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The Good Wife and Certainty

24 Nov

A show in its sixth season can lead to familiarity and plotting that becomes easier to foresee, but with The Good Wife this has been far from the case as the storytelling has become even more daring the further it has progressed. Alicia leaving Lockhart Gardner last year took a devastating turn when Will was killed and this season opened with a surprise arrest for Cary that has dominated half of the story this season (Alicia’s campaign and the odd case of the week have filled the other half). This all culminates in the “The Trial” and despite the many obstacles they have come up against there is still a feeling that Cary will be exonerated; this is what Cary believes and his certainty sells it to the audience.

Plus they have Kalinda and she always manages to save the day at the last moment with a vital piece of evidence. Except this time it doesn’t go according to the plan we have seen many, many times on The Good Wife and a hard decision has to be made.

The Good Wife 6.10 The TrialThese weekly Good Wife posts tend to focus on Alicia (which is why I hesitate to call them reviews as I don’t always address the episode as a whole) and while I have touched on Cary’s predicament this season it is time to shine the spotlight on this character and Matt Czuchry’s performance. Czuchry delivers a wide spectrum of emotions shifting from confident subtle jubilation when the key witness hits the stand to crumpled realization when his Hail Mary lies; this is the face of a broken man and rather than showing his fears via a raised voice the understated reaction hits a bigger punch.

They are out of options and their evidence was flimsy to start off with; even though Cary is completely innocent everyone standing between him and jail is either dead or far too intimidated to tell the truth. With each passing week since Cary was first arrested one thing after another has stacked up against him from the multiple bail hearings to the extra accusations that have been leveled against him. As soon as they get one win, something else knocks him back down. Cary has still remained optimistic to a certain extent and he believes the law will come through for him because he is innocent. There is always another way, until there isn’t.

We are in the same position as Cary as we have seen The Good Wife pull a victory out of seemingly lost case on multiple occasions. This hope is misplaced when it comes to Cary avoiding jail time as each glimmer is struck down. The only option for avoiding jail is testifying against Bishop and Cary would be signing his own death warrant if he did this. Shoulder and hand squeezes of support are my misty eye trigger and there are plenty of these throughout the episode with everyone getting in on this action.

On separate occasions both Cary and Kalinda mention how they are ready for this to all be over; for Kalinda I am sure she wants an end to the constant intimidation from Bishop and Cary wants to regain a semblance of who he is. These past four months has seen his self-assured demeanor get chipped away and despite appearing like everything is all good as he wears his impeccable super sharp suits with matching pocket squares, Cary has definitely lost his sheen. When he gets given a secret option to avoid prison with an offer from Bishop he can’t take it because then this nightmare will never be over. Also they can’t take Matt Czuchry away from us like this, not when they have finally given him a killer storyline.

Alicia’s has been absent through a lot of this process, in part because she had to step down from representing Cary and largely due to her campaign. The pointed comment from Judge Cuesta regarding Alicia’s court presence and how she managed to squeeze it into her busy schedule could be seen as a dig at how absent she has been and yet she has been there to pick Cary up when it matters most. Cary and Alicia’s relationship has endured many contentious moments from their first year competition to the way they butted heads over Diane coming over to their new firm; one thing that has thrived is respect and compassion. Alicia is important in this situation because there aren’t complicated feelings involved as with Kalinda and they have a bond that is on a more personal level than Cary and Diane. The scene where they discuss Cary’s lack of options and Alicia still wants him to fight is heartbreaking as she is the one holding onto the idea that the law is just. Shoulder squeeze, tears, hugs and this question “You’ll come see me?” quite possibly broke me (okay yes it definitely broke me).

The Good Wife 6.10Other points of certainty and one that Eli reinforces throughout the episode is how Alicia really shouldn’t joke about ANYTHING, but especially if it includes stabbing one of Grace’s teachers. It doesn’t matter that Alicia was quoting her favorite show (Darkness at Noon of course) or that she was joking because this is a hard thing to spin. Watching Alicia’s campaign team of Eli, Johnny and magnificent bodywoman Marissa – I just want to repeat how much I need my own Marissa in my life – is the comedic interlude this episode needs as they try and figure out how to dig Alicia out of this new hole. The cycle keeps on spinning and when an easy solution presents itself to them, Alicia refuses as she doesn’t want to be the same as Peter accepting patronage to smooth things out.

Eli scoffs at Alicia’s ethics and it is interesting to note who does what unethical act in this episode; Alicia won’t take patronage but she will ask Finn for a favor regarding his former ASA knowledge of Cary’s case. At first Finn calls this unethical and yet on a second (very flirty diner meet up that once again had me yelling ‘MAKE OUT’ at the screen) he relents giving her something they can use. Kalinda’s attempt to use this information ends up screwing Cary over even further as she threatens Bishop where it hurts most – his son – and the last time someone wanted to take Dylan away they ended up dead. If Bishop is willing to kill Dylan’s mother he really is capable of anything. And Peter comes through to help Alicia out with her problem doing the very thing that Alicia didn’t want done in a roundabout way. The only person with something at stake that doesn’t do something unethical is Cary when he turns down Bishop’s Barcelona offer. Although he does ask Alicia to ask Finn about the plea deal so I guess that counts. Basically everyone is willing to bend the rules in one way or another.

Cary’s change of plea at the end of the episode comes across as very final and now we have the long wait until January 4 to see what will happen next. Yep, over a month without The Good Wife. *Sigh*

[Source]

 

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7 Responses to “The Good Wife and Certainty”

  1. Anya Rush December 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    No, you were initially right. Cary is the only one with something at stake and doesn’t do something unethical. Becaues it wasn’t Cary who asked Alicia to ask Finn but Kalinda in yet another phonecall between them (everything is so tragic 😦 )

    • Emma Fraser December 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Cary mentions Finn as a potential source of help at the start of the episode prior to Diane and Alicia going to see him. Kalinda then reiterates this avenue later on in the episode (which is when Alicia goes to see him at the diner). And you’re spot on about everything being so tragic at the moment.

      • Anya Rush December 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

        I don’t remember that. I guess you’re right. But he’s still the relatively less morally ambiguous character on the show hands down.

      • Emma Fraser December 9, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

        I definitely agree with you about Cary and sadly he’s the one who is getting punished for something he didn’t even do.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Good Wife, Unethical Shortcomings and Simply Being a Lawyer | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 5, 2015

    […] but it has been the center of many heated conversations and Kalinda pushed him too far in the last episode; just look at how small and nervous she looks in this location. Kalinda has a couple of pressing […]

  2. Feeling Bad on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 2, 2015

    […] these characters might take that could lead to victory despite a dodgy background or could land the least complicit person in jail. Even in the Lemond Bishop story he has to deal with everyday problems and not resort to his usual […]

  3. A Guide to Not Backing Down on The Good Wife | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 2, 2015

    […] and this is where the Cary/Howard battle hits breaking point. Howard has informed Erickson of Cary’s temporary home last year and causes major embarrassment for Cary when it becomes clear that they think he is some […]

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