Another Sunday. Another great episode of The Good Wife. I really love that instead of jumping right back into the thick of things with the first episode, the writers are really laying the groundwork for the inevitable explosion of drama (see: Florrick, Agos, & Associates). Perhaps the writers learned their lesson last season. Remember how excited we all were for Kalinda’s mysterious husband to make his debut? Then Nick showed up in the season 4 premiere, and we all hated him and that story line. So I’ll gladly take some drama that seems well thought out and certainly better executed than last year’s Kalinda/Nick flop. But enough about last year…. Let’s dive into “The Bit Bucket.”
“Thank Edward Snowden. Everybody’s cracking down now.” That was a line uttered in the episode, but also a nod to the case of the week. Because you can thank Edward Snowden for the NSA-centric story that fueled “The Bit Bucket.” Two NSA employees, Tyler (Tobias Segal) and Jeff (Zach Woods, a.k.a. Gabe from The Office), were tasked with monitoring the firm’s communications. The surveillance was deemed necessary by the NSA because a former Lockhart/Gardner client, Danny Marwat. He’d been accused of collaborating with the Taliban, and Lockhart/Gardner defended him in season 3.
Back at Lockhart/Gardner, Alicia & Co. were working with Chumhum’s Neil Gross (John Benjamin Hickey) on a case involving the (you guessed it!) NSA. The government had repeatedly asked Chumhum to provide user information from the company’s many social networking sites. Gross and Chumhum had refused, and wanted to reassure their users that they weren’t complying. But a government-issued gag order had made it impossible for him to deny anything. The lawyers at Lockhart/Gardner came up with a game plan to sue the NSA for prior restraint. Unbeknownst to our favorite lawyers, this was a particularly tricky issues since the aforementioned NSA employees, Tyler and Jeff, were listening in on phone calls and overheard the firm’s plan to sue. It was complicated. But nothing a goat screaming like a human couldn’t fix! (Tyler and Jeff – and many of their fellow NSA employees – were quite fond of this Internet meme. And on that note, The Good Wife writers might want to be careful with their phone calls from now on.)
Anyway, Tyler and Jeff wondered whether or not their warrant restricted them from listening to a law firm in active litigation with the NSA for a non-terroristic action. Good question, guys. To me, this seems like an obvious conflict of interest. But apparently, it’s no big deal. Listen away, NSA, and bleat like a goat all you want! The powers that be at the NSA had no issue with the pending lawsuit, but they did request that
Frick and Frack Tyler and Jeff find a more recent terrorist connection in their surveillance to warrant listening in on the governor-elect.
NEXT: Peter and Eli try to secure Diane’s Supreme Court nomination