‘The Good Wife’: An Offer You Can Refuse

Alicia (Julianna Margulies) on "The Good Wife" (Photo: Jeff Neira/CBS)

Alicia (Julianna Margulies)  gets something she’s always wanted for all the wrong reasons in this week’s thought provoking installment of “The Good Wife.” We have always thought of Will (Josh Charles) and Diane (Christine Baranski) as the good guys, but Lockhart-Gardner’s ongoing financial problems have shown them to be every bit as sleazy as their adversaries. Even Saint Alicia, as Eli (Alan Cumming) calls her, shows some less than good qualities in this episode. Perhaps the bankruptcy is not just financial, it’s moral.

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A Promotion — With a Catch: Will and Diane sit Alicia down and announce that they have decided to promote her to equity partner. Alicia is elated and emotional. My initial reaction was that it was ridiculous for a lawyer at a large firm to get promoted so quickly. Then I thought about all the cases that she won singlehandedly, as well as the opportunities she would bring to the firm if Peter becomes governor. No fourth year associate would have been given all of the trials that Alicia has, but she has certainly done enough quality work to earn a promotion. Alicia celebrates her promotion like a boss with a shopping spree. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see what she buys. I suspect lingerie. The bloom comes off the rose when David tells her that there is a $600,000 buy in. Holy smokes. That is a ridiculous amount of money. He says she only has to put up half. She can pay the other 300 grand over time. She is stunned. Granted, she has been making six figures, but that’s enough money to buy a house in most parts of the country. Speaking of which, Alicia considers borrowing against her mortgage to come up with the money. Since she just bought the house, does she have enough equity built up? When she asks Peter to cosign, he instead offers to loan her the money. Where did he get it? We know Alicia makes more money than him. I guess it’s Florrick family money. Alicia tells him that she wants to see what happens with the bankruptcy before making any decisions. If the firm ended up getting purchased or shutting down, Alicia could own a piece of nothing. Alicia learns Cary was also offered a partnership. It’s an awkward moment and she seems hurt that she is not the firm’s special snowflake. Instead, this seems like a way for the firm to raise money.

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The situation is even worse than Alicia imagined. At the  bankruptcy hearing, Diane and Will ask for a five month extension. Louis (Michael J. Fox)  argues that they should pay him now so he can use the money for neurological research. The judge realizes that Louis is hamming it up, and agrees to hear further arguments. Will gets Mr. Norquist , the pharmaceutical tycoon who financed Louis’s equity firm, to admit that he is backing Louis’s takeeover attempt because  Lockhart-gardner files nuisance lawsuits against his firm. Louis offers Clarke (Nathan Lane) a job at his firm in exchange for taking his side. Louis claims in court  that Lockhart-Gardner been settling cases at the expense of clients since declaring bankruptcy. Louis subpoenas Alicia. Will and Diane want to make sure she will back them. She is cold, knowing Cary also got offered a partnership. On the stand, Alicia learns that she was one of five associates offered a partnership. Still, she backs Lockhart-Gardner. Then she does a hilarious power bitch walk out of the courtroom.

Louis tries to get Clarke to testify that Lockhart-Gardner is using partnerships to run a pyramid scheme — he says it’s standard practice — citing the job offer that Louis made him. Oh, Clarke, you came through in the end. However, Louis was right about Lockhart-Gardner.  The judge grants the firm a five month extension to pay back its debt, which should coincide nicely with the season finale. Maybe they can make all the paralegals partners, too. Lockhart-Gardner hosts a surprisingly expensive celebration, given the circumstances. Alicia stays in her office, pouting about so many other lesser lawyers being promoted along with her. Louis drops by to remind her of his interest in hiring her. It certainly seems like a financially prudent move to jump ship. Diane calls Alicia out on her pity party, revealing she was promoted because her boss was being sued for sexual harassment. The important thing is to take advantage of the opportunity. Alicia attends the party and says all the right things, but it’s obvious she’s faking it. It’s  unclear what she is going to do next. I think she’d be the perfect addition to Olivia Pope & Associates.

Can an Atheist Become Governor?: Jordan (T.R. Knight) wants to use video of Maddie (Maura Tierney) not bowing her head in prayer in an attack ad. So this campaign is really focusing on all of the important issues. Eli asks Alicia about Maddie’s religious beliefs. Alicia hesitates then decides to stop protecting a woman who was using her. She reveals that Maddie is an atheist. I’m not sure that an admitted atheist could win a statewide political campaign. It seems like the last taboo.  Jordan grills Alicia on her religious preferences. She refuses to answer. Eli also asks. She admits she, too, is a non-believer. Eli, of course, wants her to fake it. At a political event, Alicia has a few drinks, which we know turns her into a loose cannon. Ticked about the partnership, she almost tells off Maddie. Maddie gets ahead of Peter’s strategy by straight up telling a reporter she is an atheist. Peter delivers a smarmy monologue about how his time in prison deepened his faith. Then Alicia says that she’s an atheist. Ha!  It will be interesting to see how much of a scandal this becomes.

Nothing Says True Love Like a Pre-Nup: The case of the week involves another type of partnership: marriage. A woman , Deena, who is engaged to  Will’s nemesis, Chum Hum founder Neil Gross, consults with them about a pre-nup. The firm is hoping she’ll become the next Melinda Gates and make them tons of money. Deena is only seeking counsel because her dad is pressuring her, She is convinced she will live happily ever after and doesn’t care about Neil’s money. So David, without her permission, requests the pre-nup include a  date night, and that the kids be raised Christian. Neil insists his kids be raised Jewish, in the grand tradition of every Jewish man who marries a shiksa. Deena gets so angry that she is ready to dump him. Cary, proving he is partner material, manages to calm her down. Kalinda (Archie Panjabi)  conveniently finds evidence that Neil has a secret child from a one night stand. Cary essentially blackmails him into changing the pre-nup to give Deena tons of money in order to keep his secret. It’s not all that scandalous, so I’m not sure why Neil isn’t openly acknowledging his child. Maybe one day Lockhart-Gardner will take a case where nobody is hiding anything and lose big time.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.
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