Lockhart/Gardner tries to keep Colin Sweeney from receiving a life sentence, and Diane rekindles her relationship with Kurt McVeigh

By Breia Brissey
Updated March 02, 2015 at 07:37 PM EST
David M. Russell/CBS

The Good Wife

S4 E19
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Hide your kids, and especially hide your wife because Colin Sweeney is back in town! The alleged wife-killer (played by returning guest star Dylan Baker) was back in action — this time under fire for disorderly conduct. Alicia was on the case and believed that the oft-guilty Sweeney was actually innocent in this particular situation. Sweeney had thrown a birthday party that got out of hand, a gun was fired, and ultimately, the hosting club suffered $80,000 in damage. But for some reason, the prosecution — led by Laura Hellinger — was pushing hard to take down Sweeney for a gun charge, even though the event in question happened six months ago.

Judge Politi (Vincent Curatola) tried to get both sides to bargain, but neither would budge: Alicia wanted Sweeney exonerated, and Hellinger wanted him to received the maximum punishment of six years in jail. Will assumed that the State’s Attorney (a.k.a. Peter) didn’t want to look weak on crime, and Will suggested they just wait until the gubernatorial race was over. He assumed that after the election, the SA’s office would lighten up and Sweeney would walk away with only two months probation.

But before we take a dive into the case of the week, it’s important to note that Alicia was given a brand new office — sans Cary — with a $10,000 decoration stipend and an equity partner art loan program. (I’d just like to point out that this is the same firm that suffered near bankruptcy, so of course they give out $10,000 decoration stipends!) Anyway, Cary got his own new setup, albeit significantly lamer than Alicia’s new digs. But with his new office came the potential of nabbing another chance at being named an equity partner. Cary’s task, as delegated by Diane, was to interview and hire a new associate, just like Alicia had to choose between Caitlin and Martha in season 3.

Enter a potential new hire, Gregory Steck (Michael Esper). Cary asked the New Kalinda to stay with him during the interview. And she hilariously perfected a “severe” scowl that seemed to intimidate Greg. (I’m warming up to her, so I might have to start using her real name!) Anyway, Greg spent his interview bragging about his work as a clerk for a Supreme Court justice. But his bragging proved rather significant for Lockhart/Gardner because from that, Cary realized why Hellinger & Co. were being so stubborn about the Colin Sweeney case.

A majority opinion was in the works from the Illinois Supreme Court, and that decision would affect Sweeney’s sentence. If Sweeney was found guilty on the gun charge, that would be his third strike — he’d already been convicted of two other felonies — and a third strike would result in a life sentence. Alicia & Co. had to change their game plan, and fast. The 160 day limitation on a speedy trial would be up in one day’s time, so they had to go to trial immediately, even though they weren’t ready. This was supposed to dramatically change the stakes since they’d have to “run the fastest trial in history.” They’d have to get a deliberation from the judge before the Supreme Court ruling came down. But since we’re used to watching the cases play out in an hour anyway, it didn’t really feel all that different from every other case of the week on the show. But I’ll still bite, Good Wife writers, the pressure was on.

NEXT: Diane asks an old flame to help on the case…

When the firm told Sweeney about the Supreme Court ruling, he requested that a named partner help with the case. Diane nominated Will, so he had the awkward task of coming clean about his budding relationship with Hellinger. Diane was fine with it, but they had to get Sweeney to sign off as well, so the firm would be protected from malpractice. True to character, Sweeney was not at all bothered about the potential sexual relationship between Will and Hellinger. He signed off contingent upon Will keeping him informed of all the details. Gross.

Since they were working at an accelerated pace, Diane had to use her connections to get Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole) on the case. When you’re in a time crunch, it certainly helps if your former lover is the best ballistics expert there is! McVeigh was obviously hesitant to work on Sweeney’s side, but Diane convinced him to help out.

Back in court, Isobel Swift, Sweeney’s live-in girlfriend (Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin), testified that Sweeney could have not possibly shot the gun because they were otherwise preoccupied having, ahem, sex in the Rose salon. (Her blunt “anal” admission was quite a shock in the courtroom.) Earlier in the episode, Isobel asked Alicia about Sweeney’s past. She said that he’d asked her to marry him, but she expressed concern that he might murder her too. Isobel trusted Alicia’s opinion because she said Sweeney’s relationship with Alicia was perhaps the most successful he’d ever have, which is a truly frightening thought. The conversation was pretty bizarre, but Alicia ended it by saying that the supposed reason for killing his first wife was about her money. And since Isobel has no money, he had no reason to kill her. (Let’s hope…)

Cary and New Kalinda called Greg in for a second interview in an effort to get more information about the Supreme Court ruling. And when that didn’t work, New Kalinda used her own womanly wiles on Greg. The two went out drinking, and New Kalinda shared a tall tale of going to juvie for involuntary manslaughter. Greg told her that he expected the ruling to take place in 40 hours. An intoxicated New Kalinda went back to Cary to deliver the bad news.

Greg saw through New Kalinda’s attempts to get information about the decision, so he stopped by Lockhart/Gardner to give her more accurate information: The opinion would be coming out at 5 p.m. that day, which meant the firm had less time than they thought. Greg asked New Kalinda out. But taking a page from Kalinda’s book, New Kalinda shot him down. Thanks for playing, Greg!

NEXT: The Good Wife meets The Vampire Diaries

Back in the courtroom, the prosecution’s ballistics expert claimed that the gun was fired from the Rose room. This was obviously a problem because Isobel had just testified that she and Sweeney were in that room doing the deed. So it was up to McVeigh to quickly rebut that claim. He and Diane took a trip to the scene of the party, and from there, he determined that the gun was actually fired from the Camellia room, not the Rose room. Success!

Unfortunately, that success was only temporarily enjoyed: Isobel got back on the stand to change her testimony. She said that she’d just remembered incorrectly, and that she and Sweeney were actually in the Camellia room all along. It was a pretty big hit for the defense, so Alicia had to go back to square one with Isobel and determine why she lied. And if you didn’t already think Isobel and Sweeney have a nutso relationship, this should do the trick: Sweeney wanted a pre-nup, and she didn’t. So as leverage, she lied on the stand knowing full well that her edited testimony could send Sweeney away for life.

In the end, Isobel’s flip-flopping testimony didn’t really matter because McVeigh found additional evidence that the bullet ricocheted off a lamp, proving conclusively that Sweeney wasn’t in the right place to have fired the gun. As much as McVeigh hated to admit it, Sweeney was innocent. Judge Politi agreed that there wasn’t enough evidence for a gun charge, but he sentenced Sweeney to 30 days in jail, along with a $1,500 fine. And thankfully for Sweeney, they managed to get all this in before the Supreme Court ruling.

When it was all said and done, Sweeney agreed to Isobel’s demands that there not be a pre-nup. Alicia warned him against it, saying Isobel would cheat him. And he replied in true Sweeney fashion: “I know. It’s okay. I’ll just kill her.” (This is so terrible, but I still laughed so hard at this line!) So off to jail Sweeney went, but not before Isobel tried to hand off her panties as a parting gift. What a creepy couple.

Now let’s get to all the non-Colin Sweeney developments: Last week, Peter told Diane he wanted her to fill the Supreme Court spot should he win the governorship. So to prepare herself for what may come, she asked Kalinda to do a background check on her to bring up any potential vulnerabilities. I figured something would come up, but I was truly shocked that that something was The Vampire Diaries fan fiction! It was so funny to watch Diane’s reaction as Kalinda read off the supposed work. As it turns out, the salacious writing was courtesy of Diane’s housekeeper. But there’s a small part of me that really wants to believe that Diane Lockhart is secretly obsessed with The CW show.

NEXT: The complicated Will/Alicia/Laura dynamic…

The next piece of information that Kalinda dug up on Diane was much more serious: A friend of Diane’s father had been accused of being a communist many years ago. And as a result of the accusations, he lost his job, and ultimately committed suicide. Kalinda uncovered that Diane’s father was actually the one who turned him in. I’m not sure that this would actually impede her chances at nabbing the Supreme Court spot, but Diane’s worldview was pretty much shattered by the revelation. And she ran straight into McVeigh’s arms to deal with it. Perhaps overwhelmed with everything in her life, Diane impulsively suggested that she and McVeigh get married. She took it back, but the proposal of sorts was already out there.

To put even more strain on the relationship, Kalinda’s digging turned up a video of McVeigh lobbying for gun rights. “Would it be too ironic to ask you to shoot me?” Diane deadpanned. We already know he’s a Republican, while Diane is a hardcore Democrat. (It was so cute when she consoled him on Romney’s loss.) Their ideological differences would definitely come into play should Diane be considered as a justice. Kalinda had no choice but to recommend that they cool it. And it seemed like that’s what they were going to do. McVeigh came to Lockhart/Gardner to tell Diane they should wait and think about marriage. Diane appeared to accept that, but she didn’t let him out of her office without speaking her mind: “I don’t want to wait. I don’t.” So is this going to be what keeps Diane from making her way to the Supreme Court? I certainly hope not, because they are the best couple.

In other important relationship developments, Hellinger point-blank asked Alicia if she had a current relationship with Will. Alicia reiterated that they were once involved, but no longer were. And then, she told Hellinger that she was happy for the new couple. But by the end of the episode, Alicia was having sexy dreams about her and Will together. But at some point in the dream, Alicia turned into Hellinger. I’m no dream expert, but I don’t think it takes one to analyze this: Alicia is not as okay with Will and Hellinger as she says she is.

At the end of the episode, Alicia called Will to talk about work, but she heard Hellinger laugh in the background, so she quickly ended the conversation. And then, in a strange turn of events, Hellinger told Will that a guy she dated in the military had come back into her life. And with that, it seems like their relationship, which barely had time to take off, is getting grounded. But I can’t say I’m too disappointed because I’m still partial to Will and Alicia.

So now it’s your turn: Hellinger totally lied about the other man, right? She doesn’t seem to be okay with whatever past he had with Alicia. Speaking of, Alicia is clearly not okay that Will’s moving on even though that’s what she says she wants. What did you think of Colin Sweeney’s return? Do you think Diane and Kurt McVeigh are meant to be together? Sound off in the comments with all your musings.

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

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