Peter's trial begins ... and ends

By Samantha Highfill
May 02, 2016 at 03:03 AM EDT
Jeff Neumann/CBS
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When fans first met Peter Florrick in The Good Wife‘s pilot, he was a criminal. He was a liar and a (quite literal) cheater. Now, seven season later, as the show winds down, the question once again is: Is Peter guilty? We know he’s a cheater, but is he a liar? And ultimately, is he a criminal?

That is the focal point of Peter’s trial, which is where we begin, with Alicia sitting behind her husband as Connor Fox gives his opening argument. With Michael Tascioni out, Diane and Lucca have stepped in to defend Peter, and Diane quickly realizes that with Judge Cuesta at the bench, it’s not going to be an easy trial.

After Lloyd Garber takes the stand to talk about how he went to Peter about his son because Peter was his friend, the defense focuses on the words “you have nothing to worry about,” otherwise known as the thing Peter said to Lloyd when he found out that Lloyd’s son was on trial. (Later, bullets would go missing from evidence, which would lead to a mistrial.)

But by focusing on the interpretation of those words and the fact that Peter simply could’ve been commiserating with a friend — not to mention the evident deal that Lloyd has with the prosecution — the defense sort of makes it work. By the time Connor Fox shows up to Alicia, he has a new deal for Peter: eight years. And when Alicia very quickly says no, Connor promises a surprise witness. So naturally, Alicia calls Jason.

Sitting in a conference room at the law firm as two construction workers tear down a (rather flimsy) wall, Jason agrees to look into it. And when Alicia gets word of the construction, she grabs Diane — who’s busy meeting with potential (female) lawyers for the firm — and they run over to check on the damage. It seems the construction men had the floor wrong. They were supposed to be on 18, not 28. So what now? Diane thinks they should just expand to the 29th floor. After all, it’s empty and there’s a hole in their ceiling, so it really makes sense. Alicia’s in.

Next up on the stand is Matan Brody, who was the lead prosecutor on the Locke case along with Cary. Matan testifies that Peter micro-managed the case — even showing up at the crime scene — before Alicia steps out to meet with Canning. Canning assures her that so long as they don’t come after Cary, Cary won’t come after them. But the real twist is that Canning knows the identity of the prosecution’s surprise witness: Geneva Pine. And according to Canning, if she testifies, Peter will go to prison.

Once again turning to Jason, Alicia asks him to find out what Geneva knows. She then apologizes for having to finish things up with Peter, but as for what he said, she can’t wrap her head around him not wanting to get stuck and yet still wanting to be together. She says she needs time, and he seems fine with that for now. He has work to do, anyway.

And what Jason finds out will surprise no one: According to a woman at the state’s attorney’s office, Geneva and Peter had a long-term affair, and when he broke things off about a month ago, she decided to testify.

On the stand, Geneva claims that Peter stopped Richard Locke from confessing to the crime. But when Jason can’t seem to tell Alicia about what he found, Canning is there to do the dirty work. Discovering the same thing, he gives Alicia a folder full of affidavits from co-workers regarding Peter and Geneva’s affair. The best part? Alicia feeling nothing about the affair and then fake-crying to appease Canning. Yeah, she’s shed enough tears over Peter.

Alicia tells Diane to use the affair, but Peter won’t allow it. He — for some reason — swears it isn’t true. So Diane has to find another route, and she goes straight to Kurt, who performed the preliminary test on the bullets before they went missing. Diane asks her husband to testify and give his honest opinion in a manner that will help her. And that’s exactly what he does, stating that the test he performed proved the bullets did not come from Locke’s gun. And if those were the test results presented to Peter, why would he have had motive to get rid of those bullets?

Well, it’s a solid point, but it’s one that’s quickly ruined when Kurt’s favorite student gets up on the stand and all but accuses him of twisting his words to help his wife, which of course is what he did. But leave it to Lucca to save the day! Lucca simply points out that Kurt might have “oversold” his results, but if he’d done the same to Peter, the argument stands: Peter would’ve had no reason to destroy the bullets. (I don’t think Diane has ever loved anyone more than she loves Lucca in this moment.)

NEXT: Cary takes the stand

The bad news? When talking about the prosecutor handling the evidence, Kurt’s favorite student points the finger at Cary as the one who handled the evidence, not Matan, and that means that Cary is put on the stand.

Cary testifies that the bullets did in fact connect Locke to the murder, but when Lucca asks if he has reason to be angry with the Florricks, he says yes (because he’s the best). Outside the courtroom, Alicia essentially thanks him. “I never meant you any harm,” she tells him. But Cary simply states that he’s there to tell the truth and nothing more. He then asks Alicia, “What are you here to do?” (If he had a mic, this is the part where he’d drop it.)

After Alicia confronts Jason about the Geneva-Peter news, he agrees to talk to her after the trial. He’s done helping Peter; it’s just too weird. Instead, he heads to a bar where Lucca peers into his soul. She admits Peter might go to jail, and Jason admits that if he does, Alicia will never divorce him. She’ll spend her time visiting him and drifting away from Jason, fully devoted to her role as the “stoic spouse” — or “the good wife,” if you’d rather.

But if Peter doesn’t go to prison, Jason believes they’ll get a divorce. When asked which scenario he wants, Jason doesn’t answer, so Lucca does it for him. She informs him that he has fallen in love and needs to stop playing it cool. Lucca says he needs to go to Alicia and tell her that he wants her and that she doesn’t owe her husband anything. And I could not agree more.

Speaking of husbands, as Diane asks for Kurt’s forgiveness, Alicia preps Peter to take the stand. She warns him that all of his past indiscretions — of which there are many — will be used against him, and things quickly get heated when she starts listing the many women he’s slept with. His response? Calling her out on sleeping with Will and Jason. But as Alicia informs him, she’s not the one on trial. (Also, thanks for pointing out her fantastic taste in men.)

The next day, Peter gets on the stand and testifies that he did not sleep with Geneva. Instead, he admits that he’s a flawed individual, but according to him, post-prison Peter was the best, most honorable version of Peter. After he went to prison, he didn’t want what happened to him to happen to others, so yes, he micro-managed cases. But if it was for the good of justice, where’s the bad in that?

Well, that’s for the jury to decide as they’re off to deliberate. And in the meantime, Peter also has something to deliberate. Connor offers him a two-year plea deal, but he has to decide before the jury’s back.

Alicia takes it to Peter, who confesses … that he never liked wine. All these years, he was more of a scotch guy. As for the trial, Peter could take two years or he could go away for 10. Alicia tells him to sleep on it, but he’s made up his mind: He’s taking the deal.

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And this is where I get angry. Peter then has the audacity to ask if Alicia will visit him, instead of, I don’t know, divorcing him and moving on and finally getting to live her life and not be tied down to this sinking ship?! And in a moment of weakness, she says yes. She promises not to forget him.

But then her phone rings. Guess what, Peter? The jury’s back. The plea deal is no more.

We only have one episode left and I’m feeling a lot of emotions. I’m not sure how I want this show to end, but I really hope Cary and Alicia get a moment. What are you most looking forward to? Should Peter go to jail? Hit the comments with your thoughts or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.

Episode Recaps

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.
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seasons
  • 7
episodes
  • 156
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  • 09/22/09-05/09/16
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  • Off Air
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