The Good Wife: Discovery
November 29, 2015 11:08 PM - Season 7, Episode 9 - Subscribe

The case of the week: is ChumHum racist? In other news, both Ruth and Eli are alarmed at Alicia's possible interest in Jason.

Plot 1: Is ChumHum Racist? Remember that Monica girl that Diane didn't hire? Remember how Diane offered her help? Uh, yeah, so now Monica is going to Lockhart Whatever because she's suing ChumHum. Louis Canning is also involved and wants Lucca because "my firm's a little plae at the moment" and Alicia is either Bert or Ernie to Lucca, I'm not sure which. Lucca is all, "my mother would be so proud." Anyway, the lawsuit is that an African-American lady was running a restaurant in a primarily AA neighborhood, and "Chummy Maps" gives "safe" directions that filters out businesses and directions through the "yellow" and "red" neighborhoods. Even though Diane points out the neighborhood seems fine to her--well, there were AA people in it. ChumHum claims it's an algorithm, not racism. BUT IS IT? Is it user-based? Is home ownership involved? Was the programmer mugged by brown dudes? (No, it was white dudes.)

Anyway, a lot of discovery motion gets granted--basically, ALL OF CHUMHUM in the biggest data dump ever, so that's a joy. We also get to find out about "The Animal Incident," in which an algorithm tagged a photo of an African-American woman with "animal" because three years ago the photo recognition software had problems with shadows and light and they lazily fixed this with a patch. (Lucca has some brilliant snark about do white people ever get mistaken for polar bears and white seals.) There's also the targeted advertising and Monica and Cary get drastically different ads on their laptops. Lucca is also unthrilled to get Cary calling her to ask about the race of the muggers and crap like that. And programmers making racist jokes.

In the end, Alicia is found in contempt of court for not mentioning the animal incident, has to pay $5000 and any other fees incurred. Meanwhile, the photo coder was fired, the safety thing is now opt-in, and the restaurant owner was bullshitting because she started this complaint two months before the Chummy Maps thing started up.

Oh, and throughout the episode Monica makes fun of "Biff and Skippy" that got hired instead of her.

Somehow this leads to Cary asking Lucca out at the end, WHAT.

Plot 2: What Eli's Up To: Eli goes out to dinner with Courtney and can't shut up about Alicia. "You have to be obsessed with your candidate or you're not doing the job," he says. (He wants her to run for Senate now. Why, because the last run was so awesome?) He also says to Courtney, "You are very sexy when writing a check," which about makes me hurl. She's writing him a check to do a focus group to "resurrect St. Alicia." Oh god. From what we see of that, it seems to go well, darn it.

Alicia is forced to make pandering housewife videos for Iowa when Jason comes in to dicuss his double dipping at Lockhart Whatever (which duh, Alicia knows about it). Ruth watches their interactions and about loses it and asks Eli if they're having an affair. Eli bugs Jason repeatedly about this, and Jason declines to answer, saying to ask Alicia.

When Eli asks Alicia, she is not in the fucking mood and literally heading for the booze and saying "uh-huh" a lot. Eli can't figure out if she's making fun of him or not. He gives her his Candidate Speech, which is as follows:
(a) NO TOUCHING IN PUBLIC EVER, "If Jason is on fire, let him burn!" Also, everything is public now.
(b) Always have a third party, preferably female.
(c) If you're in a bigger group, don't be in a hotel, bar, or a hotel bar.

Alicia is all, I'm not sleeping with him, but if I was, I would not allow this conversation to happen, I did NOT hear you just now, show yourself out. Jason overhears this and leaves very quickly afterward. Meanwhile, Eli forces poor Nora to straight up stalk and babysit Alicia in her apartment when Jason is over,.Alicia tells Jason she doesn't want Eli to make things uncomfortable and Jason is all, my entire previous life was uncomfortable, now I don't do anything that makes me uncomfortable--and then Nora interrupts. Then Nora gets really embarrassed/ticked and quits this and tells Eli off, saying doing his laundry was less embarrassing than this. POOR NORA.

Meanwhile, Ruth comes up wtih a file on Jason and tells Eli to show it to Alicia. "Alicia doesn't scare. Not when it comes to men." "All women scare. Use it," Ruth says. Eli hands it to Jason personally and Jason says Alicia knows about his past. Yeah, but does she know you're investigating her? Hey, I work with the woman, I just wanted to make sure, Jason says. "This is your life, not mine. Do not make it mine," he growls to Eli. Eli finishes the episode by telling Alicia that Jason has been looking into her past. She closes the door on Eli without a word and goes to sigh and glare in her kitchen. Meanwhile, my closed captioning was showing, "doot-doot, doot-doot-, doot-doot" at this moment in time and it was weird.
posted by jenfullmoon (7 comments total)
Eli has completely lost the plot.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:37 AM on November 30, 2015

I think the writers have completely lost the plot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:42 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've definitely completely lost the plot.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:57 PM on November 30, 2015

Between losing Josh Charles and Julianna Margulies's weird vendetta against Archie Panjabi--and whoever else has annoyed her--it feels like the show just has to work around these weird holes these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:08 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also what the hell happened to Grace's amazing client recruitment work last week? They should be recruiting staff and opening office space and trying to handle all their new awesome clients.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:26 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Wow, when I imagine a *real* law firm defending a *real* Internet company and dealing with the complexities of discovery motions, it sounds really boring.

They got that exactly right. What a dull episode.

* Chumhum without the holier-than-thou jerk CEO. Why?
* Diane and Cary were the good guys this time, Alicia has no problem with that apparently.
* I still like Louis Canning.
* The 50 TB of discovery was pretty funny.
* Eli faced off against Jason, twice. *THAT* should have been exciting. It wasn't.
* Cary sparred with Monica through the whole episode, then at the end asked *Lucca* out. Where did that come from?
* Was only one restaurant affected by the "safe map" feature? Why did nobody say the words "class action" in the entire episode?
* The shocking revelation at the end seems meaningless. Jason investigated Alicia's past? What past? Her last 7 years have been lived in public with every embarrassing thing revealed to the public. Are we to believe she has some shocking secret from before the show started? And if not why should she care?
posted by mmoncur at 12:17 AM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Alicia's past? What past?

Exactly. I said to the TV: "Who hasn't been keeping tabs on Alicia?"
posted by Monochrome at 7:43 PM on July 28, 2016

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