The Good Wife recap: 'Hail Mary'
While Cary prepares for his incarceration, Diane and Kalinda make one final play to keep him out of prison. Meanwhile, Alicia practices for a state's attorney candidates' debate.
Welcome to 2015 and all-new episodes of The Good Wife! That hiatus was a serious bummer. Not a bummer? The stellar return delivered to us in the form of “Hail Mary.” I’m pretty sure this episode should have come with a warning. Like, “Take a Xanax before you watch. An hour of stress is coming your way.” Or: “Pour an Alicia-size glass of wine. You’re going to need it.” But I digress. Let’s dive right in:
We last left off with Cary’s case finally going to trial, and he chose to plead guilty to avoid a potential 15-year jail sentence. To prepare for his incarceration, he hires a not-so-cheap prison consultant, Bill Kroft (Domenick Lombardozzi). Kroft’s approach is one of tough love. But he’s got a point. Cary’s one-week stint in county pales in comparison to what he’ll face in prison. And because of overcrowding, Cary might even end up in a maximum security facility. So they’re preparing for the worst. First thing’s first: Cary needs a friend on the inside (preferably a white friend) who can vouch for him.
Enter Kalinda, who goes straight to the devil himself to secure a friend for Cary. The devil, of course, is Lemond Bishop. Let’s just go ahead and blame him for this whole mess. Kalinda asks Bishop to help Cary find someone on the inside. Bishop’s obviously not too thrilled to grant her a favor after their last interaction. And I’m not too thrilled to see Kalinda and Bishop alone together. Now that we know she’s leaving the show, I’m terrified that Bishop is going to kill her anytime they’re together. Overreaction? Maybe. But it’s been well established that Bishop is one scary dude. Bishop agrees to find someone for Cary, but there are strings attached. Kalinda has to take a call from someone in the near future. The details of this call are not disclosed.
In the meantime, Kalinda has the pleasure of chatting with Ray, Bishop’s contact on the inside. Ray mentions the export train and how Trey Wagner and his buddies were trying to launch their own business by selling to someone in Toronto. Like Kalinda, I passed over this information at first. But the music changed! So I knew it had to be important! Thankfully, Kalinda is smarter than I am.
Kalinda calls Diane and Alicia to tell them about her latest discovery: Cary was charged with giving Trey & Co. advice on how to import drugs into the city. But if the drugs were already in Chicago, and they were actually trying to export them, Cary could not possibly be guilty of conspiracy. Unfortunately, Cary already entered a guilty plea.
Diane goes to court to present this new evidence to Judge Cuesta (David Paymer). Even though the charge against Cary is inconsistent with what occurred, Cary pled guilty to those facts. The only way Cuesta will consider rescinding the plea is if Diane can show that the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence. Oh, and the catch? They have to bring proof to Cuesta before Cary’s sentencing hearing at 5 p.m. That means they’ve only got six hours. Cue the stress!
Diane puts everyone at the firm on the case. They’re fighting against the clock to find a Brady violation in the state’s attorney’s work. No pressure. But Kalinda manages to find one almost immediately. How convenient! Kalinda reaches out to an inspector (Jonathan Crombie) in Canada who says he emailed Det. Prima (John Ventimiglia) about the drug export and that Prima never responded.
This is enough to subpoena the backup drives of the CPD’s fourth district. From there Kalinda and her tech guy, Howell (Jason Babinsky), find that the email in question went to Prima’s spam folder and was deleted before he ever read it. So yeah, it’s no shock that that was too good to be true. Kalinda goes to see Cary for some sexy times, per the request of Mr. Kroft. (It’s either her or a hooker. Kroft insists Cary make a “memory” before prison, because that’s what the kids are calling it these days.)
Before Kalinda makes it to Cary, Alicia calls and tips him off to the possible Brady violation. Diane and Kalinda had decided not to tell him so he could continue to prepare for prison and not get his hopes up. So by the time he and Kalinda meet, Cary’s pretty upset with her for leaving him in the dark. But she has to break the news that it’s a dead end. “Hey, I got to live in hope for an hour. That’s something, I guess.” You break my heart, Cary! But look on the bright side. You get to have some “memories” with Kalinda.
NEXT: Kalinda makes a choice.
Kalinda leaves Cary after promising not to disappear on him. This is particularly painful since we know that whatever her fate may be, she won’t be around next season. And adding insult to injury, she leaves the hotel room with tears in her eyes. Don’t you start, Kalinda! It’s contagious.
Kalinda’s rendezvous with Cary inspires her to take the low road. She asks Howell how hard it would be to fake the metadata of Prima’s email account. Sensing where she’s going with this, Howell tries to deter her from any illegal behavior. She moves forward with the plan anyway. She has Howell show her what to do, and then asks him to leave so he can’t get caught up in any blowback down the road. She makes the change in the data, but gets distracted by Carey Zepps and walks away from the computer.
Other Carey found a discrepancy in the transcript of Prima’s interrogation of Trey Wagner. The transcript appears to have a good cop/bad cop situation happening with only one cop. After a little research Carey discovers that Prima’s former partner Kevin Rodriguez’s signature had been on all the previous case paperwork prior to the interrogation. From there on, it was mysteriously absent. They only have an hour to follow-up on this lead, but Kalinda goes in search of Rodriguez.
She finds him, and Rodriguez admits that he wouldn’t play ball with James Castro, so they removed him from the case. (Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire. And where there’s shady stuff happening on The Good Wife, there’s James Castro.) Kalinda convinces Rodriguez to come forward with his information since Castro is a lame duck and can’t hurt him anymore. She’s really cutting it down to the wire, as the 5 p.m. deadline has already passed. Fortunately, Judge Cuesta is late. He’s being held up by Bob Robertson (Robert Mammana) who’s offering him a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court. It seems awfully convenient. And it is. Robertson is from Peter’s camp and the Supreme Court seat is a delay tactic. More on this later.
At one point in his prison prep, Cary questions Kroft about leaving it all behind. And Kroft makes it clear that Cary doesn’t want to be an outlaw. Later we see Cary check his bank account and prepare to leave the hotel. At this point I thought: He better be going to court and not Spain. Spoiler alert! He stays in Chicago.
Judge Cuesta finally makes it to court, but he still beats Kalinda there. That’s why as they get started Diane presents the metadata Brady violation. It’s the violation she pulled from Kalinda’s computer. The data that Kalinda faked. I yelled “Oh no!” at the TV screen no less than eight times. Kalinda makes it to court just in time to hear this information, but it’s too late. The ball is already rolling. Fortunately, Kevin Rodriguez comes forward with a statement saying Cary may have been a victim of entrapment. Geneva Pine moves for a retrial, but Diane moves for an immediate dismissal. And Judge Cuesta agrees. He apologizes to Cary and dismisses the case. Cary is free to go!! All the feels!
Of course, all the feels are short-lived because now we know that this will probably be Kalinda’s demise. It seems unlikely that she’ll get away with changing the metadata. And it’s all the more painful because she found a way around the faked Brady violation. And then, of course, she still owes Lemond Bishop that favor. Now’s a rough time to be Kalinda Sharma.
Meanwhile, Alicia has to prep for her upcoming debate against Frank Prady. Eli and Johnny hire Adrian Fluke (Chris Elliott) to play the role of Prady in the mock debate. But much to Eli’s chagrin, Alicia is distracted by Cary’s case. Eli does what he can to get Alicia to focus, including telling Marissa to hide Alicia’s phone from her. But it’s not Alicia Eli needs to worry about. It’s Fluke, who can’t stop giggling because of the medical marijuana he’s using for his glaucoma.
NEXT: An unexpected smooch.
They get rid of Fluke and bring in Finn Polmar to spar with Alicia in the mock debate. Eli instructs Finn to go for the jugular, so he doesn’t hold back. It’s just what Alicia needs to turn on her A game. (Insert your own jokes here about Alicia being turned on by Finn.) Things go really well until Peter decides to make a cameo. He keeps interrupting Finn as Prady, so Finn calls it quits on the mock debate.
Alicia takes a break from the debate to ask Peter if he can ensure that Cary will end up in a minimum security facility, but Peter refuses to help out. (Sidenote: Do you think Peter refused to help out because he already had a “favor” in progress by delaying Judge Cuesta? Diane obviously had no idea what Judge Cuesta was talking about. Peter’s the only one who could have made that happen.) Regardless, Peter’s refusal to help ignites a new fire under Alicia. She goes from good to great in her debate prep. So much so that Eli wants to put an end to it to keep Peter from looking bad and keep their marriage from ending. (I hate to break it to you, Eli, but you’re probably too late on the latter.) Eli and Johnny have it out in the control room.
But I’ve really buried the lede here. Diane calls Alicia to break the news about Cary’s release. Alicia screams in relief in a parking garage. She even sets off a car alarm. And while she stands there with a goofy grin on her face, Johnny Elfman comes up and asks her if she’s all right. And boy is she. She marches over to him and KISSES him! My jaw hung open for a good 12 seconds. I would have placed my money on that kiss being with Finn Polmar. But I approve.
Best moments and lines from “Hail Mary”:
++ Bill Kroft: “Is that your girlfriend?”
Cary: “Yeah. But it’s complicated.”
Bill Kroft: “You’re gonna want to uncomplicate that today.”
++ Kalinda: “This isn’t about me. This is about Cary.”
Lemond Bishop: “A lot of things about Cary end up being about you, Kalinda.”
++ Eli’s reaction to Adrian Fluke’s Middle English
++ Eli: “You’ve got to get her in the game!”
Marissa: “I’m her body woman, not her fluffer.”
Eli: “When did you become so crass?”
++ Marissa: “Do you want some milk?”
Alicia: “No… I don’t like milk.”
Marissa: “Why not? It’s good for you.”
++ Judge Cuesta: “You know you only have four hours left, Counselor.”
Diane: “I do, Your Honor. It’s very dramatic.”
Geneva Pine: “Objection. The defense is trying to manipulate your affection for the dramatic, Your Honor.”
Judge Cuesta: “I know she is, madam ASA. And yet, I do love the dramatic.”
Judge Cuesta: “This case is dismissed with prejudice… You’re free to go, Mr. Agos. With our apologies.”
++ The kiss!!!
++ Not one moment in particular, but another excellent use of music in this week’s episode. The show’s brilliant score keeps the stress levels high and the plot moving.
Whew! Congratulations for surviving one very stressful hour of television. Cary is finally free! But it’s certainly hard to be too happy when it appears as though Kalinda is going to land in some pretty hot water for her actions. In the meantime, I’m choosing to focus on the silver lining that is that kiss between Alicia and Johnny. Sure, it seemed a little out of character. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. But what does this mean for Alicia and Finn? Does the kiss mean anything at all? Oh, Good Wife writers. You’ve done it again. Until next week!