Monday, February 18, 2013

"The Good Wife" Season 4, Episode 14

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Do you think theyve figured it out yet that we represent the bad guys?
  • CBS
  • Do you think they've figured it out yet that we represent the bad guys?

Hey, "The Good Wife" was back last night! Who knew? One of the worst parts about the show being moved to Sundays, - i.e., CBS's "classy" way of trying to smother it to death - is its irregular schedule. Just when the momentum was building this season after the holiday break, boom! Them's the breaks. Literally.

"Red Team, Blue Team" was full of hard knocks, from Cary and Alicia being denied equity partnership (kinda) to the two of them going up again Will and Diane in "take no prisoners" mode for their mock trial, and then of course Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) catching the feds in their own wiretapping game in an amazingly strange and entertaining subplot.

Though the main thrust of the episode was nothing more than a tired rehash (Will and Alicia have a moment of weakness after months of nothingness, Alicia gets the partnership because "Alicia," Cary relegated to standing on the outside of things), the rest of it was great. The mock trial introduced a new and fun way to hash out what would otherwise be a normal courtroom scene, and "The Good Wife" once again showed its intelligence illustrating Modern Things (such as cyber shills - which are completely and horrifyingly legal), mostly regarding the Internet and Kids These Days. But truly, the show does present esoteric ethical questions regarding nefarious uses for quickly changing technology in a way no other show on TV does. This week, though, it expanded its scope, and the government also received a blow, as well.

Amidst the case that was mostly throwing Thief Energy Drinks under the bus (a company modeled on beverages like Rock Star) and that also tossed in the idea of cyber shills, there came a dig at the FDA as well. At the same time, Cary presented the idea that it was not fully the FDA's fault that supplements do not undergo the same rigorous testing as what is considered "food," but rather that the company had played the system.

Elsewhere, Elsbeth used that same idea to play the system on Eli's behalf, getting him to catch David "polka runs in the family" LaGuardia out by admitting he and Josh Perotti (Kyle MacLachlan) had fudged numbers and destroyed the evidence. Whereas in the court case it is clear that Thief is on the villainous side in exploiting governmental loopholes for gain, in a more muddled area in a room across town, Elsbeth does the same thing to exonerate Eli from something he really was guilty of.

For Eli, the most important thing was to put the case behind him, since Peter was already (seemingly) distancing himself and allowing Jordan (T.R. Knight, in such a smarmy role) to expand upon his "second in command" duties. Tossing Eli in with Elsbeth and Kyle McLaughlin and our accordion-playing fed was about as completely delightful as any subplot with minor characters can get, and while I love all of them, I think that the writers learned from The Kalinda Mistake that less is more. Unfortunately, that also means we end up with more of Alicia, Cary, Will and Diane doing the same ole stuff.

I thought Alicia's reaction to The Kiss was perfect, as was Will's later, saying calmly that he didn't think they should be alone together. Alicia had the perfect opportunity to leave Peter already and didn't, and I think Will knows that he's in a losing game. Still, now that Alicia is an equity partner, Will is no longer her boss, which does change the dynamic somewhat. Yet as talented as Alicia is, she was likely chosen for partner out of the original group for exactly the reason David Lee gave - her husband will probably be governor. That intertwined relationship Alicia and Peter have as a power couple is difficult to break apart, and I think a major reason why, in the end, they've decided not to.

The Case of the Week was fun, with the twists and overboard actress and the bathroom breaks. It also spent some time showing how juries feel and are swayed and are willing to give $50 million on a whim. Speaking of which, "The Good Wife" rarely deals with the idea of tort reform, but they really should (even though it goes against everything Lockhart Gardner stands for).

But I digress. "Red Team, Blue Team" set up some interesting power shifts for weeks to come. "The Good Wife" is off next week because of the Oscars, but when it returns in two weeks it looks like we'll be getting more political action with Jordan, Peter and Eli, along with the return of Elsbeth (huzzah!), which is always my favorite.

Musings and Miscellanea:

- Cary's idea to start a new firm wasn't a bad one. Alicia should have considered it more carefully.

- We haven't seen much of Grace and Zach this season, but the spying was a nice, realistic family moment.

- "We do not negotiate with terrorists, and this is corporate terrorism!" - David Lee

- David Lee, my favorite person at Lockhart Gardner because you know exactly where you stand with him at all times.

- No more Wendy Scott-Carr? That was sudden.

- "They were more than willing to share the debt, just not the profits." - Cary

- The flirtation between Perotti and Elsbeth was fantastic. More of that, please.

- Kalinda will work for whatever team she damn well chooses! (References to bisexuality? Hmm)

- "Elsbeth, you always bring cheer." - Eli

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