‘The Good Wife’ Recap 7×20: Party Down

We’re not thirty seconds into the third-to-last episode of 'The Good Wife' before I want to slap somebody in the face.

Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies.
Chris Noth and Julianna Margulies.

Here it is, the third-to-last episode of The Good Wife, Season 7, Episode 20, “Party”, and we’re not thirty seconds in before I want to slap somebody in the face.

We start the episode in exactly the same place that we left it, with Jason asking Alicia, “What do you want?”, and the latter responding, simply, “You.” He then has to clarify that she’s not getting divorced because of him, and says, ominously, “Because that would be a bad idea.” Go on?? I thought for a moment it might finally be time for the big Jason Crouse personality reveal that I’ve been waiting for since that crowbar episode, but it turns out he just doesn’t know what they are. What a letdown. Alicia launches into a speech about saying things exactly when you mean them because you might not get another chance, and then plays her character game almost too hard by ignoring a knock at the door from her own daughter. Be quiet, Grace. Mommy horny. Jason presents some kind of gift for Alicia, and I feel like her eyes are going to goo out of her head, she’s gushing so hard until she finds out it’s for a plot of land on Mars. At which point she has a very confusing reaction. But there’s no time to explain to me what’s going on in her brain because the florist delivered funeral flowers instead of celebratory ones for Howard Lyman and Jackie Florrick’s wedding. I can already tell this ceremony will be quite the caper!

Over at Lockhart & Friends, Jason is stalking through the halls like a grumpy animal, and right into the conference room, where Eli Gold tells him that Peter Florrick’s case is going to trial and that the Governor doesn’t want Jason working on it. But Eli…does? Again, this is a concept I’d love to have explained better, but Eli wants Jason to prove Peter is guilty, so they can accept a plea bargain being offered by the AUSA.

In Alicia’s apartment, she’s dressed and ready to investigate her Martian present, and — fingers crossed — explain to me why she’s so vexed by it. And luckily for all of us, Grace Florrick arrives in what looks like an Ed Hardy dress (??) to receive some exposition. Oh, wait no, we’re getting absolutely nothing from this except a surprise visit home from Zach Florrick (Graham Phillips), who’s been missing from the series for so long that I’m starting to suspect he offended a producer. He has a surprise for Alicia, but he can’t tell her what it is, which I’m assuming means he’s engaged to a character we haven’t met yet. Or maybe Lucca Quinn?? Oh, my god, that’s my new dream, because it would just be too insane.

Lights up on Jason in Matan Brody’s (Chris Butler) office, waiting for him to wake up. He does, and Jason grills him on what happened in the Richard Locke case, whether he feels like Peter tanked their case just to “satisfy a donor”. Matan seems to feel like the kid is not only guilty, but that the crime is premeditated, saying he was covered in blood when they arrived on the scene, and the only reason the case wasn’t a slam dunk is because Peter started micromanaging it. He also shares that Locke got married a month ago, which feels like important information.

Returning to Chez Alicia, Howard and Jackie are rolling in ten minutes early, but honestly very excited about the flowers, so we shouldn’t have worried. What we should be worried about is A. the iciness of the interactions between Alicia and Zach, and B. this damn wig. I don’t know why Old Wig was replaced mid-season, but New Wig is straight-up busted and I don’t care who hears me say it. Meanwhile, Alicia is discovering that when you host a party for old people, they all show up early, and you don’t get those last ten minutes of prep time you were counting on. But one of the new arrivals isn’t quite so elderly, and she goes by the name of Hannah McCreary (Taylor Rose). And just as I suspected, she swoops right in and makes out with Zach’s face. So I’m pretty sure my theory is correct.

And back in the kitchen, you will never believe this, but the cake people sent a death cake too! Wow, incredible. And it’s time to meet Hannah! She gets introduced not as a fiancee, but as a girlfriend, so I might’ve been slightly off, but she also sucks!!!! She jumps right into her opinions about Alicia standing by her husband back in the day as if that’s a normal conversation topic, and Zach is like “Uh huh, yup, yup, nothing out of the ordinary here!” And it only gets worse from there. This girl is truly insufferable.

Meanwhile, Matan and Cary Agos are having a drink, and Matan is worried that Jason was creepily watching him sleep in his office because they’re looking for a scapegoat, and they’re likely to find one in Cary or Matan, who were the prosecutors in the case, and came into contact with the evidence.

At the party, Alicia is quizzing Grace about this Hannah person, and we find out she is twenty-three (ew), and then in breeze Veronica Loy and Owen Cavanaugh, because every episode is improved by their presence GOD BLESS YOU BOTH. But oh man are we cramming a lot of guest stars into this episode so far; we’re still only ten minutes in. And here come Peter, Eli, and Marissa to join the party, and Peter is barely in the door before he wants to pull Alicia aside and speak with her about their impending divorce. He wants to use one lawyer for the both of them because WHAT COULD GO WRONG. And they’re having a cold detached conversation about how they’re not sad about their divorce when Grace calls Alicia out into the living room to hear the news of ZACH AND HANNAH’S ENGAGEMENT I WIN GIVE ME ALL THE AWARDS. Sorry about all the caps in this paragraph, but I stand behind each and every one.

Refusing to abandon their presumed goal of having every regular cast member in the same room, Diane Lockhart and Kurt McVeigh have shown up as well, intercepting Alicia on the way to talk to Zach and asking for a conversation later. Alicia’s convo dance card filling up quick! It turns out that Zach wants to drop out of school because Hannah got a job in France, so they’re gonna move. Hey, why are we so upset? It’s not like we could possibly see him less than we already do. Genuinely, though, I feel like the script has really gotten away from us at this point because Alicia starts full-on laughing at Zach and telling him this is the most stupid thing she’s ever heard him say. Even after he leaves the room, the conversation she has with Peter is so stilted I’m baffled by it. She’s been drinking, but she decides to go talk to Zach again anyway, ignoring a call from Jason on the way out.

He’s at the police station, talking to Detective Rick Crowell (Andrew Dolan), who was the first responder at the Locke crime scene. He throws his full support behind Peter, not even flinching when Jason calls him out on being private security for the Governor’s campaign, and I’m smelling the beginnings of a rat. Jason doesn’t seem to buy it either. Oh, wait! On the way out, he casually drops the fact that Peter Florrick visited the crime scene, which was very irregular, and wanted to double check all the blood collection. Innnnteresting.

Meanwhile, Cary is wanting to lawyer up to protect himself, and he’s apparently chosen Louis Canning.

Back at the party, Alicia is talking to Zach, by which I mean koala-ing on to him and making him promise not to move to France until the conclusion of his dad’s trial. “That’s all.” LOL.

Now Jason is at the lab, discovering that the lab tech, Gretchen Luft (Rebecca Harris), processed the blood evidence herself, but that Peter decided it was mishandled and vetoed it, so she couldn’t put Locke away like she wanted to. She also encourages him to check the evidence log and says something is missing.

At the party, gang’s all here, because Lucca has arrived, and is hashing out Alicia’s deal with Jason in the kitchen. Alicia is basically having a crisis about it, saying she doesn’t know who Jason is because this Mars gift doesn’t make any sense to her, and I feel like we’re setting up a prime monologue for Jason to Explain Himself and have a Deep Character Revelation later in the episode. Maybe he loved space camp as a kid, or wants an entire planet and Alicia to himself, or blah blah blah. It’s gonna be some BS like that, I just know it.

In yet another room, Veronica, flanked by Zach and Owen, is reminiscing about Alicia’s youth when in comes Jackie to have a passive aggressive conversation. You’d think that was her right on the day of her wedding-funeral, but Veronica is having none of it and spills the beans about Alicia and Peter’s impending divorce in retaliation. But hey, you know who didn’t know? Grace. And she’s not psyched to find out like this.

Elsewhere, Diane and Alicia are having that chat, and it turns out Diane wants to turn the firm into Lockhart, Florrick & Associates, which she announced with a piece of stationery. Seems like a lost of cost to go to just for a reveal, but sure. And here come Zach and Grace, demanding answers about this divorce, and Alicia is looking for a room in which to come clean, which is giving us a fun drive-by of all the personalities at this party. They’re pissed not to be told — understandably so — especially when Zach finds out that Alicia is sleeping with her investigator. Then it turns into a real after-school special type of situation, with him comparing their two relationships, all culminating in Jason stepping out from the elevator bank because of course he does. “Hi.”

Turns out he’s just here for Eli, but he wants to talk to Alicia as well. She ices him, though, and goes to get Eli, who’s currently witnessing the marriage. Her New Wig tells him what the deal is, and he comes out to get pretty much bowled over by the amount of evidence Jason has already found against Peter. It really seems like he didn’t know any of it, because he tries feebly to defend him at first, then just takes it all in, including the fact that it seems like Peter might have stolen the bullets from the crime lab. He also asks Eli to pull Alicia out so he can talk to her.

Inside the party, Diane gets a call from Canning, who wants to work with her, as she’s representing Eli. He wants to join forces with her in order to be more effective for their clients.

Back outside, Jason wants to talk to Alicia so badly that he makes her leave the party and go talk outside. It’s about the Mars property, it was just supposed to be a fun thing. “I like space, I like stuff about space.” You guys I win AGAIN. Through more monologuing, he finally gets around to saying that he wants her too, just that he doesn’t like to feel “stuck”, and Alicia has this whole life in Chicago that anchors her to the city. Basically, he wants her to come with him in the future the next time he gets itchy, and she says she needs to think about it. And then they kiss in front of her building because I’m sure there are no photographers in this whole city who would be parked outside the building in advance of the Governor’s trial, trying to get a photo of his wife smooching on her employee.

Back inside, Marissa is talking to her dad about how she wants to go to law school, which honestly seems like a pretty good fit. She gets a phone call from Mike Tascioni, who says he can’t argue in court because his dog Tom is sick. And as if that wasn’t crisis enough, here comes Diane, needing to know whether Eli stands to lose by joining forces with Cary on this Locke case thing. We don’t get an answer on that right now, instead cutting to Eli questioning Peter about why he vetoed the blood evidence. He claims the blood spatter was compromised by the lab tech who collected it. Peter claims that he was there because the case was going to be so heavily scrutinized, to get ahead of it. He says the lab tech walked through the blood, so if he’d left it in, it would’ve lost them the case. He then discovered a chain of similar mistakes in this woman’s past, so he hired someone else to check over the ballistics. And guess what! They happen to be at this very same party!

That’s right folks, it’s Kurt McVeigh, in the kitchen having a nice bowl of something and canoodling with Diane, and making Alicia visibly question everything when she sees them all over each other. She goes off to sit in a room by herself, where Hannah comes upon her, and they have a frank conversation about how Alicia thinks the two of them are making a mistake getting married so quickly. She has a little monologue of her own about what marriage should be, how it should be fun and flexy for everybody, and not necessarily permanent. And I’m not sure yet what gears are turning in Alicia’s mind, but some certainly are.

Outside the party in a vehicle somewhere, Eli is meeting with Jason to convey Peter’s excuses, and to accuse him of letting his feelings for Alicia affect his work on the case. Jason does his little smile thing, and says if he really thinks that he should fire him, and then I think Eli does?? It’s hard to tell. But the next thing is, Jason goes back to talk to that lab tech again, to confront her with her spotty past and make it clear that if she swears on the stand to the version of events she originally told him about, then she’ll be prosecuted for perjury. He wonders if she’s setting Peter up, and I’m wondering the same thing, and who else is involved.

Bopping back into the party, Alicia gets a call from Canning trying to scare her into giving Peter up, by warning her that since she waived spousal privilege, she might get pulled into Peter’s whole drama. I guess she’s had a lot of interactions with Lloyd Garber over the years, and Canning wants her to think that puts her at risk of some blowback herself, at which point she promptly hangs up on him and goes back to watching this insane movie that’s on in every room, that I can’t even begin to analyze for you.

The party is finally winding up, and Alicia is saying goodbye to everybody, having a series of insane interactions. Eli wants to talk, Marissa wants hugs, Alicia wants Kurt to teach her how to be happy, Stockard Channing wants me to love her (and I do), Jackie wants to be mysterious AF, saying she won’t be seeing Alicia again, and Zach and Hannah are getting her blessing. The only person who’s still there is Peter, whom Alicia actually encourages to stay. They toast to their divorce, and we do a slow zoom in, with a final cameo from Insane Movie.

Okay, I’m thoroughly confused, but I guess I’ll see you here next week, same time, and then one more time after that, and everything will be clear and satisfying and totally worth the weirdness? (Dare to dream.)

‘The Good Wife’ Recap 7×20: Party Down