So here we are again. Last season, The Good Wife visited death row with “Nine Hours,” perhaps the most moving episode of the entire series. This season the show explores pure evil (and gang warfare, and Kalinda’s ever-sexually-charged relationship with everyone she ever comes in contact with) within a similar limited time frame. It was, shall we say, less than moving. Actually, it was decidedly eh, and a bit of a mess.
Said death row inmate is Ricky Packer, who picked up two 14-year-old girls from a shopping mall, raped them over three days, and then slit their throats. He’s irredeemable, despite lying testimony from his preacher and family and the best efforts of our friends from Legal Aid. The Legal Aid guys are in charge of Packer’s appeal and weirdly greet Diane as if they haven’t been working in the LG offices for the past five episodes. Or have they? What’s up with that? Packer is going to be executed shortly, so he’s told a crusading documentarian, a Frenchman, as are all crusading documentarians, about a dead body the police have been overlooking. The crime-fighting duo of Cary and Dana — dropping by from their other job on Bones or wherever these Noir-ish scenes are getting lifted from — find the gang member’s body next to that of a rich lady who’s been missing for six months. The SA has found a 14-year-old from a rival gang who’s confessing to the dead gang member’s murder. Lockhart Gardner is obviously representing the prime suspect in the lady’s murder, her boyfriend, since there seem to be no more cases in The Good Wife universe in which the law firm is not in direct opposition to the State’s Attorney’s office.
The boyfriend, of course, didn’t do it. LG clients are never guilty. Remember? And the teenage gangster the SA has in custody is just a patsy the gang has sent up river since he’ll only go to juvie. Kalinda suspects there’s an adult member of the rival gang who killed both the dead gang member and the rich lady. But in order for LG’s rich, white client (the boyfriend) to get off, they need Packer to win his appeal so he can give them information on the real killer. Alicia’s morality returns and she struggles with how to fight for a man who is clearly guilty of raping and killing girls who are Grace’s age. It got old after the first round of conflicted expressions. Even the point when Packer told his mom and brother to go to hell after they’d testified on his behalf and just before he went to his death seemed trite and expected.
The interesting part comes when Cary’s two ethnic lusts, Kalinda and Dana, meet in his office and proceed to become “more than friendly,” to Cary’s jealous observation. Dana suspects Cary’s attachment to Kalinda and refers to her as his “girlfriend.” Cary is threatened by Dana’s closeness to Kalinda and basically accuses Dana of lesbian tendencies. The way Cary sees it, Kalinda sprinkles her sex magic dust on anyone and they’ll come running. Maybe that’s just because he’s insanely horny for her.
Dana is actually trying to play Kalinda for some intel on Will. They’re looking into his connections with Judge Baxter, and if anyone can elucidate the background on that judge, I’d greatly appreciate it. There’s a lovely moment when Kalinda tells Will to ask for her help for no other reason than because she cares. And of course we want Will to ask her for help, for no reason other than it will give Kalinda more to do.
The cliff-hanger is the final scene between Cary and Kalinda. They’ve just gotten shot at, with Cary throwing Kalinda to the ground and covering her body with his. When they get back, Cary tells Kalinda he wants to get her out of his head. He kisses her, and she responds, Kalinda-like, and immediately starts unzipping his pants. Then Cary runs out of the office and away from her. Is it because he’s got a thing for Dana that he doesn’t want to mess up? Seems unlikely. He just can’t trust Kalinda with his heart. Boo hoo.
Back at the LG office, Eli is up in arms about some minor political scandal yet again. This time, he’s teamed up with shady operative Mickey Gunn, again. (I feel like I keep writing that word, “again,” again and again today.) We’re meeting the Republican candidate Mickey wants to run for local office, gearing him up for a presidential run later on. Only problem is that there’s a photo of said candidate fellating a statue of Santa. It’s no Anthony Weiner scandal, but it still opens the guy, Robert Mulvey, up to ridicule. Eli can see the headline now: “Here Comes Santa!” He just hopes there aren’t photos of Mulvey fellating other statues. Of course there are. (The one with him giving a blow job to the Lincoln Memorial was pretty funny.)
Mulvey took the photos during a drunken spring break trip in college “ten years ago,” which is preposterous. First, Eli refers to Mulvey as a member of the Facebook generation who have dumb photos from dumb college buddies posted all over the Internet. But Facebook was founded in 2004, well after Mulvey would have left college. And the ten-year gap between his spring break and the present would make him 32 at the oldest, with kids. Unless the years were particularly rough on him, unless he was really the hard-core alcoholic he claims to be, thanks to Eli’s prompting, in a press conference, he looks exactly as old as the actor playing him: 41. Not that there’s anything wrong with him being in his forties. But would it have killed the writers to say the Santa fellating happened fifteen or twenty years ago?
And finally, in the realm of love lives, Eli’s daughter is hoping to add Zach — who is now in the office all the time covering for LG’s curiously incompetent IT department — to her line of boyfriends with one-syllable names. Grace and her face-painted warrior tutor are growing closer. Guess Cary was accusing the wrong person of being a lesbian this week. And Will and Alicia know Diane is eyeing them like “we’re a lawsuit waiting to happen,” but they’re not going to “pause,” mostly because they know they won’t be able to help themselves. But it’s not just Diane’s suspicions they’ll have to contend with. Jackie, hilariously snooping around the apartment like a pro, has found Alicia’s lingerie. And she’ll surely find something incriminating on Alicia’s laptop — just as soon as she can figure out the right button to push to release the demons inside of it.