After several weeks of complaining that "The Good Wife's" Cases of the Week had been unconnected filler at best, "Waiting for the Knock" did away with the show's procedural formula and made it all about the investigation and drama, to great effect. In fact, "Waiting for the Knock" may be the best episode so far this year (though not without its issues) because it played upon the series strengths which, strangely, recently have not been about courtroom drama (even Cary got a small part to play!) The theme of "Waiting for the Knock" seemed primarily about separating business from the personal, and how the two really are inextricably linked.
It was another week too where Lockhart Gardner focus on the money more than the morals. Though Alicia shakes her head at Diane and Will wanting to go after Bishop's drug business as well as his legit business, even trustee Hayden is for the idea. It's certainly a less nefarious portrayal of the lawyers who support the scourge of drug kingpins than in "The Wire," whose primary gangster attorney Maurice Levy was clearly a villain in a world where most everything is morally gray. I know that the writers and casting agents of "The Good Wife" have seen "The Wire," too, because not only do they borrow the occasional theme (Lemond Bishop = a Stringer Bell type) but also some of its cast (seeing Wee Bey and Bodie in the same episode was joyous).
The show often subverts conventional characterizations, and here the FBI is portrayed as the problem (with Lana possibly investigating Kalinda, having used her to get information — another personal / business overlap), taking Lemond away from his son over sad music.
Even though Lemond is living as clean a life now that he can, his empire is still built on bodies and drugs. No one becomes a drug kingpin because they are a nice guy who just wants to fund some coffee shops and laundromats. Lemond seems to want to forget about the grime from which his money comes, and so do the writers, painting that final scene as some kind of American tragedy. Sorry, don't buy it.
The most fun in Lemond's case though was had by the lawyers, with Alicia and Diane going up against a rival firm with snappy dialogue, and Cary bonding with Hayden. Alicia appeared to have several moments of epiphany while with Lemond and Dylan, but I can't imagine what about the interaction was particularly illuminating. When she was gazing at Lemond hugging his son while she was on the phone with Peter and he mentioned telling the kids about the breaking news story of his affair, she said suddenly, "oh, right, the kids!" What else had she been thinking of when look at an actual kid? How good-looking Lemond is? It's distracting, sure, but get it together, Alicia!
Speaking of wandering eyes, the Indira Star story needs to die. She called Maddie? And Maddie brought her to Peter's straw poll speech? What? Maddie is clearly up to something bad, but what? Peter as the Democrat will be running against Kresteva as the Republican; could Maddie be gathering intel for a third party candidate? Herself, or someone else? Rumor has it that Wendy Scott-Carr will be making a return this season, so that could be part of the plot. Currently Maddie has been a great and strange enigmatic figure. What exactly does she want, and from whom?
In other plots that need to go to the way of the dodo: Nick and Kalinda's marriage. I don't have concrete evidence to support this, but rumors on the fan forums have suggested that Nick's storyline is going to be cut much shorter than was intended because of fan and critical distaste over it (a similar thing happened with the Alicia / Kalinda friendship, which the writers didn't want to reunite after Alicia found out about the affair, but kowtowed to fan pressure). I think in general it's a bad thing to listen to fan outcry, but in this case, the Nick story really missed the mark of whatever it was the writers were trying to convey. It's not interesting, it's not sexy, it's not anything — just a waste of screen-time. Good riddance!
Despite some unevenness within the episode in hindsight, it was a fun hour of television as it went along. "Waiting for the Knock" had an anticipatory sense throughout of waiting for the other shoe to drop on Peter's non-affair, Lemond's arrest, Maddie's plotting, and more, and it seems that Next Week: Maddie's motivations come to light, and it's a guest-star heavy episode, with the regulars and Amanda Peet all making an appearance. As for the final verdict of separating business from the personal? Not successful, at least not in "The Good Wife's" world.
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Again, the show does a great job showing how blogs make the media now, including boobs equaling story.
— Why didn't anybody think the Cease and Desist order was a good thing? I would have taken all that guy's money as a lesson.
— I enjoyed Cary's moments with Hayden at the end (Hayden was so cute about enjoying the investigation work). Cary wants to help the firm, too, and he's not selling anyone out to do it. Good character move.
— Another quirky judge! This one is really into trading stocks.
— The twists of the Lemond Bishop investigation were like any other week on "The Good Wife," where things pick up speed so fast with so many turns that we don't really get a chance even to process Kalinda sniffing at the trunk of a car to determine that a body has been decomposing there.
— Cary should really dress in casual wear more often.
— I'm sorry to see the suggestion that Lana is playing Kalinda, because she's a strong and interesting character.
— "Welcome to Chicago. Now pay up" - Mr Wells
— I've read the suggestion recently that Nick (Marc Warren) is having a negative effect on Kalinda (Archie Panjabi's) accent — both are English, but she's obviously playing American, though it's never been terribly convincing. And now that it's been mentioned, I have noticed it has definitely skewed more English in their scenes together.
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