'The Good Wife' Season 4 Episode 7: Anatomy of a Joke

By Roselyn Sebastian,

This week’s episode “Anatomy of a Joke” has the style and dialogue that reminds us why The Good Wife wins all those Emmys. We got to see guest stars like Nathan Lane, Christina Ricci, and Amanda Peet without feeling like everyone else was starved for air time.

Christina Ricci stars as a comedian who’s being sued for indecency because she flashed her breasts on a late night talk show. It turns out the suit is a sham because the network wants to avoid being fined by the FCC. This results in Cary and Alicia being sent to Washington D. C. to lobby the FCC so they don’t fine the network.

Meanwhile on Peter’s campaign, the story that just won’t die returns. It comes out that Indira Star, the campaign worker with whom Peter did not sleep with, has more "proof" that they did sleep together. Her proof is that she has knowledge of a birthmark that the State’s Attorney has in a less than discrete location. This episode has way more penis and boob jokes than any episode of The Good Wife ever. Obviously Eli is less than pleased by this so he dispatches Kalinda to get to the bottom of things. It turns out that Indira Starr is being manipulated by none other than Maddie Hayward.

Captain Hallinger returns, sans uniform, to inform Alicia that she’s out of the military and looking for a job. While Amanda Peet and Juliana Margulies have great chemistry, the idea that any woman that Alicia encounters falls over herself to befriend Alicia is a little tired.

In D.C. we meet Jeffrey Agos, Cary’s estranged father who along with Cary’s mother, is a lobbyist. This episode has great interactions between Cary and Alicia as we find out that Cary’s father kicked him out of the house when he was 18. Alicia encourages Cary to reconnect with his father while they’re in D.C., as they bond over their first impressions of each other when they met 4 years ago.

Unfortunately the elder Agos is only reaching out to his son because he wants Cary to get Diane to recommend him as an aide to a senator she’s friends with in Illinois. Matt Czurchy is excellent in this scene; he's very restrained but we get to see how angry Cary is at his father. And in the next scene we see Alicia recommending that Peter consider Captain Hallinger for filling the vacant Deputy State’s Attorney position while Cary listens is great. The fact that Cary and Alicia are forced to share an office is creating a lot of great but awkward moments.

Sadly Kalinda only appears in this episode peripherally but luckily that means Nick didn’t appear in it at all. Peter takes Alicia’s recommendation to heart as we see Geneva Pine half-heartedly interviewing Hallinger for a position she so obviously wants for herself. Just as Geneva is about to dismiss Hallinger, Peter walks in and hires her. It was great to see Geneva. But it was depressing to see her passed over for a promotion yet again.

Unfortunately Christina Ricci’s character somehow offends every member of the FCC that she’s forced to meet with. But Will manages to argue that because the network is suing because they’re afraid of getting sued by the FCC the case should be dismissed, which it is.

Matt Czurchy finally got his time to shine in this episode. Hopefully this happens more in the future and he doesn’t have to return to set to make room for more guest stars. Will and Diane also had minimal screen time but they used that time well to set up a plan to prevent the firm from being sold. What would have made this episode great would have been if Diane had confronted Will about his obvious dislike of Cary and favoritism towards Alicia. But there’s always hope for next week.



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