It’s been a long, cold winter, made longer by the weeks-long disruption of our favorite shows. But now the Olympics are over. Grammys are over. Oscars, over. The Good Wife? It’s on, baby.
In “Parallel Construction, Bitches,” the back half of The Good Wife‘s fifth season picks up shortly after where we left off, with F/A still at odds with L-G (duh!) and Marilyn Garbanza unwilling to give Peter the clean bill of ethical health he wants. Let’s start with the court case, which once again brings the rival firms together.
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A Leaky Wheel at Florrick/Agos?
For a young enterprise like Florrick/Agos, there’s nothing as important as a steady income. And nothing brings in the income like a notorious drug dealer. Which means Lamond Bishop (Mike Colter) is back, along with his “personal attorney,” Charles Lester (Wallace Shawn). That also means when Bishop gets hauled in for a probable-cause hearing about cocaine smuggling, Will and Diane join the case as well. They still represent Bishop’s legit businesses.
“We can’t get away from them,” Alicia gripes. “We see them more now.”
Led by AUSA Asher (Smash‘s Jack Davenport), the prosecution has a witness who claims she saw Bishop and some colleagues carrying cocaine into a building. Unfortunately for the government’s case, however, she got the date wrong. We know this for a fact because Bishop and Lester tell Alicia that her client moved that cocaine the day before. Either someone on the government side has really screwed up or they’re hiding something.
Bishop and Lester (who is actually more intimidating than his drug dealer client) are sure there’s a leak inside the offices of Florrick, Agos. They go to elaborate lengths to prove which staffer is the culprit, using false information to lure out the cops and the DEA. (In case you ever wondered about it: from a distance, pancake mix in the back seat of a car looks like cocaine, but isn’t actually illegal.) When the finger points to Alicia as the source of the leak, they realize something more sinister is afoot — wiretapping. Out come the burner phones, which the F/A team knows well from their time plotting the breakaway from L-G.
Back in court, the AUSA and his buddies from the DEA deny they’re wiretapping anyone. Lying about that in open court to protect their case is a major offense, but the F/A team remains unconvinced.
That’s Garbanza with an A to You, Fella
Eli’s still all “You could be Peter’s friend if you’d write a nice note about him” with Marilyn, but the ethics chief won’t cave. Riling up this particular mom-to-be isn’t a good idea, especially after Nelson Dubek (Law and Order: Criminal Intent‘s Eric Bogosian) from the Office of Public Integrity approaches her.
He tells her he’s investigating Peter for voter fraud. Because of her particular role in the case, she doesn’t have attorney-client privilege. She could be at risk unless she talks to him, which she doesn’t. At first, anyway. After all, she’s still loyal to Peter, and she’s annoyed that Dubek keeps calling her “Ms. Garbanzo,” like the chickpea.
Still, there’s that little matter of the video showing Henchman Jim carrying ballot boxes around. Once again, she tries to talk to Peter. Once again, Eli stonewalls her. “You have a great talent for turning friends into enemies,” she tells Mr. Gold. She turns the videotape over to Dubek. This can’t be good for the Florrick family.
Because of their duty to serve Lamond Bishop, Cary and Alicia realize they have to tell L-G that their phones may be wiretapped, too. (They still think it’s the DEA at this point.) Diane and Will are skeptical of the information and send Kalinda to check out Cary’s story.
Kalinda decides the best way to verify whether Agos is misleading L-G is to get him into bed. Really, they make a cute couple, especially when questioning each other’s honesty. (“Mutually assured destruction,” she says.) He swears that he’s telling the truth about the wiretapping. “We’e getting our house in order, and you should, too,” he says.
For reasons I don’t understand, however, Kalinda tells Diane and Will that Cary’s lying (and not just in her bed). They decide it’s a tactic to make them waste time, so they ignore Agos’ advice. Is Kalinda’s radar off on this one or is she up to something that’s not clear yet? (Comment below if you have a theory.)
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Back in court, AUSA Asher announces that he’s resigning — not just from the Bishop case but also from the Justice Department. When Cary, Alicia and Lester query Asher about his resignation, they can’t get him to spill anything, even though they think he’s having a crisis of conscience relating to the existence of the wiretap. They put Asher on the stand to discuss what he knows, and he pleads the fifth.
So even though there’s cocaine aplenty in Bishop’s vicinity, the judge reluctantly rules he has to throw out the case against him. Asher’s refusal to testify, coupled with the botched witness testimony, makes the case worthless. Once again, Lamond Bishop avoids prison time.
Still baffled by what really happened, Cary throws out a theory: there is wiretapping going on, but maybe not by the DEA.
By now, we the audience have long since learned that Cary’s right. It’s been the National Security Agency all along, which is still after Alicia and company for their defense of suspected terrorist Danny Marwat. The NSA’s been sharing Florrick-related information with the DEA, a process called “parallel construction.”
Not surprisingly, the NSA’s not too happy when they realize Alicia’s team is on to their surveillance because of DEA bungling. No more intel for you, DEA!
Alicia and Will Stand Up to Dubek
But intel for you, Office of Public Integrity. The NSA manager agrees to share information with Dubek in his investigation into Peter Florrick’s administration.
Armed with the incriminating videotape, Dubek approaches Alicia to get her to fess up on what she knows. She could go to prison for her part in committing voter fraud, he says. He warns her to get her affairs in order — she’s got kids, after all. She won’t budge, but she’s rightfully worried.
Finally, Dubek confronts Will with what he knows, but Will — who was Peter’s attorney during the time in question — won’t budge, either. He stands on his attorney-client privilege, despite Dubek waving a subpoena in his face. Even when Dubek reminds Will that Alicia stole some high-profile clients when she left L-G, he stand firm.
The funny part? Dubek thinks Will is being loyal to Peter. Ha! If he only knew…
“Parallel Construction” did a nice job of interweaving several ongoing plotlines (Lamond Bishop, the NSA surveillance, the voter fraud), while also ratcheting down the tension between Team F/A and Team L-G. Despite Will and Diane’s unwillingness to believe Cary’s story about the wiretapping, the fact that F/A shared that information shows a potential thaw in relations. (I mean, it couldn’t get much worse, could it? Stolen furniture? Really?)
And Cary and Kalinda in the sack — there’s some thawing for you!
Plus, Will refusing to cooperate with Dubek is so totally not about loyalty to Peter. It looks like someone is still hoping to get back in Ms. Florrick’s good graces. With CBS promising “the biggest Good Wife moment EVER” on March 23, we might have only two more weeks to find out if he stands a chance.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm on CBS.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)