It’s Election Day and all I can say is: finally! Let’s put this State’s Attorney race to rest, shall we?
Let’s bitch it out…
The ladies are on the hunt in the appropriately titled ‘Red Meat.’ While Diane (Christine Baranski) goes hunting for both deer and clients, Alicia (Julianna Margulies) spends the day waiting for the results of the State’s Attorney election.
The former is a nice showcase for Baranski, who has been sidelined for most of the season. Following on the heels of last week’s disagreement, Diane and McVeigh (Gary Cole) make good on their declaration to spend some quality time together. There’s plenty of humour to be mined from Diane’s exasperation at being surrounded by Republicans and ‘Red Meat’ does a great job of finding the comedy and the meat (sorry) of the story as Diane locks onto not one, but two potential clients.
After making a debacle of wooing Gil Berridge (James Snyder) over a wife/call-girl slip, Diane finds her political footing sparring with R.D. (Oliver Platt) for two hours over pro-life/pro-choice issues. If the outcome that Diane bags a client and dinner in a single span is a little obvious, I’m willing to forgive it since the banter is sharp and witty. I’m looking forward to round two with the pair moving forward.
The going is slightly less easy for Alicia as she hunkers down in her apartment for the day. The States Attorney race has been…how to say this…long, so I’m glad to see it finally come to an end. The good news is that there are a few last minute twists to be wrung from its dead carcass (sorry again). Unsurprisingly Peter (Chris Noth) is at the center of much of the drama as he throws her under the bus before providing her salvation. It’s a continuation of the long-simmering tension between the “married” pair and symbolic of Peter’s domination of Alicia. There are gender dynamics on display in Diane and R.D.’s conversation, but they’re far more explicit and, strangely enough considering Alicia’s storyline, far more political than what happens between Peter and his wife.
When Peter and Alicia fight, it’s all beneath the surface – even when it’s actually on the surface. Of course Peter knows exactly what he’s doing when he enthusiastically endorses her in the Mandy Post interview – he’s been playing the political game long enough to know that it is a great way to depress Alicia’s turn-out at the polls and make her sweat. I doubt Peter does this with the intention of rescuing her later and he’s even less likely to do so after Alicia confronts him and brings up his affair with Ramona (Side Note: can I just say thank you for its return? It’s bothered me that The Good Wife never really dealt with the fall-out aside from hefting Connie Nielsen out of the side of Peter’s SUV at the end of an episode).
It seems far more likely that Eli’s (Alan Cumming) reminder about the effect Alicia’s loss is the reason for Peter’s “impromptu” speech. (Side Note: I doubt it would work, but disrupting traffic and causing delays for the pro-Prady [David Hyde Pierce] after work voting crowd is kind of genius). Still, it’s quite the last minute gamble considering how badly Alicia fares for the majority of the day. As she correctly laments to Finn (Matthew Goode), the use of robocalls about parking meters carries more than a whiff of desperation. Still, by hour’s end, Alicia has what she was already prepared to give up: a new job title as The Good Wife ushers in yet another narrative shift. Ladies and gentlemen, all hail your new queen.
- Turns out that the men in the SUV following Dylan were actually following Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) because they work for Geneva Pine. This prompts Bishop (Mike Colter) to make a surprise announcement that he’s retiring and he needs help staying alive. Ummm…I did not see that one coming (although Colter is getting his own Marvel Netflix show, so I suppose it makes sense).
- During her time with R.D., Diane kills a doe and eats it. As someone who’s pretty content with rare meat, that is some red meat (some might even say blue). Still I’m sure it tastes sweet after landing a new client.
- Speaking of eating…Alicia attacks that donut the way I attack donuts: with purpose and unbridled desire. She is truly a woman after my own heart.
- Finn, Finn, Finn, you can’t just give a woman who likes you HALO, play as her partner all day long, then drop a bomb on her that you’ve begun seeing someone new. That’s not cool.
- Then again, Alicia’s smile with Jonathan (Steven Pasquale) moments before hugging Peter is similarly mean/heartbreaking. And just like that, Elfman makes a solo elevator ride, presumably off the series. Guess not all elevator rides one have the same happy ending as last week.
- Also possibly making their last appearance = David Hyde Pierce. Despite an offer from Alicia to come work as her second and keep her in line, Prady turns her down because he basically disagrees with everything she does. It’s hard to argue with that (Alicia doesn’t. She said so herself to Finn!)
- How much do I love the timing of the results? Alicia, Marissa (Sarah Steele) and Josh (David Krumholtz) all give a respective “ugh” as the news anchor delays the announcement of the winner until after the commercial…and then the show proceeds to do just that by cutting to commercial itself. Absolutely hilarious.
- Finally, election day robocalls dilemmas: is a fictional dead president’s secretary less impressive than a fictional president? The correct answer is Carol Fitzgerald.
- Alicia (after Peter laments what her comments cost him): “Let’s just get through this. Then we can get back to you using me politically.”
- Diane (surveying the top 1% of the top 1% of the 1%): “If I were to set off a bomb in this room, there would be no Republican presidents for the next thirty years.”
- Marissa (convincing HALO will take Alicia’s mind off Peter): “Yeah, you better fight or I’ll kill you.”
- R.D. (soliciting Diane): “So what should we talk about: killing babies?”
- Diane (when R.D. uses the word “kitsching”): “Good word.”
- Marissa (to Josh and Elfman, when they shush her for making a cappuccino): “At least I have a skill to fall back on if this doesn’t work out.”
Your turn: how do you feel about the election results? Do you agree that Peter knew exactly what he was doing in both instances? Were Diane and Alicia’s respective “hunts” against politically savvy men gendered in nature? Are you excited to see more Oliver Platt? Sad to see Elfman and Prady go? And what the hell is going on in that Kalinda storyline? Sound off below.
The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9pm EST on CBS. Next week we’ll see how the firm reacts to Alicia’s victory. Hint: it doesn’t look pretty!