Quietly, "The Good Wife" returned last night, smothered per usual by more hyped shows on networks who care about them (in this case, "Downton Abbey" on PBS). But "Boom De Ya Da" (one of the laziest non-sequitur titles they've ever come up with) was a great way to pick up after the mid-season break and come back fresh, even if they did resurrect almost every character that has ever been on the show (guest stars!)
The Case of the Week, which has been a low point for this show this season, was really a sterling display in "Boom De Ya Da," taking us out of the courtroom and into the lodge, with a reappearance by Michael J. Fox's excellent Alicia-nemesis Louis Canning. The specifics of the COTW were even marginally interesting, focusing on the dilapidated foreclosure properties left to rot by banks who should care a little more about their investments.
Louis Canning was not the only surprise on opposing counsel, Martha was back as well (from the infamous "Marthas and Caitlins" episode). Clearly doing well for herself, the sharp Martha didn't have a single misstep or falter in the deposition, and lost the case only because in a bizarre, "Law & Order"-esque turn, the client wanted to keep his own illness under wraps from investors. Still, despite the nepotism of the Caitlin hire, the firm would have been better off with Martha, who surely would have helped them with their debts more than the briefly employed Caitlin.
Speaking of the debt, what a squirrely issue. Was Hayden wrong to suggest Diane and Will be removed for botching the merger that would have paid off their creditors?
Morality on "The Good Wife" is often muddied, but I don't care for the way Diane is suddenly becoming a ruthless villainess (with Will as her major henchmen). Yes it gives the two of them something to do while clearly nothing else is required of them (particularly Will), but at the same time, Christine Barankski just cannot compete with Nathan Lane's sad puppy dog eyes.
When Cary, who had seemed to be growing both a spine and a conscience, sold Hayden out not only as being tutored, but with the suggestion Cary had been forced to do it, it was too many steps backwards for his character (even though, one suspects, he was actually more forced by Diane than Hayden to do anything). Hayden's response to the betrayal was sad, but you know that he will be brewing up his revenge. Will and Diane's fudging of funds and numbers will catch up with them eventually. Right?
It was a nice twist to tie in the firm's bad debt with the foreclosure case, and also to keep the outcome of the case so closely tied in with their own financial crisis. That's the good, tight writing at the show sometimes gets so right, and that elevates it beyond a typical procedural. But there was still one trick left in the bag: despite the fact that Alicia fought extremely well and with great savvy against Canning (sidebar: it's only against Canning that Alicia really shines as a litigator. Much of her other success comes from Kalinda's knowledge or Will's prompting or just judge's bias / luck, but the way she handled the waiting game with the bank chairman and Canning was all Alicia, and well done), Lockhart Gardner didn't exactly record a win, as it was Canning himself who bought up their debt. TWIST!
The drama from that will be fantastic to watch unfold in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, we also get the return of Wendy Scott-Carr (Annika Noni Rose) who is a delight. Even though I supported Peter's win in the campaign over Wendy, I've always supported her as a fierce female character. Now Lockhart Gardner is beginning to reap what they've sowed, with two high-powered and exceptionally smart (and occasionally ruthless) attorneys coming after them. Though Wendy is primarily after Eli, she won't mind taking down any part of Lockhart Gardner she can in the process. After all, she let Will slip through her fingers once. I can't imagine she would be satisfied without some revenge.
Before I forget, there's one more character that deserves a mention:
George O'Malley! Jordan (T.R. Knight) "The Boy Wonder" (as coined by Rahm Emmanuel, naturally). Eli has needed a worthy foe to spar with for awhile now, and his indignation at having a "second in command" for whom he only has the highest contempt (though probably also a smidgen of respect and, is that fear, too?) is going to be very fun to watch.
All in all, "Boom De Ya Da" did a great job of making us excited for the back-half of the season, and also helped remind us exactly where we left off with the firm's debt, what "discounts for donations" means, about Kalinda and Alicia's repairing relationship, and about how Alicia actually misses home life (a very honest statement from her, which also sets up her and Peter potentially having a happy ending ... maybe?).
Next Week: Something to do with the French and the Olympics (ooh la la!), Peter and Alicia heat up, and a great quote from Alicia when Eli finds the campaign trailer rockin', "it's just the wife."
Musings and Miscellanea:
- Louis: "[My wife] is my better half." Alicia: "She's your only half."
- I like Mrs. Canning being really sweet but completely clueless.
- Wendy Scott-Carr saying that Diane contacting her former campaign manager "is a shot across my bow" made my day. She is ready for war!
- I felt bad for Cary getting caught in the crossfire between Hayden and Diane. I hope he care repair things with Hayden, poor thing.
- "No one ever leaves! They all come back like zombies!" - Eli in a meta character moment.
- "Oh there's Godot!" - possibly the funniest thing Alicia has ever said.
- I also laughed out loud when Alicia addressed the court reporter as "Miss Court Reporter" and she said "My name is Mika" and stormed out. Nice commentary on how the background characters are ignored even within the show.
- "I'd kill someone" - Kalinda. Did you?
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