Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 4, Episode 14 of CBS' "The Good Wife," titled "Red Team/Blue Team."
Welcome back to greatness, "The Good Wife." After what felt like many weeks of missteps and episodes that were thisclose to hitting a home run, "Red Team/Blue Team" knocked it out of the park. Everything worked, even Eli Gold's storyline -- thank Carrie Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni for that.
The episode opened with a joyous Lockhart/Gardner. In one month, they've eliminated their debt ... and ended up turning some profit. And just like that, half a season's story came to an end.
The main case: The makers of an energy drink want Lockhart/Gardner to test their case with a mock trial. Will and Diane tap Alicia and Cary to be their opposing counsel. All is fine and dandy ... until Alicia and Cary found out the partners have withdrawn their equity partnership offer. The gloves came off and the claws came out. Alicia and Cary really go after Will and Diane, poking giant holes in their case. Good for them, Will and Diane need to be taken down a peg. However, Will takes it a little too personally and a late night confrontation with Alicia turns into a shout match ... then a makeout session. Wilicia fans, react! It's like we're back in Season 1, both with the relationships and fantastic storytelling.
Alicia and Cary beat Will and Diane in mock trial and the Thief energy drink people decide to settle their wrongful death suit.
I really enjoy the relationship Cary and Alicia have developed. After they both realized their deals were taken away, I couldn't help but feel like Alicia put on her iPod and listened to Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice." The fourth years who had their deals delayed for a year meet at Alicia's -- of course, Zach and Grace annoyingly try and get the 411. Sorry guys, haven't missed you -- and decide to meet with their big clients to try and scare the partners into thinking they're bailing. Cary wants to take it one step further and actually create Florrick, Agos & Associates. "We can change the world," he tells Alicia.
Honestly, I think it might be in the future. Maybe not that combo, but shifting some people off to a different firm to spice things up. If only Michael J. Fox didn't land a new NBC series ...
In order to split up the fourth years, the partners decide to offer equity partnership to just one of the pissed off people: Alicia. It's called "The Good Wife," after all. She takes the spot, but not without consulting Cary. Hello, future conflict.
Meanwhile, Carrie Preston returned as the wonderfully looney Elsbeth Tascioni. The writers made a smart move in pairing her with Alan Cumming's Eli Gold. This let Eli get back to his kooky roots and gave him something to do besides scowl and hang out in Alicia's office. Kyle MacLachlan made his first appearance as Josh, Elsbeth's new nemesis in the Justice Department. He's a little more balanced in the weird department, but the two certainly had sparks. Josh fudged records in the case against Eli, but in the end, Elsbeth got his trickery on record. And she rejected his biscotti. Cannot praise Preston's performance enough. "The Good Wife" struck gold when they created this character and tapped Preston to bring her to life.
"Red Team/Blue Team" will go down as one of the best episodes of the series.
Gasp count: Two! The gasps are back!
Some other things:
Diane's broach during day one of the mock trail was very elegant.
"Eli, there's a weird lady here to see you."
"Elsbeth, come on in."
"Why yes, I would. I love biscotti!" Elsbeth, before realizing what a scumbag Josh is.
"The Good Wife" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.
Follow Chris Harnick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrisharnick