Welcome back, Good Wife fans! It’s a new year, and that means a Nick-free existence for Kalinda — and us. Things are looking up already, even if the Lockhart & Gardner team disagree.

Depending on your frame of reference, the episode’s title, “Boom De Yah Da,” may remind you of a cheerful summer camp ditty or those commercials on the Discovery Channel. Regardless, our legal eagles back at L&G probably won’t be singing the refrain, “I love the mountains, I love the flowers, I love the whole wide world,” this week.

The Case Before the Court

Who knew that foreclosed homes in a swanky neighborhood did more than lower property values? Apparently, they can also be breeders of disease. At least that’s what the Lockhart & Gardner team must prove in a case against a bank that failed to maintain the pools on homes it foreclosed on. Stagnant pool water attracted mosquitoes, which led to the West Nile virus, which ultimately crippled a teenage girl — the L&G client.

While Cary and Will try to get the bank’s representatives to settle the case in Chicago, Alicia high-tails it to (extremely) rural Minnesota to depose the bank’s president, Mr. Ingersoll. Despite a court order to testify, Ingersoll keeps putting Alicia off — all with the help of his attorney, none other than Louis Canning (a returning Michael J. Fox). As each day ticks by, Alicia registers her displeasure with the judge. 

The stakes are higher than usual.  If L&G wins, the firm can add its share of the settlement toward the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. If the defendant holds them off, they can complete a lucrative merger with another bank. This knowledge gives Alicia and her colleagues the leverage they need when they discover Ingersoll’s delays were actually the result of his secret cancer treatments. (It’s an SEC violation to keep the illness of a public company’s president on the down-low.) But if the bank settles, L&G will keep the news quiet. 

You can guess what the bank chooses, and $3 million of that “choice” goes to our favorite law firm.

Hostile Witnesses

You might have been hoping The Good Wife would drop the whole campaign manager “discounts for donations” plotline that began before the winter break, but no such luck. The Department of Justice appears intent on bringing Eli down, even though he suspects he’s just a proxy for Peter. His suspicions seem confirmed when he and Diane learn that Wendy Scott-Carr — Peter’s losing opponent in the State’s Attorney race — has taken the case. 

Eli and Diane cry foul at the obvious conflict of interest, but Wendy serenely tells them that she’s just trying to clean up political corruption. (As if!) She also sends in her investigators to roust the L&G office’s files, since Eli ran his business out of there. To add insult to injury, this means Diane can’t be Eli’s attorney anymore.

Eli’s week goes from bad to worse when the Democratic Party bosses make it clear they’re worried about the investigation tarnishing Peter’s campaign. They want Eli to take on a second in command, just in case. Much to Eli’s chagrin, they bring in Jordan Karahalios — a hot-shot hired gun. Eli takes an immediate dislike to the newcomer. It doesn’t help that Jordan repeatedly refers to Eli as “the old man.”

Though Jordan has comparatively little screen time, we’ll be seeing more of him (and his portrayer, former Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight) in the coming weeks.

A Mediator, Not a Judge

Oh, Clarke, how can you betray us? Just when he seemed to be joining the L&G team, he turns on Will and Diane in retaliation for spoiling the possible merger with Burl Preston’s firm. He calls for a court-appointed mediator to remove Will and Diane from their leadership roles so he can move ahead with dismantling the firm. 

Taken by surprise, W & D tell the mediator (“Call me ma’am, not Your Honor”) they’ve just brought in money from the bank settlement. More important, an equity firm has bought all their debt, which means they don’t owe their creditors anymore. (Or maybe they do. I find bankruptcy law confusing…) The mediator gives them the five remaining weeks on their bankruptcy terms to make progress. Diane and Will can stay — but so can Clarke. And they all have to find a way to work together.

Just wait until they find out who bought the debt. None other than Louis Canning (a fact he lets slip to Alicia in Minnesota). Boom de ya dah!

The Best Evidence

Among the many nice moments in this week’s new Good Wife:

Alicia and Kalinda — together again? When Kalinda arrives with fresh clothes for a stranded Alicia at her countryside hotel, they share a sweet moment in Alicia’s room. Sitting on twin beds, sipping wine, Alicia notes that she misses the quiet of her life before going back into law. Kalinda says, “I miss this.” She then adds, “I’m sorry,” to which her former bestie replies, “I know.” 

Before the melancholy can settle on them, Kalinda breaks the silence by suggesting a tactic that ultimately results in discovering Ingersoll’s secret illness. I’m hoping the real breakthrough wasn’t in the case, but in their friendship. 

Saving all my lyin’ for you. Louis Canning tries to “connect” with Alicia by saying his dying college roommate has asked him to give his eulogy. Instead of connecting, he just annoys her when Alicia runs into Louis’ lovely wife, Simone, on the hotel grounds. There is no dying roommate; it was just a lie. He shares his lies with Alicia, not his wife. 

Alicia turns the tables on him when she reveals that she knows the reason for Ingersoll’s delays and will use it against him and his bank. “That’s beneath you, Alicia,” Canning says. “Unfortunately, it’s not,” Alicia retorts. My, how our good wife has grown into a great lawyer!

Best reference to a Samuel Beckett play on network television: Alicia waits and waits for Ingersoll to show up for his deposition. When Canning’s cell phone rings, she can’t help but say, “Oh, there’s Godot!” (Mom, I hope you were watching this episode.) 

Summary Judgment

A satisfying episode in most ways, with the double pleasure of no Nick (yay!) and hints of an Alicia-Kalinda reconciliation (yay again!). Alicia dealing with Louis Canning reminds us again of why he’s always been so eager to get her to join his firm — her smarts, her humor and her willingness to play to win.

Keeping the clock ticking on the fate of L&G is a good idea, too. I appreciate the writers not coming up with pat answers to solve the firm’s dilemma. Now that we know it’s Louis who holds their debt, it will be interesting to see what happens, and to find out whether Clarke will redeem himself in the end.

The Eli-Jordan match-up doesn’t quite, well, match up to the rest of the episode, however. Jordan seems a little too one-note for a show with such multi-faceted characters, but I’m willing to give this one time. At least it’s not Nick, right? 

Since it’s a new year, I hope you made a resolution to watch The Good Wife every week. To make sure you don’t miss an episode, download the BuddyTV Guide mobile app and add it to your watch-list!

(Image courtesy of CBS)

T.R. Knight Guest Stars as Eli’s Old Foe” />

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV