Scenes From The Inevitable Ashley Madison-Inspired Episode Of “The Good Wife”
by Haley Mlotek and John Herrman
1. Alicia sits in her new home office, sipping a glass of red wine because it’s 5pm somewhere. She leisurely scrolls through the Eileen Fisher website, pausing to consider a really good cashmere wrap cardigan. Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s Eli!! He’s outraged!! He’s yelling on his cell phone while standing on a very busy Chicago street corner and he’s wearing a really well-tailored suit!!
Eli is mad because of the whole “Brittany Carleton” thing. Alicia doesn’t know what that is. He’s all like, Ugh, Alicia, don’t you even use Twitter? And then he explains that it’s an online dating service for married people who want to have affairs, and that HACKERS have HACKED the site and posted all the email addresses of their users, and his old friend, a totally respectable professor type guy, has his email in there! But he totally didn’t use the site, ever!! He’s going to SUE and Alicia simply HAS to represent him!! Ok time for credits now.
2. So Alicia is meeting with this old guy who seems kind of scummy but it’s hard to tell; she’s sussing him out, which we know because she’s doing that squinty eye thing she does when she’s sussing someone out. He’s a tenured professor, has written a lot of great books, very powerful and important whatever. He SWEARS he would NEVER sign up for something like Brittany Carleton. Someone is setting him up!! And that’s wrong!! Because…freedom, or privacy, or surveillance state, or something. This guy is basically like a hot Noam Chomsky, at least in his own mind. All hopped up not because HE’S been personally injured but because of the PRINCIPLES.
Ok, so now she’s back home, and she’s taking a look at all the paperwork, and oh my god, her old firm, Lockhart Agos and Lee, is defending the tech company Brittany Carleton contracted their security out to. Twist!!!!
3. Alicia has to have a meeting with her old partners only now…they’re on opposite sides of a case!! So tense!!! But they’re trying very hard to be professional!!! Ok, so Diane and Cary are all like, “listen, it’s not our clients’ fault that hackers suck, they did all this crazy hacking stuff and our clients did the best they could to stop them but like computers!! So wacky!!!”
Meanwhile, you can hear David Lee talking on his headset while his assistant frantically tries to keep up with all the incoming calls; as the firm’s divorce attorney, this hack is super great for business!! Lol adultery in The Age of Internet!!
Ok, so basically this case comes down to the fact that if the professor’s email was in there, he definitely signed up, and so it’s not, like, libelous or whatever that his email is included in the data dump. And ALSO Diane and Cary know for a FACT that this guy was having an AFFAIR with his STUDENT while he was STILL MARRIED to his wife!! Who he is currently divorcing!! And if he commits adultery the prenup won’t count or whatever and she’ll get all of his money, because he’s one of those superstar professors who make a lot of money on his books and giving speeches and stuff. Uh oh, Alicia didn’t know that, she’s pissed. She’s got a good blazer on though.
4. Alicia confronts the professor and is like, what the fuck, you’re full of shit. And he is all like Uh if I wanted to have an affair I would not use a service like Brittany Carleton, have you seen me, I’m hot and all my students want to fuck me all the time. He’s not like a regular professor he’s a hot professor.
But — Alicia presses him — he is currently fucking a student, right? And he’s huffing and puffing but finally he admits that he and his grad student hooked up AFTER she graduated and AFTER he had already separated from his wife. He swears on a stack of Foucault hardcovers!! Wow, that’s real, he must be serious, Alicia muses this carefully. She goes to see his wife herself because she has a new firm and no investigator and also she kind of ran Kalinda off, maybe, sources are conflicting but it doesn’t look good.
5. The wife is sooooooooo hot — maybe she could be played by Amber Valletta, because seriously why isn’t she in every television show I watch forever — but also super bitter about her ex, who she is convinced was cheating and so she is entitled to half of everything no matter what the dumb prenup says. Ugh wives am I right. Alicia gives her the squinty eye face because she’s thinking that maybe this wife put her husband’s email in there DELIBERATELY to set him up? Like maybe somehow she knew the data would be leaked and so was like, ha ha, here will be evidence that my soon-to-be-ex-husband sucks.
Alicia tests this theory by asking her son, who is a teenage boy and is very good at computers. He says a bunch of tech stuff that neither Alicia nor I can understand, but basically, that’s an interesting theory but implausible.
Alicia needs to know more about this guy; she decides to go meet his new girlfriend.
6. At the university, Alicia meets the new girlfriend who has stopped by to visit her new bf. She’s with her friend, who is a cute age-appropriate man; Alicia uses her mom vibes to be like, Yo, why didn’t you just date him? But that’s judgmental and Alicia should just trust that women know who they want to get it with and support their getting-it-related choices. This young guy is kind of a sad sack character who is clearly totally in love with this cute girl and HATES this dumb old professor who gets all the grad students. He’s writing his thesis on something related to Internet privacy. Huh, Alicia wonders. Hm, she muses.
7. Back at home, two glasses of red wine in, Alicia figures it out. That jealous boy grad student totally set the professor up!! He’s trying to fuck with his entire life because he wants to date the hot girl grad student!! She marches over and confronts him and he confesses because it’s probably been 40 minutes by now and we gotta wrap this up. She triumphantly gets Cary and Diane to settle the case; Diane fidgets with her excellent necklace to signify that she’s mad but she totally hate-respects Alicia. The boy grad student goes to…Internet jail. Does that exist yet? It should. The professor gets to live happily ever after, ugh, but whatever. Alicia is happy!! What a great hour of television, everyone go home.