‘The Good Wife’ Season 6 Episode 16 Recap: “Red Meat”


If the last two episodes of The Good Wife have taught us anything, it’s that if you give Christine Baranski enough screen time, she can sell just about any ridiculous storyline you mire her in. Where last week saw Diane embroiled in a furious courtroom battle over 3-D printers and Second Amendment rights, this week saw her trapped in a hunting lodge with dozens of the country’s most prestigious Republicans and trying to land a new client while navigating surprise call girls, deer killing, and detailed descriptions of aborted five-month old fetuses.

Though the plotting was shoddy and nigh on impossible to take seriously, as the entire premise seemed to be a weird send up of stereotypical liberal and conservative behavior, it was largely a relief to spend more time with Diane after an extremely scattered season that has often seen her shunted to the sidelines. But Diane wasn’t the only character getting a share of the spotlight in “Red Meat.” As it turns out, the episode gave itself over fully to the female characters, a welcome change of pace that was handled with a relatively light touch.

Election day is (finally) at hand and Alicia spends the day at home, as the heavy lifting is basically over. Marisa is there to continue serving as body woman and when Finn drops off an election day gift in the form of a first person shooter video game (Halo, to be specific), Marisa takes it upon herself to keep Alicia focused on the game as much as possible, knowing that letting the candidate get drawn into campaign concerns would only make her crazy. Which is how we got delightful scenes of Marisa and Alicia teaming up and playing video games for hours on end. At one point the two even stumble upon Finn, also playing online, and he helps to talk Alicia through the moments when she’s certain her campaign has been unsuccessful.

But it’s not all fun and games for Alicia, as a careless remark by Peter nearly undoes her entire campaign. Though she has a lead in the polls, Alicia’s campaign is dependent upon good voter turnout, the chances of which are demolished when Peter all but guarantees she’ll be elected in an early morning interview. Alicia accuses Peter of sabotaging her campaign, saying that he’s too politically savvy to say something so devastating without knowing the consequences, concluding that he wants her to lose. Peter plays dumb and it’s clear that he’s upset over Alicia’s actions with the black caucus last week.

It’s impossible to tell exactly what Peter wants Alicia’s fate to be. Though he goes through the motions of supporting her, he does seem like the kind of petty man who would feel more comfortable keeping his wife on a short leash. Thankfully, Eli is still handling Peter like a champ and, while Peter refuses to do a robocall to try to push voters to the polls, they come up with an alternative plan to help Alicia’s campaign at the last minute. Peter conducts a speech in downtown, turning traffic to sheer gridlock and ensuring that Prady’s base wouldn’t come out to the polls. Thanks to this last ditch politicking, Alicia is elected the new State’s Attorney.

Meanwhile, Kalinda is still serving as Bishop’s son’s chauffeur when she realizes they’re being followed yet again. She sends the signal up to Bishop, who handles the matter, only to find out that it wasn’t Dylan the tail was after; it was Kalinda. It turns out that Kalinda is being followed on the orders of the ASA and Bishop want’s Alicia’s first order of business to be shutting down the investigation, telling Kalinda that he’s getting out of the business and wants to make sure he doesn’t go to prison once he’s lost all his power.

The episode as a whole is fascinating, if only because the rough outlines of the Season 6 endgame are starting to take shape. We know that Alicia is the new State’s Attorney, that Bishop is getting out of drugs, and that Kalinda is on the radar of the ASA. Couple that with the knowledge that Archie Panjabi is leaving at the end of the season and Mike Colter has been signed to a new show, that means that both Bishop and Kalinda likely have some pretty explosive things ahead of them, almost certainly in an interconnected fashion.

Alicia winning the election is likely the storyline push the season has needed for some time now. Without the election story hanging over show, it should theoretically be easier to craft plots that integrate all of the characters in a more seamless fashion. After all, the show functioned with Cary as an ASA for quite some time without it being an issue. There are six episodes left and The Good Wife looks to be gunning for a big finish. Let’s see if they can salvage a season and stick the landing.

Quick hits:

  • I can’t believe Finn is dating someone. I feel so betrayed.
  • So John appears to be headed to California. I can’t say it’s a huge loss, as he’s always been a stopgap to stave off the inevitability of Finn/Alicia.
  • I’ll admit, Bishop getting out of the drug trade was not a twist I saw coming and is actually far more interesting than I expected for that plot.
  • How dusty must Bishop’s glassware get if he just keeps it on shelves like that?
  • “If that’s what’s bothering you, just say it. “I did just say it.” I love it when Peter and Alicia fight.
  • Someone mistaking Kalinda for Mrs. Bishop. It’s finally happening, guys. My Bishop/Kalinda spin-off sitcom dreams are coming true.
  • I, for one, am very disappointed they didn’t manage to get the dead secretary from The West Wing to do a robocall. Especially since she’s actually dead.
  • It’s too bad that Prady didn’t take Alicia up on her offer to be her second-in-command. I wonder if he’ll stick around in some other capacity.
  • We need to have a serious conversation about how much Baranski can say just by moving her eyes.
  • Finn’s screen name is CoolBeans032. I’m dead.
  • Opening credit appearance: 10:27