Closing Arguments

The Good Wife, the show that lasts one hour but crams in enough entertainment for two, had a particularly thick, juicy episode this week. From the courtroom to the bedroom, the episode called “Silly Season” addressed just about every subplot, worked in every major and minor character, the series has developed this season.

Alicia defended a prison inmate accused of murder who turned out to be a lieutenant in the drug empire of Lamont Bishop, whom we haven’t seen for a while, but he’s back and being courted as a client by Lockhart, Gardner partner Derrick Bond. The murder case was highly entertaining for a number of reasons, the first being that the judge was played by Jane Alexander, who breezily admitted from the bench that she’s often accused of being pro-defense in many cases “because I pal around with Bill Ayers and the like.” (That sound you heard was CBS entertainment president Les Moonves sprouting a gray hair upon hearing that one of his prime-time dramas just favorably name-checked a former radical.) Another nice moment in the courtroom: Alicia’s opponents, Cary and Geneva, spotted Kalinda giving the defense some new info she’d dug up, and Geneva muttered, “Whenever I see that bitch, I know we’re in trouble.” (That sound you heard was hoots of approval from Kalinda fans across the nation.)

On the political front, Wendy Scott-Carr went to Glenn Childs. (What’s up with his dark hair? He must be dying it and/or applied a toup, because Geneva, queen of the mutterers, also muttered to Cary, “Don’t mention the hair.”) Wendy showed Childs a creepy racist flier, and she wanted to know which of her two campaign opponents, Childs or Peter Florrick, distributed it. Childs denied it, then they colluded against Peter. Cut to Wendy going to visit Alicia at Lockhart, Gardner with a different inflammatory flier, one that accuses young Zach Florrick of impregnating the Girl With the Faraway Eyes, Becca, and arranging for her to have an abortion. Zach denies this. Oh, and Peter turned to Alicia as soon as Zach left the room and said he wanted to “share the bedroom again.” Sidebar, your honor!

Who has to clean up the campaign mess? Eli Gold, of course. He ascertained that Peter’s PAC was behind the racist flier, which posed a moral/financial dilemma for his candidate. Eli also figured out what was behind the abortion flier. In a fabulous scene — every scene between Eli and Becca is fabulous; it’s like watching Margo Channing eat Eve Harrington alive, or vice versa — Eli confronted Becca with the knowledge that she’d had an abortion, but not due to Zach: She’d had sex with her tutor. Two scandals were thus squelched, but the racist flier came at a cost: Peter divested himself of the PAC’s money and thus, Eli said, Peter’s campaign is now bankrupt.

As if we didn’t have enough interesting private investigators in this show — Blake was busy this week digging up info about Kalinda’s past and facing down Cary in a heated macho exchange — we were also introduced to Andrew Wiley, a busy Mr. Mom dad who moonlighted for Carey. A fun character (lovingly paternal to his kid, ruthless with everyone else), Wiley gathered information that helped Carey put away the prisoner/drug lieutenant but seriously messed up his office’s bigger case against drug lord Bishop. Carey also proved he possesses the good qualities we know he usually tries to hide by betraying Childs in telling Kalinda that Childs is having her past investigated. Can it be that her real name is something like “Lela Tahiri,” as Blake suggested to her? She said, “I think you need to find that out for yourself.” I think we’re going to find out more about Kalinda’s secret past before the season is over, don’t you?

Me, I wish this season of The Good Wife would never end. The show accomplishes so much with such quick, precise scenes: There was an entire debate about “the N-word” that would dominate a lesser series, and made the character of Geneva a three-dimensional, complex creation. There’s nothing the show can’t handle deftly… except for the marriage that gives the show its title. Because the folks behind The Good Wife know that nothing is more complicated, juicy, agonizing, and unknowable than the relationship between two people trying to love each other.

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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