The Good Wife spends its second week trying to get Cary (Matt Czuchry) out of jail as Diane (Christine Baranski) makes her move.
Let’s bitch it out…
Last week’s premiere proposed more changes to the status quo by dumping Cary in jail, forcing Alicia (Julianna Margulies) to take the reins of the firm herself while also negotiating Diane’s exit strategy from Lockhart Gardiner. This week feels like a natural continuation of many of those plotlines, with the return of the procedural case of the week to acquiesce the demands of casual viewers. That means we see the return of ChumHum, though not Neil Gross (I guess John Benjamin Hickey was busy). If we’re being honest, the case is dull as paint drying, but it provides us with a reminder of how awesome Alicia is when she’s on her game, while also providing another ball for her to juggle amidst the chaos, including preventing Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter) from killing witnesses and getting caught up in the maelstrom that is the State Attorney race among everything else.
I mentioned last week that the political angle of the series has more often than not been the show’s weak link for me, but watching Alicia get harassed from all angles about the race proves rather entertaining. Alan Cumming continues to delight as Eli refuses to back down, going so far as to call in a White House favour as well as instigating a Push Poll to simultaneously get Alicia’s name out and create an “enemy surrogate” in the form of Castro (Michael Cerveris). The writers also manage to tie this in to the case against Cary when Alicia confronts Castro to deny her interest in running against him and inquire why the DA’s office is going after Cary.
Following the premiere many critics (rightfully) commented on how, by making Cary the centre of the investigation into Bishop’s criminal empire, The Good Wife is paying off six years worth of world-building while simultaneously exploring the slippery nature of power that has so dominated the series’ interest. Traditionally guilty clients can be shrugged off because the firms are merely doing their job – we’re not passing judgment because our lawyer protagonists are one step removed from the crime. Here Cary is explicitly tied into the crime…or at least he was. ‘Trust Issues’ represents a bit of a back-track on that front by suggesting that Cary isn’t actually guilty because the tape that’s being used as evidence may actually be doctored from a conversation about hypothetical situations. If that’s true it once again positions our protagonists outside of the guilty zone, which is a little disappointing.
In fact, the only person left standing in questionably murky territory is (once again) Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) who must decide whether or not to inform Bishop which of the two remaining witnesses is required for Cary’s defense. Such an admission would essentially identify the mole in his organization and all but guarantee that individual’s death. It’s a juicy moral quandry, but this is traditional Kalinda territory (she spends so much time here that she might as well buy a time share). it would have been nice to see someone else made to answer for some shady activities for once.
- One of the elements that I love about The Good Wife is the staunch refusal to make Alicia right all of the time. She’s clearly lashing out at Peter (Chris Noth) after he refuses to co-sign the second mortgage even though he’s obviously adopted the more rational, reasoned approach.
- Diane brings with her a protege in the form of Dean (Taye Diggs) and six other high profile LG employees. They’re swayed to leave LG based on the suggestion that they’re joining a firm on the ground floor with the possibility of shifting the balance of power to women and minorities. It’s an interesting pitch that builds nicely off of her conversation with Alicia last week and reinforces why Diane is such a cool and empowered character.
- While I appreciate the visual symbolism of the transitory nature of Florrick Agos, the repeated motif of the office space under construction became less of an amusing joke and more of a nuisance as ‘Trust Issues’ progressed. There’s nuance, and then there’s hit-over-the-head obvious and this unfortunately falls into the latter category for me.
- Perfect moment: watching Diane run out the clock on Lockhart Gardiner. After grabbing her framed picture with Hilary, the embattled survivor exits the office with her head held high and a parade of defecting staff who literally fall in line en route to the elevator. The tear in her eye as she whispers goodbye before the classic elevator door close is the perfect final touch. LOVE IT!
- Almost as powerful: Cary and Alicia’s first hug when he finally makes bail. They don’t always get along, but it’s good to have them reunited.
- Proof that The Good Wife loves its elevators is evident when Alicia gets her own moment as she seemingly pauses to contemplate (once again) running for office after a generous offer from wealthy businessman Ernie Nolan (Michael Gaston). Side Note: While I’m not a huge fan of frazzled Robyn (Jess Weixler), her argument for taking Nolan’s $1.3 million is highly entertaining.
- Alicia/Finn (Matthew Goode) shipper update: a long look when he calls her to the stand to testify about the bail money. Side Note 2: I do feel like there’s no way Finn would be able to introduce the evidence that 20% of Roha’s gym business (aka the legitimate arm of Bishop’s business) comes from dead clients. Wouldn’t he have to call Roha himself? This just didn’t seem legally possible, although narratively it did what it needed to do.
- Finn (turning his statement into a question): “You have to be pretty generous to post $1.3 million to someone you barely know?”
- Alicia (when Mrs. Jarrett asks how she’s doing): “I’m…good”
- Alicia (when Mr. Nolan asks to speak with her privately): “Well actually Robyn is my most trusted confidant, so…no.”
- Opposing council woman (when Alicia wins her case): “I should have hired you. You’re an assassin.”
Your turn: are you happy that Cary is out of jail? Did you fist-pump when Diane made her exit? Is Eli being shameless, manipulative or is he a genius? Did you care at all about the random ChumHum case? Was the construction metaphor a little too on the nose for you? And how random is it that Taye Diggs just kinda showed up to join the cast? Sound off below.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm EST (or whenever football overruns push it back until) on CBS