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The Good Wife recap: 'Affairs of State'

Eli’s ex gets caught up in Middle Eastern politics while Alicia defends an international student in “Affairs of State”

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The Good Wife
Gabe Palacio/CBS

The Good Wife

TV Show
run date:
43 minutes
Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth
Current Status:
Off Air

Lately, The Good Wife has gotten really fond of playing Gotcha!

So many episodes this season have taken great pains to point out our biases, just to lead to a big reversal in the end. There was the Muslim kid who was accused of committing a hate crime, only to discover that his non-religious roommate killed the victim for reasons that had nothing to do with faith. And you’ll also remember the white burglary suspect and the black witness who (surprise!) turned out to be a white witness and a black burglar.

Well, this week, everyone ends up being something we didn’t expect. Alicia’s new assistant Caitlin, proves that she’s smarter than her tramp-boarding, C-student rep might suggest. Eli might seem like a terrible husband, but he didn’t cheat on his ex-wife—she cheated on him, with Osama bin Laden’s “nice” second cousin, no less. (“The thought of my semen mixed with Bin Laden’s…” sighs Eli. Yes, Mr. Gold, the terrorists have already won.) And Matan might seem like he’s spreading vicious rumors that Cary has “a thing for ethnic women,” but it turns out he’s right—and what’s more, that doesn’t offend Cary’s coworker Dana, who apparently has “a thing for making out with one particular white guy in the front seat of her car.” Whoa. Seatbelts off!

But the biggest surprise? Just when we thought that Chen Jin-Pyn, the nice, shy, hardworking Chinese student, was going to suffer for the rape and murder committed by his sleazy Dutch friend on a booze cruise, it turns out that Dick Anders (as the Dutch guy is not-so-subtlely called) was the one covering for Chen. Though a cocktail receipt placed Chen on the opposite side of the boat at the time of the crime, Cary realizes that Anders was the one who signed Chen’s name: Taiwanese kids sign their surname first. Wait, actually, Chen’s guilt isn’t the biggest surprise. Since when does Cary understand Taiwanese?

Anyway, as Lockhart Gardner looks into the case of the dead girl on the boat, it’s clear that Alicia’s not really the person we thought she was, either. She’s no longer the new girl at Lockhart Gardner. That role belongs to Caitlin, who (unlike Alicia) is young enough to know about AfterDeathSpace.com and to understand the rules of the stoplight party played by the dead girl, who switched from a red cup (meaning she’s taken) to a green cup (meaning she’s “open”) during the night. Caitlin’s smart discovery leads Kalinda to the dead girl’s newly dumped boyfriend, who’s got a cell phone message that suggests Chen’s advances toward her were unwanted.

After last week’s focus on Alicia’s complicated relationship with other women, it’s interesting to see how she relates to Caitlin. Alicia’s still a little competitive with Caitlin, telling her not to disturb Will or Diane, but she relates to her slightly better than she relates to her own daughter, who she doesn’t really understand at all. When Cary confronts Anders, Chen attempts to flee, and it’s Caitlin who urges Alicia to do the right thing and tell Cary. Alicia’s not quite new to this anymore, and she’s not quite so innocent anymore, either. As she tells Caitlin, “Sometimes the guilty ones look like the innocent ones.” And no one knows that better than Saint Alicia.

Now that Caitlin’s flirting like crazy with Will, she might be trying to take over for Alicia in other ways, too. Who knows how long Alicia will remain her boss’s favorite? Right now, she’s so uncommitted to their relationship, she’s not even allowing him to hang out with her kids, though she does seem amused that Will and Zach ran into one another in her office, and Zach used the opportunity to blackmail her for a car. Will’s embarrassing, dad-like banter with Zach was kind of endearing. (“Well, keep on keepin’ on!” Who does he think he is, Curtis Mayfield?) When will Alicia be willing to trade that proverbial green cup for a red one?

NEXT: “She’s had relationships…but not slut level?”