The Good Wife Recap: Heavy Taxation for Offering Representation

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: This week’s installment of The Good Wife ends with the prospect of Alicia Florrick taking on the world with a new law partner at her side.

But unlike the offers respectively made by Cary Agos and Louis Canning in the Season 4 and 6 finales, this time around it’s Alicia who’s doing the wooing — and bond-court scrapper Lucca Quinn is the one that she wants. Heck, these ladies are already partners in martini-slugging after a hard day in front of the world’s least sympathetic judge. If they put their legal brains together to pursue more complicated (aka big-money) cases, could a big-screen buddy-attorney dramedy be far behind?

OK, OK, I’m getting ahead of myself. Sunday’s episode (the appropriately titled “Taxed”) cuts off before Lucca has a chance to respond to Alicia’s hypothetical offer. But if they combine forces — and if Cary hops aboard their train before the holidays (after losing a power struggle with He Who Naps in Boxer Shorts — you’ll hear no complaints from me.

Anyhow, let’s recap the action from a fairly self-contained installment that nevertheless ups the tension levels between Eli and Ruth, ups the sexual tension between Alicia and Jason and also makes us wonder if Mr. Gold has any agenda other than revenge on his mind.

WELCOME BACK, DIANE! | If I had to weigh in on the loudest complaint I’ve heard about The Good Wife’s resurgent seventh season, it’s been the lack of screen time for Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart. Thankfully, “Taxed” finds her righteous fashionista in the most fabulous jacket of her Good Wife existence (that navy blue, orange, beige and white striped killer — offset with a triple strand of pearls) and with a meaty case to argue against none other than Canning (whose sympathy-courting antics she disarms with her standard-operating professional chill). Unfortunately for Diane, she’s arguing a suit on behalf of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case — the parents of a young cancer patient who committed suicide with the help of two Oregon physicians. Diane doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter — the case is one of billionaire client Reese Dipple’s pet causes — but that doesn’t mean she can’t find ways to get passionate. Diane pointing out that the Oregon doctors’ failure to bring to her attention a potentially life-saving Duke University study isn’t an exercise in false hope — but rather, a decision to put the power fully in the patient’s hand — rings truer than any opposing argument. Yet while Canning seemingly scores a win by unearthing the fact that the patient in question learned of the study in a chatroom is a direct hit against La Lockhart, here’s hoping next week gives her a chance to point out that the word of one’s physician is always always always greater than an opinion found on the Internets.

ALICIA MAKES SOME (MORE) ENEMIES | Alicia overhears one of her fellow Bond Court attorneys advise a woman accused of shoplifting to take a plea — despite her zealous insistence that she’s not guilty. While Alicia can’t be accused of banging against the plexiglass partition and screaming — “Hire me if you want to live!” — she gets the woman’s attention (and eventually earns Judge Schakowsky’s disdain) by taking the case and then refusing a plea of six months probation (that’ll be promptly sealed upon completion). Schakowsky goes so far as to take away all of Alicia’s other pending Bond Court cases — calling it “taxation” — and it’s actually kind of scary how he prioritizes speed over justice. Along the way, Alicia (with sex-on-a-stick’s new investigator Jason’s help) uncovers a pattern of the department store targeting African-American shoppers with false shoplifting claims — the better to deter them from ever coming into their store in the first place. Alas, though, Jason’s final assist uncovers the fact that the mother of Alicia’s client shoplifted the $899 sweater that the client got busted returning. And thus, the client accepts the plea — because her pride isn’t worth seeing her own mom run through the system and possibly facing time in the clink.

BUT SHE ALSO MAKES SOME FRIENDS | While Lucca is initially dubious about Alicia stealing a client away from colleague Bernie — and a little “girl, please” about Alicia’s reluctance to play the bond-court game of Perps By the Pound (the winner is the one with the highest total body weight of cleared clients for the week), she begrudgingly sees the worst charge she can slap on Alicia is that she spends too much time on her cases (making her an awful fit for Bond Court) and that she cares too much. Alicia doesn’t take offense when Lucca blurts out her thoughts over drinks, and instead asks if Lucca would like to be her new partner. And maybe it’s the way Lucca is written — or maybe Cush Jumbo is just a majorly charismatic presence — but I’m more excited about the possibility than I thought I’d be at this early point in Season 7.

Jason, meanwhile, continues his open flirtation with Alicia after she grills him about the new knowledge that he was disbarred as an attorney for punching a judge in the face.

Alicia: Do I need to worry about you?
Jason: Yes.
Alicia: Seriously, now.
Jason: Why do you think you got me so cheap?

Ummmm… Mrs. Florrick — I don’t think the trouble he’s talking about involves his reliability as a legal investigator, if I’m not being too subtle!

THIS ROUND GOES TO RUTH | Meanwhile, Eli overhears Cary lobbying Alicia to lobby Peter to kill a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide — to pave her way back to Lockhart-Agos with roses. She declines — I mean, maybe she’s not working for Chum-Hum/Dipple-type clients, but she also doesn’t have to worry about David Lee garroting her if she lets her guard down — Eli seizes the knowledge as a chance to create mayhem for Peter (and more importantly, for Ruth). He gets Jackie and Grace and Veronica to weigh in with the Illinois governor — and Ruth fumbles the ball like [insert your own NFL metaphor here; football’s just something that winds up on my DVR when The Good Wife gets delayed]. Ultimately, though, when Peter tells Ruth to fix the situation — he doesn’t want to hear about campaign infighting‚ she turns her homespun charm up to 11 and wins over the women in Peter’s life (for now). Am I the only one, though, who is surprised Margo Martindale’s national operative isn’t a little more slick than she’s come off thus far? Her win over Eli this week seems too fleeting — and her knowledge that she was under attack too late in the game — for me to think of her as a credible threat to Eli’s future. My bigger question is this: Does Eli want his job back as Peter’s campaign manager, or is he more interested in burning his old boss’s reputation to the ground?

OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s Good Wife? Are you excited by a potential Alicia-Lucca partnership? And how will Eli come back from Ruth’s latest victory? Sound off below!