When last we left old Kalinda, she was sitting in a chair waiting for some kind of ninja attack -- and when it comes, it comes hard. The ex-husband's flack shows up with a gun and all kinds of menace to spare, but not really a plan per se as far as I can tell, so of course Kalinda grabs a handy giant hammer from... somewhere... and smashes his hand into jelly, then kicks him in the nards over and over while chatting with her ex on the phone. Like, this is the first thing that happens in Season 4 of The Good Wife.
Not to be deterred, ex-husband Nick sets up a situation at Lockhart/Gardner intended to bring Kalinda in to vet possible business partners for his tow-truck venture. They have a ninja fight in the elevator that proceeds, Family Guy/Giant Chicken style, out into the parking garage and down the street and thence to bed. Kalinda shows up next day sporting all kinds of kinky sex bruises, dude's not going anywhere and they are both total maniacs and it's going to be awesome.
Will's suspension ends, finally, at the end of the episode -- but not before he and Diane are pitted against each other by the firm's new trustee, Nathan Lane, in a sort of sketched-out tease that is not even a tease really, because Will and Diane would never even entertain the idea of turning on each other. Because of the balloon payment deal and the sundry financial problems we're always hearing about, they're involved in some kind of debt recovery plan that involves having him there. Like a brownie or hobgoblin or fairy sprinkling money-saving tips everywhere. On the one hand, he scares David Lee into staying with the firm -- fairly amazing to see -- and on the other, notifies the partners that they'll be laying off 30 percent of their employees in the near future.
Before she was attacked by various inanimate pieces of the enraged set, like the victim of a television poltergeist, Kristin Chenoweth managed to turn in a couple of cute scenes as a reporter of some kind, digging into the truth about Peter and Alicia's relationship and whether or not they are faking their "mending fences" stance in order to help with his gubernatorial campaign. Given that neither Peter nor Alicia have any idea about this either, she is somewhat stymied in her investigation, but of course all she really exists to do is force Alicia to make that face she always makes about Peter and whether or not they're even in love or what the heck is going on.
The bulk of the episode does tie them together, though, after Zach's pulled over in an adjacent county's "forfeiture corridor," which is your basic speed trap/police revenue stream, but about which apparently State's Attorneys are aware. Alicia inspires her kids to some serious civics-minded shenanigans, figures out the whole fake deal, wonders if this has to do with Mike Kresteva, threatens the cops and eventually the entire legal system of Madison County and gets Peter to threaten the cop and SA involved (while swearing she wants him to do the opposite). There is a lot of campaign-related grandstanding, but in the end, it's Zach's viral video -- which he assembled using ChumHum for his search engine! -- manages to put the whole corrupt business on shout. High on Alicia's rarely offered approval, Zach celebrates with some masturbating to internet porn. The whole thing is actually super adorable.
An oddly structured and fairly low-key* episode, for this show, but the hour after all did fly by, and it's nice to finally see what the Nick fuss is all about. Still sucks that Kalinda's entire reason for sleeping with Peter and lying to Alicia, etc., is now ironically invalid -- but even just a few minutes with Nick's feral, sexy awfulness goes pretty far toward explaining how her life got to be as weird as it is. Or how Blake Calamar even, like, happened.
*(Mixed Martial Arts Kalinda fight scenes, of which there were several and some of which were naked and all of which involved a bunch of choking, notwithstanding.)
Next Week: More details on the terrifying sea creature that is Kalinda's marriage, Zach possibly learns about hubris, somebody unafraid of curses presumably takes over Kristin Chenoweth's role as the Rita Skeeter of the Florrick marriage, not to mention Maura Tierney as some kind of nutty millionaire and James Urbaniak as who cares who he's even playing, it's James Urbaniak.
After a few deeply troubling run-ins with Mike Kristeva, and a last-minute showdown with her mother-in-law that left them feeling more like a team than they have in ages, Alicia has committed to the idea of pretending (or not) to reconcile (or not) with her husband Peter, the State's Atty and future Governor of Illinois.
Lockhart/Gardner is in yet another financial downward spiral -- thanks to a balloon payment, Will's Grand Jury sidelining, and the continual bullshit of Eli and David Lee -- because this show really is nothing without each season's arc of watching Diane Lockhart hold that mother together with her teeth.
Kalinda made a last-second decision to stand her ground after getting all her fast-escape gear together, and ended last season sitting in a chair with a gun pointed at her door, meditating to build up her ninja powers and assorted other magicks.
Kalinda: "Fine, the door's open. Come in and let us begin the dance of death."
Flunky: "Can I turn on the light in here? Unoccupied, gorgeous hacker apartments freak me out."
Kalinda: "You may not. But you may tell my husband to fuck off."
Flunky: "It's not about the money you stole from him. He just misses you. All the way from Canada. With a sweet and tender yearning."
Kalinda: "I don't believe that for a second. If you'd said he misses choking me in bed, maybe, but not that."
There is some troubling etiquette now, as Kalinda tells him to kneel on the floor so that she can check him for weaponry, and he says it's just a phone, and she says it's not just a phone and threatens to shoot him. You think she's just totally paranoid until she reaches into his pocket for the "phone" and actually does come out with a cartoonishly gigantic, shiny pistol. Moral of the story: Always trust Kalinda. When she's at her most paranoid is also when she's at her most correct.
I don't know if I'm getting this across, but this is easily the scariest thing that has ever happened on this show, which is already one of the most suspenseful shows of all time. It's just usually the suspense is about adding addenda to motions or whether or not a swarm of flies is going to come flying out of Wendy Scott-Carr's mouth in an unceasing unholy shriek. With the exception of stupid Blake Calamar, actual violence is never really something you have to be concerned about -- and this scene goes on longer and scarier than anything with him ever did.