The Good Wife: “Tying the Knot”

(Episode 5.19)

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The Good Wife: “Tying the Knot”

After last week’s slightly uneven episode, I was worried that perhaps The Good Wife might never fully recover from the absence of Will Gardner.

Oh, how wrong I was. I should have never doubted my beloved show.

The episode, directed by Josh Charles (love that he’s still part of The Good Wife family), kicked off with an intense ten minutes that found Alicia back at the home of the dastardly Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker reprising his Emmy-nominated role). Sweeney is getting married—again—this time to Renata Ellard (the wonderful Laura Benanti who I still miss on the cancelled Go On).

In the dizzying opening sequence, Alicia must try to get Colin to sign corporate merger documents (in the midst of a party straight out of a Robert Palmer video) while juggling multiple professional (Finn Polmar is being dropped from the case) and personal (there’s a picture of Zach on Gawker with a bong) issues.

The party comes to a halt when Renata’s friend, Morgan, is found hanging in the bathroom. As Det. Lou Johnson (James McDaniel) points out, Alicia does have a habit of showing up whenever a dead body is found at Colin’s house.

The fact that Renata did kill Morgan and that she and Colin colluded together was not a surprise. That ending is the kind of twist a show like The Practice used to regular employ, and we’ve seen Colin get away with murder multiple times. What was a surprise was Alicia’s faulty memory. She tells the detective that Colin was never out of her sight. But we, the audience, know that’s not true. There’s a point she cannot find him. She thinks a man is him, but when he turns around it’s not. She eventually finds him in the kitchen munching on a chicken wing. Is Alicia protecting Colin, or is her memory faulty because so much nonsense was going on at the party. How much do you pay attention to things when you’re juggling multiple phone calls and crisis?

The case was highly entertaining, and Benanti was a welcome addition to the Colin Sweeney shenanigans. It seems like he’s finally met his romantic match. But I really loved the subtler moments in the episode. Finn’s post-traumatic stress at being back in the courtroom. Alicia tearing up after discussing Will with her brother, Owen. (Another sign that she’s barely holding it together). Diane cross-examining Alicia on the stand.

Owen is the only one who truly knows how Alicia felt about Will. I’ve been waiting for him to show up and comfort her. That his appearance was couched in his “intervention” with Zach was just fantastic. For his part, Zach was employing the Greg Brady defense—the bong wasn’t his! He was just holding it for a friend! Alicia gets a call from Zach’s friend saying that’s not true, that he has a problem with drugs. Given Zach’s faulty track record with the girls at his school, I’m thinking this is some sort of unrequited crush thing.

Zach still denies his drug use claiming he’s one of the few people his age not doing drugs. The whole thing doesn’t seem terribly concerning to Alicia (maybe it should be?), and Zach takes the opportunity to bring his parent’s marriage into the conversation. “You and dad are playing Bill and Hillary. Why don’t we talk about that?” (Nice one Zach).

And we’re reminded just how much Peter loves to mess with people. States Attorney James Castro comes to him seeking his endorsement for re-election and, instead, Peter endorses Finn, who is only running so he can’t be fired. Memo to James Castro: Don’t mess with the Governor’s wife. The facial expressions Eli made during the episode were fantastic. And surely this isn’t the outcome Alicia was expecting when she suggested Finn run.

Overall, I loved this episode, but it’s worth noting that none of the action took place at Lockhart/Gardner/Canning.

Other thoughts on “Tying the Knot”:
—Owen wonders what will happen when Alicia does want to date someone. We’ll find out next week when Nestor Carbonell (and his beautiful eyelashes) guest star.
—Alicia gets two black men confused. “Good thing I wasn’t there, you might have thought I was the killer,” Det. Johnson deadpans.
—Eli can get 7,000 signatures in an hour.
—Not a lot of Kalinda in this episode. The show still needs to figure out what to do with her.

Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.