'The Good Wife': Aaron Sorkin skewered, Blake and Kalinda burn the place down

scott-porter-archie-panjabi-good-wife.jpgIn this week's episode of "The Good Wife," Will and Alicia get a step closer to the voice mail resolution, "Social Network" screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is the subject of a thinly-veiled commentary and Blake and Kalinda nearly set my TV ablaze.

Case of the Week

Attorney Viola Walsh ( Tom Hanks' wife Rita Wilson) has passed off a case to Diane and it's none other than Patrick Edelstein, the founder of "Sleuthway.com," which is the not-even-thinly-veiled ripped-from-the-headlines case about Zuckerberg and Facebook. Edelstein is suing over a movie being made about his rise to fame/power/money in a defamation suit, though the lawyer in me is wondering why he (and Zuckerberg) aren't going after Right of Publicity.

Lockhart & Gardner will be in charge for a week while Viola is forum-shopping, as Illinois is friendlier for defamation suits. The attorney for the movie studio is Burl Preston, the wonderful Oscar-winning F. Murray Abraham (have you seen "Amadeus"? If not, you should. It's excellent.)

Edelstein is quite the smartie pants, as he can practically defend himself against the movie studio's attorneys. And Will comes up with a defense where he only needs the screenwriter to say he's sorry. Will thinks he wants to say it because the screenwriter wants to take credit for his story, which is an interesting commentary on Aaron Sorkin, writer of "The Social Network." We'll call that the "A Few Good Men" defense:

"I think he wants to say it. I think he's p***** off that he has to hide behind all this. I think he wants to say that he made a command decision and that should be then end of it. He eats breakfast 300 yards away from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill him. And nobody's going to tell him how to run his unit, least of all the Harvard mouth in his f****** white uniform. I need to shake him, put him on the defensive and lead him right where he's dying to go."
Seen "A Few Good Men"? If not, you should. It's also excellent. And guess what? Sorkin also wrote "A Few Good Men." Synergy!

When the screenwriter Rand Blaylock is brought in for a deposition, his defense is he was making up "truth of a character" within the storytelling, but Will maintains that the screenwriter was getting back at the "small, anonymous" bloggers who made fun of his drug use by ascribing their characteristics to Edelstein's character in the Sleuthnet movie. Interesting. Bloggers have been critical Sorkin's treatment of female characters and Sorkin himself has been candid (recently) about his cocaine problem.

Back to the "fictional" case, Will realizes that a defamation suit is not winnable and they should instead be going after Right of Publicity (circle gets the square!), saying the studio benefited from Edelstein's "story" and he should share in that money.

The lawyers argue the movie is a "transformative work of art," which is exactly what Alicia said they'd argue and told the firm to look into their product placement in the movie. There were 23 companies who bought product placement. Oopsy.

But then Viola Walsh shows up and is hopping mad that Diane is "stealing" Edelstein away from her. She calls Diane some nasty names and Edelstein overhears, so he fires her.

Back to the lawsuit, the firm brings in a person who works for the "product integration" department of a major automobile company. He says the movie was sold to him as the Edelstein movie versus "The Social Network" and he never would've put his product in a movie about a fictional computer programmer.

The movie studio settles with Edelstein for $35 million and an apology, which is what Edelstein really wanted in the first place. The Sorkin stand-in goes on a news show and sort of apologizes, but also says that litigous society is finding end runs around the 1st Amendment. Will and Diane comment that he's "not wrong," but the 1st Amendment really has very little to do with his screenplay. It was free speech if it was about a made-up person. Not once it's a real person that they just invent a story about.

Alicia and Owen

Alicia is on a road trip with Owen, helping him move from Oregon to Chicago. The "No Exit" conceit is used a lot on TV, but we really like Dallas Roberts as Owen, so we'll allow it, to borrow a legal term.

They get high in a little motel and Alicia tells Owen about the infamous voice mail. She wants to know from Owen if she should ask Will about the voice mail's contents, which she still does not know. High Alicia making a little fun of Tammy is hilarious, just btw.

Owen says she's in love with Will and then he gets to be funny in his own right by doing a Will impression. Seriously, spin-off for Alicia and Owen going on road trips. It can be a summer show, CBS!

When they get to Chicago, Owen tells her that she's too good of a person to cheat on Peter and her family. 

Kalinda, Cary and Blake


Kalinda is questioned in the Dr. Booth beating (remember? What Blake did using Kalinda's baseball bat?). Kalinda's prints were on a glass found at the scene. A type of glass Dr. Booth doesn't own, but Lockhart & Gardner does.  

Kalinda enlists her Lana, whom we saw in several Season 1 episodes, to help her look into Blake. Lana tells Kalinda that Blake's old MS 13 gang is moving to Chicago and hooking up with everyone's favorite drug kingpin Lamond Bishop.

Cary conducts a search on Blake's place and finds an email to Bishop, while Lana wines and dines Kalinda. Lana offers Kalinda a job, telling her that her firm is representing Bishop and that puts the firm in danger. At the end of the episode, Kalinda is approached by Blake to "talk." He frisks her for weapons. Then she frisks him.

He says he knows she planted the Bishop email and they both strip down to prove they aren't wearing a wire. Blake says he's "a fixer." She says she didn't plant the email and tells him the Feds know MS 13 is joining forces with Bishop. Blake confesses to investigating the firm for Bishop, who wanted to know who would be resistant to a takeover and who would be an asset.

She asks about the baseball bat and he returns it. She kisses him, he calls her Leila, asks her what she cares about and then she wallops him with the bat. With his gasping breaths, he tells "Leila" that he phoned her husband.

Alicia and Will

Finally, Alicia goes to speak to Will about the voice mail. She says she never got his second voice mail the day of Peter's press conference and she wants to know what he said. Will tells her that he said she made the right decision with Peter and he didn't want them to be uncomfortable. It was made very clear in that moment just how much Will does love her, because he couldn't put her in that position. I think he realized how reckless he was when he left the voice mail and what it would mean for Alicia by telling her.

Still - awww, phooey! But my hope they really resolved this now and not during May sweeps was slim.

What did you think of this "Good Wife" episode? I enjoyed it quite a bit, but then - I write that every week. It's a darn good show.

Photo/Video credit: CBS
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