Monday, 3 October 2011

Reaction Post - If she works against us, we are letting her go?

The Good Wife: 3x02 The Death Zone. 

  • I watched the pilot when it originally came out and felt disappointed afterwards because I had expected the show to be about politics, and instead it seemed to be a fairly straight-forward procedural about a law firm. I later returned to the show for the relationships (and, of course, the brilliant acting), but the case-of-the-week element remains to be its weakness. The show circumvented this in the past with the longer story arcs of the season: Peter's campaign, the question of Kalinda's past - but the arc for this season hasn't emerged yet, so we are stuck with the newspaper-headline-as-case-thing again. This week, it's about a libel suit against a guy who has made a habit of stripping gear off dying climbers in the dead zone, and since this would make for a pretty awful and horrid hour, it was lightened up by changing the game: after losing in the US, the guy went to the UK (via video conference, of course) with its different libel laws. The show has done this before, of course, also for the comic relief (Will against military court, which was fun), but it's a bit grating to see the whole "oh those crazy English with their accents, insistence on decorum, their class structure, sneering at the Irish and Americans and costumes" thing played out in a drama show that I really, desperately want to take seriously (have you seen the Emmys? The only reason those odd Brits didn't walk all over the US shows is because they are safely contained in the mini-series category). "I'm the England of Football hooligans and Jack the Ripper", said the opposing barrister (is that the word?) to Will, for no apparent reason at all. The case was won, now let us forget it ever happened.
  •  Jams Her Tush.
  • On a more hopeful note, the episode established Eli as a new force in the firm. It is a little bit discouraging to note that I enjoy the show so much more when it is about politics (not policy, though - the GAME, the elections, the campaigns) - and I think that the producers probably recognizes this too, in the last season (and of course Alan Cumming is just a brilliant addition to the cast). So while Will and Alicia fended off the Brits, the two ACTUAL Brits teamed up, finally. "Who is the investigator here", asked Eli, and was then swept off his feet (professionally, of course) by Kalinda, who seems to be enjoying this game just as much as he does (despite pretending it's all about the money). This changes the dynamic of the show, or at least has the potential to, because if Kalinda is going to work more for Eli now, she won't be working as much with Alicia. It will also be interesting to see the effect this has on her character, since working with Alicia sometimes made her a little more idealistic than she would normally be (remember when she helped the family living in Alicia's apartment building because Alicia asked her to?), while Eli is just as much of a realist interested in power and money and excited about the GAME as she is. 
    Eli: How do I know you? 
    Kalinda: You don't. 
    Eli: Then why do you seem so familiar? 
    Kalinda. I just have one of those faces. 
    • I assumed that The Good Wife would steer clear off the Republican primaries and the Presidential election, but it would be really cool if the show provided a running commentary on the campaign. The too-squeaky-clean potential Republican candidate Eli and Kalinda were investigating remained unseen though. 
    • Peter is looking for a firm to represent his civil cases; Diane applies, but starts to get suspicious when he asks her to agree to an audit (he uses their client who also happens to be a drug dealer as his reason - oh, the old tongue-in-cheek "but we only handle his legitimate business" - we've seen the other side of the story on The Wire and Breaking Bad). She visits Alicia's apartment to ask for her advice (already assuming that she won't find Peter there), and, in a brilliantly acted scene, manages not to ask the question ("did you separate") because she would be overstepping the boundaries (Alicia explains that she has worked hard to keep work and private life separate - not so much, lately). Alicia advices her not to agree to the audit, and Diane takes the question of whether Peter and Alicia have split up to WILL. 
    • Cary sitting in on Diane and Peter's meeting was entertaining. What is Peter's end-game, though? Destroying the firm (and Will)? Uncovering a scandal? Finding a way to keep an eye on Alicia?
    • Zack gets a seriously emotional moment when, after a conversation with his dad, he asks his mum if he is like Peter, clearly feeling that this would be a bad thing. 
    • We don't really know yet if Diane also suspects that Will and Alicia have a relationship (that, as the episode again demonstrated, is mostly based on sex), but she does fear that Alicia might no longer be an asset to the firm (either by proxy because Peter is no longer looking out for her, or by actively trying to work against him?). As much as I enjoy Will and Diane working as a team together, seeing them work against each other was also quite delightful in the past, so we'll see where that goes this season. Priority-wise, how important is Alicia to Will? 

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