julianna margulies michael fox good wife 'The Good Wife': Michael J. Fox's Louis Canning is back with a vengeanceIt’s old home week on “The Good Wife” – Louis Canning, Jonas Stern, Judge Abernathy … and that gross rat video. Yuck.

Case of the Week

Jonas Stern is back and representing an internet company that had a rash of employee suicides. Lockhart/Gardner is going after the class-action lawsuit on behalf of the families of the deceased and other employees. There is a video of one employee hanging himself in his cubicle.

But Stern up and dies, so our good friend Louis Canning takes over. Not just that case, the entire firm. Delightfully, Judge Abernathy is also back (Denis O’Hare) for the class-action internet/suicide case. His Mr. Rogers schtick in his chambers is particularly wonderful.

The surveillance video of the hanging is disallowed, Canning objects on grounds of just being used to inflame the jury. But Kalinda finds some hidden financials where the internet company paid an HR consultant to tell them how to fire people, basically. But (dun dun dun) the company also told them how to save more money – make them so miserable they quit, which is Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, which is an intentional tort (as opposed to a negligence tort). It means the firm can go for punitive damages, not just compensatory damages. Compensatory is compensating the victims’ families for the victims’ actual worth (like what the employees would have earned over a lifetime). Punitive damages are designed to discourage the company (or other companies) from behaving in the manner in question because the costs are so high. Punitive damages must have malice or intent to be awarded.

Back in court, Will goes after Kim Palmieri, the CEO of the company. On her cross by Louis, she argues she was keeping jobs in America by demanding a lot from her employees so they aren’t forced to send them overseas.

Canning gets a lift home from Alicia because he wants to offer her a job – with a fast track to a partnership and double her salary. She politely declines, but her interest is piqued.

In the case, they now get to admit the surveillance video into evidence because they’re going for IIED. Canning goes after the surveillance widow hard – she had a one-time affair, plus her husband was on an anti-depressant Elvatil. Remember Elvatil? Canning defended its maker against Alicia in the class-action lawsuit from November. He trots out that horrible mice video (why do we need to see that again, hmm?) Talk about your chickens coming home to roost.

There’s one employee, Karen Jennings, who has chosen not to be a party to the class-action suit. Kalinda talks to her and it turns out Karen advised him not to take the Elvatil because of the side effects. But she’s been hushed up by the company for uncovering the executives’ raiding the pension fund fraud. They were cutting workers to help juggle the books from the money they embezzled.

This new kettle of fish is now a RICO case (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), which basically enforces stiffer criminal and civil penalties for ongoing organized crime, which does not just include the mafia. This ongoing executive fraud, cover up and intentional infliction of emotional distress all go into a RICO charge.

But under RICO, the government seizes the company’s assets, which means the Lockhart & Gardner plaintiffs receive no compensation. So instead, Will starts to put Karen Jennings on the stand – and the CEO settles faster than you can spit. Canning makes another try at poaching Alicia, this time complimenting her smarts and skills. She still declines.

The Campaign

There’s a DCCC suit, charging Wendy Scott Carr with a lack of residency status for her husband. Eli is furious because it gives Wendy an issue, makes her look like she’s not The Man, but Peter is. And not “the man” in the good way.

A reporter named Petra Moritz gets the background info about Peter and Kalinda. She wants Mrs. Florrick on the phone or she runs with what she has about Peter not eschewing his “bimbo” ways. Eli runs Petra’s rumor by Alicia, telling her they are ruined if Petra just runs with the story. Alicia agrees to speak with her.

The conversation doesn’t go that well – but Eli very adorably jumps to Alicia’s defense.

The Affairs

Tammy gets an offer to go to London and cover the Olympics, starting in two weeks. She says she’s going – because Will can’t man up to say whether she should stay or go. In the end, he asks her to stay and now they don’t know what to do because it’s a big opportunity.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wiley (the SA’s office investigator) knows there are missing pages from Blake’s last interview and Childs thinks Matan is hiding them on purpose. Matan says he talked to Cary about the missing pages, but Cary says he doesn’t know a thing.

Cary confronts Matan and finds out about the affair. He knows he needs to tell Wiley to back off without making him so suspicious he goes to Childs anyway. He confronts Kalinda about it and tells her to be upfront with Alicia. But he goes to Wiley and asks him to show discretion about the missing interview pages because it’s personal, not criminal.  

Wiley knows Cary is protecting Kalinda and storms off, without confirming for us if he’s going to tell Childs or not.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Michael J. Fox is so great on this show. Is it too much to hope for that since he has taken over Stern’s firm that we’ll see him several times every season? We hope so.
  • Is everything coming to a head next week? It looks like the election is here. Interesting, we figured they’d draw that out until May sweeps.
  • The Alicia-Eli relationship on the show continues to be one of our favorites. There’s such nice mutual respect, wariness and cautious affection.
  • The recall on this show continues to amaze and delight. The reappearance of judges and attorneys makes it seem like a real legal community in a city, which is smaller than one might think. And the reappearance of Elvatil? Brilliant.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."