The first character to comment (however inadvertently) about the hotness of The Good Wife‘s new investigator Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) turns out to be the last one you’d expect.
“I want him,” says Alicia’s teenage daughter/recently installed Girl Friday Grace, the minute her mother finishes interviewing the gruff, very flirty former attorney.
The kid is speaking in strictly professional terms (I think?) but it seems as though Grace has managed to steal the words right from our titular protagonist’s brain/heart/various other nerve endings. Indeed, the vibe between Alicia and Jason is almost immediately flirty, with top notes of mutual lust and undertones of him eyeing her like a recent convert to Atkins staring down a plate full of pasta carbonara. (Snap poll here: Is it possible that Alicia and Jason could be on a path to developing chemistry as hot as/even hotter than Alicia and Will? Or is this merely blasphemous/wishful thinking on the part of a recapper who’s a sucker for hangdog eyes and four days’ worth of stubble?)
Sure, dude is looking for work — but his willingness to freelance for Alicia at less than half of what Lockhart-Agos is paying tells us he might have ulterior motives. Similarly, Alicia’s kneejerk decision to initially hire Kalinda 2.0 (ugh — I actually just slapped myself for typing that) despite her gut instinct to choose Jason tells us he might be setting off her alarm bells. After all, when you tell your governor husband to go ahead and pursue the Vice Presidency, there’s an implied promise that you’re not going to embark on any kind of big, extramarital affair — no matter how much your union has disintegrated into one of political convenience.
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“Are we negotiating?” “That depends.” Uh-oh.
As for the other major plot developments from “Innocents,” let’s recap:
CASE OF THE WEEK | Oh, God, remember when Alicia was running for office and we didn’t get to see her legal
mind at work? Dark days, people! Anyhow, Alicia picks up a client in bond court who freely admits he vandalized a piece of art in a museum — one in a series of nude photos his mother (Amy Irving) took of him at age eight. There’s a lot of fascinating back and forth about the limits of parental consent, the boundaries of art, and the way everything seems dirtier when you cover select portions of it with a paper bag. But Artist Mom kinda loses me when we learn her son became an unwitting lust object in the pedophile community as a side effect of her work — and yet she still pressed on with promoting it for another decade or so.
The case gives Alicia another chance to work with Lucca — and it’s cool not just because it advances their friendship, but also because Lucca is maybe the only character on the show right now who’s not privileged or wealthy. She’s an outsider and she’s hungry — and you can see her mind racing for big ideas (any ideas) that might catapult her from $135-per-case clientele to big-money work. That fresh perspective isn’t lost on Alicia, and her admiration for Lucca’s quickness makes me hopeful Florrick-Quinn could morph into a beautiful legal shingle. (It’s a damn lot more appealing than Canning-Florrick, no?)
Ultimately, while Alicia and Lucca’s client stops short of pressing for child-pornography charges or pushing for past-due modeling wages, he gets a win when his mother finally hears his concerns and squeezes his hand (which I’m pretty sure means she’s handing over the offending images to him once and for all). Alicia and Lucca can’t complain too much, despite the settlement, as they walk away with $15,000 apiece.
OUT WITH THE OLD? | Cary’s offer last week to listen to the concerns of Lockhart-Agos’ young associates brings them back to his office with complaints about nap-loving, bumbling Howard Lyman — and the unfairness of him getting 70% of billable hours as the partner on his cases despite his failure to even learn his clients’ names. Diane makes a good counterargument that like herself and Cary and David Lee (who all have the same 70-30 split despite not doing 70 percent of the case work), Howard brings name-brand prestige that the associates don’t possess.
Weirdly, though, Diane barely acknowledges Howard’s chronic verbal diarrhea and lack of professionalism — remember how she and Kalinda coddled him like an infant when they used him to wrestle back office space from Canning and Lee?
Still, as the feud escalates it gets uglier and more hilarious, resulting in Howard storming into one of Diane’s powerful-women-in-powerful-jackets lunches with a tone-deaf praise of how great abortions are and a confusion between Emily’s List and Emily’s Word. (Turns out Cary got him to crash the meeting by suggesting he’d been somehow sidelined from it.) Before it’s all said and done, Howard is making “it’s him or me!” ultimatums, and the only one happy is David Lee: “Did he just give us the easiest ultimatum in history?!”
Side note: Remember last week’s fleeting but very specific “Are Robert and Michelle King setting up an out-of-left-field ‘Is Cary going to become bi-curious?’ arc?” Well, the young associate who grabbed Cary’s hand apologizes again for the overture — and then adds a head-scratcher that he’s not actually gay. I’m not really sure where this is all headed, but the Kings rarely introduce any thread — small or large — that doesn’t eventually weave into the show’s larger fabric. For now, color me befuddled, curious and maybe a little titillated.
CLASSIC HORROR | Is there anything more fun than Eli Gold, grinning smugly in triumph? This week, Peter’s recently ousted campaign manager has multiple reasons to get that malicious twinkle in his eye.
Despite Peter and Ruth’s protests, he openly manipulates Alicia into doubling down on her insistence that he be her chief of staff as Peter pursues a spot on Hillary Clinton’s ticket. Once in place, he gets her an audience with rat bastard DNC chair Frank Landau — and gets Alicia to apologize with the promise that if she “swallows her pride now,” in four months’ time she’ll be kicking in his teeth. (Ooooh…what the heck does Mr. Gold have planned?!?! Juicy!) By the end of the hour, Eli’s assistant Nora is spilling to him Ruth’s plot to have Nora be her mole on Eli’s activities, Eli is freaking Ruth out by asking if she’s seen the horror film It Follows, and Peter is insisting Ruth call Eli and congratulate him on a job well done — seeing how Alicia now has a spot on the Cook County election board. (Nothing proves your innocence, after all, like a seat on the board that found you guilty.) There’s just one little catch in all this…
DOCTORED “NO” | Landau insists that Eli leave the room for a moment, then says the seat is hers — as long as she promises to vote “No” on the first decision that comes before her. Raising the “Wait, what is she getting into?” stakes is that he won’t even tell her what the decision might involve. And since, as our deeply cynici-zed protagonist tells her hubby earlier in the hour, “Who isn’t being used?,” Alicia apparently agrees to the terms. (We don’t hear her say it, so maaaaaaybe Alicia negotiates something different, something less terrifying, but she’s back at Eli’s side awfully quickly for that to be the case.)
OK, your turn. What did you think of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Good Wife debut? Do you want an Alicia-Jason affair? And did Mrs. Florrick make a mistake agreeing to that ‘No’ vote? Sound off below!