The State’s Attorney race is in the rearview mirror, so it’s time for Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) to learn the hard truths about the position.
Let’s bitch it out…
Lest we think that things would get easier for everyone now that Saint Alicia has been crowned the fairest in all the land, along comes a string of financial suitors to darken her doorstep with requests. We’ve known this would come from the start: taking Bishop’s (Mike Colter) PAC money, Redmayne’s (Ed Asner) Dark Money and, hell, even taking cues from Eli (Alan Cumming) were due to have their penance. Lo and behold, Alicia can’t even enjoy a single day off before the requests come rolling in.
Half the fun in the early going is watching Alicia stumble and stick her foot in her mouth. Admittedly at times I found it hard to believe that she’s not more tuned-in (she’s been on the campaign trail for four months and married to Peter for years, wouldn’t she know about the $75 gift rules and know when – and when not to – say no?). I’m prepared to give her the benefit of a doubt, however, because it’s entertaining as hell to watch her react to the despicable things that Redmayne says and politely rebuff Bishop’s requests. As for Eli vs Alicia, watching those two spar never gets old.
‘Undisclosed Recipients’ shakes things up around the halfway point and that’s when things really get interesting. The change occurs as a result of the case of the week featuring a ripped from the headlines Sony hack, which starts off a little lacklustre. Diane (Christine Baranski), Cary (Matt Czuchry), David Lee (Zach Grenier) and a newly back-from-NY Julius (Michael Boatman) are representing the director of a film that has leaked online in a suit against the torrent company. Initially the case seems pretty straightforward until a Guardians of Peace-like group defending Internet autonomy hacks Florrick-Agos-Lockhart and releases work email on a “Gawker for law” website. Naturally the emails are filled with juicy, salacious and offensive comments about co-workers and clients (just like in real life!), which immediately turns the law office into a mine field.
If half of the fun of The Good Wife is watching people dance to gain position as the ground shifts under them, this kind of episode is fun with a slice of seriousness. Watching these people try to excuse comments they’d written months before is amusing, even if the true ramifications don’t really get explored. By episode’s end, the client implores them to settle because his own company email has been hacked and the conflict comes to a close. People apologize and most (not David Lee and Julius) move on. My hope is that it isn’t as simple as that because it betrays the damaging consequences this kind of leak would really have. The truth of the matter is that these kinds of wounds don’t just heal.
The descent into anarchy in the wake of the leak is only possible because these people don’t trust each other, and that includes those that probably like each other! It’s why Alicia is able to turn on a dime and threaten her fellow partners with the powers she now wields in the State’s Attorney office. Power may corrupt, but when it comes down to the wire, anyone backed into a corner is liable to bite.
- Re: the leaks: Cary and Alicia may agree to a detente about the incriminating emails when two years of leaks are threatened, but we have no idea if they would have upheld their agreement when push came to shove. I’m willing to bet they would have read them.
- Maurissa (Sarah Steele) promotes herself to Alicia’s executive assistant, but is uninterested in being a personal assistant because that means having to interact with Redmayne. I think we would all make that choice.
- Alicia recruits Finn (Matthew Goode) to serve not only as her counsel in brokering a financial settlement from the firm, but also as a potential second in the SA office. His uninterested reaction when she apologizes for calling him weak, however, suggests that he likely won’t accept the offer and perhaps even that their flirtatious affair has come to an end.
- Castro (Michael Cerveris) makes his own demands of Alicia, though his seem the easiest to rebuff. It’s especially fun watching Alicia tear a strip off the man who made her life so difficult for a number of years.
- Among the leaked emails, we learn that Lyman has told people he slept with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), that Julius believes David Lee is a fruitcake, that Julius will bring about more affirmative action and Diane thought that Cary going to jail might not cost the firm to take a hit. Meow!
- Finally, if this truly is a case of art imitating life, which leaked Sony film is Wharfmaster meant to be? The films that were uploaded illegally well in advance of their theatrical release were Julianne Moore’s Still Alice, Brad Pitt’s Fury, the (by all accounts awful) remake of Annie and the UK flick Mr. Turner. Considering the episode’s use of “atrocious’ as an adjective, I suspect if it was meant as a stand-in for The Interview, which wasn’t actually leaked.
- Alicia (after Castro tries to threaten her): “You’ll what, James? You’re a lame duck.”
- Redmayne (surveying Alicia’s gifts): “What did we send over, Crystal? A chessboard made of human teeth.”
- John Glover’s Andrews (as Kalinda is called on): “Here we go: Superwoman is baaaack.”
- Andrews (to Lyman): “Do you track a lot of porn, sir?” Lyman: “Define sir”
- Cary (after the first round of leaks): “It’s like a pirate ship around here.”
- Julius (when David Lee demands Julius call him a fruitcake to his face): “Oh well I have said it to your face, Blanche!”
- Maurissa (dismissing Grace’s interest in living in Jerusalem): “No, just hot. And gassy – you eat a lot of falafel”
Your turn: What did you think of Alicia’s attempts to defer the requests? Did you enjoy the ripped from the headlines storyline? Did the resolution feel muted to you? Which leaked email was the worst? Sound off below.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm EST on CBS