The Good Wife (2009–2016)
3 user

The Trial 

0:36 | Trailer
When Cary's case goes to trial, a plea deal offer has him seriously considering jail time. Also, a joke between mother and daughter lands Alicia in trouble as her campaign for State's Attorney is in full stride.


Frederick E.O. Toye (as Frederick E. O. Toye)


Robert King (created by), Michelle King (created by) | 2 more credits »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Julianna Margulies ... Alicia Florrick
Matt Czuchry ... Cary Agos
Archie Panjabi ... Kalinda Sharma
Makenzie Vega ... Grace Florrick
Alan Cumming ... Eli Gold
Matthew Goode ... Finn Polmar
Christine Baranski ... Diane Lockhart
David Hyde Pierce ... Frank Prady
David Paymer ... Judge Richard Cuesta
Mike Colter ... Lemond Bishop
Sarah Steele ... Marissa Gold
Michael Cerveris ... James Castro
Renée Elise Goldsberry ... Geneva Pine
Zak Orth ... Steve Fratti
John Ventimiglia ... Detective Gary Prima


Cary's fate lies in the hands of a jury and not so pleased judge Cuesta. Kalinda tries to offer help, but the help backfires on Cary leaving him in a worse predicament than ever before. Lemond offers him a deal. But Cary is at a loss. Meanwhile, Alicia is in the media for threatening a teacher. Alicia and Finn feel awkward after last incident. They agree to keep it friendly and avoid romantic situations. Written by Mary Hanna

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Chris Jackson stars as the husband of Renée Elise Goldsberry's character in a sub-plot. Both are famous for being part of the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton," where they starred as George Washington and Angelica Schuyler, respectively. See more »


The Good Wife Theme
Written by David Buckley
Performed by David Buckley
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User Reviews

Clever Structure To Say Something Profound
25 November 2014 | by RyanCShowersSee all my reviews


Robert and Michelle King, creators of "The Good Wife" personally wrote this episode, and like last year, they chose to structure the mid-season finale in an unusual way. In the season five mid-season finale, the Lockart Gardner vs. Florrick Agos civil war reached its climax with "The Decision Tree", an episode that was studied the core of that civil war: Alicia and Will's love. But "The Good Wife" did not reveal the pivotal information about the characters in way other shows would have. Instead of letting a hysterical fight in real time occur, "The Decision Tree" exposes its meaning through flashbacks and fantasy thought processes. "The Trial" is like "The Decision Tree" in the sense that it does not follow the formula of a regular series (a court case scenario) or season (in the case of season six, a plot involving the State's Attorney's race) episode. Instead, the Kings outdo their own cleverness in the structure and the significance of choosing that set-up.

"The Good Wife" has erected its success by telling different plots from the point of view of the same defense attorneys (our main characters) fighting for someone's freedom, someone who may or may not deserve their freedom. The power and control of the courtroom has never felt as unsteady of a force until "The Trial". This episode explores the court case from the point of view of the judge, the prosecutor, a juror, and the defense's investigator, all people whose moods, efforts, and deficiencies could decide the fate of the defendant, Cary. The unpredictably in these numerous individuals play into the ultimate decision of a person's life, and that's something "The Trial" capitalizes upon. The brilliance of the episode lies in the arc. Cary can take his chances, allow his fate to go into the unsteady hands of others, but he eventually sees the risk as too precarious and takes control over the limiting options left for him.

Before the episode premiered, it was my prediction that Kalinda would find Dante, he would testify, and Cary would be set free. I was near certain Cary would not go to jail, CBS just bagged Josh Charles, they wouldn't do it again so soon. But they did, which leads me to think about where "The Good Wife" is going from here. Charles seismically exited the show last year, Cary is going to prison which means Czuchry is probably leaving the series, and we know for certain Archie Panjabi is finished as Kalinda by the end of this season. (Panjabi's exit is something to anticipate, look how titanically the Kings terminated the main cast so far.) The diverging of the original cast implies that Alicia will win State's Attorney and the show will start fresh next year, Alicia's journey with these loved ones is over. Now, Diane is the only question mark. She will obviously stay and, very feminist-like, run the firm alone, but will Christine Baranski be exiting as well? I certainly hope not, and I wouldn't guess she would be.

The more valuable parts of Alicia's storyline tonight where her scenes with Finn. Things are a tad uncomfortable after last week's lustful fake out, but Alicia and Finn try to power their friendship through that. As you may recall from the season 2 finale after Alicia and Will finally decided to give into their attractions for one another, obstacles kept getting in their way, as if the universe was trying to prevent them from uniting. In the key diner scene during "The Trial", Alicia and Finn sit soaking wet from the rain, the power goes out so they sit must by candle light, and a guitarist randomly plays for them while they eat. The two are trying to avoid that love and worrisome desire, but the universe sends signs for them to give in even though Alicia and Finn think they know "better". An astute and notable contrast.

The final act of "The Trial" left emotional traction as the cherry on top of its first class structure and storytelling. Kalinda confronting Bishop, standing up to him, and even threatening to report his wrongdoings to child's services was an insane, ballsy move, and shows the growth of her fear of Bishop throughout this season so far. Archie Panjabi rocked that scene and the scenes that follow, in the courthouse and the final exchange with Cary before he takes the plea. Christine Baranski killed me with her ever so slight facial reaction as Cary left the room, knowing he is in an impossible situation. Matt Czuchry will hopefully take Josh Charles's spot in the Best Supporting Actor line-up at the Emmys for his distinguished work in season six; he has proved himself in "The Line", "Red Zone" "Sticky Content", and now "The Trial". Julianna Margulies and Czuchry shattered the final scene with their wrenching acting and a compassionate representation of Alicia and Cary's evolved friendship. The final, ten-second scene of "The Trial" is Cary's guilty plea, and that short moment holds so much power, power derived from everything developed in the episode prior to his declaration.

Grade: A

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