“The Good Wife” recap (5.3): Babies and Betrayal

This week’s episode of The Good Wife begins with Diane sitting in her office in heavy silence, stoic and, as always, goddamn gorgeous. She takes a deep breath; makes her way to Will’s office to spill the beans of what she’s just done: talked to Mandy Post, divulged dirty business secrets about Will, did it all for her own gain, for that Supreme Court justice seat, just like Eli told her she had to. She is somber, and ready for Will’s wrath, but trying to take whatever sort of high road she can here by letting him know about it first. But when Will’s face hardens and he walks out in the middle of her apology, her own face still looks like she’s found out a loved one has died—a death you knew was coming, a battle with cancer, but one that still hurts.


As she steadies herself to walk back to her office, an aide stops her and gives her a message. Eli called, she says. He said to not worry about giving the interview—he’s found another way. Like they found a cure for the cancer a minute after you’d already pulled the plug. Diane. Baby. Let me hold you.


Will attempts to de-stress by taking a run along the shores of Lake Michigan when he gets a call from Mandy Post, just, you know, wondering if he’s stolen any more money from clients since the $45,000 he took 10 years ago. He politely blows her off, storms back into the office, and calls Kalinda to his side. And because Kalinda clearly doesn’t have much else going on, as far as we know, he asks her to spend her time digging up any dirt she can find on Diane. Because an eye for an eye is the way to win this thing, obviously. Blindness is apparently still preferable to a bruised male ego. He tells Kalinda that Diane has hurt the firm, and they need to ask her to leave.


The case of the week is a heart ache-y one, but there is one exciting aspect of it: It stars Janel Moloney, also known as Donna Moss from The West Wing, and anytime there’s a new member from The West Wing on my TV again, I get to believe that President Bartlett and C.J. Cregg are real, so. There’s also a brief moment where I got to believe that Donna was a lesbian here, as she sits on the couch of a doctor’s office, comforting and holding the hand of a girl who is receiving some extremely bad news about the baby in her belly.


Alas, the two women are not lovers, which is a bummer because Donna Moss would make an excellent lesbian. The younger woman is in fact just the surrogate for Donna and her husband. And now that they know the baby has a very small chance for survival because of some rare and devastating medical thing, Donna and Hubby want the baby aborted. Buuut hold up, the surrogate decides she doesn’t want to, because she has felt him kicking and FEELS that he actually is healthy and stuff. Hence, lawsuits and an episode full of hard and sad things.

As usual when The Good Wife tackles these things, they show the complexity of the issues so well while dismissing the hyperbolic, unreal views that we normally see strewn across the media. It’s not necessarily a simple pro-choice, pro-life issue. The real world is deeper than simply saying, “All life is precious!” Donna and Hubby have previously dealt with a sick child who died after five months and ten surgeries, and they have taken a vow to never again subject another child, and themselves, to that kind of pain. Makes sense to me. And especially in light of the fact that the surrogate has signed contracts, she does seem, as Donna later calls her, selfish. But then again, I’ve never felt a baby kick inside of me, so who am I to judge? But in the end, because of technicalities about trimester timing, the surrogate wins. Well, “wins.” Win isn’t always necessarily a triumphant word.

But there’s not enough time to talk about the troubles and ethics of surrogacy because there is so much drah-mah concurrently happening at Lockhart-Gardner. Most importantly, there is also a heartbreaking scene with Kalinda. But first let me take a moment to really bitch about Kalinda’s presence, or lack thereof, so far this season, because I don’t think I’ve done that strongly enough yet. I know The Good Wife has a long season, and we’re only three episodes in. But Kalinda fans already have a lingering bitterness from last season of the The Husband Storyline That Shall Not Be Named. The Kings acknowledged that they messed up with it; they were aware that people were upset. So they promised us a new love interest for Kalinda this season. So I know it is coming.

But in these three episodes thus far, she is practically a ghost. And there is so much drama going on with Will and Diane—which, don’t get me wrong, I love—that I don’t have any hope of this love interest coming into play any time soon, or when it is, any faith that it will really be given a decent amount of screen time. Even though the husband storyline was awful last season, at least it did help to further Kalinda’s character, at least in my opinion. We had chances to question her dark and mysterious past; she seemed alternately strong and vulnerable; she had a depth beyond just taking orders in the Lockhart Gardner offices. And the pairing of her with Robyn at the end of last season was really genius; watching her work with the yin to her yang was both hilarious and satisfying, somehow. It was nice having someone on her side again that didn’t just want to seduce her, that made her feel a little less alone, especially in light of the fact that her and Alicia’s relationship seemed to be fading fast.

I know there’s a lot of other things for the Kings to play with right now, but I also feel that they have to know how much people love Kalinda. That she’s as essential to the show as Alicia or Diane or Will for it to really give the dynamite punch that The Good Wife can give. Because I was trolling the Internets after last night’s episode, and it seems that even the straights are noticing, and bemoaning, her absence. So bring her back to us, will you?


Anyway. We do see a flicker of Kalinda as a real person in this episode, at least for a moment, but what a moment it is. Robyn and Kalinda are together in the conference room, and Robyn’s all, “Help meeeeee, O great one, I’m stuck on this case,” and Kalinda’s like, “Nope, not since you went over to the dark side of Cary’s bat cave.” Remember that lovely and brief period of time I just mentioned, when Kalinda and Robyn were on the same side? Man, that was lovely.