There are few sights more unappealing than Dylan Baker in a silk robe, his foot cuffed to the hand of a bloody, dead woman… which made for a great way to start an episode of The Good Wife last night.

Baker played Colin Sweeney, a major client of Lockhart, Gardner. Alicia had been sent to his house to fetch a signed copy of a contract for a merger the firm was handling. Alicia had been handling a few drinks — some tequila shots she’d been doing with Kalinda, celebrating the promotion we saw last week. (This week, we got to see Cary move to the dark-gray side. “This was not fair,” he hissed to Alicia; later, he joined forces with States Attorney Childs to form a team of super-hissers hoping to bring down both Alicia and Peter Florrick.)

A mildly tipsy Alicia arrives at Sweeney’s house to find a murder scene — even the guy’s dog has been offed. There’s a small panic at the cash-strapped firm, which needs his business, so they’ll defend this amusingly odious character, who says the dead woman was a stalker with whom a played kinky games: She breaks into his pad, they tussle and have sex. Except this time, she played way too rough and he killed her in self-defense.

In the parallel plot, Peter was being defended in court by the deceptively-ditzy red-headed lawyer, Elsbeth Tascioni (True Blood‘s Carrie Preston). This character could be a little on the obvious side{C} for a show as adroit as Good Wife; we know from The TV Handbook that any woman in a prominent position shown to be flighty will eventually prove to be sneaky-brilliant, and so it is with Tascioni, who performs some legal mixed-martial-arts on the prosecution and the young judge. It was her final trick which allayed my fears of obviousness, however: In a twist I didn’t see coming (did you?), she proved that Terry Kinney’s Kozko did not die, and was happily extracting money from an ATM in the Cayman Islands.

These courtroom scenes were terrific (wonderful direction from Fred Toye, who’s also done some excellent Fringe episodes), and underscored once again why The Good Wife is so good. A lesser show would have played those courtroom scenes as jokey, David E. Kelley-style comic relief, amusing filler surrounding the true center of the show, which is Alicia’s work and private life. Speaking of which, hubby Peter celebrated his liberation from his house-arrest cuff with a party at home. Peter’s prim mother sidled over to Alicia to tell her daughter-in-law, “You are a good woman, Alicia.” Then Alicia joined the party to do what she’d been promoted at the firm to do: Be a not-all-good woman. She let Peter introduce her to some fat-cats who’ll probably bring new business to Lockhart, Gardner.

Other Wifely details:

• Best scene of the night: Childs’ recruitment{C} of Cary. He invoked Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and said Cary will achieve greatness by putting in 10,000 hours “prosecuting scum,” and damned if that doesn’t make sense to Cary and us. I tell you this now: Titus Welliver and Matt Czuchry are going to be the Batman and Robin of evil justice when it comes to the Florricks next season.

• Second-best scene of the night: Eli invading the FBI woman’s office to tell her to back off the Florrick case or else he’d release some crucial photo evidence he has — in the form of posters, buttons, mouse pads, and refrigerator magnets. I said it last week: Boy, am I glad Alan Cumming is going to be a regular next season.

• The episode was titled “Hybristophilia,” an apparently real phenomenon in which one person is attracted to a dangerous person.

• With a couple of shots under her belt, Alicia asked Kalinda, “Are you gay?” Response: “I’m private.” All hail the last remaining person in prime-time who thinks she has a right to a private life!

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The Good Wife

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.

  • TV Show
  • 7
  • 156
  • TV-14
  • Off Air
  • CBS
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