The Good Wife: Winning Ugly
April 12, 2015 9:45 PM - Season 6, Episode 19 - Subscribe

So who fixed the voting machines? And who's going to jail?

Hooooooooooooo boy, this episode.

As two thespians read Alicia's sexy e-mails on an online video, Grace watches. She later asks Alicia if it was true. She admits it was. Then why did you lie? It wasn't any of their business, Alicia says. Grace doesn't take it well and leaves quickly. This follows up on an earlier remark by a random waitress who asks Alicia if she did it and Alicia says it's none of her business. The waitress disagreed.

Who Fixed The Election? Things we know:
* The Democratic Party picks a lawyer for Alicia to go up against the election board: a bigwig named Spencer Randolph that Marissa would like to marry.
* Eli doesn't want a recount because that's how you lose elections. He wants Alicia to talk Prady out of the idea.
* Talking to Prady doesn't work--he's got a new bulldog who won't let Alicia near him.
* Eli swears it wasn't Alicia's campaign who did it, but he posits that Bishop or Redmayne might have.
* At the election committed thing, it's pointed out that Peter is in charge of the voting machines. Alicia asks him about it and Peter says he avoids them like the plague--an independent guy named Eddie Nolan is in charge of them. You may recall him as a guy who tried to bribe Alicia into running.
* In a private meeting with Alicia, Nolan admits to compromising 40 machines--Prady's team would take his money, so things are fudged, and Alicia should have taken his money because now she'll never be SA. Alicia records it all secretly (you'll recall that's legal in Chicago) and plays it for the committee. Nolan walks out, but his lawyer is outraged! And demands a recount!
* Kalinda has her computer guy Howell look at the microprocessor used on the vending machines, and he notes that it's old--from 2012, when Peter was running for governor. Spencer totally goes for this in court, shocking Alicia, who is all "You never told me you were going after Peter!" "I'm going after Peter," he says.
* "He's not my lawyer, the party gave him to me!" Alicia says about Spencer. She has noooo idea.
* "I'm not here to defend you, I'm here to defend the democratic process." -Spencer. He calls her a hero in the review board court.
* Howell was mistaken--the software was electronically updated two months ago.
* Turns out it was none of the above who did the election fudging--it was THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, for another candidate named Tilden in a tight race, they had to hold on to their supermajority in the state senate.
* The party (in the form of Frank Landau) doesn't want a recount (especially for Tilden *cough*), so they demand she step down and will be "taken care of" with some cushy committee thing.
* Alicia doesn't want to and they tell her they'll basically ruin her life if she doesn't. They also check her for recording devices and confiscate her phone.
* "We all benefit from a filibuster-proof majority."
* Alicia tells Spencer all of this and says she doesn't want to resign, she wants to win. Let him handle it, he says.
* He then immediately says Alicia lied and it was all her idea and she should never be allowed anywhere near elected office ever ever ever. She tries to tell him off afterwards and he says it's nothing personal. "Be a good Democrat, step down now. The Party will take care of you. Everybody wins."
* Alicia goes home and cries on Peter.
* Well, we all get our wish: she won't be state's attorney!

As for The Metadata Drama:
* After Wiley and his damn kids tell Diane about the faked metadata, she kicks him out and finds out the truth from Kalinda, which could get her disbarred. She tells David and Cary, who tell her that she has to tell the review board the truth (and clear Louis Prima) and that's her only hope. Prima runs to his girlfriend Geneva after that.
* Cut to the most recent judge on Cary's case griping that "there's been more remakes of this case than Spider-Man." He is clearly not on Diane's side and dear god, he needs a drink." Finn and Diane--well, just Diane-- is now the bad guy.

Diane asks Geneva what it is she wants. Well, seems like it's more what Castro wants--and even Geneva seems to find it all a bit squiffy off the record. Diane can get the charges dropped if she testifies against Bishop. "And here we are, back again. Right at the beginning," Diane says.

"You're thinking about doing something, aren't you?" -Cary to Kalinda. We don't find out for sure in this episode, but she hasn't gone to Geneva yet by the end of the episode. Yet.
posted by jenfullmoon (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are six more episodes in this season, and the plot just keeps on thickening.

My hat is off to Alicia for having the forethought to tape her conversation with Eddie Nolan. Such an efficiently served and well-deserved comeuppance for him. Unfortunately she didn't tape her conversations with her Benedict Arnold of a lawyer. I found it hard to believe that twist, though. I mean, what the fuck? The man is supposedly a prominent lawyer and he'll throw any ethics he has out the window for the DNC and risk disbarment?

Marissa just keeps trying to feed people.

Grace just lost all respect for her mother. That was painful to see. Alicia should have just refused to answer questions about her affair with Will because it was a private matter. Now everyone knows she told a stupid lie.

How does Kalinda still have a job? I would have expected Diane to fire her immediately.

Cary's prepared to fall on his sword for Kalinda, and who knows what Kalinda is prepared to do. I'm wondering if she'll kill Lemond Bishop and go on the run. Both Cary and Diane would be safe from ever having to testify against him then. Surely the existence of Bishop's son will keep Kalinda from going that route, though?

Sometimes I wonder if the series end will consist of Alicia having come full circle: with her in prison, and Peter looking after their family and visiting her. Must admit, this story arc does allow Peter to shine, because one of his stellar qualities is his protectiveness and loyalty to Alicia when the rest of the world is involved.
posted by orange swan at 5:42 AM on April 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Alicia obviously never watched Alias. I will never be able to trust a Ron Rifkin character again. Even when he played the kindly uncle on Brothers and Sisters, I sometimes expected him to just stab various members of his family.

The whole part of the plot was amazing but, yes, a little over the top. And if it was anything other than Chicago/Illinois Democratic politics, I'd probably have not accepted it. But alas, petty people with some-but-not-all-the-power is why, for example, most of our governors end up in jail here.

As always, I hate the Alicia isn't part of the plot with the rest of her firm. But I'm pretty sure that's going to pay off next week with anger. And I'm not sure where she'd fit into the plot. Everyone else has been great and I feel like there's just so much paying off in good ways. This is sort of what I expected to happen when Kalinda faked the metadata and Diane presented it, but somehow it's still thrilling to watch.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:06 AM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, I'm glad she lost--technically, anyway--but I'm not happy with how it came about. Having the election jerked out from under her leaves Alicia looking like a victim and that's not a role I want to see her in again. Whatever, does this mean Prady wins by default?

Now about Kalinda, please let her kill Bishop. If she can manage to do so without getting herself killed, even better.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:56 PM on April 13, 2015

Yeah, the moment I saw Ron Rifkin, I figured that Alicia was screwed. He's great at those parts, but his casting also telegraphs what (usually) lies ahead.
posted by pmurray63 at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

This was the first episode in a while where I've really cared about Alicia's plot. I soured on the whole SA race story from the beginning and never really got back into it, but watching her deal with this felt back on track in a lot of ways.

Also, mostly unrelated but god am I excited for Mike Colter's Luke Cage.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2015

Also, mostly unrelated but god am I excited for Mike Colter's Luke Cage.

Me too, if it means Bishop is on his way out and preferably no longer breathing when he leaves. Maybe his son and Kalinda can go into witness protection together.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:48 PM on April 14, 2015

Shit just got real.
posted by matildaben at 6:38 PM on April 14, 2015

Did Peter encourage Alicia to trust Spencer Randolph, to protect the supermajority but knowing what would happen to her?
posted by matthewr at 4:53 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had told my wife that I was losing interest in The Good Wife, then I saw this episode. Wow. My fear is that if the season is 22/3 episodes long, that they can't possibly wrap everything up in time. Also, the rumor is that Kalinda is leaving the show, so it feels like she is going to be sacrificed in order to restore peace and order to this particular fictional world.
posted by mecran01 at 7:20 PM on April 17, 2015

Oh, Matthewr, I wonder if you're right. That is brutal.
posted by mecran01 at 7:20 PM on April 17, 2015

Aaah, what a great episode! I was wondering the same thing about Peter as matthewr. Frank Landau is always slimy, in that horrible deadpan way he has. Kalinda is not going to let Cary be the one to take the fall, but I can't quite picture what she'll do to prevent it. Her leaving the show isn't just a rumor, is it? I thought it was a done deal.
posted by bardophile at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2015

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