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The Good Wife - Hail Mary - Review - "Is this Morse Code!?"



6.11 - "Hail Mary"


Several weeks ago, we were left with Cary pleading guilty to his charges of conspiring to help Lemond Bishop's thugs to transport $1.3  million in heroin into Chicago city limits. It was the only true option that he had left. Bishop offered him a role in Barcelona, and A.S.A. Pine offered him a 6-month stint of probation if he flipped on Bishop (which...you know, would get Cary killed) and what was left was the plea. 2 days later within the narrative, we find Cary preparing the best he can for going to prison, while Kalinda may have a lead on a way to get his plea overturned. Meanwhile, Alicia prepares herself for her upcoming debate with Frank Prady.


"They're gonna make you their prom queen."

The opening scenes of this episode were a bit of a blur. Within the first few moments, you have Alicia paying Cary's prison mentor, having to rush off (begrudgingly) to her practice debate, Kalinda asking Bishop for a favor to keep Cary safe in prison, and, inadvertently finding a new lead on the case that could keep Cary out of jail completely. Ticking clocks and manic instrumentation pushed what was already a fast-paced race over into a breathless, mad dash through the setup of the opening sequence.

Having alerted Diane and Alicia to evidence she gets from one of Bishop's men, that the heroin was actually being transported to Canada, not into Chicago, Kalinda petitions Judge Cuesta, while Diane gathers the troops for what would likely be their most important task in their newly formed firm.

Diane goes before Judge Cuesta and opposing A.S.A. Pine to notify them of the evidence. But Cuesta would not budge on Cary's plea if there was no form of evidence that proved the prosecution acted to exclude exculpatory evidence from their case. A.S.A. Pine looked completely confused when Diane claimed that Cary was being framed for the crime. Cuesta stated firmly that Diane had until the time of Cary's sentencing at 5pm that day to gather any evidence for a Brady violation, or there was nothing he could do.

Cary's story primarily took place in a hotel room with Bill Kroft, someone sent to help him figure out his way in prison. I found that him having a dress and other small touches like that to be out of place, or for comedic effect. I wasn't a fan. It felt forced, even though Domenick Lombardozzi was doing a great job in his role. Czuchry killed it as per usual, with his distant and dour appearance taking the steam out of most of Bill's attempts to get him to focus. It was really setting in for Cary, and none of the "memory-making" or training Bill had in mind was changing Cary's mind from his injustice or what 5 pm that day had in store for him.



"I don't like milk."

Alicia, once again cut off from the whole Cary ordeal altogether, couldn't help herself from ignoring her debate practice in lieu of getting in touch with Cary and Diane to keep up with the case. After a certain point, Eli called for her phone to be taken away from her so she could focus. He got in touch with Diane and asked her to not accept Alicia's calls, as the best way Alicia could help Cary was not botch her chances at a State's Attorney campaign, and get herself ready for the upcoming debate.

Alicia immediately slipped into snark mode when an esteemed professor of English acted as Frank Prady's substitute in a mock debate. She shot down a few weak argumentative statements he posed as questions, and then afterwards, he became hysterical, and laughed at her serious demeanor. The good Dr. Adrian Fluke was apparently high as a kite on his medical marijuana, and had to be excused. As a viewer, I wondered how they'd have Chris Elliot play as a professor at a debate, but he played the exact same type of unintelligible creep that I remember him playing in films like There's Something About Mary and one of the Scary Movie films of the early 2000's. The casting made perfect sense after seeing his character come undone at the podium. Also, I felt like his character was almost abjectly a waste of space in this incredibly important episode... I would gladly have taken a quick scene with Alicia and Kalinda discussing the beginnings of her discovery instead. But I digress...

After they got rid of the good doctor, they called in Finn Polmar to aggressively take Alicia to task in a second go of mock debating.

"Metadata don't lie..."


Back at F/A/L, Kalinda got in touch with an officer in Toronto, Canada. He insisted that he tried to make contact with Detective Prima around May 15th that year, but was ignored. Kalinda immediately brought the email to Diane's attention, who called on Cuesta to file a motion for access to the servers that housed the email in question. Kalinda called in her friend Howell to ascertain whether the email was read.

He quickly found that the metadata stated the email was sent to the spam folder and was never read by Detective Prima. That meant there was no evidence for Cary to overturn his appeal and Kalinda was running out of time quickly. She asked Howell if he could instruct her on how to alter the metadata to reflect that Prima had read it. She spoke to distance his involvement in it, and said she hadn't decided to do it, but needed to know just in case. He shows her how (which takes only a few edits in a log file, seemingly) until she's called away by Diane.

This part of the story was a bit of a stretch for me, personally. I would expect that read-only files would be provided and pre-screened by Cook County, as it would be in their interest to keep up with that email since it was specifically brought up as evidence against them. I don't know that a government office would willingly or knowingly allow access to servers like that... Secondarily, I am guessing that if someone happened to access and alter something within that system,  a sort of log or notification would populate elsewhere in the system... But I could be wrong. Either way, it seemed like a terrible idea. And as a viewer, there was plenty that the prosecution did that was unethical or fabricated in Cary's case that could've been delved into... Given Kalinda's proclivities in the past for digging up dirt, I can't believe Prima and Pine's relationship wasn't used to throw out his testimony instead, or have her push Finn to testify to Castro's flippant disregard for Cary's innocence...

Thankfully, Kalinda (after making the change in the mock file, I am uncertain whether changes she made in the open window for the email servers was also completely changed or not) decided against using falsified evidence when Carey Zepps (Hey! long time, no see!) noticed that the transcript for Trey Wagner's interrogation seemed a bit off. Looking into it, they found that Detective Rodriguez was also involved in the investigation, and then was seemingly written out of the record.

Kalinda intended to find out why Rodriguez was not on the record, but she also had other things on her mind when she received a phone call from an unfamiliar number.

"Less talking... More Sex."


Immediately, she assumed it was Bishop's man, calling on her to do some God-forsaken act in retribution for a favor she hadn't even been able to benefit from yet. But, instead, it was the surly prison guide, Bill Kroft, calling on behalf of Cary for a booty call. Cary was just 2-3 hours away from a 4-year sentence, and Bill declared it her responsibility to get over there and provide "her man" with a happy memory to hold onto after his sentencing.

It was likely easier for Kalinda just to accept the labeling Bill was laying on her, as she'd proven there was no real way to define what she and Cary were, outside of a confusing on-and-off situation where the "love" was a one-sided affair for the most part, but she also was culpable for Cary's current situation, given her botched move that set Bishop to recuse any form of help for Cary in a legal capacity. They were very close in at least many other respects, so she ran to his side, only to find that he was already aware of the plea bargain situation. Alicia had accidentally called him to inquire its status, only to realize her mistake after she'd spilled the beans, as Diane and Kalinda decided earlier to keep it from Cary so that he couldn't be let down after some possible false hope.

They argued about it, and then resigned to the situation. He was vaguely thankful for an hour of hope that kept him in a good mood until she got there. After a few times being prompted by Bill, they get to having sex. After it's over, Kalinda asks, as if a passing thought "Again?"

Cary practically says "sure why not..." in response, as his plight continues to become more of a reality. Kalinda was there out of a sense of loyalty and friendship, not out of a "girlfriend's love" mentality, and at this point, even if she'd lined up a "friend" for him in the prison, it was all so hopeless to him.

After Kalinda left to continue her investigation into Detective Rodriguez and Prima, and Cary spoke some more with Bill, he questioned whether it was worth even staying around for the sentence. Bill strongly encouraged him to just go with the sentence, any kind of attempt to escape his situation would only worsen things.

As it got closer to 5 pm, Cary sat in the hotel room alone. He checked his bank account balance on his phone... Then, he walked out the door. To court? To the airport?

Rodriguez is located, Kalinda presses him for reasons as to why he was excluded from the record. He doesn't want to play ball, worried about his job, but she insists that any problem he had with Castro would be dealt with when Alicia is made the next State's Attorney, and that he should go forward with what he knows about the case.

"This is not your campaign!"


Back over to Alicia's ongoing training for the debate, She and Finn playfully (and viciously) spar over topics, stances, and questions. Then, none other than Governor Peter Florrick shows up to crash the party. As Alicia and Finn duke it out on stage, he takes Finn to task over some of his answers. Finn then finds himself in the middle of the two Florricks, and bails almost immediately. Alicia doesn't seem to mind, as it was obvious she was having a good time arguing with him.

After Finn departs, Peter serves as Alicia's makeshift debate opponent. Before they start, Alicia approaches Peter about somehow helping with Cary's case, as much as she hated to ask, as it was an obvious case of railroading against him. Peter said that he'd like to help if he could, but it was simply outside of his power to help. (Separately from this scene, one of Peter's men is sent to meet with Cuesta to delay his return to court, just in case it can help Cary, something that is never mentioned to Alicia, Kalinda, or Diane in their own endeavors.)

And in no time at all, she calls out the former State's Attorney's actions and throws his own past actions against him, but while framing it as an argument against his mock Frank Prady character. After only a few minutes, Eli calls for a break, in order to mitigate any chance of the two getting into a personal spat. Furious, Johnny Elfman runs to Eli to tell him to quit interfering with Alicia's progress. Eli immediately begins to yell, stating they only win if the two of them are not at odds, but Johnny retorts only Peter was at the point of being flustered, and that "his boy's" ego shouldn't be superseding Alicia's needs for growth in her campaign. They yell at each other's faces until Johnny screams for Eli to get the hell off his campaign. Eli replies with great emphasis that he is not the one campaigning...

This is something I could see bubbling up from the point where Johnny took his position as her campaign manager in 6.04, but Eli kept "overseeing" things... Eventually those two would come to blows, even if just they were just verbal.

"Leave the poor guy alone!"


Finally, in an incredibly nuanced scene, Judge Cuesta returns to the courtroom absolutely livid. He berates Diane for her backhanded tactics of having the corrupt governor keep him from his appointment for Cary's sentencing, and flat out decrees that all future cases with the circuit will be very different for the entire firm--a very outrageous response from a very upset judge. Of course, Diane has no knowledge and can only deal in what she has on hand--evidence that Detective Prima read and then deleted the email himself, proving the Brady violation they were looking for. Detective Prima loudly states and then pleads with A.S.A. Pine to refute Diane's allegations, as he never received the email. Kalinda runs into the room in the middle of the scene to learn that Diane found the evidence on Kalinda's computer and ran with it. She was presenting completely falsified documents for evidence, and damning an officer's reputation with it. Kalinda, simply thunderstruck, could only watch in horror as the enraged judge reprimanded Prima over and over again.

Detective Rodriguez then entered, as he was the intended evidence Kalinda wanted to bring forth, while A.S.A. Pine stated that Rodriguez had gone on record stating that Cary was a victim of entrapment set up by James Castro. She asked for a retrial. Diane asked with great restrained emotion for the case to be dropped. If not for the entrapment conspiracy, but also for the deleted email metadata that proved the S.A.'s office denied them exculpatory evidence.

Judge Cuesta, in a sincere moment, apologized for the entire ordeal, and moved that the case be dismissed with great prejudice. In that moment, Cary was off the hook--he gratefully hugged Diane and cried in relief. In that same moment, Kalinda's noose was tightened, as her tampering with evidence was just made a part of the record. Pine, Prima, and Castro were admonished but for the wrong reasons, as the relationship and framing was outside of the evidence that was used to free Cary. The only real evidence they had was of Rodriguez being written out of the record for disagreeing with the strategy to frame Cary to get to Bishop. I might be even more worried than I was when Cary pleaded guilty in 6.10...

Finally, in what ended up being a hell of an ender, Alicia receives the good news that Cary is a free man while walking back to her car after the mock debate. She yells out a celebratory "Woooohhhooo!" Johnny Elfman, nearby, asks her if she's alright. She smiles brightly, strides over to him, and plants a kiss right on his lips. Then she walks away, with a very turned on-but-confused Johnny Elfman in her wake.

Oh, he's into it...


Sidenotes:

- "It's all very dramatic." - Diane Lockhart, everything this woman does, I swear.

- Marissa Gold steals every scene she sits off to the side of, armed with some of the best one-liners in the whole show.

- No, but really... Great job, Chris Elliot! You always make me feel so uncomfortable watching you retch and slither on the screen.

- Cary Agos' bank account balance, though... Apparently should have gone for law school.

-   David Paymer really sold it this time around! He's got a serious vendetta against the Florricks after this stunt! The first judge on the show remains my personal favorite as far as personal touches and stance in all the politics go. I feel bad that he wasn't actually being sought after as a Supreme Court judge, he seems to have the grit to do it, but he also stated in just the last episode that just because Cary was in front of him that he must have done something wrong... I guess no one's perfect...

- That kiss. I have never had that kind of surprise reaction to a kiss. I can't wait to see Alicia loosened up and acting without remorse soon, letting go and seeing how it can possibly help her in her upcoming debate against Prady.


What did you think of this week's episode? Start a discussion below in the comments!


About the Author - Wilson Crawford
Wilson is an avid fan of television, music, and the occasional video game. He enjoys well-written, thought-provoking characters and series that get better with age. Current favorites include The Good Wife and Mad Men. Past favorites include Damages, Fringe, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, and Veronica Mars.
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