Good Wife -A Finale to a New Beginning?

Each woman on the show had her own relationship issues this week; Diane with Kurt, Alicia with Peter and Will, and Kalinda with Tony and Lana. By episode’s end it seemed that Diane and Kalinda fared better than Alicia, who still has conflicted loyalties. Her “Show me the plan” speech to Will was great, and showed not only her realism, but her yearning to be free.

This week’s case dealt with apparently crooked cops and one amongst them who wanted to enter a witness protection program.  It turned out that the one who wanted to enter witness protection wasn’t as clean as he claimed to be and neither was his wife, who stood to benefit from his demise.  The distaste for the conclusion of this case was very apparent from Alicia’s demeanor and facial expression. This dovetails nicely with Will asking Diane whether or not they made the right decision by keeping Alicia instead of snake-in-the-grass Cary earlier in the episode when Cary was questioning the wife’s expenses. Season two’s caseload should touch upon whether Lockhart & Gardner is really the right place for Alicia.

Kalinda stated last week that she’s private, and now we more clearly know why. She’s a bisexual who doesn’t want to be pegged as either this or that. She wants to be able to move freely between the gay/straight continuum without having to constantly defend and/or define herself. (I don’t buy her bit about being “confused” one bit – she’s as clear as crystal about her wants and needs).

It must also be said that Kalinda genuinely cares about each of her prospective partners. She didn’t want Tony to be guilty of corruption,  nor did  she did want him to go down for it. Her feelings for Lana are probably more complicated since the two are likely to have had a past relationship – remember the hand massaging Lana gave Kalinda when this FBI agent first appeared and asked Kalinda to work for her? Kalinda is probably claiming to be confused to keep both lovers in her life.  Tony’s discovery of Kalinda’s bisexuality should be interesting – surely Lana’s not the only one who can take pictures? He’ll probably want to take a few of himself joining in…

Mary Beth Peil has been a bit underutilized this season and it was wonderful to see her mettle when she had her tete-a-tete with Alan Cumming’s Eli Gold and then with Gbenga Akinnagbe’s pastor Isaiah Easton.  Why isn’t SHE running for office??

Season two will have to focus on the changes in Alicia’s feelings about Peter, his career, as well as her own. Other writers have speculated that Alicia is likely to go up to that podium in season two, and I’m inclined to agree, but not without fallout from Peter after the conference. It’s not like he won’t want to know why she was distracted,who was calling her, or why it was more important to her than showing him her support. So we’re going to wonder whether or not Alicia will wind up with Will in the end, or at least end things with Peter. In addition to the sorting out of these issues,we’ll hopefully  get to see more of the inner workings of Kalinda, Will, Diane, Cary, Kurt, Giada, Eli, and the whole incredible family of fabulous characters.

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The Good Wife-Getting to the Finale

The end of the last episode had Peter released from house arrest and seemingly free to run for office again. Interesting was the way Peter introduced Alicia to some businessmen he knew, by complimenting her as “the lawyer” and a valuable asset to Stern, Lockhart, and Gardner.  Her discomfort was clear by Watching her expression. Alicia definitely wants to further her career, but doesn’t want to use her husband’s connections to do it; this was conveyed by her dismay at seeing Cary pathetically attempt to collect his meager belongings and listening to his somewhat valid complaint about how he knew no one in town and only got as far as he did by dint of sheer hard work. This hit a nerve with Alicia, who had to go out for drinks with Kalinda to celebrate in order to snap out of it.  (By the way, I’m not sure why Alicia thinks Kalinda might be gay -it’s not like Kalinda has made a pass at her or another woman at the firm – or has she? Are there rumors at the firm or something yet to be revealed?).

When will Alicia truly be appreciated for who she is and not for the connections  resulting from her marriage?  When will forces stop conspiring to push Alicia back to Peter every time she tries to break away?  These are some of the questions we may get inkling to, if not definitive answers in the finale.

Bringing back the Colin Sweeney character was a fun move on the part of GW writers. Dylan Baker plays him with almost hammy relish, but those eyes toward the end of the episode were just so chilling. Just shows that lawyers really do have to put up with some serious poop in their day-to-day lives.

Carrie Preston was also a joy to watch -although I’m not sure how the Kozko character managed to fool the law enforcement establishment of his suicide so easily…

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Season 2 Spoilers

The Good Wife – random thoughts & observations.

Unplugged -Kalinda! – She and detective Burton just about changed the rating of this show last night. If you thought the moment Will & Alicia had in Will’s office was hot – the animal lust that radiates from Burton (played with incredible menace by James Carpinello) will just about blow out your TV set. I’m amazed I haven’t seen this dude’s picture hanging up in the Post Office.   I’m glad to see they’re giving Kalinda a private life, though. When Burton finds out she’s bisexual, he’ll be panting even more heavily, asking to join in…

As far as Kalinda’s role in the firm, I have to agree with a co-worker of mine who pointed out that the firm is overly reliant upon her to find the Achilles heel of the opposing side, instead of proving themselves to be skillful lawyers. I liked it when Alicia figured out how a crime was committed when the sprinkler system went on at a certain time of the day, and the episode that had her son Zach help discover that a security guard’s story about doing rounds was bunk after reviewing the surveillance video. The writers should vary the solver of problems from episode to episode and show Kalinda doing other things/working on other cases. Introducing another investigator might be another interesting direction to go in, since the firm must have at least a dozen lawyers working there, each with impressive case loads.

Getting back to the titular character- was there really any doubt that she’d be chosen to stay on at the firm? It will be interesting to see how Will & Diane resolve the issue of third partner vacancy. (Vernon Jordan’s cameo as a potential buyer of the firm is a pleasure). I always felt they’d have to offer it to Alicia, and maybe Will & Diane would end up competing to see who can get the most out of Alicia in exchange for the partnership. Cary’s defection to Glenn Childs is no surprise since they had to keep him in the show somehow – every show needs a bad penny/villain…

This week’s case features some nice work by Paige Turco as Caroline Wilder who played a soon to be divorced wife of a rocker Max Wilder (played by Michael Laurence). I loved how quickly  judge Stanek (Peter  Gerety) saw through the arguments of both sides and took temporary guardianship of suddenly comatose Wilder.

I love this show, but have questions about it as well. As another poster asked – where are Alicia’s friends and family. Didn’t she go to school with anyone else at Georgetown besides Will ? And how about showing Peter talking to the kids for a change since he’s the one who’s now at home all day, he should be shown talking to/parenting this kids at least every once in a while.

Alicia doesn’t seem to be thinking of the implications of Grace and Zach knowing that she thought about having an affair with a man other than their father. Does Alicia really want them to think that marriage doesn’t mean anything and/or that they can go sleeping around with anyone they want to? Isn’t there enough damage to repair after Peter’s infidelity on this score??

Why exactly does Alicia need to work at SLG? She’s an excellent attorney – her husband has connections – I’m sure someone else out there would hire her.

Summary 1 -Good general summary with nice insights. Points out Alicia’s tendency to blow people off sometimes instead of listening.

Summary2 – Another fine summary by Ken Tucker.

Summary 3– Insightful commentary from Meredith Blake.

What do YOU think should happen next???

The Good Wife-Season 1, Episode -“Mock”

Clearly, the Will-Alicia romantic tug of war – needs to come to an end,or at least be back-burnered.  Diane wants a decision regarding the junior associate position. Alicia wants to look good in the eyes of her children and has backpedaled on her feeling towards Will accordingly.

Grace and Zach have the makings of lawyers/detectives themselves – they’ll cover up the truth and do just about anything to help out mom and dad and keep the family together.  They are ultimately successful, given support for their fabrications  and distractions by Anil, son of the building manager, and Elspeth Mann, another attorney in Peter’s employ. Does Alicia really think she can outsmart these two for long while working long hours?  (Notice how quickly she stopped playing the “tell the whole truth” game when quizzed about her relationship with Will).

This week’s episode introduced us to Giada Cabrini – aptly described by Susan Toepfer as “Becca, ten years older.” She’s  a she-devil and probably another love interest for Will. Ably played by Karen Olivo, she’ll figure into the season finale.

As for the resident detective, Kalinda’s background was slightly revealed today since her parents immigrated to the United States (legally, as she edgily points out) from India, we’re led to believe, as she becomes involved in Alicia’s “good deed” to save Simran, the manager of Alicia’s building, from deportation.  For some reason ( and I don’t see one other than sheer hormonal attraction) Cary tags along with Kalinda on her quest to track down the ringleaders of an identity theft ring, which involves Simran’s children, who are the true targets of the government agents’ attention.  Cary learns that Kalinda doesn’t speak Hindi -“where’s your cultural identity?” he asks smarmily.  Can we find him a steady girlfriend please? Maybe Giada can wreck his life so that Alicia can keep working at the firm…

Not seen thus far:  the rest Alicia’s family & friends. Where’s HER mother and father? Doesn’t Alicia have siblings? No friends from her past besides Will Gardner and that weak-willed ex-neighbor from her pre-scandal days? It seems odd for a show that focuses on the titular Good Wife, that it’s mainly her husband who has been shown to have a number of friends and family – we’ve seen his mother, Alicia has phoned Peter’s sister; when do we get to see her people??

Peter’s case continues to heat up slowly as one of his key witnesses, Gerald Kozko, has apparently committed suicide. I definitely think Alicia felt some guilt about this suicide, since she shifted her position from not wanting to know anything about Peter’s dirty dealing with Kozko to wanting to know everything, and since she’d just stuck her neck out to save her building manager from being deported. She’s not the kind of person be completely immune from guilt in the face of someone’s suicide. She knows the last thing she said to Kozko and that his last words to her were “help me”- and she didn’t. I’m not saying she’ll be paralyzed by guilt forever, but she’s likely to feel some for a while – especially as Peter’s case moves closer to a resolution.

Summary 1 -Wall Street Journal’s view.

Summary 2 – Great explanation of why I love this show.

Summary 3 – L.A. Times’ view.

Can’t wait for The Good Wife Season 1 Episode “Unplugged” next week. What do YOU think should happen next?

Any predictions for the season finale on May 25th???

The Good Wife – going bad?

The most recent episode (number 18, “Boom”) has Alicia playing a little dirty in the courtroom to rattle opposing counsel Jonas Stern, in order to let his mental deficiencies show to all the world.  She was also rather cavalier towards Peter, and did in fact utter the much played lines from the trailer “I don’t much care what you are…It’s over.” before walking out of the apartment to have dinner with Will…

I hope the writers take note of this – if you make Alicia a less likable character, people won’t want to watch her as much. Yes. Peter has his faults and should come clean with her about everything that’s going on with his case, but even before she saw Peter with Gerald Kozko, a real estate developer with incriminating evidence against Peter, Alicia was already unnecessarily frosty toward Peter’s pastor. Moreover, if she’s not willing to help Peter change when he asks for her help, than what does that say about her?

One thing I like about this episode was Cary’s role this time – he was disloyally loyal. He wined/dined and presumably slept with opposing counsel in order to learn that Jonas Stern wanted to hire Cary away from Lockhart & Gardner, among 11 other people. Cary quickly shared this information with Will, who with Diane called in Julius Cain, an African American attorney at the firm. The two of them matched Stern’s offer to him, in exchange for the names of the other 10 attorneys who were planning to leave Lockhart & Gardner. Diane & Will were planning to fire these ten and hire a few minority attorneys to make good on their promise to Julius. Will rewarded Cary with the loan for a condo.  What’s Cary’s angle? Is he so determined to best Alicia that he won’t leave the firm until he does?

Summary @ WSJ

Summary @ TV Fanatic

What do YOU think ought to happen next??

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-A Shot of Reality

This fine drama series got a little more realistic by having a client of Stern, Lockhart, and Gardner accept a plea bargain agreement rather than featuring a last minute rescue, which had been the standard for this series heretofore.

I loved the segment when Kalinda is asking for a gym locker to be opened. “You’re not a cop?” “No.” “You’re not with campus security.” “No.” “Then who are you, again?” “I’m Kalinda.”  And that’s all it took to get the guy to open an employee locker.  LOVE IT!!!

Finally, Diane suspects Will of having an affair with Alicia, and so does Alicia’s daughter, Grace, who just happened to be eavesdropping when Will called Alicia to discuss the non-professional aspect of their relationship.

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Kalinda’s Facebook page