'The Good Wife': Suspicious Minds
“The Good Wife” keeps getting better with each episode. For a few weeks I wasn’t entirely convinced that the drama’s split personality was going to work, but the show is proving me wrong. Last night’s episode was -- dare I say it -- downright riveting. And for the first time, its themes tied together in a way that seemed organic rather than forced.
After last week’s adventures in horticulture and homicide, Alicia was put to work on a class-action lawsuit against a big pharmaceutical company. In the courtroom, eager beaver Cary scrambles through some deposition boxes, and in this rush, doesn’t notice a small piece of paper that falls to the floor. But guess who does? Alicia, mom that she is, picks up the mess. Lucky for her — and us — it just so happens to indicate that one of the jurors has been bribed. I like that the entire plot of this episode hinges on Cary’s relentless brown-nosing, but it takes Alicia’s keen observation to actually do something with the clue that literally falls at her feet.
Alicia and Kalinda investigate two suspect jurors and try to decide who seems the most susceptible to the bribe. They meet with their firm’s high-paid jury consultant, who shares with them such questionable wisdom like “as an African American, he is more likely to be resistant to authority.” Kalinda’s not having it, and asks the consultant to leave. I have no idea if this would fly in the real world, but I enjoyed the scene. It made a point without getting all “Crash” on us. Plus, it set up the key question of this episode: Who can be bought? (This episode was called “Fixed” after all.)
In the course of their investigation, Kalinda has to pull some ethically questionable moves — like lying to a maintenance man in order to get into a juror’s apartment and rifle through his bank statements. Alicia is clearly uncomfortable with some of these methods, and it makes sense. There’s an obvious parallel between Alicia’s own situation — her private life turned into cable news fodder — and that of the juror. Alicia even says, “I don’t like prying,” to which Kalinda responds, “I don’t mind.” Point taken. So it’s interesting when Alicia calls Kalinda at home, and another woman answers. Alicia asks Kalinda about the mystery woman, but she brushes her off, saying only “That’s Donna.” Maybe I am being crazy, but are we supposed to think she is a lesbian? Or maybe that’s the point — that we’re all obsessively worried about one another's private lives?
Speaking of which, on the home front Alicia is becoming increasingly suspicious of Peter. His lawyer, Daniel Golden, hounds Alicia for information that might help in his defense. In particular, he asks Alicia to dig up any correspondence between Peter and a shady real estate developer named Tony Rezko ... I mean Gerald Koztco. (Surely, the similarity is coincidental). This sends Alicia rummaging through more painful memories. More importantly, it makes her increasingly doubtful of her husband’s innocence, especially as Golden tries to bribe her with giant ham hocks and promises of private school scholarships for her kids. So by the end of the episode, when Peter asks Alicia to testify on his behalf, her disdain for him is palpable.
The episode had a jaw-dropping surprise ending: Turns out Alicia’s seemingly sweet and innocent clients had actually been the ones who bribed the juror. I definitely didn’t see this coming but I loved that the show pulled not one, not two, but three switcheroos on us: First we suspected one juror, then another, then it turns out the nice guys were actually crooks.
I am still a little confused about one thing, though. Did Alicia’s clients know the scrap of paper was left in the deposition box? Or was it just an accident?
Did you love this episode as much as I did? Did you see the surprise ending coming? Is Kalinda a lesbian? Should we care? Is Alicia going to testify on Peter’s behalf?
-- Meredith Blake
Photo: John Paul Filo / CBS