The Good Wife recap: 'Sticky Content'
Alicia’s campaign is in full swing now that she has a clearly established opponent. Goodbye, James Castro! (You won’t be missed.) And hello, Frank Prady. (You still kind of suck, but not as bad as Castro.) Anyway, Johnny Elfman and campaign media specialist Josh Mariner (guest star David Krumholtz) prepare Alicia’s introductory campaign video and viral content. Episode title alert! Johnny wants to use the “sticky” content because that’s the stuff that will, well, stick in people’s minds. This ushers in a crisis of conscience for Alicia because it’s not her style to go the negative route, nor does she want to be too manipulative. Unfortunately, that’s not how politics work.
Frank Prady makes an unannounced visit to Alicia’s office to discuss campaign tactics. He’s got a box of dirt on Alicia that Castro gave him after dropping out of the race, but he doesn’t want to use it. He claims he wants to run a fair, clean campaign, and he appeals to Alicia to do the same. On good faith, Prady leaves the box with Alicia and his personal cell phone number in hopes that she’ll agree to his clean campaign terms. But can this guy be trusted? Time will tell.
Alicia struggles with whether or not she should open the box, but curiosity wins out. She rips into it and finds some things she expects (the picture of Finn leaving her apartment and a picture of her with Will) and some things she doesn’t (pictures of Peter on what appears to be a date with Ramona). I think we all saw that coming from a mile away. We still don’t know the extent of Peter’s relationship with Ramona (I still think he could be the father of her daughter), but it’s clear that something was or is going on with them. Alicia immediately calls Peter, presumably to confront him about the photos, but she chickens out. Instead she just plans a joint interview they need to give for her campaign. Something to quell the rumors about their marriage. Whatever gets it done!
Anyway, Alicia decides she doesn’t want to use the courthouse shooting to her advantage, so she’s presented with a Prady attack ad. This ad is a gem of ridiculata complete with Prady dressed as a dinosaur (because he’s a DINO = Democrat In Name Only) and the implication that he’s closeted. Alicia doesn’t want to use the ad. She then tells Elfman about Prady’s visit. Elfman doubts Prady’s sincerity, but he agrees to table the dino stupidity. Meanwhile, Alicia has another meeting with Prady. Alicia gives him her number, and they seem to come to an agreement to play fair as best they can.
Up next is Alicia’s joint interview with Peter. This goes about as well as expected. It’s great for the camera because they’ve mastered the art of faking it. But it’s awkward to hear about the beginning of their relationship, which is such a stark contrast from where they are currently. It doesn’t help that Ramona is in the room watching the whole thing go down. (When Peter’s on the show, is there ever a time he isn’t in a scene with a woman he’s slept with? That’s an obvious exaggeration, but come on, Peter. You have a serious lack of control of Little Peter.)
After the interview, Alicia’s in a weird headspace and she goes to Finn’s office. He’s surprised to see her there. And once she sits down, she turns quiet. Does she have romantic feelings for Finn? Or is she just hurting from learning about Peter’s latest dalliance? My assumption is it’s a little bit of both. She bolts from Finn’s office before anything happens.
NEXT: Alicia puts Peter in his place.
Later, Peter and Alicia make an appearance at a public event together, and in the car ride home, Alicia calls Peter out on his affair with Ramona. She tells him she doesn’t want their agreement to change, but she shows him the pictures and says that it will hurt both of their political careers if it comes out. So she not-so-politely tells him to end it. Peter makes a feeble attempt at denial, and then drops this gem:
Alicia: “Were you sleeping with her in Highland Park?”
Peter: “I’m not sleeping with her now.”
Umm, that’s not really all that reassuring, Peter. He basically admitted to an affair while Alicia was pregnant with Grace. Keeping it classy! And then Alicia delivers one of my favorite speeches from the episode, maybe of all time on this show: “And I won’t stand beside you. Not again, Peter. Not in a million years. So… don’t listen to me. Keep lying to me. I don’t care. But do listen to your political instincts. You want to be reelected? You want me to be elected? Then zip up your pants, shut your mouth, and stop banging the help.” DAMN!
Perhaps her conversation with Peter reinvigorated her, because Alicia ultimately agrees to let Elfman use the courthouse shooting in her video. She talks about Will, and it’s the perfect emotional delivery that they need for their ad. Unfortunately, that success is short-lived. Prady puts out his own video that features his mother, and she’s wearing the exact same dress Alicia wore for her courthouse interview. So Alicia has to redo the interview in a new dress, but the emotion just isn’t there like it was before.
Later, Finn goes to see Alicia to discuss their awkward encounter. She doesn’t really give him any real answers other than to say she wishes things were simpler. I take that to mean she is actually interested in Finn, but she’s worried about the optics of it all. Now is clearly not a good time to start something new, particularly when she’s got to fake it until she makes it with Peter.
Speaking of, Peter makes a lame-ass effort to discuss things with Ramona. She cries and offers to resign. And he kisses her. This is the opposite of ending an affair, and I imagine their relationship is a ticking time bomb. If Castro’s campaign found out about Peter and Ramona, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world finds out, too.
Ultimately, it’s Prady’s PAC that strikes first. They release a cartoon video with the tagline, “Who is Alicia in bed with now?” It’s crude, but effective. Johnny and Josh want to use the dinosaur video, but Alicia holds firm. It doesn’t matter though because the dinosaur video is leaked anyway. Prady and Alicia agree to resist the mudslinging, but there’s only so much they can do.
Over in Cary’s when-it-rains-it-pours world, he got some pretty grim news from federal agent Stu Harper (Michael Rispoli). Harper wants Cary’s help building a case against Lemond Bishop. It should be noted that this investigation is completely separate from the one the state’s attorney is currently pursuing. Harper correctly assumes that Cary will turn him down since he was Bishop’s lawyer, but he’s got some interesting information he hopes will change Cary’s mind. Enter Lana Delaney (Jill Flint). They play a wiretap in which Lemond Bishop threatens to murder Cary. He’s really had a rough year, hasn’t he? The tape was recorded five days ago, so Cary’s on the clock for his untimely demise.
Cary assumes the tape is just a fake in an effort to get him to turn. It doesn’t help that Lana is part of the team presenting this information to him, and he tells them as much: “A little hint for next time you do this. Don’t have the woman who’s sleeping with my girlfriend break it to me…. Next time you try to get me to flip, don’t use her.” (ASIDE: I get that Cary’s jealous, but as Kalinda pointed out last week, they aren’t even going “steady!” She’s not his girlfriend. She’s a girl. And a friend. And a friend with benefits. But girlfriend? Nope. END OF ASIDE) Cary leaves the meeting rightfully upset. And even though he’s convinced the tape isn’t real, Diane wisely points out that he should take the potential threat seriously. Diane asks Kalinda to hand off all her cases to Robyn (who does still exist, apparently, despite her lack of being on the show as of late) so she can look into Bishop’s alleged threat.
NEXT: The episode’s best moments and lines
Cary returns to his apartment, clearly worried about what might be waiting on the other side of his door. And he’s right to assume that someone is there. It’s just not who he thinks: Kalinda breaks the terms of Cary’s bail to secure a bodyguard for him. Carter Greyson is on the case, and the firm has agreed to absorb costs. Kalinda confirms that Bishop was in town on the date the tape was allegedly recorded, so it very well could be real. Don’t you dare let anything happen to Cary Agos, Carter Greyson!
But things get off to a rocky start when Cary arrives at the office to find Lemond Bishop in the waiting room. (He’s there for a meeting with his new lawyer, Ian Gatins played by guest star Matthew Porretta.) Talk about awkward. Is anyone else’s stress level on high alert yet?
Kalinda convinces Lana to hand over the tape so she can check it out. In the meantime, Cary decides he can’t be scared anymore. He goes to see Bishop sans Carter Greyson. Well, Carter Greyson is waiting in the car, but a lot of good that’s going to do. After Cary arrives, Kalinda calls him with the news that the tape is, in fact, real. Bishop wants to murder Cary, and Cary’s standing in his kitchen on the proverbial silver platter. He tries to leave, but Bishop wants to “talk,” which could very well be code for “murder Cary.” Thankfully, it doesn’t come to that. Bishop admits to threatening Cary, but says it was all talk and it ends with this not-at-all-reassuring promise from Bishop: “Don’t hurt me, and I won’t hurt you.” That Lemond Bishop is one scary dude! And that line will probably haunt my dreams tonight.
When it’s all said and done, Lana gets called into the office to be questioned about the Bishop wiretap being leaked. It looks like she might be in trouble for passing the tape to Kalinda. But how do they know? Did Kalinda turn on her? So many questions!
The best moments and lines from “Sticky Content”:
++ “Great. Yeah. That’s it. A festive courthouse shooting. What are you, an idiot?” —Josh Mariner to the video editor about the upbeat music he uses in the campaign video
++ “How about the music from Titanic? You could even cut to shots from Titanic.” —Marissa
++ Josh Mariner’s (David Krumholtz) interactions with Marissa (Sarah Steele)
++ Everything about the Prady dinosaur attack ad
++ Marissa wanting to get Alicia milk again
++ Johnny: “We have a problem.”
Alicia: “I would expect nothing less.”
++ Alicia’s Southern accent while she was re-taping her interview
++ “I’m not a gambler, but it’s amazing how prison makes you one.” —Cary
++ Josh: “Even the nutty lady thinks you should hit back.”
Marissa: “Thank you for the ‘nutty lady,’ but he’s right.”
I’ll gladly take Marissa Gold for comedic relief, but it’s always a serious bummer when there’s no Eli in an episode. Bring back Eli! I definitely doubted Prady’s sincerity at first, but it seems like he really is trying to do the right thing. I wonder if they’re setting it up this way so if he does beat Alicia, it’s a worthy person to fill the job. He’s clearly much less heinous than Castro. I was also really on the fence about Alicia and Finn getting together, but I’m coming around to the idea. Especially when they keep piling on all the Peter crap. And finally, how is Cary going to get out of this mess? If he refuses to testify against Bishop, it’s going to be extremely difficult for him to not go down for a crime he didn’t commit.