Monday, January 30, 2012

The Televangelist: 'The Good Wife' Season 3, Ep. 14

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Sun Tzu never fought the Jews. We dont play mind games. We bring knives. - Eli
  • CBS.com
  • "Sun Tzu never fought the Jews. We don't play mind games. We bring knives." - Eli

"Ham Sandwich" was a turning-point episode in Season Two, where Kalinda (dutifully pleading the fifth) was let off in case questioning her "investigative" methods. At the end of the episode, Blake (one of the worst characters the show has ever trotted out) tells Kalinda that he gets it - her former "Lela" life was erased thanks to Peter Florrick ... who she slept with as a favor. This bombshell is still having reverberations into the current season and the second ham sandwich episode ("Another Ham Sandwich," to be precise), where Alicia and Kalinda's relationship is only now beginning to thaw. And on the sexual misconduct front, Alicia is now being questioned about her affair with Will - something that prompts her to storm out of the court room, turning around to face Wendy Scott-Carr's protestations with a dramatic "Arrest me!"

Of course, no one arrests Alicia. But Wendy, tricked by Kalinda and Will via a file Kalinda planted with Dana, has lost the confidence of the Grand Jury (who, let's be honest, was populated with idiots) and that of Peter, who fires her (but does validate her parking!) Despite Alicia's second season assertion that a Chicago Grand Jury would "indict a ham sandwich," so far the opposite has proved true for Lockhart Gardner. It seems that their 75% positive-outcome rate continues to rise!

Alicia was out to sea emotionally in this episode. She has been keeping her distance from Will, and even when they were sleeping together, one got the feeling that he was always into it more than she was (emotionally). But several times last night, Alicia distinctly chose Will over Peter, even though she denied her affair to Peter and later, decided against telling her kids. It seems clear that Alicia is realizing she may feel more for Will, and on a deeper level, than she realized. His precarious legal situation may be the best possible thing for his personal life, as it has brought out feelings for Alicia she hardly seemed to know she possessed. Will's troubles are far from over, judging by the preview for the next episode - it appears he could be disbarred. If Will is gone from Lockhart Gardner, even temporarily, ... might his affair with Alicia resume?

Speaking of affairs of the heart (and I use the word "heart" loosely), Eli and recurring nemesis Stacy (played by the marvelous Amy Sedaris) took their mind games all the way to the bedroom in what was undoubtedly a wild night of hate-sex. The two attempted to out maneuver each other in an escalating series of embarrassing(ly entertaining) tête à têtes, only to come out at a draw, with Stacy having the slight advantage. Thanks to Caitlyn's perusing of gay blogs, she was able to tip off Eli (via Alicia, since Eli was also embattled in another war with David Lee - I'll get to that in a moment) that the meeting was not about the Defense of Marriage Act, but about the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Chicago's involvement with AT&T (of all companies). With this knowledge, Eli was able to ace the meeting and win the job of crisis manager for GLAC, finally able to one-up Stacy ... who in turn has taken on the role of campaign advisor for Eli's ex-wife. Splendid! Round Two?

Eli should know from world history that one should never fight a battle on two fronts. But, throwing caution to the wind, he decides to belittle Caitlyn (who doesn't seem to realize it) because of his feud with David Lee. I have to say, if I had to choose which war I'd like to see continually waged, it would be Eli's battles with David Lee over Stacy. There is something so deliciously satisfying about seeing two debonair villains attack each other in a flurry of verbosity and sass (again, I use the term "villain" loosely - these are two of my favorite characters, after all!) Eli must also acquiesce to the fact, late in the episode, that having Alicia Lite around may not be so bad. Especially because the original Alicia is getting difficult for him to control (as seen when Eli feels compelled to pull rank to keep Alicia from continually dismissing him).

The other character who seemed emotionally adrift is Cary. Did he suggest Wendy cease questioning Alicia on her affair because he cared about Alicia, or because he cared about Peter? He's been so conflicted he's left seduction duty to Dana, who botched it completely when Kalinda leaked her that file. But what I keep coming back to is a question of the truth regarding Will, which we do not know. A 75% clearance rate on cases is high, but a 95% success rate with three particular judges, especially when Will is the lead defense counsel? And a judge who would only plead the Fifth? Wendy's line of questioning regarding Alicia really set out to prove Will as a morally questionable character - sleeping with a married subordinate and promoting her during said time of sexual favors - so why not pursue it? It is, indeed, rather questionable. Might more of this come out in future episodes?

Despite some of the logistical fallacies in "Another Ham Sandwich" that, admittedly, allowed for some more emotionally satisfying moments, the episode was one of the best this season. So of course, let's not air another one for awhile. Not doing itself any favors, CBS is giving the show another month-long hiatus. I've always said that good TV shows are best consumed in large doses - an episode or two a day for a week will immerse you in the created world as it was intended. A week-long break is bad enough when trying to keep up momentum (and people remembering what was going on in the first place), but a week off, a week on, a month off ... stop sabotaging your own shows, CBS.

Musings and Miscellanea:

— Love him or hate him, Wiley is good at his job!

— "Sun Tzu never fought the Jews. We don't play mind games. We bring knives." - Eli

— Alicia as a gay icon? Really?

— The Florricks truly have a beautiful apartment.

— "Hit me!" - Kalinda.

— Remember when Wendy told Cary her real target was Peter? What happened to that?

— I loved Eli calling up GLAC to let them know that Stacy was meeting with Rush Limbaugh!

— I was complaining about how certain characters on the show annoy me, and my friend Martha sensibly said, "then the actors are doing a good job." Is there a show with better casting on network TV right now?

— "I desire you, Stacy, I desire you in a way a victor desires his spoils!" - Eli. Is there any way "I desire you" could sound less sexy than coming from Eli and Stacy?

— Alicia wants to take a week off with the kids ... ::Footage Not Found::

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