It looks like we’ve hit the fall finale of The Good Wife, and if things are as they appear, it’s going out on a high note. At the heart of the episode lies a mystery. No, not about how Cary escaped a severe beating with a black eye. But you’re close — it’s about what’s happens to the man who ordered that beating.

Miss last week’s episode? Recoup with our recap! >>>

In “Battle of the Proxies,” we also get a complex case with two different defendants, a new storyline about potentially illegal campaign contributions, and some excellent face time with Alicia and the kids. Let’s unwrap this present!

The Case Before the Court

Okay, try to follow along at home: In Cook County, Will is defending a man named Troy for the murder of a young woman; he’s facing off against new assistant state’s attorney Laura. Meanwhile, out in Menucha (pronounced “Menooka”) County, another man stands trial for the exact same murder. (They can have two trials because no one is quite sure where the murder actually took place.)

It’s to Troy’s benefit if the other man goes down, since that would raise reasonable doubt in the Cook County jury’s minds. But while the Cook County judge won’t allow information about another suspect in her court, the Menucha judge will allow that information in his court. So Will sends Alicia out to the countryside to slip key evidence to the prosecuting attorney there. Then our old friend, ASA Matan Brody, arrives to help the defense. (They’re the “proxies” referred to in the show’s title.) Whew!

The dilemma? Based on new evidence the L&G team get, they realize their guy really may be the killer. But they have to defend him to the best of their ability. Alicia is torn by the fact that in providing a good defense, they may help send an innocent man to jail. “They never talk about things like this in law school,” Cary muses.

Ironically, both juries find both men guilty. Although Laura wins the case, Will is a good sport about it — especially when he lets it slip that, with the trials over, the L&G team is free to help the innocent Menucha defendant with his appeal.

Opposing Counsel

A Justice Department attorney, David LaGuardia, approaches Eli with suspicions about campaign finances. Eli runs to tell Diane, who agrees to meet with LaGuardia. While it at first seems the feds are after Vanessa–Eli’s ex and a current candidate for state-wide office — they really want information on Peter and his finances. After Diane and Eli both tell off the fed, guess which candidate’s HQ gets raided? Not good — not good at all.

The lesson? Never tell a federal agent to go to hell.

Surprise Evidence

Alicia discovers that someone has used her home computer to search for information on condoms. At first she questions Zach — nope, not him. Then Grace — nope, not her (though the self-described “good girl” is soon Googling “sex” on her own computer, most likely thinking of her hunky new beau, Connor).

Thanks to cyber-sleuth Zach, Alicia learns that the person with the yen to know her Trojans was actually … Jackie! There must be more going on with her handsome Cuban nurse than she let on, eh?

A skeeved-out Alicia and Zach make a solemn vow to never speak of this again — ever.

Ranking TGW: Who Won the Biggest Battles in “A Defense of Marriage? >>>

Justice Is Served?

After Alicia “fires” Nick as an L&G client, he makes a barely veiled threat to her about not revealing the information Cary discovered — that he uses his tow trucks business to transport drugs. Alicia asks Kalinda if she should be worried, and the mysterious P.I. reassures her. Apparently it took a threat to her best friend, but finally, finally Kalinda seems finished with her husband. (Yay!)

She first makes trouble for one of Nick’s associates (if you call running someone down with her car “trouble”) and tells him where Nick can find her — at the office.

Then, late that night, Nick comes to find his one true love in a darkened L&G conference room. She tells him she found the drugs and has called the cops. He should go — now. She even tells him where to find $10,000 she took from him, if he just gets out of her life. A skeptical Nick pushes back, saying it’s not her style to call the cops. “What’s your Plan B?” he sneers. Kalinda smiles slightly and … cut to black!

Oh, did I mention Kalinda took a gun off of Nick’s business associate after running him down?

But the cut to black isn’t the show’s end. Instead, we see Alicia waiting in a bar, wondering why Kalinda is so late. Just when we at home start to worry, too, Kalinda shows up. She tells her friend that they’re both safe — Nick is gone for good. As she slugs back her whiskey, she looks anxiously away from Alicia’s gaze. We cut to black for real this time.

Kalinda, honey — what did you DO?

Star Witnesses

Another Good Wife, another roster of fine guest performances. Let’s see: This week, we had award-winning actress Jane Alexander as the Cook County judge; the always-great Stephen Root as the Menucha County judge; Hamish Linklater from The New Adventures of Old Christine as DOJ attorney LaGuardia; and the less-well-known, but still wonderful Becky Ann Baker (Lena Dunham’s mom on Girls) as the Menucha Country defense attorney.

The scenes between Alicia and the kids also reminded me how the actors playing Zach and Grace have really grown over the last few years. Zach (Graham Phillips) has become a real ally to his mom (even if he does show off how much more sophisticated he is with computers), while Mackenzie Vega continues to bring a believable moodiness to Grace. The writers have also done a great job at making the kids evolve age-appropriately — now that we’re in Season 4, it really feels like we’re watching them grow up right along with their mom.

Interesting case, although I didn’t quite buy the fact that the Cook County jury wasn’t even supposed to hear of the existence of the alternate murder suspect. But I’m no lawyer, so I’ll accept it as a possibility. I was glad that Alicia and Will’s consciences can be relieved (somewhat) by assisting the Metucha defendant with his appeal. Finally, the repeat appearances of Laura do raise the question of whether sparks are starting to fly between the new ASA and Will. Amanda Peet makes a worthy foil for Josh Charles — so I’m willing to see where this goes.

But the real excitement lay elsewhere. Besides the Eli plotline, which obviously will require much more exploration–the feds have rousted Peter’s entire operation, for goodness’ sake — we have the conundrum that is Kalinda. Questions, we’ve got questions! Such as: Was she carrying that gun? If she used it, did she roll him up in the same blanket Troy used to hide his victim? Don’t they have security cameras in that fancy building? And why did CBS post pictures of Cary meeting with private investigator (and perennial fan favorite)¬†Andrew Wylie when no such scenes appeared in the show?

No matter. If Kalinda has taken care of Nick — one way or another — it just might be that The Good Wife has given us an early Chrismukkah present. And bonus: none of us had to wade through Black Friday to get it. May all our Kalinda-centered wishes come true!

Don’t miss The Good Wife when it returns. Add it to your watch list with the free BuddyTV Guide mobile app! >>

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV