Recap/Review – The Good Wife – “The Decision Tree” – 12/1/13

thegoodwiferecap1214smallA former client has left Alicia a large sum of money; the Florrick/Agos Christmas party creates problems for Eli.

Recap:

Kalinda’s trailing Damian yet again in what looks to be a high-speed chase. He’s stopped at Florrick/Agos to hand Alicia her $150,000 refund for her capital contribution. It is Damian, so he isn’t going to make it easy; first, she must sign off on the novella that is her exit contract from LG. She hands it off to Clarke Hayden to uncover any hidden traps before signing it.

Jump with me to read more.

Cary asks Alicia to invite Peter to their Christmas party, as another competing firm is having a party that day. I wonder who that could be. Peter agrees to attend the party, ignoring Eli’s strong opposition to it.

The contract excludes Alicia from any and all dealings with Matthew Ashbaugh, her former client at LG. She calls his wife for clarification, and his wife says that she won’t be getting any money. Clarke urges Alicia to find out more about the case before signing the contract. She enlists the help of Robyn to record her conversation with Damian, but he’s caught wind of her stalling tactic and leaves. Worse yet, Robyn’s recording makes Alicia sound like she’s the newest member of Alvin and the chipmunks.

As it turns out, Matthew Ashbaugh has passed away and left a contending will, leaving Alicia $12 million.

Eli and Marilyn are joining forces against Peter; he’s that desperate. Colin Sweeney, the wife killer, will be at the party, deepening Eli’s opposition to Peter’s attendance.

LG contests the second will, witnessed by an escort, Ms. Giffer. They contend that Ms. Giffer was paid for her services, including the signing of the will, therefore invalidating it. Cary puts Alicia’s $12 million in the hands of Clarke. He stumbles a bit at first, then makes the argument that Ms. Giffer has been a witness on Ashbaugh’s contract with LG. However, that has no bearing on the present will. But the timing sure does; Giffer was contracted to work until 9am, but signed the will a few minutes after 9 making her an unpaid witness.

Damian and Kalinda continue their cat and mouse game, until he has a friend, Detective Jenna Villette (Jordana Spiro), arrest Kalinda. Nice.

Veronica’s (Stockard Channing) back and finds out that Jackie has been invited to the office Christmas party.

Mrs. Ashbaugh is on the stand. She claims Matthew was losing his mind. Alicia and Will share a mutual flashback to their time in NYC with Mr. Ashbaugh. It was a much friendlier time. The judge rules that Mr. Ashbaugh was of sound mind and allows Will to question Alicia tomorrow.

This party is going to be a family affair! Veronica is coming too.

Marilyn and her pregnancy sound system alert Peter to the ethical conflict with Sweeney, but Alicia refuses to disinvite Sweeney, nor sway her husband to change his mind.

Will preps for questioning Alicia with a notepad and the memories of what was. His questions become more and more about her betrayal than about Mr. Ashbaugh.

Eli is smart. Too smart. He’s arranged a meeting with Donna Brazile to keep Peter from Alicia’s party.

Kalinda’s charmed her way out of handcuffs into Jenna’s bed. But she won’t fill her in on her sketchy friend’s past.

Now that Alicia’s on the stand, she admits that Mr. Ashbaugh threatened to fire her and that he claimed that he was in love with her. When asked if she manipulated him into signing the will, she agrees, and everyone is taken aback. Alicia isn’t talking about the will in question; she’s talking about the one that benefits Mrs. Ashbaugh. David Lee encouraged her to do anything she could to get him to agree to the terms.

Peter meets with Ms. Brazile and then invites her to the party. Fortunately, Colin Sweeney is a no-show, but Lemond Bishop, drug-dealer extraordinaire, has arrived, leaving Eli to have a huge fit.

Will phones; they’ve found four other wills, leaving the money to four different women, so no $12 million payday for Alicia.

Veronica’s making conversation with Marilyn and asks what she’ll name the baby. When she responds with “Peter,” Eli chokes on his champagne.
 
Review:

The 100th episode is supposed to make a splash, and WOW, they went all out! Josh Charles’s scenes in the actual courtroom and the one he’s envisioned are his best yet. You can see the pain and anger in his face when they’re sharing the memory of something that should be sweet; it ends up bringing up all these emotions for both of them.

And then there was Eli. His reactions are always good for a laugh, and they were full-force tonight.

Robyn’s funny recording reminded me of Cary’s friend’s talking lion telephone, bringing humor to a serious moment.

And just when you thought you were going to watch Kalinda chase after Damian for the rest of the season, she gets a love interest! And who better than Jordana Spiro!

– Lindsay

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