As Will pointed out, this week’s episode of The Good Wife was “like being in a Woody Allen movie.” So very true. Not only were the hi-jinks amusing and bizarre, but all the happy faces made the emotional gut punch in the last two minutes of the episode all the harder to handle.
Case of the Week:
The case this week didn’t have the emotional draw of many previous weeks. It wasn’t the real focus of the episode. It appeared to exist to serve two purposes: provide Natalie (America Ferrera) a proper exit, and give the audience a few laughs and keep them upbeat to make the ending even more emotional. I honestly felt the case was bordering on David E. Kelley-esque style, but somehow the writers reigned it in enough that it never went completely overboard.
The case involved Mr. Rios, never seen in the episode because he just had a heart attack, who owns an oil rig company in Venezuela. He is suing an skeevy oil tycoon (aren’t they all?), Mr. Francis, because he was never paid for the installation of the rigs. Francis says it was because he finished late. Natalie, who is now interning at Lockhart/Gardner as a translator for citizenship purposes, discovers a mistranslation in the original contract that voids any issues Francis had with Rios finishing on time. But before any settlement can be made, in walks Fred Dalton Thompson, oh wait I’m sorry, Frank Thomas, a fictionalized version of Fred Thompson. An actor who played a DA on a famous TV show, who also actually practices law. Cute. I enjoyed the running joke that everyone who saw him became instantly distracted. Frank tells Will it is no longer his case because Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president, decided to nationalize Rios’s company so the lawsuit is now his. That Chavez is quite the charmer.
Here is where it gets silly – Chavez is seen from the chest down via video conference. He paces a lot, which is why you never see his face. He goes on and on about Sean Penn and Courtney Love deserving an Oscar. It’s bizarre. Natalie shows her worth not only in translating for Chavez but in coming up with ways to stall the case now that it is no longer in the hands of Lockhart/Gardner. Her brilliant idea doesn’t work because Chavez just changes the law. You know, because he can. The lawyers head to the court of Judge Lessner (Ana Gastyer, the “In my opinion” judge), who is so star struck by Frank, she suggests they all just work together in the common goal of taking down Francis. Francis tries to bring in guys that will claim human rights violations occurred on the rig. Chavez, the humanitarian that he is, claims that he would never allow that in his country while sending the workers a thinly veiled threat about their families’ safety back home. Kalinda is left to find out about the one guy that is left (he has no family back home.) and goes to Cary for help. He agrees, but not without giving her a hard time for the Peter thing. He also asks her to help get a good word in to keep his job when Peter wins.
Cary: Don’t tell her you slept with Peter before putting in a good word for me, ok?
Priorities! As always, Cary comes through. The worker did get hurt on a rig, but he had salt water in his lungs, and since all of Rios’s rigs are land-bound it couldn’t have been on one of his. Whew. When they take this to Francis, Francis and Chavez get into large fight about a map of untapped oil reserves that Francis apparently stole from Chavez. This allows Lockhart/Garnder to split from Frank (Judge Lessner is no longer so star struck) and they get a $68 million settlement. Hurray!
Along the way, we also met Natalie’s somewhat robotic Canadian boyfriend, Andre who takes it upon himself to confront Eli about his “connection” with Natalie. Natalie later apologizes to Eli, and they share a sweet moment. But she was offered a job from Frank and is moving to DC. So they have their “We’ll always have Paris” style line, and she leaves. I have hope she will be back next season.
There was barely a “C” story this week. If we weren’t focused on the case, things were revolving around Alicia and the madness in the last days before the election. First she goes to see a big fancy house in the ‘burbs. Side note – her realtor was played by Cady Huffman, a very accomplished actor on the stage and screen and yet I will always think of her as “frequent judge on Iron Chef America.” Anyway, poor Alicia can’t even see more than a few rooms between all the phone calls – Eli giving her subtle hints she should do an interview because Wendy Scott-Carr’s husband and kids are and Wylie (Tim Guinee) calling to ask about the missing pages in Blake’s file. (Ruh-roh!)
The Scott- Carr family really play up the sympathy vote in the interview. Landau, the DCCC chair would be ripping is hair out if he had any because Eli won’t force Alicia on the show because he respects her and promised he wouldn’t. But when Eli sees the interview pushed WSC within 1 point of Peter in the polls, he can’t help but try to emotionally blackmail her into doing it, basically saying if Peter loses, it will be her fault. A little later, Diane calls Alicia into her office and tells her to take the afternoon off, and Alicia assumes this is Eli’s work and calls and gives him a stern talking to. But later comes and apologizes because she finds out it was Landau. Eli and Alicia have a love fest apologizing to each other and then Eli barely holds himself back from giving her a big wet kiss when she agrees to the interview.
This whole time Wylie has been non-stop. He tells Alicia that the subject line of the interview notes reads “Alicia Florrick” and does she know why. She says she doesn’t and also threatens to sue him if he keeps harassing her. When Alicia tells Kalinda, Kalinda gets that sad/scared face, and asks to talk to Alicia later. Hint – you shouldn’t have waited!
Eli preps Alicia for the interview while she is getting ready and is obviously impressed with her and her answers. She says she forgives Peter (ouch!).
Eli: Is that true?
Alicia: Did it sound true?
Can I just say, of all the relationships on this show, I find this one the most surprising and the most interesting. These two started out basically feeling the other was going to be the biggest problem in their lives and now have found a mutual respect, and dare I say, friendship. I love it! Alicia, of course, nails the interview, and Erica Hill (real life CBS anchor) asks if Alicia has any political aspirations herself. You could almost see Eli’s head explode in excitement at the thought of it!
Back at Lockhart/Gardner, Will watched his one true love on TV and had this exchange with Kalinda.
Kalinda: Whaddya think?
Will: I think she’s fantastic.
Kalinda: I think she just won him the election.
Kalinda: You should tell her how fantastic she is.
Will: She knows.
Kalinda: You should tell her. People like to be told.
Will:You’re in a weird mood.
Kalinda: I am.
So many things said in those few words. I loved the simple writing of that scene.
Of course, Peter wins. Everyone is celebrating at campaign headquarters. Based on that stirring rendition of “Danny Boy” Peter’s mom may have been celebrating too much. Landau tells Eli he wants Peter to run for US Senate because people like Peter and love Alicia.
Then Wylie comes. He tells her that the finished the case. It involved a rumor that Peter slept with a co-worker, but he decided the rumor is not true because the employee didn’t seem to exist. Her name: Leela. I can’t describe the emotional power of the scene. Both Juliana Margulies and Tim Guinee play it to perfection. Alicia is so uncaring as he is telling the story, and Wylie is obviously looking to see her reaction. Right after he tells her, Alicia sees “‘Peter” (some guy pretending to be Peter. Really? We couldn’t get Chris Noth for 10 seconds?) all happy and surrounded by his loyal followers and all she can do is walk away crying as her world crumbles around her. Truly a powerful moment. Even more than the Kalinda/Peter reveal a few weeks ago. So very well done.
Sad news: No new episodes until May 3. But that is also the return of Martha Plimpton to the show! Hurray!
Written by Melissa Miller
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