The Good Wife recap: 'The Next Week'
Florrick/Agos deals with new-firm financial woes, Alicia finds herself in the middle of a costly suit, and Will tries to help one of Alicia's old clients
Money, money, money. Must be funny. In a rich man’s world. Okay, so “The Next Week” was likely not inspired by Abba’s hit “Money Money Money.” But the ep had everything to do with the financial woes of Florrick/Agos, and thus related all too much to the disco hit. Because of their expedited exodus from Lockhart/Gardner, they didn’t get their bonuses. (Yeah, we get it, Anthony!) And their Chumhum money hadn’t yet come in. Despite their relative success, the new firm was drowning in overhead. And unless they started bringing in the cash, things didn’t bode well.
Enter returning guest star Nathan Lane! Last season, Clarke Hayden towed the line each episode: Do we like him? Do we hate him? But this time he was firmly in the like camp. Hayden went over the Florrick/Agos financials and stated the obvious: Things were not good.
Meanwhile, Lockhart/Gardner was facing a $6 million malpractice suit from a failed adoption case. Their insurance company had denied them coverage due to “attorney recklessness.” And while they argued about how to proceed, Will laid down the new law of the land: “There are no more fights at this firm. No more internal squabbles. We work together…. Move together. Act together. Or leave.” You tell ’em, Will!
Basically, David Lee & Co. had assisted with an adoption for a couple. But the genetic parents fought to get the child back and won. Hence the malpractice suit from their former clients. Since Alicia had worked on the case, she was subpoenaed as a witness. Upon her return to Lockhart/Gardner, Alicia incited fear in the receptionist and garnered looks of disapproval from everyone else. But instead of handing over her testimony, Alicia used the opportunity to negotiate getting back her $150,000 capital contribution.
Diane: “Sometimes I look at you and I wonder if you’ve changed, or if you were always this way.”
Alicia: “I had some of the best teachers in the world. I couldn’t help but change.”
Alicia backed Lockhart/Gardner into a corner. They needed her testimony, so she’d get her money.
Christian Borle returned as Carter Schmidt to head the deposition. He explained the details of the suit: The genetic father of the adoptee was part Chippewa Indian. Because of the child’s heritage, the tribe had a right to block the adoption. Alicia testified that she’d warned the couple of this possibility. Then Carter dropped a bomb. Lockhart/Gardner had written a check for $10,000 made out to the Chippewa Nation, a bribe to stop them from blocking the adoption. Ooops!
NEXT: Will tackles the case of the week….
Realizing their mistake, Lockhart/Gardner had to employ a different tactic to get out of the suit. Alicia was promoted to partner in the middle of the adoption proceedings, which gave her supervisory authority. It didn’t matter that she didn’t know about the bribe. Her authority on the case would make her personally liable for the entire $6 million. Hayden, who had been the trustee at the time of the case, agreed to testify because he knew it would get Alicia off the hook. His testimony shifted the blame back to David Lee, who was the actual partner overseeing the case.
But who actually wrote the check? Anthony Wright Edelman, of course. He was the one who leaked the Howard Lyman video a few weeks ago. Clearly his moral compass does not point due north. But at least Anthony had some help with the bribe. He consulted with Lyman before writing the check, which would once again shift the blame. But remember Edelman’s moral compass? He can’t be trusted. During his deposition he admitted to sending the check. But he said that Alicia was the supervising partner that okayed the bribe. (Surely I wasn’t the only one screaming at my TV at this point.) We already know he’s a shady character, but why lie? Because Lockhart/Gardner offered him partnership. Will was right. Nothing will stop him from taking Lockhart/Gardner to the top.
Anthony’s betrayal cost the firm some of its already-limited manpower, adding to Florrick/Agos’ financial strain. And presumably he’ll share inside information with Lockhart/Gardner — another big hit to the budding firm. Fortunately, it looks like Clarke Hayden is here to stay. He offered to stick around and give his financial and law services to Florrick/Agos for free. That is, he will work for free until the firm becomes profitable. Only then will he take his salary retroactively. So at least one thing is working in Florrick/Agos’ favor right now.
The case of the week was handled by Lockhart/Gardner. More specifically, Will took control when a client called and asked for Alicia. Jeffery Grant (Hunter Parrish) was pulled over, presumably for speeding. But when the officer accused him of drinking, things took a turn for the weird. Jeffery agreed to take a Breathalyzer test, but the officer didn’t have one on him. Jeffery would have to go to the police station.
But things just got more bizarre once Will arrived at the police station to check things out. Jeffery had been there an hour, and he’d yet to be given a Breathalyzer test—but they had swabbed his cheek for DNA. Further complicating things, Geneva Pine was there, and had been with the officer during the arrest. Will’s attempts to get Jeffery released and his DNA sample thrown out (DNA would be irrelevant to a DUI) landed them in a courtroom with Judge Politi (Vincent Curatola). There, Pine dismissed the DUI charge, but re-arrested Jeffery for the murder of a college student, Dani Littlejohn.
NEXT: Will fights Jeffery’s murder charge….
Jeffery’s father had been arrested two months earlier for assault, and because of that they had a familial match to the DNA found under Littlejohn’s fingernails. The killer had to be Jeffery or one of his male relatives. Judge Politi gave Pine the standard 48 hours after arrest to charge, but told her she’d have to wait to test Jeffery’s DNA.
Will, Diane, and Kalinda tried to get more information from Jeffery and find out if there was any way he was connected with Dani. He claimed to have zero involvement. And I almost believed him until Kalinda said, “He did it.” Her instincts are usually right.
Will went to investigate at the college, and tried to chat with the teacher who’d earlier been accused — and then cleared — of the murder. While he was there, he ran into Owen! The two chatted over frozen yogurt and discussed the on-campus rumors circling the case. But Owen shifted focus and tried to prod Will into sharing details about Alicia. Will was the one who told him she’d left the firm to start her own. Meanwhile, Kalinda went to talk to Jeffery’s uncle Jim, the only other male relative who had been around during the time of the murder. And Jim was a host of information unknown to Jeffery: Uncle Jim used to be a woman, so the DNA couldn’t possibly have been his. And Jeffery has a half-brother.
Kalinda located the half-brother, Anderson, and as soon as she questioned him about the date of the murder, he bolted. But not before leaving a piece of already-chewed gum behind. Kalinda collected the gum for a DNA sample. Meanwhile, Geneva Pine was running out of time to charge Jeffery, so she tried to broker a plea bargain deal. It was seemingly good news since it likely meant the prosecution couldn’t make a case.
Geneva Pine offered Jeffery involuntary manslaughter and two years in prison. Jeffery was insistent that he’d never met Dani and that there was no way his DNA could have been under her fingernails. So Will advised him to reject the plea bargain. Which was all too unfortunate. Because Geneva Pine then charged Jeffery with murder and expedited his DNA. It was a 100 percent match to the DNA found on the body. Well, that’s not good. Jeffery again insisted he was telling the truth, but the DNA begs to differ. That’s how the case ended in the episode, but I imagine they’ll come back to this one.
NEXT: Owen has a heart-to-heart with Will….
After his chat with Will, Owen went to confront Alicia about her job change. He’s the first one to call her out on the real reason she left the firm: She was afraid of leaving her marriage for Will. She wouldn’t admit anything, but Owen’s obviously right. It was always personal. So Owen took it upon himself to go to Will and tell him the truth:
Owen: “She and Peter, they’re not set in stone.”
Will: “No. It’s over. Goodbye.”
I know Will’s hurt right now. And, honestly, probably shocked by this revelation. But we all know it’s far from over.
In this episode’s spinoff story line, “Zach and Grace Fight Cyber Crime,” Zach and Grace did just that. The elder Florrick child walked past Alicia’s computer and noticed the webcam was on. Upon closer inspection, the camera shut off. Zach told Alicia that someone had been using her webcam to spy on her, and Florrick/Agos assumed it was David Lee fishing for information. So to retaliate, they made sure they fed false information anytime the webcam was on.
Alicia eventually called David Lee out on it, and threatened to sue. But surprisingly, David Lee wasn’t responsible for the spying. It was actually Drew Stiles (Josh Green), one of Zach and Grace’s classmates. He’d been hacking their webcams to post inappropriate pictures and videos of Grace. So Zach went full-on big brother mode and punched Stiles at school. Stiles got in a good hit, but it was Zach who won that fight. Alicia never learned the full story behind the hacking, but let’s hope she doesn’t for Stiles’ sake. A fist fight will be the least of his worries if Alicia learns the truth.
Memorable lines and moments from “The Next Week”:
++ “Yes, after I cleaned the carpets of brimstone.” —David Lee, on moving into Alicia’s old Lockhart/Gardner office
++ Cary: “Keep in mind, we’re a new venture.”
Clarke: “A new venture without offices, without paralegals, and with a high school girl answering the door.”
++ “I don’t do drugs. I don’t sell them.” —Included because it was said by Jeffery a.k.a. former Weeds actor Hunter Parrish
++ “Can we get started, or did you both want to play cards?” —David Lee to Alicia and Carter
++ “Oh, this is very entertaining watching you flail.” —Owen, to Alicia after her series of “ums” and “whats”
++ Owen: “I’m just reading your body language here, and you’re in, like, Warrior Princess mode.”
Alicia: “Well, I’m kicking butt.”
++ David Lee calling Clarke Hayden ‘Judas’
++ Alicia and Will’s staring contest at Lockhart/Gardner. (She won since he walked about without saying anything.)
So now it’s your turn. Are you glad Clarke Hayden is back? Do you think it’s smart for Florrick/Agos to take his help? (I vote yes.) Do you think Owen should have told Will about Alicia? I know his intentions were good, but he’s really overstepping his bounds. Do you think Will will confront Alicia about Owen’s revelation? There hasn’t been enough Kalinda or Eli Gold this season. What do you hope they do with their characters? And do you think Hunter Parrish’s Jeffery is guilty of murder? Sound off with all your thoughts about “The Next Week” in the comments below.