Tuesday 1 November 2011

Reaction Post - I don't even know why I care.

The Good Wife: 3x06 Affairs of State.

  • This is an episode that succeeds or fails based on how the individual viewer feels about one Cary Agos. Personally, I spent most of the first season and bits of the second one prejudiced against him based on one of Matt Czuchry's previous characters, even though I'd only caught glimpses of that show that he was in (as you do if a crucial percentage of your circle of friends is emotionally invested in a show that you don't particularly care about). He is called a "straight suburban guy" (even his escapades are sadly predictable: getting high on his day off with an old "friend" from the peace corps?) at one point in the episode and that's pretty much it - except that Matt Czuchry somehow manages to keep Cary interesting, even though we know so little about him. The episodes thrives on our lack of knowledge - what does Cary want? Is he just doing his job (and doing it well), does he want the power and respect (and bigger office) that goes with moving up, or is he concerned with the "soul" that he alludes to in the beginning of the episode, when he warns a colleague against working as a defence lawyer? 
  • The structure of the episode corresponded with his character: we don't know who he is and what he wants, and we didn't know if the suspect was guilty or not until the very end. Lockhart/Gardner were on such a winning streak in the past episodes, so Affairs of State was at least a reminder that Alicia isn't infallible, that part of her job sometimes consists of defending people who are guilty (or trying to flee the country). Caitlin learned that lesson the hard way, while Cary stood in front of his shiny new prestigious office and the even shinier plate declaring him Deputy State's Attorney.
  • Since the cases themselves aren't really the thing that I like most about the show, the fact that lawyers are now inspecting bodies, finding and interpreting decisive evidence and solving crimes with not one detective in sight was only a minor inconvenience, even though TV previously taught me that forensic examiners did all of the above (and arrested suspects). 
  • The sub-plot of the episode: Will and the kids. Zach voiced the children unit's collective concern about Alicia's social life and well-being in general (she answered the "so what do you do when we're not there" question with an awkward "I miss you and then I do laundry"), and then later Will introduced himself to Zach (currently using his incredible tech knowledge to crash everyone's computer), which FINALLY brought out the inapt, babbling, ridiculous Will we all knew was hiding beneath the surface ("keep on keeping on" he said, while quickly backing out of the room and the idea of eventually becoming part of Alicia's family). Later on, Will asked Alicia if she WANTED him to meet the kids, formally, and she said "no" so quickly and determinedly that Will's heartbreak almost wasn't audible ("but thank you, really"). I bet that'll all end well, especially considering how bad both of them are at talking about their feelings and things in general. 
  • Eli, now being greeted with applause at meetings to make him feel more involved in the Lockhart/Gardner family (the idea of them as a family was alluded to later on when Caitlin expressed her enthusiasm about everybody's niceness - I guess she hasn't met Kalinda yet then?), was asked to help with Alicia's case (to find a way to get around the "Taiwanese diplomats don't enjoy diplomatic immunity because of the whole One China Thing), which meant that he had to go to his ex-wife (Parker Posey) for help who asked him for a favour in return: she wanted to run for office and Eli is in the business of running other people for office. Kalinda uncovered the dooming fact that she used to have an affair with a Bin Laden (one of those cases where the "it happened while she was married" is trumped by something even worse!) - my favourite part about Eli's disgust at his sperm once occupying the same space as a Bin Laden's was her dry response about his lack of anatomical knowledge. Parker Posey fits in so well, I hope she returns, and she could add layers to Eli's characterization too (it was nice finding out that he used to cling to the idea of not having fucked up two years of his private life, an illusion that is now destroyed). Kalinda seemed uncharacteristically hesitant to destroy his peace of mind. 
  • "So, you just stroll along the lake front looking for ex-wives?"
  • "Rahm gets in and everyone thinks they can."
  • Caitlin's main purpose in the episode was to have knowledge of weird internet subculture (someone had loads of fun creating After Death Space, which looks like a tumblr for dead people), and glaring longingly at a very un-interested since recently changed Will Gardner. Another thing that will end really, really well soon!
  • "Take my word for it, you know what cup you are carrying at the stop light party."
  • I'm not sure if Zach figured out that Will isn't just Alicia's boss - he could either be an incredibly self-involved teenager, asking for a car in return for "fixing" her computer problems (and remaining the less complicated child without any weirdly age-inappropriate friends through the past two years), or he decided to pretend he didn't know because he realizes that Alicia has reasons for not telling. If the latter is the case, that makes one more person potentially able to confirm Peter's suspicions. 
  • Cary only likes "ethnic women" when it's a good thing (and gets him laid), and his relationship with Kalinda has turned into mutual disgruntledness that makes them seem more like an old couple than the weird courting dance thing did before. 
  • Kalinda's face at Eli's "but not slut-levels" reaction to Vanessa's relationships was one of the best things about the episode. REALLY, ELI? REALLY? 
  • "Oh good, she banged a nice Bin Laden."
  • Alicia: Sometimes the guilty look like the innocent ones. / Caitlin: Well, that's depressing. 

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