Digital Ransom, Inc.
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Carrie Preston’s amazing Elsbeth Tascioni is back and brings back the dubious morality with which Alicia has for so long operated and not given a damn about. Castro may, as she exclaimed with such righteous indignation last week, a bad man but it doesn’t excuse her using such obvious treachery to distract Elsbeth in the courtroom. It’s the practical use of the end justifying the means yet at the same time it doesn’t paint Alicia in the light in any way, shape, or form. This is a more functional episode of The Good Wife, with a case of the week that basically doesn’t go anywhere in the end (that’s where my grade goes down a notch for the episode) but ends in a phenomenal reversal from the beginning of the entire series with an awesome chorus score to boot.
The case of the week relates to sexism and the firing of a tech CEO for being too strict and demanding, . The case definitely has a sense of being related to the firing of Jill Abramson from The New York Times and unfortunately feels so palpable it hurts. Women face this unrealistic expectation of rising up in the world and breaking that glass ceiling but by being perfectly matronly the entire way. When men are ruthless, it makes them ambitious. When women are ruthless, they become bitches. It’s frankly a vapid societal construction intended to keep women below men. When it comes to television, it’s the same debate. All the male, white, in their 40s anti-heroes like James Spader (The Blacklist), Enoch Thompson (Boardwalk Empire), Walter White (Breaking Bad), Rust Cohle (True Detective), etc. are seen as generally being a badass and well-defended. But strong women anti-heroes like Carrie Mathison (Homeland) and Alicia Florrick are crazy, unprofessional at times, and “bitchy”. It’s all too familiar to see a woman being on trial for refusing to let go of her strong work ethic for the sake of the company’s idea of how a woman should behave.
In a “little” side story, Diane clicks a malware link that removes all of Florrick Agos’s legal files unless they pay a ransom to someone(s) engaging in ransom ware. This leads to a nice sort of ticking bomb aspect throughout the episode, which gives us more David Lee versus Dianne Lockhart, so kudos for that. Since the decryption key went to Dianne’s Lockhart Gardner e-mail, David tries to use that as a bargaining chip to get something he wants, naturally. As it turns out, Dianne still holds the keys to the LG office leases and David wants those in return. Diane gives her tremendous laugh, getting the key from David anyway with the promise of thinking about the lease. Diane’s malware click and $50,000 payment from all of the partners turns out to be an ironic sort of boon. The encryption keys turn out to be the proverbial keys to the Lockhart Gardner offices. As it is, Dianne hates the Florrick Agos office block as everyone else does and she wants her offices to house her new firm. I’m assuming that Canning and Lee will not take to that kindly.
The best part of this good episode was easily Alicia Florrick’s speech as her introduction to the race for Cook County State’s Attorney. Even in the corridor with her and Peter, there’s a sense of echoing back to the series premiere, where Alicia had slapped him in a similar environment. They argue about the entire dynamic of the speech, which kicks off when Peter doesn’t want to be seen standing behind Alicia in what he presumes to be a weaker position, which is kind of rich of him all things considering. Alicia says that’s okay with an introduction by Finn. And then the fireworks explode. Peter tries to make it all about how much he needs her, but Alicia is equally quick to the jump. “You lose me, your poll numbers plunge through the ground!” she thunders. She doesn’t give a damn about his wounded ego and when he makes a crass joke about her sleeping with Finn, she throws her hands up in the air in a proverbial “F*** you.” Finn introduces Alicia and as she gets up to make her speech, Peter appears anyway, getting over his ego quickly enough. He makes his great intro, stepping back into the shadows as the limelight turns to Alicia. It’s a phenomenal reversal from the opening of the series as we see Alicia taking the charge as Peter fades into the background. It’s not the falling down, it’s the staying down. Never give up.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+What an ugly euphemism “brash management style” has become
+The line about a white man being rewarded for something a woman would get sacked for.
+“What is she objecting to?”
+“I like that broach.”
+Cary’s lunch is sex with Kalinda. Can’t argue with that.
+/-Kalinda and Carey with an “e” using Russian and the pictures of Pussy Riot and anti-Putin protests to implicate their Russian cyber terrorist was pretty awesome at first, if a fairly meh end to a stupid narrative
+/-I didn’t care for Kalinda’s lesbian love story. It felt perfunctory, if necessary to the plot. But what it did bring out was an emotionally complex Kalinda that’s been missing for a while.
Title: Shiny Objects
Written By: Keith Eisner
Directed By: Frederick E. O. Toye
Image Courtesy: 7 GNow