Tuesday, 11/09/2010, 10 PM (ET), CBS ‘” “The Good Wife” had an episode on Tuesday night entitled “Poisoned Pill” that featured Michael J. Fox as a brilliant attorney who exploits his physical disability to try to win a case against a pharmaceutical company.
Keith Eisner wrote the episode that Peter O’Fallon directed, and we learned a lot about how dirty it could get in a courtroom. It’s potentially a $90 million class action lawsuit over a drug that the surviving daughter of the family says caused her mother to kill her father and then commit suicide.
Michael J. Fox, as the defending attorney for the pharmaceutical company, plants the thought that the father had been sleeping with the daughter, although she denies this was the case. Fellow attorney Will realizes, after Fox’s antics in the courtroom, that, “He’s got soap opera and we’ve got genetics. A lie is always better than the truth. We need to give the truth the drama of a lie. It’s what Caitlin (the surviving daughter) needs to win.”
So, the firm asks their consulting expert to testify to the fact that the drug (Elvatol) gave some patients an elevated libido. Film of mice going at it are a hit in the courtroom. The dry, boring facts — much like the dry, boring DNA/genetic evidence used to try to convict O.J. Simpson (unsuccessfully)—suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Of course, their paid expert didn’t really want to concentrate on the increased libido aspects of the pill and began to huff, saying he was too much of a professional for that sort of thing. He maintained that until they reminded him that he had agreed to testify for their side and “We’ll be stopping payment as soon as you board that elevator.”
So, once again, money talks and bullshit walks.
There is another titillating subplot involving Kalinda (Is she or isn’t she a lesbian?) It appears that, at one time, she was “in” to women. The woman in question is played by Lily Allen, who once did a story arc on “Six Feet Under” and starred with River Phoenix in “Dogfight” (a film about who could bring the ugliest girl to the party.) Playing Donna, there are several awkward scenes opposite Kalinda, as Donna seems to have a broken heart that is not going to be easily mended. She lets Kalinda know that she still has feelings for her, but Kalinda apparently does not share them. When Kalinda more-or-less suggests that they simply “carpe diem.” There is a girl-on-girl kiss and then Donna says, “I don’t work that way” and walks out.
Later, at the victory party after Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and her team have won a $40 million settlement in the drug case, largely due to digging up the dirt on Mr. Randall Booth that he slept with one of his patients (“We need to kneecap Randall Booth,” says Will.), we see Donna again, saying to Kalinda, “You’re not connected to me any more. I’m not connected to you.” She is with Blake, who has dug up the dirt on Randall Booth and may be responsible for putting him in the hospital, as Mr. Booth’s office was broken in to.
Michael J. Fox shows up at the victory celebration and Alicia says, to her courtroom opponent, “You fought well.”
“Yes, Yes I did,” says Fox, and he then drops the bombshell that his entire task was to get the firm down to $40 from the $90 million that the case was worth. Is this sour grapes on his part? Maybe. Maybe not. He seems to know what he is — and was — doing, from the very first moment when he sent Alicia on a wild goose chase to find a pass he supposedly dropped near a hot dog stand and made her late for the beginning of the trial.
It will be interesting to see if Michael J. Fox is written into future episodes. It is also crunch time for the character of Eli Gold, who is helping Alicia’s husband run for office. The actor who plays Eli, Alan Cumming, shared (during his Chicago Film Festival appearance) that his contract is up for renewal and his character can be continued or dropped.
The African American female opponent running against Florrick is the target of a dastardly nasty Youtube ad claiming she had a boob job, but it then comes out that she had a boob job because she had breast cancer, so that is another example of dirty pool in the courtroom.
Watching this episode made me glad I didn’t become a lawyer. The entire subtext, “gotcha'” mentality and emphasis on playing dirty was depressing.