“The Good Wife” recap (6.14): The Mind’s Eye

Tonight on The Good Wife, Marissa is unloading every cold product known to man at Alicia’s apartment though Alicia insists her laryngitis isn’t cold related. Psychosomatic, perhaps? Nervousness over what she’ll say (and how unethical it could potentially be) messing with her vocal chords? Johnny reminds her she has to rest her voice in preparation for her interview with the editorial board of a big Chicago paper, whose endorsement could make or break the campaign (he also advises her to avoid watching Prady’s interview, which is already up online). Because nervous, competitive Alicia is totally just going to waste time on cat videos as she waits silently (also following the order to rest her insanely raspy voice). Then because they trust her way more than the average audience member, Johnny and Marissa leave Alicia to rest, Johnny going so far as taking her phone—to turn it off and leave it on the counter. (I hope Johnny’s never in charge of grounding a teenager.)
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Of course, the second her handlers are out the door, Alicia looks up Prady’s interview, and David Hyde Pierce is playing up the charm—way up—and mentioning Alicia and her big dumb ideas (though he words it nicer) from the start. And this brings us to tonight’s big trope, a collection of scenes that are actually only playing out in Alicia’s head, ranging from the mundane to Scrubs, Season 9 territory. The Good Wife has tried this kind of unconventional storytelling before, most recently in this season’s “Old Spice,” when we were shown the very strange corner’s of Elsbeth’s mind. Tonight’s journey into Alicia’s brain was hit or miss, with plenty of jokes landing while the attempts at the big picture emotional journeys fell flat.
Right away it’s established that there are a lot of voices inside Alicia’s head. As she holds a mock interview in there where she side-steps a question about her lack of likability she’s immediately berated by mind-Eli, supported by mind-Johnny and mind-Marissa (don’t worry, Alicia, around nine million people still like you, despite the show’s recent criminal underused of Kalinda). Still in the mental mock interview, Alicia gets grilled about Zack’s abortion (a fair-minded turn of phrase I’ve still never heard outside this show to describe a guy’s involvement in the decision). The question freaks her out, making her picture a dirty, homeless Zack taking up residence on a bench and leaving her staring at his number in her phone (are we supposed to assume she really hasn’t talked to him since she confronted him about lying and hiding the abortion?).
Before she can decide whether to check and make sure Zack is using benches exclusively for post-study session breathers, Louis Canning calls, wanting to get his wrongful eviction settlement before he dies. Alicia’s not having it, pointing out he’s been dying for at least three months (which, I mean, you could be dying for three months. People can spend longer than that in hospice. Way harsh, Alicia). Canning suggests they settle for a lower than previously suggested figure, four million, pointing out pictures of Alicia head to head with very sickly him won’t look good as she goes into the home stretch of the campaign. Canning suggests she “think it through” which, with tonight’s theme, she takes very literally. With a quick look at the Prady interview paused on her laptop, Prady looking less than imposing with his accidental jazz hands, Alicia imagines just how a debate with Canning would go.
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Mind-Diane asserts she had the right to evict mind-Canning so she could move in. Canning counters she didn’t because she wasn’t a tenant at the time. Diane shoots back that her proxy, Howard (often pantsless man) was a tenant, and Canning points out Howard was invited to join the firm just so they’d have an after the fact proxy. Alicia starts to make a kind of pro-con list with points going to her firm vs. Canning. Practical idea, but it will never be compelling TV to watch someone write a pro-con list, no matter how pretty their cursive is. 
Mind-Howard, like real life Howard, is kind of not all there, giving Alicia the idea to introduce the idea of an oral agreement that established him as a proxy before the written one. Unfortunately mind-Howard isn’t there enough to discuss the oral agreement, making it necessary to call in mind-David Lee (gross, Alicia, you don’t want him in your mind), who reassures her that because he and Canning understood Howard’s oral agreement, Howard himself didn’t need to understand it for it to be valid. But just as Alicia calls Canning, triumphant, she remembers something. And with a glowing light, a door opens inside her imagination and in walks mind Kalinda. In the real world Alica calls Kalinda to confirm that David Lee’s past with Canning complicates things. Their call gets interrupted by Johnny, who tells Alicia a blog might have audio of Bishop saying he “bought the next State’s attorney.” You knew that PAC was going to come back at some point.
Trying to imagine a longer sound bite from Bishop that points out even if elected Alicia wouldn’t be in office (to potentially help out Bishop and company) for six months, Alicia sidesteps the question of the maybe existent sound-bite with the imaginary editorial board. 
Kalinda calls to confirm Alicia’s suspicions, based on phone records it does look like David Lee has been helping Canning. Still, Cary and Diane agree it’s not time to settle. With that call over, Alicia seems to finally heed Johnny’s advice, turning off her phone, which gives her time to talk to mind-Bishop. Alica asks him to step away (with his money) from the PAC to give it that clean, non-crime feel. Rethinking even being seen talking with Bishop, Alica taps mind-Kalinda to give him her request, but after their conversation stalls mind-Kalinda opens a door to find… Peter. Remember Kalinda and Peter? That thing where one of the series’ most interesting character slept with the most boring, ruining the lovely Alica-Kalinda friendship? Even mind-Peter is confused as why busy Alicia, who has loved one man since Peter and is currently nursing multiple crushes, would be wasting valuable mind-space imagining another Peter-Kalinda-tryst. 
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