Who knew that Will and Diane’s whole partnership was based on fun and money? The money, sure, but fun? Now I know what all that clever banter has been about! 

The team at Lockhart-Gardner may not be having much fun in this week’s episode, “Precious Commodity,” but there’s plenty to like: office shenanigans, a hot-button court case and a potentially tempted Peter. And most important, Diane’s disloyalty to the firm (and to Will) may be forcing Alicia into making one of the most crucial decisions of her life even faster than she intended.

A Mother of a Case

Who needs murders or kidnappings when the Lockhart-Gardner team makes civil proceedings so fascinating? This week’s case is no exception, as Alicia finds herself fighting for the rights of a surrogate mother. Tort law never had it so good.  

At first, Alicia represents both the surrogate and the would-be biological parents — until they learn the fetus has terrible, life-ending birth defects. The parents-to-be ask surrogate Tara to terminate the pregnancy. According to their contract, Cathy and Brian have the right to demand that, but Tara refuses. Things get complicated fast.

Despite her pro-choice views, Alicia can’t agree to the idea of compelling Tara to have an abortion. Brian and Cathy fire Alicia for defying them — and our gal takes on Tara’s plea pro bono. Once again, as with the death penalty case, they face a ticking clock. If Tara doesn’t have the procedure in two days, she’ll be in her third trimester, and an abortion will be illegal. 

Imagine Alicia’s surprise when David jumps in on the case and offers to second-chair. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, what? Cynical David Lee is anti-abortion?

Not so much, actually. He soon reveals his true colors: if they can add the hospital to their suit, they stand to make millions. That’s the David we know and loathe!

Contractual Conflict

We learn that Brian and Cathy put the termination clause in the contract because they lost a son at five months to a heart defect. They can’t bear to go through the agony again. The judge at first seems sympathetic to their request — which is in the contract, after all — but ultimately decides Tara must be in control of her own body. The would-be parents may have contributed the genetic material for the fetus, but the judge can’t compel another person to undergo an unwanted abortion. 

A victory for Alicia? Not so fast. The couple decide to sue Tara for breech of contract, seeking high damages. They also claim Tara offered to have an abortion if they’d pay her $100,000. The girl’s starting to look a little sketchy, and it doesn’t help when the opposing attorney tries to prove she had unprotected sex during the pregnancy. 

She’s only saved when private investigator Robin brings evidence that the doctor who made the diagnosis screwed up. Tara’s now in her third trimester, which takes abortion off the table. 

Now a victory? Not really. Tara’s free to take the baby to term, but she’s not intending to adopt him and care for him/her. (I think this meant the baby remains Cathy and Brian’s emotional and financial responsibility, despite their wishes.) Tara says she’s giving the baby a chance, but Cathy just thinks she’s selfish. Alicia looks ambivalent — technically, her client won, but she sees nothing but sorrow ahead. No winners on this week’s Good Wife.

On a side note: Robin inadvertently reveals to Kalinda that Alicia’s preparing to leave the firm with Cary. Up until now, she only knew about Cary’s departure. Somebody’s feelings are hurt, and that’s bound to have consequences down the road.

Hostile Witnesses

Oh, Diane, you didn’t! But apparently she does. She goes there with a reporter, revealing her disdain for Will’s prior misdeeds in Baltimore, the ones that led to his suspension. Unfortunately, she missed Eli’s last-minute message that her state Supreme Court judgeship didn’t depend on her baring her soul to the press. 

She fesses up about her own misdeed to Will, but her apology carries little weight. He’s hurt — and vengeful. He calls the partners together for a secret meeting to decide Diane’s fate: should she stay or should she go? They believe her bid for the Supreme Court is hurting the firm. Everyone but Alicia votes to create an exit package for her now. 

Will designates a compensation committee to include himself, David, old coot Howard and Alicia (the objective voice). They put together what they see as a generous severance package, but Diane repeatedly rejects it. She wants more. 

Will wants more, too. More of Alicia, that is. (No, it’s not what you think.) He tells his former paramour he can probably convince the other partners to make her the new managing partner when Diane leaves. Given that Alicia is still plotting her escape, it’s a wee bit awkward. 

When Cary hears the rumor that Alicia might take the gig, he warns her that leaving now is her one chance to be free of Will’s influence. 

Ethical Dilemma

After Peter gets a grilling from a local reporter about why he seems to be dismantling his Ethics Commission, he tells Eli to bring back Marilyn Garbanza (like a chickpea but with an A), still looking like Alias‘ Melissa George.

Chief of Staff Gold isn’t too keen on having the beautiful Ms. Garbanza near Peter, but the governor-elect overrules him. Eli tries to diminish her presence by suggesting they move her office to Springfield (the Illinois capital). But when she gets Peter to admit he’ll mostly be governing from Chicago, she only takes the job back (now as head of the commission) if she’s based there.

That Eli is one smart cookie. It’s pretty clear Peter’s attracted to the woman. To his credit, however, he’s fighting it. He even tells Alicia that the vow-renewal trip they’d planned for after the inauguration should take place sooner. Like now.

Alicia seems skeptical about the timing, but has no idea what’s behind his sudden change of heart.

Grace Under Fire

Remember that website with the 10 Hottest Politicians’ Daughters? Grace seems to love the attention she’s getting and has taken to dressing like a hottie. When Alicia demands to know what’s going on, Zach shows her the site. 

Things come to a head between mother and daughter when Alicia ejects a handsome young visitor (who’s definitely not a teenager) from the apartment. He’s actually Grace’s youth pastor from school! Mommmm!!!

Poor Grace! When Alicia says she’s disturbed by what’s going on, Grace admits she just wants to be pretty. You are pretty, insists her (very pretty) mother. But the teen wants other people to say it, not someone who “has to,” like her mom. Hugging ensues.

We’ve all been there, right, ladies? (To be fair, I’m sure guys want to be thought of as handsome, too.)

A Final Settlement? 

David brings Diane the firm’s “final offer.” She says it’s not final til she says it’s final. Will asks David and Howard to leave, but Alicia can stay. He lays his cards on the table: what do you really want? It can’t be about the money.

Diane says he’s right to a point. She gave her life to Lockhart-Gardner. She wants appreciation. Since the firm can’t “appreciate” her enough, she’ll take money instead. 

She also tells Will she must have hurt him a lot to let things get this far. Will says that they always agreed to work together until it wasn’t fun or profitable anymore. “Are you having fun?” he asks her. 

She coldly replies that if he ups the offer by 20%, she’ll leave immediately. Will says that’s impossible, but she’s unmoved. Alicia, witness to this completely un-fun scenario, walks over to Cary’s office. 

“We need to leave this week,” she says. You’re sure? She doesn’t hesitate: “Yes.”


Summary Judgment

Despite the lack of fun (except for the viewer, of course), The Good Wife once again shows how complex people are — no simpletons here. 

In particular, I love how, when Diane chooses career over loyalty, she gets her nose out of joint when the other partners choose the firm over her. I mean, what did she expect?

And Grace knows that having inappropriate men leer at her photo on a website isn’t right, but she wants to feel pretty. Doesn’t she know she’s courting trouble? Still — very human.

With Diane’s ambition forcing the firm to make some tough decisions about the future, she’s unintentionally pushing Alicia toward her future, too. The way things are going, that future is now. And it looks like fun.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Alison Stern-Dunyak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV