‘The Good Wife’ recap: Reproductive freedom versus freedom of speech


“The Good Wife” addresses not one, but two ripped-from-the-headlines issues this week, as Grace proves hugely invaluable, Eli gets some action, and Diane refuses to let go in an interesting but frustrating episode.

Peter Gallagher’s Ethan Carver is back, putting Diane through her paces and making me miss the actual Reese Dipple, Oliver Platt (why isn’t he around anymore?). In the episode’s first “hed case” (get it?), Carver wants Diane to cross-examine a woman who suddenly found God and now claims damages from the abortion she had 10 months earlier after she saw the right-wing propaganda video Carver’s promoting: an abortion doctor explaining the procedure for harvesting stem cells. Diane successfully destroys the woman’s testimony, but Carver returns with a 1st Amendment case: He wants Diane to go against her beliefs and fight for his right to keep the harmful video online.

Diane puts up an amazing fight, continually finding new ways to combat the left-leaning judge’s rulings against the video — and losing many of her clients in the process, who feel Diane’s abandoning her principles. Luckily for Alicia and Lucca, said clients consider switching to new firm Florrick-Quinn when Grace calls them at just the right time.


I don’t understand why Diane agrees to this suit. Does Carver (or Dipple) really have that strong a hold over her? She was able to decline cases before. Is she that committed to fighting a free speech issue at the expense of her reproductive-freedom beliefs, especially while endangering her own firm? And when the judge continually rules against her? Why does underused Cary idly stand by? And where’s David Lee? He’s usually around when money’s an issue.

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I admire Diane’s tenacity and thoroughness in finding new ways to fight, rather than giving up (and it’s great to see Diane in a complicated storyline again), but I don’t understand why. She could have easily said, “well, I tried” and no one would accuse her of being a quitter. But I guess if she’d done that, the episode would have ended a lot sooner.

Diane may not have done as well without the help of Jason. She offers him a position as a full-time investigator, but he would rather keep his options open — for Alicia (wink, wink). I look forward to seeing what happens between the two next week.

Alicia’s not the only one getting another chance at romance. The ever more ridiculous Eli has a new love interest in the rich campaign funder we met last week, Courtney Paige (Vanessa Williams). He tries to talk Courtney out of her plans, in the second headline case this week, of raising the salaries of all her employees to $75,000 across the board. When he fails, Eli visits Alicia so she can take over with the persuasion — where, by the way, Alicia nonchalantly resolves the cliffhanger from last week by informing Eli that she had punted the DNC committee vote by ordering a study, and ticking off DNC head Frank Landau. That’s clearly going to be an ongoing source of frustration this season.

Things move awfully quickly between Eli and Courtney, in a couple of awkward and presumptuous meetings. While I don’t find the hookup between the two exactly out of nowhere, it’s not clear how they understand each other so easily in that final meeting — especially given how clueless men can be (at least the ones I know) about romantic signals. I love to ship, there’s no question, but I would have liked this relationship to have a little more time to blossom.


So Alicia and Lucca have several opportunities to impress potential new clients. Not only does Grace make meetings with four disillusioned Lockhart, Agos, & Lee clients, but Lucca takes a meeting with Louis Canning in order to poach a few of his. Too bad the pair blow it for many of these potentials. They clearly need to prepare their pitch a lot better, and decide together how they’ll present their firm.

The real winner this episode is Grace, who’s really growing into quite a shrewd businesswoman. She’s smart, inventive, resourceful, and has clearly picked up a lot from her mom over the years. I frankly question how she gleaned so much, because she really knows a lot. She even earns herself a cool $35,000 commission with the four new big clients she won the firm. That is, once Alicia saw past patronizing her young daughter and actually paying attention to her. The show played that up a little too much. It seemed out of character for Alicia to treat Grace that way.

So how did you like ”Restraint,” “Good Wife”-ers? Did you enjoy seeing Diane work so hard to fight against her own beliefs, or did it frustrate you too? Will Jason continue working for both rival firms? How long with Eli and Courtney’s romance last? Will Alicia or Quinn ever go back to bond court?

Twitter: @camusr6