E: Maybe it’s because they took out most of the annoying politics, but that episode is what I’m all about, man. Meaty, twisty case with lots of topical relevance and both emotional and political complications, really ingenious maneuvering, and generally terrific acting and writing.
E: Maybe it’s time I followed Alicia’s advice and example. What if I take emotion out of the equation? What if I can forget that Alicia used to feel like a person I understood, one I could be friends with, one whose choices mattered to me? Can I still enjoy the writing, plotting and acting if I can free myself from caring about what happens and why? If I can free myself from the need to approve her choices? How much does maintaining an emotional connection to the matter when it comes to serialized television? To be honest, I’m having trouble just keeping a lid my annoyance at Alicia’s magically changing hair length. This week’s episode is all about control; the way we have it, the way we don’t, the ways we can cope when we’re at the mercy of someone (or something) else. Maybe I just need to drink some tequila and enjoy the ride.
E: Peter finally declares himself as a candidate for the presidency, an event which inspires deceit of epic proportions. And the jolly even stirs up old feelings, too. As usual, Eli sees the clues before anyone else: Alicia’s turning back toward Peter. Ho, hum. I can’t believe this is the result of genuine feeling so much as it is a plot necessity so that she’s even more gutted when she finds out that he was actually responsible for the voting machine scandal, hid his involvement from her, and then let her take the fall for it.
Because that, my friends, is going to be a kick in the teeth, even for a woman who’s learned to take punches without flinching.
In other news, Jason might be a sociopath. Christine Lahti plays a more superficially friendly iteration of Rita Wilson’s Viola Walsh. Lockhart, Agos & Lee is a complete disaster. And since we’re generally dipping back to previous seasons for our story lines, we borrow one of season five’s creepiest plots; Alicia’s back under NSA surveillance. Is the presence of the delightful Michael Urie worth that rock in the pit of my stomach? Time (and the corresponding viewings of goat videos) will tell.
E: Let’s take stock, shall we? Proving itself once more the most overstuffed hour of television on television, The Good Wife targets a particularly odious and bloviated foe, for-profit colleges, although typically it’s not content to execute that take-down cleanly; we also have telephone scam artists, and predatory college loan companies muddying the waters, providing us with a rather opulent buffet of baddies, none of whom get our full emotional attention. Not enough for you? The presidential campaign heats up (sigh) with a highly improbable stunt speech (double sigh). Eli pot-stirs to little effect (sigh). One of last season’s highlights makes a delightful but sadly short re-appearance. And guess what we get more of? Howard Lyman’s threatened ageism suit. BIG FAT SIGH.
Also, oh my God, Alicia. It’s like you’re aging in reverse; instead of getting wiser, you’re just making dumber mistakes.
E: It’s November, which means it’s time for an intense burst of smart grown-up movies: blockbusters, certainly, but with more depth than many of the summer popcorn flicks. And Oscar contenders through the roof. Just this first weekend bursts at the seams with amazing films. You could probably sit in the theater all weekend watching new, mostly fantastic looking releases.
M: More importantly, it means we’re only one month away from the opening of The Force Awakens! Not that I’m excited or anything.
C: Oh, not at all.
M: That said, E’s right, the release schedule is really heating up, there is some really good stuff to look out for in November.
C: Like, for instance, the killer cast of Suffragette and the total anguish of the final Hunger Games.
E:You know what your problem is, Alicia? You care too much.
Ah, it’s been quite a while since that could be said of our Alicia. What a refreshing change! Huzzah! Woop woop! Please excuse me while I rung around the room with some noise makers. It’s really nice to see that desire for justice awake in her, isn’t it? Now, maybe the show’s point was that the injustice is going to make her run away, because she can’t be properly uncaring like she ought to be, and maybe I’m just pathetically grateful for even the smallest sop to her old personality, but it was awesome while it lasted.
E: In which Alicia invokes attorney/client privilege where it probably doesn’t even apply (but where speaking up could really have made everyone’s life easier) and also breaks it in the lamest possible, most off-hand way.
In other words, the show proves itself maddeningly incapable of making consistent character choices, yet still manages to entertain with a deeply flawed but also fascinating case of the week, outstanding family drama and an very unexpected — yet rather delicious — alliance. And also dalliance. The forest might be terribly disappointing, but the individual trees remain unrivaled.