Tuesday 8 October 2013

Reaction Post - I'm going to make my choice.

The Good Wife: 5x02 The Bit Bucket.

The Bit Bucket, another very topical episode of The Good Wife, is essentially about what happens when information is available, but context is missing. It's also another example of the writers managing to combine past stories into a massive, complicated net of connections that requires an amount of concentration and knowledge (after all, it is an episode about information) that is almost overwhelming. Considering how much of this season (past seasons as well, but it's kind of escalating right now) is about keeping secrets, waiting for the right moment to share important information etc., watching the characters trying to make sense of a situation with limited access to information and while tricking each other is highly entertaining - especially since we take a step outside the firm itself, and watch two NSA nerds (maybe a cliché, but who probably not inaccurate) follow Alicia Florrick and Diane Lockhart's every phone call - and we find out that this has been happening for the past two years, ever since they defended that Arabic translator who allegedly had connections to a terrorist organisation. Their job is to suspect, to look for connections, to analyze, and success means being able to find suspicious connections, which creates a situation where everything suddenly becomes suspicious. This is the other side of "if you've got nothing to fear, you've got nothing to hide" - once the surveillance system is in place, it becomes a self-sustaining machine that runs on creating the very thing it is looking for. Suddenly, the behaviour of the fourth years to avoid detections by L/G (and especially an increasingly paranoid David Lee) looks very much like what a potential terrorist cell would do (burner phones, secret meetings). Since the whole thing, at least from the perspective of the two NSA analysts, is a game, reading too much into small bits of information leads to ridiculous results, with potentially serious consequences. 
As Alicia and Cary try to find a way for Mr ChumHum (who happens to be the thing that is keeping F/A afloat, because their future firm won't survive without Neil Gross's money) to prove that his cooperation with the intelligence community, passing on user information, was limited and against his wishes, in order to restore user confidence and stock pricesm Alicia also continues her awkward dance around David Lee's increasing suspicions (her mum ends up paying for the offices, but also happens to be a client of David's, and eventually his unlikely sympathy for her leads to David gaining even more potential evidence against the mutiny he suspects). Kalinda tries to cover for Cary but finds it harder, and awkward since she will stay with L/G, so in theory the firm's interests are hers, the two NSA analysts are asked to find "more recent terrorist activity" to justify following Alicia's trail into the "Governor's mansion" (it's always interesting how Peter plays into all of this, from the sideline), and use the fact that Zach's recently broken up with and constantly calling girlfriend Nissa has a dad who is a Palestinian sympathiser. Eli is once again confronted with a nemesis that he can't seem to be able to shake off: Zach's other ex-girlfriend, Becca, who's found a new way into the Florrick family by counselling recently much-blogged-about Grace on her make-up and outfit choices (she also gets hold of an important artefact, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice's congratulatory gavel, which Peter and Eli need to show how much they value him because they need him to assure Diane's future position). It's a clusterfuck, that ends in a small victory for Neil Gross (supposedly assuring that he'll follow Alicia and Cary wherever they'll go), a loss for Eli against Becca (a good example of how freaking terrifying young people these days are), and Diane reluctantly selling out Will - Eli and Peter ask her to give an interview condemning his past actions, and she resists, but eventually caves in right the moment when she doesn't have to. Awful timing, with a presumably spectacular fall-out. 

  • Quite liked the way the Neil Gross trial played out - the ridiculousness of the constitutional argument failing in the face of security concerns and the money argument winning because capitalism trumps everything, I guess - and the fact that sometimes, 14,000 $ is just as good as a couple of billions. 
  • It's kind of scary to consider why exactly Peter has so much leverage over the Chief Justice that he can just tell him to stop blocking Diane's nomination. 
  • Needs more Veronica/Alicia/pitchers of Margaritas.
  • Shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did about the government arguing that the reason for ChumHum's falling stock was allowing Holocaust deniers a platform - if only. Neil Gross' face at having to take a 90-year-old man and his group of friends seriously was great. 

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