Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Good Wife

The Good Wife
Episode 8: Here Comes the Judge
By: Carlos Uribe

The Good Wife is a show about Alicia Florrick and her career and scandalous personal life.

Spoilers Ahoy!

Let's start with the good: Here Comes the Judge has a pretty entertaining case that might have repercussions in future episodes. Will Gardner is representing a widow who allegedly hired a guy to kill her husband. It doesn't really matter whether she's innocent because that's not the case. The real case is that Will “runs” into the judge at the bar after the first day of court only to realize the judge is biased against him. The judge not only thinks that his client is guilty but that Will shouldn't be allowed to practice law again. The weekly case is therefore having an entire trial in an attempt to get a substitute judge. The reason they insist on this is because the widow could be a client that single-handendly solves their debt crisis. It's a ridiculous stake in an otherwise unblemished case. Will and Alicia manage to prove that the judge is biased against them but they have only turned the judge hearing the substitution case against them. The team isn't even allowed to have their victory as they learn that the prosecution is going to be able to win the case against the widow because she was on a dating site before her husband was murdered. This involves having to plea out and losing all of that money. The lawfirm took the nuclear approach but lost their goal regardless. It was a fun case that presented a nice twist on the legal format based on a previous storyline. It's always great when the show is able to bring back old plots to present fresh twists in the weekly cases.

It's time to deal with the bad which is pretty much everything else. Let's start with the campaign. It seems to have stalled. It stalls so badly that Zach practically takes over the plot. He starts to volunteer for his dad's campaign under the name of Jay. Zach becomes so valuable that he's able to increase fund-raising efforts by twenty percent. He wants to help but he's afraid of getting in trouble. He's not very dependable for this reason. In an attempt to make him more reliable, his superior brings in Eli. Eli recognizes Zach and he decides that he'll do his best to ensure that Zach is allowed to help in the campaign office. The next thing you know and Alicia is thinking about giving him permission to help. It's not necessarily a bad plot or anything but it's a rather uninteresting one. This doesn't mean it's a bad idea in the long-term since it allows the show to integrate Zach more into the overall election storyline but it just wasn't very interesting to see the show set up his official involvement in the plot. That's partly because we have just finished real life elections just a few weeks ago. It simply makes the election plot feel more outdated when the actual election antics aren't represented in this episode. There's references to other campaigns tracking the kids but that's more to alert Alicia to what Grace is up to than an actual movement in the election plot.

What is Grace up to? She's meeting a new boy. The episode begins when a girl from Grace's school commits suicide. Grace didn't actually know this girl very well but it manages to affect her nonetheless. It does lead her to start to notice the dead girl's ex-boyfriend. The two start to hang out together in the bushes after school. He starts to become her new love interest. This plot started out promisingly enough but it quickly delved into a standard teenage territory. This meant that while the opening managed to hook me, I was getting bored of it by the end. The difference between the Zach and Grace story are very different in this regard. The Zach story might not have been very interesting but it had promise for future episodes. The Grace story begins with promise but it eventually loses it with no sign that the series is really going to go anywhere interesting with it. It's possible that I'll be proven wrong but this wasn't the best beginning for this plot.

Grace and Zach might not have had interesting plots but at least they weren't flat-out annoying and frustrating. I'm talking about Nick and Kalinda. Nick continues to act very jealous and he's noticed that Kalinda smiled at Cary. Nick's response is to try and determine if Cary is gay or not. When this fails, he sends one of his men to beat up Cary. At least, I think it's Cary since it kind of looked like a bad stunt double. It looks like Nick is dangerous after all. The only thing I can hope for is that this beating allows the show to properly write off Nick so that we'll never see his presence on the show again. His plot is just that bad. Why? Simple: it makes so little sense and Nick is so aggressive that it's hard to even understand what his perspective is half the time. An example is the suits scene. Was he pretending to hit on Cary or was he just trying to assert some weird dominance? It was simply the worst-written scene the entire show has done simply because it's so stupid. Even Cary can't take Nick for long that he actually pretty much forces the meeting to end.

The Good Wife delivers an episode with a good weekly case. Since that's what the episode was built around, it was actually a pretty good one. It's just that everything surrounding the weekly case wasn't as strong. The Grace plot ended up being a giant bore while Zach's only has promise for future episodes. The Nick plot continues to be a complete disaster. It seems like this was sadly an off-week for everything that wasn't in the main weekly case.

Other Notes:

Awesome thing in this episode is Alicia's friend is on the other side of the law and how Alicia is proud of her friend and not happy that her firm lost in the end.

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