Lesson learned on this week’s The Good Wife: pay more attention to the lyrics of that song you love on the radio. Apparently it could have been written by a crazy person about the rape/murder he committed a few decades ago. At least that is what I took away from one my favorite “case of the week” story lines this show has come up with.
Just like every week, the main case only makes up about one-third of the episode. The other two stories this week dealt with Wendy Scott-Carr’s former nanny, Natalie, whom Eli exposed as an illegal immigrant and, of course, the slow building fallout to Blake’s reveal that Kalinda slept with Peter.
Eli, Natalie and Diane: Sometimes it is easy to forget that Eli Gold has kids of his own. He spends so much time trying to manage the Florrick children and all of their friends. But this week we were reminded of his daughter, Marissa (Sarah Steele). She spent some time visiting at the campaign office flipping through the TV stations. She watched the coverage of Colorado Congressman Timmerman’s affair (they are the new Florricks), which outraged her. Later, Natalie’s (America Ferrera) face flashes across the screen as the news discusses her immigration issues. Marissa points out that Eli likes her, but he denies it. Not very well, though. So cute. Feelings of guilt overwhelm (as they should) and he goes to Diane for help.
Of course when Alicia sees him there she assumes he is there to tell her not to comment on the Timmerman story (like I said last week, it’s not always about you, lady!) and is surprised to find out he is there to see Diane. Diane agrees to help Natalie – Eli is a good client that brings a lot of money with him – and also agrees not to tell Natalie he asked for this help. (Love Diane’s all knowing face here! So surprised to see Eli Gold has a crush on a 20-something illegal/former nanny) He also suggests she run for judgeship, for real this time. Hmmm… bringing that story back, are we?
When Natalie comes in and Diane offers the work pro bono and Alicia Florrick is her attorney, the girl, of course, figures out it was Eli because she is not dumb. She wavers on taking the help, feeling she is being used. But as Alicia smartly points out, if you are being used, use them right back. Turns out she needs to – her dad got arrested for a crime he clearly didn’t commit. (Suspect was 18-25 in a different make/model car) Despite Diane’s best efforts, Dad gets put in the system and faces being transferred to ICE. (Anyone else having Ugly Betty flashbacks? Dad getting deported?! I wish she called her dad Papi on this show!) Thanks to Eli and Diane, the judge allows Dad to post bond – but it’s too late, he’s already being transferred to ICE. Diane does what she can, to no avail. Thankfully, Eli comes and knows the guard and get him to release Dad under the guise that he is Eli’s gardener. Sometimes stereotypes are beneficial, I guess? Really, all of this is just about humanizing Eli. His face everytime Natalie calls him or looks at him melts my heart.
But apparently, according to his ex-wife (via Marissa) Eli does this every campaign to help him deal with all the other horrible stuff he does. Either way – it leads to a sweet moment at the end between Eli and Natalie, who was a little too anxious to share that her boyfriend was back in town. (Cute!) Don’t worry though, she will be back at least once more this season!
(We also learned that Lena Timmerman – CO Congressman’s wife – is writing her memoirs. Look for this background story to have some impact on the Florricks in the future.)
CREEPY KILLER/SONGWRITER: Our case of the week starts out with the release of Bowes – a man who raped and murdered woman, but was found to be insane. An expert witness deemed him healthy now, so out into the world he goes. (Side note – Bowes is played by Sam Robards, who clearly had a lot of fun playing a very creepy man. Most recently he has been playing Howie “The Captain” Archibald on Gossip Girl. The Captain has been working for Russell Thorpe who was played by Michael Boatman. Boatman also plays Julius on The Good Wife but was nowhere to be seen this week.
Hmmmm…. I smell a conspiracy.) The victim’s daughter, Rhonda (Gaby Hoffman), now wants to slap a civil suit on Bowes because of a song he wrote that is now being covered by a popular band and is #2 on the Billboard charts. The song supposedly describes the murder of her mother and she doesn’t want him making money off that. (You can’t make money off the crimes you are convicted of, FYI.) Bowes claims it is just a song – it’s art. Will sets Kalinda off to find out if the song really is about the murder, but doesn’t intend on using it. He’s hoping to avoid bringing up the gruesome case again. But Kalinda discovers that Bowes asked the band to change the lyrics from the original submission he sent them. Originally the lyrics discussed Christmas Trees, the body smelling of popcorn and putting the body in the trunk. Disturbing – but none of that fits Rhonda’s mom’s murder. Until Kalinda discovers that the crime scene is about ¼ mile from a Christmas Tree farm and thinks that is the smoking gun. At court Will and Bowes’ lawyer flirt/fight, but she just ends up annoying him to the point he wants to take down Bowes and use the evidence about the lyrics. Meanwhile, Bowes calls Alicia over and tell her he is a huge fan and wrote a song for her.
Alicia: How gratifying.
Bowes: I’ll send it to you.
Alicia: Oh, goody.
Unfortunately for Will, Kalinda has been distracted (we’ll get to that in a minute!) and she doesn’t bother to find out that tree farm didn’t exist when the crime was committed. Back to the drawing board! While in a meeting with Will and Kalinda to figure out their next move, Alicia gets a call from Bowes. Turns out he is upset over illegal downloads of his song and once he wins this current case, he wants Alicia to represent him about the downloads. She tries to get him talking about the lyric change, but he says it was just an artistic decision. Then comes this conversation:
Bowes: I want to remake my life. Like you have. How do I do that?
Alicia: Well, it would have helped if you hadn’t killed someone.
Bowes: [laughs] Oops! Can’t change the past, can I? Once a bad person always a bad person. [hangs up]
Kalinda: [horribly guilty face]
Nothing like a insane killer making you feel bad about yourself, huh Kalinda? Anyway, Kalinda and Alicia decide the only move they have is to share the lyrics with Rhonda, hoping it will spark a memory. It doesn’t, at first. Then she comes back and realizes the lyrics sound like the unsolved murder of the mother of a girl Rhonda met in a support group back when her mom died. That murder happened a few months before Rhonda’s mom. The victim was in the trunk, worked at a theatre (smelled of popcorn), and the crime scene photos showed her car had one of those pine tree scented things on the mirror (the Christmas tree). In court, Will questions Bowes about the lyric change, and being the oh so clever lawyer he is, gets Bowes to fumble and say something about putting the woman he killed in the trunk – something that didn’t happen with Rhonda’s mom. Cary gives Will the thumbs (almost) up that the testimony was enough to bring charges on Bowes for another murder. (Who else is over the moon that Cary is working so well with Alicia and Will?!? So many great things in this episode, but that may be my favorite). The civil suit is dropped against Bowes because, obviously, the lyrics have nothing to do with Rhonda’s mom. But just as Bowes is trying to talk to Alicia about the downloads case, in comes Cary and two cops to arrest him for the other murder. Hurray! Maybe something is wrong with me, but I loved that case and the strange connection Bowes had with Alicia. I was truly invested in the case – something that doesn’t always happen.
Peter and Kalinda: The episode started out back in the garage with Blake and Kalinda. After Blake told her what he knew about her and Peter and that he told an ASA he left her to deal with the fallout. Kalinda’s first call was to Alicia, presumably to tell her, but she chickened out when Alicia said she was at home. Then she calls Cary who is asleep. Alone. (Yes, I feel the need to point out he was alone.) She tells Cary that Blake has something on her and told an ASA, so could he find out who Blake talked to. Of course, he says yes. Next day Cary tells Alicia to tell Kalinda not to worry, there will be no more subpoenas, which Alicia finds odd since they already had that conversation. When Alicia brings it up with Kalinda, Kalinda just shrugs it off. Alicia asks if Kalinda is still worried about that “bad feeling” she mentioned the other day, but Kalinda ignores that too. The strain on this friendship is heartbreaking! When Kalinda asks Alicia if she is happy now with her life and Peter, Alicia says she isn’t sure if she is happy, or just relieved. Meanwhile, Cary does some more digging and finds out that Blake did talk to an ASA, Brody (Chris Butler), but Brody won’t tell Cary what it was about. Naturally, Brody knows this is info he can use depending on who wins the States Attorney’s office. When Cary tells Kalinda who has the information and that they aren’t talking about it, Kalinda thanks him and basically says, don’t go to Alicia with this anymore. Now that she knows who knows, Kalinda goes to Peter to tell him. He is upset they are talking about it – they agreed not to. She points out that Brody obviously wants job security. They both agree that Alicia should never know. Ummm… sorry guys, not gonna happen!
The episode ends on such a bittersweet note. Alicia is making dinner (not really, it was pizza. NY style by the way. Hope the press doesn’t get wind of that! How is Peter going to win in Chicago if he is eating NY style pizza??) and the kids are quoting Llamas with Hats (NSFW, btw). When they call Peter in for dinner he is on the phone with Brody, agreeing that if he wins he will keep Brody on. The tortured look on Peter’s face when he walks in on his happy family, well…. like I said, bittersweet. Finally his family is back to normal and now he is just hiding more secrets.
Next week: Michael J Fox is back! Other stuff happens too.
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