“The Good Wife” recap (6.19): Winning Ugly

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This week on The Good Wife, Alicia will make you paranoid that your TV’s volume is broken. As Alicia sits down in the most put together grey sweat clothes ever, she mutes and un-mutes reports of voter fraud charges being leveled against her, as well as a woman on the street interview that’s emblematic of a severe decrease in her popularity. I guess she’s not getting her honeymoon period. Just as she’s watching Peter back her up, Grace pops in and, after some furious channel surfing, she lands on some kind of shark show to pretend to be absorbed in as she sends Grace back to bed. (If your mom isn’t normally a marine biology buff, be concerned about late night shark marathons.)

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Over breakfast Eli gets the news that Alicia and crew will be officially investigated for voter fraud after a microchip that messed with results was found with the touchscreen voting machines.

At the office, Marissa is dismissed (because no one has figured out how smart she is yet) and Alicia and Eli get down to some real talk. Eli insists while official team Alicia (who I imagine have jackets) didn’t have anything to do with the hack, the B team (Bishop or creepy old guy, for example) may have. Alicia’s all for a recount but Eli, who obviously caught Recount this weekend, insists recount elections are fraught with danger. He insists she talk to Prady and convince him not to push for a recount.

Waiting for Prady at a super hip coffee shop (no Starbucks for the SA elect) her waitress asks her if she did sleep with her boss. When Alicia tells her it’s none of her business, the super bold waitress tells her she doesn’t get to tell her what isn’t her business. I think people always have the power to declare their consensual sex life none of some else’s business, but I suppose baristas live by their own rules. I get what they’re trying to illustrate here, but I really doubt someone would be that bold outside the comments section. Instead of Prady, Alicia gets his campaign manager, who informs her they will be pursuing a recount after he proves she stole the election. Alicia is not having a good day.

Mr. Wiley stops by the office and Diane finally is informed that she presented false evidence for Cary’s case (a little on the nose, yes, but Wiley’s kid’s stuffed giraffe grumbling that it feels angry just as Diane’s eyes fill with rage was amazing). And it’s time for a Diane power walk of rage! Her hair is so bouncy when she’s marching to eviscerate Kalinda. When she confronts Kalinda she immediately moves the party to Finn’s office. Kalinda admits she did mess with the meta data, but Finn advised her to keep quiet to protect themselves. Diane responds by immediately heading to the conference room to spill everything to David Lee and Cary, with David and Diane deciding the best thing to do is to head into court and proactively confess to an “error” (it’s all about the wording).

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Alicia stops by the Illinois Democratic party’s office where she gets the star treatment—a big hug, free popcorn, and representation by a lawyer (Mr. Randolph)—so impressive both she and Marissa are instantly cartoon versions of themselves with their jaws rolling to the floor. Mr. Randolph is taking the case to crack down on recounts, and Alicia looks happier than when she actually won the election.

And in the style of the rash of Fifty Shades of Grey dramatic readings, Alicia and Will’s steamy e-mails have their own viral video. As Alicia comes home she hears their words be spoken by some elderly British actors coming from Grace’s bedroom. That kid should just stay offline for a while to prevent permanent emotional scarring. 

In an unlit room, where all important conversations are had, Cary tries to convince Kalinda to let him defend her in court, but Kalinda rightfully points out his (understandable) emotions about the case might get in the way.

It’s time for Alicia to stand before the election board, and while Prady’s team argues his case, Mr. Randolph walks in with some extreme swagger, leaving the board just as star struck as Alicia and Marissa were. He completely destroys their expert and keeps the board laughing, making it look like it might be an easy win for team Alicia.

Kalinda, Diane, Finn and David Lee crash the police board just as it looks like Mr. Wiley is going to accuse Kalinda of messing with the meta data. Kalinda comes clean, clearing detective Prima. He, however, still doesn’t seem too pleased with them.

Alicia and Grace have that dreaded awkward conversation after you read your mother’s public sex e-mails, and Alicia admits that she did have an affair. When Grace points out that means she lied to the press, Alicia tells her it’s totally fine. Grace does not look convinced.

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Back at the election board Prady’s manager points out Peter, as Governor, was in charge of buying and storing the bugged election machines. Though she plays it cool, you can tell Alicia’s beginning to wonder if her less that honest hubby might have decided not to play by the rules. When she confronts him he assures her a man named Ernie Nolan was in charge of voting machine duty, which isn’t a comfort to Alicia since he tried to bribe her before her run. A quick interview reveals Nolan did hack the machines, but for Prady, though it’s not really clear if, like he said, Alicia’s team “cheated better” or he framed them for cheating to set up a recount. In front of the board Nolan denies his confession and instead accuses Alicia of trying to bribe him, but Alicia was smart enough to get the whole thing on tape. Before things can go further Alicia gets a call from Kalinda (and smart people always take a call from Kalinda) who explains there’s something weird about the voting machine microchips. It turns out the chip is old, from 2012, so likely was a holdover from that election. Which just happens to be Peter’s election (cue Scooby-Doo noise).

In yet another dark office (Agos-Florick-Lockhart is obviously serious about their energy conservation) Diane gets the same offer Cary (an any sane person) couldn’t take—all the charges dropped, in exchange for testifying against Bishop.

Eli meets with Randolph and Alicia to ask him to stop accusing Peter of rigging his election, but Randolph isn’t biting. It turns out to be all for nothing, however, when team Prady proves the microchips were updated just before Alicia’s election.

Cary confronts Kalinda, knowing as well as the audience that she’s totally ready to sacrifice herself to make things up to Diane. He doesn’t really do anything helpful like try to convince her not to though, just sadly watches as she walks away.

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In the Democratic office Alicia is asked to step down, and the real culprit behind the voting hack is finally revealed—the party did it to ensure another election on the same ticket. Now Alicia has to resign so the truth doesn’t come out (there’s a distinct or else quality to the request). But Peter gives her a quick post-meeting pep talk and convinces her to at least finish the voting board review to see if Randolph can win it for her.

At the courthouse Cary offers himself up, saying to save Kalinda and spare Diane, he’ll testify against Bishop. But since Archie Panjabi is the one leaving at the end of the season I’m still nervous about the fate of Kalinda.

At the voter’s board decision, Alicia confides in Randolph about the party’s cheating and request that she step down, which seems like a bad plan since Randolph seems super in it to win it no matter who he gets in trouble. Turns out it was a terrible, terrible idea because Randolph isn’t all about the truth, he’s all about the Democratic party, and he goes before the board and accuses Alicia of fixing the election. Anything to keep the Dems in power. And in the night’s final scene, she ends up crying in her husband’s arms. Were there really no other comforting arms available?

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