Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Reaction Post - That's not much of a trade-off.

The Good Wife: 3x13 Bitcoin for Dummies.

Super-short because so much other stuff is going on (jfc Skins)! 

  • I liked the case-of-the-week, much better handled than the The Social Network rip-off. Bitcoin is an actual thing but  I do not know if the legal issues described in the episode were ever discussed in court. Jason Biggs plays a lawyer representing an anonymous client who created Bitcoin and refuses to give him name to the Treasury Department. L&G takes two separate courses in defending him: one is proving in court that Bitcoin is not a currency but a commodity and therefore there is no case (this fails), the other is Kalinda trying to find the actual inventor since Treasury is going after Biggs as the creator (this also fails, entertainingly). In the end, the case is won by proving that Treasury is still trying to find the actual "Mr Bitcoin" and the lawyer is therefore not their target (or something along those lines). Kalinda's hunt and the three people who kept her on her feet was entertaining (potential Mrs Bitcoin flirted, potential Mr Bitcoin fell in love, Mr Biggs was commended in the end for being more intelligent than he looked, which was one of my favourite scenes because it is nice to see that Kalinda enjoys being up against people who are as smart and cunning as she is, at least when the stakes aren't too high). 
  • "I recorded it by accident. Just got a new phone. And I didn't know how to turn it off."
  • The entire sequence of Kalinda following her spidey senses to the potential Mrs Bitcoin and the subsequent To The Toilet! was also entertaining. Is there a clause in every guest star's contract to stare at Kalinda longingly, or does it just come naturally? 
  • Diane's reason for taking the case in spite of their decision to no longer poke the bear or maybe not stick their necks out too far (Will mixes metaphors when he's tired, poor guy) - "we swore off the ones based off idealism. This one has cash. and I know how that sounds."
  • "Do you guys at treasury get a lot of dates?"
  • "I must say, I am a sucker for Occam's razor."
  • Zack explains Bitcoin via a cartoon: "See mom: Pretty colors. Fun, right?"
  • Also in a subplot, Alicia witnesses her son and Nisa saying "I love you" to each other (which, wow, perfect mirroring of the disaster that was Will saying it accidentally and actually meaning it a couple of episodes ago!) - and tells her son not to get involved in a serious relationship while he is so young (?). Zack, after hearing her arguments and being weirded out by them (and asking Alicia if this is about race...), sneaks Nisa into his dad's apartment, obviously, except the elder Mrs Florrick is just randomly doing the dishes there because what else would she be doing now that she isn't taking care of the kids anymore. Mrs Florrick gives him the very same speech that he heard from Alicia, except her biggest issue is that Zack has ascended to a private school while poor Nisa is still stuck in public school ("So how is public school", she asked, concerned). Zack ponders this for a while and realizes that he can use this because there is barely anything that Alicia hates more than the idea of having anything in common with Peter's mum. 
  • Relevant to current financial crisis things: "Only in America is greater abstraction more desirable"
  • One of Alicia's witnesses in court was the actual Jim Cramer, a guy who apparently has a show about mad money but I only know him because Jon Stewart made him look like an irresponsible fool on the Daily Show. Also, according to the prosecutor, he sometimes "clenches a knife between his teeth."
  • Elsbeth continues to play Wendy and Co well, actually inviting them to a very Wire-y building site for a meeting ("they found asbestos in my office!" - Oh dear, I hope Fantasia is okay!), and manages to weasel the name of three judges they're after out of Wendy. Turns out that what Wendy does when she has her back against a wall is tell Dana to start using Kalinda (is this really ALL she has?) - which Dana does, with the help of a document a certain L.A. lawyer from last episode must have sent over. 
  • This is also interesting because obviously Wendy can't openly admit that she is really after Peter, so not only is she desperately trying not to lose the game against Elsbeth, she is also kind of playing Cary and Dana at the same time. 
  • Diane seems genuinely concerned about him: she asks Kalinda to keep her in the loop and Kalinda immediately jumps to the conclusion that Diane wants to know "when to cut her losses", because that's the world that Kalinda inhabits, it's all a zero-sum game and MAD - "No, I wanna know when to help", assures Diane. 
  • Kalinda is helping Will, who is quietly panicking about all of this, realizing that he might end up in jail after all ("That's making you more human", says Kalinda, "That's not much of a trade-off", he responds). He admits that a friend of his forgave his betting debts and that this might easily be construed as exchanging money for access to judges, even if he didn't think of it as corruption when it happened (which... is not a great defence). She promises to help, except...
  • The document Dana shows her, and threatens to release, is the very rider she and Alicia were desperately looking for last episode. The rider that may or may not have been one of the documents David made her sign as part of her divorce preparation thingy. The rider that, if the signature was in fact forged (which can easily be proven with an analysis) would mean Alicia's license and a law suit against her for perjury. So Kalinda... has a choice to make ("People always say choice when I think they mean ultimatum."). She can collect incriminating information on Will and save Alicia, or she can continue to help Will, and see Alicia's life destroyed. It's perfectly timed too, since Will just asked her to find every piece of potentially damaging information in their old case files, and she has just found a wonderful example where a bench case magically went their way ("sometimes the ball bounces funny", says Will, while Kalinda drowns in her own conflict). Elsbeth leaves the room so they can quietly disappear the file, and Kalinda walks out with it... and later, she'll give it to Dana, looking like the world is just about to end because really, it's not actually a choice when Alicia is in danger, is it (the one thing Blake Calamar got completely right: "It’s about Alicia. That’s what you care about". Except that Wendy Scott-Carr with her back against the wall is dangerous, but Kalinda... Well, Kalinda is all claws and teeth when she is in danger. Kalinda smashes windows with baseball bats and assumes a new identity - so I predict that Dana will eventually rue her sincere "thank you" before Kalinda walked out of the bar. 
  • Out of context foreboding from the mouth of one Mr Bitcoin: "Real's gonna change. Just watch." DUM DUM DUM. 
  • The song played in the first and the final scene is Magic Arrow by Timber Timbre (also previously used effectively on Breaking Bad). 

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