Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) is a recurring character on the series The Good Wife (and spin off The Good Fight) introduced in the season one episode titled, Bad.


Throughout the series his role often centers around the idea that he kills women, particularly his wives, and is given the loose moniker of 'Wife-Killer'. Most of the cases/episodes that the character's involved in, tend to revolve around some controversial women, sexual violence/assault, murder, and his company/money. Now although at the end of this first episode, a body is produced, there is also this exchange between Julius and Cary:

CARY: I heard it was a necrophilia thing.

JULIUS CAIN: No, he chopped her up: put her in the dog food.

JULIUS CAIN (CONT’D): What was that jury thinking?

CARY: Tough to convict when they never found a body. The perfect crime.

I was wondering if the character's surname Sweeney was a direct reference to the character Sweeney Todd (Penny Dreadful, Musical, Film Adaptation), a serial-killing barber, along with his a female love-interest, Mrs. Lovett, bakes Todd's victims into pies??? (Is it any coincidence the actor's last name is also Baker?!!)

WILL: Sorry to be loading up on you-- but the client should be here in an hour.

ALICIA: Which client?

WILL: Colin Sweeney.


WILL: I love the reaction that name gets. It’s like the horses in “Young Frankenstein.”

UPDATE: Would also like to add that Will and Alicia have an exchange in this episode as well, in which Will compares the representation of Sweeney being like representing the horses Young Frankenstein, which is a Mel Brooks comedy film that parodies Frankenstein. (Colin Sweeney is a bit of a satirical character) In 2008 the film was adapted into Broadway Musical and whose cast recording was climbing the Billboard cast album charts at the same time Sweeney Todd was. In 2009 Young Frankenstein won a Tony, which is around the time the first season of The Good Wife was being written and filmed. It's no secret that TGW EPs and creators Robert and Michelle King are theater buffs, with a good chunk of The Good Wife's film actors also being stage actors too!

In addition, according to the script , the character Colin Sweeney had a different surname, Foley, which could be a pun on "folly" (Am not sure if this was changed after Baker was cast)

  • I think you are really stretching things here. Did Julius Cain kill his brother? This is just a co-incidence.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 15, 2017 at 17:06
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    I think you misunderstand---the reason I mention the exchange is because the "idea" of chopping up body parts and having something else eat it, seems like something iconic to Sweeney Todd specifically (this has nothing to do with Cary or Julius specifically in terms of plot)--granted TGW writers are so smart (and reference things all the time), I would imagine that CS might be a symbol that is a conglomerate of pop-cultural serial killers, as certain aspects seem similar to Hannibal Lector and/or other characters in the franchise (Mason Verger), but that is much harder to prove than this. Nov 15, 2017 at 17:43
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    Also Julius Cain is symbolic to shakespeare and biblical allegory--he's a character that other characters "et tu" a great deal, as many characters throwing other characters under buses is highly thematic to the series and the series wrestles with God since Alicia is an atheist. Nov 15, 2017 at 17:46
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    Here they mention their mind for Shakespeare, as it was a requirement for casting DL on The Good Fight: "Boseman is a character who dominates every scene, intimidates every lawyer, and is beloved by every client. He needs to look like a Chicago lawyer, but have a Shakespearean facility with language, and Delroy Lindo was really the only actor who came to mind,” showrunners Robert and Michelle King said Thursday in a statement." hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/… Nov 15, 2017 at 18:16
  • Actually after rewatching the series, there is an episode in which he is referenced as Hannibal with Alicia being Clarice... Apr 15, 2018 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


I don't watch the show, but based on a long tradition of meaningful names in literature dating back probably to Gilgamesh, certainly to Ancient Greece, and utilized to this day; and

Based on the evidence presented in the question; I'd posit that

It may also be worth looking into the meanings of the name Colin to see if the compound name provides deeper meaning in regards to that character's arc.

  • This does not answer the question. Is this a direct reference or not? Citation is a requisite here.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 15, 2017 at 17:01
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    @Paulie_D I disagree. The answer is based on literary precedent. "Chopped her up and put her into dogfood" is a very strong indicator. (I have, however, adjusted the answer to read "almost certainly" ;)
    – DukeZhou
    Nov 15, 2017 at 18:33
  • @DukeZhou Thanks! I'm hoping to find an interview or something more definitive, but I GREATLY appreciate the backup of likliness in literary tradition. Nov 15, 2017 at 20:06
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    @DarthLocke I agree that for an accepted answer, direct confirmation from the writers would be ideal, but I wanted to post a general answer to provide context on this aspect of literature, and confirm the validity of your speculation.
    – DukeZhou
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:43

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