The Good Wife Recap: The Name Is Bond... Bond Court

Imagine a Cinderella story in which the elegant protagonist starts out in that castle on the hill, but eventually winds up scrubbing floors in her stepmother’s house. Would you blame her if she made a pact with the Devil to get some of her power back?

That’s essentially the predicament faced by The Good Wife‘s Alicia Florrick in the show’s Season 7 premiere.

Forced from her State’s Attorney perch by a voter-fraud scandal (with which she had nothing to do), Alicia is suddenly a brilliant legal mind without a firm to call home. Her reputation is toxic, her sham of a marriage to the Illinois governor only slightly less so, and she’s been reduced to working (or, more accurately, getting humiliated) in bond court for $135 per client*. (*Or for bupkis, should she forget to have them check the little “payment” box on the court’s intake form. Ouch.)

106805_D-0494bOf course, even with a potential wicked stepmother entering the picture —in the form of Margo Martindale’s cheerfully ruthless political operative Ruth Eastman — it’s not as if Alicia is living like a scullery maid. Sure, her home office isn’t as vast as her former digs at Lockhart-Agos, but she’s still decked out in Bergdorf’s finest, and her hubby thinks he’s got a legit shot at the Vice Presidency. (You’d think the latter would count for something, no?) And lest we forget, it wasn’t so long ago Alicia and Cary were operating out of a former warehouse space with a homeless man squatting in the bathroom, so she’s not exactly revisiting rock bottom.

That said, underdog has always been a good color for Alicia. You can practically hear L.L. Cool J’s voice booming in the background — “Don’t call it a comeback! I been here for years!” — when David Lee drops a pearl of condescension in her path, or those mean kids at bond court won’t let her sit at the lunch table, or when Ruth makes the grave mistake of giving her a withering, “let me tell you how this is going to go” edict.

Ruth’s not only made an enemy of Alicia, but Eli, too. (More on that epic bitchery in a moment.) If Peter’s new campaign manager can somehow get on Diane’s bad side — side note: I’m going to need at least 30% more Christine Baranski in all future episodes — she might wind up disappearing to whatever landfill or construction site that swallowed up Kalinda’s ex-hubby. Tread carefully, lady! Alicia-Eli-Diane is a serious Bermuda triangle of power!

My favorite part of Sunday’s hour, though, turns out to be Alicia’s nascent friendship with scrappy bond attorney Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo). At first, the women eye each other as warily if they were both wrapped in yellow police tape. Lucca’s carved out her niche in the 10-minutes-or-less world of bail hearings and she hardly needs a legal A-lister siphoning off her business. But she’s clearly got an innate decency that doesn’t like seeing Alicia get punished by the bond court judge just because — and hey, knowing the scandal-to-rebirth window in the U.S. is getting shorter and shorter, maybe Lucca also senses a hidden opportunity in latching on to Mrs. Florrick’s empty bandwagon. At the same time, while Alicia perhaps didn’t spend as much time as she should’ve in researching bond-court protocol, she’s also savvy enough to understand that there’s nothing like insider intel. Bonus points: Lucca makes a good stand-in in probate court — and she’s down for happy hour hijinks. (Another request for showrunners Robert and Michelle King: Could Alicia and Diane please please please have another messy martini powwow between now and the new year? All good if Lucca is there, too. Thank you.)

As you toast to that idea — come on, it’s a good one – I’ll get going on recapping the action from “Bond”:

FEMALE BOND-ING | As I mentioned earlier, Alicia and Lucca meet awkward in bond court. “I voted for you,” says Lucca. “Sorry about that,” replies Alicia, flatly. But there’s not a lot of time for small talk in a system that has 350 cases per day to process — and as the judge tells Alicia, he doesn’t have time for newbies who’ll slow the process down. “The last thing I need is Marie Antoinette,” he eye-rolls, just as a limo pulls up and the driver asks Alicia to hop in. It’s Lucca who finally holds open the door just enough for Alicia to stick a foot in, arm-twisting the judge into giving her scrappy (well, as “scrappy” as an Illinois first lady can be) new acquaintance five cases — then talking her through some (though not all) of the basics. “We’re not in the miracle-working business,” Lucca says when Alicia begins to huff about the broken system they’re in, of the limited work they’re allowed to do. Things take an interesting turn when Alicia, as a favor, agrees to cover Lucca’s bond court shift — but when Lucca can’t get back in time for Alicia to make her probate case, they switch spots… with surprisingly not-terrible results.

106805_D-1100bRUTH-LESS PEOPLE | Eli wants Peter to be a strong second in Iowa — the better to get on Hillary’s veep radar — and so he sets up a meeting with rock-star national election specialist Ruth, who after one hour in a room with Peter, winds up taking Eli’s job. (Ouch!) Mr. Gold, naturally, goes ballistic over the betrayal, noting he stood by Peter even while the Governor was “banging your freakin’ ethics coordinator… I was the one freakin’ set of footsteps in the sand!” Peter’s blood pressure barely rises during the exchange — his pragmatism really makes him douchey sometimes — but when the men’s grievances are aired, it’s clear Eli is not interested in staying on as Peter’s chief of staff at the state level. “You just lost your greatest asset — and made your worst enemy,” Eli rages, before going home to sit in his gorgeously appointed apartment, drink beer and watch zombie movies. Alicia is appalled when she learns what Peter has done — but her husband has a point that she can’t live her life totally separate from his political aspirations, then swoop in and pretend she has a voice (or even the right to scold him).

It looks like Eli has painted himself into a corner — and out of the Good Wife universe — when Alicia stops by his place to check how he’s doing, and he replies with an ice-cold, “I was never your friend — I was just a political operative. I was the help. And I need to be done.” But after a badly needed haircut and a little cooling-off period, the most comically dangerous player on CBS’ Sunday night lineup pitches himself as chief of staff for Alicia — selling her on the idea that he can protect her from being “rehabilitated” in the media as nothing more than a wife. She’s totally down with the idea, and in fact delights in telling Ruth that she’s hiring Eli and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

When Ruth seethes that the campaign — not Alicia — is paying for the position, Alicia reminds Peter’s new right hand that as a first lady, she’s nothing more than a volunteer… with the implication that she can pull her support at any time. Eli, not one to keep his feelings to himself, pays Ruth one more visit just so she knows exactly what time it is (vengeance o’clock): “I plan to use Alicia’s rehabilitation campaign to undercut you and eventually destroy you. [Laughs] I may even destroy Peter in the process. I’m not quite sure about that yet.” And the plot thickens!

106805_D-0773bCASE OF THE WEEK Alicia gets a walk-in client off her web site — a woman from a working-class family whose mother happened to own one item of value: An $8 million Chagall painting. It’s a lightweight court proceeding — with Jane Curtin presiding as judge over a series of increasingly absurd-sounding expert witnesses — but Lucca scores the final TKO punch when Diane and David Lee’s client teams up with the housekeeper to try to grab the prize — and Lucca points out that a caregiver for an invalid can’t inherit more than $20,000. Yep, a 50-50 split is the final outcome — justice prevails for once, even if the reputation of Post-Its take a hit.

AN OFFER SHE CAN(‘T) REFUSE? |  Remember how Season 6 ended with Louis Canning asking Alicia to come work with him — and most of us were kinda like, “Ummmmmm… dude is better in small doses”? Well, he keeps up his pursuit throughout the hour. Alicia tells him he’s the devil — not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that — and adds that, “For the first time in my life, I don’t answer to anyone.” (Looking back over the last six years, methinks she exaggerates a tiny bit.) Canning, cunning as ever, turns to Milan Kundera for backup, pointing out that when any two people collide in public, there’s one who says “I’m sorry,” and one who says “Watch it.” He wants her to be the latter. Oh, and it turns out he’s the one who hooked Alicia up with the probate case — and she doesn’t object to the idea of him keeping that big-money business rolling into her one-woman firm. Is she really going to dance with the devil in the end? Time will tell.

OUT WITH THE OLD | Cary starts hanging with the young attorneys at Lockhart-Agos — the gray-haired woman with the tissues up her sleeves and the napping Howard Lyman are just 1-800-t00-much — and learns that folks are beginning to see their firm as less than hip, and possibly downright stodgy. Cary gets one dapper young (male) lawyer a meeting in front of the partners to present a new computerized operating system, and while Diane & Co. are all “Hated it!” the kid thinks he and Mr. Agos are having a moment that’s not entirely platonic. Cary assures him he misunderstood — but there’s an electricity in the air when it happens, and I wonder if the Kings made this a momentary amusement or are planting the seeds for something deeper.

What did you think of The Good Wife Season 7 premiere? Are you excited about the additions of Lucca and Ruth? 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. hayes says:

    I have no idea where this season is going, and I’m not sure I like that. I can tell one thing I don’t like though: another election storyline.

    • rowan77 says:

      That’s Peter’s thing. Except for the relatively few episodes that had him in prison – Peter runs for office, wins, then runs for higher office. Time to get used to it.

      Love what they’re doing with Eli. Peter didn’t think twice about going behind Eli’s back and dumping him for a bigger operative. That’s cold (but that’s politics) and I like Alicia having Eli at her back. I don’t care if he’s out to hurt Peter and I think Alicia won’t either if she finds out.

      How did Cary and Diane’s firm get so “old” so quickly? Didn’t have all those young partners from when Alicia and Cary left Lockhart Gardner? Where did they all go?

      Two catty thoughts – 1) The wig for Alicia this season is awful. You can see where her real hair is pulled back on her forehead and it’s very unflattering. And 2) did anyone else wonder if the bar scene was green screen when it first started? Did you guys wonder if Lucca was really there?

    • Kim R says:

      I think what Louis said to Alicia is summing up this leg of her journey…she is going to go from the “Excuse me” person, to the “Watch it!” person. And we are going to get to watch it with Eli at her side. I. Can’t. Wait. :D

      • Jeri says:

        I hope Eli survives working with Alicia. He appears to be the only regular that is willing to risk it. Hope JM realizes she can’t get rid of all the regulars. She’s looking pretty lonely now.

  2. phil says:

    I tried to watch it for a few minutes, but I just can’t stand to watch the “leading lady” that has caused too much drama. Hopefully this will be the last season.

    • vanvon says:

      Give me a break – how do you know that the “leading lady” is responsible for all the “drama” – that hasn’t been confirmed. If that’s how you judge a television series, then I guess you mustn’t watch too many TV shows, movies, listen to music or read books if you base everything…

    • abz says:

      Ugh, you truly know NOTHING about what happened behind the scenes, just like I don’t either nor any other regular viewer. It’s still just rumors and gossip. Even if it’s true, we’ll never know.
      No, it shouldn’t be the last season. If you don’t like it, move on. I’ll still enjoy it. This show is still better than a lot of television out there and this episode was pretty great. Hate JM all you want, but she’s still a great actress. There would be no show without her.

    • Tammy says:

      If you believe all the gossip.. then you would have to stop watching half the shows on television. That gossip story is the only thing to ever come out of Good Wife and all involve deny it, including the two actresses. So who are you going to believe? I think you are just looking for an excuse not to watch the show. That’s fine. Don’t watch.

  3. schu says:

    I thought it was a great episode, writing and acting-wise, but it took too long to even bring in Cary and Diane into the fold, I hope they don’t feel misplaced/sidelined all season. Sad without Kalinda as well. And another election-heavy season would be a disappointment after last years weakest effort of the show, IMO.

  4. Kay says:

    Who was it that tonight’s show was dedicated to?

  5. Maxsmom says:

    I loved Chris Noth’s Mike Logan, didn’t like Mr. Big, and we’re back with Peter Florrick. I hated Will with the power of 1000 suns and ship the reconciliation of Peter and Alicia, now that I’ve had my fangurl moment:

    I enjoyed the episode, most especially Grace, the assistant.

  6. JPMD says:

    First time I’ve ever rated a returning show’s 1st episode as awesome : so many ways this ‘could’ be the best season the series has ever had . . . congratulations to the writers – you’ve hit one out of the park : keep it up .

  7. Katrinka says:

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who paused & scrutinized Alica & Lucca’s bar scene to be certain they were actually in the shot together.

  8. So what happened to all the partners that left with Carry to form Florrick Agos? They were all Carry’s age.

  9. Morisot says:

    That was a fast hour!

  10. Athena says:

    The Good Wife finally got their groove back!!! It was a ship lost at sea since Josh left the show. But tonight, the premiere had the energy and pace which we, the fans since day one, are accustomed to. As to those who don’t like the elections storyline. Goodness, Peter has to go all the way people…there will be few elections before this baby is put to bed. Can’t wait until next week and one special character being introduced…

  11. Jake says:

    I’m tired of Alicia starting over for the millionTh time and once again at odds with Diane and Cary? Come on, can’t they be on the same side for a little while?

  12. bridyyc says:

    It does feel like the show is starting over. The only part that makes me quiver with anticipation is the Eli/Ruth stuff to come. This could be epic! Eli hasn’t had a good foe since Becca.

    Diane and Cary being bit players, clearly with no hint of a story line for either, does not bode well.

  13. Daryl says:

    Electricity? lol. That nancyboy is lucky Cary didn’t fire him.

  14. lkh says:

    I remember Margo Martindale in Justified–amazing. She can really play bad… And, I do like the bond attorney too.

  15. Sharon says:

    Best thing about the show… Eli and Ruth.

  16. jane thibideau says:

    he cant be gay… nope — will stop watching the show!
    I actually want her to join canning – I think she will grow
    but I think they will make her and Quinn together which is a mistake bec bond court isnt going anywhere (few more eps are fine)

    • eddardphive says:

      aliciaand the new girl that’sa friendship thatcould work… she is no kalinda, but Alicia needs a friends like a real one… plus grace as the assistant i loved it…

      • jane thibideau says:

        I think they did the Peter-Kalinda thing bec Julianne didnt want to share space with someone who outshone her,
        I like that Quinn comes with a strong personality but lets see how long julianna makes her last….

  17. niloofar says:

    I love Alan Cumming.

  18. LDS says:

    I really liked the episode. And though I agree that I could do without another election story, Eli and Ruth will be a hoot to watch. Oh and btw, Michael. the recap says Eli made one last visit to Ruth, but it was Ruth who went to see Eli, just to be accurate.

    I thought Grace was fun for a change, though shouldn’t she have been in school? Did I miss something?

  19. cuius says:

    The timing of Archie Panjabi’s appearance in B99 was inspired

  20. Sally McLinn says:

    I live in Cook County and I hope the bond court was fictional, because if it’s not – god help the justice system.

  21. LaLa says:

    Feels like a fresh, new reset buttons been hit. I like it.

  22. robandco says:

    The episode was very good, as usual (Kalicia drama aside).
    I liked the bond lawyer. Could it be that Alicia might make some actual friends this season?
    The Cary-young associate moment was very weird. Like where is this leading to? I don’t see Cary gay, but I wouldn’t mind him experimenting. But it would be out of character.
    Assistant Grace was so cool but is that like a summer internship? I am surprised Alicia is on board with that, but it is good for Grace.
    As mentioned by other posters, where the hell are all the former partners of the law firm of Cary and Alicia? Did Diane and Lee fired them all? Are we supposed to believed they have aged 30-40 years during the summer break?

  23. jennie says:

    The whole cbs Sunday night lineup was a supersized roomba infomercial. I still enjoyed the good wife, but I was pretty disappointed to have such extreme advertising embedded in it. Is this the inevitable result of fast forwarding the ads on my dvr?

  24. Tammy says:

    I would like to see Alicia hire Lucca to be part of her “firm.” I think that would be interesting. Not sure if going with Canning is the way or has Michael J Fox signed on as a series regular? Would rather see Alicia free lancing and assisting him in some cases but not at his firm. Maybe a case where they go up against the old firm etc.

    Side note, I love how they got Eli a haircut so he could stop wearing wigs. :) Now that he isn’t on Broadway at the same time, maybe he will get a big juicy story line. Did I read he is getting a love interest or something this season?

    Speaking of wigs, I always find myself staring at Alicia’s hair ever sense I saw her in an interview say she wore a wig for the character. It was because the straightening process would ruin her real hair so they just got really good wigs for her to wear. It probably cuts down her time in hair and makeup a little bit in the mornings too.

  25. Gerri says:

    Anything to get Cary more screen time. I don’t think they can pursue anything in that relationship, but I wouldn’t object to them becoming friends and each others wing men….
    Yes I too wondered where all people went from the other firm. I feel for Cary.

  26. Kim says:

    Please do bring in a gay storyline…it’s been done to death. Hated It!!!

  27. Hege says:

    A good episode. I love Margo Martindale and I can’t wait to see her character and Eli clash.

  28. bluefairy says:

    Why do you keep calling her Lucca (vs. Alicia, Ruth, Diane, etc.) ? My Italian is not great, but as far as I know Lucca is a male name, which made me assume it was her last name, and her first name is Quinn.

  29. eddardphive says:

    aliciaand the new girl that’sa friendship thatcould work… she is no kalinda, but Alicia needs a friends like a real one… plus grace as the assistant i loved it…

  30. Kosha, Slezak's Sister says:

    Michael – they were “tack-on” notes, not Post-its!!!

  31. HAP says:

    I smell it in the wind. A new law firm of Alicia, Lucca, and Cary!

  32. Kailani says:

    I did not see Cary initiating anything like a gay interest in the guy. (NTTAWWT.) All I saw was Cary feeling stuck with the old fuddie duddy’s, he offered to the young set “I’m here if you need me/shoot me your ideas/suggestions”, and that guy was the only one who bit. Period. The young guy misunderstood Cary’s intentions, was all.

  33. rafael_ says:

    not excited – except for Margo Martindale. But it is not enough. Will be watching The leftovers from now on…

  34. Pixel says:

    Cary Agos, who did spend last season trying to avoid prison, who was almost killed by Bishop, who did lost the woman who he has chased for 6 ys, will cope with it discovering his out of nowhere bisexuality (never hinted and without zero background) throught a storyline that writers has described as “comic”. Yeah, that sounds like a bad fanfic. If they want to trash completely the character, something that I suspect some “producers” would like to see, go there. Otherwise let’s give Matt Czuchry a serious storylne. The character was left in the purgatory since the end of the prison storyline and wasn’t even allowed to practice law in court since then.

  35. Blue Melon says:

    I’ll love this show no matter what direction it takes – apart from the Kalinda & her husband storyline, everything is always written in a way that is so well-balanced between the authentic and the dramatic. Having said that, though, I really wouldn’t mind some sexuality-is-fluid element in Cary’s storyline; even though and because he’s possibly the least fluid character in the show – if anyone can make it work, it’s the Kings. In a way, it’d be like a baton being passed on from Kalinda? :)

  36. Jane thibideau says:

    Have watched ep 1 again n again. Loved the scene with alicia n ruth in the car. I think this failure has made her strong in a diff way. She is finally saying what she wants. Bec she has some experience of life. Kudos to the writers. Also pls bring marissa back.

  37. Ugh says:

    Getting really tired of certain storylines that make no sense and come from no where. Matt Czuchry has always gotten the short end of the stick.