'The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 5

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 20, 2014 4:07 PM

With Alicia's painstaking back-and-forth regarding whether or not to run for state's attorney finally decided, "Shiny Objects" should feel like a payoff episode.

Unfortunately, the episode spends much of its time dabbling in uncharacteristically low-grade courtroom drama before being rescued by some last-minute fireworks courtesy of Juliana Margulies' Alicia and her estranged husband Peter, played by Chris Noth.

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert!):

"Shiny Objects" features the return of the eccentric Elsbeth Tascioni, facing off against Alicia in a case involving a corporate CEO who claims she was wrongfully terminated because of her gender. Although Elsbeth's unique mental process has served her well in the past, in this episode, Alicia attempts to use it against her, purposefully sabotaging her in court, leading to several somewhat hard-to-stomach stumbles by Elsbeth. Equally awkward is a subplot involving malware which threatens to erase the hard drives at Florrick, Agos & Lockhart.

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 6, Episode 5
"Shiny Objects"

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But the episode pays off in the final minutes as Alicia and her husband Peter, the Governor of Illinois, spar over Alicia's decision to have both Peter and Finn Polmar introduce her at the press conference announcing her decision to run for state's attorney. Although Peter threatens to pull his endorsement of his wife's candidacy, in the end, he relents, showing up at the last minute to introduce her and standing by her side onstage, recalling the show's very first scene.

Legal Roots:

The lawsuit pitting Alicia against her ersatz pal Elsbeth features an abrasive female tech CEO who claims she was fired for practicing the same hard-nosed management style of her male predecessors, highlighting what many feel is a double standard applied to female tech bosses like Yahoo's Marissa Mayer.

Legal Fiction:

When the partners at Florrick, Agos & Lockhart not only decide to pay ransom to hackers who have threatened to delete the firm's files, but then decide to wage a counter cyberattack on the Russian hacker responsible, the BS meter goes well into the red.

Legal Fact:

Beyond Elsbeth's somewhat whimsical penchant for losing her train of thought and falling prey to Alicia's distraction ploys, the courtroom scenes in "Shiny Objects" also depict several instances in which the attorneys effectively object to testimony. In one instance, however, Dean Levine-Wilkins, played by Taye Diggs, overcomes opposing counsel's hearsay objection by pointing out the witness' testimony is not "being offered for the truth of the matter" but rather to impeach the testimony of a previous witness, making the testimony admissible.

Legal Babble:

Assignment: Another of the episode's plotlines involves the lease to the offices of Alicia and Diane's former firm, Lockhart Gardner. After an important email is sent to Diane's old email address, she goes to Lockhart Gardner to retrieve it, only to find out that the lease for the firm's offices are in her name. LG partner David Lee asks her to sign an assignment, a legal document which transfers the rights of a tenant under a lease to another person, known as the assignee.

The Verdict:

"Shiny Objects" seems to get lost in a swirl of subplots, but as usual, great acting and likeable characters make "The Good Wife" good TV, if not necessarily good law.

What did you think of this week's episode of "The Good Wife"? Is the show guilty of making any legal mistakes? Check back here for more legal recaps of "The Good Wife," and send us a tweet at @FindLawConsumer with the hashtag #TheGoodWife.

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