The Good Wife recap: Taxed
The Good Wife has always been great at tackling relevant (and controversial) topics, simply because of its sophisticated storytelling and its ability to remain true to its characters. The show never gets too political. And this week, by presenting its characters’ varying viewpoints, it manages to tackle physician-assisted suicide.
We kick off in a courtroom, where Louis Canning is defending the doctors responsible for giving drugs to a young woman named Alexa. Although Alexa lived in Illinois, she traveled to Oregon to visit said doctors, where physician-assisted suicide is allowed. Suffering from a brain tumor, Alexa asked for the doctors’ help, for which they provided the necessary prescription. Now, her parents are suing the doctors stating that they didn’t properly inform their daughter about a new study by Duke University, which was saving the lives of people with her same brain tumor.
And things only get more complicated when Irving Carver — played by the magnetic Peter Gallagher — asks Diane to step in on the prosecution side of things. See, Mr. Dipple, a.k.a. the reason Alicia is no longer at the firm, requested that Diane take over the case, despite the fact that she, personally, is pro physician-assisted suicide. So essentially, she’d be playing devil’s advocate. But as Irving puts it, “Who knows the advocate’s case better than the devil?”
Meanwhile, at bond court, Alicia is introduced to perps-by-the-pound, which is a competition that is exactly what it sounds like: The lawyers add up the weights of all of their clients to see who wins. And whoever has the most pounds gets first choice of which days to work.
Not surprisingly, Alicia cares less about games and more about justice. When she overhears a young woman being told to plea guilty despite the fact that she swears on her innocence, she steps in. Minutes later, she’s accidentally stolen a client from a fellow attorney, and more than that, when her client refuses to plead guilty, the judge takes away the rest of her cases. Welcome to bond court, where they care more about being “speedy” than they do about being “fair.”
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After Diane successfully gets her physician-assisted suicide case moved to Illinois, where it’s still illegal, Irving asks that Diane and Cary talk to Alicia. Showing up at Alicia’s apartment — oh how I’ve missed Cary-and-Alicia time — Cary asks Alicia to lobby Peter on the physician-assisted suicide act. If she can persuade him to veto it, it’s her ticket back to the firm, especially considering that Dipple was the reason she had to go in the first place. Alicia, though, claims she doesn’t want to ask Peter for something because he’ll only want something in return. (Isn’t marriage fun?)
Focusing back on the case at hand, which involves a young black woman who’s accused of shoplifting a sweater she says she was trying to return, Alicia calls in Jason Crouse, who might be the best leaner since McDreamy. At the meeting, Maya, the client, claims the store makes it very difficult for people of color to shop there. With that in mind, Jason heads to the store, where he indeed watches another black woman get arrested for doing nothing. He then presents Alicia with a racial profiling case…which leads to her stealing another client at bond court. (Let’s just say they’re not going to throw her a party anytime soon.)
NEXT: Wanna partner?
Also not throwing any parties anytime soon is Eli, who spends the hour manipulating everyone he can. After overhearing Cary and Alicia talking about the physician-assisted suicide bill, he goes to Jackie to inform her that Peter is going to be pressured to vote against it and that he might want to hear from a concerned family member. Of course, Eli then also gets Grace involved. Translation: He gives Ruth a handful of Florrick women to handle. (Well, Florrick women and Veronica.)
Sadly for Eli, Ruth ends up navigating her way through the turmoil and ends up at his door, warning him that if he wants to bring her down, he’s going to need his A game.
In the middle of her trial, Diane realizes that this case is a Trojan horse for Dipple. He wants to raise malpractice insurance to make sure that no doctor ever helps a patient end his or her life. But none of that matters when Canning finds a website that proves that the deceased knew about the Duke study and chose to end her life anyway. Sorry, Dipple.
At bond court, Jason tells Alicia about what he witnessed at the store when he realizes that the woman he saw framed is now in bond court. With that in mind, Alicia calls Jason to the stand, where we learn that he was disbarred as a lawyer six years ago after punishing a judge who found his client guilty. You just knew a man that hot had to have a record, didn’t you?
But once more women come forward against the clothing store, Alicia takes the list of names to the store. In exchange for not filing a racial profiling suit, she asks for the security footage of Maya. The good news is that the footage proves Maya’s innocence. The bad news is that it also proves that Maya’s mother shoplifted the sweater before her daughter tried to return it. So in the end, Maya takes the plea to cover for her mother.
At the end of the day, Alicia and Lucca meet for a drink, where Lucca hits Alicia with the hard truth about why she’s not great at bond court: She cares too much. (So she’s Izzie Stevens. This is my last Grey’s reference, I promise.) When Lucca mentions shaking the trees for better-paying cases, Alicia looks at her and asks, “Want to do it together?” In other words, we just got the latest version of “Wanna partner?”
As far as I’m concerned, the guest stars are winning this season. I’d like to request more Jason, more Lucca, and more Irving, please. But what did you all think of the episode? Hit the comments, or find me on Twitter @samhighfill.
Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.