The Good Wife"

I'd like to begin this week's recap by raising a (metaphorical) glass in honor of Diane Lockhart, the biggest player east of the Mississippi. And all this time I thought Kalinda was the office heartbreaker.

In recent weeks, I've grumbled a bit about the lack of an overarching narrative this season on "The Good Wife," but on the bright side, that's allowed the writers to spend more time with characters such as Will and Diane. This week marks the return of not one but two of Diane's paramours -- rugged process server Jack Copeland and equally rugged ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh. After Jack stands her up for a date, Diane impulsively calls up old flame Kurt, then surprises him by stopping by unannounced at his manly wilderness homestead. When we last saw Kurt, the gun-toting Sarah Palin enthusiast, Diane was defending him in a wrongful-conviction case. The attraction between them was still potent, but Diane had too much going on at the office to get distracted by romance.  

This time around, the attraction is still very evident, even if Kurt seems to have taken up with his much younger "protegee," who shares his right-wing politics. Although the late-night booty call seems uncharacteristically needy of Diane, she's also wonderfully unthreatened by Palin Jr. Sure, Diane is twice her age, but she knows she can make Kurt putty in her hands.

And so she does. Kurt invites Diane to join him on fishing trip to the extremely unsexy-sounding Horsetail Lake. When he calls, it just so happens that Diane is on the other line with a contrite Jack, who's asked her out on Friday night. So, like a character from "Saved by the Bell," she lines up two dates for one weekend: Friday night dinner with Jack, Saturday morning fishing with Kurt. I'd give anything to see Diane in her outdoorsy gear, sharing a cooler full of Miller High Life with Kurt. Alas, I'll probably have to rely on my imagination.

To their utmost credit, the writers avoid treating Diane's romantic adventures like some kind of curiosity. She's neither a man-eating cliche a la Samantha Jones, nor a lonely, chaste working woman who's traded her personal life for a career. I do wonder, however, what effect, if any, her brisk dating schedule will have on the ongoing civil art at the firm. Diane hardly strikes me as the type to let her personal life distract her from her job, but it doesn't take long for Will to notice that something's up with his partner.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Family business

The Good Wife Julianna Margulies Christine Baranski

In this week’s episode of “The Good Wife,” titled “The Long Way Home,” two wildly different characters — scheming psychopath Colin Sweeney and pretty, competent Caitlin — surprise the gang at Lockhart-Gardner by opting to start families of their own. It’s an interesting, if somewhat overstuffed episode that tries to tackle issues as diverse as the state of feminism, workplace romance, legal ethics, incidental racism, and — oh yeah — parenthood in the space of 44 tightly-packed minutes. That’s a whole lot of ground to cover, and in the end I don’t think the episode quite coheres.  A running gag this week is Alicia’s constant “multi-tasking”: She spends a good part of the episode on the cellphone, juggling calls from her kids, her Realtor, Diane and Peter. It's a nice metaphor for the episode as a whole — good at everything it does, but overextended. 

Part of the problem, I think, is the continuing lack of an overarching narrative to the season. Now that Will’s investigation is over, and he’s already returned to the office, there’s no single storyline tying the show together week to week. And each time it looks like “The Good Wife” is about to go in one direction, it pivots and goes in another. I appreciate that the writers still know how to defy our expectations, but at some point you have to wonder if all the misdirection is indicative of a lack of direction. 

Take Caitlin, for instance. For weeks the show has been building to some kind of confrontation between Alicia and the ambitious first-year associate. Suspecting that Caitlin’s uncle David Lee has been advising her on strategy for the Sweeney case, Alicia gives her mentee a talking-to. The next day, Caitlin abruptly resigns from the firm — because she’s pregnant and getting married. (Weird, isn’t it, that David Lee doesn’t know this when he freaks out at Alicia?) It’s a double dose of surprise: First, that Caitlin never really turns out to be the adversary we expected her to be. Second, and more critically, the talented young lawyer chooses to give up her career even though she doesn’t really have to; she just prefers to be a mom. “The Good Wife” is one of the most staunchly feminist shows on television, and the Caitlin storyline is a terrific example of the show’s progressive gender politics, proving that women can get along in the workplace and respect each other's big life decisions. Who knew?

In the end, Caitlin is there to remind Alicia of her own journey from reluctant political spouse to high-paid corporate attorney.  “She’ll be back in 15 years, like you,” Diane predicts, but Alicia’s not convinced. To emphasize the point, Caitlin opts out of the workforce just as Alicia considers buying back the Highland Park home where she once lived with Peter and the kids. (Readers, this is what's known as "symbolism.") Alicia is at first repulsed, then seduced, then finally repulsed all over again by the idea of returning to her suburban life. In the closing minutes of the episode, Alicia tours her old home, breaking down in tears at the sight of the height chart — which, for some odd reason, the new owners have not painted over yet. The implications of her meltdown are pretty clear:  As friendly as she and Peter are these days, and as expensive as city living is, Alicia is not ready to go back to the way things were.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Power grabs

"The Good Wife" recap

 

When we last saw Will two weeks ago, he was on his way out of the office on a six-month suspension and his future was tantalizingly uncertain: Just how would this alpha male survive without the day-to-day challenge of practicing the law? It looked like Will had an interesting, soul-searching journey ahead of him, but, thanks to a miraculous exception granted by the bar disciplinary committee — and Will’s intrusive sisters — he’s back at the office in little over a week. So much for that.

As the episode begins, Will’s hanging out in his palatial bachelor pad, looking comfy and relaxed and generally enjoying his mandated time off more than he thought he possibly could. I was expecting (and hoping) that we'd get a story about what Will does during his suspension — volunteering at a local school, maybe, or perhaps just binging on “Downton Abbey" and several pints of Ben & Jerry's. You get the gist. “The Good Wife” rarely shows any of its characters enjoying their downtime, so when it happens, it feels strangely voyeuristic. Remember the episode in which Alicia tried to relax while the kids were away with Peter? Or when Diane, on a solo outing to the art museum, met Bryan Brown’s rugged process server? So, as frustratingly brief as it is, the chance to see Will hanging out in his stocking feet is still enjoyable.

But two things ensure that Will’s hiatus will be short. First, in his absence, an internecine war erupts at Lockhart & Associates, as Julius, then David Lee and finally Eli make a play for Will’s office — and his position as the firm’s named partner. Julius perhaps puts it best when he says, “Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does our letterhead.” Diane clearly doesn’t want to deal with the infighting and begs Will to return to the office. She explains that, because Will is a name partner, he’s allowed to physically access his office — an awfully convenient exception, if you ask me. (But then again, I’m far from a legal expert.) 

Will is less threatened by the power grab than he is by his overbearing sisters, who arrive unannounced on his doorstep in a kind of crisis intervention. There’s Aubrey, who’s younger and more Bohemian, and Sarah, who seems older and more authoritative. One of the things that consistently amazes me about “The Good Wife” is how the writers are able to draw such fully realized characters while withholding the most basic biographical information from the audience. To wit, here we are, near the end of the show’s third season, only just learning about Will’s family life. Just as Owen’s arrival last season made Alicia seem more three-dimensional, seeing Will with his sisters is also something of a breakthrough. We find out that he’s the overachieving only son, pushed into a law career by his father and fawned over by his loving — if intrusive — sisters.

They’re both worried about Will’s career, but what they’re really, really concerned about is his love life. They’re not convinced by his claim to be taking a break from dating, and when Kalinda shows up at Will’s apartment, they assume she’s the mysterious “woman on the phone” — a.k.a. Alicia. Although we know the truth, the series has been teasing a romance between Will and Kalinda for some time now, and I can’t help but think that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. What a mess that would be, right?

 

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Matthew Perry's legal career will continue on 'The Good Wife'

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry is set to join CBS' successful lawyer drama "The Good Wife" in a recurring role, beginning with the March 25 episode.

Though Perry isn't joining the main cast of the series, his role as a Chicago attorney investigating a police shooting will extend beyond just one episode, according to Entertainment Weekly.

While Perry's starring roles beyond the world of Chandler Bing and "Friends" have been varied -- he played a comedy writer in the one-season drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and he headlined  the short-lived ABC comedy "Mr. Sunshine" as the operations manager of a concert and sports arena -- -- he apparently has a nice sideline playing lawyers in guest roles on other high-profile dramas.

The trend began in 2002 with a guest appearance during the fifth and final season of the Fox comedy-drama "Ally McBeal." In the special two-hour episode "Love Is All Around," Perry played cocky, hot-shot attorney Todd Merrick, simultaneously vying for a job at Ally McBeal's law firm and possibly for Ally's heart as well. (Since it was a guest spot, he got neither).

While the special episode did nothing to revive the show's chances (it was canceled at the end of the season), Perry was back the next year on a different network (NBC) on another popular hour-long, "The West Wing," again playing an attorney. This time he was Joe Quincy, the associate White House counsel responsible for the resignation of the series' troubled vice president (played by Tim Matheson).

Perry appeared in two episodes of the show's fourth season -- which turned out to be creator Aaron Sorkin's final season -- and returned the next season for one more episode. Perhaps practice made perfect, as Perry's lawyer character earned the actor two Emmy nominations (one from each season) for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. He didn't win.

But maybe the third time is the charm, as Perry slips into those well-worn wingtip shoes once again for "The Good Wife."

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'The Good Wife' recap: Will says goodbye ... for now

How did prime-time TV become an adulterer's paradise?

-- Patrick Kevin Day

 Photo: Matthew Perry. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images

'The Good Wife' recap: Will says goodbye ... for now

Sunday night marked the dawn of a new era on "The Good Wife," as Will, Alicia's boss and former make-out partner, voluntarily accepted a six-month suspension from the law
Goodbye, Lockhart & Gardner; hello, Lockhart & Associates.

Sunday night marked the dawn of a new, Will-free era on "The Good Wife," as Alicia's boss and former make-out partner voluntarily accepted a six-month suspension from the law. It's a somewhat surprising end to Will's season-long character arc, which has seen him evolve from morally slippery power lawyer to contrite idealist. What lies ahead for our hero -- especially in regard to his relationship with Alicia -- is anyone's guess.

As the episode begins, everyone is celebrating Will's grand jury triumph over Wendy Scott Carr, but the jubilation is short-lived. Will scarcely has time to gloat before mustachioed Lionel Goldstein shows up at the office with some bad news: He's pursuing Will's disbarment. At the hearing, Will sits at the end of the world's longest wooden table and learns that he can either refute the charges or accept a six-month probation. Diane urges him to fight -- "Six months away from the law will kill you," she says -- but Will smartly opts to take the time off instead. As he tells Alicia, the only reason he's even being offered probation is because of the firm's pro bono work -- something that he fought "tooth and nail." Will is a great lawyer, so he knows a good deal when he sees it.  

So, what will the hiatus mean for Will? If his behavior in this episode is any indication, it looks like he is ready to do some serious soul-searching. Facing the prospect of six months away from the law, he throws himself into the case of the week, a class-action suit against our old friends at Chum Hum for selling decryption software to the Syrian government. Patrick Edelstein, founder of Chum Hum competitor Sleuth.com, politely asks Will and Alicia to settle the case out of court because he'd "rather not have Congress look into our foreign sales of software." To Alicia's obvious delight, Will politely tells Edelstein that the case is none of his business. "He may leave, that's the breaks," Will says, like it's no big deal to lose a billionaire client. As faithful viewers will recall, Will hasn't always been so sympathetic to the plight of political dissidents overseas; last season, when the firm was in virtually the same scenario, he scolded Alicia about for her naivete. 

The change of heart suggests that when he returns to the firm in six months -- just in time for the fall season, by the way -- Will is going to be a very different kind of lawyer. Naturally, I'm excited about this mostly because it gives me hope for a Will-Alicia romantic reconciliation; let's not forget, Alicia had plenty of reservations about Will that had nothing to do with her children. I do worry, though, that Will's soul-searching might lead him into the arms of some starry-eyed idealist he meets while picking up volunteer shifts at a local soup kitchen -- or, even worse, Caitlin. Either way, I hope that Will's absence from the firm doesn't translate into a Josh Charles-less "Good Wife." That's a price I'm not willing to pay.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Fishing expedition

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So far, the ongoing investigation into Will’s alleged gambling ring has provided “The Good Wife” with its overarching narrative this season. While it’s not quite as juicy as Peter’s campaign was last year, the investigation has been an efficient way to develop all of the show’s major story lines, and it’s also given Josh Charles the chance to show off his considerable acting chops. The one thing the investigation hasn’t done is to eliminate our suspicions about Will, a character who’s right up there with Kalinda in terms of elusiveness.

In this week’s episode, Wendy Scott Carr finally brings Will’s case before a grand jury. Until now, Alicia had been in the dark about Peter’s investigation, and she’s understandably miffed to discover that her estranged husband is pursuing very serious allegations against her boss/ex-boyfriend. During a private moment at her apartment, Alicia accuses Peter of targeting Will for personal reasons. Peter counters that he’s just doing the right thing. “Peter, your problem wasn’t that you did things that were wrong, it’s that you did things that were wrong against your family,” Alicia replies. It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a tense Peter-Alicia moment—or any Peter-Alicia moment, for that matter—and I was perversely happy to see them fighting once again. I was also pleased to hear Peter admit, however indirectly, that his case against Will is motivated by personal animus.

As for the hearing itself, Elsbeth’s strategy is to tie the investigation back to Peter as much as possible. Her theory is that Peter will stop the indictment if it looks like he will be implicated because, as we know, Peter has also participated in Will’s sketchy pick-up games. It’s a smart move aimed directly at Cary, who likes his new boss too much to get him into trouble.

One by one, the Lockhart & Gardner team takes the stand and drops Peter’s name. First up is Diane, who makes sure to mention Peter’s participation in the basketball games and, when asked why she didn’t take part, coolly replies, “Oddly, it was because I don’t play basketball.” Then it’s office scene-stealer David Lee’s turn, and he’s sure to mention working on Peter’s trust paperwork.  Through the course of their testimony, it becomes clear that Wendy’s team is most interested in Will’s relationship to Judge Parks, particularly in regards to the McDermott case.

Which leads us to Kalinda, whose tactics this week are even sneakier than Elsbeth’s. When last we saw her, Kalinda was handing the McDermott file over to Dana. At the time, it appeared as if Kalinda was ratting out Will in order to save Alicia’s hide, but, when Will testifies, we discover that the folder actually included a fake email from Will to Judge Parks. Realizing that she’s been had, Dana confronts a defiant Kalinda. “Go ahead. Hit me. It’ll make you feel better,” she urges Dana, who promptly does just that. Dear Internet, Please make this into a GIF right now. Your friend, Meredith.

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'The Good Wife' recap: Alicia versus the Internet

Mr. Bit Coin

Alicia Florrick isn't a Luddite, exactly, but she's always been suspicious of -- and intimidated by -- technology. Given the role the Internet played in her husband’s very public scandal, Alicia's wariness is perfectly understandable, but as a lawyer she has repeatedly had to confront her technophobia head-on. In this week’s episode, “Bitcoin for Dummies,” Alicia appears to have vanquished her digital insecurities once and for all.

Alicia’s latest client, Dylan Stack (Jason Biggs), is a lawyer representing the anonymous inventor of a digital currency called Bitcoin. Alicia’s other great foe, Gordon Higgs of the Treasury Department, is trying to shut down Bitcoin and arrest its inventor for the crime of creating an alternate currency. Stack argues that the true identity of “Mr. Bitcoin” is protected by attorney-client privilege, so Hicks goes after Stack instead, hoping he’ll cave under pressure.

Alicia is initially baffled by the very concept of Bitcoin, but by the end of the episode she’s become something of an expert, able to debate the finer points of IP addresses, code-embedding, and  “ghosting” computers. You can tell she’s pretty pleased with herself, and rightfully so. I’m sure there are entire law firms who specialize in cases like this one, so it’s nice to see the show acknowledge, however subtly, the difficulty of Alicia’s task. 

Apparently, Bitcoin is actually a real thing, invented by someone with the possibly pseudonymous name of Satoshi Nakamoto. I was totally ignorant of this phenomenon until I googled it after the show, and the discovery makes me sympathize with Alicia when she tells Zach, “This stuff makes me feel so dated.” Executive producers Robert and Michelle King must have anticipated this response from their audience, because the episode does, in fact, play rather like “Bitcoin for Dummies.” One of the things I like about “The Good Wife” is how it educates viewers about specific legal or political issues, but even still this episode veers too far into didacticism for my taste.

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