The Good Wife Recap: No-Longer-Running Target

Welcome back, Diane Lockhart!

Oh, yes, I realize that this week’s episode of The Good Wife was, at its heart, about Alicia Florrick’s return to Lockhart-Agos-Lee (aka the firm that used to be Florrick-Lockhart-Agos, and Lockhart-Gardner before that). But allow me to take 10 seconds and shout “Yassssss, Queen!” (a phrase I try to use sparingly) over the fact that after a verrrry quiet season, Diane Lockhart came roaring back to formidable life with her blinged-out green jacket, triple strand of pearls and “don’t ever forget who’s in charge here” authority.

Better still, in the CBS drama’s first outing since the network announced the show will go the way of the Dodo at the end of this season, we got a fascinating tech-centric case, a little tingle of sexy romance and a sense of who might take the biggest tumble before the action draws to a close. (Interestingly, though, in an episode that ultimately uncovered a massive threat to Peter’s future — and perhaps his freedom — the Illinois governor was utterly absent.) With that said, let’s recap the action from “Monday”:

THE CASE OF THE WEEK | On Alicia and Lucca’s first day after joining forces with Lockhart-Agos-Lee, the firm’s IT guy (and Kalinda’s old partner in treachery) Howell (Jason Babinsky) reaches out for representation — as his girlfriend found a not-yet-on-the-market Chum-Hum tablet and needs help negotiating its sale to tech blogs. It doesn’t take long before TAPS (Technology Allied Protection Service) — a quasi partnership between the FBI and Silicon Valley that I never realized existed — swoops in, and the Lockhart-Agos-Lee is forced to come to his aid. Diane wants Lucca working on another case (more on that in a moment), but it’s Alicia’s new bestie who finally comes up with a defense that gets Howell off the hook. With his 419,000 Twitter followers, he’s essentially a journalist, and therefore doesn’t have to give up the source of his information. Chum-Hum’s CEO Neil Gross may still believe Goliath is the new David, but he’s also got to be impressed by his old firm’s keen-eyed ability to steer the law in its favor, no?

JUICY DEVELOPMENTS Eli’s daughter Marissa — who really, really needs her own spinoff (see the gallery at the bottom of this recap) — gets approached by a superhot stranger at her job at a juice bar, and quickly realizes he’s squeezing her for intel. Because she’s a bad-ass boss, she records their conversation and reports back to Eli, whose response is a Good Wife one-liner for the ages: “Now, I get why people have children: They can admire themselves in someone else.”

After Eli has a face-to-face with the cocky agent, and then his old nemesis Ruth shows up saying she’s gotten an FBI subpoena, Eli realizes Peter is the target – and it’s probably some deep, dark scandal on which he never even kept a file. (Hmmm… perhaps rigging the election for Alicia?) As Ruth pointed out weeks ago, though, Peter’s failed run at the presidency has made him a target, and now that warning is bearing fruit. Eli goes so far as to visit Judge Schakowsky (a powwow that bears no fruit), but Ruth goes a different direction, visiting Alicia with a bottle of next-level tequila and some sage advice: “Cash out while you still can” on her marriage to Peter. The investigation into his misdeeds, Ruth suggests, won’t just ruin everything Alicia has accomplished in her past, but also everything she hopes to tackle in the future. One would hope Alicia was already pondering this idea given her recent smooch-fest with Jason (more on that below), but it’s pretty clear Ruth’s words are also filed under “Things That Make Her Go Hmmmm.”

PUTTING THE ‘MATES’ IN WORKMATES | Alicia and Jason acknowledge their previous-episode kiss, his sexy beard and their ongoing chemistry in a brief and very flirty conversation at the Lockgart-Agos-Lee offices. Good thing he’s just a freelancer, otherwise their definitely-going-to-happen hookups might violate company policy!

HER NAME IS LUCCA | In a hat tip to the weirdly un-diverse world of Lockhart-Agos-Lee (which shook out very differently from the very diverse firm Alicia and Cary set out to create), everyone keeps telling Lucca she needs to meet the firm’s other black female lawyer Monica — a ridiculous/infuriating fact that makes both women treat each other with a touch of suspicion but with an undercurrent of camaraderie. That final “Do you know any spirituals?” parting shot almost made me spit sauv blanc onto my computer screen.

The larger problem for Lucca, though, is the fact that her independent, small-firm spirit is somewhat at odds with the Lockhart-Agos-Lee way of life. When she proceeds to make moves on the Howell case, Diane calls a tense, terse sitdown with Alicia — and there’s enough ice in the room to chill every martini the two women will drink from now until the end of their lives. Diane’s fear that Alicia may exhibit “a certain independence and a resistance to oversight” isn’t invalid — but then, why not bring her on as a name partner (or at least not insult her recent stint in bond court)? Alicia, though, is a woman who’s fallen from grace after her political scandal, and given that the larger firm saved her from a malpractice suit catastrophe, perhaps can’t expect to be on equal footing with her former mentor/pal/nemesis/frenemy/role model. It’s a dynamic that manages to feel fresh after seven seasons, and probably as much a testament to the acting prowess of Baranski and Margulies as anything on the page in front of ’em.

On that note…

What did you think of this week’s Good Wife? Should Alicia take Ruth’s advice and file for divorce ASAP? Or should she stand by her man marriage of political convenience? Sound off in the comments!