The Two-Pronged Attack
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Good Wife is stagnating and it has been stagnant since it came back from its midseason hiatus. The awkward CBS scheduling hasn’t made consistently keeping up with the show’s disparate storylines any easier, but the show itself has done little to assuage those fears. The Good Wife’s earlier attempts to be timely with the Ferguson-inspired script resulted in one of it’s worst episodes in years and their attempts to be timely here fall flat. Certainly the episode isn’t the debacle that The Debate was, but there is this increasing frustration that the show is letting go of its own story for the sake of making poignant political points. Maybe on paper the idea of Diane and Reese being involved with a debate centered around religious freedoms and LGBTQ rights sounded good. In execution, it’s mind-numbing. Messaging is important in stories and the best fables are the ones that are imbued with the strongest teachings. But that messaging has to come organically from within the story, not stuffed down its throat from the outside. When the latter occurs, the message takes over the story and the organic narrative gets buried altogether.
The creators of the show could have hardly anticipated that the Indiana government would pass such a boneheaded law to begin with, but even within the episode the trial doesn’t work. For one, it’s not an actual case, so that immediately takes away all urgency that could have existed otherwise. Second of all, it contributes absolutely nothing to the story as a whole. The Good Wife has tackled a plethora of timely cases over the course of six seasons and plenty of times it has tied those cases into the actual narrative itself successfully while also lending itself to character and or story progression. At the end of the trial trial, we resolve a couple of things. Diane is a badass. We already knew that. Reese is an absolute ass who doesn’t give a damn about the hypocrisy he’s displaying as long as it furthers some obscene goal of ruining other people’s lives based on “religious beliefs”. Surprising. The Bible has more verses about the evil of divorce over homosexuality. Great. A Google Books search would have revealed that. Maybe this will pay off, but frankly for the course of this episode it feels like an absolute waste of time.
Kalinda, whom the writers have largely ignored in a productive fashion since Season 4, has some plot progression but in doing so the writers continued to botch her character even more than they already have. That in and of itself is a feat I thought was impossible, but apparently not. Kalinda immediately goes to Finn this episode as the fake metadata that she had used to save Cary several episodes ago comes back to haunt her. The metadata coming back is a solid plot development that actually makes a decent amount of sense. What doesn’t make sense is how completely flabbergasted Kalinda is throughout the entire endeavor. The seriousness of her situation of course merits a certain amount of concern, but that doesn’t mean that she has to turn into a bumbling fool without any trace of her former intellect to try to salvage her situation.
The “salacious” e-mails from last week come back to bite Alicia, released by a vindictive reporter who has a grudge against Alicia. Eli immediately puts together a spin on the potential love scandal that took place between Alicia and Will as nothing more than tempted flirtation during a period of tension between Peter and Alicia. Immediately they put tofether interviews with rival reporters, getting ahead of the story before it could control them. Peter’s political acumen rises to the occasion as he flies through his interview effortlessly, adding in a quick chime about the reporter Petra having a vendetta against Alicia that has lasted for three years before the producer hurriedly cuts the microphones off. Alicia and Peter at least are able to share a nice scene of drinking red wine that is one of those marvelous Good Wife moments that I tune in every week to see. I’m settling in for a bit of goodwill after that scene, but there’s a last minute twist that just is groan worthy. There might have been an election fraud between Alicia and Frank! Gasp? Not really.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Happy, that’s the word.”
+The background videos during the trial trial were hilarious
+The $1 bill. Finn’s a good guy.
+“Oh, I love the two prongs!”
+“Tear down Peter to build up Alicia.” Foreshadowing?
+“It’s like watching two other people drink.”
+“I’ve never been as bad as you’ve wanted me to be.”
+“That’s an understatement.”
Title: Loser’s Edit
Written By: Luke Schelhaas
Directed By: Brooke Kennedy
Image Courtesy: EW