Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Good Wife

The Good Wife
Episode 10: Battle of the Proxies
By: Carlos Uribe

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

Spoilers Ahoy!

Battle of the Proxies is an episode with a great weekly case that gets a surprisingly dark twist at the end. It starts with Will defending a man for murder. At first it seems like a normal episode until it intercuts with a case occuring at a different county. There is a different man being persecuted in that county for the same crime. The episode promptly sets up a scenario that if the case in the other county reaches a guilty verdict then the Chicago jury can be told about that case. They are otherwise left in th dark. This involves sending Alicia to help the prosecutor in the other county. Adding to this twist is that an ADA from Chicago starts helping the defense from the other county. It was entertaining to see the two cases be argued and having their fates be connected. The twist at the end is that the person they've been helping persecute is actually innocent of the crime. He's found guilty only because Alicia helped the persecutor. The actual client of the firm is guilty but he's not let off. The verdicts came at the same time so their client was also found guilty. The weekly case was so completely original that completely twists the Good Wife formula in new ways. It is partly because of this weekly case that this episode is worth watching.

An interesting development in the campaign plotline is that Peter Florrick is being investigated by the Department of Justice for illegal donations. It takes the episode it's entire run to get there. First Gold gets to meet someone from the Department of Justice. Gold promptly flees and solicits Diane's help. They try to determine just what the Department is investigating and they manage to use the picture they have from Kalinda to find out it has to do with illegal donations. The Department claims that it has to do with Gold' ex-wife but it's really an investigation into Peter. They try to get Gold to work with them by turning against his client but that's something that Gold would never do. If this series is serious about pursuing this story line then it's a fresh twist into an election story that not only has started to become stale but that the show has done before. If this is just a temporary stall tactic, then at least it was an inventive one. Whatever the case, it at least gives the narrative some momentum to carry over into the next episode.

The only part that dragged this episode down was whenever it was dealing with Nick's character. It is in fact the only reason this episode wasn't that great. Why? The plot remains as confounding as ever. In this episode, Nick decides that he'll go to Alicia for some reason and demand that she represent him. She decides to drop him as a client since he's not going for a significant bid anymore and he basically threatens her. Kalinda decides to take care of the problem by calling the cops on his operation. Nick isn't a bright character as she gives him a warning hours before she meets him. She convinces him to get away. There is a suggestion that something else might have happened like she killed him but I'm going to assume that she just kicked him in the junk. The bad news is that this episode was seriously dragged down by the Nick story. The good news is that it looks like the series has finally written Nick out. Let's hope he never comes back into my television screen because he seriously has hurt the Good Wife.

There was also a humrous sub-plot involving Alicia's family. She just happens to find out that someone had used a search engine to look for different kinds of condoms. Her first inclination is that it's her teenage son but he reminds her that he knows how to cover his tracks. If it's not Zach then surely it has to be Grace. Grace denies this and she also doesn't want to talk about sex with Alicia, ever. Alicia is confused as to who searched for condoms. She gets her answer when Zach reveals that he used technological magic to find out who did it. The person who had searched for condoms had two minutes also checked her e-mail: it was Jackie. Alicia and Zach decide that they'll never talk about this again as the image of a sexual Jackie is frozen forever into their brains. This plot gave the episode some pretty great comical scenes.

Battle of the Proxies isn't a bad episode at all but there are moments where it seems like it. It does have a strong enough weekly case, a great advancement in the election campaign, and a strong family plot that all makes it worth it. Battle of the Proxies is a perfectly passable episode of the Good Wife that does at least have moments of greatness. I can't wait until this show comes back and we no longer have to deal with Nick. He was just the worst.

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