E: This week’s Good Wife brings us a brilliant treatise on identity. Where can you stand in the distance between reputation and personal honor, between what others know of you and what you know of yourself? When it’s your choice, what do you use to define yourself? And how do you respond when you’re not in charge of your own narrative? When you’re accused of a crime? When your romantic life becomes public knowledge? When your public persona requires personal sacrifice? Yeah, I’m a total sucker for those kind of questions.
I’ve made it quite clear what I think of the current direction of the show. This week’s terrifying, explosive, dizzying episode almost –almost — makes all the rest of that plotting stupidity worth it.
E: You thought you’d just sneak that in there, did you? All this build up this season and last turning Jimmy Castro into Alicia’s arch nemesis and what do you do? Drop him out of the governor’s race with barely a complete sentence to mark his passing. I mean, you’ve already pissed off essentially every fan of the show making her run, but you gave us this impetus, this overriding idea that Castro must be opposed and there was no one out there to do it and so some of us were grudgingly going along with it because well, he really did need to be opposed.
And then, poof! Guess what we’re left with instead? Alicia running against someone who kind of seems sincere, thoughtful and smart. That’s awesome! Why is she doing this again? Because she set herself on this path and she doesn’t know how to get off it? Because her very existence depends on not quitting anything she’s started even if it’s stupid, or because she’s simply incapable of reflection and self-assessment? Why does Eli even want her to stay in the race when his true loyalty is to Peter and Peter needs to be seen backing a winner — and Eli and the Haircut have both told Alicia she can’t beat Frank Prady? Why are we all stumbling around in the dark, variously blind?
In other news, everyone gets into trouble. Cary breaks the conditions of his bail (presumably while wearing the tracking anklet mandated by said bail, a fact I expect to be conveniently forgotten by the writing staff). E & E conduct a focus group. Alicia alternately pursues the reality and the appearance of good. And, surprise! She goes for a drink with Finn. Kalinda lets her hair down, and stomps all over Cary’s already traumatized little heart so she can play house with Lana, which seems bafflingly out of character. Louis Canning adds an oxygen mask and a wheelchair to his theatrical props. Sort of.
By the way, I’m going to try something a little different this week, largely because my son accidentally stepped on my back up drive and deleted half a show’s worth of recapping. It’s too late in the week to simply start again – hence, something a bit new. Or at little bit old, anyway. Continue reading →
E: It turns out that Alicia’s a pretty poor campaigner. Gee, who would have ever guessed it? Let’s all say it with Eli: politics is all about asking people for things, which is Alicia’s least favorite thing ever, and everybody knows it. Excuse me while I go knock my head against a wall (since it’s more fun than watching Alicia completely humiliate herself). Ironically, she privately makes the best case I’ve ever heard for her running. Or at least, she shows that she cares about the right things, which is something of a relief. I’m sure we see her acting like a moron this week so we can get an arc of her learning to do better, but man, was it excruciating to watch.
In much more exciting news, the noose twists tighter around Cary’s neck, and that thirty foot distance rule seems to definitely be making Kalinda’s heart grow fonder. See, they can beat up on a character in a way that produces good drama! Also to the good: the production design team does their best to make Will’s office not look like Will’s office.
In sum this week’s episode was a combination of the brilliant writing and acting we love, and the wrong-headed plotting and ridiculous character choices we all despise.
E: What a difference a week makes! Last week, I was seriously doubting this season, which had started off with such promise and then seemed to be veering down a deliberately wrong-headed course. After last week’s logic flaws, inconstancies and extravagant character assassination (not to mention overwhelmingly negative tone), this week’s episode got right everything I love in this show. Drama, humor, emotion, sizzle, the law, politics, topical references, complicated relationships, and brilliant guest stars. And we got two seminal moments 5 years in the making.
Really, I can almost forgive the whole stupidity of making her run for politics without any desire to do good just for those final images. They left me rather giddy.
E: Well. Sigh. It’s hard to know what to say, isn’t it? Except that a lot of that made me angry sick, both at the characters and at the writers. God knows there was enough of it – even without a case of the week we just got buried with new information and lots of talk, talk, talk – but it’s all just fodder for the Ego Express.
I feel like by hoping she quits I’m encouraging Alicia to be a lesser person, caving under an avalanche of dirty tricks. - except I also feel like she is a lesser person than I thought she was. I like politics, but I didn’t enjoy this all political episode at all.