The Good Wife: “Don’t Haze Me, Bro” (Episode 4.04)

TV Reviews The Good Wife
The Good Wife: “Don’t Haze Me, Bro” (Episode 4.04)

The Good Wife had its best episode of the season in an hour that marked the return of Jackie and, more importantly, the absence of Kalinda’s husband.

With the sneering, food-loving Nick out of the way, Kalinda was finally able to go back to being herself, and viewers could slightly relax as the worst storyline of the season skipped a week. But don’t get too comfortable—Nick will be back next week and the week after that. Sigh.

Everyone was at his or her best this week. Spurned by having to lay off staff and close the 27th floor, Diane was in a feisty mood ready to take on anyone who came in her way. Diane and Will now have nothing to lose—they’re already bankrupt. “Welcome to the life boat,” Will tells Diane. This should be a good time.

The Nathan Lane role as court appointed trustee Clarke Hayden still isn’t quite working for me. He’s not a good enough foil or a good enough ally. The most he did this episode was force Alicia and Cary to start sharing an office. At least this means we may start seeing more of Cary.

Kalinda was busy disproving Indira Starr, the campaign worker who claims she had an affair with Peter. As is usually the case with Kalinda, she seems to encounter people who are extremely willing to help her. The hotel employee was happy to answer all of Kalinda’s questions and take her up to the concierge floor.

Just as Eli believes he’s finally killed the story, he gets a call from a political blogger who tells him he’s going live with a post about a national magazine sitting on the story of Peter’s affair. This is a classic The Good Wife twist and one of the reasons I love the show. A blogger writing from anywhere with sources he won’t cite could bring down Peter’s career. I’m also intrigued that this storyline is still around. The longer it lingers, the more I think it’s possible Peter was having an affair and that the show is setting us up.

Jackie is out of the hospital and back on the campaign trail. After she makes a questionable speech where she talks about women chasing her son, Eli demotes her with my favorite line of the night: “Your schedule changed. You’re in double A ball now,” he tells her. (Meanwhile, why was the employee assigned to work with Jackie on a flip phone? Do they even make flip phones anymore? Wouldn’t all of Eli’s staff need smart phones? It seemed very odd.)

But Jackie has much bigger problems than the fact that she’s angered Eli. Things are obviously not OK with her. She’s distracted, having hallucinations and, in a behavior most unlike her, she apologized to Alicia. I’ve always liked the juxtaposition of the loyal son who forgives his mother her transgressions and a deceptively cunning mother who always puts her agenda first. Jackie was a great adversary for Alicia. If she’s suffering from the effects of her stroke, that dynamic will be gone and I will miss it.

Maura Tierney returned as Maddie Hayward, and her scene at the bar with Alicia was the night’s best. “Why do you want to be my friend?” Alicia asks her. “Why do you want this? Why are we here?” That’s what we are all wondering, Alicia. I’m certain that Maggie has some agenda we aren’t yet privy to. This is the most intriguing story arc the show has going this season.

The case of the week was almost an afterthought. Alicia and Diane were suing a university for being responsible for the hazing death of one of its students. The case did showcase the show’s continuing penchant for quirky judges.

“Don’t Haze Me, Bro” exemplified how much of a problem the Nick storyline has become. With it gone, the show was back to its completely entertaining self. We can only hope that the showrunners and writers have listened to the fan feedback and that the Nick storyline will soon crawl back into the hole it came from.

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