The Good Wife recap: Killer Instinct
Alicia becomes a witness after a body is discovered at one of Colin Sweeney's parties, and Peter and Eli face a PR debacle involving Zach
When I said I wanted Will Gardner to come back to the show, I admittedly hoped he would be alive. But beggars can’t be choosers. So I’ll gladly take Josh Charles in the form of director — and what a fun episode for him to helm. Welcome back, Josh!! So, let’s talk about “Tying the Knot.” (And, of course, I mean the episode’s title, and not my desire to marry Josh Charles. He’s already married. Because that’s what’s keeping us apart.)
Anyway, the show’s favorite lady-killer, Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker), returned to celebrate his latest engagement. Will these women never learn? Probably not. And for that, I’m grateful, because Colin Sweeney is one of my favorite recurring characters. Situational ethics at its finest. Anyway, Alicia went to Sweeney’s engagement party to take care of some legal business. Florrick/Agos needed Sweeney’s signature on a document, and Alicia was racing against the clock to get Sweeney to focus long enough to sign the paperwork.
But he was playing hardball. He wouldn’t sign the papers until Alicia convinced his fiancé, Renata (Laura Benanti!!), that he could stop the animal testing at Claxon-Brant with his business merger. (Ed. note: I would watch Laura Benanti in anything. Too bad she didn’t get to sing.) Renata said she could be convinced if Alicia could get her a spot on the board. Alicia finally had the signature she needed. Unfortunately, Sweeney had put all his drugs and sexual therapy expenses on his financial disclosure statement, so Alicia had to amend the numbers on the contract and get a new signature. But all this took a back seat when Renata discovered a dead body hanging in the bathroom. Yeah, murder is kind of a party, um, killer.
The deceased was Morgan Donnelly (Jenn Gambatese), Renata’s friend, bridesmaid, and sometimes-lover. It became clear that Morgan had been tortured and strung up later so it appeared she committed suicide. And suddenly, Alicia was a witness in a murder case. Det. Lou Johnson (James McDaniel) questioned Alicia, noting that she’d been present during another murder at Sweeney’s house four years ago. Not true, Detective Johnson. Alicia arrived after, and that wasn’t murder. It was involuntary manslaughter. But it does look suspicious to an outsider, especially since in this case, Alicia provided Sweeney with an alibi. He was in her sights during the time of the alleged murder.
Jimmy Castro (Michael Cerveris) went to Florrick/Agos to discuss the case. The police had found a torture chamber of sorts in Sweeney’s house, and they wanted to question Colin and Renata about it. Turns out it was just a room where they could practice shibari, an ancient Japanese art of sexual satisfaction through the tightening and loosening of knots and ropes. (The more you know.) Leave it to Sweeney to keep it all 50 shades of weird. Anyway, Colin and his betrothed use it recreationally, and not for any torturing. Enjoy that mental image.
NEXT: Finn takes on James Castro
Castro and Detective Johnson questioned Alicia again, this time asking if she saw Morgan’s boyfriend, Demetrius (Owiso Odera), at the party. She said she did see him climbing the stairs. Johnson was worried that Alicia was confusing her duties as a defense attorney with her duties as a witness. And perhaps he wasn’t wrong to worry, because Alicia had to admit that she confused who she actually saw going up the stairs. It wasn’t Demetrius, but Barry Hildom, Colin’s man-servant. But Alicia stood firm that even though she was wrong about this, she wasn’t wrong about Sweeney’s alibi.
With Colin in the clear, all signs pointed to Renata. She was promptly arrested for Morgan’s murder. Alicia asked Diane to represent her since Florrick/Agos couldn’t; Cary was already representing Colin, and Alicia was a witness. Finn Polmar was handed the preliminary hearing last-minute, but he was dealing with his own issues. Not only was he clearly stressed about being back in the courtroom — he had flashbacks to all the blood and gunshots from the Jeffrey Grant trial — he was also dealing with the Castro fallout. Alicia warned Finn that Castro might be coming after him, and suggested he run against him for the state’s attorney job. If Finn ran against him, Castro couldn’t fire him or he’d be in violation of the Shakman rule. Finn brushed it off, but thanked her for her creative thinking.
Back in court, Demetrius said that Morgan tried to end her relationship with Renata, but that she was scared of her lover. So Diane hit back with a liability waiver that Morgan signed, relinquishing her shibari partner of any blame. Finn used the testimony of Dr. Natalie Henley (Katie Jennings Grant) to confirm that Morgan’s death was not a suicide; Diane used the principles of shibari to counteract Henley’s testimony that the ligature marks didn’t match the strap. The marks did match the strap if Morgan was the rigger, or dominant person in shibari. Meaning Renata was the canvas, or the one controlled.
Diane was coming out on top in the preliminary hearing, so Castro removed Finn from his post: “It’s a big case. I don’t want to lose it on the one-yard line.” But as Alicia suspected, Castro just wanted a reason to step in. He asked Finn to take some time off. Finn declined, and Castro ordered him to take some time off. So Finn decided to take Alicia’s advice after all. He told Castro he had declared his candidacy, and that he couldn’t be fired without a Shakman violation. Then Finn demanded Castro give him all his cases back. Nicely played, Finn!
Finn hadn’t actually declare his candidacy — but now he had to. He called Alicia to tell her the news, and she told him she’d help him out with the 7,000 signatures he needed. Enter Eli Gold, who said he could get them in an hour.
NEXT: Zach gets into some drug trouble
But for now, Castro was still on the preliminary hearing. Judge Morris (Jane Alexander) was skeptical that he was taking over the case, but he powered through, calling Alicia Florrick to the stand. Judge Morris granted the subpoena. But before Alicia could testify, Colin approached her and essentially asked her to lie to keep Renata safe. As it turned out, this was just a plan concocted by Diane; she’s going to ask Alicia about it on the stand and undermine her testimony.
The judge decided there wasn’t enough probable cause, so she released Renata. Who really killed Morgan? Let’s let Renata explain: “When Colin and I met, I wondered what we could possibly have in common…. It made me wonder what it would feel like to watch the life drain from someone’s eyes.” Awww, how sweet. Now they have murder in common! Well, you know what they say: The couple that kills together, stays together.
Meanwhile, Eli Gold was having a proverbial heart attack when a photo of Zach holding a bong popped up on Gawker. It was a public relations nightmare, considering Peter’s stance against the legalization of marijuana. Eli called Alicia to get her to talk to Zach, but she was a little preoccupied with Mr. Sweeney. Eventually, Alicia spoke with her son, who said he was just talking the bong away from his friend Shauna so she wouldn’t use it. Do you believe him? Alicia did, but then she got a call from Shauna saying that she couldn’t lie for Zach and that he needed to face his problem head on. Uh oh.
Peter took a conference call to address the situation. He and Eli thought they had things handled before one of the reporters dropped a bomb: How did Peter square his beliefs with his brother-in-law’s comments? Say what? Yup: Owen (Dallas Roberts) had been caught on camera speaking out against Peter’s stance on marijuana laws.
Alicia and Owen had an intervention of sorts with Zach to talk to him about drug use, but Zach stood firm that he didn’t smoke any pot. Instead, he just called out Alicia on keeping their family’s positive public image. He’s got a point Alicia. But at least the pot drama brought Owen back in the picture. He just wants Alicia to be happy, and I want him to come back more often.
NEXT: Peter makes a bold move
Despite the drama with Sweeney, James Castro had time to meet with Peter and Eli to ask Peter for his endorsement. But Peter had other ideas. He endorsed Finn Polmar instead, saying his chief-of-staff brought Finn to his attention by helping gather the signatures he needed! So that’s one way to make sure Finn sticks around. And I kind of love it. Also, James Castro can suck it.
Memorable moments and lines from “Tying the Knot”:
++ Colin Sweeney: “I’m getting married, Alicia! Congratulations are in order.”
Alicia: “I thought you already were married.”
Colin Sweeney: “Yes. I was. But I became disenchanted. So I had to get rid of her…Through divorce! Where’s your sense of humor?”
++ “It’s these glasses. Whoever you’re starring at, it matches their body type with a porn star…Oh, well that’s surprising.” –Colin Sweeney, to Alicia
++ Alicia: “Who’s Renata?”
Colin Sweeney: “My fiancé! Do you really not follow my life? I follow yours. I’m hurt!”
++ “I have a theory about women with three-syllable names.” –Renata, who might just be perfect for Colin Sweeney
++ Eli yelling at Nora to use her computer
++ Zach: “You and dad are playing Bill and Hillary. Why don’t we talk about that?”
Owen: “Yeah, why don’t we talk about that?”
++ Eli: “I don’t know what you’re thinking, but it’s a mistake.”
Peter: “What’s a mistake?”
Eli: “The thing you’re thinking that I don’t know what it is.”
++ “I felt very Lee J. Cobb threatening you.” –Colin
++ “Yes, clever, wasn’t it? Ms. Lockhart’s idea. She’s very good, isn’t she? I think she’s channeling her old partner. Makes her quite attractive.” –Colin
++ “Oh god, it’s like Mildred Pierce. We need to get you laid.” –Owen, to Alicia
++ “Come on, killer.” –Colin, to Renata
What did you think of “Tying the Knot”? Were you glad to see Colin Sweeney back? You’ve got to at least appreciate the one-liners. What about Owen? And how do you think Finn and Peter will work together?