“The Good Wife” recap: Love in an elevator (4.4)

This week The Good Wife was full of “meh “to me. On the upside, we didn’t see Sketchy Husband ONCE. All of our lesbian prayers have been answered! Except not quite, since 1) the whole problem of Sketchy Husband hasn’t actually been solved, it was just ignored this week, and 2) as a result, we didn’t see much of Kalinda at all. In fact, I got more excited about a breast cancer awareness commercial featuring Archie Panjabi that I saw during this episode than I did about her role in the actual show. This is a sad state of affairs that leaves both my heart and my loins feeling disappointed.

Almost the entire episode was taken up by a trial which I found not terribly interesting and then a bunch of crap about Peter’s campaign. Meh. Scandal, straw polls, meh. Do straight people even care about Peter? To make up for all the meh, I’ll eke out some of the high points and speculate about the (possibly gay) future.

High Point #1: Crazy Momma is Out of the Hospital!

The distant sister of Dolores Umbridge

Recovered from her stroke, Peter’s batshit crazy momma Jackie is released and set immediately upon his campaign trail. But when she overhears a conversation between him and Eli about that young woman who said said she slept with Peter, which is apparently still causing a ruckus, she does what she does best–sticking her nose exactly where it’s not needed. At her first campaign stop, she gives a speech which starts with, “I know a lot of people think my son’s a manwhore, but the thing is, he’s just so goddamn attractive that the ladies can’t help themselves, amIright?” Which I believe strays off the course a tad. This does allow Eli to have a perfect moment of blood pressure exploding rage, though, which is always fun to watch. He reassigns her to only speak at places where the attendees are probably too far gone to vote anyway. As she begins her next speech at such a place, she keeps seeing cockroaches on the podium, understandably causing her to stutter and awkwardly pause throughout her speech.

But are the cockroaches actually there? At the end of the episode during the straw poll, which I hear is a rocking good and completely pointless time, she sees yet another strange bug in her drink, and this one seems to be glowing a little. Maybe that recovery from the stroke wasn’t flawless, after all. Is Momma going a little crazy?

While her character is The Worst, I can’t get enough of Mary Beth Peil on my screen. She plays The Worst so amazingly well! She’s so awful that she’s fascinating and hilarious, scary and sad, all at once.

#2: Alicia’s “You Cray Cray” Face


In one of the first and best scenes of the episode, Hot Reporter Lady is finally getting that facetime with Alicia that she wanted so badly last week. And as Alicia hears these crazy allegations that Indira Starr, the young woman who’s behind this latest Peter scandal, is posing, her mouth curves up into that wonderful grin which is on the cusp of being a really great smirk if Alicia wasn’t too sophisticated to smirk. It’s a wry, cool and collected, you-are-so-going-down-right-now face. It’s essential Alicia.

What makes this scene so great is that Hot Reporter Lady is carrying the same half-smirk, and their back and forth is the type of beautiful thing that only occurs between two women who are equally excellent at their jobs. Reporter quips, “You really are a lawyer,” and Alicia ends the interview with, “I don’t like being lied about. No one does.”

I believe in this story so much, I brought in this really old dude who somehow has more power than me.

#3: The Return of Maura Tierney

In Lady Love this week, one of the most exciting events was the return of Maura Tierney as Maddie Hayward, Woman of Intrigue. Maddie is not happy about the Indira Starr thing, but she should at least appreciate what a perfect name Indira Starr is for a villain. She finds Eli, says, “Hey, I gave you dudes a bunch of money, make sure Peter’s not a dick.” Eli finds Alicia, says, “Hey, when you have drinks with Maddie, tell her Peter’s not a dick.” Alicia says, “Screw you Eli, I’ll do what I want.” Then the drinks-with-Maddie event actually happens and Alicia is apparently drizunk because people like to give Maddie free drinks because she’s rich. Maddie sums up the irony and stupidity of this facet of capitalism and humanity, and she’s all “Mo’ money, mo’ problems, right” and then Alicia suddenly does exactly what she said she wouldn’t. She first asks Maddie why she wants to be her friend, and thanks her for contributing to Peter’s campaign, and is all “Ohalsohedidn’tsleepwiththatwoman.” Cue: awkwardness. Maddie asks if Eli told Alicia to tell her that. Alicia says yes. And suddenly the happy drinks time is over, without even a good chance for lingering gay glances/accidental groping, which all that alcohol and giggling was definitely leading to.

Tell me a story, Alicia. One that doesn’t involve how great your husband is.

I’m still really confused by Maddie at this point, who didn’t actually answer Alicia’s question of why she wants to be her friend so suddenly, and it’s still a mystery to all of us why she’s supporting Peter. Many of you have suggested that she’s Up To Something, and I agree, but what is that something? Is that something related to Alicia? Or does she just want to jump Alicia’s bones IN ADDITION to another mysterious something? Is she involved with Indira Starr? Because clearly Indira Starr is being fed lines by someone, as Kalinda proves in her brief moments on screen.

#4: Daydreams of Kalinda and that hotel worker

Kalinda does do a fair amount of sleuthing in Peter’s scandal, including a visit to the hotel room where the affair supposedly took place. This grants her some key information against Indira Starr, although it also proves that Eli lied about, or mis-remembered, his own version of that night, which confuses Kalinda and seems like another Moment of Intrigue. Are you hiding something, Eli?

But the best part of this scene is that Kalinda’s help with all this is a rather sassy hotel worker who takes her up to the 15th floor. As they enter the elevator, this worker, who is also quite dashing, enters a special key card above the floor buttons. While this card is the evidence against Indira, what I really wanted it to be was a special card that locked the doors and allowed hotel worker and Kalinda to make sweet, sweet elevator love.

Just two gals on their way to a private hotel floor.

Sadly, I was wrong.

But there is definitely something saucy with this woman, as she says, “It seems I’ve pleased you now,” and Kalinda says, “You most certainly have,” and no one uses the phrase “pleased you” unless they want to get into your pants. It was a nice dream, anyway.

Another high point: when Kalinda then interviews Indira herself, we do get to see her wearing some lovely leather boots, which she does so well. So. At least we have that.

Indira Starr knows that one smooth way to cover a lie is to say, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore!”

#5: Diane Lockhart on Fire

The 27th floor of Lockhart Gardner is officially closed for business, and something about actually seeing this in person really gets Diane Lockhart going. She is her best fierce self for the rest of the episode, snapping at Nathan Lane to “back off,” giving the opposing counsel during the trial hell, and mainly doing that confident “don’t fuck with me” swagger that she rocks so hard. The sassiest line of the week clearly goes to when Will asks, “What’s gotten into you?” and she replies in an oh-so-pleased with myself tone, “Wheaties.”

Don’t tell me what I can’t do.

She also wins the case, which was against a university in the wrongful death of a student during a hazing ritual, which gives Lockhart and Gardner a ton of money and which clearly feels like the rebirth of her baby. She takes a moment to put her feet up in triumph.

I guess what left me feeling so meh about the trial was that it seemed more about which side could out-lawyer the other than about the case itself. Was the death of the student actually the fault of the university? Or was it the fault of the student who killed him, who was already in jail for the crime? Or was it the fault of anyone? Who knows; all we know is that in the end Lockhart and Gardner was better at their job than the other guy.

But of course, this is what The Good Wife shows so frequently, so well: the law isn’t really about good guy, bad guy, about justice; it’s about which side can play the game best. Cheery thought, isn’t it?

The Future

The episode ends with a threatening phone call to Eli from a blogger from a website called pureanarchy.com. Eli says, “Psh, never heard of you.” Blogger dude says, “You will. In one hour.” And Eli looks scared.

Anarchists: get you every time.

Much more exciting, though, is the preview for next week, which finally heralds the return of Lemond Bishop, drug dealer extraordinaire. It appears that both Alicia and Kalinda (and probably Lana?) will get a good dose of suspenseful, intense airtime during what looks to be his much-anticipated arrest. Eep! I’m ready for it, though, especially after this week of meh.

What were your thoughts on the lack of Sketchy Husband? What in the world is Maddie’s deal? Who’s behind Indira Starr? And what do you anticipate for Lemond Bishop?