It’s not unusual that I won’t totally grasp the details of the case of a week on The Good Wife. Sometimes, things get rushed through; sometimes, the case is less important than the larger plots it’s pushing. I suppose that was true with this episode’s case, but I have to confess, I barely had any idea what was going on for most of the time. There was a couple, a dorky professor and a sexy blonde lady, enjoying some sort of improbable love, but they’d also maybe brought cocaine back with them to America for a drug trafficker? Or did the stewardess (Ashley Williams, Ted’s lady from How I Met Your Mother) do it? Who knows! There’s two juries, though! And a very frustrated Victor Garber!
The point of the case of the week was really two-fold. One was to explore another weird facet of the law, something this show loves doing. In this case, it was a two-jury trial, where two cases are tried simultaneously for two separate juries. I have never heard of such a thing, and I am sure that it is rare, because boy, oh boy, does this shit look complicated. One jury can’t hear some of the things another jury can, nobody wants to sit in the folding chairs, and there’s some business with stinky Thai food I wish we’d explored further. Garber, making his first appearance as a judge of the week, empanels the two juries in the name of efficiency and quickly regrets that decision.
Because the real reason we’re watching this chaos unfold is that it’s another way to get Alicia and Will together. Usually, they’re on opposite ends of the courtroom, but The Good Wife knows how implausible that’s going to be week to week. Plus, we’ve been starved of Geneva and Matan, prosecutors extraordinaire, who show up for this case. With the two juries, Alicia and Will have to fight on the same side, but only sort of, since each is representing one of the defendants. Predictably, infighting, weird legal tactics, and an eventual frosty alliance ensue.
Right? I think that’s what happened at the end, but like I said, I didn’t really follow. The whole thing already had me completely baffled before it looked like Robyn had cracked the case—the cute couple didn’t do it, it was the mean stewardess we saw earlier! Classic bait and switch! So Alicia tries to nail the case to her head, and (I think) gets Will on her side to do the same, but it only kinda works, and Alicia’s client ends up with a plea bargain while Will’s walks free. The conclusion felt rushed, to say the least, and while it was probably realistic that Alicia couldn’t turn around the charges onto the stewardess with one cross-examination, that piece of evidence felt unexplored. This struck me as an episode where a lot fell on the cutting room floor.
Understandable, since this is the overstuffed Good Wife, but usually, the show does a better job striking its balance. We also had a lot of time to spend on the case of the missing ballot box, since this was an episode Chris Noth was in (and the series used him as much as possible). One problem with this storyline: It’s heavily reliant on Melissa George. That’s-a no-good! Her goofiness had become… somewhat endearing in recent weeks. Mostly bizarre, but kinda funny. Let’s never forget: Peter Bogdanovich.
But her switch back to steely ethics chair is far less credible. She’s shocked, shocked to realize underhand tactics occur during an Illinois election! How could Eli dodge her questions? How could Peter invoke attorney-client privilege to keep Will from talking? Her naiveté is neither realistic nor compelling. This episode felt like a lot of stalling until Peter and Will’s big confrontation—Will has a lot over the Governor in terms of what he can testify about, and he bears multiple grudges. He can claim it’s all about Diane getting screwed over, of course, but we know differently.
Excited for more of that, but expecting it to get drawn out as much as possible over the rest of the year, especially with Noth only appearing in 13 or so episodes per season (this was his seventh of the year). But let’s be honest: I think pretty much everyone was the most excited about Kalinda and Cary’s antics this week.
After a bunch of episodes that featured lame old Jason O’Mara and Kalinda sleeping with some boring cop lady, it was a very welcome throwback to have her and Cary up to their old tricks again. The cooling-off is officially over, and not because Kalinda proved her worth as a friend. Quite the opposite: She screws Cary over first chance she gets, trying to protect the firm with a false tip he plants for her. But after realizing he screwed her over? Well, game recognizes game. Kalinda’s in this for real now. Cary’s final little fakeout before going out for a drink with her pretty much made the episode.
- Tom Skerritt was straight-up weird in his one scene. It felt like they had woken him up five seconds before rolling the camera.
- Margulies nailed her voice cracking as she tells Peter to take care of shit. Powerful moment—she’s invoking Zack’s name as the reason she’s so upset, but it’s somewhat of a Lady Macbeth moment too, as she’s telling her husband to sort it out, whatever the cost, ethical or otherwise.