The Good Wife this week had a lot of things: another new character, a fun judge-of-the-week, snarkiness from Eli Gold, character growth and an accidental “I love you.” In other words: this episode was pretty darn good.

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"Feeding the Rat"--Alicia (Julianna Margulies, center) presents her case to the judge, on THE GOOD WIFE, Sunday, Oct. 16 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: David M. Russell/CBS ©2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. #TheGoodWife #GoodWife

The Good Wife Recap “Feeding the Rat”

Eli Gold: Office Politics Aficionado
Eli may be working at Lockhart/Gardner, but he certainly isn’t working for them. Case and point: his grilling of Kalinda every chance he got on the inner-workings of the office politics at the firm. Who was really in charge: Diane or Will? How important is Alicia? Where does Julian (recurring guest star, Michael Boatman) fit in?  I love Kalinda’s explanations of it all. Diane does the finances because Will hates it. They are equal otherwise. And Alicia is important for many many reasons. *wink wink*

Oh, and most interestingly: Eli wants Kalinda and Alicia to come work for him. Kalinda because he realizes just how valuable an asset she can be, even if he doesn’t know her last name. And Alicia, well, that one’s probably two fold. 1- she’s very good at what she does and 2- keeping her close will help him keep her from divorcing Peter.  This storyline didn’t provide much movement within the actual happenings of this episode, but I loved it because it was hysterical – Kalinda/Eli scenes are perfection – and because it is obviously a prelude to some real office drama in the near future.

What happens at law conventions stay at law conventions
Things at Lockhart/Gardner may be a bit better financially as of late, but they are still shaky in this economy. Diane balked when Julian told her that Alicia  was working Pro Bono, or that they even still had Pro Bono at all. She told Will they need to acquire a bankruptcy department, and gee, look at that, Celeste’s (Lisa Edlestein) firm that is breaking up has one. The litigation she wanted to bring over to L/G came with bankruptcy too. So now Diane sends a very reluctant Will off to see Celeste at a convention to try and charm her into coming even though L/G already turned her down.

Things don’t go very smoothly though because Celeste is kind of a pain in the ass, frankly. She strings Will along at poker games, tells him if he just joins her instead she can get him the baseball commissioners job (Really? REALLY?!) and then worst of all, during a cocktail hour, pulls Peter over and starts up what qualifies as the most awkward conversation of all time. The only good thing about it is that Peter was equally annoyed with it – at her, not at Will. Will ends the trip by basically telling Celeste she is horrible. Good for you, Will.

Random thing at the convention: Lutz from 30 Rock was there. As a lawyer, not as Lutz. But I couldn’t help but imagine that he was just Lutz undercover and Liz Lemon sent him there for some sort of scheme. Until I’m proven otherwise, I refuse to believe that isn’t true.

Don’t Shop at a Convenience Store
I really loved how they did this week’s case-of-the-week. Instead of starting at trial, or with the client coming to L/G, it showed the  crime going down – the clerk being killed at a convenience store. We saw that the accused did not do it. It was a new twist because even though we like to believe that Alicia is defending the innocent, we can’t always assume she is. This guy gets railroaded – his prints are on something he forgot to tell the cops he touched and there is a supposed eye-witness who picks him out of a line-up. Is that how they do line-ups now? One at a time down a hallway with a blinding light ? Huh. Anyway,  through a series of events, and all discovered by Kalinda, of course, Alicia finally proves that he is innocent and that “eye-witness” is the actual killer. But all of this really just provides the introduction to two new characters.

First is AUSA Imani Morehouse  (Nicole Behari) who is shadowing people in the State’s Attorneys office to make sure that  they are being fair with their plea bargaining. First up: Cary. That morning, before he knew who she was, she watched him pleadlife to a Black guy and 20 years to the white guy accused of the convenience store shooting. Imani sits in on the case and even helps out by using her name to impress the judge (the always fantastic Harvey Fierstein) – I guess her dad is quite an impressive Reverend.  I bet he will be showing up soon enough.

The other new character I am very excited about. When Diane was feeling especially bad about giving up Pro Bono she decided to go break up with Legal Aid in person and tell them they would no longer be taking on their cases.  The head of Legal Aid, played by the wonderful Romany Malco (Weeds, 40 Year Old Virgin) said no problem – everyone else ditched us too. Including the state who is no longer funding them. So what does Diane do,? Finally remembering that while it may be cold and black, she does in fact have a heart: she adopts him. Well, actually she just decides to house Legal Aid until they get their funding back. And she is housing him in the space next to Eli. I see comedy gold in the future between Roamny and Alan Cumming!!

Those Three Little Words
Brief side story: While Will was away he made a call to Alicia to let him know he misses her. At the end of the call he said “I love you.” Granted it was on accident, but it was there. Alicia was totally cool with it and told him to forget about it- she does it all the time. Will on the other hand seemed a bit shaken – probably because on some level he knows it’s true. He wanted to talk about it, but Alicia wanted none of that. She is in this for fun (at least that is what she keeps telling herself). I know we aren’t necessarily supposed to approve of this relationship for multiple reasons (she’s married, he’s her boss, etc etc) but man, are they adorable. Will finally has feeeelings!! And he all but told Celeste those feelings are why he isn’t going with her. Yes, it’s about the job, but that’s not the only thing he loves.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you LOVE it? Did you accidentally tell it you love it? Did you miss Owen? (I did….)

Next week on The Good Wife: Dylan Baker is back as the uber-creepy  Colin Sweeney. I. Can’t. Wait.

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter: @serrae