The Good Wife 7.9: Alicia’s Wrong Side
“Well maybe we’re just on the wrong side of this one,” says Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) to her co-council, Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo), after they lose another dismissal in their case against Lockhart-Agos. Episode nine, Discovery, pits Florrick-Quinn against Lockhart-Agos, yet again at Canning’s (Michael J Fox) doing, but this time “Saint Alicia” is playing for the wrong team. Back in episode six, Lies, an African-American associate applicant, Monica Timmons (Nikki M. James) accuses Lockhart-Agos of racism. She returns in this episode with a racism case against Chum-Hum (AKA Google). The Internet platform is Canning’s client, but his firm is too “pale,” so he calls in “Bert and Ernie” to take the case. Game, set, and we have a really great Good Wife episode; even if Alicia is on the “wrong side.” The Chum-Hum suit begins with our ladies arguing for the case to be dismissed, but the Judge denies the motion and grants discovery; racist comments in regards to the maps app. “It says why do we include home ownership rates…how do we misinterpret that?” asks Alicia, as she questions Louis’ belief that a specific Chum-Hum coder email is unresponsive and should not be included in discovery. This is one of many scenes, where we see Alicia, Lucca, and Canning arguing against themselves and their own sense of right and wrong about the case. “If it doesn’t have to do with the maps, then we don’t have to look at it and we really shouldn’t look at it,” argues Lucca, as she and Alicia inadvertently stumble upon a lead that could kill their defense. If anything, this episode proves that when you are working for Louis Canning, then you’re working for the devil.
Last week’s episode, Restraint, focused in on Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), but Discovery reminds us that Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) has some moves. He’s definitely been placed on the back burner, after being heavily featured during season six and with Kalinda’s departure from the show. Over the past few episodes he’s fought with his older, white, predominately-male partners about the firm’s makeup. Now he finds himself working alongside an African-American female, who views his hiring practices as racist. The conference room scenes between these two were refreshing, because each made strong arguments for their stance on the matter. Really, this episode should have been called, Court Room Not Required, because all the squabbles took place mainly outside and amongst themselves. Meanwhile, inside the courtroom Monica and Cary continue to out-maneuver all of Florrick-Quinn’s attempts to bury the evidence. Not an easy task, especially with Canning pulling their strings, “Congratulations we’ve just been hit with the largest document dump in American history,” explains Cary to Diane; after Canning convinces the ladies to hand over everything… I mean basically every racist comment on the internet. They won… wrong, one of Cary’s associates looks at Chum-Hum’s algorithm and discovers a patch, “But rather than fix the underlying problem they simply patched it up to prevent one instance of the problem from occurring,” explains Diane as she presents to the Judge a photo of an African-American woman tagged as an animal by the Chum-Hum server. Definitely on the wrong side, as Florrick-Quinn are humiliated in court, with Canning nowhere to be found. Remember he’s just a driver in Alicia’s life… one of the many. Psst… totally called the Lucca/Cary hookup back in the first episode, Bond, this season… just saying.
Another great ingredient for a The Good Wife episode is to have the “case of the week” mirror Alicia’s struggle with being a public figure. Ruth Eastman (Margo Martindale) meets Jason Crouse (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), i.e. Ruth meets “patch,” because the Florrick marriage is very problematic. After witnessing Alicia interact with Jason, basically seeing their chemistry, she calls in Eli (Alan Cummings) to fix it, “Now we both know Peter’s campaign wouldn’t withstand the fallout of something like this and Alicia’s rehabilitation would certainly become a wasted effort.” That second part reels Eli in, because he has some major political plans in the works for Alicia; including running for Senate. He confronts Jason, bad move, but then over-corrects and demands that Alicia hears his pleas for her to not pursue this desire any further, “You’re telling me, when I sleep with Jason you’d rather I keep it private.” Really Eli? When has she ever listened to you about matters concerning her personal life? Or did you forget Will Garner? This sets in motion some awkwardness and miss-attempts for both Jason and Alicia to fess up their feelings for one another. “It’s okay. I just like things simple, home simple, work simple, life simple,” explains Jason after his encounter with Eli. The interesting thing is neither party admits to anything. Both realize the complications if they get involved, but neither closes the door on the possibility either. Instead the episode concludes with a surprising twist, as Eli confronts Jason for investigating Alicia’s personal life for reasons unknown. Then Eli goes to Alicia with the information and she literally closes the door in his face… so who’s on the wrong side now? Stay tuned.