“Yes your honor. I would like to plead guilty,” Cary Agos uttered in the final seconds of The Good Wife last night, leaving the audience reeling and uncertain how the season’s featured player will manage to escape from the four-year prison sentence he just agreed to.
How do you get out of that? Cary gave up the right to appeal by accepting the plea deal. He threw away the opportunity offered to him by Lemond Bishop to escape the country out of loyalty to the firm and the $1.3 million they put up for his bond (how brilliantly was that weaved back around into the story?). He also refused the prosecution’s deal to turn on Bishop in exchange for time served, knowing that agreeing to any deal to testify against Bishop is tantamount to the death sentence.
Watching last night’s episode of The Good Wife felt, at times, like listening to an episode of Serial (at least the episodes in which I’m convinced of Adnan’s innocence): I felt overwhelmed by helplessness: There’s nothing anyone could realistically do to save Cary from prison, a felony record, and the end of his legal career.
The entire debacle, of course, was orchestrated by the District Attorney, though after he dropped out of the Attorney General’s race and after it became apparent that Cary wouldn’t turn on Bishop, it’s hard to understand why he’d follow through with such venom. Spite? He wanted revenge against Alicia for running, against Peter for not backing him, and it was Cary who took the fall. Geneva Pine had an axe to grind with Cary, but knowing what they know about Bishop, was putting Cary’s life in real, grave danger or sending him to prison proportional? They knowingly put an innocent man between two bad options: Death by Lemond or two years in prison. Talk about morally unscrupulous.
But there is yet still an out. Maybe. Geneva Pine slept with her main witness, Detective Prima. That revelation came out of nowhere, but perhaps it laid the groundwork to get Cary’s plea deal nullified. But won’t that just start the process all over again? It’s hard to imagine that Lemond Bishop ever stops being a threat to Cary — and now Kalinda — until he’s either dead or in prison, although I doubt even prison would stop him from killing either Cary or Kalinda, if he has his mind set on it.
We know that Mike Colter, who plays Lemond Bishop, is on the shortlist to play Luke Cage for Marvel. We also know that Archie Panjabi, who plays Kalinda, is leaving at the end of the season. How will those potential casting changes play out on The Good Wife next year? Will Alicia win the race for Attorney General, or will an affair with Finn derail her campaign? Will Robyn (Jess Wexler) ever come back? Will Peter’s affair with Ramona Lytton (Connie Nielsen) finally lead to their divorce? Will such a move actually strengthen Alicia’s campaign? If she wins, does she end up in a race with Peter for Governor one day?
I have no idea, but I do know that The Good Wife continues, in its sixth season, to be the best show on network television.