Previously on The Good Wife: Everything that has ever happened on The Good Wife. For a show that usually gets away with having no Previouslies at all, this episode contained references to pretty much everybody and everything that could possibly impact a story about Lockhart/Gardner's tech clients, as well as every girl Zach as ever dated, plus Alicia's entire childhood... It was a lot. All good, but a change of pace.
ChumHum's stock starts dipping after a gag order keeping them from revealing the degree to which they've resisted NSA requests for personal information, so they look like quislings. Carey (with an E) and Alicia decide they should sue the NSA for prior restraint, creating a PR hubbub about the issue that never has to actually talk about the issue. Returning to Judge Jeffrey Tambor's 2nd-circuit court from last week, there is a lot of talk of security clearance and national security -- not to mention shameless pimping of a Holocaust survivor by the brilliantly scummy AUSA -- that L/G eventually turns to their advantage, leading Neil Gross (the always perfect Jon Benjamin Hickey) to a TED talk of unparalleled exuberance, and a technical win all around.
Of course, what nobody at L/G knows is that ChumHum's one of the clients Florrick Agos is taking with them -- in fact, the keystone client in their fledgling firm, without which etc. -- so everything takes twice as long as Alicia and Cary (and Carey) have to keep doing end-runs around everybody... Including the NSA itself, who monitor the episode (in the form of two dreamy analyst dorks) and draw limitless (and completely wrong) conclusions and narratives out of the last two years of L/G communications. Everything from that one Gitmo client to Nisa's Somali father get put into the hopper as the story goes on, meaning that by the end the NSA flunkies have managed to earn themselves access to the Governor's office itself. I could see this one going all season, and I hope it does.
Over at Peter's new digs, the hot news is a gavel gifted him by the head of the Illinois Supreme Court, which has been stolen and thus cannot be displayed with gratitude. Tracking it down leads Eli across the path of none other than Zach's vicious and insane ex-girlfriend Becca (Dreama Walker), whom we haven't seen in like a hundred years, who has returned from Hell to ensnare the newly hot Grace Florrick in her evil web of evilness. (Reminiscent, this, of the time Damien Dalgaard made Jenny Humphrey his sex-slave drug mule and then returned a season or two later to do the same thing to her stepbrother, poor Eric van der Woodsen. Or at least, if you're me that is what you would obviously jump to.)
Helping Grace with her new mission to make boys like her without pissing Jesus off is Jesus's #1 heckler, Grandma Veronica, who sweeps into town chasing a widower (who turns out to be just plain married) and ends up breezily writing a check to cover the down payment on Florrick Agos's new office space. Will she tell her favorite flirtation partner David Lee the details of this random expenditure? No, but a yes is as good as a no, I think: Simply by dropping checks on Chicago real estate she's given him one more bullet for the eventual destruction of the fourth-year traitors. However, a touchingly mundane (and tequila-fueled) discussion of family dynamics between Alicia and her mother also made this Veronica's most palatable appearance yet.
Out of all these big moments and challenging legal leaps of logic, however, the biggest gasp-getter has to be the ongoing Diane story: Since the Chief Justice won't drop the whole thing about Will Gardner's supposed corruption, Eli gets Diane an interview with Mandy Post (Miriam Shor) in which she's supposed to smoothly disavow her partner. After failing once, he puts the smack down on her pretty viciously, but what Diane doesn't know -- and we hope, and then learn -- is that he's doing it purely for show. Eventually he arranges a stern talking-to from Peter to the Chief Justice that absolves her of any need to turn on Will... Just as she, guiltily, has finished doing exactly that. We end the episode on Diane, self-loathing and wearing bigger chains than ever, barely visible behind her desk as the gross realities of her ambition sinks in.
Next Week: David Lee uses Will's betrayal (and violently broken heart) to his advantage, going after Diane directly, leading the partners in a vote that seems like it's gonna get pretty ugly. On the other side of the multiple wars about to erupt in the halls of L/G, Will makes Alicia an offer that might have her questioning Florrick Agos altogether.
Diane is moving forward with her unofficial invitation to the Illinois Supreme Court, now that Peter is the Governor Elect. Meanwhile, Alicia is still all-in with Cary Agos and the fourth-years, despite low-level disagreements about relatively small, but still plan-wrecking, details. One of the companies they want to bring with them is Neil Gross's ChumHum, which should be easy since Neil's only known preference is for Will Gardner to go eat a dick.
Also, way back in Season Two, L/G spent an entire episode trying to get around homeland security measures in order to save a dude from Gitmo. (It was the "look at all this paper!" episode, which I can't believe was that long ago considering how much it still pops into my head). This put L/G (and Alicia) on the NSA's radar -- along with the DOD, DOJ and Treasury -- which is why it matters now.
We fade in a variety of shifting calls, various communication methods, moving from data point to data point in some visual representation of what it's like to work at the NSA and have the sum total of all information at your fingertips, constantly scanning for words like America and Middle East and Jihad and Taliban and weapons. Basically any words that could get you to terrorism, or the next hop toward terrorism, which includes discussion of the NSA itself, how just searching for "Al-Qaeda" means you are on a list somewhere, and talk about that list means you're on some other list somewhere.
The boys working the information this particular evening are dreamy, one of them is Zach Woods, and they are intrigued by mention of "one of the Lockhart/Gardner lawyers" on a call not in English, from two years ago. Meanwhile another L/G lawyer is speaking about the subject of telephoning in a parallel but unrelated context.
David Lee: "The fourth-years have stopped. They've stopped texting each other."
Diane: "Great, so the insurrection is gone or never existed."
David Lee: "No, it means they were warned. And that's either Kal..."
Diane: "I don't need to hear your crazy theories. Go nuts or don't go nuts, either way. First they came for the fourth-years and I didn't speak out, because I wasn't a fourth-year."
David Lee: "Why would I ever, for example, lead a mutiny against you, Diane?"