‘The Good Wife’: Alicia takes the stand

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Between the bribery, bail and hidden cameras, there was a whole lot going on in this week’s episode of “The Good Wife,” so let’s start with the big guns. With Peter up for bail, Alicia finally had to take the stand to defend her husband — sort of. Since it was a bail hearing, all Alicia had to do was verify that he had a stable home to return to. But of course, given the estranged marital relationship, a “stable home” has some interesting connotations.

The prosecution, in a line of questioning that seemed highly ludicrous, asked Alicia if they would be sleeping in the same bed. Alicia won’t take it lying down — so to speak — and turns the questions back on the prosecutor. “Any further questions?” she asks. Again, not the most realistic depiction ever, but it was definitely an Emmy clip moment for Juliana Margulies.

The writers are clearly trying to keep the possibility alive that Peter will move back in with Alicia, but they’re also making him slimier with every passing episode. First, there was the matter of Peter quite possibly bribing a judge. I actually had to rewind the scene a few times to get it (I am a little slow sometimes) but it looks like Peter might have made a deal with the assistant state’s attorney, David Phelan (Jonathan Walker). Phelan suggests that the judge on the hearing might be “open to influence” — code for “totally crooked” — then Peter asked him if he was wired. It’s unclear if they made an arrangement, but all signs point to yes: There’s the mystery tape that ends up on Alicia’s doorstep, and shows grainy footage of some kind of surreptitious meeting, and there’s the fact that the prosecution proffers evidence that Peter was, ahem, trying to “seek influence” with the court. It certainly doesn’t look good for Peter, but do you think he was actually trying to bribe anyone? Oh, and speaking of slimy, how gross was Peter’s “you smell great” line to Alicia? Call me cynical, but it was pretty creepy. Under different circumstances, it might have been sweet, but all I could think was “Ew, someone’s been in prison too long.”

Peter has also hired a “reputation manager ” named Kya ( Francie Swift) a blond woman with a Blackberry apparently fused to her right hand. She is a smarmy, disingenuous operator, and Alicia’s instant dislike for her is both understandable and hilarious. Peter’s lawyer even reveals the fantastic detail that she worked for the Madoff sons, as if that makes her more likable. In this episode’s most nauseating moment, Kya shows Alicia a picture of Peter supposedly at his best. Kya says, “You know what he was talking about here? You.” I mean, does it get any more patronizing than that? I actually groaned out loud during this scene, and something tells me I wasn’t the only one.
Curiously, Kya also tells Alicia, “Say hi to Will for me.” She says it in an almost flirtatious way, which I did not interpret as a good thing. There are all these hints that Will might not be the sweet, stand-up guy Alicia believes him to be, but I don’t know what it all adds up to. Are the writers trying to kill off the idea of a romance before it even happens? There was also a strange little moment between Alicia and Will. Assuming that Peter is going to be granted bail and come home, Will says, “If you ever need anything, call me.” Alicia buries her head in her hands and looks distraught. What the heck is going on? Was Will trying to say their flirtation was over (has it even started, though)?


And let’s not forget that case that Alicia was actually trying. She was defending a young female scientist accused of setting fire to her lab. The scientist is British and does that British stammering thing a lot, so everyone at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner is worried about whether the jury will believe her. Alicia and Cary train the witnesses, and in the process, discover that their star witness — a self-aggrandizing male scientist named Walt — is the actual arsonist. It’s kind of a goofy plot, and culminates with a ‘Matlock'-style switcheroo (sample dialogue: “But there was no intermission that night. You weren’t at the concert, you were at the lab.”)

The writers were really shaking things up this week, and I am curious to see how everything pans out. I honestly can’t decide if I want Peter to come home. At this point, it seems pretty unlikely, but it would be pretty fascinating to see how new, independent Alicia would tolerate living with such an unapologetic creep. It also makes me wonder how she was married to this guy for 15 years. Alicia seems like such a savvy judge of character, and her relationship with Peter seems so unlikely. But stranger things have happened, I guess. (see: Elizabeth Edwards)
What did you think? Is Peter a total crook, or is he being framed? Is Kya the worst person ever, as I suspect? And what on Earth is going on with Will? And, most importantly, did anyone else notice Kalinda’s amazing outfits this week?

-- Meredith Blake


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