The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 6.06: Old Spice

The Good Wife 6.06: Old Spice

Written By:
Leonard Dick
Directed By:
James Whitmore, Jr.



The same concerns that popped up in "Shiny Objects" applied to this episode. Bringing back Elsbeth Tascioni and quirkiness so soon looks like a mistake. The show has always been judicious about its deployment of guest stars, and while Carrie Preston is a welcome presence, two consecutive episodes of Elsbeth's oddities is a bit much to take. Since she's siding with Alicia this time, there aren't any distractions to get in the way of the case for her. Alicia and Elsbeth's partners seem to have disappeared, though.




Instead, she's actually the distraction for AUSA Perotti throughout the adjudication of the case. It had something to do with a computer company using an app that stole code from the Chinese version of the CIA, though that couldn't overtake the whole Perotti-Elsbeth brief romance angle. The romance was brief (they both give in to their lust for each other) and then Perotti's character was disposed of because anyone paired with Alicia was always going to win. The overall tone of the episode was completely off. The better sections of the episode weren't able to overcome the issues that dragged it down.


To distract everyone initially from the developing romance between the two most prominent guest stars, the show tries to delve into Alicia's reluctance surrounding religion and how it affects her campaign. The plotline brings up some questions that are intriguing if and when they come into focus in the future. In the here and now, it's hard to get a read on her thought process regarding God. The one point that is absolutely clear is that she's an atheist. That apparently doesn't play well with voters, although one would question how much emphasis the campaign places on this issue.

There are a variety of ways for Alicia to garner voters, and time is on her side. The interview with Pastor Jeremiah was a place where she could have made her stance definitive. It looked more like she was evading the question despite all of the preparation she did with Grace beforehand. She certainly does fit the bill as a politician if she continues to be so non-commital with her answers to other issues that will be explored in the campaign. The interview somehow comes off as awkward, which doesn't contribute to the plot's potential for adding drama to the episode as a whole.





When the status of the Florrick-Agos-Lockhart firm is looked at, it has little weight as well. There is the feeling that Cary continues to be subtly pushed outside of the firm's business. What doesn't help that situation is the complications stemming from violations of his bail terms. It's something that is treated very seriously, at least by Cary's pretrial services officer. The stipulations are rather silly (Cary goes 800 yards outside the state of Illinois) but all of the characters fail to realize the seriousness of the whole thing. Cary's increased punishment for these violations makes his suggestion of stepping away from the firm a sensible one. The requirement of Kalinda staying away from Cary would mean that it increases her interaction with other characters. She and Alicia, in particular, have stayed away from each other for far too long.

The firm was always going to be in the hands of Alicia and Diane. They were always destined to form the power base from which the firm operates. Everything else around that is window dressing. Diane swiftly moves in on Canning and Lee's turf, which only demonstrates how quickly both men just fade away. They don't even put up much of a fight when Kalinda and Diane figure out every kind of way to evict them from the office space. It's played mostly for comedy, but Canning and Lee were once major players on this show. To have them dismissed in this manner makes Diane and Alicia a formidable duo not to be trifled with in any way.





I think I prefer this show to delve more into its serious side. It needs to play more to its strengths. The lighter side does work, but in small doses. That wasn't the case here. It has an incredible and dramatic history that can be used and deployed with maximum effectiveness. Cary's legal situation is just one example. The final scene of the episode -- where Diane and Alicia return to their old home -- is another. Alicia stops just before entering Will's old office, as if she had suddenly been hit by a brick wall.


There doesn't have to be words to acknowledge what Alicia's thinking in that moment. You can read it all over her face. All of the history that she and Will shared are right there with her in that moment. It filled the entire space. Diane gently tells her to take her old office, knowing that the wounds of Will's death might be too much for Alicia. But Alicia steels onward. Everyone better stay out of her way.


Our Grade:
C
The Good:
  • The treatment of Alicia's atheism is interesting
  • The final scene brings things back into focus
The Bad:
  • Elsbeth is better in smaller, less frequent doses
  • The status of the firm wasn't handled well
  • The show works better when it avoids the comedic tone

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 - 10/28/2014 7:31 AM125 views

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