The Good Wife Review by Henry Tran

The Good Wife 5.22: A Weird Year

The Good Wife 5.22: A Weird Year

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

I second Eli's acknowledgement in this episode that it's been "a weird year" for the series. If this season has taught viewers anything, it's that the show isn't keen on keeping the status quo for too long. Two huge events (the separation of firms; Will's death) have twisted the overall picture of the series to the point where I thought it might not settle down. So at the end of this episode, two different offers from two different people help to keep the chaos coming.

It also showed that Diane and Alicia are the power centers of the show. Each woman has different goals and agendas that are to be carried out. Like last season's finale with Cary offering Alicia to start up their own firm, Diane taking her client billings to Florrick-Agos would shift the ground from underneath the show. If they take it. There would be definite complications to that arrangement if Alicia were to accept Eli's suggestion of running for State's Attorney.

I like that the show is running Diane and Alicia on the same track here, albeit at different levels. What I mean is that they're both tired of the constant infighting going on in their business. They've both been doing it long enough for it to stop being exciting. Being in the law is a constant gladiatorial sport, and there comes a certain point where they can't take on all of the challengers for their spot.

They're both understandably tired of the siege mentality, of all the secrecy and backroom deals that play as betrayals. It clearly shows how Will loved that aspect of the game -- where neither Alicia or Diane liked it, at least for long spurts -- and how much he is missed when his death took him off the board. Both women want so badly just to settle into their positions at the top, enjoy their personal and professional lives, and not have to deal with the underlings all the time.

Diane could have had that earlier but that was snatched away from her (her judgeship and subsequent rejection is pointedly brought up again here) so there was a moment where I thought she would be serious in her offhand remark of quitting and moving to New Zealand. Who really needs to be in a position of fighting off colleagues who are only aiming to destroy something she spent so much time creating and nurturing? Will's death taught her that life is too short for that kind of stress.

It's really the same mentality with Alicia. Her life is changing, spurred on by Zack's graduation from high school. On top of the possibility of losing the firm, she has to keep her mother and mother-in-law from going at each other's throats. It's telling that she's absent for those conversations and partially absent for Zack's graduation. For Alicia, her work has defined her life. It forces her away from her family. Perhaps she no longer wants that to be so. Since Will's death, she has seriously contemplated getting out of the game. The machinations about the potential merger have torn down a fruitful partnership with Cary to the point where neither of them can trust the other.

Diane's offer of client billings might save them, yet I get the feeling that it won't be the panacea it seems to be right now. Nor would Alicia accepting the idea of being the State's Attorney. It looks crazy in the short-term (holding an office once occupied by her husband, which would involve even more political interaction with said sort-of-estranged husband) because it really is. The writers seem to want to push the parallels to the Clintons on every front with them. Yet it sets up an admittedly uncertain future for the series.

That can have its appealing qualities because then viewers won't know what to expect. The status quo is malleable to the whims of the writers. It's really like when Florrick-Agos realizes that LG left their teleconferencing camera on without realizing it. We're watching as these characters navigate uncharted waters with no way to communicate to them about what they're doing.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The chaos just keeps coming
  • Good focus on Alicia and Diane
The Bad:
  • Trying to hard with the Clinton-esque parallels

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 - 5/20/2014 8:50 AM174 views

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