I’ll admit, in my head, Taye Diggs has been under contract with The Good Wife since day one, patiently awaiting the week when his script would be delivered and he’d finally make his grand entrance into its little televised world. He’d appeal to the Kings, season after season, “Maybe you could set an episode in our offices. It could be a destination episode,” and they’d say, “No, no, no, Taye. Trust us. We know what we’re doing. We have to wait until the timing is just right.” And poor handsome Taye Diggs would slink back to his trailer and cry his beautiful self to sleep waiting for the day that he’d finally be incorporated.
Good news, Taye Diggs. This was your week.
See, what imaginary Taye Diggs did right in the scenario was in placing his trust in the Kings to do right by him. That said, trust is a funny thing, and if we learned anything from The Good Wife’s “Trust Issues” is that sometimes trust isn’t a matter of choice, but a matter of necessity.
Cary is still in jail, the bail money is still disputed, Diane joining Florrick/Agos is still in question, and the offices are under construction. We meet Gunter and find out he gets to use the sink in the afternoon, Eli still wants Alicia to run for state’s attorney, Valerie Jarrett showed up, and we find out Taye Diggs is apparently a longtime member of Lockhart, Gardner and Canning. Finn examined Alicia on the witness stand (and had possibly the show’s best exchange with Diane: “You have to be pretty generous to give 1.3. million to someone you hardly know.” “Objection. Is that a question?” “Let me rephrase. You have to be pretty generous to give 1.3 million to someone you hardly know?” — Maybe you had to be there). Worst of all, none of the characters have started kissing and it’s already been two whole episodes. With all of that up in the air, our heroes are forced into positions that require them to trust in the people around them implicitly.
The episode opens with Alicia and Cary having a five minute meeting at the prison where they discuss how to handle one of Cary’s cases that serves as the convoluted B-plot running throughout the episode. It definitely involves ChumHum, Neil Gross’ wife, and salary fixing and ends up being a fine metaphor about broken trust and doubt but ultimately doesn’t hold a candle to the episode’s main thrust. Their conversation is pleasant but rushed. Alicia wants to know how to handle the deposition. Cary wants to register his disagreement with the addition of Diane to the firm. In the moment they are concerned for each other, yes, but for themselves as well. But because of their choices in the previous season, the fates of Alicia and Cary are intertwined and they have no choice but to trust that the other will do what’s best.
Alicia tries to get a second mortgage on her house to provide for Cary’s bail and tries to cajole her gubernatorial husband to sign the papers, despite her knowing, on some level, that doing so would be politically dangerous. She nearly takes an unsolicited loan from a Florrick backer on the unspoken agreement that she run for State’s Attorney. Alicia is desperate to free Cary because yes, he’s her friend and yes, he would do it for her. But Alicia also needs to free Cary because she is nothing without him. His name is on the door. No matter what she tells clients, she can’t forestall disaster for a year while Cary awaits trial. Alicia’s fate is sealed with Cary’s and Cary cannot be in prison if Alicia and Florrick/Agos hopes to succeed.
But that goes both ways. Cary is languishing in prison while the firm that he risked everything to start is undergoing a complete structural upheaval without his authorization. Everything that he worked for is slipping out of his control and there’s nothing he can do about it. Except trust Alicia. Because Cary knows that he is useless in prison and Alicia is useless outside it, without him, and without Diane as an ally. He may not like the inclusion of Diane as a name partner (if he’s even fully aware of all the stipulations as of yet) but on some level he knows that Alicia (and by extension, Kalinda) is his lifeline, and he is powerless to do anything but comply.
Because what’s the alternative? Trust is the last stop before hopelessness. Nothing illustrates that as well as Lemond Bishop’s exploits in this episode. After a delightful meeting with Kalinda during his son’s soccer game he finally allows her to speak to the crew members caught on the wire with Cary. The conversation with them was enlightening, as Kalinda was able to identify which of the men wore the wire but sadly, Lemond guessed wrong and knocked off an innocent man and an individual who could have testified in Cary’s defense. When trust disappears, when it’s not even an option anymore, that’s when lives and livelihoods are lost.
But this is not Season 5 of The Good Wife, where walls are torn down and firms split, where relationships are torn asunder before lost forever. This is Season 6. Where the things and law firms we used to know are maturing into something new and different and better, where relationships are healing and evolving. Season 6 is building something beautiful from the ashes of something long loved that has left us. Season 6 is Diane Lockhart, a picture of Hillary Clinton tucked under her arm, proudly leaving the firm and the world she built behind, to venture into a new adventure after taking one last look around and whispering, “Goodbye,” to her firm, to Will, to her old life. And where the episode ends with Cary and Alicia’s first hug, lasting and cathartic, the former enemies cling to each other because that’s all they can do because, ultimately, it’s always been a matter of trust.