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The Good Wife Recap-“Closing Arguments”


As far as season finales go, the final episode of The Good Wife’s stellar second season landed squarely in camp of reassuring viewers that there was more story to tell and they should definitely come back for more in September.  Which is really just a long-winded way of saying that “Closing Arguments” was basically a set up episode for Season Three (for Pete’s sake, CBS, can we please get a confirm on that season happening?).  After two weeks of secrets, tears and fights, Wife settled in for an old-fashioned court case with a very large side helping of new story-lines thrown in.

The audience for this show has come to expect a certain quality (the AV Club just published a piece comparing it to the gold standard of all TV shows, The Wire), and even a procedural hater like myself has to admit that the case this week was a good one.  Glenn Childs, on his way out of office and eager to get one final conviction to end his term on a high note, is prosecuting a suspected judge-killer.  Will is defending him and things are not looking good, until a missing, bloody glove shows up on Alicia’s desk.  After that, it’s a race to get the judge to declare a mistrial before the jury returns with a verdict Lockhart Gardner are sure will be guilty.  The shenanigans that go into the delay are enjoyable, from Will directing his inside man to give the jurors coffee so he can “accidentally” reveal in the bathroom that the glove was found and get the juror dismissed, to him demanding an entire 180+ page transcript be read (long story).  If the case suffered from anything, it was simply that there was never really any doubt that the man in question was innocent, although I suppose that this show might have gone dark enough to send him to prison anyway.  That would certainly have completely the dystopian Chicago that Wife resides in.

While the case is spinning around, Alicia and her supporting cast are moved around the chess board to set them up for the upcoming season.  Most interesting of the developments is that Eli is moving his political consulting firm in-house to Lockhart Gardner and that Alicia has been nominated to be the liaison between his firm and legal.  I’m a huge fan of the relationship between these two characters, particularly the question of where Eli’s ultimate loyalty lies, with Peter or Alica.  It gave Alan Cumming and Julianna Margulies an opportunity to show off their fantastic chemistry when Alicia demands that Eli take his business elsewhere and he calmly tells her that she’s not running the show.  The shock on Alicia’s face is apparent when Eli tells her flat out that her suspicious mind is finding conspiracies where there are none; this is not a move influenced by Peter’s political career, Eli simply wants to work with Alicia because she would be good at the job.

Meanwhile, Kalinda takes a time-out to canoodle with her investigator friend Sophia from last week…that is until she finds out that Sophia is married and ends the tryst.  It was a little heavy handed, but still effective; we pan from Kalinda in bed, to Kalinda at a bar, to Kalinda at work.  The woman is starting to spin out of control, and no one seems to notice except (somewhat ironically) for Cary, who calls her on freezing him out and guesses that Alicia has found out her secret.  Last week it appeared that Kalinda was going to be able to completely retreat into herself now that Alicia, her one and only friend, no longer cared about her.  It seems that the relationship between Cary and Kalinda might have be a very important part of keeping her human next season, as Alicia continues giving her the cold shoulder.

Peter, meanwhile, is preparing to retake his office and has a tension filled meeting with Will regarding the case.  “It will be funny being on the opposite side in court,” Peter sneers “but…not laugh out loud funny.”  It’s revealed at the end of the episode that Peter was the one who sent Alicia the glove that won the day for Lockhart Gardner which is interesting; the writers are being careful to continue to paint him with shades of grey.  Peter’s motivation isn’t directly addressed, but it seems to be that he couldn’t sit by and let a man be wrongly convicted and lose his family.  He sadly watches the free man leave court with his wife and son, and with that action becomes more sympathetic than he ‘s been in weeks.  I’m sure the battles next year will be epic, but it’s nice for the writers to remind us that no one in this show is all good or all bad.

Let’s see what else happened…oh, yes, the long-awaited culmination of the Will and Alicia attraction, in the Presidential Suite after a few tequila shots at a hotel bar.  Was this the right choice?  I say yes…there was no longer any reason for these two not to be together, with Alicia separated from Peter and Tammy being disposed of off-screen (man, her story-line kind of petered out).  With nothing else to gain from stalling, the writers took a risk and changed the status quo.  We don’t know where this will end up…Alicia and Will repeatedly ask for “just an hour” from the universe, for them to be together.  Even as they ride up the elevator (stopping on every floor, thanks to a helpful brat), Alicia starts to have doubts, and Will silences her in a sequence that I would imagine the director described as “make out like 8th graders.”  And when they get to the door, and Will can’t make the key work, Alicia smiles.  “It’s okay,” she says, takes the key, turns it over and opens the door.  Alicia opens the door and walks through.  She makes the choice to move forward because she is no longer stuck.

And some closing arguments:

-Owen!  I love that this character is back, and challenging Grace on her religious “beliefs.”  Jackie also crashed their dinner, demonstrating that, despite Alicia’s stated belief to the contrary, she actually needs to hear something more than twice for it to sink in.

– The DNC is hot for Alicia and cold for Peter.  The head stated that if Peter has her he’s Kennedy…and if he doesn’t he’s “a john who overpaid for a prostitute.”  That’s way harsh, Tai.

-“Did you know we have a sex offender in the mail room?  The baritone at the Christmas party.”  More Diane next year please.

-Kalinda and Sophia in bed together seemed gratuitous.  I don’t think the young male demographic is going to watch no matter how many of those scenes you throw in.

-The Kalinda and Alicia slapstick show while trying to question a witness was fun.  These two are so good together.

-“The Transition Dump” sounds like something Carrie and the girls talked about on Sex and the City.  It would have happened to Miranda, and it would have had something to do with a guy not breaking up with her until he had another girlfriend lined up.

-The detail of Alicia keeping her face turned from the front desk attendant at the hotel so she’s not recognized is one of those details I never would have thought of, and hence am so thankful to whoever did.

-Overall Grade for the Season: A-.  I have to knock off a few points for Blake.