Love was in the air all over The Good Wife this week. Diane reunited with her hot, Palin-loving ballistics expert lover Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole!); furious masturbator Eli Gold started falling for Wendy Scott-Carr’s illegal-immigrant nanny (a welcome America Ferrera); Will and Alicia had a two-second follow-up to their Talk Full of LIES; and Grace became a mustard seed for Jesus. But with the exception of Grace, who doesn’t have a job, there was no being foolish, only being wise, as our workaholic protagonists just suppressed their feelings and went back to dominating the world. Sigh.
Of last night’s many affairs, Diane and McVeigh’s had the least bearing on future plotlines, which was probably why we liked it the most. It was just a nugget of steamy good times, a gift to both fans and Christine Baransnki’s awesome acting prowess. It began with hard-ass Diane being reduced to stuttering distraction as she catches a glimpse of McVeigh through a conference room window and ended with her catching her breath, sated, yet frustrated as their lives continued not to mesh.
“Where have you been?” she asks him. “Here and there. You?” he says. “Here,” she replies. Diane isn’t the type of woman who waits around for her tea party mountain-man paramour to call, but it’s pretty clear she was none too happy he didn’t. Now he’s showed up asking her to represent him because he’s being sued for $36 million. The case is kind of inconsequential; it’s a device for getting Diane and McVeigh in a room together, and for Diane to sexily impress McVeigh by putting aside her political beliefs to vigorously defend him, without forcing him to compromise his principles.
But since the writers worked so hard to concoct this ruse to get the two of them in a room again, we’ll indulge with a case summary. There was a big bank robbery: three- minute shoot-out, 500 rounds fired, one police officer and four bank robbers killed. A fifth suspected bank robber, a black man named Jason Beltran, was arrested for killing the officer, but had his life sentence overturned because the forensic labs tech accidentally destroyed evidence, then falsified it and lied about it in court. McVeigh’s testimony as the ballistics expert in the case backed up the lab tech’s findings, and now he’s being sued for having possibly colluded with the lab tech to convict this man, likely because of racial bias.
Diane pretends to waver for a second; her firm benefited from the corruption at the forensics lab. And her liberal lawyer “friend” tells her she’s being used to “put a pretty face on a racist defense” and that she will lose a lot of friends over this. To which Diane awesomely replies, “Then they weren’t friends to begin with.” We like how spunky Diane gets when McVeigh is around, and how each time she sees him, she ups the hotness of her outfits. Later, when she wins the case, she tells her ex-friend that she will make it her life’s work to ensure guilty Beltran never makes a dime off McVeigh as McVeigh basically undresses her with his eyes.
But McVeigh, too, proves himself worthy of Diane. As she interviews a series of hokey ballistics experts to find one good enough to testify on behalf of McVeigh, it becomes pretty clear that he’s the best person in his field. And even when Kalinda, through Cary’s help, discovers a mistake of McVeigh’s, he turns out to be right in the end.
In between all of this, they get to have lots of tension-filled meetings. The steamiest one is at McVeigh’s bunker, where they flirt while shooting firearms. “What is this attraction with guns it’s so base,” says Diane, holding an automatic weapon and breathing heavily on McVeigh’s neck. She tells him she can’t sleep with him since she’s his lawyer and it would be unethical. He reminds her that he hasn’t signed the retainer agreement. And next thing you know she’s walking out with mussed-up hair and he’s shirtlessly reminding her that he still hasn’t signed that retainer. She turns around and shuts the door again. Later, on the witness stand, she grills him about the tea party, grinning widely as she gets him to admit that Bush wasn’t any better on spending than Obama. He can barely wait until they’re out of the courtroom to jump her.
McVeigh basically proposes and asks Diane to run away with him to Costa Rica. She tells him she has a big fight at work and can’t leave now. He tells her he thinks that means she’ll never leave, and it’s probably true. Why he won’t let this work out on her time schedule, we’ll never know, but we suspect he’ll show up to sweep her away come the series finale. For now, though, she gives him a kiss to remember her by and walks into a meeting with Derrick and Will, who are talking about setting up that meeting with the equity partners. Looks like Diane’s fight at work is going to come to a head earlier than we’d thought.
As far as other loose ends in the law firm go, Alicia and Will had a scintillating follow-up to their Talk Full of LIES.
Will: How you doing?
Alicia: I uh never better.
Yup, that was it. And Kalinda, who slyly tells Diane that Blake is “out sick” (with broken ribs), keeps getting calls from a mystery man. More to come on both of those, we’re sure.
On the Eli front, he has now magically acquired an 18-year-old daughter and a bitter ex-wife. The daughter, Marissa (Sarah Steele), is trying to guilt her dad into letting her stay on a kibbutz in Israel. (Eli’s rationale: “Because I don’t want a Palestinian version of yourself blowing you up.”) In a nice bit of foreshadowing, she calls him a hypocrite for having pushed Judaism on her but not letting her do this, and then asks him if he’s seeing someone. Later on, he does end up seeing America Ferrara’s character, Natalie Flores, who calls him out for tracking her down to expose her illegal citizenship but also trying to help her get her citizenship. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Eli’s cute pollster Matt has discovered that for five years Wendy Scott-Carr had an illegal nanny. Suddenly the Florrick campaign has a “silver bullet”: This unimpeachable woman who wants to be state’s attorney broke the law for five years. Compare her to “June Cleaver” Alicia, who was a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years, and you’ve got a winner. So Eli goes to meet Natalie, posing as a potential client with 6- and 8-year-olds named Peter and Alicia. The only problem is that when Eli meets Natalie, he likes her. A lot. She was born in Mexico but moved to America when she was 2 and this country is all she’s ever known. Plus, she’s a whip-smart economics major at DePaul. What a coincidence! Eli was an economics major in 1986. They have a really cute exchange where Eli repeatedly references how old he is and she tells him about her ridiculous ex-boyfriend, a French-Canadian contortionist who ran off to Cirque du Soleil. Eli invites her out to dinner, which she, shockingly, accepts, only to meet Eli’s very-much-not-8-years-old daughter and proceeds to reveal she’s been onto him the whole time.
A few things don’t make sense. Why does Eli use his own name, or Peter's and Alicia’s? Natalie quickly Googles him and figures out his ruse. Also, Eli says Victoria Adler sent him to Natalie, and Natalie spoke to “Vicky,” who told her that she could tell Eli about her battle for citizenship. But didn’t Victoria Adler introduce Wendy Scott-Carr to the SA’s race? Why would she be working with Eli to bring her own candidate down? And as Eli and cute pollster are wandering through the office talking Natalie strategy, it’s filled with workers. Didn’t Eli just say last episode they only had enough money for three employees?
Anyway, Eli becomes torn between his growing like for this girl and his need to use her as a pawn to eliminate his opponent to get his candidate back on track. So in the process of spying on her, he finds himself getting so upset with her lawyer for cheating her out of money and putting her through a “citizenship mill” that he scares the lawyer into doing a better job with her case and speeding up her timeline. It doesn’t matter, of course, because he goes with the information and exposes her anyway. Though, given that we know America Ferrara is signed up for four episodes, we expect to see him heading down to INS to rescue her in no time.
As for Grace’s love affair with Jesus, it was only a matter of time. She calls Alicia because the school won’t let her wear a T-shirt bearing the Christian slogan, “I am the mustard seed.” It’s from Matthew 13:31: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all the seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.” Grace’s friend Shannon may have planted the mustard seed of the idea that she needed to find religion in Grace’s head, but this is growing well beyond the scope of peer pressure. She’s started following the online video sermons of a young man named Jimmy Patrick, who claims that Jesus wants his followers to love him more than they love their parents; to fight global warming; to “get in the face of authority and to strive for anarchy." It seems a fitting philosophy for a kid whose life has been destroyed by traditional party politics.
The discussions of religion between Grace and her mom are pretty interesting. We knew Alicia was likely an atheist, but it’s proven when she has to tell Grace, “I don’t hate Jesus. I think Jesus is someone who lived 2000 years ago and has very little to do with me.” Alicia sees that Grace is feeling lost, that she wants religion as both a guidance tool and as a means for rebelling against her parents and setting out her own identity. So she gets her a Bible and offers to take her to church. She gets to keep her June Cleaver role, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t need a ton of wine to help her through it.