The Good Wife 6.07: “Message Discipline” Review

The Interview

A Television Review by Akash Singh


There was inherently a problem within the Alicia vs Castro storyline, regardless of how well it was executed. It was a situation of the inevitable winner and even though that wads quite fun on the outset, there is a fundamental reality The Good Wife acknowledged about that plot this week. There has to be a third candidate to mix things up. It’s a narrative trick about political story lines that’s been used since forever and in many ways it’s become a cliché. But it’s one that works and depending on who is involved and in what manner, it can be thrillingly brilliant. After a while, Alicia begging righteous and indignant about Castro being a bad man would get old. Alicia being vindictive and willing to do anything to win with two other candidates in the mix while retaining that sense of righteousness is another thing entirely. “You’re a hypocrite,” she snarls viciously at Frank Predy and that is an Alicia I can certainly get behind. What that says about me as a person is another issue entirely, but what it says for Alicia is an infallible sense of an individual who has been through the ringer and refuses to go through it one more time without having a damned say about it.

Frank Predy in question is a massive television personality that for some reason complains about having a massive fan club that sends him mountains and mountains of cookies (I don’t see why he’s complaining). In more serious news, Eli notices a petition whip at Predy’s studio, which causes Eli to have a sort of panic attack only he would have where he arrives at the fairly logical conclusion that Predy’s running for office. Johnny and Eli quickly begin investigating, noticing that Predy has been slamming the murder rates in Chicago for the past three months. The two are sent into an immediate panic, noting how Predy would immediately crush Alicia if the election were to be held that very day. Eli and Johnny both want Alicia to ask for an endorsement and if there’s one thing that Alicia has never really been good at, it’s asking for anything. It’s a supremely awkward exchange and in turn she doesn’t get an endorsement but she does get an interview. They prep for the most difficult questions but the interview was just chill, a terrible indication of what was to come as Johnny dryly noted that easy questions were the worst. Honesty makes you look like a novice and the opposite makes you look like a prick. It was phenomenally terrible interview and Alicia realizes how screwed up that entire event was. “I’m going home to get drunk,” she notes dryly. It’s a nice change to see Alicia not snap everything up and the show not giving her a pass on how tough campaigns can easily become.

Cary’s case continues to take a huge step backward, beginning with Finn connecting Evangelina to the case. While Cary was State’s Attorney, drugs went missing, drugs that were connected directly to Lemond Bishop. Naturally Cary didn’t deliberately try to push for the removal of evidence. Instead he basically did the exact opposite. He pushed for expedition of evidence at Peter’s behest (so a conviction would cement Peter’s record and give him a leg up in time for the election). Cary could care less about the actual election, but he was just doing his job and as Finn’s excitement would later prove, who wouldn’t want to cement their career by successfully prosecuting one of the biggest drug dealers in Chicago? Kalinda digs deeper into the case and even finds Trey Wagner, a former Bishop associate who turned over a new leaf, thanks to his sister. He agrees to testify against Bishop as Cary did nothing wrong and Finn immediately seizes upon that chance as anyone would. He takes the information to Castro, who refuses to reaffirm Finn’s findings, hell bent on prosecuting Cary. Finn recognizes Castro putting the election ahead of his job and basically says “F*** you” and resigns, meeting Alicia later for a drink. A sudden glimmer of hope went away, that dismay cemented with the unfortunate news that Trey and his sister are killed in a car accident by the hour’s end.

A vital aspect of American politics that The Good Wife always has done a remarkable job portraying is the electoral importance of Israel. It turns out that Predy had written a piece many years ago about Israeli settlements being a violation of the Geneva Convention. Alicia refuses to use it and good on her for that, but the essay leaks out anyway. Predy comes into Alicia’s office, noting morosely how many friends he’s been losing over the matter. It’s a marked note of the reality today where a criticism of Israeli policy is taken as a critique of Israel itself and a note of support for Hamas. That is a gross and vapid exaggeration that does absolutely nothing to solve the tumult in the region. Predy is pro-Israel and he’s pro-Palestinian but above all he stands for a common sense solution to a tumultuous issue. That sentiment doesn’t have to exist in contradiction as the show presents it, although these days the media certainly presents it as such. Violence must be condemned and how are we going to even come to the table to discuss peace if a civilized debate can’t even exist in the first place? The Good Wife isn’t afraid to shy away from such a divisive issue and that strength shows through. Alicia clearly echoes those sentiments, hence her refusal to use that essay against Frank in the first place. He notes that it was this release that pushed him into the race and Alicia wastes no time in pointing out his hypocrisy, noting how he’s been planning on running all along. That outburst can go either way but this race just gets a whole lot more interesting.

Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:

+I’ve always loved The Good Wife’s ability to be topically relevant and the use of Ferguson in context of Peter’s strengthening of security is fascinating as it is troubling.

+Trey Wagner describing Kalinda: “Lady, whenever I meet you there’s trouble.” Truer words have never been spoken.

+“Baloo? Like in The Jungle Book?”

+Camera close up of camera

+Angry Alicia is the second-best Alicia after Clever Alicia

+“You’re not writing a poem.”

+Finn and Alicia’s friendship is a thing of wonders and if they keep it in play as just a friendship, I will be perfectly happy with that.
+Kalinda is an absolute badass. Have I mentioned that before?

+That scene between Kalinda and Cary in the courtroom is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen. Amazing writing, direction, and acting.

+Diane pointing out Evangeline’s incompetency at prosecuting Bishop

+Finn resigning his post at the State Attorney’s office and potentially taking up office space with Florrick Agos Lockhart

+Castro making that terrible mistake of not going after Bishop while he’s running for re-election. WHAT. AN. IDIOT.

-No Marissa



Title: Message Discipline

Written By: Craig Turk

Directed By: Matt Shakman

Image Courtesy: Spoiler TV


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