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Monday, October 15, 2012

'The Good Wife' Season 4, Episode 3 Recap

Dont mind me, Im just trying to get some screentime
  • CBS
  • "Don't mind me, I'm just trying to get some screentime"

I'm going to have to start with the title here: "Two Girls One Code." Seriously, "Good Wife"? For those unaware, the writers for "The Good Wife" keep themselves amused by making the episode titles the same number of words as the season (you can check the Episode List for proof). It's a game that seems to be getting infinitely more complicated since, though this title does match the action of the episode, they had to resort to a play off of the title of a nasty video from a few years back that, I am supposing, most of their audience doesn't have knowledge of. Consider yourself lucky.

As for the actual episode, "Two Girls One Code" felt a lot like last week's "And the Law Won," because we're still fighting the same battles: Kalinda versus her husband, can Peter be trusted, is Alicia really over Will, Diane versus Hayden (and the financial woes of Lockhart Gardner, which ever opposing attorney looks to exploit), but there's not a lot of movement. More characters are introduced (like the reporter Mandy Post) while seasoned favorites are neglected (mostly Cary, who is mostly seen as a blurry figure in the background of the frame so far this season).

So without much movement on the dramatic side, how did the Case of the Week turn out? Well, it felt a little repetitive, too. Haven't we met Mr. Gross and ChumHum many times before? Further, the idea of ChumHum as a stand-in for Google didn't feel particularly cute or clever this time. The stakes weren't particularly high, either, until the very end. For more on that and why Kalinda will not be making you an omelet ever again, hit the jump.

I've mentioned before that it can be a neat trick when "The Good Wife" acknowledges their firm's high winning percentage with meta-storylines or comments. The question now more than ever is how, if they are winning so many high-profile suits, are they so far in debt? But "The Good Wife" is not allowing its protagonists to smugly inform their court-appointed advisor Hayden (Nathan Lane) that "he needs to back off because they always win" without some consequence.

Personally, I've never found Will to be particularly likable, and I think his smarminess has reached new heights since his reinstatement. It's something Gross picks up on, too, and tells Will that while he usually hires irritants to get them to go away, that won't be happening here because he just doesn't like Will.

The case wasn't all that strong anyway because though they threw in the First Amendment and a refusal to subpoena code (with a funny gag about the elderly, hearing-impaired judge knowing more about it than they did), what the case really needed was an investigation more than a lawsuit (or at least a pre-lawsuit investigation — the firm seemed very cocky and unprepared going into things). How difficult would it have been for someone to figure out that ChumHum had bought Wicked Savage? (By the way, these names ... although I guess if we didn't know Google and Go Daddy were real I'd be saying the same thing about them!) The whole thing could have turned on that instead, though it still seems to fall under "that's life, deal with it."

But the twist at the end was a nice stick to the firm's arrogance, wherein Gross hired the irritant, but it wasn't the firm — it was the girls. And they were overjoyed by the news, showing that the distracted attorneys also didn't have a good idea of what their clients really wanted. For them it was about their own bottom line, something that Hayden preaches, but in doing so they neglected to keep an eye on the clients that were the lynchpin of them bringing home that proverbial bacon. So instead of a million dollars, or more, they get nothing. That's the risk of going all-in!

That story will explode next week between Diane and Hayden, but I'm not looking forward to it. I love Diane, but Hayden is right. He is on the side of the bottom line and of money, and the firm does need some reining in. However, Hayden isn't an evil figure who acts without feeling for the firm and its employees, and Diane constantly attacking him instead of working with him is already growing tiresome.

Speaking of tiresome, Kalinda's "marriage" is neither interesting nor shocking, and we're all just waiting for her to kill Nick (surely that's the only way it can end, right?) and, until then, just attempt to kill him as foreplay. In other relationship news, it was so, so 2010 to go back to the question of whether Peter had an affair and with whom. It felt totally unnecessary, too, to bring up the affair between Alicia and Will again just for kicks. I did like the payoff at the end where Alicia was sweet to Peter in the wake of her mistake, but her coldness with him earlier sent a strange message. Next week it looks like Mandy Post and Peter's affair just won't die. I'm hoping that, instead of more Alicia versus Peter drama, Alicia goes Nordic drama on this Post woman. That I would like to see.

Overall, not a great episode narratively speaking, but "The Good Wife" always gives one plenty of reasons to stick around. After all, things are just beginning to build ...

Musings and Miscellanea:

— The show's portrayal of that annoying blogger guy was hilarious and accurate

— I need Cary to have a relationship with Geneva, and I need it now. I'm not here for him waiting around to not have a story until Kalinda gets rid of Nick.

— Do Kalinda and Nick have to keep ruining food for me? First ice cream and now eggs.

— I laughed out loud when Will looked up his name on the search engine and it came back "did you mean Will Gardner, disbarred lawyer?"

— That poor Chancellor and his ears, I thought when they called him out about his book he was going to fly away.

— I always praise "The Good Wife" for its use of tech but seriously, Alicia didn't wait for Eli's call on her cell phone? Grace doesn't have a cell phone? Or her brother? Also, Eli only has 5 contacts in his phone? How hard is it to make up some other fake ones to surround the one we're supposed to notice when it flashes to that screen?

— Always nice to see Rita Wilson return as Viola Walsh.

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