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‘The Good Wife’ recap: The sole defender of innocence

Julianna Margulies and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in ‘The Good Wife’

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Jason (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in “The Good Wife.”

I’m really enjoying having Jeffrey Dean Morgan back on my television screen. It’s so fun to see him, as investigator Jason Crouse, in “The Good Wife,” and to learn a bit more this week about his character.

As Jason helps Alicia with a shoplifting and potential racial profiling case, we learn that he has a shady past. He was disbarred from being a lawyer six years ago after he punched a judge. Apparently that’s the real reason he agreed to Alicia’s low fee (though I still hold hope for his great rapport with Alicia).

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Alicia too is developing a bad reputation with the other bar attorneys. In her greenness in bar court, she doesn’t know that you’re supposed to get your clients to plead guilty, even when they haven’t done anything wrong. While waiting for her own client, Alicia overhears another woman insist on her innocence despite her shoplifting charge. She swears that she was simply returning a sweater her mother bought her as a gift. Alicia tells her that she doesn’t have to plead guilty, despite what her attorney tells her. The woman responds by firing her attorney and hiring Alicia instead.

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Alicia tries her best to fight the case, but the time-sensitive Judge Schakowsky is back. He doesn’t care about right or wrong, or whether defendants are innocent or guilty. He cares about getting cases filed, and a guilty plea is a lot faster than proving innocence.

As Alicia continues trying to do the right thing, supporting innocent clients forced to plead guilty, more of the clients want Alicia as their attorney. In other words, Alicia effectively steals clients from the other bar attorneys—who already think the worst of her.

It’s a pretty frustrating situation, like banging your head against a wall. I can’t stand the injustice, and clearly neither can Alicia. Lucca warns her that she cares too much, but I wish the other attorneys would care more.

Jason spends some time in the ritzy store that arrested the woman and finds that their spotter, who tips off security to shoplifters, has been unfairly targeting African Americans. Alicia uncovers enough information to get surveillance footage from the store, and while she doesn’t find her client, she does see her client’s mother—stealing the sweater. The daughter decides to take the plea after all, to spare her mother.

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I have a hard time believing that the mother would steal from this store. She correctly accuses the store of profiling to limit their clientele, so her stealing from them just seems to justify their actions. It’s disappointing.

Meanwhile, Diane is having her own difficulties facing off against Louis Canning in a case about physician-assisted suicide. As part of her retainer with Reese Dipple, she had helped an attorney prepare his arguments against the case, but when Dipple’s general counsel Ethan Carver (Peter Gallagher) sees that the attorney is losing, he forces Diane to take over, even though she’d be fighting against her own principles.

Carver wants to win the case to set a precedent against euthanasia cases, hoping it will drive up malpractice suits, which will in turn get doctors to think twice about helping future patients. Diane eventually decides that she wants to keep fighting this case for Carver, but only if it can be about the case by itself, not about any cases that follow. Despite derailing all of Canning’s shameless courtroom manipulations, Diane ultimately loses the case.

Fortunately for Eli, he gets some mileage out of that case, after he overhears Cary talking to Alicia about it. Cary wants Alicia to convince Peter to block a bill that would support euthanasia. Alicia refuses to get involved, but it’s enough for Eli to wreak more havoc. Every time Eli walks on-screen now, I can’t help but ask, “What are you up to?”

Eli tells everyone in Peter’s life—his mother, Jackie, daughter Grace, and even Alicia’s mother—about the bill, so they bombard Peter with their opinions. (Peter just tries to stay out of it.) Eli simultaneously makes everyone suspicious of Ruth Eastman, but when Ruth tries to tell Peter that it’s all Eli’s doing, he says (smartly) that he doesn’t care. It’s Ruth’s problem to fix, and she does it very well, manipulating the situation and winning over Grace and Jackie. I’m not sure if Eli’s actually trying to sabotage Peter’s campaign, but it’s becoming an uphill battle.

So what do you think, “Good Wife”-ers? Are you enjoying Eli’s ploys, or is he becoming a bit cartoonish? Did you enjoy seeing Diane fight her own case, as I did, instead of being secondary to Alicia’s case of the week? Did you also think “about time” when Alicia asked Lucca if she wanted to partner up? How soon before sparks start to fly between Alicia and Jason? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Twitter: @camusr6


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