THE ART OF POWER PLAYS
The Good Wife season started with the sexy and ended with the suspenseful. Alicia (Juliana Marguiles) no longer the “good wife” had learned that Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) had once slept with her husband, Peter (Chris Noth). So she decided that she didn’t want to try with Peter anymore and give into her desire for Will (Josh Charles). But ultimately the show is a procedural law drama.
There’s a new case we’re following every episode and always coming up against some formidable foes, which often treat us to some fantastic guest stars. The writing is impeccable as I’m often left wondering how our group is going to dig out of this ditch or another. But what I love about the show are those muddy, grey areas. Nothing is ever black or white and it’s possible for the bad guy to get away with it. The main characters are often plagued with making calculated choices and not all of them are moral such as Alicia deciding to conceal forged documents when a couple who were involved in a divorce decides to get back together on the grounds that Lockhart & Gardner tried to separate them for financial gain.
Breaking down the season, I really enjoyed Alicia’s journey from liberated to reflective. She was this new woman at the start of season who let go of her inhibitions as she started sleeping with Will. When the demands of the firm started to weigh in on the fun, her relationship with Will became something of a serious discussion. Do they forego the no co-worker dating policy at the office, tell Alicia’s kids and risk it for love? In the end, it wasn’t worth the risk and Will believed that Alicia was headed for reconciliation with Peter.
It wasn’t until another scene with Will and Alicia in the elevator which made him revaluate the choice he had made.
After losing the associate position to Alicia, Cary (Matt Czuchry) wanted revenge and took a job with Peter when he became the State’s Attorney again. I liked his time away from Lockhart & Gardner but now was a good time to bring him back. Despite him saying that he didn’t really learn anything while he was away, I beg to disagree. I think Cary grew up a lot and it made me like him more. He learned that ambition isn’t everything as evidenced by working with Dana Lodge (Monica Raymund) and Wendy Scott Carr (Anika Noni Rose).
Oh god, Wendy Scott Carr. I despise her. I love the actress and think she’s extremely talented but that condescending tone of voice of Wendy Scott Carr’s grates on every single one of my nerves. This is just one of the many, many guest stars that add to complexity The Good Wife world.
Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox) uses his medical condition to win the sympathy of the jury and judges. Similarly, Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton) uses her baby.
Lobbyist Stacy Hall (Amy Sedaris) seduced Eli (Alan Cumming) this season with her perky self but it was all about the two trying to one-up each other.
Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker) is creepy as The Good Wife’s version of Hannibal Lecter. This season we were introduced to Mike Kresteva (Matthew Perry) who is planning to run against Peter in the upcoming governor nominations who adamantly refuses to admit that he lied about Alicia. There are just so many guest stars that it’s hard to write about all of them but they all bring something unique to the show.
What was kind of a downer was that Diane (Christine Baranski) spent most of the season fighting to help Will and then fighting the vultures circling around Will’s vacant position as partner. There was a little romance but I hope next season will bring more stories about Diane.
Work and Peter’s campaign wasn’t the only thing going on in Alicia’s world. After all the premise of the show stemmed from the story of Alicia the political wife and the aftermath of her husband’s sex scandal. Back at home, Alicia dealt with various issues regarding her children but she also had to deal with Jackie (Mary Beth Peil), her mother-in-law. It’s fascinating to see Alicia navigate that world with such tact. She calculates her conversations with Peter to keep Jackie from meddling. Then, Jackie reacts with her own brand of cunningness. I think she topped things when she played the sympathy card by being admitted to the hospital for a stroke. Was she completely faking it? The jury is still out on that but I wouldn’t put it past her. Did she take lessons from Louis Canning?
Finally, you cannot write about this season without talking about Kalinda. After Alicia found out that Kalinda had slept with Peter, they were no longer friends. All season long I longed for them to be friends again but that was only because of my personal feelings about the two. The slow journey the two were taking towards each other seemed realistic and while the friendship isn’t the same, there’s healing.
There’s also the issue about Kalinda and her mysterious past. We know that Peter had secured her a new identity in Chicago and we assumed that her husband is a bad person. In the season finale, she had toyed with the idea of escaping again but she had established roots here and it looked like she didn’t want to give that up without a fight. I’m eager to see who is cast as the husband and I’d even like to see what Kalinda’s life was life before The Good Wife.
Even if every episode this season wasn’t gripping, the filler episodes don’t really feel like fillers. The characters and plot progresses in such an interesting pace that it makes me keep watching. I look forward to the next season.