Guest star alert! With “Message Discipline,” David Hyde Pierce joins the list of great actors who play characters I hate on The Good Wife. Unfortunately, this episode fell a little flat. They can’t all be winners, but this episode did feel like it was laying the groundwork to propel some of the recurring story lines later on, rather than really adding all that much for the week. But given the show’s track record, I tend to place my faith in the writers and just let them do their thing.
At the forefront of Alicia’s campaign is a potential new candidate entering the race. Peter goes on a CBS news show with Frank Prady (David Hyde Pierce), and while Eli is waiting in the wings, he notices the presence of Warren Plep (Ken Land). Eli finds Plep’s presence suspicious, since Plep is a D.C. petition bundler. Eli’s immediately concerned that Frank Prady might be considering a state’s attorney run. Eli alerts Johnny, and they formulate a game plan for their latest problem. Yes, they are past the filing deadline. But if Prady gathers 50,000 signatures, he can run by petition. And since Prady’s a brand—a bigger one than Alicia’s—if he runs, he’ll most definitely win. So Johnny and Eli send Alicia to ask for Prady’s endorsement to feel him out. If he agrees to endorse her, he’s definitely not running. But if he doesn’t, obviously they have bigger fish to fry.
Alicia is typically the epitome of calm and collected. In uncomfortable situations, you can usually count on her to keep it together. That’s why it was so funny to see how awkward she was in her meeting with Prady. He thinks she’s there to pitch herself for an interview, but she’s really there to ask for his endorsement. So after a super awkward conversation, Alicia leaves with cookies and an interview spot, but no endorsement. Prady wants to talk more during that later interview, so Johnny begins to prep Alicia for the hardball questions.
Alicia’s awkward meeting with Frank Prady was just a precursor to her awkward interview with him. Alicia said it best, post-interview: “It was like watching a ship go down, and I couldn’t do anything about it. It was like my mouth was on automatic pilot.” She was fully prepared for hardball questions, but got softballs instead; he “Katie Couric-ed her” if you will. It totally threw her off her game. To make matters worse, they determine that Prady is running. So leave it to Eli and Johnny to scare him into not running.
So with that in mind, Eli and Johnny dig up an old Law Review article written by Prady titled “Sovereignty for Me, Not for Thee. It’s about how Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate the Geneva Convention. But Alicia won’t let them leak it. She’s not ready to go that route yet. In the end it doesn’t matter because Castro uses the paper instead, and now Prady’s under fire for his remarks. Prady goes to see Alicia and informs her that he can’t endorse her because he is, in fact, running. He’s already resigned from his job at CBS. He could have called her to tell her this, which pisses Alicia off. Alicia calls him a hypocrite. And he claims that he wasn’t going to run until her team leaked the paper to Castro’s team. Unlikely story. They don’t end on good terms. It looks like Prady will be the thorn in Alicia’s side for the time being.
NEXT: Cary’s case gets (more) complicated