'Good Wife' recap: 'Open Source'
After an incredibly polarizing episode—people either loved or hated the deep dive into Alicia’s mind—The Good Wife came back with some of its traditional fare. Let’s dive in with the case of the week:
Boy, do we live in an exciting time. The colors of a dress can divide the Internet. Kim Kardashian has blonde hair. You can even make your own gun using a 3-D printer. And therein lies the issue. Carsten Pope (Adam Donshik) printed a gun on his 3-D printer using a design he uploaded from the Internet. He took his newly printed firearm to a gun range where it misfired. The stray bullet hit Eddie Summerfeldt (John Wernke) and paralyzed him.
Finn Polmar teamed up with Diane to represent Mr. Summerfeldt in a suit against Chris Fife (Billy Magnussen), the designer of the gun. So who better to call to the stand than Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole)? Kurt gives a favorable testimony for Diane & Co., explaining that Carsten Pope, the shooter, wouldn’t have had the experience necessary to know about a faulty gun. Kurt places the blame squarely on Mr. Fife. But the opposing lawyer, Nancy Crozier (another retuning guest star in the form of Mamie Gummer), won’t go down without a fight—even if Judge Abernathy (Denis O’Hare) is sympathetic to Diane’s side. The case starts off well enough. So much so that Diane and Kurt share some sexy time together in the parking garage. Get it, Diane! You rock your brooch and get you some!
Anyway, Chris Fife believes it’s his First Amendment right to post whatever designs he wants online. He claims the 3-D technology makes it impossible for dictators to control firearms, so he’s making “democracy possible worldwide. It is the modern version of the printing press.” Judge Abernathy isn’t buying it. But Diane and Finn know that sometimes the judge feels guilty about his bias and rules against it. They’ve got to pull out the big guns here. (Pun fully intended.)
They put Fife back on the stand to make him look a little crazy. I’s a pretty simple task. He thinks it’s okay for felons and children to have access to his design, and he was quoted saying he couldn’t wait for the first school shooting with a 3-D gun. Even with context, that’s not the kind of quote he can explain away. So Nancy Crozier offers a $200,000 settlement. Finn wants to take it, but Diane wants to make a play for more. They argue about what to do, since clearly her own politics are influencing her decision. Ultimately, they decide they need to ask Summerfeldt what he wants.
It’s too early in the episode for him to take the offer, so obviously they go back to court. Nancy Crozier calls a new ballistics expert, Rebecca Smercornish (Amy Rutberg), to the stand. Rebecca studied under Kurt McVeigh. Her testimony places the blame on the shooter, not Fife as the designer. Since the file is open source (episode title alert!), any person can tweak the design to his or her taste. That’s what happened in this case. Carsten Pope slightly tweaked the design by shortening the barrel. And even though it was a minimal tweak, it’s one that could have caused the gun to misfire.
Kurt goes back to the drawing board to figure out if there’s something he could have missed. And this time in testing, he realizes a stuttering printer might also be to blame for the misfiring gun. Diane amends the suit to include the printing company, but doesn’t let Fife off the hook. Kurt knows she no longer believes that Fife is legally negligent. Her politics are getting in the way again, and this issue is clearly a point of contention between the two.
NEXT: Don’t worry! Diane and Kurt make up.
It only gets more stressful after Diane subpoenas Kurt. I don’t like it when mom and dad fight, guys! Kurt is pretty upset. (Understatement.) So he recreates another scenario, and this time the printer isn’t responsible for the malfunction. So why did the gun fail? They have no idea. But at least Diane & Co. can drop the 3-D printer company from the suit.
Kalinda does some research, because Kalinda is someone who is still in this show apparently. I hate knowing that she’s on her way out of the shows—and she seems to be going quietly. She’s sadly underused. Anyway, she determines that printing the gun in a cold environment could cause the gun to fail. Chris Fife knows about the problems printing in cold temperatures can cause. He actually says, “buyer needs to beware” on the stand. And that pretty much solidifies a case win for Diane and Finn. They go to talk settlement with Nancy Crozier, and she offers a whopping $5 million. Summerfeldt will have to drop the suit and sign a nondisclosure form, of course. Why so much money? An interested party decides to underwrite Fife’s defense. (Who is the mysterious benefactor? Do you think it will come back later in the season?) After they settle the case, Diane and Kurt apologize to one another. So it’s happy endings all around.
Meanwhile, the never-ending state’s attorney’s race continues with Alicia winning the editorial board endorsement. Her interview garnered her a three-point bump in the polls, three days before the election. Also of note: We learned that Alicia did lie in her interview about Lemond Bishop. She denied any knowledge of his participation in her PAC or campaign. So it’s good to see her taking the high road.
Enter Frank Prady who decides to take the non-sarcastic high road. Alicia’s ahead in the polls, but he refuses to smear her per their earlier agreement. But Prady knows he has to do something, so he takes his campaign manager’s (Remy Auberjonois) advice and decides to go after Peter. (In Prady’s defense, Peter’s a pretty easy target.) Anyway, another problem on the horizon: Johnny (Steven Pasquale) plans on leaving in three days—the day of the election—for a new job in Sacramento.
Johnny and Josh (David Krumholtz) alert Alicia of the latest development and convince her that she, too, needs to speak out against Peter to match Prady’s move. Eli catches wind of this and, unsurprisingly, freaks out. He goes to Johnny and Josh to scare them straight. “You may not want Peter as a friend, but you certainly don’t want him as an enemy.” But Johnny holds firm. But Eli has another card to play. If Johnny doesn’t stop Alicia from speaking against Peter, Eli is going to badmouth him to the people in Sacramento. Apparently, Eli’s partially responsible for Johnny’s new job offer, and Eli intends to be responsible for Johnny losing said job if he doesn’t do what he wants.
The scare tactics seem to work. Alicia’s at home practicing her speech about Peter in the mirror when Johnny comes to see her. He tells her he’s changed his mind about throwing Peter under the bus. For better or worse, Alicia and Peter are a brand. But Alicia and Johnny did share a pretty important moment:
Alicia: “Why are you leaving election day?… So it’s not because of me. Of us.”
Answer: He says no. But let’s be honest. He’s totally leaving because of her/them.
Anyway, Marissa is none too pleased about Johnny’s decision. She knows that her dad got to him, so she calls him out on it. “Handsome men are so weak.” That truth is a little too tough for him to hear. Alicia heads to the Black Business Leaders Luncheon. She runs into Frank Prady backstage. They have a heart-to-heart about the campaign. Frank confesses that he’s not gay, but that he is a Jesuit. That’s why he never remarried. Alicia confesses that she wishes she had been more honest during the campaign. I’ve always been sort of fascinated by Alicia and Frank’s relationship. They don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. I’m not even sure if they really like each other. But they have a mutual respect for one another that keeps things interesting.
NEXT: The episode ends with a kiss.
Frank leaves to make his speech at the luncheon. Alicia’s up next, but before she can him the stage, Johnny changes his mind. Again. Johnny tells Alicia to go after Peter for his racial disparities when he was SA. “Go after Peter. Kill him. No mercy.” She gives her speech, and Eli has his version of an aneurysm. He basically guarantees that Johnny won’t get that job in Sacramento. But Johnny looks pleased with the decision he made. You go, Glen Coco Johnny!
Meanwhile, Louis Canning is still in the hospital. He managed to make it through the touch-and-go of last week’s episode. He received a kidney, and things are looking on the up and up, even if he’s still in ICU. Alicia goes to visit him because she’s a nice person. But mostly she goes to visit him to settle the wrongful termination suit. Canning has a new lease on life courtesy of a new kidney. He can’t get in touch with his estate lawyer, David Lee, so he asks Alicia to liquidate all of his stocks—a not-so-measly $18 million—and give it to the family of his kidney donor. He gets to live, and so he’s paying it forward.
Alicia goes to David Lee to figure out why he’s ignoring Canning. Here’s where things get a little complicated. David Lee did reach out to the family of Canning’s donor. But the family doesn’t want the money for themselves. They want to donate it all to a charity, The Strong Arm of Liberty, a pro-Palestinian group that may or may not be supporting Hamas. Sure, David Lee isn’t supposed to let his political interests get in the way of his job. But he doesn’t want to participate in the aiding and abetting of terrorists. So it’s up to Alicia to help Canning here. She goes back to the hospital to tell him, but he’s out of it.
Later, Eli calls Alicia to ask if she’s sending money to the Palestinians. Word has gotten around that she might have a connection to Hamas. Eli insists that Louis Canning and David Lee are setting her up. But she’s sure that Canning wouldn’t prank her on his deathbed. I’m not so sure. He doesn’t have the best track record.
Alicia goes back to the hospital to ask him about his possible scheming. He denies any involvement. He also says he doesn’t even remember asking her to help him with his estate. Ugh. He really is the worst. But Alicia gets some mini-revenge when she moves Canning’s cell phone further away from him after he asks her to hand it to him. It’s some petty perfection.
And just like Vanessa Williams, I’ve decided to save the best for last here: Johnny goes to Alicia’s apartment to congratulate her on her speech at the Black Business Leaders luncheon. He’s super awkward; it’s super adorable. Alicia invites him inside, but he tries to escape back into the elevator. Fortunately for us, the elevator door closes, and he goes in for the kill. He kisses Alicia, I swoon, and the episode fades to black.
Best lines from “Open Source”:
- Alicia: “Which issues?”
Josh: “Doesn’t matter. Pick one.”
Marissa: “God, this is like high school.”
- Louis: “I voted absentee.”
Alicia: “Thank you.”
Louis: “No. Against you.”
- Finn: “Still got some hard feelings there, Cary?”
Cary: “You mean from you trying to put me in jail for 15 years? No, no. That’s ancient history.”
- “I’m thinking of getting a tramp stamp. What do you think?” —Marissa, trying to distract Eli
- “I don’t want you to die, Mr. Canning, okay? I know you’re a bad man, but I sort of miss you. I know that’s weird. I don’t know why. I seem to have some bad boy issues.” —Alicia, to Louis Canning
- “I hate these silences, Alicia.” —Eli, to Alicia
- “Whatever.” —Johnny
The biggest topic of discussion after “Open Source”: What is going on with Alicia and Johnny? When they kissed earlier this season, I was pretty convinced that Johnny just happened to be in the right place at the right time. There were no real feelings there. At least coming from Alicia. When Alicia told him she was just in a mood, he seemed a little disappointed. But I still assumed that if any relationship progressed further, it would be her relationship with Finn. Last week, Alicia appeared like she might finally be saying goodbye to Will. And you know what they say: The best way to get over someone… I won’t finish that thought. But I think I like Johnny better than Finn. So I’m pretty pleased with this new development.
What do you think? Also, we know there’s going to be some more blowback with Alicia going after Peter. I can’t imagine that it’s going to go over well. Should be pretty interesting. Until next week….
Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.