Closing Arguments

Talk about Thanksgiving stuffing: Last night’s episode of The Good Wife was so loaded with plot points and character details, I’m going to a handy bullet-point format.

• To skip to the end right away: While poring over wiretap tapes for a case, Alicia just happens to overhear Will discussing with a friend his beginning-of-season-two phone messages he left on Alicia’s phone. The friend (Mykelti Williamson as Alderman Wade) tells Will, “Go to her now and [say] the same thing in person.” Which, of course, he did not. And it was the second, professing-his-love message that Eli Gold had erased. Alicia kept the first one — “saved 123 days ago,” we see on her phone screen — but didn’t know of Will’s true, complete sentiments. Deducing that he’d said something meaningful to her, Alicia practically has a panic attack (very un-Alicia-like — brava to Julianna Margulies in executing this scene) and staggered into Will’s office to clear things up and possibly propose they run away from all this madness … but then Elizabeth Reaser’s “Baby, Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” Tammy emerged to squelch any Alicia-Will communication. What a wonderful bummer.

• Diane is planning to start a rival law firm with the rude troll David Lee, because she suspects Will and Derek Bond are going to push her out of the firm? I love this idea. It’s completely in keeping with the reaction someone like Diane — shrewd yet sensitive, tough but not above feeling professionally betrayed, hurt, and a tad paranoid — would have. Plus, you know she and Lee are going to be at each other’s throats.

• I think Zach’s new love interest is cute despite the fact that she wants him to get an ear pierced, and the fact that she makes Becca jealous and vengeful is even better. (Any scene with Becca is, to my mind, better than an entire season of Gossip Girl.)

• Eli is being wiretapped. There is no end to the extremes to which … who? Glen Childs?… will go to sink the Florrick campaign. Plus we got the added bonus of Eli being, for once, surprised and perplexed, two things Alan Cumming does well and rarely.

• It was great to see Ana Gasteyer return as the fussy judge who insists that lawyers preface any assertion with the phrase “in my opinion.” And to see 24‘s Reiko Aylesworth as opposing counsel.

• Kalinda — hoo boy, is she getting the tables turned on her by her rival Blake. Like the unsettling of Eli, a rattled Kalinda, coming close to criminal prosecution that includes her infamous baseball bat as a link to her identity, is tensely compelling.

The Good Wife is so layered with previous-episode details that are never forgotten that it already has its own sort of mythology, rare for a non-sci-fi show. Just having Eli casually drop the fact that the Peter Florrick campaign’s Father Isaiah endorsement is meaningless now that he’s lost his church, during this week’s subplot about a “Muslim extremist” political slur against a black politician (Williamson) who’s corrupt in a different way — the adroit intricacy was shiveringly good.

So what do you think: How will the Alicia-Will communication play out? How far will the Childs campaign go in attack ads against the Florricks beyond the one we saw of a heavily edited viral video of daughter Grace? Will Zach get his ear pierced?

Twitter: @kentucker

Episode Recaps

Closing Arguments
The Good Wife

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, and Chris Noth star in the legal/family drama.

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