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The Good Wife Recap: Road Trip

Best episode yet? It figures, the Kings themselves wrote this one. All season, The Good Wife has been dragging along with unanswered questions and things unsaid. This week, we finally got some payoff. Drunk Alicia! Kalinda plus Blake plus baseball bat sitting in a tree! Will and Alicia finally having the “talk”! It was a truncated, awful Talk Full of LIES, but a talk nonetheless. And the look on Will’s face as Alicia left the room suggests it may actually lead somewhere.

We’d been hoping for more Alan Cumming Reacts to Stuff, after he told a colleague of ours that he reads our recaps and believes Eli Gold is a furious masturbator. Instead, we got a dose of Alicia’s delightful brother Owen, which is just as great a treat. There is nothing not to like about Owen and Alicia’s interactions together, particularly when they take place in a beat-up station wagon, motel-hopping state to state. Workaholic Alicia has taken a week off to help broken-hearted Owen move to Chicago and start anew after he cheated on his boyfriend Kevin. Forget that he’s abandoning some plum professorship back in rainy town; all we could think about was, OWEN IS MOVING TO CHICAGO! This means more brother-sister confessional time and more getting Jackie drunk and having her wear various headdresses. On the road trip, when Owen locked himself in the bathroom to smoke pot, we learned that Alicia has never smoked pot. Which is so obviously like mentioning a gun in the first act. Either Alicia is going to come home to find Jackie completely high and playing the didgeridoo, or she’s going to walk in on Owen smoking up in her bedroom after a terrible day and she’s finally going to join in. We. Cannot. Wait.

Here are the things we learned on this most amazing of road trips:

1. Owen has no heat in his car; he and Alicia were bundled up in hats and scarves and five layers of jackets like they were about to cross Siberia.
2. Owen only listens to gospel music, which is amazing. Alicia laughs and finds the quirk charming, but can you imagine four days stuck in a car doing “Rise up, thank the Lord” sing-alongs?
3. Will depends on Alicia so much he can’t distinguish between her going on lunch break and her going on a weeklong vacation.
4. He also has no compunction at all about asking her to work for the entirety of her weeklong vacation.
5. Alicia will do anything for her job, including standing on top of her brother’s car to get better cell-phone reception or driving around middle American wastelands looking for a Wi-Fi signal. One wonders whether she would have gone to such lengths for anyone other than Will.
6. Owen used to steal Alicia’s journals and read them. Which is how he found out about a “Mr. Georgetown” who got away.
7. Like any good brother, he will continue to tease Alicia relentlessly about “Sultry Eyed Will” until he finds something better to tease her about. We promise to steal that nickname for future recaps.
8. Alicia is so prim and proper she feels guilty about stealing someone’s Wi-Fi. (Though, honestly, that debate made no sense since it’s impossible to steal home wireless signals while in a car going 65 mph.)
9. Alicia will, apparently, “do naughty things” given a little encouragement from Owen. To which we say, encourage away!
10. She paused for a really long time when Owen asked if she was sleeping with Will, which means she totally wants to.
11. In high school, Alicia was the one getting straight As while Owen got stoned in the parking lot. Her go-to instinct when Owen is being stubborn is to threaten to call their mother and tell on him. It still works.
12. Red wine, as it is for all Wasps, is Alicia’s Achilles' heel. A bottle later, she’s slurring her speech and telling Owen about the Voice Mail of Love. “Will phoned me to tell me something passionate and I never heard it.”
13. She’s also technologically inept. So inept that she thinks her phone “gobbled” the message and would never suspect that sneaky Eli, who was HOLDING HER PHONE AT THE TIME would have erased it. She's also very bad at sending MMS messages, which means sometime down the line she will sext Will with a naked picture, but it will go to Peter or Eli instead.
14. Alicia is jealous of Tammy and her ability to bond with Will over guy things and then have the sex: “They like sports together,” she tells Owen, then makes fun of Tammy’s voice so we’re extra-sure she’s upset about their relationship.
15. Alicia is in love with Will. We knew this. But then Owen realized it and told Alicia, who realized it, too, as soon as the words were said aloud.

We’d been hoping for more Alan Cumming Reacts to Stuff, after he told a colleague of ours that he reads our recaps and believes Eli Gold is a furious masturbator. Instead, we got a dose of Alicia’s delightful brother Owen, which is just as great a treat. There is nothing not to like about Owen and Alicia’s interactions together, particularly when they take place in a beat-up station wagon, motel-hopping state to state. Workaholic Alicia has taken a week off to help broken-hearted Owen move to Chicago and start anew after he cheated on his boyfriend Kevin. Forget that he’s abandoning some plum professorship back in rainy town; all we could think about was, OWEN IS MOVING TO CHICAGO! This means more brother-sister confessional time and more getting Jackie drunk and having her wear various headdresses. On the road trip, when Owen locked himself in the bathroom to smoke pot, we learned that Alicia has never smoked pot. Which is so obviously like mentioning a gun in the first act. Either Alicia is going to come home to find Jackie completely high and playing the didgeridoo, or she’s going to walk in on Owen smoking up in her bedroom after a terrible day and she’s finally going to join in. We. Cannot. Wait.

Oh, you think you’re sooooo clever, Good Wife writers, making us think that something will actually get revealed behind that door. But Alicia stops short of telling Will what she heard on the wiretap. And Will then turns this “talk” into a Talk of LIES: “I said I think you made the right decision with Peter.”

What?!!! Of course Alicia, so hurt by the men in her life and simultaneously afraid of both success and failure, averts Will’s gaze. Had she looked up, she would have seen Josh Charles turning into dreamy Dead Poets Society Josh Charles, pathos and longing pouring out of his eyes just as his mouth is spewing lies. She composes herself enough to smile and say some cheery lie back. He grabs her arm and whatever is between them is still electric even as they’re covering it over with niceties. The look on Will’s face as she walks away says it all: “What the hell just happened?” Your move, Captain.

Meanwhile, back at the firm, Lockhart Gardner is basically defending Mark Zuckerberg, had he chosen to sue Aaron Sorkin and Sony Pictures for defamation. This suit is happening in Chicago instead of L.A. because Illinois is friendlier to defamation than California, or some other wackadoodle reason. And Lockhart Gardner has the case because Rita Wilson, playing some lawyer ripped from Entourage, called Diane and gave her the case with its insane number of billable hours because her plane couldn’t take off or some other wackadoodle excuse. And voilà! Our dear lawyer friends are basically in The Social Network, defending a billionaire 24-year-old computer programmer client with a quick tongue who wants to sue the studio for making a movie that paints him as an asshole who started a social-networking site because he wanted to get girls, even though in real life he was engaged to be married and doesn’t have any friends who’d be able to call him an asshole. Sound familiar?

As a defamation suit, this is unwinnable, because apparently all defamation lawsuits are unwinnable. They can’t prove the kid isn’t a public figure because he’s been written about too much. And they can’t prove the screenwriter was reckless in his disregard of the facts, since the Supreme Court protects free speech in artistic expression. (P.S. The Kings are clearly trying to put forth the idea that Sorkin wrote The Social Network as a vendetta against all bloggers who anonymously wrote about his drug use. We still say TSN for the Oscar win. Holla!)

Then, thanks to clever Alicia, the firm makes the case about Edelstein’s right to publicity. He had the right to make his own movie and profit from things like product placement and movie-book tie-ins, and since the studio subverted that, they owe him the profit that he would have made off his name. There’s a silly fight where Rita Wilson storms in and yells at Diane for being too impressive and having the temerity to win the case when she should have just taken the free money. Edelstein fires Rita. We learn that other lawyers call Diane “The Ice Queen.” The lawsuit is settled for $35 million and an apology. And we get the second episode in a row to question whether our society is overly litigious. Diane agrees that fake Aaron Sorkin is right, things would suck for writers and satirists if they got sued every time they made fun of someone.

But by far the hottest and most anticipated plotline of the evening revolves around the SA’s investigation into Kalinda and how that psychiatrist, Dr. Booth, wound up beaten and hospitalized right before he was supposed to give testimony in a Lockhart Gardner case. As Cary had mentioned to Kalinda in an earlier episode, a glass with her fingerprints had been found at the scene. He had been able to bury that in the initial investigation, but now his Daddy Detective friend, Andrew Wiley, has dug it right back up. Kalinda successfully explains why her fingerprints were only found on the glass and nowhere else, but even she is taken aback when Daddy Detective tells her that someone seems to have brought that glass to the scene from the Lockhart Gardner offices. Which clearly means Blake planted it there.

Cary and Daddy Detective are looking into Blake, too. They get a search warrant for his place and discover an e-mail from him to Lemond Bishop that Blake claims was planted there. (They also find an extensive colletion of Georgia O’Keefe books. So much for the tough guy façade.) But Daddy Detective is right to warn Cary that his efforts to protect Kalinda are making her more suspicious, so he cuts off ties, forcing Kalinda to go back to her old squeeze and FBI contact Lana (Royal Pains’ Jill Flint).

Lana tells Kalinda that MS-13, that Baltimore meth gang, is moving to Chicago to join forces with Lemond Bishop, the newest Lockhart Gardner client. And by asking Lana about Blake Calamar, Kalinda just may have given the Feds the missing piece to make the connection.

This all culminates in Kalinda having an intimate dinner in Lana’s hotel room, as Lana tries to convince her via footsie to both work for the FBI and climb in bed with her. Sample double entendre: “You’ve been juggling a lot of balls.” Kalinda flees … straight into the arms of Blake, who just happens to also have a room in the same fancy hotel.

“We need to talk,” Blake tells her. It’s just like Will and Alicia’s talk … if they were into S&M. They pat each other down for weapons, hotly. Of course Kalinda is packing in an arm holster, which means Blake basically has to feel her up. And of course Kalinda follows with a standard TSA search, meaning she has to throw Blake against the wall and make him spread his legs. Then it’s on to ripping off their shirts to prove they’re not wearing wires. It’s like a game of strip poker where the currency is secrets!

Things we learn: Blake isn’t an investigator; he’s a “fixer.” Blake explains, “Bond wants something to happen and doesn’t want to know how it happened, it’s me.” Back when Will was at his first firm in Baltimore, Blake did some work for him, and something happened that now means Will “owns” him. As for Bond, he was always up to no good, as we suspected, and brought Blake on to investigate who in the firm would be an asset or a liability in a takeover.

Kalinda, it seems, would be firmly in the liability column. But Blake can’t think beyond how much he wants to tap those Sexy Boots and prove to her the superiority of men versus women. He loses his mind and gives her back her baseball bat. As they kiss passionately, she swings it around and slams him in the ribs. It’s a love tap, really, she tells him as he’s crumpled on the ground, gasping for air. She’ll even call the hotel for some medical help. She shoves the bat into his neck and tells him he can stop hanging this Leela nonsense over her head. Then Blake gasps out the words, “I found your husband.” What? “I phoned your husband.” Wait? Which one is it? Phoned or found? Goddamn this show! Just use the word “called”! Guess we’ll find out next time.

Photo: CBS