The Good Wife-Whiskey Tango Foxtrot episode 3.9

It’s been a while since I’ve analyzed an episode and a lot has happened since my last post.

This episode, whose story lines included the court martial of a young female military officer  accused of negligent homicide in a drone attack, and an attempt to lobby members of congress in favor of a cheese producers’ guild.  The first case is the more interesting of the two, but this show has become more of an ensemble production since its inception, so we got to see fine work from nearly every cast member.

I cannot write another post about this show without commenting on the increasingly acrimonious relationship between Alicia and Jackie. Yes. Jackie’s behavior is definitely provocative and occasionally overbearing, BUT however mixed or flawed Jackie’s motives may be, Alicia has to respect the fact that the elder Mrs. Florrick loves her grandchildren and is a permanent part of their lives. I see Alicia getting angry and lashing out at Jackie, but I don’t see her trying to move beyond the offense of the day or working things through in order to make them better. I also don’t think that turning the children against their grandmother is doing anyone  any favors.  Alicia seems to think that because her children are nearly adults, that neither she nor they need Jackie any more, but that may not prove to be true in the future.

Diane’s calling Will on the carpet for his behavior with judges and his affair with Alicia was priceless television. It became clear why her name comes before his in the firm’s name. She is older and wiser, and does not suffer fools gladly.

I don’t know how things between Cary,Kalinda & Dana will work out, but sometimes I wish they’d all get a hotel room and get it out of their systems.

The Good Wife-Breaking Up

Alicia is asked to defend the son of an important client. Assistant D.A. and erstwhile Lockhart & Gardner employee Cary Agos suggest that the son, Jonathan, and his girlfriend, Alexis are initially thought to be witnesses to a sale by the associate of a known drug lord.  It becomes readily apparent that Mr. Agos has something else up his sleeve and accuses the pair of murdering a pharmacist.

Neither young Jonathan, nor his girlfriend, Alexis, will turn on the other when offered deals of leniency in exchange for testifying against one another. Jonathan falsely confesses to all in order to spare his pregnant girlfriend time in prison. Alicia watches their final tearful conversation as the law officers carry him away for processing.

Later, Alicia tries to comfort her gay brother after his break-up. They briefly discuss the nature of love, and Alicia states that sometimes the heart needs steering.

We can’t help but wonder whether Alicia envies the love of the young couple and contemplates whether Peter would sacrifice the way Alexis did.

The dark sides of both Cary – and – Blake Calamar are on display this episode. Cary lured Jonathan and Alexis to the D.A.’s office under false pretenses. He’s the oiliest of snake-oil salesmen in this episode. Blake threatening a female witness and tipping her out of her chair to make a point was likewise unsettling. Kalinda’s romantic options don’t seem much better this season than last.

The confrontation between Will & Diane at the end of the episode was riveting. Will called Diane on her plans to start up her own firm, and Diane asked whether Alicia told him her plans, to which Will replied that he hadn’t realized Alicia knew about Diane’s plans. Will storms out of the office after threatening to have guards posted outside her office if she returns and calling an meeting with the equity partners.

We can only hope that they realize that they’re stronger together than apart.

Zap2it Summary

Damages – Great beginning, then slowly deteriorated…

I was completely blown away by the first season of this show. Patty Hewes, as superlatively played by Glenn Close, was large and in charge. She had won an award, hired a new associate, and eventually, won a multibillion dollar case against Arthur Frobisher (played by a manic and effective Ted Danson). Mr. Frobisher sold off all his own stock just before his company went belly-up, you see…The acting and writing of that first season was exemplary.  Season two concluded with Patty losing her husband and her teenaged son. Season three finds Patty alone, and at times, seemingly struggling to maintain her sanity.

I have several problems with season three. Firstly, there were too many people were killed in rapid succession. An interesting character would get introduced, then killed off right away.  Secondly, there are just too many subplots.  (Martin Short’s Leonard Winstone/Lester Wiggins character being blackmailed by his father, Ellen’s possible adoption during early childhood and making Carol Tobin the killer of Danielle Marchetti, just to name a few). The strongest of them have been: Tom Shayes story as another of Louis Tobin’s fraud victims, which is interesting and credible, as is the impending parenthood of Patty’s son Michael and his much older girlfriend, Jill. Nonetheless, there have been too many double-crosses, lies, and manipulations for viewers to keep track. Even in a world of cops, robbers, and lawyers, you need to be able to follow the story – if every single character is double-dealing – it makes it hard for the viewer to follow what’s going on, and it seems less and less credible as a narrative.

Another thing I felt was inappropriate was Ellen jumping into the sack with Josh Reston far too quickly. From “I’ll think about it” after he asked for leads for his column at the Manhattan Observer newspaper to them sleeping together in their next scene. I thought Ellen was supposed to be more guarded and reflective after her stint with Patty Hewes?

I also have trouble with some basic details in the script. Patti initially offered Jill $100,000 to “walk away” from Michael, then $200,000. Jill balked at the notion and walked out. In a later episode; however, Jill agreed to $500,000 to disappear.  My criticism? In 2010, in New York City, half a million dollars might be a nice chunk of change, but it’s chump change in terms of setting someone up for life, especially an expectant mother. For that, if you’re not talking at least  the mid-seven figures, then you’re not seriously talking, and someone as worldly-wise as Patty Hewes is very well aware of that…

More screen time for Lily Tomlin and Len Cariou and less for Campbell Scott would have pleased me, too. One of my co-workers thinks it’s because some of these actors are movie stars and I’m used to seeing them in larger parts with more to do that I’m noticing the relative deprivation, which may be part of it, but I honestly don’t find the Joe Tobin character, played by Mr. Scott, to be very interesting.

What is interesting, is to see that the bossier Patty gets, the more people seem to defy her and do just the opposite of what she wants. I was half-expecting Jill to play off the windfall as Patty’s pre-wedding gift to the new couple. This would have been rich over a dinner with Ms. Hewes, I can just imagine her turning about six different shades of red;)  Patty has succeeded in one way; however, she has Jill and Michael lying to each other…

I have to give Jill credit for having moxy to openly deceive Patty, too.

Neither Patty nor Marilyn Tobin will be winning the Grandmother of the Year Award. The former wants to send the grandchild away forever, the latter stood passively by while she was killed.

The finale? We’re supposed to believe that Tom Shayes staggered back to his home bloody in broad daylight through the streets of New York the entire time while  instead of seeking medical attention? And his killer, Joe Tobin, (ugh!) just happens to arrive the very same moment? Why couldn’t Stuart Zedeck’s henchman, Mr. Falco have killed Tom off? That would have been far more credible. But to have Leonard Winstone shoot him, and then have Mr. Falco jump up and seemingly choke Winstone to death a few seconds later seemed absurd. And the way that manila envelope with the proof against the Tobins got passed around like a baton? Come on!!!

And don’t forget the homeless guy who only sleeps in the abandoned loft building -instead of a cardboard box when it’s time for someone staying there to be conveniently frightened for the camera…

This season felt very contrived and derivative of other films/television shows and I was very disappointed with the finale.

All things Damages

Q & A in re the season 3 finale

The Good Wife – will she be bad?

Ok. By now, you know I love this show immensely, but this week’s episode gave more examples of why. It’s an incredibly smooth ensemble production with fine acting all around. The way the Broussard murder trial was cracked – Will suggested probing the immigrant status of the wife as a reason for the marriage to a key witness, in order to secure her testimony. Naturally, it was tenacious and lovely Kalinda who suggested that they look into the disappearance of the $50,000 in order to crack the case.  The wife of the key witness happened to make a charitable donation of exactly $50,000 right after the murder, thereby acting as an agent to conspiracy. This situation supersedes the spousal privilege that prevents one spouse being forced to testify against another…

Peter and house arrest. We could see he was going stir crazy. He has now hired Eli Gold  (hilariously played by Alan Cumming) to help him uncover who and how he was set up on corruption charges.  Gold promptly informs him that he’s under investigation by the FBI after glancing at a picture saved by junior detective Zach.

Given the previews for tonight’s episode the Good Wife may very well be bad…her flirtation with Will Gardner could jeopardize her potential partnership with the firm as well as her job in general, not to mention her marriage. I’m rather disappointed with the decision to move the show in this direction, since I’d rather see her reunited with her husband and have them fighting crime together – a Remington Steel/Thin Man for the 2010 generation.

Another Summary of “Bang” episode of The Good Wife.

Good Wife – impossibly good!

I don’t know how the writers and actors pull out such incredible material and performances week after week, but this show needs to be on DVD and hopefully made into a feature film some day.

Why is it so good? Intricacy, on-screen chemistry, and unpredictability. In the episode “Hi“, we kind of thought Kalinda was on Peter Florrick’s side, but couldn’t be 100% sure, and we couldn’t be sure how she’d testify, but when she did, in a rather oblique, obfuscatory fashion, and beamed back at Mr. Childs after the judge granted a new trial, who could not help basking in the glow of triumph?

The legal reasoning behind Peter’s conviction seems increasingly murky – he slept with a call-girl 18 times. Fine, but how do specific sex acts tie in to specific cases which he’s accused of failing to prosecute?

Aside from the drama surrounding Peter’s trial, there the little matter of a murdered babysitter, and unemployed husband Jason (James Waterston), and a suspicious, breadwinning wife, Sonya (Sonja Sohn). The husband is the immediate suspect, Alicia and Cary are hauled in to help defend him at the behest of Diane and Will, respectively, and lovely Kalinda is assigned to try to uncover anything and everything they can use to point the police in a direction away from their client, regardless of his guilt or innocence. In the midst of this moral ambiguity, Alicia pilfers potentially incriminating evidence from a very soon to be declared crime scene (so hilariously soon after she arrives that she has to hide to escape the building undetected). Oh, and did I mention that Cary’s high as a kite for much of the proceedings?

The apparent emergence of gender loyalty over political correctness is interesting; Alicia has turned to Diane for advice more often than Will when given a choice – once because she was opposing a personal friend of his, but I think Diane is someone she not only respects, but trusts a bit more and now Alicia has earned Diane’s grudging respect. It almost seems like Diane and Will went out of their way to find opposite-gender proteges to compete for a position in the interests of political correctness, but inherent differences are winning out; Diane felt obliged to protect Sonya’s interests in this episode, and suggested that Will protect Jason’s. Just another thing to make me go “hmmm…” 😉

Who else thinks the judge who granted the new trial might have been the one Kalinda was talking about?


See? Who says TV can’t be educational?

Summary 1

“Bad” in re The Good Wife

Although there’s forward movement in Peter’s trial, I found it rather dull, despite the “Amber Madison” cross-examination – I quite agree with Peter’s lawyer who said’ “we’ve had quite enough of Ms. Madison.” Glenn Childs’ offer to Peter was interesting, inasmuch as it revealed a certain vulnerability on Childs’ part. It almost seems like Mr. Childs want the entire matter to disappear, which begs the question of why. I can only think it has to do with the cases that were not prosecuted in the wake of Peter’s absence. I have long wondered whether someone else – other than Mr. Childs has been pulling the strings all along…hmmm…

I couldn’t believe Peter asked Alicia whether she ever wanted them to be together again. WAIT A FEW MONTHS AFTER YOU’VE BEEN LIVING WITH HER BEFORE ASKING THAT! Duh!

Alicia’s reluctant involvement with the murder case of  Colin Sweeney (smarmily played by Dylan Baker-who reminded me of William H. Macy in Edmond) was interesting, but it seemed clear from the beginning that the amoral, flippant, and dissolute Mr. Sweeney lacked the focus to execute a carefully calculated scheme like murdering someone, disposing of the remains and cleverly framing someone else.

Diane’s plotline disappointed me when there was just a cat behind the door. Having her shoot someone or have a struggle would have brought this episode to life -(BIG HINT to screenwriters).  Underusing Josh Charles and Christine Baranski was one of the bad things about “Bad.”

Summary 1 of “Bad.”

Summary 2 of “Bad.”

Summary 3 of “Bad.”

New York Magazine interview with Archie Panjabi (Kalinda).

I wish someone would explain to me why Alicia hasn’t asked Peter why he fired Kalinda. It doesn’t make sense that no one has expressed any interest in this…

What do you wish would happen on this show? Please leave a comment.

Good Wife-another dynamite episode…

Family really is often the best to look after family. Molly, a nanny hired by Alicia to look after young teens Zach and Grace is initially competent -she informs Alicia that Zach and Becca, his older, oversexed girlfriend are in the living room at Molly’s insistence. Good move, but then later in the episode, Zach and Becca are in his bedroom and oversexed Becca is desperately trying to seduce Zach-younger sister Grace reports this to Molly who replies “He just needs some privacy. I don’t want to infantalize him.” SAY WHAT??? Grandma Jackie has a stroke almost on cue, but her reservations about Molly are indeed proven correct when Alicia learns that Molly has suggested to Grace that she get a shot to protect her against a sexually transmitted disease. Grandma sometimes DOES know best…

Zach and Grace aren’t toddlers or young children, so it’s really a bit unreasonable to expect that a stranger off the street is going to command their respect right away (although Grandma Jackie didn’t do that well at quelling their computer argument). Why can’t Alicia find a nice chess club for Zach and/or some project for Grace? Keeping them cooped up in that apartment is no good. Supervised activities would be better.

Another question that came to mind when Alicia visited Peter in prison; where is Alicia’s family? She mentioned having informed Peter’s sister of Jackie’s stroke, but what about Alicia’s own mother and father and/or siblings? We haven’t heard a peep about them and we should considering all the strain Alicia’s been under.

Ah, the lovely Kalinda (superbly played by Archie Panjabi). Whose side is she really on and why did Peter fire her? It was wonderful to see her in action this episode and these and other unanswered questions should keep people wanting to see more of Kalinda.

This of course, leads to Peter’s appeal. When will he, Alicia, and company blow the lid or Glenn Child’s machinations (if indeed he’s the master puppeteer…) ? When will Peter return home? Will he and Alicia stay married? Stay tuned folks…

Watch the Good Wife online.

What are your thoughts?