“The Good Wife” recap (5.21): What Love Means

Let me just start this week by saying how great The Good Wife’s cold openings are. I don’t think I’ve really given proper tribute to them before. So let’s all say it together: The Good Wife’s cold openings are SO GREAT! In that blink of darkness between the last commercial and the first shot at 9PM on Sunday nights, you never know what’s going to appear on the screen. It’s almost certainly not going to be a main character doing something you expect, but some type of disparate action displayed with no context at all but accompanied by some amazing musical selection, until eventually it segues into our people and our stories and things make sense. This week, it’s someone making a cream pie, accompanied by a song called “You’re Gonna Get What’s Coming To You.” This song, by the way, is performed by Nerf Herder, as in, Buffy theme song Nerf Herder. Nerf Herder, you guys! A+ to this episode already!

We then see a fancy brunch meeting in the board room of the Paisley Group. James Paisley is played by that-guy-who’s-been-in-everything, Tom Skerritt, and he’s talking about some merger while protesters chant outside. People at the meeting bring up the amount of jobs that will be headed overseas after the merger, and a current lawsuit dragging down the Paisley Group’s stock value. The current lawsuit is where Alicia comes in.


Someone’s suing Mr. Paisley for wrongful termination, claiming he was fired because he was gay. Alicia’s says it’s not true. And it’s right then that the infiltrator in the room stands up and shoves the pie in Mr. Paisley’s face, shouting, “Down with corporate imperialism!” as he’s dragged away. A++.


The person on the opposite side of this lawsuit, of course, is Louis Canning, who comes down to Florrick Agos to make a few disparaging comments about their decor and discuss a settlement with Alicia. It seems like they settle on $140,000 for the gay guy, and Alicia eventually gets Mr. Paisley to agree, so it seems like that little matter is ironed out pretty nicely. Until. Until! Until Mr. Paisley gets on a Financial Times news show and, when asked about the protests over his upcoming merger, including the pie incident, he compares the persecution of the 1% to Jews living in Nazi Germany. He is like Anne Frank, he says! Ha! Hahahahaha. It’d be funnier if there weren’t living and breathing human beings that actually think these things. In fact, as the episode itself literally calls attention to, James Paisley is a nod to Tom Perkins, the real life one-percenter who made this very comparison, and who also called for voting rights to be tied to tax brackets.

Alicia immediately calls Louis Canning, who has been watching this interview with relish, but Kalinda’s sitting at the desk and picks up the phone first. “He’s already seen it,” she warns Alicia, because Kalinda is still on Alicia’s side, quietly but always, never forget. “Well, that was crappy,” Canning comments as he takes the phone back, meriting the tiniest of Kalinda tiny smiles as she says, “I know.” See, now that Mr. Paisley has proved himself a verified jackass on national TV, having a jury trial against him will be easy peasy for Louis Canning. He ups the settlement offer to $3 million. Alicia and Cary groan. Much of the rest of the episode will be a back-and-forth between Canning and Alicia during jury selection, battling for or against people’s prejudices depending on which side screws up the most.


Some other political things have happened in between these scenes: Eli meets with Alicia and Finn Polmar to share the official Jeffrey Grant rulings, which clear Finn of any wrongdoing in the case, placing the blame solely on the State Attorney. This is good! But Eli warns that the SA will now bring out anything he can against Finn as a distraction. Finn seems continually overjoyed to suddenly be in the political game. Just kidding, he always looks like he hates it!