Christina Ricci guest stars as a comedienne under fire after she flashes her boobs on network TV

By Breia Brissey
March 02, 2015 at 11:03 PM EST
David M. Russell/CBS
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And the great influx of guest stars continues on season 4 of The Good Wife: Christina Ricci! Bill Maher (as himself)! John Shea! Robert and Michelle King are really making it hard to keep up, but at least they’re keeping things interesting. By the end of the season, we’ll be able to ask who has not been on The Good Wife and the list will be shorter than that of the people who have been on the show. And I kind of love it.

In the case of the week, Christina Ricci made her debut as Therese Dodd, a comedienne being sued by a television network for indecency. Specifically, Therese bared her breasts on a late-night talk show to demonstrate a self-exam. Anything for breast cancer awareness, right? Unsurprisingly, the network didn’t see it the same way and sought $2 million from Therese hoping to offset the inevitable FCC fines that would come with her, um, exposure.

Therese’s defense? Well, honestly she didn’t really think she’d done anything wrong. Not surprising from the same woman who made jokes about rape and 9/11. For her appearance in court, she claimed that she just wanted to be informative about the disease that took her mother’s life. And then, of course, she thought the broadcast was on a seven-second delay and that her nudity and use of a word that rhymes with “bits” would have spared the network any problems. How awesome was it that the had a car horn censor the word tits? The window in the court room was conveniently open, saving The Good Wife from its own standards and practices. Genius.

Anyway, Therese said she didn’t plan to disrobe on the show, it just happened. Not the mention, the show in question always had her on to push the envelope. Mission accomplished. In a great nod to The Good Wife‘s real-life Sunday-night schedule, Alicia pointed out that the show had been delayed due to a football overrun. That delay would place the show in the broadcast safe harbor period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. where networks can broadcast nudity and vulgar language. Because the networks have self-imposed censors—likely due to their advertisers—the judge ruled that Therese should not be held liable for the network’s choices. Lawyer Burl Preston (returning guest star F. Murray Abraham) would have to prove premeditation in order to continue with the suit against Therese.

NEXT: Alicia & Co. go to Washington, D.C., to take on the FCC

But Preston’s job was made pretty easy for him with the testimony of the makeup artists who worked on Therese before the show aired. Therese had asked the artist to apply makeup to both of her breasts. It was damning enough to prove she had intended to show off her girls. Will and Alicia knew Therese wouldn’t be able to pay the $2 million, so Preston offered them this alternative: Have Therese help sway two of the three swing voters on the FCC. Therese would go to Washington, D.C., apologize for her actions, and tell the story of her own mother’s battle with breast cancer. If Preston could ensure there would be no FCC fines, the network was willing to drop the suit.

So Alicia and Cary—at Diane’s insistence—were instructed to babysit Therese as she went to the nation’s capital to plead her case. She clearly couldn’t be trusted on her own. Case in point: Therese told Commissioner Bix about her mother passing gas on her death-bed. And matters weren’t helped when a representative from Parents Against Indecency showed up at the commissioner meetings arguing in favor of the FCC fines.

That said, it seemed that they still had a chance to stop the FCC fines. At least they did until Therese made an appearance on Bill Maher’s show. She stayed true to herself by saying more offensive things, this time about the FCC. Ooops! Her reckless behavior got the group uninvited from their meeting with Commissioner Martinez, essentially ensuring the FCC would go ahead with their fines against the network. The Parents Against Indecency representative kept his appointment with Martinez. Cary decided that they should just crash the meeting, and pretend they never got the message that it was canceled. So Therese put on her newest perfume, “Accommodation,” and went to make her final plea to the FCC.

But once again Therese proved that accommodation is not her strong suit. Martinez questioned her sense of humor. She apologized for her sometimes-offensive jokes, admitted to having a potty mouth, kissed Cary on the lips(!!!), and then marched out of Martinez’s office. But not before Preston said the show now had more viewers than ever because of her stunt. When it was all said and done, the FCC decided to not fine the network, and the suit was dismissed.

NEXT: Alicia gets a disturbing phone call about Brazil

While he was in D.C., Cary ran into his not-so-proud papa, Nestor Agos (John Shea). Their relationship was all kinds of awkward. But at Alicia’s encouragement, Cary agreed to go to breakfast with his dad. At said breakfast Nestor told Cary he was proud of him. You could tell it was a long time coming. Then, Nestor prepared for what I assumed was going to be his “I’m Dying” speech. But this was cut short when Cary had to deal with the aftermath of Therese’s appearance on Bill Maher.

Nestor’s later phone call to Cary proved some people just can’t change. Instead of a confession of his terminal illness, Nestor asked Cary for a favor. He had a job opportunity to be the press secretary for Senator Byers of Illinois. Byers happens to be good friends with Diane, so Nestor wanted Cary to ask Diane to put in a good word for him. Nestor later said that asking for a favor was the ultimate compliment for Cary. But for obvious reasons, Cary didn’t see it that way. That relationship is probably beyond repair, but I’m okay with that because it was another week where Cary had more than two lines.

In non-litigation news, Alicia received a very strange anonymous phone call in which she was asked, “What do you think of Brazilian food?” The caller hung up leaving Alicia very confused. But that question about Brazilian cuisine was just a little foreshadowing about the next speed bump in Peter’s campaign. Everyone’s favorite campaign worker, Indira Starr, claimed she could identify a distinguishing mark on Peter’s little Peter. I suppose a birthmark shaped like Brazil on a penis would, in fact, be pretty memorable.

Eli assumed Mike Kresteva was behind the penis rumor, which was deemed a perfect political trap. So looking to change the subject from the likely late-night fodder, Eli Gold tried to dig up some information about Maddie Hayward. Jim came up with this gem: Maddie is sleeping with her aide, and the aide happens to be a girl. So Kalinda and Jim went to investigate to see what they could turn up. Let’s just say EW has some of the smartest Good Wife commenters. You guys predicted a few weeks ago that Maddie Hayward was the one responsible for the Indira Starr rumors. And Kalinda and Jim’s investigation proved that to be true. Peter’s newest foe in the gubernatorial race had been secretly meeting with Starr for at least a month. But we still don’t know exactly how Maddie orchestrated the Starr scandal.

NEXT: Laura Hellinger returns, and Clarke tries to sell the firm

Meanwhile, Laura Hellinger (Amanda Peet) returned looking to re-start her career as a lawyer in Chicago. She went to Alicia for help since she also had a late-in-life career reboot. Hellinger thought she found a job with Eddie Kowalski (played by John Lutz, yes, this John Lutz) but there wasn’t really an opportunity available. Alicia pointed out that it’s all about who you know, and to prove that, she put in a good word for Laura with Peter at the state’s attorney’s office. By episode’s end, Peter had hired Laura, all while Geneva Pine looked on disapprovingly.

In the midst of the case with Therese, Clarke still-can’t-decide-if-I-like-him Hayden appealed to Burl Preston in an effort to sell Lockhart/Gardner. The sale of the firm would eradicate all of the firm’s money problems but it would also mean, well,  the sale of the firm. Diane and Will were strongly opposed to that proposition. A big draw for Preston was getting David Lee’s family law business. So Will, Diane, and David Lee concocted a plan to ensure there wouldn’t be a sale of Lockhart/Gardner. They changed David Lee’s contract so he would be allowed to leave the firm should it be sold or absorbed. And since that was Preston’s main interest, he pulled out of the deal. This pissed Hayden off who basically threatened Will and Diane with the impending loss of their firm. But Will and Diane aren’t scared. They’re Will and Diane!

I loved how the episode ended with Alicia’s laugh. Sometimes boobs and penis jokes are funny! What did you think of “Anatomy of a Joke?” Did you enjoy Christina Ricci’s guest spot as Therese Dodd? Were any of you surprised that Maddie appears to be responsible for the Indira Starr scandal? What do you think will happen next with Maddie? And what’s going to happen with the firm? Just because Burl Preston passed on the sale doesn’t mean someone else will do the same. Sound off with all your comments, and let’s keep things decent, or we’ll have to censor you with a car horn.

Breia on Twitter

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