‘The Good Wife’ Recap 7×12: Alicia Florrick and the Case of the Meddling Neighbor

I wish I could tell you that “Tracks” gave us insight about why anyone would ever want to hang out with Lucca Quinn.

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(L-R) Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, Matthew Lillard as Rowby Canton, and Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn on The Good Wife. (photo: CBS)

I wish I could tell you that Season 7, Episode 12 of The Good Wife, called “Tracks”, gave us insight about why anyone would ever want to hang out with Lucca Quinn, but it looks like that will have to wait until next week. Or never. Who knows. In addition to delving into that question, this week we’ll also be focusing on:

Alicia Florrick and the Case of the Meddling Neighbor

Rowby Canton and the Case of the Contentious Song

Eli Gold and the Case of the Best Daughter Ever

Now here. we. GO. Lights up on Alicia’s apartment building, where masses of her clients and delivery men are apparently knocking on the wrong door, to apartment 603 instead of 903. Apartment 603 houses Crystal Dosek (Alexandra Wentworth), who is getting repeatedly annoyed by this mistake. After first knocking on 603, our old friend Rowby Canton (Matthew Lillard), from back in Season 5, finds his way to Alicia, and says he needs legal help, as his old record label is claiming they own a song he never recorded, but posted online, that then went viral. He also apparently hired Cary Agos, who had a similar experience with Mrs. Dosek, who comes up to remind Alicia that this is a residential building. Which sounds like a definite threat to me.

Bea Wilson (Kelly Bishop) was also wandering around the building, and as she’s sitting down to lunch with Monica Timmons, I realize that ohhhhh this is one of the clients who left Lockhart, Agos, & Lee after Diane Lockhart argued that pro-life case. And now she’s not satisfied with Alicia. Monica picks right up on that, and passes the info back to Diane, who offers her the $4 million account if she can get Bea back in the door.

At Peter Florrick’s campaign office, which is shutting down, Eli Gold is coming in to check on Ruth Eastman leaving, but surprisingly not to gloat. They both seem sad, and Ruth warns Eli that Peter is going to be in some trouble coming off a loss. Someone’s likely to take a (figurative) shot at the governor, and while she doesn’t know whom, she warns Eli to “watch out for friends”. He also shows a rare glimmer of maturity, by sharing, “I wish I had been better to you.”

And here comes the first of our Lucca Quinn weirdness. Immediately upon meeting her before his deposition at LA&L, Rowby decides he’s in love, and is coming on incredibly strong. In the deposition itself, opposing counsel’s lawyer, Andrea Stevens (Christine Lahti) explains that she and her client, record label head Damon Stryk (Douglas Hodge) are issuing Rowby a cease and desist. He’s gotta pull the video because his contract says he owes them another album, and they want this to be on it. Rowby says he submitted a second album, but Damon says he rejected it, and since Rowby doesn’t take the paltry $1500 they offer for the song, they’re asserting a copyright interest and pulling the video down themselves.

Meanwhile, in slapstick news, Diane realizes they have Bea Wilson at the firm at the same time as Alicia and Lucca, so they’re trying to hide everybody from each other. Diane also accuses Cary of sabotage, which seems particularly tone deaf, because why?? but he didn’t know both parties would be there at the same time. Back in the deposition room, they can’t reach an agreement, so Rowby’s old label is suing to the tune of $3.1 million in damages. He wants Lucca and Alicia to represent him, but how is he planning on paying?

At Alicia’s apartment, Eli shows up at the door and tries to get out a sentence by claiming it’s about work, but Alicia closes the door in his face. Moments later, an equally devastating knock — Mrs. Dosek has an eviction notice from the Homeowner’s Association to serve to Alicia because she’s running a business out of her home, which isn’t allowed. She has one week to respond.

Also say your goodbyes to tiny Slapstick Office, because Eli is leaving it forever. And one of my favorite people on the show ever, Eli’s daughter Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele) wants it. And more broadly, wants a job that would allow her to occupy it. Eli recommends she go see Alicia about that, which, frankly sounds like the worst idea ever, but okay!

Back in the music case, presided over by Judge Louisa Page (Marsha Mason), we’re getting an explanation for why Rowby’s second album was rejected: it wasn’t substantially similar to his first, which is dictated in the terms of his contract. And also it wasn’t a hit. Which isn’t dictated in the terms of his contract, but clearly has a lot to do with the rejection.

Marissa takes her dad’s advice and shows up at Alicia’s, bearing some great advice for Grace Florrick on fighting the Homeowner’s Association — figure out who else in the building is working from home, because there are sure to be people. Alicia is super excited to see Marissa, un

Marissa here to see Alicia. Also has some great tips for fighting the Homeowner’s Association, suspects there are other home offices in the building. Wait for a delivery man in the lobby, follow him upstairs. We’re excited to see Marissa. Until she asks for a job and says the word Eli, which turns out to be an incantation that summons the frosty Alicia we all know and love.

The prosecution in the music case has called Dr. Morris Weiner (Ethan Phillips), who’s an expert on the composition of pop songs. He says they all have hooks, and while Rowby’s first album does, his second does not. Then Lucca quizzes him on “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, simultaneously discrediting the witness and giving Rowby a big old boner. In response, the defense calls another expert, Kermit Corriel (Rodney Richardson), who says neither album was strictly pop, and both are substantially similar; just like Picasso in his Blue Period and Crystal Period, Rowby is an artist whose work changes as he creates more of it. Since there’s no objective truth, Judge Page seems just about to rule in favor of Rowby’s good-faith intentions to fulfill his contract, when the prosecution say they want to argue he actually wrote the song while under contract. And the video he posted online proves it, with a timestamp just minutes before his contract expired.

Having gotten iced out at Alicia’s, Marissa wants to know what’s going on between her dad and Alicia. Specifically if he’s sleeping with her. Which I’d laugh at, except this show already paired Alan Cumming up with Vanessa Williams, so anything can happen. Eli tells Marissa the voicemail story, and she leaves, clearly about to go do something to help. (Quick question: why are the kids in this series so much more equipped to take care of things than their adult parents?)

Meanwhile, Rowby is insisting he didn’t write the song under contract, but that the timestamp is from California, while he posted the video in Chicago, which is two hours ahead. He said he composed the song on the spot after he woke his son up celebrating the end of his contract at a party with his friends. Rowby also asks Lucca out in the elevator, saying he wrote her a song, which I’d expect to be a non-starter, given that she’s his attorney, but NOPE. Cut to them making out at a bar, and then her taking him home for an hour because she likes artists and he has a babysitter and GUYS DO WE HAVE SEXUAL ETHICS IN CHICAGO LAW OR WHAT. Guarantee you’re not allowed to do that, and are jeopardizing the case by doing so.

Especially because on the stand the next day, Rowby is having trouble not making sex references. Perfect. Andrea is challenging his assertion that he took two years to write eight songs, and two hours to write one more, after finding a lyric to the song (which is called “Good Morning, Magic Sunshine”, I should’ve said) in his phone from 23 days before his contract ended. Turns out it was something cute his son said, which only later found its way into the song, but they’re claiming it’s work product. Alicia has a great argument for that, pointing out that A.A. Milne didn’t start writing Winnie the Pooh when son was born, and Bob Dylan didn’t dream up Tangled up in Blue the day he got married, even though those things inspired each artist’s creative output. As Lucca puts it, “It comes down to inspiration; observing the world is not the same as composing.” The judge agrees, and the case is dismissed, at which point Lucca and Rowby make out in front of everybody. And Alicia fires her. Just kidding, she just makes a confused face as Lucca puts her firm on the line with a game of public tonsil hockey.

At a Homeowner’s Association meeting, Baby Lawyer Grace is standing in for Alicia, calling out the other members of the Board who are breaking the HA rules, like a day trader who works from home, a man who has call girls into his apartment, and Mrs. Dosek herself, who has a subletter. They quickly decide to table the discussion, and Alicia swoops in to apologize to Grace for making her handle this very big thing. Just kidding. I don’t think she even knows that her daughter is solely responsible for saving them both from eviction.

Over at Rowby’s, Lucca is getting a song song to her in a robe. (Oh and I forgot!! In the bar, she said that she loves artist, but she loses interest in them right away. Red flag red flag red flag, but sure, go on.) She gets a text right in the middle of the song, which she checks, because she’s the worst, and finds out that Rowby is now being sued for copyright infringement on another kid’s song, “Moony Moonykins”, for $2.8 million this time.

In court, Rowby claims that the two songs aren’t similar, kids just have smaller brains (basically), so there’s less that will grab them right off the bat. He puts notes from the two songs on top of each other, and they don’t match up, partly because, as Andrea Stevens claims, Rowby left out performance elements like kazoos and clapping. Unfortunately, those elements aren’t legally protected; you can only copyright the composition, but they’re still claiming major similarities, especially when you break the song down into tiny chunks. It’s getting into ridiculous minutiae, and the judge has had enough — she’s gonna go away and make her decision.

Back at LA&L, another of the lost clients from Diane’s renegade phase, Lila Dunne (Nance Williamson), is also thinking of returning, especially if Bea Wilson is doing it. And of course, Alicia is in the building again while this is going on, because they really can’t figure this out. Andrea trying to settle; she can’t break the contract, but she’s open to other suggestions. Meanwhile, Lucca and Rowby are making out in the elevator (GENIUS, DEFINITELY NO CAMERAS IN THERE), and Lucca spots Lila and figures out what’s going on. She alerts Alicia that they need to keep an eye on their clients, and when she hears the verdict has come in, she goes in to get it while Alicia stays home to make calls. Cary tells Lucca about the potential deal, but she tells him to go to hell because she assumes he’s part of stealing their clients. Which turns out to be a real problem, because the judge makes a summary judgement for the plaintiff, saying the song was plagiarized. So she just lost her kissy-face buddy ALMOST THREE MILLION DOLLARS. Sorry for the repeated caps, I just do not understand the allure of this woman.

Alicia is having some real trouble getting Bea Wilson to agree to stay with their firm, so she’s officially losing clients that Grace got for her in the first place, with all that cold-calling. So, like any rational mother, she fires Grace. Or she just won’t let her work for the firm anymore, because her grades are down. Also because Grace has been taking care of Alicia of late, and it should be the other way around. Okay good, I’m actually glad this is happening. Welcome back to your senses, Alicia. We’ve missed you.

Even though she just rejected a settlement that would’ve put him in the black instead of the red, Lucca is back at Rowby’s. Of course. And guess what, SHE’S ALREADY OVER IT. She gets up and is just walking away, and he goes, “Where are you going?” and her response is, “Back to real life.” Oh very cool, you’re a nightmare. Bye bye.

Back at Alicia’s apartment, Cary comes by to pitch her and Lucca on rejoining Lockhart Agos, as clients clearly want Alicia and Lucca as lawyers, but the structure of Lockhart Agos. And because of that, Bea and Lila are going to keep looking. Alicia says she isn’t interested, and the next person to show up is my girl Marissa, here to get the best acting out of Julianna Margulies all season. Marissa wants Alicia to forgive Eli, and Alicia comes back with the most beautiful, heartfelt, “I hurt. It hurt me.” I done got wrenched. Marissa asks her to at least just call him and say he’s forgiven, but that she just can’t see him for a while, but Alicia refuses. Everyone’s upset, Marissa leaves, and that’s where we leave it this week. Woof. What an emotional cliffhanger. Cannot wait for next week.

‘The Good Wife’ Recap 7×12: Alicia Florrick and the Case of the Meddling Neighbor