The Good Wife recap: Old Spice
Alicia and Elsbeth face off against Josh Perotti in court.
This week’s episode picks up right where last week’s left off: Alicia & Co. have to put their sexual discrimination suit on hold so they can team up with Elsbeth (Carrie Preston) to fight off criminal charges brought on by AUSA Josh Perotti (Kyle MacLachlan). This was a smart turn of events; I’d much rather see Alicia and Elsbeth on the same side.
Elsbeth goes to the FBI for a meeting with Perotti, but it’s been rescheduled. She just missed the memo. Elsbeth barges in on Perotti to yell at him for telling everyone but her, only to learn that it was her assistant, Fantasia(!), who failed to pass on the message. She’s clearly flustered, but Perotti assures her that this case has nothing to do with her—and his desires to take her to lunch. He insists that their client, J-Serve, plagiarized their software from another company. She tries to get away, avoiding the sidewalk grates in her escape route. Perotti calls her out on her “adorable” behavior. Later he pretends to fall in one of the grates, and she saves him. But not before he smells her baby lotion and she gets a whiff of his Old Spice. (An Elsbeth/Josh spinoff would make fabulous TV. Someone get on that.)
I also love when Ana Gasteyer guests as Judge “In My Opinion” Lessner. It always adds an element of humor to the courtroom. Anyway, Perotti puts an app designer on the stand, and Alicia quickly becomes aware of what he’s really trying to accomplish. This case isn’t about trade secret charges. It’s a Trojan horse prosecution to bring economic espionage charges against Camilla Vargas and J-Serve. While Camilla was CEO, she sold proprietary software to a Chinese civilian company with ties to the Chinese government. If convicted, there’s a minimum sentence of 10 to 15 years. Alicia and Elsbeth have their work cut out for them.
Elsbeth tries to use Perotti’s infatuation with her to their advantage. And it works, at first. Perotti is distracted by Elsbeth’s hands while he questions the witness, Mr. Fong (Johnny Wu). But when Elsbeth goes to question him, she freezes up, and Alicia has to take over. Fortunately, Alicia uses Fong’s testimony from the case last week to prove that he went over Camilla’s head and kept key information away from her when brokering the deal. Therefore, she couldn’t have known that the Chinese company was going to sell the software to the Chinese government. Needing another big break, Alicia sends Kalinda in search of other evidence.
Things may be stalled in the courtroom, but they’re just beginning to heat up between Elsbeth and Josh Perotti. Elsbeth is dancing to “Call Me Maybe” in her office when Perotti shows up. Things escalate quickly. They briefly make out before ripping each other’s clothes off and having sex on her desk. Keeping it classy, guys! And again, somebody get me that spinoff!
The next morning, we see Elsbeth covered by a blanket on top of her desk. Her office is in total upheaval. Get it, girl! But she’s got a case to focus on. Kalinda finds that the same Chinese company in question bought a firewall program from a Boston firm that was actually a CIA front company. Unfortunately, Kalinda needs a little more time to gather the documentation. But don’t worry, Elsbeth’s got this covered: “I’ve got his buttons.”
She means literally, of course. Elsbeth goes to see Josh and they return each other’s buttons from their sexcapades. But she’s here for work. She tells him about the invoice from the CIA company that sold firewall software to the aforementioned Chinese company. He thinks she’s lying about having proof. But when she pulls out said invoice—which is, in fact, likely a fake since Kalinda said she’d need more time to find documentation—Perotti decides he doesn’t want to risk it. He takes the invoice and shreds it. But Perotti has been spending too much time in D.C. Illinois requires only one-party consent, so Elsbeth records the whole thing on her phone. She then, awesomely, tells Josh to call her, maybe. And Perotti withdraws all of the charges against their client. Woot!
Meanwhile, Alicia has to deal with her less-than-popular religious beliefs. She’s on the record saying she’s an atheist, and Johnny knows that won’t get her elected. So he attempts to do some damage control by arranging an interview with Pastor Jeremiah Easton (Frankie Faison). Alicia isn’t comfortable pretending to be someone she’s not, but she’s stuck. If she wants to win, she has to address the elephant in the room. Alicia turns to Grace again for religious guidance.
UP NEXT: The episode’s best moments and lines
When it’s all said and done, the interview with Pastor Jeremiah goes off without a hitch. Alicia’s still not comfortable, but she does what she has to do for the campaign. It’s a slippery slope, no? At what point will Alicia draw the line? Perhaps the best development in the campaign is Marissa (Sarah Steele) becoming Alicia’s body woman/personal assistant. Sure, Alicia’s right. She probably doesn’t need a body woman. But I’m all for it because Marissa is a mini-Eli and her comic relief is totally worth it. (Bonus points if she starts carrying a Leviathan.)
Update on the Cary front: He goes to an Ivy-core fall mixer and meets a woman (Sepideh Moafi) who calls him out on his recent trouble with the law. They have a few too many drinks and he takes her home. Unfortunately, his pretrial services officer, Joy Grubick (Linda Lavin), is waiting there for him. Things go from bad to worse in a matter of minutes. He’s clearly been drinking, and his new lady friend makes a joke about them doing drugs later. Grubick is not amused. When she checks his Uber receipt to prove he didn’t drive home under the influence, she sees that his route took him into Indiana. And that’s a clear violation of his bail terms. Cary’s really racking up the arrests this season!
Though it’s a minor offense, it’s an offense nonetheless. Grubick meets with Kalinda, an encounter that proves less than fruitful. And later, Grubick submits a new report on Cary’s behalf. Yes, Cary’s infraction was inadvertent. But Grubick decides he’s been too casual in his conformity to judicial rulings. So the judge approves Cary’s bail with the a few more restrictions: He has to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet. He now has a 9 p.m. curfew. And the real kicker? He’s not allowed any contact with Kalinda because she’s considered dangerous. Not cool, Grubick. Not cool.
Over at Lockhart/Gardner/Canning (which is still a very misleading firm name), David Lee & Co. face eviction. Diane is the primary lease holder following Will’s death, and she intends to move out the LGC crew so Florrick/Agos can work in a bug-free world. David Lee uses his connections at OSHA to hit Diane with $650,000 worth of infractions, since she’s technically the landlord. Ooof. But Kalinda comes up with a similar plan: Louis Canning owns his own real estate, and she’s right to assume he has similar issues at his properties.
Sure enough, Canning has a dozen OSHA violations totaling $1.6 million. So that’s settled, right? Of course not. Canning points out that since she hasn’t been around physically for the past four weeks and two days, Diane is in violation of the lease. She can’t evict them. Fortunately, Kalinda’s already thought of a backup plan: The amendment in the lease just requires that a partner of Florrick/Agos be an occupant. So off they go to hire Howard Lyman.
Their plan works, and David Lee & Co. have 24 hours to vacate the premises. When Alicia and Diane go to inspect their new/old digs, they find it’s been left a total mess. They even removed the F, A, and L from the keyboards! Subtle, indeed. Diane offers to take Will’s old office so Alicia doesn’t have to, but Alicia won’t hear of it. There’s your weekly reminder that Will’s death is still really sad.
Best moments and lines from “Old Spice”:
++ “I have more things to do with my time than to come here like a woman dragged here out of her day.” —Elsbeth, to Josh Perotti
++ “My name is Nils Landrusyshym. That’s spelled the usual way.” —Nils, a witness in court
++ Alicia: “You have to say, ‘in my opinion.'”
Elsbeth: “Are you hazing me?”
++ Judge Lessner not being able to pronounce Mr. Landrusyshym’s name
++ Alicia: “You don’t need to bring me coffee, Marissa.”
Marissa: “It’s not coffee. It’s milk….”
Alicia: “….Why milk?”
Marissa: “Why not?”
++ Diane’s laugh at the thought of Howard Lyman joining the Florrick/Agos team. She’s got a great laugh.
++ Elsbeth singing and later dancing to “Call Me Maybe”
++ Howard: “This is a bit out of the blue.”
Diane, the queen of BS: “Well, when one is pursuing excellence, does timing really matter?”
++ “Umm. I really need to work out more. I used to be a lot skinner.” —Elsbeth, to Josh right before they sleep together
++ Judge Lessner: “This was a supreme waste of time.”
Elsbeth: “In your opinion?”
++ Elsbeth and Josh smelling their hands after they shake goodbye
++ So what happens now with the original Lockhart/Gardner? Do they just disappear as if they never existed? Also, I tend to side with Cary when it comes to all this firm business. He’s right: They did all this work to get away from Lockhart/Gardner, only to end up basically back where they started. What’s the point? That said, despite his differences with Alicia, I love that she’s so willing to stand by him through his legal trouble. She refuses to accept Cary’s offer to take a break from work. Another weird event: Alicia calls Kalinda in this episode to ask her to look into something on the case. Even though it’s on the phone, this is the first scene they’ve had together this season. Finally: I don’t know if I will ever be able to look at Old Spice and baby lotion in the same way.