Follow Monsters of Television on Twitter

Friday, 5 of March of 2021

The Good Wife – “The Art of War”

“It’s still crap.”

The Good Wife Title Card s3First, apologies for no review for “Waiting for the Knock” from last week. Between paid writing and trying not to get sick (and then actually getting sick), I just didn’t have the opportunity to write about the episode. Here’s a micro-review: Clarke is the most awesome to ever awesome, Cary’s hoodie was hawt, and if Dylan had hung onto Lemond any longer, I would’ve been sniffling about a drug dealer and his son. Also: Two folks from The Wire stopped by, again, so that was cool. Also also: Cary’s hoodie, guys.

And now onto “The Art of War.”

I would love for Karen to chime in on this episode since a) it deal with a rape case, and Karen has written so very eloquently about rape elsewhere on the site and b) Alicia lost the case, and it always drove Karen crazy that L/G kept on winning.

But I don’t think that Karen would necessarily be happy that Alicia lost this particular case. The case of the week, whether or not a man who was the employee of a military contractor, Ricky, who attempted to rape a woman, Captain Hellinger (Amanda Peet, earning a Emmy) is protected by the same laws that protect military service personnel, has all the right amounts of twist and turns and a painfully believable outcome (beyond the all-too-easy calling up of Compton so he could testify, but whatever) that puts it as one of the best cases of the season so far.

We should’ve known that the case was all doomed when Abernathy sat down on the bench. Abernathy may be a bleeding heart, but even his normal quirks were toned down this week, and if there’s one thing Abernathy holds higher than his ideological beliefs, it’s the matter of the law. So when the lawyer representing Ricky’s company (Brian Dennehy, proving he’s still impossibly riveting) manages to prove that not only was Ricky technically in the military at the time of the attempted rape and attack and thus protected from civil prosecution but using Hellinger’s own text message to display that she had no real fear prior to the attack, killing the chances for the suit to go forward, Abernathy has no choice but to dismiss the case.

In today’s political climate in the U.S., when women’s health and rights have been at the forefront of (some, but not enough) discussions, the episode serves as stark reminder of how the law favors men over women, especially in cases of rape. If the moment of disgust at the loss doesn’t come across, the show makes sure it does when Dennehy refuses to shake hands with Ricky. It should be an unneeded moment, but I’m glad it’s there because obviously we need to be struck over the head repeatedly that it’s simply not okay for this to sort of thing to happen, and that it’s not okay that we have a justice system where it can.

But that brings us to Maddie. As I’m sure everyone predicted following “Waiting for the Knock” (that episode tease especially), Maddie’s decided to throw her hat into the ring against Peter, using her own money to fund a (I’m assuming) quasi-last minute campaign. Really, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. It helps keep the political plot (which has been stellar this season in no small part to due to Chris Noth’s consistent presence) moving, and provides a way for Peter to have a challenge outside of Mike Kresteva (since he’s busy on NBC). But I love that it’s Maddie, too. For all his talk, Peter’s still a man who cheated on his wife, went in jail, and was corrupt, and that stuff will continue to dog a candidate, no matter how much he denies it.

If there’s anything of this that doesn’t work, it’s the “fallout” from Maddie and Alicia’s “friendship.” It was too quickly sketched and not given enough depth to feel meaningful beyond the fact that Alicia, again, is sort of isolated from other women. Margulies plays that scene with her might as well be trademarked just barely stoic poise that always guts me, but even it’s not enough to make this plot feel as full as it should be.


  • Clarke and Cary should start their own firm. Or go on adventures around Chicago. I don’t care. They’re so cute.
  • Until anything big happens, I’m not going to mention Kalinda and Nick for a while. The Kings have stated that they’re going to speed up and end that story line sooner rather than later, so they’ve written it off, and I’m going to do the same.
  • Other things still swirling around, including whether or not Eli or Kalinda are under federal investigation. Given how squirrely Eli was acting when Kalinda asked, I’m waiting for another shoe to drop.

Leave a comment