Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Reaction Post - Is that possible, staying friends?

The Good Wife: 4x05 Waiting for the Knock.

Basically, all of season four so far has felt like a major clusterfuck, with the posive effect that it pretty much leaves you amazed at the complex universe the show has created (and the sheer number of things that can go wrong at any given moment) - and the negative one that some things that you might have enjoyed about the show in the past, like, say, non-work-related communication between two major characters, don't happen because there's no time for them (except if it actually becomes a point that Kalinda and Alicia haven't really been speaking to each other but tangentially massively impacted each other's lives then well done, show). What I mean is that Waiting for the Knock feels pretty clusterfucky to me, even by season four standards, and even though a good part of the episode is spent on Eli, trying to prevent the inevitable from happening, which is pretty much just set-up for whatever Maddie Hayward's going to do next (to venture on an educated guess: run, as an independent and try and kill people wither her newly forged Indira Starr-alliance?). 
Here's what happens in the episode: Lemond Bishop's accountant gets arrested. Lemond, not really sure if this is about his legitimate or his drug-related business, calls his two law firms to figure this out while his time runs out (because eventually, his accountant with cut a deal / something incriminating will turn up in the files). Alicia gets involved in a couple of things that would have had season one Alicia running for the hills, basically, one of which was about a dead body in a car and an actual discussion about whether it would help to report it to the police. She also, via Lemond's kid, gets a lesson in "not very good people can actually be good about selective aspects of their lives" which I guess also somehow applies to Peter. There is also a great moment in there when Will and Diane totally admit to courting Lemond for his illegitimate business because times are tough, "money respects money", and as Brecht would say, "erst kommt das Fressen, dann erst die Moral". Kalinda is probably the most clusterfucked of them all because her attempts to figure out what all of this about of course end in a surveillanve van right in front of the door and a certain FBI agent, realizing she's not just running against time but also against her girlfriend - except Lemond of course isn't the reason why her apartment was ramsacked, it's the dude who tries to fit "your lesbian girlfriend" into a normal conversation as often as possible and tells a sad tale about not being able to be in love with anyone else in spite of trying, except the show seems to forget that the character we're invested in here is Kalinda, not this ridiculous psychopath. 
In the end, Lemond goes to prison because it's practically impossible to cleanly divide legitimate and illegitimate business (and that's a lesson for everyone involved here, I think), Peter gets record support in spite of the blogger but loses a Maddie Hayward (and not to be cynical, but considering the campaign finances thing here, I think that means he's worse off than he was before), and Alicia probably has a freaky deja-vu moment when she sees Lemond dragged off, taking care of his son until his sister arrives, remembering the last time she had to explain something like this to a child. 
  • Best moment of the episode by far: Nick overhears Kalinda talking on the phone, randomly assumes it's her "lesbian girlfriend", starts accusing her, then Kalinda tells him it was "work-related" and Nick, admittedly accurately, tells her it didn't sound like it was work, whereupon Kalinda shoves him (and totally blows her Cary-related "I don't even know this guy" cover). Why is it always the creepiest fucking guys who realize how important Alicia is to Kalinda? "Your voice on that phone was not work, Kalinda."
  • This episode is also the birth of the second-greatest OTP (okay maybe third, after Will/Diane) this show's ever had: Cary and Hayden. The look on Cary's face when he realized how GOOD Hayden was, and the look on Hayden's face when Cary told him to do something he genuinely enjoyed for a change... who knew I could enjoy Cary so much as long as he's kept at arm-length from Kalinda. 
  • The legitimate-business-lawyer vs. drug-business-lawyer banter was fantastic. I assume it was a one-off but WOW. 
  • "I don't know what's more startling - Your sanctimony or your hypocrisy?" - says the great idealist Diane Lockhart, as she's courting Lemond Bishop. 
  • Also WOW, the fact that L&G would be totally fine with representing Lemond's drug business. The episode seemed like an escalating number of moments where Alicia must have felt like she wasn't exactly sure how she got here, and why she didn't leave (I mean obviously because of the kid, and because Alicia is AMBITIOUS, even though that'll always remain unspoken, but WOW). 
  • Kalinda's "beyond that you can do what you want" is a really nice euphemism for "fuck off".
  • Peter was really angry with Eli when he realized that Will was involved in their attempt to cover up (the cover-up) of the campaign worker story. Also I think it's fair to say that once you have to threaten with cease-and-desist letters you've pretty much lost the game anyway. 
  • Kalinda: Hi mum, it's not the cops, it's the feds, and it's not an arrest, it's a search warrant. Love you!
  • Dear Lana gets her heart broken when she tries to pull the "clear distinction between work and personal life" thing (that, as the episode teaches us, never works) and Kalinda bluntly tells her that there is no "we" to protect, except I'm not entirely sure if that was to protect Lana from Nick, or because she was worried about the weird Eli-Kalinda photos Nick found in her apartment, or because Kalinda really doesn't care about her federal agent that much. And I'm pretty sure that Kalinda doesn't know either, but I feel personally invested in keeping Lana Delaney's face around for as long as possible. It's a good face.
  • Peter took Alicia to a Bulls championship game for their first date. 
  • Awesomely, Team L&G realizes that someone needs to sacrifice themselves in order to get a search warrant unsealed, so Cary goes to jail. 
  • And the magical moment in the episode is when Alicia looks at Lemond and realizes that he is a dad, that he feels this responsibility, and knows immediately he'll tell them to go report it even though it means that he'll go to jail. He quietly tells her to arrange for his sister to take care of his son, and that's done. They have an intimate connection over the fact that they are both parents that nobody else in the room gets and it's great. 
  • The last shot is beautiful: The FBI agents, after arresting Lemond (and Lana winning her grand victory that doesn't really mean all that much now, I guess), walking off into the night, FBI on their jackets slowly fading in the dark. 

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