Hello and welcome back to Season 7, Episode 7 of The Good Wife. Alicia Florrick has a lot of people to throw shade at in the next forty-something minutes, so hold onto your butts. In last night’s episode, called “Driven”, here are the following plot points to keep in your head:
The driverless car case.
VANESSA MOTHER-EFFING WILLIAMS.
The Election Board.
Alicia becoming a completely unrecognizable person, tequila and quickies with Peter and all.
And honestly, that’s pretty much it! We’re keeping it high and tight this episode, using these plot lines to good effect, so kudos to everyone in the writer’s room! Here we go.
We open up on a deposition introducing us to a suit being brought by Wendy Searle (Celia Keenan-Bolger), who is in a wheelchair for life because she was struck from behind by a driverless car called the T-Port. She’s being represented by Louis Canning, and the man at the wheel of the car at the time, Tim Brewster (Steven Boyer) is being represented by Lockhart, Agos, & Lee, as is the representative of the driverless car company, Charles Ephraham, played by Peter Woodward. Tim says he was unable to override the controls of the driverless car when he noticed he was about to rear-end the other car, and Charles says that isn’t possible. And since their ideal outcomes are starting to diverge a bit, Canning recommends in the elevator that Tim break with Charles and get a lawyer of his own. And guess who he recommends? Yup. Alicia Florrick.
Speaking of Alicia, she’s at her first vote of the Chicago Election Board, where Frank Landau (Mike Pniewski) is reminding her that she promised to vote yes on this. No matter what it even is. It turns out to be a vote on either renewing the existing contract with the voting machine company that the city currently uses, KLT, or moving to a different one, Swan Systems. She ends up voting the way Landau asked her to, but she seems to feel really bad about it, and immediately gets reamed out by Craig Hallman (Ned Eisenberg) afterward for not thinking for herself. She also runs into Jason Crouse in her lobby, who’s already working on the driverless car case, and asks him to research possible connections between Landau and KLT, and to “talk sometime” (HAVE THEY BONED OR NOT), which turns out to be that night at 7:00. Pretty date-y time, but okay, guys. Enjoy your business chat with no sex.
As always, Eli Gold is frantic somewhere, and this time it’s because Vice is reporting (accurately) that Alicia and Peter Florrick haven’t shared a bed in three years. So basically the campaign needs a favor from Alicia, and he starts trying to get her on the phone. But she’s kind of busy right now revisiting the past, sitting in the Lockhart, Agos, & Lee lobby, talking to Lucca Quinn about how she doesn’t miss this life, how she’s much more relaxed now. You know, just some stiff, awkward banter between BFFs. Then we get a lot of drama-eyes between Alicia and everyone as they take their seats; they clearly didn’t know she was on this driverless car case. But soon enough, we’re learning how the T-Port works, with a combination of lasers and radar, and redundant technologies that ensure it’s safer than any other car on the road. And part of that is because it’s always adapting and learning more about its surroundings, which Alicia exploits to point out the fact that that means it starts out with some kind of dearth of information to begin with. There are some things the car doesn’t know right away, right? So maybe one of the factors associated with the accident is one of them. It’s a great argument, and one I’m surprised she was even able to get out with all the ice queen realness Alicia was emanating throughout this entire deposition. For real, on another level. The (law) library is open.
Back at her apartment, Alicia is having margaritas with Jason, and he’s so surprised by her making him that I reject my earlier thesis that they were a symbol of his entry into her life. So now I have no idea where these margaritas came from, but clearly they Mean Something. Anyway, these two are dancing around the whole insurance dealie — Alicia needs Jason to sign some papers that somehow protect Alicia if he ever beats up another judge. He eventually does it, and the two of them are about to celebrate with some frozen mini tacos, when the doorbell rings, and it’s Peter and everyone he’s ever met who wears a suit. Turns out he needs to stay with her while he’s in town, for appearances, and she should probably start picking up her phone when Eli calls. Peter and his entire office files in, the two bros have some awkward conversation where Jason becomes even more attractive for not trying to throw his weight around, and then excuses himself.
Over in Eli’s office, Nora-No-Last-Name (Nicole Roderick) is being summoned into Eli’s office like a disobedient pet: “C’mere Nora! C’mere! Quick!” He wants to know if the woman he just saw disappear into Ruth Eastman’s office is Courtney Page, whoever that is. He sends her in to see if she has a scar on her hand, and for god’s sake Nora, don’t tell us anything about your personal life! Just keep toiling namelessly in the background while Eli does his desk slapstick. She isn’t able to see the scar when she goes in, which Nora comes back to report, and as if by magic, she reveals three details about herself! I only caught two, because I was so excited, but she has an MBA from Syracuse and studied French poetry at the Sorbonne. Thank you, Good Wife writers. Keep those details coming!
But back to this meeting between Ruth and the woman who turns out to be not only Courtney Page, but VANESSA MOTHER-EFFING WILLIAMS. Hell yes. She wants to endorse a candidate, but she’s worried about the Florrick marriage. Aren’t we all, Courtney. She wants to sit down with the family and observe them, and Eli panics and says she should go to “the birthday party”. It’s no one’s birthday, but I guess we’ll figure that out later!
In the ongoing deposition, we discover that Wendy, the wheelchair-bound victim of the crash, has had many accidents over the years, and needs corrective lenses, which she wasn’t wearing at the time of the accident. Supposedly she doesn’t need them for driving, but she was texting at the wheel, about twenty seconds before the accident, no less, which we find out from Alicia’s merciless cross. Canning accuses her in the elevator of blaming the victim, and she literally hip checks him and says, “Watch it.” “You used to be a nicer person!”, he calls after her, and I couldn’t agree more. What is happening to you, Saint Alicia?
Back at her apartment, Jason has done some digging on the T-Port, and discovered that unfortunately, the car is very safe and he doesn’t really have any accidents to report. But. About a month before the accident, they added a “fuzzy driving” feature, which makes the car a little more aggressive like a human driver, because before, the car was too safe. It would stop at a four-way stop and wait for every single person to go before it would move. So they made it more human, and effectively less safe, but in a way that’s designed to make it more safe. Also, Jason found out that the hard drive of the car was erased after the accident, which is very strange indeed. And finally, their flirty banter is still there, so he’s clearly not pissed about getting taco-blocked by Peter the other night.
Meanwhile, proving my theory that no one in this world has a phone except for Alicia, Eli, and Kalinda Sharma, may she rest in peace, Craig Hallman shows up at Alicia’s apartment to accuse her of being a stooge for Landau on the Election Board. He says he’s corrupt, and the only way for Alicia to fight it is by voting with him, and if she does, he’ll nominate her to take the Chair in Frank’s place. She doesn’t want it, so that’s a weird incentive to give her, but his parting words are more convincing: “Don’t let corruption happen. It’s as easy as that. Just don’t.” Hard to argue with that.
Back at the deposition, we’re finding out more about this fuzzy driving feature, and Ephraham gets asked why the hard drive was erased. He claims it was damaged by the force of the accident, but Tim Brewster says that isn’t possible, and it’s never occurred before in similar accidents. Then a voice from the back pops up, belonging to some guy we’ve never seen before, who is revealed to be a man by the name of Anthony Edward Dudewitz (Joey Slotnick), the original developer of the T-Port. He designed the interface, and there’s no way it could be manually erased. Also, he’s the only person so far in this episode being a bigger dick than Alicia, so welcome aboard, Mr. Dudewitz!
Alicia steps out into the hallway briefly to meet with Jason, and he says there is a connection between KLT and Landau, but it’s through Landau’s wife, who owns the union who owns KLT? I’m not sure, it was confusing, but bottom line — it’s a conflict of interest. And while he’s there, he’s also seen Dudewitz do a Ted Talk, and has a question that he recommends Alicia ask him. And in case you were wondering what it is, it’s basically “Should we be afraid of robots?” and the answer is a resounding yes. He says that he intentionally made the T-Port so intelligent and adaptable that it can improve itself and ultimately transcend the original mission of its creators, which means it could have done anything from erasing its own hard drive to overriding the safety features and causing the collision with Wendy. Whoops! Hell of an admission right there!
At home, New Alicia is having shots with Peter, because they’re both all jazzed up from their days, and wanna get laid? Oh okay sure. Wait. Wait wait wait a second! These two are gonna bang it out? WHO EVEN ARE YOU, ALICIA? I think I’m going to call you Tequilalicia when you’re like this. After the sex, which seems to be over by the time Eli comes banging on the door, Tequilalicia is throwing out all these lines about how “it’s always sexier not to care” and “sex is sexier without love”, and I’m like girl I don’t even know u anymore, what happened to u.
And because the writers wanted to throw me into a full panic this week, they give us a scene where Dudewitz has a full car of passengers in the T-Port and is showing them driverless mode, taking his hands fully off the wheel just in time for the car to veer to miss a bicyclist. Tim Brewster is explaining what happened in the car at the time he was driving it, including the windows rolling down, which Dudewitz says isn’t possible without human involvement. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. And since there wasn’t anyone in the car except Tim, this might be the work of a hacker. (Repeat sound effect from earlier.)
At Grace Florrick’s fake birthday party, Peter and Alicia are playing the part of an old married couple, reminiscing on how they got together, with Grace brightly quizzing Courtney on her past. According to Ruth and Eli out in the hall, she was supposed to leave half an hour ago, so she’s either having a great time or a horrible one. Right on time to blow up this birthday ruse, Jackie Florrick and Howard Lyman show up to announce that they’re engaged (!!!), and to be blatantly racist right into Courtney Page’s face. (“I like Peter’s African-American friends.”) Peter doesn’t think Jackie’s engagement is a good idea, and Eli pulls Courtney aside for some damage control, and she tells him to cool it, seriously. He really does worry too much.
And as if there wasn’t already enough happening in the apartment, here’s Frank Landau to threaten Alicia to vote with her, and to tell her he knows Craig Hallman was there. She tells him she knows his wife is a part-owner of KLT, and he’s like “Well Hallman is part-owner of Swan Systems too, bro, what do you want from me?” So it’s already corruption wherever she turns, and she’s getting threatened by the person who put her on in the Board in the first place. Yikes. Also these are the worst body men ever, standing out in the hallway letting the wife of the Governor get threatened like that? Come on dudes.
Back at the deposition, we’re learning about whether the T-Port could be hacked, and the consensus is that it couldn’t, at least not without some trace. The only time it’s vulnerable is during a computer update, at which time you could plant a virus without it being detected. Soooo what this means is that it came from inside the company, specifically from some coworkers of Tim’s who wanted to prank him, but instead ended up putting a woman in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Um, whoops. Enjoy paying that out, Mr. Ephraham!
Meanwhile, Courtney Page tells Eli she got what she needed out of that meeting, as weird as it was. She felt like Alicia and Peter were boring, just like a real married couple, so she’s decided to back Peter.
And just to wrap up the final story line — well, not really — we go back to the Election Board, where an argument about the voting machine vendor is in full steam, and Alicia has to be the deciding vote as to whether they’ll renew the KLT license or reject it. And it’s a cliffhanger! So tune in next week to see which way she decides to go!