Episode Title: Long Way Home aka Three Cheers for Colin Sweeney
Season 3, Episode 17 | Original Air Date: March 11, 2012
Four words: Colin Sweeney Turkey Baster. Enough introduction? I think so.
In My Opinion – Episode Commentary
When I heard Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) was coming back to The Good Wife I was elated – what other character on television can play creepy and sinister while also being audacious and mesmerizing? It’s such a strange blend of contradictions, I almost feel wrong for loving him so much… but I just can’t help it. He brings out the best in all of the characters who cross his path. That’s the brilliance of Colin Sweeney. As an audience, we’re willing to buy into his story because he paints such bizarrely vivid pictures. We know enough to be curious but not enough to be terrified, which is probably what we should be more than anything else. In the end, all we’re left with is the likelihood that he’ll be in legal trouble again and, just as he would, we’re cheering for his eventual reappearance back in court, because that inevitably means more Sweeney/Florrick time and as we’ve come to realize, that’s never a bad thing.
Perjury for Lunch, Chicken Coq au Vin for Dinner
Off the top, we find out Colin Sweeney has landed in hot water. The trouble? Sexual misconduct in the workplace. Was anyone surprised? No. Also, this indiscretion really set theme for the entire episode (which also could have been entitled, “You did what on my couch?” but we’d have to wait until season six for such a descriptive title). In any case, Sweeney’s former company, Herald Equity (a business focused on biotechnology, stem cells… maybe even widgets) experienced a 30% loss of stock price, a fact which Sweeney had hoped to capitalize on in order to gain back control (flash to season one when we saw him originally lose his company). There is nothing Sweeney would like more than to be on top of the world again, but before long a former employee, Isobel Swift (Morena Baccarin) emerged from the crowd, took to the microphone and accused Sweeney of fathering her child. As Sweeney’s new crisis manager (likely by default of working at Lockhart and Associates), Eli had his this is worse than kids vomiting cheese on television face and covered it poorly. Alicia probably should have warned him, but, in situations like these it’s impossible to know what to say. “Sweeney gave me some creepy art once” is, admittedly, an awkward conversation starter. “I once found him handcuffed to a body after he murdered his dog” isn’t great either. Just saying.
Now, if there’s one thing we know about Sweeney, it’s that he’s into “unconventional” practices, so when he says he didn’t sleep with Swift, it’s not the same thing as saying he didn’t father her child. Everyone is skeptical of everything Sweeney says – it could be because it’s widely believed he killed his wife, or it could be because he is the king of manipulating details so as to appear innocent. Either way, best practice states one should believe the exact opposite of what Sweeney says if one wants the truth. The only exception to this rule is when he declares his adoration for Alicia – this is the one thing he never jokes about… ever.
Before long we find ourselves in the midst of courtroom drama, in what can only be called a classic “he said, she said” argument. Sweeney says they didn’t have sex, Swift says they did. Flash to Sweeney who confessed to Alicia and Kalinda only moments after being accused that he did in fact have sex… but not in a way that could have yielded spawn *Insert look of horror on Alicia’s face.* There was a lot of back and forth, a lot of perjury and a lot of looks of disgust from both sides of the courtroom, as well as from new Judge, Claudia Friend (Bebe Neuwirth). Swift was accused of contraceptive fraud (let’s just say she used a “gift” from Sweeney, momentarily stored it and repurposed it… with a turkey baster) and that ultimately led to Sweeney Junior. In the midst of all of this, we also learn Sweeney liked the Coq au Vin from a restaurant 20 miles from his office (a fact that strangely adds to his mystique, though no one was surprised his list of eccentricities continued to grow). The only thing that could have made this case any more entertaining would have been if Nancy Crozier had been in court instead of Victoria Adler – the innocence of Michigan would have been forever tarnished.
In the end, Sweeney seemed content, if not simply impressed, by Swift’s deception and decided to get on the fatherly bandwagon and jump into action. Yes, Colin Sweeney is now a father. Look out world…
The Caitlin Conundrum
I’ll admit, I’ve been waffling on my opinion of Caitlin for months now. Anytime she’s appeared on screen I’ve felt a teeter-totter of emotions: I like her, I don’t trust her, I think she’s competent, I sense she’s manipulative, I think she’s smart, I believe her to be conniving. Basically I’m a hot mess of uncertainty in all matters involving Caitlin, especially after last week when she “told” Alicia she had got underneath Crozier’s skin (as if that wasn’t Alicia’s plan anyways). This week, my flip-flopping was further heightened when, in a Sweeney strategy meeting, Caitlin announced to the boardroom full of associates that she was going to court. Enter Will in a Team Gardner moment for the record books. Will stepped up and said, “Actually, you’re going to court today, aren’t you Alicia?” As if this valiant moment wasn’t clap/gasp/shriek-worthy enough, on the way out of the room Alicia walked past Will and whispered “thank you” in his ear. Are you kidding me?! Could that have been any hotter/more adorable? This moment almost made up for the entire Team Gardner breakup seven episodes ago. Of course, nothing but another tequila/elevator scene could truly do that, but this… this helps… I’ll take it. Pass me a paper bag – I need to hyperventilate a little.
Meanwhile, Kalinda was busy filling a notebook on Caitlin’s sketchy behaviour (okay, not literally putting pen to paper, although one never knows what K is doing in the background), and taking note that secrets are laying just beneath the surface. If anyone can smell a weasel, it’s Kalinda. Unfortunately for Alicia, she also became aware of Caitlin’s desire to climb the corporate ladder and was forced to have a conversation, mentor to mentee. The topic? Don’t undermine me again. Enough said? Yes. Let’s move on.
The next thing we know, Caitlin gives notice and David Lee blames Alicia for the whole mess. Really, David continues to be angry that Alicia fired him last week and all of this Caitlin business seemed to be the last straw. In point of fact, we found out Alicia’s conversation with Caitlin had nothing to do with her leaving. Caitlin is pregnant and getting married. Her sly behaviour around the office? She has been busy addressing wedding invitations during work hours. Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Caitlin truly is Alicia, 15 years ago, only Caitlin doesn’t seem conflicted about giving up her career. She wants to be a Mom and a homemaker, two things I’m not sure Alicia ever truly wanted, but ended up with after she married Peter.
Like Salmon, Swimming up Stream
As though Alicia didn’t have enough on her plate, what with keeping up with Colin Sweeney and trying not to get thrown under the bus by Caitlin, word came that Alicia and the kids could be evicted from their apartment in 90 days. This has put Alicia in a tight spot. She can’t necessarily afford the $1.2 million (plus $35,000 parking spot, plus $2,000 monthly building fees) but she also doesn’t want to have to downsize. Fortunately, Alicia’s realtor has a solution: the old Florrick house in Highland Park is back on the market. Of course, if Alicia can’t afford the apartment on her own, she can’t afford the house, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit.
Stepping on the front lawn, Alicia was instantly transported to her old life and we were treated to an emotional rollercoaster worthy of another Emmy for Julianna Margulies. As Alicia moved through the house, each room brought with it a special moment. The door knob in Grace’s old room was still loose, the master bedroom evoked the sentiment of betrayal and the kitchen pantry featured a family growth chart that made everything else fall away except for the happiness Alicia’s 15 years at home had given her. The real question though: can you ever go home? In my opinion, Alicia needed this closure – she needed to walk around the house and have time to think about her own evolution. Like the growth chart etched on the pantry wall, she has changed over time – she’s not the same woman she was in Highland Park and I don’t think she could ever go back.
Bits and Bites:
Over at the State’s Attorney’s office, Cary found himself digging yet another trench outlining both his career and Peter’s political agenda. To say things are getting messy would be an understatement. This week, a blog reported that two ASAs had sex on Peter’s office couch. Cary was tasked on the case and ultimately uncovered the culprit: An ASA named Jeremy, who confessed the canoodling. Unfortunately, this meant the end of Jeremy’s career, at least for now, as Peter fired him upon hearing of his indiscretion. Feeling guilty about his own actions, Cary then came forward to Peter and disclosed his relationship with Dana. While we don’t know where this is going, Cary has asked to be put on temporary leave. Maybe he wants to go on lunch dates with Will, whose mid-day schedule is also free… or maybe he’s looking for some extra time to find a new job that will get him out of the lion’s den.
Lionel Deerfield (aka, Richard Gilmore, aka Edward Herrmann) was back this week, instructing Will on “suspension protocol.” The rules, as they are, see Will able to consult on Eli’s business, but not on legal cases. Of course, hypothetical questions about the law are always allowed, and Alicia was able to secure some good insight on the Colin Sweeney case. Hypothetically. This dance around the law should be interesting over the next few weeks, especially if it means Will playfully throwing his baseball around the office while waiting to be consulted. Side note: I'm thrilled to see Julius and/or Eli and/or David have kept their hands off of Will's beloved baseball - clearly they haven't divvied up everything in Will's office... yet.
Quotes of the Week:
Eli (to Alicia re: Colin): He’s weird with you.
Alicia (sighing): Yup.
Diane: “And so it devolves – from hopes, ideals, dreams… the glory of the law… to a turkey baster.”
Judge Friend: “I’m intrigued enough to allow plaintiff to argue contraceptive fraud. Disgusted, but intrigued.”
Colin: “Being a Dad? How hard can it be? I’ll call if I need any child rearing advice… Mmmmmm”
Cary: “I want to be clear we [Dana and I] did not have sex in your office.”
Peter: “Well I’m relieved to hear that.”
David (to Alicia): "You don't make enemies... that's what you don't do."
It’s Tammy time! The moment I’ve been waiting for since I heard it was coming… Tammy returns. Unlike many fans of The Good Wife (and, strangely, counter to my Team Gardner instincts), I don’t despise this character, and frankly, I’m rather looking forward to her arrival. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel threatened by what she brings to Will’s table (or bedroom, or bathroom, or…), or maybe it’s just because I love hearing Alicia do her “Tammy” impression (flash to season two’s “Net Worth” aka “Road Trip”)… but whatever it is, I’m excited. The fact she calls Alicia out on sleeping with Will is just a fringe benefit. Could I be any more enthusiastic for next week? Probably not… though it is difficult to top any episode with Colin Sweeney, but I’m willing to take a chance. Here’s to the last five episodes of season three being just as good as the last five episodes of season two.
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