New Show Recap: The Good Wife, 5×04, “Outside the Bubble”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a weak episode of The Good Wife; the showrunners and cast consistently produce very high quality episodes. At least four times per season, they manage to produce pure gold. This episode is an example of the purest gold they’ve made so far. 

The main plotline centers around a sexual harassment suit against L&G, initiated by a paralegal named Chrissy. Secondary plots included a battle between Eli and Jackie Florrick, Diane’s relationship with Kurt and the couple’s respective friends, and Howard Lyman is back, without his pants.

Chrissy v. Lockhart Gardner

Diane’s old law school frenemy, Viola, played by the delightful Rita Wilson, is representing Chrissy, a paralegal who claims everyone from Cary to Diane has created a hostile, sexually charged workplace. On the surface, that’s hard to argue with. L&G runs, at least partially, on sexual tension. I love watching them on my teevee, but I wouldn’t want to work there. Most of Chrissy’s claims are dismissed with a little clarification, thanks to the magic of Elsbeth Tascioni.

The suit is eventually dropped when it’s revealed that Chrissy and Kalinda had all sorts of sex all over the L&G offices, which (to the parties involved) makes her claims that a sexually charged workplace makes her uncomfortable invalid.

While I agree that some of the conclusions Chrissy came to weren’t full of merit, she actually has grounds on one of the claims. The fourth year bro-yers, knowing that Howard Lyman takes a daily nap sans pants and underwear (he gets sweaty on his lower half, he claims), hacked into Lyman’s email to summon Chrissy to his office during his no-pants time. This, to me, totally not a lawyer or HR professional, seems like a valid reason to say the workplace is hostile.

Diane & Kurt v. Their Friends

After a morning of shooting at the range, Diane and Kurt are enjoying a shmancy lunch. Two of her lifelong friends approach and start some small talk. They laugh when they hear Diane was shooting guns, and proceed to be very liberal. Diane has to excuse herself for a phone call, leaving Kurt, Republican, alone with her friends, who proceed to lecture him about Sandy Hook. Later, Diane’s friends come to her (holy shit spectacular) apartment and stage an intervention. Liberal friends apparently don’t let liberal friends marry Republicans.

Diane has a moment or two of doubt about the upcoming marriage, including the moment when Diane meets Kurt’s friends, who all happen to be hot women gun experts in their 20s, but in the end she shows up at the county clerk in a stunning green dress with a smashing dragonfly brooch. (I aspire to Diane’s furniture and accessories. There’s no way I’d ever master her confidence or ability to reduce her foes to a pile of ash with one sideways glance, so I aspire to her taste.) Yay! I hope these two crazy kids make it.

Eli v. Jackie

Jackie, we’ve missed you. You are a tiny woman fueled by hubris and Lily Pulitzer prints, and you light up the screen with your evil machinations. You’re the perfect foil for our favorite fixer who isn’t Olivia Pope, Eli Gold. Jackie wants to run some stuff, namely the fancy ball and decorating the governor’s office. The latter includes hanging a fucking massive oil portrait of Peter (hilariously, the only time Chris Noth appears in this episode) right in the entryway of the office, replacing the state seal of Illinois. Eli, who’s battling the press’s perception of Peter as an egomaniac, is not pleased. It all turns around when Eli realizes Jackie used to go out with the union boss who is preventing the inauguration from taking place in a large city center due to a strike. The union boss is obviously still pretty sweet on Jackie, so Eli sends her to work some magic. And she does. She flirts like a pro, the inauguration gets its prime spot back, and Jackie gets to decorate the office. Everybody wins, except the state seal, which still doesn’t have a home.

Florrick Agos v. Lockhart Gardner

The cat is out of the bag. Diane, enjoying the clarity of not working herself to death every day, picks up on two key details. First, she catches Alicia trying to download Diane’s client files, then she notices Alicia has stopped decorating her office. Diane smoothly confirms her suspicions by talking to one of her primary clients.

The next day, in the office, Alicia finds Diane in her office and asks her a question. Diane just death stares her. Alicia puts two and two together and gets “run.” In the final scene, Diane slow walks to Will’s office and tells him Alicia and the Fourth Years (she could totally start a band with that name, if the whole exodus thing doesn’t work out) are leaving, and they’re taking all the good clients with them. And now all the bridges are burning.

Next week, we get the much hyped confrontation between Will and Alicia. That’s going to be uncomfortable to watch, and I, for one, can’t wait.

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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