A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Yeah, The Good Wife is back! My favorite show that is twenty-two episodes per season, the CBS critical darling returns with an episode that is possibly one of the best paced episodes they have ever had. There’s a propulsive energy from beginning to finish, buoyed by Erica Shelton Kodish’s excellent script and Rosemary Rodriguez’s dynamic direction. Tension fills every aspect of the frame as the clock ticks against many of our protagonists, forcing the gray area The Good Wife’s characters love to inhabit to its absolute limit. The ticking time bomb of six hours regarding Cary’s freedom especially provides a great deal of that tension as everyone is racing against the merciless tick tock of the clock. At those critical junctures where time is slipping through one’s fingers so quickly, there’s more often than not few options outside of simply making a decision and a decisive one at that. Conscience can largely become a small component in such scenarios and the consequences in and of themselves can be potentially devastating.
The most devastating consequence is largely centered around Kalinda this week. It’s relatively problematic, how Kalinda has been used after that incredibly dramatic cliffhanger at the end of the third season. The husband subplot was wildly erratic and ever since then, Kalinda has become a sort of cipher instead of the fully realized character she was. She became a narrative tool for the narrative arcs of others instead of being served with a character arc of her own. This season, however, there’s renewed energy around Kalinda and certainly that has a good deal to do with Archie Panjabi departing the show as season six wraps up. Her strengths have in some ways become her weaknesses as she increasingly finds herself bound within corners that are far too tight to squeeze out of. Kalinda has always been the sexy mystery of the show, a character who operates within the shadows without the clearest sense of who meant what to her. The relationship between her and Cary was teased at best but here Kalinda exhibits the most obvious sense of loyalty that I’ve seen from her in a decent amount of time. She has a true, tested bond with Cary and it is on that account that she so ardently pulls every trick to get him released.
As it turns out, there is a potential Brady violation within the case and the entire firm goes crazy in their efforts to prevent Cary from going to prison. The crux of the potential save for Cary arrives from the drugs being exported out of Chicago, not into the city itself. Kalinda’s tech buddy helps her discover a quick fix, yet unfortunately there’s a snag. It’s a devastating blow to what had become such a promising way to save Cary. And then that crummy moment of making a quick decision as time is running our hits Kalinda. Hacking is one thing, but hacking into the police system to fake evidence for a case is another thing entirely – the sheer amount of crimes committed through one single act is astronomical. And Kalinda does it. Why exactly she does it smartly remains a mystery. An open Kalinda is a bad Kalinda as the first half of season four showed us so clearly. But she does it undoubtedly for Cary and in the process seals her fate in one of the most tragic twists of irony this show has ever done. Cary is now free, but Kalinda damned herself in making that happen.
The election storyline continues to prove its worth, remaining the most compelling portion of the entire season. Alicia is prepping for her debate with Prady that is coming up next week and after a bumbling professor, Finn Palmer enters into the debate arena as the fake Prady. There’s immediately a fiery connection that erupts into a passionate debate and just in time Governor Peter Florrick steps in. Yes, he’s Alicia’s husband, yet at the same time his presence there was perhaps the wrong call. Running on a record of corruption within the office of the State’s Attorney with a former SA in the same room reeks of absolute awkwardness, enhanced even more so with Peter himself. A man of immense ego despite his rampant stupidity in the original scandal, Peter can’t bear to see his record being partially trashed on stage. Palmer leaves in awkwardness and the true fires begin to erupt. Alicia passionately trashes Peter as Prady, enflamed by Peter’s seeming reluctance to help Cary out. A fantastic Alicia stomps Peter into the ground before Eli calls the debate to a break, much to Johnny’s chagrin and Marissa’s disappointment. As Alicia savors the triumph of her debate with Peter, the call of Cary’s victory comes in. Electricity seemingly crackles through Alicia’s frame. Excitedly she walks through the garage, whooping before she kisses a bemused Johnny on the lips. As the curtain falls, Alicia is triumphant, having done exactly what she wanted simply because she wanted to it. The world be damned. Everyone has now made their decision, awaiting the storm those decisions will inevitably bring in their wake.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+The complete rebuke of the prison system in Cary’s storyline is a great indication of how pertinent The Good Wife more often than not can be
+“A lot of things about Cary end up being about you, Kalinda.” Is this the writers acknowledging their own mistakes?
+Eli Gould has impeccably sharp posture
+“I’m her bodywoman, not her fluffer.”; “When did you become so crass?”
+“Should we tell him?”
+“Do you want some milk?”
+The irony of “Do not trust the girlfriend.”
+“I do, your honor. It’s very dramatic.”
+“The defense is trying to manipulate your affection for the dramatic.”
+“Meta data don’t lie.”
+“I won’ disappear on you.”
+“Hey, when I apply myself…”
+“You’re never happy. She’s kicking his ass.”
+“You just graduated. That was amazing.”
+Matt Czuchry was amazing
Title: Hail Mary
Written By: Erica Shelton Kodish
Directed By: Rosemary Rodriguez
Image Courtesy: Spoiler TV