It took four seasons and four episodes, but the firm of Lockhart & Gardner is about to implode in a major way after last Sunday’s installment of “The Good Wife.” “Outside the Bubble” welcomes back Emmy-winning guest star Carrie Presto’s neurotic attorney Elsbeth, brought in to defend the firm against a sexual harassment suit filed by a paralegal (Tracee Chimo) represented by Rita Wilson’s Viola Walsh, the arch nemesis of Diane’s Christine Baranski, which threatens to throw a monkey wrench into her pending nomination as a judge on the state Supreme Court. [Watch here]
This week, the beleaguered firm turns into a den of intrigue with overlapping agendas, as the fourth-year associates, led by Julianna Margulies’ Alicia and Matt Czuchry’s Cary, planning their escapes—unbeknownst to Josh Charles’ Will—while simultaneously trying to defend themselves against the charges leveled at Lockhart & Gardner.
Meanwhile, Alan Cummings’ slimy political consultant Eli Gold butts heads with Mary Beth Pell’s meddlesome Jackie, the mother of Chris Noth’s Governor-elect, though he’s finally forced to give in when the head of the union (“The Wonder Years”’ Dan Lauria), threatening to shut down the inauguration, turns out to be an old flame of hers.
At the same time, the about-to-be deposed Diane decides to accept the proposal from her boyfriend, Gary Cole’s Kurt, despite the fact he’s a gun-toting Sarah Palin supporter, much to the dismay of her disapproving liberal friends, one of whom is played by Robert Klein, who wonder aloud about whether the relationship can last “outside the bubble” of their mutual infatuation. Her suspicions aroused by trying to log into one of her clients’ files behind the firewall, only to find it’s being used by Alicia, Diane puts two and two together and realizes she’s about to leave the firm, after that client—Sonja Sohn, so good in “The Wire”—inadvertently reveals she’s contemplating moving over to Alicia’s new firm “because it’s good to have the name of the governor’s wife on the letterhead.”
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There’s also a patina of regret hanging over the episode, with Alicia and Will reminiscing about the time they had sex in his bathroom (but not his office, since that’s the subject of his affidavit claiming he never had intercourse with an underling there for the sexual harassment suit).
Despite the high intensity, the episode still had time for some laughs at the expense of Jerry Adler’s senior partner Howard Lyman and his predilection for taking a noontime nap without his pants on in his office, and occasionally coming on to an intern who happens to walk in, all recorded on his laptop. And it turns out the suing paralegal has been making some untoward advances of her own to Archie Panjabi‘s loyal in-house investigator Kalinda.
The episode ends with Diane confronting Will about the departing members of the firm, who plan to take clients with them, clearly torn between her loyalty to Lockhart & Gardner, which she co-founded, and her new status as an ex-partner, complete with indemnity against any charges that might arise from the lawsuit, and the chance to retain her gun control case (do I sense am inevitable conflict with her new NRA-espousing hubbie?).
Next week, expect to see shiznet “Hitting the Fan” in the episode of the same name as “The Good Wife” turns into a delicious free-for-all. Will Alicia actually leave the firm? Will Diane return? And what will Will do in retaliation for his colleagues’ treachery? And how will it all affect the new Governor-elect? Keep watching new episodes of the show every week on Streampix to find out.