The Good Wife has always been great at tackling relevant (and controversial) topics, simply because of its sophisticated storytelling and its ability to remain true to its characters. The show never gets too political. And this week, by presenting its characters’ varying viewpoints, it manages to tackle physician-assisted suicide.
We kick off in a courtroom, where Louis Canning is defending the doctors responsible for giving drugs to a young woman named Alexa. Although Alexa lived in Illinois, she traveled to Oregon to visit said doctors, where physician-assisted suicide is allowed. Suffering from a brain tumor, Alexa asked for the doctors’ help, for which they provided the necessary prescription. Now, her parents are suing the doctors stating that they didn’t properly inform their daughter about a new study by Duke University, which was saving the lives of people with her same brain tumor.
And things only get more complicated when Irving Carver — played by the magnetic Peter Gallagher — asks Diane to step in on the prosecution side of things. See, Mr. Dipple, a.k.a. the reason Alicia is no longer at the firm, requested that Diane take over the case, despite the fact that she, personally, is pro physician-assisted suicide. So essentially, she’d be playing devil’s advocate. But as Irving puts it, “Who knows the advocate’s case better than the devil?”
Meanwhile, at bond court, Alicia is introduced to perps-by-the-pound, which is a competition that is exactly what it sounds like: The lawyers add up the weights of all of their clients to see who wins. And whoever has the most pounds gets first choice of which days to work.
Not surprisingly, Alicia cares less about games and more about justice. When she overhears a young woman being told to plea guilty despite the fact that she swears on her innocence, she steps in. Minutes later, she’s accidentally stolen a client from a fellow attorney, and more than that, when her client refuses to plead guilty, the judge takes away the rest of her cases. Welcome to bond court, where they care more about being “speedy” than they do about being “fair.”
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After Diane successfully gets her physician-assisted suicide case moved to Illinois, where it’s still illegal, Irving asks that Diane and Cary talk to Alicia. Showing up at Alicia’s apartment — oh how I’ve missed Cary-and-Alicia time — Cary asks Alicia to lobby Peter on the physician-assisted suicide act. If she can persuade him to veto it, it’s her ticket back to the firm, especially considering that Dipple was the reason she had to go in the first place. Alicia, though, claims she doesn’t want to ask Peter for something because he’ll only want something in return. (Isn’t marriage fun?)
Focusing back on the case at hand, which involves a young black woman who’s accused of shoplifting a sweater she says she was trying to return, Alicia calls in Jason Crouse, who might be the best leaner since McDreamy. At the meeting, Maya, the client, claims the store makes it very difficult for people of color to shop there. With that in mind, Jason heads to the store, where he indeed watches another black woman get arrested for doing nothing. He then presents Alicia with a racial profiling case…which leads to her stealing another client at bond court. (Let’s just say they’re not going to throw her a party anytime soon.)
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