The Good Wife Recap: Heavy Taxation for Offering Representation

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: This week’s installment of The Good Wife ends with the prospect of Alicia Florrick taking on the world with a new law partner at her side.

But unlike the offers respectively made by Cary Agos and Louis Canning in the Season 4 and 6 finales, this time around it’s Alicia who’s doing the wooing — and bond-court scrapper Lucca Quinn is the one that she wants. Heck, these ladies are already partners in martini-slugging after a hard day in front of the world’s least sympathetic judge. If they put their legal brains together to pursue more complicated (aka big-money) cases, could a big-screen buddy-attorney dramedy be far behind?

OK, OK, I’m getting ahead of myself. Sunday’s episode (the appropriately titled “Taxed”) cuts off before Lucca has a chance to respond to Alicia’s hypothetical offer. But if they combine forces — and if Cary hops aboard their train before the holidays (after losing a power struggle with He Who Naps in Boxer Shorts — you’ll hear no complaints from me.

Anyhow, let’s recap the action from a fairly self-contained installment that nevertheless ups the tension levels between Eli and Ruth, ups the sexual tension between Alicia and Jason and also makes us wonder if Mr. Gold has any agenda other than revenge on his mind.

WELCOME BACK, DIANE! | If I had to weigh in on the loudest complaint I’ve heard about The Good Wife’s resurgent seventh season, it’s been the lack of screen time for Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart. Thankfully, “Taxed” finds her righteous fashionista in the most fabulous jacket of her Good Wife existence (that navy blue, orange, beige and white striped killer — offset with a triple strand of pearls) and with a meaty case to argue against none other than Canning (whose sympathy-courting antics she disarms with her standard-operating professional chill). Unfortunately for Diane, she’s arguing a suit on behalf of the plaintiffs in a wrongful death case — the parents of a young cancer patient who committed suicide with the help of two Oregon physicians. Diane doesn’t have a lot of choice in the matter — the case is one of billionaire client Reese Dipple’s pet causes — but that doesn’t mean she can’t find ways to get passionate. Diane pointing out that the Oregon doctors’ failure to bring to her attention a potentially life-saving Duke University study isn’t an exercise in false hope — but rather, a decision to put the power fully in the patient’s hand — rings truer than any opposing argument. Yet while Canning seemingly scores a win by unearthing the fact that the patient in question learned of the study in a chatroom is a direct hit against La Lockhart, here’s hoping next week gives her a chance to point out that the word of one’s physician is always always always greater than an opinion found on the Internets.

ALICIA MAKES SOME (MORE) ENEMIES | Alicia overhears one of her fellow Bond Court attorneys advise a woman accused of shoplifting to take a plea — despite her zealous insistence that she’s not guilty. While Alicia can’t be accused of banging against the plexiglass partition and screaming — “Hire me if you want to live!” — she gets the woman’s attention (and eventually earns Judge Schakowsky’s disdain) by taking the case and then refusing a plea of six months probation (that’ll be promptly sealed upon completion). Schakowsky goes so far as to take away all of Alicia’s other pending Bond Court cases — calling it “taxation” — and it’s actually kind of scary how he prioritizes speed over justice. Along the way, Alicia (with sex-on-a-stick’s new investigator Jason’s help) uncovers a pattern of the department store targeting African-American shoppers with false shoplifting claims — the better to deter them from ever coming into their store in the first place. Alas, though, Jason’s final assist uncovers the fact that the mother of Alicia’s client shoplifted the $899 sweater that the client got busted returning. And thus, the client accepts the plea — because her pride isn’t worth seeing her own mom run through the system and possibly facing time in the clink.

BUT SHE ALSO MAKES SOME FRIENDS | While Lucca is initially dubious about Alicia stealing a client away from colleague Bernie — and a little “girl, please” about Alicia’s reluctance to play the bond-court game of Perps By the Pound (the winner is the one with the highest total body weight of cleared clients for the week), she begrudgingly sees the worst charge she can slap on Alicia is that she spends too much time on her cases (making her an awful fit for Bond Court) and that she cares too much. Alicia doesn’t take offense when Lucca blurts out her thoughts over drinks, and instead asks if Lucca would like to be her new partner. And maybe it’s the way Lucca is written — or maybe Cush Jumbo is just a majorly charismatic presence — but I’m more excited about the possibility than I thought I’d be at this early point in Season 7.

Jason, meanwhile, continues his open flirtation with Alicia after she grills him about the new knowledge that he was disbarred as an attorney for punching a judge in the face.

Alicia: Do I need to worry about you?
Jason: Yes.
Alicia: Seriously, now.
Jason: Why do you think you got me so cheap?

Ummmm… Mrs. Florrick — I don’t think the trouble he’s talking about involves his reliability as a legal investigator, if I’m not being too subtle!

THIS ROUND GOES TO RUTH | Meanwhile, Eli overhears Cary lobbying Alicia to lobby Peter to kill a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide — to pave her way back to Lockhart-Agos with roses. She declines — I mean, maybe she’s not working for Chum-Hum/Dipple-type clients, but she also doesn’t have to worry about David Lee garroting her if she lets her guard down — Eli seizes the knowledge as a chance to create mayhem for Peter (and more importantly, for Ruth). He gets Jackie and Grace and Veronica to weigh in with the Illinois governor — and Ruth fumbles the ball like [insert your own NFL metaphor here; football’s just something that winds up on my DVR when The Good Wife gets delayed]. Ultimately, though, when Peter tells Ruth to fix the situation — he doesn’t want to hear about campaign infighting‚ she turns her homespun charm up to 11 and wins over the women in Peter’s life (for now). Am I the only one, though, who is surprised Margo Martindale’s national operative isn’t a little more slick than she’s come off thus far? Her win over Eli this week seems too fleeting — and her knowledge that she was under attack too late in the game — for me to think of her as a credible threat to Eli’s future. My bigger question is this: Does Eli want his job back as Peter’s campaign manager, or is he more interested in burning his old boss’s reputation to the ground?

OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s Good Wife? Are you excited by a potential Alicia-Lucca partnership? And how will Eli come back from Ruth’s latest victory? Sound off below!

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. Beckers0505 says:

    This season is so much better than last season! I feel like it’s back on track!

  2. Peggy Jost says:

    Wasn’t Jackie suffering from some kind of dementia a few seasons ago? Didn’t Peter have to hire a companion for her? Now she’s sharp-minded.

  3. Scott says:

    so is Cary gay or not?

    • lechatnoir says:

      He’s on the Kinsey scale. Keep it moving. Nothing to see here.

      • robandco says:

        Thank you. People are obsessed with labels. It’s just episode 4, give the storyline some time. It may have been nothing (though coming from the Kings, it must be something).

    • Alex says:

      No. Why? Just because he knows how to dress he’s got to be gay? I really hope they don’t go that route with his character.

  4. abz says:

    I LOVE THIS SEASON SO FAR!! I’m among the few who did not really hate last season as much as the rest, but this season is just so good. I don’t want Alicia back at Lockhart/Agos. I’m enjoying this new adventure with her. Love her chemistry with JDM.
    One complaint. They need to get rid of Canning once and for all. The only thing I enjoy about him is because I get to see the queen of the eyeroll, Diane rolling her eyes at him constantly :)

  5. Bryce says:

    Finally an on-time Good Wife and my DirecTV was not letting CBS work today. Just like it did to ABC during TGIT. It’s been a rough week for me.

  6. Chester says:

    I did like Diane’s jacket. I kept thinking about how well it went with her pearls and admiring how well she pulled off the horizontal stripes.

  7. Saabgirlatx says:

    So I was a bit confused as to why bond court wouldn’t let the defendant plead not guilty and move her case along to criminal court…the jerkiness of the judge or lazy writing?? Surely not every single defendant always pleads out…

  8. carol says:

    Why was the shoplifting case tried in bond court? The name implies the court exists solely for entering pleas and setting bail amounts not for deciding the defendant’s guilt or innocence. It’s kind of unrealistic for the judge to be annoyed by a refusal to take a plea agreement. Also, the prosecutor in the court has been seen in other episodes and is higher up the food chain. I assume the prosecutor’s office, like all businesses, assigns “scut” work to junior people.

    • Denise says:

      This keeps bothering me so much. Why are they having hearings for things not related to bail there? Why is Matan the ASA? He seems way too senior for that kind out work. Was he demoted?

  9. kiks says:

    This season is fantastic and I once again look forward to the show every week. The ratings need to go up especially with the demo. Really enjoy Eli and Ruth’s rivalry (Margo M. is amazing!) And—Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Noth and Peter Gallagher all in one episode — love!

  10. Ginny Mayer says:

    Love Cush can’t wait for that law firm to get started and hopefully steal Cary. Agree Margo Martindale is too much Grandma in the Kitchen to believe as a national political genius and operator. HHHMMM and can I say I can only hope that Eli is about kicking Peter in the butt. His character for all he did wrong is riding the gravy train and deserves to come down a notch. My only wish is that the King’s weren’t so in love with the slow buildup. But this season is beating 6 but a mile and I hope it gets renewed and moved off Sunday night so aggravating when dam football screws up the schedule.

  11. Ella Jasper says:

    I’m not thrilled with the season. I do not like the bond court and how much time it gets. It was a little more entertaining this week. Yes, need more Cary and Diane time. Again, bond court getting way too much exposure, use your regular cast. And put some make up on Alicia, she is way too pale, maybe give her a new hair style.

    • The show follows Alicia /hello so of course bond court will be getting a lot of coverage since that is where she is. I love canning And hope to see more of MJF I was hoping he would have gotten Alicia on board with him to take down Lockhart/Agos I love Carey but he is on the wrong team this time. I totally hate this judge and his take down can not happen soon enough I wish Eli would hurry up and get rid of Ruth I just want to punch her in the and as for JDM omg he has always been my favorite lets hope they do not kill him off like in all his past shows. he is too yummy for words

  12. robandco says:

    I love to hate that bond court judge. His dynamic with Alicia is great. I hope they don’t stop his scenes right away. Lucca is so cute, but I thought Alicia wanted to fly solo. I hope we won’t see their firm merging with Lockhart Agos (& Lee?) in 10 episodes.
    I have so much respect for Diane’s professionalism. Accepting the case knowing her beliefs. It’s not the first time she does this and I love her for that.

  13. Mary says:

    Am I the only one who finds it a strange coincidence that they’ve hired another British actress of color (I love Cush Jumbo, btw) and have her swilling martinis at the bar with Alicia. Using camera frames that make it pretty clear that they’re both in the scene at the same time. Seems like a giant final FU to Archie Panjabi.

  14. schu says:

    I may have missed something, but what was the comment about Cary and Diane not being able to work with Alicia because of Reese Dipple? Confused there, but again, might have misinterpreted. Love the season so far though!

    • Doo Bee Doo says:

      After the election scandal around the end of last season, Cary and Diane wanted to cancel Alicia’s exit package and welcome her back, but Reese Dipple (who was in the room at the time) said he would pull his multi-million dollar business if they did, stating that Alicia was too much of a political and PR liability for his cases to be associated with her.

  15. Avid Viewer says:

    I’ve faithfully watched every episode of The Good Wife and consider myself a pretty dedicated fan. While I may not like a twist or turn of certain characters, I’m committed to the show for its entirety.

    That said, the show seems to have too many plot lines going in too many different directions with too many characters and actors getting pushed aside for no real purpose at all.

    This show is at its best when the story lines are focused around the core group – Alisha, Diane, Cary, and Eli with David Lee and Howard Lyman for good breaks in the drama. Peter is in just enough of the story line. I fully agree with those that are saying that Ruth doesn’t quite cut the part as a conniving political consultant. The actress that plays her is great and her talents are being wasted in this role. And finally, I’m not a fan of the new investigator. Alisha couldn’t even fully come to terms with her feelings for Finn, what’s supposed to make us believe she all of a sudden has feelings for this random investigator? It’s too contrived. End it there. Bring back Robin!

    It’s unfortunate that Kalinda is gone, but what’s done is done.

    I’d like to see the show get Alisha and her new associate back in the loop at the big firm and have our main characters fighting alongside one another for what’s right as opposed to duking it out against one another. Add drama from that level, be it personal or the case of the day storyline.

    As for Cary, the actor does a great job playing Cary and has earned a deeper story line. We’ve watched this character for years, so for him to explore his sexuality would have to be honest to the character that we know and I’m not so certain it would be, even as much people would like to see that happen. There’s a door open for that to happen by means of Cary’s awful relationship with his father, but are the writers willing to invest in what it takes for this to be authentic for Cary? Wherever that goes is fine with me as long as it adds respectable depth to Cary’s character.

    Michael J. Fox is a beloved actor and originally his role as Louis Canning was interesting. The way that he’s being used in that role right now is unfortunate and in my opinion diminishes Fox as an actor.

    Finally, where are Clark Hayden and Carey Zepps?

    • Pixel says:

      I think all this babbling about Cary going bi is distracting us from what are the real issues with Cary’s character right now: for istance the absolute mediocrity of what writers have done with him since the end of the prison arc; the fact that he hasn’t got one single court case for more than 10 episodes (so basically we can say that he’s not a lawyer anymore); the complete lack of consequences for the prison/Kalinda storyline (it seems that everything happened to him last year didn’t affect him at all) and the surgical and slow removal from the character of all the things which made him interesting, like grint, strenght and sassiness.
      And if you consider that writers weren’t even willing to explore how the prison/trail arc or Kalinda’s departure impacted the character I doubt they’ll spend time to explore in depth something which was never part of Cary’s storyline anyway. Like you said it should be done in the right way for the character. It means a lot of screentime devoted to it, slow development and exploration in depth of Cary’s feelings. Because nothing in the past made us believe he was anything but straight and nothing in the past made us believe that his awful relationship with his father had something to do with his sexuality. Indeed imo it was always clear for me that Cary blamed his father for not caring about him enough. Many people have the same issues with their fathers and it has nothing to do with their sexuality but mostly it’s about their fathers being total jerks. And it seems that was Cary’s case.

    • Doo Bee Doo says:

      Hear hear!

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