'The Good Wife' Recap: Swift Justice and a Supreme Courtship
'The Good Wife' Recap: Swift Justice and a Supreme Courtship
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Alison Stern-Dunyak
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
There's an old saying about the wheels of justice grinding exceedingly slowly. Bur for Alicia and crew on this week's new Good Wife, speed is of the essence.

In the cleverly titled episode, "The Wheels of Justice," it's not just the trial that moves fast.  Diane makes a rash decision that could have a huge impact on her future -- personal and professional.

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Is Justice Delayed Justice Denied?

He's baa-ack! It's Colin Sweeney, possible wife-killer and all-around sociopath -- and one of Lockhart & Gardner's most constant clients. (I think this is his fifth appearance on the show.) This time, he's accused of disorderly conduct and firearms charges from a party that got out of hand. Normally, this would be no big deal, but the State's Attorney's office won't settle. The case has dragged on for months for no apparent reason. 

Then the L&G team discover something big: the Illinois State Supreme Court is about to approve a "three strikes" law. All the foot-dragging would allow the prosecution to use the gun charge to send Sweeney to jail forever. Alicia invokes the speedy trial clause -- either the state starts the trial now or Sweeney walks. Though neither side is ready, they move ahead.

Because the facts in the case are so unclear -- based largely on unreliable eyewitness testimony and some shaky-cam cellphone video -- the L&G teams need a good ballistics expert, fast. Despite Diane's hesitation, they hire her old flame, Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole). Much as he hates to admit it, a thorough examination of the evidence shows that Sweeney is actually innocent (this time, at least). 

One other person holds the key to Sweeney's freedom -- his girlfriend Isobel Swift (a returning Morena Baccarin, in a nice change of pace from Homeland's Jessica Brody). Though Sweeney has proposed to her, she's quite happy to lie on the stand about his whereabouts at the time of the shooting, unless he drops the pre-nup. Even Ms. Swift's fears about whether he'd kill her if they marry are less important than making sure she ends up with a big share of his loot. (Surprisingly, the writers missed a chance to mention that Sweeney is also the father of her child. Michelle and Robert King -- if you need help with continuity, call me!)

In the end, the judge must dismiss the more serious gun charge against the man he calls a "scumbag." Sweeney will end up serving 30 days for disorderly conduct, but it's a small price to pay compared to life in prison. Isobel, ever patient, says she'll wait for him. 

Courting Trouble

Lots of Diane this week (always a good thing). Following last week's reveal that Peter wants to nominate her to the Illinois State Supreme Court, she hires Kalinda to do a thorough background check on her. She wants no surprises in the run-up to possible confirmation hearings. At the same time, when Sweeney's case throws Kurt back into her life, she must confront her feelings for him. 

Despite the months they've been apart, those feelings come roaring back to life. He's interested, too, but it's Diane who makes the first move when she asks him to marry her during a moment of passion. She's worried that if they don't make some kind of commitment, the time will continue to slip away (something Kurt seems suspiciously okay with).

Unfortunately, Kalinda digs up TV footage of Kurt, an ardent Second Amendment advocate. Supporting gun ownership isn't the problem, however -- it's all his talk about secession from the US. Kalinda advises Diane to put off the relationship for six months, or at least until the election's over, so he won't embarrass her in the media.

Given Kurt's hesitation to give Diane an answer, you'd think she'd be secretly pleased by this turn of events. But not even the lure of a Supreme Court seat can deter Ms. Lockhart. She tells him she doesn't want to wait anymore. He tells her ... well, we don't know yet. That's for another episode.

Questionable Evidence

Diane's not the only one with a messy love life. It seems Will has indeed taken a shine to ASA Laura Hellinger, the prosecutor in the Sweeney case. When the client asks for a name partner to second-chair the stepped-up trial, Sweeney must sign a waiver about Will's conflict of interest. The wife-killer displays his usual creepiness by insisting Will give him details about the relationship -- up to and including any sexy time -- or he won't sign.

So far, Will and Laura haven't done the deed. Before she goes any further, Laura asks Alicia if she and Will are involved. Instead of taking advantage of the present tense nature of Laura's question and ducking the truth, she admits they had a fling once, a long time ago. Alicia insists that she's friends to both of them and thinks that it's great that the two of them are ... "whatever you are." 

But is Laura convinced? Is Alicia? Following their talk, Alicia has a hot dream of making love with Will, but then morphing into Laura. And later, following their victory, a lonely Alicia calls her "friend" Will to talk "about a work thing," but when she hears Laura's voice in the background, she hangs up quickly.

Laura asks if it was Alicia on the phone. Will says yes, then starts kissing Laura. Suddenly, Laura breaks away, telling Gardner she's not being fully truthful. A man she knew in the military has come back into her life, and she can't continue seeing Will right now. She leaves him, but the enigmatic look on her face makes us wonder if the military mystery man even exists. 

Meanwhile, back in her bed with nothing but a glass of wine for comfort, Alicia remains sleepless. 


The Good Wife continues doing an excellent job of integrating newcomer Robyn into the firm. After Diane assigns Cary to interview and hire a new associate, she assists him with background checks. The first candidate happens to clerk for the justice writing the opinion that would send Sweeney to the pokey for life. Seizing the opportunity, the pair decide to pump the guy for as much information as possible.

Robyn proves her worth, pretending to be another attorney during the interviews. She goes so far as to follow the guy to a bar, flirting for knowledge. She works her wiles so well that the candidate gives her the insider info she needs, even after discovering she's not an actual lawyer. He even asks her on a date!

Cary is certainly appreciative of her talents. Which makes me wonder if they're setting her up to be a romantic, not just professional, rival to Kalinda. Is that just me?

Summary Judgment

A very entertaining episode, one that raises as many questions as it answers. To name just a few:

  • What's going to happen to Diane and Kurt? Can they overcome their political differences (she's a lefty-liberal; he wants to start a new country where he can own lots of guns)?
  • Will Cary find Robyn a more sympathetic shoulder than Kalinda (who was seen last week chatting up a cute gal in a bar)?
  • What about Will and Alicia? Is Laura really out of the picture? Or is there another Alicia-Peter-Will triangle waiting for us in the future?
And finally, will Colin Sweeney and his future bride make it to the altar? And will he be sorry he didn't sign a pre-nup? Or, as he "joked" to Alicia, will he just kill her if she tries to cheat on him? Something tells me we haven't seen the last of this guy. 

The Good Wife returns in two weeks for the first of the final three episodes of season 4. Don't miss a minute -- make sure to download the new BuddyTV Guide app and create your own watchlist today!

(Image courtesy of CBS)