The Good Wife
The Death Zone

Episode Report Card
admin: A+ | 3 USERS: A+
Cold Equations
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Robert Lambros was a mountain-climbing guide who died 28,000 feet up Everest, in a spot known as Hillary Step. His brother Danny -- Alicia's client -- wrote a book about the tragedy alleging that a man named Oliver Cardiff, climbing with a British team, came upon his body and ganked his oxygen before continuing.

The witness on the stand, a documentarian who was friends with the Lambros brothers, nonetheless testifies that Danny's book is wrong, and thus libelous, because Cardiff was below them with his British team of climbers while Danny was even further down at basecamp. So the film guy is the only person, maybe, who knows what really happened. He's the Jon Krakauer, if you will; it's not about him.

Alicia stands, apologizing in advance for taking down her client's buddy, and brings up the big theme of the episode: The Death Zone. That's the area above 26,000 feet where oxygen no longer supports life, and perceptions are not to be fully trusted. This is an issue because it gives the episode its name and forward thrust, narratively, but also because the documentarian in question has a problem with canned oxygen: He thinks it's destroying the sport, so he doesn't use it, so his perceptions at the Hillary Step can't be trusted.

For an American libel case, Cardiff needs to prove not only that Danny's book is incorrect, but that he knows it's wrong. And since the plaintiff's case is based on this film guy's Death Zone perceptions, the judge pretty much throws it out within the first three minutes of the episode. Danny and Alicia are both stunned, but happy; Cardiff's over there conferring with a British attorney that you know is going to matter because he's played by Eddie Izzard. If this were all the law we needed to practice in this episode I'd be happy, but not even this show can cheat CBS's procedural quotas that hard.

Alicia: "Hi, Eli!"
Eli: "Where are you? The meeting's in ten minutes."
Alicia: "And what meeting was that again?"

That's Alicia's idea of a joke! Funny little lady. Eli is not amused; another funny little lady, honestly.


Eli's brought in -- by way of secret stairway jiggery-pokery -- a fellow fixer, Mickey Gunn (played by awesome Michael Kelly, who was one of the greatest parts of Generation Kill) for some kind of very secret meeting.

Will: "Who was that?"
Diane: "No idea."
Will: "Do you ever get the feeling we're losing control here?"

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The Good Wife




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