The Good Wife: "The Next Day"
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The Good Wife: "The Next Day"

After the real-time, balls-to-the-wall drama of last week’s episode, The Good Wife isn’t even close to done with the immediate aftermath of Alicia and Cary’s split from Lockhart/Gardner. We’re still gonna have a couple episodes just processing the aftermath, I predict. And that’s just fine. This week, we dip into their first turf war after the ChumHum tug-of-war. It’s a very plausible scenario: A Lockhart/Gardner client, suing a gun manufacturer, goes to Alicia to represent her because she’s the lawyer who actually did the legwork on her case. Legal maneuvering and petty name-calling quickly ensues.

Much like last week, The Good Wife isn’t pulling its usual feat of impressive plate-spinning, running several plots concurrently like it’s nothing. Everything is much more focused. Alicia/Cary and Will/Diane are fighting over this one client, and pretty much all the other plots spin out of that. The case of the week itself gets buried. Mamie Gummer is back as the reliably annoying Nancy Crozier, but she’s barely used as an antagonist. Richard Kind is an excellent addition to the judge rotation, but he has very little to do except insist that everyone squash their fists (apparently, he works with gangs).

But everyone has something to prove. Alicia and Cary are looking to prove they’re viable, and are angry that their legwork on the case is being ignored. Will is in full-on commando mode, seeking to destroy everything in his path and make Lockhart/Gardner more powerful than ever. Diane, who thought this would be the last case she’d ever argue, instead sees it taken from her, and then, in a much more powerful loss, is informed by Peter (off-screen) that she won’t be a supreme court judge. Will makes an astute point at the end of the episode—Peter is allowed to hurt Alicia, but if anyone else does, he goes crazy. “Bill and Hillary on steroids,” Diane ruefully snarks.

Let’s again acknowledge what fine work Christine Baranski is doing on the show this year. Her breakdown in the bathroom was very well done and wrenching. That’s one thing I love about this plot. You sympathize with everyone. Alicia and Cary are doing the right thing breaking away, but they’ve inherited ruthlessness from their old jobs, and they don’t seem to know it, sometimes. Alicia should have some big-picture compassion and talk to her husband about locking Diane out of a judgeship, but she’s too focused on what’s right in front of her. Will is the scariest of the main characters right now, but even he is just dealing with the rejection and pain of losing Alicia in his own way.

But, speaking of scary. What the hell was going on with Will and his new tattooed lady, who mainly just wants to straddle him in bed and say weird things like “I want your baby.” My roommate quickly posited that she was imaginary, and as crazy as that would be, I kinda have to agree. I mean, there was that one scene where she flat-out ate Will’s face in public at the office and no one batted an eye. Is tattoo lady some manifestation of whatever nervous breakdown Will is having right now? He was freaking me out with his whole energy speech at the end of the episode. I worry that Will’s going insane, and I worry that the show is deploying a tired TV device to show it, but I may well be wrong. If I am, then his scenes with the woman are even stranger and more inexplicable.

I am also getting a little sick of the “Grace is so hot” subplot. It’s a little insulting to the character, and it’s really lacking in depth. Yes, Grace is growing up, and yes, she’s going to get more male attention. Of course, Alicia’s going to fret about that, but she’s being treated like an actual baby right now. I’d like to see Grace have a little more agency in this, rather than simply gawk wide-eyed and be led by her wrist from room to room.

I really enjoyed this episode, and I’m really enjoying what the show is doing with the breakup so far. I could do with some more Kalinda, but I’m sure she’ll get some juicier material starting soon enough. But one thing I have to mention: My Melissa George alarm is ringing. It’s time to get her away from this show. I don’t know what it is about Melissa George, but I am not the only person she rubs the wrong way, and her breathy ethics chair slows every scene she’s in to a screeching halt. What’s this subplot where she’s pregnant and barfing into saucepans? Is she still intended as some sort of romantic option for Peter? Can we be rid of her, please? I know the ethical dilemmas posed by Peter’s activities. We don’t need someone showing up one episode later just to point them out to us, again.

Stray observations:

  • Diane appears to wear pajamas made out of silver. This is appropriate attire for Diane; I have no further comment.
  • Robyn eats pizza backwards, crust-first. Also, why are they not eating deep dish pizza? I don’t know anything about Chicago really, so again, I have no further comment.
  • Edward Herrmann was back this week doing his usual boss work. Love that guy, want more of him in everything.
  • Diane’s anger with Kurt for working on Alicia’s case was very justified, I felt. But his desire to see justice done was also justified. I can see from every character’s perspective on this show, and I love it.
Filed Under: TV, The Good Wife

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