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'The Good Wife' recap: 'Dark Money'

Diane and Cary represent Colin Sweeney in court and Alicia competes for campaign money.

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Jeffery Neira/CBS

The Good Wife

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

They say good things come to those who wait. And while I would have preferred not to wait for a new installment of The Good Wife, I’m glad it’s returning with seven all-new episodes. And “Dark Money” was a light, fun one to return with. So let’s jump right in.

In the case of the week, Diane and Cary are representing alleged wife killer Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) in a defamation suit. Call It Murder, yet another television show within the Good Wife universe, happened to feature Bernard Loomis, a character very similar to Colin Sweeney. Bernard has the same job as Sweeney, met his wife in a similar fashion, and dresses the same. Oh, and the fictional Bernard definitely killed his wife, and he even looks like Colin Sweeney. (In a stroke of brilliance, The Good Wife cast Dylan Baker to play both characters. Robert King, the show’s co-creator, told me that it was a nod to the old movie Kind Hearts and Coronets, where Alec Guinness famously plays eight characters. Baker nails both roles.) So the real Mr. Sweeney sues the producer of the show, Greg Tierney (Bill English), for defamation.

In court, Tierney’s lawyer Selma Krause (Julie White) argues that all of these similarities are merely a coincidence. Suing for defamation is always a difficult task, but Cary and Diane seem to be up to it. Unfortunately, Sweeney doesn’t have the same confidence in them. He wants Alicia. Because of course he does. But Alicia doesn’t have time to deal with Colin Sweeney because she’s busy with her never-ending state’s attorney campaign. (Anyone else kind of over it? Just have an election already!) Alicia agrees to consult on the case, but only after Sweeney threatens to reveal to the press who funds her PAC. She won’t make an appearance in court, but she will consult.

Anyway, back in court the actor Jerome Morris (Dylan Baker as his look-alike) says he created an entirely original character based on other accused killers, but not Colin Sweeney. But then Diane and Cary present evidence that inclines Judge Parks (David Fonteno) to agree that they have proved likeness and that Call It Murder does, in fact, defame Colin Sweeney. But it’s too early in the episode for this case to be over! Selma Krause has something else up her sleeve: She’s ready to prove that Colin Sweeney did murder his wife. The defamation issue is moot. So, that’s not good. (Understatement.)

Diane present emails in court showing Det. Crowell’s (Andrew Dolan) emails in which he threatens to get Sweeney eventually, but the judge throws them out after Krause shows they were obtained illegally. (Read: Kalinda & Co. hacked the detective’s email account.) And that means, someone is leaking to the defense, because no one else knew about the emails. The leak just so happens to be Colin Sweeney’s current—and very-much alive—wife Renata (Laura Benanti, who, like Dylan Baker, plays her counterpart on the fake television show). If Colin Sweeney loses his seat on the board, Renata would still retain hers.

Their suspicions about Renata are confirmed when she testifies for Selma Krause in court. Eventually, Colin Sweeney gets put on the stand and questioned about his sexual proclivities, and Renata seems to enjoy it a little too much. Those two! Colin Sweeney and Renata make up—after Renata gets an additional $2 million holding deal on her board seat.

But Sweeney still doesn’t have the judge on his side, for obvious reasons. Diane and Cary renew their motion for a direct verdict, but Judge Parks denies it. Left without a strategy, they scramble to find a way to get a win for Colin Sweeney. Thankfully, Alicia notices something to save the day: In the Call It Murder episode, the Chumhum logo can be seen five different times. It’s a registered trademark, and shown multiple times with this disparaging Sweeney-esque murderer. It’s a case worth at least $50 million. So that makes all of this go away.

But here’s the issue I have with that: In the last episode, Neil Gross fired the firm! Meaning that Florrick/Agos/Lockhart wouldn’t have been the ones handling this trademark case anyway. Weird! I don’t know if it’s just a continuity error or what, but if not, hopefully they’ll explain this in a future episode. Maybe Chumhum isn’t gone for good. The case would have still been valid, no matter what firm was representing the case, so they could have easily passed on this information. But that’s not how they presented it to Krause. Maybe I’m just splitting hairs, though.

NEXT: Guy Redmayne is a dirty old man!