'The Good Wife' Season 4 Episode 9: A Defense of Marriage

By Roselyn Sebastian,

The episode is filled with guest stars but for once the stage doesn’t feel crowded. We open with Owen coming to see Alicia in court. He's there to share that their mother, played by Stockard Channing, is flying into Chicago for a visit.

Diane and Alicia are trying a case about a company that’s being sued by the IRS. But because the CFO of the company is gay, the wiretaps that the government did on phone calls between the CFO and his partner aren’t protected by spousal shield because gay marriage isn’t recognized on the federal level.

Then we switch to a great confrontation between Nick and Cary. Nick, is for once actually towing something, and Cary is wearing a black eye and one of those great Calvin Klein suits. Matt Czurchy is scarily good at delivering threats with a smile.

Diane and Alicia’s case suddenly becomes about The Defense of Marriage Act. “Supreme Court Lion” Jeremy Breslow, played by Rizzoli & Isles’ Bruce McGill, petitions Will and Diane to allow him to help and thereby further his cause for marriage equality. Suddenly their IRS case becomes about whether or not one man’s marriage to his partner is valid in the eyes of the law.

Owen and Alicia find out that their mother, Veronica Loy’s husband has passed away and that she’s been written out of his will. Alicia gets David Lee to help her mother out. Veronica Loy plus David Lee equals hilarity. Veronica sees Owen and Will talking, which makes her think that Will is gay. This is funny until we find out that to dissuade his mother of this notion, Owen tells her that Alicia has a crush on Will.

Unfortunately for Alicia’s case Judge Friend upholds DOMA which allows the prosecution to use the wiretaps against the CFO, but not the CEO who’s heterosexual. Diane accuses Breslow of trying to lose their case so he can later appeal it and argue in front of the Supreme Court.

By using some legal jujitsu, Alicia is able to get the CEO’s wiretaps back in and dominates him on rebuttal, leading the government to offer her client a deal. But Breslow manages to convince the CFO and his husband to reject the deal and make a stand against DOMA.

But Alicia and Diane, with help from Kalinda, figure out that the state was also trying to bring charges against the CEO for embezzlement. Their wiretaps prove that the CFO is innocent, winning the case and making Breslow’s chance to argue against DOMA disappear.

The episode ends with an awkward Thanksgiving dinner. Veronica and Jackie trade great one liners and the episode closes with Peter and Alicia getting up close and personal while their mothers duke it out in the dining room.

On the whole this episode was good. The Good Wife is great about incorporating topical issues into their plot lines. Although we saw Kalinda, Nick, Will, and Cary sparingly, it didn't feel like they were being shoved aside to made room for guest stars. We got to see a chink in Alicia's armor; her tenuous relationship with her mother, which just rounds her character out more.

image: CBS



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