The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 6.09: Sticky Content

The Good Wife 6.09: Sticky Content

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

This episode had the show continue to play with the public and private dichotomies of its main characters. It's centered mostly around Alicia and how that personal dichotomy affects the campaign. All of the things presented during this time -- the edited attack ads, the oppo research that Prady gives to her, even Cary's doubts about Lemond Bishop's true intentions -- are a lens through which we see how Alicia is reacting to events or how they color her actions.

Since it's a public campaign for a public office, this forces a normally private, closed-off person like Alicia to confront what she would perceive as her flaws. This is a continuation of what played out with the focus group from "Red Zone." It's part of a myriad of questions Alicia will face throughout the course of the campaign, dependent on however long the show's creators choose to run with the storyline.

The odd attack ads from Alicia's campaign manager and the continual promises from Prady that he won't go negative on Alicia if she does the same to him are all the normal part of the political process. This is what she signed up for. Once she's in the middle of it, she does find it all a bit ridiculous. She's being presented as a package for the voters to vote on. It's entirely a design to beat Prady, who has gained much more prominence as an opponent. Outwardly, she can laugh about all of this or remain skeptical of Prady's true motives. The majority of the time, I thought that their exchange of maintaining a positive campaign just isn't feasible. 

The fact that each side was loading up on attack ads meant that one side had to cave in eventually. That was confirmed by the very end of the episode, when someone in Alicia's campaign leaked the "dinosaur" attack ad. If we are to believe Prady's assertions during a conversation with Alicia, then that means their side will leak the questions about the Florrick marriage. That would all but demand a response in kind. It will be this back-and-forth that descends the campaign into attacks at all times.

The questions about the Florrick marriage are, frankly, entirely justified. Alicia and Peter have tried their best to keep their dirty laundry from getting to the outside world, but, like the campaign pledges from the candidates, it will eventually come out. The show has always made good hay out of the distress and growing tension between Alicia and her husband. She doesn't look at the oppo research at first, but then she can't help herself. The pictures inside are a peek into the course she takes through the episode. It's at these points that her dialogue hardly matters. Reading her body language is much more telling of what she's holding back. She warmly smiles at the picture of Finn leaving her apartment. The smile drops into a sort of wistful sadness when Will's picture comes up. It's all but gone when she looks at the series of photos of Peter's relationship with Ramona.

Here, Alicia is in primal attack mode. She could have eviscerated Peter on the impulsive phone call she places immediately after seeing the photos. Instead, she arranges a joint interview that allows her to drop passive-aggressive hints of her anger over yet another secret relationship that Peter has kept from her. She holds his hand during the interview, which is something that surprise him. She reminds him of the children they've had, the life they've spent building. It's cloaked in the lightness of how they met at a party and a time when he was chivalrous and wanted to court her.

The facade is dropped during the pointed conversation they have in the car. She's been informed of the relationship, her opponents will use it against her, and Peter needs to stop immediately. His non-denial of the affair would be a shock if this wasn't the first time he's done this to his wife in name only. It's even likely that Lauren the intern was his love child with Ramona! But she declared, in direct and straightforward terms, that he stop doing this to her.

Alicia was so intent on hurting Peter that there was a good chance that she and Finn might drop all pretense in the late night conversation and have sex. Right there, she holds back once again. Finn is probably the only friend she has left. Perhaps she knows that an affair would wreck that friendship. That he was so involved in Will's death also complicates matters with him. Perhaps she realized that she had done this to Peter once before with Will, and was unwilling to go back down the same road. She isn't going to stoop to anyone's level. Not Peter's, and not Prady's. It would be beneath her, and probably not as effective this time around.

Alicia also cannot count on support from Cary because things aren't looking good on his end. Having to worry about the possibility that Lemond Bishop will have him killed, he's not too trusting of everyone around him. Unlike Alicia however, Cary doesn't hold much back. He's out in the open with his relationship to Bishop, probably too much so for his own good. He shouldn't trust Bishop to live up to his word, yet there is a part of him that hasn't been caked over in cynicism and paranoia. I still think he's headed down a bad path -- and Kalinda will follow in his wake or somehow be too involved with it --  so what happens here did little to change that impression. This all feels like the calm before the real storm comes along, destroying everything that gets in the way.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Nice exploration of public vs. private life
  • The questions about the Florricks are entirely justified
  • This is the calm before the storm
The Bad:
  • Kalinda is still not getting a solid character thread

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 - 11/17/2014 10:50 AM168 views

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