Entertainment Magazine

Review #3153: The Good Wife 3.9: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

Posted on the 23 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Robert King, Michelle King, and Meredith Averill
Directed by Rosemary Rodriguez

After watching this episode, it occurred to me that this show might be the most feminist show on television. You look at an episode like this and you see nearly all of the female characters in positions of power. Even the lighter subplot with the cheese vs. corn vs. bread lobbyist struggle had the female character scoring a win over Eli, a guy who is used to winning battles everywhere he goes. The series is showing what women do with that power, whether it may be abusing it or using it to their advantage.

Review #3153: The Good Wife 3.9: “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

It never really occurred to me until I sat down and organized my thoughts on this episode, which was very solid in my opinion. This despite dipping into the well of military courts and the country’s national security for the second time in three episodes. I thought most of the subplots outside of the courthouse made the episode as good as it was. But more feminism, please! If it’s done this well, it stands to reason it should continue.

The Case of The Week once again took on a ripped-from-the-headlines feel to me. Accidental deaths from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone strike have been in the news the past couple of months. Here, a female Army officer is charged with the murder of a dozen innocent civilians when she went ahead with an air strike despite warnings from others about the non-combatant elements in the vicinity. Did she ignore those orders? Did she never see them? Were they just input at the wrong time and she didn’t get them?

These are all questions that are explored within the trial, in a military court, which Lockhart-Gardner has had little success in. They try very hard to make it look like the military is charging the officer with a crime because she’s a female serving in the military, but it’s a flimsy argument at best, and easily gets batted down in court. The final scene between the judge and Alicia laid out the reasoning behind the verdict (easily guilty on all counts), and I thought it was a great, thoughtful scene, but it was too clear-cut for my taste. I like a little ambiguity with certain verdicts on this show. There’s no gray area here, just that she did this, it was wrong, and she’ll go to prison for it. It made me think that maybe Alicia and Lockhart-Gardner should avoid cases involving military courts altogether. They just don’t seem to be very good at trying them.

The writers follow through on Eli’s work with the cheese lobbyists, even if it seems as ridiculous as it sounds. There’s money to be made from the various food lobbies fighting against each other. It’s so Eli can face off against the female lobbyist played by Amy Sedaris and, in another show of female empowerment on “The Good Wife”, lose. The whole plot is designed to play like it’s frivolous and light, which makes it rather comical when Eli takes it so hard that he wants to drink with Diane at the end. I personally favor times when Eli is the cunning political operative, but it’s nice to see him branching out into other fields that aren’t necessarily his expertise. It’s a worthy change-up, even if it can’t compare with the A-plot of the military trial.

Just as fun, though, is the continued exploration into Alicia’s personal life. She finds out that Jackie is snooping around her bedroom and computer. Like when she kicked Peter out of the house at the end of last season, she moves quickly to rectify the situation. She effectively (and literally) locks Jackie out of the apartment and engages in what I would characterize as a calm argument with Jackie about her meddling. Alicia knows Jackie has nothing on her that can prove she’s a bad mother or influence to her children, and she calls Jackie on it. It’s the best scene in the episode.

A close second would have to be Diane’s confrontation with Will regarding his affair with Alicia. She effectively lays down the law on him: Stop sleeping with Alicia and perhaps Peter will stop his investigation into both Will and the firm. I strongly believe it’s not just Will the SAO is going after, but they’re looking for cracks in the firm to take down Lockhart-Gardner. Diane will have none of that. It’s left up to question whether both Will and/or Alicia will cool things down or continue to secretly have their affair.

I have to think the affair will become public knowledge sooner rather than later. Diane and Kalinda were first. The warnings have been issued. Might Peter and others be next? That’s what I feel is being set up here. Alicia is making a mistake in omitting her affair with Will to her children. Though, she might worry that either Zach or Grace will tell their father about it, thus confirming things in his mind and that might lead to more investigations of the firm’s practices. I get the sense that the SAO didn’t just bring in Wendy Scott-Carr as a special prosecutor to go after Will. They want the whole shebang. I was the one who said it at the end of last season, and apparently Diane agrees with me here: The Will-Alicia affair is just not a good idea, on all fronts.

Grade: 8/10

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