The Good Wife Recap: Di (Lock)Hart — With a Vengeance

Diane Lockhart’s “Where did she get that and how much did it set her back?” wardrobe tells the story of a woman who very rarely loses a case.

But while The Good Wife‘s steely, erudite law partner may be a superhero to those of us who think the ability to rock a chunky necklace is as impressive as leaping a tall building in a single bound, she does have her own particular brand of kryptonite.

This week’s episode finds the Lady Lockhart following her brilliant legal mind much to the chagrin of her bleeding liberal heart — and the hearts of her decidedly left-wing clients.

Just a few days after Scandal gave us its very pro-Planned Parenthood installment, it’s interesting to see The Good Wife paint a portrait of a proud member of the Liberal Elite working on behalf of an anti-choice client. She does it at least in part for the money (let’s not kid ourselves — Oliver Platt’s seldom-seen Reese Dipple has deep pockets that are vital to Lockhart-Agos-Lee’s survival; though it must be added that his Peter Gallagher-portrayed surrogate has failed to make any impression on me), but also because she believes that free speech laws are of equal importance, and that for better or for worse, the pro-choice movement must be strong enough to stand up to the most scathing attack.

It’s just a pity for Diane that she takes her “I’m doin’ me” stance at the exact moment Grace Florrick starts cold-calling potential clients — faux office noise enhancing her credibility in the background — without anybody realizing she’s not old enough to legally join Alicia during her regularly scheduled tequila breaks. Is this twist entirely realistic? Probably not — seeing how Grace’s school schedule ought to preclude her from having the time to bring in $7.16 million in new business for Florrick-Quinn. But let’s go with it for the time being — especially if somehow it all winds up with Diane and Alicia swilling gin martinis and laughing and kibitzing as Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” plays in the bar behind them.


“Hellooooo from the outsiiiiiiiiide!”

Before we run down what happens in “Restraint,” allow me to photographically take you back — not so far back, in fact — to a simpler place and time. [Siiiiighhhh] OK — recap time!

CASE OF THE WEEK | Diane agrees — with a little prodding from Reece’s team — to privately cross-examine a woman who wants to sue a women’s health clinic for selling fetal tissue from her abortion for medical research purposes. Diane quickly discredits the woman, but the video of the doctor who did the procedure, casually spouting off lines like “we can keep track of what you need — a heart or a liver” and quoting a going rate of “$100 per specimen” is pretty ugly. Diane, unflappable as ever, notes the average American also couldn’t handle knowing “how the hamburger ended up on their plate” — but when the anti-choice group Citizens for Ethical Medicine are slapped with an injunction stopping them from posting said video, Diane cannot abide by the “prior restraint” philosophy being used against them. If the video proves harmful, the doctor and clinic in question can sue for damages after the fact. But first-amendment rights dictate the video shouldn’t be shut down before it’s seen the light of day — and it’s a compelling enough case that La Lockhart agrees to argue it (all while wanting to strangle the Christian conservative who shot the footage).

There are plenty of intriguing legal twists, but the most shocking of all is when the judge in the case calls Diane into his chambers for a private session and tells her “this is not your case” — adding that they can both agree they need to do what’s necessary to make sure the video doesn’t see light of day. Except Diane’s obligation to her client, to the facts at hand, trump her own pro-choice beliefs. She asks for a new judge — seething to the presiding jurist that “it’s not fair you, who are biased, to get to rule on your bias!” When he shoots back that he won’t step down, and that he’ll give Diane’s objection “all the consideration it deserves,” her raised eyebrows prove such a thing of vicious beauty that I don’t know whether to applaud or hide behind the couch. Diane tells Dipple’s guy that he’d be better off getting a different lawyer to finish out the trial, and Cary applauds this as “a way out without backing down.” But in the end, Diane’s hard line costs her the business of clients including the National Council on Women’s Rights and The Justice Center — and by the end of the hour, we learn that’s not just mere pocket change to Lockhart-Agos-Lee.

AMAZING GRACE | Grace overhears Alicia and Lucca’s conversation about their struggle to stay afloat as a fledgling firm — and Alicia (not taking it all too seriously) tells her daughter she’ll give her half a percentage point of any cold-call business she brings in. Alicia and Lucca agree to an “eat what we kill” arrangement – meaning either one keeps two-thirds of any business she brings in — and I wonder if that’ll raise its ugly head in future weeks. But for now, the women seem to be on the same page. We learn Louis Canning is courting Lucca — and she seems to be semi-open to his courtship. But when he finally breaks it down and tells her the three big clients he’ll want her to handle — she immediately brings the names back to Alicia, and they try to poach them for Florrick-Quinn. Alas, their pre-meeting prep (Alicia refers to the firm as “Florrick-Agos” at one point) means they walk away empty handed.

Just when things seem hopeless, Grace strolls in and reveals she’s brought in four new clients — oh, and she’ll be collecting her $35,800 in commissions, mmmkay? Beats making roast-beef sandwiches down at the local Hardee’s, eh? Maybe ALicia should encourage Grace to postpone college and help them build their practice for the next 24-36 months. By then, the kid won’t need a single student loan to pay for her education!

THE GOLD-EN AGE OF ROMANCE | Eli gets more intimately involved with Peter’s new big-money donor, Courtney Paige, in more ways than one. Sure, he’s concerned that her new plan to provide a $75,000 salary floor for all of her employees will look super socialist, and taint public opinions of Peter’s presidential campaign. But he also seems a little googly-eyed every time they’re together. While Alicia’s counsel does little to sway Courtney’s new plan, it doesn’t stop Eli from lingering in Courtney’s office, wondering if she’d consider offering unlimited vacation to her charges. That’s just “cynicism disguised as benevolence,” she smiles, noting that companies who offer unlimited vacation often wind up with employees who take less than two weeks off, so paranoid they are about proving their worth. So why is Eli still there? What’s his real motive? “My office is the size of your bathroom — and I don’t have the money you have,” he says, his usual swagger oddly absent. “Come here,” purrs Courtney. And he leans in to kiss her — maybe rediscovering a little of the humanity lost when Peter fired him, when his whole existence devolved into political backstabbing and plotting. Will love save Eli in the end? Or is Courtney just another avenue toward political power? Time – or the remainder of Season 7 — may tell.

With that said, I turn it over to you. What did you think of this week’s Good Wife? Which twosome are you most invested in: Alicia-Lucca, Alicia-Jason or Eli-Courtney? 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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  1. Pixel says:

    That season lacks soul and cohesion. And it’s hard for me to “really” care about something or someone right now especially because all the dynamics and relationships I cared about are pretty dead. And someone could explain me why are they wasting Matt Czuchry’s time like that? They should have written him out at the end of season 6 if that absolute nothing was what they had in store for him in season 7. He deserves better than this and should have been allowed to do something else if the show was so willing to underuse him again like that. There’s no reason for the character to be there if the only things they give him to do are brief cameos without any meaning or purpose.

  2. nikki says:

    I preferred Eli with Parker Posey’s Vanessa.

    I miss The OC.

  3. bridyyc says:

    I think they’re contractually obligated to give La Baranski something to submit for Emmy consideration otherwise I fear we’d never have seen this episode at all. It’s almost cruel to give us Diane as she should be and then relegate her to sticking cotton balls up her nose. And I get it. Alicia doesn’t really give a shoot anymore. She has a new approach. It’s tequila now and not red wine. Yah, I get it. Now pack up the sledgehammer and do something interesting with it cause lord knows they haven’t yet.

  4. EJ says:

    Geez, I might be hating this Grace storyline even more than The Lemond Bishop/Cary Agos Show last season.

  5. Brad says:

    That picture is from Will’s funeral, isn’t it? Definitely not happy times. Too soon.

  6. Scott says:

    are we going to ever find out if Cary was really gay?

    • Steven says:

      This is the real question! What was the point of that storyline? It just disappeared, as do most plots on this show nowadays. I also agree with Pixel above, it’s hard to care about what’s happening when Diane and Cary hate Alicia and they never have screen time together. Those 3 are the only characters I really care about and all bridges have been burned between them.

      • abz says:

        Cary doesn’t hate Alicia. Sure they may have a professional rivalry but I think they genuinely still like each other. She even called him the other episode to find out how to contact the NSA guy. It’s Diane that has the bigger rift with Alicia.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      Who cares if Cary was gay. He’s slept with enough women for sure to prove to me he’s hetero.

    • JosiahBartlet4President says:

      Why must we speculate on anyone’s sexuality?

      • Why? Because the show gave them cause to do so. I forgot about that mini-arc shortly after the episode but King and company threw it out there.

        • Pixel says:

          It’s really sad that when it come to Cary the only thing people now care about is if he’s going to turn bi or not. Especially if you consider his sad status that season. He has asbolutely no purpose in the show anymore, no court cases, no clients. Nothing relevant to do or to say. Whatever happened last season, his big storyarcs were completely dropped by the writers: he was wrongly accused of a crime, spend some time in prison and lost Kalinda because of this. And those writers didn’t write one single worthy thing ouf of this. That’s what fans complain about and they wonder why those writers stopped to write about the character after all the hell he went through and like all the hell never happened.
          And what the Kings threw it out there had nothing to do with Cary’s sexuality. That 1 minute scene was completely taken out of the context and turned into big evidence that Cary was turning bi by people who would like to see him being bi and not becaue that would have any sense for the character’s previous history. But it makes absolutely no sense, especially if you put that scene in the context. The entire episode was focused on Cary trying to connect professionally with the young associates because he had enough of his old partners. It was never hinted through the episodes (and never before) that he was exploring his sexuality. Indeed the meaning of that scene had nothing to do with Cary being gay or straight but with him being completely inable to reach the young associates without being equivocated. But the writing was so lame (like everything they wrote for Cary that season) that the only thing people got was that Cary was turning gay.
          But here you are a hope for you. Those writers are completely lost. And disperate. So I don’t exclude that they will go there just to get some media attention, once again using the character like a tool to make a point about something and not to write for him a storyline worth the character and the actor.

    • It’s never even occurred to me that Cary might be gay. He seems very masculine and sexy, plus he’s had numerous girlfriends throughout the series. Is this wishful thinking Scott? LOL

  7. jane says:

    Finally beginning to enjoy good wife… when it started this season it was about gradual change and making everyone find a place for themselves… now it feels like the story is moving….
    for the first time I liked Grace, She is using her brain and doing something constructive….
    if Grace brings those clients and its eat what you kill as per lucca Quinn, then how do they divvy it up – is this Grace the daughter or Grace the law firm employee…

    its getting interesting now

  8. First of all, it wasn’t a “anti-choice” group, now was it? It was a group against the killing of the unborn . .. . Stop with the leftist bullsheeeet . . . CBS is using their hour long dramas to push the killing of unborn humans. ..that is sort of shameful . . .

    • Jo March says:

      Anti choice is the proper term. If you right wing yahoos get to say “pro life”; we get to say anti choice. You should have turned off the TV. Actually I’m surprised you watch anything that isn’t on Fox. But good for you expressing an opinion; I thought it would be hard for you to think if Fox news wasn’t telling you how.

    • No, it’s definitely an antichoice group. Trying to rile people up about abortion yet again. I’m glad CBS did this story. It just points out how fanatical some groups are. For cripes sake, abortion has been legal for over 40 years. Get over it and mind your own uterus.

    • fiberlicious says:

      You can put lipstick on a pig – but it’s still a pig. ANTI-CHOICE.

    • Danielle says:

      I take it you consider yourself pro-life. Three simple questions will validate that 1) Do you support the death penalty? Yes? You’re not pro-life. 2) Do you support a mandatory living wage? No? You’re not pro-life. 3) Do you support universal health care? No? You’re not pro-life.What you are is anti-choice on abortion. End of story.

  9. JosiahBartlet4President says:

    I am not a fan of the Eli-Courtney coupling. They have zero chemistry.

    I love that Diane got so much screen time. The case seemed a little weak to me, though the subject matter of selling fetal body parts was certainly interesting and relevant.

  10. ASL says:


  11. Peaches says:

    I think Jason sizzles and want to see more of him, and maybe him and Alicia. It’s annoying that Alicia can’t live her life because Peter wants to be Prez.

  12. Dana says:

    I don’t think there has ever been and episode of The Good Wife that I haven’t enjoyed. I don’t know where all these haters are coming from. The writers are excellent, the characters are interesting and have substance. So what if Carey or Diane aren’t in all the scenes, it is called The Good WIfe….Alicia…. I want to see more of her and Jeffrey Dean Morgan!!

  13. robandco says:

    I have a feeling JDM will end up screwing Alicia big time. He’ll do something really bad that’ll cause a lot of trouble for Alicia.
    That said, the episode was very average. Diane brought her A-game, I loved that, Eli is getting some, I loved that, Grace being smart, I liked that. Very low of Alicia and Lucca to go after Canning’s clients.

  14. Chris says:

    Baranski was freaking amazing in this episode. GIVE DIANE MORE TO DO!!

    Cary is expendable. Nothing remotely key about him anymore.

    I am thinking the so-called big romance hoped for Alicia and Jason will not be what some of the viewers want. He’s going to cause a lot of trouble for her. Her penchant for bad boys is going to bite her in the rump – and not the good kind of bite. That said, I love that Jason is playing both Alicia and Diane.

  15. Callie Layton says:

    Yes, wondering why Matt Czuchry/Cary is relegated to such minor roles. Yes, he has a difficult past, but he was cleared, right? He deserves more than just the occasional word. Not believing the budding romance between Eli and Courtney, nor do I really believe that Diane would publicly accuse the judge of bias said in an in-chambers conversation, between two people who obviously have known each other well for years. Why burn a bridge with a judge? Loving the new Grace, very funny sideline for the show.

  16. I love this show and have watched it from the start. Alicia has really grown as an independent and successful woman. I love how she has evolved. Diane is an integral part of the series and does a fantastic job, in my opinion. I wish I knew where she gets her gorgeous outfits!

  17. Jeri says:

    Nice to see Diane in action again. Alicia is really unlikeable & uninteresting now. I hope they take the focus off her even if she is supposed to be “the wife.” The rest of the cast, Eli, Cary, and Diane are much more interesting and fun.

  18. Derecho says:

    Isn’t it a violation of the Rule of Professional conduct to cold-call potential clients for pecuniary gain? Is it different for the (underage) assistant to do it for you? Studying for the MPRE right now, so it crossed my mind. Lawyers out there? Is it OK?