If last week’s episode of “The Good Wife,” the aptly titled “Hitting the Fan,” chronicled the climactic blow-up of the Lockhart & Gardner, this week’s “The Next Day” found both sides staking their ground and moving into an uncertain future.
This week’s fifth installment attempt to pick up the pieces from last Sunday’s complete melt-down, and it opens with a shot of Christine Baranski’s Diane waking up rifling through index cards to cram for her upcoming case, to the encouragement of new husband, Gary Cole’s ballistics expert Kurt McVeigh, aka the Marlboro Man. Cut to Josh Charles’ Will in bed with a tattooed honey (a professional?) who only wants to straddle him and carry his baby (?!), then Julianna Margulies’ Alicia being awakened by her daughter Grace, with a house full of employees from her fledgling law firm Florrick & Ago and various contractors, turning her apartment into a combat zone.
“The Next Day” is all about entrenchment and revenge, as Will leads the charge to prevent Alicia and her colleagues from being able to subpoena files in the ongoing gun control case involving “Orange is the New Black”’s Maria Dizza, playing plaintiff Heather Sorentino, which Diane was ostensibly in charge of, even as the exiled fourth-year lawyers were doing most of the work and billing. Alicia has the bright idea to take the dispute before the same disciplinary board that previously censured and suspended Will from his practice, once more presided over by veteran character actor Edward Herrmann, who orders Lockhart & Gardner to turn over the files, which they do, but with virtually the entire document redacted, claiming that information was property of the firm, for they compiled it.
Meanwhile, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” regular Richard Kind returns as judge in the ballistics case, insisting everyone “squash their fists,” with Meryl Streep’s daughter Mamie Gummer’s recurring Nancy Crozier as the lawyer defending the gun manufacturer against claims not only was the weapon faulty, but it was also used to commit a crime. By doing so, the episode directly takes on George W. Bush’s 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which exonerates the arms company from any wrong doing in the case a fatality occurs while a crime is being committed. That also sends Matt Czuchry’s Cary Agos to try to exonerate the car wash killer in his case, because if he was innocent, then the company that makes the gun is back on the hook.
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To complicate matters, Melissa George’s ethics chair Marilyn Garbanza is experiencing a bout of morning sickness, a nice play on the actual actress’ pregnancy. She keeps sniffing around the connection between the decision by Chris Noth’s Governor-elect Florrick (whom she insists on calling Peter, even though Alicia keeps getting correcting her) to threaten Internet companies with increased taxes and ChumHum’s John Benjamin Hickey choosing to go with Florrick & Agos over Lockhart & Gardner.
Alicia spent most of the episode trying to keep her precocious, quickly developing daughter, Makenzie Vega’s Grace, from flirting with the lawyers milling around the apartment, especially Ben Rappaport’s “other” Carey. Diane enlists Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda Sharma to confirm she is being bumped from her nomination to the state supreme court after a tip from a colleague, putting two and two together, while snarkily referring to Peter and Alicia as “Bill and Hillary on steroids,” in one of the show’s best lines. By the end, knowing her nomination is derailed, she asks Will if she can return to the firm, just as he sets his plan for world domination in motion by acquiring the tax law firm that was about to share its offices with Florrick & Agos.”I’m through being polite,” she snarls. Let’s get ready to rumble.