Well, that was... dark, no? After a string of intensely serialized episodes, we get this -- a one-off Thanksgiving bottle episode about gay marriage -- that couldn't have less to do with Nathan Lane, Amanda Peet, L/G's financial troubles, or anything else, really. Given the fact that it aired Thanksgiving weekend, maybe that's actually by design? All I know is, it was super weird. Starting -- starting -- with another big gay conversation between Cary and Nick where they threaten each other all kinds of ways but nothing actually happens.
And for the record they did touch Cary's face, so I am over it.
Alicia's mom Veronica has been gone for two years, never appeared on the show -- Stockard Channing! -- and is now back to fight for her late third husband's estate. Seems she got herself Anna Nicole'd by the son at the last minute, and he used her affairs to get his dad to change the will. Problem #1, she won't admit she had an affair at all. Problem #2, David Lee is her probate lawyer and does not understand conventional morality. Problem #3, Gay Brother Owen loves his mommy. So while Veronica makes off with the whole thing, Alicia's left feeling yucko.
Especially once Veronica and Jackie mix it up at Thanksgiving and Veronica -- who is, let's say, kooky -- fires random insights into the crowd about the Florricks' marriage that would have been insightful at almost any point before now. When Alicia, fed up with her mom's bullshit -- to the extent that she nearly bursts into tears and shows like three emotions we have never seen before -- finally takes Peter in the bathroom for a quick Thanksgiving fuck, it's about as unattractive and funny-sad as anything involving those two. Not so much a triumph as a tantrum. We'll see.
Meanwhile, a question of spousal privilege throws the spotlight on creepy old DOMA and the different ways we -- people who actually live in 2012 -- keep trying to find ways to deal with it. In a fairly telegraphed (point by point) series of twists, a grandstanding "liberal lion" of a lawyer aims to first help with and then tank Diane and Alicia's case for them, in order to take DOMA to the Supreme Court, but in the end they find a way to win the case anyway. Good for L/G, bad for America. Kinda boring for The Good Wife.
Props for the feint at parallel plotting -- Veronica's marriage might be real, whatever its problems; any marriage might be real whatever its problems -- but when you're so intently this middle-of-the-road about a touchy subject, maybe you just don't go there? Because what we got out of it is apolitical plot twists and a gross train of thought: Somebody is going to have to take the fall to get DOMA overturned, and it's only so often that white men this upscale make enough bad decisions that their marriage comes into question at all -- and then if they do, probably they'll have an open marriage because they are, after all, perverts, so I guess we have to be cool with open marriages too -- which means overturning DOMA is essentially a Perfect Storm that only comes around every ten years or so.
Not sayin' it's not true, just sayin' it's the pits.
I mean, it's all very ambitious -- though spare me Owen mawkishly gaying it up in the corner of every courtroom scene like a fucking ASL interpreter for straight people -- but in the end, just as privileged and blithely "tolerant" as anything else that keeps the queers down. I know we don't go to CBS for relevant commentary, but I do prefer the episodes of this show that actually have a point to make instead of just using my actual boring life as a daring edgy metaphor.
Next Week: Will walks Alicia through yet another moral conundrum, the aftereffects of the Florrick sex reunion, and it seems Laura Hellinger is once again, as they say, in da house.
Nick Savarese made damn sure Cary Agos knew it was one of his thugs that beat our boy up in the pouring rain that continues its "a storm is rising" foreshadowing this week. Other things also previously happened on this show, but this is the only one that actually comes into this episode at all, and even then just barely; presumably this is because next week is the last one before the break and it's going to be even more continuity-dependent than last week. Alicia has a gay brother and parents we have never seen; Peter's mother Jackie has a new babysitter that is making Mama's Baby a little bit jealous.
HON JUDGE CLAUDIA "BEBE NEUWIRTH" FRIEND PRESIDING
Owen, outside: "I'm looking at this postcard you sent from St. Barth's so intently that I'm not really listening to you, Mom! I have to go randomly drop in on one of Alicia's cases that coincidentally has relevance to my interests, bye."
The Case: Alicia and Diane are having one of those connected-up cases where their defense is linked to another one, in this case two former executives of a fraudulent online tax company against horrible self-satisfied white person AUSA Bucky "Brian Dennehy" Stabler. Notably, Bucky's working with the CEO, which means L/G is stuck with the company's CFO, and so since this is an IRS case, their defense has to be about keeping Bucky from sacrificing their client for his: Either everybody wins, or L/G loses.
The Deets: Two years ago the company, online e-filer TaxLaunch.com, started accepting fraudulent tax claims using stolen Social Security numbers. Nobody, for example, apparently noticed that 86 of these bad refunds -- totaling $3,267,000 -- were sent to the same Chicago address.
CEO: "Like I'm the one checking the envelopes, I'm the CEO. Of course I trusted the people under me. Like for example the CF..."
L/G: "-- Objection! Clearly this is Bucky making him say this, which again is why we want to sever our defense from his. And why we will eventually just start going after his client like single-minded sharks if he doesn't cut this shit out."
Bebe Neuwirth sustains, but let the record show that she is, as any judge would be, charmed by Bucky the man-mountain -- and less impressed, as any judge would be, by Alicia and Diane doing everything in stereo: A tiny but important nod to Alicia's coming of age, I think. Maybe more, now that Trustee Hayden Clarke (Clark Hayden?) is giving Cary his undivided attention, but I think no. I think they just try to mix it up by having the most interesting people on the case. Usually it works, but this case is so rudimentary that it really doesn't matter who the lawyers are.