This week’s episode of The Good Wife was everything a lesbian could ask for: a complex but compelling trial, argued by Amanda Peet. Diane Lockhart staring down the Department of Justice from behind remarkably badass sunglasses. And finally — after 10 long, painful episodes in — Nick Saverese getting the hell out of lives, followed by a celebratory Kalicia drink at the bar. If I could, I’d be running up and down the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum and pumping my fists in triumph, like a really lesbian Rocky.
Another great thing about this episode: we finally get some more details on that mysterious photo of Kalinda and Eli that Nick presented to Kalinda what seems like so long ago. It seems the subject of this possible federal investigation is indeed, as many of you have guessed, Eli. We start the episode with him being approached at a deli by a chap who appears chummy at first, but who smoothly weaves in the name of a former client of Eli’s and the words “Department of Justice,” which promptly kickstarts a wonderful ‘Eli Freaking the Hell Out’ scene, which are some of my favorite scenes. He runs out of the deli, back to the office, and frantically steals his interns’ cell phones to dial up Diane Lockhart.
We’re then introduced to the main case of the week, which is a grisly murder trial of a young woman. Obviously, this trial must also include a huge blown up photo of the woman’s nearly naked, bloody body, because there seems to be nothing American TV likes more than these! Anyway, the interesting thing about it is that there are two trials taking place simultaneously in two places for the same case: one in Chicago, the location of the murder, with Captain Peet and Will Gardner, and one in the nearby town of Minooka, where the victim was from and where her body was transported to, with no lawyers that we actually know but with one of my favorite judges, Murphy Wicks. In addition, Alicia is creepin’ in the background, helping out the prosecutor where she can. See, if the dude in Minooka is convicted as guilty, then that will obviously help out the guy Lockhart Gardner is defending in Chicago, as only one of them can actually be guilty. I personally didn’t know that such a concurrence of trials could even happen, but one thing I do know is that Minooka is awfully fun to say and they say it this episode a LOT. You Midwestern states with your love of vowels! Gosh golly, your linguistics are fun!
So I’m captivated already. But then Alicia returns to the office in Chicago, and is informed by a receptionist that there’s one Nick Saverese waiting for her, and he doesn’t appear happy. Good God, this jerkface really has to ruin everything. He lounges in a leather chair across the table from Alicia in the conference room, tapping his fingers and curling his lips in the Classic Villain way that he’s so good at, casually informing her that Cary can no longer work his case. Apparently he wasn’t a fan of Cary coming to his car lot and threatening him about the drugs that he illegally traffics, and stuff. This drug thing is obviously news to Alicia, and she takes a moment in the hall, supposedly on her way to converse for a sec with Cary about this development. Yet before she even reaches their office, she pauses, seemingly having enough time for her brain to process that this shit is the last straw. She turns around and marches back into the conference room, announcing with a certain amount of joy that Lockhart Gardner has decided to drop his ass as a client. Nick stands up to face her and says something about her keeping her mouth shut about the drugs, especially as she’s the state attorney’s wife and all.
Stupid little Nick. Alicia rears back her shoulders, shakes her hair out of her face, and raises her eyebrows at Horrible Husband. Putting on her best quietly-badass voice, she says, “Here’s the thing, Mr. Savarese. Attorney-client privilege is voided if I’m threatened. So let me ask you this — and I suggest you take a moment before answering — are you threatening me?” Ooooh, when she suggests he takes a moment! I get all tingly inside!
And then and then and then! Kalinda shows up to Alicia’s office, and she is wearing this skirt. This short black-and-red plaid skirt. With her jacket, and a scarf, and holding that beloved orange notebook. I would like to kiss every member of the Good Wife wardrobe team for this outfit. It is perfection.
Alicia asks Kalinda if she, Alicia, is in danger. Kalinda says no, but seems kind of confused. Alicia explains the friendly interaction she’d just recently had with her Horrible Husband. It seems the drug trafficking is news to Kalinda, too, or at least, an idea that has now been confirmed. Alicia asks again if she should be afraid. Kalinda says with more finality this time, no. And as Alicia leaves the room, Kalinda bites her lip and looks to the heavens with an expression that you know means: this is it. We thought we might have seen this look earlier in the season, but it was a look that always held doubt, conflict. Whether because of the information about the drugs, or because of the fact that Kalinda realizes that Alicia truly was threatened, when Kalinda twirls on her heel and marches out of the office, you know that shit is finally going to go down. Praise hallelujah.
She heads to his towing lot to check things out on her own, logically. The Kalinda we know and love starts to re-emerge, as some kick ass girl-fronted rock and roll shouts in the background, and she prepares to start breaking shit. She slams her truck into a car Horrible Husband’s Henchman is working on; when he runs away to get a gun, she puts her truck in reverse and slams him, too. Finally getting out of the truck, she takes the gun away from the henchman who’s now sprawled on the ground, and uses it to open the trunk of the nearest car. She lifts up the mat, and yes siree, there be drugs. She stands over the henchman’s chest. “Tell Nick I’ll be at work. It’s time to end this.”
Back in Eli Stress Levels, he and Diane meet with Chummy Department of Justice Agent. Diane is so skeptical about all of this that she won’t even let chummy agent see her eyes. But to be honest, from this point on out, I get pretty lost. It’s revealed that they are indeed investigating Eli, although when Diane presents The Picture of him and Kalinda, it does seem to surprise the agent. Clearly it was not supposed to get out. But as for the reasons behind this investigation, it has to do with campaign donations and maybe Eli’s ex-wife but maybe also Peter? I’ve watched the scenes a few times and I still have no idea. But I do know that Diane Lockhart tells the agent to go to hell, and it is awesome. Alas, the agent does not go to hell, but soon shows up to raid Eli’s office.
Regarding these double trials for the same murder, it soon becomes apparent that the client Lockhart Gardner is defending in Chicago is indeed guilty, while the dude in Minooka is innocent. Alicia is rightly conflicted by this: she’s been helping the prosecution in Minooka convict an innocent man, in order to help their own client in Chicago, who she now knows is guilty. Not a very feel-good place to be. Will tells her, this is our job. We help who pays us. We don’t have to like it, but it is what it is. Thanks for that pep talk, Will!
Speaking of Will, he and Amanda Peet have also been exchanging some real sassy squabbles during this trial, but our judge is frequently, and rightly, siding with Peet. The flustered Attorney Peet we saw in an earlier episode is no more. She’s kicking ass, and rocking such a lovely ponytail while she’s at it.
In the end, the juries in both cases charge both men as guilty. Amanda Peet feels rightly victorious. But when the prosecutor turns to Alicia to smile in Minooka, she only looks like this:
Will and Peet meet up in the bar afterwards, and he buys her a drink. I don’t know if he really is just congratulating her on a job well done, or if the writers are pushing them together and we’ll soon be seeing them having lots of sex. I fear it’s the latter, and I’m just not that into it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Peet having sex with someone, I just don’t want it to be Will. Regardless, as they agree that what happened to the guy in Minooka sucks the big one, Will explains that now that Lockhart Gardner is free of their duties, they can use whatever evidence they have to help that godforsaken fellow when he appeals. This makes me feel slightly better about life, and slightly more assured that even Will knows that lawyers shouldn’t always work on the side of evil. But the guy will still have to spend some time in jail before the appeal trial happens, and it just still sucks the big one.
We’ll return to the bar shortly, but first, we find ourselves in the dark, quiet Lockhart Gardner offices after hours, with a pensive, serious Kalinda sitting alone, staring into the darkness. How long has she been waiting there? We sense it’s been a while, enough time to understand deeply what’s about to transpire.
Nick walks around the corner and into the room. She says that she’s called the cops about the drugs, that they’re on the way to his lot, that there’s nothing left for him now. She shows him a map with a bridge to Canada circled. Throws a key on top of the map, says, I left my half of the $20,000 in a locker at a truck stop. Take it. The darkness of this scene, the shadows bouncing around the walls, concealing half of their faces, is so wonderful, so aptly dramatic. And then she utters the words we’ve been waiting to hear: get the hell out of here.
Per usual, Nick’s face doesn’t show any signs of shock or of giving in, just contempt. He says he doesn’t believe that she called the cops, that it’s not her style. He walks closer. Asks, “So what’s your plan B?” And that’s when she slowly stands up from her chair, looks gravely at him, and the camera cuts away.
The next thing we see is Alicia, waiting at the bar with two shots of tequila, staring anxiously at the door. A haunting cover of “Where Is My Mind?” is playing. She calls Kalinda to see where she is, like any worried partner; a second later Kalinda plops down beside her. Her entire face is particularly vulnerable, open, and beautiful, the way only Alicia gets to see her, the way we haven’t been able to see her for too long. Alicia says she seems relieved. Kalinda nods, smiles. “I am.” “So he’s gone? And you’re safe?” Alicia asks. Kalinda nods again, yes.
And almost as if this scene was straight out of a fan fiction, Kalinda adds, “And you’re safe, too.” Brushing off the emotion behind this a little, Alicia casually replies, “Well, that’s good,” and looks down at her drink. But then she continues to ask what we’re all thinking — but is he really gone? For good? Kalinda is sure, steady as a rock. “He’s not coming back.” The episode finishes with a mesmerizing cascade of emotions in her eyes as she looks to the distance, glances to the heavens again. She seems finally relaxed yet overwhelmed; happy, but the kind of happy with weight behind it. It is deep. Her face deserves an Oscar right now.
So here’s the question, Good Wife: What was Kalinda’s Plan B? What happened after she stood up in that dark Lockhart Gardner office? Did she kill Horrible Husband, or what? Or did she just somehow have another plan to really convince him to cross the border? What do you all think? My mind is still slightly reeling.
What were your other thoughts on the episode? What do you think’s going to happen with Eli? How about that Amanda Peet, eh? And now that Nick’s finally out of the picture, whichever way he actually went, what do you think Kalinda’s storyline holds in store for the rest of the season?