The Good Wife recap: The Merger Games
Your regular recapper, Breia Brissey, is on vacation, so allow me to join you in reliving another solid post-Will episode that had me wanting to reach through my TV to slap David Lee and throw Alicia’s glass of water in Peter’s face. It’s a testament to how good this show’s writing is that the happiest moments of the hour came immediately following Will’s funeral.
We began with Diane and Alicia having martinis and critiquing the service that we, thankfully, did not have to watch. (Just seeing the image of Josh Charles included in the show’s Twitter header when I checked the page to see if this episode would be delayed made me sad.) “If I die before you, please don’t let them read ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ at my funeral,” Alicia said. “Who knew it had so many verses” Diane cracked. It’s okay to laugh, viewers. Message received. They wondered who didn’t know the real Will: them or his family, who seemed to think he liked nighttime walks in the snow and to cook. “We were like the two mistresses at the Irish funeral…. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant that metaphorically,” Diane said. They ordered another round. Tell me I’m not the only one who got momentarily distracted when Diane didn’t finish her old martini before grabbing the new one. They toasted to Will. “A real man,” Diane said. What do you think she meant by that? Even Alicia seemed slightly perplexed.
They eventually moved to a booth where Alicia assured Diane that Diane wasn’t a sloppy drunk like her father had been, and they both explained how they disappointed their mothers: Diane isn’t a nurse with three kids, and Alicia’s a prude who needs to get laid more (funny, she knows). Diane got a call from David Lee that she promptly ignored. Alicia wanted to answer it and freak David out by making him think they were merging the firms. Well now, hold up: both firms are overextended. Getting Chumhum back as a client would solve a lot of Diane’s problems. Why not? Because their firms are fighting on a lot of fronts, including a current divorce case. Still, they agreed to keep talking and make peace. Step 1: They each showed up to the divorce settlement and made it go way more smoothly than Cary and David expected. Afterward, David told Diane not to make any big decisions when in mourning for at least a year. So naturally, she made the decision to move him into a smaller office. Cue Damian (Jason O’Mara) telling David that he’d overheard Diane and Alicia talking about merging at the bar after Will’s funeral.
When Alicia got back to her office, the father of Jeffrey Grant, Will’s shooter, was there saying he wanted to sue the State’s Attorney for wrongful prosecution. The State’s Attorney had come to him the day before and apologized, adding that heads would roll in his office. Now it was Alicia who was eavesdropping. She told Cary that she’d quit if he took the case. She tried to get a hold of Finn.
Alicia’s bad mood continued at a photo-op with Peter, who wasn’t satisfied with her just posing beside him. He wants his wife back. Not gonna happen, Peter.
Back at Florrick Agos, David Lee rejected the settlement Diane had struck and showed nanny cam footage of the wife sleeping with one of her husband’s students after the husband had run off with his nurse. David wanted the wife to take 20 cents on the dollar now. Alicia returned just in time to say they’d see him in court. Point to David.
NEXT: Kalinda warns Diane
Diane asked Kalinda to go to Will’s apartment and bring back his work things. His family had boxed them up, and she needs to figure out how many commitments they made in New York and LA. Before Kalinda left, she told Diane she’d overheard David and Damian talking about removing her as managing partner. Without Will, they feel she’s unprotected. All Diane could do was laugh at this point. Let them come for her. It will never end. She’s tired of fighting. Lucky for her, Kalinda wasn’t. I almost teared up when Kalinda said she’d see what she could do for Diane.
After we watched Alicia and David Lee duke it out in court, we returned to see Kalinda going through the box of Will’s work things at the office. She found a file labeled Mergers & Acquisitions (how helpful, Will!), but she continued looking through his belongings. She spotted a photo of Will… that turned out to be one of him with her. She took that for herself and left the adorable toddler pictures of a very blond Josh Charles.
Alicia went to see Finn to warn him that the State’s Attorney, Jimmy Castro, had an election coming up so he could be looking for a scapegoat. Finn said not to worry: He was the best man at Jimmy’s wedding, so he can trust him. Somehow that’s not the impression we got when Alicia ran into Jimmy on her way out. And speaking of snakes, after the judge ruled that the nanny cam footage was not admissible, David Lee suddenly petitioned for his client to get full custody due to child endangerment. The judge had to watch the footage then, and we saw the couple’s son walk in on the wife in bed with the other man. Diane made an appearance in court just as Alicia was leaving. Alicia breezed past Diane saying it’s always nice to see how Lockhart Gardner operates. Another point to David.
Kalinda showed up at Cary’s place, and we thought we were getting a hot sex scene as she backed him into his bedroom and down onto the floor. Instead, when she took off his belt, she thought of Jeffrey Grant and Will. (Cary does look a bit like Jeffrey when you think about it.) Kalinda left without explaining.
Back to court: Alicia cross-examined the husband and attempted to prove that he’ll suck as a full-time parent because he’s a materialist who believes in the illusion of free will. Alicia sounded so angry, I’m surprised the judge didn’t tell her to take it down a notch. Meanwhile, what Alicia had told Finn would happen did: His boss casually asked him details about the Jeffrey Grant case — when Finn, not “we,” dropped the professor as a suspect. He asked him to put together a timeline. Finn told his assistant to reach Alicia. Kalinda’s next stop was seducing her old friend Jenna. Considering Kalinda was still seeing Will-related visions, Jenna definitely had her work cut out for her. No wonder she was later exhausted enough to sleep through Kalinda searching her files.
NEXT: Alicia questions everything, decides one thing
In court, Alicia was clever and brought the husband’s leading non-materialist rival in to sit and watch his testimony. He couldn’t betray his beliefs on the stand that way. I’ll be honest: I’m not sure I’m smart enough to follow this scene. It came down to the man believing that his child is nothing more than a product of his atoms — so when someone dies, there’s nothing left of him or her. (Now Diane saw what Alicia was really angry about — Will is gone.) The man said that’s why he’ll cherish every moment with his son — hold him, love him, and teach him. But to what end, Alicia asked. Alicia’s panic attack outside the courthouse was interrupted by that young woman/performance artist Grace used to know. Alicia sat there on that bench and admitted she thinks she made a mistake becoming a lawyer. She wished she knew what else she wanted to do. Definitely not dance with that girl, however. Alicia went home and crawled under the covers.
No one could reach her. Not Diane, who wanted to know if they were still talking merger, and not Finn, who was back in his boss’s office. Finn handled it well himself: He’d found emails between Jimmy and him talking about the professor. Jimmy said he’d have to go back through his files. He said he wants to make the State’s Attorney’s office fair, and if he doesn’t get elected, that won’t happen. He might need Finn at some point (to throw himself under the bus).
Kalinda had worked her magic and told Damian that Diane had just offered the rival “import/export” family from his old neighborhood a discount to come onboard as a client, which meant he had about 18 hours until the family he’s tied with heard the news. Goodbye, Damian, you’re leaving the firm. Well done, Kalinda, you fought hard for Diane because it’s what Will would have wanted. But you did totally deserve that slap Jenna later gave you in public.
Alicia was still sick in bed and watching that fake AMC show, which was now talking about black hats and white hats (and striped hats). The two Carys took the meeting at Lockhart Gardner, and Diane accepted their settlement offer — which sounded pretty much like where we’d started. After getting the nod from Kalinda that Damian was gone, Diane informed David that he’d lost a vote. David told her she’d hurt herself trying to be Will. “Well then, fasten your seat belts. We’re heading for a lot of hurt.” I love badass Diane, but she does need another powerful ally. Kalinda can’t vote.
Finn came to see Alicia at her home, and she managed to sit up in bed. She was supposed to have been at his meeting, but he wasn’t upset about that. He just wanted to know if he needed to hire another lawyer. He figured out that Will really mattered to her. With him, she could admit it. He told her that he and his wife had lost a child in a miscarriage and he knows you just can’t shake this off. He said if there was anything he could do to let him know, and she knew he actually meant it. Of course, I’m a horrible person who’s wondering if Finn is still married or divorced. I can’t recall if it was mentioned in a previous episode. His left hand was bandaged so I couldn’t do a ring check. In summary, I’m a fan of this character and am glad he’ll be sticking around.
Finn ran into Peter on his way out of Alicia’s bedroom. Peter liked him well enough, but you had to think Finn was the one on Peter’s mind when Peter eventually asked Alicia if she wanted to sleep with someone else. Alicia had missed the founders dinner and Peter was not having it. She said she was handling Will’s death the best she could. “Oh, well, if this is your best, then I think we need to talk,” Peter said. I gasped. Throw the glass of water in his smug face. She really should have. He told her she’d lost a friend — not a child, not her husband. “I lost my husband a long time ago,” she said. And here’s where it started. He told her she couldn’t go back there. She said it’s not going back if she’s still living it every day. “How many times do I have to tell you, when I cheated, it didn’t mean anything?” he yelled. Why do men believe that makes a difference? “Well then, that was a waste. Because when I cheated, it did,” Alicia shouted back. Now I was cheering, internally — I didn’t want to miss a second of this dialogue. Peter said he couldn’t compete with a dead man, but she was fooling herself if she thought her life would have been better with Will, who may or may not have cared for her. She called Peter a bastard, and he called her a self bitch. But still, they’re all that each other has, Peter said.
“No, not anymore,” Alicia responded. She wasn’t going to divorce him — they’re too valuable professionally to each other — but they’re going to stop seeing each other unless they have to. If he wants her to attend an event, he should call her secretary and have it put on her calendar. He is free to see and sleep with whomever he wants, as long as she and the kids don’t know about it. (So presumably they haven’t been overhearing this loud fight in the kitchen?)
“Is this because you want to sleep with someone else?” Peter asked. What an a–hole. Does he honestly believe she’s thinking about being with someone else when she’s grieving Will? She told him to get out of her house and stormed back into her room before he even had a chance to move.
Meanwhile, David Lee phoned Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) to ask him what he thought about merging. (Can we get Patti Nyholm on the show now that Raising Hope is off the air and Martha Plimpton might be available?)
Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you excited for the return of Louis Canning? Are you both excited and a little disappointed that Alicia is essentially going back to her post-scandal arrangement with Peter? It makes sense: Her firm is struggling, she needs to capitalize on her relationship with the governor to get clients. But how does she think they’ll keep their open marriage a secret from the press? Is this her making up her own random morality? Go!
Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.