Welcome back to Season 7, Episode 19 of The Good Wife, “Landing”, where we seem primed to end this series with Peter Florrick murmuring, “Not the good wife, the best wife,” and me screaming. But that’s still three episodes down the road, so let’s hop into the one we had last night. Here are the plot lines we were working with:
The Case of Canada and the NSA
The Case of Diane Lockhart’s Missing Husband, Who Reappeared For The First Time In Three Years
The Case of Really And Genuinely, Why Are Alicia And Jason An Item At All?
The Case Of Peter Florrick And The Ignominious Arrest
We begin by being reintroduced to Jeff Dellinger, the former NSA agent played by Zach Woods, who apparently had some time off of Silicon Valley to shoot, so we created a plot around him. He’s been hiding out in Iceland, but just landed in Toronto, Canada, hoping to transfer to Phoenix, Arizona for his mother’s funeral. Except that Jeff makes the amateur mistake of calling his former coworker Tyler Hopkins (Tobias Segal), whose conversations are being listened to be — you guessed it! — the NSA. Specifically Stephen Dinovera (Michael Urie), who blows up his spot, leaving Jeff in a literal tug of war between US Customs and the Canadian people, each of whom believe they should be able to take custody of him.
Back in Chicago, Alicia Florrick is doing her usual damnedest to gross me out with how much of her personality she can erase while crawling all over Jason Crouse, and you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s working. In between rounds of tonsil hockey, she lets slip that she’s getting a divorce, and somehow that turns into a really big deal for the entire episode. Maybe because Alicia gets interrupted right after telling him? Her phone rings with two calls simultaneously, one sending her to Toronto to help out Jeff, and the other from Eli Gold informing her of Peter’s imminent arrest.
Although there was no mention of it, it’s been a minute since we spent much time with Lucca Quinn, so she’s going to Canada too. And it’s gonna be a real fun trip for her I think, because she gets to watch Alicia brood over Jason up close and personal. The two women meet up with Jeff, and they’re trying to figure out who holds jurisdiction over the pre-clearance area, where Jeff was taken into custody. Alicia calls Diane for help, and truly you will never guess who Diane recommends that Alicia will follow up with: Jason. Apparently he knows a little somethin’-somethin’ about international law, because he is mysterious and this is a convenient plot device.
Back in the United States, we see Diane’s husband Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole) for the first time in recent memory, and like most of the female characters in this show at this point, Diane is trying to get that D. After Kurt puts her off with that old classic, “Let’s talk”, she assumes he wants a divorce, but actually he wants to sell his business and move in together. How could I forget that these two don’t even live together. Anyway, he wants Diane to review the contracts, and she’s so relieved that he isn’t divorcing her that she hops right on that D.
At the Toronto Airport, Alicia calls to ask Jason about her NSA case, and he informs her that the only excuse they have to detain you is if you make a false or deceptive statement, so she basically needs to prove that that didn’t happen. The only problem with that strategy is, your boy Stephen at the NSA listened in on the two of them talking about it, so now he knows how to oppose them at trial.
Lucca ends up staying in Toronto to supervise, but Alicia flies home to her real life, which is getting a little #tooreal. She comes home to Peter and Eli holed up in her apartment, talking about his arrest the next day. Except! Connor Fox is a wily fox, and shows up at Alicia’s to arrest Peter when he isn’t expecting it, hoping to catch him “in his shirtsleeves”. Which is a real expression we used in this, just when you thought we were taking Alan Cummings’ American accent seriously. Alicia goes into Good WifeTM mode, and throws a tie around his neck and a coat over his cuffs, so he at least gets to keep his dignity. “You will not embarrass my husband!” she squawks proudly, a complete reversal from where I felt like we’d gotten just a few weeks ago.
Back in Toronto, we’re meeting Nora Valentine (Jayne Atkinson), a Justice of the Peace who’s going to introduce us to a game called Everyone Shit On America that I rather enjoyed. Her first order of business? Everyone stop interrupting each other, because we aren’t heathens, we’re Canadians. And so help me god, while you’re under my Canadian roof, you’ll be polite. Alicia and Lucca are representing Jeff, and Gerald Gallo (Chuck Cooper) is here for the United States’ interests, promptly insisting that Jeff did make a deceptive statement by telling a border agent that he never committed a crime, which is a lie. At the defense table, Alicia picks up her phone to make a call, and Jeff warns her off of it, a warning that Stephen hears over at the NSA, that clues him into the fact that they know they’re under surveillance.
At Lockhart & Friends, which is what I’m assuming we’re calling this law firm now, David Lee is working quite happily with Diane again — because sure — looking over this contract for the sale of Kurt’s business to a business called PGT Ballistics. Apparently Kurt is asking for just 60% of its value, and David wants to know why. Diane pretends not to know why, because she doesn’t want to hurt his manly pride, but is also pretty interested.
Meanwhile, Mike Tascioni is working on Peter’s case, and wants to hire an investigator. AND YOU GUYS. YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO HE CHOOSES. Yes, you will, because it’s obvious. He chooses Jason, who is not about that life, but doesn’t say why, so Mike has no idea and is flying blind, just wanting to find out what the prosecutor has on Peter.
Back in Canada, we’re watching the video of Jeff getting pulled aside, and although he clearly doesn’t have time to tell anyone a lie, we blow right by that, because Gallo is now pushing straight for extradition, and Your Worship Nora Valentine is ready to hear it, assuming that we Americans are ready to get a whole bunch of shade dished back at us in return, about how Canada doesn’t interrupt or surveil its citizens or keep them from universal healthcare. Canada sort of does seem to have some surveillance set up, though, because the Canadian versions of Tyler and Stephen are listening in on Gallo’s calls, listening to his trial strategy now. Dude come on. At some point, we need to move away from this device of overhearing trial strategy from various versions of a disabled bathroom.
In Chicago again, Jason sits down with Cary Agos with some questions about the Locke trial, specifically what isn’t public. We find out that the prosecution believed that Richard Locke murdered his girlfriend because he was being cheated on, while the defense insisted that the death was an accident. The reason they were granted a mistrial is because the bullets went missing, a lapse that Cary blames the crime lab for. He says it was a sloppy lab tech, someone incompetent rather than corrupt, but also drops the phrase “People change”, and is all but winking to Jason about whoever the lead prosecutor was on the other side. It was a really weird interaction, but Jason gets the gist of it — Cary probably shouldn’t be on the stand, because it seems like he’d cause a problem for Peter. We should all be concerned.
Meanwhile, in another weird meeting, this time at Lockhart & Friends, it turns out that PGT Ballistics is just one woman, Kurt’s former student Holly Westfall (Megan Hilty). She is, of course, young and blond and Republican, and intimating a pretty intense connection between the two of them, so Diane gets her hair up about why Kurt agreed to sell her his business for $600,000 less than it was worth and ultimately tells Holly to eff off. So, wait…what? Did he cheat? I don’t understand why Diane let herself get rattled like that; it’s so unlike her.
At the Toronto airport, Tyler is swooping in to add some information, namely that Jeff was just a scapegoat for Charles Froines (Michael Kostroff), a supervisor whom he’d gotten fired earlier for blowing the whistle on him surveilling his wife or ex-wife, I can’t remember exactly. But the prosecution also plays a recording of Jeff and Tyler talking to each other about Massoud Tahan, the guy that Alicia and the panel decided it was okay to assassinate. Jeff is being accused of leaking information about that panel to the press, and Alicia is gonna wanna hear more about that, obviously, because she was on the panel and watched Captain Terrence Hix get blamed for the leak, and fired after 24 years of service.
Again, I’ll remind you that no one has cell phones in this world, so Peter is just now hearing that Jason is doing work for his case, and wants that to stop. Eli pretends not to understand why at first, then Peter shares that Alicia is divorcing him, and it all becomes clear.
Back in Canadian court — literally just the airport, PA system announcements and all — the defense gets to cross-examine Tyler, which is how Alicia comes to find out that her phone has been turned into a hot mic, and the NSA has been listening to her for months now. She seems surprisingly cool about it, because we have to throw to Lucca, who’s having a very odd reaction to this news: she’s struggling with the fact that their client is clearly guilty… of treason. DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNN. But seriously, where is this coming from? Feels very off-brand for Lucca, I never saw this coming from any of her Pinterest boards.
The Justice of the Peace seems to agree with Lucca, however, because she approves Jeff’s extradition, giving Alicia just one more Hail Mary — requesting asylum in Canada. And with that, Nora Valentine gazes up at a man observing the proceedings from the balcony, the head of Communications Security Establishment, which, yes, is the Canadian NSA. His name is Carroll McGuire (Tom Tammi), and he is very mysterious.
And now it’s time for a be-robed Diane to want to talk to her husband. She doesn’t ask him where he’s been instead of on our TV screens for the past few seasons, but she does want to call him out on his soft spot for pretty young blond Republicans, and accuses him of undervaluing his business because he was dazzled by Holly. For his part, Kurt refuses to acknowledge any of this and wants to honor his handshake agreement with Holly. I’ll ask again: did he cheat, or what is any of this?
And dashing over to the other married couple on this show, Alicia and Peter are talking about what a conviction might mean for Peter. Apparently Connor Fox sent over a plea deal, and it’s three years in prison. Alicia was expecting probation, but Tascioni apparently thinks they have a case, which leaves us, in Peter’s words, “Right back where we started”. Um yeah except the writing is worse and the characters have devolved into unrecognizable stereotypes, but sure sure sure, you do you.
And now, I hope you’re ready for the one nearly-intelligent part of this episode because it’s about to speed by. Lucca and Alicia stage a phone conversation discussing Jeff Dellinger’s value to the Canadians as a former NSA employee, hoping that the Canadians will overhear and realize that it’s true, he does have value to them. Stephen eavesdrops on this conversation as well, and figures out what the two women are up to, but it’s too late — Jeff is granted asylum in Canada, and hoo boy, Lucca does not seem to like this at all.
At Lockhart & Friends, Kurt lingers outside Diane’s office door, because again, this is a world without phones, and the only way to have a conversation with anyone is to show up without warning. Diane gives him permission to do whatever he wants with his business, and Kurt reveals that what he wants to do is find another buyer, not because there was anything actually untoward happening with Holly, it seems, but because he loves Diane and wants to honor her feelings. Okay, you almost got me there, Good Wife writers. Almost.
And for the final scene of the episode, Alicia lets herself back into her apartment, only to find Jason waiting there. (For real, though, how many people have your keys, girl?) She says she didn’t mean to throw him off with divorce stuff, but it seems like she did, because Jason just keeps asking what she wants; why she’s getting divorced. She tries to pull the “my husband slept with prostitutes” card, but Jason is like “Nah girl, that was seven years ago, WHAT DO YOU WANT?” And she’s like, “You”, and we go to blackout. WOW, THE SUSPENSE. (JK she clearly gets divorce and they end up together, even though she quite obviously needs to be alone for a good long while.) See you next week!