The Good Wife goes all in this week with Peter’s campaign, a case that brings the NSA back into Alicia’s life – and some familiar faces – and an interesting discussion on diversity over at Lockhart, Agos and Lee. Eli’s schemes go full steam ahead until he realizes that his smoking gun will have a devastating impact on not just Peter, but Alicia too and Alicia gets in her own way when it comes to Jason Crouse. Like I said there is a lot going on in “Lies” and this forward momentum is what this season needs. Every week has been a case of “that was fun” and this is a vast improvement on last year, but we were nearing the point where it seemed unclear if it could be something more than that.
For all of the problems that followed the incredible strong season 5 one thing The Good Wife has is a very deep well of storylines and talent to pull from. There is still the matter of the election rigging which gave Peter the governorship that died along with Will (*sob*) and Alicia’s own voting scandal is very much at the forefront of Eli’s plot to ruin Ruth. This week also sees the return of the NSA dudes who are as much into the tangled love life of Alicia Florrick as we are (even if they can’t remember Will’s name) and never did I think I would laugh this much at goat videos.
It isn’t just that they have the best and longest guest star list on any TV show at the moment (maybe ever) or that their ability to rip from the headlines is incredibly strong (okay there was that one blip), but that they can weave the two together so seamlessly. The world the Kings have created is so rich and layered, which makes watching it such a pleasure.* Especially when the plot moves forward like this.
*Okay sometimes they drop plot points and characters in ways that are frustrating and you know what I’m going to yell, right?! WHERE DID ROBYN GO?
Let’s start with Alicia and Lucca; the case of the week is a gift from Canning and involves a tech firm – Running Milk – a wrongful termination and the NSA. Polygraphs are at the center of the firing and for all of Jason Crouse’s how to mess with a polygraph techniques (he did not opt for The Americans squeeze your anus Oleg advice) they come up short as the new test is being administered by a computer. It is impossible to use Jason’s inconclusive tactics with something automated as doubt is all about the emotional (as we will see with Eli later on).
There are a lot of small victories, followed immediately by hitting another brick wall and it is a tricky case because of the NSA involvement and what can and can’t be said in court. Also who can and can’t appear in court with Zach Woods making a return as Jeff Dellinger or the “poor man’s Edward Snowden.” Dellinger is living what he thinks is the covert and high life in Iceland, but he doesn’t realize the NSA are still listening in even with his list of precautions. Alicia under a blanket making this initial burner phone call did make me laugh a bunch.
This gets them back on the Alicia Florrick phone tap and thanks to her innocuous use of the name Edward Snowden, this means they can listen into her conversations again. Hitting the big time now that Peter has thrown his hat fully into the presidential race.
Alicia has some other work concerns and when the question of insurance comes up she reveals her Jason related worries to Lucca regarding the judge punching incident. What this amounts to is classic self sabotaging Alicia; this is the woman who in part started her own firm as a way to cure her dizzying and mind clouding Will Gardner feelings. There is an obvious spark between Alicia and Jason and this could get complicated for a number of reasons such as her husband is running for president, they work together and well he might be unhinged. But right now all I want is for Alicia Florrick to get laid as it has been far too long. No I am not counting Johnny from last year and yes I am still mad about Finn. Just look at his mugshot. Even that is oozing so much grufty rugged charisma.
Bad timing is what came between Alicia and Will, but really this is the excuse Alicia could use with any prospective beau. And Peter is the obstacle causing this. Now he is running for president and suddenly Alicia is potentially locked in for even more bad timing with anyone who might come her way. Switching out a goblet of wine for homemade no frills margaritas is meant to be a sign of Alicia’s reliance in booze, a warning sign of her impending despair if you will, but hitting the strong stuff makes sense when you factor in what the campaign trail now means for her.
This is a loss of freedom and privacy, which she has been trying to claw back since the pilot because the media is definitely going to bring up every single scandal they have been involved in. They may want to conjure up images of the Obamas, but they are far more Kennedy no matter how many matching outfits they wear.
Eli’s got a big decision to make and he’s got everything in place to humiliate Ruth and Peter. The problem with his Frank Landau plan is Alicia will get caught right in the middle and he clearly cares about her well being. Alicia knows he has something cooking so if this rigging scandal does come to light she will know he is the source. When Eli is watching the press conference he leans in and catches a glimmer of Alicia’s true feelings through her ‘good wife’ super smiles up on that podium. Yes she is baking in the outdoor attire while inside a sweltering gym, but that look is one of sadness that she is going through this public spectacle for Peter. Is this enough of a sign for Eli to go all steam ahead with this plot or did he misread this brief look?
Meanwhile over at Lockhart, Agos and Lee they have new summer interns to consider and the messy work politics takes a new direction this week. Work place diversity is on the docket and Cary wants to hire three dudes who look like him. He is not thrilled when Diane mentions this similarity to which Diane passionately rebukes him with “A lot of things that aren’t fair are true.” David Lee is all about getting the best and by best he means those who have been to Ivy League schools and Diane wants to mix things up and hire Monica. Monica doesn’t meet Cary and David Lee’s criteria and the discussion turns to diversity. Diane wants to challenge the usual hiring process and while Howard is Team Monica he doesn’t actually get a say because he isn’t a named partner. Ultimately Diane can’t get the guys to compromise and so Monica gets a friendly and patronizing ‘thanks, but no thanks.’
While Diane did fight for Monica, she doesn’t come across in an entirely positive light as she also talks to Monica in a way that would suggest that because she is black and from Baltimore she must have grown up in a bad neighborhood. The struggles that Diane and the others place on her are a stereotype and Monica is not here for Diane’s ‘understanding or advice’ and what she needs is a job. Diane loves to play the mentor and we have seen this time and time again using her experiences and placing it onto someone else. Sometimes this works, but in this situation it smacks of condescension. It is unnecessary for Diane to call Monica in to give her the kiss off, but this is Diane’s way of showing that she is the good guy here and alleviating her guilt. Monica sees through this bleeding heart routine and while Diane clearly means well the way she has gone about it is misguided.
In terms of Diane’s costuming her signature chain necklaces tell their own story:
While I’m on the subject of costuming here are Lucca’s best looks this week.
This jacket is also a fabulous addition to her already amazing costume roll call. They’ve established what a good dresser and smart lawyer Lucca is and now I really want to learn more about who Lucca is; we need some backstory please.
The pieces are moving and the conflict is building; I think it is more than fine to declare that this isn’t just a fun hot streak, but The Good Wife is hitting those pre-season 6 levels.