The Divinity of Kafka in Action
A Television Review By Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!
The Good Wife always manages to find a plethora of inventive ways to tackle its general cases of the week, which for the most part do work by themselves. But it’s the ingenuity that keeps them from feeling stale. This week is heavy with religious overtones, which even gives Grace something significant to do for once. But even more so than the actual religion itself, it’s the dominant threads of morality that run through the hour. Our protagonists have never truly embodied the good or bad realm for lack of a better phrase, operating in the gray where most lawyers in this universe lie. Principle alone can only carry you so far. So when at the end of the episode Alicia calls Castro a bad man, it may seem like melodramatic writing from a five-year-old, but here it works as a statement of absolutism that is shocking. After all, our beloved Alicia Florrick represents strength as much as she represents Lamond Bishop, who despite Mike Colter’s incredibly nuanced performance, remains a drug dealer who has killed dozens of people, if not more.
For Cary, that morality comes as the price for his continued bail. Kalinda chose to name the federal agent working against Bishop right before in forming the said agent that Bishop is after him. Cary is unsettled when he realizes that that was the reason he’s even safe for a second, as he well should be. All he can think of besides the obvious release is if his momentary freedom cost a man his life. It’s a intriguing continuation from the cliffhanger last week and a logical one. It is something Kalinda would do, revealing the name and then attempting to save the man she just condemned nearly immediately after.
The case of the week essentially screams MONSANTO at the top of its lungs, but takes a different turn in consideration that both parties are actually neighbors. Not happy with the argumentative nature of court (do these two know nothing about litigation?), they decide to do arbitration in church. It’s an odd and delicious turn of events, considering that everyone has to answer questions, no matter how odd they may be and would be in actual court objected to over and over again. “Maybe this is part of God’s plan,” the opposition lawyer notes at the end of the case. Alicia’s eye-roll response is perfection. What this case allows for is Alicia to seek help from Grace when it comes to religion, a nice bombing moment between the two. “Do you believe in all of this?” Alicia asks sincerely, to which Grace equivocally responds that it’s the message that truly counts, even if the accuracy is something left to be desired. It’s a remarkably mature handling of such a sensitive matter from a teenager. After the arbitration is over, from which no one gets anything besides a repaired neighborly friendship, Dean reveals he was actually going to become a priest before he read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. He believes in God himself, asking Alicia how she feels on the matter. “I don’t think I’m genetically built to believe in God,” she replies honestly. It’s true to her character and the gray morality she consistently embodies.
Which makes the ending to this episode all the more thunderous. It’s been teased since the end of last season that Eli wants Alicia to run and that point has been virtually hammered in the past two episodes. Alicia runs into Gloria Steinem, feminist icon and one of Alicia’s greatest inspirations. She presses Alicia to run for office, noting how there needs to be more women in politics. Alicia thinks seriously about running for office for the first time and then Castro pushes her over the age. He is consistently a ****, pressing Alicia’s buttons before mentioning Will. In his ridiculous, vindictive mind Alicia’s running because she’s angry that Will died in one of Castro’s courts, which of course no logical, rational person would think. And Alicia gets angry. Julianna Margulies channels absolute fury as she stares Castro down. She storms through the governor’s office, opening Eli’s door swiftly. “If I ran, what’s the plan?” Cue violins and fireworks galore.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Alicia: “This is Kafka in action!”; Judge: “I find everything to be Kafkaesque in action!”
+Alicia on To Kill a Mockingbird: “That book created a lot of lawyers.”
+Grace knowing the differences between the standard version of the Bible and the revised standard
+Eli to his secretary: “Your precognitive powers are amazing!”
+“Men always have something to say.”
+The violin music that closes the episode is absolutely gorgeous
Title: Dear God
Written By: Luke Schelhaas
Directed By: Brooke Kennedy
Image Courtesy: May Be Goose Feathers