Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Good Wife

The Good Wife
Episode 15: Going for the Gold
By: Carlos Uribe

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

Spoilers Ahoy!

The Good Wife delivers an episode that felt like it should have aired during February sweeps that recently ended. Why? This was an episode that closed out a significant storyline. Developments like this are usually reserved for sweeps period since they tend to attract the largest ratings. So what happened? Eli managed to go back to his campaign after fighting the Department of Justice after the whole episode. Anybody who watches the Good Wife knows that having the key piece of evidence thrown out of the window doesn't mean that the case is over. The Justice Department's lawyer, Josh, wants to take Eli or Peter down. He's willing to do anything to accomplish this. He does manage to get the chairman of the Democrat Party to agree to testify against Eli. His testimony is damaging but it's a case of “he-says-she-says”. It's now up to Josh to try and find someone credible who is willing to corroborate the information. The first person he comes up with is the person he supposedly made the deal with. This person is in charge of a senior center. Eli had gotten him to send seniors to the straw poll after Jackie gave a speech. At the same time, he agreed to provide the senior center a discount for his services. This actually occurred in an earlier episode this season and it was a nice way to reference those events in a way that can haunt you. This person was supposed to implicate that Eli had bribed him but they managed to prove him wrong. They point out how many of the seniors at the straw poll were wearing the t-shirts of other candidates. He couldn't have bought their votes if most of them weren't even supporting Peter.

The case looks like it's going to be dismissed. Most lawyers would have let it go at this point but Josh decides to press on. He decides to find another correspondent in Jackie. Jackie can be a wild card but she assures them that she just plans on telling the truth. Her first testimony is damaging as she claims that there might have been a deal discussed. It seems like it's going bad for Eli but Jackie turns herself into an unreliable witness when she admits that her recent heart attack has made it difficult for her to remember details. It doesn't help that these political events tend to blur together. Once again, our characters have been able to rebuff Josh's attacks but he moves on to the next one. He brings in Diane Lockhart because she signed off on the bill providing the discount. This makes her a corroborate but what he didn't take into account was that she didn't approve the discount. She might have signed it but Clarke had forced her to accept it. Josh's attempts to tie the whole law firm into the corruption charge are completely rebuffed. The judge throws the case out of the door and Eli is able to go back to Peter's campaign. Of course, why would Peter want someone whose been involved in a bribery scandal? Especially after Peter had finally been able to redeem himself after having gone to jail for corruption? The answer is simple. Peter needs Eli and this episode makes it perfectly clear with how Eli's young replacement doesn't understand Peter's strengths and weaknesses. This seems a bit counter-productive considering how the series spent to much time setting up this young campaign manager to be just as good at his job as Eli but I'm not going to complain. It's simply good to see Eli back on the campaign trail where he belongs. The “weekly” case might have been tied with the serialized plot but it was done in a very entertaining manner. While Josh's flirtation with Elsbeth was a bit over-the-top and unnecessary, the actual courtroom maneuvering was top-notch entertainment.

There is also some other serialized developments. Alicia is enjoying her time as equity partner until she's given an unpleasant task. She's made partner in charge of the Bishop account and she has to cut down on hours. This basically means hurting people's chances at promotions and cutting into the money they earn. To add to the development, Cary happens to be on that case. This plot basically highlights the inherent conflict between the bosses and the employees. Lockhart Gardner might care about the clients but they're also a business. Sometimes making business decisions are going to be unpopular with the employees. This is one of them. Alicia tries her best to keep everyone happy but finds that she's going to have to upset her associates. It's a pretty good plot that instantly highlights the change in the status quo without overpowering the show.

Overall, The Good Wife delivered a really great episode. The main plot was a work of genius: whether it was the actual case or the fake libel case. Showing that Peter needs Eli to win with the debate helped to increase the ante. The sub-plot where Alicia needs to learn the difference between being a boss and an employee was great. The Good Wife delivered an entertaining and fun episode that proves that last week's episode wasn't a fluke.

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