What I See
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Mind’s Eye is an exceedingly eccentric episode of The Good Wife, but considering the rather meh installment from last week and the debacle of an episode before that, it’s a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it’s not the particular sigh of relief the show needed. Mind’s Eye sets its gaze upon being a filler episode and does so well, but it’s also digging its heels into a season that seemingly stalled. The tug and pull between Will and Alicia was cut short, but the show had somehow found a way to not let that strangle the narrative flow. That seeming narrative fortitude has cracked in recent weeks to the point where the only storyline going forward that has an ounce of oomph is Alicia’s election campaign, but even that has mostly been spinning its wheels. It’s not as if The Good Wife is all of a sudden bad or anything. It’s just that the show has been sapped of a certain energy that has made the proceedings lack the show’s usual vigor. The entire episode nevertheless is a splendid sensual feast, from the dreamlike visuality that dominates the hour to David Buckley’s incredible score that ought to earn him an Emmy nomination.
Mind’s Eye is largely centered around Alicia’s perspectives on other characters while intertwining around two actual events, one occurring and one yet to occur. On one hand there is a deposition with the always charming Louis Canning about the wrongful eviction suit and on the horizon lies a politically significant interview with a conservative newspaper. The stakes are significantly high on the latter, but that largely is within the confines of the story as the script really doesn’t sell the incredible importance of a conservative endorsement of a liberal candidate well. Sure, there’s the obvious campaign pitstops of not looking bad in any interview while having the capacity to sell one’s self as being bipartisan (an increasingly rare quality as it is). But it largely comes off across as being perfunctory and important just because the script said so. It’s similar to the Canning deposition, which is as well-acted as that scene could be, but it’s actual storytelling impact felt muted. We did get to see Michael J. Fox’s sniveling Canning through Alicia’s point of view, which in and of itself was a treat, so there’s that.
The aspect of this episode that truly hits it out of the park is Alicia’s character study of herself. Alicia is quite fastidiously an intriguing, strong character of her own and that battle between what she wants to be and what she is found to be is personified exceptionally here. She had once found herself standing next to a man who had destroyed her life and made a complete mockery of her existence at the same time. She remembers standing on that podium in fastidious resolve that was for all intents and purpose a mirage, as she saw acutely how her life was completely collapsing all around her. Alicia Florrick has, by one standard or another, never been allowed to be whom she wanted to be, always enshrouded in whatever role she was expected to play. By one association or another, she was always cornered in by societal expectations of whom she ought to be and there was more often than not an extremity of consequences awaiting her if she decided to do otherwise. Alicia wants what she wants and she wants the ideal world where there would be nothing wrong with a single, atheist mother running for office while having consensual sexual liaisons with whomever she wanted. The questions remains as to whether or not she can find that in the real one. I sure hope so.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Robert King’s direction
+The revelation of Bishop donating to her PAC was a nice nugget from last week that should be exploding quickly
+Johnny and Finn switching between each other in Alicia’s fantasies
+The awkwardly timed “Oh my God!”
+“It’s not that bad. It’s kind of cute actually.”
+“Mr. Canning, you’ve been leaving this earth for three months now so excuse my incredulity.”
+/- The religion bit was good and bad simultaneously
Title: Mind’s Eye
Written By: Robert King & Michelle King
Directed By: Robert King
Image Courtesy: CBS