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The Good Wife S05E07: "The Next Week"

"The Next Week" saw Alicia and the crew still having some serious problems getting their footing. They still don't have offices, they have no money coming in for at least another month or so, their overhead is through the roof—where else would overhead be, though?! BA DUM TSSS!—but all of that pales in comparison to one simple fact: Anthony Wright Edelman is a weasel. A good-for-nothing, money-grubbing, turncoating weasel. He used to just be annoying, but now he will suffer the wrath of Florrick/Agos + CLARKE MOTHERFRAKING HAYDEN (Nathan Lane, returning to the show and still being awesome). Or at least I hope he will. Because, really, dude's got it comin' to him in spades.

I'm actually glad that Anthony turned out to be a weasel for a couple of reasons. First: He's now out of Florrick/Agos, and I won't have to listen to him gripe about bonuses any longer. Second: His departure made room for Clarke, and I love Clarke. Third: It means that there's a very a decent chance that Alicia, Cary, or Carey will face off against Anthony in court, and I want to see that. I have to think that the ire directed at Lockhart/Gardner—and it's fully Lockhart/Gardener again, as Diane officially returned to the firm in a very quick, throwaway moment—will be only slightly less intense than the ire directed Anthony's way.

Pardon me for focusing on Anthony so much, and so early. I was just very happy about this development, and in an episode that did a number of other things very well. It was just that after all the eye-rolling we did, it's like we got some satisfaction, like our voices were heard, and I always like when that happens.

But if we're really going to talk about our voices being heard, we'll need to talk about Owen. I'm not a big 'shipper, so I've never been that invested in the Alicia/Peter versus Alicia/Will battle beyond however the show wants to play it/whether or not their choices make for good drama. Owen, however, is a 'shipper: He sails on the S.S. Alicia/Will, and he's not afraid to say so. Upon learning about the defection, he did his Owen thing, dropping truth bombs all over the place. In this case, that meant calling bull on Alicia's motivations to leave L/G, and saying it in front of Alicia and Will.

I love Owen, and I'm always happy to see him, but I'm glad that The Good Wife uses him sparingly. Owen's the show's ultimate audience surrogate: He's outside the law, he's outside the politics, and, most importantly, he's jarringly romantic/not cynical for a character on this show. It's why he could behave like our proxy when he showed up at Alicia's door, as well as when he explained things to Will in the elevator; he gives voice to those things Alicia leaves unspoken or conceals behind her stoic façade, which just so happen to be the things we often yell at our TV screens, or that we say in the comments of an episode review. It's what makes Owen a great dramatic device, but also one that you don't want to overuse, either.

So when he aired out Alicia's motivations for leaving, we ended up with scenes like the one between Alicia and Will, as Alicia was waiting outside to be deposed again. Those stares expressed so much hurt and regret and shame and betrayal, and without any words between them. It was potent, delicious, gut-wrenching stuff that demonstrated the benefits of the show's willingness to not drag out love triangles, and instead to explore what happens when you commit to blowing them up into teeny tiny pieces.

Outside of the personal drama, we had two cases-of-the-week this week. While I understand that a double caseload is pretty necessary while F/A gets its engines going, I'd also rather that The Good Wife not make a habit of it. Neither the adoption deposition nor Will's case with Jeffrey Grant (Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame) felt all that rushed, but that doesn't mean it should become the norm. The Good Wife juggles more plots in a single episode than most shows can handle in three, and while it's always impressive, having to deal with two separate firms may put a strain on the narrative pacing. Certainly the show is willing to drop the governor's office for a week, so dropping L/G for a week shouldn't be outside the realm of possibility. I would think, anyway.

The deposition plot was something of a weird duck. Alicia's confidence at seeing the receptionist get all flustered, David Lee getting angry at her presence in the offices, and Alicia demanding a refund on her capital contribution—something I didn't expect the show to address at all—were all great, but I also wasn't clear on how the situation was resolved. Since Anthony laid the blame for the bribe at Alicia's feet, is she still on the hook for $6 million? David Lee certainly made it sound like it, and I don't think even Clarke's financial wizardry can get her out of that. 

Meanwhile, Will's case with Jeffrey may be a first for the show in that seems set to span multiple episodes. I admit that much of what happened in Seasons 1 and 2 is very hazy for me, but I don't think any one case ever extended beyond a single episode. Clients have recurred, yes, but with different cases. I don't expect Will to be working on it every week, but it got off to a very interesting start, from the phony DUI to get the DNA sample to the transsexual uncle to the half-brother to the 100 percent DNA match to Jeffrey under the victim's fingernails. Kalinda's gut assertion that he's guilty seemed on-the-money, but if the show's willing to spin this out across a few more episodes, then the writers must have something really twisty planned, and I'm definitely game for that sort of procedural serialization.


Continuing the "Grace is hawt" storyline, someone had hacked the Florricks' computers and was using a remote administration tool—RAT—to spy via webcam. Alicia and Cary immediately assumed it was a sneaky David Lee tactic, which led to Cary and Clarke hilariously reading lines (it takes great actors to act badly) just outside of Alicia's room while a camera was active in order to send out false information. As it turned out, however, the purpose of the RATting was to get peeps at Grace, and that just could not stand. 

We've been bemoaning this storyline for a while, and while it isn't horrendous—this week Zack at least ended up punching a guy, and I'm all for that—I was frustrated by Grace's lack of agency. She watched Zack wail on the guy with a look of... I don't even know. Detachment? Half-hearted concern? I'm just not sure what was going on there, and it made Grace look excessively passive. Sure, she's never been the most aggressive or confident of characters, but I feel like this was a new low of obliviousness for her. 

I admit that I'm not giving it all that much thought, since it's by far and away the least interesting thing The Good Wife is doing on a weekly basis this season, but it's still worth at least attempting to hash out in addition to all the other, more engaging stories the show offers.



SIDEBAR

– I'd like for Christian Borle, who played the adoption lawsuit attorney Carter Schmidt, to swing by more often. His line deliveries—"As in Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ."—were drier than the way I make martinis, and I make martinis by pouring gin into a glass while reading the Wikipedia entry on vermouth.

– "Who gives a damn about tax law?" Okay, did the Kings have a run-in with some tax lawyers during the summer break? Lot of animosity toward them, and in two straight episodes.

– At least Clarke didn't even bat an eye at Grace.

– "Oh, this is very entertaining, watching you flail." <3 Owen.

– "I worked with the books at Lockhart/Gardner. I know everything."

– Kids these days don't need no stinkin' mirrors to look at their black eyes. 

– The score in tonight's episode seemed rather Phillip Glass-y. That's not a bad thing—I love Glass. It's just something I picked up on.

– I lied about not being a 'shipper. I 'ship Alicia/Never-Ending Bottle of Wine.


What'd you think of "The Next Week"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/1/2015

Season 6 : Episode 13

Next Episode

AIRS ON 3/8/2015

Season 6 : Episode 14

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