By Kate Linnea Welsh
On this week’s episode of The Good Wife, deals with the devil are everywhere and people are wagering things they may not actually have. In a nice note of continuity, the plane crash mentioned by Eli and Diane last week is back as the case of the week this week, and it brings Celeste back into things: She’s representing the families of the crew members who died in the crash, while Diane is representing the families of the passengers. (I do wish the show had an explanation for why Lockhart/Gardner folks are suddenly running into Celeste all the time, other than that they now have Lisa Edelstein under contract.) Diane and Celeste’s case is based on the testimony of a whistle-blower who says that the manufacturer knew a piece of the plane was faulty, but the whistle-blower kills himself before he can testify. Celeste continues her wicked witch routine by pointing out that this could actually be a good thing – it means they can use his taped deposition and not have to worry about cross-examination. That evidence ends up not being enough, though, so they have to find another person who was at the meeting at which the manufacturer discussed the faulty equipment…
And that person is, coincidentally enough, Lockhart/Gardner’s old client Colin Sweeney, the creepy wife-killer who is now in jail for involuntary manslaughter. I get that they wanted to bring Sweeney back – he’s a compelling character – but this connection was so coincidental that it really just seemed random, and made the case of the week itself even more incidental to the show than it usually is. (But then the fact that all the characters are connected in unexpected ways is one of the underlying premises of the show, so maybe it’s not so odd after all.) Sweeney wants a get-out-of-jail-free card in exchange for his testimony, and this brings us right back to Peter, Cary, Imani, and the new ethical standards at the State’s Attorney’s office. But it’s still hard to separate actual ethics from appearances: a substantial amount of Peter’s concern about the issue stems from the way it will make him look if he releases Sweeney. They compromise: Sweeney testifies and wears a wire to get evidence against a white supremacist he knows in prison, and they let him out. None of the specifics of the cases really matter this week; instead, the show is back to one of its favorite themes: Where’s the happy medium between naive idealism and cynical pragmatism? How much collateral damage is allowed? How many deals with the devil can you make before you have to stop claiming to be on the side of the angels?