the good wife recap

The Good Wife Recap: The Defense Restroom

I’m worried about Eli Gold — and not just because he repeatedly manhandled a public-restroom wastebasket without immediately scrubbing his hands during this week’s installment of The Good Wife.

The right-hand man to Peter Florrick may have no knowledge whatsoever of the backroom dealings that could bring down his boss, but his name sure did come up a lot in those snippets of Grand Jury proceedings we heard through a bathroom ventilation shaft. Coupled with the fact that Chris Noth’s governor was once again completely absent from the action, and I’m left wondering if series creators Robert and Michelle King might be plotting the fall of a much more beloved character than Alicia’s husband by the time their series finale airs on May 8.

Who knows, though? As I witness what’s probably the final appearances of beloved characters like Owen and Veronica — where was her glass of wine, BTW? — perhaps I’m straining too hard to find order in the chaos.

At least the Grand Jury stuff brought with it a sense of genuine suspense and real stakes — unlike the “heard it all before” parlor games going on at Lockhart-Agos-Lee. Much as I long for juicy arcs for Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry, the umpteenth reimagining of our central firm’s partnership structure has ceased to fascinate — especially now that Diane has set her sights on buying out Cary (!) without so much as a mention of treacherous David Lee or extreme liability Howard Lyman. (I mean, if Diane’s master plan was to forge her future with Alicia, why wasn’t she the one who pursued her return to the firm in the first place?)

As you ponder that question, let’s review the action from Season 7, Episode 16, “Hearing”:

107784_0044bEVERYTHING’S GRAND (JURY) | Assistant U.S. Attorney Connor Fox (Matthew Morrison) tells Eli and the chihuahua-wielding Mike Tascione that they’ll have to guess in which of the “dozens of cookie jars” he believes he’s caught Peter’s hand. Mike plays it deeply weird, while Connor plays it overly confident, and the prosecution tips its hand more than it ever intended. It’s Alicia, though, who discovers the courthouse’s handicapped bathroom has a vent-shaft portal to audio from the grand jury room. Since Eli’s not an attorney, she deputizes him as eavesdropper in chief, and he figures out that Peter’s misdeeds involve something from 2012, involving donor Lloyd Garber and a “state vs. Locke” case. (While I appreciate the inventiveness of the Kings’ construct of only letting us hear Eli’s side of the audio — with interruptions from bathroom users, maintenance workers and the general mumbliness of life — it maybe isn’t as dramatically rewarding as you’d want it to be, no?)

Eli finally tracks down former prosector Cary to glean some intel on the Locke case, and learns the defendant in question was a “working glass guy” accused of murdering his girlfriend’s ex. His “amazing defense team,” though, led to the rumor that “his father was someone wo mattered.” Lloyd Garber, perhaps?

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE FIRM | Cary and David call out Alicia and demand to know if Diane has approached her about splintering off/forcing them out. While she accuses them of paranoia, a few days later, Diane comes to her with pretty much that exact offer. Alicia says she just wants to be “of use” — c’mon, this isn’t Thomas & Friends — but Diane sums up our protagonist pretty accurately, I think: “You hide your ambition under a bushel, but it’s a very bright light,” she says of the onetime State’s Attorney candidate. Diane wants to partner with Alicia because she’s someone she thinks can outrace her, and which is. “You can slice an opponent to shreds, smiling the whole time, and they come back thanking you.” Alicia goes to Lucca for advice — 45 minutes in, and I have to admit I was desperate for a Cush Jumbo sighting — and her new BFF doesn’t hesitate with the right questions (will they make more money in a firm comprised solely of female partners?) and the right solutions (“tell Cary”). Whether or not Alicia follows that advice, time will tell. It’s a little head-scratchy, though, that she accidentally mixes up Will and Jason’s during the course of the conversation.

HearingSEXYTIMES + BAGELS + MOM = AWKWARD | The hour opens with Alicia and Jason in bed watching the 1981 thriller Roar, probing each other (pun intended) for truths about their pasts, and also dealing with the unannounced arrival of Veronica and Owen, Eli and Mike. Alicia is mortified, Veronica is thrilled at the chance to be inappropriate and Jason handles it with his usual Cheshire chill. Veronica is there to announce she’s been Madoff’d, and while initially, it appears she’s got no one to blame but herself, Jason realizes she’s become part of a “suckers list” circulated by scammers. He saves the day for Alicia’s mom, and the duo winds up closing the episode just the way it began — in the bedroom and with a roar (both what’s on their TV and between the sheets).

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s The Good Wife? How are you feeling about Alicia-Jason? And are you bored by the Lockhart-Agos-Lee shenanigans? Share your thoughts 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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70 Comments
  1. MoA says:

    As a Chicagoan, I was shocked at their lack of attention to detail when Alicia & Jason were eating pizza cut in slices and not squares!!!

    • Citygirl says:

      Good catch!!! As a Chicagoan myself and having 30 years in the legal profession, I catch stuff all the time that are so out there, it’s laughable.

      • Sally McLinn says:

        I live in Chicago. Pizza can be cut in slices or squares.

        Anyway, I loved this episode. It takes me back to the good old TGW episodes. Everything made sense, and I do wish they would consider another season, or even a spinoff.

        • jakis says:

          In Chicago, I have eaten pizza cut in big, pie-shaped wedges (the NY way — what I think you’re calling slices), squares and thin, narrow strips.

    • Tee Wee says:

      As a native New Yorker who lives in Chicago I noticed the pizza too – that it was distinctly NY…where the show is filmed. I have lived in Chicago for 18 years. Most places cut it in squares (which I hate) unless I specifically ask for a pie cut.

  2. Bryce says:

    I loved the way Diane danced around that conversation with Alicia. I love how even when Cary carves out his own path he gets the short end of the stick, but I agree: he’s no Gardner. I’m excited to see where this ends up going.

    • Sally McLinn says:

      The show is definitely back on track. I just hate that it’s the last season.

    • Andrew says:

      I love what Cary Agos/Matt Czuchry has done for the series. Originally, I thought he was going to be offed when he got competitive with Alicia early on, but he held his ground and was slowly turned back to the light. I like that the Kings put him on the “fringe” — they made his motives seem questionable, but never evil; his white male privilege used, but never abused — and it turned out that he respected Alicia and liked ethnic women. On behalf of Alicia and the viewers, the show bravely asked if Cary was a chauvinist, and then slowly answered: he was just another equally capable competitor alongside Alicia, who didn’t crumble under her pressure (unlike most other shows out there who have to make a clear point about who it is they want to win). Even though Cary’s status seemed at times unsteady, he was a part of the main cast. It just shows that characters, and writers, can surprise you. Thank you for giving us THE GOOD WIFE!

  3. Vik says:

    The part where Alicia misspeaks and says Jason’s name instead of Will really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t understand it at all– the writers trying to tell us she’s moving past Wills death or something in the most heavy-handed way possible? Who mixes up the names of one of their best friends and sometimes-lover of 5+ years who died very tragically with the name of their current flame? It just really Took me out of the episode

    • fiberlicious says:

      I saw it as Jason’s the first man who’s really gotten to her since Will. A little heavy-handed, certainly.

      • Marilyn says:

        I agree with you. I think this is the first man she’s felt this way about since Will. And I think Will is the only man she’s ever really loved so . . .

    • Bryce says:

      I think it just highlighted the effect Jason’s had on her. In the way that Diane said Cary is no Will Gardner, Finn or any other guy hasn’t been a Will Gardner for Alicia. Jason, on the other hand, has been

  4. abz says:

    I loved this episode. Those first 10 minutes were hilarious. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. I really enjoyed most of it. I have to agree the power plays at the firm have become boring and tired but perhaps being that this is most likely the final one we’ll ever see, it might be a big showdown. I still think the better final season arc for Diane would have been her quest for a judgeship position again, but that’s probably not happening.

  5. Pixel says:

    I’ve enough of the perpetual understimation of Cary’s character. Yeah, he’s not Will. And neither Alicia is. But does this mean he can’t be a good laywer and partner? What bothers me is that show never gave Cary Agos a chance to be Cary Agos for good. And long time viewers know that the guy had the potential to be more than the guy everyone tried to screw over because he’s good but not good enough. What a shame. What a disappointing final season.

    • Mike M says:

      Lets not forget the incredible Cary in jail arc, truly one of the best, if not the best of the entire series. Matt Czuchry’s performance throughout those episodes was also maybe the best of the series. Then they never used him again in any way that allowed him to come close to showing that skill. It’s tiring to everyone bringing up the internal issues of the show, but geez I will always wonder what might have been. Cary was in fact set up to be every bit as good as Will… and they dumbed him back down and sat him in the corner – next to Kalinda.

      • Pixel says:

        Well, we’ll likely never know “what” happened. But after seeing what they’ve done with Cary/Matt Czuchry (aka Archie Panjabi’s best friend) that season we can say that something happened for sure. IMO. Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum.

        • Mike M says:

          Yes, don’t you dare forget your “In My Opinion” :-) Maybe never, though perhaps once everyone has moved on and the dust has settled… eluceat omnibus lux. Oh… IMO lol

    • Andrew says:

      Good point. I should have posted my ‘Cary’ comments from above here instead :( In essence, I argue that Cary is shown to be good. But you’re right, he never got the chance to be supreme leader.

      There are a lot of things I wish we could have seen fleeced out (Cary becoming powerful, Alicia being DA, Peter becoming Prez, Diane becoming Judge, Eli finding Love, etc). I’m not sure how much was left in the tank, and I will always want more, but it was an awesome run. I thank CBS and EVERYONE involved for giving us such an awesome show available on national TV.

  6. bridyyc says:

    This was definitely the episode that laid out the path to the end. There’s still 6 episodes t go, so the path is definitely not a straight one. The hijinx at the firm will take some twists, I think. I still believe Alicia and Cary will end up running the firm by the end with Diane a judge

    Also still feel like Alicia/Jason is contrived. Nothing feels natural or “right” about it.

  7. Sandra Watts-Tingle says:

    I don’the like the fact of Alicia and Jason are having a love affair. What happen to Peter? Hoping Peter would be a husband again with Alicia. Only my opinion.

  8. JosiahBartlet4President says:

    Veronica walking in on Jason and Alicia was hilarious!
    <3 Stockard and so glad she's returning to TV soon.

    Could Diane just relax and stop scheming for once? It's tiresome. It's nice having Alicia, Diane, and Cary on the same side again.

    I don't think that Alicia will go for buying out Cary. She's grown attached to him, more than she is loyal to Diane.

    One thing is for sure. I have no idea yet how the series will end!

    • Nansun says:

      Yeah, but what has Stockard Channing done to her face? OMG. I have admired her, as an actor, since way back but shes is difficult to watch now and I have lost respect. She just looks bizarre. Do you ever wonder what people who do this kind of thing see when they look in the mirror?

      • fiberlicious says:

        It’s the botox. To all of the zillions of actresses who have done this to their faces: WE CAN SEE THAT YOUR LIPS/FOREHEAD/FACES AREN’T MOVING. STOP IT!!

      • JosiahBartlet4President says:

        Aging in Hollywood, particularly as a woman, is very hard.
        Even if you wish she hadn’t opted for plastic surgery, you should still admire and respect her talent. Her talent hasn’t diminished.

        • Mike M says:

          Her talent might not have diminished, but if watching a person on screen becomes actually difficult for a viewer, then her performance overall certainly HAS diminished. It can totally subtract from the talent, sometimes to the point where it is painful. The tragic irony: the problem being caused by the very actions taken to “supposedly” make the visual appearance more appealing. Aging is not at all hard. What is hard is having determination, self belief and resistance to being a pawn controlled by others. Look at Judi Dench and Helen Mirren (and many others). Huge talents, hugely successful, beautiful older women that prove without question how stupid the industry has become on this issue.

      • HAP says:

        Number one- Stockard Channing is 70. Number two, I thought the same thing. But, who can blame her?

  9. xx says:

    “His “amazing defense team,” though, led to the rumor that “his father was someone wo mattered.” Lloyd Garber, perhaps?”

    Noted philanderer Peter Florrick, perhaps? They’ve been deconstructing the “it was just the one prostitute those 18 times they caught me!” lie by revealing more and more of his dalliances through the whole series.

    And then the corrupt donation could take the form of a donor- like Garber- bankrolling the son’s legal defense in order to help Peter without showing up in a campaign finance report.

  10. Jayne says:

    Boring episode. Thank goodness the series is ending.

  11. Castlefan says:

    Loved this episode – can’t go wrong with lots of Eli and Veronica. I think season 7’s been great and I’m glad it’s going out on a high point. Not sure what the inevitable and surprising refers to – I just hope Alicia doesn’t go back to Peter as that would ruin the whole thing for me. I don’t think she’ll betray Cary but wish she would – found him boring and rather stupid the whole 7 seasons. Nice to see a little more Diane again – she should end the series by finally getting that judgeship.

  12. Mike Camire says:

    I didnt mind the Jason / Will name slip up, sometimes when you are subconsciously thinking about one person you accidentally call some one else that name.

    I don’t care for the direction they have taken Cary’s character, he has just been bouncing around in the background and you never really to find out if he can be another Will because they never bothered to develop his character. To me it seems odd that he would team up with David Lee instead of showing his loyalty to Diane, who he knows is a high character person, doesn’t seem consistent with his past.

  13. caliblue24 says:

    I think Diane is a stuck up snob. First, she buy Alicia out of the firm and now she wants to do same thing with Cary who was the one that brought Alicia back. Cary has been a loyal friend to Alicia, of course, telling him is a definitely a must.

  14. Citygirl says:

    The series should end with Peter finally divorcing that slut of a wife of his. That opening scene was unnecessary. It dragged on way too long. REMINDER: Alicia is STILL a married woman. It picked up a notch when Alicia’s mom showed up. Stockard Channing is a joy to watch.. Wasn’t Alicia worried about her kids showing up on Sunday afternoon to see their Mom?

    • Lauren says:

      Are you kidding me? Peter lost any right to loyalty from Alicia when he slept with multiple women. She owes him nothing, and she’s certainly not a ‘slut’ because she’s slept with two men in seven years while separated from her husband. They’re married by technicality only, for political reasons, not in any real sense of the word.

    • G says:

      Ah yes! The woman who gets repeatedly cheated on, stays with her husband to help his career, and finally gets a moment of sexual satisfaction after years of drama is a slut. The man who slept with prostitutes, Kalinda, and other women throughout their marriage and the show is a saint.

    • cp1945 says:

      I seem to remember the married Gov. Florrick having an affair with a female acquaintance of both he and Alicia. Who’s the slut now? Does it only apply to women, and if so, why?

  15. bonmatin says:

    What captivated me the most about this episode was Eli’s light gray suit and gold tie in the beginning of it. Beautiful.

  16. robandco says:

    Oh, what an opening!! So funny. “Come on in, we have bagels!”
    I am torn for Alicia, which route to chose? Diane or Cary? I just hope she can chose both.

  17. Mary says:

    Does anyone know if Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s tattoos are real?

  18. J says:

    Does anyone think that Peter is the father of Locke?

    • Mike M says:

      I will be incredibly surprised if he isn’t

      • cp1945 says:

        If so, the undisclosed conflict of interest (Peter was the States’ Atty. then) could be damning, especially if he engineered the mistrial.

        • Mike M says:

          Which would fit time-wise into the King’s play out to an S7 end, with the episode titles going up and down… and the final inevitable “out” for the very loyal “Good Wife” that stuck with him until there was just no possible way to stick with him any more. Because bars can be very tricky things to inspire continued undying loyalty, especially if you are a lawyer. There has to be some big sea change at the end, and I think there’s a good reason we’ve not been seeing anything much of Peter lately.

    • Oh, come ON, people!
      The case is the state vs Locke.
      It’s ??? vs Lockhart Gardner!!!

      How could anyone miss that! Especially as Ms Lockhart walked in as they were discussing what “Vee-Lok” could possibly mean.

  19. carrabus says:

    I loved how they did the bathroom listening scenes, with the cutouts and partial information

    • Mike M says:

      That was really good but marred by one bad flaw for me. At first I thought it was just lazy reusing the vent trick to listen to the court room – then thought no it’s actually kinda a cool call out to Eli back in his matchbox sized office… that he’s out of that office, but STILL having to climb up to listen at vents lol. And the never ending and increasingly afflicted array of disabled people was incredibly funny (not the people – just the sequence no offense meant to anyone!). The having to run back and forth to relay information and let people into the bathroom, and being the only one that could, also all worked well. The builders interrupting was very funny, having them seen marching around the court room was utterly genius. The one thing that really hurt it for me was that when they DID let you heat bits from the court room they did it as parts you could hear clearly and parts that were muffled (even after he stood on the trash can and there was no workman noise). So I was straining to figure out what was being said, and not sure if I was supposed to be able to try and make it out or not. In the end it was not important – because Eli just relayed all the important info in the foyer, but it really broke up all those great comedy aspects and made it a whole lot less funny on the first viewing.

  20. Tony says:

    While it was great seeing Veronica and Owen for what may be the one last time ever, I found their scam story a bit tacked on. I would rather have seen more family-oriented scenes … I hate the way this show skims over major plot points to concentrate on other superficial plot points; we last saw Owen storm out of his stster’s apartment when she told him to stop seeing his married lover for the sake of her political campaign … a year later, he walks in like nothing ever transpired between them. Ditto for Zach. Alicia pushes or freezes these men out of her life and the writers never follow up on it.

    • Shay says:

      Actually, Owen appeared again in episode 8 of season 6. Alicia apologised to him and he even asked her to take a case involving one of his students.

  21. redjane12 says:

    The Jason meets Alicia’s family (while naked) was pretty hilarious…

    I too have a bad feeling that Eli is going to be the scapegoat when all the Governor Florrick proverbial s**t hits the fan… Wonder how it may affect Alicia too since she decided to ignore Ruth’s warning…

    I am finding the in-fighting at Lockhart+whoever plots totally boring… Can’t they stop plotting against each other for a few episodes? It doesn’t feel very organic to me… Just drama for drama’s sake…

  22. Robin says:

    I questioned the likelihood that the maintenance workers would be in the grand jury room during the hearing. Aren’t grand juries confidential? Could that even happen??

    • robandco says:

      It wasn’t real. It was supposed to be a representation of what Eli was thinking while only able to hear through the vent and not see. Since he could hear what was said in both the other toilet and the grand jury room at the same time, his mind mixed both of them, hence what we saw. I thought it was very fun and smart (and not the first time we wander in people’s interpretation of reality).

  23. Beth says:

    Jason and Alicia are fine but the firm shifting is getting old. Throwing Eli under the bus for finale seems cruel.

  24. Dr.E says:

    I think the defendant with a “father who matters” in the “v. Locke” case is Judge Shalkowski’s son.