Entertainment Magazine

Review #3725: The Good Wife 4.2: “And The Law Won”

Posted on the 10 October 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Ted Humphrey
Directed by Rosemary Rodriguez

This was one of those patented busy episodes that this show does from time to time that could have easily ended up a mess. For the most part, the episode kept true to its busy, complicated schematic, with the subplot involving Kalinda keeping it from being a great one. It centered very much on Alicia and what she is able to handle.

Review #3725: The Good Wife 4.2: “And The Law Won”

I prefer when the show goes this route because too often, episodes keep Alicia on the sidelines to concentrate on other things. Here, she’s essentially at the center of many storms, and even she can’t believe how much work she has to handle. The show squeezes in a bit of political intrigue mixed with a good legal storyline (even if it gets resolved a bit too abruptly) and continuing the serialized arc of the firm’s money problems. So Kalinda’s little subplot with her husband or ex-husband, depending on how people look at certain things, is the one that doesn’t really fit.

I do wonder sometimes if Alicia knows all of the machinations that occur around her. That was on full display in this episode. Mr. Hayden, the trustee, hovers around the firm and assesses the various states of employees within it. This was foretold to be coming from last week’s premiere, and initially, there doesn’t look to be a discernible pattern. As the episode progresses, the pattern emerges. Any firm employee mentioned by Hayden to Alicia is immediately cut loose. It may be nothing, or it may be something, but Alicia sees it. She is portrayed here as rather dim — or she could just be playing innocent and that she doesn’t have a Machiavellian bone in her body — and it could be seen Alicia being the favorite child of the firm. This is nothing too new (she is the only fourth-year associate after all to have an office bigger than the others), but there could be a sense that resentment is building around the office. It’s also not the only thing Alicia has to worry about here. She is tasked by Diane to present a bankruptcy plan to the firm’s new landlord, Maddie Hayward, and the meeting somehow ended with Miss Hayward contributing to Peter’s campaign.

Perhaps Alicia should have given the proposal to Miss Hayward’s driver since she did say that he handles her clients. Alicia’s attention is so scattered that she doesn’t even realize that she has put the firm in a precarious position. The reduction in floor space could result in less clientele for the firm, and thus, less revenue. Not a good thing. Hayward figures to be a semi-regular presence on this show so it will be interesting to see if this develops into a genuine friendship or there is some other plot afoot with this new affluent donor. Given how much this show plays around with the moralities of various characters (the less-than-subtle trustworthiness of Louis Canning comes to mind), I wouldn’t be surprised at either outcome. Alicia is right to say to no one in particular that she is exhausted by noon. There are so many balls up in the air that it can be tiring to keep track of all of them. That’s why it’s something of a release valve to see Alicia relaxing in the campaign bus with Peter at the end. Her life is always going to be a complicated mess, but she’s doing everything she can to keep herself sane, even if she still can’t really define her relationship with Peter.

Contrast Alicia’s life with the mess Kalinda has gotten herself into with the business surrounding her ex-husband. Since the end of the first season, the writers just haven’t seemed to get a firm handle on how to keep Kalinda an interesting character. At times, it seems like Kalinda is excited by the guy and might still love him in some twisted way. Kalinda has always been a hard character to get a full read on. Other times, she seems to loathe the very sight of the guy. There is a dangerous vibe about him (or that is what the writers would want viewers to believe), and there is something off about him. Two episodes in and I already want this subplot to be resolved so that Kalinda can move on to other, more important matters. She’s best used as the crack investigator for the firm — the one character who revels in operating outside the law — and this whole thing with her husband is dragging her down. Even Will can see that she’s distracted and calls her out on it because he needs to win his first case as a litigator. By the way, the case of the week was compelling in parts, and then it just ends.

A new twist is presented in the jurors asking questions for witnesses, but that doesn’t factor in the end result of the trial. Yet, I think this is going to continue for some unknown reason. Kalinda told Alicia to drop the firm’s business in wanting to represent Nick’s tow truck company, which Mr. Hayden reneges on since the firm rightly needs all the business it can get, so this is going to go on. I don’t see why Alicia has to hold back on telling Hayden that Nick is personally involved with Kalinda, and that could compromise any business the firm does with him. That could open another can of worms I don’t think anyone would want to be opened, though. While it’s a complicated situation befitting a complicated episode, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of this subplot, and it’s hurting the show going forward. I have faith that the show will right itself in due time. It has been done in seasons prior so there is precedent. For now, I still enjoy the adult tone this show sets with every episode.

Score: 8/10

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