Ever had one of those days you'd like to do over? In this week's episode of The Good Wife, both Alicia and Diane probably wish they'd just gotten together for drinks and a little girl talk.
Told over the course of a single long day, "The Deep Web" has the two women questioning the direction their lives are taking in the post-Will era -- all without ever sharing a single moment onscreen.
A Tangled Web
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Alicia's day doesn't actually start that badly. She begins the morning in a courtroom, but not for a case -- she's on the list for jury duty. While waiting around, she meets another potential juror, who happens to have the best eyes on television. (That would be guest star Nestor Carbonell, in case my clue wasn't good enough.)
She also gets a call from Eli, who's annoyed that Finn Polmar isn't acting like a candidate. He doesn't even have a campaign manager, which in Eli's book is probably worse than wearing white after Labor Day. Since Peter endorsed Finn, Eli needs him to make a better showing, but Alicia won't get involved.
Finn has other things on his mind than his run for State's Attorney, however. He's over at L-G, waiting to talk to a client of Diane's. For the first time in a while, Diane has a case that doesn't involve tangling with Florrick, Agos. Robbie Pollard, the grandson of wealthy L-G client Lyle Pollard, has caught the eye of the State's Attorney and the cops.
His crime? He's involved in the "Deep Web," where everything's for sale, from drugs to illegal weapons to murder for hire. Finn wants to know if Robbie's a drug dealer on the biggest marketplace, Silk Road. The young man vehemently denies it, claiming all he did was write bogus reviews, sort of like Amazon blurbs about narcotics. But the cops have traced a huge payment to his digital wallet (in Bitcoins, natch -- a nod to a classic earlier episode). Oh, and Finn also has a witness.
Diane tries to get Finn to drop the case by saying it wouldn't look good if the candidate for State's Attorney had another botched prosecution on his hands after the Jeffrey Grant case. (Low blow, Diane -- Grant actually shot Finn while he tried to save Will.) She also calls in Louis Canning, figuring Finn wouldn't want to take on a disabled attorney with a disabled client. (Robbie has cerebral palsy.)
Finn won't back off, but Canning does manage to get Robbie to cough up the name of a girl, Corsica, who might be the witness. Kalinda visits Corsica, a pot dealer, who admits she gave up Robbie to the police. But, she adds, I only told the cops that he wrote reviews about my product, not the whole story -- that Robbie invented Silk Road.
The Jury's Out
Alicia gets out of jury duty, but her new friend, Nestor -- I mean Daniel -- isn't so lucky. When Alicia tells Cary she's free again, he surprises her by telling her to take the day off. She thanks him for his kindness. Then she realizes she doesn't know what to do with herself. Hello, Alicia? Spa day?
She tries watching TV, but that doesn't work out. (Let's just say she has to talk to Zach about which remote to use.) When she agrees to meet her mom, Veronica, for lunch, she mumbles to herself, "Wow, you really are bored!"
At first, lunch with mom isn't so bad. She starts to have a heart-to-heart about Will's death, admitting that it seems he's still there with her. And she's questioning whether she still wants to be a lawyer. Veronica listens sympathetically, when suddenly her new beau shows up to join them. An annoyed Alicia leaves and wanders back to the courthouse, suspiciously close to the jury selection room.
She "runs into" Daniel, who invites her for lunch. (At some point, hopefully she'll get to eat.) He's flirty. She's giggly. He's a single dad with a teenage son. She's a governor's wife with a sham marriage and two teens of her own. They make a cute couple.
He admits he likes her, even though she's married. Alicia's still new at this, though -- flirting with near-strangers -- and she even has to hit the ladies' room to calm down. He invites her for drinks that evening, just to talk. Will she take him up on it? She's flustered and says she has to leave.
Back Door Dealings
Back at L-G, Diane learns that David Lee and Louis Canning have been taking meetings with her clients over the last few weeks. She's suspicious they're trying to usurp her managerial authority. She even fires one of the assistants for passing along her calls to David. She asks Kalinda to find out what else has been going on behind her back. "I feel like I'm channeling Will's ghost," she tells the PI.
David, however, tells her that she's being unreasonable. In fact, he was doing her a favor by covering for her in the weeks following Will's death. Could David actually be doing something nice for a change? (He certainly seems to think so.)
Meanwhile, Diane tells Robbie he has to give something to the cops or they'll arrest him. He shows Kalinda how to identify Silk Road customers on the Deep Web through special code phrases embedded in their postings. One of them, Jeremy Barba, lives in Chicago, so the cops set out to find him.
Despite Diane's assurances to Robbie and his grandfather Lyle that the young man is perfectly safe, Jeremy Barba turns up dead. Finn is dismayed to say the least. It's Kalinda who notices a clue at the crime scene: bags of Corsica's pot. Obviously, she's involved somehow, but she says Robbie set her up. Robbie claims she set him up. The cops arrest her, but someone must be lying, and it's not necessarily the pretty pot dealer.
A Candidate is Born
Finn takes a break from his duties to prep for a television interview that Eli arranged for him. Eli reminds him that being a politician isn't about being truthful -- it's about being a person that voters can trust.
Later, at the actual interview, Finn nails it. He's humble about the courtroom shooting and his heroics -- he gives most of the credit to Will. We also learn that only three years ago, his sister killed herself after a long bout of drug addiction.
Though Finn's annoyed that the reporter asked about his family tragedy, Eli beams at his successful showing. Now you're acting like a true politician, Eli kvells.
Canning's Shocking News
Based on info from Kalinda, Diane confronts Louis and David with her suspicions. They finally tell her what they've been hiding: their secret meetings haven't been about her, they've been about Louis. He's dying and has less than 12 months to live. That's why he wanted to come to L-G -- to settle down for the sake of his family.
Diane apologizes and offers her sympathies to Louis. She then asks Kalinda to check into Louis' story. It sounds fishy to her.
Back at Alicia's apartment, she's still bored until her mom shows up. Veronica apologizes for the earlier incident and offers to lend an ear. As the two share a bottle of wine, Alicia pours out her heart.
"I'm spinning, mom," she says. "I don't know what to do."
"Oh, baby, nobody does," Veronica says. But maybe what Alicia wants to do is meet Daniel at that bar. She keeps looking at her watch.
Member of the Bar
Kalinda digs deeper into Robbie's dealings on Silk Road. Unfortunately, she discovers evidence that the seemingly harmless grad student is actually Mr. Silk Road, or at least a major player. She tells Diane what she's learned. Rather than continue with a case where she knows her client will lie to the police, Diane withdraws from his defense team. Lyle Pollard is furious, but Diane stands firm.
Finn calls Alicia to ask if that's like Diane to withdraw. Alicia, on the way to that bar, says no -- but she might withdraw rather than work with a client who's committing perjury.
Kalinda comes to Diane with some additional news. Well, Ms. Lockhart asks, "Is Canning dying or just trying to screw me?" Turns out it's both -- hes dying and he's trying screw her. All right, then -- this game is getting more interesting by the minute.
Back at the bar, Daniel keeps looking at his watch and the door. Alicia stands outside watching. She asks herself, "It's one drink -- why is that a problem? Who am I being faithful to?"
We never get an answer, but she never gets that drink, as she turns and walks away.
Overall, a big improvement over the ups and downs of last week's episode. "The Deep Web" got us back on track with a gripping case, some intriguing office shenanigans and a dollop of emotion as Alicia tries to assess her life.
We're approaching the end of The Good Wife's fifth season -- a year that's been both groundbreaking and heartbreaking -- and many of our favorites find themselves at a crossroads. As Alicia says, it's like Will's not really gone, but she knows he really is.
Only two episodes to go this season, and still on the horizon is a cooked-up scandal involving Alicia and Finn. Bring it on!
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm on CBS.