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'Good Wife' recap: 'Open Source'

Diane and Finn take on a case with the help of Kurt McVeigh, and Alicia has to attack Peter for her campaign.

Posted on

Jeff Neumann

The Good Wife

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

After an incredibly polarizing episode—people either loved or hated the deep dive into Alicia’s mind—The Good Wife came back with some of its traditional fare. Let’s dive in with the case of the week:

Boy, do we live in an exciting time. The colors of a dress can divide the Internet. Kim Kardashian has blonde hair. You can even make your own gun using a 3-D printer. And therein lies the issue. Carsten Pope (Adam Donshik) printed a gun on his 3-D printer using a design he uploaded from the Internet. He took his newly printed firearm to a gun range where it misfired. The stray bullet hit Eddie Summerfeldt (John Wernke) and paralyzed him.

Finn Polmar teamed up with Diane to represent Mr. Summerfeldt in a suit against Chris Fife (Billy Magnussen), the designer of the gun. So who better to call to the stand than Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole)? Kurt gives a favorable testimony for Diane & Co., explaining that Carsten Pope, the shooter, wouldn’t have had the experience necessary to know about a faulty gun. Kurt places the blame squarely on Mr. Fife. But the opposing lawyer, Nancy Crozier (another retuning guest star in the form of Mamie Gummer), won’t go down without a fight—even if Judge Abernathy (Denis O’Hare) is sympathetic to Diane’s side. The case starts off well enough. So much so that Diane and Kurt share some sexy time together in the parking garage. Get it, Diane! You rock your brooch and get you some!

Anyway, Chris Fife believes it’s his First Amendment right to post whatever designs he wants online. He claims the 3-D technology makes it impossible for dictators to control firearms, so he’s making “democracy possible worldwide. It is the modern version of the printing press.” Judge Abernathy isn’t buying it. But Diane and Finn know that sometimes the judge feels guilty about his bias and rules against it. They’ve got to pull out the big guns here. (Pun fully intended.)

They put Fife back on the stand to make him look a little crazy. I’s a pretty simple task. He thinks it’s okay for felons and children to have access to his design, and he was quoted saying he couldn’t wait for the first school shooting with a 3-D gun. Even with context, that’s not the kind of quote he can explain away. So Nancy Crozier offers a $200,000 settlement. Finn wants to take it, but Diane wants to make a play for more. They argue about what to do, since clearly her own politics are influencing her decision. Ultimately, they decide they need to ask Summerfeldt what he wants.

It’s too early in the episode for him to take the offer, so obviously they go back to court. Nancy Crozier calls a new ballistics expert, Rebecca Smercornish (Amy Rutberg), to the stand. Rebecca studied under Kurt McVeigh. Her testimony places the blame on the shooter, not Fife as the designer. Since the file is open source (episode title alert!), any person can tweak the design to his or her taste. That’s what happened in this case. Carsten Pope slightly tweaked the design by shortening the barrel. And even though it was a minimal tweak, it’s one that could have caused the gun to misfire.

Kurt goes back to the drawing board to figure out if there’s something he could have missed. And this time in testing, he realizes a stuttering printer might also be to blame for the misfiring gun. Diane amends the suit to include the printing company, but doesn’t let Fife off the hook. Kurt knows she no longer believes that Fife is legally negligent. Her politics are getting in the way again, and this issue is clearly a point of contention between the two.

NEXT: Don’t worry! Diane and Kurt make up.