Entertainment Magazine

Review #3104: The Good Wife 3.6: “Affairs of State”

Posted on the 02 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Corinne Brinkerhoff
Directed by Dean Parisot

“The Good Wife” has never had a good track record when going international. I’m thinking about last season’s episode with a Hugo Chavez stand-in (but oddly showing him from neck down) or even the episode earlier this season with the British court system and lawyers. They are usually very scattered with their plotting. So going into this episode, there was that strike against them. Luckily, this case worked much better than the previous ones. Cary and Alicia face off again, but there’s the slight hint that they’re actually working together to solve a very heinous crime with no tricks or methods to trump each other. There was a very workman-like feel to this episode, a kind of elegant flow that hasn’t been seen since the season began, and that made it very enjoyable in my view.

Review #3104: The Good Wife 3.6: “Affairs of State”

My understanding of diplomatic immunity is limited, though this show takes great care to make things look and sound simple enough. A pair of teenagers are held under investigation for their possible involvement in a girl’s murder while in the middle of a booze cruise. One guy uses his full diplomatic immunity to escape prosecution, while the other initially does as well, but there’s a loophole. The kid is Taiwanese and diplomatic immunity doesn’t extend to Taiwan because Taiwan is not recognized as part of China. Both Cary (who is prosecuting the boy for the SAO) and Alicia (who is defending him) work to solve what really happened on that boat.

I appreciated that the show kept both sides from making a fatal mistake during the trial. It’s all under the need to prove who actually killed the girl. Both sides use a trump card from the US State Department, and for once, Alicia doesn’t win that battle because Cary’s friend has a relative inside the State Department. Cary was very much an aggressor in this episode, which I liked. The guy has been a punching bag in many of the show’s cases so it’s good for him to get a win once in a while. It even gets him a promotion to Deputy State’s Attorney by the end of the episode.

Also bucking a trend on the show is the fact that the Taiwanese kid, Alicia’s client, is actually guilty of the crime in question. It solved the case a little too quickly for my taste (the ultimate resolution is a bit muddled), but that’s forgivable in light of how smoothly the case was worked. This is chalked up to an off day at the office for Alicia, but disturbs Caitlin, the lawyer Alicia is training now. Not every client Lockhart & Gardner represents is innocent (Colin Sweeney can attest to that), and Caitlin had better get used to that fact quickly in order to survive in this game.

Elsewhere, Eli gets into the political arena yet again, only this time there’s a more personal stake since it involves his ex-wife, Vanessa. She wants to run for State Senate and needs Eli’s political expertise. It’s an amusing little subplot simply to show how good Eli is at the show’s politics and that he can use his resources (namely Kalinda to vet his ex-wife) to run circles around everybody. Kalinda does uncover a big bombshell revelation, though. A business partner of Vanessa’s was a hotel tycoon named Omar Tate, and Omar Tate isn’t the guy’s birth name.

It turns out he’s a relative of Osama bin Laden. He hasn’t been linked to any terrorist activity but just the name “bin Laden” would be enough to submarine any attempt to enter politics at this time. To top it off, Vanessa had an affair with Tate while she was married to Eli. That fact definitely didn’t make Eli happy. It’s a real pleasure to see Eli’s reactions to this bit of news and his small joy in needling Kalinda for the information.

This episode was very heavy on office drama so that had the benefit of keeping Alicia’s personal life out of focus. Zach does show up at her work to do some computer work, but that’s really it. He gets to meet Will for the first time and it’s an awkward encounter, which might lead to Zach putting two and two together that his mom and Will are together. We’ll see about that one. I think there’s something being saved for a future episode. For now, let’s hope the show keeps churning out quality episodes like this.

Grade: 8/10

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