Last night’s episode of “The Good Wife,” “Marthas and Caitlins,” showcased an evil person who has a strange obsession with Alicia (Julianna Margulies). Also, business mogul/wife and dog killer Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) returned. It’s difficult to tell who is scarier: Colin or Celeste (Lisa Edelstein). The show’s two most deliciously despicable characters intersected when Colin turned out to be the only person who could testify that an airline knowingly flew defective planes for a civil case regarding a plane crash. Lockhart-Gardner, representing the victims, teams up with Celeste, who is handling the crew. Alicia is the only person who has a prayer of getting the imprisoned Colin to help.
Alicia’s initial meeting with Colin is a tense, hilarious homage to “Silence of The Lambs.” Colin has a prison tattoo! He tells her, “There’s a refreshing honesty to prison. People don’t dissemble here. They just take.” In other words, it’s the opposite of Lockhart-Gardner. Colin claims that the sole factor that will determine whether or not he testifies is if it will help Alicia. She assures him that it will. Is his affection for Alicia gratitude for all that she has done to help him, or a sign that he would like to dismember her and bury her in his garden? You decide.
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Of course, Colin is working an angle. He will undermine the case unless Lockhart-Gardner gets him released early. He offers to trade information about drug dealing in prison. The state’s attorney’s office agrees — provided that Colin wears a wire and gets the head of the Aryan Nation prison gang to confess to putting out hits on people on the outside. The last person who testified against him was killed. Colin agrees to the terms, and craftily manages to get him to talk by expressing an interest in hiring him to kill one of his former business associates. He is released, and offers the promised testimony. It seems likely that he will require Alicia’s services again this season.
Alicia is also tasked with hiring a new first year associate. The top contenders are a fun loving blonde named Caitlin and a buttoned-down brunette named Martha. It’s essentially the 21st century version of the Marilyn or Jackie episode of “Mad Men.” Alicia prefers the more intellectually accomplished Martha, but Caitlin turns out to be the niece of David, the Lockhart-Gardner partner who is handling Alicia’s separation. He puts pressure on her to choose Caitlin. Celeste witnesses this manipulation, and suggests the two of them have a drink.
In a scene that is full of parallels to Alicia and Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) drunken bonding moment from Season 1, the two women size each other up. It’s more of a cat-and-mouse game than Alicia’s conversation with Colin. Does Celeste want Will back? Or does she just want to keep him away from Alicia? Celeste claims not to like women because they are always competing with her. Alicia claims not to have any female friends — or any male friends. She’s playing Celeste, but that seems like her sincere belief. She lost Kalinda. Will stopped being her friend the moment they had sex. Celeste says she can’t be her friend because of Will. And she will break them up by telling her about how terrible Will is. Alicia laughs at her, but Celeste’s parting shot, “Will is like me. He’ll always disappoint you,” plants a seed of doubt. Celeste is Iago. In a steel cage match between Colin and Celeste, they would probably both end up killing themselves to prevent the other person from winning.
David ultimately persuades the hiring committee to select Caitlin over Martha. Will admits to Alicia that he voted for Caitlin. She feels betrayed, but then he explains that three years ago she was the Caitlin, the candidate who was less qualified on paper, and she persuaded David to vote for her instead of the Martha. So now Alicia knows that Will was fighting for her from day one, but that she was hired for the wrong reasons. Will tells her, “The Caitlins often surprise you.” Is that an example of Will disappointing her, or Will being awesome? If only Alicia were in prison, where nobody dissembles.
In other juicy news, Eli (Alan Cumming) promises DNC chair Donna Brazile (yes, she plays herself) that he will make sure Peter (Chris Noth) and Alicia are living under the same roof if she selects Peter to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic Convention. Kalinda refuses to do any work for Eli that involves Peter’s gubernatorial campaign, making him wonder about Kalinda’s connection to Peter. David informs Alicia that she now makes more money than Peter, and could get stuck paying him spousal support if they divorce. Alicia tells Jennifer, the bizarre physics tutor, that Grace can no longer appear in her street dance videos, and that they must keep their relationship strictly tutor-student. Grace complains to Alicia that Jennifer was her only friend. Like mother, like daughter?