The Good Wife recap: Say You're Sorry

Alicia represents a client who keeps making insensitive remarks, and Diane and Louis Canning keep up their battle for power at Lockhart/Gardner
Ep. 21 | Aired May 11, 2014

NUMBERS GAME Alicia & Co. scramble to seat an appropriate jury after their client makes several insensitive remarks

Jojo Whilden/CBS

We've reached the penultimate episode of the fifth season of The Good Wife.  So let's get to it: The episode began with a brunch at the Paisley Group, where CEO James Paisley (Tom Skerritt) discussed the upcoming merger planned for his company. Paisley's address was an attempt to quell the concerns of his board members, who were worried about the shedding of the domestic workforce and the ongoing wrongful termination suit by his former CFO. Enter Alicia, who explained she was confident they would reach a settlement before going to trial. You know what this scene needed more of? Pie! Paisley was pied in the face by a protestor. (Alicia's outfit also fell victim to the dessert.)

I loved the used of "You're Gonna Get What's Coming to You" by Nerf Herder in this scene. (Fun fact: the song was written and commissioned specifically for The Good Wife!) Sure, Paisley was the target of the protester's outburst. But we quickly learned this guy suffers from foot in mouth disease, much to Alicia's chagrin. But first, Alicia tried to settle Paisley's case with Louis Canning outside of court. Unfortunately, their negotiation attempts fell flat.

Alicia made one last effort to get Paisley to accept Canning's $140,000 payoff amount. And Paisley agreed! But you know it can't be that simple, or this would have been an extremely short episode. Paisley gave a TV interview to the Financial Daily Watch, where he compared himself to Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis. Ooof. But it didn't stop there. Then he said the one percenters were the new minority in the country, just like the Jews in Nazi Germany. The whole thing was pretty awful, but it was a hilarious scene. While Alicia watched and begged Paisley to quit talking, Louis watched and begged him to keep going. Knowing Paisley's comments would taint the jury pool, Canning upped his asking price to $3 million. That made it official: this case was going to trial.

But before that, they had to select a jury. And both Alicia and Canning knew that this case was going to be all about that first seven jurors, especially considering Paisley's offensive comments. They knew whoever got the first seven jurors would have the upper hand in negotiations. Canning asked Howard Lyman to sit second chair, solely because he's Jewish, and instructed him to "look wise." Canning was using Paisley's comments to get the jury he wanted and to amend the case to include religious discrimination. So Alicia attempted some damage control: She had Paisley meet with Simon Fishbein (Merwin Goldsmith), and that meeting resulted in Paisley's on-air public apology. But the apology took a turn for the worse when Paisley spoke about not rewarding the lazy, and basing people's voting rights. Canning giggled, and Florrick/Agos were back to losing jury members.

Grasping at straws, Cary and Alicia tried to get one of the seated jurors disqualified, and it worked! But they were still doing damage control behind the scenes. After two very offensive and very public statements, Alicia wanted Paisley to issue a final apology and statement. This one, wisely, would not be broadcast on live TV. Paisley wasn't too into the idea, so Alicia presented the bottom line: They were losing jury members, and the fund managers were getting nervous. He'd created a media death spiral, and now his merger was in danger of falling through. So they hired a PR firm to focus group an appropriate statement.

NEXT: James Castro breaks out the big guns

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