The Good Wife continues to hum along, so why is ‘Open Source’ a bit of a snoozefest?
Let’s bitch it out…
‘Open Source’ is more or less evenly divided down the middle between two story lines: the States Attorney election stuff between Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Prady (David Hyde Pierce) and the case of the week. The latter features one of those “ripped from the headlines” bylines about 3D printed guns and First (or Second depending on who is talking) amendment rights. It’s a battle of responsibility between the man who printed the misfiring gun and Chris Fife (Billy Magnussen), the guy who made the specs, but that’s just the window dressing. The outcome of the case is unimportant: the real reason to care is because the case shines a light on how a staunch liberal such as Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) negotiates her political work/life differences with her new conservative husband, McVeigh (Gary Cole).
Unfortunately the conflict and the case are both pretty dull. Watching Diane make an enemy of her husband and then realize her mistake is neither satisfying, nor enjoyable; plus the gun control issue isn’t exactly a fresh topic, despite the technological twist. Sure it’s fun to spend time with some Good Wife favs such as conniving Nancy Crozier (Mamie Gummer), crazy Judge Abernathy (Denis O’Hare) and Finn (the always welcome Matthew Goode), but it’s not as though any of them are given anything memorable to do. All in all, a lot of screen time is dedicated to a story line that doesn’t really deliver. On the plus side we can now look forward to some hunting time with the Lockharts in the near future.
The flip side of the episode is the States Attorney election, which is down to the wire. Turns out that Alicia won the endorsement, which nabbed her the anticipated three point lead mere days before voters go to the polls. Prady’s handler wants him to play dirty, prompting Elfman (Steven Pasquale), Josh (David Krumholtz) and Marissa (Sarah Steele) to encourage Alicia to throw Peter under the bus before his politics can hurt hers. Naturally this runs afoul of Eli (Alan Cumming), who comes out with guns blazing…against Elfman. The development that Eli arranged a job for Elfman – one that conveniently begins in just a few days – is intriguing, but it surprisingly is little more than a blink and it’s gone plot point. Clearly this is introduced to up the stakes for the episode’s closing scene when Elfman finally acts on his and Alicia’s mutual sexual attraction. It’s kinda/sorta gratifying after the “will they/won’t they” these two have been playing for the last few episodes, but everything else leading up to it is just political maneuvering.
- I do love the fact that Alicia’s latest romantic entanglement centers – once again – around an elevator. In this case it’s the one in her home: Elfman is waiting for her when she exits and the doors close on him before he can beat a hasty retreat. It’s less hot than previous encounters, but yeah…anyone responsible for safeguarding Alicia would do well to steer her towards the stairs.
- Canning (Michael J. Fox) and David Lee (Zach Grenier) prank Alicia from Canning’s “deathbed” to make it appear that she’s investigating donating money to a Palestinian group that may support Hamas. It’s a bizarre C-story that had better come back before the election because if not, this is just wasted screen time. Could this be the issue that costs her everything?
- Crozier is usually good for a few quips and she doesn’t disappoint here. Unfortunately Judge Abernathy’s return is particularly uninteresting this go around. It’s too bad because O’Hare is far too exciting an actor to bring back for such a low-key appearance.
- Finally, it’s hard not to look at Archie Panjabi’s treatment in this episode as a slap in the face. Kalinda appears in a single scene, doing a routine check for the case that a) could have been discovered by anyone or b) should have included her for a longer period of time. In truth, ‘Open Source’ is pretty disrespectful to the outgoing actress.
- Alicia (admitting the truth to an unconscious Canning): “I seem to have some bad boy issues.”
- Marissa (tearing a strip off of Elfman): “God, handsome men are so weak.”
- Eli (when he asks if she’s sending money to Hamas): “I hate these silences, Alicia.”
Your turn: were you invested in either story line? Do you want to see more of Diane’s marriage (ups or downs)? Is Alicia making a mistake bedding Elfman? Will she lose the election on the Hamas issue? Sound off below.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm EST on CBS