Contributor: Henry T.
Written by Karen Hall
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
If the idea that Bond’s ouster made it easier for Lockhart-Gardner to win cases, then I think this episode was proof of that. We know that these are supposed to be the good guys of the show so they have to win the majority of the time, but for it to be done this easily sucks all of the suspense out of the Case of The Week. A lot of things happen outside of the case to compensate for this so you don’t have to focus so much on it. Kalinda has to deal with the fact that someone in the State’s Attorney’s office has information on her through Blake. Eli has to take care of a problem with Natalie Flores, the nanny he exposed as an undocumented immigrant. Unfortunately neither subplot could really divert enough attention away from the weak case element that dominated the episode.
The case of a killer who somehow gets away with writing a song about the murder of a woman had a ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it, although I can’t think of any real life case that was like it. The killer seemed particularly remorseless for perpetrating his crime so it was difficult to engender much sympathy for him. The little switch both Will and Alicia throw at him, getting him to admit to the murder of another woman who turned out to be the actual victim the song was about, reaped of the kind of “Aha!” moment that has been used in too many of their cases. Perhaps because it used to be one of Bond’s cases, there was little investment from Will and Alicia in the first place. I found it also oddly pushing the writers’ tendency to show their full knowledge of the electronic world in which we and the characters all inhabit. In this episode, it’s the application of the popular iTunes system, following YouTube and social networking among other past examples. I don’t quite know what the ultimate goal is here.
I had my share of problems with the other subplots. A big deal is made by Eli at the beginning of the episode that he stay out of involvement with Natalie’s immigration case. This invited confusion from Natalie herself and Eli’s involvement is all too transparent to be kept quiet. Natalie barely reacts to the eventual revelation that Eli was the one who asked Diane and Alicia to be put on her immigration status case. I like that there’s an easy chemistry between Eli and Natalie, something that isn’t forced.
It’s certainly less annoying than Eli’s smart-alecky teenage daughter, who seems intent on pushing her dad into a romantic relationship with Natalie that isn’t even necessary. It may end up that Eli just needs to save Natalie in order to make up for exposing her in the first place, but his daughter should just stay out of his affairs. I doubt this will last too long since Eli has to worry about the election in the coming future.
The subplot with Kalinda affected not just Alicia’s personal life, but also Peter’s political life as well. One of Peter’s former attorneys is holding onto the information as leverage to keep his job. That’s entirely dependent on Peter beating his opponent in the election, which I think is going to happen. As for the personal lives of the Florricks and Kalinda, that’s less certain. I agree with the notion that Kalinda should not be having strange conversations with Alicia while holding the affair over her head. It’s only going to raise her suspicions.
Alicia is going to find out about the affair so it’s a bit pointless to keep the information from her. Peter seems to be bracing for that inevitability, even as he’s falling back in love with his wife. It’s going to wreck her (again), but keeping it from her is arguably worse. The fallout for that will shape what’s to come at the end of the season.