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The Good Wife recap: 'Oppo Research'

Before deciding if she wants to move forward with her state’s attorney run, Alicia has to deal with the issues brought up in opposition research.

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The Good Wife
Patrick Harbron/CBS

The Good Wife

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

Note to self: Never run for political office. The skeletons in the closets of fictional characters are stressful enough! Case in point: Jaw-drop count for tonight’s episode = 2. So let’s get to it. Thanks to a run in with Gloria Steinem and a less-than-ideal James Castro conversation in last week’s episode, Alicia has finally agreed to seriously consider a run for state’s attorney. I think we knew from the get-go that she would at least entertain the idea of a campaign because that was the whole season 5 cliff-hanger. It would be a waste of a cliff-hanger to not have some sort of pay off. And then when season 6 returned, Alicia’s adamant protests against running just made it all the more inevitable that she’d change her tune. So am I surprised we’ve reached this point? Not at all. Am I happy about it? Ask again later, after we digest this week’s developments.

So there’s no case of the week as Alicia explores the possibilities of her campaign. The episode opens with Alicia pouring a glass of wine, and I choose to take that as a fully symbolic opening. The writers want you to drink while you watch this show! Savor it, folks. Anyway, Alicia is clearly nervous as she prepares food, cleans her apartment, and readies herself for what must be a dinner party of sorts, right? Wrong. It’s just Eli. The nerves are just taking over. We’ve lauded David Buckley for his brilliant scores for The Good Wife. It was a calculated decision to have this scene relatively silent. No music. Just nerves. (Am I the only one stressed? Don’t answer that.)

Also worth noting: An early highlight of this episode is the return of Darkness at Noon, the fake TV show within The Good Wife universe. And then, Talking at Noon, a talk show following Darkness. Guys, the writers are so clever. In what are seemingly throwaway scenes are mini-commentaries on the show itself. Exhibit A: “I was blown away. I mean, every assumption I had was turned upside down.” Exhibit B: “I just think she’s so repressed. She had to do something like this.” I love this kind of tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating humor. Somebody start the slow applause.

But I digress. Alicia and Eli begin to talk about the ins and outs of her potential campaign, the most pressing of which is that she has only four days to decide whether or not she wants to run. Enter Johnny (Steven Pasquale), Alicia’s potential campaign manager. Like Alicia, I assumed Eli would run her campaign, but he rightly points out he’s too busy being Peter’s chief of staff. Alicia’s not too thrilled about Mr. Elfman. Actually, the only person less excited than she is is probably Elfman himself. So they’re already off to a rocky start when they begin going through the skeletons in Alicia’s closet, a.k.a. the oppo research. Alicia takes a big sip of wine, and they dive right in.

Issue 1: Alicia’s clients at Florrick/Agos. Lemond Bishop, Colin Sweeney, and the Paisley Group are all troublesome. If she wants to run, she’s got to drop Bishop, and she’s got to do it before she makes her announcement.

Issue 2:  And this one’s a doozy. Zach got Nisa pregnant last year, and they had an abortion!! To say Alicia is shocked would be an understatement. Since they were minors, Nisa’s parents were notified, but Alicia and Peter were totally left in the dark.

Issue 3: Owen, Alicia’s brother, is having an affair with a married Palestinian man who also participates in barebacked gay porn. When Alicia attempts to talk to Owen about this, he doesn’t take it well. He storms off before they even finish the conversation. And before he finishes his wine!

Issue 4: Alicia’s mother, Veronica, spanked a 5-year-old boy in a department store, and there’s videotape evidence. Veronica agrees to apologize to the mother of the aforementioned child to avoid a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the mother of the hellion tries to make a play for $50,000. But the videotape also shows the child kicking an elderly woman. So if Myra (Donna Lynne Champlin) doesn’t want to pay that lady’s medical bills, she’s going to have to let it go. She (wisely) does.

Issue 5: Alicia’s relationship with Will. Thankfully (??) he’s dead.

Issue 6: Alicia’s relationship with Finn Polmar. There’s that photo of him leaving her apartment early in the morning. It’s innocent enough, but the rest of the world doesn’t know that.

Issue 7: Peter and Kalinda slept together. Alicia is the one who tells Eli about this, so he met with Kalinda to put out another potential fire. But Kalinda reassures Eli that this is a non-issue. And honestly, she’s right. Kalinda’s not going to cause any more drama in her already-strained relationship with Alicia.

Issue 8: Peter’s questionable relationship with his intern, Lauren (Katie Paxton). But before they tell Alicia about this and make it more of an issue, Peter agrees to let Eli fire her. (Have we ever seen Eli so happy? Debatable.) Anyway, all seems to go as planned until it appears that Peter’s having a closed-door meeting with Lauren the Intern after her firing. But upon further investigation, Eli discovers that it’s Lauren’s mom that Peter is having a meeting with. He admits that Ramona (Connie Nielsen) is an old family friend, and that he was just helping her by hiring Lauren. (More thoughts on this later…)

Issue 9: Alicia’s drinking problem. Okay, so this is clearly a non-issue, but the opposition (presumably Castro) is trying to make it one. She gets pulled over after having one glass of wine. She immediately offers to take a Breathalyzer, but the officer insists on a roadside test. She’s photographed, naturally, and it appears as though Saint Alicia is Drunk Alicia. But it’s clear that this is a set up.

NEXT: Conflicts of Interest