If you hate instant gratification and prefer being teased with a storyline and then waiting a week to see its conclusion, boy are you gonna’ love The Good Wife Season 7 Episode 16, “Hearing.” It focuses on the following topics, but please don’t worry, because it never resolves a single one.
Alicia Florrick and the Case of the Raging Libido.
Veronica Loy and the Case of the Bad Investment.
The Grand Jury and the Case of Literally What Is The Grand Jury About.
Diane Lockhart and the Case of the All-Female Firm.
Lights up on Alicia Florrick and Jason Crouse’s sex palace, which is essentially a dorm room; all that happens inside it is sex and ice cream and pizza and deep talks. Until suddenly! There’s a doorbell, and it’s Alicia’s mother Veronica Loy (Stockard Channing), here to ruin everything. Alicia manages to hide Jason from her for about thirty seconds, while she explains that she was “Madoff-ed”, aka lost $100,000 to this guy named Gino Davidson (Nick Mennell), but pretty soon she weasels her way in there and introduces herself because c’mon, this is Veronica we’re talking about.
Oh and she’s invited Alicia’s brother Owen Cavanaugh (Dallas Roberts) as well, who brings bagels and then is swiftly followed by Eli Gold and Mike Tascioni, just to make this a farce. They want Alicia to come down to the courthouse so the Grand Jury jurors (Grand Jurors?) can see her there supporting her husband. And as if by heavy-handed magic, this is when Alicia’s Grand Jury subpoena arrives, and Veronica promptly invites him in for breakfast, which he accepts. Oh, so it’s going to be that kind of show, huh? Okay, thanks for the heads up.
At the Grand Jury proceedings the next day, we meet Connor Fox (Michael Morrison), who’ll be the one prosecuting Governor Florrick… which is really the first time we’ve gotten any confirmation that he’s the target here, mind you. Mike seizes on that right away, saying they’re either going to stand outside the courtroom and question the jurors as they come out, or keep track of the amount of time he spends questioning each one to figure out which ones are smoke screens. Connor thinks he has him here, and scornfully says he’ll just draw out the questioning of the smokescreens, but then realizes he can’t do that without pissing his jurors off and making them more likely to speak to the defense when they leave the courtroom. Advantage Weirdos!
In the office, Cary Agos and David Lee are somehow still obsessed with this “Diane Lockhart taking over the firm” thing. They want Diane to see them meeting together, so they go get on the phone with Alicia where Diane can see them, and question Alicia more about the female-leaning thing. She obviously doesn’t have any new information for them, but Diane notices the meeting, like they wanted, and seems like she’s starting to put something together.
Back at the Grand Jury, Ruth Eastman shows up for questioning, and Eli and the dog Tom, cradled in Mike’s arms, accuse her of making a deal. She insists she didn’t, and then Eli threatens a Grand Jury witness in front of the prosecutor, which I guess is fine in this Bizarro World we’ve decided on today.
Jason shows up at this guy Gino’s house to check up on the investment story, and it turns out that this guy seems pretty legit. He says he was super clear with Veronica about the high-risk element of the investment, and Jason tends to believe him, as he explains to Alicia over the phone. Alicia, for her part, appears to briefly consider phone sex in the handicapped bathroom at the courthouse, then remembers that her character was nothing like this even one season ago, and comes to her senses. Instead, she notices that inside the handicapped bathroom, she can hear the Grand Jury proceedings. And because she zero percent resembles her ethical self from seasons past, she immediately rushes out to convey this information to Eli in shrugs and points and winks, since she can’t listen to it, as a lawyer. Except she already did listen to it, and clearly tell someone else about it, so it’s all moot.
And thus begins one of the most annoying aspects of the show, which is fun sound effects so we hear what Eli does, in all its garbled, inaudible glory. I’m sure it seemed like a great idea at the time to whoever came up with it, but it made me want to throw my TV out the window. We can tell that Ruth is being questioned about Eli, but the vital information is only coming through in fits and spurts — we hear “Mr. Garber” and “trouble in 2012”, and then actual handicapped people need to, y’know, use the bathroom, so Eli has to leave and go tell Mike what he heard without telling him where he heard it. It’s all very unethical and un-Alicia, and I should let you know that I basically hate it.
But not as much as I hate the disabled person races that we’re setting Eli up in, starting now! Every time he sees an opening in the handicapped bathroom, he runs for it, only to be cut off by a person with a legitimate handicap who has no idea the earth-shaking goings on that they’re interrupting by being on crutches and needing to pee at the same time. Ugh so annoying, right??
Back in Veronica’s twisted plot line, we find out that she signed papers proving she knew what she was getting into — funding a riverboat casino — so she wasn’t cheated. Veronica keeps insisting she was, but Owen isn’t convinced, especially because his mom did something basically exactly like this in 2014 where she gave someone her Social Security Number. This bit of seemingly innocuous information makes Jason perk up, and suddenly wants to know what month this happens, and then he’s off to the elevator bank on a mission of some sort. Instead, he crosses paths with Alicia, who wants to stand too close and tell him she wants to “take him now” and asks him to do some investigation to benefit her husband. Sure, sure. These are all very rational things. Thankfully, Jason uses the opportunity to share why he was so interested in the SSN incident: he thinks it might have gotten Veronica’s name onto “the sucker list”, where you go when you’ve already fallen for something before. Apparently con men pass them around so they know who easy marks are, and it could be that Gino used one of those to set up Veronica.
And at the Grand Jury again, it’s blah blah blah bathroom guy noise about drywall, blah blah blah, and then something about “V-Lock”, which seems to be important. He storms out of the bathroom and tells Alicia and Mike that this “V-Lock” thing is apparently what the whole investigation is about. Now if only literally any of us knew what that meant. Including Eli.
And now finally we get a little slice of intelligent reality, as Owen and Veronica have gone back to Gino to ask him for their money back, and casually let slip that they have more to invest elsewhere, to the tune of $90,000. He bites, obviously, and Jason is congratulating them on their trickery outside when Alicia calls to ask him to look into what State of Illinois v Locke might be, since that’s the only thing they have to go on in Peter’s case.
And then REAL QUICK PIVOT TO THE OFFICE, here comes Diane to talk to Alicia and invite her out to a romantic lady dinner, where I was hoping we’d get some more answers. Alicia tells Diane what Cary and David Lee are afraid of, and pretty bluntly asks if they have any reason to be, and Diane says no, she isn’t starting an all-female firm. Except for the part where she is, as she asks Alicia to join forces with her, to buy Cary out. Wow interesting, not where I thought this was going. For the amount this show has leaned on “striking out with your own law firm” as a plot device in the past, I was expecting that to be what Diane was asking for, but I’m much more intrigued by this turn of events. Diane basically tells Alicia that while she’s enjoyed working with Cary, she wants to be opposite someone she can respect, who can out-race her once in awhile. She basically wants to make the firm more relevant, and knows there’s going to be some “winnowing” happening in Chicago anyway, so she wants to get ahead of it with a plan to work with Alicia to sharpen their advantage as a firm. And naturally we don’t get an answer at the end of the conversation as to which way Alicia is leaning.
But there’s still hope in the other branches of the plot! Eli shows up at Lockhart, Agos & Lee to talk to Cary about who Richard Locke was. He was apparently the defendant in a murder case where Cary was the proesecutor and claimed that the killing he was on trial for was an accident. It ended in a mistrial, and when Eli asked Cary if there was anything unusual about it, he cited the fact that Locke seemed like a working class guy but had an amazing defense team. They never looked into where the funding was coming from, but the general theory was that Locke was the son of someone important. At which point we see Eli’s little eureka moment, as he puts together who this mysterious father could be — he realizes that they’ll both be subpoenaed later to talk about this conversation, so he ends it. (But you know who won’t be subpoenaed, Eli? Me. So you could, at least, tell me and my friends The Audience what exactly is going down.)
Meanwhile, Jason shows up at Gino’s door, as Jason is wont to do, but luckily for my nerves, he’s come without his customary crowbar. Instead, he’s armed only with the recording that Owen made, with Gino’s voice on tape promising them a fool-proof investment. He doesn’t want to use it in court — which is good because it’s against the law— he just wants Veronica’s money back.
And finally, within ten minutes of the end of the episode, we get our first glimpse of Lucca Quinn, who is apparently just in this one to go, “This firm is crazy!” And also to defend Cary; she says that instead of pairing up with Diane, Alicia should go to Cary and tell her that Diane approached her. Again, a super odd choice, and not one I saw coming, but one I’m interested to see play out. And full disclosure, I also find myself wondering if this is somehow a test from Diane or Cary or both to test Alicia’s loyalty to either of them; nothing else really explains the look on DIane’s face when she saw them plotting and a conference table surrounded by people in Alicia’s life. The girl gets it, so I have a feeling more is going on here than meets the eye.
And then somehow, suddenly, we’re right back where we started, with Jason and Alicia in bed kissing in their underwear, watching a lion documentary, as Veronica bangs on the door. And guess what! We know exactly as much now as we knew at the beginning. Congratulations, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed that hour of your lives that you just spent, and I’ll see you back here again in a week’s time to see if things go any better for us.