‘The Good Wife’ recap: Romance, bribery and a little GHB


“The Good Wife” cooks up a little alphabet soup with the FBI, GHB and a dash of TV. Alicia defends a designer drug manufacturer who turns out to be a lot more than she pleads for, and the mothers see some action as Alicia and her mom Veronica (the brilliantly funny Stockard Channing) destroy a perfectly innocent television appearance, and Peter’s mom, Jackie, (Mary Beth Piel) gets a little romance.

Apparently Cary, David, and Diane refused Howard’s “world’s easiest ultimatum” last week, because he turns up at Alicia’s door, asking her advice about a potential ageism suit against his firm. She suggests that he keep a journal of any ageist behavior against him, but also recommends that he work harder, and not give them reasons to fire him. (Why couldn’t someone at Lockhart Agos tell him that?) He doesn’t actually hire her, working more and eventually deciding not to bring a suit against the firm.

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But of course, things are never that easy—especially with David Lee around. He hears only enough of Howard’s phone call with Alicia to assume that Howard is suing them. Diane just extended a very awkward olive branch to Alicia by offering her their overload of cases (also hoping Alicia could be their pawn instead of Louis Canning’s, not that she told her this), so of course when she hears this news from David, she accusingly storms over to Alicia’s house (how do they always know when she’s home?). Haven’t we been down this road before? Heaven forbid anyone wait long enough for an explanation before storming away.

While leaving Alicia’s, Howard runs into Jackie, and flirts with her. The two start a relationship, and Jackie helps him land a big client to impress Diane and Cary. While it’s interesting to see a new side of Howard, I feel the writers could do more with Cary and Diane instead. Also, this is exactly what Alicia doesn’t need in her life.

Alicia has her own problems, of course, this time with the drug manufacturer Roland Hlavin (John Magaro). He’s arrested for producing GHB, alongside his dealer, who’s represented by Lucca. The state’s attorney offers them an “exploding plea”: the first person to agree to the plea within 45 minutes will get one year in prison, while the other gets 25. Roland convinces Alicia they could win the case because he was trying to make a different, safer drug than GHB. Alicia agrees, and somehow convinces Lucca to reject the plea too.

As Alicia and Lucca continue to fight their case, in front of the gruff Judge Schakowsky (Christopher McDonald) from the premiere, they’re continually beat by the SA, and continually come up with new approaches—including one that closely resembles perjury, but in legally acceptable terms, of course. Roland agrees to this defense, but quickly loses his cool on the stand—thanks to what could only be considered badgering the witness (but apparently Alicia objected too soon)—and they lose again.

Grace proves extremely useful and discovers that Roland is not who he says he is. He’s actually an undercover FBI agent. When Alicia confronts him about it, he threatens to expose her for suggesting that he perjure himself. She goes to Eli for advice in his teeny tiny new office—granted to him by Ruth Eastman as part of her ridiculous scheme to get Eli to quit.

Feeling no other choice, Alicia stays on as Roland’s lawyer, and separates his case from the dealer’s (which of course ticks off Lucca). But as the dealer’s evidence further damns Roland, he’s forced to reveal to Alicia his ultimate gain: He’s not after her, or Peter (Eli’s concern), but after a bribery ring headed up by Judge Schakowsky.


Instead, the judge returns and rejects Alicia’s request for a dismissal. Roland accuses Alicia of tipping off Schakowsky, and fires her. Alicia thinks perhaps the judge is clean, but we learn the truth: Eli had warned him about the sting.

There’s a big flaw in this logic: It’s odd that Alicia would claim confidentiality and refuse to tell Diane anything about her discussion with Howard when he didn’t even hire her, yet she has no problem telling Eli about the FBI sting? That’s extremely fishy.

Eli’s certainly playing a weird game, though, caught in Ruth’s web yet simultaneously tearing her down—this time through a disastrous TV appearance with Alicia and her mother Veronica on a cooking show. It’s true that if Ruth knew their relationship the way Eli does, or trusted Eli more, she wouldn’t have insisted on the TV appearance. But Eli’s starting to make it difficult for people to trust him.

So how about you, “Good Wife”-ers? Do you trust Eli? What do you think he’s up to? Do you agree that Alicia should not have told Eli about the sting? Would Schakowsky have taken the bribe if he hadn’t been warned first? String your theories in the comments.

Twitter: @camusr6