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'The Good Wife': Good Law? -- Season 7, Episode 17

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 21, 2016 1:58 PM

Pistols, plagiarism, and public sex. Oh and the ever-present law firm politics and the never-ending grand jury investigation. Just another day here at "The Good Wife" offices.

With only a few episodes left in the landmark series, it's hard to tell where this story is going, if anywhere. Is Alicia going out with a bang, or a whimper? And what's the deal with suing gun shops? Here's your legal and love story recap from last night's episode, "Shoot."

The Good Wife: Good Law?

Season 7, Episode 17
"Hearing"

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  • Season 7, Episode 18 (Airs 3/27/2016)

Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert):

To be honest, we're getting the sense that "The Good Wife" is merely playing out the string. The simmering passion between Alicia and Jason Crouse is here, but not going anywhere. In fact, it moved back a step when Alicia saw Jason kissing another woman, and forward two middle school steps when she gives him a public hand job under a restaurant table to end the episode. The "will she or won't she" drama of Diane's all-female firm gets drug along for another week. And the grand jury investigation, which was intriguing when we didn't know what it was about, is now only interesting to those who want to see Eli stand on a trashcan in a handicap-accessible bathroom.

Really, the entire show is now just a showcase for, as our Legal Professional writer Casey Sullivan called Lucca Quinn, "the best dressed lawyer on TV." We're pretty much only watching for her wardrobe and how the writers will plan for her eventual spinoff series.

Legal Roots:

The most compelling five minutes of the episode are its first, where a motel owner's daughter is the unintended victim of neighborhood gun violence. The big question is whether a billboard he put up, blaming the store that sold the gun that killed his daughter, is defamatory.

The general rule is that firearms dealers are not liable for deaths or injuries from the guns they sell. There may be exceptions, however, for stores that knew or should have known the guns were being used in the commission of crimes. In this case, a creative take on Chicago's gun violence epidemic got an equally creative legal solution -- while the judge ruled that the billboard was defamatory, his damages award to the gun shop was a paltry ten cents per day, effectively, if not explicitly, sanctioning the billboard.

Legal Fiction:

Grand jury proceedings ain't nothin' to f*** with. And yet here we are with Eli's eavesdropping, and Mike Tascioni telling Alicia not to invoke her spousal privilege and accuse another witness of having a faulty memory. This entire storyline seems like an excuse to get Eli and Mike (and his dog) some airtime, and it's highly unlikely real world attorneys would take a criminal investigation this lightly.

Legal Babble

"Truth is an absolute defense against defamation." This is true. The central element to any libel or slander claim is that the statement at issue is false. Trying to prove the truth of the statement here, "Gloria's Murdered My Daughter," is bold move, and one that doesn't quite work out for Cary.

Legal Verdict

More sex with Jason. More grand jury stuff. More backroom dealing at Lockhart Agos and Lee. While episodes this season have become predictable, the end is still a mystery. Will Alicia and Lucca join Diane's women lawyers dream team? Will they take over the firm themselves? Will Alicia even be a wife at the end of "The Good Wife"? Here's hoping that in answering those questions, the series regains a little of its spark.

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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