The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 5.19: Tying the Knot

The Good Wife 5.19: Tying the Knot

Written By:
Nichelle Tramble Spellman
Directed By:
Josh Charles


Of the myriad recurring characters to appear on this show, I think the writers attribute a special fascination with Colin Sweeney. He was interesting in his first few appearances, but since he's entered the territory of over-use by the writers, Sweeney has lost some of his novelty. The plots that involve him generally follow the same pattern: He's around some ghastly crime, is weirdly obsessed with Alicia, and that "connection" is used to unwittingly get him off the hook just when it looked like he was the obviously guilty party.




There's very little deviation to that here, except that he's taking yet another woman to be his wife (Sidebar: I looked up Sweeney's previous appearances on the show and there was no mention of Morena Baccarin's character at all here), and she seems to be okay with the fact that any woman is likely to die in a close relationship with him. The writers try their hardest to make this case different, but ultimately stick to the same pattern, causing the plot to lose steam by the end. That deflates the episode. It's left to some of the other subplots to pick up the slack unexpectedly. Though it advances the arc a bit, I can't help but feel empty as the episode came to a close.


The difference with the Sweeney case is that he isn't that directly involved with the dead body that turns up at the house party. His fiancee was the one who got away with murder. It was initially fun to figure out exactly what was going on at the house party. The insistent score and the way everything was framed suggested that viewers pay attention to specific clues. In this manner, the show has never been much for subtlety. Dialogue between the bridesmaid and the bride suggests friction between the two parties and really, that should have been the clue that tipped off everything in the case. The rest of it was just window dressing.




What was of particular interest to me was how the case showed the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, even with someone as intelligent and detail-oriented as Alicia. She made the understandable mistake of mixing up two men with similar complexities and body types. It doesn't hurt her in the long run with the case, but it's nice to see that Alicia isn't the saintly, perfect human being the show sometimes makes her out to be. And the plot plays with that notion a bit. Alicia is called as a witness in the fiancee's trial and has to face off with Diane, who took the case on Sweeney's recommendation. It's a long bit of legal manuevering designed to muck up the prosecution's case that ultimately works. It involves some discussion of sexually deviant behavior commonly attributed to Sweeney's odd tastes and dispositions. There is no real tension to the whole thing. The entire feeling was that Sweeney would get away with the crime. The question was when the show would pull the rug out from under Alicia.


The other main plot in the episode brings more development to the Finn Polmar character. He's slowly evolving into someone to root for other than Alicia and her friends on this show. The attorneys from the SAO have never been portrayed in the best light on this show so it's a real change to see a good guy come out of there. It helps that State's Attorney Castro has more ambiguous motives than at first appearance so that presents an antagonist for Polmar to face off with. Castro looks like he's shutting Polmar out possibly due to his handling (or mishandling?) of the Jeffrey Grant case or that he feels sorry for his friend still recovering from a massive trauma.




Finn's post-traumatic stress disorder does look legitimate since he flashes back to the shooting in his first trial case. Castro forces Finn off the case -- to his vehement objection -- only to bungle the prosecution of Sweeney's fiancee. Finn is growing closer to Alicia, though I fear the show wants to push a possible romance between the two as soon as possible.



If that does occur, it may suffer a backlash since Will's death is still so fresh in all our minds. Perhaps that might occur next season. Right now, we'll have to see what happens in Finn's sudden election run for the State's Attorney. I liked that this development played out slowly over the course of the episode. At first, Finn used it on Alicia's advice as a bit of legal positioning so that Castro can't fire him from the SAO. Then he somehow gets Peter's endorsement in order to get the signatures he needs to go into the race.




Now that he has the governor's endorsement, he has to go through with the election. If there are any developments of a romantic variety between him and Alicia, Peter's unexpected endorsement could be seen as a power play by him to keep tabs on his wife's activities outside of work. It's smarmy and cynical, but that's part of Peter's personality now that he and Alicia are in their "Bill and Hillary" marital arrangement. It might get ugly quickly, which seems par for the course with this show.


Our Grade:
C+
The Good:
  • Nice use of fallibility of eyewitness testimony
  • Finn gets some good development
The Bad:
  • Colin has lost some of his novelty
  • Plot progression was somewhat predictable

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 - 4/29/2014 5:55 AM285 views

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