Sometimes you have no good choices left--and the choices you do make have terrible consequences. The Good Wife bid goodbye to 2014 this week with an episode gleefully charting the fallout of many bad decisions, from Alicia’s campaign blunders to Cary’s gradual realization that he’s going back to jail.

(Well, for now. I expect he’ll be out by March or April.)

I do wish some of the bad decisions the characters made in “The Trial” were slightly more believable. Put aside the clunkiness of the jokey TV reference Alicia supposedly made to her daughter, I don’t buy that super-cautious Mrs. Florrick would put a threat to stab someone in writing, no matter how ironic she was being. And what did Kalinda expect would come of her attempt to blackmail Bishop? Especially by threatening his son?

Some great lines, though. (“You know. Ethics.” Eli, of course; disgusted, of course.) And there was a really excellent structure to this episode. Each act was framed by a different character, starting with the peripheral (the judge who just wants to get out of work in time to take his wife to a concert; the assistant state’s attorney who’s dealing with her own personal drama; the deaf juror who’s the only one that thinks Cary’s innocent) and spiraling in to Kalinda and Cary, as the hopelessness of their case becomes more and more apparent.

Those two appear to have made up, with FBI Agent Lana Delaney nowhere in sight this episode. And it seems like nobody’s bothering to enforce that 30-foot distance restriction between Cary and Kalinda, so they’re just hanging out together, holding hands, in the middle of the courthouse--not conspicuous at all. Meanwhile, Alicia and Finn try very hard for a platonic pancake lunch, only to wind up eating by candlelight and romantic music, as he slips her a manila folder full of surveillance photos. Ah, lawyer love.

I’ll expect photos of Finn and Alicia apparently canoodling to wind up on BuzzFeed, The Good Wife’s favorite new-media news outlet of choice, before long. And I’ll be interested to see how the writers do in fact spring Cary from jail before his four-year plea-bargain sentence is up. Right now I’m betting on some sort of scandal around Michael Cerveris’s sinister district attorney, whose reasons for abruptly dropping out of the campaign against Alicia haven’t yet become clear.

But overall this was a satisfyingly bleak conclusion to what’s been a pretty impressive start to the show’s sixth season: “It all comes crashing down,” as Cary says. I’m looking forward to January already.

Published on: Nov 23, 2014