The Good Wife recap: Punch Drunk
Is it just me or does it feel like we’ve waiting forever for the Shamrock Dinner? For weeks I’ve been looking forward to the fancy soiree — complete with the promise of Peter putting Mike Kresteva in his rightful place, but more on that later. But the party wasn’t all about the swanky clothes and open bar, and leave it to Eli to point out the true goal of the dinner: getting on the good side of Cardinal James (John Cullum). If history was any indication, the Cardinal would leave the event having hugged one of the candidates, while just shaking the other’s hand. The lucky recipient of the coveted hug would also get a bump of 800,000 Catholic votes. So both Peter and Kresteva were on hug hunt, each trying to impress the Cardinal.
Considering Mike Kresteva is a grade A douchelord, you’d think Peter would easily win over the Cardinal. But, of course, it wasn’t that easy because of Kresteva’s aforementioned douchelord status. (Again, props to the writers for making Chandler Bing — or should I say Mrs. Chanandler Bong? — such an infuriating character.) First, Kresteva went after Alicia in a little tete-a-tete that concluded with Alicia telling him to “die choking on [his] own blood.” You know, taking the high road.
Alicia’s time at the Shamrock Dinner was rudely interrupted when Detective Douglas Young (Will Chase) called her away to consult on a time-sensitive matter. One of her clients, Matthew Ashbaugh, had been murdered just a few hours before. It’s important to note that Kresteva used Alicia’s abrupt exit to paint a less-than-ideal picture of her family to the Cardinal. He inferred that she was probably going to deal with Zach’s drug addiction. And no, you didn’t miss anything. Zach obviously doesn’t have a drug addiction. Mike Kresteva is just the worst.
Anyway, at the police station Alicia successfully ID’d Matthew Ashbaugh as the victim, and Young wanted her help naming potential suspects. Young said he believed whoever killed Ashbaugh was not done killing for the night. Alicia made a list of potential enemies starting with the 18 ongoing cases he had with Lockhart/Gardner. When you have that many lawsuits, you’re bound to ruffle a few feathers.
NEXT: Alicia may be the killer’s next target…
Since Ashbaugh met his untimely demise at the beginning of the episode, his relationship with Alicia and the firm was told through a series of flashbacks. We learned that Matthew Ashbaugh (played by guest star John Noble!) was very difficult to work with. He even came with his own Bach soundtrack. Seriously. He traveled with a portable speaker that played Bach on loop — much to Alicia’s annoyance. Detective Young questioned Alicia about Ashbaugh’s altercations. And as it turns out, Ashbaugh had a lot. See: enemies attacking him and having words with him. Then, we saw a telling conversation in which Ashbaugh said, “You laugh now, Mrs. Florrick…. But one day you’ll be identifying my body in a morgue, then you’ll know…. That everything I’ve said is true.”
Next up, Young asked Alicia about Ashbaugh’s ongoing case against the Chicago police department for harassment, and that gave her pause: Alicia didn’t want to break attorney/client privilege. Laura Hellinger was also on hand to help the police and coax Alicia into sharing all the information she had. Hellinger started by asking about Ashbaugh’s connection with Eddie Lomax, a potential lead on the case. But Alicia stood firm protecting attorney/client privilege, even though her client was now deceased. All that changed when Detective Young notified Alicia that they’d found the killer’s car. The police ran the address most recently entered into the GPS, and it was the address to Alicia’s apartment.
Alicia went into mom protection mode, and immediately called her apartment. Grace answered the phone, and Alicia learned that her mother (returning guest star Stockard Channing) was with the kids. Alicia asked Veronica to leave immediately and take the kids to her hotel. And then Alicia left Zach with this parting advice: “Grandma’s not that responsible…. If she asks you to do something that doesn’t make sense, you can disobey her. I want you to disobey her.”
Both Zach and Veronica’s cars were blocked, courtesy of the St. Patrick’s Day parade traffic. So Veronica took Zach and Grace to a nearby bar, full of drunken shenanigans. While there, Veronica made both children rather uncomfortable discussing sex and kissing, and then she dropped this bomb: Alicia was already pregnant with Zach when she married Peter, and Grace was probably an accident. Thanks, grandma!
NEXT: A flashback to Will and Alicia’s heated affair…
Back at the police station, Alicia shared information about Officer Nozowitz. Alicia had heard Nozowitz threaten to kill Ashbaugh if he ever brought up Eddie Lomax again. Alicia called Will to update him on the case, and he immediately left the dinner to be with her. It was a situation that was particularly awkward since Hellinger had just asked Alicia for relationship advice regarding Will. In the end, Alicia took the high road, and suggested that Hellinger just ask Will out.
This was also further complicated by Alicia’s flashbacks to her time working with Ashbaugh. Apparently, the bulk of her work with him overlapped with her dalliances with Will. Let’s just say I could use many more steamy scenes like the ones between Will and Alicia. (Sidenote: Josh Charles tweeted this right after that scene.) Despite her non-G-rated flashbacks, Alicia decided to end things with Will for good. And I believe her this time, partly perhaps because of the conversation she had with Hellinger. Alicia told Will that they were keeping each other from moving on. She said she’d been selfish, that she was back with Peter, and that they had to end.
Will: “Can you just decide that?”
Alicia: “I can. I have to.”
Well, at least we got some sexy scenes before they decided to end things.
Worried that her family might still be in danger, Alicia called Kalinda for backup. (Sorry to the female massage therapist whose time with Kalinda was interrupted by the call.) Kalinda made her way to the Shamrock Dinner to get information out of Cary from his time at the State’s Attorney’s office. He remained tight-lipped, but once Kalinda told him Alicia might be in danger he offered up some information on Nozowitz. The State’s Attorney’s office had investigated him for corruption and taking drug money. As she left, Cary told her to be careful, and then grabbed her hand for a thoughtful moment. (Can I officially start shipping these two? Okay, thanks.)
Kalinda went to see Detective Young and get a look at the murderer’s car. She saw the 2006 Zephyr and realized something important: The 2006 Zephyr doesn’t have a GPS. Therefore, Ashbaugh’s killer could have never entered Alicia’s address. They just used that to get her to break attorney/client privilege. Hellinger said she didn’t know that’s what they were doing. An angry Alicia immediately left the police station, and on her way out had some choice words for Detective Young. (Thankfully, the Irish tune being sung in the police station served as a natural censor for her foul language. It was awesome.)
NEXT: Peter dishes out a little payback to Kresteva…
In other interesting developments from the Shamrock Dinner, Peter and Eli sat down with Diane to make her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Or at least an offer that she would highly consider: In lieu of Justice Ludwig’s death (see: last week’s episode), there was an opening for a Supreme Court Justice — a role that the Illinois Governor would fill. Peter offered Diane the seat, contingent upon his gubernatorial win. Diane was shocked to say the least. But to take on the role would mean she would have to relinquish her business. Still, Will was happy for her once Diane told him about the offer. (Will Lockhart/Gardner become Gardner & Associates? Do you think Diane would actually leave the firm behind? Discuss.)
Meanwhile, Eli finally confronted Kresteva about spreading rumors about Peter’s family. But it didn’t really accomplish anything. So Peter took things into his own hands. Peter followed Kresteva into the bathroom, and they discussed the way to battle a lie. And then Peter just punched Kresteva in the face. In fact, he punched him so hard it went straight to commercial!
For good measure, Peter broke his own drink to make it look like Kresteva had just had a little too much alcohol and fallen. Peter gave Kresteva a taste of his own medicine, saying he couldn’t have hit Kresteva because that wouldn’t have made sense. Finally, Kresteva gets put in his rightful place! I’ll just steal Eli’s words to describe the punch: “It was epic!”
After their time at the bar, Veronica finally brought the kids to the Shamrock Dinner to meet Alicia. There, Alicia and Grace had a heart-to-heart about the night’s many revelations. And Alicia and her mom managed to end the night without any major blows. I think Alicia was just glad everyone was safe. Unfortunately, Peter only got a handshake from Cardinal James. But for the first time ever, so did Kresteva. With no hug handed out, we’ll have to wait to see who nabs those Catholic votes.
And as far as Matthew Ashbaugh’s murder? Everything with Nozowitz, Eddie Lomax, the Fifth Ward killings, and the police department was just a red herring. Kalinda watched and re-watched the video of the murder and noticed that a Fetch-Far was in the killer’s car. (A Fetch-Far is something dog owners use to fling tennis balls.) So yes, Ashbaugh’s murder was all about an earlier lawsuit in which Ashbaugh wanted to sue a neighbor for a barking dog. Gotta watch out for those dog lovers!
There were so many great one-liners from this episode, but my favorite would probably have to be this gem from Alicia to Eli: “I swear, if you start clocking my alcohol intake, I’m going to do shots.” How great was John Noble as Matthew Ashbaugh? I’ve said before I really enjoy episodes that organically find our stars out of the court room, so “Death of a Client” was one of my favorites. The Will/Alicia flashbacks didn’t hurt. One other thing of note before I wrap this up, did you notice that while Eli was praising Saint Alicia for standing by Peter and never straying, Will walked up to interrupt the conversation? Genius.
Okay, now it’s your turn! Sound off with all your thoughts on the episode. And get excited because Dylan Baker is returning next week.
Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.