The Good Wife in Review: "After the Fall," or "The Merry Wives of Gardner"

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It's been a few weeks since I've jumped off the Good Wife blogging train, and I've missed you all dearly! Admittedly, it's harder to find the motivation to write during these "transitional" episodes, which seem more concerned with setting up future drama than with driving the story along in themselves.

I recently connected with another superfan, the wonderful writer of Lockhart Gardner. She matches my irrational love of all things Kalinda with an irrational love of all things Gardner, so we have a grand ol' time. Like Will's sisters, when Kalinda and Will are in scenes together, our heads explode (and probably the neighbors' as well, what with all the disconnected screeching. Anyway...).

Which allows me to neatly segue into the events of this episode, which might be neatly retitled The Merry Wives of Gardner. Not sure who's Falstaff in this situation, but I digress.

Once again, the episode was pretty Alicia-free, which makes me slightly concerned for the narrative of the show. Love or her hate her (and those who hate her, I know you're out there, but I really don't get it), the show's definitely about her. So while it's nice to see Will's domestic life for a change, it's a bit jarring, given that the plotline doesn't really tie back in to the story at large. And Will? Just go backpacking. No one said 6 months off means 6 months SITTING IN YOUR AWESOME-SAUCE APARTMENT.

Alicia spent most of her time this episode taking a backseat to Caitlin, which, first of all, EWWW CAITLIN, and second of all, really? Alicia's never been prone to professional jealousy (see: wonderful relationship with Cary in season 1), so it's weird that it's manifesting with Caitlin, especially given that she KNOWS Caitlin's gotten where she is with family connections. Not to say that Caitlin's incompetent, but David Lee transparently intervenes on her behalf. I look forward to finding out what Faustian bargain she's been forced to make with him in regards to the imminent political coup of extreme skullduggery and viewer joy.

This show's never more enjoyable than when it takes on office politics. It certainly helps that David Lee and Julius are such well-rounded characters, even though we can never tell exactly what they're planning next. In many ways, Eli's much more predictable in his behavior, so I'm not sure he's gonna land on top of this little play. We're starting to see a childish side to his character that I'm enjoying, as he scolds Peter and tries, yet again, to play silly power games with Diane.

I suppose what makes the whole thing so wonderful's that we know, deep in our hearts, that any number of David Lees, Julius's and Eli's still can't compete with one amazing Diane Lockhart. Though the writers will undoubtedly attempt to convince us (me) otherwise.

THE OFFICE OF THE STATE'S ATTORNEY

Oh Cary. There goes that moral higher ground, eh? I've been saddened by how ADA Pine's been repeatedly passed over, as she's clearly the most competent, driven person in the state's attorney's office. I smell a coup in the office, coming from her direction. She's not dumb enough to fall for Wendy's transparent manipulations, and she's dangerous. Cary's building a laundry list of enemies from women he used to fancy...apart from Kalinda, of course.

As for Peter? Was anyone even slightly surprised at his turn away from keeping his hands clean? Peter's fundamentally a party politician. When he behaves otherwise, it's because he knows that decision still serves himself. It's a slippery slope: I can only hope we get to bear witness to a whole shitload of Peter getting his hands dirty.

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7 Responses to “ The Good Wife in Review: "After the Fall," or "The Merry Wives of Gardner" ”

  1. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Peter getting his hands dirty as this is something that we have been repeatedly told about this character but have seen very little of thanks to his need for redemption. It was also delightful to see him back together with Eli and I had forgotten how much I like these two together.

    As far as Caitlin goes, Alicia's jealously sits uneasy with me too but is it more natural that she would be more jealous of a female rather than someone like Cary back in season 1? I loved having Alicia out Nancy with her own version of one of my favourite opponents (the 'girl from Michigan' line kills me every time) and it was interesting to see it both work and backfire on Alicia here. Also this gave Julianna Margulies the chance to do what she does best and say it all with a facial expression when it comes to Diane telling her they will have to share an assistant- not happy. 

    A total transitional episode but one that sets things up further for the end of the season and I am so happy to see even more screen time between Alicia and Kalinda. Though it is a shame that they cut out the Kalinda/Alicia scene from the promo, always intrigued why they make these kinds of editing decisions. 

    Also super excited for the return of Colin Sweeney next week, lets see how many ways he can creep both Alicia and us out. Wow this comment is a long one (that's what she said).

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  2. Transitional episode or no, but I enjoyed this immensely. Last week was good, but I felt that if they carried on doing things like that the show would soon become a caricature of it's former glory. I know that the law parts sometimes take a back seat but the fact that I could predict the unfortunate end of Kalinda's correspondant as soon as I saw him was rather un-good wife like. As was the weird thing with managing to save the sister, perhaps they were trying to balance out the extremely sad and emotional departure of Will but it just seemed all a lot less realistic than usual. Also, there is such a thing as TOO much copying of real world news stories in my opinion.

    This episode in contrast gave me everything we've had to have less of in the last few (brilliant! not dissing them!) episodes, a low key but interesting case, hilarious but not completely comic relief Eli, and politics (political politics as opposed to office politics has, apart from the Bin Laden thing, been conspicuously absent recently).

    I personally also loved conflicts coming up that seem to have naturally arisen but that I still totally wasn't expecting, namely Cary suddenly being really pissed off at having to do Peter's dirty work, and Alicia's possible problems with Caitlin.

    On a purely character front I  absolutely ADORE out of work Will Gardner. His friendly, joky demeanour charmed me no end. And although it may still happen, I applaud  the choice to not have Will slide into some kind of predictable alcoholic decline. I hope they continue to show us there's more to life than work with precisely the character who till recently never seemed to get it!

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  3. theoncominghope7 March 2012 09:10

    I agree, last week was the first that took cutting edge news and made it too on the nose. That said, I didn't mind tooo much. I was talking to a friend, these last two episodes have been so jam packed that maybe they should have left aside the case of the week entirely. But this one was a lot better. And gave us that hilarious image of the girl falling to her death, soundtracked by Celine Dion.

    I do feel like office politics are fantastic in this show, and I look forward to where that's going. I also want the focus to return to Alicia's home life, especially since Peter's getting his hands dirty again!

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  4. theoncominghope7 March 2012 09:11

    I don't know that it's more natural for her to feel jealous of Caitlin. Cary was an actual threat to her, whereas Caitlin isn't. If anything, Alicia has a great position of power over David Lee, owing to the signature thing, which of course she'll never employ, being Alicia.

    I guess that's why I like the interchange between  her and Eli so much. For whatever reason, she's able to stand up to him in ways she isn't otherwise. The reveal of her affair with Will really has thrown her game off around the office, and I look forward to seeing her fight back a little.

    And YAY COLIN SWEENEY!!!

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  5. im scared that sweeney will try and kill alicia. and where is the alicia will action??? 

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  6. Hi, does anyone know what the song was that played during the suicide scene?

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  7. I actually kind of forgot that there are certain people that know about this affair now like Cary and whether this will be used against her in forthcoming episodes considering Will's out of work status.

    It looks like Cary is going to have a moral dilemma in the next episode regarding Peter which indicates that he is heading further into the mud. This is definitely an exciting story prospect.

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