Nothing says Thanksgiving like unsolicited advice from family members. Except for maybe the blatant disregard for your own solicited advice by a family member. And that wasn’t even the real story on this week’s The Good Wife, “A Defense of Marriage.”

And the courtroom wasn’t the only place where a marriage needed defending, as the above picture indicates. Welcome to the fold, Veronica!

Before we get to the Thanksgiving fun and courtroom drama, first things first. Cary (Matt Czuchry) is okay. Cue the Hallelujah chorus! He didn’t even appear to have a broken rib or anything. Just a black eye. But that knock to the head didn’t make him any dumber. He did go to Harvard Law after all. (By the way, I found it crazy he went to Harvard and not Yale. Why? Because Logan Huntzberger went to Yale, obviously. And obviously I have issues.) As it turns out, Cary may just be the hero that takes the increasingly awful Nick (Marc Warren) down! He used some legal speak to not so subtly threaten Nick with his States’s Attorney contacts, which was kind of hot, and I’m hoping soon Nick just fades away.  But I am sad that Alicia didn’t get to fawn over an injured Cary. Why? I don’t know. I just wanted that to happen.

Anyway, onto the court case. This week brought back “Please Call Me Bucky” Stabler (Brian Dennehy) and one of my favorite judges, Claudia Friend (Bebe Neuwirth). The basic gist of the case – the CEO (who is straight) and the CFO (who is gay) of a “It’s like Turbo Tax” type website are being sued for stealing money. It’s more complicated, but honestly that doesn’t matter. What matters is that the straight guy admitted things to his wife on the phone while his phone was tapped, but that isn’t admissible because of spousal privilege  However, thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act, the same type of conversation the gay guy had with his husband is admissible because their marriage doesn’t count in the eyes of the law.

In comes lawyer, Jeremy Breslow (Bruce McGill) who has made defeating DOMA his mission in life. A worthy cause, in my eyes. But the problem is, at what cost will he take that mission? And that’s where I really enjoyed this case. While Alicia (Juliana Margulies) and Diane (Christine Baranski) were working hard to help their client win the case, Breslow was looking to lose so he could take the case through a series of appeals to the US Supreme Court and use it as a way to take down DOMA. I love a TV court case like this. It isn’t one-sided. As the viewer, we aren’t just sent in one direction – “This guy is innocent, how will the lawyers we like save the day?” This isn’t that simple. Who was right? Were Diane and Alicia right by solely looking at their one client? Was Breslow right to be willing to sacrifice (albeit, possibly only temporarily) the one man to save the rights of millions of people who are currently told their marriage isn’t really a marriage?

This show is smart, and this episode was a reminder of just how smart it could be. Yes, there were some blatantly ridiculous aspects of the story, like Owen (Dallas Roberts) sitting in on the entire court case so the audience was fully aware of how this was impacting him (and by extension, all members of the gay and lesbian community). But nothing was ever deemed right or wrong as far as Diane, Alicia and Breslow went. Except what they all agreed on- that DOMA is bad.

But the entire LGBT community wasn’t the only marriage that needed defending. Owen wasn’t the sole member of Alicia’s family coming over – we finally got to meet Mom, Veronica (Stockard Channing, who did not sing which was disappointing. Come back for Christmas, Mom!). But Veronica, being how she is, didn’t just come for some turkey and sweet potatoes. She needed some legal help because her most recent husband died. Right before he did his son told him that Veronica cheated on him (true) and the guy changed the will. So she is suing to get her portion of the money back so she isn’t destitute. Now, Owen knew and Alicia told him not to lie when he was subpoenaed  He did lie, and Alicia understood why. But you think she would be happier he did. If Veronica was suddenly poor who did Alicia think she was going to try to stay with?! Think ahead, Alicia. Think. Ahead.

Veronica’s legal troubles were just the tip of the iceberg. She managed to tell an incredibly amused Will (Josh Charles) unfortunate stories about Alicia and mention a book a million times that has the word “vagina” in the title. She got in a bit of a war of words with Jackie (Mary Beth Piel) over who is a more awful grandmother. And she told Alicia that she she should acknowledge she isn’t really happy so she would leave Peter (Chris Noth) and told Peter that he needs to free Alicia. This prompted Alicia to have a bathroom tryst with Peter. Just to show mom who is boss, I guess. Sigh.

The family dynamics in the room were amazing. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Eli was invited for dinner. He should have been.

How much longer do you think Nick will be around? Do you think Cristian (Yul Vazquez) is out for Jackie’s money? Will the toy giraffe remain in Alicia’s foyer indefinitely? What did you think of the episode?

Hit the comments and let me know!

Follow me on Twitter @serrae 

photo courtesy of CBS



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