You can 3-D print just about anything today, including chocolate, clothing, and children's prosthetics. And, yes, you can also 3-D print guns.

As Inc.'s recent guide to 3-D printing points out, this technology is fast, easy, and increasingly cheap, as printer prices plummet. But so-called additive manufacturing also continues to raise questions about safety and quality control, especially for plastic self-printed firearms.

That debate over 3-D-printed guns is at the center of this week's Good Wife episode, which centers on a lawsuit over a defective plastic gun that explodes at a shooting range. Are the resulting injuries the fault of the shooter, who printed the gun following instructions he downloaded from the internet? Or are they the fault of the gun designer, who wrote the instructions and shared them with the world via open-source websites?

The lawsuit in "False Feed" is more than just a debate over 3-D-printing design versus execution, of course. Since it's a case about guns, it also invokes the gun-control debate, and thus involves Diane and her marriage to firearms advocate and expert witness McVeigh. (Issuing subpoenas to one's spouse doesn't seem like the best conflict-resolution strategy, though from the beginning I also questioned Diane's decision to use her husband as an expert witness.)

It's a fun case with a thoughtful debate about technology at its center, and a somewhat welcome break from all the political fighting-by-proxy happening in Alicia's campaign. I'm less invested in the career of John the campaign manager or his relationship with Eli than I am in Alicia's career and her relationship with her husband and predecessor in the job she's campaigning for. So the debate over whether or not she should attack Peter would be more interesting with her involved, or with Peter in the room.

Or maybe it's telling that Alicia doesn't have much to say in that debate, or seem very bothered by the idea of going negative close to home. She's increasingly comfortable with her moral ambiguity and ability to lie; her clothes, hair, and makeup are dark to an almost goth degree, and she's getting closer to acknowledging her similarity to Louis Canning (still not dead!)

"I don't want you to die. I know you're a bad man, but I sort of miss you," Alicia tells Canning in one of two great, frank conversations she has this episode. The other is with Prady, when she verbalizes what she realized last week: She wants to be more honest, but she wants to win more. As she tells Prady, days before she's presumably going to trounce him: "You are better than I am. Unfortunately."

 

Published on: Mar 15, 2015