The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 6.01: The Line

The Good Wife 6.01: The Line

Written By:
Robert and Michelle King
Directed By:
Robert King


I get the sense that the Kings and their fellow writers on The Good Wife don't like for things to settle. Characters are always moving; Plots are always churning. That can be a good thing, as it forces everyone to be on their toes, waiting for the next development to come to pass. You can't fall into a rut that way. On the other hand, it can engender viewer mistrust on what their motives might be. Eli has the sudden idea to have Alicia run for State's Attorney and she rejects the notion outright at first. It's a ridiculous notion, what with her struggles to still build up her firm.





As this episode played out, people started getting onboard more and more with the idea. The seeds have been planted. But there's no telling how long the writers will play around with this brewing subplot before moving on to the next big development.  The last couple of seasons have shown that the writers seem to thrive in turmoil and constantly changing the status quo. The stories do present some intriguing possibilities, though.


Take what ends up being the Case of the Week in this episode: Cary being arrested and put into Cook County holdup. It comes up with absolutely no forewarning, so much so that I initially thought it was some elaborate fraternity prank or something a colleague from the office might pull off. Cary's initial reaction seems to go along with that idea. However, it slowly dawns on him that this is something very serious. The writers deftly peel the onion slowly throughout the episode that Cary is in real trouble with his (and the firm's) association with Lemond Bishop.


It's been clear for several seasons now that Bishop is a drug dealer who is not to be trusted. He does bring in a lot of money for the firms that his lawyers work for, though, and that brings about a certain tolerance to his presence. The episode does a good job breaking down Cary's resolve, as he goes from one humiliation to the next. He's stripped of his rights, his possessions, his clothing, and Bishop's incarcerated minions threaten him whenever possible. Since it's a felony drug charge, his bail is an absurd million dollar amount that the firm has to raise on their own.





This is all well and good. The show doesn't back away from the fearsome reality that Cary faces in prison. The problem is more long term. Other series have proven that putting major characters in prison doesn't work. Justified and Sons of Anarchy are a couple of examples I can think of right now. This series is fluid with its plots. Having Cary be in prison means that he remains static, waiting for a possible trial that could put him away for a long time. Given the tendencies of the writers and the series as a whole, I would wager that Cary spends no more than a third of the season actually in prison.



Cary's subplot also highlights another growing concern with the series: What to do with Kalinda's character. The Kings seem overly enamored with the Kalinda-Cary coupling, which isn't a sentiment I share. It takes prison to (temporarily) break the couple up and that was only really effective from Cary's point of view. It increased his loneliness and isolation while he's behind bars (or glass). Kalinda isn't able to do much these days. She's defined by her bisexuality (which wavers given the situation), the potent voodoo she's able to pull on admittedly attractive women who are usually in law enforcement positions, and her great investigative technique. She's so convinced of her sway over people and inherent invulnerability that she can't see the police going full bore right at the firm for conspiring with a known drug dealer.



The police investigation could then prove to be a turning point for the future of the series' main plot. There is the continuing cycle of whether or not Alicia wants to stay in the legal game. Will's death has exposed the cracks in that pristine facade she always maintains. She doesn't seem to have the joy for the game anymore. She keeps getting blindsided by who she perceives to be friends, notably calling in a favor here with Finn Polmar only to have to fight him in Cary's bond hearing. 






Also, Diane seems to be on the fence about joining the firm, although I think that will eventually happen. Diane should just cut all ties with what is ostensibly Canning's law firm now. Both Canning and David Lee now seem like an afterthought to the show. They were going to eventually figure out that Diane was leaving them and taking her clout with her to Florrick-Agos. So Diane should just cut to the chase and be done with it.


But Alicia has a tough decision to make. An interesting dilemma would develop if she were to choose between the lesser of two evils. Can she continue to be a lawyer or would she prefer to be a politician? They haven't always been mutually exclusive over the years. Will she swap out one complicated game for another? Being in politics is just as thorny (if not, moreso) than being a lawyer. Peter can attest to that. Yet all of Eli's polling points to Alicia having a good chance at winning an election. If the firm is embroiled in the conspiracy and drug investigation for a while (and they might), then Alicia would be forced to at least take a long, hard look at the political arena. She has been through worse.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • Things keep moving and changing, that's for sure!
  • Cary's situation unfolds logically and methodically
The Bad:
  • Never settling on a status quo can have a negative side
  • The writers don't seem to know what to do with Kalinda

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

The Good Wife by - 9/24/2014 6:10 AM90 views

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