As we near the end of The Good Wife‘s fifth season, we’re finally getting clues about where we’ll be going next year, as Diane learns who’s undermining her. And it’s not who she thinks.
In the meantime, Eli learns a few hard facts about the Florrick marriage, and Finn learns who’s out to get him. Plus, Alicia learns never to let a client use an analogy about Nazis to defend the “plight” of rich folk.
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When Baked Goods Attack
Don’t you just love pie? What’s not to love? Unless that pie ends up thrown in your client’s face. Also, all over your nice suit. That’s the start to Alicia’s day.
In “The One Percent,” Alicia’s client, James Paisley (Tom Skerritt, who does indeed return, as I guessed), is discussing the upcoming multi-billion dollar merger of his company with another firm. Alicia’s there because he’s also being sued for wrongful termination by his former CFO. The CFO claims it was discrimination (because he’s gay), while Paisley say it’s because he sold trade secrets to a rival company. (I know — I get those two things mixed up all the time, too.)
With protesters outside the boardroom chanting slogans against Paisley, one of them — disguised as a waiter — throws the aforesaid pie. Rather than get mad, the billionaire is amused.
Back at the office, Louis Canning awaits Alicia’s return. He’s representing the CFO and wants Cary and Alicia to settle before trial. But our F/A team believes they have the stronger case and refuse.
Nevertheless, Alicia urges Paisley to settle, since the case could create bad publicity before the merger. He’s against the idea, but goes along with it to please her. He then appears on an important news program where he talks about the protesters and pie-throwers in disparaging terms.
“Disparaging” as in “I didn’t even know what the protesters wanted — I felt like Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis.” Things go from bad to worse when he adds, “The 1% is the new hunted minority in this country, not unlike the Jews in Nazi Germany.”
An appalled Alicia knows the case is slipping through their fingers. Canning tries to use the interview as leverage for a $3 million settlement, but Alicia offers only $200,000. Time for court!
Can Finn Regain Peter’s Trust?
Finn comes to F/A to meet Alicia and Eli, who brings in the attorney general’s report about the Jeffrey Grant shooting.
A gleeful Gold relays the news that the report clears Finn of any wrongdoing, instead laying the blame at State’s Attorney Jimmy Castro’s feet. This clears the way for Finn to run against Castro in the upcoming election. Eli warns Finn that Castro will probably try to dig up something negative on him.
Castro does indeed try to get his revenge. But instead of bringing it to Finn, he goes to Peter. He brings what he thinks is an incriminating photo of Finn leaving Alicia’s building two weeks before. After taunting the governor with the jab that it wouldn’t look good if Peter endorsed his wife’s lover, our Mr. Florrick calmly tosses a glass of water in Castro’s face. “It was good talking to you,” Peter tells the dripping man. “Have a nice day, Jim.”
But has the damage been done? Does Peter think that Alicia really is having an affair with Finn Polmar? It begins to look that way when Peter asks Eli to hold off on any further endorsements of the younger man.
A New Partner for Diane?
Something’s up at L-G & Canning. Diane’s lining up a class-action case against a big pharma company, Kael-Pepper, for making dozens of children sick. It seems like a plum of a case. To top it off, Reyna Hecht — of the new firm Hecht & Tascione! — brought it to Diane.
But Louis is clearly agitated by what should be good news. Diane assigns Kalinda to find out what’s bugging the newest partner. Kalinda corners Canning in his office, where he admits he’s about to sign Kael-Pepper as a client. They can’t represent both sides of the same case. The partners will have to choose which side to rep and which to drop.
David Lee sides with Canning, but Diane thinks she can win him over. What if Reyna Hecht — a known rainmaker — came along with the suit? Hecht’s already feeling “constricted” working with Elsbeth and might be willing to make a change. Lee admits that might persuade him to vote for Diane’s class-action suit over Canning’s bid to rep the pharma company.
Apologies Not Accepted
With jury selection underway in the wrongful termination suit, Alicia knows that Paisley has to start getting some good PR. He reluctantly agrees to apologize on national TV, but manages to open his mouth and insert the other foot. This time, he insults everyone who is poor, calling them “losers” who won’t work for a living.
With every word, Cary and Alicia know they’re the losers — as in losing jurors who might side with their client.
Alicia again asks Paisley to apologize and also to contribute a large sum to charity. He argues with her that she doesn’t understand him. He’s a self-made man who has made, lost and then rebuilt his fortunes. When she rolls her eyes at his admiration of Ayn Rand, he reminds her that she may not want to admit it, “But you’re part of the 1%, too.”
Whatever she thinks isn’t relevant. “You’re in a media death spiral,” she warns him. Not only does he stand to lose the CFO case, he might lose the merger entirely, which could cost him and his company billions. That makes him listen.
He issues an apology (but no interviews). It’s Alicia who takes to the airwaves, where she defends Paisley’s statement as honest and sincere. She doesn’t do their cause any favors, however, as she mixes up the names of the two black anchormen interviewing her. In her defense, she was sitting in a studio without a monitor — she didn’t actually know which man was asking her the questions. Paisley is amused that his lawyer is apparently not much better at media appearances than he is.
Eli Learns the Truth about the Florricks
Eli is suspicious that something’s going in the Florrick household. He doesn’t like the fact that Peter’s backing off his support of Finn, and he really doesn’t like that Peter is flirting with a pretty intern. He warns the young woman to stay a minimum of 50 feet from the governor or she’ll be out of a job.
A distressed Eli visits Alicia at home to try and get the truth. She admits that she’s just tired of pretending to be in a happy marriage, though she doesn’t want the kids to know. It’s not about Will, she insists — it’s about everything. Eli, not one to show much emotion, says he’s been watching her and Peter for a year. You still love him, he says. And if not, I know he loves you. She smiles wearily and leaves him standing helplessly in her kitchen.
Peter doesn’t like Eli trying to manage his personal life. He finally shows Eli the photo from Castro, but won’t discuss his marriage any further.
Later, Eli meets up with Alicia again. This time, he point-blank asks if she’s sleeping with Finn Polmar. An angry Alicia first refuses to answer, until he shows her the photo.
No, she’s not having an affair with the young prosecutor. Finn was at the apartment to discuss strategy before talking with Castro about the Grant shooting. He came to her home instead of the office because she was still mourning Will’s loss.
A shamefaced Eli apologizes for asking her about it. She smiles ruefully and says, “It’s okay — we seem to be sharing everything today.”
A Snake in the Garden
That night, Cary and Kalinda are in bed together when his phone rings. It’s Reyna Hecht — she wants to meet with F/A in the morning. When Kalinda (who knows about Hecht’s overtures to Diane) asks Cary about it, he tells her that they need to end things.
The next morning, Kalinda and Diane wait anxiously for Reyna, but she’s a no-show. Without Hecht’s backing, the partners vote to take on Kael-Pepper as a client and drop the class-action case. Diane, well aware now that Reyna also had an appointment at Florrick-Agos, is furious.
Meanwhile, the lawyers finish jury selection in the wrongful termination case. Canning is sure that the repeated botched apologies by Paisley have strengthened his case and offers to settle for $5 million.
But not so fast! It turns out that Kael-Pepper, which is now Louis’ client, is being investigated by the feds for price-gouging of AIDS patients. That won’t sit so well with many of the jurors, will it? The two sides agree to call it a draw and settle for $1 million.
Reyna Hecht finally tells Diane that she can’t come aboard at L-G & Canning. She’s heard too many stories about Diane losing her touch in the wake of Will’s death. She offers the class-action case to Diane anyway as a gesture of goodwill, but Diane tells her that ship has sailed.
A furious Diane heads to F/A and accuses Alicia of blackening her reputation, but Cary says they never actually met with Reyna. She got a call from Louis Canning and left without talking to them. It’s Louis Canning who’s poisoning relations within his own firm, just to diminish Diane’s power.
Despite Alicia’s sincere offer of help, Diane growls, “This is my fight.”
And back at the governor’s office, Peter wistfully looks at a screensaver of Alicia and slowly closes his laptop cover. Just then, the pretty intern stops at his doorway and asks if he needs anything. Hmmmmm…..
Overall, “The One Percent” delivered on many fronts — an interesting case, the return of excellent guest stars and classic Good Wife humor. (Loved the whole Alicia-needs-a-sweater-to-cover-the-pie running gag.) While nothing was really resolved (except for the CFO settlement), we’re now being set up for next week’s finale — and next season as well. And I loved the return of feisty Diane — we missed you!
Questions … we’ve got questions: is Peter about to cross the fidelity line again? Are Cary and Kalinda through? Has Elsbeth Tascione scared off her new partner? And best of all, will Diane take the fight to Louis Canning?
We’ll find out next week at 9pm on CBS when The Good Wife ends its groundbreaking fifth season.
(Image courtesy of CBS)