“The Good Wife” recap (4.20): Idealism v. Reality

This week’s episode of The Good Wife begins with a teen girl tweeting about being raped, so, we know it’s going to be another cheery hour of television!

What the tweet says exactly is this: “I don’t care if they put me in jail. Todd Bratcher RAPED ME.”

The reason they could put her in jail–and they end up doing just that–is that she’s taken an oath to not talk about the case in public during her civil trial. And the reason she’s in a civil trial is that there’s already been a criminal case in which Todd Bratcher took a plea deal, essentially getting off scott free, and this girl is still pissed. So she’s suing him, with the full suing amount going to rape victim advocates if she wins. She was particularly pissed when she made that tweet, as she had just found out Todd Bratcher was just admitted to Princeton. Score one more for Ivy League white boy rapists! As Will begs her to plead the fifth in regards to the tweet, she says, noper. He raped me. I tweeted it. Give ‘em hell, girl.

Judge says, girl broke the rules, if she apologizes and promises not to tweet again, they’ll release her. Will and Alicia relay the news and say there’s nothing else they can really do. Girl paces, looks distraught. If I apologize and we lose this case, she says, what will be on record is not that Todd Bratcher is a rapist, but that I apologized for SAYING Todd Bratcher is a rapist. Right you are, kiddo. “I’m scared to be in here. But I couldn’t live with myself, apologizing for saying something that is true.”


The real-life-news quality of this case and this episode continues to play out at the Florrick household, where we later see Zac receiving an anonymous text message. And within that text message is a video of a bunch of boys mock raping a blow up doll. Alicia walks in while this is happening and god life is horrifying.

When Will and Alicia present the video to the judge, the boy’s lawyer explains that it was illegally hacked from his client’s phone and so can’t be used as evidence. While Will and Alicia obviously have no idea who hacked it, they can’t refute this, and the judge says he has to agree that it is indeed impermissible. Witness the true story of this episode unfolding — although really, there is rarely only one true story in an episode of The Good Wife, which is what makes it such a good show. So perhaps we can say that one of the stories of this episode is the limitless ways the law can work against young women.

Will realizes this too, and his rage during this episode really adds another check to the I Think I Like Will? column of my ever changing Will Feelings spreadsheet. When a truly incriminating photo is mysteriously sent to Grace, he believes they can still subpoena the server the photo originally existed on, before it was erased. Technology in these cases can be horrifying, in a way, but it must be used to our benefit when possible.