The Good Wife Winter Premiere Recap: A Matter of Great Import

Good Wife Cary Set Free

This week on CBS’ The Good Wife, as Alicia engaged in some bad, good and great debates, Diane and Kalinda scrambled one last time to save Cary’s bacon, before he is sent off to prison.

THE NOT-SO-GREAT DEBATE | With the State’s Attorney debate imminent, Eli thrust Alicia into a series of mock showdowns, though finding a Prady proxy proves an exercise. First up was a college prof (played by Chris Elliot) who is serviceable, especially given that Alicia was highly distracted by phone calls to and from Diane & Co. as they pursued a final “Hail Mary” to save Cary.

When the professor was discovered to be high on “medical” marijuana, Eli called in Finn to face off against Alicia, and the sparks certainly were flying as the candidate raised her game. Alas, their verbal intercourse was tempered by a visiting Peter and his one-too-many tips for Alicia’s fauxpponent. Finn thus bailed, leaving the governor/former SA himself to step in and go toe-to-toe with his wife — a prospect rendered pricklier when, just before they got into it, Peter waved off Alicia’s request that he call in a favor and guarantee minimum security placement for Cary.

Sufficiently roused, Alicia parried with Peter like a pro, waging arguments against past SAs and their “controversial” antics that carried subtext on top of subtext. In fact, Alicia had Peter so up against the ropes that Eli had to interrupt and pull his guy from the ring, much to Jonathan’s protest. Eli contended that they needed to think long-term, prioritizing the Florrick marriage, but Jonathan wasn’t buying it. He even ordered Eli off “his” campaign, though it obviously was not his place to do so.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN PRISON WHILE REALLY TRYING | The true drama, meanwhile, swirled around Cary, who as the hour opened was introduced to Bill (Breakout Kings‘ Domenick Lombardozzi), a consultant who would teach him how to get by behind bars. Step 1: Find a white friend on the inside. When Cary tasks Kalinda with that, she goes to Bishop, who in trade for a favor — her taking a call from an associate of his in the near future — puts her on the phone with a man who, in the course of discussing Cary, lets slip that Bishop’s crew already had their heroin shipment on hand in Chicago at the time of the incriminating tap. Yet Cary was charged with advising them on how to import the drugs. Hmmm.

This offers the slim hope for proving a Brady violation, that the police knew they were charging Cary with a (slightly) incorrect crime. Kalinda learns that an Ontario cop had emailed the Chicago PD about the heroin shipment having arrived in Chicago, but her hacker pal Howell finds that Detective Prima never actually read the tip, that it went straight to his Spam folder. Kalinda coaxes Howell into” hypothetically” showing her how to hack the PD server and tweak the meta data to show the email as read.

Meanwhile, Bill coaches Cary on how not to square off with an inmate, how to keep glass from getting slipped into his gruel, and how not to put his faith in a girlfriend. Instead, Bill has one and only one use for Kalinda: to “screw [Cary’s] brains out,” leaving him with a “good memory” to take inside with him. Kalinda shows up at the hotel room, in part to answer Cary’s questions about the “Hail Mary” play he accidentally caught wind of, but also, ultimately, to do as Bill suggested. In the (first) afterglow, Kalinda assures Cary that she will wait for him, that she won’t disappear on him.

HAIL CARY PLAY | Back at the firm and with the clock ticking, Carey points out to Kalinda something fishy about the tap transcript, that there must have been a second detective in attendance. Kalinda seeks out Detective Rodriguez, who had been taken off the case when he refused to play ball. And at the 11th hour (actually, the 13th, given that someone delayed Judge Cuesta with a phony Supreme Court overture…), Diane presents the court with proof of the Brady violation — though what she errantly grabbed off Kalinda’s computer was the (hacked) meta data suggesting that the Toronto email had been read/ignored. Prima rightfully protests, but luckily ASA Pine interrupts to announce that Rodriguez had come forth to reveal the police’s entrapment of Cary. Cuesta then the words we’ve been wanting to hear all season long — that Cary’s case has been dismissed, with prejudice.

Cary’s face reveals all upon the pronouncement, so much weight taken off his shoulders, a dire fate miraculously averted. Diane meanwhile phones Alicia with the good news, and after a day filled with so much intense debating, all Cary’s partner can do is cheer loudly in a parking garage.

Alicia is not alone there, however, and when Jonathan asks her how she’s doing, she smiles broadly, marches up to him and lays a big ol’ kiss on the campaign guru — and then struts away, leaving him at the very least confused.

What did you think of The Good Wife‘s winter premiere?

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87 Comments
  1. christine says:

    Great episode….but the kiss? Wtf?

  2. K says:

    I think the kiss was just a power statement by Alicia. Like a “Don’t mess with me, I’m the ‘man’, I can do whatever I want” type move. Had nothing to do with emotions toward his character and everything to do with her feeling confident.

    My best guess is that Kalinda is written out of the show based on the hacking of the email though…

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I got the same impression about the kiss. Not romantic or lustful, just “To hell with it.”

    • Mel says:

      I think Kalinda’s leaving the show will probably have more to do with her failure to take Bishop’s ill-timed call.

      • bj says:

        I think you could be right. I’m just afraid she’s going to be killed off rather thn just taking off.

      • Heidi says:

        Since the meta data was placed in as evidence, could it be that she’ll go down for the manipulation of it? Ever since I heard of Archie’s leaving, I was wondering if she would be killed off by Bishop. She’s tried to play too many ends against the middle with him.

    • Joseph A says:

      EXACTLY !!

      Its the sort of thing you would expect from a Man who is on top of the WORLD !!

      Just walking up to a beautiful woman and kissing her ,,

      Well that is exactly what Alicia did showing that she has the power to take what she wants ,,

  3. pecola says:

    Guess we know how Archie Panjabi is going to leave the show.

  4. Deena says:

    This show is so good. Wondering if the email hack or the missed call from Bishop will lead to Kalinda leaving. Alicia & Peter were great in the debate. Just a fantastic episode. Great writing, great acting, great chemistry with the cast.

    • abz says:

      I think they will definitely come back to bite her. Perhaps she’ll end up taking Bishop’s offer that he gave Cary instead of going to prison.

  5. Jenna says:

    Lady Mary has never looked so appealing..I hear Downton calling…no need for Matthew Goode’s talents to go to waste. Greasy sleazy Elfmann..gross. I am glad to see that Cary’s finally free and can rejoin the firm. Would love to have a new case. Oddly enough, The Good Wife seems to be borrowing quite a bit from the Scandal playbook these days..the fluffer was so last season.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Thank God! I was growing so tired of the Cary plot.

  7. Asta says:

    I’m just freaking glad they did not prolong the Cary and jail story. But why was Bishop calling? Yes, I know he is quite scary but also very hot. I know, I’m a terribly shallow person.

  8. Avery says:

    Loved, loved the episode. I think the kiss was a power/happiness/celebration thing, but it was awesome! Kalinda’s exit….This show has (thankfully) never followed the “expected” path, so who knows what might happen with Kalinda!

  9. TGW fan says:

    Saw their chemistry since day one! Love Alicia with Johnny ! She was celebrating Cary’s freedom right along with owning Peter at the debate !

  10. Ange says:

    Great episode. Power statement with the kiss and it seems we know the direction Kalinda leaving the show is going although it could end up that she and Cary flee after all. Then again we still do not know what the Bishop call is all about. The seeds that were planted in this episode were awesome and very well thought out. You got enough but not too much.

  11. Kisha from Houston says:

    I was on the edge of my seat…well…floor. Great episode! Even though Bishop is the bad guy he is still ridiculously handsome! Great work from Kalinda tonight showing emotion and vulnerability. Why does Cary think she’s his girlfriend when she is seeing someone else???

  12. analog says:

    Any chance they’ll write out Bishop since Mike Colter will be starring in Luke Cage?

  13. Terry says:

    Who was the stoned professor. Was he from David Letterman?

  14. Tran says:

    Matt Czuchry is at his best this season. Great to see TGW back after a holiday hiatus.

  15. SW says:

    I don’t understand that kiss AT ALL. I thought the writers had been setting up Finn and Alicia all season, and then this?? It doesn’t make any sense. They’ve never shown Alicia and Johnny having anything but a professional relationship. Where did that kiss even come from? Why devote so much time to building something between Finn and Alicia if they’re not going to see it through?

  16. iva says:

    AMAZING OBVIOUSLY, slightly over all this drama with lemond bishop and still missing will and alluvia’s sexual tension/the war they waged during season 5, but loved the conclusion of cary’s trial and looking forward to seeing where kalinda’s false evidence for his exoneration takes us.

  17. abz says:

    This show is so good. I was on the edge of my seat, heart racing while watching.
    Really happy Cary is free, although sad that it’s at the expense of Kalinda, although she really is digging her own grave slowly. I hope she can figure out a way out of this mess she’s created for herself.
    I think I died a little inside when I saw Cary’s bank account balance. Probably will never see that kind of money ever.
    THAT KISS?!?! It was definitely a WTF moment, but I kind of loved it. It was non-romantic. just a “to hell with it, I just wanna do something crazy right now” kiss.
    Loved Alicia ripping into Peter. If there is one thing that needs to happen before the show’s end, they should really get a divorce.

  18. abz says:

    I wonder why Kalinda would leave her laptop so open and accessible. Why wouldn’t she password protect it? I know everyone was rushing and everything was crazy, but you’d think Diane would question why if Kalinda had the metadata evidence, she wouldn’t have called her and told her right away. I guess maybe it just slipped her mind.

  19. Coal. says:

    Firstly the Alicia campaign story line is moving from one absurdity to the next, initially I was excited about the idea but now its being badly handled. Secondly, hopefully now that prison angle is done it frees up Cary to some actual “lawyering”. Thirdly the Kalinda story arc currently resembles something from ABC or the CW were girlfriend seems to lose a few brain cells and risks it all for her boyfriend. Lastly, yes the kiss was a fun moment but I hope that’s were it ends, I’m really not in the mood to watch a love quadrangle, Kalinda and Cary’s complicated love life, Finn and Alicia’s flirtation and whatever its is that Alicia and Peter are to each other is enough thank you.

    • Stacy says:

      I disagree about Kalinda’s arc resembling something from the CW. Any time we see Kalinda vulnerable is a big deal. Add to that fact that she knows/believes Cary is a better, more ethical person than her and I can see why she might take the route she did. It’s a risky move, and she knows it. She’s not all butterflies in the stomach and throwing caution to the wind.

  20. Ronnie says:

    This is the best show on television! The writers are unbelievable! I’m so glad Cary is not going to prison. Was on the edge of my seat leading up to it though. Bishop is dreamy, but super scary. I have a feeling the Bishop/ Kalinda relationship will be what they use to write Panjabi off.

  21. Donna Ferriola says:

    I think this episode sets the stage for tge demise of Kalinda at the hands of Bishop because she now owes him. I think Alicia needs to get it on with Finn and not her campaign consultant. He was just a momentary release because he was handy after hearing the good news.

  22. Susan says:

    Great episode!!! Loved every minute!

  23. Dee T. says:

    I have been so sick of this Cary going to jail bit…..and please get rid of Lemond Bishop (PLEASE!!). I know that the Kalinda character is leaving….hate that!

  24. Scarlett says:

    entertaining, funny, suspenseful…awesome! Best show on tv

  25. Carla G says:

    Awesome!! This show just keeps getting better doesn’t it?!

  26. Para says:

    chilled…. I am floored by the writing and execution…. The best show on TV

    • DW says:

      Right with you here. Everything was spectacular again tonight. The writing, pacing, directing, production and acting were beyond great. EMMYs for all concerned.

  27. Nina says:

    Domenick Lombardozzi was also on the Wire. The Good Wife must be in the lead casting Wire alums by now.

    • Kimm says:

      I caught that too, Nina. Dom played Herc on The Wire.

    • DanielleZ says:

      I’ve sited 3 alums from The Wire so far on The Good Wife– Levy the lawyer, Bodie and now Herc. I’ve seen more alums from The Wire on Person of Interest. Domenick L is also terrific as Frank Capone (Al’s brother) on Boardwalk Empire, which had at least two other alums from The Wire (Omar and Prez).

      • Nina says:

        While it seems like Person of Interest and the Walking Dead have the most Wire alums, overall, the Good Wife has cast the most (possibly rivaled by the Law and Order franchise) but I think the Good Wife has the lead. I counted 16 over the years including the following:

        1. John Doman (Comm. Rawls) in 2011
        2. Sonja Sohn (Kima) 2010 and 2013
        3. Seth Gilliam (Carver) in 2011
        4. Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc) in 2014
        5.Jim True-Frost (Prez) in 2012
        6. Frankie Faison (Comm. Burrell) in 2010-2014
        7. J.D. Williams (Bodie) in 2010-2014
        8. Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Partlow) in 2010 – 2011
        9. Chad L. Coleman (Cutty) in 2010
        10. Michael Kostroff (Maury Levy) in 2013 and 2014
        11. Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Senator Clay Davis) in 2011
        12. Hassan Johnson (“Wee-Bey”) in 2012
        13. Peter Gerety (Judge Phelan) in 2010-2013
        14. Pablo Schreiber (Nick Sobotka) in 2011
        15. Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka) in 2009
        16. Method Man (Cheese) in 2011

        • DanielleZ says:

          Wow, I had no idea that many Wire alums appeared on TGW but then again I’ve only watched TGW for the past 2-3 seasons and watched The Wire for the first time last year. Interesting. I suspect there are many I didn’t recognize on POI before I watched The Wire but I doubt this many.

          • Nina says:

            Nothing will ever bring the Wire back to my Sunday nights, but I am a lot happier when I see them pop up on shows I watch or hear that they actors and actresses are finding post Wire success. Back in 2011 one of the show runners was quoted as saying “I have an advent calendar of all The Wire actors. We have been through, I don’t know, 11 or 12 of The Wire actors, so we’re going to keep running down the line until everyone from The Wire is on the show.” Now I need to figure out how to get to sleep after watching Person of Interest tonight!

  28. DW says:

    One of the best hours of television ever. The Cary story has been absolutely riveting all year and it was great to see him finally freed. The look on Matt Czuchry’s face at the end was so powerful. Cary has really been put through hell. I find the election stories far less interesting than what happened to Cary so while I’m happy he’s free I don’t especially look forward to election heavy episodes in the future. Thank you to the Kings and writers for giving Matt Czuchry this long overdue chance to shine. He did you proud!

  29. MattySi says:

    And that is how they get rid of Kalinda.

  30. Anna says:

    So she finally kisses someone else and it’s not Finn? Gotta admit, I’m slightly disappointed… but there’s always hope, right? Right? This episode showed again how much chemistry these two have!

  31. Mick says:

    I can’t believe nobody is talking about the great usage of Prince’s music in the episode. I am surprised he allowed it.

  32. ScorpionGlow says:

    I was not expecting the kiss at the end, but I’m thrilled that Cary and prison are no longer in the same sentence. I kept thinking “Is Matt Czuchry leaving the show? Where is this going?” Overall, parts of the episode were better than others. It was still quite good though.

  33. tahina says:

    I hope Kalinda leaves in one piece and that she and Alicia get good scenes together before Archie exits.. Hate seeing her leave, such a fine actor. The kiss was fine, but it was not hot.

    • G. says:

      Given that producer Julianna Margulies has put a ban on any scenes where she and Archie are in the same camera shot … I think you’re better off hoping to meet the Tooth Fairy.

  34. tw says:

    Yuck. I was ready for Cary to go away for a long, long time. Ugh.

  35. Laura says:

    but what about all the money in Carys bank account? I didn’t think he had that kind of cash since they were scrambling to find his bail money.

    • RMR says:

      IKR? But wonder what he did with it after he left his room..there was a reason why they did it since was going to prison at that point.

    • Denise says:

      It was mentioned in the premiere that he had that money. A lawyer in a top firm like Lockhart/Gardner would be ranking in 6 digits easily. As you may have noticed, the amount he had was nowhere near $1.3 million, though.

  36. Kim R says:

    Great episode! The kiss at the end was a non-event for me. I don’t think it meant anything as far as the plot goes. While I am so glad that Cary has been freed I am sick about the way it happened. Kalinda looked ill when she glanced at the detective who’s career is in peril at this stage knowing it was at her hand. I do hope the plan is not to kill her off. To say she is between a rock and a hard place would be a massive understatement.
    The emotion that was expressed in Matt’s face when the judge pronounced the case dismissed was Emmy worthy.

  37. Gerald says:

    Ugh. All that debate prep drama really took away from the awesome storyline of Cary’s hail mary before the sentencing. I am no enjoying Alicia running for States Attorney. I hope she fails so she can get back to work at HER firm.
    Matt should get more nominations for his acting this season. His subtle but brutally emotional scene have amazing.

  38. Gwen says:

    I LOVED The Kiss. Whether it was just a ‘power’ / ‘celebratory’ kiss or something else…it matters not to me. It was great. Great!

    Awesome episode.

    I think Kalinda goes to prison re the meta issue, not gets rubbed out by Lemond.

  39. Denise says:

    Last night I understood why they opted for that emotional farewell between Alicia and Cary in the trial episode because the cathartic hug with Diane, and then Kalinda, was even sweeter. Oh, man. Tears of joy!

  40. Joseph A says:

    BTW , Loved the power statement Kiss at the end ,,

    Took me a little by surprise , but then again this is the season where Alica steps up , and out of working for others , and instead calls the shots

  41. Dee says:

    I have watched Good Wife from the beginning. Just love all the characters who do one fabulous job. Love Kalinda and Eli daughter, too but Alicia is the best of the best.
    Love the series.

  42. Luli101 says:

    Really liked the episode but I was left scratching my head as to why Diane would just take the stuff off Kalinda’s computer at the end. She all of a sudden has expertise in reading meta-data?? Kalinda didn’t even know how to do it and yet Diane understood it enough to go to court with it?

  43. Hayes says:

    Sometimes I wish they’d just tone down on the twists. I see nothing wrong with just Rodriguez being the Brady violation, it didn’t need to be the forged metadata. Oh well. I guess it’ll have something to do with Kalinda leaving.

    • Denise says:

      Surely that’s come back at some point, right? It’s possible the whole thing win the metadata and the entrapment will lead to an internal affairs investigation on the detective. We haven’t seen the last of him.

  44. Mike says:

    If the kill Kalinda off I will be so mad.

  45. I’ve been dreading the moment when Kalinda leaves; I HATE that she is leaving, but more than that, I fear some grisly end to her by Bishop and his thugs…

  46. Valerie T says:

    Excellent! So happy that Carey is free. Very worried about Kalinda.