Seeing THE VOICEMAIL in the “Previously, on The Good Wife” segment was enough to convince me that this was going to be an episode to remember, so let me just say…

2518 Minimization!  “I have to ask you a question!”  Alicia and Kalinda staring at Will and Blake through the glass!

Now that that’s out of my system, I can continue on with your regularly scheduled recap.  This was an episode where the case was really an afterthought to everything else going on behind the scenes, as proven by the fact that the whole thing was wrapped up in what I wrote in my notes as a “deus ex Yamaguchi.”  The firm is defending a crooked alderman, Matthew Wade (who happens to be a friend of Will’s), accused of taking money from a Muslim extremist group.  Turns out that he didn’t take money from them, but instead took it from a drug lord that the firm got off last year.  He refuses to take a plea bargain, and the firm is sure to lose until they ask to subpoena an employee of The White House, Ruth Yamaguchi, to help their case.  Since the government doesn’t want the President’s name associated with anything to do with Muslim extremists, they throw out the accusations.  It was pleasant enough, I suppose; to me it just seemed a little far-fetched.  The firm has defended villains successfully before, but something about this one just stuck in my craw more than usual…I wouldn’t have been disappointed if they had actually lost this case.

Moving on, we have some movement on THE VOICEMAIL, and what movement it was!  While listening to the wire-taps for the Wade case, Alicia quickly discovers that Eli’s phones have been tapped.  She hears him admit that he thinks that she’s smart and capable, an assessment she clearly is flattered by, but she also hears him admit that he’s not telling her everything that he’s up to.  Furthermore, she listens in on a phone conversation between Wade and Will where Will laments his situation with Alicia, revealing that there had been a second voicemail that she hadn’t responded to.  While Will goes on to claim that he has moved on and knows that it’s for the best, Alicia listens in horror.

I had been wondering how they were going to have THE VOICEMAIL come out organically; admittedly, this is a little bit too coincidental but I honestly don’t care.  It was creative and at least somewhat believable; we knew Eli and Will weren’t going to reveal anything and Alicia had to find out somehow, so I’ll take the wire-taps.  Alicia’s stoicism goes into overdrive after hearing that conversation.  I’d say she hasn’t made the connection that Eli deleted her voicemail yet, but she’s on the way and that’s a confrontation I look forward to with unabashed glee.  In the final moments of the show, she walks into Will’s office and grinds out “I have to ask you something…” only to be interrupted by Tammy’s entrance.  The screams you heard were the 12 million people watching The Good Wife shrieking “WHYYYYYYY?????” at the top of their lungs.

There’s also a troublesome confrontation brewing between Blake and Kalinda, whose ongoing rivalry got amped up a notch tonight when we find out that Blake appropriated Kalinda’s baseball bat (which she used to destroy his rental car) and put a troublesome witness into a coma with it at Will’s order.  Kalinda is put on the trail of this by none other than Cary, who has been a little sidelined this season in terms of screen time, but is still right in the thick of things over at Stern, Lockhart & Bond.  Alicia is finally noticing that something a bit deeper than a professional rivalry is going on between the two investigators, but when she brings it to Will he dismisses her.  “As long as they don’t kill each other, it’s good for the firm” he states.  Those sound like words that come back to bite one in the ass.  It seems that Kalinda’s wariness of Blake shot up this episode, and for the first time she’s rethinking her strategy with him.  Intimidation is most definitely not working, and as she studies him through the glass of Alicia’s office window you can see the gears turning.

Diane, meanwhile, has had enough of Will and Derrick scheming behind her back, and is making preparations to form her own firm with David Lee.  She even goes so far as to try to recruit Eli before the schism, helpfully informing him that his phones have been tapped to prove that she is the lawyer he wants on his team.  I’m really thrilled with where this story is going, but I can’t help but feel like it was a little sudden.  I know tensions between Diane and Will have been high this season, but it seems like we haven’t seen a real confrontation between the two yet…I suppose that will be coming after this little tidbit is revealed.

And finally we have the (not so) triumphant return of the Florrick extended family.  Zach and Becca are still maintaining a fake Facebook page for Glenn Childs Jr. (raise your hand if you completely forgot this plotline…yeah, me too).  They decide to make a video implying that Childs goes camping with his son and shares a sleeping bag with him, which leads to a retaliation from the Childs campaign.  A video of Grace is released (and remixed) in which she defends her father from his attackers; suffice it to say the phrase “He slept with ONE HOOKER!” is prominently featured.  This plot line is left to be picked up in future episodes, but we all know that the one thing that makes Alicia lose her cool is a threat to her children.  I look forward to her going Mama Bear on someone.

Zach (when not creating political scandals) has also been starting to hang out with Neesa, a new student from Somalia.  Becca doesn’t like this at all, as she appears to think of Zach as her personal plaything, and heads over to the apartment to put in Jackie’s head that Zach is dating Neesa.  If there was ever a reason to think high school students are diabolical, Becca is it; she doesn’t appear to have any real motive for the havoc she causes other than boredom and self-interest.  If she does have a deeper agenda, I look forward to seeing it.  Jackie continues to reveal herself to be completely backwards as she most definitely does not approve of her grandson’s possible new relationship for no other reason than the color of the girl’s skin.

We all know that on The Good Wife everything has a purpose…could the purpose of Zach’s relationship with Neesa end up with Peter somehow using her to combat Wendy Scott-Carr?  That would be despicable.  Speaking of Peter, we need to have him show up again soon; I assume that his lighter schedule is Chris Noth’s choice, but when he’s gone for too long the show starts to feel the absence.

Some final thoughts:

– I’m certainly not claiming that I’m any better, but Josh Charles doesn’t look at that comfortable dribbling a basketball to me.

– Alicia falling off of the chair while listening to the wire taps actually made me guffaw.  I guess Alan Cumming didn’t feel like doing the slapstick this week.

– Some great continuity in this episode: Bishop, the drug lord from last season, and Ana Gasteyer’s prickly judge were both back.  I love how The Good Wife is building a world.

– “This won’t end well.”  I believe you, Kalinda.

– I’m sure I mentioned this before, but every time the actor who plays Glenn Childs Jr. shows up I just think “That’s Justin’s boyfriend from Ugly Betty!!”  Oh, Ugly Betty, I miss you.  Yes, I have difficulty letting go.

– I’m still a a little stuck on the Tammy character.  I like Elizabeth Reaser (who looked more like Julianna Margulies than usual to me tonight for some reason), but I’m not sure where they’re going with this one.  She again mentioned that if Will falls for her, she’s gonna hit the road, which I’m assuming is a marker of some kind.  She needs to become interesting in her own right, because at this point all she is is a convenient obstacle for the writers to employ when they need her.

Culture The Good Wife Recap: On Tap