The Good Wife
Rape: A Modern Perspective

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 4 USERS: A
Look Me In The Eye & Tell Me
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


Rainey Selwin, in a fit of pique, types out the truth -- "I don't care if they put me in jail. Todd Bratcher RAPED ME" -- and tweets it far and wide.


The Senior Party was at Todd's house, and Rainey went with a couple of friends; in the criminal trial Todd pled down and now he's off at Princeton, so she's suing in civil court, proceeds to benefit rape victim advocacy. They're getting all of this on the table for the jury when Judge Parks gets a note about the tweet, and hurriedly sends the jury out.

Parks: "The only thing I have told you guys is that I didn't want this case to be tried in the press, so you have to understand that my gag order is very important to me."
Will: "Let me talk to Rainey before you start yelling..."
Parks: "This was you, right, this 'tweet'? Which goes against the gag order?"
Will: "Rainey, literally anything, if your sister posted it, even just pleading the Fifth..."
Parks: "Stop telling her what to say."
Will: "My client insists on her Fifth Amend..."
Rainey: "He raped me, so I tweeted that. Deal with it."
Parks: "Enjoy jail for the rest of this episode."
Will: "These young people today, they don't think of tweeting as publicizing..."
Parks: "Uh, no. Sorry."

So she's either dumb for violating a gag order or dumb because "tweeting isn't publicizing," but either way Rainey Selwin's being kind of dumb. If you didn't want to do this trial right, why did you press charges? Is it just that the whole thing is about shaming Todd -- which is a great reason, don't get me wrong -- so whatever happens, it's a good thing if it's public? His plea bargain was the just outcome, shitty as that is, so wherever this civil trial goes, it's about rightfully dragging him through the mud because that justice wasn't actually justice.

I guess that makes sense, given the storyline itself and the way it unfolds, but it's not a great look for Rainey Selwin considering that's the first thing she does when we meet her is work against her own interests and then tossed in jail for the entire episode, recapitulating the basic shitty fact that sexual assaults pretty much immediately stop being about the person, if they ever were in the first place, as everybody takes ownership of what happened and talking loudly about her interests and making it all about them, even if she's sitting right there in the room. Rape is the Godwin's Law of gender, it's the most extreme thing you can think of, and we've got a lot of ways of talking around and about it without ever looking directly at it, but as a topic it does give everybody permission to act out.

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The Good Wife




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