It’s hard to believe that there have been 100 episodes of The Good Wife. And perhaps it’s even harder to believe that in its fifth season, the show just keeps getting better. “The Decision Tree” is my favorite episode of the season, second to “Hitting the Fan,” naturally. And a lot happened, so let’s get to it:
The episode opened up with a nod to the show’s 100th: Kalinda’s speedometer was clocking in at 100 mph while she chased after someone. Unsurprisingly, that someone was Damian Boyle. I love that this high-action scene was juxtaposed with a choral version of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Christmas carols and “in excelsis Deo” just scream action sequences. But more on Kalinda versus the resident bad boy Damian later.
Damian arrived at Florrick/Agos at the request of David Lee to handle Alicia’s exit contract. Damian had been instructed to return her $150,000 capital contribution after she signed the paperwork. Alicia was preoccupied with the firm’s upcoming holiday party. She gave Damian a ball to play with while she tried to deal with everything going on in the office. Eventually, she asked Clarke Hayden to look over the contract for her.
Speaking of the holiday party, Florrick/Agos had sent out 800 invitations, but they’d only received 30 yeses. It didn’t help that another firm (cough, cough, Lockhart/Gardner) was throwing a party the same night. Cary & Co. tried to convince Alicia that she needed to invite Peter. She wasn’t too thrilled with that idea, but reluctantly agreed to talk to her husband. Instead, he ended up calling her first and asking if he could bring his mother along. Super! But Alicia’s party planning woes took a backseat when Hayden returned with some odd news: Alicia’s exit contract had a note about her former client Matthew Ashbaugh, played by guest star John Noble. We last saw Ashbaugh in season 4 after he was murdered. That episode detailed his relationship with Alicia in flashbacks, and this ep was the same.
Anyway, the language of the exit contract attempted to exclude Alicia from any benefits regarding Ashbaugh. Alicia was confused and called his widow to get some answers. Instead, she got an angry widow who threatened to sue Alicia if she came after any of her money and just more confusion. And thus began the episode’s flashbacks. We were reminded of Ashbaugh’s love of Bach’s music, and we got insight into an interesting conversation:
Ashbaugh: “You’re not getting paid enough, Alicia.”
Alicia: “Tell your friend Will that.”
Ashbaugh: “My friend?”
Alicia: “Will. Gardner.”
Ashbaugh: “I thought you meant my will…. My last will and testament.”
NEXT: Alicia heads to court for the case of the week