One of the major issues with last season of The Good Wife was that it stopped being fun when it got bogged down in the State’s Attorney election race; Alicia in court is fun and when she was running those courtroom scenes disappeared. Yes there were still cases, but even as this show enters its seventh season there is still something exhilarating about Alicia going up against it in court. Far more so than seeing her in a debate on television (or in the kitchen).
The Good Wife has for want of better phrase ‘gone back to basics’ and while there is a danger of covering old territory this all feels incredibly fresh because of Alicia’s time away from court last season. Her resources are few and yet she has still managed to find a team who are quick thinking and quick to adapt, but there are many obstacles including the task of finding a new investigator.
Ah yes, a new investigator is needed and for some reason everyone on this show has forgotten that Robyn was ever a thing. Don’t worry I have not forgotten you or your amazing sweater collection, Robyn. Kalinda gets a mention and Alicia goes for the investigator who reminds her of her former BFF; I’m guessing it was the leather part of her wardrobe that gave her these feelings because Amanda is no Kalinda and she is swiftly fired when she fucks up for a second time. Enter Grace’s first choice and guest star Jeffrey Dean Morgan giving super flirty vibes as Jason Crouse. And I’m already sensing that things are going to get complicated in this department especially as Jason was offered far more money from Lockhart/Agos; new love interest ahoy. Finding it hard to get excited about new romantic entanglements as I still feel burned by the Finn Polmar of it all.
Last week Alicia turned down Canning’s offer of a job because she doesn’t want to answer to anyone. This is of course a pipe dream as in the legal world there is always someone to answer to, but she wants as much control of her work environment as she can exert. This means taking cases she knows Canning has pushed in her direction is fine as the influence is kept at arm’s length. Choice or lack thereof runs throughout “Innocents” from Alicia’s case to everything that is going on with Peter’s campaign. Alicia knows Eli is using her, but because she is aware of his intentions she plays along even if he tried to manipulate her. This is the big difference between Alicia now and the one we met back in season one; she is now so much more equipped to deal with the intricate plotting of those around her. She is fine with Eli doing this because she wants Eli on her team.
Loyalty is vital in Eli achieving his goal so when Ruth asks Nora to spy on Eli for her it was clear Nora would tell Eli what she has been tasked with. For all her expertise, Ruth sure is getting played and as this battle between Eli and Ruth starts to heat up I am rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of Margo Martindale and Alan Cumming going up against each other.
Eli essentially tells Alicia to do what he has done with Peter and while Alicia is fine with being used by Eli in this manner – her response to Peter when he points out she is being used “I know. Who isn’t?” is telling – I don’t think she will be so thrilled when Eli exerts his second half of his revenge plan.
Alicia has to swallow her pride with Frank and the DNC to help with her “pathway to rehabilitation” and then she will able to screw Frank over in the future. In the meantime she has to play along including being told which way to vote and the smell hypocrisy is strong. There are some things she does not disclose to Eli and this compromised position is one of them.
Work is giving Alicia the freedom she craves and none of the bureaucratic BS Cary is dealing with over at Lockhart, Agos. Cary goes up against Howard in a way to show the younger associates that he is the guy they can turn to and it is about time for Howard as a plot device to go. He is not going quietly and he has plenty of friends in high places including a judge who moves up one of Cary’s cases by a month. Cary has an ace in his pocket and knows the best way to get Diane to listen to his concerns is to disrupt something that is important to her; Howard interrupts her EMILY’s List meeting and it goes exactly how Cary imagined. Howard offers the “easiest ultimatum” when he tells Diane and David Lee that either Cary goes or he does. Only one of them has their name on the door.
The connective tissue between the goings on at Lockhart, Agos and with Alicia is slight; Alicia rings Cary about investigators and inadvertently gives him a few leads. There are the inevitable cases against each other and I’m hoping this is one area that isn’t going to become a drag.Alicia went up against an old foe this week and one who pretends she only vaguely knows who Alicia is. Oh Nancy, I do enjoy when you come to play. Mamie Gummer makes a welcome return as the all too earnest and innocent Nancy Crozier in a case which explores the world of copyright, art and consent. The guest stars keep coming with Amy Irving (oh hey Emily Sloane!) playing an artist who took photographs of her naked children when they were 8 and 10 with Johnny Simmons as the now grown up son Erik. Erik is so unhappy with the new exhibition featuring his image that he took a hammer to one of them. This is how he crosses paths with Alicia in bond court and because Lucca Quinn gave Alicia the case she comes on board as co-counsel.
Once again Quinn shows she is quick thinking and hopefully we are edging toward Alicia offering her a position at her startup firm; especially as they won quite a large amount of money this week. In classic Good Wife fashion after exhausting all options they came up with a winning solution and even helped mother and son reconcile. In the same way I feel burned by the whole Finn Polmar business, this show has also never been particularly consistent with Alicia having any female friends. I want Lucca Quinn to be the exception to this rule, but I am also not counting on it. The chemistry between Cush Jumbo and Julianna Margulies is pretty great and they feel like equals. Plus Quinn is upping the style stakes with her penchant for color and pattern. A quick fashion parade.
Another character who has been given a wardrobe upgrade is Grace and she made the transition from the annoying teen bracket to rare teen that isn’t there just to antagonize. Plus she inadvertently provides a helpful solution to the case. And Alicia you really should be paying her and not just in awesome blouses.
One more sartorial pick from “Innocents” and Diane is embracing the longer jacket for the second week in a row; this one is even more spectacular than the jacquard approach from the last episode.
Alicia might be at the bottom of the legal ladder and yet this is the happiest she has been for a long time. The knowledge she now possesses about her work and the political world she is entrenched in has made her far savvier about how much choice she has. This doesn’t mean she is impervious to the manipulative tactics being employed by those around her and there is still plenty to learn – the Kings love to talk about how each season is part of the education of Alicia Florrick – but she appears to be in a strong position and there is a sense of freedom which was missing last year.