Alicia and Cary take on Will and Diane in a mock trial showdown; Elsbeth helps Eli in his fight against the Department of Justice 

By Breia Brissey
Updated March 02, 2015 at 10:50 PM EST
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Credit: David M. Russell/CBS

What a difference a month can make! Or in our case, two weeks of TV preemptions courtesy of the Super Bowl and the Grammys. But in Good Wife world, a month was all it took for Lockhart/Gardner to become completely debt-free. Three cheers for their lack of financial ruin and the hopeful end to the dull bankruptcy plotline!

In fact, things were so lucrative at the firm, they were projecting to end the year $133 million in the black. (I would like to note it is only February, so it seems like they’re putting the cart before the horse. But if it means no more money woes, than I’ll believe whatever you say, Good Wife writers.) With the debt out of the way, David Lee proposed that the recent equity partnership offers were made prematurely. We all know the offers were just about the money, and since money is no longer a problem, Lee found it unnecessary to bring in new blood. Particularly, if he would have to share the newfound wealth with the aforementioned new blood. The other equity partners were quick to agree: They decided they would delay the partnership offers for at least a year so they could “assess the repercussions of the changes in the workplace.” It was a pretty lame excuse.

Unsurprisingly, Alicia and Cary — and presumably the other fourth years we don’t know — were pissed. And what better way to take out their anger than going toe-to-toe against Will and Diane in a mock trial? Will and Diane were representing a client who owned the energy drink, Thief. A girl suffered a seizure after drinking Thief, and the grandparents were suing the company for wrongful death. Will didn’t want to settle higher than $800,000, so it appeared that the case would go to court. But the Thief CEO, Mr. Lunt, didn’t like the uncertainty that going to court brought. So he funded a mock trial to test the case. (He knew if he lost in court, he’d have to pay any settlement amount times seven since there had been seven other deaths.)

Will and Diane asked Cary and Alicia to act as the prosecution in the mock trial. Cary was weary about going up against Will and Diane, comparing the whole thing to playing tennis with your boss: “Whatever they say, they don’t want to lose.” But Alicia pointed out that they had nothing to worry about since they were partners. (Obviously, this confident approach came before Alicia learned that their partnerships would be delayed.) Cary and Alicia sought Kalinda’s help, but she was technically a part of the Blue Team since she worked for Lockhart/Gardner. She agreed to help them, but her services wouldn’t come cheap: $400 an hour, to be exact. And that was the rate for friends and family! Eventually, Kalinda was banned from working for the Red Team altogether, so she returned her check and some “other stuff” to Cary and Alicia. But don’t ask her about it, because she didn’t know about anything else in that envelope. More on that later.

NEXT: The mock trial continues, and Will and Alicia share a (spoiler!)

During the mock trial, Alicia and Cary gave it all they had. Thief is made with 240 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of 12 cups of coffee. (And I just got a headache writing that sentence.) Bella, the victim, died due to caffeine toxicity, essentially choking on her own vomit. There’s a lovely image for you. Diane and Will argued that Bella was likely anorexic. And if she was anorexic, Thief couldn’t be categorically blamed for her seizure. But the anorexia angle was really more of a win for the Red Team. The FDA considered Thief a dietary supplement. This was after the company’s first submission to be considered a food was denied.

Additionally, Thief Light had been marketed for its weight-loss benefits, specifically on a pro-anorexia website in several cases of cyber shill: A freelancer was paid to promote Thief by posting laudatory comments online. And even though said freelancer posted on multiple sites, Cary and Alicia proved that she posted on the pro-anorexia site 135 times promoting Thief Light. At this point, Mr. Lunt was pretty upset at how the trial was going and accused Will and Diane of losing on purpose just so they could settle. But Will assured him that they hadn’t had their chance yet, and that things would turn around. But that never really happened.

It was going so well for the Red Team that Will told Alicia and Cary to back off. “Or what, we don’t get partnerships?” Alicia snapped back. (In four seasons surely Will’s learned not to piss Alicia off, right? Apparently not.) This carried over to an epic yelling match back in Alicia’s office. It was the kind of fight that could only be ended with a steamy kiss…wait what? Yup, they totally made out. While fans of the couple probably rewound the scene multiple times for full enjoyment, Alicia regretted the kiss instantly. She ran out of the office, not even giving herself enough time to grab her things. She called herself an idiot as she escaped to the elevator. [Burning questions about the kiss at the end of the recap.]

Now back to the mock trial: The evidence that Kalinda “didn’t” provide to Alicia and Cary was about a wrongful death settlement on one of Thief’s earlier products, Dogfight. Gotta love these names! But a gag order prohibited them from bringing it up in court. In the end, it didn’t matter. The jury had seen enough, and unanimously sided in favor of the prosecution. So Mr. Lunt decided to settle for $12 million.

NEXT: Cary and Alicia start plotting and Elsbeth Tascioni returns!

Meanwhile, since Cary and Alicia couldn’t take all their anger out in court, they decided to meet with the other snubbed fourth years. They plotted to meet with some of the firm’s top clients to make it appear as though they would jump ship. But that was never really the plan. Additionally, Cary presented Alicia with an interesting idea: They take the capital they borrowed for their partnership and their top clients and open their own firm, Florrick, Agos, & Associates. He even gave her first billing! She said she’d consider it. And I’d like to see that well before Alicia ever considered a real offer from Louis Canning. David Lee, Diane, and Will got wise to their intentions before any of that really played out.

To combat Cary and Alicia’s plot, they decided to offer one of the fourth-years a partnership specifically to create division. And it worked. Alicia was the chosen one, and the episode ended similarly to the last new episode: Alicia in the conference room thanking all the equity partners for the opportunity. So congrats to Alicia! She got a Red Team win and the partnership she so deserves.

I’ve really buried the lede here: the brilliant Carrie Preston as Elsbeth “I’m always happy” Tascioni returned! I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to singing Preston’s praises on The Good Wife. But she’s just so wonderful it deserves constant repeating. Anyway, Elsbeth was aiding Eli with his case against the Department of Justice. Eli pointed out that even the prosecutor, Wendy Scott-Carr, had offered discounts for her services. Even Scott-Carr couldn’t avoid the DOJ, as Elsbeth informed Eli that Scott-Carr had been replaced.

And while that could be considered a win for Eli, not helping his case was a wiretap that David LaGuardia (Hamish Linklater) and Josh Perrotti (Kyle MacLachlan) presented to Elsbeth and Eli. It was pretty damning, but they agreed to drop all charges if Eli would wear a wire and get Peter Florrick to confess to a recently accepted bribe. Eli obviously didn’t want to sell Peter out, so he left it up to Elsbeth to save the day. Of course she came through. The evidentiary notes — the proof to show there was enough reason to set up a wiretap in the first place — only recorded two dirty calls. The DOJ requires three, which meant the paperwork had obviously been altered at some point. The wiretap evidence would have to be thrown out.

NEXT: Elsbeth and Eli scheme against the DOJ

Elsbeth confronted Perrotti about the discrepancy, and he just tore the notes up. Then, he changed the original copy just to spite her. For a man representing the Department of Justice, Perrotti is not so much concerned with rules or justice. As infuriating as it was, this scene was totally worth it just to see Elsbeth return her biscotti, which she loves. It’s nice to see her moral ground is unwavering, even when Perrotti had the nerve to ask her out! Elsbeth promised she’d find a way to beat him.

And as if Eli’s struggles with the DOJ weren’t enough, Eli was still dealing with Jordan. Jordan went behind Eli’s back to schedule a town hall meeting with Maddie, even though Eli asked him to delay the negotiations. Jordan claimed it was because Eli had been too distracted, and then told Eli that complaining to Peter wouldn’t do him any good. Basically, he told Eli he should accept his fate as the new No. 2. Shortly after, Eli called up Elsbeth and asked her to talk to the DOJ about making a deal. This move really surprised me, because I really didn’t believe Eli would ever go after Peter. And I thought for sure Elsbeth would come up with a plan so Eli wouldn’t have to bend to their wishes. But by the episode’s end, Eli’s true intentions were explained.

Of course Eli wouldn’t sell out Peter, but he had no problem taking down Jordan. Eli offered to wear a wire to get Jordan to comment on the campaign’s finances and promised to get Perrotti something good. So off Eli went to the campaign office to get a confession. And that’s where Team Eli/Elsbeth bested the DOJ. Eli really went to see David LaGuardia. After being serenaded by LaGuardia’s polka playing, Eli got him on tape saying Perrotti had altered the number of dirty calls. The previous wiretap would have to be excluded. I love Eli and Elsbeth working together. Fruit of the poisonous tree, indeed.

What did you think of “Red Team/Blue Team?” More importantly, what did you think of that Will and Alicia kiss? At the end of the episode, Alicia asked Will if her partnership offer had to do with him. He assured her it was just because she deserved it. But how does the kiss change things? And do you think they can really follow through with not being left alone together? In other news, my nomination for favorite exchange has to be this gem:

Jordan: “Eli there’s a weird lady here to see you.”

Eli: “Elsbeth, come on in!”

Also, props to the over-the-top actress Cary and Alicia hired to play the plaintiff. So much for not being maudlin. Sound off in the comments with all your thoughts. In the meantime, I’ll wait for my brochure on yachts that will never come.

Episode Recaps

The Good Wife

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

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