The Good Wife recap: 'Whack-a-Mole'
Alicia and Will face off in court, Lockhart/Gardner hires a new lawyer (guest star Jason O'Mara), and Jackie Florrick shows she's boss
I feel like a broken record, constantly singing the praises of The Good Wife‘s fifth season. But I just have to give credit where credit is due. And the most recent episode was right on par with the with show’s current it’s-so-good-I-can’t-believe-it streak. It was one of those subtlety good episodes. Nothing too explosive — just good. Also, the writers get extra credit for naming the ep “Whack-a-Mole,” which I stole for this post’s headline. Because let’s face it, it’s just fun.
Both Florrick/Agos and
Lockhart/Gardner LG were trying to deal with life post-“Hitting the Fan.” Florrick/Agos’ focus was on bringing in new clients, and thusly more cash. Meanwhile, the LG crew was looking for new litigators to replace Alicia & Co., and trying to reclaim many of their lost clients. Fortunately, the case of the week came at a favorable time for both firms.
Like many of the cases featured on the show, this case of the week was ripped straight from real-life headlines. Zayeed (Haaz Zleiman), a former client of Alicia’s, called her for help when the FBI showed up at his house. He was under the impression that they were doing a background check on a colleague trying to get a job as a CIA analyst. But once the line of questioning became a little more invasive, he called Alicia in to help, worried that he might get his co-worker in trouble.
With Alicia there, the questioning continued. The FBI agents learned that Zayeed had been in Milwaukee for a conference with his colleague. But after the agent asked Zayeed where he was the afternoon of October 15, Alicia’s internal alarm went off. That was the day of the Milwaukee Food Festival explosion. Alicia tried to stop the interview, but the agents had a warrant for all of Zayeed’s computers, files, papers, smartphones, etc. Zayeed said he had been in his hotel room when the bomb went off, but the FBI agents had a photo of someone who resembled Zayeed near the bombing location. It didn’t help that Zayeed was in the process of writing a book about jihad. No one would care that the material was not focused on violent jihad, but rather the spiritual kind.
Alicia went straight to court to quash the warrant based on racial profiling and found Judge Kluger (Jeffrey Tambor) presiding. It didn’t work. Zayeed was still adamant that he was in his hotel when the bomb went off, but with no one to confirm his story, it didn’t look too good. Robyn’s investigative work showed that the photo the FBI was using was a tourist photo from Scabbit, which is basically the fictional version of Reddit. Online users began sharing photos of the “suspect,” and as a result, Zayeed was misidentified as the bomber. (Just ask the New York Post. It can happen.)
NEXT: Welcome to the show, Jason O’Mara!
The threads on Scabbit were getting out of hand, and the users were accusing Zayeed of the bombing in droves. Some of the photos looked like him, but most of them didn’t. So Florrick/Agos decided to sue for an injunction against Scabbit to cut off the FBI’s supply of crowd-sourced investigative work. But Scabbit ignored their subpoenas, and failed to appear in court.
Meanwhile, Will’s new hard-to-please attitude got in the way of the LG hiring process. He shot down all of the choices their head hunter, Beth (Leslie Silva), presented them with. Will finally agreed to consider one name, only after Beth hesitated to pass his information along. She felt he wouldn’t be the right fit. But Will’s looking to shake things up.
So off Will went to convince Damian Boyle (guest star Jason O’Mara) to join the ranks of LG. Naturally, the two chatted over a beer at a pub. Damian gave Will insight into his past dealings: “There are friends I have that I defend no matter what.” But Will said as long as those friends had money, he didn’t care. We all know Will’s compass doesn’t exactly point due north. Welcome to LG, Damian!
The rest of the LG team wasn’t too happy about Will’s impromptu hiring. Will stuck by his decision, while everyone else argued about their new “Mob lawyer.” Meanwhile, Damian settled in by hitting on one of the female employees. With David Lee leading the charge, he and Diane decided to get the votes they needed to remove Damian from his newfound partnership at LG.
Perhaps sensing he wasn’t loved by all at the new firm, Damian showed off his unpredictable nature by taking a group of LG employees out on a little “legal field trip.” They went to Florrick/Agos and told the secretary they were a part of the rental company there to swap out the furniture. But really, they just wiped the office clean of everything. Probably not the most mature course of action, but definitely an effective one. Before leaving, Damian took Alicia’s #1 Mom pin from her desk and noticed her notes on Scabbit.
NEXT: Florrick/Agos unexpectedly take on LG in court….
Back in the court room, Alicia & Co. managed to get the thread about Zayeed deleted from Scabbit, but then another one popped up. (Hence the episode’s title, “Whack-a-Mole.”) Enter Scabbit’s new counsel: Will and Damian! The Irish lawyer’s trip to Florrick/Agos was a lucrative one. Will and Alicia argued against each other about the semantics of the case. And Judge Kluger agreed that the new thread must be deleted by Scabbit. Alicia wanted Scabbit to honor the spirit of the judge’s ruling and delete threads about Zayeed as they appeared, but the law doesn’t work like that.
At this point, Alicia noticed Damian wearing her #1 Mom pin, and realized that LG was responsible for the furniture theft. She called Will out on it, but he acted like he didn’t know what she was talking about. And since Damian is responsible, I suppose that Will may not have been aware of Damian’s out-of-the-office shenanigans. But then again, that seems pretty unlikely. Unfortunately, preemptively deleting the posts would be prior restraint. Scabbit would only delete threads that the court ordered be deleted. This posed an obvious logistical problem for the staff of Florrick/Agos.
But they caught a break of sorts after Zayeed lost his job. The negativity surrounding his false accusation was enough for Florrick/Agos to sue for damages. They went back to court and asked for $400,000 in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages. Then they called a witness — Grant Irvin, a frequent poster on Scabbit. And one with a rather unfortunate user name: Lotion my Feet. Anyway, Grant acted as a moderator for the site, and Florrick/Agos tried to prove as a moderator, he was an employee of Scabbit. If that was the case, Scabbit could be held liable for Grant’s defamatory comments.
Unfortunately, this tactic didn’t hold up in court. An algorithm was used to award “pimp points” to Scabbit users, so Scabbit couldn’t be seen as Grant’s employer. But they did get Scabbit to release the real names of the posters. One of those people didn’t exist, except on social media. As it turned out, Dante Pryor is a robot. Dante’s online presence as a socialbot was created by Scabbit and designed to appear human and drive Internet traffic to Scabbit. And since it was built by Scabbit, they would be responsible for damages. Finally a win for Florrick/Agos.
Will and Diane went to Florrick/Agos to negotiate the terms of the settlement. And for once Florrick/Agos had a leg up on LG. They knew how their old firm operated. They turned down the first LG offer for Zayeed, and negotiated a whopping $1.5 million for his troubles.
NEXT: Jackie’s back and as awful as ever….
Back in the LG offices, Diane tried to move forward with her plan to oust Damian Boyle. But David Lee changed his mind, as he is wont to do. So Diane decided to go a new route, and she asked Kalinda to vet Damian. Kalinda didn’t have much luck with Damian, either. He gave her three different birth dates during their initial interview. And then, we found out Damian lied about a having a DUI, when in actuality the DUI in question was Howard Lyman’s. So Damian’s not going anywhere any time soon, but Diane and Kalinda are keeping an eye on the “off, but not dangerous” lawyer. Don’t get too comfortable, Mr. Boyle. Kalinda’s going to figure out what game you’re playing.
Meanwhile, Jackie Florrick returned with a vengeance. She learned that Peter had named Diane’s Supreme Court replacement nominee, and she was not thrilled with the news. The new candidate, Rachel (Mary Stuart Masterson), used to clerk for her husband. And apparently, Rachel did more than that. She’d been Mr. Florrick’s mistress. Jackie tried to stop the nomination, but Eli told her to get over her personal grudge. And even though Eli was more sympathetic once he learned the real reason Jackie didn’t want Rachel to get the job, his hands were tied. Peter couldn’t reverse the appointment of another female candidate.
But this is Jackie Florrick we’re talking about. Not even Eli Gold can get in her way. Jackie met with Rachel and threatened her: Turn down the nomination, or she would tell Rachel’s husband about her past indiscretions. Oh, and Rachel’s husband is in the hospital with cancer, prompting this genius exchange:
Rachel: “You are an awful woman.”
Jackie: “Yes. I am.”
Rachel told Jackie her husband already knew of her affair. But Jackie went to the hospital anyway, just to make sure. And it was enough to frighten Rachel away. So Peter’s going to have to find a new candidate after all. And Jackie, of course, played ignorant when Eli questioned her. Don’t underestimate Jackie Florrick. She’s one tough bitch.
But the weirdest part of the episode was the final scene. Alicia received an odd phone call from Judge Kluger: “Everything is just fine. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I was wondering if you would like to get some coffee.” Ummm WHAT? You cannot end an episode that like, Good Wife writers. I have no idea how to take this turn of events.
Memorable lines and moments from “Whack-a-Mole”:
++ “Can you do me a favor? Next time can you bring me back something just a little more serious? I don’t know, like a grocery store robbery?” —Judge Kluger (Jeffrey Tambor) to Alicia
++ Judge Kluger, talking about Alicia and Will: “You two used to be on the same side, didn’t you?”
Alicia: “Yes, your honor.”
Judge Kluger: “Oh. Well, that’s awkward.”
++ “Howard, this is a law firm, not Second City.” —Diane to Howard Lyman about Damian Boyle
++ Rachel: “That was a long time ago. I was 25.”
Jackie: “Yes. And you should have slept with the husband of someone with a shorter memory.”
++ Will, about the Florrick/Agos offices: “Huh. This is different.”
Diane: “On the bright side, we weren’t shot by the crack dealers on the corner.”
What did you think of “Whack-a-Mole”? Do you like Jason O’Mara as Damian Boyle? How do you think he’ll play in to the rest of the season? What do you think Judge Kluger is up to? Sound off with all your thoughts in the comments.