When I'm out and about, I have a habit of asking people what they like to watch on television, both because I'm looking for a conversational topic and also because I'm genuinely interested in the demographics and appeal of certain shows. (I don't trust the Nielson ratings at all). Yesterday
after an abysmal Falcons game - no, I don't want to talk about it I was chatting with a former viewer about "The Good Wife," talking it up and claiming how this season, though uneven, has had some of the best episodes of the series so far.
Unfortunately, if she tuned in last night (bless her, I hope she didn't), she might well call for my resignation as someone affiliated with giving opinions on television. "The Good Wife" took a holiday break last week and promised this week to return with a potentially gut-wrenching episode where Grace goes missing. Was there anyone who, just from that promo, didn't assume Grace had just wandered off with one of her Christian friends for the afternoon? "The Good Wife" never gets too dark, and I didn't think they would start that trend by kidnapping and doing anything horrible to a child. Furthermore, the episode laid some pretty clunky foreshadowing in the first half (Alicia waking up from a nightmare that Grace is being harmed, the mention of the White Supremacist on the lose, Grace and Alicia having a heart-to-heart about Alicia having too many "distractions" and not enough time for her kids) that we were really just waiting for Grace to get captured.
Another suspicion was that Alicia would have been with Will when she missed the phone calls, but "The Good Wife" cannot damage Alicia's character that much without needed some serious penance, particularly if something had happened to Grace. The outcome though was the same - Alicia broke things off with Will because she needs more time with her family. Or will she pull an Urban Meyer and after a little while decide she's ready for a major affair again?
Of course, all of this action took place and was resolved in an astonishingly short timeframe. Most of the episode was taken up with tedious arbitration that devolved into overly pedantic, useless arguments. "Why are you watching a lawyer show, then?" you may ask. Because most of the courtroom scenes in "The Good Wife" have something emotional at stake, or at least something interesting. I have a feeling most lives of trial lawyers are more similar to what was presented in this episode rather than the usual "Good Wife" fare, but this isn't a reality show. Even if it was, it would have edited in more drama! And was there a need for Alicia to further want to humiliate the poor Martha, whom she had already misled about the position at the firm and overlooked for nepotism? If it was all a ploy to bring Michael J. Fox back, I could have stomached it better with less arbitration time and more of Andrew Wylie's investigation, Eli trying to make friends, or even Grace's disappearance.
"The Good Wife" also likes to burn Christians at the stake. First we have the English professor who is defending Rick Santorum (note: just because you're a reformed Christian does not mean you turn into a Tea Partier. I don't think). Actually, I don't even want to waste any further discussion on that mess (P.S. O hai Deborah Morgan!). And then we have Grace "getting kidnapped" by (i.e. hanging out with) the guy from YouTube videos (does he live in Chicago?) who takes her to get baptized. How did she meet this guy? For once I was actually hoping for more Grace in this episode. I was confused, too, by the Grace phone calls. I know that most bum-dialed voicemails sound like someone is being abducted, and if I was abducted I would probably do something similar if I could, but if Grace was in danger and able to make phone calls, why wouldn't she call her brother or her Dad when Alicia didn't answer the first 8 times? I wonder how the police force reacted when they learned that the child they were searching for was being baptized? "Quickly! Get her out of the hands of those evil Christians before it's too late!"
As for the ongoing investigation into Will, I wonder if Peter will pull back once he knows Alicia and Will are finished, leaving Andrew Wylie to "go rogue" and try to bring down Will / the firm himself? One of my absolutely favorite moments from this episode (and I tend to love anything Andrew does in general) was when he called Will out on Lockhart Gardner winning 80% ("an unusual amount") of their cases. Long-time viewers of the show will get a chuckle at this meta-nod to the fact that the firm rarely loses (although this season they've had a few). Is it because of Will schmoozing the judges ... or Alicia?
"Parenting Made Easy" was a mess of an episode, and as I was unable to attain a promo clip for next week I'm not sure what is in store. I'm enjoying the new duos of Will/Kalinda and Eli/Diane, and am hoping for further interaction between them. As for the future of the firm and Alicia's love life I suppose we'll have to stay tuned and hope "The Good Wife" sorts itself out.
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Eli "making friends" is apparently Eli just creeping around the office. I loved it.
— I like that Kalinda silently aided Alicia and did the right thing, despite their friction.
— "I butt-called her" - Grace
— As someone who feels Peter is redeemable, I enjoyed the group family hug.
— As predicted, Alicia has broken Will's heart (again). To hug and cry in front of Diane though was a surprisingly sloppy move from those two, although it ended up being unintentionally effective.
— Would Alicia ever leave Lockhart Gardner for Michael J. Fox's firm? Where they're only corrupt at work, not at home!
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