Welcome to 2014, Good Wife fans! The year’s gotten off to a great start, with our favorite show landing on bunches of Top 10 lists and getting buzz that just won’t stop. Let’s see if they can keep it up in episode 101.
Judging by “Goliath and David,” I’d say that’s a big yes. In true TGW fashion, we’re building toward a big revelation that relies on everything that’s come before it. Think you know what Peter’s been up to? Think again!
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Copyrights and Wrongs
You know how professional athletes change teams and take insider knowledge about their old teammates with them? In “Goliath and David,” both Will and Alicia learn the hard way that the same thing happens when former legal colleagues face off in court.
They wind up on opposite sides once again when Alicia and Cary take on the case of a singing duo, Roby & Marshal, who want to sue a television network for copyright infringement. It’s complicated, so try to follow along: Roby & Marshal covered a song by popular rap artist Royal Kane. Their version slowed down the tempo and gave it a mellow melody — so mellow they recorded it in a bowling alley.
Along comes a Glee-like TV show, Drama Camp, that used a version suspiciously similar to Roby & Marshal’s — and it’s become a huge hit. The case revolves around legal issues such as what type of permissions each party bought from Rebel Kane and whether either side can claim the other stole the material.
I’ll cut to the chase. At first, it looks like Florrick, Agos will lose the case on a technicality involving rights. Not only would Roby & Marshal get nothing, but they’d have to pay the network. Even a clever gambit by Cary to prove that the cover was a satire of rap music, and therefore “transformational” use, doesn’t pay off. But after some in-depth investigation into sound files by Robyn, the FA team proves that the producer of Drama Camp actually used audio from the original Roby & Marshal video.
It’s no longer about which side owns which kind of rights — it’s now about outright theft. And that’s a no-no in any court. Sometimes David still beats Goliath.
What really makes this case interesting, of course, is the battling counselors. Alicia and Cary get the work because Roby & Marshal played their holiday party. But Will only ends up involved when the TV network’s lawyer, Burl Preston (returning guest star and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham), stops by LG looking for Alicia (since she’s suing his client). He doesn’t realize that Ms. Florrick has skedaddled to her own firm.
Will uses this as an opportunity to cozy up to Preston — and shore up his play to expand the firm into Los Angeles-based work. Preston doesn’t even like Will, but Gardner assures him that he knows Alicia’s weaknesses and can use them against her in court. When he takes Preston over to Florrick, Agos, Alicia’s beyond annoyed that Will’s now part of the case. She tells him to get over her. Will pretends that he has no idea what she’s talking about.
At first, he’s right on the money about his idea to break Alicia’s rhythm. As she questions witnesses, he repeatedly makes objections, often on the slightest pretense — all to rattle her and make her lose focus. Alicia even complains to the judge, who tells Will to cut it out. But he’s rattled her plenty.
When Alicia complains to Cary about Will’s tactics, he tells her that she’s being played. She tells him, “You’re right. I have to change.” And by change, she means clothing. After lunch, she comes back in a short-skirted suit that many of us remember from the infamous elevator scene at the end of season 2.
Talk about rattled! Will can barely get out the questions, as he’s drawn into a daydream about making love to Alicia. He’s in such a daze that Preston becomes furious, but what’s he going to do? Complain to the judge that he’s remembering having sex with opposing counsel?
Will confronts Alicia outside the courtroom, saying, “So, you decided to change?”
“Yes, into the same outfit I wore the first time you banged me,” she says.
“That’s pretty low of you,” he says.
“I know, I wasn’t as discriminating back then,” she replies as she walks off. Apparently, two can play this game — and some play it better than others. Julianna Margulies, you rock!
By the time Robyn (once more to the rescue) proves that the musical duo should get their due, it’s a big win for Florrick, Agos. And Burl Preston likes Will Gardner even less.
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Trouble at Home
Will isn’t making a lot of friends anywhere these days, especially when it comes to Diane. The partners nearly come to (verbal) blows when Diane upsets Will’s plans to open an office in Los Angeles (part of the reason he wanted Preston’s business). They’ve just started up in New York City — an offstage occurrence — and Diane’s worried they’re moving too fast. She gets enough partners to agree with her on a moratorium on more out-of-town business for 60 days.
Will gets his new bestie, Damian, to strong-arm some of the younger partners to support the LA expansion, but Diane manages to quash it again. Worse, she’s starting to wonder if she and Will are even friends anymore. With the departure of Alicia and Cary, everyone’s on edge, she says. Why the fast track expansion?
He reminds her that she walked away from the firm (for the judgeship that didn’t happen), but he didn’t. Now that she’s back, he just wants to be able to lead the firm. Before she can argue again, she decides to give in. But the look on her face says it all: she’s not happy with what’s happening. She just doesn’t want to fight anymore.
Friends vs. Lovers
Remember back at the holiday party when Marilyn said she’s naming her unborn child Peter? Some of you thought that she was making a joke, but apparently she’s dead serious. Eli can’t let it go and asks her outright why she’s naming the boy Peter. When she says it’s the father’s name, he’s not reassured, even when she tell him it’s not the governor. It is, however, someone she “sees everyday.” Again, this news fails to reassure Mr. Gold.
Never one to leave things to chance, Eli commissions Kalinda to find out if Peter’s been fooling around with his beautiful ethics director. Our intrepid investigator shows up at Marilyn’s doctor’s office, pretending to be pregnant, just to get Marilyn to confide. But no dice.
Kalinda’s not only frustrated at the lack of info, her work gets interrupted by Jenna, Damien’s cop friend. She only agrees to see Jenna again when she apologizes for busting in on her work. This leads to a side plot where we learn that Kalinda is (a) completely ignorant of the work of Katy Perry and (b) unhappy that Jenna uses their pillow talk to pass personal tidbits back to Damien. She asks Kalinda not to make her choose between Damien and her new flame, but Kalinda’s unmoved.
For now, their romance goes onto the back-burner, at least until Jenna can decide where her loyalties lie.
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Will the Real Peter Please Stand Up?
Back at the governor’s office, a frantic Eli is becoming more and more convinced that Governor Florrick may be on his way to being a baby daddy again. He’s particularly worried when he finds out that surveillance tapes from Marilyn’s hotel taken during the presumed conception date have gone missing.
He confronts her once again. She’s furious that he won’t believe her, but he reminds her that the press would like nothing more than to accuse Peter of cheating with her. When Eli gets a call from a reporter at the Chicago Tribune who says she has a video for him to comment on, he fears the worst.
But he doesn’t know what “worst” is. Marilyn has decided that it’s time to introduce “her” Peter to Eli. It’s none other than director Peter Bogdanovich, whom she met while he was filming a movie in Chicago. I did not see that coming. (And if you’ve never seen his comedy What’s Up, Doc?, go check it out. Very funny, even after all these years.)
Normally, Eli would be ecstatic at this news, but not today. That videotape the reporter wants to show him? It has nothing to do with any sexy-time between Peter and Marilyn and everything to do with ballot-box stuffing. Uh-oh.
It’s pretty clear from this episode that the back half of The Good Wife season 5 will deliver plenty of punch. In true “Show a gun in Act One, it must go off in Act Three” fashion, the writers have let the slow build of a possible corruption scandal carry over from last year to this.
The potential payoff is huge. Just as Alicia’s recommitted to her marriage, just as we learn Peter’s remained faithful to his wife and just as Will struggles with the realization that he may have lost Alicia forever — a bomb is about to drop in their midst.
As Alicia says to Peter in the preview, “Just fix this!” But some things are more fixable than others. I’m looking forward to the explosions to come.
And good luck to TGW at next week’s Golden Globes. I’ll be watching the new episode but rooting for the cast over at the awards.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm on CBS.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)