Can you look into the face of evil and not be changed? Alicia finds out on this week's episode of The Good Wife
as her anti-death-penalty sentiments are pushed to the limit by a very, very bad man.
Things aren't all death and despair in "Death Row Tip," however. A put-upon Eli must find a way to quell a looming crisis for a new political client, and Cary faces off with Kalinda in one of their most intimate encounters yet.
The Case in Evidence
Immediately before his execution, an Indiana
death-row inmate named Ricky Packer reveals the location of a murdered
Chicago gang member to a documentary filmmaker. When the police dig up
the remains, they also discover the body of a missing woman. The state's
attorney's office charges her former boyfriend with the crime.
Diane and Alicia get the case.
The L-G team believes the woman was
collateral damage from the killing of the gangbanger. But Packer, the
only person who can help them identify the real killer, is less than two
days from death. Coyne -- the Legal Aid attorney Diane is providing
office space to -- goes to court to argue for a stay of execution. (See? I told you Romany Malco
would be back!)
team races the clock as Kalinda sets out to identify the woman's killer.
She approaches Cary's new squeeze, Dana, to get information. Dana tells
her they already have a solid suspect -- a juvenile gang member -- so that
leaves the boyfriend as the dead woman's murderer.
Kalinda doesn't buy
it, but persuades Dana to trade footage from traffic cameras near the
crime scene. But to get it, she has to agree to give Dana information on
Will for their new investigation. What she doesn't tell Dana is that
she's also planning on warning her boss to beware.No Friend of the Court
and Alicia search desperately for any mitigating factors that will get Packer a stay of execution. Unfortunately, Ricky's hard-luck story
turns out to be bogus -- he was raised in a loving, well-to-do family. His
family's minister tells Alicia that Ricky was always a mean kid and
probably committed the gruesome double murder he's in prison for.
her disgust at Packer's crimes, Alicia agrees to interview him if it
will help her client. Packer identifies the man in the traffic-cam
photo -- and, as Kalinda suspected, he's not the juvenile taking the rap. The boyfriend's innocence is proven once and for
all when the police try to arrest the murderer and he starts a
shoot-out. The police recover the murder weapon.
Though Diane and
Alicia's client gains his freedom, Packer loses his appeal. In a
stunning confrontation with his mother and brother at the prison, the
unrepentant killer both curses his family and laughs that "it was fun."
Alicia looks on in horror.In Chambers
During the shootout Cary
and Kalinda get caught in the crossfire, and Cary shields her with his
body. Though neither is hurt, she's grateful to him for protecting her.
But he's suspicious about her motives in befriending Dana. When she
denies any negative motives, he tells her he doesn't like her being in
his head. "Then get me out," she says.
He touches her face -- they
kiss. They pull apart -- and kiss again. "What are we doing?" he asks. "I
have no idea," she says, looking at him expectantly. But rather than
continue, Cary pulls away again and walks out. The Jury Will Ignore that Last Remark
can't believe I'd ever type the words "servicing Santa." But that's
what Eli has to deal with when political operative Mickey Gunn brings him a
crisis communications case. Gunn's client, a young politician named
Mulvey, once went on a college spree and was caught on camera doing the
nasty with a giant statue of Mr. Claus.
Before it gets out and ruins
Mulvey's chances at public office, Eli and Alicia recommend that he get
ahead of the story by releasing the photo himself. Things backfire
during a TV interview (nice cameo from MSNBC's Chris Matthews
), but the
politician recovers by claiming to be an alcoholic who must go to
Gunn agrees to withdraw his guy from contention for a
congressional race, but thinks he'll run Mulvey in something a little
lower-profile -- a state senator's seat. Oops, that's the same seat that
Eli's ex-wife is vying for, too.
The writers packed "Death Row Tip" with plenty of classic TGW
moments. Here are a few:
tells Alicia that Diane keeps looking at them as if they were "a
lawsuit waiting to happen." Despite the scrutiny, they agree they're not
ready to "pause" their relationship.
- While watching the kids,
Grandma Jackie starts snooping through Alicia's things. After finding
sexy lingerie in the laundry, she pulls out Alicia's laptop. Fortunately, Jackie can't even find the power button. (Do the writers
know my mother?)
- When Alicia tells Mrs. Packer's minister that the
condemned man is "not a good person," the reverend readily agrees -- he
only testified because he's against the death penalty. Alicia then asks
him, "What if the case was about releasing him?" Then we'd be
having a very different conversation, he says. (A fine performance from
Mark Margolis, better-known to Breaking Bad fans as the mute, wheelchair-bound
- After noting that Dana and Kalinda looked like they
were getting along a little too well, Dana assures him that "I'm not a
lesbian." Cary retorts that he's known a lot of people who weren't
anything till they met Kalinda.
episode. With the possible exception of Peter, I'm hard-pressed to think
of a major character who didn't get some showcase moments. Even minor
ones, such as Eli's charming daughter Marissa and Grace's oddball tutor got screen time. And yet the balance between serious and
humorous moments, plus emotional breakthroughs and political shenanigans, felt
As we approach the "fall finale" (code for "we don't
want to burn off new episodes before the holidays") how do you think
things stand on The Good Wife
? Should Will and Alicia take that "pause"
after all? Does the investigation against Will have legs? Can Cary and Kalinda keep things purely professional? Are you glad we don't have to wait till Turkey Day to give thanks for the next Good Wife?
(Image courtesy of CBS)