The Good Wife Recap: How Alicia Got Her Gov Back

For the average person, frozen mini tacos can only be considered foreplay if the evening is building toward putting on sweatpants, watching some TV and vowing to make better decisions regarding the container of arugula turning to black sludge in the back of the fridge.

But when The Good Wife‘s Alicia Florrick thinks she’s about to go to town on some tortilla-wrapped goodness — only to have it whisked away by an unwelcome intrusion from her estranged hubby’s security team — the burning desire apparently runs so deep that it might drive her to an act that ends with Eli Gold witnessing her post-sex glow.

To put it in mathematical terms: Alicia + Jason Crouse – mini tacos (- the aforementioned smoldering investigator) = Alicia/Peter – undergarments x post-coital nonchalance.

Yep, #TeamFlorrick is no longer exclusively political, but I’m not sure I’m willing to go out on a limb and call it personal, either. I mean, at the end of their quickie, Alicia is declaring that “it’s always sexier not to care” — because “sex is sexier without love.” I’d feel badly for Peter, but let’s not act like he’s not 100 percent complicit in the “I’ve got 20 minutes if you’ve got 20 minutes” commerce of it all.

If that’s not “Wait, what, whoa!” enough for you, there’s more craziness in an episode that’s not only a vast improvement over last week, but a terrific hour on its own merits: Jackie dropping wince-inducing inappropriateness, a Peter-Jason face-to-face and the introduction of the undeniably enjoyable Vanessa L. Williams as a possible campaign donor/love interest for Eli.

Which reminds me — before we get to recapping the action from “Driven,” let’s all take a snap poll!

HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY CHOOSE BETWEEN THESE TWO LEGENDS? You must be a monster! (I kid, I kid!) In any event, let’s carry on:

TORN BETWEEN TWO SUITORS | Oh, no, this isn’t the paragraph about Alicia’s feelings for Peter and Jason (more on that in a moment). Rather, I’m talking about our protagonist’s first week on the Chicago Election Board — where her nemesis Frank Landau doesn’t waste a moment getting into her ear and reminding her of their agreed-upon stipulation for her new post: “No on the first vote – don’t forget!” Turns out, it’s a referendum on whether to renew the board’s contract with KLT (we later learn the company has ties to Landau’s wife) or switch to Swan Systems (which is partly owned by Landau’s Board rival Craig Hallman, a man who feels very comfortable yelling, “You bought her!” the minute he thinks Alicia will align with Frank. Both men pay her ominous visits — Landau’s “you can recover from being physically hurt” proving to be the more threatening of the two — but in the end, the Board’s newest member isn’t sure she has enough facts to break the tie. We’re left with a cliffhanger in which Alicia can break the very word that put her into a position of power, or vote “No,” fulfill her duty and compromise her integrity on the panel right from the jump-off. All things being equal, I’m betting she aligns with Landau, but then again (as we’ll discuss below), Alicia 2.0 is totally zen — and not about to lose her cool just because some dude is melting down like the Wicked Witch getting sloshed with a bucket of dishwater.

AND JASON MAKES THREE | Alicia invites Jason to her home office for a discussion “of everything,” and promptly shows off her margarita-making skills. She needs the liquid courage, though, to ask her new freelance employee/new crush to sign a release of liability — a necessary evil given his violent past. She can’t look at him when she’s making her request, and Jason’s clearly conflicted, too. “I don’t like signing things,” he offers, but then, almost immediately, he signs it — clearing the way for Alicia to ask “Would you like…” and finally conclude that it’s best to begin with mini tacos.

Little does she know, however, that Eli has told Peter’s campaign that the Governor can move back to Alicia’s apartment — the better to disprove a media report saying the Florricks have not shard a bed for three years. And he arrives with his entire team at the exact moment Alicia and Jason are about to devour each other some delicious Mexican food. The men are almost too polite. Alicia is relegated to spectator in her own love life. But after Jason makes a quick exit, Alicia asks her estranged spouse if he wants to get laid. He’s tempted by a phone call from a donor that’ll mean “another million dollars” — but seeing as how the pair only have 20 minutes free, Alicia zings back, “Which do you want more?” And as the clothes come off, we have our answer. It’s just too bad Eli busts into the room as the couple is getting dressed — leaving him wondering if Alicia understands she’s literally sleeping with his enemy. The “new Alicia,” however, is not going to be provoked, she explains — unless said provocation is happening in bed (nudge-nudge).

COURTING COURTNEY | Vanessa L. Williams shows up as big-money donor Courtney Boalt, and an unexpectedly flustered Eli — attempting to dismiss rumors of Alicia and Peter’s distance — invites her to Grace’s birthday dinner (no matter that the kid isn’t turning a year older ’til March). While Courtney and Grace bond over politics and religion, Jackie and Howard bust in to announce their engagement (!) and to provide a groan-inducingly clueless commentary. (Sample quote, from Jackie to Courtney: “It was so nice spending time with you, Ms. Page. You are an inspiration to all urban children.” Exhibit B: “The pleasure is all mine: I like Peter’s African-American friends!” (Can’t Peter’s campaign afford to send Jackie on an around-the-globe year-long vacay?) Courtney, though, isn’t perturbed in the least. “Don’t worry so much!” she tells Eli, who looks a wee bit smitten. It’s the same advice he got from Alicia earlier in the day — and so maybe that means it’s true.

With that said, I turn it over to you. What did you think of this week’s Good Wife? Are you with me that this was a huge step forward from last Sunday’s too-silly hour? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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35 Comments
  1. abz says:

    Great episode. I may be in the minority, but I’m enjoying this season. I loved Kalinda and she will forever be a favorite TV character of mine, but much like Will I barely notice she’s not there any more. I’m still finding myself entertained.
    Even the case was fun. Surprised that it was done entirely through deposition. I expected them to end up in court as usual. I enjoyed seeing Alicia back in the same room as Cary/Diane. Her cockiness was fun to watch. Though, i kind of wished we had seen a bit more interaction between Alicia and Cary/Diane.
    I groaned seeing Canning again at the start of the episode, but he wasn’t terrible in this episode. Also, Alicia’s reaction to Jackie’s news was priceless.
    Hate that she slept with Peter. Ugh. I really don’t like him. Can’t wait for Alicia to find out the truth.

  2. I am loving this season, and I really didn’t think last week’s episode was bad or silly in the slightest. Also no recap for the case of the week? I thought that was a very interesting one.

  3. Cookie Queen says:

    The Good Wife always does well when the pace of the show is keep ed moving swiftly. That it was a very good episode. Loved Eli and Vanessa, good chemistry. And I loved how everyone keep covering Grace’s true birthday date. And Eli climbing on his desk is priceless.

  4. Alana says:

    I thought this was the best episode of the season so far. But the joke about Eli’s office is played out. Really, no one can remember at this point not to slam the door open into his desk? There must be a giant gauge in the desk by now.

  5. jane thibideau says:

    loved todays episode – for the first time in this season I loved almost everything about this episode (only didnt like the table banging in elis office- its a bit annoying now)
    loved loved loved jason and his smile….
    loved the case
    felt canning is watching alicia to see if she can stand upto her old firm (thats why he gave her the case)
    loved the kalinda homage (tequila)

  6. Blurgh says:

    This was a great episode (not trying to juggle a thousand storylines at once is best). I found the case about driverless cars to be quite interesting.

    He’s slimy, but I still like Peter and Alicia together on occasion for their trysts.

    Hard not to vomit when Jackie and Howard announced their engagement but what wonderful timing.

  7. Blurgh says:

    I don’t think Eli has romantic chemistry with Courtney. (His attachment to America Ferrera’s character was weird.) I wish Eli would settle down with a nice man.

  8. Ronny says:

    This season is great so far and I think that this is the best series on TV. Witty, clever and always entertaining. LOVE IT. And although I loved Kalinda, I don’t miss her at all. I love the new characters Lucca and Jason. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Margulies has great chemistry. Will be weird to watch him turn into Negan on TWD soon…

  9. Eurydice says:

    Alicia didn’t have sex with Peter right after Jason left – it was after she had “won” her case against Diane and Cary. You left out the case, but it was pretty important. It was the third in a trio of threesomes – Alicia/Jason/Peter, Alicia/Landau/Hallman, Alicia/Diane&Cary/Louis Canning – and the whole show was about her navigating these competing interests.

    • Becky says:

      I like trio of threesomes. That’s exactly right,. And yes, she slept with Peter the next day after Jason left. Not that night.

  10. liame says:

    Love Vanessa.

  11. It was pizza… then mini tacos when there was no pizza.

  12. robandco says:

    Best episode in a while. Very smart, very funny.
    I almost felt uncomfortable watching Alicia and the new investigator eye-f— each other in that kitchen. No wonder Alicia wanted to get laid after that.
    I love when the writers incorporate real life stories like this week’s.
    The look on everyone’s face when Alicia entered the room for the deposition was amazing. It was nice seeing Diane and Cary interact with Lucca and most importantly Alicia.
    And Vanessa Williams is amazing in everything. I hope she sticks around because she has great chemistry with Eli. That scene when Jackie and Howard announced their engagement… I had the same reaction than Alicia.

  13. Morisot says:

    Queue up the Peggy Lee music. “Is that all there is, is that all there is? …” This episode was just very sad. Skewer your friends. Have perfunctory sex with your ex. Drag your daughter into a lie to get money from some rich, bored, mover-and-shaker. Seeing Eli scrabbling like some pathetic Renfield. All’s ugly in politics. The only thing that saved it was Alicia laughing at the absurdity of it all.

  14. Jeri says:

    I still miss Kalinda & Will but it was nice to be able to recognize the castmembers. This was a better episode but Alicia keeps getting more smug & unlikeable in general. (To me anyway.)

  15. KT5 says:

    With regards to the voting machines, are there only two options? Perhaps Alicia will offer a third suggestion of a vendor who has no ties to anyone on the board. Wouldn’t this make the most sense and indicate that Alicia is an objective person capable of making an independent decision?

    • robandco says:

      That’s really what I expected Alicia to suggest. She’s way too smart to not propose a 3rd option. I hope they go this way. But I’ll also be fine with her crushing Landau, because I hate the character very much.

  16. Nan says:

    I enjoyed the episode but I am still really tired of the Peter/Alicia farce of a marriage and according to the episode it’s been 3 years since they lived together…can we just divorce them already?

    • drhenning says:

      we already see on Scandal that the POTUS can survive a divorce and can even have his girlfriend/fiance living at the White House…. OTH, I enjoy Alicia getting something.

      • Z says:

        Scandal is not something that should be cited… as that POTUS should have been impeached long ago and would have this season if not for blackmail and a very oblivious washington press corps…. As for Good Wife…. Peter and Alicia both need each other to further their career goals… so staying together makes sense.

    • robandco says:

      But if she’s not a wife then the title of the show looses all its meaning ;)
      I agree, now that her election storyline is over (though the scandal surrounding will always be there) she doesn’t really need Peter. Peter needs her now, but she’s using him as well for the prestige I guess, as always. Plus we’ve seen it’s always handy to have someone who’s just a booty call away.

  17. Miss J says:

    I must have missed something, because I’m really confused: how can Alicia be on the Election Board (much less head of it as the other guy offered) when her campaign was ended amid allegations of election fraud?

    • robandco says:

      I believe it was one of the consequences of Eli’s action regarding the corrupted bond court judge (or was it something else?). Frank Landau offered her a position on the Election Board a couple of episodes ago, hinting that if she wanted the position she had to be his bitch and vote no on the first vote. We saw her entering his office but we didn’t see until now that she agreed to it.

      • ClarkKent_DC says:

        Right. Eli saw getting Alicia on the Election Board as something that would rehabilitate her image and as a steppingstone to other things. Although, knowing Eli, he also probably wants to bring down Frank Landau and wanted Alicia in position for when he makes his move.

        • Miss J says:

          Well, I guess I didn’t miss anything. It just makes no sense to me that the public or even the other board members would accept her on the Election Board right after her election scandal. At the very least, her appointment seems it would be a “mini-scandal” itself, causing the Board to lose credibility. So I thought I must have missed some explanation about how that would work. That’s really unrealistic to me.

          • robandco says:

            I understand. I don’t think this board is something the general public knows about (or care). She wasn’t exactly convicted for election fraud. Not legally. There was just an accusation during the election, and a recount if I remember. Plus it was Frank Landau’s work. We don’t know what he said to the board to get Alicia the spot.

  18. Carol C says:

    V clever headline.

  19. jane thibideau says:

    I miss Kalinda, bec there is nothing special about Lucca… she is very nice but she can be like any other secondary character… i loved the way Kalinda spoke – so softly and with strength…
    reminded me of Diane. and I also liked Kalinda and Diane’s bonding

    anyway, i love jason but hated it when he called peter sir… something about that bothered me.

    eli is becoming a caricature, he was supposed to be the one who can use his smarts.

    although I wonder, does alicia know canning gave her this case?

  20. SW says:

    This was one of my favorite episodes of the season. I found myself genuinely laughing through about 80% of it. The only things I didn’t enjoy were the scenes with Landau (although I did enjoy Alicia standing up for herself and not letting either man get to her), and the whole thing with Peter – I’m just not a fan of his, and I’m over the whole fake-marriage thing now. I’m really enjoying Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Jason (not surprising since I always enjoy his roles in anything), and I’ll be sad to see him go once the season’s over. It’s going to be difficult for me to see him go from Jason to Negan on The Walking Dead. For the rest of the episode, I even enjoyed the case of the week, which is surprising since I haven’t been enjoying many of them this season.