Things I love: cheese, The Good Wife, and Tina and Amy hosting the Golden Globes.
Things I hate: not having cheese, The Good Wife going up against the Golden Globes, and then The Good Wife not winning any of the awards at the Golden Globes. We can’t have it all, folks. But at least you can have one more new episode of The Good Wife before it takes another hiatus courtesy of the football playoffs. (That’s why we didn’t get a next-week-on tease.) So let’s jump right in to “The Debate”:
The Good Wife often rips its storylines straight from the headlines. But this particular episode resonanted considering its timing. In fact, the episode began with two disclaimers:
“This episode was written and filmed prior to the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island.”
“All mentions of ‘Ferguson’ are in reference to the events in August 2014 after the shooting death of Michael Brown.”
I’ll refrain from getting political here because it is, after all, a television show. But I applaud the writers for continuing to tackle polarizing subjects. And in this case, they managed to deliver a serious episode with just the right amount of Good Wife levity.
Anyway, the episode begins with shaky video footage of a black man, Cole Willis (Robert Manning Jr.), being arrested by two white polices officers. You can hear Willis saying, “You’re killing me” before the footage switches to a current newscast. A jury is hearing evidence on his death, and a verdict in the case against the two officers involved is due any minute. Of course, racial tensions in the community are at an all-time high as people await the trial verdict.
Meanwhile, Alicia is preparing for her live debate with Frank Prady. Eli, Johnny, Marissa, and even Josh Mariner (the returning David Krumholtz) are on-hand for last-minute debate adjustments. Alicia is six points down, so her performance is crucial to her campaign. Right before she goes on stage, though, she learns about a reporter from the Middleton Herald, Patrick Mancini (Michael Berresse), who plans to ask Alicia about photos of Peter with Ramona Lyton—and the photos are just two days old. Just add it to the list. Johnny and Josh coach her with tips until the last possible second.
Chris Matthews guests as himself to moderate the debate, which gets off to a pretty rocky start. Alicia plays with masking tape stuck to her podium, her pen doesn’t work, and she appears to be unprepared, despite all the prep we know she had. But when Patrick Mancini tries to question her about Peter’s latest alleged infidelity, Alicia comes alive. (I love it when Alicia goes full badass mode. It’s inspiring. And always so fun to watch.)
But just as Alicia really starts to turn things around in the debate, their live feed is interrupted to go to coverage of the Cole Willis verdict. And you totally saw this coming: The two white officers were found not guilty. They hope to go back to the debate, but in the meantime, both Prady and Alicia flock to the kitchen to find some food. (Both of their handlers wouldn’t let them eat before taking the stage.) There, they decide that they should have a debate right in the kitchen. Who cares if there’s an audience? Not Frank and Alicia!
NEXT: Peter & Co. try to avoid a riot.