Boy, it sure is nice to have The Good Wife back on our screens, even if it returned with an erratic, ridiculous episode that nonetheless managed to skate into my affections, especially thanks to that devastating final twist, which we’ve all been waiting for. There’s still a little cause for concern with the character of Damian, who feels like detritus from a rejected Scorsese script, and his cop friend, whose entanglements with Kalinda amount to nothing more than boring sexposition. But oh, we all knew those missing ballot boxes were gonna show up again, didn’t we? What we didn’t know was that Peter Bogdanovich would.
After the devastating impact of “The Decision Tree,” this episode was light and silly in pretty much every way. The lawsuit of the week was ripped from the headlines, with Matthew Lillard and a (brilliantly silent) Christopher Fitzgerald as musicians who had their jokey cover of a rap song ripped off by a teen musical TV show called Drama Camp. This is obviously inspired by what happened with Jonathan Coulton and Glee over the song “Baby Got Back.” Oddly, Coulton tweeted that he might have to sue The Good Wife now, but I assume he was kidding. Otherwise, someone needs to explain the concept of “ripped from the headlines” to him.
I must say I am enjoying the continued Lillard renaissance, with The Descendants and The Bridge, and he’s good fun gawking at all the lawyering going on, expressing his amazement at Alicia and Cary’s cool, and comparing them to jazz musicians. The case itself is pretty interesting, and I was unaware of the concept of “derivative copyright,” but the resolution was a little pat, as Robyn discovers a magic helpful thing buried in the audio that proves they were right all along.
The point, of course, is not really the lawsuit, because once again Alicia and Will are facing off in court and airing their unresolved issues out as best they can. Will is still in evil shark mode, going after Alicia just for the thrill of it, jumping onto Burl Preston’s case and objecting frequently to fuck with Alicia’s rhythm. (F. Murray Abraham, always a delight, returns as Preston.) It’s a dirty trick but it works, so Alicia responds by… wearing a leggy pantsuit, the one she wore their first time together, which apparently sends Will into a sex daze so profound he can barely form one-syllable words in court. It’s all a bit much, and when Alicia’s saying things like “the first time you banged me,” it feels like the show is trying to shock us with the change in Alicia’s character, but is telling, not showing.
Alicia and Will make no progress: They’re just in each other’s faces all the time now, to everyone else’s growing annoyance. Diane wants Will to get over it and focus on the firm. Cary rolls his eyes at Alicia’s bitter intensity, although it keeps paying dividends for the firm. Will is definitely on the crazier end. After opening a New York wing of LG, he’s looking to push into Los Angeles, which Diane thinks is demented.
Diane is, as usual, being her conservative self: One of the best scenes of the episode shows that this isn’t another skirmish between rivals, just a disagreement between partners. Will’s argument is that he should be granted the right to pursue his expansion plan, since Diane almost left the firm. Give me my shot, is essentially Will’s argument. It’s nuts considering this firm teetered on the edge of bankruptcy just a year ago, but Diane acquiesces. It’s a nicely played scene but it’s still hard to believe that Diane will go along with Damian’s antics for too much longer. Will is obviously headed for the crash and burn zone, and Diane has to be the one to pull him out.
The last storyline plays out as a typical “Eli running around and squawking things” C-plot, a common and fun trope for the show. So, Marilyn’s naming her kid Peter? After the father, she says. But it’s not Governor Peter Florrick, oh no. Despite the fact that such a twist would be ludicrous just from a timeline perspective, considering how pregnant Marilyn is, Eli sics Kalinda on the case and all signs point to Peter being the father. But of course he’s not. We know he’s not, it makes no sense, and of course there’s another twist coming.
Two, actually. One is that the ballot boxes from last season’s finale are back. Is this Will’s revenge? Hard to know, yet. But I’ve been waiting for them to show up and it’s very nice to see them. The second, and more crucial one, is that Marilyn’s baby daddy is Peter Bogdanovich. I demand a spinoff devoted to this storyline. A prequel, a sequel, a series of films, whatever you want to give me. I need more Bogdanovich. I demand more Bogdanovich. I demandovich Bogdanovich, morning noon and night.
- Will and Burl join forces. “I don’t like you.” “I don’t like you either, what’s that got to do with it?”
- No way Eli could hire Kalinda at $500 an hour. This is a state budget we’re talking about! It doesn’t hire private investigators for $500 an hour! Unless Eli’s paying for it himself, in which case, dayum.
- Burl is horrified by the Florrick/Agos office. “This is them?” “Hey, we all started out this way,” Will reminds him. “I didn’t,” he replies.
- Oh, the digs at Ryan Murphy and Glee were pretty catty, even by this show’s standards.
- “So you decided to change?” “Yep. Into what I wore the first time you banged me.” “That’s pretty low.” “Yep. I wasn’t so discriminating back then.”
- Peter Bogdanovich.