The Good Wife recap: 'A Precious Commodity'
Diane and Will battle it out after she betrays him in an interview and Alicia represents a client over a surrogacy contract
Well, we’re three episodes in, and the you-know-what still hasn’t hit the fan. And based on the previews, we’ve got to wait two more weeks!! Good things come to those who wait. And in this particular situation, all hell is going to break loose, and it’s going to be awesome. But now on to “A Precious Commodity.”
The case of the week put a twist on an already hot-button issue: abortion. Kathy (The West Wing‘s Janel Moloney) and her husband, Brian, had hired Tara as a surrogate to carry their child. Alicia was on hand to represent Tara’s interests in regards to the surrogacy contract they’d all signed. But when Dr. Tuft (Jordan Lage) informed them that a second amniocentesis test showed that the baby had an 85 percent chance of developing Patau Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality, things got complicated. Tara was in her second trimester, so termination was still an option. And it’s the option Kathy and Brian wanted to proceed with.
But when Tara failed to show up at her clinic appointment, Alicia was sucked into the drama. Tara decided that she didn’t want to go through with the abortion because she felt like Dr. Tuft was wrong about the diagnosis. Enter Christian Borle as Carter Schmidt, Kathy and Brian’s lawyer. He pointed out that Tara would be in breach of her surrogacy contract, which stipulated that she would terminate the pregnancy if there were substantial signs of birth defects. And with the contract concluded, Alicia was no longer need to represent Tara’s interests. Kathy and Brian then decided to sue Tara for economic devastation, and unless Alicia agreed to take on Tara’s case pro bono, Tara would likely go bankrupt. Don’t worry, guys! She’s the Good Wife. She took the case, and David Lee joined her.
The main issue going forward was whether or not Tara’s fetus was viable. Alicia & Co. got Tara’s ob-gyn, Dr. Serling (Karen Pittman), to testify that the fetus was viable, which contradicted Dr. Tuft’s claims. Due to the conflicting testimonies from the two doctors, Judge Stanek (Peter Gerety) referenced Roe v. Wade and decided the fetus was non-viable and would remain so for 40 more hours. Meanwhile, Alicia and Carter continued to argue in court about the stipulations of the surrogacy contract. Karen got on the stand to testify about her first child who had a heart defect. He died when he was six months old, and she didn’t want to bring another child into the world to suffer. “I wish I were the one that were pregnant. But I’m not. But it’s our child. Our choice. No one should be allowed to take that from us.”
NEXT: Diane vs. Will, Part I….
Judge Stanek eventually weighed in with this decision: Control of one’s body is an absolute. He said the couple could not force an abortion, but then he agreed to hear the motion for declaratory judgement. Essentially this meant that Tara could still be found in breach of other aspects of the surrogacy contract. Carter tried to whip out some character assassination, getting a guy to testify that he’d had a threesome with Tara — and they hadn’t used protection. But the biggest hit against Tara was when Carter said that she’d claimed she would have the abortion for $100,000. He argued she was trying to blackmail Kathy and Brian. Alicia argued that if Tara had said that, it was perfectly fine because she was allowed to monetize the abortion.
But all of this became moot. Robyn’s investigation turned up that there had been a miscalculation of the fetal age. That meant Tara was already in her third trimester, and there wasn’t anything they could do to pressure her to terminate. All of this ended with an awkward confrontation between Kathy and Tara. Kathy told Tara she was being selfish, and Tara reiterated that she was doing the right thing. Neither women will ever see eye to eye on this issue. But it’s another successful case for Alicia at Lockhart/Gardner…and possibly her last one for the firm.
Meanwhile, we saw the initial ramifications of Diane’s interview with Mandy Post. At the end of episode 2, Diane went through with the interview — only to find out too late that she didn’t have to. But she decided to be the bigger person and at least warn Will of her betrayal so he wouldn’t be completely blindsided. Unsurprisingly, he was pissed. Actually, that’s probably an understatement. I think Diane’s lucky he didn’t Hulk smash anything right there on the spot.
After Mandy Post called Will to “fact-check” her story, Will felt it necessary to call in the other partners to discuss Diane’s ouster. But first, he asked Kalinda to look into Diane’s work on her cases. He was hoping to find some sort of mishandling that would help him push her out of the firm. Will gathered the partners (sans Diane, of course) to vote about moving forward with her exit package. The vote passed, and David Lee, Howard Lyman, Will, and Alicia were nominated to head up the negotiating committee. Unsurprisingly, Diane did not take well to the initial exit package, even though it was similar to Jonas Stern’s exit offer. She said they could re-think their offer because she wasn’t going anywhere until they had the security guards escort her out.
NEXT: Diane vs. Will, Part II….
Afterward, Will had a closed-door meeting with Alicia during which he asked her to consider replacing Diane as managing partner. Whoa! Obviously, he’s still completely unaware of her plans to leave the firm. Speaking of, the fourth years met at Alicia’s apartment to discuss font choices and their plans to leave Lockhart/Gardner. And Carey (not Cary Cary) asked Alicia about the rumors of Diane’s early exit. (They want a jump on Diane’s clients.) And Alicia was totally stuck in the middle of it all.
Making matters worse, Cary (the real one) heard through the grapevine that Alicia had been offered the managing partnership and confronted her about it. She made it clear that while she was at least considering it, she hadn’t made a decision. But Cary reiterated that staying at Lockhart/Gardner would be a mistake: “You’ll always be under Will.” (I think Cary is missing an important detail. Perhaps Alicia wants to be under Will. Cough. Cough.)
David Lee & Co. went back to Diane with another exit offer. But once again, Diane declined. So Will asked David Lee and Howard Lyman to leave the room so he could talk with just Diane. Oh, and he asked Alicia to stay too. Awkward! Will asked Diane what she wanted from him. Her answer? Appreciation. She put her whole life into the firm, and they were just kicking her out with ease. Will said he couldn’t negotiate money, and then lobbed this epic burn Diane’s way: “How much appreciation are you looking for, your honor?” Diane told him he better up her offer by 20 percent. That much money seems unlikely, but both Will and Diane are standing firm. She’s assuming he’ll find another way. And he’s insistent that she can’t be sworn in as a judge with a partnership dispute hanging over her head. The moral of the story is that things are super complicated and getting ugly. Alicia witnessed this outburst, and afterward, she went to Cary to tell him she no longer had any doubts. She’s leaving to start Florrick, Agos & Associates. And they’re doing it by the end of the week.
Over in Peter’s world, he was catching a little heat for firing/promoting Marilyn Garbanza (Melissa George). He claimed that his governorship would be the most ethical in Illinois, but reporter Anne Stevens (Talia Balsam) pointed out that was a pretty low bar give that four of the last governors had been to prison. But so has Peter! Glad we got that out of the way. Peter realized that it looked like he “promoted” Marilyn because she was too ethical, so he asked Eli to bring her back. But just like Diane wasn’t pleased with her first exit package offer, Marilyn was equally offended by her return package offer.
NEXT: Alicia finally takes notice of Grace’s grown-up looks…
Eli and Peter wanted her to return to head up the ethics commission, but operate out of Springfield. Peter and the rest of the crew would stay in Chicago. Marilyn said she’d only consider the job if she was given unfettered access and could stay in Chicago. Peter said he wanted a day to think about it, which essentially meant that by episode’s end, Marilyn got herself her new (technically old) job. Important Marilyn quote: “Ethical issues are never obvious, and they never go away.” I am probably reading way too much into this, but I feel like she’s also talking about their chemistry. It’s not super obvious right now, but Marilyn isn’t going away. And the writers have to be setting them up to hook up, right?
Meanwhile, Alicia finally noticed Grace’s new grown-up look. And Zach finally showed Alicia why her youngest child had been getting extra attention: the 10 Hottest Politicians’ Daughters list. (Did you notice Zach had the bleating goat from last week pop up on his computer?) Alicia browsed the site and the unfortunate comments, and it put her on edge. So it wasn’t all that surprising when she told off Cam (P.J. Griffith), a motorcycle riding guy who came to the apartment to visit Grace. It was a great exchange:
Cam: “You must be Mrs. Florrick. I told Grace I might swing by after dinner. I’m running a little late.”
Alicia: “She’s out. But maybe you’d like to come in and have a beer?”
Cam: “Yeah. That’d be great. Thanks!”
Alicia: “Are you insane? My daughter is 16 years old. You do not come knocking at her door again. Do you understand, Cam? Now is the time to say yes!”
Alicia: “Good! Express elevator is right behind you. Turn around!” [slams door]
As it turned out, Cam was just Grace’s pastor. He was stopping by to pick up some reading material. Then, Alicia and Grace have the heart-to-heart that all mothers and daughters have: Grace just wants to be pretty! Alicia tells her she is, and Grace responds with, “You have to say that.” But we had a sweet mother/daughter moment last week with Veronica and Alicia, and this week it was Alicia and Grace.
It’s interesting that Kalinda didn’t know Alicia was leaving. Like Robyn, I just assumed that since Kalinda knew Cary and the other fourth years were leaving, word of Alicia’s departure would have gotten around. I mean, Kalinda is an investigator. In other news, Peter told Alicia he wanted to renew their vows before the inauguration. Do you think they’re actually going to go through with it? And finally, do you think both Will and Diane are overreacting about the firm’s situation? Will knew about Diane’s plans to leave so her exit would have been an issue regardless. Or do you think they’re both perfectly justified in being so upset at each other? And finally, would you choose Dan Brown or Hemingway? Sound off in the comments.