Happy 100th episode, “The Good Wife.” This week’s installment, “The Decision Tree,” featured a huge party, Will and Alicia flashbacks, Kalinda sex, a car chase and John Noble. What more could a fan want? How about Jackie calling a Dreidel “a Hannukah” and fart sound effects? It could have used more Diane, but “The Next Day,” is a great episode in the show’s greatest season.
The Chicago Job
The episode opened with a car chase that ended in front of the hipster warehouse offices of Florrick-Agos. Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), the chaser, watched as Lockhart-Gardner’s sketchy new partner Damian (Jason O’Mara) entered enemy territory. Kalinda was following Damian at Diane’s (Christine Baranski) behest. The divine Ms. Lockhart wanted proof that Damian was still tied to his former mob clients so she could oust him.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Damian had a good reason to visit Alicia (Julianna Margulies). No, he was not returning her Number One Mom pin that he stole last week. He was dropping off her Lockhart-Gardner exit contract along with her $150,000 capital contribution. He told her he would give her the check after she signed the deal. Sensing that he was hiding something, Alicia showed the contract to Clarke (Nathan Lane), who noted that it separated her from her dead client Matthew Ashbaugh’s cases. In the first of the episode’s many flashbacks, she recalled Matthew telling her she was not getting paid enough and mentioning his will. When Alicia grilled Damian about profit participation, he left. Robyn (Jess Weixler), whom Alicia had asked to record their conversation, accidentally used a setting that gave everyone helium voices and added fart sound effects. This show is too high brow to be a mainstream hit.
It turned out that Matthew had handwritten a will bequeathing Alicia $12 million and disinheriting his wife. LG represented his wife, who wanted the will declared invalid so she could inherit his fortune as stipulated in his earlier will. The handwritten will was witnessed by a hooker named Paula who testified that Matthew paid her $4,000 for 12 hours of her time, which included witnessing the will and giving him an enema. Will (Josh Charles) claimed that since she was paid to be a witness, the will was invalid. In his first cross examination, Clarke got Paula to admit she stayed an extra half hour to sign the will, meaning she was off the clock and therefore unpaid. Matthew’s widow testified that his company unsuccessfully tried to fire him because he was insane. Alicia flashed back to Matthew telling her he was feigning mental illness, while Will caressed her thighs.
The judge ruled both wills were valid. Will countered that Alicia used her influence over Matthew to persuade him to write the new will.
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Will to Win
A fantastic sequence that intercut flashbacks of Will and Alicia with Will’s imagined interrogation of her. The Alicia of Will’s fantasies wore angelic white. In flashbacks, Matthew asked Alicia whether she was married, threatened to fire her and announced he was in love with her. In the middle of sex with Will, she bragged about having Matthew wrapped around her finger. Then she told Will that she was the happiest she had ever been. This was an interesting moment to highlight because Alicia has never been motivated by happiness. It has seemed, throughout the series, like her lowest priority. In contrast, Will has always done what makes him feel good, whether it’s dating trashy women or betting on sports. No wonder he was shocked when she chose Peter over him.
Will’s fantasy turned vengeful as he grilled Alicia about their relationship. He said she claimed she was married only when it was convenient for her and accused her of making him love her so she could steal his clients. When Owen told Will that Alicia only left because she was in love with him, perhaps what Will took away from it was that everything Alicia did was about him. In addition, Alicia has always separated her personal and professional lives, something Will seems to find impossible.
The next day, Will actually questioned Alicia. She wore the devil’s black. She readily admitted that she knew Matthew was in love with her and that she used that fact to influence him to sign the will. She added that she did not act alone. It seemed she was about to confess to their relationship, but she revealed that David Lee told her to get Matthew to sign the first will.
Checkmate, Alicia. However, the show did not ruin its premise by making her rich. Instead, at the end of the episode Will informed her Matthew turned out to have four more handwritten wills leaving his fortune to other women. They were all declared void. He wished her a happy holiday. She hung up on him.
As Kalinda and Damian continued racing through the streets, he phoned her to ask her out. But it was really a ruse to momentarily throw her off her game so that a female cop friend of his, Jenna (Jordana Spiro), could pull her over and arrest her for reckless driving. Jenna planned to book her late enough that she would have to spend the night in lock up. But Kalinda flirted her way out of handcuffs and into Jenna’s bed. Jenna asked Kalinda if she just seduced her to find out information on Damian. Kalinda readily admitted it. Jenna told her, “Too bad I like Damian more than I like you.” She responded, “Wait until you get to know me better.”
Only 35 people RSVP’d to Florrick-Agos’ holiday party. So Cary (Matt Czuchry) asked Alicia to invite Peter (Chris Noth), since people would want to meet the governor. She reluctantly agreed, but before she could, Peter told her that he got an Evite and would be attending. Cary sent a press release about Peter to all of the invitees without consulting with Alicia. She was upset that he was making unilateral decisions. In short, they are becoming Will and Diane 2: Electric Boogaloo. Eli (Alan Cumming) freaked out when he learned that Colin Sweeney was on the guest list and asked Meredith (Melissa George) to tell Peter that attending would be an ethical dilemma because he got Colin an early prison release. Peter was unconcerned so Eli set up a meeting with real-life political strategist Donna Brazile about Peter possibly becoming a vice president on the 2016 democrat ticket that was at the same time as the party. At Peter’s request, Alicia invited Jackie, who decorated Peter’s office with Christmas decorations and a token dreidel, which she called “a Hanukkah.” After a limo ride with Donna, Peter invited her to the party, to Eli’s chagrin. Fortunately, Colin was a no-show. Unfortunately, drug kingpin Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter) attended and told Peter that he normally voted republican but had to support him. Marilyn announced that she planned to name her baby Peter! Was she joking? A month from now we’ll learn whether Peter conceived a child with his ethics czar.
“The Good Wife” airs Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.