Entertainment Magazine

Review #3782: The Good Wife 4.5: “Waiting for the Knock”

Posted on the 01 November 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Leonard Dick
Directed by Frederick E.O. Toye

I would not have thought that I would miss the Case of the Week so much, or that it would prove to be the anchor that keeps an episode of this show grounded. There is technically a case that the major players at the firm do deal with, but we’re left out of the courtroom. So there is a feeling that something is missing. Perhaps a sense of urgency or purpose. I could not quite pin it down. As a result of this, the other storylines have to pick up the slack.

Review #3782: The Good Wife 4.5: “Waiting for the Knock”

Somehow, it doesn’t really work because the other storylines are running out of steam. This is a mess of an episode, with some good parts and really bad parts. Worse, it was difficult to hold my interest all the way through. Characters take actions that are not consistent with what we have seen of them before. The ending for a prominent guest character is appropriate, though somehow feels unearned.

Shady drug dealer Lemond Bishop returns here, and his entire organization is being investigated yet again. Initially, no one knows what is being looked at so he calls in the lawyers for both his legitimate businesses and dealings, represented by Lockhart-Gardner, as well as his illegitimate drug empire, represented by Lesli Rand (Annabella Sciorra). These rival lawyers seem to know each other well enough despite keeping each away from knowing about what the other side is doing in Bishop’s businesses. Lockhart-Gardner is in the less risky bracket, but that side is less lucrative. It’s the opposite with the drug lawyers. So that is why Will tries to make a play into the drug business when he sees an opening here. That doesn’t go anywhere when Will has to take care of other matters in the episode. Plus, I don’t think it would look good in public if a firm in such dire financial straits were to suddenly dip into the illegal drug business. The show does what it can with this main plotline — and for a while it did look fun when Cary and the firm look for what exactly is being investigated in Bishop’s businesses — but it peters out by the end.

Even when someone else commits the murder of a confidential informant, even when one of Bishop’s business managers deal in illegal substances (steroids are not as sensational as drugs like cocaine or heroin, but they are still illegal), we know that he is the one who is going to take the fall. So when Alicia realizes the inevitability of this, Bishop asks her to take care of his son. It involves some scenes with a strangely disingenuous feel to them. Alicia has to relate to Bishop’s young son to distract him from the trauma of federal agents going through their house and arresting Bishop at the end. This is a very odd position for Alicia (What would make Dylan trust a woman he’s never seen before without any reservation?), and it plays out that way. Bishop seems to only want Alicia around because of her prominent position in Chicago’s political game. This is common with the series, as characters often trust Alicia simply because she has some celebrity cache from Peter’s infamous actions. One of the few good things mined from this plotline was seeing Mr. Hayden be more proactive instead of sitting in judgment of the firm’s actions. He discovers a joy in helping with the investigation, and it would help the show out if there was more of this from the character.

The other subplots in the episode try to work, but ultimately don’t fully succeed. Eli spends the episode constantly worried that a blog post will derail the results of a straw poll and the gubernatorial campaign. Only, it seems that everyone places too much stock in one post from an anonymous blog. This is a common occurrence with the show, as the creators have often indulged in demonstrating the power of online viral activity. It’s shown in the results of the straw poll: Peter surprisingly wins in a landslide. The real problem emerges when it looks like he’s going to lose Maddie as a major donor. It looks like the show is setting up Maddie as a contender to play against Peter, which could be an interesting course to take. It would place Alicia in yet another difficult and potentially compromising position as the middleman between her friend and her husband. That is, however, a much better position than the odd love triangle between Kalinda, Nick, and Lana.

Everything about Kalinda and Nick has ceased to be anywhere near entertaining. It is a subplot that doesn’t work from the moment it shows up in an episode. Nick is presented as this dangerous, threatening man, and it seems like Kalinda is walking on egg shells whenever he goes anywhere near her workplace. Yet, Nick tells her that he’s helping Kalinda out of some twisted notion of love between the two of them. There’s no foundation for any of this. The evidence that Lana might be investigating Kalinda and Eli (thus, perhaps it might lead to Kalinda and Peter’s past) is entirely based on photos that could be interpreted as anything. The writers have agreed with the audience that this storyline with Kalinda isn’t working, and as such, they have said in interviews that it will come to an end in the near future. Honestly, I can’t figure why it was included in this season in the first place. At least they recognize the error of their ways, whereas other writers would stubbornly continue with it in the hopes that it will resolve itself. This episode was an aberration in an otherwise solid start to the season. It would not surprise me if the show gets back on the right track as soon as the next episode airs.

Score: 6/10

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