Is this the end of an era for Chicago’s most dramatic law firm? As we learn on The Good Wife, what’s happening with the attorneys overshadows even multi-million dollar legal cases.

It’s all there in “Trust Issues.” Cary’s still in the clink, Diane’s making her move and Alicia’s not a politician (really!). Plus, Taye Diggs. Plus, elevators. Plus, Taye Diggs in elevators. What’s not to love?

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Jailhouse Rocked

This week’s episode begins with Alicia visiting her partner in the county lock-up. She tells him that bringing Diane on board is practically a done deal, and he’s clearly unhappy. It’s also clear they’re keeping Cary’s predicament a secret from their biggest clients, especially the ChumHum folks. They have an important case coming to trial soon, and Cary’s in charge of the strategy.

Meanwhile, Diane and Finn go toe-to-toe over bailing out Cary. Finn wants Alicia to testify about the source of the bail funds, which he says actually came from Lemond Bishop. 

Diane and Kalinda visit the jail. Remember that recording Kalinda’s ex-girlfriend told her about last week? Apparently, it makes Agos sound guilty of advising Bishop’s crew on how to smuggle heroin into the country and avoid capture. Cary swears it’s doctored. 

Back at Florrick, Agos (which is in a state of chaos as the offices undergo refurbishing), an angry Lemond Bishop warns Alicia that if he’s called into court, the bail money disappears. He’s a man of his word. When the judge later orders a subpoena to find out the real source of the cash, Bishop withdraws Cary’s get-out-of-jail-free card.

We Interrupt this Recap for the Case of the Week

The case against ChumHum is another ripped-from-the-headlines tale. This time, it involves tech firms suppressing employee salaries by colluding not to poach each other’s employees. (This really happened. You can Google it.)

Here’s what we learn:

  • Deena Lampard, aka “Mrs. ChumHum,” hates to be called Mrs. Gross, even though she’s married to Neil Gross, CEO of the company, and a frequent Good Wife guest (though not this week).
  • Deena used to date Patrick Edelstein of rival tech firm Sleuthway. He claims she’s unreliable and he never intended to honor any salary-fixing deal. Jealousy turned revenge? 
  • Even from jail, Cary’s quite the lawyer. His coaching provides Alicia and Other Carey with excellent moves, though it’s Alicia who brings home the win with her reveal of Edelstein’s motives. In this case, a settlement in the low millions counts as a win.
  • The opposing attorney, Lorraine Joy, calls Alicia “an assassin.” The kicker? Joy once refused to hire Alicia back in the day because she thought she was too soft.

Are the tech firms guilty? Almost certainly, but since when does that matter in the world of billionaires?

When Valerie Jarrett Calls, You Answer — or Not

On the day Taye Diggs — I mean Dean, one of the partners from Lockhart-Gardner in New York — arrives back in Chicago, Diane announces her retirement. Taye/Dean is upset by the news, and she makes a play for him to join her at Florrick, Agos.

Just as she’s gloating over the ChumHum win (and figuring out how to raise Cary’s bail funds), Alicia gets a call from Valerie Jarrett — President Obama’s close adviser. Jarrett wants Alicia to run for State’s Attorney.”But I’m not a politician,” she says. “I know — I wouldn’t want to vote for you if you were,” says the real-life big wig. (We know Ms. Jarrett’s being coached by Eli, but Alicia’s totally baffled by the call.) 

With Bishop’s permission, Kalinda and Diane talk to the drug dealer’s crew. All three men deny that Cary told them anything of value; he was only speaking in hypotheticals. Because she’s heard the tape, Kalinda figures out who’s betraying Bishop.

Note to self: If I ever become a criminal informant, remember that when you wear a wire, your voice will be loudest because it’s closest to the recorder.

Alicia’s Not a Politician. No, Really.

Taye — I mean DEAN — visits F-A. He’s so unimpressed that he tells Diane, “That is not a law firm. It’s a frat house!” Diane says they’re rough around the edges, but wouldn’t he love the opportunity to build a firm into something big? A firm with a mission, with women and people of color in positions of authority? Dean gets that “maybe I’m coming around” look on his face. 

Desperate to spring Cary, Alicia applies for a second mortgage on her fabulous apartment. The bank approves it, but Peter must co-sign the loan. Ever the politician, Peter refuses and tells his estranged wife not to take out the loan. One way or another, people will find out about it and her plan will backfire. She’s furious, accusing him of trying to get back at her. But he won’t budge. 

Alicia takes a break from the ChumHum depositions to meet with Ernie Nolan, a prominent real estate developer. He offers to loan Cary’s bail money to her, interest-free. She’s confused. What does he want in return? He tells her he’s no fan of Jimmy Castro, the current State’s Attorney. When you run for office, just remember the businesspeople of Chicago, he says.

“But I’m not running, I’m not a politician,” she says. “Right!” he says. (I’m detecting a theme here.) She refuses the money, though Robyn encourages her to take the check. How can it be corruption if she’s not running for office and she told him that straight-out?  

Suddenly, Alicia’s detecting a theme, too. She goes to Eli’s office and tells her to stop having people come to her about running for State’s Attorney. “I’m. Not. Running!” she spits. Eli swears he didn’t know about Nolan’s offer, and as far as we can tell, he doesn’t.

Finn goes to see Castro and says he’s concerned about Diane’s witness list for the upcoming bail hearing. The list doesn’t include their criminal informant. How did they figure it out? Apparently, Bishop didn’t figure it out, unfortunately, because one of Cary’s two witnesses turns up dead soon after. The boss had the wrong guy.

Dean wants to talk to Diane about Florrick, Agos. He’s excited about coming with her to the new firm — and he’s got six other partners interested in coming along, too. Diane and Dean give the news to Alicia and the Other Carey. Their big problem is finding out where to put them all. 

Who’s Doing the Poll Vault Now?

Alicia learns that someone has been doing a push-poll about her nonexistent candidacy. Eli denies any involvement with that or Nolan’s offer (The Jarrett call, yes). It’s Castro’s doing, he says. Gold tells her that she’s still polling incredibly well. “Peter would kill for those numbers — any politician would!” But of course, Alicia’s not a politician, right? 

She visits Castro in his office and tells him she’s not in the race — he should stop spending money running against her. Then we have no disagreement, he says. She still thinks he’s going after Cary because he thinks she’s a threat, though he denies it. 

Eli finally fesses up afterwards to Peter that he was behind the push-poll. He needed to create “enemy surrogates” to convince Alicia to run. Oh, Eli, you sly dog!

Cary, Diane and … Elevators!

Following a vote by the partners, we witness the birth of a new firm: Florrick, Agos and Lockhart. Cary (calling from jail) is the only one to vote against the change, so it passes. Ironically, the others vote to use the advance from ChumHum to pay Cary’s bail. 

Diane watches the seconds tick down on her time at Lockhart, Gardner & Canning. (With Will dead and Diane gone, does that just make it Canning?) As she walks out, Dean and the others silently fall in line and follow her to the elevator. “Goodbye,” she whispers as the doors close. 

At the (somewhat rickety) Florrick, Agos & Lockhart elevator, Alicia exits to see Cary waiting for her. 

“We missed you,” she says, and they hug. This is the first time we’ve done this, isn’t it?” he asks. “I think so,” she says with a big smile. 

Summary Judgment 

Wow. When the last original name partner of Lockhart, Gardner walks out the door, it’s the end of an era — for Diane and for fans of The Good Wife. If you’d told me two years ago where we’d be this week, I’d have said you were crazy. What other successful show, with no real need for reinvention, goes off in such daring directions in mid-life? We all know by now: this one!

I admit I got a little choked-up watching Diane count the seconds of her last day at the old firm, then be followed out the door by several comrades. Then, to cap it off, the now-free Cary and Alicia hugged it out. And, well, elevators. We all know how important elevators are to this show. 

Based on past events, we can guess that Cary and Diane’s working relationship won’t be the smoothest. But first, the team has to keep Cary out of jail, since Castro’s still coming after him. Hey — what if his law partner ran for State’s Attorney? Would that help? Let’s find out next week!

Final thought for the night: is it just me or do any of you other Doug and Carol fans from ER find it interesting that George Clooney just married a beautiful, accomplished lawyer this weekend? It’s as if Alicia married a movie star. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. But a cool one!

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)


Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV