This week in the first Good Wife of 2013, we had some highs and some not-so-highs. There are never really any lows on this show, but let’s be honest; there are Alicia-and-Kalinda-hanging-out-in-a-hotel moments, and then there are not-Alicia-and-Kalinda-hanging-out-in-a-hotel moments.
We also saw the return of some notable secondary characters: Michael J. Fox is back, in a big way, as competing lawyer Louis Canning, who we learn also weirdly has a really sweet and hot wife, and Anika Noni Rose as Wendy Scott-Carr, enemy of pretty much everyone, but right now, Eli. Which in turn, ends up being pretty much everyone. Way to go, Eli!
If you’re ready for some good times, there’s also a small child with West Nile Virus and an old man dying of cancer. Wheeee!
So let’s go ahead and jump into this bowl full of cheeriness. We meet Alicia at some monstrous fancy hotel thing in Minnesota, an impressive stone building surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and the kind of intimidating rustic charm that only really rich people can enjoy. She’s there to depose the head of a bank, who has foreclosed a bunch of homes and promptly left them to rot (yay banks!), whose abandoned swimming pools then bred a bunch of mosquitoes which then infected Lockhart Gardner’s client, the small child with West Nile. The client actually isn’t that small, but in her adolescence, a fact which is actually more awful, as she’s able to be truly aware of the crappiness of her situation. We meet her back in the offices in Chicago, where she’s hangin’ with all the other lawyers, and she seems frail and nervous and mostly traumatized. When the other lawyers talk to her in condescending tones, it gives me a big case of the sads.
But back in ye old charming Minnesota hotel, Alicia meets with Canning, who is obviously representing the Big Bank Guy, who Lockhart Gardner have apparently been trying to depose for 14 months. Tracking him down to Minnesota was the only way he could make this thing work, I guess, because that’s reasonable. When they all sit down, he gives a few brief “I’m a good-hearted old man, don’t cha know, and why are people so mean to banks, also I have kids which shows my obvious sympathy” lines, some of which are jokes-that-are-not-really-jokes that everyone around him laughs heartily at anyway because he’s rich. Except Alicia. Alicia gives the best Alicia tight-lipped smile that always means “nope.” Because Alicia is the best and she’s not going to take any of your fake camaraderie, Big Bank Guy.
Shockingly, as soon as Big Bank Guy is presented with evidence that could actually implicate his bank’s guilt, he gets whisked off to some emergency thing or other, and continues to give Alicia the runaround for the majority of the episode. You wait for 14 months, what’s two more days, right? It goes like this: I’ll be back at 2. Just kidding! I’ll be there tomorrow morning. Haha, make that the afternoon. LOLZ, I’ll be there in the morning (again). OK, not really. I’ll never be there! And so it goes, and Alicia gets stuck in Minnesota for longer than anticipated, spending her time waiting and contemplating the silence of the woods, interrupted by the occasional real weird interaction with Michael J. He’s actually the one behind this runaround, of course, as he knows his client might be screwed.
One of the conversations they have revolves around his wonderful wife whom Alicia has met, who is also staying at the hotel, and who really is quite lovely. Look at her! How could she not be lovely!
Alicia asks Canning how such a good woman could be married to a bastard like him. He replies: “Women like bastards. Didn’t you notice that? It’s like a challenge. Beauty and the Beast. It fits in with all the fairy tales you consume.” These comments are infuriating and gross, especially since it’s mostly true. Alicia responds like we all would, with an incredulous laugh and a beautiful eyeroll. And then a mere beat later, as the phone rings again from the ever-absent Bank Guy, she delivers my favorite line of the episode, still in so-done-with-this laughter mode: “Oh, and there’s Godot!” How I love when you’re burning with witty rage!
Back in Chicago, that wonky Eli story we had forgotten about continues to build in still-real-boring fashion. The Democratic bigwigs seek Eli out to say, “Hey, remember when the DOJ raided your office? Yeah, we heard about that. We’re going to hire someone else to back you up, just in cases.” And guess who this person is? Double-oh-seven, Dr. George O’Malley! He’s apparently some political boy genius who’s gonna help Eli out, somehow. Eli is so, so pumped.
The punches just keep on rolling for Eli when he and Diane head to the DOJ to drop off a harassment complaint on Eli’s behalf, and they discover that Wendy Scott-Carr has been assigned to his case. Wendy has opted to take a “What do you mean, we’re friends! At the very least, we are all totally unbiased, professional lawyers ‘round here!” role in this scene.
Diane responds by reaching out to Wendy Scott-Carr’s old campaign manager, letting Wendy know that if the DOJ is really going after campaign finances, she’ll be under scrutiny for her past actions, as well. Wendy reacts by showing up at Lockhart Gardner, as Eli has done work out of their offices, and raiding it. Which also means Diane can no longer represent Eli. Whoops.