'The Good Wife' Winners and Losers: What It Means to Opt Back In

In this week's Good Wife episode, Alicia gives a speech about opting back into the workforce. But really its a speech about seducing your old boyfriend for a job and, eventually, becoming a capital-B Boss. (Spoilers ahead.)

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In this week's Good Wife episode Alicia (Julianna Marguiles) gives a speech about opting back in to the workforce. But really its a speech about seducing your old boyfriend for a job and, eventually, becoming a capital-B Boss. (Spoilers ahead.)

As much fun as it is to see Will (Josh Charles) and Alicia pitted against each other, it's easy to forget how deep the betrayal must have felt when Alicia left to form her own firm. At one point during last night's episode, a slightly drunk Alicia asks Will why he hates her — but we already know thanks to a series of flashbacks. He took a chance on her when other law firms just saw the last name of the disgraced former state's attorney. He pushed for her even though her background check proved she lacked a killer instinct (which is obviously less true now that she's started her own firm with some of Lockhart Gardner's clients).

Alicia doesn't know that, but she does know he bribed David Lee (Zach Grenier) to vote for her (something we learned a few seasons ago). What she remembers most distinctly is buying a $300 dress for her interview with Will and imagining her mother-in-law calling her a slut for it.

And that's what it means to be a woman opting back into the workforce — doing whatever it takes and hoping someone will give you a chance, all to get to the point where you control what happens in your life. When Rayna Hecht (Jill Hennessy), the "Rainmaker" that Florrick/Agos is trying to woo, asks her what she wants, she says, "to be happy, and to control my own fate." It sounds like she's paraphrasing a proverb, but it's what she's been working on for the last five years, at the expense of some of her personal relationships.

Winners: Jim Moody, Office of Public Integrity

Loser: Will Gardner

A returning Elsbeth Tascione (Carrie Preston) manages to gain some leverage on Nelson Dubek  (Eric Bogosian) when she records him saying he'll do whatever it takes to get Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), which means Will should be free. But then he gets recorded talking in private to Jim Moody, who most likely cut a deal with the feds (why else would he fly to New York from Chicago?) So Will is still screwed, if not slightly more screwed than he was last week.

Winners: Elsbeth Tascioni and the future Tascioni, Hecht & Associates

Losers: Drunk Alicia, and Florrick/Agos

There was something very obnoxious about Clarke Hayden (Nathan Lane) and Cary (Matt Czuchry) plotting how they would pitch their women-friendly office to Rayna Hecht. Throw in the way they kept taking things over from Drunk Alicia and it's no wonder she went with Elsbeth. Also, who wouldn't want to start a firm with Elsbeth?

Winner: Bill de Blasio

Loser: Anti-Semitic Times Square costume people

The mayor's cameo was pretty lame (he appears in a video ad on repeat espousing the wonderful joys of New York City). The better, more clever "cameo" was the anti-semitic Times Square Elmo, this time a Teddy Bear who calls Elsbeth a "dirty, stinking Jew." That's terrible, obviously, but it leads to one of the best lines of the episodes, her telling Nelson Dubek "by the way, you should look into an anti-Semitic costumed bear in Times Square." Still, de Blasio comes out looking less awful.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.