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Friday, 16 of April of 2021

The Good Wife – “Gloves Come Off”

“We must have missed the memo. Apparently, we’re now Stalin and associates.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3No time, I’m afraid, for a full review this week. Just too much going on, so I’ll do kind of a highlight reel of the episode, blatantly stealing the idea from Todd VanDerWerff’s most recent Archer review.

The struggles at Lockhart & Associates: Really great stuff here as the in-fighting amongst the equity partners is reaching a boiling point, and the battle involved in keeping everyone not only under control, but also from totally rearranging the firm. People shouting and talking over each other is always fun, and it’s even more fun on The Good Wife because of Alan Cumming, Michael Boatman, and Zach Grenier going whole hog in the scenes. Which leads us to…

Diane (and, by extension, Christine Baranski) being pretty much the bestest: Diane’s character has struggled a bit to stay in mix on the show sometimes, but with Will unable to directly help (“Consulting.”) she’s been pushed to the forefront in all sorts of wonderful ways. The calm center of the raging boardroom fights has to be let out in places, whether it be her exasperated sigh as Alicia grabs her before the elevator (I loved that face!) or the decision that she needs a booty call with long-missing Kurt after getting stood up.

I loved all of this because Diane is rich character for the show to mine portrayed by a very talented actress, and the episode delivers a really strong episode for her (it has “Emmy submission” written all over it right now). And I like how it gets Diane a little into the muck here as well, unilaterally approving a bonus (not a full raise) for Alicia over the objections of (at the very least) David Lee. She’s going on a limb to keep Alicia around (even if Julius and Eli agree), using some political capital on a 3rd year associate, and it may not help Alicia’s standing at the firm to be seen as getting help from the managing partners.

Alicia’s just all over the place: I don’t mean this in a bad way, as in she was acting like a crazy person, but rather that Alicia is on edge right now, and is likely to act without thinking first. Or is she? Certainly she’s lashing out at Kalinda as she strolls in with two beers was Alicia acting without thinking first, spurring away Kalinda yet again, because of the financial stress. But how much of her playing Louis and Diane off against each other was deliberate? It’s one of those instances where the opacity of both the writing and Margulies’ performance call it all into question. For me, I don’t think, when she sat with Louis in the car, that the plan was there. I think it came only after Louis made his offer and only gave her 24 hours to decide (which seemed odd for him in all honesty)

I liked their last scene together. Alicia does seem to genuinely want Kalinda back in her life, even if it’s only so she had someone to complain about what a pain in the ass Tammy just was to her. But there’s still so much hesitancy and fear in her (Margulies looked remarkably small in this scene to me), that her desire to make sure both parties (but really Kalinda) were being honest spilled out of her mouth more than it was said. The show has done a nice job of making sure the dynamic is not only different, but that it’ll take a long time, much longer than I think any of us anticipated, until something resembling those old dynamics return.

Tammy’s back…Okay: So Tammy returns to cover the hockey case, and decides to yell at Alicia a bit about ruining her relationship with Will. All of this seemed a little silly since, well, Will was willing to make the long-distance thing work as I recall, and Tammy was the who kaboshed it. Likewise, neither Will or Tammy ever seemed all that engaged in pursing a serious relationship, and Tammy seems pretty convinced otherwise here. I will say that bringing her back felt organic (though I had forgotten she was a sports journalist), but I’m not sure it was a motivated strongly enough to justify all of it.

Fred Thompson was…: much more tolerable this time than last time, but I’m chalking it up to Hugo Chavez not being around.


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